« EelmineJätka »
But, oh! if e'er thy Emma's name was dear,
If e'er thy vows have charm'd my ravish'd ear;
If, from thy lov'd embrace my heart to gain,
Proud friends have frown'd, and fortune smil'd in
If it has been my sole endeavour still
To act in all obsequious to thy will;
To watch thy very smiles, thy wish to know,
Then only truly blest when thou wert so;
If I have doated with that fond excess,
Nor Love could add, nor Fortune make it less;
If this I've done, and more-oh! then be kind
To the dear lovely babe I leave behind.
When time my once lov'd memory shall efface,
Some happier maid may take thy Emma's place,
With envious eyes thy partial fondness see,
And hate it for the love thou bor'st to me!
My dearest Shaw, forgive a woman's fears;
But one word more-I cannot bear thy tears-
Promise-and I will trust thy faithful vow
(Oft have I tried, and ever found thee true)
That to some distant spot thou wilt remove
This fatal pledge of hapless Emma's love,
Where safe thy blandishments it may partake,
And, oh! be tender for its mother's sake.
I know thou wilt-sad silence speaks assent;
And in that pleasing hope thy Emma dies content."
I, who with more than manly strength have bore
The various ills impos'd by cruel Fate,
Sustain the firmness of my soul no more;
But sink beneath the weight;
Just Heaven! I cried, from Memory's earliest day
No comfort has thy wretched suppliant known;
Misfortune still with unrelenting sway,
Has claim'd me for her own.
But, oh! in pity to my grief, restore
This only source of bliss; I ask-I ask no more-
Vain hope the irrevocable doom is past,
Ev'n now she looks-she sighs her last-
Vainly I strive to stay her fleeting breath,
And, with rebellious heart, protest against her death.
When the stern tyrant clos'd her lovely eyes,
How did I rave, untaught to bear the blow!
With impious 'wish to tear her from the skies,
How curse my fate in bitterness of woe!
But whither would this dreadful phrenzy lead?
Fond man, forbear,
Thy fruitless sorrow spare,
Dare not to tax what heaven's high will decreed;
In humble rev'rence kiss the afflictive rod,
And prostrate bow to an offended God.
Perhaps kind Heaven in mercy dealt the blow,
Some saving truth thy roving soul to teach;
To wean thy heart from groveling views below,
And point out bliss beyond Misfortune's reach:
To shew that all the flattering schemes of joy,
Which towering Hope so fondly builds in air,
One fatal moment can destroy,
And plunge the exulting maniac in despair.
Then, oh! with pious fortitude sustain
Thy present loss-haply thy future gain;
Nor let thy Emma die in vain:
Time shall administer its wonted balm,
And hush this storm of grief to no unpleasing calm.
Thus the poor bird by some disastrous fate
Caught and imprison'd in a lonely cage,
Torn from its native fields, and dearer mate,
Flutters awhile, and spends its little rage:
But finding all its efforts weak and vain,
No more it pants and rages for the plain:
Moping awhile, in sullen mood
Droops the sweet mourner-but ere long
Prunes its light wings, and pecks its food,
And meditates the song:
Serenely sorrowing, breathes its piteous case,
And with its plaintive warbling saddens all the place.
Forgive me, Heav'n!-yet, yet the tears will flow,
To think how soon my scene of bliss is past!
My budding joys, just promising to blow,
All nipt and wither'd by one envious blast!
My hours that laughing wont to fleet away,
Move heavily along;
Where's now the sprightly jest, the jocund song?
Time creeps, unconscious of delight:
How shall I cheat the tedious day;
And, oh :-the joyless night!
Where shall I rest my weary head?
How shall I find repose on a sad widow'd bed?
Come, Theban drug, the wretch's only aid,
To my torn heart its former peace restore;
Thy votary, wrapp'd in thy Lethean shade,
Awhile shall cease his sorrows to deplore:
Haply, when lock'd in sleeps embrace,
Again I shall behold my Emma's face;
Again with transport hear
Her voice oft whispering in my ear;
May steal once more a balmy kiss,
And taste at least of visionary bliss.
But, ah! the unwelcome morn's obtruding light
Will all my shadowy schemes of bliss depose,
Will tear the dear illusion from my sight,
And wake me to the sense of all my woes:
If to the verdant fields I stray,
Alas! what pleasures now can these convey?
Her lovely form pursues where'er I go,
And darkens all the scene with woe.
By Nature's lavish bounties cheer'd no more,
Sorrowing I rove
Thro' valley, grot, and grove;
Nought can their beauties or my loss restore;
No herb, no plant, can med'cine my disease,
And my sad sighs are borne on every passing breeze.
Sickness and sorrow hovering round my bed,
Who now with anxious haste shall bring relief, With lenient hand support my drooping head, Assuage my pains, and mitigate my grief? Should worldly business call away,
Who now, shall in my absence fondly mourn,
Count every minute of the loitering day,
Impatient for my quick return? -
Should aught my bosom discompose,
Who now, with sweet complacent air,
Shall smoothe the rugged brow of Care,
And soften all my woes?
Too faithful Memory-cease, oh! cease-
How shall I e'er regain my peace?
(Oh, to forget her!)-but how vain each art, Whilst every virtue lives imprinted on my heart!
And thou, my little cherub, left behind
To hear a father's plaints, to share his woes,
When Reason's dawn informs thy infant mind,
And thy sweet lisping tongue shall ask the cause,
How oft with sorrow shall mine eyes run o'er,
When, twining round my knees, I trace
Thy mother's smile upon thy face!
How oft to my full heart shalt thou restore
Sad memory of my joys-ah, now no more!
By blessings once enjoy'd now more distress'd,
More beggar by the riches once possess'd,
My little darling!-dearer to me grown
By all the tears thou'st caus'd-oh! strange to hear!
Bought with a life yet dearer than thy own,
Thy cradle purchas'd with thy mother's bier;
Who now shall seek with fond delight
Thy infant steps to guide aright?
She, who with doating eyes would gaze
On all thy little artless ways,
By all thy soft endearments blest,
And clasp thee oft with transport to her breast, Alas! is gone-yet shalt thou prove
A father's dearest, tenderest love;
And, O sweet senseless smiler (envied state!)
As yet unconscious of thy hapless fate,
When years thy judgment shall mature,
And Reason shews those ills it cannot cure,
Wilt thou, a father's grief t' assuage,
For virtue prove the Phoenix of the earth
(Like her, thy mother died to give thee birth,)
And be the comfort of my age?
When sick and languishing I lie,
Wilt thou my Emma's wonted care supply?
And, oft as to thy listening ear,
Thy mother's virtues and her fate I tell,
Say, wilt thou drop the tender tear,
Whilst on the mournful theme I dwell?
Then fondly stealing to thy father's side,
Whene'er thou seest the soft distress,
Which I would vainly seek to hide,
Say, wilt thou strive to make it less?
To soothe my sorrows all thy cares employ, And in my cup of grief infuse one drop of joy?
AN EVENING ADDRESS TO A NIGHTINGALE.
WEET bird! that, kindly perching near, Pourest thy plaints melodious in mine ear, Not, like base worldlings, tutor'd to forego The melancholy haunts of woe;
Thanks for thy sorrow-soothing strain: For, surely, thou hast known to prove, Like me, the pangs of hapless love;
Else why so feelingly complain,
And with thy piteous notes thus sadden all the grove?
Say, dost thou mourn thy ravish'd mate,
That oft enamour'd on thy strains has hung? Or has the cruel hand of Fate
Bereft thee of thy darling young?
Alas! for both I weep: