ELEGY ON A YOUNG LADY.
1 TRANSCENDENT beauty moulders 'midst the earth!
2 Exquisite tints fleet with the morning dews!
3 All nature teems with life, while blasting death
4 Dissolves each form; but time again renews,
5 From the earth's fullness, fresh perpetual stores:
6 But O! the individual soul to us is lost!
7 And unresign'd we weep, by passions tost,
8 While 'mid the tuneful spheres in bliss it soars!
9 If there is harmony below; —
10 If ever melancholy,
11 Touch'd by melody,
12 Her blacken'd veil withdrew;
13 I'll strike the chords whence solemn numbers flow,
14 And showers of softening tears shall ease my woe,
15 Weeping the fairest flower that ever blew! [Page 69]
16 A flower, whose bloom,
17 By grief untimely nipp'd,
18 Was hurried to the tomb:
19 The spirit, of mortal lustre stripp'd,
20 Flew from its blighted frame below;
21 Her virgin virtues were exhal'd above,
22 While o'er the corpse sad streams of bitter woe
23 Delug'd the relick of our former love.
24 My breast, a while your potent sighs restrain,
25 And as I sing,
26 Ye scatter'd notes of harmony
27 Waft here on heavenly wing
28 The spiritual maid again.
29 O! let me catch a glimpse by fancy's ray
30 And mentally behold the virgin fair,
31 Who was from our embraces snatch'd away,
32 A martyr to despair!
33 Seraphic, young, and free! —
34 She smil'd like morning op'ning on the heaven! [Page 70]
36 And possess'd
37 Of earth's felicity,
38 To her 'twas given
39 To solace human cares:
40 Her eyes, like shooting stars,
41 Glanc'd swift as vivid lightning through the frame;
42 Possess'd of virtuous passion, and belov'd,
43 Pure, unalloy'd, strong burnt the scared flame.
44 O bliss!
45 To what excess
46 Dost thou delude the heart!
47 The ties most holy and most pure
48 Cannot endure —
49 We all must part! —
50 When, bitter tears, will your sad source be dry?
51 When through the mental world will concord shine?
52 Man is the wreck of man; — the soul divine
53 Passion uproots! —
54 For frail mortality I heave the potent sigh! [Page 71]
55 Lo! unzon'd passions, brooking no controul,
56 Transgressing Nature's laws, rush madly on,
57 Wounding the sacred mansion of the soul,
58 And unresign'd, in wild excess grow strong.
59 With love's distracting smart,
60 Which disappointments rash and desperate make,
61 Lo! JASPAR wild assails the virgin's heart,
62 Whose constancy no energy can shake;
63 Though sweet his lays, as if the Muses sung,
64 And Love's warm passion harmoniz'd his tongue.
65 Repuls'd, his madden'd spirit knew no bounds,
66 Fierce in despair, to vengeance swift he flies,
67 And oft his rival's heart in fancy wounds,
68 While unrein'd passion flashes from his eyes;
69 Wilder and wilder still resound his cries,
70 By furies driven on
71 To lengths before to him unknown,
72 Till on his murd'rous sword his rival dies! [Page 72]
73 Ill-fated son of earth!
74 At thy dire birth
75 Heaven fill'd thee as a horn with sad calamity,
76 To scatter with thy breath
77 Contagious sorrow round;
78 Till the dire fiend internal, fraught with death,
79 Threw thy young glories down!
80 Sudden despair rush'd on the virgin's heart,
81 All that was mortal yielded to the stroke;
82 Forth the pure spirit broke,
83 Divided from its grosser earthly part,
84 And wing'd with love seraphic mounts on high —
85 O! flattering hope! in immortality
86 T' enjoy affections Nature tears away.
87 All here on earth is subject to decay,
88 And every day our lessening comforts fly.
89 Mysterious Power!
90 To whose dread will I bend,[Page 73]
91 And tremblingly adore!
92 Forgive the tears which suffering mortals shed:
93 Aw'd by our loss, and sacred virtue's pangs,
94 Stronger on future blessings we depend,
95 And learn how weak the thread
96 On which all human comfort hangs.
97 Humbled by sorrow, low in earth I bend,
98 And yield the spotless virgin to the skies;
99 Nor need revenge provoke the direful steel,
100 For pierc'd by guilt the breathless culprit lies. [Page 74]