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All on the ground entranced he lay; At length the vision broke: -When, lo!-a kiss, as cold as clay, The slumbering youth awoke.
That moment through a rifted cloud
The darting moon display'd,
Robed in a melancholy shroud,
The image of a maid.
Her dusky veil aside she threw,
And show'd a face most fair;
"-My Love! my Ella!" Edmund flew,
And clasp'd the yielding air.
"Ha! who art thou?" His cheek grew pale: A well-known voice replied, "Ella, the lily of the vale;
Ella-thy destined bride."
To win his neck, her airy arms The pallid phantom spread; Recoiling from her blasted charms, The affrighted lover fled.
To shun the visionary maid
His speed outstript the wind; But, though unseen to move, the shade Was evermore behind.
So Death's unerring arrows glide,
Yet seem suspended still;
Nor pause, nor shrink, nor turn aside,
But smite, subdue, and kill.
O'er many a mountain, moor, and vale,
On that tremendous night,
The ghost of Ella, wild and pale,
Pursued her lover's flight.
But when the dawn began to gleam,
Ere yet the morning shone,
She vanish'd like a nightmare-dream,
And Edmund stood alone.
Three days, bewilder'd and forlorn,
He sought his home in vain;
At length he hail'd the hoary thorn
That crown'd his native plain.
"T was evening;-all the air was balm,
The heavens serenely clear;
When the soft music of a psalm
Came pensive o'er his ear.
Then sunk his heart;-a strange surmise
Made all his blood run cold:
He flew, a funeral met his eyes:
He paused, a death-bell toll'd.
"'Tis she! 't is she!"-He burst away;
And bending o'er the spot
Where all that once was Ella lay,
He all beside forgot.
A maniac now, in dumb despair,
With love-bewildered mien,
He wanders, weeps, and watches there,
Among the hillocks green.
And every Eve of pale St. Mark,
As village hinds relate,
He walks with Ella in the dark,
And reads the rolls of Fate.
AT fond sixteen my roving heart
Was pierced by Love's delightful dart:
Keen transport throbb'd through every vein,
-I never felt so sweet a pain!
Where circling woods embower'd the glade,
I met the dear romantic maid:
I stole her hand,-it shrunk,-but no;
I would not let my captive go.
With all the fervency of youth,
While passion told the tale of truth,
I mark'd my Hannah's downcast eye,
"T was kind, but beautifully shy.
Not with a warmer, purer ray,
The sun, enamour'd, wooes young May;
Nor May, with softer maiden grace,
Turns from the Sun her blushing face
But, swifter than the frighted dove, Fled the gay morning of my love; Ah! that so bright a morn, so soon, Should vanish in so dark a noon.
The angel of Affliction rose,
And in his grasp a thousand woes;
He pour'd his vial on my head,
And all the heaven of rapture fled.
Yet, in the glory of my pride,
I stood, and all his wrath defied;
I stood, though whirlwinds shook my brain, And lightnings cleft my soul in twain.
I shunn'd my nymph;-and knew not why I durst not meet her gentle eye;
I shunn'd her-for I could not bear
To marry her to my despair.
Yet, sick at heart with hope delay'd,
Oft the dear image of that maid
Glanced, like the rainbow, o'er my mind
And promised happiness behind.
The storm blew o'er, and in my breast
The halcyon Peace rebuilt her nest:
The storm blew o'er, and clear and mild
The sea of Youth and Pleasure smiled.
"T was on the merry morn of May,
To Hannah's cot I took my way:
My eager hopes were on the wing,
Like swallows sporting in the Spring.
Then as I climb'd the mountains o'er, I lived my wooing days once more; And fancy sketch'd my married lot, My wife, my children, and my cot.
I saw the village steeple rise,-
My soul sprang, sparkling, in my eyes :
The rural bells rang sweet and clear,-
My fond heart listen'd in mine ear.
O welcome to our isle,
Thou Messenger of Peace!
At whose bewitching smile
The embattled tempests cease:
Emblem of Innocence and Truth,
First-born of Nature's womb,
When strong in renovated youth,
She bursts from Winter's tomb;
Thy parent's eye hath shed
A precious dew-drop on thine head,
Frail as a mother's tear
Upon her infant's face,
When ardent hope to tender fear,
And anxious love, gives place.
But, lo! the dew-drop flits away,
The sun salutes thee with a ray
Warm as a mother's kiss
Upon her infant's cheek,
When the heart bounds with bliss,
And joy that cannot speak.
When I meet thee by the way,
Like a pretty sportive child,
On the winter-wasted wild,
With thy darling breeze at play,
Opening to the radiant sky
All the sweetness of thine eye;
-Or bright with sun-beams, fresh with showers, My soul, like the sun, with a glance
Embraces the boundless expanse,
O thou Fairy-Queen of flowers!
Watch thee o'er the plain advance
At the head of Flora's dance;
Simple Snow-drop, then in thee
All thy sister-train I see :
Every brilliant bud that blows,
From the blue-bell to the rose :
All the beauties that appear
On the bosom of the Year,
All that wreathe the locks of Spring,
Summer's ardent breath perfume,
Or on the lap of Autumn bloom,
-All to thee their tribute bring,
Exhale their incense at thy shrine,
-Their hues, their odors, all are thine.
