—O! these flaws and starts would well become
A woman's story, at a winter's fire,
Authoriz'd by her grandam.
Shakespeare's Macheth,









DORUS, the present lay is thine,
The tale to Friendship I consign;
To thee, who well dost comprehend
The zeal and fervour of a friend:
Thou, who hast known my infant Muse,
Since first she could her go-cart use,
This plaything candidly receive,
And smile, and censure, and forgive.
How oft doth memory enjoy
The sports, that did our days employ,
[Page 6] When gentle HOTCHKIS * held the rule
O'er SUTTON's long-renowned school!
Some age ago, whose annals shone
With deathless STEELE and ADDISON:
And in our days from BLACKSTONE's name
Have gather'd dignity and fame.
For many a trick, and many a feat,
I love the rev'rend bound'ry yet;
And can, ev'n now, in thought run o'er
The gambols I enjoy'd before.
I love it for the lore I gain'd,
For all that pleas'd, and all that pain'd;
For tasks of each denomination,
Theme, verse, night study, and translation:
Nay, to this hour, when I engage
With HORACE's or VIRGIL's page,
[Page 7] Right mindful I my tribute pay
Of gratitude to Founder's Day. *
But chief I love the antique walls,
For that each well-known path recalls
The basis of our friendship laid,
Which hath for years stood undecay'd.
What tho' awhile th' Atlantic ran,
With envious course, 'twixt man and man,
No time, no distance could unbind
The sacred league 'twixt mind and mind.
Long may we hail, with honest mirth,
The place which gave our friendship birth,
And, in libation to the school,
When, chatting o'er a social bowl,
Through life, it seemly may become us


HIGH on the rampart MULEY-ZEYDAN stood,
Where the broad main Algiers' strong tow'rs o'erlook,
Pond'ring awhile with fixed eye the flood,
Then to his son his painful silence broke:
Thou seest, my boy, yon tall and garish fleet,
How proud their streamers flaunt it to the air,
[Page 10] There Gallic chiefs in warlike councils meet,
And to assail these rugged walls prepare.
What does their master, royal LOUIS, claim?
Only to set war's wretched captives free,
By cartel to conclude the date of shame,
And give the valiant air and liberty.
The bloody bus'ness of the battle o'er,
The clarion mute, the falchion thrown aside,
The loss of freedom why should they deplore,
And saucy taunts of servile guards abide?
Why daily pore, with dim, desponding eye,
On the worn flint, or damp-impaired wall,
Or thro' the chink one scanty gleam descry
Of cheering light, which God gave free to all?
"The bloody bus'ness of the battle o'er,"
Each party should accord a full release,
Each captive-mourner to his friends restore,
And with the slaughter bid his suff'rings cease.
Yet this our DEY, severe of soul, denies,
His hands refuse to loose the galling chain;
But keep th'imprison'd brave to vent their sighs,
Far from their home, unpitied, and in vain.
Nay more—his unrelenting heart commands
What reason, manhood, tremble but to hear!
Soon as the Gallic fleet her ports expands,
And with their fatal thunders fills the air,
Before each cannon, which our tow'rs desends,
A captive Frenchman pinion'd shall be plac'd,
[Page 12] Thence to be render'd to their Christian friends,
Or stain with mangled limbs the wat'ry waste.
And must CHOISEUL, the virtuous and the brave,
Enrich'd with ev'ry elegance of mind,
Among the groupe, an undistinguish'd slave,
To such a barb'rous sentence be consign'd?
CHOISEUL—(who, when I lay, as now doth he,
An helpless captive to the chance of war,
No means to soften my calamity,
From thy dear mother's care removed far),
CHOISEUL beheld me with compassion's eye,
He hasten'd to relieve a stranger's woes,
To Nature's ev'ry craving dealt supply,
And taught my throbbing heart to feel re­pose.
When sickness bound me to a restless bed,
CHOISEUL's assiduous hand was ever near,
At closing night he bound my aching head,
And watch'd my wakings with a brother's care.
And shall this man of matchless virtue sink
To rancour and barbarity a prey?
No—let me snatch him from destruction's brink,
By supplication to our rigid DEY.
See, where he stands on yonder turret's height,
To give the signal for his own decree,
And lo! indignant, frowning at his fate,
CHOISEUL first brought for horrid destiny.
"Swift let me fly"—before the obdurate chief
Prostrate he plung'd—"O spare him, spare my friend,
[Page 14] "Regard these tears, this agony of grief,
"And at thy vet'ran's suit his fate suspend!
"Have not we been in war together rear'd,
"Ere since our arms a scymitar could wield,
"Then by the toils, the dangers we have shar'd,
"In watchful councils, and th'ensanguin'd field.
"Kneeling I thus implore thee, grant the life
"Of brave CHOISEUL; call back that dreadful morn,
"When struggling in the battle's hottest strife,
"And by the tide of conquest overborne,
"Thy fav'rite son was rescued by this hand
"From the gigantic Moor's descending sword;
[Page 15] "Didst thou not then, to whatsoe'er demand
"I might exact, accord thy plighted word?
"Ne'er did I 'vail me of that service done,
"Ne'er, ne'er, till now, for retribution bend;
"Then do not pause, but grant thy warrior's boon,
"Regard thy plighted word, and save my friend."
Fierce from the swelling eye-ball of the DEY
Shot forth indignant sparks of hottest ire,
As 'twixt the clouds red meteors force their way,
And fill the firmament with gleams of fire.
"Is it too much to grant this pious grace?
"One only boon is left me then to ask;
"Bind, bind me to him in a close embrace,
"And bid the cannoneer perform his task.
"See, at the fatal point my friend they place,
"Best of the good, the bravest of the brave!
"Thus, thus, I clasp him in this last embrace,
"And perish with the man I could not save."
The DEY abhors to give the cruel sign,
Down to the platform rushing he descends,
Mild drops of mercy on his visage shine,
As with amazement he surveys the friends.
"What sense is this," the alter'd man exclaims,
"What warmth, unfelt till now, pervades my heart?
"The wondrous ardour which your souls in­flames,
"To me its sudden influence doth impart.
"Untwine that churlish misbeseeming cord!
"Live for each other! long and happy live!
"The mutual transport, which I thus afford,
"Not to my promise, but thy worth I give.
"Ye Gallic chiefs, take ransomeless the rest,
"Bid your bold prows exulting cleave the wave,
"The FORCE OF FRIENDSHIP this barbarian breast
"Hath taught to feel, to pity, and to save."




The candid mind, by acknowledging and discarding its faults, has reason and truth for the foundation of all its passions and desires, and consequently is happy. SPECTATOR.


WHAT!—shall the Muse, in labour'd rhymes,
Retrace events of former times,
And shall no duteous verse attend
On him who was my earliest friend?
Forbid it ev'ry feeling good,
Obedience, love, and gratitude!
Remembrance bears his image strong
And perfect, as when life was young;
His image rough, his mien austere,
His heart kind, tender, and sincere;
Ev'n now he seems to meet my sight,
And fancy trembles with delight.
[Page 22] Oft, when at eve I trace the glade,
My mind pourtrays him in the shade,
And oft benignant smiles he beams,
Presiding o'er my midnight dreams.
Still, SIRE BELOV'D, my fancy fill,
Exert thine influence o'er me still,
Still through my soul thy virtues stream,
And mingle with life's latest dream,
Till, wing'd for yon aetherial plain,
I seek thy lov'd embrace again.



DARK December was the month,
The air was dank and chill,
When CADWAL's weary foot had reach'd
The summit of the hill;
Beneath whose ample verge he wont
To labour at the plough,
And, to relieve his father's age,
Bedew his infant brow.
When eighteen years had o'er him pass'd,
He left his rustic home,
(Sore-smote with grief) in distant grounds,
And stranger-fields to roam.
Twelve winters had his exile seen,
When lo! his bosom burns
Again to clasp his father's knees,
And homeward he returns.
And now descending to the vale,
With slow and trembling feet,
Re-viewing this, his native soil,
The pulses flutt'ring beat.
And now with penetrating eye,
He pierces the close dell,
[Page 25] Where in his thatch-beshelter'd cot
His Sire did whilom dwell.
Yet in his sad and troubled look,
Such terror might ye see,
As when we almost wish to shun
The thing, we wish should be.
He pryed here, he pryed there,
No cottage could he spy,
Nor smallest trace of human tread
Appeared to his eye.
No monarch of the feather'd brood
Was heard aloud to crow,
Nor laboured ox the vocal air
Awaken with his low.
In strange amazement and suspense
Awhile benumb'd he stood,
Then fell, despairing on the earth,
And wept, and wail'd aloud.
His piercing cries an hermit drew
Forth from his lonely cell,
Whose pliant sense was quick to feel
Affliction's poignant yell.
Compassion held him mute at first,
While as he ponder'd him
With fixed eye, where nature's floods
Up-swelled to the brim.
Then thus—"My son, your plaints I heard,
"They smote me to the heart,
[Page 27] "To me, without reserve or fear,
"The weighty cause impart.
"Deep-vers'd in sorrow's plaintive task
"Full many a weary hour,
"Right well I know what aggravates,
"And what abates its pow'r.
"Close-pent within restraining bounds,
"The river foams and roars,
"Tumultuous boils with mighty heaves,
"And wounds its kindred shores,
"The load remov'd, that choak'd its course,
"The violence subsides,
"The tumult lessens by degrees,
"And smooth the current glides.
"Give, then, the struggling griefs to flow,
"Which thy clogg'd heart oppress,
"Each word will take a part away,
"And make the burthen less."
'Old CADWAL here distraught I seek,
'Here CADWAL dwelt of yore,
'Here, here, his quiet cottage rose,
'But now is here no more.'
"Old CADWAL seek'st thou? Hapless man!
"New torments must thou have—
"Beneath this venerable elm,
"Behold the rustic's grave!"
'Oh! wretch accurs [...]d I was the cause,
'I 'reft him of his breath,
[Page 29] 'I robb'd these fields of CADWAL's worth,
'I brought him to his death.
'Was he not to his various kin,
'(Unworthy I alone!)
'Was he not guardian, comforter,
'Friend, father, all in one?
'What honest hind, that near him toil'd,
'But of his store partook?
'Was he not to the needy swain,
'As to the mead the brook?
'Did he not deal to all around
'His smile as well as care?
'Not ev'n the sparrow of the hedge,
'But in his love had share.
'And, wretch accurs'd! I was the cause,
'I 'reft him of his breath,
'I robb'd these fields of CADWAL's worth,
'I brought him to his death.'
"Too rigidly, perchance, my son,
"Thyself thou dost accuse,
"And heapest on thy burthen'd heart
"Unnecessary woes.
"Ah! how severe the punishment,
"When we ourselves arraign!
"And hatred oft, and malice 'self,
"Inflict a milder pain.
"Less harshly censure thy offence,
"(Some youthful warmth, I ween!)
[Page 31] "And give it to mine ear in terms
"Soft, candid, and serene.
"Here on this bank repose awhile,
"And bid these tumults cease;
"With thine I'll mix my social tears,
"And sooth returning peace."
'Ah, father! this thine holy love
'Embitters what I feel;
'Unwittingly thou add'st a sting
'To sorrows thou would'st heal.
'Here on this bank, what precious hours
'I've known in days of youth,
'List'ning the precepts that he gave
'Of wisdom and of truth!
'Here in the sweetly-tranquil eve,
'(Day's rugged labour done)
'He'd tell how good and glorious men
'Life's arduous race had run.
'What tides of blood had wash'd these lands,
'Which we in peace had till'd,
'And how the faithful rustic once
'Great ALFRED here conceal'd.
'But, oh! my grief-bewilder'd mind
'From reason wanders far,
'And with vague fancies idly mocks
'Thy kind, thy pious care.'
"Heed not, my son—use any means
"That may assuage thy pain;
[Page 33] "It is the privilege of woe
"At random to complain.
"And who of patient sympathy
"The lib'ral largess scant,
"With-hold a bounty, great I ween
"As Wealth can show'r on Want.


