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TO THE UNDYING SPIRIT OF FREDERICK KLOPSTOCK.
(The allusions herein are to expressions contained in his letters.)
IMMORTAL mind, so bright with beautiful thought,
And robed so fair in loveliest sympathy,
"Thou Christian," by thy "guardian angel" taught
The master-touches of all melody,
Am not I "one of those " unworthy, sought
By thy rapt soul with "love's prospective eye?" I feel I love thee, "brother," as I ought, Look down and love me too, where'er thou art: I too am cherish'd by as kind a heart As beat in "gentle Cidli's" breast divine,
I too can bless the hand which made her mine;
And within me, congenial feelings dart,
Whether to glow, or thrill, or hope, or melt,
My soul attuned to thine can feel as thou hast felt.
I THOUGHT him still sincere,
I hoped he loved me yet;
My poor heart pants with harrowing fear,
O canst thou thus forget?
I gazed into his face,
And scann'd his features o'er,
And there was still each manly grace
That won my love before:
But coldly looked those eyes
Which oft had thrilled my breast,
He was too great, too rich, too wise,
To make me his confest.
Couldst thou know what I felt
To see thee light and gay,
Thy frozen heart would warm and melt,
And weep its ice away:
Yes, I can tell of tears
These eyes for thee have shed,
In daily, hourly, nightly prayers
For blessings on thy head.
I name thee not, through shame
That truth should fade and flee:
Fear not, thy love, thy vows, thy name,
Are known to none but me.
Farewell! 'tis mine to prove
Of blighted hopes the pain;
But, O believe, I ne'er can love,
As I have lov'd, again:
Farewell; 'tis thine to change,
Forget, be false, be free;
But know, wherever thou shalt range,
That none can love like me.
THE STAMMERER'S COMPLAINT.
AH! think it not a light calamity
To be denied free converse with my kind,
To be debarred from man's true attribute,
The proper glorious privilege of Speech.
Hast ever seen an eagle chain'd to earth?
A restless panther in his cage immur'd?
A swift trout by the wily fisher check'd?
A wild bird hopeless strain its broken wing?
Hast ever felt, at the dark dead of night,
Some undefined and horrid incubus
Press down the very soul, and paralyze
The limbs in their imaginary flight
From shadowy terrors in unhallowed sleep?
Hast ever known the sudden icy chill
Of dreary disappointment as it dashes.
The sweet cup of anticipated bliss
From the parched lips of long-enduring hope?
Then thou canst picture, aye, in sober truth,
In real, unexaggerated truth,
The constant, galling, festering chain that binds
Captive my mute interpreter of thought;
The seal of lead enstamp'd upon my lips,
The load of iron on my laboring chest,
The mocking demon that at every step
Haunts me, and spurs me on
and spurs me onto burst with silence!
Oh! 'tis a sore affliction to restrain,
From mere necessity, the glowing thought;
To feel the fluent cataract of speech
Check'd by some wintry spell, and frozen up,
Just as it's leaping from the precipice!
To be the butt of wordy captious fools,
And see the sneering, self-complacent smile
Of victory on their lips, when I might prove
(But for some little word I dare not utter,
That innate truth is not a specious lie:
To hear foul slander blast an honored name,
Yet breathe no fact to drive the fiend away;
To mark neglected virtue in the dust,
Yet have no word to pity or console;
To feel just indignation swell my breast,
Yet know the fountain of my wrath is sealed;
To see my fellow-mortals hurrying on
Down the steep cliff of crime, down to perdition, Yet have no voice to warn, no voice to win!
'Tis to be mortified in every point,
Baffled at every turn of life, for want
Of that most common privilege of man,
The merest drug of gorged society,
Words, windy words.
And is it not in truth,
A poisoned sting in every social joy,
A thorn that rankles in the writhing flesh,
A drop of gall in each domestic sweet,
An irritating petty misery,
That I can never look on one I love,
And speak the fulness of my burning thoughts?
That I can never with unmingled joy
Meet a long-loved and long-expected friend,
Because I feel, but cannot vent my feelings,
Because I know I ought--but must not speak,
Because I mark his quick impatient eye
Striving in kindness to anticipate
The word of welcome, strangled in its birth!
Is it not sorrow, while I truly love
Sweet social converse, to be forced to shun
The happy circle, from a nervous sense,
An agonizing poignant consciousness
That I must stand aloof, nor mingle with
The wise and good, in rational argument,
The young in brilliant quickness of reply,
Friendship's ingenuous interchange of mind,
Affection's open hearted sympathies,
But feel myself an isolated being,
A very wilderness of widow'd thought!
Aye, 'tis a bitter thing, and not less bitter
Because it is not reckoned in the ills,
"The thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to;
Yet the full ocean is but countless drops,
And misery is an aggregate of tears;
And life, replete with small annoyances,
Is but one long protracted scene of sorrow.
I scarce would wonder, if a godless man,
(I name not him whose hope is heavenward,)
A man, whom lying vanities hath scath'd
And harden'd from all fear, if such an one,
By this tyrannical Argus goaded on,
Were to be wearied of his very life,
And daily, hourly foiled in social converse,
By the slow simmering of disappointment,
Become a sour'd and apathetic being,
Were to feel rapture at the approach of death,
And long for his dark hope, annihilation.
"It is more blessed to give, than to receive."
THERE is indeed one crowning joy,
A pleasure that can never cloy,
The bliss of doing good;
And to it a reward is given
Most precious in the sight of heaven,
The tear of gratitude.
To raise the fallen from the dust,
To right the poor by judgment just,
The broken heart to heal,
Pour on the soul a stream as bright
Of satisfying deep delight
As happy spirits feel!
Yes, high archangels wing their way
Far from the golden founts of day