[Page 118]




1 IN THELMON'S breast contending passions rise,
2 While, with resentment stung, he proudly flies;
3 The harmonist divine, to madness fir'd,
4 Rashly to CARMEL'S youthful charms aspir'd;
5 But she, with Virtue's awful power possess'd,
6 Taught him to blush, and drove him from her breast.
7 First anger in his heated bosom rose,
8 With pride he burns, for speedy vengeance glows:
9 His instrument, of heaven-inspired sound,
10 Touch'd by dire discord wounds the air around;
11 Then vengeance dies, and fierce disdain succeeds;
12 He flies, while CARMEL'S heart with sorrow bleeds;
13 His agonies are chang'd to bitter scorn,
14 Nor can the lofty spirit stoop to mourn;
[Page 119]
15 Disowning every tie that link'd the heart,
16 He lost in vice the racking sense of smart;
17 He gave a scope to all his mad desires.
18 (Perverted genius deepest crimes inspires)
19 The wanton chords he struck with loose delight,
20 And wit's strong flashes shed luxuriant light;
21 Till, satiate with the empty joys of sense,
22 And oft disgusted with their impotence,
23 Wearied of follies reap'd without controul,
24 With self-reproach he smarted to the soul;
25 With shame and scorn from noisy pleasures flew,
26 And to the calms of solitude withdrew;
27 Nature exploring, and with music fir'd,
28 Lost in research he wander'd as inspir'd.
[Page 120]


1 REMOV'D from man, and summer's tuneful groves,
2 Alone harmonious THELMON strays to muse;
3 O'er rugged hills, through long rough paths he roves,
4 To where, impell'd by winds, the ocean roars,
5 Heaves its vast surges on the echoing shores,
6 Foams 'mid the rocks, and dashes the thick ooze.
7 Now on the sounding beech, sublime in thought,
8 He view'd the wonders of the horrid deep,
9 Which from the heavens the ponderous torrents caught,
10 While briny mountains brave the darken'd sky,
11 Where lowering clouds replete with waters fly,
12 And stormy winds the heavens and ocean sweep.
13 Nor jarring elements untun'd his soul,
14 Each natural cause still tracing to its source,
[Page 121]
15 While driven on winds the waves tremendous roll;
16 Curious to meditate on Nature's law,
17 The vast Creator in his works he saw,
18 And contemplation guides his wandering course.
19 Humbled by youthful crimes and curb'd desires,
20 Abstracted through life's mazy paths he trod,
21 The love of science damp'd his former fires;
22 And with a heart form'd to converse with man,
23 A genius rais'd on Nature's noblest plan,
24 He inward drew his powers, and sought his GOD.
25 Pond'ring on man's vain passions as he stood,
26 He heard the transports of the empty wind,
27 The vain contentions of the mighty flood,
28 Till the tir'd storm scowl'd cross the heaving main;
29 The spray no more flies o'er the distant plain,
30 And the faint sun through filmy vapours shin'd.
[Page 122]
31 Calm 'midst advancing shades dissolv'd the day,
32 The silenc'd winds scarce shook the showery leaves,
33 And through the heavens the watery vapours stray;
34 Then o'er the sea (tumultuous now no more)
35 Which beat the rocks, and gently dash'd the shore,
36 A solemn melody his spirit breathes.
37 THELMON, whom passions now no more controul,
38 To science and to music gave his soul;
39 Fair CARMEL'S charms alone his love had fir'd,
40 Unmark'd the mind which every grace inspir'd,
41 With violence it flam'd, but soon expir'd.
42 His heedless wanderings fate or chance decides,
43 But now again near CARMEL'S dwelling guides;
44 Of which unmindful, still he rov'd the plains,
45 And to the setting sun pour'd forth sublime his strains.
[Page 123]


