Part 2 out of 2
Then he submitted to my care,
And all my aid approv'd."
"In the soft stone, that's near my cell,
I soon entomb'd the dead;
With stone above I shield him well,
And laurels round I spread."
"Oft to the spot with mournful praise,
The mindful Hero springs,
And in such notes, as he can raise,
A requiem he sings."
"Dear faithful dog! if man to me
Had half thy virtue shewn,
From social life I should not flee,
To roam the wild alone!"
"No! not alone, nor yet in woe,
While here thy virtues shine,
For I defy the world to shew
Associate like to mine!"
The dog, he now press'd to his heart,
Then utter'd this desire;
"Stranger if thine a poet's art,
Let Hero wake thy lyre!"
His wish was kind--may love so true.
Ne'er want its wishes long:
Thus from his fond suggestion grew,
This tributary song.
* * * * *
BALLAD THE TWELFTH.
Not only men of stormy minds,
The storms of trouble know,
All creatures of this earth must find
A share of earthly woe!
Ye whose pure hearts with pity swell,
For pain by all incurr'd;
Hear how affliction once befell,
Serenity's sweet bird.
Ye fair, who in your carols praise
The Halcyon's happy state;
Hear in compassionate amaze,
One Halcyon's hapless fate.
A nymph, Selina is her name,
Lovely in mind and mien,
When spring, however early, came,
Was fond of walks marine.
Between a woman and a child,
In tender charms she grew,
And lov'd with fancy sweetly wild,
The lonely shore to view.
Nature she studied, every spring,
To all her offspring kind,
And taught the birds of wildest wing,
To trust her gentle mind.
Now brilliant in her youthful eye,
The Halcyon's feathers flame;
She wish'd a pair of these, tho' shy,
Nor wish'd she long, for such her care;
Such her attractive skill;
She makes e'en rovers of the air,
Attentive to her will.
When stormy March had ceas'd to roar,
Selina joy'd to rove;
And watch a Halcyon on the shore,
Within a little cove.
Familiariz'd by slow degrees,
They met in friendly mood;
'Till her bright favourite on her knees,
Would perch for offer'd food.
How joyous was Selina's breast,
When thus she had prevail'd;
Each coming of her radiant guest,
How tenderly she hail'd.
It seem'd her guest, so frequent here,
The damsel us'd to roam;
And deem'd this little cove so dear,
Her palace and her home.
When April's sun the coast had warm'd,
New joy the nymph possest:
She saw her favourite bird had form'd,
A curious downy nest.
How did her tender heart rejoice,
What prayers she then preferred,
That she might with her tuneful voice,
Delight the brooding bird.
Gay nature smil'd, the prayer she blest,
Selina softly sung;
And felt delight of higher zest;
She nurst the callow young.
But Oh! when human pleasures rise,
To enviable height;
How subtly dark misfortune flies,
To crush them in her flight.
One morn, as nigh the cove so dear,
The quick Selina came:
A sight, which caus'd her grievous fear,
Convuls'd her tender frame!
Near it she draws, but entrance there
A swelling sea denies;
For hostile to her callow care,
The cruel waters rise.
Close to this cove's contracted side,
Three massive stones were laid;
Oft in bare sand, now scarce descried,
Fresh surges round them play'd.
To one, the nearest to the cell,
Alarm'd, Selina wades;
To mark how far the wild wave's swell,
Her darling cove invades.
Behold she kneels! with folded hands,
Kneels on the rugged stone:
Whence now her anxious eye commands,
The cell once deem'd her own!
How keen her anguish to survey,
The tide fill half the cove;
Forth from its seat, with savage sway,
Her Halcyon's nest it drove.
The nest now floats, and from the shore,
The tortur'd parent sprung,
With wildest terror hovers o'er,
And shrieks around her young!
Selina marks the barbarous sea,
The leaky nest divide;
And bold her little friends to free,
She plunges in the tide!
The tender sinking tribe she caught,
But ah! she caught too late!
More rapid, than her generous thought,
Was unrelenting fate.
In vain, with tender pity's clasp,
To her warm breast she holds
The young, whom death's remorseless grasp
In his dark shade infolds.
Off flew the parent in despair,
Her heart appears to burn;
Nor can the sympathetic fair
Persuade her to return.
