The base text for this edition was prepared by Jill Shaver from a microfiche of an original copy in the "Edition Corvey," which is published by Belser Wissenschaftliche Dienst; this text has been used for the present edition with the kind permission of Belser Wissenschaftliche Dienst.
formatting and proofreading by Stephen C. Behrendt, 2002.
Final proofreading by Leslie Roper, 2003.
This edition was prepared
in Microsoft Word. All original spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have
been retained. All footnotes and their corresponding numbers from the original
text are identified by the bracketed tag: [Opie's note].
Date of Completion: 12/17/2001
Date of preparation for website: 11/15/2002
Date of final revisions and corrections: 02/21/2004
L A Y S
T H E D E A D .
LONGMAN, REES, ORME, BROWN, GREEN, & LONGMAN.
PRINTED BY WILKIN AND FLETCHER.
P R E F A C E.
I AM so conscious that verses on one subject only,
and that subject, death, must be even painfully
monotonous, that I should not have dared to pub-
lish the following Lays for the Dead, had I
not been encouraged to do so by many of my
Still, it is with fear rather than confidence that
I give this little work to the public; and I can
say with truth that, should it be favourably receiv-
ed, its success will be as much beyond my expect-
ations, as it will be gratifying to my feelings.
Dirge on the death of Capt.
C. W. Thompson
Lines addressed to a departed friend .. ... 7
To the Spirit of ------ . .. ... .. . 11
Lines on the death of two brothers ... ... . ... 12
On the anniversary of the birth-day of Ollyett Woodhouse ....16
Stanzas on the death of the same ... . . 19
On the anniversary of a funeral, 1832 . . 22
In memory of my mother ... . . 26
On the funeral of ------ ... ... . 29
In memory of a dear young friend .... 32
Lines supposed to be addressed by a Brazilian to the mes--
senger bird ... ... . 34
The shipwreck . . .. ... . 37
A lament .. . .. 40
On the sudden death of a beautiful child 43
Lines on the death of an aged friend . 45
On the death of Lady ------ ... . .... ..... 47
On the death of Reginald Heber, bishop of Calcutta ...... 50
On the death of a bride ......................................................... 55
Epitaph on an amiable individual in humble life ........................58
Lines written in an album after the death of its owner ..............59
On the Christmas of 1830 .................................................... 63
To --- on the death of her mother ..... .... 67
Address to a dying friend ...................................................... 69
Epitaph on a mother and daughter ........... .. 72
Tributary lines, part the first ... 74
------ part the second . .. 75
On the death of a near relation ... .... 78
On the same . . 79
On the death of a child .. 80
On seeing the statue of Dr. Alderson, of Hull . 82
The parent's chaunt of thanksgiving 84
In memory of ------ .. 87
Remembrance .. 90
To a departed friend . 91
On the portraits of deceased relatives and friends which hang
around me; --
Introductory lines . 93
Portrait the first .. .. 95
Portrait the second .. . 97
Portrait the fourth .. . 101
Portrait the fifth .. 103
Portrait the sixth .. ... 105
On a luminous sea .. 107
The last letter ....... . . 111
On Cuvier ... ... 115
In memory of the Viscount G---y ..... . .. 117
On a dear friend, lately deceased .. .. 119
Sketches of St. Michael's Mount; --
The Argument . 123
Sketch the first 125
Sketch the second ... 131
Sketch the third ... 133
Sketch the fourth . 136
The skeleton ... 139
R R A T A .
Page 1. Captain Thompson
was of the First, not of
the Third, Guards.
Page 4, note, for guiden, read garden.
Page 5, line 3, for christain, read christian.
L A Y S F O R T H E D E A D.
THE DEATH OF MY RELATION,
CAPTAIN CHARLES WILLIAM THOMPSON, OF THE 3RD GUARDS,
WHO WAS KILLED NEAR BIDART, IN THE
WINTER OF 1813.
though he died as heroes die,
The death that's courted by the brave!
Mourn, though he lies where warriors lie,
And valour envies such a grave.
For oh! with his capacious
Where once the love of science reign'd,
He might have taught and bless'd mankind,
And sage or patriot's glories gain'd.
But soon the love of bold emprize,
Of martial honour, martial fame,
Inspir'd the wish, by arms to rise,
And gain a hero's glittering name.
For this he burnt the midnight
And pored o'er lofty deeds untir'd,
Resolv'd like those he priz'd to toil,
And be the hero he admir'd.
Yet softer arts, yet gentler
Could lure him to their tuneful page,
And Dante's dread-inspiring power,
And Petrarch's love his soul engage.
How sweetly from his accents
The Tuscan poet's magic strains!
But vainly heaven such gifts bestow'd;
He fought, he bled on Gallia's plains.
No mother's kiss, no sister's
Embalm'd the victim's fatal wound!
No father pray'd beside the bier,
No brother clasp'd his arms around!
Amidst the cannon's loud
He fell, as valour's children fall!
His bier, his toil-worn comrades' arms;
And earth's green turf his funeral pall.
But, who is he, in arms
That bids the sacred turf unclose?
Who dares that dread-obscure invade?
Who breaks the soldier's deep repose?1
1 Colonel T., the eldest brother of the deceased, who was with
his regiment at some distance, hastened to the place where his
brother fell, as soon as he heard what had happened, and obtained
leave to have the grave opened, that he might see this tenderly
beloved brother again; and general Bosville (afterwards Lord
Macdonald) and others accompanied him to the spot.
Though sacred be the buried
Who could that act of love repel?
A brother comes, by fondness led,
To look a brother's last farewell.
See! round the grave his
See the lov'd form restor'd to light!
But pale, worn, chang'd, in warrior shroud
It meets the shuddering brother's sight!2
See! from the breast his
A gem the victim joy'd to wear;
The tender theft affection loves,
And holds the guiltless spoiler dear.
At length his long, last
look he takes,
Then lets the turf for ever close!
2 He was buried as he fell in the mayor's guiden at Bidart.
His brother's grave he
To meet again his country's foes.
Alas! to think one christain
At war's red shrine can worship still,
Nor heed, though seas of carnage roll,
Those awful words Thou shalt not kill!
Oh! Lord of all! and Prince
Speed! speed the long predicted day,
When war throughout the world shall cease,
And love shall hold eternal sway.
Dread thought! ere that
blest hour shall come,
How many suns must rise and wane!
How many leave their peaceful home,
To fall on battle's bloody plain!
To fall like him, my mournful
Whose image glares upon my view,
Midst cannon's roar, midst falchion's gleam,
And my requiem thus renew.
Weep! though he died
as heroes die,
The death that's courted by the brave;
Mourn, though he lies where warriors lie,
And valour envies such a grave?
ADDRESSED TO A DEPARTED FRIEND,
Written after attending
his funeral in the Friend's burying-
ground at Norwich, in 1814, (having travelled all night in
order to arrive in time.)
FRIEND, long belov'd! on thy untimely bier
I came to drop the sympathising tear;
I came to join the long funereal train,
And heave the bitter sigh which mourns in vain.
But not the scene which
boding fancy drew,
On night's deep darkness met my anxious view.
Where were the relatives, subdued by grief,
Who sought in sobs of agony relief;
Or who in agitated silence bow'd
O'er the last home affection's hand bestow'd?
A lovelier sight my hush'd attention draws,
Checks my deep sigh, and into calmness awes.
I see exalted, human ills above,
Firm faith triumphant over suffering love.
For while remembrance to thy kindred's eyes
Bids thy last scenes, instructive moments, rise,
Away affection's needless sorrow fled;
They hail'd thee living, not deplor'd thee dead.
Who can forget the sounds
that charm'd the ear,
The soothing sounds beside thy simple bier;
When thy lov'd sisters pour'd on bended knee
Their touching tribute to their God and thee;
When faith made firm the tones which feeling shook,
And trembling love devotion's rapture took.
But human feelings on my heart return'd,
And o'er thy early doom again I mourn'd;
Mourn'd that the grave in manhood's prime must hide
That form which tower'd in beauty's manly pride,
The grace of feature, and the grace of mien,
The eye's mild lustre, and the smile serene;
The bloom beyond the painter's proudest art,
Pure as thy mind, and glowing as thy heart;
That mind with learning's simplest graces drest,
That heart with charity's true zeal imprest.
But lo! soft accents steal
upon the ear,
Which bid the mourner deem affliction dear;
And shew, heaven's dealings rightly understood,
The greatest suffering yields the greatest good;
As when fierce storms their lightning's power display,
The darkest cloud emits the brightest ray.
They ceas'd, yet still we seem'd that voice to hear,
When prayer's mild magic next enchain'd the ear;
Again, thy matron sister's3 forceful tone
Made every feeling of the heart her own;
Made narrowest bosoms, unresisting, feel
Her christian love, her universal zeal;
That love, which soaring from a brother's grave,
Pray'd heaven collective man to aid and save;
To teach the mourner's lip to kiss the rod,
And lead the darken'd sceptic to his God.
Soon ceas'd that voice
which mute attention won,
And dust to dust proclaim'd our task was done.
TO THE SPIRIT OF ------
HOW oft, when grief my brow obscur'd,
Has thy kind voice dispell'd my tears!
How oft thy soothing smile allur'd
To pictur'd views of happier years.
But now, my conscious grief
What voice, what smile, my cure can be?
Not thine the wonted balm can bear;
For oh! I mourn the loss of thee.
ON THE DEATH OF TWO BROTHERS,
THE ONLY SONS
OF FRIENDS VERY DEAR TO ME.
remember them from their first hours
Of helpless infancy! a lovely race
Of blooming girls already bless'd the arms
Of their fond parents. But, perchance, a wish
Unconsciously escap'd their pious hearts,
As steals insensibly on evening's gale
The perfum'd breath of flowers, that, next, a son
In favor might be granted; and, at length,
The tender mother's grateful heart was glad,
That a man child was born! Another son
In glad succession came; then, welcome too,
A cherub daughter followed, and 't was sweet
To mark how these new comforts stole away
The sense of sorrow past, and recent woe;
For these parental eyes had learnt to weep,
And o'er two children seen the green turf close.
Now all was hope, and only hope again,
Save that the eldest treasure, lately given,
Appear'd to more than childhood's anguish doom'd,
For oft, adown his flush'd and burning cheek,
And from his eye, dark-beaming, stream'd the tears
Of sudden agony and thus, athwart
The brilliant dawn of life, were thrown strange clouds
Portentous! 'T was as if the winter's wind
In spring's best hours return'd with blighting breath
To shake her opening blossoms to the ground,
And prove to wise observer's marking eye
That summer's promis'd fruit might ripen not,
Or ripen but to fall. But, pain at length
Seem'd vanish'd nay forgot and he became,
By past anxiety endear'd the more,
The mother's darling, and the father's pride;
Nor less his brother grew in health, in love,
And youth's fair promise! In his pensive eye
Beam'd mild intelligence, and on his lip
A meaning smile, though not a frequent one,
Spoke observation keen, and sense acute
Of things ridiculous and all who knew,
Most dearly lov'd him. But, for other love
Than earthly love, the gentle youth was form'd,
And in one hour that love to brighter worlds
Bore his sweet spirit!
With what eager eyes,
Glances like sunbeams struggling through a storm,
Those mourning parents, wrestling with their grief,
Gaz'd on their sole surviving son! And mark'd
His darkly-arching brow, his sparkling eye,
Temper'd with modest sweetness, and his smile,
Which seem'd the soft reflection of a mind,
Both with itself at peace and all the world!
