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Give me again a faithful few,
In years, and feelings, still the same,
And I will fly the midnight crew,
Where boist'rous joy is but a name.
And Woman! lovely Woman! thou,
My hope, my comforter, my all!
How cold must be my bosom now,
When e'en thy smiles begin to pall.
Without a sigh would I resign
This busy scene of splendid woe,
To make that calm contentment mine,
Which virtue knows, or seems to know.
Fain would I fly the haunts of men.-
I seek to shun, not hate, mankind;
My breast requires the sullen glen,
Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind;
Oh! that to me the wings were given
Which bear the turtle to her nest!
Then would I cleave the vault of heaven,
To flee away, and be at rest.*
LINES, WRITTEN BENEATH AN ELM,
IN THE CHURCH-YARD OF HARROW
ON THE HILL, SEPTEMBER 2, 1807.
SPOT of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh,
Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky,
Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod,
With those, I loved, thy soft and verdant sod;
With those who, scatter'd far, perchance deplore,
the happy scenes they knew before;
Oh! as I trace again thy winding hill,
Mine eyes admire, my heart adores thee still.
Psalm lv. ver. 6. And I said, Oh! that I had wings like a dove, then would I fly away, and be at rest.' This verse also constitutes a part of the most beautiful anthem in our language.
Though drooping elm! beneath whose boughs I lay, And frequent mused the twilight hours away;' Where, as they once were wont, my limbs recline, But ah! without the thoughts which then were
How do thy branches, moaning to the blast,
Invite the bosom to recal, the past,
And seem to whisper as they gently swell,
Take, while thou canst, a lingering, last farewell!' When fate shall chill, at length, this fever'd
And calm its cares and passions into rest;
Oft have I thought 'twould soothe my dying hour,
If aught may soothe, when life resigns her power,
To know some humbler grave, some narrow cell,
Would hide my bosom where it loved to dwell.
With this fond dream methinks 'twere sweet to die,
As here it linger'd, here my heart might lie:
Here might I sleep, where all my hopes arose,
Scene of my youth, and couch of my repose:
For ever stretch'd beneath this mantling shade,
Prest by the turf where once my childhood play'd;
Wrapt by the soil that veils the spot I loved,
Mix'd with the earth o'er which my footsteps
Blest by the tongues that charm'd my youthful ear,
Mourn'd by the few my soul acknowledged here;
Deplored by those, in early days allied,
And unremember'd by the world beside.
Alas! they had been friends in youth;
But whispering tongues can poison truth;
And constancy lives in realms above:
And life is thorny; and youth is vain :
And to be wroth with one we love,
Doth work like madness in the brain:
But never either found another
To free the hollow heart from paining-
They stood aloof, the scars remaining,
Like cliffs, which had been rent asunder;
A dreary sea now flows between,
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder
Shall wholly do away, I ween,
The marks of that which once hath been.
FARE thee well! and if for ever,
Still for ever, fare thee well: Even though unforgiving, never 'Gainst thee shall my heart rebel. Would that breast were bared before thee Where thy head so oft hath lain, While that placid sleep came o'er thee Which thou ne'er canst know again: Would that breast, by thee glanced over, Every inmost thought could shew! Then thou wouldst at last discover "Twas not well to spurn it so. Though the world for this commend thee
Though it smile upon the blow, Ev'n its praises must offend thee,
Founded on another's woe
Though my many faults defaced me,
Could no other arm be found
Than the one which once embraced me,
To inflict a cureless wound?
Yet, oh yet, thyself deceive not;
may sink by slow decay,
But by sudden wrench, believe not
Hearts can thus be torn away:
Still thine own its life retaineth-
Still must mine, though bleeding, beat;
And th' undying thought which paineth
Is that we no more may meet.
These are words of deeper sorrow
Than the wail above the dead;
Both shall live, but every morrow
Wake us from a widow'd bed.
And when thou wouldst solace gather,
When our child's first accents flow,
Wilt thou teach her to say 'Father!'
Though his care she must forego?
When her little hands shall press thee,
When her lip to thine is prest,
Think of him whose prayer shall bless thee,
Think of him thy love had bless'd!
Should her lineaments resemble
Those thou never more may'st see,
Then thy heart will softly tremble
With a pulse yet true to me.
All my faults perchance thou knowest,
All my madness none can know;
All my hopes, where'er thou goest,
Wither, yet with thee they go.
Every feeling hath been shaken;
Pride, which not a world could bow,
Bows to thee-by thee forsaken,
Ev'n my soul forsakes me now:
But 'tis done-all words are idle-
Words from me are vainer still;
But the thoughts we cannot bridle
Force their way without the will.
Fare thee well!-thus disunited,
Torn from every nearer tie,
Sear'd in heart, and lone, and blighted-
More than this I scarce can die.
If that thou be'st a devil, I cannot kill thee.
BORN in the garret, in the kitchen bred,
Promoted thence to deck her mistress' head;
Next for some gracious service unexprest,
And from its wages only to be guess'd-
Raised from the toilet to the table,-where
Her wondering betters wait behind her chair.
With eye unmoved, and forehead unabash'd,
She dines from off the plate she lately wash'd,
Quick with the tale, and ready with the lie-
The genial confidante, and general spy-
Who could, ye gods! her next employment guess-
An only infant's earliest governess!
She taught the child to read, and taught so well,
That she herself, by teaching, learn'd to spell.
An adept next in penmanship she grows,
As many a nameless slander deftly shews:
What she had made the pupil of her art,
None know-but that high soul secured the heart,
And panted for the truth it could not hear,
With longing breast and undeluded ear.
Foil'd was perversion by that youthful mind, Which flattery fool'd not-baseness could not blind, Deceit infect not-near contagion soil
Indulgence weaken-nor example spoil
Nor master'd science tempt her to look down
On humbler talents with a pitying frown-