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In woe and in wandering and deserts, return
THE FEMALE EXILE.
NOVEMBER's chill blast on the rough beach is howling,
[shore, The surge breaks afar, and then foams to the Dark clouds o'er the sea gather beavy and scowling,
And the white cliffs reecho the wild wintry roar. Beneath that chalk rock a fair stranger, reclining,
Has found on damp seaweed a cold lonely seat; Her eyes fill'd with tears, and her heart with re
pining, She starts at the billows that burst at her feet. There, day after day, with an anxious heart
heaving, She watches the waves where they mingle with
[ceiving, For the sail which, alas ! all her fond hopes de
May bring only tidings to add to her care. Loose stream to wild winds those fair flowing tresses,
[flowers; Once woven with garlands of gay Summer Her dress unregarded bespeaks her distresse
And beauty is blighted by grief's heavy hours.
Her innocent children, unconscious of sorrow,
stray; Amused with the present, they heed not to-morrow,
Nor think of the storm that is gathering to-day.
The gilt fairy ship, with its ribbon-sail spreading,
They launch on the salt pool the tide left behind; Ah! victims—for whom their sad mother is dread
ing, The multiplied miseries that wait on mankind !
To fair fortune born she beholds them with anguish,
Now wanderers with her on a once hostile soil, Perhaps doom'd for life in chill penury to languish,
Or abject dependence, or soul-crushing toil. But the seaboat, her hopes and her terrors renew
ing, O'er the dim gray horizon now faintly appears ; She flies to the quay, dreading tidings of ruin, All breathless with haste, half expiring with
Poor mourner!—I would that my fortune had left
The means to alleviate the woes I deplore; [me But, like thine, my hard fate has of affluence be
I can warm the cold heart of the wretched no more !
APRIL. GREEN o'er the copses Spring's soft hues are
spreading, High wave the reeds in the transparent floods, The oak its sear and sallow foliage shedding,
From their moss'd cradles start its infant buds.
Pale as the tranquil tide of Summer's ocean
The willow now its slender leaf unveils ; And through the sky, with swiftly fleeting motion,
Driven by the wind, the rack of April sails. Then, as the gust declines, the stealing showers
Fall fresh and noiseless; while at close of day The low sun gleams on moist and half-blown
flowers, That promise garlands for approaching May. Bless'd are yon peasant children, simply singing, Who through the new-sprung grass rejoicing rove;
[bringing, More bless'd! to whom the Time fond thought is
Of friends expected, or returning love. The pensive wanderer bless'd, to whom reflection Points out some future views that soothe his
mind, Me how unlike!—whom cruel recollection
But tells of comfort I shall never find!
Hope, that on Nature's youth is still attending,
No more to me her siren song shall sing ; Never to me her influence extending,
Shall I again enjoy the days of spring!
Yet how I loved them once these scenes remind me, When, light of heart, in childhood's thoughtless
mirth, I reck'd not that the cruel lot assign’d me [birth!
Should make me curse the hour that gave me Then from thy wild wood banks, Aruna! roving,
Thy thymy downs with sportive steps I sought, And Nature's charms, with artless transport loving,
Sung like the birds, unheeded and untaught. But now the spring-tide's pleasant hours returning
Serve to awaken me to sharper pain ; Recalling scenes of agony and mourning,
Of baffled hopes and prayers preferr’d in vain. Thus shone the sun, his vernal rays displaying,
Thus did the woods in early verdure wave, While dire Disease on all I loved was preying,
And flowers seem'd rising but to strew her grave. Now mid reviving blooms I coldly languish,
Spring seems devoid of joy to me alone; Each sound of pleasure aggravates my anguish, And speaks of beauty, youth, and sweetness
gone! Yet, as stern Duty bids, with faint endeavour
I drag on life, contending with my woe, Though conscious Misery still repeats that never
My soul one pleasurable hour shall know. Lost in the tomb, when Hope no more appeases The fester'd wounds that prompt the' eternal
sigh ; Grief, the most fatal of the heart's diseases,
Soon teaches whom it fastens on to die.
The wretch undone, for pain alone existing,
The abject dread of Death shall sure subdue, And far from his decisive hand resisting, Rejoice to bid a world like this adieu !
REST, rest, dear babe, in balmy sleep reposing,
No care, no sorrow moves thy tranquil breast; Rest till the dawn, thy gentle eyes unclosing, Shall wake that smile in which alone I'm
Hush thee, sweet babe! let naught disturb thy
slumbers, Thy mother, fondly o'er thy cradle hung, Thus frames for thee the soothing favourite num
bers, For thee her vigils thus beguiles with song.
Alas! my child, for thee no Father's bosom
Throbs to soft sympathy and fond alarm; No sheltering arm protects thy tender blossom, And screens its weakness from life's gathering
In vain with tears and suppliant accents blended,
His infant seeks its sacred rights to claim; Though truth and honour for those claims con
tended, Honour and truth to him are but a name.