Page images


Or lisp her merry thoughts with loud endeavor,
Now here, now there, in noise and mischief ever!

A school-girl next, she curls her hair in papers,
And mimics father's gout, and mother's vapors ;
Discards her doll, bribes Betty for romances;
Playful at church, and serious when she dances;
Tramples alike on customs and on toes,
And whispers all she hears to all she knows;
Terror of caps, and wigs, and sober notions!
A romp that longest of perpetual motions!
-Till, tamed and tortured into foreign graces,
She sports her lovely face at public places ;
And with blue, laughing eyes, behind her fan,
First acts her part with that great actor, MAN.

Too soon a flirt, approach her and she flies!
Frowns when pursued, and, when entreated, sighs!
Plays with unhappy men as cats with mice;
Till fading beauty hints the late advice.
Her prudence dictates what her pride disdained,
And now she sues to slaves herself had chained!
Then comes that good old character, a Wife,
With all the dear, distracting cares of life;
A thousand cards a day at doors to leave,
And, in return, a thousand cards receive;
Rouge high, play deep, to lead the ton aspire,
With nightly blaze set PORTLAND-PLACE on fire;
Snatch half a glimpse at concert, opera, ball,
A meteor, traced by none, though seen by all;
And, when her shattered nerves forbid to roam,
In very spleen-rehearse the girls at home.

Last the gray Dowager, in ancient flounces, With snuff and spectacles the age denounces;

Boasts how the sires of this degenerate Isle
Knelt for a look, and duelled for a smile.
The scourge and ridicule of Goth and Vandal,
Her tea she sweetens, as she sips, with scandal;
With modern belles eternal warfare wages,
Like her own birds that clamor from their cages;
And shuffles round to bear her tale to all,
Like some old Ruin, "nodding to its fall!"

Thus WOMAN makes her entrance and her exit;
Not least an actress when she least suspects it.
Yet Nature oft peeps out and mars the plot,
Each lesson lost, each poor pretence forgot;
Full oft, with energy that scorns control,
At once lights up the features of the soul;
Unlocks each thought chained down by coward Art,
And to full day the latent passions start!
-And she, whose first, best wish is your applause,
Herself exemplifies the truth she draws.
Born on the stage-through every shifting scene,
Obscure or bright, tempestuous or serene,
Still has your smile her trembling spirit fired!
And can she act, with thoughts like these inspired?
No! from her mind all artifice she flings,
All skill, all practice, now unmeaning things!
To you, unchecked, each genuine feeling flows;
For all that life endears - to you she owes.


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?

O say

[ocr errors]


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.


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.

[ocr errors]


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.




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.


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!

« PreviousContinue »