AN AMERICAN TALE.
1 "AH! pity all the pangs I feel,
2 If pity e'er ye knew; —
3 An aged father's wounds to heal,
4 Through scenes of death I flew.
5 "Perhaps my hast'ning steps are vain,
6 Perhaps the warrior dies! —
7 Yet let me soothe each parting pain —
8 Yet lead me where he lies."
9 Thus to the list'ning band she calls,
10 Nor fruitless her desire,
11 They lead her, panting, to the walls
12 That hold her captive sire.
13 "And is a daughter come to bless
14 These aged eyes once more?
15 Thy father's pains will now be less —
16 His pains will now be o'er!"
17 "My father! by this waning lamp
18 Thy form I faintly trace: —
19 Yet sure thy brow is cold and damp,
20 And pale thy honour'd face!
21 "In vain thy wretched child is come,
22 She comes too late to save!
23 And only now can share thy doom,
24 And share thy peaceful grave!"
25 Soft, as amid the lunar beams
26 The falling shadows bend,
27 Upon the bosom of the streams,
28 So soft her tears descend.
29 "Those tears a father ill can bear,
30 He lives, my child, for thee!
31 A gentle youth, with pitying care,
32 Has lent his aid to me.
33 "Born in the western world, his hand
34 Maintains its hostile cause,
35 And fierce against Britannia's band
36 His erring sword he draws;
37 "Yet feels the captive Briton's woe;
38 For his ennobled mind
39 Forgets the name of Britain's foe,
40 In love of human kind!
41 "Yet know, my child, a dearer tie
42 Has link'd his heart to mine:
43 He mourns with Friendship's holy sigh,
44 The youth belov'd of thine!
45 "But hark! his welcome feet are near —
46 Thy rising grief suppress:
47 By darkness veil'd, he hastens here
48 To comfort and to bless."
49 "Stranger! for that dear father's sake,"
50 She cried, in accents mild,
51 "Who lives by thy kind pity, take
52 The blessings of his child!
53 "O, if in heaven, my EDWARD'S breast
54 This deed of mercy knew,
55 That gives my tortur'd bosom rest,
56 He sure would bless thee too!
57 "Ah, tell me where my lover fell?
58 The fatal scene recall;
59 His last, dear accents, stranger, tell,
60 O, haste and tell me all!
61 "Say, if he gave to love the sigh,
62 That set his spirit free?
63 Say, did he raise his closing eye,
64 As if it sought for me?"
65 "Ask not," her father cried, "to know
66 What, known, were added pain;
67 Nor think, my child, the tale of woe
68 Thy softness can sustain."
69 "Though every joy with EDWARD fled,
70 When EDWARD'S friend is near
71 It soothes my breaking heart," she said,
72 "To tell those joys were dear.
73 "The western ocean roll'd in vain
74 Its parting waves between,
75 My EDWARD brav'd the dang'rous main,
76 And bless'd our native scene.
77 "Soft Isis heard his artless tale,
78 Ah, stream for ever dear!
79 Whose waters, as they pass'd the vale,
80 Receiv'd a lover's tear.
81 "How could a heart that virtue lov'd,
82 (And sure that heart is mine)
83 Lamented youth! behold unmov'd,
84 The virtues that were thine?
85 "Calm, as the surface of the lake,
86 When all the winds are still;
87 Mild, as the beams of morning break,
88 When first they light the hill;
89 "So calm was his unruffled soul,
90 Where no rude passion strove;
91 So mild his soothing accents stole,
92 Upon the ear of love.
93 "Where are the dear illusions fled
94 Which sooth'd my former hours?
95 Where is the path that fancy spread,
96 Ah, vainly spread with flowers?
97 "I heard the battle's fearful sounds,
98 They seem'd my lover's knell —
99 I heard that, pierc'd with ghastly wounds,
100 My vent'rous lover fell! —
101 "My sorrows shall with life endure,
102 For he I lov'd is gone;
103 But something tells my heart, that sure
104 My life will not be long."
105 "My panting soul can bear no more,"
106 The youth impatient cried;
107 "'Tis EDWARD bids thy griefs be o'er,
108 My love! my destin'd bride!
109 "The life which Heav'n preserv'd, how blest,
110 How fondly priz'd by me!
111 Since dear to my AMELIA'S breast,
112 Since valued still by thee!
113 "My father saw my constant pain
114 When thee I left behind,
115 Nor longer will his power restrain
116 The ties my soul would bind.
117 "And soon thy honor'd sire shall cease
118 The captive's lot to bear;
119 And we, my love, will soothe to peace
120 His griefs, with filial care.
121 "Then come for ever to my soul!
122 AMELIA come, and prove
123 How calm our blissful years will roll
124 Along, a life of love!"
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): AN AMERICAN TALE.
Author: Helen Maria Williams
Genres: occasional poem; narrative verse
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.
