Page images
PDF
EPUB

Against my lifel-may Heaven his guilt explore,
And to my suffering race their splendid rights re-

store."

He said, and stalk'd away.--Ah Goddess I cease,

Thus with terrific forms to rack my brain ; These horrid phantoms shake the throne of peace, And Reason calls her boasted powers in vain ;

Then change thy magic wand,

Thy dreadful troops disband, And gentler shapes, and softer scenes disclose, To melt the feeling heart, yet sooth its tenderest woes.

The fervent prayer was heard-With hideous sound

Her ebon gates of darkness open flew;
A dawning twilight cheers the dread profound,
The train of terror vanishes from view.

More mild enchantments rise ;
New scenes salute my eyes,

[plain, Groves, fountains, bowers, and temples grace the And turtles coo around, and nightingales complain.

And every myrtle bower and cypress grove,

And every solemn temple teems with life ;
Here glows the scene with fond but hapless love,
There with the deeper woes of human strife.

In groups around the lawn,
By fresh disasters drawn,

The sad spectators seem transfix'd in woe,
And pitying sighs are heard and heart-felt sorrows

flow.

Behold that beauteous maid ! her languid head

Bends like a drooping lily charg'd with rain ; With floods of tears she bathes a Lover dead, In brave assertion of her honour slain.

Her bosom heaves with sighs,

To Heaven she lifts her eyes, With grief beyond the power of words opprest, Sinks on the lifeless corse, and dies upon his breast.

How strong the bands of Friendship? yet, alas !

Behind yon mouldering tower with ivy crown'd,
Of two, the foremost in her sacred class,
One from his friend receives the fatal wound !

What could such fury move!

What but ill-fated love! The same fair object each fond heart enthralls, And he, the favour'd youth, her hapless victim falls.

Can aught so deeply sway the generous mind

To mutual truth, as female trust in love ?
Then what relief shall yon fair mourner find,
Scorn'd by the man who should her plaints remove?

By fair, but false pretence,
She lost her innocence ;

And that sweet babe, the fruit of treacherous art, Claspt in her arms expires, and breaks the parent's

heart.

Ah! who to pomp or grandeur would aspire ?

Kings are not rais'd above misfortune's frown. That form, so graceful even in mean attire, Sway'd once a sceptre, once sustain'd a crown.

From filial rage and strife,

To screen his closing life, He quits his throne, a father's sorrow feels, And in the lap of Want his patient head conceals.

More yet remain d—but lol the pensive Queen

Appears confest before my dazzled sight: Grace in her steps, and softness in her mien, The face of sorrow mingled with delight.

Not such her nobler frame,

When kindling into flame,
And bold in Virtue's cause, her zeal aspires
To waken guilty pangs, or breathe heroic fires.

Aw'd into silence, my wrapt soul attends

The Power, with eyes complacent, saw my fear;
And, as with grace ineffable she bends,
These accents vibrate on my listening ear:

“ Aspiring son of art,
Know tho'thy feeling heart

Glow with these wonders to thy fancy shown,
Still may the Delian God thy powerless toils disown.

" A thousand tender scenes of soft distress

May swell thy breast with sympathetic woes ; A thousand such dread forms on fancy press, As from my dreary realms of darkness rose.

Whence Shakspere's chilling fears,

And Otway's melting tears That aweful gloom, this melancholy plain, The types of every theme that suits the tragic strain.

" But dost thou worship Nature night and morn,

And all due honour to her precepts pay?
Canst thou the lure of Affectation scorn,
Pleas'd in the simpler path of Truth to stray ?

Hast thou the Graces fair

Invok'd with ardent prayer ? They must attire, as Nature must impart, The sentiment sublime, the language of the heart.

his ray,

Then, if assenting Genius pour

Warın with inspiring influence on thy breast ; Taste, judgment, fancy, if thou canst display, And the deep source of Passion stand confest; Then

may the listening train, Affected, feel thy strain ;

Feel Grief or Terror, Rage or Pity move:
Change with thy varying scenes, and every scene

approve."

Humbled before her sight, and bending low,

I kiss'd the borders of her crimson vest;
Eager to speak, I felt my bosom glow,
But Fear upon my lips her seal imprest.

While awe-struck thus I stood,

The bowers, the lawn, the wood,
The Form celestial, fading on my view,
Dissolv'd in liquid air, and all the vision flew.

« PreviousContinue »