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THE GIFT OF MY COUSIN ANN BODHAM.
Oh that those lips had language! Life has passed
With me but roughly since I heard thee laft.
Those lips are thine- thy own sweet smiles I see,
The same, that oft in childhood folaced me;
Voice only fails, else, how diftinct they say,
“ Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away !!!
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Bleft be the art that can immortalize,
The art that baffles time's tyrannic claim
To quench it) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
Oh welcome guest, thougb unexpected here!
Who biddeft me honour with an artless fong,
Affectionate, a mother loft so long.
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own:
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief,
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream, that thou art the.
My mother! when I learned that thou waft dead,
Say, waft thou conscious of the tears I shed?
Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son,
Wretch even then, life's journey just begun?
Perhaps thou gaveft me, though unseen, a kiss;
Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss
Ah that maternal smile! it answers-Yes.
I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse, that bore thee slow away,
And, turning from my nursery window, drew
A long, long figh, and wept a laft adieu !
But was it such ?-It was. -Where thou art gone
Adieus and farewells are a found unknown.
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,
The parting sound shall pass my lips no more!
Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of a quick return.
What ardently I wished, I long believed,
And, disappointed still, was still deceived.
By disappointment every day beguiled,
Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till, all my stock of infant forrow spent,
I learned at laft submiffion to my lot,
But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot."
Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more,
Children not thine have trod my nursery floor;
And where the gardener Robin, day by day,
Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wraps
In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet capt,
'Tis now become a history little known,
That once we called the pastoral house our own.
Short lived poffeffion! but the record fair,
That memory keeps of all thy kindness there,
Still outlives many a storm, that has effaced
A thousand other themes less deeply traced.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,
That thou mightest know me safe and warmly laid;
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,
The biscuit, or confectionary plum;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed
By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glowed:
All this, and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
Ne'er roughened by those cataracts and breaks,
That humour interposed too often makes ;
All this ftill legible in memory's page,
And still to be fo to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honours to thee as my numbers may;
Perhaps a frail memorial, but fincere,
Not scorned in heaven, though little noticed here.
Could time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers,
The violet, the pink, and jeffamine,
I pricked them into paper with a pin,
(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Wouldit softly speak, and stroke my head and smile)
Could those few pleasant hours again appear,
Might one with bring them, would I wish them here?
I would not truft my heart the dear delight
Seenis so to be desired, perhaps I might.
But no—what here we call our life is fuch,
So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coaft
(The storms all weathered and the ocean crossed)
Shoots into port at some well-havened ifle,
Where spices breathe and brighter seasons smile,
There fits quiescent on the floods, that show
Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay;
So thou, with fails how swift! haft reached the shore,
“ Where tempefts never beat nor billows roar*,”
And thy loved confort on the dangerous tide
Of life, long since, has anchored at thy fide.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always diftrefied
Me howling winds drive devious, tempeft toffed,
Sails ript, seams opening wide, and compass loft,
And day by day fome current's thwarting force
Sets me more diftant from a prosperous course.
But oh the thought, that thou art safe, and he!
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not that I deduce my birth
From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise-
The son of parents paffed into the skies.
And now, farewell-time unrevoked has run
His wonted course, yet what I wished is done.
By contemplation's help, not fought in vain,
I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again ;
To have renewed the joys that once were mine,
Without the fin of violating thine;
And, while the wings of fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic shew of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft-
Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.