TO ANNA MATILDA.
1 O CEASE, MATILDA! Ceasethe strain,
2 That woo's INDIFFERENCE to thy arms;
3 For what are all her boasted charms?
4 But only to be free from Pain!
5 And would'st thou then, her torpid ease,
6 Her listless apathy to know,
7 Renounce the magic POW'R to PLEASE,
8 And lose the LUXURY of WOE?
9 Why does thy stream of sweetest song,
10 In many a wild maze wind along;
11 Foam on the Mountain's murm'ring side;
12 Or thro' the vocal covert glide;
13 Or among fairy meadows steal? —
14 It is, because thy HEART can FEEL!
15 Alas! if Peace must be unknown,
16 Till ev'ry nerve is turn'd to stone,
17 Till not a tear-drop wets the eye;
18 Nor throbs the breast for Sorrow's sigh,[Page 55]
19 O may I never find relief,
20 But PERISH, in the PANG of GRIEF!
21 Think not I reason thus, my Fair!
22 A stranger to corroding Care!
23 Ah! if Thou, seldom find'st repose,
24 "I, rest not on a bed of rose."
25 DESPAIR, cold Serpent, loves to twine
26 About this helpless heart of mine!
27 Yet, tho' neglected and forlorn,
28 I scarce can check the smile of Scorn,
29 When those, the VULGAR call the GREAT,
30 Bend the important brow of state;
31 And strive a consequence to find
32 By seeming more than Humankind;
33 Well, let them strut their hour away,
34 Till grinning Death demand his prey!
35 Meanwhile, my ANNA! let us rove
36 The scented vale, the bending grove,
37 Mix our hot tears with evening dews,
38 And live for FRIENDSHIP and the MUSE!
39 Yes, let us hasten hand in hand,
40 Where the blue billows lave the land,
41 And as they quick recoiling fly
42 Send on the surf a length'ned sigh,
43 That strikes the soul, with truth sublime,
44 As 'twere the whisp'ring TONGUE of TIME:[Page 56]
45 For thus our short Life's ebbing day
46 Murmurs awhile, and hastes away!
47 Or let us seek the mould'ring wall,
48 Or some lone Abbey's Gothic Hall;
49 Recline upon the knee-worn stone,
50 And catch the North Wind's dismal moan,
51 That 'midst his sorrows, seems to boast
52 Of many a gallant vessel lost!
53 Friends and Lovers sunk in death —
54 By the fury of his breath!
55 What tho' at the imagin'd Tale,
56 Thy alter'd cheek be sadly pale;
57 Ne'er can such SYMPATHY annoy;
58 For 'tis the price of dearest JOY!
59 When far off the Night Storm flies,
60 Let us ponder on the SKIES!
61 Where million stars are ever roll'd,
62 Which yet our weak eyes dare behold;
63 Adore the SELF-EXISTING CAUSE
64 That gives to each its sep'rate laws;
65 That, when th' impetuous Comet runs
66 Athwart a wilderness of Suns;
67 Tells it what mandate to obey,
68 Nor ever wander from its way;
69 Till back it hasten whence 'twas brought,
70 Beyond the boundaries of Thought! [Page 57]
71 Let not the studious Seer reply,
72 "Attraction regulates the Sky,
73 " And lends each Orb the secret force,
74 "That urges on, or checks its course."
75 Or with his Orrery expound
76 Creation's vainly fancied round.
77 Ah! quit thy toil, presumptuous Sage!
78 Destroy thy calculating page;
79 No more on Second Causes plod;
80 'Tis not ATTRACTION, but 'tis GOD!
81 And what the UNIVERSE we call,
82 Is but a POINT, compar'd to ALL.
83 SUCH BLISS the sensate bosom knows,
84 Such bliss Indiff'rence ne'er bestows;
85 Tho' small the circle we can trace,
86 In the abyss of time and space;
87 Tho' LEARNING has its limits got,
88 The feelings of the soul have not.
89 Their vast excursions find no end:
90 And RAPTURE needs not comprehend!
91 'Tis true, we're ign'rant how the Earth
92 Wakes the first principles of birth,
93 With vegetative moisture feeds
94 To diff'rent purpose, diff'rent seeds:
95 Gives to the Rose such balmy sweet,
96 Or fills the golden ear of Wheat,[Page 58]
97 Paints the ripe Peach with velvet bloom,
98 Or weaves the thick Wood's mingling bloom; —
99 YET, we can wander in the bow'r;
100 Can taste the fragrance of the flow'r;
101 Drink the rich fruit's nectareous juice,
102 And bend the harvest to our use. —
103 Then give thy pure perceptions scope,
104 And sooth thy heaving heart with hope.
105 HOPE shall instruct my sorr'wing Friend;
106 The soul's fine fervour ne'er can end;
107 But when her limbs by Death are laid
108 Beneath some yew-tree's hallow'd shade,
109 Then shall her soaring spirit know
110 The seraphim's ecstatic glow.
111 Then shall th' ESSENTIAL MIND confess,
112 That ANGUISH has the pow'r to BLESS,
113 That FEELING was in BOUNTY given,
114 And own THE SACRED TRUTH — IN HEAVEN.