'OLD CADWAL here distraught I seek—
'Ah me! this wayward heart!
'That dar'd oppose a father's pow'r,
'That dar'd his counsel thwart!
'But EMMA's charms had won my love,
'And made it all her own;
'I sought not copious flocks and meads,
'I sought Content alone.
'And oh! so sweetly she conform'd
'To all I wish'd or said,
'You would have sworn our hearts, as twins,
'Were for each other made.
'And was it, holy father, say,
'Was it a crime to love,
'Or to my early-plighted vows
'Unchang'd and steady prove?
'MATILDA'S lofty friends in store
'Of riches did abound,
'And ample sheaves enrich'd their meads,
'And orchards rose around;
'And those possessions, ev'ry hour,
'Were pour'd into mine ear,
[Page 37] 'To count them o'er my father made
'His morn and ev'ning care.
'Sure, if he any sailing had,
'Twas too fond love for me,
'Hence sprang the wish that of her fields
'I should the master be:
'And as he wish'd, and as he bade,
'O! that I could have done!
'But EMMA'S charms had won my love,
'And made it all her own.
'Say, father, ought I in the church
'Have join'd MATILDA'S hand,
'When love and truth, that should attend,
'Were not at my command?
'Her spacious granaries—to me
'They no allurement were;
'My EMMA's low-roof'd dairy-hut
'To me was dearer far.
'Why after large possessions seek?
'My father knew no want;
'Of copious tributes from the field
'His barns were nothing scant.
'But 'twas his will!—and oh! that I
'That will could have obey'd,
'Without the guilt of broken vows,
'Or EMMA's peace betray'd!
'Now that my frowardness of heart
'Hath brought him to his end,
[Page 39] 'For this beside yon hallow'd sod
'In duteous wise I'll bend:
'For this, will daily wet the turf
'With my repentant eye,
'Nor ever from this solitude
'To fairer refuge fly.'
"Son," quoth the sage, and cast a look
As chill'd the youth all o'er;
(While minutes past, ere vital warmth
His senses did restore)—
"Son," quoth the sage, "thy doubts suspend,
"Their swelling tumults check,
"It is thy father clasps thee thus,
"And weeps upon thy neck.
"Long have I held thee in discourse
"With pent-up agony;
"Now let my gushing tears have way,
"They're blessings shower'd on thee.
"Charm'd with thy duteous excellence,
"Thy strength of filial love,
"My full forgiveness let these streams
"And warm embraces prove!
"And oh! can'st thou forgive the cause
"That drove thee from thy home,
"Sore-smote with grief, in distant grounds,
"And stranger-fields to roam?"
'Can I forgive?—Oh! father, such
'Unseemly terms restrain;
[Page 41] 'Can I forgive?—It is enough,
'I see thee once again.
'But said'st thou not, beneath yon elm'—
"My dearest son, I did;
"There have I mark'd my chosen spot,
"There made my latest bed.
"Of thee berest, what booted it,
"To tend the furrow'd plain,
"Or what from Autumn's fruitful lap
"To heap the ripen'd grain?
"Whom had I then to cheer my steps
"In Summer's sultry rays?
"For whom should then the social hearth
"In winter-ev'ning blaze?
"My house, my barns, I left at large
"To moulder and decay;
"Yon humble tenement I rais'd,
"My age's only stay.
"Enough for me, who meant forlorn
"To pass life's dragging eve,
"My task, to meditate and pray—
"My punishment, to grieve.
"For oh! my son! too late I felt
"This truth within my heart,
"That to compel the filial mind
"Is not a parent's part.
"And hence this penitential garb,
"And hence these silver hairs,
[Page 43] "Whose hoary length the sad recluse
"Or pensive hermit wears.
'Dear, honour'd father, droop no more,
'Thus, on my bended knee,
'I crave, I claim—renounce thy griefs,
'Cast, cast them all on me.
'With unremitting love and care
'Thy sorrows I'll assuage,
'And with obsequious duty tend
'The remnant of thy age.'
"Arise, my son, and to my cell
"Together let us wend,
"Let us beneath one roof embrace,
"Ere yet my days shall end.
"And shall the thought of EMMA's love
"No more suffuse thine eye,
"Nor chide thy father for her loss?"—
'She's buried in this sigh!'
"What wondrous bliss to virtuous minds
"Will Heav'n not deign to lend?
"Within my homely hut, my son,
"There all thy sorrows end.
"There, there, still sweetly-fair, once more
"Thy EMMA shalt thou see,
"Within my homely hut she dwells,
"My age's comfort she.
"Her father dead, I fill'd his place,
"The guardian of her youth,
[Page 45] "I now restore her to thy love,
"Thy wishes, and thy truth."
Young CADWAL waited not for more,
But to his EMMA flew,
Wherc lock'd awhile in close embrace,
Each to the other grew.
From incoherent words and sighs
Such wondrous transports brake,
Far more than honey'd Eloquence
With all her tongues could speak.
And now with strong enquiring look
They search each other's eye,
To ask if what they see be true,
And doubt the real joy.
Anon the father's quick'ning steps
They greet with bended grace,
And with uplifted eyes adore,
And bless his rev'rend face.
"Now, by this hallow'd Eve I vow, *
"Soon as the mass be done,
"The next ensuing holy-day
"The priest shall make ye one.
"And ye shall live (so Heav'n permit!)
"To cast one gleam of light
"Athwart your father's gath'ring eve,
"Or ere he sink in night;
"Or ere beneath yon aged elm
"He's number'd with the dead,
"The chosen spot, where his own hands
"Have made his latest bed.
"But while some hours of life are lent,
"By gratitude and pray'r,
"Repentant of my errors past,
"Those errors I'll repair:
"And oft as I recount them o'er,
"Thy steady faith I'll praise,
"And for my dearest boy once more
"The social hearth shall blaze.
"Age, ev'n as youth, thou seest, my son,
"Is liable to fall,
[Page 48] 'And Self-reproof and Penitence
"Alike beseem us all." *



Blessed is he who considereth the Poor and Needy. PSALMS


CHARLOTTE, to thee, whose gentle breast
Of innate goodness is possest,
To thee a friendly Muse appeals
For truth of what her Tale reveals.
From Gallia's once delightful shore
Thy Sire * the sacred symbol bore,
And oft exulted to expand,
The test of an Almighty hand,
[Page 52] The wondrous test of bounty giv'n
To humble worth by fav'ring Heav'n.
Thy Sire! the well-remember'd name
Lays on the Muse a sacred claim
To speak his fascinating pow'r,
Who wak'd to glee the scenic hour;
The private walk of life endear'd,
And many an aching bosom cheer'd;
Who liv'd applauded and approv'd,
And died regretted and belov'd.
This thy dear parent's well-earn'd praise
Deserves the mead of richer lays.
Here might the Muse with volant quill
From COWLEY * pass to sweet Rose-Hill,
With Mem'ry take a random flight,
Whirl'd in delirium of delight;
[Page 53] Dwell on the name of JOHNNY BEARD,
The friend, who ev'ry spot endear'd;
Recording the familiar chat,
Oft "here he stray'd," and "there he sate;"
Or, all beneath yon aged oak,
He twirl'd the pun, or coin'd the joke;
Or lengthen'd out the ev'ning walk
On subjects grave, in moral talk;
Or cheerly wak'd the rosy morn
With chaunting clear his early horn.
Of more exalted worth the Muse would speak,
But needless were the task, and words too weak,
For his innate benevolence of soul,
Fond to dispense the charitable dole,
That energy, wherewith he sought the haunt
Of crippled age, of malady, or want, *
[Page 54] And all the virtues which the Muse could find
Lodg'd in the casket of his consort's mind,
(Which scarce a MASON's pen could amply grace)
Will be recorded in a better place.


WITHIN the placid Isle of France, *
Scene once of taste and elegance,
(When Paris, from her regal bound,
Gave fashions to a world around)
DURAND resided, frugal swain,
And cultur'd his paternal plain;
With daily care he dress'd the land,
And earn'd his food from Nature's hand.
[Page 56] Contented with his humble state,
He envy'd not the rich or great.
Each morn he rose, with decent pride
His comfortable roof he eyed,
The garden's growth survey'd with care,
Admir'd each useful product there;
Now trac'd, with an enamour'd look,
The sweetly-winding, limpid brook;
Mark'd where his fertile meads extended,
By woods from eastern blasts defended;
Then on his grateful knees would fall,
And thank the bounteous LORD OF ALL.
In his plain heart much room had he
For well plac'd liberality;
Bounteous, not lavish of his pelf,
He lov'd his neighbour as himself;
But at distress or hunger's call,
He shew'd himself a friend to all.
With daily toil his ground he till'd,
With constant care each season fill'd;
From his own hand each eve he fed
The labour'd ox, and weary steed,
And with endearing touch, approv'd
The labours of the beast he lov'd.
JEAN shar'd the drudg'ry of the field,
MANON domestic duties fill'd,
Dear children of a dearer wife!
The gentle sweetners of his life.
To Matins and to Vespers true,
They paid their Maker homage due;
On Sabbath-days, with fervent mind,
The public worship constant join'd,
And, in the ev'ning sports, were seen
To join the dance upon the green.
Such was the custom, such the lore,
Parisians us'd in days of yore:
[Page 58] But decent pastimes now are done;
Rule, order, nay, religion gone;
The very name of Sabbath flown,
And Decads count their time alone.
But I digress—the good DURAND,
Rich in the tribute of his land,
(As all the neighb'ring farmers were,
Who dwell'd within that Province fair)
With honest pride rejoic'd to see
The produce of his industry.
One year (unwonted in that Isle)
Incessant rains oppress'd the soil,
The seed ev'n perish'd in its birth,
And Nature own'd a general dearth.
AVARE, with wealth and pride o'ergrown,
Who knew no interest but his own,
Who never sought the dreary shed,
Where Want reclin'd his aching head,
[Page 59] Who could rebuke, with ruthless low'r,
The famish'd stranger from his door,
Beheld the dearth with joyous look,
And thus the neighb'ring swains bespoke:
"Now is the time for us, my friends,
"To use our stores for wisest ends;
"'Tis our's the price to regulate,
"And fix it at the highest rate.
"Fools only such occasions lose,
"And Fortune's proffer'd means a buse;
"The thrifty are the truly wise,
"Who watch each change with wary eyes,
"Each distant means of gain discern,
And to their own advantage turn."
DURAND heard all, but homeward sped
With musing gait, and downcast head,
And at the closing hour of rest,
The great Creator thus address'd:
"Father of All, who know'st my heart,
"Search, and correct each sinful part!
"Ne'er may illegal thirst of gain,
"Or sordid craft my bosom stain!
"If e'er accumulated store
"Make me 'gainst Mis'ry close my door,
"For worthier beings, oh! reserve
"The blessings I should ill deserve!
"Of means to succour while possess'd,
"If rigour steel my callous breast,
"Let me the want I slight endure,
"And make me poorest of the poor!
"But now, while scarcity prevails,
"And Nature's wonted bounty fails,
"Ought I from treasur'd hoards refuse
"A mod'rate share for general use,
"Or added profit dare to grind
"From the afflictions of mankind?
"No—what thy bounty heap'd on me,
"To others I'll distribute free;
"And if I act as I profess,
"May'st thou the resolution bless!"
He spoke, and felt the dew of sleep
In soft repose his senses steep,
In blissful dreams he pass'd the night,
And cheerly hail'd returning light;
But cold and dreary look'd the ground,
A melancholy blank around:
Instead of Autumn's golden grain,
A barren Winter seem'd to reign.
DURAND beheld his neighbour-band
For small supplies make high demand,
Yet sanctimoniously he kept
The promise plighted ere he slept;
With scorn the profit he declin'd
Wrung "from the affliction of mankind."
[Page 62] At easy rates his grain he shar'd,
Nay, something to the needy spar'd;
Thus, in relieving others bless'd,
Smil'd, and enjoy'd unbroken rest.
But mark what miracles appear
To signalize th' ensuing year!
Let not the doubting, or the bold,
Deride the wonders I unfold,
For lips, that never knew deceit,
To me the story did repeat,
And made each heart with pleasure thrill,
In sweet discoursings, at Rose-Hill.
Th' ensuing Autumn saw the ground
In grain of ev'ry kind abound;
Each husbandman, with joy, beheld
The swelling product of his field;
But chief DURAND—before whose view
(Scarce crediting the vision true)
[Page 63] Each rising stem was seen to bear,
Replete with grain, a TRIPLE ear. *
And none, save his prolific field,
So plenteous a display did yield.
The marvel quickly gather'd fame,
From distant quarters numbers came:
All gaz'd with wonder; some with spite;
Some with extravagant delight;
Tend'ring a gratulating hand
To the lov'd owner of the land.
DURAND, the merciful and good,
In silence breath'd his gratitude;—
AVARE, who mingled in the crowd,
Astounded stood;—then thus aloud:
"Oft have I dar'd, in accents rude,
"Deny th' existence of a GOD;
[Page 64] "Too oft absurdly dar'd advance
"That all is the effect of Chance;
"But wonders, such as here are shewn,
"Must spring from Pow'r Divine alone.




