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The meek intelligence of those dear eyes,
(Bless'd be the art that can immortalize,
The art that baffles time's tyrannic claim
To quench it,) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
Oh welcome guest, though unexpected here!
Who bids't me honor with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long,
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own;
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief,
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream that thou art she.
My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast dead,
Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed?
Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son,
Wretch, even then, life's journey just begun ?
Perhaps thou gav'st me, though unfelt, a kiss ;
Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss.
Ah, that maternal smile! it answers-Yes.
I heard the bell toll'd on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,
And, turning from my nursery window, drew
A long, long, sigh, and wept a last adieu !
But was it such? It was; Where thou art gone,
Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown.
May I but meet thee on that blissful shore,
The parting word shall pass my lips no more!
Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return.
What ardently I wish'd, I long believed,
And, disappointed still, was still deceiv'd;
By expectation every day beguil'd-
Dupe of to-morrow, even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent,
I learn'd at last submission to my lot;
But, though I less deplor'd thee, ne'er forgot. Where once we dwelt, our name is heard no more,
Children, not thine, have trod my nursery floor;
And where the gardener, Robin, day by day,
Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapp'd
In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet cap'd,
'Tis now become a history little known,
That once we called the pastoral house our own.
Short-lived possession! but the record fair
That memory keeps of all thy kindness there
Still outlives many a storm that has effaced
A thousand other themes less deeply traced.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made, That thou might'st know me safe and warmly laid,
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,
The biscuit, or confectionary plum;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd
By thine own hand, till fresh they shone and
All this-and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
Ne'er roughen'd by those cataracts and breaks
That humour interpos'd too often makes;
All this still legible in memory's page,
And still to be so to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honours to thee as my numbers may;
Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere, [here.
Not scorned in heaven though little noticed
Could time, his flight revers'd, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued
The violet, the pink, and jessamine;
I prick'd them into paper with a pin,
And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Would'st softly speak, and stroke my head, and
Could those few pleasant days again appear, Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?
I would not trust my heart-the dear delight
Seems so to be desir'd, perhaps I might ;-
But no-what here we call our life is such,
So little to be loved and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again;
Thou as a gallant bark from Albion's coast, The storms all weathered and the ocean cross'd, Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle, Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile;
There sits quiescent on the floods, that show Her beauteous form reflected clear below, While airs, impregnated with incense play Around her, fanning light her streamers gay; So thou, with sails how swift! hast reached the shore
"Where tempests never beat nor billows roar," And thy lov'd consort, on the dangerous tide Of life, long since has anchor'd by thy side; But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest, Always from port withheld, always distress'd-The howling blasts, drive devious, tempest
Sails ripp'd, seams opening wide, and compass lost;
And day by day some current's thwarting force,
Sets me more distant from a prosperous course.
Yet oh, the thought that thou art safe, and he―
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not, that I deduce my birth
From loins enthron'd, and rulers of the earth;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise-
The son of parents pass'd into the skies.
And now farewell ;-time unrevok'd has run
His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is done.
By Contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seemed to have liv'd my childhood o'er
To have renew'd the joys that once were mine, Without the sin of violating thine;
And, while the wings of Fancy still are free, And I can view this mimic show of thee, Time has but half succeeded in his theftThyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.