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Flower of his dear-loved native land !
Alas, when distant far more dear! When he from some cold foreign strand,
Looks homeward through the blinding tear, How must his aching heart deplore, That home and thee he sees no more!
* What is an orphan boy? I cried,
As in her face I looked, and smiled; My mother through her tears replied,
You'll know too soon, ill-fated child !' And now they've tolled my mother's knell,
And I'm no more a parent's joy ; O lady, I have learned too well
What 'tis to be an orphan boy! Oh! were I by your bounty fed!
Nay, gentle lady, do not chideTrust me, I mean to earn my bread;
The sailor's orphan boy has pride. Lady, you weep —ha ?-this to me?
You'll give me clothing, food, employ! Look down, dear parents! look, and see
Your happy, happy orphan boy!
[From the same.)
New friends, new hopes, new joys to find !
To think on her thou leav'st behind.
Must never be my happy lot;
Forget me not forget me not !
Too painful to thy feelings be,
Nor ever deign to think on me:
If want, if sickness be thy lot,
[On a Sprig of Heath.]
[From Mrs Grant's Poems.]
For thee the brake and tangled wood-
Thy tender buds supply her food;
The deer that range the mountain free,
Their food and shelter seek from thee;
Sheds beauty o'er the lonely moor;
Nor yet with splendid tints allure,
Adorns the dusky mountain's side,
Nor garden's artful varied pride,
Of peace and freedom seem to breathe;
And deck his bonnet with the wreath,
Is all his simple wish requires. * A writer in the Edinburgh Review styles this production of Mrs Opie's one of the finest songs in our language.
[The Highland Poor.] [From Mrs Grant's poem of The Highlander.'] Where yonder ridgy mountains bound the scene, The narrow opening glens that intervene Still shelter, in some lowly nook obscure, One poorer than the rest—where all are poor; Some widowed matron, hopeless of relief, Who to her secret breast confines her grief; Dejected sighs the wintry night away, And lonely muses all the summer day: Her gallant sons, who, smit with honour's charms, Pursued the phantom Fame through war’s alarms, Return no more; stretched on Hindostan's plain, Or sunk beneath the unfathomable main; In vain her eyes the watery waste explore For heroes-fated to return no more! Let others bless the morning's reddening beam, Foe to her peace--it breaks the illusive dream That, in their prime of manly bloom confest, Restored the long-lost warriors to her breast; And as they strove, with smiles of filial love, Their widowed parent's anguish to remove, Through her small casement broke the intrusive day, And chased the pleasing images away! No time can e'er her banished joys restore, For ah ! a heart once broken heals no more. The dewy beams that gleam from pity's eye, The still small voice of sacred sympathy, In vain the mourner's sorrows would beguile, Or steal from weary wo one languid smile; Yet what they can they do—the scanty store, So often opened for the wandering poor, To her each cottager complacent deals, While the kind glance the melting heart reveals ; And still, when evening streaks the west with gold, The milky tribute from the lowing fold With cheerful haste officious children bring, And every smiling flower that decks the spring : Ah! little know the fond attentive train, That spring and flowerets sinile for her in vain : Yet hence they learn to reverence modest wo, And of their little all a part bestow. Let those to wealth and proud distinction born, With the cold glance of insolence and scorn Regard the suppliant wretch, and harshly grieve The bleeding heart their bounty would relieve : Far different these ; while from a bounteous heart With the poor sufferer they divide a part; Humbly they own that all they have is given A boon precarious from indulgent Heaven : And the next blighted crop or frosty spring, Themselves to equal indigence may bring.
[From Mrs Tighe's ' Psyche.'] (The marriage of Cupid and Psyche in the Palace of Love. Psyche afterwards gazes on Love while asleep, and is banished from the Island of Pleasure.]
