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Where the proud palace rear'd it's haughty head,
The Hon. Mrs. Lane, daughter of the Right Hon. Lord Chancellor Henley, and wife to the Hon. Mr. Lane,
Then the firm arch shall stem the roaring tide,
N o'ergrown wood my wandering steps invade,
With surface mantled in untrodden snow; Dire haunt! for none but savage monsters made,
Where frosts descend, and howling tempests blow.
Here, from the search of busy mortals stray'd,
My woe-worn soul thall hug her galling chain : For sure, no forest boasts too deep a shade,
No haunt too wild, for misery to remain.
O my Aminta ! dear distracting name !
Late all my comfort, all my fond delight; Still writhes my soul beneath it's torturing flame,
Still thy pale image fills my aching fight!
When shall vain Memory slumber o'er her woes?
When to oblivion be her tale resign’d ? When shall this fatal form in death repose,
Like thine, fair victim, to the dust confign'd?
Again the accents faulter on my tongue ;
Again, to tear the conscious tear succeeds ; From sharp reflection is the dagger sprung,
And Nature, wounded to the centre, bleeds.
Ye bitter skies ! upon the tale descend;
Ye blasts, tho' rude your visits, lend an ear; Around, ye gentler oaks, your branches bend;
And, as ye listen, drop an icy tear!
Twas when the step with conscious pleasure roves,
Where round the shades the circling woodbines throng ; When Flora wantons o'er th' enameli'd
groves, And feather'd choirs indulge the amorous fong:
Inspir'd by duteous love, I fondly ftray'd,
Two milk-white doves officious to ensnare; Beneath a silent thicket as they play'd,
A grateful present for my softer fair.
But, ah! in smiles no more they met my fight,
Their ruffled heads lay gasping on the ground: Where--my dire emblem !-a rapacious kite
Tore their soft limbs, and strew'd their plumes around.
The tear of pity stole into my eye ;
While ruder paflions in their turn succeed; Forbid the victims unreveng'd to die,
And doom the author of their wrongs to bleed.
With hafty step, enrag'd, I homewards ran ;
Curse on my speed! th' unerring tube I brought; That fatal hour my date of woe began,
Too sharp to tell, too horrible for thought!
Difaft'rous deed ! irrevocable ill!
How shall I tell the anguish of my fate! Teach me, remorseless monsters, not to feel,
Instruct me, fiends and furies, to relate !
Wrathful behind the guilty shade I stole,
I rais'd the tube-the clamorous woods resoundToo late I saw the idol of my soul,
Struck by my aim, fall thrieking to the ground!
No other bliss her soul allow'd but me;
(Hapless the pair that thus indulgent prove!) She sought concealment from a shady tree,
In amorous silence to observe her love.
I ran; but Ö! too soon I found it true!
From her stain'd breast life's crimson stream'd apace ; From her wán eyes the sparkling lustres flew;
The short-liv'd roses faded from her face !
Gods ! could I bear that fond reproachful look,
That strove her peerless innocence to plead ! But partial death awhile her tongue forsook,
To save a wretch that doom'd himself to bleed.
While I, distracted, press'd her in my arms,
And fondly strove t'imbibe her latest breath ; "O sparè, rash love !' she cry'd, thy fatal charms,
• Nor seek cold shelter in the arms of death.
o Content beneath thy erring hand I die !
• Our fates grew envious of a bliss so true; • Then urge not thy distress when low I lie,
• But in this breath receive my last adieu !
No more the fpake, but droop'd her lily head !
In death she ficken'd-breathless--haggard-pale ! While all my inmost soul with horror bled,
And ask'd kind vengeance from the palling gale.
Where slept your bolts, ye lingering lightnings fay!,
Why riv'd ye not this self-condemned breast ! Or why, too passive Earth, didst thou delay !
To stretch thy jaws, and crush me into rest?