« VorigeDoorgaan »
And sweet from the cot are the sounds of delight, Which float on the breezes from infantile voices; While the eye of the parent rests pleas'd on the sight, Till every fond passion within him rejoices.
Then, O, how entrancing the church-going bells, Which seem from each earthly engagement to
And solemn to me is the curfew, which tells
That time is departing-departing for ever!
How oft have I paus'd in the stillness of eve,
To read the lone tombs where our ancestors
And pray'd for composure when I shall receive
My summons, to add to their desolate number.
Sweet scenes of endearment, fond joys of my youth!
When life is declining, and all things depart,
I still may rejoice in this innocent truth,
That pleasures so simple were dear to my heart!
WHERE's the blind child, so admirably fair,
With guileless dimples, and with flaxen hair
That waves in every breeze? He's often seen
Beside yon cottage wall, or on the green,
With others, match'd in spirit and in size,
Health on their cheeks, and rapture in their
That full expanse of voice, to childhood dear,
Soul of their sports, is duly cherish'd here;
And, hark! that laugh is his-that jovial cry;
He hears the ball and trundling hoop brush by,
And runs the giddy course with all his might—
A very child in every thing but sight.
With circumscrib'd, but not abated powers-
Play the great object of his infant hours-
In many a game he takes a noisy part,
And shows the native gladness of his heart.
But soon he hears, on pleasure all intent,
The new suggestion and the quick assent:
The grove invites, delight thrills every breast:
To leap the ditch, and seek the downy nest,
Away they start-leave balls and hoops behind,
And one companion leave-the boy is blind!
His fancy paints their distant paths so gay,
That childish fortitude awhile gives way:
He feels his dreadful loss: yet short the pain:
Soon he resumes his cheerfulness again.
Pondering how best his moments to employ,
He sings his little songs of nameless joy;
Creeps on the warm green turf for many an hour,
And plucks, by chance, the white and yellow flower:
Smoothing their stems, while resting on his knees,
He binds a nosegay which he never sees;
Along the homeward path then feels his way,
Lifting his brow against the shining day,
And, with a playful rapture round his eyes,
Presents a sighing parent with the prize. Bloomfield.
THROUGH many a land and clime a ranger,
With toilsome steps I've held my way,
A lonely unprotected stranger,
To all the stranger's ills a prey.
While steering thus, my course precarious,
My fortune still has been to find
Men's hearts and dispositions various,
But gentle Woman ever kind.
Alive to every tender feeling,
To deeds of mercy always prone;
The wounds of pain and sorrow healing,
With soft compassion's sweetest tone.
No proud delay, no dark suspicion,
Stints the free bounty of their hearts;
They turn not from the sad petition,
But cheerful aid at once impart.
Form'd in benevolence of nature,
Obliging, modest, gay and mild;
Woman's the same endearing creature
In courtly town and savage wild.
When parch'd with thirst, with hunger wasted,
Her friendly hand refreshment gave;
How sweet the coarsest food has tasted!
What cordial in the simple wave!
Her courteous looks, her words caressing,
Shed comfort on the fainting soul;
Woman's the stranger's general blessing,
From sultry India to the Pole.
O THAT those lips had language! Life has pass'd With me but roughly since I heard thee last. Those lips are thine-thy own sweet smile I see, The same, that oft in childhood solac'd me;
Voice only fails; else how distinct they say,
"Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!"
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Bless'd be the art that can immortalize,
The art that baffles time's tyrannic claim
To quench it) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
O welcome guest, though unexpected here!
Who bidd'st me honour with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long.
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own:
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief,
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream, that thou art she.
My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed? Hover'd thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun? Perhaps thou gav'st me, though unfelt, a kiss; Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in blissAh that maternal smile! it answers-Yes! I heard the bell toll'd on thy burial day, I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away; And, turning from my nursery window, drew A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu! But was it such ? It was. Where thou art gone, Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown, May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, The parting word shall pass my lips no more! Thy maidens, griev'd themselves at my concern, Oft gave me promise of a quick return. What ardently I wish'd, I long believ'd, And, disappointed still, was still deceiv'd.
By expectation every day beguil'd,
Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent,
I learn'd at last submission to my lot,
But, though I less deplor'd thee, ne'er forgot.
Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more,
Children not thine have trod my nursery floor;
And where the gardener Robin, day by day,
Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapp'd
In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet cap,
'Tis now become a history little known,
That once we call'd the pastoral house our own.
Short-lived possession! but the record fair,
That memory keeps of all thy kindness there,
Still outlives many a storm, that has effac'd
A thousand other themes less deeply trac'd.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,
That thou might'st know me safe and warmly laid;
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,
The biscuit, or confectionary plum;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd
By thine own hand, till fresh they shone and glow'd:
All this, and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall;
Ne'er roughen'd by those cataracts and breaks,
That humour interpos'd to often makes;
All this still legible in memory's page,
And still to be so to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honours to thee as my numbers may;
Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,
Not scorned in heaven, though little notic'd here.