She rose, and all enchanted gazed
Like polished snow the marble pillars stand,
Gently ascending from a silvery flood,
Once more she hears the hymeneal strain; Above the palace rose the shaded hill,
Far other voices now attune the lay; The lofty eminence was crowned with wood,
The swelling sounds approach, awhile remain, And the rich lawns, adorned by nature's skill, And then retiring, faint dissolved away; The passing breezes with their odours fill;
The expiring lamps emit a feebler ray, Here ever-blooming groves of orange glow,
And soon in fragrant death extinguished lie: And here all flowers, which from their leaves distil Then virgin terrors Psyche's soul dismay, Ambrosial dew, in sweet succession blow,
When through the obscuring gloom shenought can spy, And trees of matchless size a fragrant shade bestow. But softly rustling sounds declare some being nigh. The sun looks glorious 'mid a sky serene,
Oh, you for whom I write! whose hearts can melt And bids bright lustre sparkle o'er the tide ; At the soft thrilling voice whose power you prove, The clear blue ocean at a distance seen,
You know what charm, unutterably felt, Bounds the gay landscape on the western side, Attends the unexpected voice of love: While closing round it with majestic pride,
Above the lyre, the lute's soft notes above, The lofty rocks mid citron groves arise ;
With sweet enchantment to the soul it steals, 'Sure some divinity must here reside,'
And bears it to Elysium's happy grove; As tranced in some bright vision, Psyche cries, You best can tell the rapture Psyche feels, And scarce believes the bliss, or trusts her charmed eyes. When Love's ambrosial lip the vows of Hymen seals. When lo ! a voice divinely sweet she hears,
Tis he, 'tis my deliverer! deep imprest From unseen lips proceeds the heavenly sound;
Upon my heart those sounds I well recall,' *Psyche approach, dismiss thy timid fears,
The blushing maid exclaimed, and on his breast At length his bride thy longing spouse has found,
A tear of trembling ecstacy let fall. And bids for thee immortal joys abound;
But, ere the breezes of the morning call For thee the palace rose at his command,
Aurora from her purple, numid bed, For thee his love a bridal banquet crowned ;
Psyche in vain explores the vacant hall; He bids attendant nymphs around thee stand, Her tender lover from her arms is fled, Prompt every wish to serve-a fond obedient band.'
While sleep his downy wings had o'er her eyelids Increasing wonder filled her ravished soul,
spread. For now the pompous portals opened wide, There, pausing oft, with timid foot she stole
Illumined bright now shines the splendid dome, Through halls high-domed, enriched with sculp
Melodious accents her arrival hail : tured pride,
But not the torch's blaze can chase the gloom, While gay saloons appeared on either side,
And all the soothing powers of music fail; In splendid vista opening to her sight;
Trembling she seeks her couch with horror pale, And all with precious gems so beautified,
But first a lamp conceals in secret shade, And furnished with such exquisite delight,
While unknown terrors all her soul assail. That scarce the beams of heaven emit such lustre bright. For still
her gentle soul abhors the murderous blade.
Thus balf their treacherous counsel is obeyed, The amethyst was there of violet hue, And there the topaz shed its golden ray,
And now with softest whispers of delight, The chrysoberyl, and the sapphire blue
Love welcomes Psyche still more fondly dear; As the clear azure of a sunny day,
Not unobserved, though hid in deepest night, Or the mild eyes where amorous glances play;
The silent anguish of her secret fear. The snow-white jasper, and the opal's flame,
He thinks that tenderness excites the tear, The blushing ruby, and the agate gray,
By the late image of her parent's grief, And there the gem which bears his luckless name
And half offended seeks in vain to cheer; Whose death, by Phæbus mourned, insured him death Yet, while he speaks, her sorrows feel relief, less fame.
