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For thou, wed to misery from the womb Scarce one bright scene thy night of darkness
Oft when the moon-beam on the cold bank
sleeps, Where 'neath the dewy turf thy form is laid, In silent woe thy wretched mother weeps, By this lone tomb, and by this oak-tree's
There in the chilling bed of earth,
The chancel's letter'd stone above There sleepeth she who gave me birth,
Who taught my lips the hymn of love! Yon mossy stems of ancient oak,
So widely crown'd with sombre shade, Those ne'er have heard the woodman's stroke
Their solemn, secret depths invade. How oft the grassy way I've trod
That winds their knotty boles between, And gather'd from the blooming sod
The flowers that flourish'd there unseen I Rise! let us trace that path once more,
While o'er our track the cold beams shine; Down this low shingly vale, and o’er
Yon rude rough bridge of prostrate pine.
MITHRIDATES PRESENTING BERENICE WITH THE CUP OF POISON
SOFT, shadowy moon-beam ! by thy light
Sleeps the wide meer serenely pale: How various are the sounds of night,
Borne on the scarcely-rising gale ! The swell of distant brook is heard,
Whose far-off waters faintly roll; And piping of the shrill small bird,
Arrested by the wand'ring owl. Come hither! let us thread with care
The maze of this green path, which binds The beauties of the broad parterre,
And thro' yon fragrant alley winds. Or on this old bench will we sit, Round which the clust'ring woodbine
wreathes; While birds of night around us flit;
And thro' each lavish wood-walk breathes, Unto my ravish'd senses, brought
From yon thick-woven odorous bowers, The still rich breeze, with incense franght
Of glowing fruits and spangled flowers. The whispering leaves, the gushing stream,
Where trembles the uncertain moon, Suit more the poet's pensive dream,
Than all the jarring notes of noon. Then, to the thickly-crowded mart
The eager sons of interest press; Then, shine the tinsel works of art
Now, all is Nature's loneliness ! Then, wealth aloft in state displays
The glittering of her gilded cars;
Of yon far-twinkling, silver stars.
In the black outline of the trees,
Whose form in dreams my spirit gees.
OH! Berenice, lorn and lost,
By griefs, like wave to wave succeeding. Fall'n Pontus ! all her fame is gone,
And dim the splendour of her glory; Low in the west her evening sun,
And dark the Instre of her story. Dead is the wreath that round her brow
The glowing hands of Honour braided; What change of fate can wait her now,
Her sceptre spoil'd, her throne degraded ? And wilt thou, wilt thou basely go,
My love, thy life, thy country shaming, In all the agonies of woe, Mid madd’ning shouts, and standard, ilam
ing? And wilt thou, wilt thou basely go,
Proud Rome's triumphal car adorning? Hark! hark! I hear thee answer No!'
The proffer'd life of thraldom scorning. Lone, crownless, destitute, and poor,
My heart with bitter pain is burning; So thick a cloud of night hangs o'er,
My daylight into darkness turning. Yet though my spirit, bow'd with ill,
Small hope froin future fortune borrows; One glorious thought shall cheer me still,
That thou art free from abject sorrows —
Art free for ever from the strife
Of slavery's pangs and tearful anguish; For life is death, and death is life,
To those whose limbs in fetters languish.
Rent from thee, and thy sun of fame
Of the Roman bird, whose sway
All the tribes of earth obey, Crouching 'neath his dread dominion, And the terrors of his name!
Fill high the bowl! the draught is thine !
It gives thee back to fame and freedom ! The scalding tears my cheek bedew;
My life, my love, my all – - we sever! One last embrace, one long adieu,
And then farewell — farewell for ever! In reality Mithridates had no personal interview with Monima and Berenice before the deaths of those prinesses, but only sent his eunuch Bacchidas to signify his intention that they should die. I have chosen Berenice as the more general name, though Monima was his peculiar favourite.
How is thy royal seat – whereon
Sate in days of yore
Incense, and from Ophir's land,
Wafting to Judea's strand
Salem! Salem ! city of kings,
Dwelt visibly enshrin'd between the wings Of Cherubims, within whose bright embrace
The golden mercy-seat remaind: Land of Jehovah! view that sacred place
Abandon’d and profand !
