Part 6 out of 33
But this was all a dream of sleep.
And I have said when morning shone:--
"Why should the night-witch, Fancy, keep
"These wonders for herself alone?"
I knew not then that fate had lent
Such tones to one of mortal birth;
I knew not then that Heaven had sent
A voice, a form like thine on earth.
And yet, in all that flowery maze
Through which my path of life has led,
When I have heard the sweetest lays
From lips of rosiest lustre shed;
When I have felt the warbled word
From Beauty's lip, in sweetness vying
With music's own melodious bird;
When on the rose's bosom lying
Though form and song at once combined
Their loveliest bloom and softest thrill,
My heart hath sighed, my ear hath pined
For something lovelier, softer still:--
Oh, I have found it all, at last,
In thee, thou sweetest living lyre,
Through which the soul of song e'er past,
Or feeling breathed its sacred fire.
All that I e'er, in wildest flight
Of fancy's dreams could hear or see
Of music's sigh or beauty's light
Is realized, at once, in thee!
 Afterward Duchess of Hamilton.
ON LEAVING SOME FRIENDS.
_o dulces comitum valete coetus_!
No, never shall my soul forget
The friends I found so cordial-hearted;
Dear shall be the day we met,
And dear shall be the night we parted.
If fond regrets, however sweet,
Must with the lapse of time decay,
Yet stall, when thus in mirth you meet,
Fill high to him that's far away!
Long be the light of memory found
Alive within your social glass;
Let that be still the magic round.
O'er which Oblivion, dare not pass.
Oh, fair as heaven and chaste as light!
Did nature mould thee all so bright.
That thou shouldst e'er be brought to weep
O'er languid virtue's fatal sleep,
O'er shame extinguished, honor fled,
Peace lost, heart withered, feeling dead?
No, no! a star was born with thee,
Which sheds eternal purity.
Thou hast, within those sainted eyes,
So fair a transcript of the skies,
In lines of light such heavenly lore
That men should read them and adore.
Yet have I known a gentle maid
Whose mind and form were both arrayed
In nature's purest light, like thine;--
Who wore that clear, celestial sign
Which seems to mark the brow that's fair
For destiny's peculiar care;
Whose bosom, too, like Dian's own,
Was guarded by a sacred zone,
Where the bright gem of virtue shone;
Whose eyes had in their light a charm
Against all wrong and guile and harm.
Yet, hapless maid, in one sad hour
These spells have lost their guardian power;
The gem has been beguiled away;
Her eyes have lost their chastening ray;
The modest pride, the guiltless shame,
The smiles that from reflection came,
All, all have fled and left her mind
A faded monument behind;
The ruins of a once pure shrine,
No longer fit for guest divine,
Oh! 'twas a sight I wept to see--
Heaven keep the lost one's fate from thee!
'Tis time, I feel, to leave thee now,
While yet my soul is something free;
While yet those dangerous eyes allow
One minute's thought to stray from thee.
Oh! thou becom'st each moment dearer;
Every chance that brings me nigh thee
Brings my ruin nearer, nearer,--
I am lost, unless I fly thee.
Nay, if thou dost not scorn and hate me,
Doom me not thus so soon to fall
Duties, fame, and hopes await me,--
But that eye would blast them all!
For, thou hast heart as false and cold
As ever yet allured and swayed,
And couldst, without a sigh, behold
The ruin which thyself had made.
Yet,--_could_ I think that, truly fond,
That eye but once would smile on me,
Even as thou art, how far beyond
Fame, duty, wealth, that smile would be!
Oh! but to win it, night and day,
Inglorious at thy feet reclined,
I'd sigh my dreams of fame away,
The world for thee forgot, resigned.
But no, 'tis o'er, and--thus we part,
Never to meet again--no, never,
False woman, what a mind and heart
Thy treachery has undone forever.
Away, away--you're all the same,
A smiling, fluttering, jilting throng;
And, wise too late, I burn with shame,
To think I've been your slave so long.
Slow to be won, and quick to rove,
From folly kind, from cunning loath,
Too cold for bliss, too weak for love,
Yet feigning all that's best in both;
Still panting o'er a crowd to reign,--
More joy it gives to woman's breast
To make ten frigid coxcombs vain,
Than one true, manly lover blest.
Away, away--your smile's a curse--
Oh! blot me from the race of men,
Kind, pitying Heaven, by death or worse,
If e'er I love such things again.
Come, take thy harp--'tis vain to muse
Upon the gathering ills we see;
Oh! take thy harp and let me lose
All thoughts of ill in hearing thee.
Sing to me, love!--Though death were near,
Thy song could make my soul forget--
Nay, nay, in pity, dry that tear,
All may be well, be happy yet.
Let me but see that snowy arm
Once more upon the dear harp lie,
And I will cease to dream of harm,
Will smile at fate, while thou art nigh.
Give me that strain of mournful touch
We used to love long, long ago,
Before our hearts had known as much
As now, alas! they bleed to know.
Sweet notes! they tell of former peace,
Of all that looked so smiling then,
Now vanished, lost--oh, pray thee cease,
I cannot bear those sounds again.
Art _thou_, too, wretched? Yes, thou art;
I see thy tears flow fast with mine--
Come, come to this devoted heart,
'Tis breaking, but it still is thine!
A VISION OF PHILOSOPHY.
'Twas on the Red Sea coast, at morn, we met
The venerable man; a healthy bloom
Mingled its softness with the vigorous thought
That towered upon his brow; and when he spoke
'Twas language sweetened into song--such holy sounds
As oft, they say, the wise and virtuous hear,
Prelusive to the harmony of heaven,
When death is nigh; and still, as he unclosed
His sacred lips, an odor, all as bland
As ocean-breezes gather from the flowers
That blossom in Elysium, breathed around,
With silent awe we listened, while he told
Of the dark veil which many an age had hung
O'er Nature's form, till, long explored by man,
The mystic shroud grew thin and luminous,
And glimpses of that heavenly form shone through:--
Of magic wonders, that were known and taught
By him (or Cham or Zoroaster named)
Who mused amid the mighty cataclysm,
O'er his rude tablets of primeval lore;
And gathering round him, in the sacred ark,
The mighty secrets of that former globe,
Let not the living star of science sink
Beneath the waters, which ingulfed a world!--
Of visions, by Calliope revealed
To him,who traced upon his typic lyre
The diapason of man's mingled frame,
And the grand Doric heptachord of heaven.
With all of pure, of wondrous and arcane,
Which the grave sons of Mochus, many a night,
Told to the young and bright-haired visitant
Of Carmel's sacred mount.--Then, in a flow
Of calmer converse, he beguiled us on
Through many a Maze of Garden and of Porch,
Through many a system, where the scattered light
Of heavenly truth lay, like a broken beam
From the pure sun, which, though refracted all
Into a thousand hues, is sunshine still,
And bright through every change!--he spoke of Him,
The lone, eternal One, who dwells above,
And of the soul's untraceable descent
From that high fount of spirit, through the grades
Of intellectual being, till it mix
With atoms vague, corruptible, and dark;
Nor yet even then, though sunk in earthly dross,
Corrupted all, nor its ethereal touch
Quite lost, but tasting of the fountain still.
As some bright river, which has rolled along
Through meads of flowery light and mines of gold,
When poured at length into the dusky deep,
Disdains to take at once its briny taint,
Or balmy freshness, of the scenes it left.
But keeps unchanged awhile the lustrous tinge,
And here the old man ceased--a winged train
Of nymphs and genii bore him from our eyes.
The fair illusion fled! and, as I waked,
'Twas clear that my rapt soul had roamed, the while,
To that bright realm of dreams, that spirit-world,
Which mortals know by its long track of light
O'er midnight's sky, and call the Galaxy.
