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For them is Sorrow's purest sigh
O'er Ocean's heaving bosom sent:
In vain their bones unburied lie,
All earth becomes their monument!
A tomb is theirs on every page,
An epitaph on every tongue: The present hours, the future age,
For them bewail, to them belong.
For them the voice of festal mirth
Grows hush'd, their name the only sound; While deep Remembrance pours to Worth The goblet's tributary round.
A theme to crowds that knew them not,
Lamented by admiring foes,
Who would not share their glorious lot?
Who would not die the death they chose?
And, gallant Parker! thus enshrined
Thy life, thy fall, thy fame shall be ;
And early valour, glowing, find
A model in thy memory.
But there are breasts that bleed with thee
In woe, that glory cannot quell;
And shuddering hear of victory,
Where one so dear, so dauntless, fell.
Where shall they turn to mourn thee less?
When cease to hear thy cherish'd name? Time cannot teach forgetfulness,
While Grief's full heart is fed by Fame.
Alas! for them, though not for thee,
They cannot choose but weep the more; Deep for the dead the grief must be,
Who ne'er gave cause to mourn before.
TO A LADY WEEPING.
WEEP, daughter of a royal line,
A Sire's disgrace, a realm's decay;
Ah, happy! if each tear of thine
Could wash a father's fault away!
Weep for thy tears are Virtue's tears
Auspicious to these suffering isles;
And be each drop in future years
Repaid thee by thy people's smiles!
These gifts were charm'd by secret spell
Thy truth in absence to divine;
And they have done their duty well,
Alas! they could not teach thee thine.
That chain was firm in every link,
But not to bear a stranger's touch;
That lute was sweet till thou could'st think,
In other hands its notes were such.
Let him, who from thy neck unbound
The chain which shiver'd in his
Who saw that lute refuse to sound,
Restring the chords, renew the clasp.
When thou wert changed, they alter'd too;
The chain is broke, the music mute.
'T is past to them and thee adieu
False heart, frail chain, and silent lute.
SONNET, TO GENEVRA.
THINE eyes' blue tenderness, thy long fair hair,
And the wan lustre of thy features - caught
From contemplation where serenely wrought,
Seems Sorrow's softness charm'd from its despair
Have thrown such speaking sadness in thine air,
That - but I know thy blessed bosom fraught
With mines of unalloy'd and stainless thought-
I should have deem'd thee doom'd to earthly care.
With such an aspect, by his colours blent,
When from his beauty-breathing pencil born, (Except that thou hast nothing to repent,) The Magdalen of Guido saw the morn Such seem'st thou - but how much more excellent! With nought Remorse can claim nor Virtue scorn.
December 17, 1813.
SONNET TO THE SAME.
THY cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe
And yet so lovely, that if Mirth could flush
Its rose of whiteness with the brightest blush,
My heart would wish away that ruder glow :
And dazzle not thy deep-blue eyes
While gazing on them sterner eyes will gush,
And into mine my mother's weakness rush,
Soft as the last drops round heaven's airy bow.
For, through thy long dark lashes low depending,
The soul of melancholy Gentleness
Gleams like a seraph from the sky descending,
Above all pain, yet pitying all distress;
At once such majesty with sweetness blending,
I worship more, but cannot love thee less.
ON THE MONUMENT OF A NEWFOUNDLAND DOG.
"NEAR THIS SPOT
ARE DEPOSITED THE REMAINS OF ONE
WHO POSSESSED BEAUTY WITHOUT VANITY,
STRENGTH WITHOUT INSOLENCE,
COURAGE WITHOUT FEROCITY,
AND ALL THE VIRTUES OF MAN WITHOUT HIS VICES.
THIS PRAISE, WHICH WOULD BE UNMEANING FLATTERY
IF INSCRIBED OVER HUMAN ASHES,
IS BUT A JUST TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF
BOATSWAIN, A DOG,
WHO WAS BORN AT NEWFOUNDLAND, MAY 1803,
AND DIED AT NEWSTEAD ABBEY, NOV. 18, 1808."
WHEN some proud son of man returns to earth,
Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,
The sculptor's art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below;
When all is done, upon the tomb is seen,
Not what he was, but what he should have been:
But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth,
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth:
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy smiles, hypocrisy, thy words deceit !
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye! who perchance behold this simple urn,
-it honours none you wish to mourn:
To mark a friend's remains these stones arise;
I never new but one, and here he lies.
Newstead Abbey, Oct. 30, 1808.
FAREWELL! if ever fondest prayer
For other's weal avail'd on high,
Mine will not all be lost in air,
But waft thy name beyond the sky.
'T were vain to speak, to weep, to sigh;
Oh! more than tears of blood can tell.
When wrung from Guilt's expiring eye,
Are in that word - Farewell!- Farewell!
These lips are mute, these eyes are dry;
But in my breast, and in my brain,
Awake the pangs that pass not by,
The thought that ne'er shall sleep again.
My soul nor deigns nor dares complain.
Though grief and passion there rebel;
I only know we loved in vain
I only feel- Farewell! Farewell!
BRIGHT be the place of thy soul!
No lovelier spirit than thine
E'er burst from its mortal control,
In the orbs of the blessed to shine.
On earth thou wert all but divine,
As thy soul shall immortally be ; And our sorrow may cease to repine, When we know that thy God is with thee.
Light be the turf of thy tomb!
May its verdure like emeralds be:
There should not be the shadow of gloom,
In aught that reminds us of thee.
Young flowers and an evergreen tree
May spring from the spot of thy rest:
But nor cypress nor yew let us see;
For why should we mourn for the blest?