To thee, much-honour'd WILBERFORCE,
A stranger-Muse her tribute pays,
And aims thy merits to record
In weak, but well-directed praise.
To thee, of right, the Tale belongs,
Whose pitying heart partakes the pain
Of wretches, who, in distant lands,
Are gall'd with Slav'ry's rankling chain.
On thy persuasive choice of words,
And the mild accents of thy tongue,
With mute attention and delight
Oft hath a British Senate hung.
To pity woes which we have felt,
A partial virtue only proves,
And he who serves a friend distress'd,
But mitigates the heart he loves;
But who compassionates the fate
Of suff'rers, whom he ne'er hath known;
This universal love displays,
This, WILBERFORCE, is all thine own.
Oh! had I but the pow'r of verse,
Might with a MASON's talents vie,
[Page 69] Thy firm, disinterested zeal,
Oh! MISERY's FRIEND, should never die!


THY favours, Nature, goddess dear!
Are not to place or sphere confin'd,
To shape, complexion, or degree;
They're dealt, at large, among mankind.
Whate'er in station, title, dress,
Bright and respectable we find,
Nature the brilliant polish gives,
That graces and exalts the mind.
COLIN, by birth decreed to share
The servile labours of the field,
[Page 72] Or watch, beneath the milker's hand,
His herds their steaming fullness yield:
When by his few selected friends
Encircled, at his homely board,
Display'd an elegance of mind
That might have grac'd the proudsst lord.
COLIN had gracious been, and mild,
Tho' born o'er Tartars rude to reign;
And GEORGE been pious, great, and good,
Tho' born an humble village swain;
The attributes to regal sway
A cold obedience may invite,
But 'tis the goodness of his heart
That to obedience adds delight.
Natives of Europe, wherefore boast
The fair complexion of a skin,
'Tis not how climates act without,
But, how great Nature works within:
The beauteous tint which she displays
Engages Wisdom's sober eye,
Beyond the fairest outward form,
That blooms beneath our milder sky.
Nay, Love itself hath shone as bright,
As pure, as tender, and as true,
Beneath an Afric's sable breast,
As ever British bosom knew.
How hearts of Moorish climes have lov'd,
How long, how constant, and how well,
[Page 74] Let EDWARD's and his ORRA's Tale
In plain and simple numbers tell.



WITHIN Angola's regal bounds,
On Afric's wild and sultry waste,
Were JUBA and his ORRA born,
And life's brief morn together pass'd.
Yet on that drear uncultur'd soil,
Nature their tender minds impress'd
[Page 76] With early sense of right and wrong,
And pour'd her softness o'er each breast.
Or ere ten years had crown'd their youth,
From kin and country were they torn,
For sordid ore to slav'ry sold,
To strange and diff'rent climates borne.
Mates in their infant sports, they griev'd
When sunder'd from each other's side,
And with their tears a farewel took,
As either vessel cut the tide.
She, by the master of her fate,
Was landed on Barbado [...]s' Isle,
There to a wealthy merchant sold,
'Mid groups of fellow-slaves to toil.
And many a heavy hour she pass'd,
As o'er her painful task she hung,
And sometimes thought of JUBA lost,
And now she wept, and now she sung.
The music of her plaintive voice
Attracted ev'ry list'ning ear,
And her demeanour, meek and kind,
To each good heart made ORRA dear.
But chief her younger mistress' breast
Her ditties wild to pity mov'd,
As through the circuit of the grounds
The gentle ANNA daily rov'd.
Some three years more advanc'd in age,
Oft would the British Maiden stray
[Page 78] Where patient ORRA ply'd her task,
To listen to her artless lay.
At her request, the tender Moor
Was from the field of labour led,
From scorching suns, and rulers harsh,
And to domestic duties bred.
Here, all she was prescrib'd to learn
With docile cheerfulness attain'd,
Unconscious of her own desert,
She daily praise and favour gain'd.
And when her ev'ning task was o'er,
Oft-time would ANNA soothe her forth
To wander in the cedar-grove,
And learn the story of her birth.
As oft in tears would ORRA tell,
Of parents to her heart scarce known,
Who sent her into stranger lands,
Unbless'd, unfriended, and alone.
Hence an attachment mutual grew,
Nor could a sister's love be more,
Than ANNA's susceptible heart
To poor deserted ORRA bore.
Here ORRA found a better home
For many a rising happy year,
Dear to the equals of her state,
Nor less to her superiors dear:
And here fidelity and love
Attach'd and lengthen'd ORRA's stay,
[Page 80] Until with mingled smiles and tears,
She witness'd ANNA's bridal day.


MEANTIME the ship, which JUBA bore,
To mild Virginia's harbour sail'd,
There a new master JUBA own'd,
Whose desp'rate schemes in traffic fail'd;
Whether 'twere ign'rance, or neglect,
Or dissipation thinn'd his gold,
But all his hopes were scatter'd wide,
Slaves, lands, and buildings, all were sold.
When, for integrity renown'd,
And sense above his servile sphere,
[Page 82] JUBA (so Fate ordain'd) allur'd
The notice of the British Peer,
Who then by equitable laws
Virginia's rich plantation sway'd,
And in his lord's esteem and love
A daily progress JUBA made;
For in all knowledge, that became
His station, an adept he grew,
True to the talents Nature lent,
And to his master's interest true.
Approv'd, instructed, and belov'd,
An easy servitude he wore;
And by his lord was still retain'd
When home recall'd to Britain's shore.
The Peer, right noble by descent,
But nobler in a gen'rous mind,
Lamenting that a virtuous heart
Should be in slavish bonds confin'd;
When settled in his native land,
His faithful JUBA thus address'd,
(Who in his master's cital kneel'd,
With sore dismay, and doubt oppress'd:)
"Rise, faithful man! no longer sigh
"Beneath base Slav'ry's grievous thrall;
"Here, in this happy land, enjoy
"That dow'r, our laws afford to all.
"Henceforth, be free! Religion's hand
"Shall seal thee with a mark divine—
[Page 84] "That done, thine own assenting will,
"And that alone, can make thee mine."
He led him to the sacred font,
With new-enkindled hopes inflam'd,
The holy rituals were perform'd,
And JUBA now is EDWARD nam'd.
With pride he to his Lord's abode
Return'd, and, with redoubled zeal,
He strove by actions to express
What words were powerless to reveal.
Oft he essay'd in vain to speak
The love and duty of his breast,
As oft convulsive sobs and tears,
With swelling throes, his voice suppress'd.
His Lord the painful strugglings felt,
Fraught with intelligence refin'd,
With smile complacent sooth'd his pain,
And in his silence read his mind.
First fav'rite in his master's train,
Some years in comfort EDWARD liv'd;
Nor felt a pain, but when his heart
For ORRA's dubious fortune griev'd.
Nor did good EDWARD e'er forget
He wore a Christian's sacred sign,
But duly sought the House of Pray'r,
And worshipp'd at the Holy Shrine.


TIME, that unravels every doubt,
Time, that allays the keenest smart,
That wondrous mysteries unfolds,
To vex, or please the human heart,
At this blest prime of EDWARD's youth,
Wrought forth a singular event,
A sweet return for EDWARD's worth,
As by his better angel sent;
For now unwieldy grown in wealth,
Fair ANNA's parents strongly yearn
[Page 88] To barter their Barbadian lands,
And to their native clime return.
The lands are sold at mighty price,
And now for England they prepare,
With ORRA in their train, to lend
The infant family her care.
Four daughters now her mistress own'd,
Whom ORRA's fond attention rear'd;
But none to ORRA's tender heart
Like lovely ANNA was endear'd.
Arriv'd in safety, they select
A dwelling fit for upstart pride;
Hence, in contiguous mansions plac'd,
EDWARD and ORRA now reside.
When bliss to worthy hearts is dealt,
Some call it Fortune's casual dow'r;
Forgive the Muse, if she ascribes
Such bliss to a superior Pow'r.
EDWARD, at sound of ORRA's name,
Yearns to engage in converse sweet,
When soon, comparing past events,
Their hearts with mutual rapture beat.
Their infant moments they recount,
Their separation on the main,
And EDWARD pours a show'r of tears
On his dear play-mate found again.
No wonder such an early bent
Should to maturer passion rise,
[Page 90] They felt alike the kindling flame,
And read it in each other's eyes.
They plighted love; they plighted troth;
He vow'd to live for her alone,
And, soon as fit occasion serv'd,
Connubial rites should make them one.
But 'midst these secret hours of bliss
A sudden grief smote EDWARD's heart;
His Lord a rapid fever seiz'd,
That baffled medicinal art.
Retir'd to taste his villa's sweets,
A blast of noxious ev'ning wind
Convey'd a poison to his veins,
And wrought insanity of mind.
Swift to the villa EDWARD flew,
He left awhile his ORRA dear,
Strong gratitude impell'd his heart
To make his Lord his only care.
And she with patient smile approv'd,
And yielded to the sacred claim,
Which bounty lays on gen'rous minds,
For ORRA's bosom felt the same.
O! could it be, that in the hours
To pious offices assign'd,
When EDWARD, with unceasing care,
And with a sore-afflicted mind,
Watch'd ev'ry breath his master drew,
Felt ev'ry groan that smote his ear,
[Page 92] And for returning sense and health
Made ev'ry thought a fervent pray'r?
In such a season could it be,
That ANNA's cruel parents strove,
By sordid treach'ry, to divide
Poor ORRA from her EDWARD's love?
It was—O! passion sprung from hell,
Unmitigable thirst of gold!
To what base deeds dost thou impell
The bosom that's by thee controll'd!
Thus ruminated ANNA's Sire:—
"Should EDWARD take this ORRA's hand,
"Conduct her to the altar's foot,
"And once be join'd in nuptial band,
"No remedy were left for me—
"A Christian made, my slave is lost;
"A Christian's wife, with him she goes,
"And with her all the gold she cost.
"It shall not be—this very hour
"A vessel in the river rides,
"Bound straight for Carolina's bay,
"And only waits for fav'ring tides;
"Her husband, I.—To-morrow's sun
"Shall be the last of ORRA's stay,
"For, at the approaching midnight hour
"Shall she be sudden borne away.
A man, perchance, to gain devote,
For ORRA's fate might little grieve,
[Page 94] But that his wife should yield assent,
What gentle female will believe?
Tho' pearly drops from ORRA's eyes
Adown her jetty bosom fell,
While in convulsive sobs she cry'd
"O! let me bid him one farewel!"
Yet all was vain—not ORRA's pray'rs,
Her years of faithful service spent,
Nor lovely ANNA's fond request,
Could make the mother's heart relent;
No, rot th' assembled childrens' tears,
Whom ORRA's tender care had rear'd,
Could draw one drop of pity down;
'Gainst all her callous breast was sear'd.
The word was pass'd—the morrow's sun
Was doom'd the last of ORRA's stay,
And at th' ensuing midnight hour
Was faithful ORRA torne away.


