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No band of friends or heirs be thero, That what I loved, and long must love,
To weep, or wish, the coming blow; Like common earth can rot; No maiden, with dishevellid hair,
To me there needs no stone to tell, To feel, or feign, decorous woe. Tis nothing that I loved so well. But silent let me sink to Earth,
Yet did I love thee to tho last With no officious mourners near:
As fervently as thou, I would not mar one hour of mirth,
Who didst not change through all the past,
And canst not alter now. Nor startle friendship with a fear.
The love where Death has set his seal,
Nor age can chill, nor rival steal, Yet Love, if Love in such an hour
Nor falsehood disavow: Could nobly check its useless sighs,
And, what were worse, thou canst not see Might then exert its latest power
Or wrong, or change, or fault in me.
The better days of life were ours;
The sun that cheers, the storm that lowers, Forgetful of its struggles past,
Shall never more be thine.
I envy now too much to weep;
Nor need I to repine Will shrink, as shrinks the ebbing breath; That all those charms have pass'd away, And woman's tears, produced at will,
I might have watch'd through long decay. Deceive in life, unman in death.
The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd
Must fall the earliest prey;
Though by no hand untimely snatch'd,
The leaves must drop away: For thousands Death hath ceased to lower, And yet it were a greater grief And pain been transient or unknown.
To watch it withering, leaf by leaf,
Than see it pluck'd to-day; “Ay, but to die, and go,” alas!
Since earthly eye but ill can bear Where all have gone, and all must go! To trace the change to foul from fair. To be the nothing that I was Ere born to life and living woe!
I know not if I could have borne
To see thy beauties fade;
Had worn a deeper shade:
Thy day without a cloud hath past, "Tis something better not to be
And thou wert lovely to the last;
Extinguish'd, not decay'd;
As once I wept, if I could weep
My tears might well be shed,
To think I was not near to keep
One vigil o'er thy bed ;
To gaze, how fondly! on thy face,
Uphold thy drooping head;
Nor thou nor I can feel again.
Though thou hast left me free, There is an eye which could not brook The loveliest things that still remain, A moment on that grave to look.
Than thus remember thee!
The all of thine that cannot die
Returns again to me,
Than aught, except its living years.
TO A YOUTHFUL FRIEND.
Few years have pass'd since thou and I If sometimes in the haunts of men
Were firmest friends, at least in name, Thine image from my breast may fade, And childhood's gay sincerity The lonely hour presents again
Preserved our feelings long the same. The semblance of thy gentle shade: And now that sad and silent hour
But now, like me, too well thou knowst Thus much of thee can still restore,
What trifles oft the heart recal; And sorrow unobserved may pour
And those who once have loved the most The plaint she dare not speak before.
Too soon forget they loved at all. Oh, pardon that in crowds awhile, And such the change the heart displays,
I waste one thought I owe to thee, So frail is early friendship's reign, And, self-condemn’d, appear to smile, A month's brief lapse, perhaps a day's, Unfaithful to thy memory!
Will view thy mind estranged again. Nor deem that memory less dear, That then I seem not to repine;
If so, it never shall be mine I would not fools should overhear
To mourn the loss of such a heart; One sigh that should be wholly thine. The fault was Nature's fault, not thine,
Which made thee fickle as thou art.
As rolls the ocean's changing tide,
So human feelings ebb and flow; That brings a Lethe for despair.
And who would in a breast confide And could Oblivion set my soul
Where stormy passions ever glow ? From all her troubled visions free, I'd dash to earth the sweetest bowl It boots not, that together bred, That drown'd a single thought of thee. Our childish days were days of joy ;
My spring of life has quickly fled; For wert thon vanish'd from my mind, Thou, too, hast ceased to be a boy.
Where could my vacant bosom turn?
Slaves to the specious world's control, No, no—it is my sorrow's pride
We sigh a long farewell to truth ; That last dear duty to fulfil ;
That world corrupts the noblest soul. Though all the world forget beside, 'Tis meet that I remember still.
Ah, joyous season! when the mind
Dares all things boldly but to lie; For well I know, that such had been When thought ere spoke is unconfined,
Thy gentle care for him, who now And sparkles in the placid eye. Unmourn'd shall quit this mortal scene,
Where none regarded him, but thou : Not so in Man's maturer years, And, Oh! I feel in that was given
When Man himself is but a tool; A blessing never meant for me;
When interest sways our hopes and fears, Thou wert too like a dream of Heaven, And all must love and hate by rule. For earthly love to merit thee. March 14th, 1812. With fools in kindred vice the same,
We learn at length our faults to blend, And those, and those alone may claim
The prostituted name of friend. ON A CORNELIAN HEART WHICH Such is the common lot of man: WAS BROKEN.
Can we then 'scape from folly free? Can we reverse the general plan,
Nor be what all in turn must be ? ILL-FATED Heart! and can it be
That thou shouldst thus be rent in twain? No, for myself, so dark my fate Have years of care for thine and thee
Through every turn of life hath been ; Alike been all employ'd in vain ?
