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WRITTEN IN A SICK CHAMBER.

1793.

There, in that bed so closely curtained round,
Worn to a shade, and wan with slow decay,
A father sleeps! Oh hushed be every sound!
Soft may we breathe the midnight hours away!

He stirs—yet still he sleeps. May heavenly dreams Long o'er his smoothed and settled pillow rise ; Nor fly, till morning thro' the shutter streams, And on the hearth the glimmering rush-light dies.

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TO....

Au! little thought she, when, with wild delight,
By many a torrent's shining track she flew,
When mountain-glens and caverns full of night
O'er her young mind divine enchantment threw,

That in her veins a secret horror slept,
That her light footsteps should be heard no more,
That she should die—nor watched, alas, nor wept
By thee, unconscious of the pangs she bore.

Yet round her couch indulgent Fancy drew
The kindred forms her closing eye required.
There didst thou stand-there, with the smile she knew;
She moved her lips to bless thee, and expired.
And now to thee she comes; still, still the same
As in the hours gone unregarded by!
To thee, how changed, comes as she ever came;
Health on her cheek, and pleasure in her eye!
Nor less, less oft, as on that day, appears,
When lingering, as prophetic of the truth,
By the way-side she shed her parting tears-
For ever lovely in the light of Youth!

* On the death of her sister.

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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.

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