For while thy humble form I view,
The Muse's keen prophetic sight
Brings fair Futurity to light,
And Fancy's magic makes the vision true.
-There is a Winter in my soul,
The winter of despair;
O when shall Spring its rage control?
When shall the Snow-drop blossom there?
Cold glearns of comfort sometimes dart
A dawn of glory on my heart,
But quickly pass away:
Thus Northern-lights the gloom adorn,
And give the promise of a morn
That never turns to day!
-But, hark! methinks I hear
A small still whisper in mine ear;
"Rash youth, repent:
Afflictions, from above,
Are angels sent
On embassies of love.
A fiery legion at thy birth
Of chastening woes were given,
To pluck the flowers of hope from earth,
And plant them high
O'er yonder sky,
Transform'd to stars,-and fix'd in heaven."
And the silver-wing'd sea-fowl on high,
Like meteors bespangle the sky,
Or dive in the gulf, or triumphantly ride,
Like foam on the surges, the swans of the tide.
Written at Scarborough, in the Summer of 1805.
ALL hail to the ruins,' the rocks and the shores!
Thou wide-rolling Ocean, all hail!
Now brilliant with sunbeams, and dimpled with oars,
Now dark with the fresh-blowing gale,
While soft o'er thy bosom the cloud-shadows sail,
1 Scarborough Castle.
From the tumult and smoke of the city set free,
With eager and awful delight,
From the crest of the mountain I gaze upon thee
gaze, and am changed at the sight;
For mine eye is illumined, my Genius takes flight,
And moves on thy waters, wherever they roll,
From the day-darting zone to the night-shadow'd pole
My spirit descends where the day-spring is born,
Where the billows are rubies on fire,
And the breezes that rock the light cradle of morn
Are sweet as the Phoenix's pyre:
O regions of beauty, of love, and desire!
O gardens of Eden! in vain
Placed far on the fathomless main,
Where Nature with Innocence dwelt in her youth,
When pure was her heart, and unbroken her truth.
But now the fair rivers of Paradise wind
Through countries and kingdoms o'erthrown;
Where the giant of tyranny crushes mankind,
Where he reigns,-and will soon reign alone;
For wide and more wide, o'er the sunbeaming zone
He stretches his hundred-fold arms,
Despoiling, destroying its charms;
Beneath his broad footstep the Ganges is dry,
And the mountains recoil from the flash of his eye.
Thus the pestilent Upas, the Demon of trees,
Its boughs o'er the wilderness spreads,
And with livid contagion polluting the breeze,
Its mildewing influence sheds;
The birds on the wing, and the flowers in their beds,
Are slain by its venomous breath,
That darkens the noonday with death,
And pale ghosts of travellers wander around,
While their mouldering skeletons whiten the ground.
Ah! why hath JEHOVAH, in forming the world,
With the waters divided the land,
His ramparts of rocks round the continent hurl'd,
And cradled the Deep in his hand,
If man may transgress his eternal command,
And leap o'er the bounds of his birth,
To ravage the uttermost earth,
And violate nations and realms that should be
Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea?
There are, gloomy Ocean, a brotherless clan,
Who traverse thy banishing waves,
The poor disinherited outcasts of man,
Whom Avarice coins into slaves.
From the homes of their kindred, their forefathers'
Love, friendship, and conjugal bliss,
They are dragg'd on the hoary abyss;
The shark hears their shrieks, and ascending to-day,
Demands of the spoiler his share of the prey.
Then joy to the tempest that whelms them beneath,
And makes their destruction its sport;
But woe to the winds that propitiously breathe,
And waft them in safety to port,
Where the vultures and vampires of Mammon resort; «Ye Britons, who dwell where we conquer'd of old,
Where Europe exultingly drains
The life-blood from Africa's veins;
Where man rules o'er man with a merciless rod,
And spurns at his footstool the image of God.
The hour is approaching,-a terrible hour!
And Vengeance is bending her bow;
Already the clouds of the hurricane lower,
And the rock-rending whirlwinds blow:
Back rolls the huge Ocean, Hell opens below:
The floods return headlong, they sweep
The slave-cultured lands to the deep,
In a moment entomb'd in the horrible void,
By their Maker Himself in his anger destroy'd.
Shall this be the fate of the cane-planted isles,
More lovely than clouds in the west,
When the sun o'er the ocean descending in smiles,
Sinks softly and sweetly to rest?
-No!-Father of mercy! befriend the opprest;
At the voice of thy Gospel of peace
May the sorrows of Africa cease;
And slave and his master devoutly unite
To walk in thy freedom, and dwell in thy light!"
1 Alluding to the glorious success of the Moravian Missionaries among the Negroes in the West Indies.
From their tombs, from their ashes it sprung;
Its boughs with their trophies are hung:
Their spirit dwells in it :-and, hark! for it spoke;
The voice of our fathers ascends from their Oak.
Who inherit our battle-field graves;
Though poor were your fathers,-gigantic and bold,
We were not, we could not be, slaves;
But firm as our rocks, and as free as our waves,
The spears of the Romans we broke,
We never stoop'd under their yoke :
In the shipwreck of nations we stood up alone,-
The world was great Cæsar's-but Britain our own.
The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The changing spirits' rise and fall;
We know that these were felt by him,
For these are felt by all.