While, with deceitful beauty, on his cheek
Glow'd the deep crimson rose, whose gradual tints
So softly died away to feverish bloom,
So opposite, that health's own hand appear'd
To wave her loveliest flag in triumph there!
Short was the dear delusion! Soon, how soon
The heavy eyelid, and the languid mien,
The cheek's clear bloom, chang'd to a thick'ning tint
Of dusky fading red, turn'd hopes to fears;
The smile indeed still linger'd on the lip,
But, chang'd its nature, for it spoke not health,
Nor health's hilarity but sweetly told
Of patient gentleness, resolv'd to bear,
Without complaint, the inward sense of pain,
Lest he should further wound the hearts he lov'd.
Yet more that beaming smile express'd it spoke
Of resignation, and of hopes to come,
Beyond the brightest meed on earth! And then,
So fondly watch'd, so lov'd, and so bemourn'd,
Crowds who survive might envy such an end.
In youth's unsullied pride he sank in death;
So, evening clouds, in western glories drest,
E'en while we gaze admiring, change their hues,
Then disappear for ever.
ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE
BIRTH-DAY OF MY DEAR RELATION, OLLYETT WOODHOUSE,
ADVOCATE GENERAL OF BOMBAY,
WHICH RECURRED SOON AFTER I HAD HEARD
OF HIS DEATH, 1822.
I never lov'd the garb of woe
Which custom bids the mourner wear;
That vain, unmeaning, outward show,
Oft mock'd by eyes without a tear;
But now, alas! I weep and
When I my mourning garments see;
For, lov'd and lost! It rends my heart
To know I wear that garb for thee!
For thee, belov'd from
To youth, and life's maturest prime;
Belov'd with undiminish'd power,
Through change of fortune, change of clime.
Oh! how I hop'd in days
Again thy smile of love to see,
And welcome thee to some dark home!
But now the tomb has clos'd on thee!
This day, the day that
gave thee birth,
Has ne'er by me forgotten been,
E'en in the hours of social mirth,
Or in the gravest, wisest scene.
For thee the secret prayer
And wish'd again thy face to see;
Now, tears, not prayers the day has claim'd,
And sorrow's garb I wear for thee.
Yet still my lips shall
In supplication's tenderest strain,
For those who share my deep distress
And mourn for thee on India's plain.
But why the sorrowing lay
A lay thine eye can never see!
Thy heart held dear my plaintive song
O! grief to think it flows for thee!
ON THE DEATH OF THE SAME.
YES, thou art gone! my hopes are o'er!
We ne'er shall meet on earth again!
Thou sleep'st on India's fatal shore,
And friendship's prayers were breath'd in vain.
Thy sleep is death's! that
Yet still thou liv'st within my heart,
Which shall thy image sacred keep,
Till I from life or memory part.
The grave can't hide thee
from my sight,
I see thee still, and still shall see,
For mind's clear vision ever bright,
By nought of earth can bounded be.
Wide as the heavens to
which it soars
And free, and unconfined as heaven,
Thought over all triumphant towers,
Till memory back the past has given.
And thee she brings! not,
in thy shroud
Nor stretch'd upon thy bed of death,
Where faithful love in anguish bow'd
Essay'd to catch thy parting breath;
Form that sad scene I trembling
Twas grief enough to hear thy doom,
To wish in vain to clap thine urn,
And go a pilgrim to thy tomb!
No I recall thee
gay and young,
With graceful form, and manly brow,
O'er which thy clustering ringlets hung
I see thy cheek of mantling glow!
I see thy smile, thy converse
Where wit like summer lightning shone,
Harmless as bright! and wit is dear
That plays on all, but injures none.
Stay, soothing visions!
Hope has a dearer balm in store;
She bids me paint thee where thou art,
Blest shade! and I repine no more.
ANNIVERSARY OF A FUNERAL, 1832
vain around me fair creations rise,
Spring's infant green, and blooms of varied dies.
With all her promises of coming hours
More bright, more rich, in swelling fruits and flowers;
Memory with cypress veils spring's opening wreath,
And speaks, departed friend! of thee and death!
For with this month, the day, the hour return,
When, call'd beside thy early bier to mourn,
We paid affection's last, fond dues, and gave
Thy form's pale relics to the silent grave!
Again I view that time,
so sad, yet blest,
So full of agony, so full of rest!
Of grief, to think thy course so soon was run;
Of joy, to know the glorious prize was won;
That crown, where palms of fadeless beauty shine,
Bestow'd alone on spirits pure as thine!
Yet e'en while gazing on
thine early bier
Through fond affection's full and fruitless tear,
Thought, busy thought, which, swift as lightning flies
Through memory's cells, and bids past scenes arise,
Restored thy precious image to my view
In all its loveliness of form and hue
That hazel eye, to whose soft beams 't was given
To charm on earth by looks which spoke of heaven;
That firm, full lip, with glowing crimson fraught,
Which shed new beauty on the truths it taught;
The auburn hair, which parting on the brow,
Bestow'd new whiteness on its lucid snow;
The cheek, whose varying mantling bloom could vie
With the soft radiance of the evening sky;
The voice, whose tones harmonious, soft, and clear,
Like distant music stole upon the ear!
O, friend! instructress; rich in truth divine,
Resource, delight, that can no more be mine;
I see thee still as when on bended knee
Thou oft has deign'd to breathe a prayer for me!
A prayer design'd for sacred shield, or spell,
To guard my heart in scenes belov'd too well.
But while that heart this dear illusion feels,
One recollection on another steals;
Yet, in whatever view to memory given,
Thy words, charms, talents, all still breathe of heaven.
Well might thy pencil, rich in every grace,
Delight the peasant's lowly roof to trace,
Since oft the dwelling, which that pencil drew,
To thee the comforts ow'd, which then it knew.
And what, sweet comforter
of other's woe,
Who, for another's, could thy weal forego;
What tender recompense, to own thy worth,
Came from thy Saviour's gracious bounty forth?
That promise, given in Zion's1 sacred lays,4
To those whose bosoms generous pity sways,
4 Psalm xli.
And who around them Christian mercies shower,
Was kept to thee, and check'd pain's restless power!
In all thy sickness here, He made thy bed!
By sisters' hands thy faded lip He fed!
Bade those, by kindred blood to thee allied,
Yet closer still by kindred virtues tied,
Around thee shed each balm for suffering known,
And e'er thee watch with kindness like thy own;
Bade them, through wakeful nights and anxious days,
For thee the voice of supplication raise;
And thus thy gracious Lord, by earthly aid,
Thy care of others to thyself repaid.
Nor there alone was seen
his succouring power,
It beam'd resplendent in thy closing hour.
He, midst the gloom of death's approaching night,
Bade thee behold the cross array'd in light.
The man of Calvary the Lamb who bled
From that bright cross a cheering splendour shed,
Which fill'd with joy and praise thy parting breath,
And made thy happiest hour, the hour of death.
IN MEMORY OF MY MOTHER.
orphan'd babe, from India's plain
She came, a faithful slave her guide!
Then, after years of patient pain,
That tender wife and mother died.
Where gothic windows dimly throw
O'er the long aisles a dubious day,
Within the time-worn vaults below,
Her relics join their kindred clay
And I, in long departed days,
Those dear, though solemn, precincts sought,
When evening shed her parting rays,
And twilight lengthening shadows brought
There, long I knelt beside the stone
Which veils thy clay, lamented shade!
While memory, years for ever gone,
And all the distant past portray'd!
I saw thy glance of tender love!
Thy cheek of suffering's sickly hue!
Thine eye, where gentle sweetness strove
To look the ease it rarely knew.
I heard thee speak in accents kind,
And promptly praise, or firmly chide;
Again admir'd that vigorous mind
Of power to charm, reprove, and guide.
Hark! clearer still thy voice I hear!
Again reproof, in accents mild,
Seems whispering in my conscious ear,
And pains, yet sooths, thy kneeling child!
Then, while my eyes I weeping raise,
Again thy shadowy form appears;
I see the smile of other days,
The frown that melted soon in tears!
Again I'm exiled from thy sight
Alone my rebel will to mourn;
Again I feel the dear delight
When told I may to thee return!
But oh! too soon the vision fled,
With all of grief, and joy it brought:
And as I slowly left the dead,
And gayer scenes still musing sought,
Oh! how I mourn'd my heedless youth
Thy watchful care repaid so ill
Yet joy'd to think some words of truth
Sank in my soul, and teach me still:
Like lamps along life's fearful way
To me at times those truths have shone;
And oft, when snares around me lay,
That light has made that danger known.
Then, how thy grateful child has blest
Each wise reproof thy accents bore!
And now she longs, in worlds of rest
To dwell with thee for evermore!
ON THE FUNERAL OF -----
have laid thee in earth! what a moment of
How painful from relics so precious to part!
And though grief might its strongest expression
It spoke in the eyes, and it throb'd in the heart.
Thy children, thy kindred,
thy friends gather'd round
That grave, soon to close on an object most dear,
And numbers beside were lamenting around,
Still more numerous than those, were the mourners
On the far distant plain, and the cliff-girded shore,
The sound of lament for thy death was gone forth;
And groups were assembling,
thy loss to deplore,
Acknowledge thy bounties, and dwell on thy worth.
In the peasant's and fisherman's
dwellings now meet
The sick and the suffering, to weep and to grieve;
For no more shall they watch for the sound of her
Who came to console, and who staid to relieve.
And they, too, bewail'd,
whom thy delicate aid
Its source unsuspected, when needed, was nigh;
They, whose kind benefactress death only betray'd,
When the fountain, long full, became suddenly dry.
But what was the grief
which those grateful ones felt,
Compar'd to the heartfelt affliction they knew,
Who with thee, in love's daily intercourse dwelt,
And from thee their life's tender happiness drew.
They had paid the last
duties, with effort o'ercome,
And the long-restrained tears might at last overflow;
But to what were they going?
A desolate home,
Where their grief could be met by no comforter now
She who help'd them, and
sooth'd them, herself was
Of the sorrow her love was once skilful to cheer;
While each object they saw, to their grief added force,
And so fully recall'd her, they fancied her near.
On the couch, where her
form in its graces repos'd,
They gaze till they think into being it starts
They see her dark eyes in their sweetness unclos'd,
Then sorrow the more when the vision departs.
But they mourn not like
those to whom hope is un-
For faith can the greatest of sorrows o'ercome;
And they bend in submission, and praise at his throne,
Who in love and in mercy has summon'd her home.
A DEAR YOUNG FRIEND, WHO DIED, ALMOST
SUDDENLY, TWO MONTHS BEFORE HIM WHOSE SUFFERING AGE
HE SO OFTEN SOOTHED BY HIS ATTENTIONS.
art thou gone, belov'd one,
Thou, who within our darken'd home
Like a bright lamp, at evening shone,
To cheer away the gathering gloom?
And shall we ne'er behold thee more,
Nor for thy step impatient listen,
Nor glad thee with thy favourite lore,
And mark thine eye with pleasure glisten?
With ready kindness shalt thou not
Explore again the varied page?
Or sing to soothe the trying lot
Of languid suffering, weary age?
Sure, 't is a dream, my sense beguiling!
It cannot be! thou pale and dead!
One day in bloom, and brightness
The next upon thy dying bed?
Alas! like shooting star, 't was thine
to vanish suddenly from sight.
