« PreviousContinue »
And when thou wouldst solace gather,
When our child's first accents flow,
Though his care she must forego!
When her lip to thine is press'd,
Think of him thy love had bless'd!
Those thou never more mayst see,
With a pulse yet true to me.
All my madness none can know ;
Whither, yet with thee they go.
Pride, which not a world could bow,
Even my soul forsakes me now:
Words from me are vainer still ;
Force their way without the will.
Torn from every nearer tie.
March 17, 1930
An adept next in penmanship she grows,
But to the theme :-now laid aside too long, The baleful burthen of this honest songThough all her former functions are no more, She rules the circle which she served before. If mothers—none know why—before her quake; If đaughters dread her for the mothers' sake; If early habits—those false links, which bind At times the loftiest to the meanest mindHave given her power too deeply to instil The angry essence of her deadly will ; If like a snake she steal within your walls, Till the black slime betray her as she crawls ; If like a viper to the heart she wind, And leave the venom there she did not find ; What marvel that this hag of hatred works Eternal evil latent as she lurks, To make a Pandemonium where she dwells, And reign the Hecate of domestic hells? Skill'd by a touch to deepen scandal's tints With all the kind mendacity of hints, Whilemingling truth with falsehood-sneers with smiles A thread of candour with a web of wiles ; A plain blunt show of briefly-spoken seeming, To hide her bloodless heart's soul-harden'd scheming; A lip of lies—a face form’d to conceal; And, without feeling, mock at all who feel : With a vile mask the Gorgon would disown; A cheek of parchment-and an eye of stone. Mark, how the channels of her yellow blood Ooze to her skin, and stagnate thero to mud.
Cased like the centipede in saffron mail,
Oh! wretch without a tear-without a thought,
March 29, 1823.
STANZAS TO AUGUSTA.
WHEN all around grew drear and dark,
And reason half withheld her rayAnd
hope but shed a dying spark Which more misled my lonely way; In that deep midnight of the mind,
And that internal strife of heart, When dreading to be deem'd too kind,
The weak despair-the cold depart ;
When fortune changed-and love fled far,
And hatred's shafts flew thick and fast, Thou wert the solitary star
Which rose, and set not to the last. Oh! blest be thine unbroken light!
That watch'd me as a seraph's eye, And stood between me and the night,
For ever shining sweetly nigh. And when the cloud upon us came,
Which strove to blacken o'er thy rayThen purer spread its gentle flame,
And dash'd the darkness all away. Still may thy spirit dwell on mine,
And teach it what to brave or brook -There's more in one soft word of thine
Than in the world's defied rebuke. Thou stood'st, as stands a lovely tree,
That still unbroke, though gently bent, Still waves with fond fidelity
Its boughs above a monument. The winds might rend—the skies might pouz,
But there thou wert-and still wouldst bo Devoted in the stormiest hour
To shed thy weeping leaves o'er me. But thou and thine shall know no blight,
Whatever fate on me may fall; For Heaven in sunshine will requite
The kind-and thee the most of all. Then let the ties of baffled love
Be broken-thine will never break; Thy heart can feel—but will not move ;
Thy soul, though soft, will never shake. And these, when all was lost beside,
Were found, and still are fix'd in thco ;And bearing still a breast so tried,
Earth is no desert-ev'n to me.
THE PRISONER OF CHILLON.
ADVERTISEMENT. When this poem was composed, I was not sufficiently aware of the history of Bonnivard, or I should have endeavoured to dignify the subject by an attempt to celebrate his courage and his virtues. Some account of his life will be found below, furnished me by the kindness of a citizen of that republic, which is still proud of the memory of a man worthy of the best age of ancient freedom:
François de Bonnivard, son of Louis de Bonnivard, a native of Seysel, and Seigneur of Lunes, was born in 1496; he was educated at Turin. In 1510 his uncle, Jean-Reiné de Bonnivard, resigned to him the Priory of Saint-Victor, which adjoins the walls of Geneva, and which was a considerable living
This great man-Bonnivard is deserving of this title from his greatness of soul, the uprightness of his heart, the nobility of his intentions, the wisdom of his counsels, the courage of his actions, the extent of his learning, and the brilliancy of his wit—this great man, who will ever excite the admiration of all those whom an heroic virtue can move, will always inspire the most lively gratitude in the hearts of those Genoese who love Geneva. Bonnivard was always one of its firmest supports; to protect the liberty of our republic, he never feared to lose his own; he forgot his ease, he despised his wealth; he neglected nothing to render certain the happiness of the country that he dignified by his adoption ; from that moment he loved it as the most zealous of its citizens, he served it with the intrepidity of a hero, and he wrote its history with the simpli. city of a philosopher, and the ardour of a patriot.
He says in the commencement of his “ History of Geneva," that, “ As soon as he commenced to read the histories of nations, he felt himself carried way by his love for republics, the interest of which he always advocated.” It was, doubtless, this very love of liberty, that made him adopt Geneva as his country.
ard while yet young, boldly stood forward as the defender of Geneva, against the Duke of Savoy and the Bishop.
In 1519, Bonnivard became the martyr of his country; the Duke of Savoy having entered Geneva with five hundred men, Bonnivard feared the resentment of the Duke; he wished to return to Flabourg to avoid the consequences; but he was betrayed by two men who accompanied him, and conducted by order of the prince to Grolée, where for two years he remained a prisoner.
Bonnivard was unfortunate in his travels. As his misfortunes had not slackened his zeal for Geneva, he was always a redoubtable enemy to those who threatened it, and accordingly was likely to be exposed to their violence. He was met in 1530 on the Jura, by thieves, who stripped him of everything, and placed him again in the hands of the Duke of Savoy. This prince caused him to be confined in the Château of Chillon, where he remained without being submitted to any interrogatory, until 1536; he was then delivered by the Bernois, who took possession of the Pays de Vaud.
Bonnivard, on leaving his captivity, had the pleasure of finding Geneva free and reformed. The Republic hastened to testify its gratitude to him.