 In Plutarch's Essay on the Decline of the Oracles, Cleombrotus, one of
the interlocutors, describes an extraordinary man whom he had met with,
after long research, upon the banks of the Red Sea. Once in every year
this supernatural personage appeared to mortals and conversed with them;
the rest of his time he passed among the Genii and the Nymphs.
 The celebrated Janus Dousa, a little before his death, imagined that
he heard a strain of music in the air.
 Orpheus.--Paulinus, in his "_Hebdomades_, cap. 2, _lib_. iii, has
endeavored to show, after the Platonists, that man is a diapason, or
octave, made up of a diatesseron, which is his soul, and a dispente, which
is his body. Those frequent allusions to music, by which the ancient
philosophers illustrated their sublime theories, must have tended very
much to elevate the character of the art, and to enrich it with
associations of the grandest and most interesting nature.
 Lactantius asserts that all the truths of Christianity may be found
dispersed through the ancient philosophical sects, and that any one who
would collect these scattered fragments of orthodoxy might form a code in
no respect differing from that of the Christian.
 According to Pythagoras, the people of Dreams are souls collected
together in the Galaxy.
TO MRS. .......
To see thee every day that came,
And find thee still each day the same;
In pleasure's smile or sorrow's tear
To me still ever kind and dear;--
To meet thee early, leave thee late,
Has been so long my bliss, my fate,
That life, without this cheering ray,
Which came, like sunshine, every day,
And all my pain, my sorrow chased,
Is now a lone, a loveless waste.
Where are the chords she used to touch?
The airs, the songs she loved so much?
Those songs are hushed, those chords are still,
And so, perhaps, will every thrill
Of feeling soon be lulled to rest,
Which late I waked in Anna's breast.
Yet, no--the simple notes I played
From memory's tablet soon may fade;
The songs, which Anna loved to hear,
May vanish from her heart and ear;
But friendship's voice shall ever find
An echo in that gentle mind,
Nor memory lose nor time impair
The sympathies that tremble there.
TO LADY HEATHCOTE,
ON AN OLD RING FOUND AT TUNBRIDGE-WELLS.
_"Tunnebridge est a la meme distance de Londres, que Fontainebleau
l'est de Paris. Ce qu'il y a de beau et de galant dans l'un et dans
l'autre sexe s'y rassemble au terns des eaux. La compagnie,"_ etc.
--See _Memoires de Grammont_, Second Part, chap. iii.
When Grammont graced these happy springs,
And Tunbridge saw, upon her Pantiles,
The merriest wight of all the kings
That ever ruled these gay, gallant isles;
Like us, by day, they rode, they walked,
At eve they did as we may do,
And Grammont just like Spencer talked,
And lovely Stewart smiled like you.
The only different trait is this,
That woman then, if man beset her,
Was rather given to saying "yes,"
Because,--as yet, she knew no better.
Each night they held a coterie,
Where, every fear to slumber charmed,
Lovers were all they ought to be,
And husbands not the least alarmed.
Then called they up their school-day pranks,
Nor thought it much their sense beneath
To play at riddles, quips, and cranks,
And lords showed wit, and ladies teeth.
As--"Why are husbands like the mint?"
Because, forsooth, a husband's duty
Is but to set the name and print
That give a currency to beauty.
"Why is a rose in nettles hid
Like a young widow, fresh and fair?"
Because 'tis sighing to be rid
Of weeds, that "have no business there!"
And thus they missed and thus they hit,
And now they struck and now they parried;
And some lay in of full grown wit.
While others of a pun miscarried,
'Twas one of those facetious nights
That Grammont gave this forfeit ring
For breaking grave conundrumrites,
Or punning ill, or--some such thing;--
From whence it can be fairly traced,
Through many a branch and many a bough,
From twig to twig, until it graced
The snowy hand that wears it now.
All this I'll prove, and then, to you
Oh Tunbridge! and your springs ironical,
I swear by Heathcote's eye of blue
To dedicate the important chronicle.
Long may your ancient inmates give
Their mantles to your modern lodgers,
And Charles's loves in Heathcote live,
And Charles's bards revive in Rogers.
Let no pedantic fools be there;
For ever be those fops abolished,
With heads as wooden as thy ware,
And, heaven knows! not half so polished.
But still receive the young, the gay.
The few who know the rare delight
Of reading Grammont every day,
And acting Grammont every night.
THE DEVIL AMONG THE SCHOLARS,
* * * * *
But, whither have these gentle ones,
These rosy nymphs and black-eyed nuns,
With all of Cupid's wild romancing,
Led by truant brains a-dancing?
Instead of studying tomes scholastic,
Ecclesiastic, or monastic,
Off I fly, careering far
In chase of Pollys, prettier far
Than any of their namesakes are,--
The Polymaths and Polyhistors,
Polyglots and all their sisters.
So have I known a hopeful youth
Sit down in quest of lore and truth,
With tomes sufficient to confound him,
Like Tohu Bohu, heapt around him,--
Mamurra stuck to Theophrastus,
And Galen tumbling o'er Bombastus.
When lo! while all that's learned and wise
Absorbs the boy, he lifts his eyes,
And through the window of his study
Beholds some damsel fair and ruddy,
With eyes, as brightly turned upon him as
The angel's were on Hieronymus.
Quick fly the folios, widely scattered,
Old Homer's laureled brow is battered,
And Sappho, headlong sent, flies just in
The reverend eye of St. Augustin.
Raptured he quits each dozing sage,
Oh woman, for thy lovelier page:
Sweet book!--unlike the books of art,--
Whose errors are thy fairest part;
In whom the dear errata column
Is the best page in all the volume!
But to begin my subject rhyme--
'Twas just about this devilish time,
When scarce there happened any frolics
That were not done by Diabolics,
A cold and loveless son of Lucifer,
Who woman scorned, nor saw the use of her,
A branch of Dagon's family,
(Which Dagon, whether He or She,
Is a dispute that vastly better is
Referred to Scaliger _et coeteris_,)
Finding that, in this cage of fools,
The wisest sots adorn the schools,
Took it at once his head Satanic in,
To grow a great scholastic manikin,--
A doctor, quite as learned and fine as
Scotus John or Tom Aquinas,
Lully, Hales Irrefragabilis,
Or any doctor of the rabble is.
In languages, the Polyglots,
Compared to him, were Babelsots:
He chattered more than ever Jew did;--
Sanhedrim and Priest included,
Priest and holy Sanhedrim
Were one-and-seventy fools to him.
But chief the learned demon felt a
Zeal so strong for gamma, delta,
That, all for Greek and learning's glory,
He nightly tippled "Graeco more,"
And never paid a bill or balance
Except upon the Grecian Kalends:--
From whence your scholars, when they want tick,
Say, to be Attic's to be _on_ tick.
In logics, he was quite Ho Panu;
Knew as much as ever man knew.
He fought the combat syllogistic
With so much skill and art eristic,
That though you were the learned Stagyrite,
At once upon the hip he had you right.
In music, though he had no ears
Except for that amongst the spheres,
(Which most of all, as he averred it,
He dearly loved, 'cause no one heard it,)
Yet aptly he, at sight, could read
Each tuneful diagram in Bede,
And find, by Euclid's corollaria,
The ratios of a jig or aria.
But, as for all your warbling Delias,
Orpheuses and Saint Cecilias,
He owned he thought them much surpast
By that redoubted Hyaloclast
Who still contrived by dint of throttle,
Where'er he went to crack a bottle.
