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CHILD of woman, and of Heaven,
Ere thy birth, of sire bereaven,
Offspring of a widow'd dove,
Of half thy heritage of love
Defeated, ere thy little breath
Was drawn from atmosphere of death—
Smiler, that shalt ne'er beguile,
Father's tear with baby smile,
Never laugh on father's knee,
Knows thy father aught of thee?
May the spirit of the Blest,
Look upon its earthly nest?
Breathe upon thine infant slumbers,
The music of angelic numbers,
Glide into the growing soul,
To form, "to kindle, or controul ?"
May the sainted parent bless,
His own, the new-born fatherless?
Far from all measured space, yet clear and plain
As sun at noon, "a mighty orb of song
Illumes extremest Heaven. Beyond the throng
Of lesser stars, that rise, and wex, and wane,
The transient rulers of the fickle main,
One steadfast light gleams through the dark, and long, And narrowing aisle of memory. How strong,
How fortified with all the numerous train
Of human truths, Great Poet of thy kind,
Wert thou, whose verse, capacious as the sea,
And various as the voices of the wind,
Swell'd with the gladness of the battle's glee
And yet could glorify infirmity,
When Priam wept, or shame-struck Helen pined.
These, if not the first verses that I ever wrote, are the first with which I succeeded in pleasing even myself:—in fact, the first in which I was able to express a preconceived thought in metre. I have selected them from a mass of juvenile, or more properly, puerile poetry, not as any better, or much worse, than the rest, but from the pleasant associations connected with them. It will do nobody any harm, and to some may be an agreeable remembrancer of old times. The young lady to whom it was addressed is the eldest daughter of the late William Green, an artist of great merit, who possessed a true sense of the beautiful in nature. The lady is now a wife and mother, and probably regards the pictorial skill of her youth, and the compliments it may have gained her, as things that have been.
O, MISTRESS of that lovely art
Which can to shadows form impart—
Can fix those evanescent tints,
Fainter by far than lovers' hints,
And bring the scenes we love to mind,
When we have left them far behind,-
Thou seest an image in thy glass
Which does e'en Raphael's art surpass,
But which Dan Cupid has been able
To copy in my heart's soft table.
How proud 'twould make a connoisseur
To have so beauteous a picture!
For me, I own, it ill contents me
To have a copy, but torments me,
Unless I might possess, as well,
That copy's fair original.
THE FORSAKEN TO THE FAITHLESS.
I Do not write to bid thee come unto me-
I will not pray thee spare my virgin fame :
Since I am won, 'tis useless now to woo me—
Undone I am, thou canst not more undo me.
Boast thy poor triumph o'er an empty name,
When she that shamed it sleeps in silent death;
For what is reputation but a bubble,
Blown up by Vanity's unthinking breath,-
A thing which few, with all their toil and trouble,
Can carry with them to their home, the grave.
Since men are fire, and we are as the stubble :
Men's faults are wink'd at-ours, alas! seen double,
No pardon of the partial world I crave,
That still is Folly's mouth-piece, Custom's slave.
Not for my name I mourn-but thou hast ta'en
A dearer jewel-even my precious soul.
Nor thou, nor all the world, can give again
What I have thrown away! Tho' Time may roll
His centuries on, when I shall be forgotten,
Thy falsehood mute, and cold thy fickle lust,—
When this polluted body shall be rotten,