Page images

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, tho' seen by all; And, when her shattered nerves forbid to roam, In very spleen-rehearse the girls at home.

Last the grey Dowager, in antient 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 clamour 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 controul, 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-thro' 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? Thus from her mind all artifice she flings, All skill, all practice, now unmeaning things! To you, unchecked, each genuine feeling flows; For all that lise endears - to you she owes.


Sleep on, and dream of Heaven awhile.
Tho' shut so close thy laughing eyes,
Thy rosy lips still seem to smile,
And move, and breathe delicious sighs! -

Ah, now soft blushes tinge her cheeks,

And mantle o'er her neck of snow.

Ah, now she murmurs, now she speaks

What most I wish-and fear to know. :

She starts, she trembles, and she weeps!

Her fair hands folded on her breast.

-And now, how like a saint she sleeps! A seraph in the realms of rest!

Sleep on secure! Above controul,
Thy thoughts belong to Heaven and thee!

may the secret of thy soul Repose within its sanctuary!

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

'Twas Autumn; thro' Provence had ceased
The vintage, and the vintage-feast.
The sun had set behind the hill,
The moon was up, and all was still,
And from the Convent's neighbouring tower
The clock had tolled the midnight hour,
When Jacqueline came forth alone,
Her kerchief o'er her tresses thrown;
A guilty thing and full of fears,
Yet ah, how lovely in her tears!

She starts, and what has caught her eye?
What-but her shadow gliding by?
She stops, she pants; with lips apart
She listens—to her beating heart!
Then, thro' the scanty orchard stealing,
The clustering boughs her track concealing,
She flies, nor casts a thought behind,
But gives her terrors to the wind;
Flies from her home, the humble sphere
Of all her joys and sorrows here,
Her father's house of mountain-stone,
And by a mountain-vine o'ergrown.
At such an hour in such a night,
So calm, so clear, so heavenly bright,
Who would have seen, and not confessed

It looked as all within were blest?

What will not woman, when she loves?

Yet lost, alas, who can restore her?

She lifts the latch, the wicket moves;

And now the world is all before her.

« PreviousContinue »