Likewise to show his mighty knowledge, he,
On things unknown in physiology,
Wrote many a chapter to divert us,
(Like that great little man Albertus,)
Wherein he showed the reason why,
When children first are heard to cry,
If boy the baby chance to be.
He cries O A!--if girl, O E!--
Which are, quoth he, exceeding fair hints
Respecting their first sinful parents;
"Oh Eve!" exclaimeth little madam,
While little master cries "Oh Adam!"
But, 'twas in Optics and Dioptrics,
Our daemon played his first and top tricks.
He held that sunshine passes quicker
Through wine than any other liquor;
And though he saw no great objection
To steady light and clear reflection,
He thought the aberrating rays,
Which play about a bumper's blaze,
Were by the Doctors looked, in common, on,
As a more rare and rich phenomenon.
He wisely said that the sensorium
Is for the eyes a great emporium,
To which these noted picture-stealers
Send all they can and meet with dealers.
In many an optical proceeding
The brain, he said, showed great good breeding;
For instance, when we ogle women
(A trick which Barbara tutored him in),
Although the dears are apt to get in a
Strange position on the retina,
Yet instantly the modest brain
Doth set them on their legs again!
Our doctor thus, with "stuft sufficiency"
Of all omnigenous omnisciency,
Began (as who would not begin
That had, like him, so much within?)
To let it out in books of all sorts,
Folios, quartos, large and small sorts;
Poems, so very deep and sensible
That they were quite incomprehensible
Prose, which had been at learning's Fair,
And bought up all the trumpery there,
The tattered rags of every vest,
In which the Greeks and Romans drest,
And o'er her figure swollen and antic
Scattered them all with airs so frantic,
That those, who saw what fits she had,
Declared unhappy Prose was mad!
Epics he wrote and scores of rebuses,
All as neat as old Turnebus's;
Eggs and altars, cyclopaedias,
Grammars, prayer-books--oh! 'twere tedious,
Did I but tell thee half, to follow me:
Not the scribbling bard of Ptolemy,
No--nor the hoary Trismegistus,
(Whose writings all, thank heaven! have missed us,)
E'er filled with lumber such a wareroom
As this great "_porcus literarum_!"
 Mamurra, a dogmatic philosopher, who never doubted about
anything, except who was his father.
 Bombastus was one of the names of that great scholar and
quack Paracelsus. He used to fight the devil every night with a
broadsword, to the no small terror of his pupil Oporinus, who has recorded
 The angel, who scolded St. Jerome for reading Cicero, as
Gratian tells the story in his "_concordantia discordantium Canonum_," and
says, that for this reason bishops were not allowed to read the Classics.
 The idea of the Rabbins, respecting the origin of woman, is
not a little singular. They think that man was originally formed with a
tail, like a monkey, but that the Deity cut off this appendage, and made
woman of it.
 Scaliger.--Dagon was thought by others to be a certain
sea-monster, who came every day out of the Red Sea to teach the Syrians
 It is much to be regretted that Martin Luther, with all his
talents for reforming, should yet be vulgar enough to laugh at Camerarius
for writing to him in Greek, "Master Joachim (says he) has sent me some
dates and some raisins, and has also written me two letters in Greek. As
soon as I am recovered, I shall answer them in Turkish, that he too may
have the pleasure of reading what he does not understand."
 Or Glass-breaker--Morhofius has given an account of this
extraordinary man, in a work, published 1682.
* * * * *
POEMS RELATING TO AMERICA
TO FRANCIS, EARL OF MOIRA.
GENERAL IN HIS MAJESTY'S FORCES, MASTER-GENERAL OF THE ORDNANCE,
CONSTABLE OF THE TOWER, ETC.
It is impossible to think of addressing a Dedication to your Lordship
without calling to mind the well-known reply of the Spartan to a
rhetorician, who proposed to pronounce an eulogium on Hercules. "Oh
Hercules!" said the honest Spartan, "who ever thought of blaming
Hercules?" In a similar manner the concurrence of public opinion has left
to the panegyrist of your Lordship a very superfluous task. I shall,
therefore, be silent on the subject, and merely entreat your indulgence to
the very humble tribute of gratitude which I have here the honor to
I am, my Lord,
With every feeling of attachment and respect,
Your Lordship's very devoted Servant,
_37 Bury Street, St. James's,
April 10, 1806_.
The principal poems in the following collection were written during an
absence of fourteen months from Europe. Though curiosity was certainly not
the motive of my voyage to America, yet it happened that the gratification
of curiosity was the only advantage which I derived from it. Finding
myself in the country of a new people, whose infancy had promised so much,
and whose progress to maturity has been an object of such interesting
speculation, I determined to employ the short period of time, which my
plan of return to Europe afforded me, in travelling through a few of the
States, and acquiring some knowledge of the inhabitants.
The impression which my mind received from the character and manners of
these republicans, suggested the Epistles which are written from the city
of Washington and Lake Erie. How far I was right in thus assuming the
tone of a satirist against a people whom I viewed but as a stranger and a
visitor, is a doubt which my feelings did not allow me time to
investigate. All I presume to answer for is the fidelity of the picture
which I have given; and though prudence might have dictated gentler
language, truth, I think, would have justified severer.
I went to America with prepossessions by no means unfavorable, and indeed
rather indulged in many of those illusive ideas, with respect to the
purity of the government and the primitive happiness of the people, which
I had early imbibed In my native country, where, unfortunately, discontent
at home enhances every distant temptation, and the western world has long
been looked to as a retreat from real or imaginary oppression; as, in
short, the elysian Atlantis, where persecuted patriots might find their
visions realized, and be welcomed by kindred spirits to liberty and
repose. In all these flattering expectations I found myself completely
disappointed, and felt inclined to say to America, as Horace says to his
mistress, "_intentata nites_." Brissot, in the preface to his travels,
observes, that "freedom in that country is carried to so high a degree as
to border upon a state of nature;" and there certainly is a close
approximation to savage life not only in the liberty which they enjoy, but
in the violence of party spirit and of private animosity which results
from it. This illiberal zeal imbitters all social intercourse; and, though
I scarcely could hesitate in selecting the party, whose views appeared to
me the more pure and rational, yet I was sorry to observe that, in
asserting their opinions, they both assume an equal share of intolerance;
the Democrats consistently with their principles, exhibiting a vulgarity
of rancor, which the Federalists too often are so forgetful of their cause
as to imitate.
The rude familiarity of the lower orders, and indeed the unpolished state
of society in general, would neither surprise nor disgust if they seemed
to flow from that simplicity of character, that honest ignorance of the
gloss of refinement which may be looked for in a new and inexperienced
people. But, when we find them arrived at maturity in most of the vices,
and all the pride of civilization, while they are still so far removed
from its higher and better characteristics, it is impossible not to feel
that this youthful decay, this crude anticipation of the natural period of
corruption, must repress every sanguine hope of the future energy and
greatness of America.
I am conscious that, in venturing these few remarks, I have said just
enough to offend, and by no means sufficient to convince; for the limits
of a preface prevent me from entering into a justification of my opinions,
and I am committed on the subject as effectually as if I had written
volumes in their defence. My reader, however, is apprised of the very
cursory observation upon which these opinions are founded, and can easily
decide for himself upon the degree of attention or confidence which they
With respect to the poems in general, which occupy the following pages, I
know not in what manner to apologize to the public for intruding upon
their notice such a mass of unconnected trifles, such a world of epicurean
atoms as I have here brought in conflict together. To say that I have been
tempted by the liberal offers of my bookseller, is an excuse which can
hope for but little indulgence from the critic; yet I own that, without
this seasonable inducement, these poems very possibly would never have
been submitted to the world. The glare of publication is too strong for
such imperfect productions: they should be shown but to the eye of
friendship, in that dim light of privacy which is as favorable to poetical
as to female beauty, and serves as a veil for faults, while it enhances
every charm which it displays. Besides, this is not a period for the idle
occupations of poetry, and times like the present require talents more
active and more useful. Few have now the leisure to read such trifles, and
I most sincerely regret that I have had the leisure to write them.