Now by his suff'ring master's bed
Some fourteen wretched days had pass'd,
Which EDWARD spent in ceaseless moan,
Nor left him till he breath'd his last.
Nor left him then, but join'd the rites
That laid him in his peaceful home,
And, bending o'er the coffin'd clay,
Shed grateful sorrows in the tomb.
But what was now his wild surprise,
On learning that his Lord's regard
[Page 98] Had for his faithful services
Bequeath'd an annual rich reward?
One hundred annual pounds!—how blest!
Might now this worthy couple prove,
From slav'ry ORRA might be freed,
Or bound alone to him and love.
Swift to the wonted haunt he flew,
To pour the news in ORRA's ear,
But like a statue breathless stood,
When told "Your ORRA is not here.
"Ungratefully she left the house,
"Where she had foster'd been so long."
He groan'd—he stamp'd—he rent his hair;
But mute, and motionless, his tongue.
At length, a bursting flood of tears
Gave ease to his o'erloaded breast,
And just supplied sufficient strength
Of words, to make one short request;
"Where is she gone?"—No answer came;
To silence all the train were sworn,
To keep close-lock'd from EDWARD's ear,
When, how, or whither she was borne.
But ANNA, who lamented sore
Her ORRA, thus by craft betray'd,
Wrote "Carolina" on a card,
And to his hands by stealth convey'd.
He sought, and soon a passage gain'd,
He saw with joy the streamers spread,
[Page 100] And daily chid the loit'ring waves,
That all so slow the vessel sped.
At length the wish'd-for port is gain'd,
He searches each plantation round,
Nor, till some eight long days are pass'd,
Can ORRA's sad resort be found.
His eyes discover her at last,
Beneath the toil of noontide suns,
He folds her in one short embrace,
Then to the Planter eager runs:
Prostrate upon the ground he falls,
Now at his feet submissive kneels,
In plaintive terms, and broken sighs,
His own and ORRA's tale reveals.
Then thus, "O give my ORRA back,
"Give me my first, my only love!
"All, all the treasure I command
"Would little for her ransom prove.
"Or, if, inhuman, you refuse
"This my fond bosom's ardent pray'r,
"Receive me in your fields at least,
"And let me ORRA'S slav'ry share.
"Again to bondage will I bend,
"Again embrace the galling chain,
"Let me but toil by ORRA'S side,
"I will not murmur or complain."
This Planter own'd a noble heart,
He rais'd the suppliant with a tear,
[Page 102] Then made a kind inviting sign
To ORRA, who stood weeping near:
"The long-lov'd fav'rite of thy breast
"From this, a stranger's hand, receive,
"A greater pleasure is not thine,
"Than mine in having pow'r to give:
"Unransom'd, take her to thy arms,
"Nor offer me thy treasur'd ore,
"This transport is more wealth to me
"Than either Indies' boasted store."




Timor & minae
Scandunt eodem, quo Dominus; neque
Decedit aerata triremi, &
Post equitem sedet atra cura.
Horat. Lib. iii. Od. 1.


COME, my MARIA, let us onward go,
Nor dread the paths of this romantic ground,
Tho' the full stream beside sonorous flow,
And dreary rocks and caves beset us round.
So may we hand in hand through years to come
Pursue the course prescrib'd by Heav'n's be­hest!
Patient abide his wise-ordaining doom,
Enjoy the good, nor murmur at the rest!
What tho' these paths, remote from public eye,
Exhibit but a drear and desart waste,
Some wonders of the ruling Pow'r on high
May in this awful solitude be trac'd.
Bright issuing from the fissures, on the side
Of the rude stone, what lucid rills we see!
So Health's pure sources unimpeded glide
Through the clear veins of rugged Industry.
Behold! beneath yon cliff's o'er-arching brow,
Spontaneous sweets of Nature shoot around,
The modest orchard spreads its pregnant bough,
And the ripe apple bends it to the ground;
Rich bev'rage yielding to the needy hind,
That holds his dwelling in yon clay-built cot,
[Page 107] Who with the treasure of a blameless mind,
Adoring GOD, abides his lowly lot.
The soaming flood, which some few minutes past.
Roll'd with impetuous course its tide along,
Now, narrow'd to a streamlet, checks its haste,
And hides its course yon ozier-sprays among.
Say, might not Contemplation wander here,
With quaint Surmise and Fancy in her train,
Make yon scoop'd rock a giant's cave appear,
Or yon deep cell a Druid-temple feign?
How high the clifts ascend on either hand,
While on their shrubby sides the wooly flocks
In quest of herbage, take their dang'rous stand,
And bleat responsive from the echoing rocks!
Here view the shatter'd carcass of a hare,
And list the hoary-headed peasant's tale,
How from the summit's ridge, impell'd by fear
Of the fell hounds, she plung'd into the vale.
And with compassion view the various scars,
Which deep indent the honest rustic's face,
Nor wonder that with recollected fears
He trembling points to yon tremendous place,
Yon rugged brow, whence once returning home,
'Mid the thick-rising vapours of the night,
He miss'd his foot-path in the treach'rous gloom,
And headlong fell from the stupendous height;
Fell, yet survives, you see; and often pours
His marvellous escape in strangers' ears:
[Page 109] Then with uplifted eyes the skies adores,
While down his scars distil his grateful tears.
This cave survey, which witches haunt by night,
(For so the superstitious Eld relate)
Where, scatter'd round, worn crutches meet the sight,
Conjectur'd to support their tott'ring weight.
Lo! for some furlongs, how confin'd our walk,
How thick, beneath, the craggy flints abound!
How from the mountain-side loud echoes talk,
Reverberated from the trodden ground!
And now the op'ning path, which wide expands
To circular extent, and verdant sod,
A spacious amphitheatre commands,
Where knighthood whilom might have made abode.
Behold those central piles of massy stone,
That o'er the scene an awful horror shed—
Seems not the whole, from times long past and gone,
A mausoleum for some honour'd dead?
Soft! soft!—retire within this shelt'ring gloom;
Behold, where yonder rushes from his cave
Distracted RAYMOND! there he seeks a tomb,
And daily delves some portion of his grave.
Impetuous, hapless man! one hasty deed,
In youth's mad season, damn'd his riper years;
Nightly he makes the rugged flint his bed,
A prey to contrite grief, and ceaseless tears.
Make we this nook our seat, nor wound the heart
Of wretched RAYMOND with a searching eye!
[Page 111] Who seems at sight of human form to start,
And in himself in gulph his misery.
Attend with patience to the painful tale,
Which HENRY * pour'd into my list'ning ear,
What time we stray'd thro' Twick'nham's flow'ry vale—
HENRY lamented ever, ever dear!
HENRY, whose friendship I in youth obtain'd,
When Fortune led me to Hibernia's shore,
From whom full many a moral truth I glean'd
In sweet excursions on the banks of Nore.


NOR birth, nor fortune did on RAYMOND frown,
A noble stem he in his lineage trac'd,
And many a virtuous deed, descending down
From honour'd ancestry, that lineage grac'd.
But the large prospect of a father's wealth
Inflam'd with frantic joy his youthful mind,
In dissipation he impair'd his health,
And prudent counsel scatter'd to the wind.
The rev'rend parent, with afflicted eye,
Beheld his boy the race of folly run,
And oft lamented, with a stifled sigh,
And oft, in gentle phrase, rebuk'd his son.
Of riot's bane too soon enamour'd grown,
Th' impetuous youth disdains the mild rebuke,
Retorts displeasure in resentful tone,
Or quits his father with indignant look.
For Dissipation, and its boundless train
Of frantic crimes, disgrace his ev'ry hour,
[Page 115] Intoxication oft invades his brain,
And bids him spurn a doting father's pow'r.
That doting father, whose indulgent cares
Were all employ'd on this unduteous boy,
Whose love, (too sanguine) in his rip'ning years,
Had garner'd up a store of fancy'd joy;
But now of his abandon'd offspring's vice,
And scorn of admonition, weary grown,
Expostulation mild no more he tries,
But loud upbraids him with imperious tone.
The frantic youth his hasty arm uprears,
(Spite of the duty sons to parents owe,
Spite of the rev'rence due to silver hairs)
And on his father's temples dash'd a blow.
What instant horrors, RAYMOND, then were thine!
Cursing the deed which thine own hand had done,
Surprise, remorse, disgrace, at once combine,
And all hell's torments thro' thy bosom run.
He thinks each object deprecates the deed;
His mother's portrait, to his troubled eye,
Appears with indignation to recede
From the dire stroke, and frown with agony.
The father, silent, dries the blushing stream,
Which down his wounded cheek profusely flows,
Within his eye conflicting passions gleam,
And with indignant fire his visage glows;
For love and pity, mingling in his face,
To check the rising storm of passion try,
As struggling sunny rays attempt to chase
The gath'ring gloom of an incensed sky.
An awful pause ensued—then, turning slow,
He shew'd his handkerchief deep stain'd with gore;
"Behold this blood," he said, "Oh child of woe!
"Behold thy work!—but see thy sire no more."
He said, and left the room. Th' abandon'd son
Stood petrified awhile in cold suspence,
Then forth instinctively he seem'd to run,
Robb'd of each faculty of sight and sense.
Impulsive habit led him to the haunts
Of loose associates, and th' unnerving bowl,
[Page 118] Where Vice its unrestrained triumph vaunts
O'er ev'ry finer feeling of the soul.
False! short-liv'd triumph! not the echoed sound
Of mirth tumultuous thro' the spendthrift's hall,
Can chase the thoughts that his remembrance wound,
But each alluring draught is dash'd with gall.
When, sated with the treach'rous bane, he tries
To woo the balmy comfort of his bed,
"Upon the torment of the mind he lies,"
Successive horrors goad his restless head.
If harrass'd thought a short reprieve enjoy,
Enwrapp'd in Slumber's momentary bands,
[Page 119] Self-open'd, wide the curtains seem to fly,
And by his side his bleeding father stands.
He groans, he starts! the restless pillow flies,
To stalk the room in darkness and despair;
Where fancy'd spectres haunt his haggard eyes,
Whose yells and screams incessant wound his ear.
Sudden he meditates, in frantic rage,
By suicide to end the date of woe;
Doubt fills his mind with fearful black presage,
And startled Nature shudders at the blow.
He doubts—he ruminates.—"Dares RAYMOND die
"Beneath a parent's unrelenting ire?
[Page 120] "The danger of a new existence try,
"And in the fullness of his crimes expire?
"No, Heav'n forbid! Despair and Madness, hence!
"With contrite heart I'll seek my father's door,
"Pour the full stream of soft'ning penitence,
"And pardon, prostrate at his feet, implore."
Thus pond'ring, he resolves. His father's door
Against his pray'rs and tears fast-clos'd re­mains;
The fatal sentence, "See thy sire no more,"
Now, with redoubled force his mind arraigns.
Yet, day by day he plies a parent's gate,
Again he sues, and is again repell'd;
Nor wins admittance, till approaching fate
Compels that parent's rigid heart to yield.
He yields, and RAYMOND comes—with timid eye,
The bed of sickness trembling he surveys,
While Conscience whispers, in a deep-drawn sigh,
"Tis RAYMOND, hath cut short a father's days."
Half-rais'd, the parent cast a solemn look,
That penetrated to the culprit's heart,
Whose stream of life awhile its seat forsook,
And life itself seem'd ready to depart.
"Approach, my son!"—At that benignant name,
Poor RAYMOND, falling on his slacken'd knee,
Feels sudden warmth re animate his frame,
Yet hides his face, in speechless agony.
Thrice he essay'd forgiveness to implore,
The sounds, half-utter'd, fainted on his tongue,
"Cease," said the Sire, "thy fruitless aim give o'er,
"And hear me speak—thou wilt not hear me long."
"Thou seest me struggling in the pangs of death,
"The race of painful life well-nigh is run;
"Yet ere I draw the latest gasp of breath,
"Hear my last words, and heed them well, my son.
"A child's inheritance is wholly thine,
"Of all I have thou'lt find thyself possess'd;
"Thou, left alone of wretched RAYMOND's line,
"Accept that all, and, if thou can'st, be bless'd.
"But, chief o'er all, this casket I bestow,
"Receive it from thy dying father's hand,
"And, as thou tak'st it, breathe a solemn vow,
"Thou wilt not disobey this last command;
"Break not the seal that covers this bequest,
"(As thou shalt answer at thy awful doom!)
"Till I am sunk in everlasting rest,
"And silent shrowded in thy mother's tomb."
'I take it, and I swear,' the son replies,
'But O! while Heav'n permits thee yet to live,
'Hear thy offender's penitential cries,
'Relieve his torments, bless him, and forgive!'
"For Heav'n's forgiveness of one fatal deed
"My parting spirit breathes a fervent pray'r,
[Page 124] "And in a future state, if pray'r may plead,
"'Twill sue again for thy remission there."
'Yet ere for ever thou shalt close thine eyes,
'O'er my sad heart thy benediction pour."
The wretched father, struggling, strove to rise,
In vain!—he gasp'd—he groan'd—and spoke no more.
RAYMOND remains a monument of grief,
A death-like paleness o'er his visage spreads;
No tear to his affliction brings relief,
Nor quits he, till compell'd, the mournful bed.
While now the fun'ral honours were prepar'd,
Distractedly, from room to room he stray'd,
In ev'ry breeze his father's voice he heard,
Of ev'ry sound, and ev'ry eye afraid.
The fun'ral rites now summon; on he goes,
And mingles in the dark sepulchral gloom,
Nor quits the hallow'd object of his woes,
Till silent laid within his mother's tomb.
With one long look he takes his final leave,
And inly murmurs, "Where is my repose?
"Ne'er, till he's shelter'd in the peaceful grave,
"Shall RAYMOND's eyes on shame and sorrow close."
Th' attendant train his falt'ring steps support,
And guide reluctant to a dreary home,
Where Melancholy keeps her solemn court,
And spreads around one universal gloom.
The bed of Death he seeks, where, in his sight,
His father's latest gift, the casket, lay;
[Page 126] Intent he gazes, fill'd with sore affright,
Yet rising hope attempers his dismay.
"Perchance," he cries, "this casket may contain
"The boon I ask'd with penitential tear;
"The pardon, which his falt'ring tongue in vain
"Essay'd to speak, perchance is written here.
"O! grant it, pitying God!" the gift unclos'd,
What aggravated horror meets him there!
His father's blood-stain'd kerchief lies expos'd,
And one soft ring let of his silver hair.
His fixed eye scarce credits what he sees,
Cold drops of sweat his aching brow pervade;
His trembling limbs with gradual horror freeze;
He sinks—he faints upon the fatal bed.
Ah! happy, had he sunk, to rise no more!
But Nature's vivid fount renews its course,
He wakes, afresh his mis'ry to explore,
And feels its torments with redoubled force.
He shrieks, he rends his hair, and loud exclaims,
"Could then no pity to my crime be shewn?
"My soul to pangs eternal he condemns;
"He's gone, and left no pardon for his son.
"Now where shall I betake me? whither fly
"To banish thought from this distracted brain?
"Not mines of wealth can lost repose supply,
"Repose of mind ne'er harbours here again.
"To distant climes shall wretched RAYMOND go,
"In martial throngs hide his devoted head,
[Page 128] "Where the first friendly arm that lays me low,
"I'll kiss with joy, and bless it for the deed."
Forthwith to distant regions he repair'd,
Where Belgic warriors hardy conflict wag'd,
Urg'd by despair, to deeds advent'rous dar'd,
And so [...]ght the ranks where hottest fury rag'd.
Impetuous darting on th' advancing foe,
Confronted by the leader of the band,
His fierce assailant's falchion dealt a blow,
That from the wrist dismember'd RAYMOND's hand.
When thus the victim, bending to the ground,
"Restrain thy fury, let me not expire,
"Till I have knelt, and bless'd thee for the wound,
"Which lopp'd the impious hand that smote my Sire."
Unfit for further action, quench'd his fires,
Acknowledging the justice of his lot,
From public haunts the wretch with shame re­tires,
And hides his guilt in this sequester'd spot.
Of all life's comforts by himself denied,
He makes his dwelling in yon dreary cave,
From Nature's bounty Nature's wants supplied,
And daily delves a portion of his grave.