Too soon more keen to sting from this suspension brief ! There the green emerald, there cornelians glow, Allowed to settle on celestial eyes, And rich carbuncles pour eternal light,
Soft sleep, exulting, now exerts his sway, With all that India and Peru can show,
From Psyche's anxious pillow gladly flies Or Labrador can give so flaming bright
To veil those orbs, whose pure and lambent ray To the charmed mariner's half-dazzled sight: The powers of heaven submissively obey. The coral-pavëd baths with diamonds blaze; Trembling and breathless then she softly rose, And all that can the female heart delight
And seized the lamp, where it obscurely lay, Of fair attire, the last recess displays,
With hand too rashly daring to disclose And all that luxury can ask, her eye surveys. The sacred veil which hung mysterious o'er her woes. Now through the hall melodious music stole,
Twice, as with agitated step she went, And self-prepared the splendid banquet stands, The lamp expiring shone with doubtful gleam, Self-poured the nectar sparkles in the bowl,
As though it warned her from her rash intent: The lute and viol, touched by unseen hands,
And twice she paused, and on its trembling beam Aid the soft voices of the choral bands;
Gazed with suspended breath, while voices seem O'er the full board a brighter lustre beams
With murmuring sound along the roof to sigh; Than Persia's monarch at his feast commands: As one just waking from a troublous dream, For sweet refreshment all inviting seems
With palpitating heart and straining eye, To taste celestial food, and pure ambrosial streams. Stillfixed with fear remains, still thinks the danger nigh. But when meek eve hung out her dewy star,
Oh, daring Muse! wilt thou indeed essay And gently veiled with gradual hand the sky, To paint the wonders which that lamp could show! Lo ! the bright folding doors retiring far,
And canst thou hope in living words to say Display to Psyche's captivated eye
The dazzling glories of that heavenly view! All that voluptuous ease could e'er supply
Ah! well I ween, that if with pencil true To soothe the spirits in serene repose :
That splendid vision could be well expressed, Beneath the velvet's purple canopy,
The fearful awe imprudent Psyche knew Divinely formed, a downy couch arose,
Would seize with rapture every wondering breast, While alabaster lamps a milky light disclose. When Love's all-potent charms divinely stood confessed.
All imperceptible to human touch,
Each golden curl resplendently appears,
Or o'er his guileless front the ringlets bright
The heart to touch), persuasion to infuse,
The friendly curtain of indulgent sleep
Sudden its cheerful rays diffusing bright,
the brow of night. His fatal arrows and celestial bow Beside the couch were negligently thrown, Nor needs the god his dazzling arms to show His glorious birth ; such beauty round him shone As sure could spring from Beauty's self alone; The bloom which glowed o'er all of soft desire Could well proclaim him Beauty's cherished son :
And Beauty's self will oft those charms admire, And steal his witching smile, his glance's living fire.
Speechless with awe, in transport strangely lost, Long Psyche stood with fixed adoring eye; Her limbs immovable, her senses tossed Between amazement, fear, and ecstacy, She hangs enamoured o'er the deity. Till from her trembling hand extinguished falls The fatal lamp—he starts—and suddenly Tremendous thunders echo through the halls, While ruin's hideous crash bursts o'er the affrighted
walls. Dread horror seizes on her sinking heart, A mortal chillness shudders at her breast, Her soul shrinks fainting from death's icy dart, The groan scarce uttered dies but half expressed, And down she sinks in deadly swoon oppressed : But when at length, awaking from her trance, The terrors of her fate stand all confessed,
In vain she casts around her timid glance;
No traces of those joys, alas, remain!
No trace of human habitation nigh;
The careless eye can find no grace,
No beauty in the scaly folds, Nor see within the dark embrace
What latent loveliness it holds. Yet in that bulb, those sapless scales,
The lily wraps her silver vest, Till vernal suns and vernal gales
Shall kiss once more her fragrant breast. Yes, hide beneath the mouldering heap
The undelighting slighted thing ; There in the cold earth buried deep,
In silence let it wait the spring. Oh! many a stormy night shall close
In gloom upon the barren earth, While still, in undisturbed repose,
Uninjured lies the future birth : And Ignorance, with sceptic eye,
Hope's patient smile shall wondering view : Or mock her fond credulity,
As her soft tears the spot bedew. Sweet smile of hope, delicious tear!
The sun, the shower indeed shall come; The promised verdant shoot appear,
And nature bid her blossoms bloom. And thou, O virgin queen of spring!
Shalt, from thy dark and lowly bed, Bursting thy green sheath's silken string,
Unveil thy charms, and perfume shed ; Unfold thy robes of purest white,
Unsullied from their darksome grave, And thy soft petals' silvery light
In the mild breeze unfettered wave. So Faith shall seek the lowly dust
Where humble Sorrow loves to lie, And bid her thus her hopes intrust,
And watch with patient, cheerful eye; And bear the long, cold wintry night,
And bear her own degraded doom; And wait till Heaven's reviving light,
Eternal spring! shall burst the gloom.
