Page images

She sees his hoary head, all' white with age,
A victim to th' offended monarch’s rage.
How great the mercy, had he breath'd her last
Ere the dire sentence on her father pass'd !

A for der parent nature never knew,:.
And is his age increas'd his fondness' grew.
A parent's love ne'er better was bestow'd;
The pious daughter in her heart o’erflow'd.
And can she from all weakness still refrain,
And still the firmness of her soul maintain?
Impossible! a figh will force it's way,
One patient tear her mortal birth betray ::
She fighs and weeps! but fo fhe weeps and fighs,
As filent dews descend, and vapours rife.

Celestial Patience ! how dost thou defeat
The foe's proud menace, and elude his hate !
While Passion takes his part, betrays our peace,
To death and torture fwells each flight difgrace;
By not opposing thou doft ills destroy,
And wear thy conquer'd fórrows into joy

Now the revolves within her anxious mind What woe still lingers in reserve behind: Griefs rise on griefs, and she can see no bound, While nature lasts, and can receive a wound. * The sword is drawn"; the queen to'rage inclin'd, • By mercy, nor by piety confin'd: • What mercy can the zealot’s heart assuage, • Whose piety itself converts to rage?' She thought, and figh’d; and now the blood began To leave her beauteous cheek all cold and wan: New sorrow dimm’d the lustre of her eye, And on her cheek the fading rofes die.. • Alas! should Guilford toom When now she's brought To that dire view, that precipice of thought; While there she trembling stands, nor dares look down, Nor can recede, tih Heav'n's decrees are known,


Cure of all ills, till now, her ford appears-
But not to chear her heart, and dry her tears!
Not now, as usual, like the rising day,
To chase the shadows and the damps away ;,
But, like a gloomy storm, at once to sweep
And plunge her to the bottom of the deep.
Black were his robes, dejected was his air,
His voice was frozen by his cold despairs
Slow, like a ghoft, he mov’d with solemn pace;
A dying paleness fat upon his face.
Back she recoil'd, she fmote her lovely breaft,
Her eyes the anguifh, of her heart confefsd;
Struck to the soul, the stagger'd with the wound,
And sunk, a breathless image, to the ground.

Thus the fair lily, when the sky's o'erçaft,
At first but shudders in the feeble blast;
But when the winds and weighty rains descend,
The fair and upright stem is forc'd to bend,
Till broke, at length, it's snowy leaves are shed,
And strew with dying sweets their native bed.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors]

Hic pietatis honos ? fic nos in sceptra reponie?
ER Guilford clasps her, beautiful in death,

And with a kiss recalls her fleeting breath.
To tapers thus, which by a blast expire,
A lighted taper, touch’d, restores the fire.
She rear'd her swimming eye, and saw the light;
And Guilford, too, or she had loath'd the fight.
Her father's death the bore, despis'd her own,
But now she must, the will have leave to groan.
• Ah, Guilford !' she began, and would have spoke,
But fobs rush'd in, and ev'ry accent broke :

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


[ocr errors]

Reason itself, as gufts of passion blew,

15 Was ruffled in the tempeft, and withdrew.

So the youth lost his image in the well,
When tears upon the yielding surface fell ;
The scatter'd features flid into decay,
And spreading circles drove his face away.

To touch the soft affections, and controut
The manly temper of the bravest foul,
What with afflicted beauty can compare,
And drops of love distilling from the fair ?
It melts us down ; our pains delight beftow,
And we with fondness languish o'er our woe.

