« AnteriorContinuar »
They with their pannier'd Asses semblance made
Of Potters wandering on from door to door :
But life of happier sort to me pourtray'd,
And other joys my fancy to allure ;
The bag-pipe dinning on the midnight moor
In barn uplighted, and Companions boon
Well met from far with revelry secure,
Among the forest glades, when jocund June
Rolled fast along the sky his warm and genial moon.
But ill they suited me; those journies dark
O'er moor and mountain, midnight theft to hatch!
To charm the surly House-dog's faithful bark,
Or hang on tip-toe at the lifted latch ;
The gloomy lantern, and the dim blue match,
The black disguise, the warning whistle shrill,
And ear still busy on its nightly watch,
Were not for me, brought up in nothing ill :
Besides, on griefs so fresh my thoughts were brooding still.
What could I do, unaided and unblest ?
My Father ! gone was every friend of thine :
And kindred of dead husband are at best
Small help; and, after marriage such as mine,
With little kindness would to me incline,
Ill was I then for toil or service fit :
With tears whose course no effort could confine,
By the road-side forgetful would I sit
Whole hours, my idle arms in moping sorrow knit.
I led a wandering life among the fields ;
Contentedly, yet sometimes self-accused,
I liv'd upon what casual bounty yields,
Now coldly given, now utterly refused.
The ground I for my bed have often used :
But, what afflicts my peace with keenest ruth
Is, that I have my inner self abused,
Forgone the home delight of constant truth,
And clear and open soul, so prized in fearless youth.
Three years thus wandering, often have } view'd,
In tears, the sun towards that country tend
Where my poor heart lost all its fortitude :
And now across this moor my steps I bend-
Oh! tell me whither -for no earthly friend
Have I.”-She ceased, and weeping turned away,
As if because her tale was at an end
She wept ;--because she had no more to say
Of that perpetual weight which on her spirit lay.
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran ;
And much it griev'd my heart to think
What man has made of man.
"Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower, The periwinkle trail'd its wreathes ; And 'tis
faith that every flower Enjoys the air it breathes.
The birds around me hopp'd and play'd :
Their thoughts I cannot measure :-
But the least motion which they made,
It seem'd a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air ;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If I these thoughts may not prevent,
If such be of my creed the plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?