1 The grove is hush'd, the saffron-tinged clouds
2 Shoot down their softening colours to the west;
3 Advancing night the sable mountains shrouds,
4 And with her dewy feet are meads and flowrets press'd.
5 Slowly the solemn moon its full orb rears,
6 And through the skies its lucid influence throws,
7 Each glittering star 'mid fleecy clouds appears,
8 And through th' immeasurable path of heaven
9 The high galaxy glows.
10 The moon-beams glide serene across the lake,
11 Whose glassy bosom gloomy branches shade;
12 The dying gale the murmuring sedges shake,
[Page 124]
13 While sounds melodious, pouring through the grove,
14 The solemn stillness of the night invade.
15 Cool as the eve, mild as the lucid spheres,
16 Fair CARMEL wanders 'mid the nightly dew;
17 But wondering stood, as through her well-tun'd ears
18 She listening soft harmonious numbers drew.
19 On the chaste moon she fix'd her crystal eyes,
20 Her ear attentive caught the trembling sounds;
21 Responsive her lone bosom utter'd sighs,
22 While the musician pours his lofty strains,
23 They fill the woods, they echo o'er the plains,
24 The distant air with heavenly notes resounds.
25 "In the cool bosom of the solemn night
26 " With songs sublime I hail the Power Divine,
27 "As from yon orb the quivering beams of light
[Page 125]
28 " Surround the shades, and through the ether bright
29 "Soften the scene, and o'er the trembling waters shine.
30 "'Mid splendent day oft jarring passions war,
31 " But calm at eve I tread the silent grove,
32 "And feel delight from every brook and star:
33 " Each solemn scene I view with sacred awe,
34 "While from a mental glance of Nature's law
35 " I learn the wonders of almighty love.
36 "Rude were the storms which deep through my sad breast
37 " Have striv'n the germs of virtue to expel;
38 "Rebellious passions robb'd my soul of rest:
39 " But in despondency's most baleful hour
40 "I felt within a renovating Power
41 " Strengthen my soul, and all at last is well.
[Page 126]
42 "My mind, no more in boisterous transports drown'd,
43 " Reflective feels a bosom form'd for love,
44 "Senses which touch the strings of thought profound,
45 " And taste each bliss in Nature's calm retreats;
46 "While o'er this wilderness of thorny sweets
47 " Wandering, with harmony of soul I move. "
48 He ceas'd, and 'midst the thickets stray'd along.
49 The listening virgin's bosom swell'd with woe,
50 'Mid silent tears she heard the solemn song
51 Well did her soul his heavenly accents know.
52 Re-kindled passions warm her heaving breast,
53 While memory teems with proofs of former love;
54 Deep in her heart each accent is impress'd,
55 Scarce can she quit the lake, or shadowy waving grove.
[Page 127]
56 Her fancy hears amidst the murmuring gale
57 Still the faint echoes of his music roll,
58 Homeward she bends at last, fatigu'd and pale,
59 And vainly strives to calm her trembling soul.


1 THE moon is sunk, and heaven's resplendent stars
2 Glimmer 'mid nightly shades and morning grey,
3 O'er the low plains a whitish mist appears;
4 While slivering every eastern cloud, the dawn,
5 Infusing slow the promise of the morn,
6 Faint-ting'd the couch where CARMEL thoughtful lay.
[Page 128]
7 From her clear eyes large pearly drops descend,
8 Unusual fires thrill through her trembling veins:
9 As when the potent solar rays extend
10 O'er tracts where long congealing ice and snows
11 Like mountains rise, near polar circles froze,
12 And melting by its heat wild deluge the vast plains.
13 Remembrance pour'd its influence through her soul;
14 Her aching bosom heav'd with bitter sighs,
15 Her agitated thoughts distracted roll;
16 And to her fev'rish fancy THELMON rose
17 Now lofty verse in strains harmonious flows,
18 Now passion speaks in his all-potent eyes.
19 Like an imperfect dream the past appears,
20 His errors fleet like a dissolving cloud;
21 His virtues shine like uneclipsed stars:
22 No more the sense of wrongs secures her heart,
23 Her bosom burns with unavailing smart,
24 And all within the hopeless flame avow'd.
[Page 129]
25 Restless she lay, till o'er the mantling skies
26 The dazzling radiance of the morning rose;
27 From the broad light she turn'd her weeping eyes,
28 And, spent with passion and the weight of thought,
29 The transient comfort of soft sleep she sought,
30 And listless sunk at length to half repose.
31 Thus a sad prey to misery, CARMEL found
32 No kind resource to mitigate the wound;
33 Void of pursuits, her heart seeks no relief,
34 No active duty rouses her from grief:
35 Though calm she seem'd, within the poison wrought;
36 And her affections quite absorb'd each thought;
37 The light of day her sorrowing mind oppress'd;
38 Night was alone congenial to her breast;
39 Each eve she strays to soothe her joyless soul,
40 And pleas'd beholds the lengthening shadows roll.
[Page 130]


1 IN the mild west dissolv'd the blaze of day;
2 The rosy heavens rich varying tints o'erspread;
3 Bright shone the hills beneath the evening ray;
4 Amid the corn wild crimson poppies blow,
5 All nature wore a universal glow,
6 And joy was echo'd o'er th' illumin'd mead.
7 Untouch'd by every accent of delight,
8 Amid the smiling harvest CARMEL stray'd;
9 Then climb'd a craggy hill of towering height,
10 Where hanging woods luxuriant foliage spread,
11 And wild blown flowers their spicy odours shed;
12 Thence she the grand extensive scene survey'd.
13 Night did not yet possess its dark domain,
14 But gradual shades o'erspread the burning sky;
[Page 131]
15 The solemn lake, the flower-enamell'd plain,
16 Catch the last rays of the descending orb,
17 Whose fiery blaze the distant seas absorb,
18 While through the western clouds the crimson glories fly.
19 Nature in glowing plenty smil'd below,
20 Above the clouds incessant varying roll;
21 As CARMEL view'd the fertile landscape glow,
22 Touch'd by the view, the glorious work she prais'd,
23 And to the Universal Parent rais'd,
24 Fervent in prayer, her energetic soul.
25 The fading landscape lessens on her sight,
26 Amid the ether stars celestial shine;
27 Some scatter'd clouds still catch the ebbing light,
28 And by the glimmering rays distinct she view'd
29 THELMON, who lost in contemplation stood,
30 As if in converse with the heavenly Nine.
[Page 132]
31 She strove to speak, but all her powers were bound:
32 O'er her fair breast fast flow'd a silent flood,
33 While he with musing pace was wandering round
34 The rugged path, and pass'd regardless by;
35 He saw her not, but drew unconscious nigh,
36 Then mingled in the umbrage of the wood.
37 In vain again to calm her breast she tries,
38 Her livid eyes survey'd the ruthess heaven;
39 The briny showers she shed, the deep-felt sighs,
40 Which mix'd with prayers her wretched bosom heav'd,
41 Alike amid a friendless void were breath'd,
42 Or by the winds to neighbouring mountains driven.
43 Now when the clouds roll'd heavy o'er the stars,
44 And chilling midnight spread a dreary gloom,
[Page 133]
45 She dried the painful sluices of her tears;
46 Devoid of hope she wish'd not for its light,
47 And, thoughtless of the dangers of the night,
48 Restless return'd in silence to her home.


