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The sailor sighs as sinks his native shore,
As all its less'ning turrets bluely fade;
And busy fancy fondly lends her aid.
Ah! now, each dear domestic scene he knew,
Recall’d and cherish'd in a foreign clime; Charms with the magic of a moon-light view,
Its colours mellow'd, not impair’d by time.
True as the needle, homeward points his heart,
Thro' all the horrors of the stormy main ; This, the last wish with which its warmth cou'd part,
To meet the smile of her he loves again.
When morn first faintly draws her silver line,
Or eve's grey cloud descends to drink the wave; When sea and sky in.midnight darkness join,
Still, still he views the parting look she gave.
Her gentle spirit, lightly hov'ring o'er,
Attends his little bark from pole to pole;
Whispers sweet hope to sooth his troubled soul.
Carv'd is her name in many a spicy grove,
In many a plantain forest, waving wide, Where dusky youths in painted plumage rove,
And giant palms o'er-arch the yellow tide.
But lo, at last he comes with crowded sail!
Lo, o'er the cliff what eager figures bend!
In each he hears the welcome of a friend.
'Tis she, 'tis she herself! she waves her hand!
Soon is the anchor cast, the canvas furl'd,
Far on the sands, the low retiring tide,
In distant murmurs hardly seems to flow, And o'er the world of waters," blue and wide,
The sighing summer wind forgets to blow.
As sinks the day-star in the rosy west,
'The silent wave, with rich reflection glows, Alas! can tranquil nature give me rest,
Or scenes of beauty sooth me to repose.
Can the soft lustre of the sleeping main,
Yon radiant heaven, or all creation's charms, Erase the written troubles of the brain,
Which memory tortures, and which guilt alarms; Or bid a bosom transient quiet prove, That bleeds with vain remorse, and unextinguish'd love.
The heart that throbs with latent woe,
Reluctant eyes the morning ray;
Regrets the loss of parting day.
Come, drowsy night, and shed the balm
That soft suspends each anxious care;
The pensive tuinults of despair.
If 'inidst thy wondrous magic power,
Excursive fancy still should roam,
When inutual love invites me home.
Tho' twenty years their months have told,
Since I possess'd her virgin charms,
The faithful fair within my arms.
Bright as the star of ev’ning glows,
Her lucid orbs appear ;
Blooms fresh throughout the year.
Mild as the breath of vernal gales,
Her voice-each whispering sigh ;
WRITTEN ON THE PLAIN OF FONTENOY.
Chill blows the blast, and twilight's dewy hand
Draws in the west her dusky veil away; A deeper shadow steals along the land,
And nature muses at the death of day !
Near this bleak waste no friendly mansion rears.
Its walls, where mirth, and social joys abound, But each sad object melts the soul to tears,
While horror treads the scatter'd bones around.
As thus alone and comfortless I roam,
Wet with the drizzling show'r; I sigh sincere, I cast a fond look tow’rds my native home,
And think what valiant Britons perish'd here.
Yes, the time was, nor very far the date,
When carnage here her crimson toil began; When nations' standards wav'd in threat'ning state,
And man the murd'rer met the murd'rer man.
For war is murder, tho' the voice of kings
Has styl'd it justice, styld it glory too,
And there fix'd prejudice is all we view.
But sure, 'tis heav'n's immutable decree,
For thousands ev'ry age in fight to fall; Some natural cause prevails, we cannot see,
And that is fate, which we ambition call.
O let th' aspiring warrior think with grief,
That as produc'd by chymic art refin'd ;So glitt'ring conquest from the laurel leaf
Extracts a general poison for mankind.
Here let him wander at the midnight hour,
These morbid rains, these gelid gales to meet; And mourn like me, the ravages of pow'r!
And feel like me, that vict'ry is defeat !
Nor deem, ye vain! that e'er I mean to swell
My feeble verse with many a sounding name; Of such, the mercenary bard may tell,
And call such dreary desolation fame.