« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
She happier days has known, but seems at ease, And I confess, it shocks my pride to tell
The secrets of the prison where I dwell;
For that dear maiden would be shock'd to feel You shall see twenty better worth
The secrets I should shudder to reveal ; These Nancy met ; but, spite of all they taught, When told her friend was by a parent ask'd, This useless widow was the one she sought : Fed you the swine? Good heaven! how I am task'd! The father growl’d; but said he knew no harm What! can you smile! Ah! smile not at the grief In such connexion that could give alarm :
That woos your pity and demands relief.”. And if we thwart 'the trifler in her course,
"Trifles, my love ; you take a false alarm; "Tis odds against us she will take a worse.' Think, I beseech you, better of the farm :
Then met the friends ; the widow heard the sigh Duties in every state demand your care, That ask'd at once compassion and reply.
And light are those that will require it there : “Would you, my child, converse with one so poor, Fix on the youth a favouring eye, and these, Yours were the kindness—yonder is my door ; To him pertaining, or as his, will please.” And, save the time that we in public pray,
What words,” the lass replied, “offend my ear! From that poor cottage I but rarely stray.” Try you my patience ? Can you be sincere ? There went the nymph, and made her strong And am I wld a willing hand to give complaints,
To a rude former, a nd with rustic live? Painting her wo as injured feeling paints.
Far other fate was yours: some gentle youth “O, dearest friend ! do think how one must feel, Admired your beauty, and avow'd his truih ; Shock'd all day long, and sicken'd every meal ! The power of love prevail'd, and freely both Could you behold our kitchen, (and to you Gave the fond heart, and pledged the binding oath ; A scene so shocking musi indeed be new,) And then the rival's plot, the parent's power, A mind like yours, with true refinement graced, And jealous fears, drew on the happy hour : Would let no vulgar scenes pollute your taste ; Ah! let not memory lose the blissful view, And yet, in truth, from such a polish'd mind But fairly show what love has done for you." All base ideas must resistance find,
“Agreed, my daughter, what my heart bas known And sordid pictures from the fancy pass,
Of love's strange power shall be with frankness As the breath stariles from the polish'd glass.
shown: Here you enjoy a sweet romantic scene, But let me warn you, that experience finds Without so pleasant, and within so clean; Few of the scenes that lively hope designs.” These twining jess'mines, what delicious gloom “ Mysterious all,” said Nancy; “ you, I know, And soothing fragrance yield they to the room ! Have suffer'd much; now deign the grief to show; What lovely garden! there you oft retire, I am your friend, and so prepare my heart And tales of wo and tenderness admire :
In all your sorrows to receive a part." In that neat case, your books, in order placed, The widow answer'd, “I had once, like you, Soothe the full soul, and charm the cultured laste; Such thoughts of love ; no dream is more untrue : And thus, while all about you wears a charm, You judge it fated and decreed to dwell How must you scorn the farmer and the farm !" In youthful hearts, which nothing can expel,
The widow smiled, and “Know you not," said she, A passion doom'd to reign, and irresistible. * How much these farmers scorn or pity me; The struggling mind, when once subdued, in vain Who see what you admire, and laugh at all they Rejects the fury or defies the pain ; see?
The strongest reason fails the flame t'allay, True, their opinion alters not my fate,
And resolution droops and faints away: By falsely judging of an humble state :
Hence, when the destined lovers meet, they prove This garden, you with such delight behold, At once the force of this all-powerful love: Tempis not a feeble dame who dreads the cold; Each from that period feels the mutual smart, These plants, which please so well your livelier Nor seeks to cure it : heart is changed for heart;
Nor is there peace till they delighted stand, To mine but little of their sweets dispense; And, at the altar, hand is joined to hand. Books soon are painful to my failing sight,
“Alas! my child, there are who, dreaming so, And ostener read from duty than delight;
Wasie their fresh youth, and waking feel the wo; (Yet let me own, that I can sometimes find There is no spirit sent the heart to move Both joy and duty in the act combined ;)
With such prevailing and alarming love; But view me rightly, you will see no more Passion to reason will submit; or why Than a poor female, willing to be poor ;
Should wealthy maids the poorest swains deny ? Happy indeed, but not in books nor flowers, Or how could classes and degrees create Not in fair dreams, indulged in earlier hours, The slightest bar to such resistless fate? Of never-tasted joys; such visions shun,
Yet high and low, you see, forbear to mix; My youthful friend, nor scorn the farmer's son." No beggars' eyes the heart of kings transfix;
Nay,” said the damsel, nothing pleased to see And who but amorous peers or nobles sigh
Bless'd in your cottage, you must surely smile For reason wakes, proud wishes to reprove;
You cannot hope, and therefore dare not love : To my Lucinda's sympathizing heart
All would be safe, did we at first inquire, Could I my prospects and my griefs impart, • Does reason sanction what our hearts desire !" She would console me ; but I dare not show But quitting precepi, let example show Ills that would wound her tender soul to know : What joys from love uncheck’d by prudence flow.
