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Still may thy spirit dwell on mine,
And teach it what to brave or brookThere's more in one soft word of thine Than in the world's defied rebuke.
Thou stood'st, as stands a lovely tree,
Its boughs above a monument.
The winds might rend-the skies might pour, But there thou wert--and still wouldst be Devoted in the stormiest hour
To shed thy weeping leaves o'er me.
But thou and thine shall know no blight,
For heaven in sunshine will requite
Then let the ties of baffled love
Be broken-thine will never break; Thy heart can feel-but will not move; Thy soul, though soft, will never shake
And these, when all was lost beside,
Were found and still are fix'd in thee ;-
And bearing still a breast so tried,
Earth is no desert- cv'n to me.
STANZAS TO AUGUSTA.4
THOUGH the day of my destiny's over,
The faults which so many could find;
Then when nature around me is smiling,
Because it reminds me of thine;
And when winds are at war with the ocean,
If their billows excite an emotion,
It is that they bear me from thee.
Though the rock of my last hope is shiver'd,
There is many a pang to pursue me:
They may crush, but they shall not contemn; They may torture but shall not subdue me; 'Tis of thee that I think--not of them."
Though human, thou didst not deceive me, Though woman, thou didst not forsake, Though loved, thou forborest to grieve me, Though slander'd, thou never couldst shake;
Though trusted, thou didst not disclaim me,
Yet I blame not the world, nor despise it,
From the wreck of the past, which hath perish'd,
It hath taught me that what I most cherish'd
In the desert a fountain is springing,
In the wide waste there still is a tree,
July 24, 1816.
EPISTLE TO AUGUSTA.8
My sister! my sweet sistor! if a name
he first were nothing-had I still the last, It were the haven of my happiness;
But other claims and other ties thou hast,
Reversed for him our grandsire's fate of yore,→→ He had no rest at sea, nor I on shore.
If my inheritance of storms hath been
I have sustain'd my share of worldly shocks,
I have been cunning in mine overthrow,
Mine were my faults, and mine be their reward. My whole life was a contest, since the day That gave me being, gave me that which marr'd The gift,- -a fate, or will, that walk'd astray; And I at times have found the struggle hard, And thought of shaking off my bonds of clay : But now I fain would for a time survive, If but to see what next can well arrive.
Kingdoms and empires in my little day I have outlived, and yet I am not old; And when I look on this, the petty spray Of my own years of trouble, which have roll'd Like a wild bay of breakers, melts away: Something I know not what-does still uphold A spirit of slight patience;-not in vain, Even for its own sake, do we purchase pain.
Perhaps the workings of defiance stir
(For even to this may change of soul refer,
I feel almost at times as I have felt
In happy childhood; trees, and flowers, and brooks, Which do remember me of where I dwelt Ere my young mind was sacrificed to books, Come as of yore upon me, and can melt My heart with recognition of their looks; And even at moments I could think I see Some living thing to love-but none like thee.
Here are the Alpine landscapes which create
Is a brief feeling of a trivial date;
But something worthier do such scenes inspire:
For much I view which I could most desire,
Lovelier, not dearer, than our own of old.
Oh that thou wert but with me !-but I grow
The solitude which I have vaunted so
Has lost its praise in this but one regret;
There may be others which I less may show ;--
And the tide rising in my alter'd eye.