« PreviousContinue »
Oh! that the Chemist's magic art Could crystallize this sacred treasure ! Long should it glitter near my heart, A secret source of pensive pleasure.
The little brilliant, ere it fell,
Its lustre caught from CHLOE's eye;
Then, trembling, left its coral cell —
The spring of Sensibility !
Sweet drop of pure and pearly light!
In thee the rays of Virtue shine;
More calmly clear, more mildly bright,
Than any gem that gilds the mine.
Benign restorer of the soul!
Who ever fly'st to bring relief,
When first we feel the rude controul
Of Love or Pity, Joy or Grief.
The sage's and the poet's theme,
In every clime, in every age;
Thou charm'st in Fancy's idle dream,
In Reason's philosophic page.
That very law* which moulds a tear, And bids it trickle from its source, That law preserves the earth a sphere, And guides the planets in their course.
On thee, blest youth, a father's hand confers
The maid thy earliest, fondest wishes knew.
Each soft enchantment of the soul is hers;
Thine be the joys to firm attachment due.
As on she moves with hesitating grace,
She wins assurance from his soothing voice;
And, with a look the pencil could not trace,
Smiles thro’ her blushes and confirms the choice.
Spare the fine tremors of her feeling frame !
To thee she turns—forgive a virgin's fears !
To thee she turns with surest, tenderest claim;
Weakness that charms, reluctance that endears!
At each response the sacred rite requires,
From her full bosom bursts the unbidden sigh.
A strange mysterious awe the scene inspires;
And on her lips the trembling accents die.
O’er her fair face what wild emotions play!
What lights and shades in sweet confusion blend !
Soon shall they fly, glad harbingers of day,
And settled sunshine on her soul descend !
Ah soon, thine own confest, ecstatic thought!
That hand shall strew thy summer-path with flowers;
And those blue eyes, with mildest lustre fraught,
Gild the calm current of domestic hours !
Yes, 'tis the pulse of life! my fears were vain ;
I wake, I breathe, and am myself again.
Still in this nether world; no seraph yet!
Nor walks my spirit, when the sun is set,
With troubled step to haunt the fatal board,
Where I died last—by poison or the sword;
* After a Tragedy, performed for her benefit, at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, April 27, 1795.