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Hours of pleness.
WRITTEN FROM 1802 TO 1807.
ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG LADY,1
A friend, whom death alone could sever;
Till envy, with maliguant grasp, Husu'd are the winds, and still the evening gloom,
Detach'd thee from my breast for ever. Not e'en a zephyr wanders through the grove, Whilst I return, to view my Margaret's tomb,
True, she has forced thee from my breast, And scatter flowers on the dust I love.
Yet in my heart thou keep’st thy seat;
There, there thine image still must rest,
Until that heart shall cease to beat.
And when the grave restores her dead,
When life again to dust is given, Ob! could that King of Terrors pity feel,
On thy dear breast I'll lay my head
Without thee, where would be my heaven ? Or Heaven reverse the dread decrees of fate! Not here the mourner would his grief reveal, Not here the muse her virtues would relate.
LINES But wherefore weep? Her matchless spirit soars
Beyond where splendid shines the orb of day; WRITTEN IN LETTERS OF AN ITALIAN NUN AND And weeping angels lead her to those bowers
AN ENGLISH GENTLEMAN : BY J. J. ROUSSEAU : Where endless pleasures virtue's deeds repay. POUNDED ON FACTS."
"Away, away, your flattering arts And shall presumptuous mortals Heaven arraign,
May now betray some simpler hearts: And, madly, godlike Providence accuse ?
And you will smile at their believing, Ah! no, far fly from me attempts so vain ;
And they shall weep at your deceiving." I'll ne'er submission to my God refuse:
ANSWER TO THE FOREGOING, ADDRESSED
TO MISS -.
DEAR, simple girl, those flattering arts
From which thou’dst guard frail female hearts, Still in my heart retain their wonted place.
Exist but in imagination-
That perfect form, that lovely face,
With eyes admiring, oh! believe me,
He never wishes to deceive thee :
Once in thy polish'd mirror glance,
Thou'lt there descry that elegance
Which from our sex demands such praises, To love, than rank with vice combined.
But envy in the other raises :
Then he who tells thee of thy beauty,
Believe me, only does his duty:
Ah! fly not from the candid youth;
It is not flattery—'tis truth.
Nor can thy lot my rank disgrace;
IMITATION OF TIBULLUS.
“Sulpicia ad Cerinthum.”_Lib. iv.
CRUEL Cerinthus ! does the fell disease (1) Admiral Parker's daughter. (2) The author claims the indulgence of the reader more for this Alas ! I wish'd but to o'ercome the pain,
Which racks my breast your
fickle bosom please ? written at an earlier period than the rest being composed at the That I might live for love and you again : age of fourteen), and his first essay, he preferred submitting it to But now I scarcely shall bewail the indulgence of his friends in its present state, to making either
my addition or alteration.
By death alone I can avoid your hate.
This is the deepest of our woes,
For this these tears our cheeks bedew; This is of love the final close,
O God! the fondest, last adieu !
TRANSLATION FROM HORACE.
Can swerve him from his just intent :
By Auster on the billows spent,
Ay, and the red right arm of Jove,
He would unmoved, unawed behold
Again in crushing chaos roll'á, In vast promiscuous ruin hurld,
Might light his glorious funeral pile. Still dauntless 'midst the wreck of earth he'd smile.
When you must quit your anxious lover, Since now our dream of bliss is past,
One pang, my girl, and all is over. Alas! that pang will be severe,
Which bids us part to meet no more ;
Departing for a distant shore.
And joy will mingle with our tears ;
The shelter of our infant years ; Where from this Gothic casement's height,
We view'd the lake, the park, the dell; And still, though tears obstruct the sight,
We lingering look a last farewell, O'er fields through which we used to run,
And spend the hours in childish play ; O'er sbades where, when our race was done,
Reposing on my breast you lay ; Whilst I, admiring, too remiss,
Forget to scare the hovering flies, Yet envied every fly the hiss
It dared to give your slumbering eyes : See still the little painted bark,
In which I row'd you o'er the lake ; See there, high waving o'er the park,
The elm I clamber'd for your sake. These times are past-our joys are gone,
You leave me, leave this happy vale ; These scenes I must retrace alone :
Without thee, what will they avail ? Who can conceive, who has not proved,
The anguish of a last embrace, When, torn from all you fondly loved,
You bid a long adicu to peace ?