This Guilford prov'd; and, with excess of pain,
And pleasure too, did to his bosom strain
The weeping fair; funk deep in foft defire,
Indulg'd his love, and nurs'd the raging fire:
Then tore himself away; and, ftanding wide,
As fearing a relapse of fondness, cry'd,
With ill-dissembled grief, • My life, forbear!
You wound your Guilford with each cruel tear:
• Did you not chide my grief? repress your own,
• Nor want compassion for yourself alone.
6 Have

you beheld how, from the distant main, • The thronging waves roll on, a num'rous train, . And foam, and bellow, till they reach the shore, • There burft their noisy pride, and are no more? • Thus the succesive flows of human race, • Chac'd by the coming, the preceding chace; • They found and swell, their haughty heads they rear, • Then fall and flatten, break and disappear. « Life is a forfeit we muft shortly pay, • And where's the mighty lucre of a day?

Why should you mourn my fate ? 'tis most unkind; • Your own you bure with an unshaken mind:

And which, can you imagine, was the dart « That drank moft blood, funk deepest in my heart? al

I can

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

• I cannot live without you ; and my doom
* I meet with joy; to hare one common tombom
• And are, again, your tears profufely spilt?
* Oh! then my kindness blackens to my guilt ;
• It foils itself if it recall your pain :
• Life of my life! I beg you to refrain !
• The load which Fate imposes you increase,

And help Maria to destroy iny peace !"

But, oh! against himself his labour turn'd; The more he comforted, the more the mourn'd. Compassion swells our grief; words soft and kind But soothe our weakness, and dissolve the mind. Her sorrow Aldw'd in streams: nor her's alone, While that he blam'd, he yielded to his own. Where are the fmiles she wore when she, so late, Hail'd him great partner of the regal ftate ; When orient gems around her temples blaz'd, And bending nations on the glory gaz'd?

'Tis now the queen's command they both retreat, To

weep with dignity, and mourn in itate:
She forms the decent misery with joy,
And loads with pomp the wretch she would destroy
A spacious hall is hung with black; all light
Shut out, and noon-day darken'd into night:
From the mid-roof a lamp depends on high,
Like a dim crescent in a clouded sky;
It sheds a quiv'ring, melancholy gloom,
Which only shews the darkness of the room.
A shining axe is on the table laid,
A dreadful fight! and glitters thro' the shade.

In this sad scèrie the lovers are confin'd,
Á scene of terrors to a guilty mind!
A scene that would have damp'd with rising caress
And quite extinguish'd every love but theirs.
What can they do? they fix their mournful eyes
Then Guilford thus, abruptly: I despise

An empire lost; I fling away the crown; • Numbers. have laid that bright delufon down ; • But where's the Charles, or Dioclefian where, · Could quit the blooming, wedded, weeping fair: • Oh! to dwell ever on thy lip! to stand • In full poffeffion of thy snowy hand! • And, thro' th' unclouded cryftal of thy eye, · The heav'nly treasures of thy mind to spy! « Till rapture reason happily destroys, • And my soul wanders thro' immortal joys! • Give me the world, and ask me where's my bliss; • I clasp thee to my breast, and answer,

" This." • And shall the grave~ He groans,

and can no mores
But all her charms in silence traces o'er :
Her lip, her cheek, and eye, to wonder wrought;
And, wond'ring, fees, in fad presaging thought,
From that fair neck, that world of beauty, fall,
And roll along the duft, a ghastly ball!

Oh! let those tremble who are greatly bless'd;
For who but Guilford could be thus distress’d?
Come hither, all you happy, all you great!
From Row.ry meadows, and from rooms of state;
Nor think I call your pleasures to destroy,
But to refine, and to exalt your joy:
Weep not; but, failing, fix your ardent care
On nobler titles than the brave or fair.

Was ever such a mournful, moving fight!.
See, if you can, by that dim, trembling light.
Now they embrace ; and, mix'd with bitter woe,
Like Isis and her Thames, one stream they flow :
Now they start wide; fix'd in benumbing care,
They stiffen into itatues of despair.
Now, tenderly fevere, and fiercely kind,
They rush at once; they fing their cares behind,
And clasp, as if to death ; new vows repeat,
And, quite wrapp'd up in love, forget their fate.

A hor!

« PreviousContinue »