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COPIED FROM THE WINDOW OF AN OBSCURE
STRANGER, whate'er thou art, whose restless mind,
Like me, within these walls, is cribb’d, confin'd,*
Learn how each want, that heaves our mutual sigh,
A woman's soft solicitudes supply!
From her white breast retreat all rude alarms,
Or fly the circle of her magic charms;
While souls exchang'd alternate grace acquire,
And passions catch from passions glorious fire.
What tho' to deck this roof no arts combine,
Such forms as rival ev'ry fair but mine;
No nodding plumes our humble couch above,
Proclaim each triumph of unbounded love;
No silver lamp, with sculptur’d Cupids gay,
O'er yielding beauty pours its midnight ray ;
Yet Fanny's charms could time's slow flight beguile,
Sooth ev'ry care, and make this dungeon smile ;
In her, what kings, what saints have wish'd is given,
Her heart is empire, and her love is heaven!
How prone the bosom is to sigh!
How prone to weep the human eye!
As thro’ this painful life we steer,
This valley of the sigh and tear.
When saints lift up their souls in pray'r,
Redeemed from sin, remorse and care,
Possess'd with hope and holy fear,
'Tis then the Christian's pious tear.
When ev'ry parting pang is o’er,
And friends, long absent, meet once more,
Fraught with delight, and love sincere,
'Tis then sweet friendship’s joyful tear.
When, by the heart, with sorrow griev'd,
A thousand blessings are receiv'd,
With ev'ry comfort that can cheer,
'Tis then bright virtue's graceful tear.
When two fond lover's doom'd to part,
Feel deadly pangs invade their heart;
Torn from the object each holds dear,
'Tis then, alas ! the parting tear.
Where wretches on the earth reclin'd,
Their doom of condemnation sign'd;
(The end of earthly being near)
'Tis then soft pity's gentle tear.
Where one friend sees another bleed,
Or suffer anguish, pain, or need,
Then, then, involv'd in smart severe,
We drop the sympathetic tear.
If, on some lovely creature's face,
Rich in proportion, colour, grace,
A pearly drop should once appear,
'Tis then the lovely beauteous tear.
When mothers (O! the grateful sight)
Their children view with fond delight;
Surrounded by a charge so dear,
'Tis then the sweet maternal tear.
When lovers see the beautious maid,
To whom their fond attention's paid,
With conscious blushing sobs draw near,
'Tis then the humble pleading tear.
When two dear friends, of kindred mind,
By ev'ry gen’rous tie conjoin'd,
Behold their dreadful parting near,
*Tis then, O! then, the bitter tear.
But when the wretch, with sins oppress'd,
Strikes in an agony his breast;
When torn with guilt, distress, and fear,
'Tis then the best, the saving tear.
I cannot but remember such things were,
And were most precious to me.
Scenes of my youth! ye once were dear,
Tho' sadly I your charms survey; I once was wont to linger here,
From early dawn to closing day. Scenes of my youth! pale sorrow flings
A shade o'er all your beauties now; And robs the moments of their wings,
That scatter pleasure as they flow. While, still, to heighten ev'ry care,
Reflection tells me, such things were.
'Twas here a tender mother strove
To keep my happiness in view; I smil'd beneath a parent's love,
That soft compassion ever knew.
In whom the virtues all combin'd;
On whom I could with faith rely To whom my heart and soul were join'd,
By mild affection's primal tie! Who smiles in heav'n, exempt from eare, Whilst I remember, such things were.
'Twas here, where calm and tranquil rest
O’erpays the peasant for his toil, That, first in blessing, I was bless'd
With glowing friendship's open smile. My friend far distant doom'd to roam,
Now braves the fury of the seas; He fled his peaceful happy home,
His little fortune to encrease. While bleeds afresh the wound of care, When I remember, such things were.
'Twas here, ev'n in this silent grove,
I fondly gaz'd on Laura's charms, Who, blushing, own'd a mutual love,
And melted in my youthful arms.
'Tho' hard the soul-conflicting strife,
Yet fate, the cruel tyrant, bore
Far from my sight the charm of life-
The lovely maid whom I adore.
'Twould ease my soul of all its care,
Cou'd I forget that such things were.