Page images
PDF
EPUB

For beautiful in death
The warrior's corpse appears,
Embalm’d by found Affection's breath,
And bathed in woman's tears.
- Give me the death of those
Who for their country die ;
And O be mine like their repose,
When cold and low they lie!
Their loveliest mother Earth
Enshrines the fallen brave;
In her sweet lap who gave them birth
They find their tranquil grave.

She spake,mand, like the nimble fawn,

From Edmund's presence fled : He sought, across the rural lawn,

The dwelling of the dead; That silent, solemn, simple spot,

The mouldering realm of peace, Where human passions are forgot,

Where human follies cease.

THE VIGIL OF ST. MARK.

RETURNING from their evening walk,

On yonder ancient stile,
In sweet, romantic, tender talk,

Two lovers paused awhile :
Edmund, the monarch of the dale,

All conscious of his powers ; Ella, the lily of the vale,

The rose of Auburn's bowers. In airy Love's delightful bands

He held her heart in vain; The Nymph denied her willing hands

To Hymen's awful chain. “ Ah! why,” said he, “our bliss delay?

Mine Ella, why so cold ?
Those who but love from day to day,

From day to day grow old. « The bounding arrow cleaves the sky,

Nor leaves a trace behind; And single lives, like arrows fly,

- They vanish through the wind. “ In Wedlock's sweet endearing lot

Let us improve the scene, That some may be, when we are not,

To tell that we have been." " "Tis now,” replied the village Belle,

“ Saint Mark's mysterious eve; And all that old traditions tell

I tremblingly believe :“ How, when the midnight signal tolls

Along the church-yard green,
A mournful train of sentenced souls

In winding-sheets are seen.

The gliding moon through heaven serene

Pursued her tranquil way,
And shed o'er all the sleeping scene

A soft nocturnal day.
With swelling heart and eager feet

Young Edmund gain'd the church,
And chose his solitary seat

Within the dreadful porch. Thick, threatening clouds assembled soon,

Their dragon wings display'd ; Eclipsed the slow retiring moon,

And quench'd the stars in shade
Amid the deep abyss of gloom

No ray of beauty smiled,
Save, glistening o'er some haunted tomb,

The glow-worm's lustre wild.
The village watch-dogs bay'd around,

The long grass whistled drear,
The steeple trembled to the ground,

Ev'n Edmund quaked with fear.
All on a sudden died the blast,

Dumb horror chill'd the air,
While Nature seem'd to pause aghast,

In uttermost despair.
-Twelve times the midnight herald tolld:

As oft did Edmund start;
For every stroke fell dead and cold

Upon his fainting heart.
Then glaring through the ghastly gloom,

Along the church-yard green,
The destined victims of the mb

In winding-sheets were seen.
In that strange moment Edmund stood,

Sick with severe surprise ;
While creeping horror drank his blood

And fix'd his finty eyes.
He saw the secrets of the grave;

He saw the face of DEATH;
No pitying power appear'd to save

He gasp'd away his breath.
Yet still the scene his soul beguiled

And every spectre cast
A look, unutterably wild,

On Edmund as they pass’d.
All on the ground entranced he lay

At length the vision broke:
-When, lo!-a kiss, as cold as clay
The slumbering youth awoke.

“The ghosts of all whom Death shall doom

Within the coming year,
In pale procession walk the gloom,

Amid the silence drear.

“ Jf Edmund, bold in conscious might,

By love severely tried,
Can brave the terrors of to-night,

Ella will be his bride."

HANNAH. .

At fond sixteen my roving heart
Was pierced by Love's delightful dart:
Keen transport throbb'd through every vein,
-I never felt so sweet a pain!

Where circling woods embower'd the glade,
I met the dear romantic maid :
I stole her hand, it shrunk,—but no;
I would not let my captive go.

