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Oh! tremble Ye to whom hath been assigned
A course of days composing happy months,
And they as happy years, the present still
So like the past, and both, so firm a pledge
Of a congenial future, that the wheels
Of pleasure move without the aid of hope.
For Mutability is Nature's bane;
And slighted Hope will be avenged ; and, when
Ye need her favours, Ye shall find her not;
But, in her stead--fear-doubt-and agony !"
This was the bitter language of the heart; But, while he spake, look, gesture, tone of voice, Though discomposed and vehement, were such As skill and graceful Nature might suggest To a Proficient of the tragic scene, Standing before the multitude, beset With sorrowful events; and we, who heard And saw, were moved. Desirous to divert, Or stem, the current of the Speaker's thoughts, We signified a wish to leave that Place Of stillness and close privacy, which seemed A nook for self-examination framed,
Or, for confession, in the sinner's need,
Hidden from all Men's view. To our attempt
He yielded not; but, pointing to a slope
mossy turf, defended from the sun ;
And, on that couch inviting us to rest,
Towards that tender-hearted Man he turned
eye, and thus his speech renewed.
“ You never saw, your eyes did never look On the bright Form of Her whom once I loved. Her silver voice was heard upon the earth, A sound unknown to you; else, honored Friend, Your heart had borne a pitiable share Of what I suffered, when I wept that loss, And suffer now, not seldom, from the thought That I remember, and can weep no more.Stripped as I am of all the golden fruit Of self-esteem; and by the cutting blasts Of self-reproach familiarly assailed ; I would not yet be of such wintry bareness, But that some leaf of your regard should hang Upon my naked branches :-lively thoughts Give birth, full often, to unguarded words ;
I grieve that, in your presence, from my tongue
Too much of frailty hath already dropped ;
But that too much demands still more.
Revered Compatriot ;-and to you, kind Sir
(Not to be deemed a Stranger as you come
Following the guidance of these welcome feet
To our secluded Vale) it may be told,
demerits did not sue in vain To One, on whose mild radiance many gazed With hope, and all, with pleasure. This fair BrideIn the devotedness of youthful Love Preferring me to Parents, and the choir Of gay companions, to the natal roof, And all known places and familiar sights, (Resigned with sadness gently weighing down Her trembling expectations, but no more Than did to her due honour, and to me Yielded, that day, a confidence sublime In what I had to build upon)—this Bride, Young, modest, meek, and beautiful, I led To a low Cottage in a sunny Bay, Where the salt sea innocuously breaks,
And the sea breeze as innocently breathes,
On Devon's leafy shores ;-a sheltered Hold,
In a soft clime encouraging the soil
To a luxuriant bounty !-As our steps :
Approach the embowered Abode, our chosen Seat,
See, rooted in the earth, its kindly bed,
The unendangered Myrtle, decked with flowers,
Before the threshold stands to welcome us!
While, in the flowering Myrtle’s neighbourhood,
Not overlooked but courting no regard
Those native plants, the Holly and the Yew,
Gave modest intimation to the mind
Of willingness with which they would unite
With the green Myrtle, to endear the hours
Of winter, and protect that pleasant place.
-Wild were the walks upon those lonely Downs,
Track leading into track, how marked, how worn
Into bright verdure, among fern and gorse
Winding away its never-ending line,
On their smooth surface, evidence was none:
But, there, lay open to our daily haunt,
range of unappropriated earth, Where youth's ambitious feet might move at large;
Whence, unmolested Wanderers, we beheld
The shining Giver of the Day diffuse
His brightness, o'er a tract of sea and land
Gay as our spirits, free as our desires,
As our enjoyments boundless.-From these Heights
We dropped, at pleasure, into sylvan Combs ;
Where arbours of impenetrable shade,
And mossy seats detained us side by side, ,
With hearts at ease, and knowledge in our hearts
“ That all the grove and all the day was ours.'
But in due season Nature interfered,
And called my Partner to resign her share
In the pure freedom of that wedded life,
Enjoyed by us in common.--
-To my hope,
To my heart's wish, my tender Mate became
The thankful captive of maternal bonds;
And those wild paths were left to me alone.
There, could I meditate on follies past;
And, like a weary Voyager escaped
From risk and hardship, inwardly retrace
A course of vain delights and thoughtless guilt,
And self-indulgence-without shame pursued.