« PreviousContinue »
But if, led on by Heaven's decree to' explore
The depths and shoals of fortune, once again
I trust the faithless main,
Torn from thy desert caves and solemn roar ;
Give me at length, from storms secure, and woes
Of latest age, to lose the silent hours,
And in thy awful bowers
Enshroud me far from men, in deep repose.
TO THE POPPY.
NOT for the promise of the labour'd field,
Not for the good the yellow harvests yield,
I bend at Ceres' shrine;
For dull to humid eyes appear
The golden glories of the year;
Alas! a melancholy worship's mine!
I hail the goddess for her scarlet flower.
Thou brilliant weed
That dost so far exceed
The richest gifts gay Flora can bestow, Heedless I pass'd thee in Life's morning hour (Thou comforter of woe),
Till Sorrow taught me to confess thy power.
In early days, when Fancy cheats,
A various wreath I wove
Of laughing Spring's luxuriant sweets,
To deck ungrateful Love;
The rose or thorn my numbers crown'd,
As Venus smiled or Venus frown'd.
But Love and Joy and all their train are flown, And I will sing of thee alone;
Unless perchance the attributes of grief,
The cypress bud and willow leaf,
Their pale funereal foliage blend with thine.
Hail, lovely blossom! thou canst ease
The wretched victims of disease;
Canst close those weary eyes in gentle sleep
Which never open but to weep;
For, oh! thy potent charm
Can agonizing Pain disarm;
Expel imperious Memory from her seat,
And bid the throbbing heart forget to beat.
Soul-soothing plant! that canst such blessings give,
By thee the mourner bears to live,
By thee the wretched die!
Oh! ever friendly to despair,
Might Sorrow's pallid votary dare,
Without a crime, that remedy implore
Which bids the spirit from its bondage fly,
I'd court thy palliative aid no more!
No more I'd sue that thou shouldst spread
Thy spell around my aching head,
But would conjure thee to impart
Thy balsam for a broken heart;
And by thy soft Lethean power
Burst these terrestrial bonds, and other regions
HON. MRS. O'NEIL.
TO THE WILLOW.
SEE Nature's fairest gift appear,
The promise of the blooming year,
The rose has burst her infant bands,
And gay in Summer's pride expands;
Queen of flowers, how bright her hue,
Spangled o'er with morning dew;
From her breast what sweets exhale
At eve, when Zephyr's lingering gale,
Loath to quit the fond delight,
Flings her refreshing odours to the night!
Pleasure's joyous votaries, haste,
Not one precious moment waste,
Make those precious charms your own,
Seize them now they're fully blown;
And, while they grace your flowing hair,
Give no thought to absent Care;
Come, with frolic sport advance,
Lead the joy-inspiring dance,
Whilst Music's fascinating powers
Wake to mirth the laughing hours!
For me a wreath does Fate provide, A chaplet meet to deck the bride
Who weds Despair-the pallid cypress here
Shall mix'd with dark funereal yew appear.
Ah! never should thy fragrant breath,
Sweet rose, be wasted in the cave of Death;
There must the nuptial feast be shortly spread,
There the stern bridegroom waits-my bridal
guests the dead.
Then not for me, too lavish rose,
Spread thy robe of crimson hue;
Far hence thy balmy sweets disclose,
Whilst I the weeping willow woo.
When the wild winds impetuous blow,
And lay the trembling forest low,
When the tall elm and stately oak
Fall beneath the furious stroke,
Amidst the ravage of the plains
The humble willow safe remains;
She lowly bends, again to rise,
When the rude tempest's fury dies.
But not for yielding gentleness alone, And patient meekness, is the willow known; "Tis her distinguish'd lot to prove The last resource of suffering love; Her graceful foliage decks the maid Who weeps too easy faith betray'd; Or crowns the drooping love-lorn swain, Whose haughty fair one scorns his pain; Or marks the consecrated spot where sleep Love's victims, who at length have ceased to weep.
Then, still to cureless grief a friend,
Thine aid to me, sweet willow, lend;
Now Hope's delusive visions fade,
Receive within thy darksome shade
And hide a wretch, who shuns the day,
From hateful light's intrusive ray:
Wrapp'd in thy deep o'ershadowing gloom,
The darker shelter of the tomb
Alone can tempt me to resign
This lone sequester'd bower of thine :
For till that last asylum shall enclose
With its strong fence my then-forgotten woes,
What object so can charm mine eye
As in the stream, that murmurs by,
To see thy pendent branches o'er me wave,
That shortly shall adorn my peaceful grave.
FOUND IN A BOWER FACING THE
SOFT cherub of the southern breeze,
Oh! thou whose voice I love to hear, When lingering through the rustling trees,
With lengthen'd sighs it soothes mine ear; Oh! thou whose fond embrace to meet,
The young Spring all enamour'd flies,
And robs thee of thy kisses sweet,
And on thee pours her laughing eyes;
Thou at whose call the light fays start,
That silent in their hidden bower
Lie penciling with tenderest art
The blossom thin and infant flower;
Soft cherub of the southern breeze!
Oh! if aright I tune the reed
Which thus thine ear would hope to please
By simple lay and humble meed;
And if aright, with anxious zeal,
My willing hands this bower have made, Still let this bower thine influence feel,
And be its gloom thy favourite shade! For thee of all the cherub train
Alone my votive Muse would woo; Of all that skim along the main,
Or walk at dawn yon mountains blue; Of all that slumber in the grove,
Or playful urge the gossamer's flight, Or down the vale or streamlet move,
With whisper soft and pinion light.