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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.2 Oh! could the lover learn from thee, And breathe them with thy graceful
tone, Such sweet, beguiling minstrelsy
Would make the coldest nymph his
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
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;
But, hark ! - the boatswain's pipings
tell 'T is 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.
So that, sullied but little, or brightly the
same, I might give back the boon I had bor
rowed from Him.
STANZAS. θυμός δε πότ' εμός
με προσφωνεί τάδε. . γίνωσκε τάνθρώπεια μη σέβειν άγαν.
Æschyl. Fragment. 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
Serenely my heart took the hue of the
hour, Its passions were sleeping, were mute
as the dead;
TO THE FLYING-FISH.8 WHEN I have seen thy snow-white wing From the blue wave at evening spring,
1 I believe it is Guthrie who says, that the inhabitants of the Azores are much addicted to gallantry. This is an assertion in which even Guthrie may be credited.
2 These islands belong to the Portuguese.
3 It is the opinion of St. Austin upon Genesis, and I believe of nearly all the Fathers, that hirds, like fish, were originally produced from
And show those scales of silvery white,
Then, haply if a week, a day,
But, when I see that wing, so bright,
Yet now, my Kate, a gloomy sea
Oh Virtue! when thy clime I seek, But hence that gloomy thought! at Let not my spirit's flight be weak:
And the green cedar's living bough And plunge again to depths below; Breathes more refreshment to my eyes But, when I leave the grosser throng Than could a Claude's divinest dyes. With whom my soul hath dwelt so At length I touch the happy sphere long,
To liberty and virtue dear, Let me, in that aspiring day,
Where man looks up, and, proud to Cast every lingering stain away,
claim And, panting for thy purer air,
His rank within the social frame, Fly up at once and fix me there.
Sees a grand system round him roll,
Himself its centre, sun, and soul !
Far from the shocks of Europe - far
Kindled by heaven's avenging ire,
So oft hath into chaos hurled
The warrior here, in arms no more,
For hearth and shrine, for sire and And blest them into pure repose;
Smiles on the dusky webs that hide the waters; in defence of which idea they have His sleeping sword's remembered pride. collected every fanciful circumstance which can tend to prove a kindred similitude between them;
While Peace, with sunny cheeks of συγγένειαν τοις πετομένοις προς τα νηκτά. With toil, this thought in our minds, when we first see the Walks o'er the free, unlorded soil, Flying-Fish, we could almost fancy, that we are present at the moment of creation, and witness
Effacing with her splendid share he birth of the first bird from the waves.
The drops that war had sprinkled there.
Thrice happy land! where he who flies
And, though a sable spot may stain
ear, Did you but know the trance of thought In which my mind its numbers caught. ’T was 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.
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 !1 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 2 Till thou hast traced the fabric o’er: As yet, we have beheld no more Than just the porch to Freedom's fane;
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, 4 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.
1 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. The French travellers, too, almost all from revolutionary motives, have contributed their share to the diffusion of this flattering misconception. A visit to the country is, however, quite sufficient to correct even the most enthusiastic prepossession.
2 Norfolk, it must be owned, presents an unfavorable specimen of America. The character. istics 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.
3 A trifling attempt at musical composition accompanied this Epistle.
gone to the
A BALLAD. 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
ismal 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 Poésie a ses monstres comme la nature."
D'ALEMBERT. “ 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,1 “Where, all night long, by a fire-fly
And the dim shore echoed, for many a
night, The name of the death-cold maid.
Till he hollowed a boat of the birchen
“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.”
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 !
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!
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; 2 Enamoured 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, 3 Where, many a night, the shade of Tell
complains Of Gallia's triumph and Helvetia's
And near him the she-wolf stirred the
brake, And the copper-snake breathed in his
ear, Till he starting cried, from his dream
1 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.
2 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 frequently awakened.
3 The chapel of William Tell on the Lake of Lucerne.
Oh! lay the pencil for a moment by,
For every spirit was itself a lute,
Yet, Lady, no - for song so rude as Believe me, Lady, when the zephyrs mine,
bland Chase not the wonders of your art
Floated our bark to this enchanted land, divine;
These leafy isles upon the ocean thrown, Still, radiant eye, upon the canvas dwell;
Like studs of emerald o'er a silver zone,Still, magic finger, weave your potent Not all the charm, that ethnic fancy spell;
gave And, while I sing the animated smiles
To blessed arbors o'er the western wave, Of fairy nature in these sun-born isles, Could wake a dream, more soothing or Oh, might the song awake some bright sublime, design,
Of bowers ethereal, and the Spirit's clime. Inspire a touch, or prompt one happy line,
Bright rose the morning, every wave Proud were my soul, to see its humble was still, thought
When the first perfume of a cedar hill On painting's mirror so divinely caught; Sweetly awaked us, and, with smiling While wondering Genius, as he leaned charms, to trace
The fairy harbor woo'd us to its arms.2 The faint conception kindling into grace, Gently we stole, before the whispering Might love my numbers for the spark wind, they threw,
Through plaintain shades, that round, And bless the lay that lent a charm to like awnings, twined you.
And kist on either side the wanton sails,
Breathing our welcome to these vernal Say, have you ne’er, in nightly vision, vales; strayed
While, far reflected o'er the wave serene, To those pure isles of ever-blooming Each wooded island shed so soft a green shade,
That the enamoured keel, with whisperWhich bards of old, with kindly fancy,
ing play, placed
Through liquid herbage seemed to steal For happy spirits in the Atlantic waste? 1 There listening, while, from earth, each breeze that came
Never did weary bark more gladly Brought echoes of their own undying glide, fame,
Or rest its anchor in a lovelier tide! In eloquence of eye, and dreams of song, Along the margin, many a shining dome, They charmed their lapse of nightless White as the palace of a Lapland gnome, hours along:
Brightened the wave; in every myrtle Nor yet in song, that mortal ear might
Secluded bashful, like a shrine of love,
1 M. Gébelin says, in his Monde Primitif, “ Lorsque Strabon crût que les anciens théologiens et poëtes plaçoient les champs élysées dans les isles de l'Océan Atlantique, il n'entendit rien à leur doctrine." M. Cébelin's supposition, I have no doubt, is the more correct; but that of Strabo is, in the precent instance, most to my purpose,
2 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 well be imagined.