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But if thou comest a sibyl's leaf,
Such as did erst high truths declare, To tell me-soon shall end my grief,
I bless the omen that you bear : For sure you tell me that my woe
An end like thine at length shall have;
I sink into the peaceful grave:
Come lodge within this troubled breast,
ELEGIAC STANZAS ON MYSELF. To Pleasure's wiles an easy prey
Beneath this sod a bosom lies; Yet spare the meek offender's clay,
Nor part with dry averted eyes. O stranger ! if thy wayward lot
Through Folly's heedless maze has led, Here nurse the true, the tender thought,
And fling the wild flower on his head. For he, by this cold hillock clad,
Where tall grass twines the pointed stone, Each gentlest balm of feeling had,
To soothe all sorrow but his own. For he, by tuneful Fancy rear'd
(Though ever dumb he sleeps below), The stillest sigh of anguish beard,
And gave a tear to every woe.
Oh! place his dear harp by his side
(His harp, alas! his only hoard); The fairy breeze at eventide
Will trembling kiss each weeping chord. Oft on yon crested cliff he stood,
When misty twilight stream'd around, To mark the slowly heaving flood,
And catch the deep wave's sullen sound. Oft when the rosy dawn was seen
Mid blue to gild the blushing steep, He traced, o'er yonder margent green,
The curling cloud of fragrance sweep. Oft did he pause the lark to hear,
With speckled wing, the skies explore; Qft paused to see the slow flock near;
But he shall hear and see no more. Then, stranger, be his foibles lost;
At such small foibles Virtue smiled : Few was their number, large their cost,
For he was Nature's orphan child. The graceful drop of pity spare
(To him the bright drop once belong'd), Well, well his doom deserves thy care;
Much, much he suffer'd, much was wrong'd. When taught by life its pangs to know,
Ah! as thou roam'st the checker'd gloom, Bid the sweet nightbird's numbers flow,
And the last sunbeam light his tomb.
MISFORTUNES OF AN INGENUOUS MIND.
ALAS! too fatally inspired,
Why heaves this heart with purest aim, For aught the sage's soul admired,
Or raptured minstrel gave to fame? Why throbs within this lone recess
Each finer pulse of general zeal, That mourns because it cannot bless
The wants 'tis fated still to feel ? Did Fortune blast what Nature gave,
Averse, with dark malignant glare? Did Sorrow mark the victim's grave,
When graced with more than mortals' share ? Ah, cruel gift! ah, baneful prize!
By too bewitching Fancy led, To bid Hope's fairest visions rise,
Then find those fairest visions fled; To pause on the deserted gloom,
By their lost hues more hideous made; While, only left, an early tomb
Gleams sudden through the awful shade! Less painful far, were dull Despair
Without one spark delusive given, To flash amid the cells of Care,
Or snatch a fading glimpse of heaven; Less injured the insensate breast
That ne'er one ardent pang can know, That deems each social call a jest,
And slumbers o'er the tale of woe.
Like some poor pilgrim, faint and frail,
When lonely eve comes darkling on, Still forced to tread life's thorny vale,
Nor view the tedious travel done; To hang on Hope's pale setting ray,
To hear in every breeze a sigh, To end at last the weary way;
Then Disappointment meet-and die. If this, oh! Poesy, thy meed,
Whose bosom, Sympathy's sole throne, Must oft for other's anguish bleed,
And ever, ever for its own; Quick tear thy sad illusions hence
(Illusions sad indeed, yet dear), Unroot each tender-twining sense,
And freeze on Pity's cheek the tear: Oh! let that cheek be marble-cold
To Friendship or Affection's kiss, And let each child of song be told Insensibility is bliss !
THE ORPHAN'S PRAYER. THE frozen streets in moonshine glitter,
The midnight hour has long been pass'd! O God !' the wind blows keen and bitter,
I sink beneath the piercing blast. In every vein life seems to languish,
Their weight my limbs no more can bear : But no one soothes the orphan's anguish,
And no one heeds the orphan's prayer. VOL. IV.
Hark! hark! for surely footsteps near me
Advancing press the drifted snow.
I die for food! Some alms bestow !
No wanton pleads in feign'd despair ; A famish'd orphan kneels before you,
Oh! grant the famish'd orphan's prayer! Perhaps you think, my lips dissembling
Of virtuous sorrows feign a tale ; Mark then my frame with anguish trembling,
My hollow eyes, and features pale. E'en should my story not be real,
Too well these wasted limbs declare My wants at least are not ideal ;
Then, stranger, grant the orphan's prayer. He's gone!—No mercy man will show me;
In prayers no more I'll waste my breath : Here on the frozen earth I'll throw me,
And wait in mute despair for death, Farewell, thou cruel world! To-morrow
No more thy scorn my heart shall tear; The grave will shield the child of sorrow,
And Heaven will hear the orphan's prayer. But thou, proud man, the beggar scorning,
Unmoved who saw'st me kneel for bread, Thy heart shall ache to hear at morning,
That morning found the beggar dead : And when the room resounds with laughter,
My famish'd cry thy mirth shall scare, And often shalt thou wish hereafter Thou hadst not scorn'd the orphan's prayer.
M, G., LEWIS.