“A youth my father in his office placed, Our dying hopes and stronger fears between, Of humble fortune, but with sense and taste ; We felt no season peaceful or gerene ; But he was thin and pale, had downcast looks; Our fleeting joys, like meteors in the night, He studied much, and pored upon his books : Shone on our gloom with inauspicious light; Confused he was when seen, and, when he saw And then domestic sorrows, till the mind, Me or my sisters, would in haste withdraw; Worn with distresses, to despair inclined ; And had this youth departed with the year, Add too the ill that from the passion Nows, His loss had cost us neither sigh nor tear.
When its contemptuous frown the world bestows,
When, being wretched, we incline to hate
While you, exempt from want, despair, alarm,
last?" "At length 'twas friendship; and my friend and I “Smiled for a moment,” she replied, “ and pass'd : Said we were happy, and began to sigh :
My lover still the same dull means pursued, My sisters first, and then my father, found
Assistant call'd, but kept in servitude; That we were wandering o'er enchanted ground; His spirits wearied in the prime of life, But he had troubles in his own affairs,
By fears and wishes in eternal strife ; And would not bear addition to his cares : At length he urged impatient, • Now consent; With pity moved, yet angry, “Child,' said he, With thee united, fortune may relent.' • Will you embrace contempt and beggary ? I paused, consenting ; but a friend arose, Can you endure to see each other cursed
Pleased a fair view, though distant, to disclose ; By want, of every human wo the worst?
From the rough ocean we beheld a gleam Warring for ever with distress, in dread
Of joy, as transient as the joys we dream; Either of begging or of wanting bread;
By lying hopes deceived, my friend retired, While poverty, with unrelenting force,
And sail'd-was wounded-reach'd us and Will your own offspring from your love divorce : expired! They, through your folly, must be doom'd to pine, You shall behold his grave, and when I die, And you deplore your passion, or resign;
There--but 'tis folly-I request to lie.” For, if it die, what good will then remain ?
“ Thus," said the lass, “ to joy you bade adieu. And if it live, it doubles every pain.''
But how a widow ?-that cannot be true : " But you were true,"exclaim'd the lass,“ and fled Or was it force, in some unhappy hour, The tyrant's power who fill'd your soul with dread ?" That placed you, grieving, in a tyrant's power ?" * But," said the smiling friend," he fill'd my “Force, my young friend, when forty years are mouth with bread :
fled, And in what other place that bread to gain Is what a woman seldom has to dread; We long consider'd, and we sought in vain : She needs no brazen locks nor guarding walls, This was my twentieth year : at thirty-five And seldom comes a lover though she calls : Our hope was fainter, yet our love alive;
Yet moved by fancy, one approved my face, So many years in anxious doubt had pass’d.” Though time and tears had wrought it much dis“Then," said the damsel, “ you were bless'd at last ?" grace. A smile again adorn'd the widow's face,
The man I married was sedate and meek, But soon a starting tear usurp'd its place.