Man and the world I so much hate,
I care not when I quit the scene.
But thou, with spirit frail and light, Since he who wears thee, feels thou art Wilt shine awhile and pass away; A fitter emblem of his own.
As glow-worms sparkle through the night,
But dare not stand the tost of day.
Alas! whenever folly calls
Yet was I calm : I knew the time Where parasites and princes meet, My breast would thrill before thy look; (For cherish'd first in royal halls,
But now to tremble were a crime The welcome vices kindly greet)
We met, and not a nerve was shook. Even now thou’rt nightly seen to add I saw thee gaze upon my face,
One insect to the fluttering crowd; Yet meet with no confusion there: And still thy trifling heart is glad, One only feeling couldst thou trace;
To join the vain, and court the proud. The sullen calmness of despair. There dost thou glide from fair to fair, Away! away! my early dream
Still simpering on with eager haste, Remembrance never must awake: As flies along the gay parterre,
Oh! where is Lethe's fabled stream ? That taint the flowers they scarcely taste. My foolish heart be still, or break! But say, what nymph will prize the flame
Which seems, as marshy vapours move, To flit along from dame to dame,
FROM THE PORTUGUESE. An ignis-fatuus-gleam of love?
In moments to delight devoted, What friend for thee, howe'er inclined,
“My life !" with tenderest tone, you cry; Will deign to own a kindred care?
Dear words! on which my heart had doted, Who will debase his manly mind,
If youth could neither fade nor die. For Friendship every fool may share ?
To death even hours like these must roll,
Ah! then repeat those accents never; In time forbear; amidst the throng
Or change “my life! into “my soul!" No more so base a thing be seen ;
Which, like my love, exists for ever. No more so idly pass along :
Be something, any thing, but-mean.
IMPROMPTU, IN REPLY TO A FRIEND
WHEN from the heart where Sorrow sits, Τ Ο
Her dusky shadow mounts too high, And o'er the changing aspect flits,
And clouds the brow, or fills the eye; WELL! thou art happy, and I feel That I should thus be happy too;
Heed not that gloom, which soon shall sink : For still my heart regards thy weal
My thoughts their dungeon know to well: Warmly, as it was wont to do.
Back to my breast the wanderers shrink,
And droop within their silent cell. Thy husband's blest- and 'twill impart
Some pangs to view his happier lot: But let them pass-Oh! how my heart Would hate him, if he loved thee not!
TO TIME. When late I saw thy favourite child, TIM ! on whose arbitrary wing
I thought my jealous heart would break; The varying hours must flag or fly, But when the unconscious infant smiled, Whose tardy winter, fleeting spring, I kiss'd it, for its mother's sake.
But drag or drive us on to die—.
Hail thou! who on my birth bestow'd I kiss'd it, and repress'd my sighs
Those boons to all that know thee known; Its father in its face to see;
Yet better I sustain thy load, But then it had its mother's eyes,
For now I bear the weight alone. And they were all to love and me. I would not one fond heart should share
The bitter moments thou hast given; Mary, adieu ! I must away:
And pardon thee, since thou couldst spare While thou art blest l'll not repine; All that I loved, to peace or heaven. But near thee I can never stay;
To them be joy or rest, on me My heart would soon again be thine. Thy future ills shall press in vain ;
I nothing owe but years to thee, I deeni'd that time, I deem'd that pride A debt already paid in pain.
Had quench'd at length my boyish flame; Yet e'cn that pain was some relief; Nor knew, till seated by thy side,
It felt, but still forgot thy power : My heart in all, save hope, the same. The active agony of grief
Retards, but never counts the hour. My curdling blood, my maddening brain, In joy I've sigh'd to think thy flight In silent anguish I sustain;
Would soon subside from swift to slow; And still thy heart, without partaking Thy cloud could overcast the light, One pang, exults - while mine is breaking.
But could not add a night to woe ;
Thou canst not murder more than now : One star alone shot forth a spark
I've lived to curse my natal day, To prove thee- not Eternity.
And Love, that thus can lingering slay. That beam hath sunk; and now thon art
A blank; a thing to count and curse My wounded soul, my bleeding breast, Through each dull tedious trifling part, Can patience preach thee into rest 3
Which all regret, yet all rehearse. Alas! too late, I dearly know, One scene even thou canst not deform ; That joy is harbinger of woe.
The limit of thy sloth or speed,
Which we shall sleep too sound to heed :
To those thyself so fondly sought;
Are doubly bitter from that thought: TRANSLATION OF A ROMAIC LOVE- 'Tis this which breaks the heart thou SONG.
Too well thou lovest- too soon thou leavest. An! Love was never yet without The pang, the agony, the doubt, Which rends my heart with ceaseless sigh,
The wholly false the heart despises, While day and night roll darkling by.