ROBERT BLOOMFIELD, author of The Farmer's Boy, and other poems illustrative of English rural life and customs, was born at Honington, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in the year 1766. His father, a tailor, died whilst the poet was a child, and he was placed under his uncle, a farmer. Here he remained only two years, being too weak and diminutive for field labour, and he was taken to London by an elder brother, and brought up to the trade of a shoemaker. His two years of country service, and occasional visits to his friends in Suffolk, were of inestimable importance to him as a poet, for they afforded materials for his ‘Farmer's Boy,' and gave a freshness and reality to his descriptions. It was in the shoemaker's garret, however, that his poetry was chiefly composed; and the merit of introducing it to the world belongs to Mr Capel Lofft, a literary gentleman residing at Troston, near Bury, to whom the manuscript was shown, after being rejected by several London booksellers. Mr Lofft warmly befriended the poet, and had the satisfaction of seeing his prognostications of success fully verified. At this
time Bloomfield was thirty-two years of age, was married, and had three children. The Farmer's Boy' immediately became popular ; the Duke of Grafton patronised the poet, settling on him a
[By Mrs Tighe.] How withered, perished seems the form
of yon obscure unsightly root ! Yet from the blight of wintry storm,
It hides secure the precious fruit.
small annuity, and through the influence of this criticism, or had enjoyed opportunities for study.
Sweet inmate, hail! thou source of sterling joy,
grace my song,
Through every change still varied his employ, Austin's Farm, the early residence of Bloomfield. Yet each new duty brought its share of joy. day with the Muses. The last was published in the It is interesting to contrast the cheerful tone of year of his death, and opens with a fine burst of Bloomfield's descriptions of rural life in its hardest poetical, though melancholy feeling
and least inviting forms, with those of Crabbe, also O for the strength to paint my joy once more!
a native of Suffolk. Both are true, but coloured That joy I feel when winter's reign is o'er;
with the respective peculiarities, in their style of When the dark despot lifts his hoary brow,
observation and feeling, of the two poets. BloomAnd seeks his polar realm's eternal snow :
field describes the various occupations of a farm boy Though bleak November's fogs oppress my brain,
in seed-time, at harvest, tending cattle and sheep, Shake every nerve, and struggling fancy chain ;
and other occupations. In his tales, he embodies Though time creeps o'er me with his palsied hand,
more moral feeling and painting, and his incidents And frost-like bids the stream of passion stand.
are pleasing and well arranged. His want of vigour
and passion, joined to the humility of his themes, is The worldly circumstances of the author seem to perhaps the cause of his being now little read; but have been such as to confirm the common idea as he is one of the most characteristic and faithful of to the infelicity of poets. His situation in the Seal, our national poets. office was irksome and laborious, and he was forced to resign it from ill health. He engaged in the bookselling business, but was unsuccessful. In his (Turnip-Sowing-Wheat Ripening-Sparrows-Insects latter years he resorted to making Æolian harps,
—The Sky-Lark-Reaping, &c.-Harvest Field.) which he sold among his friends. We have been the farmer's life displays in every part informed by the poet's son (a modest and intelligent A moral lesson to the sensual heart. man, a printer), that Mr Rogers exerted himself to Though in the lap of plenty, thoughtful still, procure a pension for Bloomfield, and Mr Sonthey He looks beyond the present good or ill; also took much interest in his welfare ; but his last Nor estimates alone one blessing's worth, days were imbittered by ill health and poverty. So From changeful seasons, or capricious earth! severe were the sufferings of Bloomfield from con- But views the future with the present hours, tinual headache and nervous irritability, that fears And looks for failures as he looks for showers; were entertained for his reason, when, happily, death For casual as for certain want prepares, stepped in, and released him from the world's poor and round his yard the reeking haystack rears; strife.' He died at Shefford, in Bedfordshire, on the Or clover, blossomed lovely to the sight, 19th of August 1823. The first remarkable feature His team's rich store through many a wintry night. in the poetry of this humble bard is the easy smooth. What though abundance round his dwelling spreads, ness and correctness of his versification. His ear Though ever moist his self-improving meads was attuned to harmony, and his taste to the beauties Supply his dairy with a copious flood, of expression, before he had learned anything of And seem to promise unexhausted food;
That promise fails when buried deep in snow, Close to his eyes his hat he instant bends,
And forms a friendly telescope, that lends
That oft beneath a light cloud sweeps along,
The eye still follows, and the cloud moves by, High climbs the sun and darts his powerful rays; Again he stretches up the clear blue sky; Waitens the fresh-drawn mould, and pierces through His form, his motion, undistinguished quite, The cumbrous clods that tumble round the plough. Save when he wheels direct from shade to light : O'er heaven's bright azure, hence with joyful eyes E'en then the songster a mere speck became, The farmer sees dark clouds assembling rise ; Gliding like fancy's bubbles in a dream, Borne o'er his fields a heavy torrent falls,
The gazer sees ; but yielding to repose, And strikes the earth in hasty driving squalls. Unwittingly his jaded eyelids close. “Right welcome down, ye precious drops,' he cries ; Delicious sleep! From sleep who could forbear, But soon, too soon, the partial blessing flies.