TO M. S. G.
Their hue invites my fervent kiss;
Alas! it were unhallow'd bliss. Whene'er I dream of that pure breast,
How could I dwell upon its snows! Yet is the daring wish represt;
For that-would banish its repose. A glance from thy soul-scarching eye
Can raise with hope, depress with fear; Yet I conceal my love-and why?
I would not force a painful tear. I ne'er have told my love, yet thou
Hast seen my ardent flame too well; And shall I plead my passion now,
To make thy bosom's heaven a hell? No! for thou never canst be mine,
United by the priest's decree : By any ties but those divine,
Mine, my beloved, thou ne'er shalt be. Then let the secret fire consume,
Let it consume, thou shalt not know : With joy I court a certain doom,
Rather than spread its guilty glow. I will not ease my tortured heart
By driving dove-eyed peace from thine ; Rather than such a sting impart,
Each thought presumptuous I resign. Yes ! yield those lips, for which I'd brave
More than I here shall dare to tell ;
I bid thee now a last farewell.
And hope no more thy soft embrace ;
All, all reproach--but thy disgrace. At least from guilt shalt thou be free,
No matron shall thy shame reprove : Though cureless pangs may prey on me,
No martyr shalt thou be to love.
Suffused in tears, implore to stay,
Which said far more than words can say ? Though keen the grief thy tears exprest,
When love and hope lay both o'erthrown; Yet still, my girl, this bleeding breast
Throbb'd with deep sorrow as thine own.
But when our clieeks with anguish glow'd,
Oh! when shall the grave hide for ever my sorrow?
Oh! when shall my soul wing her flight from this
clay ? Thou could'st not feel my burning cheek,
The present is hell, and the coming to-morrow
But brings, with new torture, the curse of to-day.
curses, And yet, my girl, we weep in vain,
I blast not the fiends who have hurl'd me from In vain our fate in sighis deplore; Remembrance only can remainBut that will make us weep the more.
For poor is the soul which bewailing rehearses
Its querulous grief, when in anguish like this. Again, thou best beloved, adieu !
Ah! if thou canst, o'ercome regret; Was my eye, 'stead of tears, with red fury flakes Nor let thy mind past joys review
brightning, Our only hope is to forget!
Would my lips breathe a flame which no stream
On our foes should my glance launch in vengeance TO CAROLINE.
With transport my tongue give a loose to its When I hear you express an affection so warm,
But now tears and curses, alike unavailing,
Would add to the souls of our tyrants deliglat: deceive.
Could they view us our sad separation bewailing, Yet still this fond bosom regrets, while adoring,
Their merciless liearts would rejoice at the sight. That love, like the leaf, must fall into the sere : That age will come on, when remembrance, de. Yet still, though we bend with a feigu'd resignation, ploring,
Life beams not for us with one ray that can cheer, Contemplates the scenes of her youth with a Love and hope upon earth bring no more consolaThat the time must arrive, when no longer retaining
In the grave is our hope, for in life is our fear. Their auburn, those locks must wave thin to the Oh! when, my adored, in the tomb will they place
breeze, When a few silver hairs of those tresses remaining,
me, Prove nature a prey to decay and disease.
Since, in life, love and friendship for cver are
fied ? 'Tis this, my beloved, which spreads gloom o'er my If again in the mansion of death I embrace thee, features,
Perhaps they will leave unmolested the dead. Though I ne'er shall presume to arraign the de
cree, Which God has proclaim'd as the fate of His crea
tures, In the death which one day will deprive you of
ON A CHANGE OF MASTERS AT A
GREAT PUBLIC SCHOOL. Mistake not, sweet sceptic, the cause of emotion,
WHERE are those honours, Ida! once your own, No doubt can the mind of your lover invade ;
When Probus filld your magisterial throne ? He worships each look with such faitbful devotion, As ancient Rome, fast falling to disgrace, A smile can enchant, or a tear can dissuade. Hail'd a barbarian in her Cæsar's place,
So you, degenerate, share as hard a fate, But as death, my beloved, soon or late shall o'ertake
And seat Pomposus where your Probus sate.