She, bearing in her robe the dead,
The parent calls anew;
'Till rising rocks, that near them spread,
Conceals her from the view.
Here she despairing now to heal
The wretched parent's pain,
Sat on a rock, in sorrowing zeal,
And kiss'd the dead again!
Her tender nerves confess'd a shock,
To hear a sudden gun!
A smuggler's vessel from the rock,
She now perceives to run.
But with what grief the sound she heard;
How pants her heart with dread,
As she beholds her favourite bird
Now fluttering o'er her head.
That flutter is the gasp of death!
As conscious of it's nest,
It breathes to her its parting breath,
And falls upon her breast!
Weep not sweet nymph, with vain regret,
Your favourite's lifeless state;
But rather think that it has met
An enviable fate.
Yes! to this gentle bird indeed,
It's mercy Heaven has shewn;
And in it's end you now may read
An emblem of your own.
When you, dear nymph, have suffer'd all
Your share of earthly woe;
O may that portion be as small
As mortal e'er may know!
Close in a death, like infant's rest,
Those heaven-reflecting eyes;
And dropping on an angel's breast,
Be wafted to the skies!
* * * * *
BALLAD THE THIRTEENTH.
Now blest be Providence divine,
Surpassing human skill!
That often takes from things malign,
The privilege of ill.
Good folks! who love a simple strain.
That seems like fancy's sound;
Rejoicing, when in nature's reign,
The marvellous is found,
As strange a tale, as history knows,
Accept in artless rhyme:
An honest Greek relates in prose,
This wonder of old time.
The antients gloried to describe,
And held such wonders dear;
For of the Psylli's signal tribe,
'Twas their delight to hear.
The Psylli were an Afric clan,
Of wond'rous power possest;
Fierce snakes, of enmity to man,
They could with ease divest.
This gift they boasted with delight,
A gift to them confin'd;
Exemption from the viper's bite,
Of most malignant kind.
This native gift they deem'd a test,
To prove their genuine race;
By every _true-born_ child possest,
Not granted to the _base_!
In brains that burn from Afric suns,
Mad jealousy will rise,
Till thro' the heart the frenzy runs,
And bursts all tender ties.
A Lybian of this far fam'd clan,
Had dream'd his wife untrue,
And soon the madd'ning wretch began
His child with hate to view.
That child, which till his fatal dream
Was from base slander bred;
The happy sire, with joy extreme,
Had fondled, blest, and fed.
And never infant more deserv'd
To prove his father's joy:
Of two years old, and nobly nerv'd,
A brave Herculean boy.
Nature, with passion, long at strife,
Contended in his breast;
Till to expose his infant's life,
He form'd a deadly test!
No common trial would suffice,
For his suspicious mind;
His rage a trial would devise,
Of most tremendous kind.
Sansado, so the wretch was nam'd,
A cruel brother taught:
With equal jealousy inflam'd,
To aid his barb'rous thought.
Him, many a deadly snake to feed,
Sansado would engage;
And more, by many a noxious weed,
Exasperate their rage.
And now the settled day arrives,
Fixt for their savage joy;
To risk two unprotected lives,
Poor Neela and her boy.
For if, so jealous rage decreed,
One reptile wounds the child;
Neela upon that couch must bleed,
They think she has defil'd.
God save thee Neela in a strife,
By nature's heart abhorr'd:
And God defend each hapless wife,
Who has a jealous lord!
But see the brothers, bent on ill!
Neela yet kind and calm,
Beholds a knot of Snakes, that fill
A basket made of palm!
No fear her blameless mind alarms:
But quick with scornful joy,
One basely holds her by the arms;
One grasps her fondling boy.
The sire himself, with gesture wild,
His thoughtless offspring takes;
And seats his unoffending child
Amidst these angry Snakes!
Angry at first, they foam'd around
The boy, who on them prest;
He unappall'd sat gayly crown'd,
With many a shining crest!
Stretching his little hands he play'd,
Unconscious of a fear,
With all the monsters he survey'd,
And smil'd at every spear.
Now free, but with a fixt disdain,
Behold the mother stand!
She frowns upon the brothers twain,
Nor takes the proffer'd hand.