And spoke of love as men in earnest speak : « Slow pass'd the heavy years, and each had more Poor as I was, he ceaseless sought, for years, Pains and vexations than the years before
A heart in sorrow and a face in tears ; My father fail'd; his family was rent,
That heart I gave not; and 'twas long before And to new states his grieving daughters sent; I gave attention, and then nothing more; Each to more thriving kindred found a way, But in my breast some grateful feeling rose Guests without welcome-servants without pay; For one whose love so sad a subject chose ; Our parting hour was grievous ; still I feel Till long delaying, fearing to repeni, The sad, sweet converse at our final meal; But grateful still, I gave a cold assent. Our father then reveal'd his former fears,
“ Thus we were wed; no fault had I to find. Cause of his sternness, and then join'd our tears ; And he but one ; my heart could not be kind : Kindly he strove our feelings to repress,
Alas! of every early hope bereft,
There was no fondness in my bosom left;
He lived but to indulge me and complain : Who with a chilling frown her friend received His was this cottage, he enclosed this ground, Bade me rejoice, and wonder'd that I grieved; And planted all these blooming shrubs around; In vain my anxious lover tried his skill
He to my room these curious trifles brought, To rise in life, he was dependent still ;
And with assiduous love my pleasure sought: We met in grief, nor can I paint the fears He lived to please me, and I ofttimes strove, Of these unhappy, troubled, trying years ; Smiling, to thank his unrequited love :
• Teach me,' he cried, 'that pensive mind to ease, The youth replied, “It is the widow's deed : For all my pleasure is the hope to please.' The cure is perfect, and was wrought with
Serene, though heavy, were the days we spent, speed.”Yet kind each word, and generous each intent; “ And comes there, boy, this benefit of books, But his dejection lessen'd every day,
Of that smart dress, and of those dainty looks? And to a placid kindness died away ;
We must be kind; some offerings from the farm In tranquil ease we pass'd our latter years, To the white cot will speak our feelings warm; By griefs untroubled, unassail'd by fears.
Will show that people, when they know the fact, Let not romantic views your bosom sway, Where they have judged severely, can retraci. Yield to your duties, and their call obey :
Oft have I smiled, when I beheld her pass Fly not a youth, frank, honest, and sincere ; With cautious step, as if she hurt the grass ; Observe his merits, and his passion hear!
Where if a snail's retreat she chanced to storm, 'Tis true, no hero, but a farmer sues
She look'd as begging pardon of the worm; Slow in his speech, but worthy in his views; And what, said I, still laughing at the view, With him you cannot that amiction prove
Have these weak creatures in the world to do? That rends the bosom of the poor in love :
But some are made for action, some to spenk; Health, comfort, competence, and cheerful days, And, while she looks so pitiful and meek, Your friends' approval, and your father's praise, Her words are weighty, though her nerves are Will crown the deed, and you escape their fate
weak." Who plan so wildly, and are wise too late."
Soon told the village bells the rite was done, The damsel heard ; at first th' advice was That join'd the school-bred miss and farmer's son ; strange,
Her former habits some slight scandal raised, Yet wrought a happy, nay, a speedy change : But real worth was soon perceived and praised ; • I have no care," she said, when next they met, She, her neat taste imparted to the farm, “But one may wonder he is silent yet :
And he, th' improving skill and vigorous arm.
What though you have beauty,
Must you be therefore proud and pitiless ?
As You Like It, act iii. sc. 5. • Persist, my love," replied the friend, “and gain
I would not marry her, though she were endow'd with
all that Adarn had left him before he transgress'd. A parent's praise, that cannot be in vain."
Ibid. The father saw the change, but not the cause, Wilt thou love such a woman? What! to make thee And gave the alter'd maid his fond applause : an instrument, and play false strains upon thee!-Not to The coarser manners she in part removed,
Ibid. In part endured, improving and improved ;
Your son, She spoke of household works, she rose betimes,
As mad in folly, lack'd the sense to know And said neglect and indolence were crimes ;
Her estimation hence. The various duties of their life she weigh’d,
All's Well that Ends Well, act v. sc. 3. And strict attention to her dairy paid ;
Be this sweet Helen's knell : The names of servants now familiar grew
lle left a wife whose words all ears took captive, And fair Lucindas from her mind withdrew : Whose dear perfection, hearts that scorn'd to serve As prudent travellers for their ease assume
Humbly call'd mistress,
Ibid. Their modes and language to whose lands they
THERE was a worthy, but a simple pair, So to the farmer this fair lass inclined,
Who nursed a daughier fairest of the fair : Gave to the business of the farm her mind; Sons they had lost, and she alone remain'd, To useful arts she turn'd her hand and eye ; Heir to the kindness they had all obtain'd; And by her manners told him-“ You may try.” Heir to the fortune they design’d for all,
Th’ observing lover more attention paid, Nor had th' allotted portion then been small ; With growing pleasure, to the alter'd maid ; But now, by fate enrich'd with beauty rare, He fear'd to lose her, and began to see
They watch'd their treasure with peculiar care : That a slim beauty might a helpmate be:
The fairest features they could early trace, "Twixt hope and fear he now the lass address'd, And, blind with love, saw merit in her faceAnd in his Sunday robe his love express'd : Saw virtue, wisdom, dignity, and grace : She felt no chilling dread, no thrilling joy, And Dorothea, from her infant years, Nor was too quickly kind, too slowly coy ; Gain'd all her wishes from their pride or fears : But still she lent an unreluctant ear
She wrote a billet, and a novel read, To all the rural business of the year;
And with her fame her vanity was fed ; Till love's strong hopes endured no more delay, Each word, each look, each action was a cause And Harry ask'd, and Nancy named the day. For flattering wonder, and for fond applause ;
“A happy change! my boy," the father cried : She rode or danced, and ever glanced around, “How lost your sister all her school-day pride ?" Secking for praise, and smiling when she found.