IN *********SHIRE.

—Murder, tho' it have no tongue, will speak
With most miraculous organ.
Shakespeare's Hamlet.


O Mem'ry! in thy magic glass
What various scenes and objects pass!
Retentive maid! thine is the power
To brighten, or o'ercast the hour.
To me, sweet nymph, extend thine aid,
And, in thy brightest hues pourtray'd,
To give my sense supreme delight,
Restore AMANDA to my sight!
Her polish'd mien, complexion fair,
The glossy ringlets of her hair,
Her easy gesture, lively air;
[Page 134] Th' expressive brow, the azure eye,
With all its glancing witchery,
And nameless sweets, that seem'd to steep
In roseate dew her ruby lip!
Thanks, Goddess, thanks! she greets my sight,
With all the fullness of delight;
And, through thy aid, while thus I trace
Each charm of that alluring face,
Her converse sweet again I hear,
Her judgment strong, conception clear;
Her turn for raillery and wit
Impressive, elegant, and neat.
Such was she, when her partial praise
With smiles approv'd these early lays;
Now, tho' that flatt'ring praise be o'er,
Those cheering smiles exist no more,
Shall I a second sanction chuse
To shield a cold, forgetful Muse?
[Page 135] No—be the page as first design'd,
The tribute of a grateful mind,
To her and Friendship still consign'd!


As the Author of the following Work does not presume either to support or deny the REALITY of APPARITIONS, he chuses to decline all unneces­sary suggestions on a subject, wherein every person has a right to enjoy his own opinion undisturbed; and, as it was conceived with a view of instruction, and the whole tendency is moral and just, he hopes, with the generality of readers, to pass uncensured for treating them with SO PECULIAR A STORY.

If there should remain any over-scrupulous, or over-witty persons, who are inclined per­emptorily [Page 138] to condemn, or illiberally to deride him, he begs leave to answer them with the sentiments of Mr. ADDISON on such subjects, and those of LUCRETIUS and JOSEPHUS, quoted by him, in the second volume of his Spectator.

I think a person, who is thus terrified with the imaginations of GHOSTS and SPECTRES, much more reasonable than one, who, con­trary to the reports of all historians, sacred and profane, antient and modern, and to the traditions of all nations, thinks the APPEAR­ANCE of SPIRITS fabulous and groundless.—Could I not give myself up to this general testimony of mankind, I should to the rela­tions of particular persons, who are now liv­ing, and whom I cannot distrust in other matters of fact.

[Page 139] So far Mr. ADDISON's own opinion—he then proceeds—

LUCRETIUS himself, though, by the course of his philosophy, he was obliged to maintain that the soul did not exist separate from the body, makes no doubt of the REALITY OF AP­PARITIONS, AND THAT MEN HAVE OFTEN AP­PEARED AFTER THEIR DEATH.

And further having related, from JOSEPHUS, a circumstance of this kind, which befel GLA­PHIRA, daughter of ARCHELAUS, he closes his discourse thus: ‘The example deserves to be taken notice of, as it contains a most certain proof of the IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL, and of DIVINE PROVIDENCE.—If any man thinks these facts incredible, let him enjoy his own [Page 140] opinion to himself; but let him not endea­vour to disturb the belief of others, who, by INSTANCES OF THIS NATURE ARE EXCITED TO THE STUDY OF VIRTUE.’

To the testimony of this excellent modern writer might likewise be added the many striking uses which have been made, and the noble purposes of justice which have been ef­fected, through the means of such EXTRAORDI­NARY APPEARANCES, by several of our ancient Poets, and particularly by that honour to Na­ture and Genius, our own immortal SHAKE­SPEARE.


