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Go you may call it madness, folly;
You shall not chase my gloom away.
There's such a charm in melancholy,
I would not, if I could, be gay.
O, if you knew the pensive pleasure
That fills my bosom when I sigh, You would not rob me of a treasure Monarchs are too poor to buy.
ADIEU! A long, a long adieu!
I must be gone while yet I may. Oft shall I weep to think of you;
But here I will not, cannot stay.
The sweet expression of that face,
Forever changing, yet the same,
Ah no! I dare not turn to trace.
It melts my soul, it fires my frame!
Yet give me, give me, ere I go,
One little lock of those so blest,
That lend your cheek a warmer glow,
And on your white neck love to rest.
Say, when, to kindle soft delight, That hand has chanced with mine to meet, How could its thrilling touch excite
A sigh so short, and yet so sweet?
but no, it must not be.
Adieu! A long, a long adieu!
-Yet still, methinks, you frown on me;
Or never could I fly from you.
FROM A GREEK EPIGRAM.
WHILE on the cliff with calm delight she kneels,
And the blue vales a thousand joys recall,
See, to the last, last verge her infant steals!
O, fly! yet stir not, speak not, lest it fall.
Far better taught, she lays her bosom bare,
And the fond boy springs back to nestle there.
THERE is a streamlet issuing from a rock.
The village-girls, singing wild madrigals,
Dip their white vestments in its waters clear,
And hang them to the sun. There first we met,
There on that day. Her dark and eloquent eyes
'T was heaven to look upon; and her sweet voice,
As tunable as harp of many strings,
At once spoke joy and sadness to my soul!
Dear is that valley to the murmuring bees
And all, who know it, come and come again.
The small birds build there; and at summer-noon
Oft have I heard a child, gay among flowers,
As in the shining grass she sate concealed,
Sing to herself.
CAPTIVITY.- WRITTEN AT MIDNIGHT.
FROM AN ITALIAN SONNET.
LOVE, under Friendship's vesture white,
Laughs, his little limbs concealing;
And oft in sport, and oft in spite,
Like Pity meets the dazzled sight,
Smiles through his tears revealing.
But now as Rage the god appears!
He frowns, and tempests shake his frame!-
Frowning, or smiling, or in tears,
'Tis Love; and Love is still the same.
CAGED in old woods, whose reverend echoes wake
When the hern screams along the distant lake,
Her little heart oft flutters to be free,
Oft sighs to turn the unrelenting key.
In vain! the nurse that rusted relic wears,
Nor moved by gold- nor to be moved by tears;
And terraced walls their black reflection throw
On the green-mantled moat that sleeps below.
WRITTEN AT MIDNIGHT.
WHILE through the broken pane the tempest sighs,
And my step falters on the faithless floor,
Shades of departed joys around me rise,
With many a face that smiles on me no more;
With many a voice that thrills of transport gave,
Now silent as the grass that tufts their grave!
As through the hedge-row shade the violet steals,
And the sweet air its modest leaf reveals;
Her softer charms, but by their influence known,
Surprise all hearts, and mould them to her own.
TO AN OLD OAK.
TRUNK of a giant now no more!
Once did thy limbs to heaven aspire ;
Once, by a track untried before,
Strike as resolving to explore
Realms of infernal fire.20
Round thee, alas! no shadows move!
From thee no sacred murmurs breathe!
Yet within thee, thyself a grove,
Once did the eagle scream above,
And the wolf howl beneath.
There once the red-cross knight reclined,
His resting-place, a house of prayer ;
And, when the death-bell smote the wind
From towers long fled by human kind,
He knelt and worshipped there!
Then Culture came, and days serene;
And village-sports, and garlands gay.
Full many a pathway crossed the green;
And maids and shepherd-youths were seen
To celebrate the May.
TO THE YOUNGEST DAUGHTER OF LADY * *. 235
Father of many a forest deep,
Whence many a navy thunder-fraught!
Erst in thy acorn-cells asleep,
Soon destined o'er the world to sweep,
Opening new spheres of thought!
Wont in the night of woods to dwell,
The holy Druid saw thee rise;
And, planting there the guardian-spell,
Sung forth, the dreadful pomp to swell
Of human sacrifice!
Thy singed top and branches bare
Now straggle in the evening-sky;
And the wan moon wheels round to glare
On the long corse that shivers there
Of him who came to die!
TO THE YOUNGEST DAUGHTER OF LADY * *
AH! why with tell-tale tongue reveal 21
What most her blushes would conceal?
Why lift that modest veil to trace
The seraph-sweetness of her face?
Some fairer, better sport prefer;
And feel for us, if not for her.
For this presumption, soon or late,
Know thine shall be a kindred fate.
Another shall in vengeance rise
Sing Harriet's cheeks, and Harriet's eyes;
And, echoing back her wood-notes wild,
Trace all the mother in the child!