That moment through a rifted cloud

The darting moon display'd,
Robed in a melancholy shroud,

The image of a maid.
Her dusky veil aside she threw,

And show'd a face most fair;
“_My Love! my Ella!” Edmund flew,

And clasp'd the yielding air. “ Ha! who art thou ?" His cheek grew pale:

A well-known voice replied, “Ella, the lily of the vale;

Ella—thy destined bride."
To win his neck, her airy arms

The pallid phantom spread;
Recoiling from her blasted charms,

The affrighted lover fled.
To shun the visionary maid

His speed outstript the wind;
But,—though unseen to move,—the shade

Was evermore behind.

With all the fervency of youth,
While passion told the tale of truth,
I mark'd my Hannah's downcast eye,
'Twas kind, but beautifully shy.

Not with a warmer, purer ray,
The sun, enamour'd, wooes young May;
Nor May, with softer maiden grace,
Turns from the Sun her blushing face

But, swifter than the frighted dove, Fled the gay morning of my love; Ah! that so bright a morn, so soon, Should vanish in so dark a noon.

So Death's unerring arrows glide,

Yet seem suspended still; Nor pause, nor shrink, nor turn aside,

But smite, subdue, and kill.
O'er many a mountain, moor, and vale,

On that tremendous night,
The ghost of Ella, wild and pale,

Pursued her lover's flight.
But when the dawn began to gleam,

Ere yet the morning shone, She vanish'd like a nightmare-dream,

And Edmund stood alone.

The angel of Afiction rose,
And in his grasp a thousand woes ;
He pour'd his vial on my head,
And all the heaven of rapture fled.

Yet, in the glory of my pride,
I stood, and all his wrath defied;
I stood,—though whirlwinds shook my brain,
And lightnings cleft my soul in twain.

I shunn'd my nymph ;-and knew not why
I durst not meet her gentle eye;
I shunn'd her-for I could not bear
To marry her to my despair.

Three days, bewilder'd and forlorn,

He sought his home in vain;
At length he hail'd the hoary thorn

That crown'd his native plain. "T was evening ;-all the air was balm,

The heavens serenely clear; When the soft music of a psalm

Came pensive o'er his ear.

Yet, sick at heart with hope delay'd,
Oft the dear image of that maid
Glanced, like the rainbow, o'er my mind
And promised happiness behind.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

Within the garden's cultured round It shares the sweet carnation's bed; And blooms on consecrated ground In honor of the dead.

The lambkin crops its crimson gem, The wild-hee murmurs on its breast, The blue-lly bends ils pensile stem, Light o'er the sky-lark's nest.

"Tis Flora's page ;-in every place,
In every season fresh and fair,
It opens with perennial grace,
And blossoms everywhere.

O welcome to our isle,
Thou Messenger of Peace !
At whose bewitching smile
The embattled tempests cease :
Emblem of Innocence and Truth,
First-born of Nature's womb,
When strong in renovated youth,
She bursts from Winter's tomb;
Thy parent's eye hath shed
A precious dew-drop on thine head,
Frail as a mother's tear
Upon her infant's face,
When ardent hope to tender fear,
And anxious love, gives place.
But, lo! the dew-drop flits away,
The sun salutes thee with a ray

On waste and woodland, rock and plain,
Its humble buds unheeded rise ;
The Rose has but a summer reign,
The Daisy never dies.

Warm as a mother's kiss
Upon her infant's cheek,
When the heart bounds with bliss,
And joy that cannot speak.

And the silver-wing'd sea-fowl on high,
Like meteors bespangle the sky,
Or dive in the gulf, or triumphantly ride,
Like foam on the surges, the swans of the tide.

When I meet thee by the way,

From the tumult and smoke of the city set free, Like a pretty sportive child, On the winter-wasted wild,

With eager and awful delight,

From the crest of the mountain I gaze upon thee With thy darling breeze at play,

I gaze,—and am changed at the sight;
Opening to the radiant sky
All the sweetness of thine eye ;

For mine eye is illumined, my Genius takes flight, Or bright with sun-beams, fresh with showers, My soul, like the sun, with a glance

Embraces the boundless expanse,
O thou Fairy-Queen of powers !
Watch thee o'er the plain advance

And moves on thy waters, wherever they roll,
At the head of Flora's dance ;

