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FAR in the windings of a vale,
Fast by a shelt'ring wood,
The safe retreat of health and peace,
A humble cottage stood.
There beauteous Emma flourish'd fair
Beneath her mother's eye,
Whose only wish on earth was now
To see her blest, and die.
The softest blush that nature spreads
Gave colour to her cheek;
Such orient colour smiles through Heav'n,
When May's sweet mornings break.
Nor let the pride of great ones scorn
The charmers of the plains;
That sun which bids their diamond blaze
To deck our lily deigns.
Long had she fir'd each youth with love,
Each maiden with despair;
And though by all a wonder own'd,
Yet knew not she was fair;
Till Edwin came, the pride of swains,
A soul that knew no art;
And from whose eyes serenely mild,
Shone forth the feeling heart.
A mutual flame was quickly caught,
Was quickly too reveal'd;
For neither bosom lodg'd a wish,
Which virtue keeps conceal'd.
What happy hours of heart-felt bliss
Did love on both bestow!
But bliss too mighty long to last,
Where fortune proves a foe.
His sister, who, like envy form'd,
Like her in mischief joy'd,
To work them harm with wicked skill
Each darker art employ'd.
The father, too, a sordid man,
Who love nor pity knew,
Was all unfeeling as the rock
From whence his riches grew.
Long had he seen their mutual flame,
And seen it long unmov'd;
Then with a father's frown at last
He sternly disapprov'd.
In Edwin's gentle heart a war
Of diff'ring passions strove;
His heart, which durst not disobey,
Yet could not cease to love.
Denied her sight, he oft behind
The spreading hawthorn crept,
To snatch a glance, to mark the spot
Where Emma walk'd and wept.
Oft too in Stanemore's wintry waste,
Beneath the moonlight shade,
In sighs to pour his soften'd soul,
The midnight mourner stray'd.
His cheeks, where love with beauty glow'd,
A deadly pale o'ercast;
So fades the fresh rose in it's prime,
Before the northern blast.
The parents now, with late remorse,
Hung o'er his dying bed,
And wearied Heav'n with fruitless pray'rs,
And fruitless sorrows shed.
""Tis past," he cried, "but if your souls
"Sweet mercy yet can move,
"Let these dim eyes once more behold "What they must ever love."
She came; his cold hand softly touch'd,
And bath'd with many a tear ;
Fast falling o'er the primrose pale
So morning dews appear.
But oh! his sister's jealous care
(A cruel sister she!)
Forbade what Emma came to say,
My Edwin, live for me.
Now homeward as she hopeless went,
The churchyard path along,
The blast blew cold, the dark owl scream'd
Her lover's fun'ral song.
Amid the falling gloom of night,
Her startling fancy found
In ev'ry bush his hov'ring shade,
His groan in ev'ry sound.
Alone, appall'd, thus had she pass'd
The visionary vale,
When lo! the deathbell smote her ear,
Sad sounding in the gale.
Just then she reach'd with trembling steps
Her aged mother's door:
"He's gone," she cried, " and I shall see
"That angel face no more!
"I feel, I feel this breaking heart "Beat high against my side!"
From her white arm down sunk her head,
She shiver'd, sigh'd, and died.
CELADON AND AMELIA.
'Tis list'ning fear and dumb amazement all : When to the startled eye the sudden glance Appears far south, eruptive through the cloud;
And following slower, in explosion vast,
The thunder raises his tremendous voice.
At first heard solemn o'er the verge of Heaven,
The tempest growls; but as it nearer comes
And rolls it's awful burden on the wind,
The lightnings flash a larger curve, and more
The noise astounds; till over head a sheet
Of livid flame discloses wide; then shuts,
And opens wider; shuts and opens still
Expansive, wrapping æther in a blaze:
Follows the loosen'd aggravated roar,
Enlarging, deep'ning, mingling; peal on peal
Crush'd horrible, convulsing heav'n and earth.
Guilt hears appall'd, with deeply troubled thought:
And yet not always on the guilty head
Descends the fated flash.-Young Celadon
And his Amelia were a matchless pair;
With equal virtue form'd, and equal grace;
The same, distinguish'd by their sex alone:
Hers the mild lustre of the blooming morn,
And his the radiance of the risen day.
They lov'd; but such their guiltless passion was,
As in the dawn of time inform'd the heart
Of innocence, and undissembling truth.
"Twas friendship, heighten'd by the mutual wish;
Th' enchanting hope, and sympathetic glow
Beam'd from the mutual eye. Devoting all
To love, each was to each a dearer self;
Supremely happy in th' awaken'd power
Of giving joy. Alone, amid the shades,
Still in harmonious intercourse they liv'd
The rural day, and talk'd the flowing heart,
Or sigh'd, and look'd unutterable things.
So pass'd their life, a clear united stream,
By care unruffled; till, in evil hour,
The tempest caught them on the tender walk,
Heedless how far, and where it's mazes stray'd,
While, with each other blest, creative love
Still bade eternal Eden smile around.
Heavy with instant fate her bosom heav'd
Unwonted sighs; and stealing oft a look
Tow'rds the big gloom, on Celadon her eye
Fell tearful, wetting her disorder'd cheek.
In vain assuring love, and confidence
In Heav'n, repress'd her fear; it grew, and shook
Her frame near dissolution. He perceiv'd
Th' unequal conflict, and, as angels look
On dying saints, his eyes compassion shed,
With love illumin'd high. "Fear not," he said,
"Sweet innocence! thou stranger to offence
"And inward storm! He, who yon skies involves
"In frowns of darkness, ever smiles on thee
"With kind regard. O'er thee the secret shaft
"That wastes at midnight, or th' undreaded hour
"Of noon, flies harmless; and that very voice,
"Which thunders terrour through the guilty heart,
"With tongues of seraphs whispers peace to thine.
""Tis safety to be near thee sure, and thus
"To clasp perfection!" From his void embrace,
(Mysterious Heav'n!) that moment to the ground,
A blacken'd corse, was struck the beauteous maid.
But who can paint the lover as he stood,
Pierc'd by severe amazement, hating life,
Speechless, and fix'd in all the death of wo?
So, faint resemblance! on the marble tomb,
The well-dissembled mourner stooping stands,
For ever silent, and for ever sad.
Soon as young reason dawn'd in Junio's breast,
His father sent him from these genial isles,
To where old Thames with conscious pride surveys
Green Eton, soft abode of every muse.
Each classic beauty he soon made his own;
And soon fam'd Isis saw him woo the nine,
On her inspiring banks. Love tun'd his song;
For fair Theana was his only theme,