« ÎnapoiContinuă »
Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse: which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her a pray'r of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate;
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not distinctively. I did consent,
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs,
She swore, in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange; 'Twas pitiful, 'twas wond'rous pitiful
She wish'd she had not heard it- -yet she wish'd
That Heav'n had made her such a man:-she thank'd me, And bade me, if I had a friend that lov'd her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. On this hint I spake ;
She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass'd;
And I lov'd her, that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have us'd.
Now stood Eliza on the wood-crown'd height,
O'er Minden's plain, spectatress of the fight;
Sought with bold eye amid the bloody strife
Her dearer self, the partner of her life;
From hill to hill the rushing host pursu'd,
And view'd his banner, or believ'd she view'd.
Pleas'd with the distant roar, with quicker tread
Fast by his hand one lisping boy she led ;
And one fair girl amid the loud alarm
Slept on her kerchief, cradled by her arm;
While round her brows bright beams of honour dart,
And love's warm eddies circle round her heart.
—Near and more near th' intrepid beauty press'd,
Saw through the driving smoke his dancing crest;
Heard the exulting shout,
They run they run!" "Great God!" she cried, "he's safe! the battle's won!" -A ball now hisses through the airy tides, (Some fury wing'd it, and some demon guides !) Parts the fine locks, her graceful head that deck, Wounds her fair ear, and sinks into her neck; The red stream issuing from her azure veins Dyes her white veil, her iv'ry bosom stains.— "Ah me!" she cried, and, sinking on the ground, Kiss'd her dear babes, regardless of the wound ; "Oh, cease not yet to beat, thou vital urn! "Wait, gushing life, oh wait my love's return! "Hoarse barks the wolf, the vulture screams from far! The angel, pity, shuns the walks of war!
"Oh spare, ye war hounds, spare their tender age!-
On me, on me," she cried, " exhaust your rage!"
Then with weak arms her weeping babes caress'd,
And sighing hid them in her blood-stain'd vest.
From tent to tent the impatient warrior flies,
Fear in his heart, and frenzy in his eyes;
Eliza's name along the camp he calls,
Eliza echoes through the canvass walls;
"Quick through the murm'ring gloom his footsteps treat
O'er groaning heaps, the dying and the dead,
Vault o'er the plain, and in the tangled wood,
Lo! dead Eliza welt'ring in her blood !—
-Soon hears his list'ning son the welcome sounds,
With open arms and sparkling eyes he bounds:-
Speak low," he cries, and gives his little hand,
"Eliza sleeps upon the dew-cold sand ;
"Poor weeping babe with bloody fingers press'd,
"And tried with pouting lips her milkless breast!
"Alas! we both with cold and hunger quake-
Why do you weep?-Mamma will soon awake"
"She'll wake no more!" the hopeless mourner cried, Upturn'd his eyes, and clasp'd his hands, and sigh'd; Stretch'd on the ground awhile entranc'd he lay, And press'd warm kisses on the lifeless clay;
And then upsprung with wild convulsive start,
And all the father kindled in his heart:
"O, Heav'ns!" he cried, " my first rash vow forgive! "These bind to earth, for these I pray to live!" Round his chill babes he wrapp'd his crimson vest, And clasp'd them sobbing to his aching breast.
AHERMIT, or, if 'chance you hold
That title now too trite and old,
A man once young, who liv'd retir'd
As hermit could have well desir'd,
His hours of study clos'd at last,
And finish'd his concise repast,
Stoppled his cruise, replac'd his book
Within it's customary nook,
And, staff in hand, set forth to share
The sober cordial of sweet air,
Like Isaac, with a mind applied
To serious thought at ev'ningtide.
Autumnal rains had made it chill,
And from the trees, that fring'd his hill,
Shades slanting at the close of day
Chill'd more his else delightful way.
Distant a little mile he spied
A western bank's still sunny side,
And right toward the favour'd place
Proceeding with his nimblest pace,
In hope to bask a little yet,
Just reach'd it when the sun was set.
Your hermit, young and jovial Sirs,
Learns something from whate'er occurs-
And hence, he said, my mind computes
The real worth of man's pursuits.
His object chosen, wealth or fame,
Or other sublunary game,
Imagination to his view
Presents it deck'd with ev'ry hue,
That can seduce him not to spare
His pow'rs of best exertion there,
But youth, health, vigour to expend
On so desirable an end.
Ere long approach life's ev'ning shades,
The glow that fancy gave it fades ;
And earn'd too late, it wants the grace
Which first engag'd him in the chase.
True, answer'd an angelic guide,
Attendant at the senior's side-
But whether all the time it cost
To urge the fruitless chase be lost,
Must be decided by the worth
Of that which calls his ardour "forth,
Trifles pursu'd, whate'er th' event,
Must cause him shame, or discontent;
A vicious object still is worse,
Successful there, he wins a curse;
But he, whom ev'n in life's last stage
Endeavours laudable engage,
Is paid, at least in peace of mind,
And sense of having well design'd;
And if, ere he attain his end,
His sun precipitate descend,
A brighter prize than that he meant
Shall recompense his mere intent
No virtuous wish can bear a date
Either too early, or too late.
THE FAITHFUL FRIEND.
THE greenhouse is my summer seat;
My shrubs displac'd from that retreat,
Enjoy'd the open air ;
Two goldfinches, whose sprightly song
Had been their mutual solace long,
Liv'd happy pris'ners there.
They sang, as blithe as finches sing
That flutter loose on golden wing,
And frolic where they list;
Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,
And therefore never miss'd.
But nature works in ev'ry breast;
Instinct is never quite suppress'd;
And Dick felt some desires,
Which, after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain
A pass between his wires.
The open'd windows seem'd t' invite
The freeman to a farewell flight;
But Tom was still confin'd;
And Dick, although his way was clear,
Was much too gen'rous and sincere,
To leave his friend behind.
For, settling on his grated roof,
He chirp'd and kiss'd him, giving proof
That he desir'd no more;
Nor would forsake his cage at last,
Till, gently seiz'd, I shut him fast,
A pris'ner as before.
Oye, who never knew the joys
Of friendship, satisfied with noise,
Fandango, ball, and rout!
Blush, when I tell you how a bird,
A prison, with a friend, preferr'd
To liberty without.