THE OLD CHIEFTAIN
And said I, that my limbs were old !! - Scott.
Raise, raise the song of the hundred shells ! Though my hair is grey and my limbs are
cold; Yet in my bosom proudly dwells
The memory of the days of old; When my voice was high, and my arm was
strong, And the foeman before my stroke would bow, and I could have rais'd the sounding song
As loudly as I hear ye now. For when I have chanted the bold song of
death, Not a page would have stay'd in the hall, Not a lance in the rest, not a sword in the
sheath, Not a shield on the dim grey wall. And who might resist the united powers
Of battle and music that day, When, all martiallid in arms on the heaven
kissing towers, Stood the chieftains in peerless array ? When our enemies sunk from our eyes as the
Wail ! fallen Salem! Wail:
Mohammed's votaries pollute thy fane;
Is rent in twain !
Seen thy temple's marble state,
Towering on his sainted brow,
Rear its pinnacles of snow: Thrice, with desolating shock,
Down to earth hath seen it driv'n
From his heights, which reach to heaven! Wail, fallen Salem! Wail:
Though not one stone above another
Of the greatness of thy story,
The blaze of thine abounding glory;
Gazeth thro' the waste of night,
In his cold surge hath deeply lav'd
Wherein ye foully lay enslavid,
Or that sublime Theocracy which par'd
Led the Israelitish crowd
Shall mock at thy fear, and rejoice at thy
groan, And arise in his wrath for the death of his
son! Why blew ye, ye gales, when the murderer
A trumpet's voice above thee rung,
A starry sabre o'er thee hung; Visions of fiery armies, redly flashing
In the many-colour'd glare
Of the setting orb of day; And flaming chariots, fiercely dashing,
Swept along the peopled air,
In magnificent array: The temple doors, on brazen hinges crashing,
Burst open with appalling sound,
A wond'rous radiance streaming round ! Our blood be on our heads!' ye said:
Such your awless imprecation:
Upon your captive nation !
Woe to Salem ! thou art lost!'
The thunders of the parting Deity,
Like the murmur of a host !
Though now each glorious hope be blighted,
When your wandering race shall own,
Of your high Almighty Lord,
Why fann’d ye the fire, and why fed ye the
flame ? Why sped ye his sails o'er the ocean so blue ? Are ye also combin'd for the fall of Peru ? And thou, whom no prayers, no entreaties can
bend, Thy crimes and thy murders to heav'n shall as
cend: For vengeance the ghosts of our forefathers At thy threshold, Pizarro, in death shalt thou
fall ! Ay there - even there in the halls of thy pride, With the blood of thine heart shall thy portals
be dyed ! Lo! dark as the tempests that frown from the
LAMENTATION OF THE PERU
The foes of the east have come down on our
shore, And the state and the strength of Peru are no
inore: Oh! curs d, doubly curs'd, was that desolate
hour, When they spread o'er our land in the pride of
their power! Lament for the Inca, the son of the Sun; Ataliba 's fallen - Peru is undone! Pizarro ! Fizarro ! though conquest may wing, Her course round thy banners that wanton in
air; Yet remorse to thy grief-stricken conscience
shall cling, And shriek o'er thy banquets in sounds of
despair. It shall tell thee, that he who beholds from his
throne The blood thou hast spilt and the deeds thou
north, From the cloud of past time Manco Capac looks
forth Great Inca! to whom the gay day-star gave
stool the earth
peak. Hark! he speaks — bids us fly to our moun
tains, and cherish Bold freedom's last spark ere for ever it per
ish; Bids us leave these wild condors to prey on each
other, Each to bathe his fierce beak in the gore of his
brother! This symbol we take of our godhead the Sun, And curse thee and thine for the deeds thou
Ah! yes, the lip may faintly smile,
THE sun goes down in the dark blue main,
To rise the brighter to-morrow;
Those days now consign’d to sorrow?
To rise sweeter than when she parted; But oh! what charm can restore the light
Of joy to the broken-hearted ?
To rise in vernal glory;
Of youth to the old and hoary?
•THOU CAMEST TO THY BOWER, MY LOVE, ACROSS THE MUSKY GROVE'
ON A DEAD ENEMY
* Virgo egregia forma.'