Of narrow brain, yet of a narrower soul, And our breasts, wbich alive with such sympathy Pomposus holds you in bis harsh control; glow,
Pomposus, by no social virtue sway'd, Will sleep in the grave till the blast shall awake us, With florid jargon, and with vain parade; When calling the dead in earth's bosom laid With noisy nonsense and new-fangled rules, low,
Such as were ne'er before enforced in schools. Oh! then let us drain, while we may, draughts of
Mistaking pedantry for learning's laws,
He governs, sanction'd but by self-applause ; pleasure,
With him the same dire fate attending Rome, Which from passion like ours may unceasingly
Ill-fated Ida! soon must stamp your doom :
Like her o’erthrown, for ever lost to fame, Let us pass round the cup of love's bliss in full
No trace of science left you, but the name. measure, And quaff the contents as our nectar below.
LINES ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY,
WHO HAD BEEN ALARMED BY A BULLET FIRED
AUTHOR WHILE DISCHARGING HIS PISTOLS IN A GARDEN.
WRITTEN SHORTLY AFTER THE MARRIAGE OF
Where my thoughtless childhood stray'd,
Howl above thy tufted shade!
Now no more, the hours beguiling,
Former favourite haunts I see; Now no more my Mary smiling
Makes ye seem a heaven to me.
TO LESBIA. LESBIA ! since far from you I've ranged,
Our souls with fond affection glow uot; You
say 'tis I, not you, have changed, I'd tell you why—but yet I know not.
Your polish'd brow no cares have crost;
And, Lesbia! we are not much older Since, trembling, first my heart I lost,
Or told my love, with hope grown bolder.
DOUBTLESS, sweet girl! the hissing lead,
Wafting destruction o'er thy charms, And hurtling o'er thy lovely head,
Has fill'd that breast with fond alarms. Surely some envious demon's force,
Vex'd to behold such beauty here, Impell’d the bullet's viewless course,
Diverted from its first career. Yes ! in that nearly fatal hour
The ball obey'd some hell-born guide ;
In pity turn’d the death aside.
Upon that thrilling bosom fell;
Extracted from its glistening cell: Say, what dire penance can atone
For such an outrage done to thee ? Arraign'd before thy beauty's throne,
What punishment wilt thou decree? Might I perform the judge's part,
The sentence I should scarce deplore ; It only would restore a heart
Which but belong'd to thee before. The least atonement I can make
Is to become no longer free;
Thou shalt be all in all to me.
Such expiation of my guilt:
Let it be death, or what thou wilt.
Nought shall thy dread decree prevent ; Yet hold-one little word forbear!
Let it be aught but banishment.
Sixteen was then our utmost age,
Two years have lingering pass'd away, love! And now new thoughts our minds engage,
At least I feel disposed to stray, love!
'Tis I that am alone to blame,
I that am guilty of love's treason; Since your sweet breast is still the same,
Caprice must be my only reason.
I do not, love ! suspect your truth,
With jealous doubt my bosom heaves not; Warm was the passion of my youth,
One trace of dark deceit it leaves not.
No, no, my flame was not pretended ;
For, oh! I loved you most sincerely; And-though our dream at last is ended
My bosom still esteems you dearly. '
No more we meet in yonder bowers ;
Absence has made me prone to roving ! But older, firmer hearts than ours
Have found monotony in loving.
TO A LADY,
Your cheek's soft bloom is unimpair’d,
New beauties still are daily bright’ning; Your eye for conquest beams prepared,
The forge of love's resistless lightning.
WHO PRESENTED TO THE AUTHOR A LOCK OP
HAIR BRAIDED WITH HIS OWN, AND APPOINTED A NIGHT IN DECEMBER TO MEET HIM IN THE GARDEN.
Arm'd thus, to make their bosoms bleed,
Many will throng to sigh like me, love ! More constant they may prove, indeed;
Fonder, alas ! they ne'er can be, love !
Tuese locks, which fondly thus entwine,