With guilt no more than Giles, and no more care;
Its dark green hue, its sicklier tints all fail,
A glorious sight, if glory dwells below,
Where heaven's munificence makes all things show, Till tried with gentler means, the dunce to please, O'er
every field and golden prospect found, His head imbibes right reason by degrees ;
That glads the ploughman's Sunday morning's round ; As when from eve till morning's wakeful hour, When on some eminence he takes his stand, Light constant rain evinces secret power,
To judge the smiling produce of the land. And, ere the day resumes its wonted smiles,
Here Vanity slinks back, her head to hide ; Presents a cheerful easy task for Giles.
What is there here to flatter human pride ? Down with a touch the mellow soil is laid,
The towering fabric, or the dome's loud roar, And yon tall crop next claims his timely aid ; And steadfast columns may astonish more, Thither well-pleased he hies, assured to find
Where the charmed gazer long delighted stays,
Shut up from broad rank blades that droop below, Whilst here the veriest clown that treads the sod,
Here, 'midst the boldest triumphs of her worth, Loud chirping sparrows welcome in the day,
Nature herself invites the reapers forth ; And from the mazes of the leafy thorn
Dares the keen sickle from its twelvemonth's rest, Drop one by one upon the bending corn.
And gives that ardour which in every breast
From infancy to age alike appears,
No rake takes here what Heaven to all bestows-
Receives a burden nightly at its door. Here Wisdom's placid eye delighted sees
Hark! where the sweeping scythe now rips along; His frequent intervals of lonely ease,
Each sturdy mower, emulous and strong, And with one ray his infant soul inspires,
Whose writhing form meridian heat defies, Just kindling there her never-dying fires.
Bends o'er his work, and every sinew tries ; Whence solitude derives peculiar charms,
Prostrates the waving treasure at his feet, And heaven-directed thought his bosom warms. But spares the rising clover, short and sweet. Just where the parting bough's light shadows play, Come Health! come Jollity! light-footed come; Scarce in the shade, nor in the scorching day, Here hold your revels, and make this your home. Stretched on the turf he lies, a peopled bed,
Each heart awaits and hails you as its own ; Where swarming insects creep around his head. Each moistened brow that scorns to wear a frown : The small dust-coloured beetle climbs with pain The unpeopled dwelling mourns its tenants strayed : O'er the smooth plantain leaf, a spacious plain ! E'en the domestic laughing dairymaid Thence higher still, by countless steps conveyed, Hies to the field the general toil to share. He gains the summit of a shivering blade,
Meanwhile the farmer quits his elbow-chair, And flirts his filmy wings, and looks around, His cool brick floor, his.pitcher, and his ease, Exulting in his distance from the ground.
And braves the sultry beams, and gladly sees The tender speckled moth here dancing seen, His gates thrown open, and his team abroad, The vaulting grasshopper of glossy green,
The ready group attendant on his word And all prolific Summer's sporting train,
To turn the swath, the quivering load to rear, Their little lives by various powers sustain.
Or ply the busy rake the land to clear. But what can unassisted vision do?
Summer's light garb itself now cumbrous grown, What but recoil where most it would pursue ;
Each his thin doublet in the shade throws down: His patient gaze but finish with a sigh,
Where oft the mastiff skulks with half-shut eye, When Music waking speaks the skylark nigh. And rouses at the stranger passing by ; Just starting from the corn, he cheerily sings, While unrestrained the social converse flows, And trusts with conscious pride his downy wings ; And every breast Love's powerful impulse knows, Still louder breathes, and in the face of day
And rival wits with more than rustic grace Mounts up, and calls on Giles to mark his way. Confess the presence of a pretty face.