From the day-darting zone to the night-shadow'd pole Simple Snow-drop, then in thee All thy sister-train I see:

My spirit descends where the day-spring is born, Every brilliant bud that blows,

Where the billows are rubies or fire, From the blue-bell to the rose :

And the breezes that rock the light cradle of moni All the beauties that appear

Are sweet as the Phænix's pyre: On the bosom of the Year,

O regions of beauty, of love, and desire ! All that wreathe the locks of Spring,

O gardens of Eden! in vain Summer's ardent breath perfume,

Placed far on the fathomless main, Or on the lap of Autumn bloom,

Where Nature with Innocence dwelt in her youth, -All to thee their tribute bring,

When pure was her heart, and unbroken her truth Exhale their incense at thy shrine, -Their hues, their odors, all are thine. For while thy humble form I view,

But now the fair rivers of Paradise wind The Muse's keen prophetic sight

Through countries and kingdoms o'erthrown; Brings fair Futurity to light,

Where the giant of tyranny crushes mankind, And Fancy's magic makes the vision true.

Where he reigns,—and will soon reign alone;

For wide and more wide, o'er the sunbeaming zone - There is a Winter in my soul,

He stretches his hundred-fold arms, The winter of despair ;

Despoiling, destroying its charms; O when shall Spring its rage control ?

Beneath his broad footstep the Ganges is dry, When shall the Snow-drop blossom there?

And the mountains recoil from the flash of his eye. Cold gleams of comfort sometimes dart A dawn of glory on my heart,

Thus the pestilent Upas, the Demon of trees, But quickly pass away:

Its boughs o'er the wilderness spreads, Thus Northern-lights the gloom adorn,

And with livid contagion polluting the breeze, And give the promise of a morn

Its mildewing influence sheds ; That never turns to day!

The birds on the wing, and the flowers in their beds

Are slain by its venomous breath,
-But, hark! methinks I hear

That darkens the noonday with death,
A small still whisper in mine ear;

And pale ghosts of travellers wander around, “Rash youth, repent :

While their mouldering skeletons whiten the ground Afflictions, from above, Are angels sent On embassies of love.

Ah! why hath Jehovah, in forming the world,

With the waters divided the land, A fiery legion at thy birth of chastening woes were given,

His ramparts of rocks round the continent hurld, To pluck the flowers of hope from earth,

And cradled the Deep in his hand, And plant them high

If man may transgress his eternal command, O'er yonder sky,

And leap o'er the bounds of his birth,
Transform a to stars, and fix'd in heaven."

To ravage the uttermost earth,
And violate nations and realms that should be
Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea?

THE OCEAN.

There are, gloomy Ocean, a brotherless clan, Written al Scarborough, in the Summer of 1805.

Who traverse ihy banishing waves,

The poor disinherited outcasts of man,
ALL trail to the ruins,' the rocks and the shores! Whom Avarice coins into slaves.
Thuu wide-rolling Ocean, all hail!

From the homes of their kindred, their forefathers Now brilliant with sunbeams, and dimpled with oars,

graves, Now dark with the fresh-blowing gale,

Love, friendship, and conjugal bliss, While soft o'er thy bosom the cloud-shadows sail, They are dragg'd on the boary abyss ;

The shark hears their shrieks, and ascending to-day 1 Scarborough Castle. Demands of the spoiler his share of the prey.

opens below:

to men.

Then joy to the tempest that whelms them beneath, From their tombs, from their ashes it sprung;
And makes their destruction its sport;

Its boughs with their trophies are hung :
But woe to the winds that propitiously breathe, Their spirit dwells in it:Sand, hark! for it spoke,
And waft them in safety to port,

The voice of our fathers ascends from their Oak. Where the vultures and vampires of Mammon resort; « Ye Britons, who dwell where we conquer'd of old, Where Europe exultingly drains The life-blood from Africa's veins;

Who inherit our battle-field graves; Where man rules o'er man with a merciless rod,

Though poor were your fathers,—gigantic and bold, And spurns at his footstool the image of God.