Awhile, dear youth, we saw thee shine;
Then fade, and fall, and sink in night!
Oh! we shall miss thee more and more,
And count, through each revolving day,
Thy acts of kindness o'er and o'er,
Till we, like thee, have pass'd away!
TO BE ADDRESSED BY A BRAZILIAN
TO THE MESSENGER BIRD, WHO COMES, AS THE BRAZILIAN
BELIEVES, FROM THE LAND OF SPIRITS.5
shalt thou wing to the spirit land
Thy glad return thou bird?
Await from us some fond command,
And bear some greeting word.
Some word of love to friends
At rest on the spirit shore;
And say that those still mourning here,
Are glad they mourn no more.
5 These lines were suggested by some beautiful verses on the
same subject, by Felicia Hemans.
Are glad that theirs are
And youth's returning bloom;
And joys that can no more be ours,
In this vain world of gloom.
Yet say, we hope those
lov'd on earth
They do not quite forget,
Who think of them in grief or mirth,
With faithful and fond regret.
And though parents there
may the child forget,
On earth their joy and pride;
The child's fond tears will be flowing yet,
When the parents' eyes are dried.
And welcome bird of the
Art thou to this earthly shore,
With thee thou seemst the charm to bring,
Of hours we know no more.
Thou com'st from those
we lov'd the best,
And each voice most dear hast heard;
Then bear our message, thou welcome guest,
But soon return, sweet bird!
The brig in question,
name unknown, went down in a calm sea at
high noon day, on the Rundlestone rock, whence the buoy had
been washed away. The Rundlestone is between the Logan
rock and the Land's End.
THE sun shone bright in the azure sky,
And the silver clouds were sailing by,
While oft, like a mirror clear, the wave
Reflected each tint that blue sky gave,
And the billows were edg'd with sparkling white,
Or roll'd in one tide of dazzling light;
T was then near the spot where two oceans meet,
And the Logan rock holds its wondrous seat,
That a vessel came o'er the smiling tide,
Its pennons gallantly streaming wide;
What fear could reach that joyous crew,
As the sun shone bright on the waters blue;
While each billow seem'd wrapt in a silver fold,
And the gentle sea in its radiance roll'd,
How the vessel danced on
the buoyant wave!
Nor deem'd how near was a fathomless grave!
Alas! could none where yon waves divide,
And the rocks look out in unconquered pride,
Could none in that white triumphant wreath
Discover the frowning form of death?
Could none that heard those breakers roar
Suspect they his awful summons bore?
No on they went in their gay career,
No warning voice from the shore was near,
Nor warning sign, as in other days
Did its floating head to guard them raise;
And see! she strikes! where yon surges bound,
See, the vessel is whirling round and round;6
Oh! loud are the shrieks on the noontide air
From the crowded deck! thy shrieks despair!
For scarce could the hasty prayer arise,
Or to heaven be turned imploring eyes!
In an instant each hope on earth was o'er,
And no eye could discern that vessel more!
6 She turned round and round before she disappeared.
Whither bent she her course?
It matters not,
Nor if dark or bright those victims' lot;
Nor boots it now if the sufferers lost,
In life had joy'd or had sorrow'd most;
Their joys and sorrows on earth are past,
And they on the awful future cast;
But human hearts in that ship had beat,
Which had griev'd to part, and had long'd to meet
To meet with those they lov'd again,
Whose parting prayers were breath'd in vain,
And watch on the shore of the treacherous wave,
Then learn they gaze on their lov'd one's grave!
And when death in resistless power appear'd,
How many would forms through life endear'd
In hopeless agony then recall!
Wives, children, kindred! they see them all!
But transient the view, like lightning flash!
The vessel goes down in one sudden crash;
O'er the struggling victims the ocean rolls,
And to judgment rise their trembling souls!
was an eye whose partial glance,
Could ne'er my numerous failings see;
There was an ear that heard untired,
When others spoke in praise of me.
There was a heart time
With warmer love for me to burn;
A heart, when'er from home I rov'd,
Which fondly pined for my return.
There was a lip which always
E'en short farewells in tones of sadness;
There was a voice whose eager sound
My welcome spoke with heartfelt gladness.
There was a mind whose
On mine its own effulgence threw,
And call'd my humble talents forth,
While thence its dearest joys it drew.
There was a love, which
for my weal
With anxious fears would overflow;
Which wept, which pray'd for me, and sought
From future ills to guard but now!
That eye is clos'd, and
deaf that ear,
That lip and voice are mute for ever,
And cold that heart of anxious love,
Which death alone from mine could sever;
And lost to me that ardent
Which lov'd my varied talks to see;
And oh! of all the praise I gain'd,
His was the dearest far to me!
Now I, unlov'd, uncheer'd,
Life's dreary wilderness must tread,
Till He who heals the broken heart,
In mercy bids me join the dead.
O Thou! who from thy throne
Canst heed the mourner's deep distress;
Oh Thou! who hear'st the widow's cry,
Thou! father of the fatherless!
Though now I am a faded
That's sever'd from its parent tree,
And thrown upon a stormy tide,
Life's awful tide that leads to thee;
Still, gracious Lord! the
voice of praise
Shall spring spontaneous from my breast;
Since, though I tread a weary way,
I trust that he I mourn is blest.
ON THE SUDDEN DEATH
A Beautiful Child.
heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father
who is in heaven.
bright was that evening of innocent mirth,
By tender regret on my memory engrav'd,
When the moss of the vale gave its fire-light forth,
And its flame o'er our head like a canopy wav'd,
And childhood's scream of joy was there,
That sound which parents delight to hear.
We little thought, in that
hour of glee,
That death's dark wings were hovering nigh!
That then his eye could victim see,
And tears would soon fill many an eye;
We little thought that cheerful room,
Would soon be dark with funereal gloom!
But where is he with those
eyes as bright
As the radiance on which he gaz'd and smil'd?
Fix'd, closed in death, are those eyes of light,
And hush'd is thy merriment, beautiful child!
Fair boy, whom all who beheld admir'd;
He shone like that quivering flame, and expir'd.
Yet, wherefore lament?
though we see him no more,
And the spirit its delicate covering has fled,
T is gone to inhabit a happier shore,
And join the blest souls of the innocent dead,
Where the Lamb bids his kingdom's bright wonders
And their angels the face of the father behold.
ON THE DEATH OF AN AGED FRIEND,
(Inscribed to her grandson.)
full of years? can I lament
That low thy silver'd head is laid?
Ah! no since death in mercy sent,
To thee his brow in smiles array'd.
No conflict thine, a peaceful
To crown a virtuous life was given;
And death but seem'd a welcome friend,
To lead thy ransom'd soul to heaven.
And thou, my friend, whose
Has planted on this lov'd one's grave
The rose she prized, to blossom there
When summer's genial breezes wave.
Reflect, and bid regret
That not by this fond act alone
Thy heart's the seat of duteous love,
Its pious zeal to her has shewn.
Methinks attentions are
Which in our homes to cheer us bloom;
And thine made glad her life's long hours
And cheer'd her pathway to the tomb!
ON THE DEATH OF THE LADY ------,
OF THE LATE MARQUIS ------, AND
WIDOW OF COLONEL ------.
OH! fondly lov'd! thy widow'd mother's pride!
Whose sweet supporter in her Charlotte died;
Thou, whom the tenderest brothers tried to save,
Alas! in vain, from an untimely grave.
Oft have I mark'd within the world's gay scene,
Thy graceful person, and thy modest mien;
And what its eager votaries blessings call
Birth, honors, loveliness thou hadst them all!
While, form'd still more in private life to shine,
The spirit pure, the generous heart were thine;
And every other blessing far above,
Thine was the meed of tender wedded love.
Oh! state of happiness, so vast, so dear,
It might have made thee deem thy heaven was here,
Made thee forget a holier
home on high,
And on the creature fix too fond an eye;
But He, the merciful, who joys to save,
Plung'd thy meek head in sorrow's deepest wave;
Then, as thy lip all murmuring still forbore,
Because He did it, snatch'd thee to the shore;
And while with widow'd grief thy heart was riven,
Replac'd thy earthly love with love of heaven.
Blest, bounteous proof of mercy and of grace!
For soon, how chang'd appear'd that youthful face!
Decay's pale role there op'd its tell-tale bloom,
That beauteous harbinger of coming doom,
The flower that blossoms only near the tomb!
Soon thy mild eye appear'd too clearly bright,
Or, faintly beam'd with wan, phosphoric light;
Till, through the sleepless night and restless day,
On thy sick couch thy form exhausted lay;
But He who saved thee from the whelming tide,
When thy heart's joy, thy gallant husband, died;
He who had turn'd thy feet to Zion's hill,
Thy guide, thy teacher, He was near thee still;
Thy faith grew stronger
as life's vigour fled,
And brightest visions cheer'd thy dying bed.
Oh! precious faith, which taught thee to impart
Words of sweet comfort to thy mother's heart;
And while beside thy couch they vigils kept,
Made thy lov'd brothers thankful while they wept;
Thankful that raised all human ties above,
E'en the dear pledge of a lost husband's love,
To heaven alone thy closing eyes were turn'd,
For heaven alone thy grateful bosom burn'd,
Eager the Savior long-desired to meet,
And cast thy crowns at thy Redeemer's feet.
DEATH OF REGINALD HEBER,
well do I remember the day I first met thee
T was in scenes long forsaken, in moments long fled;
Then, little I thought that a world would regret thee,
And Europe and Asia both mourn for thee dead.
Ah! little I thought, in
those gay social hours,
That round thy young head e'en the laurel would
Still less, that a wreath of the amaranth's flowers
Entwin'd with a palm, would, O Heber! be thine!
We met in the world
and the light that shone round
Was the dangerous blaze of wit's meteor ray;
But then, though unseen,
mercy's angel had found
And the bright star of Bethlehem was marking thy
To the banks of the Isis,
a far fitter dwelling,
Thy footsteps return'd, and thy hand to its lyre;
While thy breast with a bard's young ambition was
Yet holy the theme was that waken'd its fire.
Again in the world, and
with worldlings I met
And then thou wert welcom'd as Palestine's bard;
They had scorn'd at the task which the Savior had
The Christian's rough labours, the martyr's reward.
Yet the one was thy calling,
thy portion the other,
The far sons of India received thee and bless'd;
While the humblest of teachers
dar'd greet as a bro-
And love thee though clad in the prelate's proud vest.
In the meek lowly Christian
forgot was thy greatness;
The follower they saw of a crucified Lord:
For thy zeal show'd his spirit, thine accents his sweet-
Till the heart of the heathen drank deep of the word.
Bright, as short, was thy
course! since a coal from
First touch'd thy bless'd lip, and the voice bade thee
Thy faith could not pause, and thy feet could not
Till o'er India's wide waters advanc'd thy swift prow.
In vain her fierce sun,
with its cloudless effulgence,
Seem'd arrows of death to shoot forth with each ray;
Thy zeal gave to fear and
fatigue no indulgence,
But on to the goal urg'd thy perilous way.
And, martyr of zeal! thou
e'en here wast rewarded;
When the swart sons of India came round thee in
When thee, as a father, they fondly regarded,
Who taught them and bless'd, in their own native
While thou heardst them
their faith's awful errors
Confess the pure creed which the Saviour had given;
That moment, thy mission's blest triumph proclaiming,
Appear'd to thy feelings a foretaste of heaven!
cried the voice, and surrounding her
Trichinopoly's2 sons hail'd thy labours of love
Ah! me, with no fear did thine accents then falter;
No secret forebodings thy conscious heart move?