"Do not, dear wife, my kindness shun,
Henceforth my comfort be;
And let us jointly bless my son,
Who witnesses for thee;"
So with quick speed Sansado cried,
With mingled joy and shame:
The noble Neela, thus replied,
With eyes of temperate flame.
"No, I renounce thee, and thy roof:
For Heaven who shields my young,
Bids me abjure thy love, not proof
'Gainst slander's vip'rous tongue."
"It is my duty to desert
A guard I must despise:
Farewell weak man, my child unhurt
On Providence relies."
"Now brave; a coward he might turn
Beneath thy base controul;
But from his mother he shall learn,
The empire of the soul."
She spoke, she kept, with truth most rare,
Her purpose nobly wild,
And made, by her maternal care,
A hero of her child.
* * * * *
BALLAD THE FOURTEENTH.
"Can mothers of our English isle,
The pride of all the earth,
From any tribe of tender brutes,
A mother's duly learn?"
So to a shepherd of the Alps,
A guest of noble birth,
A traveller of English race
Said on the swain's return;
When bringing to his simple cot
A Goat of signal grace,
He, to his foreign guest, display'd
The ornament she wore;
It was a splendid silver toy,
It's folds her neck embrace,
And it's rich centre, highly wrought,
This grateful motto bore:
_Dear animal! This trinket wear,
Mark of thy mental beauty!
For teaching to an English fair,
A mother's highest duty_!
"Good shepherd thou hast much to tell,
Some curious tender tale,
Thy kindness I with joy accept,
To rest beneath thy roof;
For now I see an evening storm
Is sweeping o'er the vale,
And here in this thy airy nest
I well can sleep aloof."
"But tell me, who has so adorn'd
Thy tame and pretty Goat?"--
"Ah! sir", (the white-hair'd shepherd said,)
"It was a lovely fair;
A lady of the sweetest face
That ever eyes could note,
But she was plung'd in darkest depths
Of cruel craz'd despair."
"My Goat her guardian angel prov'd,
As she herself allow'd,
And hence her little neck appears
So brilliant and so brave;
No longer mine, she has a queen,
Of whom she may be proud,
And sure an angel might be proud
So sweet a soul to save."
"But rest, sir, on my humble bench,
And take my simple cheer,
And I will tell you, all you ask,
With hearty frank good will:
A story of no trifling sort,
In truth, you have to hear,
Yet, like the most of mortal scenes,
A mass of good and ill."
"But say, my pleasant, honest friend,"
(The traveller replied,)
"Where is the lovely English fair,
That you so much admire?"--
"Before you hear where now she goes,
(And God be still her guide!)
Her sufferings here let me relate,"
(Rejoin'd the sighing sire.)
"Of all the sufferers I have seen,
She was indeed the prime,
That of a deeply wounded heart,
Most keenly felt the throes:
'Twas agony to see her grief;
And even at this time,
My foolish eyes grow full of tears
In thinking of her woes!"
"No! ne'er shall I forget that eve,
When I beheld her first,
Ah! little thought my dame and I
Such guest with us would dwell;
With pity my old woman's heart
Was even like to burst,
When this sweet lady first implor'd,
A refuge in our cell."
"'I do not ask to live with you,
I am not fit to live!'
(The beauteous mourner meekly cried
Approaching to our cot:)
'Your pity, to my babe and me,
Good aged friends! may give
All that we ask; to die with you,
To die, and be forgot!'"
"'Twas so the piteous pilgrim spake,
With eyes that glisten'd wild;
For privilege to die with you,
We give you all our gold;
For bitterer want, than want of wealth,
For want of love my child,
My child, must, like his mother, waste,
And both will soon be cold!"
"So speaking, to my dame she held
A lovely little boy,
Who speechless, yet seem'd sorely griev'd
To see his mother weep;
My good old dame is soft of heart.
And children are her joy;
So she, who cherished both her guests.
Soon lull'd the babe to sleep."
"But sleep to that sweet lady's eyes
Had seem'd to bid farewell,
And sometimes she would wildly say,
There's but one sleep for me!
So deep her woe sunk in her heart:
Tho' she was loath to tell,
My tender dame, discreetly guess'd,
What that deep woe must be."
"By cruel man, of cruel things,
Most cruel in his love!