 This Preface, as well as the Dedication which precedes it, were
prefixed originally to the miscellaneous volume entitled "Odes and
Epistles," of which, hitherto, the poems relating to my American tour have
formed a part.
 Epistles VI., VII., and VIII.
POEMS RELATING TO AMERICA.
TO LORD VISCOUNT STRANGFORD.
ABOARD THE PHAETON FRIGATE, OFF THE AZORES, BY MOONLIGHT.
Sweet Moon! if, like Crotona's sage,
By any spell my hand could dare
To make thy disk its ample page,
And write my thoughts, my wishes there;
How many a friend, whose careless eye
Now wanders o'er that starry sky,
Should smile, upon thy orb to meet
The recollection, kind and sweet,
The reveries of fond regret,
The promise, never to forget,
And all my heart and soul would send
To many a dear-loved, distant friend.
How little, when we parted last,
I thought those pleasant times were past,
For ever past, when brilliant joy
Was all my vacant heart's employ:
When, fresh from mirth to mirth again,
We thought the rapid hours too few;
Our only use for knowledge then
To gather bliss from all we knew.
Delicious days of whim and soul!
When, mingling lore and laugh together,
We leaned the book on Pleasure's bowl,
And turned the leaf with Folly's feather.
Little I thought that all were fled,
That, ere that summer's bloom was shed,
My eye should see the sail unfurled
That wafts me to the western world.
And yet, 'twas time;--in youth's sweet days,
To cool that season's glowing rays,
The heart awhile, with wanton wing,
May dip and dive in Pleasure's spring;
But, if it wait for winter's breeze,
The spring will chill, the heart will freeze.
And then, that Hope, that fairy Hope,--
Oh! she awaked such happy dreams,
And gave my soul such tempting scope
For all its dearest, fondest schemes,
_That not Verona's child of song_,
When flying from the Phrygian shore,
With lighter heart could bound along,
Or pant to be a wanderer more!
Even now delusive hope will steal
Amid the dark regrets I feel,
Soothing, as yonder placid beam
Pursues the murmurers of the deep,
And lights them with consoling gleam,
And smiles them into tranquil sleep.
Oh! such a blessed night as this,
I often think, if friends were near,
How we should feel, and gaze with bliss
Upon the moon-bright scenery here!
The sea is like a silvery lake,
And, o'er its calm the vessel glides
Gently, as if it feared to wake
The slumber of the silent tides.
The only envious cloud that lowers
Hath hung its shade on Pico's height,
Where dimly, mid the dusk, he towers,
And scowling at this heaven of light,
Exults to see the infant storm
Cling darkly round his giant form!
Now, could I range those verdant isles,
Invisible, at this soft hour,
And see the looks, the beaming smiles,
That brighten many an orange bower;
And could I lift each pious veil,
And see the blushing cheek it shades,--
Oh! I should have full many a tale,
To tell of young Azorian maids.
Yes, Strangford, at this hour, perhaps,
Some lover (not too idly blest,
Like those, who in their ladies' laps
May cradle every wish to rest,)
Warbles, to touch his dear one's soul,
Those madrigals, of breath divine,
Which Camoens' harp from Rapture stole
And gave, all glowing warm, to thine.
Oh! could the lover learn from thee,
And breathe them with thy graceful tone,
Such sweet, beguiling minstrelsy
Would make the coldest nymph his own.
But, hark!--the boatswain's pipings tell
'Tis time to bid my dream farewell:
Eight bells:--the middle watch is set;
Good night, my Strangford!--ne'er forget
That far beyond the western sea
Is one whose heart remembers thee.
 Pythagoras; who was supposed to have a power of writing upon the Moon
by the means of a magic mirror.--See _Boyle_, art. _Pythag_.
 A very high mountain on one of the Azores, from which the island
derives its name. It is said by some to be as high as the Peak of
 I believe it is Gutherie who says, that the inhabitants of the Azores
are much addicted to gallantry. This is an assertion in which even
Gutherie may be credited.
 These islands belong to the Portuguese.
A beam of tranquillity smiled in the west,
The storms of the morning pursued us no more;
And the wave, while it welcomed the moment of rest.
Still heaved, as remembering ills that were o'er.
Serenely my heart took the hue of the hour,
Its passions were sleeping, were mute as the dead;
And the spirit becalmed but remembered their power,
As the billow the force of the gale that was fled.
I thought of those days, when to pleasure alone
My heart ever granted a wish or a sigh;
When the saddest emotion my bosom had known,
Was pity for those who were wiser than I.
I reflected, how soon in the cup of Desire
The pearl of the soul may be melted away;
How quickly, alas, the pure sparkle of fire
We inherit from heaven, may be quenched in the clay;
And I prayed of that Spirit who lighted the flame,
That Pleasure no more might its purity dim;
So that, sullied but little, or brightly the same,
I might give back the boon I had borrowed from Him.
How blest was the thought! it appeared as if Heaven
Had already an opening to Paradise shown;
As if, passion all chastened and error forgiven,
My heart then began to be purely its own.
I looked to the west, and the beautiful sky
Which morning had clouded, was clouded no more:
"Oh! thus," I exclaimed, "may a heavenly eye
"Shed light on the soul that was darkened before."
TO THE FLYING-FISH.
When I have seen thy snow-white wing
From the blue wave at evening spring,
And show those scales of silvery white,
So gayly to the eye of light,
As if thy frame were formed to rise,
And live amid the glorious skies;
Oh! it has made me proudly feel,
How like thy wing's impatient zeal
Is the pure soul, that rests not, pent
Within this world's gross element,
But takes the wing that God has given,
And rises into light and heaven!
But, when I see that wing, so bright,
Grow languid with a moment's flight,
Attempt the paths of air in vain,
And sink into the waves again;
Alas! the flattering pride is o'er;
Like thee, awhile, the soul may soar,
But erring man must blush to think,
Like thee, again, the soul may sink.
Oh Virtue! when thy clime I seek,
Let not my spirit's flight be weak;
Let me not, like this feeble thing,
With brine still dropping from its wing,
Just sparkle in the solar glow
And plunge again to depths below;
But, when I leave the grosser throng
With whom my soul hath dwelt so long,
Let me, in that aspiring day,
Cast every lingering stain away,
And, panting for thy purer air,
Fly up at once and fix me there.
 It is the opinion of St. Austin upon Genesis, and I believe of nearly
all the Fathers, that birds, like fish, were originally produced from the
waters; in defence of which idea they have collected every fanciful
circumstance which can tend to prove a kindred similitude between them.
With this thought in our minds, when we first see the Flying-Fish, we
could almost fancy, that we are present at the moment of creation, and
witness the birth of the first bird from the waves.
TO MISS MOORE.
FROM NORFOLK, IN VIRGINIA, NOVEMBER, 1803.
In days, my Kate, when life was new,
When, lulled with innocence and you,
I heard, in home's beloved shade,
The din the world at distance made;
When, every night my weary head
Sunk on its own unthorned bed,
And, mild as evening's matron hour,
Looks on the faintly shutting flower,
A mother saw our eyelids close,
And blest them into pure repose;
Then, haply if a week, a day,
I lingered from that home away,
How long the little absence seemed!
How bright the look of welcome beamed,
As mute you heard, with eager smile,
My tales of all that past the while!