We were not, we could not be, slaves ;

But firm as our rocks, and as free as our waves, The hour is approaching,—a terrible hour! The spears of the Romans we broke, And Vengeance is bending her bow;

We never stoop'd under their yoke : Already the clouds of the hurricane lower, In the shipwreck of nations we stood up alone, And the rock-rending whirlwinds blow:

The world was great Cæsar's—but Britain our own. Back rolls the huge Ocean, Hell The floods return headlong,—they sweep

“ For ages and ages, with barbarous foes, The slave-cultured lands to the deep,

The Saxon, Norwegian, and Gaul,

We wrestled, were foil'd, were cast down, but we rose In a moment entomb'd in the horrible void, By their Maker Himself in his anger destroy'd.

With new vigor, new life, from each fall :

By all we were conquer'd—WE CONQUER'D THEM ALI. Shall this be the fate of the cane-planted isles, - The cruel, the cannibal mind, More lovely than clouds in the west,

We sofien'd, subdued, and refined; When the sun o'er the ocean descending in smiles, Bears, wolves, and sea-monsters, they rush'd from Sinks softly and sweetly to rest ?

their den; -No-Father of mercy! befriend the opprest; We taught them, we tamed them, we turned them At the voice of thy Gospel of peace May the sorrows of Africa cease; And slave and his master devoutly unite

“Love led the wild hordes in his flower-woven bands, To walk in thy freedom, and dwell in thy light!” The tenderest, strongest of chains :

Love married our hearts, he united our hands,
As homeward my weary-wing’d Fancy extends And mingled the blood in our veins;
Her star-lighted course through the skies,

One race we became on the mountains and plains, High over the mighty Atlantic ascends,

Where the wounds of our country were closed, And turns upon Europe her eyes :

The Ark of Religion reposed, Ah, me! what new prospects, new horrors arise ?

The unquenchable Altar of Liberty blazed, I see the war-tempested Hood

And the Temple of Justice in Mercy was raised. All foaming, and panting with blooil; The panic-struck Ocean in agony roars,

“ Ark, Altar, and Temple, we left with our breath! Rebounds from the battle, and flies to his shores. To our children, a sacred bequest;

O guard them, o keep them, in life and in death! For Britannia is wielding the trident to-day,

So the shades of your fathers shall rest, Consuming her foes in her ire,

| And your spirits with ours be in Paradise blest: And hurling her thunder with absolute sway

-Let Ambition, the sin of the brave,
From her wave-ruling chariots of fire :

And Avarice, the soul of a slave,
-She triumphs;—the winds and the waters conspire, No longer seduce your affections to roam
To spread her invincible name;

From Liberty, Justice, Religion, At Home.'
-The universe rings with her fame;

-But the cries of the fatherless mix with her praise, And the tears of the widow are shed on her bays.

THE COMMON LOT. O Britain! dear Britain! the land of my birth; 0 Isle, most enchantingly fair !

ONCE in the flight of ages past, Thou Pearl of the Ocean! thou Gem of the Earth!

There lived a Man and WHO WAS AB? O my Mother! my Mother! beware;

-Mortal! howe'er thy lot be cast, For wealth is a phantom, and empire a snare:

That Man resembled thee O let not thy birth-right be sold

Unknown the region of his birth, For reprobate glory and gold :

The land in which he died unknown. Thy distant dominions like wild graftings shoot,

His name has perish'd from the earth They weigh down thy trunk,—they will tear up thy This truth survives alone: root :

That joy and grief, and hope and fear The root of thine Oak, O my country! that stands

Alternate triumph'd in his breast : Rock-planted, and flourishing free;

His bliss and woe,-a smile, a tear!
Its branches are stretch'd o'er the uttermost lands,

-Oblivion hides the rest.
And its shadow eclipses the sea :
The blood of our ancestors nourish'd the tree;

The bounding pulse, the languid limb.
The changing spirits' rise and fall;

We know that these were felt by hin 1 Alluding to the glorious success of the Moravian Mission

For these are felt by all. aries among the Negroes in the West Indies.

« PreviousContinue »