This suffering innocent had been
To darkest frenzy driven;
Tho' in it's nature her soft heart
Is gentle as a dove,
And, save one frantic thought, ne'er had
A fault to be forgiven!"
"That frantic thought was a desire,
To end her wretched life;
But you shall hear how nature strove
To soothe her stormy breast:
For all her struggles, one and all,
She told my good old wife,
And how this little darling Goat,
She as her guardian-blest."
"To heal her grief we both had tried,
But both had tried in vain.
When this dear sufferer in our shed
Three mournful weeks had spent:
While sleep press'd on our aged eyes,
One morn in heart-felt pain
Bearing her baby in her arms,
To yon high cliff she went."
"Her purpose was, as since she said,
From base mankind to fly,
And with her nursling on her breast
To take a fatal leap;
But when she scal'd the topmost crag,
That seems to touch the sky,
Her little infant shriek'd to view
A precipice so deep!"
"His voice wak'd nature in her heart,
She wish'd to die alone,
And in a safe, and hollow rock,
Her lovely babe she plac'd;
Then thinking his pure life preserv'd,
Yet bent to end her own;
She to the summit mounts again,
In wild and breathless haste!"
"The horrid precipice below
She deems the vale of peace,
And having in a parting prayer
Pray'd fondly for her child,
She feels a wish to look yet once
Before her sufferings cease,
If calm her heaven-commended babe
In solitude has smil'd."
"With this desire she gently creeps
With anxious love to view
The mossy cove of hollow stone,
Where he is softly laid;
Now near that most attractive spot,
By slow degrees, she drew,
And there an unexpected sight
She suddenly survey'd."
"It was my little darling Goat
Who cherishing the boy,
With copious draughts of morning milk
His grateful lips supplied;
Her tears burst forth: she kneel'd, she pray'd,
But now she pray'd in joy,
For Heaven had kindled in her breast
A mother's vital pride."
"O how angelic was the light
That on her visage shone!
When now returning to our cot
Her old friends she carest:
And, all her wild delirium past,
With self-reproof made known,
The gracious wonders God had wrought,
In her enlighten'd breast!"
"Your blessed Goat, my friends", she said,
"With your indulgent leave,
My comrade, thro' my future life
My monitor shall be;
For now with heart-reform'd, I hope,
I, not too late, perceive,
How Heaven this tender creature sent,
Tho' dumb, to lecture me."
"I wish that all the earth might know,
For suffering pride's relief,
How this heaven-guided animal
In scenes so roughly wild;
A wicked mother has reclaim'd
Who lost in selfish grief,
Neglected nature's highest charge,
The nursing of her child!"
"'Twas wounded pride, my good old friends,
My heart you will not blame,
That rack'd my agonizing breast,
And set my brain on fire;
The thought to fall from honour's sphere
In undeserved shame,
And see my baby, and myself;
The torment of his sire!"
"No! No! his torment tho' preserv'd,
Our lives shall never prove,
His hard desertion we forgive!
Desertion by constraint:
From every angry passion free
My lips shall only move,
To utter blessings on his head,
And never breathe complaint."
"Tho' of our marriage every proof
Has basely been suppresst,
By his proud father's cruel guile
To wrong my babe and me:"--
"My God!" (the traveller exclaims)
By hope and doubt distrest,
"Shepherd, if you would save my life,
That lady let me see!"
"You must be patient noble sir,"
The gentle swain rejoins,
"For she beneath her brother's care,
With my good dame her guide,
This morning to our city went
That in the valley shines,
Upon a safe and easy mule,
By turns to walk and ride."
"Beneath her brother's care--you say,
Then all my hope is fled,
Yet no--perchance from India come,
Heard you that brother's name?"
"O yes! from India come, like one
Returning from the dead;
My blest Horatio, oft to him
His sister would exclaim!"--
"Enough, good Heaven!" in transport now,
In transport fondly wild,
The stranger clasp'd the good old swain
With tears of tender glee;
"My father! yes!" he cried, "thy care
Has sav'd my wife and child!
And as a father to my heart
Henceforward thou shalt be."
"Their sufferings rose not from my fault,
But from the fault of one,
Whom Heaven has call'd to his account,
Whose faults I wish to hide;
But vanish all ye sorrows past
In joy's effulgent sun,
And that sweet sufferer quick to cheer,
Good father be my guide!"