Yet now, my Kate, a gloomy sea
Bolls wide between that home and me;
The moon may thrice be born and die,
Ere even that seal can reach mine eye.
Which used so oft, so quick to come,
Still breathing all the breath of home,--
As if, still fresh, the cordial air
From lips beloved were lingering there.
But now, alas,--far different fate!
It comes o'er ocean, slow and late,
When the dear hand that filled its fold
With words of sweetness may lie cold.
But hence that gloomy thought! at last,
Beloved Kate, the waves are past;
I tread on earth securely now,
And the green cedar's living bough
Breathes more refreshment to my eyes
Than could a Claude's divinest dyes.
At length I touch the happy sphere
To liberty and virtue dear,
Where man looks up, and, proud to claim
His rank within the social frame,
Sees a grand system round him roll,
Himself its centre, sun, and soul!
Far from the shocks of Europe--far
From every wild, elliptic star
That, shooting with a devious fire,
Kindled by heaven's avenging ire,
So oft hath into chaos hurled
The systems of the ancient world.
The warrior here, in arms no more
Thinks of the toil, the conflict o'er,
And glorying in the freedom won
For hearth and shrine, for sire and son,
Smiles on the dusky webs that hide
His sleeping sword's remembered pride.
While Peace, with sunny cheeks of toil,
Walks o'er the free, unlorded soil,
Effacing with her splendid share
The drops that war had sprinkled there.
Thrice happy land! where he who flies
From the dark ills of other skies,
From scorn, or want's unnerving woes.
May shelter him in proud repose;
Hope sings along the yellow sand
His welcome to a patriot land:
The mighty wood, with pomp, receives
The stranger in its world of leaves,
Which soon their barren glory yield
To the warm shed and cultured field;
And he, who came, of all bereft,
To whom malignant fate had left
Nor hope nor friends nor country dear,
Finds home and friends and country here.
Such is the picture, warmly such,
That Fancy long, with florid touch.
Had painted to my sanguine eye
Of man's new world of liberty.
Oh! ask me not, if Truth have yet
Her seal on Fancy's promise set;
If even a glimpse my eyes behold
Of that imagined age of gold;--
Alas, not yet one gleaming trace!
Never did youth, who loved a face
As sketched by some fond pencil's skill,
And made by fancy lovelier still,
Shrink back with more of sad surprise,
When the live model met his eyes,
Than I have felt, in sorrow felt,
To find a dream on which I've dwelt
From boyhood's hour, thus fade and flee
At touch of stern reality!
But, courage, yet, my wavering heart!
Blame not the temple's meanest part,
Till thou hast traced the fabric o'er;--
As yet, we have beheld no more
Than just the porch to Freedom's fame;
And, though a sable spot may stain
The vestibule, 'tis wrong, 'tis sin
To doubt the godhead reigns within!
So here I pause--and now, my Kate,
To you, and those dear friends, whose fate
Touches more near this home-sick soul
Than all the Powers from pole to pole,
One word at parting,--in the tone
Most sweet to you, and most my own,
The simple strain I send you here,
Wild though it be, would charm your ear,
Did you but know the trance of thought
In which my mind its numbers caught.
'Twas one of those half-waking dreams,
That haunt me oft, when music seems
To bear my soul in sound along,
And turn its feelings all to song.
I thought of home, the according lays
Came full of dreams of other days;
Freshly in each succeeding note
I found some young remembrance float,
Till following, as a clue, that strain
I wandered back to home, again.
Oh! love the song, and let it oft
Live on your lip, in accents soft.
Say that it tells you, simply well,
All I have bid its wild notes tell,--
Of Memory's dream, of thoughts that yet
Glow with the light of joy that's set,
And all the fond heart keeps in store
Of friends and scenes beheld no more.
And now, adieu!--this artless air,
With a few rhymes, in transcript fair,
Are all the gifts I yet can boast
To send you from Columbia's coast;
But when the sun, with warmer smile.
Shall light me to my destined isle.
You shall have many a cowslip-bell,
Where Ariel slept, and many a shell,
In which that gentle spirit drew
From honey flowers the morning dew.
 Such romantic works as "The American Farmer's Letters," and the
account of Kentucky by Imlay, would seduce us into a belief, that
innocence, peace, and freedom had deserted the rest of the world for
Martha's Vineyard and the banks of the Ohio.
 Norfolk, it must be owned, presents an unfavorable specimen of
America. The characteristics of Virginia in general are not such as can
delight either the politician or the moralist, and at Norfolk they are
exhibited in their least attractive form. At the time when we arrived the
yellow fever had not yet disappeared, and every odor that assailed us in
the streets very strongly accounted for its visitation.
THE LAKE OF THE DISMAL SWAMP.
WRITTEN AT NORFOLK, IN VIRGINIA.
"They tell of a young man, who lost his mind upon the death of a girl
he loved, and who, suddenly disappearing from his friends, was never
afterwards heard of. As he had frequently said, in his ravings, that
the girl was not dead, but gone to the Dismal Swamp, it is supposed he
had wandered into that dreary wilderness, and had died of hunger, or
been lost in some of its dreadful morasses."--Anon.
_"La Poesie a ses monstres comme la nature."_
"They made her a grave, too cold and damp
"For a soul so warm and true;
"And she's gone to the Lake of the Dismal Swamp,
"Where, all night long, by a firefly lamp,
"She paddles her white canoe.
"And her fire-fly lamp I soon shall see,
"And her paddle I soon shall hear;
"Long and loving our life shall be,
"And I'll hide the maid in a cypress tree,
"When the footstep of death is near."
Away to the Dismal Swamp he speeds--
His path was rugged and sore,
Through tangled juniper, beds of reeds,
Through many a fen, where the serpent feeds,
And man never trod before.
And, when on the earth he sunk to sleep
If slumber his eyelids knew,
He lay, where the deadly vine doth weep
Its venomous tear and nightly steep
The flesh with blistering dew!
And near him the she-wolf stirred the brake,
And the copper-snake breathed in his ear,
Till he starting cried, from his dream awake,
"Oh! when shall I see the dusky Lake,
"And the white canoe of my dear?"
He saw the Lake, and a meteor bright
Quick over its surface played--
"Welcome," he said, "my dear one's light!"
And the dim shore echoed, for many a night,
The name of the death-cold maid.
Till he hollowed a boat of the birchen bark,
Which carried him off from shore;
Far, far he followed the meteor spark,
The wind was high and the clouds were dark,
And the boat returned no more.
But oft, from the Indian hunter's camp
This lover and maid so true
Are seen at the hour of midnight damp
To cross the Lake by a fire-fly lamp,
And paddle their white canoe!
 The Great Dismal Swamp is ten or twelve miles distant from
Norfolk, and the Lake in the middle of it (about seven miles long) is
called Drummond's Pond.
TO THE MARCHIONESS DOWAGER OF DONEGALL.
FROM BERMUDA, JANUARY, 1804.
Lady! where'er you roam, whatever land
Woos the bright touches of that artist hand;
Whether you sketch the valley's golden meads,
Where mazy Linth his lingering current leads;
Enamored catch the mellow hues that sleep,
At eve, on Meillerie's immortal steep;
Or musing o'er the Lake, at day's decline,
Mark the last shadow on that holy shrine,
Where, many a night, the shade of Tell complains
Of Gallia's triumph and Helvetia's chains;
Oh! lay the pencil for a moment by,
Turn from the canvas that creative eye,
And let its splendor, like the morning ray
Upon a shepherd's harp, illume my lay.