1 THE shades of night and glimmering dawn are fled,
2 The rising sun the parting clouds has fir'd;
3 The purple hills illumin'd flame with red,
4 While THELMON, fraught with praise, forsakes his bed,
5 With love of Nature and her truths inspir'd.
6 The waving corn, moist with the pearly dew,
7 Glitters beneath the sun's refulgent rays;
8 Luxuriant o'er each hedge wild roses grew,
9 And ripening fruits prolific greet his view
10 All Nature smil'd a thousand various ways.
[Page 134]
11 Silent this morn was his melodious tongue,
12 And listening to the songsters of the grove,
13 He envied their sweet lays, as blythe they sung;
14 For with a transient pang his heart was wrung,
15 Reflecting on their pure and artless loves.
16 Bitter remembrance deep pervades his soul,
17 The glistening lake, the high-grown trees he knew;
18 O'er the sweet plains his eyes rekindling roll,
19 "Here CARMEL'S virtues did his fires controul,"
20 Deeply he blush'd, and quick his eyes withdrew.
21 Touch'd by her wrongs, his soul its guilt confess'd;
22 His breast, which heav'd with deep remorse and smart,
23 Mourning past crimes, an anxious wish possess'd,
24 A wish which no obtruding pride suppress'd,
25 To own the errors of his alter'd heart.
[Page 135]


1 CARMEL he seeks: the wandering maid he found,
2 And with each look inflicts a deeper wound;
3 She strove to veil her blushes from his sight,
4 And hide her terrors by a sudden flight;
5 Yet could not fly, nor scarce resolve to stay,
6 Her burning heart contending passions sway.
7 Approaching her, with awe serene he spoke,
8 While from his eyes the light of virtue broke;
9 With humble dignity his crimes confess'd,
10 No rage against himself his words express'd:
11 Too well he knew, when swell'd by passion's tide,
12 How hard the task the throbbing heart to guide;
13 And penitence he felt, devoid of pride.
14 He view'd her with surprize, for while he speaks,
15 Delight not anger, flush'd her modest cheeks;
[Page 136]
16 Th' emotions of her soul her eyes pourtray,
17 Where transient fires in vivid flashes play:
18 Rekindling transports as he gaz'd arise,
19 Which ting'd his lips, and fir'd his rapt'rous eyes;
20 New sympathies within his bosom sprung,
21 Which warm in hope impel his glowing tongue:
22 Pure and refin'd his passions now appear,
23 His virtues strengthen'd, and his heart sincere;
24 His voice sublime, his eyes alike inspire,
25 Pervade her soul, and fill her breast with fire:
26 Dubious no more, she seeks not to retreat,
27 Too strongly love did in her bosom beat;
28 Fast from her eyes the tears of transport flow,
29 Joy takes the language of her former woe;
30 Amid the shower a smile seraphic broke
31 She gave her hand, and thus impassion'd spoke:
32 "I seek not to restrain my throbbing heart,
33 " Nor veil its candour with the show of art;
[Page 137]
34 "Forgiveness beams upon thee from mine eyes,
35 " While all thy virtues to my memory rise.
36 "Within I feel such powerful sympathy,
37 " Such strong attraction of my soul to thee,
38 "That no false pride in this important hour
39 " Swerves my pure heart with its tyrannic power.
40 "With agony I saw excess controul
41 " A mind whose grandeur ever aw'd my soul;
42 "Thy wonderous songs, replete with genuine fire,
43 " The love of nature which those songs inspire,
44 "Were in my heart impress'd with power divine;
45 " In vain I strove thine image to resign,
46 "And mourn'd the fall of such a soul as thine:
47 " But now thy penitence o'erjoy'd I view,
48 "And yield my heart, as to thy virtue due."
49 He heard, while joy redoubled in his breast,
50 And strong emotions every look express'd;
51 Sublime his soul its ardent love pourtray'd,
52 But most his future life his gratitude display'd.
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Genres: narrative verse

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Source edition

Cristall, Ann Batten. Poetical Sketches by Ann Batten Cristall. London: Printed for J. Johnson, St. Paul's Church Yard, 1795, pp. 118-138. [14],187,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T126557)

Editorial principles

Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.