The yielding pair to her petitions gave
Beauty to keep, adorn, increase, and guard, An humble friend to be a civil slave;
Was their sole care, and had its full reward: Who for a poor support herself resign’d,
In rising splendour with the one it reign'd, To the base toil of a dependent mind :
And in the other was by care sustain'd,
A village maid, unvex'd by want or love,
Her duty joy, and her companion dear; So humbly temper'd, so intent to please,
In tender friendship and in true respect It quite distress'd her to remain at ease,
Lived aunt and niece, no flatlery, no neglectWithout a cause to sigh, without pretence 10 lease: They read, walk'd, visited-together pray'd, She tried his patience in a thousand modes, Together slept the matron and the maid : And tired it not upon the roughest roads.
There was such goodness, such pure nature seen Pleasures she sought, and, disappointed, sigh'd In Lucy's looks, a manner so serene ; For joys, she said, “ to her alone denied ;
Such harmony in motion, speech, and air, And she was “sure her parents, if alive,
That without fairness she was more than fair : Would many comforts for their child contrive.” Had more than beauty in each speaking grace The gentle husband bade her name him one ; That lent their cloudless glory to the face; “ No—that,” she answer'd, “should for her be Where mild good sense in placid looks were done ;
shown, How could she say what pleasures were around? And felt in every bosom but her own. But she was certain many might be found." The one presiding feature in her mind, . Would she some sea-port, Weymouth, Scarbo- Was the pure meekness of a will resign'd; rough, grace ?"
A tender spirit, freed from all pretence “He knew she hated every watering place." Of wil, and pleased in mild benevolence; "The town?”—“What! now 'twas empty, joyless, Bless'd in protecting fondness she reposed, dull?"
With every wish indulged though undisclosed ; - In winter ?”—“ No; she liked it worse when But love, like zephyr on the limpid lake, full.”
Was now the bosom of the maid to shake, She talk'd of building—"Would she plan a room ?" And in that gentle mind a gentle strife to make. * No! she could live, as he desired, in gloom." Among their chosen friends, a favour'd few, “Call then our friends and neighbours.”_"He The aunt and niece a youthful rector knew; might call,
Who, though a younger brother, might address And they might come and fill his ugly hall; A younger sister, fearless of success : A noisy vulgar set, he knew she scorn’d them all.” His friends a lofty race, their native pride " Then might their two dear girls their time em. At first display'd, and their assent denied ; ploy,
But, pleased such virtues and such love to trace, And their improvement yield a solid joy.”— They own'd she would adorn the loftiest race. * Solid indeed! and heavy-0! the bliss The aunt, a mother's caution to supply, Of leaching letters to a lisping miss !"
Had watch'd the youthful priest with jealous eye ; “My dear, my gentle Dorothea, say,
And, auxious for her charge, had view'd unseen Can I oblige you ?”—“ You may go away.' The cautious life that keeps the conscience clean:
Twelve heavy years this patient soul sustain'd In all she found him all she wish'd to find, This wasp's attacks, and then her praise obtain'd, With slight exception of a lofty mind; Graved on a marble tomb, where he at peace A certain manner that express’d desire remain'd.
To be received as brother to the 'squire. Two daughters wept their loss; the one a child Lucy's meek eye had beam'd with many a tear, With a plain face, strong sense, and temper mild, Lucy's soft heart had beat with many a fear, Who keenly felt the mother's angry taunt, Before he told (although his looks, she thought, “Thou art the image of thy pious aunt."