Yet, Lady, no--for song so rude as mine,
Chase not the wonders of your art divine;
Still, radiant eye, upon the canvas dwell;
Still, magic finger, weave your potent spell;
And, while I sing the animated smiles
Of fairy nature in these sun-born isles,
Oh, might the song awake some bright design,
Inspire a touch, or prompt one happy line,
Proud were my soul, to see its humble thought
On painting's mirror so divinely caught;
While wondering Genius, as he leaned to trace
The faint conception kindling into grace,
Might love my numbers for the spark they threw,
And bless the lay that lent a charm to you.
Say, have you ne'er, in nightly vision, strayed
To those pure isles of ever-blooming shade,
Which bards of old, with kindly fancy, placed
For happy spirits in the Atlantic waste?
There listening, while, from earth, each breeze that came
Brought echoes of their own undying fame,
In eloquence of eye, and dreams of song,
They charmed their lapse of nightless hours along:--
Nor yet in song, that mortal ear might suit,
For every spirit was itself a lute,
Where Virtue wakened, with elysian breeze,
Pure tones of thought and mental harmonies.
Believe me, Lady, when the zephyrs bland
Floated our bark to this enchanted land,--
These leafy isles upon the ocean thrown,
Like studs of emerald o'er a silver zone,--
Not all the charm, that ethnic fancy gave
To blessed arbors o'er the western wave,
Could wake a dream, more soothing or sublime,
Of bowers ethereal, and the Spirit's clime.
Bright rose the morning, every wave was still,
When the first perfume of a cedar hill
Sweetly awaked us, and, with smiling charms,
The fairy harbor woo'd us to its arms.
Gently we stole, before the whispering wind,
Through plaintain shades, that round, like awnings, twined
And kist on either side the wanton sails,
Breathing our welcome to these vernal vales;
While, far reflected o'er the wave serene,
Each wooded island shed so soft a green
That the enamored keel, with whispering play,
Through liquid herbage seemed to steal its way.
Never did weary bark more gladly glide,
Or rest its anchor in a lovelier tide!
Along the margin, many a shining dome,
White as the palace of a Lapland gnome,
Brightened the wave;--in every myrtle grove
Secluded bashful, like a shrine of love,
Some elfin mansion sparkled through the shade;
And, while the foliage interposing played,
Lending the scene an ever-changing grace,
Fancy would love, in glimpses vague, to trace
The flowery capital, the shaft, the porch,
And dream of temples, till her kindling torch
Lighted me back to all the glorious days
Of Attic genius; and I seemed to gaze
On marble, from the rich Pentelio mount,
Gracing the umbrage of some Naiad's fount.
Then thought I, too, of thee, most sweet of all
The spirit race that come at poet's call,
Delicate Ariel! who, in brighter hours,
Lived on the perfume of these honied bowers,
In velvet buds, at evening, loved to lie,
And win with music every rose's sigh.
Though weak the magic of my humble strain
To charm your spirit from its orb again,
Yet, oh, for her, beneath whose smile I sing,
For her (whose pencil, if your rainbow wing
Were dimmed or ruffled by a wintry sky.
Could smooth its feather and relume its dye.)
Descend a moment from your starry sphere,
And, if the lime-tree grove that once was dear,
The sunny wave, the bower, the breezy hill,
The sparkling grotto can delight you still,
Oh cull their choicest tints, their softest light,
Weave all these spells into one dream of night,
And, while the lovely artist slumbering lies,
Shed the warm picture o'er her mental eyes;
Take for the task her own creative spells,
And brightly show what song but faintly tells.
 Lady Donegall, I had reason to suppose, was at this time still in
Switzerland, where the well-known powers of her pencil must have been
 The chapel of William Tell on the Lake of Lucerne.
 Nothing can be more romantic than the little harbor of St. George's.
The number of beautiful islets, the singular clearness of the water, and
the animated play of the graceful little boats, gliding for ever between
the islands, and seeming to sail from one cedar-grove into another, formed
altogether as lovely a miniature of nature's beauties as can be imagined.
 This is an illusion which, to the few who are fanciful enough to
indulge in it, renders the scenery of Bermuda particularly interesting. In
the short but beautiful twilight of their spring evenings, the white
cottages, scattered over the islands, and but partially seen through the
trees that surround them, assume often the appearance of little Grecian
temples; and a vivid fancy may embellish the poor fisherman's hut with
columns such as the pencil of a Claude might imitate. I had one favorite
object of this kind in my walks, which the hospitality of its owner robbed
me of, by asking me to visit him. He was a plain good man, and received me
well and warmly, but I could never turn his house into a Grecian temple
TO GEORGE MORGAN, ESQ. OF NORFOLK, VIRGINIA.
FROM BERMUDA, JANUARY, 1804.
Oh, what a sea of storm we've past!--
High mountain waves and foamy showers,
And battling winds whose savage blast
But ill agrees with one whose hours
Have past in old Anacreon's bowers,
Yet think not poesy's bright charm
Forsook me in this rude alarm;--
When close they reefed the timid sail,
When, every plank complaining loud,
We labored in the midnight gale;
And even our haughty mainmast bowed,
Even then, in that unlovely hour,
The Muse still brought her soothing power,
And, midst the war of waves and wind,
In song's Elysium lapt my mind.
Nay, when no numbers of my own
Responded to her wakening tone,
She opened, with her golden key,
The casket where my memory lays
Those gems of classic poesy,
Which time has saved from ancient days.
Take one of these, to Lais sung,--
I wrote it while my hammock swung,
As one might write a dissertation
Upon "Suspended Animation!"
Sweet is your kiss, my Lais dear,
But, with that kiss I feel a tear
Gush from your eyelids, such as start
When those who've dearly loved must part.
Sadly you lean your head to mine,
And mute those arms around me twine,
Your hair adown my bosom spread,
All glittering with the tears you shed.
In vain I've kist those lids of snow,
For still, like ceaseless founts they flow,
Bathing our cheeks, whene'er they meet.
Why is it thus? Do, tell me, sweet!
Ah, Lais! are my bodings right?
Am I to lose you? Is to-night
Our last--go, false to heaven and me!
Your very tears are treachery.
Such, while in air I floating hung,
Such was the strain, Morgante mio!
The muse and I together sung,
With Boreas to make out the trio.
But, bless the little fairy isle!
How sweetly after all our ills.
We saw the sunny morning smile
Serenely o'er its fragrant hills;
And felt the pure, delicious flow
Of airs that round this Eden blow
Freshly as even the gales that come
O'er our own healthy hills at home.
Could you but view the scenery fair,
That now beneath my window lies,
You'd think, that nature lavished there
Her purest wave, her softest skies,
To make a heaven for love to sigh in,
For bards to live and saints to die in.
Close to my wooded bank below,
In grassy calm the waters sleep,
And to the sunbeam proudly show
The coral rocks they love to steep.
The fainting breeze of morning fails;
The drowsy boat moves slowly past,
And I can almost touch its sails
As loose they flap around the mast.
The noontide sun a splendor pours
That lights up all these leafy shores;
While his own heaven, its clouds
So pictured in the waters lie,
That each small bark, in passing, seems
To float along a burning sky.
Oh for the pinnace lent to thee,
Blest dreamer, who in vision bright,
Didst sail o'er heaven's solar sea
And touch at all its isles of light.
Sweet Venus, what a clime he found
Within thy orb's ambrosial round--
There spring the breezes, rich and warm,
That sigh around thy vesper car;
And angels dwell, so pure of form
That each appears a living star.
These are the sprites, celestial queen!
Thou sendest nightly to the bed
Of her I love, with touch unseen
Thy planet's brightening tints to shed;
To lend that eye a light still clearer,
To give that cheek one rose-blush more.
And bid that blushing lip be dearer,
Which had been all too dear before.
But, whither means the muse to roam?