Thou hadst ceas'd
having taught them what rock
to rely on,
And aside laid the robes which to prelates belong;
But the next robe for thee, was the white robe of Zion;
The next hymn thou heardst was the seraphim's song.
Here hush'd be my lay,
for a far sweeter verse
Thy requiem I'll breathe in thy numbers alone;
For the bard's votive offering to hang on thy hearse,
Should be form'd of no language less sweet than thine
Thou art gone to
the grave! but we will not de-
Since God was thy refuge, thy ransom, thy guide:
He gave thee, he took thee, and he will restore thee,
And death has no sting, since the Saviour has died.
ON THE DEATH OF A BRIDE.
thin partitions joy and grief divide!
See, from her father's house, the pensive bride
To her new home the joyful bridegroom bears,
While her glad prospects check her falling tears.
Then, as her filial fond regrets remove
Before the healing power of happy love,
Although her heart may miss each earlier tie
A few short weeks on joy's light pinions fly.
But from her bridegroom's house, that distant bourne,
How does the bride to her first home return!
Where are the smiles expecting parents wear?
Say, why those friends in mourning robes appear?
Oh! say, what means that dark funereal train?
Whom does yon hearse, death's sable car contain?
Stretch'd on that bier,3 o'er which fond kindred mourn,
See the young, happy bride, a corpse return!
And he who late the nuptial
Now prays with faltering voice beside her grave.
Short term of happiness! but was there nought
To soothe the anguish such bereavement brought?
Yes gracious heaven, in tender mercy shed
The sweetest comfort o'er her dying bed.
Her's, the fond watchings of a husband's care,
A sister's tenderness those tasks to share:
And her's, more precious far than earthly love,
The hope in Christ, all other hopes above!
Then balm for those she could no more behold,
Thus her last wish the dying sufferer told
Bear me, she cried, when death's last hour shall
Bear me, I charge you, to my father's home.
Oh! with what tender zeal, what'er she will'd,
Her mourning hearers faithfully fulfill'd.
A sister's hand her youthful limbs compos'd,
And in the dress she lov'd her form enclos'd;
Then flowers, fit emblems of her transient bloom,
Deck'd the pale tenant of an early tomb.
Thus, to that home, for
which in death she sigh'd
Thus, to her father's house return'd the bride.
Her father's house! O words with comfort fraught,
That raise above this earth aspiring thought;
The tenderest earthly parent can but give
A home where joy and grief alternate live;
Nor can that home abide, however dear;
Change, not duration, marks this nether sphere.
But there's a home above yon vaulted sky;
A home beheld by faith's uplifted eye;
A home that's guarded by angelic bands,
Which in the heaven of heavens eternal stands!
Where entrance, purchas'd by the Saviour's blood
Awaits the spirits of the just and good.
Then, mourners, weep not
by that early grave,
Which to your lov'd one heaven in favour gave.
Hope that a home is hers above the sky,
Where blessed spirits Abba! Father! cry.
Hope, to that father's house, thy child is come,
To dwell for ever in a heavenly home.
ON AN AMIABLE INDIVIDUAL IN HUMBLE LIFE.
but an humble, grassy grave,
And lowly he who slumbers here;
Ye grandeur's pall could never wave
Above a more respected bier.
Fond kindred plac'd these
In faith and hope beneath the sod,
And Christian lips, with hallow'd strains,
Consign'd a Christian to his God.
WRITTEN IN AN ALBUM AFTER THE DEATH
OF ITS OWNER, AND UNDER THE VERSES WITH WHICH I HAD
BEGUN IT A FEW YEARS AGO.
OH! mournful record of departed years!
I read my characters through falling tears.
Lamented youth! when, at no distant day,
I breath'd to thee this monitory lay,
So veil'd the future lies, I little thought,
I should so soon by thee in turn be taught;
Taught by thy life, admonish'd by thy end,
And o'er thy early grave in sorrow bend!
In fancy now that cheerful
hour I view,
When first this book thy pleas'd attention drew,
And thine the hope to see its pages bear,
The various gifts of many a circling year
By turns the records of the grave and gay,
Enrich'd with painter's group, and poet's lay;
While thou, thy cheek with
modest blushes drest,
Wouldst to blank pages lure each gifted guest.
But clouds of fate e'en
then were hovering near,
Sad, sudden death! a brother's awful bier!
A widow'd parent's dearest wishes crost,
And love's young hopes in one dread instant lost!
To the dear victim not one moment given!
Like a fair tree by sudden lightning riven;
At once in youth's unblighted bloom he fell!
But that dread tale the muse forbears to tell.
A different end was thine
by favoring heaven,
To thee were days of gracious warning given.
A mother watch'd beside thy fever'd bed,
Friend, sister, brother, rais'd thy drooping head,
While thy pale lip which faith's sweet hopes exprest,
Bade songs of Zion soothe thy soul to rest.
Now, fare thee well! again I close thy book,
And to thy name I give a last fond look!
Book! name! what images
those words convey!
And hopes that chase regret and grief away.
Another book, but not of earthly mould,
Seems the lost brothers' favor'd names to hold:
A book with palms of fadeless beauty contain'd,
Whose pages glory's dazzling beams surround.
Then, mourning mother,
check that falling tear,
Nor wish thy darling still had linger'd here;
Faith, sweetly whispering of a Saviour's love,
Bids thee behold them in the realms above,
And humbly hope, escap'd from human strife,
Their names are written in the Book of Life.
In four years after these lines were written, I paid the following
tribute to that mourning mother.
THOU art at peace! that fond and anxious heart
At length has beat its last,
death's dark portal past;
Perhaps with those long-lov'd and lost thou art!
But, how I miss thee from thy vacant seat!
On which, through tears I gaze,
Till fancy's hand portrays
Thy smile to welcome and thy hand to greet!
Yet who could wish to call thee back again;
For in thy secret heart,
There rankled many a dart,
Though thou, like Spartan boy, couldst hide thy
And oh! how meekly to thy Lord's behest
Thou didst submissive bow
Before the cross laid low!
Enough! the Saviour said, and call'd thee to his
ON THE CHRISTMAS DAY OF 1830,
COMMEMORATIVE OF THE SUDDEN
DEATH ON THAT DAY OF A
MOST DEAR AND VENERATED FRIEND.
HARK! where the strain of welcome sounds,
To hail the ever blessed day;
When in a manger's lowly bounds,
The Lord of life and glory lay!
The howling wind is arm'd
Which throws around its keenest darts;
Still, winter's cold in mirth is lost,
And pleasure fills unnumber'd hearts.
But there were those to
whom that morn
Came with a joyless, withering breath;
And there was one to whom was borne
Thy summons dread, relentless death!
And one there was, on whom,
Affliction's heaviest burden prest;
For in death's cold embrace he lay,
Whom she had longest lov'd and best.
Perchance when she that
She winter saw with shuddering start;
But, little thought, ere noon should close,
To know the winter of the heart.
Sad, sudden stroke! no
Could memory treasure! no farewell!
In one short moment, mute, o'erpower'd,
From her fond grasp her husband fell!
The gradual twilight of
Prepar'd her not for such a sight,
But, like the equatorial day,
T was cloudless noon, and then 't was night.
Yet still athwart that
Some blessed beams of mercy broke;
And while she bent beneath her doom,
Her quivering lip of comfort spoke.
For gently down he sank
While she, whom most he lov'd, was nigh;
And, ere he drew his parting breath,
On her had turn'd his closing eye.
T was his last smile
of grateful love!
O! thought, thanksgiving's voice to raise!
And as with grief religion strove,
The pious sufferer murmur'd praise!
And while the crowded streets
Rejoicing reign'd that day, that night,
And numbers join'd in festive song,
Or hail'd the time with public rite;
Within that house of grief
Where fondly wept, its master lay,
A christian summon'd to his doom,
And friends lamenting o'er his clay;
Then was the Saviour's
The babe of Bethl'hem there ador'd
For in the mourner's heart he dwelt,
Her refuge, rock, Redeemer, Lord!
ON THE DEATH OF HER MOTHER,
OF WHOM, IN HER LAST DAYS,
A FRIEND REMARKED, IT IS A FINE SUNSET!
I'VE seen the sun along the western wave
Slow setting, radiant in his robes of gold,
And, at the sight, I thanks and glory gave
To Him who bade those gorgeous robes unfold.
But, there's a moral sight
all sights above,
The christian's sunset when, his warfare done,
He sinks, reposing on a Saviour's love,
Calm, bright, majestic, as the setting sun.
I've seen the sun from out the orient tide
Rise to his floating throne of circling rays,
While, as I hail'd the day's encreasing pride,
From my full heart burst forth the song of praise.
But there's a scene more
glorious than the hour,
When into life and light all objects spring;
Tis, when the ransom'd soul from death's dark
To heaven ascends, and angels welcome sing!
And such a sunset, such
a dawn, my friend,
To bless thy mother's close of life were given;
So sank she down in radiance to her end
So rose her soul on wings of light to heaven!
ADDRESS TO A DYING FRIEND.
THERE is light on the hills, and the valley is past!
Ascend, happy pilgrim! thy labours are o'er!
The sunshine of heaven around thee is cast,
And thy weak doubting footsteps can falter no more.
On! pilgrim, that hill
richly circled with rays
Is Zion! Lo, there is the city of saints!
And the beauties, the glories, that region displays,
Inspiration's own language imperfectly paints.
But the gate of one
pearl to thee open'd shall be,
And thou all its beauties and glories behold:
The Saviour an entrance has purchas'd for thee,
And thy dwelling henceforth is the city of gold.
The rustling of wings when
thou reachest the gate
Will announce the glad angels, the sentinels there:
Knock, pilgrim! not long thou for entrance canst
For spirits like thee to those angels are dear.
And, perhaps, in the portal, the glorified band
Of kindred and friends long remov'd from thy sight,
Breathing welcome and bliss, soon around thee will
Array'd in their garments of heavenly light.
Transporting re-union! bright meed of all those
Who on earth bow'd in meekness and faith to the rod,
Still thankful alike, if the thorn or the rose,
Was strew'd on the pathway that led them to God.
* * * * * * * *
She has knocked
she has entered! blest spirit fare-
We rejoice in thy bliss though our loss we deplore:
It is joy that thou art where the blessed ones dwell,
But, oh! it is grief we behold thee no more.
A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER, RELATIONS
OF MINE, WHO DIED AT PENZANCE, WITHIN A SHORT TIME
OF EACH OTHER.
PURE, lovely, learned, gifted, pious, wise,
Here, by her mother's side, Philothea4 lies.
From Humber's shores,5 that mother bore her child,
Where gales blew soft, and genial sunshine smil'd;
Yet bore in vain decay's resistless powers
Soon gave sad notice her's were number'd hours.
But, to her heavenly Father's will resign'd,
While no vain conflicts tried Philothea's mind,
O'er her lov'd mother's health fond grief prevail'd,
The Christian triumph'd but the creature fail'd;
And 't was in mercy to the sufferer given
To go before, and wait her child in heaven.
How did Philothea meet that trying day
Which saw her life's companion borne away?
Go! make her grave,
she said, and make it wide!
I soon shall slumber by my mother's side.
And ere four moons a waning lustre gave,
The lov'd Philothea shar'd her mother's grave.
And now, beheld through faith's uplifted eyes,
They share each other's bliss beyond the skies.