DREADFUL the state of him, whose harden'd heart
Remorse could never pierce! whose early youth,
To evil prone, hath drank the bitter cup
Of Guilt, regardless of the poison misery,
Wherewith it is imbrued, till all his veins
[Page 142] Are fill'd and bloated with the dang'rous venom,
And Health and Ease are flown! mature in life,
Grown ripe in wickedness, and swoln with crimes,
Who finds his malady, yet dares refuse
The sweet and wholesome draught of Penitence,
Which the distemper'd mind's physician, Con­science,
Even to the worst of men will deign to offer.
Him sleepless nights and loaded days weigh down
To blackness and despair; to him remembrance
Is as a fiend, that watches all his steps,
Stands in his path, and intercepts his walk;
Makes ev'n the rushing wind alarm his sense,
As if some power, more than natural,
Rode on the gale; while, at the gloom of eve,
[Page 143] From room to room, through all the house he flies,
Scar'd by affright—and seeks, (alas! how vain!)
A moment's peace. At length, deep furrow'd age,
The herald of his dreadful end, appears,
But to foretel the fatal stroke, and ring
Loud peals of torment in his ears—he dies
Reluctant—screaming—fearing ev'n to lose
A being which he loaths—in his last pang,
Vainly he rolls his struggling eye-balls round,
To catch a single ray to cheer his mind—
But all is dark and comfortless—he dies.
Not so the Man of Virtue—youth to him
Is the fair plain of bliss; his riper years
Are the deep mines of wisdom, whence he draws
Discretion, temp'rance, and a thousand rich
Materials, to improve his after hours
[Page 144] With profit and delight; when Memory,
Clad like a guardian spirit, a chaplet brings
Rich with the flow'rs he cultur'd in his youth,
And crowns his honest brow. Thence silver'd age
Seems as the treasury of hoarded good,
Joys well preserv'd—and Death the blessed vale
Of Hope and Expectation—the dear path
To happiness immortal!—to his GOD.
Such was the state of SHENSTONE, virtuous man,
'Who walk'd through goodness, as he walk'd through life,' *
Whom the Muse lov'd, and ever will lament;
Fair wisdom, truth, and sense of gen'rous worth
Sat comely on his brow; within his eye
Sweet charity, and meek humility,
[Page 145] Play'd lovely, and within his ample heart
The milk of human kindness copious flow'd.
Thus blameless, fearless, with a graceful smile
He met his fate, and sought his native skies. *
Yet let not un-enlighten'd minds suppose
No middle state between the extremes of Vice
And Virtue:—He, who made, well knows his creatures,
How weak, how frail; and if, perchance, awhile
(As in the best it may) incautious youth
Hath suffer'd truth and constancy to slumber
Within the breast, and, their best guard, Dis­cretion,
Desert his charge, or slacken in his duty,
He looks with sorrowing eye.—Hear this, ye rigid,
[Page 146] And if, by happier talents, ye have gain'd
Perfection's mount, at least, with pity view,
With mildness judge the wretch, whom human weakness,
And venial errors doom to lag beneath.
REPENTANCE is the means, through Heaven's dear grace,
Which from the blotted sheet of life can wipe
A thousand errors; and the King of Heav'n
Hath mercy and compassion, more, I trust,
Than man hath pow'r of sinning. Hence, be warn'd,
Ye wicked tribe! ne'er think the hour too late,
The crime too black, the means of grace too distant.
They cannot be, if true remorse of heart,
And sorrow for the crime, attends your pray'r;
However bad, betake you to your knees;
[Page 147] Think ye address your Counsellor, your friend,
Your father, who with readiness of love
Will raise, and comfort his repentant child,
And lead him to the mansions of delight,
Rescrv'd for such as love his holy laws.
Nay, ev'n on earth, or Time's recorded page
Is sullied with untruth, the virtue, penitence,
Hath met a large reward.—Is there who doubts?
With candid patience let him here peruse
The moral tale, which in expression weak,
And tuneless numbers, I attempt to sing.
Thrice had the sun renew'd his annual course,
Since hapless EDWARD, on the sultry plains
Of India, had endur'd encreasing woes,
And number'd all his moments by afflictions.
When the fourth year began to store the earth
With fruits and flow'rs, (unlimited expanse,
And prodigality of bounty), EDWARD
[Page 148] Arose, one morn, cheer'd by refreshing sleep,
Which long had been a stranger to his bed.
His heart was light within him, and his eye
Look'd clear around; the dross within his breast,
Which lim'd his soul to guilt, seem'd purg'd away;
He heav'd the soft'ning sigh, and, as by instinct,
Bent low to Heav'n—a posture new to him!
He did not pray—he knew not what to ask;
While thus 'twixt doubt and sore dismay sus­pended,
Officious Mem'ry set before his view
An awful register of sad misdeeds;
He gaz'd astonish'd:—here, a dow'rless sister
Upbraided him, for leaving her, at large
To wander through a false and treacherous world,
[Page 149] Without a brother's safe-conducting hand:
There, a weak mother, sore oppress'd with age
And poverty, let fall a sacred drop,
And cried, "Thus is it with me."—Down he sunk,
And, in a torrent of religious tears,
Let loose the fullness of his swelling heart;
Wide, fast, and copious did they flow; as erst
The streams forth delug'd from the harden'd rock,
Touch'd, and resolv'd by MOSES' holy wand.
His pains a-while reliev'd, EDWARD aloud
Discharg'd his grief; "Ah woe is me! thus toss'd
"Upon a foreign shore, robb'd of relief,
"Of hope; no sorrowing sister to condole,
"No mother to advise! no more I boast
"A feeling friend, to share my nearest woe,
[Page 150] "And ease me of a part; where is the man,
"Whom once I wrapp'd close, close within my heart,
"And call'd his soul my own?—he's lost—es­trang'd—
"And justly—since with rash misguided step
"I left a parent comfortless; a sister
"Friendless, and unprotected, whom my la­bours
Might have preserv'd to better fate, than now,
"I fear, attends them. What have I attain'd
"By one black deed, one moment's cursed work,
"But anguish and despair? each slender morsel
"Earn'd by hard labour, and each niggard draught
"Embitter'd by distress! Oh! were that morsel
"The honest meed of Virtue, and that draught
[Page 151] "The pay of genuine worth, how sweet, how grateful!
"But, as it is—how nauseous! hence! away!
"No more I'll bear this massacre of life,
"This ruin of the soul—There is a Power,
"Or Nature whispers to my heart in vain,
"Who can, and will restore me to myself;
"To him, to him I bend—and here disclaim
"The vices of my youth; O! could I wipe
"Their traces from my mind! that cannot be.
"Amidst transgressions huge and num'rous, ONE
"Stands foremost, ne'er to be expung'd; ONE CRIME,
"Which even to myself I dare not name.
"But if deep sorrow, and sincere remorse,
"May ought avail to expia [...]e the sin,
"'Tis now within me, and shall there remain
[Page 152] "The tenant of my bosom. If my GOD,
"(That name! how sweet it sounds upon my ear!)
"Deigns to accept my offer'd penitence,
"I yet may triumph o'er distress, I yet
"May shield a sister; yet relieve a mother;
"And, far as mem'ry will admit, may cure
"My mind's wide wounds, and chase her throbs away."
He spoke, and rose—then to his custom'd task
Flew nimbly; gladness in his eye, and speed
Play'd on his feet; no more the hard-earn'd meal
Seem'd tasteless; but, by quick concoction, turn'd
To florid health, and vigour, while the draught
Ran fresh within the veins, and quicken'd life.
[Page 153] He toil'd, he prosper'd—every moment gave
Some large addition to his store, and Heav'n
Indulgent smil'd on all he undertook.
Mean while his mother, tender, good MARIA,
On ALBION's Isle left sorrowing, pin'd away
In anguish for a son; her only stay
In life was lost; her daughter's sole defence;
Since torn from fortune in their earlier days,
His industry alone maintain'd the pair.
Whene'er she ventur'd, all alone, to ope
The volume of her mind, she saw him her's,
And lost, in one sad moment—snatch'd away,
As 'twere by sudden fate—one hour the board
Smil'd at his presence, on the next was blank—
And fruitless every eye look'd forth for ED­WARD:
No traces left of him; his course unknown,
[Page 154] His motives, his distress. In vain, enquiry
Panted on every various wind to find him.
Thus o'er their sorrows did this couple brood,
And drank their falling tears, when ghastly Po­verty
Intruded, and with meagre, hungry look
Appall'd each comely visage; wide he strode,
And, with a horrid joy, cry'd, "All is mine."
What hope remains, alas! for worth distress'd,
And modest want, unless some noble being
Comes timely, like a minister of heav'n,
To succour and redress; in largess wide,
To pour his bounties, and prevent the blush,
Ere yet it rises on the conscious cheek
Of merit, undispos'd, unus'd to ask?
Such was MARIA's happy lot! (ah! would
The sons of fortune oft'ner deign'd regard
[Page 155] The claims of worth distress'd—"casting thereon
Their superflux, and shewing Heav'n more just.") *
Such was MARIA's lot! for young HORATIO,
Who long had doated on fair ANNA's charms,
Half-wither'd in their bloom, stepp'd forth, and ask'd
The maiden of MARIA, ask'd her hand
With humble diffidence, as one, who held
Nought in his pow'r to give, and all to beg;
Yet him the luxury of wealth enrich'd,
And plenteous meads enclos'd:—the mother blush'd,
Blush'd for a dow'rless daughter, and refus'd
The lover's ardent suit—'till well assur'd,
[Page 156] That fond affection long before had tied
Their hearts reciprocal, she gave her last,
Her only bliss away, pour'd forth her blessings
Profusely o'er the new-match'd pair—then turn'd
To seek the house of poverty again,
A mate with lonely Woe;—when thus the youth—
"Much as I doat on ANNA's worth, and live
"But in her smile, a something yet to life
"Were wanting, if MARIA will not grace
"My home. In earliest youth, alas! I lost
"The name of son, the blessing of a parent;
"Nor could the ample fortunes thence deriv'd,
"Requite me for that loss;—O! be it now
"Repair'd in thee! Be thou my guardian! pa­rent!
[Page 157] "Be witness to my care, my love of ANNA,
"And share our happiness, my second mother!"
He staid not for reply—but hasty seiz'd
Her hand, half yielding, half reluctant; seiz'd,
And led her to his home; where every moment
Came wing'd with new delight.—His life to ANNA,
Was all attentive love; to good MARIA,
All rev'rence and esteem; each word had awe,
Each look respect, and ev'ry favour grace;
He gave, as one who knew not that he gave,
Or wist not what it meant. ANNA, enrich'd
With all that love or fortune could bestow,
Was happiest of the happy; and the mother
(Save when the thought of EDWARD, hapless youth!
Struck on her mem'ry) felt a smile return,
And joy rekindle in her aged heart.
[Page 158] Thus flew twelve years on pleasure's silken wing,
And all was comfort, peace, and happiness.
Now had the banish'd man, persisting still
In penitence to Heav'n, and love of virtue,
Accumulated wealth beyond the bounds
Of what his largest hope display'd; and yearn'd,
(Spite of the fears that linger'd round his heart)
With ardent wish to seek his native clime;
To see if ANNA's youth was yielded up,
A prey to lawless love; if early sorrow
Had nipt the bud, and blasted all the fruit;
Whether again 'twere giv'n him to behold
A mother's face, to tend and cheer her age
With duteous care and love, or to bedew
Her sacred manes with religious tears.
This lesson had repentance taught his mind:
"Let no weak terrors for thyself withhold
[Page 159] "Thy duteous steps, or stop thy bounty's course;
"Thy mother may survive, and want the pit­tance
"Thou deal'st to ev'ry stranger; thou mays't now
"Raise up her feeble head, restore her heart,
"And brighten up her eve of life; obey—
"A debt to Nature is a debt to GOD"
His treasure safe on board, auspicious winds
Swell'd big the bellying sails; old Ocean boil'd
Around the cleaving keel; so swift the course,
That wind and vessel seem'd throughout to vie
In vigour of dispatch; hence the fifth moon,
Ere quite her course was done, (one April morn,
The hills new ting'd with gold) beheld him safe
On English ground! Delight unspeakable
[Page 160] To hearts unknown to vice! The guileless man,
Whom search of foreign wealth provokes, or care
Of merchandize incites, or, (hapless state!)
Disastrous war compels awhile to leave
His native climate and connections dear,
At his long-wish'd return regaining all,
What joys are his! He stops, and, panting, asks
His heart, if all be true; he seems new born,
And drinks, in frequent gasps of happiness,
Large draughts of his own air. Not so poor EDWARD,
Anxious affright and doubt oppress his heart,
And stifle in its birth the rising transport.
More weight of years, and Grief's deforming hand,
Had alter'd ev'ry feature; from his visage
The vacant smile of dissipated life
[Page 161] And empty joy was flown, while solid sense,
And comely reason, and discretion fair,
Supply'd the place;—ah! unavailing all
To chase his fears! Beneath a deep disguise
He veil'd each trace of what he once appear'd,
Lest, when he saw (were such his happy lot)