'Tis time to call the wanderer home.
Who could have thought the nymph would perch her
Up in the clouds with Father Kircher?
So, health and love to all your mansion!
Long may the bowl that pleasures bloom in,
The flow of heart, the soul's expansion,
Mirth and song, your board illumine.
At all your feasts, remember too,
When cups are sparkling to the brim,
That here is one who drinks to you,
And, oh! as warmly drink to him.
 We were seven days on our passage from Norfolk to Bermuda, during
three of which we were forced to lay-to in a gale of wind. The Driver
sloop of war, in which I went, was built at Bermuda of cedar, and is
accounted an excellent sea-boat. She was then commanded by my very
regretted friend Captain Compton, who in July last was killed aboard the
Lily in an action with a French privateer. Poor Compton! he fell a victim
to the strange impolicy of allowing such a miserable thing as the Lily to
remain in the service: so small, crank, and unmanageable, that a
well-manned merchantman was at any time a match for her.
 The water is so clear around the island, that the rocks are seen
beneath to a very great depth; and, as we entered the harbor, they
appeared to us so near the surface that it seemed impossible we should not
strike on them. There is no necessity, of course, for having the lead; and
the negro pilot, looking down at the rocks from the bow of the ship, takes
her through this difficult navigation, with a skill and confidence which
seem to astonish some of the oldest sailors.
 In Kircher's "Ecstatic Journey to Heaven." Cosmel, the genius of the
world, gives Theodidacticus a boat of asbestos, with which he embarks into
the regions of the sun.
LINES WRITTEN IN A STORM AT SEA.
That sky of clouds is not the sky
To light a lover to the pillow
Of her he loves--
The swell of yonder foaming billow
Resembles not the happy sigh
That rapture moves.
Yet do I feel more tranquil far
Amid the gloomy wilds of ocean,
In this dark hour,
Than when, in passion's young emotion,
I've stolen, beneath the evening star,
To Julia's bower.
Oh! there's a holy calm profound
In awe like this, that ne'er was given
To pleasure's thrill;
'Tis as a solemn voice from heaven,
And the soul, listening to the sound,
Lies mute and still.
'Tis true, it talks of danger nigh,
Of slumbering with the dead tomorrow
In the cold deep,
Where pleasure's throb or tears of sorrow
No more shall wake the heart or eye,
But all must sleep.
Well!--there are some, thou stormy bed,
To whom thy sleep would be a treasure;
Oh! most to him,
Whose lip hath drained life's cup of pleasure,
Nor left one honey drop to shed
Round sorrow's brim.
Yes--_he_ can smile serene at death:
Kind heaven, do thou but chase the weeping
Of friends who love him;
Tell them that he lies calmly sleeping
Where sorrow's sting or envy's breath
No more shall move him.
ODES TO NEA;
WRITTEN AT BERMUDA.
[Greek: NEA turannei]
EURPID. "_Medea_," v. 967.
Nay, tempt me not to love again,
There was a time when love was sweet;
Dear Nea! had I known thee then,
Our souls had not been slow to meet.
But, oh, this weary heart hath run,
So many a time, the rounds of pain,
Not even for thee, thou lovely one,
Would I endure such pangs again.
If there be climes, where never yet
The print of beauty's foot was set,
Where man may pass his loveless nights,
Unfevered by her false delights,
Thither my wounded soul would fly,
Where rosy cheek or radiant eye
Should bring no more their bliss, or pain,
Nor fetter me to earth again.
Dear absent girl! whose eyes of light,
Though little prized when all my own,
Now float before me, soft and bright
As when they first enamoring shone,--
What hours and days have I seen glide,
While fit, enchanted, by thy side,
Unmindful of the fleeting day,
I've let life's dream dissolve away.
O bloom of youth profusely shed!
O moments I simply, vainly sped,
Yet sweetly too--or Love perfumed
The flame which thus my life consumed;
And brilliant was the chain of flowers,
In which he led my victim-hours.
Say, Nea, say, couldst thou, like her,
When warm to feel and quick to err,
Of loving fond, of roving fonder,
This thoughtless soul might wish to wander,--
Couldst thou, like her, the wish reclaim,
Endearing still, reproaching never,
Till even this heart should burn with shame,
And be thy own more fixt than ever,
No, no--on earth there's only one
Could bind such faithless folly fast;
And sure on earth but one alone
Could make such virtue false at last!
Nea, the heart which she forsook,
For thee were but a worthless shrine--
Go, lovely girl, that angel look
Must thrill a soul more pure than mine.
Oh! thou shalt be all else to me,
That heart can feel or tongue can feign;
I'll praise, admire, and worship thee,
But must not, dare not, love again.
* * * * *
--_tale iter omne cave. _
PROPERT. _lib. iv. eleg. 8_.
I pray you, let us roam no more
Along that wild and lonely shore,
Where late we thoughtless strayed;
'Twas not for us, whom heaven intends
To be no more than simple friends,
Such lonely walks were made.
That little Bay, where turning in
From ocean's rude and angry din,
As lovers steal to bliss,
The billows kiss the shore, and then
Flow back into the deep again,
As though they did not kiss.
Remember, o'er its circling flood
In what a dangerous dream we stood--
The silent sea before us,
Around us, all the gloom of grove,
That ever lent its shade to love,
No eye but heaven's o'er us!
I saw you blush, you felt me tremble,
In vain would formal art dissemble
All we then looked and thought;
'Twas more than tongue could dare reveal,
'Twas every thing that young hearts feel,
By Love and Nature taught.
I stopped to cull, with faltering hand,
A shell that, on the golden sand,
Before us faintly gleamed;
I trembling raised it, and when you
Had kist the shell, I kist it too--
How sweet, how wrong it seemed!
Oh, trust me, 'twas a place, an hour,
The worst that e'er the tempter's power
Could tangle me or you in;
Sweet Nea, let us roam no more
Along that wild and lonely shore.
Such walks may be our ruin.
* * * * *
You read it in these spell-bound eyes,
And there alone should love be read;
You hear me say it all in sighs,
And thus alone should love be said.
Then dread no more; I will not speak;
Although my heart to anguish thrill,
I'll spare the burning of your cheek,
And look it all in silence still.
Heard you the wish I dared to name,
To murmur on that luckless night,
When passion broke the bonds of shame,
And love grew madness in your sight?
Divinely through the graceful dance,
You seemed to float in silent song,
Bending to earth that sunny glance,
As if to light your steps along.
Oh! how could others dare to touch
That hallowed form with hand so free,
When but to look was bliss too much,
Too rare for all but Love and me!
With smiling eyes, that little thought,
How fatal were the beams they threw,
My trembling hands you lightly caught,
And round me, like a spirit, flew.
Heedless of all, but you alone,--
And _you_, at least, should not condemn.
If, when such eyes before me shone,
My soul forgot all eyes but them,--
I dared to whisper passion's vow,--
For love had even of thought bereft me,--
Nay, half-way bent to kiss that brow,
But, with a bound, you blushing left me.
Forget, forget that night's offence,
Forgive it, if, alas! you can;
'Twas love, 'twas passion--soul and sense--
'Twas all that's best and worst in man.
That moment, did the assembled eyes
Of heaven and earth my madness view,
I should have seen, thro' earth and skies,
But you alone--but only you.
Did not a frown from you reprove.
Myriads of eyes to me were none;
Enough for me to win your love,
And die upon the spot, when won.
A DREAM OF ANTIQUITY.
I just had turned the classic page.
And traced that happy period over,
When blest alike were youth and age,
And love inspired the wisest sage,
And wisdom graced the tenderest lover.
