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A woman rules my prison's key;
Smile of the moon -- for so I name That silent greeting from above; A gentle flash of light that came From her whom drooping captives love; Or art thou of still higher birth? Thou that didst part the clouds of earth, My torpor to reprove! Bright boon of pitying Heaven! - alas, I may not trust thy placid cheer! Pondering that Time to-night will pass The threshold of another year; For years to me are sad and dull; My very moments are too full Of hopelessness and fear.
Farewell desire of human aid,
THE WIDOW ON WINDERMERE SIDE.
And yet, the soul-awakening gleam, That struck perchance the farthest cone Of Scotland's rocky wilds, did seem To visit me, and me alone; Me, unapproached by any friend, Save those who to my sorrows lend Tears due unto their own. Tonight the church-tower bells will ring Through these wide realms a festive peal; To the new year a welcoming; A tuneful offering for the weal Of happy millions lulled in sleep; While I am forced to watch and weep, By wounds that may not heal. Born all too high, by wedlock raised Still higher - to be cast thus low! Would that mine eyes had never gazed On aught of more ambitious show Than the sweet flowerets of the fields ! -- It is my royal state that yields This bitterness of woe.
How beautiful when up a lofty height
With some, the noble creature never slept;
Yet how? - for I, if there be truth In the world's voice, was passing fair; And beauty for confiding youth, Those shocks of passion can prepare That kill the bloom before its time; And blauch, without the owner's crime, The most resplendent hair. Unblest distinction ! showered on me To bind a lingering life in chains: All that could quit my grasp, or flee, Is gone ;- but not the subtle stains
The mother mourned, nor ceased her tears to flow,
But why that prayer? as if to her could come
- This lusty Lamb of all my store Is all that is alive; And now I care not if we die, And perish all of poverty. Six Children, Sir! had I to feed; Hard labour in a time of need! My pride was tamed, and in our grief I of the Parish asked relief. They said, I was a wealthy man; My sheep upon the mountain fed, And it was fit that thence I took Whereof to buy us bread. “Do this: how can we give to you," They cried, “what to the poor is due ?"
Now I cleave to the house, and am dull as a snail; And, oftentimes, hear the church-bell with a sigh, That follows the thought — We've no land in the vale, Save six feet of earth where our forefathers lie!
THE AFFLICTION OF MARGARET.
WHERE art thou, my beloved Son,
Seven years, alas! to have received
He was among the prime in worth,
Ah! little doth the Young-one dream,
Neglect me! no, I suffered long
My Son, if thou be humbled, poor,
They dwindled, Sir, sad sighe: to see !
A PASTORAL BALLAD.
Tax fields which with covetons spirit we sold,
When the troublesome Tempter beset us, said I,
But, Allan, be true to me, Allan,
There dwelt we, as happy as birds in their bowers;
But now we are strangers, go early or late ;
Oh, ill-judging sire of an innocent son who must now be a wanderer! – but peace to that
strain! Think of evening's repose when our labour was done, The Sabbath's return - and its leisure's soft chain ! And in sickness, if night had been sparing of sleep, How cheerful, at sunrise, the hill where I stood, Imking down on the kine, and our treasure of sheep That besprinkled the field — 't was like youth in my
Alas! the fowls of Heaven have wings,
Nay! start not at that sparkling light;
And wake when it is day.
TIIE SAILOR'S MOTHER.
Perhaps some dungeon hears thee groan,
ONE morning (raw it was and wet,
Majestic in her person, tall and straight;
I look for Ghosts; but none will force
The ancient Spirit is not dead;
She begged an alms, like one in poor estate ; I looked at her again, nor did my pride abate.
When from these lofty thoughts I woke,
She answered, soon as she the question heard, “A simple burthen, Sir, a little Singing-bird"
My apprehensions come in crowds;
And, thus continuing, she said,
And I have travelled weary miles to see
Beyond participation lie
“The Bird and Cage they both were his:
When last he sailed, he left the Bird behind; From bodings, as might be, that hung upon his mind.
“He to a Fellow-lodger's care
God help me for my little wit!
THE COTTAGER TO HER INFANT.
BY MY SISTER.
The days are cold, the nights are long,
Save thee, my pretty Love!
THE CHILDLESS FATHER.
The kitten sleeps upon the hearth,
Then why so busy thou ?
“ Up, Timothy, up with your Staff and away!
A long, long way of land and sea !
-alas! to me Far more than I can be to thee.
Here, little Darling, dost thou lie;
My own dear Little-one will sigh,
'Tis gone — like dreams that we forget;
Oh! how I love thee! — we will stay
- I cannot help it - ill intent