« EelmineJätka »
Oh how severe ! to fall so new a bride,
Yet blushing from the priest, in youthful pride;
When Time had just matured each perfect grace,
Ana open'd all the wonders of her face!
To leave her Guilford dead to all relief,
Fond of his woe and obstinate in grief.
Unhappy Fair! whatever Fancy drew,
(Vain promised blessings) vanish from her view
No train of cheerful days, endearing nights,
No sweet domestic joys, and chaste delights;
Pleasures that blossom e'en from doubts and fears,
And bliss and rapture rising out of cares:
No little Guilford, with paternal grace,
Lull'd on her knee, or smiling in her face;
Who, when her dearest father shall return
From pouring tears on her untimely urn,
Might comfort to his silver hairs impart,
And fill her place in his indulgent heart:
As where fruits fall quick-rising blossoms smile,
And the blest Indian of his cares beguile.
In vain these various reasons jointly press
To blacken death, and heighten her distress;
She through the' encircling terrors darts her sight
To the bless'd regions of eternal light,
And fills her soul with peace: to weeping friends
Her father and her lord she recommends,
Unmov'd herself: her foes her air survey,
And rage to see their malice thrown away.
She soars; now nought on earth detains her care-
But Guilford, who still struggles for his share.
Still will his form importunately rise,
Clog and retard her transport to the skies.
As trembling flames now take a feeble flight,
Now catch the brand with a returning light,
'T'hus her soul onward, from the seats above
Falls fondly back, and kindles into love.
At length she conquers in the doubtful field;
That Heaven she seeks will be her Guilford's shield.
Now Death is welcome; his approach is slow; "Tis tedious longer to expect the blow.
Oh, mortals! short of sight, who think the past 225 O'erblown misfortune still shall prove the last : Alas! misfortunes travel in a train, And oft in life form one perpetual chain : Fear buries fear, and ills on ills attend,
Till life and sorrow meet one common end.
She thinks that she has nought but death to fear ; And death is conquer'd. Worse than death is near: Her rigid trials are not yet complete ; The news arrives of her great father's fate. She sees his hoary head, all white with age, A victim to the' offended monarch's rage. How great the mercy, had she breathed her last Ere the dire sentence on her father pass'd!
A fonder parent Nature never knew,
And as his age increased his fondness grew.
A parent's love ne'er better was bestow'd;
The pious daughter in her heart o'erflow'd.
And can she from all weakness still refrain
And still the firmness of her soul maintain ?—
Impossible! a sigh will force its way,
One patient tear her mortal birth betray;
She sighs and weeps! but so she weeps and sighs,
As silent dews descend, and vapours rise.
Celestial Patience! how dost thou defeat
The foe's proud menace, and elude his hate!
While Passion takes his part, betrays our peace
To death and torture swells each slight disgrace;
By not opposing thou dost ills destroy,
And wear thy conquer'd sorrows into joy.
Now she revolves within her anxious mind
What woe still lingers in reserve behind.
Griefs rise on griefs, and she can see no bound,
While nature lasts, and can receive a wound.
The sword is drawn; the queen to rage inclin'd,
By mercy nor by piety confined
What mercy can the zealot's heart assuage,
Whose piety itself converts to rage?
She thought, and sigh'd; and now the blood began
To leave her beauteous cheek all cold and wan:
New sorrow dimin'd the lustre of her eye,
And on her cheek the fading roses die.
Alas! should Guilford too-When now she's brought
To that dire view, that precipice of thought,
While there she trembling stands, nor dares look down,
Nor can recede, till Heaven's decrees are known, 270
Cure of all ills, till now, her lord appears-
But not to cheer her heart, and dry her tears?
Not now, as usual, like the rising day,
To chase the shadows and the damps away;
But like a gloomy storm, at once to sweep
And plunge her to the bottom of the deep.
Black were his robes, dejected was his air,
His voice was frozen by his cold despair;
Slow, like a ghost, he moved with solemn pace;
A dying paleness sat upon his face :-
Back she recoil'd, she smote her lovely breast,
Her eyes the anguish of her heart confess'd:
Struck to the soul, she stagger'd with the wound,
And sunk, a breathless image, to the ground.
Thus the fair lily, when the sky's o'ercast,
At first but shudders in the feeble blast;
But when the winds and weighty rams descend,
The fair and upright stem is forced to bend,
Till broke, at length, its snowy leaves are shed,
And strew with dying sweets their native bed.
HER Guilford clasps her, beautiful in death,
And with a kiss recals her fleeting breath.
To tapers thus, which by a blast expire,
A lighted taper, touch'd, restores the fire.
She rear'd her swimming eye, and saw the light,
And Guilford, too, or she had loath'd the sight.
Her father's death she bore, despised her own,
But now she must, she will, have leave to groan.
'Ah! Guilford!' she began, and would have spoke,
But sobs rush'd in, and every accent broke :
Reason itself, as gusts of passion blew,
Was ruffled in the tempest, and withdrew.
So the youth lost his image in the well,
When tears upon the yielding surface fell;
The scatter'd features slid into decay,
And spreading circles drove his face away.
To touch the soft affections, and control
The manly temper of the bravest soul,
What with afflicted beauty can compare,
And drops of love distilling from the fair?
It melts us down; our pains delight bestow,
And we with fondness languish o'er our woe.
This Guilford proved; and, with excess of pain,
And pleasure too, did to his bosom strain
The weeping fair: sunk deep in soft desire,
Indulged in love, and nursed the raging fire;
Then tore himself away; and, standing wide,
As fearing a relapse of fondness, cried,
With ill dissembled grief, My life! forbear;
You wound your Guilford with each cruel tear :
Did you not chide my grief? repress your own,
Nor want compassion for yourself alone.
Have you beheld how, from the distant main,
The thronging waves roll on, a numerous train,
And foam, and bellow, till they reach the shore,
There burst their noisy pride, and are no more?
Thus the successive flows of human race,
Chased by the coming, the preceeding chase;
They sound and swell, their haughty heads they rear,
Then fall and flatten, break and disappear.
Life is a forfeit we must shortly pay,
And where's the mighty lucre of a day?
Why should you mourn my fate? 'tis most unkind,
Your own you bore with an unshaken mind:
And which, can you imagine, was the dart
That drank most blood, sunk deepest in my heart?
I cannot live without you; and my doom
I meet with joy, to share one common tomb.-
And are again your tears profusely spill'd?
Oh. then, my kindness blackens to my guilt!
It foils itself if it recal your pain :-
Life of my life! I beg you to refrain :
The load which Fate imposes you increase,
And help Maria to destroy my peace.'
But, oh! against himself his labour turn'd;
The more he comforted the more she mourn'd.
Compassion swells our grief; words soft and kind
But sooth our weakness, and dissolve the mind.
Her sorrow flow'd in streams; nor hers alone;
While that he blamed, he yielded to his own.
Where are the smiles she wore when she, so late,
Hail'd him great partner of the regal state;
When orient gems around her temples blazed,
And bending nations on the glory gazed?
'Tis now the queen's command they both retreat 65 To weep with dignity, and mourn in state: She forms the decent misery with joy,
And loads with pomp the wretch she would destroy.
A spacious hall is hung with black, all light
Shut out, and noon-day daiken'd into night :
From the mid-roof a lamp depends on high,
Like a dim crescent in a clouded sky;
It sheds a quivering, melancholy gloom,
Which only shows the darkness of the room.
A shining axe is on the table laid,
A dreadful sight! and glitters through the shade
In this sad scene the lovers are confined,
A scene of terrors to a guilty mind!
A scene that would have damp'd with rising cares,
And quite extinguish'd every love but theirs.