Had oft confess'd) that he her favour sought : Long time had Lucy wept her slighted face, But when he kneel'd, (she wish'd him not to kneel.) And then began to smile at her disgrace.
And spoke the fears and hopes that lovers feel ; Her father's sister who the world had seen When too the prudent aunt herself confess'd, Near sixty years when Lucy saw sixteen,
Her wishes on the gentle youth would rest ;
nd with her elder born, the beauty bless'd, The household cares, the soft and lasting ties
Her mother loved, but was not used to grant Her sister, reasoning, proved the promise made,
Lucy appealing to a parent pray’d;
And all in vain ; she never changed her mind,
With peevish fear, she saw her health decline, A girl with not a single charm endued ;
And cried, “O! monstrous, for a man to pine ; The sister's nobler views she then declared, But if your foolish heart must yield to love, And what small sum for Lucy could be spared ; Let him possess it whom I now approve; * Jf more than this the foolish priest requires, This is my pleasure."-Still the rector came Tell him," she wrote, “ to check his vain desires." With larger offers and with bolder claim; At length, with many a cold expression mix'd, But the stern lady would attend no more ; With many a sneer on girls so fondly fix'd, She frown'd, and rudely pointed to the door; There came a promise-should they not repent, Whate'er he wrote, he saw unread return'd, But take with grateful minds the portion meant, And he, indignant, the dishonour spurn'd; And wait the sister's day—the mother might con- Nay, fix'd suspicion where he might confide,
And sacrificed his passion to his pride. And here, might pitying hope o'er truth prevail, Lucy, meantime, though threaten'd and distress'd, Or love o'er fortune, we would end our tale: Against her marriage made a strong protest : For who more bless'd than youthful pair removed All was domestic war: the aunt rebellid From fear of want-by mutual friends approved Against the sovereign will, and was expell’d; Short time to wait, and in that time to live And every power was tried, and every art, With all the pleasures hope and fancy give; To bend to falsehood one determined heart; Their equal passion raised on just esteem, Assail'd, in patience it received the shock, When reason sanctions all that love can dream? Soft as the wave, unshaken as the rock:
Yes ! reason sanctions what stern fate denies : But while th' unconquer'd soul endures the storm The early prospect in the glory dies,
Of angry fate, it preys upon the form ;
With conscious virtue she resisted still,
The beauty died, ere she could yield her hand But Lucy's trial was at hand; with joy
Lucy was present when her sister died, See with what pomp of coaches, in what crowd Heiress to duties that she ill supplied :
The creature married-of his falsehood proud !
Some spirit Lucy gain'd; a steady soul,
Defying all persuasion, all control : Yet as an heiress, she must shun disgrace, In vain reproach, derision, threats were tried ; Although no heiress to her mother's face : The constant mind all outward force defied, It is your duty," said th' imperious dame, By vengeance vainly urged, in vain assail'd by (“ Advanced your fortune,) to advance your name, pride; And with superior rank, superior offers claim : Fix'd in her purpose, perfect in her part, Your sister's lover, when his sorrows die, She felt the courage of a wounded heart; May look upon you, and for favour sigh
The world receded from her rising view, Nor can you offer a reluctant hand;
When Heaven approach'd as earthly things withHis birth is noble, and his seat is grand."
drew; Alarm'd was Lucy, was in tears ; “ A fool ! Not strange before, for in the days of love, Was she a child in love? a miss at school ? Joy, hope, and pleasure, she had thoughts above; Doubts any mortal, if a change of state
Pious when most of worldly prospects fond, Dissolves all claims and ties of earlier date ?" When they best pleased her she could look beyond ;
The rector doubted, for he came to mourn Had the young priest a faithful lover died, A sister dead, and with a wife return :
Something had been her bosom to divide ; Lucy with heart unchanged received the youth, Now Heaven had all, for in her holiest views True in hersels, confiding in his truth;
She saw the matron whom she fear’d to lose ; But own'd her mother's change : the haughty dame While from her parent, the dejected maid Pour'd strong contempt upon the youthful flame ; Forced the unpleasant thought, or thinking pray'd. She firmly vow'd her purpose to pursue,
Surprised, the mother saw the languid frame, Judged her own cause, and bade the youth adieu! And felt indignant, yet forbore to blame : The lover begg'd, insisted, urged his pain, Once with a frown she cried, “ And do you mean Ilis brother wrote to threaten and complain, To die of love-the folly of fifteen ?"