Imagens das páginas



| Yet nameless let me plead---my name

Would only wake the cry of scorn;

A child of sin, conceived in shame, Confiteor facere hoc annog ; sed et altera causa est,

Brought forth in wo, to misery born. Anxietas animi, continuusque dolor.


My mother dead, my father lost, MAGISTRITE, VAGRANT, CONSTABLE. I wander'd with a vagrant crew;

A common care, a common cost,

Their sorrows and their sins I knew; VAGRANT.

With them, by want on error forced,

Like them, I base and guilty grew. Take, take away thy barbarous hand,

And let me to thy master speak; Remit awhile the harsh command,

Few are my years, not so my crimes;

The age, which these sad looks declare, And hear me, or my heart will break.

IA Sorrow's work, it is not Time's,

And I am old in shame and care.


Fond wretch! and what canst thou relate,

But deeds of sorrow, shame, and sin ?
Thy crime is proved, thou knowst thy fate;
Bat come, thy tale!-begin, begin!-

Taught to believe the world a place

Where every stranger was a foe,
Train'd in the arts that mark our race,

To what new people could I go?
Could I a better life embrace,

Or live as virtue dictates? No!


So through the land I wandering went,

And little found of grief or joy;
My crime! This sick’ning child to feed, But lost my bosom's sweet content
I seized the food, your witness saw;

When first I loved—the Gipsy-Boy.
I knew your laws forbade the deed,
But yielded to a stronger law.

A sturdy youth he was and tall,

His looks would all his soul declare,
Knowst thou, to Nature's great command His piercing eyes were deep and small,

All human laws are frail and weak? And strongly curl'd his raven-hair.
Nay! frown not-stay his eager hand,
And hear me, or my heart will break.

Yes, Aaron had each manly charm,

All in the May of youthful pride, In this, th' adopted babe I hold

He scarcely fear’d his father's arm, With anxious fondness to my breast,

And every other arm defied.-
My heart's sole comfort I behold,

More dear than life, when life was blest: Oft, when they grew in anger warm,
I saw her pining, fainting, cold,

(Whom will not love and power divide?) I begg'd—but vain was my request.

I rose, their wrathful souls to calm,

Not yet in sinful combat tried. I saw the tempting food, and seized

His father was our party's chief, My infant-sufferer found relief;

And dark and dreadful was his look; And, in the pilfer'd treasure pleased,

His presence fillid my heart with grief, Smiled on my guilt, and hush'd my grief.

Although to me he kindly spoke.

But I have griefs of other kind,

Troubles and sorrows more severe; Give me to ease my tortured mind,

Lend to my woes a patient ear; And let me-- if I may not find

A friend to help-find one to hear.

With Aaron I delighted went,

His favour was my bliss and pride;
In growing hope our days we spent,

Love growing charms in either spied,
It saw them, all which Nature lent,
| It lent them, all which she denied.


Could I the father's kindness prize,

Or grateful looks on him bestow, Whom I beheld in wrath arise,

When Aaron bunk beneath his blow?

The son came back-he found us wed,

Then dreadful was the oath he swore; His way through Blackburn Forest led,

His father we beheld no more.

He drove him down with wicked hand,

It was a dreadful sight to see ; Then vex'd him, till he left the land,

And told his cruel love to me;The clan were all at his command,

Whatever his command might be.

Of all our daring clan not one

Would on the doubtful subject dwell; For all esteem'd the injured son,

And fear'd the tale which he could tell.

The night was dark, the lanes were deep, But I had mightier cause for fear,
And one by one they took their way;

For blow and mournful round my bed
He bade me lay me down and sleep,

I saw a dreadful form appear,I only wept and wish'd for day.

It came when I and Aaron wed.

Accurred be the love he bore,

Accursed was the force he used, So let him of his God implore

For mercy, and be so refused !

(Yes! we were wed, I know my crime,

We slept beneath the elmin-tree;
But I was grieving all the time,

And Aaron frown'd my tears to see.

You frown again,—to show my wrong, For he not yet had felt the pain
Can I in gentle language speak?

That rankles in a wounded breast;
My woes are deep, my words are strong, -He waked to sin, then slept again,
And hear me, or my heart will break.

Forsook his God, yet took his rest.


But I was forced to feign delight,

And joy in mirth and music sought,And mem'ry now recalls the night,

With such surprise and horror fraught, That reason felt a moment's flight,

And left a mind to madness wrought.)

I hear thy words, I feel thy pain;

Forbear awhile to speak thy woes; Receive our aid, and then again

The story of thy life disclose.

When waking, on my heaving breast
For, though seduced and led astray,

I felt a hand as cold as death;
Thon'st travell’d far and wander'd long; LA andden fear my voice suppress'd,
Thy God hath seen thee all the way,
And all the turns that led thee wrong.

A chilling terror stopp'd my breath.

I seem'd-no words can utter how!

For there my father-husband stood,
And thus he said :-Will God allow,

The great avenger, just and good,
A wife to break her marriage-row?

A son to shed his father's blood ?

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

I trembled at the dismal sounds,
| But vainly strove a word to say;
| So, pointing to his bleeding wounds,

The threat'ning spectre stalk'd away.


COME, now again thy woes impart,

Tell all thy sorrows, all thy sin; We cannot heal the throbbing heart

Till we discern the wounds within.

I brought a lovely daughter forth,

His father's child, in Aaron's bed ;
He took her from me in his wrath,

Where is my child ?_Thy child is dead.