"Ah noble sir! if you bestow
So dear a name on me,
Allow me, with a father's fears,
To check your hasty joy;
If you surprise her heart with bliss
So wond'rous in degree,
That tender frame, you wish to save,
You surely will destroy."
"Be patient here, good sir, to night,
As was your first intent,
And by to-morrow's noon your eyes
Shall look on their delight;
For hither they will all return,
As kindly as they went,
And truly when you see them all,
You'll see a goodly sight."
"But you must let my careful age
Your eager love restrain,
And suffer me in my odd guise.
Your lady to prepare;
To meet a burst of mortal bliss
That might o'erset the brain
Of such a tender feeling soul,
Most delicately fair."
"Ah sir! old shepherd as I seem,
I know the sex full well,
In truth I studied nought beside,
In all my early life;
And underneath the cope of Heaven,
No lady can there dwell,
More worthy of the fondest care,
Than your angelic wife."
The good old man so charm'd his guest,
As they familiar grew,
The stranger to his guidance bent,
Tho' born of spirit high:
At last the long'd-for hour was come,
On what slow wings it flew!
But now the dear returning group,
They from the hill descry.
When he his distant friends espied,
The fondly anxious swain,
Station'd his guest, with beating heart,
Behind his cottage door;
And, in concealment, made him vow,
That he would fixt remain,
While cautious age pursued its plan,
Within the porch before.
For these a spacious shady porch,
Rais'd by the shepherd's skill,
With creeping foliage sweetly grac'd,
Presents a pleasant seat;
Most grateful to the pilgrim's sight
Just mounted up the hill,
And there the shepherd and the Goat,
Now wait their friends to greet.
And soon his favourite dog announced
His near approaching dame,
Who mounted on her mule arrived,
Before her youngest guest;
Supported by her brother's arm
The sweet Amelia came,
And bearing; with maternal pride,
Her baby on her breast.
Seeing the Goat, the lively babe
Put forth his hands and smil'd;
The mother blest the grateful act
With smiles of sweeter grace,
And held him to his guardian nurse,
While the delighted child
Suffer'd the Goat's soft shaggy lips
To fondle o'er his face!
"My Goat and I are prophets both!"
The eager shepherd cried,
"We both discover wond'rous good,
And time will make it clear:
Good for this heaven-protected babe,
Our nursling and our pride,
We of Amelia's lord have heard,
What she will joy to hear."
"Yes, tho' he must not live for me,
I in his life rejoice!"
With eyes where sudden joy and pain,
With mingled flashes shone,
The fond Amelia faintly, said,
And in a troubled voice:
"He for his dear Amelia lives,
And lives for her alone!"
So cried her latent lord, who now
Rush'd from the cottage sill,
And all the extacy indulged
He could no more contain;
It was a scene of speechless joy,
That words would paint but ill,
A moment of such joy o'erpays
A century of pain.
Supremely happy, one and all,
All blest their present lot,
And all for England soon exchanged,
That scene so sweetly wild:
And well ye judge, by all these friends
The Goat was ne'er forgot,
No, she and every kid she bore
Was cherish'd as a child.
* * * * *
THE BAYA: OR THE INDIAN BIRD.
BALLAD THE FIFTEENTH.
Let the Nightingale still be renown'd for her song,
The Eagle for strength, and for softness the Dove,
Higher praise to the Baya of India belongs,
For gentle docility, duty and love.
The Baya, dear nymphs, is a delicate bird,
Of intelligent zeal, in our climate unknown;
A bird, in the service of lovers preferr'd
To the turtle, that Venus regards as her own.
The Baya not only will bear in his beak
The letter a youth to his nymph would convey;
But if from her person some jewel he seek,
This bird, at his nod, gently plucks it away.
It chanc'd in Circassia a lovely young maid,
On her beautiful neck wore a crescent of gold,
Hermossan, her lover, the trinket survey'd,
And wish'd in his bosom the gem to infold.
A Baya he cherished, the first of its kind,
At a call to accomplish his master's behest;
This bird, who display'd both a heart, and a mind,
He commission'd to rifle fair Azima's breast.
The bird's gentle manners she often had prais'd,
And begg'd from her lover a vassal so sweet;
"To the honour of serving you he shall be rais'd,"
Said her lover, "whenever his skill is complete."