Part the First.
HE fondly begg'd ah! needless prayer!
That I, his child, would ne'er forget him!
But when did e'er the day appear
This grateful heart did not regret him.
Yet, no when sorrow
veils my brow,
And gloom and fear o'ercloud my lot,
Then I each fond regret forego,
And joy to think he sees me not.
But, when my passing hours
And mine the smiles he lov'd to see;
Then, while vain tears obscure my sight,
My father! how I wish for thee!
Part the Second.
HE bade me sometimes seek his grave!
How needless was the dear command!
For 't is the tenderest joy I have
Beside that lowly spot to stand.
And there I shed fond soothing
To know that by my father's side
Ere past a few, short, weary years,
I, in that grassy grave shall bide.4
And when I feel bereav'd
While life seems hopeless, cold, and drear,
That tranquil spot I gaze upon,
Exclaiming Peace awaits me there!
In the Friend's burying-ground.
And memory paints the vanish'd
Oh! moments then too little priz'd;
When with my pencil, song, or lays,
I means, to soothe his ills, devis'd.
When, by his couch of ceaseless
My lute with trembling hand I strung;
And at his choice, some fitting strain
Of prayer or praise alternate sung.
Or, as my watch I near
Essay'd with blest, though humble power,
To sketch, while he unconscious slept,
The face I soon must view no more!
Again the scene, and him
The silver hair, the deep-flush'd cheek!
The waking eyes that look for me;
The smiles that eager welcome speak.
But soon these scenes away
With all the pangs and joys they gave!
And when my eyes on earth I cast,
I only see my father's grave!
OF A NEAR RELATION.
I had died for thee, thou lovely one!
Thee, rich in ties, a youth's enchanting pride;
And I, alas! the faded and the lone!
Had heaven so will'd I would for thee have died.
But he, who errs not, did
not thus decree;
Then, patient still, let me earth's pilgrim rove;
While thy glad eyes the Saviour's glories see,
And thy blest spirit hails redeeming love!
sleep she died as on the summer gales
The breath of flowers by eye unseen exhales:
So her pure spirit from its beauteous clay
Unmark'd, ascended to the realms of day.
O blest allotment! sleep in mercy sent
To save her tender heart from vain lament,
At the sad sight of her fond parent's woe
When forc'd a child so precious to forego:
And, greater pang, to feel herself the cause
Of that deep agony which knows no pause!
But, mercy's hand, to make these ills remove,
In slumber bore her to her home above;
And, Isabella! it to thee was given
To close thine eyes on earth, and wake in heaven!
ON THE DEATH OF A CHILD.
AND he is gone! that winning child
Whose eyes with varied meanings shone:
By turns the gay, the grave, the wild;
A child 't was sweet to look upon!
Joy of a widow'd mother's
But yet at times her anxious care!
Now with the tenderest love carest,
Now needing duty's frown severe.
For sure her heart some
When, as she view'd the future years,
She for her boy in prayer was knelt;
Now flush'd with hope now pale with fears.
But He, that God who heareth
To her's a favouring answer gave;
And sav'd her child from every snare,
By precious gift! an early grave.
For mercy bids, when those
In childhood's morn of cloudless ray,
At once from life's dread snares remove,
And pass like early dews away!
So, mourner! has thy darling
And safely reach'd the destin'd bourne!
Then, though thy path clouds still o'ercast,
Let faith exult, though fondness mourn.
ON SEEING THE STATUE
OF MY LATE UNCLE, DR. ALDERSON, OF HULL.
he! through tears the long-lov'd form I trace,
His manly bearing, his expressive face!
Those eager eyes which spoke the active mind
Intent on plans to benefit mankind.
Yes every feature in the marble lives,
And all the comfort art can yield it gives.
But there's a balm for fond survivor's hearts
Beyond what sculpture's utmost power imparts;
For faithful memory paints the general woe
On the wide shores where Humber's waters flow.
When he, the kind physician, father, friend,
In vigorous age was hurried to his end.
She paints the thousands thronging round his bier,
All ranks, all ages, equal mourners there;
While grateful groups his
generous zeal recall'd,
When, by no shrinking selfishness appall'd,
He cross'd the dangerous tide at midnight's hour,
To yield the treasures of his healing power:
Alike to him, if rich or poor requir'd,
The welcome aid by suffering pain desired.
What! though full oft the threat'ning wintry gale
Blew loud and fearful through the moaning sail;
Undaunted still, he cross'd the wintry wave,
His dearest aim to succour and to save.
Then raise the statue! raise the breathing bust!
Let the proud marble guard the precious dust;
Let learning's pen inscribe his honor'd name,
And on the stone engrave his civic fame.
But know, such worth requires no sculptor's art,
It lives recorded on the grateful heart.
PARENTS' CHAUNT OF THANKSGIVING
THE DEATH OF ONE OF TWO ONLY CHILDREN,
WITH WHOM THEY HAD JUST RETURNED FROM THEIR DECEASED
MOTHER'S HOUSE IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND,
TO THEIR HOME IN THE WEST.
NOT in our home of the rocky vale,
Where the mountain mists glide chill and pale,
And the once glad roof seems dark and lone,
Since it tells, alas! of a lov'd one gone;
Not there was sent our darling's doom,
Already it wears enough of gloom.
We thank thee and bless,
In our deep distress,
That it came not there, not there.
Nor on the hearth of a
Did the sudden, awful, mandate come;
Nor yet where a brother's feeling heart,
Would vainly have mourn'd a sister's smart;
Nor yet where tenderest friends in vain,
Had long'd to share and soothe our pain.
We thank thee and bless,
In our deep distress,
That it came not there, not there.
But it came when return'd
to her native vale;
She breath'd the charm of its genial gale,
And bounded again on her nursery floor,
With the sports and toys she lov'd before,
And cull'd the flowers that deck'd her way,
(Herself as fresh and as frail as they!)
We thank thee and bless,
In our deep distress,
That there it came yes, there!
Nor does she sleep in a
To our own last home our child we gave;
We laid her down by the honor'd earth,
Of her whose smile first hail'd her birth.
And whose heart though richly fill'd before,
Found a deeper place for one treasure more;
And we thank thee and bless,
In our deep distress,
That we laid her there yes, there.
And as we stood by their
So soon to mingle in earth's decay,
And thought their souls on a heavenly shore
Were met already to part no more;
Although we sigh'd over vanish'd days,
Our secret hearts were cloth'd with praise;
And we thank thee and bless,
In our deep distress,
That, rock of our refuge! Thou wert there!
IN MEMORY OF ------.
THERE came to the gates of Avignon
A stranger youth, faint, weary, lone;
Oh! his heart was glad when those gates unclos'd,
And his aching limbs in sleep repos'd!
But he woke on a fever'd, restless bed,
While anguish throb'd in his burning head;
And the wandering youth, on distant lands,
Was, helpless, thrown upon strangers' hands!
But, such was the charm of his gentle mien,
And his smile in danger's hour serene,
That words of love became words of truth,
From those who watch'd o'er the dying youth.
He had come to gaze on the city's towers,
To see Vaucluse! thy beauteous bowers,
And fair Italia's verdant
Where orange trees scent the sultry gales;
Where their winged blooms as they fly around,
With fragrant flowers o'erspread the ground;
And where fire-flies wing their radiant flight,
Hanging like gems on the brow of night;
But the wanderer felt these hopes were o'er,
He never should gaze on Italia's shore;
Yet, bidding each rebel wish be still,
He meekly bow'd to his Father's will!
Yes, favor'd youth! thy bright career,
So mercy will'd, was ended there!
And soon a precious task was thine,
Of heaven's indulgent love the sign
Thou was call'd to show in simplest guise,
How a faithful, humble, christian dies.
And thy lips their faithful witness gave,
To him who alone our souls can save;
That Lord who has bought us with a price,
The one sufficient sacrifice!
His task was done, and
come his hour!
When, proof of mercy's o'erruling power,
Those dear ones left on his native plain,
Whom his heart and eyes had sought in vain,
Seem'd, such the favouring will of heaven,
To cheer his dying moments given!
Delirious fancy brought them near!
Their voices broke on his raptur'd ear,
They seem to hang o'er his restless bed!
A mother's arm encircles his head!
Fond sisters near him soft-soothing stand,
They wipe his brow, and they grasp his hand!
Their fond caresses he seems to feel,
Like angel shapes as they round him steal;
Away each care and each pang seems gone,
As their fancied forms he smiles upon!
Their names are heard in his parting breath,
And smiling still, he sank in death!
WHERE'ER I stray, thou dear departed one,
I see thy form, thy voice I seem to hear!
And though thou art to brighter regions gone,
Thy smile still charms my eye, thy tones my ear!
Whene'er adown thy favourite
walk I go,
Still, still I feel the pressure of thy arm;
And oh! so strong the sweet illusions grow,
I shun, I loath, whatever breaks the charm.
In vain I'm urg'd to join
the social scene;
This silent shade alone has charms for me;
I love to be where I with thee have been,
And home, though desolate, is full of thee!
TO A DEPARTED FRIEND.
LONG months of wandering past, I came
To seek thy home, and it look'd the same
As when I bade these scenes farewell,
On fair Cornubia's shores to dwell;
The hill was there, and there the vale,
And thy favorite flowers perfum'd the gale;
But a cloud came o'er my conscious brow
As I reach'd the gate for, where wert thou?
I gaz'd around, but I vainly
That eye once beaming with mind and thought,
That smile which welcome sweetly spoke,
Ere yet the mild words of greeting broke.
And I wish'd in vain that voice to hear,
Whose rich deep tones could delight my ear!
That tongue of kindness was silent now,
And I turn'd to weep for, where wert thou?
Alas! in the dark abode
And laid the stone of the vault beneath!
For thee had the solemn death-bell toll'd!
O'er thee had been strew'd that startling mould,
Which tells that the lov'd and shrouded clay,
For ever from sight is sinking away!
And mourning friends through the glist'ning tear,
Had look'd their last on thy honor'd bier!
But regret for thee were weak as vain
I left thee stretch'd on a bed of pain,
And wan and worn was thy perishing frame,
But thy faith in Christ all pangs o'ercame!
And he, who led to the healing source,
With the martyr's cup gave the martyr's force;
Then hence the gloom of my tearful brow,
And the murmuring accents oh! where art thou?
To heaven I look with thankful heart,
And with joy exclaim, 't is there thou art!
ON THE PORTRAITS
DECEASED RELATIVES AND FRIENDS,
WHICH HANG AROUND ME.
YE lov'd memorials of departed days,
Ye mute remembrancers, yet eloquent
E'en in your silence, for your speaking eyes
Seem to fix kindly on me, as they gazed
In happier hours, those hours of youthful smiles
And tears, soon pass'd, like dews from opening leaves
Which sparkle as they fall; oh! let me wake
My lyre's fond, votive, plaintive chords to you!
For mine are lays of death! and though you boast
From the skill'd hand of genius, life's own form,
And even look like those you counterfeit,
As when mind, heart, and
bounding pulse were theirs;
Yet if I press your cheek, that cheek is chill,
That lip responds not, and the eye that seems
To smile with cheerful consciousness, remains
Fix'd, cold, and sightless! and the mournful truth
Again recurs, that of the house of death
They are the tenants now and I am left
Alone on earth! yet, not alone while thus
My solitude is peopled! precious art!