Compunction weeps our guilt away,

The sinner's safety is his pain; Such pangs for our offences pay,

And these severer griefs are gain.

"Twas false--we wander'd far and wide,

Through town and country, field and fen, Till Aaron, fighting, fell and died,

And I became a wife again.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


To a Woman I never addressed myself in the language of decency and friendship, without

receiving a decent and friendly answer. If I was hungry or thirsty, wet or sick, they did not hesitate, like Men, to perform a generous action: in 80 free and kind a manner did they contribute to my relief, that if I was dry, I drank the sweetest draught; and if bungry, I ate the coarsest morsel with a double relish.

| From some sad land the stranger comes, | Where joys, like ours, are never found; Let's soothe him in our happy homes,

Where freedom sits, with plenty crown'd.

Place the white man on Afric's coast,

Whose swarthy sons in blood delight, Who of their scorn to Europe boast,

And paint their very demons white: There, while the sterner sex disdains

To soothe the woes they cannot feel, Woman will strive to heal his pains,

And weep for those she cannot heal: Here is warm pity's sacred glow;

From all her stores she bears a part, And bids the spring of hope re-flow,

That languish'd in the fainting heart.

'Tis good the fainting soul to cheer,

To see the famish'd stranger fed ; To milk for him the mother-deer,

To smooth for him the furry bed. The Powers above our Lapland bless

With good no other people know ; T'enlarge the joys that we possess, By feeling those that we bestow !

What though so pale his haggard face,

So sunk and sad his looks, --she cries; And far unlike our nobler race,

With crisped locks and rolling eyes; Yet misery marks him of our kind;

We see him lost, alone, afraid ; And pange of body, griefs in mird,

Pronounce him man and ask our aid.

Thus in extremes of cold and heat,
Where wandering man may trace his

kind; Wherever grief and want retreat,

In Woman they compassion find; She makes the female breast her seat,

And dictates mercy to the mind.

Perhaps in some far-distant shore,

There are who in these forms delight; Whose milky features please them more, · Than ours of jet thus burnish'd bright; Of such may be his weeping wife,

Such children for their sire may call, And if we spare his ebbing life,

Our kindness may preserve them all.

Man may the sterner virtnes know,

Determined justice, truth severe: | But fentale hearts with pity glow,

And Woman holds affliction dear; For guiltless woes her sorrows flow,

And suffering vice compels her tear; "Tis hers to soothe the ills below,

And bid life's fairer views appear: To Woman's gentle kind we owe

What comforts and delights us here; They its gay hopes on youth bestow, | And care they soothe and age they


Thus her compassion Woman shows,

Beneath the line her acts are these; Nor the wide waste of Lapland-snows

Can her warm flow of pity freeze:

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]




Better I were distract,

Pure love of virtue, strong desire of fame: So should my thoughts be sever'd froin my griefs, Men watch'd the way his lofty mind would And woes by strong imagination lose The knowledge of ihemselves.


And all foretold the progress he would make.
Boast of these friends, to older men a guide,

Proud of his parts, but gracious in his pride; GENIUS! thou gift of Heav'n! thou light He bore a gay good-nature in his face, ' divine!

And in his air were dignity and grace; Amid what dangers art thou doom'd to shine! Dress that became his state and years he Oft will the body's weakness check thy force,

wore, Oft damp thy vigour and impede thy course; And sense and spirit shone in Edward Shore. And trembling nerves compel thee to restrain Thus while admiring friends the youth Thy nobler efforts, to contend with pain;

beheld; Or Want (sad guest!) will in thy presence His own disgust their forward hopes repellid;


For he unfix'd, unfixing, look'd around, And breathe around her melancholy gloom; And no employment but in seeking found; To life's low cares will thy proud thought He gave his restless thoughts to views refined,


And shrank from worldly cares with wounded And make her sufferings, her impatience,


Rejecting trade, awhile he dwelt on laws, Evil and strong, seducing passions prey But who could plead, if unapproved the On soaring minds, and win them from their


A doubting, dismal tribe physicians seem’d; Who then to Vice the subject spirits give, Divines o'er texts and disputations dream'd; And in the service of the conqu’ror live; War and its glory he perhaps could love, Like captive Samson making sport for all, But there again he must the cause approve. Who fear'd their strength, and glory in Our hero thought no deed should gain their fall.

applause, Genins, with virtue, still may lack the aid Where timid virtue found support in laws; Implored by humble minds and hearts afraid ; He to all good would soar, would fly all sin, May leave to timid souls the shield and By the pure prompting of the will within ;


Who needs a law that binds him not to steal, of the tried faith, and the resistless word; Ask'd the young teacher, can he rightly feel? Amid a world of dangers venturing forth, To curb the will, or arm in honour's cause, Frail, but yet fearless, proud in conscious Or aid the weak-are these enforced by worth,

laws ? Till strong temptation, in some fatal time, Should we a foul, ungenerons action dread, Assails the heart and wins the soul to crime; Because a law condemns th'adulterous bed? When left by honour, and by sorrow spent, Or fly pollution, not for fear of stain, Caused to pray, unable to repent,

But that some statute tells us to refrain ? The nobler powers that once exalted high The grosser herd in ties like these we bind, Th' aspiring man, shall then degraded lie: In virtue's freedom moves th' enlightend Reason, through anguish, shall her throne

mind. forsake,

Man's heart deceives him, said a friend : And strength of inind but stronger madness

Of course, make.

| Replied the youth, but has it power to force?

« AnteriorContinuar »