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which must be supposed to have been narrated in the first and second parts, is as follows.
Edward, a young farmer, meets, at the house of Ellen, her bosom-friend, Mary, and commences an acquaintance, which ends in a mutual attachment. With her consent, and by the advice of their common friend Ellen, he announces his hopes and intentions to Mary's Mother, a widow-woman bordering on her fortieth year, and from constant health, the possession of a competent property, and from having had no other children but Mary and another daughter (the Father died in their infancy), retaining, for the greater part, her personal attractions and comeliness of appearance; but a woman of low education and violent temper. The answer which she at once returned to Edward's application was remarkable-"Well, Edward! you are a handsome young fellow, and you shall have my Daughter." From this time all their wooing passed under the Mother's eye; and, in fine, she became herself enamoured of her future Son-in-law, and practised every art, both of endearment and of calumny, to transfer his affections from her daughter to herself. (The outlines of the Tale are positive facts, and of no very distant date, though the author has purposely altered the names and the scene of action, as well as invented the characters of the parties and the detail of the incidents.) Edward, however, though perplexed by her strange detraction from her daughter's good qualities, yet in the innocence of his own heart still mistaking her increasing fondness for motherly affection; she, at length overcome by her miserable passion, after much abuse of Mary's temper and moral tendencies, exclaimed with violent emotion-"O Edward! indeed, indeed, she is not fit for you-she has not a heart to love you as you deserve. It is I that love you! Marry me, Edward! and I will this very day settle all my property on you."-The Lover's eyes were now opened; and thus taken by surprise, whether from the effect of the horror which he felt, acting as it were hysterically on his nervous system, or that at the first moment he lost the sense of the proposal in the feeling of its strangeness and absurdity, he flung ber from him and burst into a fit of laughter. Irritated by this almost to frenzy, the woman fell on her knees, and in a loud voice that approached to a seream, she prayed for a Curse both on him and on her own Child. Mary happened to be in the room directly above them, heard Edward's laugh and her Mother's blasphemous prayer, and fainted away. He, hearing the fall, ran up stairs, and taking her in his arms, carried her off to Ellen's home; and after some fruitless attempts on her part toward a reconciliation with her Mother, she was married to him. And here the third part of the Tale begins.
I was not led to choose this story from any partiality to tragic, much less to monstrous events (though at the time that I composed the verses, somewhat more than twelve years ago, I was less averse to such subjects than at present), but from finding in it a striking proof of the possible effect on the imagination, from an idea violently and suddenly impressed on it. I had been reading Bryan Edwards's account of the effect of the Oby Witchcraft on the Negroes in the West Indies, and Heare's deeply interesting Anecdotes of similar workings on the imagination of the Copper Indians (those of my readers who have it in their power will be well repaid for the trouble of referring to those works for the passages alluded to), and I conceived the design of showing that instances of this kind are not peculiar to savage or barbarous tribes, and of illustrating the mode in which the mind is affected in these cases, and the progress and symptoms of the morbid action on the fancy from the beginning.
(The Tale is supposed to be narrated by an old Sexton, in a Country church-yard, to a Traveller whose curiosity had been awakened by the appearance of three graves, close by each other, to two only of which there were grave-stones. On the first of these were the name, and dates, as usual: on the second, no name, but only a date, and the words, The Mercy of God is infinite.]
THE grapes upon the vicar's wall
Within this arbor, which was still
With scarlet berries hung,
Were these three friends, one Sunday morn, Just as the first bell rung.
Late, late yestreen, I saw the new Moon,
Ballad of Sir Patrick Spens.
WELL! if the Bard was weather-wise, who made
For lo! the New-moon winter-bright!
The coming on of rain and squally blast.
And oh that even now the gust were swelling, And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast! Those sounds which oft have raised me, whilst they awed,
And sent my soul abroad,
A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear,
O Lady! in this wan and heartless mood,
And its peculiar tint of yellow green:
I see, not feel, how beautiful they are!
My genial spirits fail,
And what can these avail
To lift the smothering weight from off my breast? It were a vain endeavor,
Though I should gaze for ever,
On that green light that lingers in the west:
I may not hope from outward forms to win
The passion and the life, whose fountains are within
Carmen reliquum in futurum tempus relegatum. To-morrow! O Lady! we receive but what we give, and To-morrow! and To-morrow!-
And in our life alone does nature live:
Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her shroud!
Enveloping the Earth
And from the soul itself must there be sent
O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of me
This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist,
Joy, virtuous Lady! Joy that ne'er was given,
Joy, Lady! is the spirit and the power,
And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight,
There was a time when, though my path was rough,
This joy within me dallied with distress, And all misfortunes were but as the stuff Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness: For hope grew round me, like the twining vine, And fruits, and foliage, not my own, seem'd mine. But now afflictions bow me down to earth: Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth.
But oh! each visitation
Suspends what nature gave me at my birth,
From my own nature all the natural Man-
Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my mind, Reality's dark dream!
I turn from you, and listen to the wind,
Which long has raved unnoticed. What a screat Of agony by torture lengthen'd out
That lute sent forth! Thou Wind, that ravest without,
Bare crag, or mountain-tairn,* or blasted tree, Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb, Or lonely house, long held the witches' home, Methinks were fitter instruments for thee, Mad Lutanist! who in this month of showers, Of dark-brown gardens, and of peeping flowers,
* Tairn is a small lake, generally, if not always, applied to the lakes up in the mountains, and which are the feeders of
those in the valleys. This address to the Storm-wind will not appear extravagant to those who have heard it at night, and in a mountainous country.
Makest Devils' yule, with worse than wintry song,
"T is of the Rushing of an Host in rout, With groans of trampled men, with smarting wounds
At once they groan with pain, and shudder with the cold!
But hush! there is a pause of deepest silence!
It tells another tale, with sounds less deep and A tale of less affright,
And temper'd with delight,
As Otway's self had framed the tender lay,
"T is of a little child
Upon a lonesome wild,
Not far from home, but she hath lost her way,
And now moans low in bitter grief and fear, And now screams loud, and hopes to make her mother hear.
"T is midnight, but small thoughts have I of sleep:
Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice:
O simple spirit, guided from above,
ODE TO GEORGIANA, DUCHESS OF
ON THE TWENTY-FOURTH STANZA IN HER "PASSAGE
And hail the Chapel! hail the Platform wild!
With well-strung arm, that first preserved his Child,
DOR's fondly foster'd child!" And did you hail the Platform wild, Where once the Austrian fell Beneath the shaft of Tell?
O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure! Whence learnt you that heroic measure?
Light as a dream your days their circlets ran,