Before I laid me down to sleep
Awhile I from the lattice gazed
Upon that still and moonlight deep,
With isles like floating gardens raised,
For Ariel there his sports to keep;
While, gliding 'twixt their leafy shores
The lone night-fisher plied his oars.
I felt,--so strongly fancy's power
Came o'er me in that witching hour,--
As if the whole bright scenery there
Were lighted by a Grecian sky,
And I then breathed the blissful air
That late had thrilled to Sappho's sigh.
Thus, waking, dreamt I,--and when Sleep
Came o'er my sense, the dream went on;
Nor, through her curtain dim and deep,
Hath ever lovelier vision shone.
I thought that, all enrapt, I strayed
Through that serene, luxurious shade,
Where Epicurus taught the Loves
To polish virtue's native brightness,--
As pearls, we're told, that fondling doves
Have played with, wear a smoother whiteness.
'Twas one of those delicious nights
So common in the climes of Greece,
When day withdraws but half its lights,
And all is moonshine, balm, and peace.
And thou wert there, my own beloved,
And by thy side I fondly roved
Through many a temple's reverend gloom,
And many a bower's seductive bloom,
Where Beauty learned what Wisdom taught.
And sages sighed and lovers thought;
Where schoolmen conned no maxims stern,
But all was formed to soothe or move,
To make the dullest love to learn,
To make the coldest learn to love.
And now the fairy pathway seemed
To lead us through enchanted ground,
Where all that bard has ever dreamed
Of love or luxury bloomed around.
Oh! 'twas a bright, bewildering scene--
Along the alley's deepening green
Soft lamps, that hung like burning flowers,
And scented and illumed the bowers,
Seemed, as to him, who darkling roves,
Amid the lone Hercynian groves,
Appear those countless birds of light,
That sparkle in the leaves at night,
And from their wings diffuse a ray
Along the traveller's weary way.
'Twas light of that mysterious kind.
Through which the soul perchance may roam,
When it has left this world behind,
And gone to seek its heavenly home.
And, Nea, thou wert by my side,
Through all this heavenward path my guide.
But, lo, as wandering thus we ranged
That upward path, the vision changed;
And now, methought, we stole along
Through halls of more voluptuous glory
Than ever lived in Teian song,
Or wantoned in Milesian story.
And nymphs were there, whose very eyes
Seemed softened o'er with breath of sighs;
Whose every ringlet, as it wreathed,
A mute appeal to passion breathed.
Some flew, with amber cups, around,
Pouring the flowery wines of Crete;
And, as they passed with youthful bound,
The onyx shone beneath their feet.
While others, waving arms of snow
Entwined by snakes of burnished gold,
And showing charms, as loth to show,
Through many a thin, Tarentian fold,
Glided among the festal throng
Bearing rich urns of flowers along
Where roses lay, in languor breathing,
And the young beegrape, round them wreathing,
Hung on their blushes warm and meek,
Like curls upon a rosy cheek.
Oh, Nea! why did morning break
The spell that thus divinely bound me?
Why did I wake? how _could_ I wake
With thee my own and heaven around me!
* * * * *
Well--peace to thy heart, though another's it be,
And health to that cheek, though it bloom not for me!
To-morrow I sail for those cinnamon groves,
Where nightly the ghost of the Carribee roves,
And, far from the light of those eyes, I may yet
Their allurements forgive and their splendor forget.
Farewell to Bermuda, and long may the bloom
Of the lemon and myrtle its valleys perfume;
May spring to eternity hallow the shade,
Where Ariel has warbled and Waller has strayed.
And thou--when, at dawn, thou shalt happen to roam
Through the lime-covered alley that leads to thy home,
Where oft, when the dance and the revel were done,
And the stars were beginning to fade in the sun,
I have led thee along, and have told by the way
What my heart all the night had been burning to say--
Oh! think of the past--give a sigh to those times,
And a blessing for me to that alley of limes.
* * * * *
If I were yonder wave, my dear,
And thou the isle it clasps around,
I would not let a foot come near
My land of bliss, my fairy ground.
If I were yonder couch of gold,
And thou the pearl within it placed,
I would not let an eye behold
The sacred gem my arms embraced.
If I were yonder orange-tree,
And thou the blossom blooming there,
I would not yield a breath of thee
To scent the most imploring air.
Oh! bend not o'er the water's brink,
Give not the wave that odorous sigh,
Nor let its burning mirror drink
The soft reflection of thine eye.
That glossy hair, that glowing cheek,
So pictured in the waters seem,
That I could gladly plunge to seek
Thy image in the glassy stream.
Blest fate! at once my chilly grave
And nuptial bed that stream might be;
I'll wed thee in its mimic wave.
And die upon the shade of thee.
Behold the leafy mangrove, bending
O'er the waters blue and bright,
Like Nea's silky lashes, lending
Shadow to her eyes of light.
Oh, my beloved! where'er I turn,
Some trace of thee enchants mine eyes:
In every star thy glances burn;
Thy blush on every floweret lies.
Nor find I in creation aught
Of bright or beautiful or rare,
Sweet to the sense of pure to thought,
But thou art found reflected there.
 This method of polishing pearls, by leaving them awhile to be played
with by doves, is mentioned by the fanciful Cardanus.
 The Milesiacs, or Milesian fables, had their origin in Miletus, a
luxurious town of Ionia. Aristides was the most celebrated author of these
 It appears that in very splendid mansions the floor or pavement was
frequently of onyx.
 Bracelets of this shape were a favorite ornament among the women of
 The inhabitants pronounce the name as if it were written Bermooda. I
wonder it did not occur to some of those all-reading gentlemen that,
possibly, the discoverer of this "island of hogs and devils" might have
been no less a personage than the great John Bermudez, who, about the same
period (the beginning of the sixteenth century), was sent Patriarch of the
Latin church to Ethiopia, and has left us most wonderful stories of the
Amazons and the Griffins which he encountered.--_Travels of the Jesuits_,
THE SNOW SPIRIT.
No, ne'er did the wave in its element steep
An island of lovelier charms;
It blooms in the giant embrace of the deep,
Like Hebe in Hercules' arms.
The blush of your bowers is light to the eye,
And their melody balm to the ear;
But the fiery planet of day is too nigh,
And the Snow Spirit never comes here.
The down from his wing is as white as the pearl
That shines through thy lips when they part,
And it falls on the green earth as melting, my girl,
As a murmur of thine on the heart.
Oh! fly to the clime, where he pillows the death,
As he cradles the birth of the year;
Bright are your bowers and balmy their breath,
But the Snow Spirit cannot come here.
How sweet to behold him when borne on the gale,
And brightening the bosom of morn,
He flings, like the priest of Diana, a veil
O'er the brow of each virginal thorn.
Yet think not the veil he so chillingly casts
Is the veil of a vestal severe;
No, no, thou wilt see, what a moment it lasts,
Should the Snow Spirit ever come here.
But fly to his region--lay open thy zone,
And he'll weep all his brilliancy dim,
To think that a bosom, as white as his own,
Should not melt in the daybeam like him.
Oh! lovely the print of those delicate feet
O'er his luminous path will appear--
Fly, my beloved! this island is sweet,
But the Snow Spirit cannot come here.
* * * * *
I stole along the flowery bank,
While many a bending seagrape drank
The sprinkle of the feathery oar
That winged me round this fairy shore.
'Twas noon; and every orange bud
Hung languid o'er the crystal flood,
Faint as the lids of maiden's eyes
When love-thoughts in her bosom rise.
Oh, for a naiad's sparry bower,
To shade me in that glowing hour!
A little dove, of milky hue,
Before me from a plantain flew,
And, light along the water's brim,
I steered my gentle bark by him;
For fancy told me, Love had sent