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CUPID, if storying Legends tell aright,
Once framed a rich Elixir of Delight,
A Chalice o'er love-kindled flames he fix’d,
And in it nectar and ambrosia mix'd :
With these the magic dews, which Evening brings,
Brush'd from the Idalian Star by faery wings:
Each tender pledge of sacred Faith he joined,
Each gentler pleasure of th' unspotted mind-
Day-dreams, whose tints with sportive brightness
And Hope, the blameless Parasite of Woe.
The eyeless Chemist heard the process rise,
The stearny Chalice bubbled up in sighrs ;
Sweet sounds transpired, as when th' enamored
Pours the soft murm'ring of responsive love.
The finished work might Envy vainly blame,
And " · Kisses was the precious compound's name;
With half the God his Cyprian Mother blest,
And breathed on Sara's lovelier lips the rest.
TO THE NIGHTINGALE. SISTER of love-lorn poets, Philomel !
How many bards in city garret pent, While at their window they with downward eye Mark the faint lamp-beam on the kennell’d mud, And listen to the drowsy cry of watchmen, Those hoarse, unfeathered nightingales of time! How many
wretched bards address thy name, And her's, the full-orb'd queen, that shines above,
But I do hear thee, and the high bough mark,
Within whose mild moon-mellowed foliage hid,
Thou warblest sad thy pity-pleading strains.
O, I have listened, till my working soul,
Waked by those strains to thousand phantasies,
Absorbed, hath ceased to listen! Therefore oft
I hymn thy name; and with a proud delight
Oft will I tell thee, minstrel of the moon,
“Most musical, most melancholy" bird !
That all thy soft diversities of tone,
Though sweeter far than the delicious airs
That vibrate from a white-armed lady's harp
What time the languishment of lonely love
Melts in her eye, and heaves her breast of snow,
Are not so sweet, as is the voice of her,
My Sara—best beloved of human kind !
When breathing the pure soul of tenderness,
She thrills me with the husband's promised name !
ITS MOTHER BEING TETHERED NEAR IT.
POOR little Foal of an oppressed Race !
I love the languid Patience of thy face:
And oft with gentle hand I give thee bread,
And clap thy ragged Coat, and pat thy head.
But what thy dulled Spirits hath dismayed,
That never thou dost sport along the glade ?
And (most unlike the nature of things young)
That earth ward still thy moveless head is hung ?
Do thy prophetic Fears anticipate,
Meek Child of Misery! thy future fate?
The starving meal, and all the thousand aches
“Which patient Merit of the Unworthy takes ?”
Or is thy sad heart thrilled with filial pain
To see thy wretched Mother's shortened Chain ?
And, truly very piteous is her Lot-
Chained to a Log within a narrow spot,
Where the close-eaten Grass is scarcely seen,
While sweet around her waves the tempting Green !
Poor Ass ! thy master should have learnt to show
Pity-best taught by fellowship of Woe!
For much I fear me that He lives like thee,
Half famished in a land of Luxury !
How askingly its footsteps hither bend,
It seems to say,
“ And have I then one Friend ?”.
Innocent Foal! thou poor despised Forlorn !
I hail thee Brother-spite of the fool's scorn!
And fain would take thee with me, in the Dell
Of Peace and mild Equality to dwell,
Where Toil shall call the charmer Health his bride,
And Laughter tickle Plenty's ribless side!
How thou would'st toss thy heels in gamesome play,
And frisk about, as lamb or kitten gay !
Yea! and more musically sweet to me
Thy dissonant harsh bray of joy would be,
Than warbled melodies that soothe to rest
The aching of pale Fashion's vacant breast !
THUS far my scanty brain hath built the rhyme
Elaborate and swelling ;-yet the heart
Not owns it. From thy spirit-breathing powers
I ask not now, my friend ! the aiding verse
Tedious to thee, and from thy anxious thought
Of dissonant mood. In fancy (well I know)
From business wand'ring far and local cares,
Thou creepest round a dear-loved sister's bed
With noiseless step, and watchest the faint look,
Soothing each pang with fond solicitude,
And tenderest tones medicinal of love.
I, too, a sister had, an only sister-
She loved me dearly, and I doted on her;
To her I poured forth all my puny sorrows
(As a sick patient in a nurse's arms),
And of the heart those hidden maladies
That e'en from friendship's eye will shrink ashamed.
O! I have waked at midnight, and have wept
Because she was not !--Cheerily, dear Charles !
Thou thy best friend shalt cherish many a year;
Such warm presages feel I of high hope !
For not uninterested the dear maid
I've view'd-her soul affectionate yet wise,
Her polished wit as mild as lambent glories
That play around a sainted infant's head.
He knows (the Spirit that in secret sees,
of whose omniscient and all-spreading love
Aught to implore were impotence of mind !)*
That my mute thoughts are sad before his throne,
Prepared, when He his healing ray vouchsafes,
Thanksgiving to pour forth with lifted heart,
And praise him gracious with a brother's joy! 1794.
“I utterly recant the sentiment contained in the lines,
Of whose omnisci nt and all-spreading love
Aught to implore were impotence of mind, it being written in Scripture, Ask, and it shall be given you! and my human reason being, moreover, convinced of the propriety of offering petitions as well as thanksgivings to Deity.”
TELL me, on what holy ground
May Domestic Peace be found
Halcyon Daughter of the skies !
Far on fearful wings she flies,
From the pomp of sceptred State,
From the Rebells noisy hate.
In a cottage vale She dwells
Listening to the Sabbath bells !
Still around her steps are seen
Spotless Honor's meeker mien,
Love, the sire of pleasing fears,
Sorrow smiling through her tears,
And conscious of the past employ
Memory, bosom-spring of joy.
WHEN Youth his faery reign began
Ere sorrow had proclaim'd me man;
While Peace the present hour beguild,
And all the lovely Prospect smiled;
Then Mary! 'mid my lightsome glee
I heaved the painless Sigh for thee.
And, when, along the waves of woe,
My harassed Heart was doomed to know
The frantic burst of Outrage keen,
And the slow Pang that gnaws unseen;
Then shipwrecked on Life's stormy sea
I heaved an anguished Sigh for thee!