And spurns deceiver and deceit;
But she who not a thought disguises, Without one friend to hear my woe,
Whose love is as sincere as sweet, I faint, I die beneath the blow.
When she can change who loved so truly, That Love had arrows, well I knew;
It feels what mine has felt so newly. Alas! I find them poison'd too.
To dream of joy and wake to sorrow Birds, yet in freedom, shun the net,
Is doom'd to all who love or live; Which Love around your haunts hath set !
And if, when conscious on the morrow, Or circled by his fatal fire,
We scarce our fancy can forgive, Your hearts shall burn, your hopes expire. To leave the waking soul more lonely,
That cheated us in slumber only,
What must they feel whom no false vision, But caught within the subtle snare,
But truest, tenderest passion warm'd ? I burn, and feebly flatter there.
Sincere, but swift in sad transition,
As if a dream alone had charmd ? Who ne'er have loved, and loved in vain, Ah! sure such grief is fancy's scheming, Can neither feel nor pity pain,
And all thy change can be but dreaming! The cold repulse, the look askance, The lightning of Love's angry glance. In flattering dreams I deem'd thee mine: Now hope, and he who hoped, decline;
ON BEING ASKED WHAT WAS THE Like melting wax, or withering flower,
“ORIGIN OF LOVE?" I feel my passion, and thy power.
THE “Origin of Love!”—Ah why My light of life! ah, tell me why
That cruel question ask of me, That pouting lip, and alter'd eye ?
When thou mayst read in many an eye My bird of love! my beauteous mate!
He starts to life on seeing theo? And art thou changed, and canst thou hate ?
And shouldst thou seek his end to know : Mine eyes like wintry streams o'erflow: My heart forebodes, my fears foresee, What wretch with me would barter woe? He'll linger long in silent woe; My bird! relent: one note could give
But live- until I cease to be. A charm, to bid thy lover live.
Oh, God! that we had met in time,
Our hearts as fond, thy hand more free; INSCRIBED UPON A CUP FORMED FROM A SKULL. When thou hadst loved without a crime,
And I been less unworthy thee!
Far may thy days, as heretofore,
From this our gaudy world be past! Whatever flows is never dull.
And, that too bitter moment o'er,
Oh! may such trial be thy last! I lived, I loved, I quaff'd like thee;
I died, let earth my bones resign : This heart, alas! perverted long, Fill up—thou canst not injure me;
Itself destroy'd might there destroy; The worm hath fouler lips than thine. To meet thee in the glittering throng,
Would wake Presumption's hope of joy. Better to hold the sparkling grape,
Than nurse the earth-worm's slimy brood; Then to the things whose bliss or woe, And circle in the goblet's shape
Like mine, is wild and worthless all, The drink of Gods, than reptile's food. That world resign-sach scenes forego,
Where those who feel must surely fall. Where once my wit, perchance, hath shone, In aid of others' let me shine ;
Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness, And when, alas ! our brains are gone, Thy soul from long seclusion pure; What nobler substitute than wine! From what even here hath past, may gues),
What there thy bosom must endure. Quaff while thou canst- another race,
When thou and thine like me are sped, Oh! pardon that imploring tear, May rescue thee from earth's embrace, Since not by Virtue shed in vain, And rhyme and revel with the dead. My frenzy drew from eyes so dear;
For me they shall not weep again. Why not? since through life's little day
Our heads such sad effects produce; Though long and mournful must it be, Redeem'd from worms and wasting clay, The thought that we no more may meet; This chance is theirs, to be of use. Yet I deserve the stern decree,
Newstead Abbey, 1808. And almost deem the sentence sweet.
Still, had I loved thee less, my heart
Had then less sacrificed to thine ;
As if its guilt had made thee mine.
REMEMBER him, whom passion's power
Severely, deeply, vainly proved : Remember thou that dangerous hour
ON THE DEATH OF SIR PETER When neither fell, though both were loved.
PARKER, BART. That yielding breast, that melting eye, TAERE is a tear for all that die, Too much invited to be blest:
A monrner o'er the humblest grave; That gentle prayer, that pleading sigh, But nations swell the funeral cry,
The wilder wish reproved, represt. And Triumph weeps above the brave. Oh! let me feel that all I lost,
For them is Sorrow's purest sigh But saved thee all that conscience fears; O'er Ocean's heaving bosom sent: And blush for every pang it cost
In vain their bones unburied lie, To spare the vain remorse of years. All earth becomes their monument ! Yet think of this when many a tongue,
A tomb is theirs on every page, Whose busy accents whisper blame, An epitaph on every tongue. Would do the heart that loved thee wrong, The present hours, the future age,
And brand a nearly blighted name. For them bewail, to them belong. Think that, whate'er to others, thou For them the voice of festal mirth
Hast seen each selfish thought subdued : Grows hush'd, their name the only sound; I bless thy purer soul even now,
While deep Remembrance pours to Worth Even now, in midnight solitude.
The goblet's tributary round.