His aged parent, strong surprise might seize
Her palsied nerves, and Nature quit her hold.
The dwelling, once familiar to his foot,
With trembling, hasty step, he seeks—Each eye,
Each passing glance alarms him; seems to cleave
His wounded soul, and lay each thinking bare.
The threshold gain'd, while yet his shaking hand
Begg'd for admittance, prone he fell—o'erspent,
And to the kind inhabitants appear'd
A breathless corse.—With charitable care
[Page 162] They rais'd him up, and, by appliance meet,
Quicken'd the pulse, and bade it flow anew.
Reviv'd, and of his proper course inform'd,
(O blessings on each kindly-temper'd heart
That thus relieves the stranger!) on he hastens
To seek, while ev'ry conscious fear return'd,
A mother's presence. She, her earliest meal
Dispatch'd, had totter'd forth, as was her wont,
And gain'd her fav'rite seat; where each new morn
She gaz'd with new delight, and in his works
Ador'd the God of Nature, paid her thanks
For joys, so far beyond the stretch of hope,
Show'r'd on her age, and with one pious wish,
For EDWARD's virtue and return, concluded
Her daily orison. For now her mind,
By time made pliant, had receiv'd the stamp
Of that great necessary means of happiness,
[Page 163] Submission to her fate—thus flow'd her hours
Tranquil and smooth, as glides the summer lake;
If chance a sudden sigh a while deform'd
Her sweet serenity of soul, 'twas slight,
And momentary as the passing breeze;
For pure Religion cannot long desert
Her willing votaries, but repairs the grace
With added lustre, as returning suns
Dispel the transient gloom, and bid the stream
Again be smooth and clear. Nigh where she sat,
Was passion-tortur'd EDWARD doom'd to pass;
Big with a thousand various apprehensions,
These words alarm'd his ear: "And if he yet
"Survives, O be he worthy of thy care!
"'Tis all I beg." He turn'd him to the sound,
And saw—what long he stopp'd not to survey,
[Page 164] But on the pinions of distraction flew,
Knelt, and embrac'd, and wept upon a mother.
Struck with affright!—and "Who art thou," she cried,
"That thus'—when, as he press'd her tremb­ling knee
With couchant face, all bath'd in drops of shame,
A scar, which boyish negligence had thrown
Broad o'er his neck, awoke remembrance in her
Too strong to bear—Scarce had she power to say,
"Art thou indeed my long—lost joy?" A sigh,
Which shook, and all unnerv'd her aged frame,
Burst forth, and on the fav'rite seat she dropp'd.
Swift to his duteous care the youth arose,
And, "O forgive my desp'rate haste," he cried,
"Forgive my zeal, my eagerness of love;
"I meant at leisure to disclose myself,
[Page 165] "But Nature would not let me."—Motionless
She still remain'd. "And have I thus destroy'd
"The only means of bliss? Forbid it Heav'n!
"The dearest purpose of my life?" Then ran
And call'd aloud for aid, himself unfit,
Unknowing how to act. Forth from the portal
HORATIO, ANNA, and domestics, burst
Alarm'd, and haste instinctively to save
Their mansion's honour: from the neighb'ring spring
They draw the happy means. Once more her eye
Beam'd on the day, tho' faint; it stray'd around
With timid glance, till on her EDWARD's face
It rested full; then from the seat she sprung,
As if returning youth new strung her nerves,
[Page 166] And, in her joy triumphant, cry'd, "Behold him!
"More than I dar'd to ask, is now bestow'd—
"I have a son again:" then eager plung'd
Into his clasping arms, and there remain'd,
Till fainting Nature had repair'd her strength,
Resolving all her burthen into tears;
That sacred dew, which Heav'n, in mercy, gave
To loads of anguish, or excess of joy.
Th' assistant crow'd stand speechless—mo­tionless—
And, in each other's eye, alternate seek,
And read the cause of their amaze; till ED­WARD
(His pious mother having sought relief
On the same seat, where late she lifeless lay,
From passions which too exqui itely press'd
Her shatter'd frame) ran, frantic in his joy,
[Page 167] To ANNA, to HORATIO; o'er and o'er
He seiz'd them, and, in wildness of embrace,
Seem'd to devour their loves. On ev'ry visage,
Well as he could, he cast a look—when lo!
Against a mourning cypress, PHILIP, old,
Lean'd, to support his weight of joy—a man
Of more than fourscore years—whom EDWARD's father
From infancy had rear'd; their tempers, cus­toms,
And sentiments alike—Hence counsellor,
Not steward was he call'd—oft had he giv'n
Advice, clear, just, and wholesome, to our youth,
When early joys and mad pursuits seduc'd him,
Which, when he found neglected and despis'd,
Frequent he rais'd a bitter sigh, and said,
"My good old master, happy, happy thou,
[Page 168] "Whom the dark tomb enclos'd, ere this thou saw'st!'
Soon as the eye of EDWARD caught his form,
And own'd his rev'rend locks, confusion stopp'd
The purport of his tongue; his heart was full;
But on his knee dropp'd sudden; he breath'd forth,
From fervent heart, a thousand, thousand bless­ings,
Silent, tho' not in-eloquent. He long'd
To ask how he had weather'd out the storm
Of want and sorrow; which the elder reading
In his enquiring eye, thus spake:—"I live
"To see thy face once more, thou comely copy
"Of my old master! Know, that righteous Power,
"Who saw my truth, and gratitude to him,
"Rais'd me another guardian in HORATIO;
[Page 169] "Since thy departure, by his bounty fed,
"I've seen thy father's virtues all renew'd,
"His grace, as well as love of doing good,
"And liv'd o'er life again; my joy's so full
"By this last gift, what have I now to do,
"But bless my GOD, and die?"—"To live, to live,"
Exclaim'd the youth, "and see an alter'd man."
Then rose and clasp'd him—more he would have said,
When a kind summons from their host, who late
Retir'd with his domestics, and prepar'd
The genial board, (while ANNA tended du­teous
On her MARIA) warn'd them in—he turn'd,
And help'd to raise a mother—she (supported
On either hand) betwixt her children mov'd,
[Page 170] Not meanly proud of two such props; now one,
Now ey'd the other, and with graceful joy
Enter'd the house. Old PHILIP follow'd, weep­ing.
Around the social board, profusely spread,
Raptur'd they take their several seats; but short
And tasteless was the meal; fond recollection,
How long they hopeless languish'd for so dear
An interview, subdu'd e'en Nature's claim
Of sweet refreshment. Incoherent phrase,
Short sighs, and interchange of softest looks,
That teem'd with all the fulness of affection,
Supply'd the place. While now the genial glass,
Crown of the meal, went round, their honest host,
Extravagantly glad, contriv'd new joys
To grace the coming time, bade night descend
[Page 171] Copious in mirth, with all that music's pow'r,
Or festive dance could add, to cheer the soul,
And make the hours look gay. Thus, far abroad
His fancy flew for fresh and rare delights,
To form a life of bliss—when EDWARD thus—
"Dear by each tie of infant friendship, dear
"By gen'rous love, and soul beneficent,
"Who hast, with pious care, reliev'd, and cheer'd
"Hearts dearer than my own—I know not how
"To speak my gratitude—yet oh! permit
"That, for one night, the revel be suspended;
"And let, oh! let the present hours attest
"My piety of joy! with liberal alms,
"That dearest sacrifice to gracious Heav'n,
"Be mark'd the day, which, on its due return,
"Yearly I mean to hallow. New-deliver'd
[Page 172] "From galling bonds of vice, and thus restor'd
"To ev'ry comfort, ev'ry great enjoyment,
"That faultless virtue cou'd alone expect,
"What can I less? Or how look up to Heaven,
"Begging a kind continuance of his smile,
"With such a faith, as in that moment, when
"O'er misery and age I pour my soul,
"In floods of charity? This day exempt
"From ev'ry other work, this single day,
"Each hour of life beside, I consecrate
"To filial love and friendship." "Be it so!"
Return'd HORATIO, "and unite we all
"In this thy truly charitable task!"
Hence converse sweet, instructive, pious, grateful,
Full of the grace of Providence to man,
His wondrous power, and will to "scatter good,
[Page 173] "As in a waste of bounty," * cheer'd the soul,
Till ruddy eve, with golden ray bedeck'd,
Descended lovely, and around her threw
Her beauties wide and lavish; vallies smil'd;
The breeze flew light; more clear and smooth the stream;
Proud were the hills; with more than wonted fragrance
Each flow'r enrich'd the gale; in livelier notes
Birds fill'd the air; as Nature's self were glad
To view th' approaching scene—for now the portal
Capacious stretch'd, t' admit a wretched throng,
Call'd from th' adjacent town (well-known to those
[Page 174] Who steer direct o'er—'s furze-blown heath)
With pious care and speed, and each sad object
Encounter'd on the way; by various woes,
And various wants, reduc'd to drag with pain
A living death;—each ghastly form was there,
That Poverty, from out her rueful cave,
Herself could draw, to hurt the eye of man,
And wound the pitying breast—decrepid age
Bent underneath its load—sad widowhood,
With sunken eye, and deep entrenched feature,
Pin'd inly—tender orphan eyes were wash'd
In early drops—and sorrowing fathers mourn'd
Their infants, by the gripe of meagre Famine
Snatch'd newly. Lo! beneath the sacred roof
No eye, no hand, no heart was unemploy'd;
All, all united in the virtuous task,
To chase distress, or bid affliction smile,
[Page 175] And saw their fair endeavours well repaid.
Age bloom'd afresh—here widow'd breasts were cheer'd,
And sung with gratitude—there children wip'd
Their eyes, and fed. Transported EDWARD seem'd
On ev'ry side, at once; from ev'ry object
Drew new delight—(of food, and alms, his largess
So quick, so copious, that the ravish'd taker
Was scant of pow'r to catch the lib'ral blessing,
Ere fall'n to earth), then took the goblet large,
And to the thirsty soul gave draughts of bliss
Immeasurable; while the rest apart
New stores accumulate, therewith compleating
Such sacred rites, as, here and there, the youth,
Through fervent duty, and religious haste,
[Page 176] "Lest needy eyes should tarry long," * had left
Unfinish'd. Thus employ'd, before him stood,
Unseen till now, a terrifying form!
Within the haggard face, distracted Fear,
And writhing Pain, and agonizing Grief,
Had struck their talons deep; the bushy locks
With crimson streams were clotted, and up­rear'd;
From hollow eye look'd forth reproachful sor­row,
And damp'd the pious joy, so newly born
In EDWARD's heart; his glow of blood forsook
His cheek; while, cold, and clammy, o'er his brow
Big drops were spread; his nerves unstrung, the cup
[Page 177] Fell from his feeble grasp; a statue he
Of wild amazement, while within his ears
(Almost the only sense which now remain'd)
These heart-astounding accents hideous rung:
"Not for myself do I approach thee, youth,
"Or beg thy charity—but for a wife,
"And two poor children, who, for more than twelve
"Long years, have linger'd out their days in want.
"While strength was theirs, they eat the hard­earn'd morsel,
"And drank the passing stream; now deadly sickness
"So sore oppresses them, scarce can they raise
"Their worn-out limbs from earth. Oh! if thou hast
[Page 178] "One crime, which, more than all the rest, sits heavy
"Within thy breast, and hop'st, at thy last hour,
"That crime should be forgiven—follow me."
As by a pow'r from Heav'n impell'd, the youth
Flew forth, and follow'd; by HORATIO's eye
Alone observ'd, who trac'd his frantic steps;
Which, till they reach'd the venerable relics
Of an old ruin'd convent, rested not.
There, westward of the gloomy grove, which gave
A distant, solemn prospect to the pile,
Beneath the mould'ring fabric's aweful height,
The form, which thus had drawn th' affrighted youth,
Darting an eye of rigour, cried, "Redress,"
[Page 179] And vanish'd from his sight.—Awhile he stood,
As one just waken'd from a trance, and roll'd
His eye-balls wildly round, big with surprise
And horror!—till HORATIO, sore-alarm'd,
Lest, smote by frenzy strange, imperial reason
Were from her throne remov'd, seiz'd quick his hand,
Assaying to recall his sense;—in vain—
Eager and loud he cries, "Where is he? Speak?
"I could not be deceiv'd—my eye—my heart,
"In dreadful sympathy, acknowledg'd him;
"The wound was fresh again, the fatal gash
"How wide it yawn'd for vengeance! the red stream
"Again it boil'd, and with unrighteous stain
"Crimson'd the golden locks!—Redress thee!—ay,
[Page 180] "Or may my woes ne'er cease! the hand that smote,
"This moment shall revenge thee!" From his gripe,
(No quick, nor easy task) HORATIO wrench'd,
And threw the desp'rate weapon far—then forc'd
Th' enfeebl'd victim of despair to press
The ragged flint, while he, by ev'ry art
That friendship could suggest, by look, by speech,
By pray'r, and pious tears, assay'd to calm
The tempest in his mind; full well he saw
Some Pow'r, superior far to idle fancy,
Assail'd the shatter'd brain. From EDWARD's eye
At length burst forth a sympathetic flood,
And, in disjointed accents, thus he spoke:
"Thou shoulds't not be a stranger here— forgive,
"Forgive a man, just sunk in misery!
"But I'll atone it;—yes, belov'd HORATIO,
