« PreviousContinue »
On heavenly winds that waft her to the sky,
Soul of the just ! companion of the dead !
Eternal hope ! when yonder spheres sublime Pealed their first notes to sound the march of time,
Thy joyous youth began--but not to fade-
The glory of evening was spread through the west,
On the slope of a mountain I stood,
Rang loud through the meadow and wood.
• And must we then part from a dwelling so fair ?'
In the pain of my spirit I said ;
To the cell where the convict is laid.
The thick-ribbed walls that o'ershadow the gate,
Resound, and the dungeons unfold : I pause, and at length through the glimmering grate
That outcast of pity behold.
His black matted head on his shoulder is bent,
And deep is the sigh of his breath,
On the fetters that link him to death.
'Tis sorrow enough on that visage to gaze,
That body dismissed from his care ;
More terrible images there.
His bones are consumed, and his life-blood is dried,
With wishes the past to undo; And his crime, through the pains that o'erwhelm him de
scried, Still blackens and grows on the view.
When from the dark synod, or blood-reeking field,
To his chamber the monarch is led,
And quietness pillow his head.
But if grief, self-consumed, in oblivion would doze,
And conscience her tortures appease, 'Mid tumult and upróár this man must repose
In the comfortless vault of disease.
When his fetters at night have so pressed on bis limbs,
That the weight can no longer be borne, If, while a half slumber his memory bedims,
The wretch on his pallet should turn.
While the gaol mastive howls at the dull clanking chain,
From the roots of his hair there shall start
And terror shall leap at his heart,
But now he half raises his deep-sunken eye,
And the motion unsettles a tear;
And asks me for why I am here.
• Poor victim I no idle intruder has stood,
With o'erweening complacence our state to compare, But one whose first wish is the wish to be good,
Is come as thy brother thy sorrows to share.
* At thy name, though compassion her nature resign,
Though in virtue's proud mouth thy report be a stain, My care, if the arm of the mighty were mine, Should place thee where yet thou may'st blossom again.'
IN IMITATION OF THE ANCIENT STYLE.
Why dost thou weepe, O gentle Ladye ? Why dost thou grieve, O Ladye fayre ?
Why is thy lovelye baby presste
In anguish to thye throbbing breaste ? And why that look of black despayre ?
Why dost thou sit forlorne and sigh?
I have cause to weepe,
kind stranger, I bave a tale of woe to tell :
It is an orphan babe that's presste
In anguishe to a widowed breaste;
Then aske not, gentle stranger, why
Nathless comfort take, fayre Ladye,