The extent of his talents the youth wish'd to find,
As the bird with new lessons be daily carest;
To his skill and obedience this charge he assigned,
To bring him the crescent from Azima's breast.
The bird who himself lov'd the damsel to court,
On her shoulder first perch'd with endearment and joy;
With his beak he then snapt it's strong silken support,
And bore from her bosom the glittering toy.
The nymph half in anger the plunderer chac'd,
But she fail'd to regain or the gem, or the cord;
For gayly he flew; and with rapturous haste,
His plunder consigned to the hand of his lord.
Her woman was charm'd, when the bird he perceiv'd,
And more was he charm'd when the damsel advanc'd,
For the nymph too in haste, half delighted, half griev'd,
Demanded the crescent, on which her eye glanc'd.
'Twas a charm Turkish hands had once fixt on her neck
But a charm that her lover refus'd to replace;
"Thy hand my dear girl, with a gem let me deck,
Of more magical force, of more luminous grace!"
"My bird and my ring, both of wonderous power!
Dear Azima! now as thy treasures receive;
For they both shall be thine, they are virtue's just dower
And thro' life may they never my Azima leave."
"For O! if they leave thee, or lost, or destroy'd,
That bliss, which our union I trust will ensure,
Must vanish, and leave in each heart such a void,
That our permanent anguish no magic can cure."
He spoke, and the bird on her shoulder he plac'd,
Then pressing the hand of his delicate fair;
That hand with a ring of one ruby he grac'd,
With a motto in Arabic, "never despair!"
"Let these words my sweet love be a shield to thy heart,
While I from thy sight am by fortune debarr'd;
For a journey of months I to-morrow depart,
But love will restore me, thy husband! thy guard!"
They kiss'd, and they parted: 'twas fortune's behest,
Who rules over love with a tyrannous sway;
But the nymph kiss'd her ring, and her bird she carest,
When her eye could no longer Hermossan survey.
She said, as she play'd with her vigilant bird,
"Thy name be Anglama, then best of thy kind:"
Anglama to her a significant word,
Express'd all the light of a luminous mind.
The bird seem'd with joy his new title to feel,
At the sound of Anglama his eye was a flame,
That flashed with intelligence, duty, and zeal,
Her behests he obeyed at the sound of his name.
To prove and reward him, was Azima's pride.
As round her he flew, upon liberty's wing;
In her chamber she oft her lov'd ruby would hide.
And exclaim, my Anglama, "go seek for my ring!"
However concealed the quick bird was so keen,
He never once failed to bring back the lost gem;
To his mistress he gave it with gesture serene,
Her sweet-meats repaid him; he lived upon them.
How often the sport of an innocent breast,
Is by Providence favour'd for some gracious end,
And gentle dumb creatures, with kindness carest,
That kindness repay in the shape of a friend!
But little sweet Azima dreamt, as she taught,
Her bird thus to play with a jewel so dear;
That the lesson his love with alacrity caught,
Might soothe her with hope, in a season of fear.
That season approaches, gay Azima grew
Of an old helpless father, the pride and the heir;
Her treasures were coveted not by a few,
And by one, of a heart not inclined to despair.
Hermossan's chief rival, an arrogant youth,
An Armenian his father! his mother a Turk!
That mother, more noted for cunning, than truth,
On Azima's fancy had studied to work.
The crescent, to give her young bosom alarm,
On the child she had fix'd with a soft silken cord;
To persuade the gay nymph, by this magical charm,
That none but a Mussulman must be her lord.
Hermossan a Persian, more noble and true.
As to woman she rose, put those fancies to flight;
But Ayesha, who watch'd with a mischievous view,
Soon the ruby surveyed, and survey'd it with spite.
She saw, 'twas a talisman fashioned by love,
Which she hoped to destroy by a daring device;
And, purloining the ring, as it lay in a glove,
With a diamond replaced it, far richer in price.
With her prize she escaped, from her visit uncheck'd;
Soon a change so unwish'd, was to Azima known,
She detested the diamond, with which she was deckt,
Sent back the new gem, and demanded her own.
See Ayesha's bold son now with arrogance plead,
To obtain for his parent the pardon of love!