I am alone! the fireside vacant now,
Once fill'd so happily! but, when I gaze
On you, art's fair creations, I no more
Seem desolate and left! for fancy, fir'd
While gazing on you, o'er the present throws
The bright, heart-warming, radiance of the past.
PORTRAIT THE FIRST.
THERE hangs a soldier, in a distant age
Call'd to his doom my honour'd ancestor;
Who, for his sovereign5 drew the loyal sword,
Yet, civic chain, well earn'd by civic worth,
Respected bore! In childhood's earliest days
That picture was my conscience! As those eyes
From the dark canvass beam'd, they seem'd methought
To follow me, and frown upon my faults.
And when a mother's firm, yet mild, reproof
Had sent me, pale and tearful, to my room,
Methought his eyes reprov'd me, and his smile
Seem'd to reward when that fond mother came
To hear her child's contrition, and forgive.
And still those eyes appear on me to bend!
What sees he now? not childhood's April face,
Nor youth's gay blossomings! nor can I more
Charles the First
Believe his frown can awe,
his smile reward,
Since childhood's dreams are past but I delight
To gaze upon him still. Bound in thy spell
Association! of the moral world
The fadeless ivy! which, for ever puts
Its clinging fibres forth in memory's cell,
And fastens there, cloth'd in unchanging hues,
The scenes, the friends of our long vanish'd days!
Oh! how association's fibres cling
Around a portrait! when I gaze on this
Childhood and youth with all their shifting scenes
Seem to live round me! till the visions fade,
To be renew'd again and I, the while,
See nought remain, but the full-whisker'd lip,
The parted hair, loose flowing, the dark brows,
And meaning eyes, which ever seem to hold
Parlance with mine, and of my wasted hours
Demand of me a record! Nay, no more
I'll meet those fearful questioners! but on
Where yonder fair companion of my hours
In matron beauty hangs.
PORTRAIT THE SECOND.
The gift of love
That speaking picture was of bridal love.
Now, both the painter and his subject are
Where pictures come not! but the gift on earth
Unchang'd remains with her that lonely one
Whose friendship ask'd it, and whose song repaid,5
If song so humble could such gift repay.
Now, for the requiem I must change the song,
And let it float upon the chilly damps
Of the dark vault to ears that cannot hear!
Thy days were days of trial, gentle friend!
Tender and bitter grief within thy cup
Of life were mingled still, it bore some balm;
Still thy dark clouds could boast some cheering rays,
And, smiling sufferer, on thy path of life
One of my first published lays was on this picture.
Though griefs abounded,
joys abounded too
For wedded love, and filial tenderness,
These still were thine and gifted children strove
To cast the radiance of their gifts on thee,
And charm away thy sense of pain. Yet still,
'T was mercy's hand remov'd thee! That soft eye
Which now meets mine, of times long vanish'd speaks,
Hours, ere affliction made that beauteous brow
A record of her power and there is one
Who, when on me death sets his awful seal,
Will love to commune with those eyes, which tell
Of her lost home, and youthful happiness!
While in her filial heart they will awake
A strain of melody, though mournful, sweet;
And while she feels the spell that picture wears
Perchance she'll give one grateful sigh to her,
Whose dying hand bestow'd the magic boon.
PORTRAIT THE THIRD.
STERN, yet indulgent, though sarcastic, kind,
Though humourous, wise, was he who hangs beside
My last lov'd theme He was my childhood's friend,
And its preceptor! and how brightly once
His reverend image rose before me! now!
What art thou, madness? Living death thou art!
Death to each purpose that can life endear
Thou false reality! whose fancies all
Have some foundation in their wildest moods.
As in kaleidoscope, all things remain,
Foil, flowers, and gauze, as when they enter'd first;
But, when together shaken, they assume
Such new positions, that new semblances
They seem to wear: so, when the awful power
Of madness shakes the brain, ideas change
Their relative position, and appear
In such confusion, on each
That they in useless fantasies revolve,
Now bright, now dark, but fresh delusions still.
But oh! the grief of thy transforming power!
It makes the meek perverse, the humble proud,
And blasphemous the pious! Dreadful change!
And he my childhood's friend, kind, pious, wise,
Rais'd his own hand against his honour'd life!6
Thence, while I gaze upon that awful brow
My sportive childhood sometimes wreath'd in smiles,
Sad recollections suddenly arise,
And grateful memory's joy is quench'd in tears.
There is, I can safely affirm, no one living, in or near my
circle, whose feelings can be wounded by this allusion to a
mournful occurrence, which took place thirty years ago.
PORTRAIT THE FOURTH.
WITH what far different feelings I behold
The calm expressive features next in sight!
How different was thy lot! advancing life
To thee, beloved father, was the nurse
Of meek submission, and unclouded faith:
Whate'er was dark within thy vigorous mind,
Fled at the presence of celestial light,
Can I forget the hour when cureless ills
Forc'd thee to close thy gate 'gainst waiting crowds
Of sick and poor, who came to ask thy aid,
And could alone in thanks and blessings pay.
Oh! it was agony to bid them cease
Their bootless visits! and thy spirit sank
Beneath the stroke! thy usefulness was gone,
And life a burden seem'd! but from thy heart
Deep supplication rose, and all was peace!
Soon thy sick room, and
couch of ceaseless pain,
Might have been nam'd meek resignation's school;
For, sweetly cheering, as the western sun,
Which through thy window shed its parting beams,
Were thy declining days since christian hope,
And humble trust were thine, and ever breath'd
Instructive influence round. And when thy child
Beheld thy silver hairs bow'd low in death,
And to her heart a lifeless parent clasp'd,
Then, like a ministering angel, memory came,
And drew thy closing years in hues so bright,
Her sob of agony expir'd in praise.
PORTRAIT THE FIFTH.
NOW I to thee awake the votive lay,
To thee, bright curls just parting on thy brow,
With eyes of tenderness, with lips that seem
About to utter playful wit, or pour
A strain of mild persuasion on the ear.
Thou, my gay childhood's darling, and my youth's
Belov'd companion! thou hast left me too
And I had hop'd along the vale of years
To walk with thee, and live beside thy home!
But thou art gone before me! and thy grave
Is on the distant shore of Malabar.6
Thou sleep'st by one who fondly lov'd us both,
And whose dear image is so twin'd with thine,
That, as I gaze on thee, he, too, appears
Radiant in smiles, and on my darken'd path
A rainbow lustre casts, which, rainbow like,
Fades as I gaze, and I'm
In the dark vale that leads me to the grave.
But He, the widow's husband, orphan's sire,
Friend of the friendless the unchanging God!
He lives to make the desolate rejoice;
And as I turn from thee to kneel to him,
Full seems that prostrate heart, so lately void,
And while with firmer touch I strike the lyre,
The chords resound with thankfulness and love.
PORTRAIT THE SIXTH.
BUT who is he with that expansive brow?
The throne of mind and genius and an eye
That seems to read each gazer's thought? Behold
The kind magician, to whose art I owe
The soothing records of departed days!
Oh, veil'd so closely is the future hour,
We little thought, when they to being rose,
That I should live to gaze, and muse on them,
So soon the lone survivor of you all;
And to thy memory breathe this votive strain!
But thou wast borne to a distinguish'd grave,
And by the side of kindred genius plac'd;7
While at thy obsequies, as followers, came
The wise, the titled, talented, and great!
But in thy breathing pictures I behold
In St. Paul's cathedral.
A monument far dearer
to my heart;
And while they seem to look, and smile away
My sense of loneliness, and dearer grow,
As fainter grows each image they recall,
From my heart's lowest depths ascends this prayer,
That they whose features here on canvass live,
With others gone before, and her who thus
To them and thee this faithful requiem breathes,
May one day meet within those gates of pearl,
Where past and future shall no more be known,
But all be present and eternal joy!
ON A LUMINOUS SEA,
AFTER SOME VERY DESTRUCTIVE GALES.
HAST thou a sabbath? thou, a day of rest,
Resistless, terrible, remorseless sea?
Yes calm, as beautiful, is now thy breast,
As if the halcyon's wings7 repos'd on thee.
Thou smiling mischief!
like a sportive child,
Each curling wave amidst the pebbles plays,
And now, or fancy has my sight beguil'd,
Thy graceful billows break in beauteous rays.
The foam disparting, shews
a diamond wreath;
Amidst the sea-weed, mimic emeralds shine!
Is it to celebrate thy deeds of death,
That o'er the sand extends the radiant line?
It seems as if the stars
had left the sky,
To bathe their shining foreheads in the wave,
But oh! engulph'd beneath those waters lie
The young, the lov'd, the beautiful, the brave!
Dread recollection! which
at once can shroud,
In mournful shadows, e'en a scene like this
And soon before my shrinking fancy crowd
Some livid tenants of the drear abyss!
Visions, on visions, rush
upon my view
In misty groups! when lo! one manly form
Glides forth alone with cheek of palest hue,
The lov'd and lovely victim of the storm!
Yes young Augustus!
fancy pictures thee!8
She paints the joy in Serlby's peaceful walls,8
Augustus William M-------n, 4th son of the Viscount
G------y, who was lost in the Calypso Frigate, on his way from
When tidings came that
soon the western sea,
Would bear thee, wanderer! to thy father's halls.
She paints the deep thanksgiving
of his heart,
She sees thy mother 'midst rejoicing mourn,
And both with thrills of sudden anguish start,
At thought of him who can no more return.9
But hope, like sunshine
bursting through a cloud,
Bids her bright pencil thy return portray,
And while around their smiling children crowd,
The grateful parents hail the future day.
Then, with parental pride
of thee they tell,
Of thee belov'd where'er thy steps had been!
Now on thy virtues, and thy faith they dwell,
Thy Christian meekness,1 and thy winning mien.
Captain Charles M------n, the 3rd son, was assassinated at
Corfu, by a soldier, in 1831. Like his brother, he was loved
and regretted by all who knew him.
1 He was called the peacemaker.
They little thought, to
thee, the lov'd of heaven,
An early call to brighter worlds had come,
And long'd, while glow'd the hearts so lately riven,
To bid thee welcome to thy earthly home.
But long'd in vain!
and whether icebergs crush'd
Thy shiver'd vessel in their grasp of death,
Or the Atlantic's mountain billows rush'd
And bore their victims to the caves beneath,
No mortal man can know,
'till that dread day,
Which shall, proud ocean, all thy prisoners free;
When the old heaven and earth are pass'd away
Before the new, and there is no more sea!
THE LAST LETTER.
FROM India's fatal plain she wrote; but every page
Health's happy feelings, while her pen a faithful
Which with increasing fondness still their treasur'd
Whom she in England mourning left, and might
behold no more.
The sense of absence, distance now, that welcome
Too happy parents, every word calls forth your tear-
Those tearful smiles, which
rainbow-like our chec-
quer'd path adorn,
And like that bow of nature's tears, and nature's
Meanwhile her former letters seem by this bright
Oh! midst your joy you little thought that letter
was her last!
But now its every stroke
is grown more precious
than the gems
Which deck on proudest thrones of earth the proud-
And deeply in your glowing hearts you store each
Not holy relics, pious hands, with tenderer care en-
For never more with eager haste you will her scrolls
The glowing heart, which prompted them the hand
that wrote, is cold.
