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CONSOLATIONS OF EXILE.

[OR AN EXILE'S ADDRESS TO HIS

DISTANT CHILDREN.]

I.

O’er the vast realm of tempest-troubled Ocean

O'er the parched lands that vainly thirst for showersThrough the long night-or when nor sound nor motion

Stirs in the noon of day the sultry bowers-
Not all un'companied by pleasant dreams

My weary spirit panteth on the way ;
Still on mine inward sight the subtle gleams

That mock the fleshly vision brightly play.
Oh ! the heart's links nor time nor change may sever,

Nor Fate's destructive hand, if life remain ; O’er hill, and vale, and plain, and sea, and river,

The wanderer draws the inseparable chain !

II.

Fair children ! still, like phantoms of delight,

Ye haunt my soul on this strange distant shore, As the same stars shine through the tropic night

That charmed me at my own sweet cottage door. Though I have left ye long, I love not less ;

Though ye are far away, I watch ye still ; Though I can ne'er embrace ye, I may bless,

And e'en though absent, guard ye from each ill!
Still the full interchange of soul is ours,

A silent converse o'er the waters wide,
And Fancy's spell can speed the lingering hours,

And fill the space that yearning hearts divide.

III,

And not alone the written symbols show

Your spirits' sacred stores of love and truth, Art's glorious magic bids the canvass glow

With all your grace and loveliness and youth ; The fairy forms that in

my

native land
Oft filled my fond heart with a parent's pride,
Are gathered near me on this foreign strand,

And smilingly, in these strange halls, reside ;
And almost I forget an exile's doom,
For while

your
filial
eyes

around me gleam, Each scene and object breathes an air of home,

And time and distance vanish like a dream !

IV.

Oh! when sweet Memory's radiant calm comes o'er

The weary soul, as moonlight glimmerings fall O’er the hushed ocean, forms beloved of yore

And joys long fled, her whispers soft recall; At such an hour I live and smile again,

As light of heart as in that golden time When, as a child, I trod the vernal plain,

Nor knew the shadow of a care or crime.
Nor dream of death, nor weariness of life,

Nor freezing apathy, nor fierce desire,
Then chilled a thought with unborn rapture rife,

Or seared my breast with wild ambition's fire.

V.

From many a fruit and flower the hand of Time

Hath brushed the bloom and beauty ; yet mine eye, Though Life's sweet summer waneth, and my prime

Of health and hope is past, can oft espy Amid the fading wilderness around

Such lingering hues as Eden's holy bowers

In earth's first radiance wore, and only found

Where not a cloud of sullen sadness lours.
Oh ! how the pride and glory of this world

May pass unmirrored o'er the darkened mind,
Like gilded banners o'er the grave unfurled,

Or Beauty's witcheries flashed upon the blind.

VI.

Though this frail form hath felt the shafts of pain,

Though my soul sickens for her native sky,
In visionary hours my thoughts regain

Their early freshness, and soon check the sigh
That sometimes from mine inmost heart would swell

And mar a happier mood. Oh! then how sweet,
Dear Boys ! upon remembered bliss to dwell,

And here your pictured lineaments to greet!
'Till Fancy, bright Enchantress, shifts the scene

To British ground, and musical as rills,
Ye laugh and loiter in the meadows green,

Or climb with joyous shouts the sunny hills !
Calcutta, September 4, 1834.

LINES

WRITTEN ON THE RUINS OF RAJHMAHAL.
Hail, stranger, hail ! whose eye shall here survey
The path of Time, where ruin marks his way,
When wildly moans the solemn midnight bird,
And the gaunt jackal's piercing cry is heard;
If thine the soul with sacred ardour fraught,
Rapt in the poet's dream, or sage's thought,
To thee, these mouldering walls a voice shall raise,
And sadly tell how earthly pride decays ;
How human hopes, like human works, depart,
And leave behind the ruins of the heart!

SONNET.

EVENING, ON THE BANKS OF THE GANGES.

I WANDERED thoughtfully by Gunga's shore,
While the broad sun upon the slumbering wave
Its last faint flush of golden radiance gave,
And tinged with tenderest hues some ruins hoar.
Methinks this earth had never known before
A calm so deep—’twas silent as the grave.
The smallest bird its light wing could not lave
In the smooth flood, nor from the green-wood soar,
If but the tiniest branch its pinions stirred
Or shook the dew-drops from the leaves, unheard.
Like pictured shadows 'gainst the western beam
The dark boats slept, while each lone helmsman stood
Still as a statue !--the strange quietude
Enthralled my soul like some mysterious dream !

SONNET-GRIEF. IMPASSIONED grief is dumb-no sign or sound Can form its faithful language. Sorrow's dart In fevered breasts awakes an inward smart That friendship may not share. Oh! curse profound, To bear each maddening passion darkly bound Within that fearful cell, the shrouded heart ! The quivering lip, the quick convulsive start, But feebly tell the strife. The crowd around When sinks the strong man ’neath the sullen stream Thus see but bubbles rise,-these ill reveal The struggler's pangs! When mourners pant and teem With secret thought, and voiceless anguish feel, The world's calm brow the charms of nature seem To mock the smothered soul's unheard appeal!

ON CARE AND CONDENSATION IN WRITING.

When Apelles was reproached with the paucity of his productions, and the

incessant attention with which he re-touched his pieces, he condescended to make no other answer than that he painted for perpetuity.

The Rambler. Alcestides objecting that Euripides had only in three days composed three

verses, whereas himself had written three hundred : Thou tellist truth (quoth he); but here is the difference ; thine shall only be read for three days, whereas mine shall continue three ages. Webster's Dedication to the Reader of the White Devil, or Vittoria

Corombona.'

There are some writers who seem to regard mere quickness and facility of production as of more importance than the quality of the thing produced. They insult the public with a flippant boast of the little time which they have thought it necessary to bestow upon a work intended for its acceptance, and make that a subject of triumph which calls for an apology. If the public were in a state of intellectual deprivation, and were too voracious to be nice, these rapid writers might be looked upon as benefactors :but the case is precisely the reverse; the world abounds in books, both good and bad. There is at all events no demand for a greater number of the latter kind. We can afford to wait for the result of an author's best exertions, and are not obliged to accept with gratitude the first crude and hurried productions that he is disposed to offer*. It is not the task of a day for a man to enter into competition with such writers as Shakespeare and Milton, or Byron and Wordsworth, or to produce a work of whatever kind, which the world would not willingly let die. A reader is as little curious about the number of hours which

* I hate all those nonsensical stories about Lope de Vega and his writing a play a morning before breakfast. He had time enough to do it after.Hazlitt.

G

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