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Sickness and sorrow hovering round my bed,
Who now with anxious haste shall bring relief, With lenient hand support my drooping head,
Assuage my pains, and mitigate my grief? Should worldly business call away,
Who now, shall in my absence fondly mourn, Count every minute of the loitering day,
Impatient for my quick return? Should aught my bosom discompose,
Who now, with sweet complacent air,
And soften all my woes?
How shall I e'er regain my peace ? (Oh, to forget her!)-but how vain each art, Whilst every virtue lives imprinted on my heart !
And thou, my little cherub, left behind
To hear a father's plaints, to share his woes, When Reason's dawn informs thy infant mind,
And thy sweet lisping tongue shall ask the cause, How oft with sorrow shall mine eyes run o'er,
When, twining round my knees, I trace
Thy mother's smile upon thy face!
By all the tears thou'st caus'd-oh! strange to hear!
Who now shall seek with fond delight
By all thy soft endearments blest,
Alas! is gone-yet shalt thou prove
And, O sweet senseless smiler (envied state !)
When years thy judgment shall mature,
Wilt thou, a falher's grief ť assuage,
And be the comfort of my age ?
And, oft as to thy listening ear,
Say, wilt thou drop the tender tear,
Whene'er thou seest the soft distress, Which I would vainly seek to hide,
Say, wilt thou strive to make it less ? To soothe my sorrows all thy cares employ, And in my cup of grief infuse one drop of joy?
AN EVENING ADDRESS TO A NIGHTINGALE. SWEET bird! that, kindly perching near,
Pourest thy plaints melodious in mine ear, Not, like base worldlings, tutord to forego The melancholy haunts of woe;
Thanks for thy sorrow-soothing strain : For, surely, thou hast known to prove, Like me, the pangs of hapless love;
Else why so feelingly complain,
That oft enamour'd on thy strains has hung?
Alas! for both I weep :
In all the pride of youthful charms,
And fill my doating eyes with frequent tears, At once the source of rapture and distress,
The flattering prop of my declining years ! In vain from death to rescue I essay'd,
By ev'ry art that science could devise; Alas! it languish'd for a mother's aid,
And wing'd its flight to seek her in the skies.
At evening's peaceful hour,
And breathe our sorrows in this lonely bow'r.
But why, alas! to thee complain,
The genial warmth of joy-renewing spring
Again shall flow thy notes responsive to thy love. But, oh! for me in vain may seasons roll,
Nought can dry up the fountain of my tears: Deploring still the comfort of my soul,
I count my sorrows by increasing years.
Tell me, thou Syren Hope, deceiver, say,
Where is the promis'd period of my woes ? Full three long, lingering years have roll'd away, And yet I weep, a stranger to repose :
O what delusion did thy tongue employ! “That Emma's fatal pledge of love,
Her last bequest, with all a mother's care, The bitterness of sorrow should remove, Soften the horrors of despair,
And cheer a heart long lost to joy!”
How oft, when fondling in my arms,
My soul the maze of Fate would vainly trace,
utter more. “ Just Heaven !” I cried, with recent hopes elate,
“ Yet will I live-will live, tho' Emma's dead; So long bow'd down beneath the storms of fate,
Yet will I raise my woe.dejected head !
Will want a father's care;
And for her sake the ills of life I'll bear :
Complaint the only bliss my soul can know. From me my child shall learn the mournful strain, And prattle tales of woe.
And, oh! in that auspicious hour,
When Fate resigns her persecuting pow'r, With duteous zeal her hand shall close,
No more to weep, my sorrow-streaming eyes, When death gives misery repose, And opes a glorious passage to the skies." Vain thought! it must not be-she too is dead;
The flatt'ring scene is o'er;
And vengeance can no more.
And none-none left to bear a friendly part! To meditate my welfare, health, or ease,
Or soothe the anguish of an aching heart! Now all one gloomy scene, till welcome death,
With lenient hand (oh falsely deem'd severe), Shall kindly stop my grief-exhausted breath,
And dry up ev'ry tear.
Perhaps, obsequious to my will,
But, ah! from my affections far remov'd!
Yet, while this weary life shall last,
For oh how grateful to a wounded heart,
And raise esteem upon the base of woe!
Shall deign my love-lorn tale to hear, Shall catch the soft contagion of my song,
And pay my pensive Muse the tribute of a tear.
• Lord Lyttelton.