And he, the partner of
her breast, with whom she
cross'd the wave,
His Saviour's mission'd servant mourns beside her
While o'er your earthly hopes to come, a withering
blight has past,
And scarcely can you bear to think that letter was
But see! methinks your
clouded brows with sudden
As, bending o'er that filial page, you mark each
It is because down memory's path your thoughts
From the dear moments when a child she gambol'd
by your side,
To those when meek, yet still resolv'd, the narrow
way she trod,
Leaning, in youth and beauty's prime, upon her
And when to India's fatal
shore the sacred call was
In mild submission bow'd before the awful will of
Then, while you feel her ransom'd soul through hea-
ven's pearl gate has pass'd,
You joy in grief, nor dare regret that letter was her
WHILE his fair fame was spread from zone to zone,
Within his circle like a sun he shone;
And while the world his powers of mind admir'd,
At home his heart devoted love inspir'd.
But, as athwart the natural sunshine glide
Thick gathering clouds, which its effulgence hide;
So have I seen dark gloomy shadows roll'd
Across his brow, and felt their chilling cold.
Perhaps, some shrouded forms in memory pass'd2
Before his eyes, and present joy o'ercast!
But soon each mournful shadow fled away,
And gave his beaming smile again to day.
Baron Cuvier survived all his children! The last of whom,
Clementine Cuvier, lived to the age of twenty-two, and was the
admiration of all who knew her, for loveliness of person, power-
ful intellect, purity of mind, charm of manners, and active piety.
'T was sweet that voice
of melody to hear,
Distinct, sonorous, stealing on the ear:
And watch to mark some sudden gesture throw
The hair aside that veil'd his wondrous brow.
That brow, the throne of genius, and of thought,
And mind, which all the depths of science sought.
Alas! that voice is mute! and from that brow
No eye can mark the shadows vanish now:
Death's seal is there! 3 a seal no power can move,
Not e'en the prayer of agonizing love!
And while all nations share their deep regret,
His home's sad circle feel their sun is set.
He died shortly after he was raised to the peerage.
THE VISCOUNT G------Y,4
WHOM I SAW FOR THE LAST
TIME WHEN HE WAS GOING WITH
HIS FAMILY TO COURT.
WHEN last I saw thee, thou wert hastening on
To pay thy homage to an earthly king
Where England's court with rank and beauty shone,
And royal splendour wav'd its gorgeous wing.
Oh, scene the proudest
in the world's report,
Whose joys the crowd with liveliest pleasure shar'd!
But thou wert fitted for a loftier court,
Thy garment ready, and thy soul prepar'd.
This pious christian (who was such from his earliest years,)
died after a few hours' illness, since I wrote the verses in which
I allude to the death of his son.
And now, no more, to earthly
king thy heart
Shall give the tribute loyal duty brings;
Before thy heavenly sovereign's throne thou art,
And thy wrapt spirit hails the King of kings!
ON A DEAR FRIEND,
I SAW her first, when on her blushing face
The tender light of youthful beauty shone
I next beheld her, when the matron's grace
Had new and holier radiance o'er her thrown
And while by words and deeds 't was her's to teach,
I lov'd the excellence I could not reach.
I last beheld her, when
the fallen cheek,
The heavy eye, and faintly-flushing bloom,
Smiles sweet, but forc'd, and accents kind, but weak,
Spoke secret agony and coming doom
But, like fair trees in Autumn's shortening day,
She seem'd, methought, still lovelier in decay.
For, such the deep submission
of her soul,
To that expressive face new charms were given;
Faith held each feeling in such blest controul,
That round her beam'd on earth the light of heaven;
The Lord she serv'd had heard her late appeal,
And on her dying brow was stamp'd the Saviour's
SAINT MICHAEL'S MOUNT,
THE LORD DE DUNSTANVILLE
SIR JOHN ST. AUBYN, BART.
St. Michael's Mount is one of those rare and commanding
objects which arrest and fix the attention the moment they are
seen. Its peculiar situation, and the sublime character it as-
sumes from appearing to rise immediately from the waves, sin-
gularly interest the imagination of the observer; though, when
viewed from the land, its real magnitude is apparently diminish-
ed, from the vast extent of the horizon, and the expanded tract
of water which surrounds its base at high water it appears a
completely insulated congregation of rocks, towering to a consi-
derable height, gradually decreasing in size, till, assisted by the
tower of the chapel on its summit, it assumes the form of a com-
plete pyramid. At low water it may be approached from the
shore, over a kind of causeway, of sand and rocks, which are
submerged by every rising tide, and the mount rendered again
a perfect island. Some of the masses of rock in the intermediate
space are immensely large, and all composed of granite, of a
close texture, with its feltspar of pinkish colour. The mount
itself consists of a hard granite, in which transparent quartz is
the preponderating substance.
The mount's cornish-appellation was Carakludgh en luz
signifying the gray, or hoary rock in the wood.' Ptolemy
calls the mount Ocrinum but soon after the 6th century, it
seems to have received its present name, from the apparition of
St. Michael, whose appearance, according to the monkish le-
gends, to some hermits on the mount, occasioned the foundation
of the monastery. The place where the vision sat was a craggy
a dangerous situation, near the upper part of the rock,
which, in the time of Carew, still bore the name of Saint
Michael's chair: -- but that appellation has since been transferred
to a more accessible, but equally dangerous, spot on the summit
of one of the angles of the chapel tower. However little the
credit that can be attached to this wild tale, it is certain that the
mount became hallowed at a very early period; that it was re-
nowned for its sanctity; and was for a time an object of frequent
pilgrimage. Spencer says, in his Shepherd's calendar,
St. Michael's mount, who does not know,
That guards the western coast?'
See Beauties of England and Wales
SKETCH THE FIRST.
BOAST of Cornubia's shores, I bid thee hail!
Hail to thy castled brow! thy lofty head
Pointed like pyramid! Yes, there the tower,
And there the ramparts rise! But, needless they,
And powerless e'en the utmost art of man
To add to thee or dignity, or grace,
Undeck'd, uncastled, in thy native charms
More awfully sublime! for turrets then
Thou hadst thy rugged peaks for battlements,
Crags of rough granite for thy dungeon-keep,
The green recesses in yon beetling crags
For drawbridge, yonder causeway's rocky sand,
Which it would foil all mortal power to raise,
Or to let fall again that pathway, left
By the kind waves at morn, or noon, or eve,
Which, with resistless force resume their own,
And who can stay them?
In that distant age
It was, ere building dared presume to clothe
Thy naked grandeur, that some pious men
First sought thy rock, on holy purpose bent;5
And gave the bright angelic vision birth.
Whence comes thy name, oh, fearful phantasy?
How did the brain, which could conceive, survive
The grand appalling image fancy drew?
What says tradition? Did the vision come
In day's bright hour and in what garb array'd?
When it was first consecrated to religious purposes
known; but the earliest time it appears on record, as a place of
devotion, is the fifth century.
Edward the Confessor founded on it a priory of Benedictine
monks, on whom he bestowed the property of the mount.
At the dissolution, its revenues were valued at £110 12s.
per annum, and were bestowed, together with the government of
the mount, then a military fort, on Humphrey Arundell, Esq.
In the first year of Elizabeth, it was granted by patent to
Thomas Bellett and John Budden, who afterwards conveyed it
to Robert Earl of Salisbury, from whose family it passed to
Francis Basset, Esq. (the ancestor of Lord de Dunstanville,)
but previous to the last century, was sold to Sir John St. Aubyn,
whose descendant, Sir John St. Aubyn, bart, still possesses it.
See Beauties of England and Wales
Look'd the archangel6
terrible as when
He with dark demons awful conflict held,
Meek, yet victorious? Was the lofty crest
Upon his casque of sunbeams fashion'd? No.
Twilight's mysterious hour, or darkest night
Would better suit such advent gathering mists
Through which the moon would force some slanting
Would easier image such a being forth.
Methinks that through his wide transparent wings
The stars of heaven were seen, and his tall spear
Was tipt with moonbeams! while afraid to gaze
Upon the o'erwhelming vision, to the earth
Appall'd the trembling hermit bow'd his head;
Then to the bright creation added voice.
What said the warrior angel?
of his words
Do holy legends record bear? Suffice,
That soon upon the mountain's rugged brow
6 General Epistle of Jude, 9th verse.
the dark monastery soon, alas!
To fortress chang'd but not for works like these7
Would heavenly form descend. Not come to lure
Man, social man, from love's endearing ties,
And life's blest duties and still less to change
The home of cloister'd peace to scenes of war;
To stain thy verdant turf with human blood,
And for the hymn of praise, bid the loud drum
And din of arms the echoes round awake.
But, be thy rock convent- or castle-crown'd,
If mailed warrior, or if hooded monk
Be ruler of thy walls, and pace along
The earliest transaction of a military nature, recorded to
have happened at this mount, was in the reign of Richard I.
The civil contentions, in the reign of Charles I, were the
cause of the fortifications of the mount being encreased, till (in
a chronicle of the proceedings of the time) the works were styled
'impregnable and almost inaccessible.'
They were, however, reduced, after being vigorously de-
fended by the king's adherents, in the month of April, 1646, by
This was the last transaction of a military description that
happened on this romantic spot.
See Beauties of England and Wales
The weary length of their
Or youthful beauties smile away its gloom,
Telling of softer rule and brighter scenes,
Thou art so varied, wild, romantic, grand,
One gazes on thee with untired delight!
How oft on eager feet I
From my lone dwelling, on the terrac'd beach,
To gaze upon thee, in thy varied robe,
At morn, at noon, at twilight, and at eve;
And watch thy various tints, and light, and shade,
Which ever round thee like a garment hang.
Sometimes I've seen the brightly-bounding waves,
Like liquid emeralds, clasp thy frowning base,
By shadows veil'd then climbing up thy sides,
Retreating thence then rushing on again,
Seeming resolved to sport away thy gloom
As playful children, half afraid, yet bold,
Clasp the lov'd parent's knees, whose brows are dark
With frowns unwonted, then abash'd retire,
But, since uncheck'd, the bold caress renew
And I have seen thee when
thy verdant sides
Were clothed in yellow radiance and again,
When to the west, on the deep crimson sky
Outlined in dark magnificence, thy form
Stood boldly forth! next, in a gorgeous stole
Of roseate hue, reflected from that sky,
I saw thee clad! then, thou wast dark again,
Save that the sinking sun, as parting gift,
Threw on thy loftiest height a coronal
Of golden rays, which brightest seem'd, methought,
When vanishing. The dying christian thus
In his last hour, sometimes distinctly gains
A glimpse of opening heaven, and sheds around
A brightning radiance, as his soul departs!
SKETCH THE SECOND.
MUCH had I heard of thee, thou sea-girt rock!
And I had seen thy wondrous heights portray'd
By him I lov'd and I had oft admired
Thy grandeur on his canvass but I found
The real mountain might indeed defy
Art's power to paint but, till I near thee came
I could not feel thy vastness;8 and at length
Around thy rocky base with weary feet9
I won my arduous way; full oft alarm'd
Lest the fierce wintry wind, which round me blew,
Should sweep me to the waves, or loose the crags
The distant view of the mount excites ideas of impressive
grandeur, but the effect is considerably encreased when travers-
ing its base, ascending its craggy sides, as slowly winding beneath
its immense masses of pendant rock. See Beauties of England
9 It is said that the mountain is more than a mile round the
Of massy granite ever beetling
As if about to hurl destruction wide;
And as I upward look'd, athwart me came
Such sense of thy dread magnitude, I felt
My admiration swallow'd up in awe;
And when I laboured up thy steep ascent,
And found, that though the storm was howling round,
And the wide waters roll'd in snow-white foam,
While not a boat could dare their fury brave,
In safety I upon thy brow could stand
Unconscious of their motion I, secure,
On that tumultuous sea, as on the shore,
Because my feet on thee were planted; then
The thought of Him, the Rock of ages, came
Athwart my mind, whose type thou art, and prayer
To my full heart was given, to have my faith
On that great Rock secure, as on thy heights
I felt my stedfast feet; and while I prayed,
A calm, a solemn calm, came o'er my soul,
And on the midnight air thanksgiving rose!