Non odi mortuum.'- CICERO. I CAME in haste with cursing breath,
And heart of hardest steel; But when I saw thee cold in death,
I felt as man should feel.
For when I look upon that face,
That cold, unheeding, frigid brow, Where neither rage nor fear has place,
By Heaven! I cannot hate thee now!
THE DUKE OF ALVA'S OBSERVA.
TION ON KINGS 1
Kings, when to private audience they descend,
And make the baffled courtier their prey, Do use an orange, as they treat a friend
Extract the juice, and cast the rind away. When thou art favour'd by thy sovereign's eye, Let not his glance thine inmost thoughts dis
cover; Or he will scan thee through, and lay thee by,
Like some old book which he has read all
Thou camest to thy bower, my love, across the
musky grove, To fan thy blooming charms within the coolness
of the shade; Thy locks were like a midnight cloud with sil
ver moon-beams wove, And o'er thy face the varying tints of youthful
passion play'd. Thy breath was like the sandal-wood that casts
a rich perfume, Thy blue eyes mock'd the lotos in the noon-day
of his bloom; Thy cheeks were like the beamy flush that gilds
the breaking day, And in th' ambrosia of thy smiles the god of
rapture lay.3 Fair as the cairba-stone art thou, that stone of
dazzling white 4 Ere yet unholy fingers chang'd its milk-white
hue to night; And lovelier than the loveliest glance from
Even's placid star, And brighter than the sea of gold, the gorgeous
Himsagar. In high Mohammed's boundless heaven Al Caw.
'AH! YES, THE LIP MAY FAINTLY
Signed' A. T. (?)' in the reprint, and probably not Alfred's.
thor's stream may play, The fount of youth may sparkling gush be
neath the western ray; 6 And Tasnim's wave in chrystal cups may glow
with musk and wine, But oh ! their lustre could not match one beau
teous tear of thine !
1 See D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature.
? A simile elicited from the songs of Jayadeva, the Horace of India.
* Vide Horace's ODE — Pulchris EXCUBAT in genis.'
4 Vide Sale's Koran,
6 The fabled fountain of youth in the Babamas, in search of which Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida
•You have passions in your heart — scorpions; they sleep now - beware how you awaken them! they will sting you even to death!'- Mysteries of Udolpho, vol. iii.
BEWARE, beware, ere thou takest
The draught of misery ! Beware, beware, e'er thou wakest
The scorpions that sleep in thee!
'Tis he the bow that blasteth,
And breaketh the proud one's quiver; And the Lord of armies resteth
In his Holy of Holies for ever! For God is Salem's spear,
And God is Salem's sword; What mortal man shall dare
To combat with the Lord ?
Before his awful sight;
Through all eternity,
And taketh victory:
And breaketh the proud one's quiver;
In his Holy of Holies for ever!
The woes which thou canst not number,
As yet are wrapt in sleep; Yet oh! yet they slumber,
But their slumbers are not deep.
Of hate has no place in thee,
In youth's bright tranquil sea:
Of hope is blooming fair, While the beam of bliss lights thy bosom
0! rouse not the serpent there! For bitter thy tears will trickle
'Neath misery's heavy load, When the world has put in its sickle
To the crop which fancy sow’d.
ON THE MOON-LIGHT SHINING
UPON A FRIEND'S GRAVE
Signed 'A. T. (?),' and probably Charles's. Show not, O Moon! with pure and liquid beam, That mournful spot, where Memory fears to
tread; Glance on the grove, or quiver in the stream,
Or tip the hills — but shine not on the dead: It wounds the lonely hearts that still survive, And after bury'd friends are doom'd to live.
When the world has rent the cable
That bound thee to the shore,
To bear the billow's roar;
Those pangs that will always grieve thee, And thy soul will be fiercely shaken
With storms that will never leave thee!
Dost ask why Laura's soul is riven
By pangs her prudence can't command ? To one who heeds got she has giv'n
Her heart, alas ! without her hand.
So beware, beware, ere thou takest
The draught of misery ! Beware, beware, ere thou wakest
The scorpions that sleep in thee!
But Chloe claims our sympathy,
To wealth a martyr and a slave; For when the knot she dar'd to tie,
Her hand without her heart she gave.