Other works by Helen Maria Williams
- AN ADDRESS TO POETRY. ()
- THE BASTILLE, A VISION. ()
- THE CHARTER; ADDRESSED TO MY NEPHEW ATHANASE C. L. COQUEREL, ON HIS WEDDING DAY, 1819. ()
- THE COMPLAINT OF THE GODDESS OF THE GLACIERS TO DOCTOR DARWIN. ()
- DULCE DOMUM, AN OLD LATIN ODE. ()
- DUNCAN, AN ODE. ()
- EDWIN AND ELTRADA, A LEGENDARY TALE. (); EDWIN AND ELTRUDA. ()
- ELEGY ON A YOUNG THRUSH, WHICH ESCAPED FROM THE WRITER'S HAND, AND FALLING DOWN THE AREA OF A HOUSE, COULD NOT BE FOUND. ()
- EUPHELIA, AN ELEGY. ()
- HYMN, IMITATED FROM THE FRENCH. ()
- HYMN, WRITTEN AMONG THE ALPS. ()
- A HYMN. ()
- IMITATION OF LINES ADDRESSED BY M. D—, A YOUNG MAN OF TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OF AGE, THE NIGHT BEFORE HIS EXECUTION, TO A YOUNG LADY TO WHOM HE WAS ENGAGED. — 1794. ()
- IMITATION OF LINES WRITTEN BY ROUCHER, BELOW HIS PICTURE, WHICH A FELLOW-PRISONER HAD DRAWN, AND WHICH HE SENT TO HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN THE DAY BEFORE HIS EXECUTION. — 1794. ()
- LINES ADDRESSED TO A. C., AN INFANT, ON HIS FIRST NEW-YEAR'S DAY, 1821. ()
- LINES ON THE TOMB OF A FAVOURITE DOG. ()
- LINES TO HELEN, A NEW-BORN INFANT, 1821. ()
- LINES WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM OF THE BARONESS D' H——, TO HER TWO DAUGHTERS. ()
- LINES WRITTEN ON THE PILLAR ERECTING TO THE MEMORY OF MR. BARLOW, Minister of the United States at Paris, WHO DIED AT NAROWITCH IN POLAND, ON HIS RETURN FROM WILNA, DEC. 26, 1812. ()
- THE LINNET AND THE CAT. ()
- THE MORAI. ()
- ODE TO PEACE. ()
- ON THE BILL WHICH WAS PASSED IN ENGLAND FOR REGULATING THE SLAVE-TRADE; A SHORT TIME BEFORE ITS ABOLITION. ()
- PARAPHRASE. ()
- PARAPHRASE. ()
- PARAPHRASE. ()
- PARAPHRASE. ()
- PART OF AN IRREGULAR FRAGMENT. ()
- PERUVIAN TALES. ()
- QUEEN MARY'S COMPLAINT. ()
- SCOTCH BALLAD. ()
- SONG. ()
- SONG. ()
- SONG. ()
- SONNET ON READING BURNS' “MOUNTAIN DAISY.” ()
- SONNET TO DISAPPOINTMENT. ()
- SONNET TO EXPRESSION. ()
- SONNET TO HOPE. ()
- SONNET TO LOVE. ()
- SONNET TO MRS. BATES. ()
- SONNET TO MRS. SIDDONS. ()
- SONNET TO PEACE OF MIND. ()
- SONNET TO SIMPLICITY. ()
- SONNET TO THE CALBASSIA-TREE. ()
- SONNET TO THE CURLEW. ()
- SONNET TO THE MOON. ()
- SONNET TO THE STRAWBERRY. ()
- SONNET TO THE TORRID ZONE. ()
- SONNET TO THE WHITE-BIRD OF THE TROPIC. ()
- SONNET TO TWILIGHT. ()
- TO A FRIEND, WHO SENT ME FLOWERS, WHEN CONFINED BY ILLNESS. ()
- TO DR. MOORE, IN ANSWER TO A POETICAL EPISTLE WRITTEN TO ME BY HIM IN WALES, SEPTEMBER 1791. ()
- TO JAMES FORBES, ESQ. Author of “The Oriental Memoirs,” WHO ASKED FOR SOME LINES OF MY HAND-WRITING ON LEAVING FRANCE, AFTER HIS CAPTIVITY AT VERDUN. ()
- TO JAMES FORBES, ESQ. ON HIS BRINGING ME FLOWERS FROM VAUCLUSE, AND WHICH HE HAD PRESERVED BY MEANS OF AN INGENIOUS PROCESS IN THEIR ORIGINAL BEAUTY. ()
- TO MRS. K—, ON HER SENDING ME ENGLISH CHRISTMAS PLUMB-CAKE, AT PARIS. ()
- TO SENSIBILITY. ()
- TO THE BARON DE HUMBOLDT, ON HIS BRINGING ME SOME FLOWERS IN MARCH. ()
- THE TRAVELLERS IN HASTE; ADDRESSED TO THOMAS CLARKSON, ESQ. IN 1814, WHEN MANY ENGLISH ARRIVED AT PARIS, BUT REMAINED A VERY SHORT TIME. ()
- VERSES ADDRESSED TO MY TWO NEPHEWS, ON SAINT HELEN'S DAY, 1809. ()