SKETCH THE THIRD.
THE time was midnight; and the wintry wind
Howl'd o'er the bosom of the foaming deep,
Which to its voice in louder roar replied,
When on the ramparts of that castled rock,
Sea-girt, which bears the great archangel's name,
I held my lonely watch and held it, awe struck!
For ever and anon upon the blast,
Already terrible to hear, was borne
The fearful notice of the minute gun,
Distant, yet audible, and asking aid
For drowning wretches ask'd perhaps, in vain;
And fancy, shuddering at the scene she drew,
Portray'd the vessel sinking in the deep!
Saw the blue lights hung on the shivering mast
In desperate haste, and vainly! doom'd to serve
Only as funeral torches, to their grave
To light the struggling
victims! on the blast
She hears a dread variety of sounds
At that dread moment! wild appalling oaths
From desperate lips! and there the mortal plunge,
Scarce heard amidst the waters' roar and then,
The short, shrill, fruitless prayer for help! then comes
The fearful shriek of agonized despair!
But happier thoughts stole on me as the wind
Ceas'd its wild roar and round the castle walls
I took my solitary walk, and hoped
The dark Atlantic heav'd with gentler swell
Its mighty billows while the eastern waves
Began to wear a soft and pallid hue,
As yet, the source unseen that unseen source,
The cause that led me to my midnight watch
On that tall rock, braving the driving storm;
For I was come to see the beauteous moon
In cloudless majesty her state assume
But I was forced to wait upon her smile
As courtiers watch the smile of earthly queen,
And long I waited, on the battlements
Leaning with folded arms
with pensive eye
Marking the scene below wide, billowy, dark,
Save where from lowly cottages which lay
Scattered around the mountain's foot below,
And from the dwellings on the distant shores,
As yet some lights put forth faint twinkling rays;
But when the distant clock, upon the wind,
Gave solemn notice of the midnight hour,
Lo! one by one I saw those welcome lights
Fade from the view, till not a single beam
Was left to tell that in the dark expanse,
And near that wilderness of waters then,
Another eye than mine a vigil kept;
But I, alone, seem'd waking! Thus methought,
As life advances, one by one we mark
Our dearest friends and relatives expire!
No eye of love remains to cheer our age,
And we are left alone!
SKETCH THE FOURTH.
STILL, darkness reign'd and visionary forms
Of those long-lov'd, the distant, and the dead,
Floated before me on the mists of night.
And wrapt me in forgetfulness of all
I came to gaze upon! till with the clouds
On which my fancy sketch'd them, suddenly
They vanished! then, still slowly stealing forth,
The moon appeared, bidding each object wear
Her pallid livery; while distinctness spread
O'er hill and rampart, and the granite rocks
Below me threw upon their modest gray
A vest of warmer hue; but still night's queen
Delay'd her bright career; for rebels still
Remained to conquer, as dark-frowning clouds
And driving rain cross'd rudely o'er her path,
Till, like successful troops in war's red field,
The winds came rushing on, and, in a trice,
Drove rain, and mist, and
rebel clouds away,
Like soldiers charging on a flying foe;
Then to her throne in undisputed power
The smiling queen arose, and round her shed
Her showers of diamonds of recovered sway
The brilliant tokens and with varied gems
Decking her subject waves but still she had,
Like earthly queen, her favourites; and her gifts
She in one corner of the wide expanse
Heap'd so profusely, that the light they gave,
Made me discern e'en the green turf that sheaths
The rock's rough base, and there with mimic day
The sea, the shore, the crags, and mountain shone,
The scene, the sights I coveted, were mine.
From that steep eminence my eyes beheld
Three seas uniting1 their deep waters roll,
Clasping the mountain in one glorious zone;
While, as their radiant ruler rose at length
To her supreme dominion; soon she mov'd
Her silver scepter o'er her subject tides;
The Atlantic, the British, and the Irish
And beauty's magic spell
around them threw,
Till, hush'd to calmness was each rebel wave;
And as it gently bow'd its shining head,
Seem'd softly murmuring peace, allegiance, love.
So may the light of gospel truth arise
To full and cloudless sway o'er every land,
Those mingling waters lave, and shine at length
To earth's remotest bounds! May that pure light,
As yon fair moon the subjugated waves,
Soothe each rebellious passion; drive away
All party bitterness, all bigot zeal,
Till every shore is in truth's radiance steeped;
Till on the mountains, vallies, rocks, and plains,
Love Christian love one general anthem pours.
And as those oceans meet around yon rock,
So round the Rock of ages, from whose side
Flow healing fountains, may the nations meet,
And in eternal blessed union join,
Till earth appears a prototype of heaven.
Some years ago, when Sir
John St. Aubyn was enlarging the
chapel at St. Michael's Mount, a wall resisted for some time
the efforts of the workmen. At last, being desired by Sir
John to persevere, they resumed their labours, and discovered
a narrow cell, in which was the skeleton of a large man, who
had evidently been bricked up to starve and die! A punish-
ment in former times resorted to by monkish communities.
HAIL! once again, huge rock! whose front sublime
New graces gathers from the hand of time.
Hail! matchless mount! by him immortal made,
Who the sad death of Lycidas9 portray'd;
Whose magic muse, fresh from Castalia's fount,
Sung the great vision of the guarded mount;2
And gave the meed of a melodious tear
To the young poet on his watery bier.
Where the great vision of the guarded mount
Looks towards Numania's and Bayona's hold.
The wondrous legends of
those ancient days,
Were themes befitting Milton's classic lays:3
And well might fancy, on the midnight storm,
Trace on thy crags th' archangel's shadowy form!
While such traditions, spite of reason, throw
A more than human grandeur round thy brow.
But to thy masses hanging
o'er the deep,
From the green turf that clothes thy rocky steep,
Thy gothic chapel, and the social hall,
Whose carvings rude the antique chase recall;
Oh! not on these alone my feelings dwell,
My haunted memory sees the secret cell.
What stops yon workman
in his eager toil?
Why does yon wall his utmost labour foil?
St. Aubyn bids, and he renews his toils;
And see, no more he from the task recoils
The mount has been sung by other bardsby Sir Humphrey
Davy, in his poem, called Mount's Bay, and by W. Lisle
Bowles, a name also well known to fame.
The harden'd mortar yields
the wall gives way,
The dark interior is disclos'd to day.
But horror-struck, behold him now retreat
What object chains his late impatient feet?
In that small space, before his shrinking sight,
A ghastly skeleton's disclos'd to light!
But curiosity o'ercame alarm,
E'en o'er that object mystery threw a charm.
How came it there? is soon the general cry;
And just suspicion gives but one reply: --
Brick'd up within those suffocating walls,
Whose sight the gazer's shuddering eye appals,
In all the horrors of a living death
That human victim drew his parting breath!
What was his crime? it undivulg'd remains
His cruel sentence that dark cell explains,
And shews what tortures, fiend-delighting plan!
Man once inflicted on his fellow-man.
To feel devouring thirst and hunger's pain,
With burning eye-balls, and with throbbing brain;
To feel life's powers by
gradual pangs decay,
And pine in lingering agonies away;
Vainly to watch upon the stifling air,
To catch one pitying sound to check despair.
Appalling picture! scene, alas! too true;
Though o'er it truth may shed this soft'ning hue:
What though fond mourners watch the dying bed,
And veils of kindness o'er death's image spread,
Still, where's the power that can this truth conceal?
We, for ourselves, death's closing strife must feel:
Give me thy pangs, devoted love may cry,
Would I for thee could suffer them and die.
But vain how vain the wish to fondness true,
(Alas! that love can then so little do!)
Love can indeed await the parting sigh;
Can close with pious hand the sightless eye:
And having clos'd those eyes, whose cheerful rays
Shone the soft sunshine of our dearest days,
It starts, it mourns, to feel its tasks are o'er,
And weeps, that tenderest love can do no more.
And thou, poor victim of
that cruel fate,
By fancied justice will'd or fiend-like hate,
Must still, though love had watch'd thy closing eye,
Have for thyself perform'd the task to die.
And though stern vengeance from thy breast might tear
The cross, the rosary to thy feelings dear,
In life's last hour, if he, whose pangs surpast
Whate'er of suffering is on mortals cast;
He, whose lov'd form was pictur'd on thy cross,
Bade thee the gold distinguish from the dross;
Taught that chang'd heart its inmost sins to feel,
And while he wounded, deign'd thy wound to heal;
Bade faith in him despair's dread power controul,
And whisper'd pardon to thy trembling soul,
Then, e'en the tenants of the grandest dome,
Death's call awaiting in the proudest home;
If toss'd on doubt's and fear's tempestuous sea,
Stretch'd on their beds of down might envy thee.
Peace to thy bones! within
yon hallow'd ground,
Where monks and warriors mouldering lie around,
And near, perhaps, thy
judges and thy foes,
The castle's lord bade thy remains repose:
His pious care a Christian burial gave,
And thy pale relics found, at last, a grave.
Theme of my mournful lay,
a long farewell!
Yet oft in memory shall I view thy cell:
Shall still that scene of pictur'd crime recall;
While fancy dares to lift oblivion's pall,
Still seem to stand within thy living tomb;
Still paint thy spectral figure on the gloom;
Still deem, whate'er thy crime, thy fate unjust,
And breathe a requiem to thy nameless dust!
Jill Shaver's Notes to the Poems:
1. Zion, meaning "fortress," is a Biblical reference to "was at first the southeast stronghold hill captured by David from the Jebusites that became the City of David, then the city of Jerusalem," (Fulghum 291).
2. Now known as Tiruchirapalli, this town is located in Madras, India, at the head of the Cauvery delta.
3. This is the frame on which the coffin, or corpse, is taken to its burial.
4. St. Philothea is the patron saint of Athens, Greece. St. Philothea was born Revoula Venizelos, in Athens, Greece in 1522. At the age of twelve she married a nobleman against her will, and only married him to appease her parents. Throughout their three years of marriage, her husband was abusive toward her. He died when she was fifteen, and thus, Philothea was able to return to her parents' home for ten years, until their death. She built a convent for women, and it was dedicated to St. Andrew. At this time she also took the name Philothei, which translated means, friend of God. She founded schools in Athens, protected women from Turkish abductions and conversion to Islam, cared for the poor and the sick, and she was ultimately martyred for her faithfulness (St. Philothea).
5. Humber, an estuary, is located in England between London and Yorkshire.
6. Malabar is the coast on the west of India from the southern tip of Mysore to Cape Comorin.
7. The halcyon is a lake or river bird with a large crested head, small body, and bright plumage. Ancient peoples believed the bird would calm the sea for fourteen days, beginning on the winter solstice, and build floating nests on the calmed water.
8. See: http://www.cthulu.demon.co.uk/Browns_notts/Text/sherwood.htm for more information on Serlby.
9. This is an allusion to John Milton's poem "Lycidas." This poem can be viewed at: http://www.bartleby.com/106/66.html.