"Fast as my heart permits, I'll tell thee all:
"Know then, the dreadful cause (to mortal breast
"Yet unreveal'd, and by thy truth, thy love,
"Thy hope of future blessings, I conjure thee,
"From ev'ry other ear preserve it close)
"Of my removal from my native shore,
"My friends—my duty—then, when boiling youth
"Ran madly through my veins (too well thou know'st
"The fatal time) was this (Oh guilt!—I trem­ble
"To give it utt'rance—) know, I carried with me
[Page 182] "A conscience black with murder!—hast thou ear
"For more, or shall I stop?—One fatal eve,
"The sun, as now, had just retir'd, (afraid
"To view the deed) with rash, and coward hand,
"(Swill'd hot with wine, and fir'd by frantic rage,
"At some slight word) I smote a surly hind:
"Smote him—and life was gone—I fondly hop'd
"That penitence, which deep within my heart
"Pour'd its soft balm, had cur'd the rankling sore,
"And bade my mind be still. My hope was vain!
"'Tis not for me to know repose; ev'n now
"The form was with me; nay, it liv'd, it look'd
[Page 183] "It spoke—exact the same with that, my me­mory
"Bears, and will ever bear!—what might this mean?
"Calls it not loud for vengeance? Should I not
"Submit me willing to the law, and pay
"The price of blood with blood?—Nay, speak in mercy."
Silent and fixt they sat, and pious grief
With pious grief engag'd; their levell'd eyes
Smote, and transfix'd each other—soul with soul
Convers'd, and speech was useless. When a yell
Of woe, which cleft alike their ears and hearts,
Awoke them—round the ruin'd walls (which long
Retain'd, and to each other rattled shrill
[Page 184] The piercing sound) they, trembling, seek the cause.
'Tis found. Within a clammy, clay-built hut—
(Which, for support, clung to the solemn stone)
With sticks and straws o'erlaid, whose scant enclosure
Receiv'd each gust of th' ever shifting wind,
Yielded to ev'ry falling flint, and drank
Each drenching shower—a form, with pallid want,
And misery o'erspread, lay stretch'd on earth,
And seem'd, as in that moment life had left
Her wretched mansion; of attire so bare,
'Twas Misery's sad emblem!—EDWARD knelt—
And, while his heart ran o'er with pity, rais'd
The dying frame—then clasp'd within his bo­som,
[Page 185] To kindle warmth, and sooth back wand'ring breath;
Supplying thus, with charitable care,
The sacred task of two enfeebled children,
Who, in their slender arms, had long sustain'd
That load of anguish; but worn out, at last,
Despoil'd of all their strength, perforce, they gave
Their burthen to the ground, and, in that cry
Of mad despair, instinctive seem'd to ask
From Heaven that aid, they could no longer give.
With dubious aspect EDWARD eyes his charge:
Now thinks a faintish flush be-tints the cheek;
Now seems the lid, with weak assay, to court
A ray of light; and now, within the bosom,
Deep seems the struggling breath to sob—but all
[Page 186] So short, and so imperfect, that his hopes
Die, ere they well are born. Just then HO­RATIO,
(Who in that very moment, when the scene
First met his eye, on mercy's wings had flown
To the next neighb'ring cottage) came supply'd
With food and cordial bev'rage; wholesome wines,
Such as the birch or cowslip's yellow leaf
Yields to the dextrous housewife's art;—o'er­joy'd,
EDWARD beholds; and, with united care,
Between them they support the famish'd wretch;
Dealing with prudent, not with niggard hand,
Scanty and slow relief, by soft degrees
Soliciting the coy return of life.
During their task (O man! how graceful thou
In such beseeming offices engag'd!)
[Page 187] The elder girl, on whom some fourteen years
Had set their goodly mark, thus answer'd sweet
HORATIO's earnest questions: "'Tis indeed
"My mother, sir; my good, my loving mother,
"Who from the little that her labour earn'd,
"Gave us the largest share—stinting herself
"To feed her children—Illness now has long
"Made her unfit to labour, and the bounty
"Of charitable passengers has been
"Our only means of living. Oftentimes,
"When in the height of poverty and pain,
"I've heard her wish to die, and say her heart
"Was dead long, long ago, and, weeping sore,
"Has oft related all the dismal cause—
"That when she went with child, and was far gone,
"Of my young sister, sir, who stands beside you,
[Page 188] "(There's but two years between us) one sad night,
"Expecting my poor father to his supper,
"From ev'ning work, he was brought to her murder'd,
"His head and face all over blood.—By whom
"'Twas done, she never knew." The friends, at once,
From burning cheeks, and fire-emitting eyes,
Flash'd wonder on each other; EDWARD starting,
Forgot his charge, and to a place remote
Flew, to assuage the fulness of his mind.
Now the tough father of the bounteous cot,
Whence good HORATIO brought the timely food,
(The ev'ning duties of his farm discharg'd)
Returning with the guardian of his door,
His honest mastiff, seeks his homely board,
[Page 189] With Nature's plain and wholesome diet crown'd;
Where, with his wife, his children, and domes­tics,
He wont to share the social hour, to hear
The waggish joke, and join the shout of mirth;
Or with delight repeat their labours past,
Re-tread their paths along the pasture sair,
Re-mount the sloping hill, review with glee,
Through Fancy's magic glass, the rising grain;
And thus, in Nature's honest feelings, pay
The God of Harvest not unwelcome praise.
Scarce was HORATIO gone, when he arriv'd—
(HORATIO, lord of ev'ry flow'ry lawn,
Each fertile mead, and deep-embow'ring grove,
For many miles around—HORATIO, friend
To the distress'd, and father of the poor;
The tenant's pride and fav'rite!) from his dame
[Page 190] The toiling rustic learns the strange event,
The place, the pressing cause—deserts his meal,
And hour of mirth, and with his jolly sons,
Three sturdy, sun-burn'd lads, goes forth in haste,
To seek the presence of his much-lov'd lord,
And proffer honest aid, in home spun phrase.
Weak nature now, in some degree, repair'd,
And vital sense and quick'ning warmth restor'd,
To them HORATIO glad resigns his charge;
Intreating, with religious care, their home
Might take the strangers in, and feed their wants,
Till he resum'd the task; then seeks his friend,
Around the venerable walls—where fix'd,
And silent, he surprises him, with hands
Still clasp'd, tho' fall'n, and heav'n-ward swell­ing eyes,
[Page 191] That teem'd with holy wonder—"Gracious God!"
Was all the raptur'd man could say; HORATIO,
Wistful how much he felt, with meek d [...]port
Engag'd his arm, then with assuasive speech,
Strengthen'd by Reason, born of righteous Zeal,
Pour'd balm into his soul, as he beguil'd
His wayward steps to seek their friendly home.
"'Tis as thy soul divines—nay seek no more
"That wretched form—all thy fond soul could ask
"To gratify the present wish, is done—
"Harbour, and rest, and peaceful bread is her's.
"From her own mouth, when power of speech, at last,
"Tho' weak, return'd, I gain'd un-erring proofs;
"With temper hear, and as thou hears't adore
"The wonder-working hand (for such I deem it!)
[Page 192] "Which led thee through the maze of this great day;
"Then to thy adoration join, with me,
This firm belief, that from thy LIFE alone
"Redress is claim'd—Nor dare, by impious act
"Of fell despair, reduce thy date of years,
"But patient wait till Providence demands thee!
"Oh! * tarry thou his leisure! if aright
"I judge, (and not presumptuous be it held!)
"He hath not cast thee off, nor holds thy deed,
"Tho-foul, inexpiable—he regards,
"With Mercy's eye, I trust, the erring hand
"Of youth, and rage—and sees, (thy heart ex­plor'd,)
"No love of guilt, no black intention there.
"What voice but his could call? Why interrupt
[Page 193] "The pious office which engag'd thy soul?
"Doth it not seem to say—Behold, I shew
"A greater duty far, a nearer claim
"Upon thy charity, which, undischarg'd,
"The rest avail thee lightiy? Oh! pursue
"The wondrous track, obey the great command,
"And all may yet be well." "Thou best of friends,"
EDWARD return'd, (with soften'd heart and speech,
And eyes, that melted in affection's dew)
"Thy breath is comfort to my heart; thy words,
"With all conviction's force, assail my sense;
"To this great duty will I dedicate
"My future hours, and leave the rest to Heav'n;
"And if he hath not wholly cast me off,
"Nor holds my crime, tho' foul, inexpiable,
"May I, when I neglect this earthly task,
[Page 194] "His purpos'd mercy forseit!" Mild discourse
Thus sooths and cheers their hearts reciprocal,
Till in their sight the dear abode appears:
Where the forsaken family (surmising
Some distant act of goodness, call'd the friends,
With grace united, forth) compleated well
The righteous work at home, and, ere they sent
The guests rejoicing forth, surcharg'd with stores,
They bless'd the day, and bade its due return
With annual rites of charity be hallow'd.
EDWARD, unsuited now to any converse
But that of his own mind, requests his friend
To gloze his absence with some fair excuse,
And to his chamber calm and clear retires.
The chamber gain'd, with care and anxious haste,
The door he clos'd, forbidding e'en a breath
Of transient air should interrupt his thought.
[Page 195] Beside his couch, in zeal precipitate,
Plunging upon his knees, "Almighty Father,
"(If yet by that dear name I dare invoke thee)
"Beam from thy throne of mercy one kind ray
"Of comfort on my breast, and teach my heart
"How, in my conduct, I may best atone
"My former guilt, and, in my hours to come,
"Deserve thy gracious care—to all, that may
"Find favour in thy sight, far as I know,
"I here devote me—ev'ry morn and eve
"My heart shall duly seek thee—duly praise
"Thy wondrous pow'r, beneficence and mercy;
"No day unmark'd by charity shall pass;
"But chief th' unhappy, whom my fatal hand,
"By one dire act, (Oh! pardon! pardon! par­don!)
"Made poor and widow'd—she shall never know
[Page 196] "A care, while life remains, if I have power
"To chase it from her breast—my fortune's stream
"Shall flow unbounded o'er her wants, and feed
"Her wither'd heart with plenty—to her chil­dren
"I'll be another father, in my love;
"And, if thy goodness, oh my GOD, permit
"A length of days for this my pious purpose,
"My gratitude shall bless thee; if denied,
"Right-willing I submit—in ev'ry thing
"Be prais'd thy justice, and thy will be done!"
Heart-eas'd he rose; then to his pillow quick
Repairs, and coming night (whose thicken'd gloom
He wont not to behold without dismay,
Reluctant horror, each alarm of soul,
That apprehension breeds in conscious guilt,)
[Page 197] With earnest suit, he now invokes, in sleep
To shed relief on his much harrass'd sense.
His suit was heard; and Sleep, on downy plumes
Descending soft, envelop'd all the man.
When, to his mental eye, the very phantom,
Which all so late disturb'd his inmost soul,
Once more appear'd, but clad in other guise:
In the late haggard face distracted fear,
And writhing pain, and agonizing grief,
No more were seen; no more the bushy locks
With crimson drops were clotted and uprear'd.
Each placid feature seem'd by gentle peace
Becalm'd, and Satisfaction's sweetest smile
Beam'd lovely; soft Content, in meek array,
Dwelt on the brow, and decent lay the locks:
So mild the form, Tranquility therein
Seem'd to have fix'd her residence entire,
Immoveable, eternal—Thus it spake,
[Page 198] While drops of comfort, from each sacred breath,
Melted on EDWARD's heart, as kindly dews,
From Heav'n descending soft on new-born flowers.
"Repentant soul, sleep now a quiet sleep!
"My pray'r is heard, my wishes are accom­plish'd;
"Thou now hast made a full redress—awake
"To care and grief no more; henceforth be guilt,
"And pain, and sorrow, strangers to thy breast,
"But Peace, with all her train, inhabit there,
"And Pleasure strew thy paths! through mor­tal life
"Safe be thy course, and long! smooth be the bed
"Of death, and fairest gleams of op'ning bliss
[Page 199] "Shine on thy parting spirit! since REFENT­ANCE,
"In never-failing streams, hath wash'd away
"The stains of guilt, and well thou hast dis­charg'd
"Thy debt to JUSTICE, CHARITY, and GOD!"
So spake the form benign; nor seem'd to leave
The blessed couch, till Morn, with rosy hand,
Expanded full the golden gates of light.
Refresh'd, and full of gladness, EDWARD rose;
First wafted grateful praise, with holy zeal,
Then sought, in haste, his friend; and o'er, and o'er,
Revolv'd, and re-possess'd the vision fair,
With wonder and delight; each greeting eye
He met with transport new; the name of son
He long enjoy'd; and, from that hour, awoke
[Page 200] To care and grief no more; thenceforth were guilt,
And pain, and sorrow, strangers to his breast;
Peace, with her lovely train, resided there,
And pleasure strew'd his paths; through mor­tal life
Safe was his course and long; smooth was the bed
Of death, and fairest gleams of op'ning bliss
Shone on his parting spirit:—for REPENTANCE,
In never-failing streams, had wash'd away
The stains of guilt; and well he had discharg'd
His debt to JUSTICE, CHARITY, and GOD.

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