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She taught the child to read, and taught so well,
That she herself, by teaching, learn'd to spell.
An adept next in penmanship she grows,
As many a nameless slander deftly shows:
What she had made the pupil of her art,
None know but that high Soul secured the heart,
And panted for the truth it could not hear,
With longing breast and undeluded ear.
Foil'd was perversion by that youthful mind,
Which Flattery fool'd not Baseness could not blind,
Deceit infect not- near Contagion soil—
Indulgence weaken-nor Example spoil-
Nor master'd Science tempt her to look down
On humbler talents with a pitying frown —
Nor Genius swell nor Beauty render vain
Nor Envy ruffle to retaliate pain
Nor Fortune change — Pride raise
Nor Virtue teach austerity - till now.
Serenely purest of her sex that live,
But wanting one sweet weakness to forgive,
Too shock'd at faults her soul can never know,
She deems that all could be like her below:
Foe to all vice, yet hardly Virtue's friend,
For Virtue pardons those she would amend.
But to the theme: - now laid aside too long
The baleful burthen of this honest song
Though all her former functions are no more,
She rules the circle which she served before.
If mothers none know why- before her quake;
If daughters dread her for the mothers' sake;
If early habits those false links, which bind
At times the loftiest to the meanest mind
Have given her power too deeply to instil;
The angry essence of her deadly will;
If like a snake she steal within your walls,
Till the black slime betray her as she crawls
If like a viper to the heart she wind,
And leave the venom there she did not find;
What marvel that this hag of hatred works
Eternal evil latent as she lurks,
To make a Pandemonium where she dwells,
And reign the Hecate of domestic hells?
Skill'd by a touch to deepen scandal's tints
With all the kind mendacity of hints
While mingling truth with falsehood
sneers with smiles
A thread of candour with a web of wiles;
A plain blunt show of briefly-spoken seeming,
To hide her bloodless heart's soul-harden'd scheming;
A lip of lies -a face form'd to conceal;
And, without feeling, mock at all who feel :
With a vile mask the Gorgon would disown;
A cheek of parchment and an eye of stone.
Mark, how the channels of her yellow blood
Ooze to her skin, and stagnate there to mud,
Cased like the centipede in saffron mail,
Or darker greenness of the scorpion's scale
(For drawn from reptiles only may we trace
Congenial colours in that soul or face)
Look on her features! and behold her mind
As in a mirror of itself defined:
Look on the picture! deem it not o'ercharged —
There is no trait which might not be enlarged:
Yet true to "Nature's journeymen," who made
This monster when their mistress left off trade
This female dog-star of her little sky,
Where all beneath her influence droop or die.
Oh! wretch without a tear without a thought,
Save joy above the ruin thou hast wrought-
The time shall come, nor long remote, when thou
Shalt feel far more than thou inflictest now;
Feel for thy vile self-loving self in vain,
And turn thee howling in unpitied pain.
May the strong curse of crush'd affections light
Back on thy bosom with reflected blight!
And make thee in thy leprosy of mind
As loathsome to thyself as to mankind!
Till all thy self-thoughts curdle into hate,
Black as thy will for others would create :
Till thy hard heart be calcined into dust,
And thy soul welter in its hideous crust.
Oh, may thy grave be sleepless as the bed, —
The widow'd couch of fire, that thou hast spread!
Then, when thou fain wouldst weary Heaven with prayer.
Look on thine earthly victims and despair!
Down to the dust! and, as thou rott'st away,
Even worms shall perish on thy poisonous clay.
But for the love I bore, and still must bear,
To her thy malice from all ties would tear
Thy name thy human name to every eye
The climax of all scorn should hang on high,
Exalted o'er thy less abhorr'd compeers -
And festering in the infamy of years.
[WHEN ALL AROUND," &c.]
WHEN all around grew drear and dark,
And reason half withheld her ray
And hope but shed a dying spark
Which more misled my lonely way;
In that deep midnight of the mind,
And that internal strife of heart,
When dreading to be deem'd too kind,
The weak despair - the cold depart;
When fortune changed and love fled far, And hatred's shafts flew thick and fast, Thou wert the solitary star
Which rose and set not to the last.
Oh! blest be thine unbroken light!
That watch'd me as a seraph's eye, And stood between me and the night, For ever shining sweetly nigh.
And when the cloud upon us came,
Which strove to blacken o'er thy ray —
Then purer spread its gentle flame,
And dash'd the darkness all away.
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.
(1) His sister Mrs. Leigh.
Thou stood'st, as stands a lovely tree,
That still unbroke, though gently bent,
Still waves with fond fidelity
Its boughs above a monument.
The winds might rend the skies might pour,
But there thou wert- and still would'st be Devoted in the stormiest hour
To shed thy weeping leaves o'er me.
But thou and thine shall know no blight,
Whatever fate on me may fall;
For heaven in sunshine will requite
The kind- and thee the most of all.
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 - ev'n to me.
ODE FROM THE FRENCH.
["WE DO NOT CURSE THEE WATERLOO!"]
We do not curse thee, Waterloo!
Though Freedom's blood thy plain bedew ;
There 't was shed, but is not sunk
Rising from each gory trunk,
Like the water-spout from ocean,
With a strong and growing motion -
It soars, and mingles in the air,
With that of lost Labedoyère
With that of him whose honour'd grave
Contains the "bravest of the brave."
A crimson cloud it spreads and glows,
But shall return to whence it rose ;
When 't is full 't will burst asunder
Never yet was heard such thunder
As then shall shake the world with wonder
Never yet was seen such lightning
As o'er heaven shall then be bright'ning!
Like the Wormwood Star foretold
By the sainted Seer of old,
Show'ring down a fiery flood,
Turning rivers into blood. (')
The Chief has fallen, but not by you,
Vanquishers of Waterloo!
When the soldier citizen
Sway'd not o'er his fellow-men-
Save in deeds that led them on
Where Glory smiled on Freedom's son
Who, of all the despot's banded,
With that youthful chief competed?
Who could boast o'er France defeated,
Till lone Tyranny commanded?
Till, goaded by ambition's sting,
The Hero sunk into the King?
Then he fell : - so perish all,
Who would men by man enthral!
And thou, too, of the snow-white plume!
Whose realm refused thee ev'n a tomb; (2)
Better hadst thou still been leading
France o'er hosts of hirelings bleeding,
Than sold thyself to death and shame
For a meanly royal name;
Such as he of Naples wears,
Who thy blood-bought title bears.
(1) See Rev. chap. viii. verse 7, &c. "The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood," &c.
Verse 8, "And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; and the third part of the sea became blood," &c.
Verse 10. "And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp; and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters."
Verse 11. "And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter."
(2) Murat's remains are said to have been torn from the grave and burnt.