The damsel, indignant, abhors the base deed,
Still demanding her ruby, all diamonds above.
The crafty Ayesha her son would persuade,
That Azima's anger in time must decay;
She knew not the truth of that resolute maid,
And she vainly hoped much from an artful delay.
Yet her credulous spirit the talisman pains,
Which she anxiously hides, with intent to destroy;
While she to prepare a rich recompence feigns,
For those, who may find this unfortunate toy.
Fair Azima suffers from sorrow and rage,
But what can her rage or her sorrow achieve;
Hermossan is absent: her father's weak age
Only leaves her in fruitless affliction to grieve.
Her bird in sweet sympathy seems to lament,
And to cheer her, in vain, his kind frolics he tries,
When she says, "O my ring!" on her wishes intent,
To seek it far off, from her window he flies.
In each flight, with new hope, she perceives her heart burn
'Till that hope she so often has cherished in vain,
That she welcomes with tears his unjoyous return,
And her health wastes away with vexation and pain.
All her pain was encreased, when this billet she read,
"Thy Hermossan, my love, will be with thee at noon,
When thy faith shall dispell all his amorous dread,
And thy ruby's true radiance eclipse the false moon!"
In the morn's early season this billet she caught,
In her bosom new hopes and new tenors now spring;
At her window she stood, and in turbulent thought,
"Once more my Anglama (she said) seek my ring!"
See, in tender obedience, Anglama depart
And soon his swift pinions are out of her sight;
But terror and hope are still felt in her heart,
While her fancy pursues so momentous a flight.
Was it chance, or some angel, directed his sense,
On a tree of Ayesha's fair garden to perch?
No, with langour opprest, and in heat most intense,
A delicate water allur'd his research.
At a wonderful depth this cool water reposed,
In a well through a rock, in past centuries sunk;
Ayesha's proud garden this wonder enclos'd,
Whence often the gentle Anglama had drunk.
A stranger to fear, down the circular cave
For soothing refreshment he often had flown;
Now beside it he perched, and in silence, tho' brave,
For a matron he sees, who draws near to the stone.
'Tis Ayesha herself, who induced by a dream,
Came to bury the talisman deep in this well:
Down she cast the lov'd ring: by the morning's bright beam
In the eyes of Anglama it flash'd as it fell.
Alert as affection, more rapid than speech,
He darts unperceived, the dear treasure to seek;
Ere the stone in it's fall the deep water can reach,
He o'ertakes; he has caught the lost gem in his beak!
Beware O Anglama! thy foes are abroad,
Thou yet may'st be cross'd in thy faithful intent;
If once thou art spied by the sharp eyes of fraud,
Both her jewel, and thee, thy fair queen must lament.
As conscious of peril the provident bird
Takes refuge unseen in a cleft of the well;
Deposits his prize, and perceiving he's heard,
Flies back in the shelter of silence to dwell.
There repose, thou best vassal to beauty endear'd!
While my song to thy mistress most anxiously turns,
To recount in thy absence what perils she fear'd;
Now she freezes in dread, now her terror she spurns.
By her own noble soul she resolves to subdue
The worst of all fears, that her fancy had crost;
The life of Hermossan in danger she knew,
Supposing she told how his ruby was lost.
She knew with Ayesha's fierce son he would fight,
Were the story reveal'd of the ring and the glove,
And she firmly exclaim'd, with heroic delight,
"No, his life I will save, if I forfeit his love."
But O while new dangers Anglama detain,
How eager she pants for a sight of his plume;
At each sound she believes him returning again,
But he's destined to lurk in the cavern's deep gloom.
The morning elapses, and noon now is near,
But time can't out-travel the lover's quick pace;
See Hermossan most true to his promise appear!
With transport he flies to his fair one's embrace.
But O how his heart at her aspect recoils
When he sees how the rose has decay'd on her cheek!
"O God! is it thus I'm repaid for my toils,"
Was all, that affection had accents to speak.
Fond Azima trembling, yet brave in her heart,
Now exclaims, "swear to grant me one eager desire,
You must, or I die--nay my love! do not start,
But swear by the sun's incorruptible fire!"
"Our ruby is gone, and my life too must go,
Unless to relieve me you instantly swear;
Not to meditate vengeance, whatever you know,
On the persons who thus have occasion'd my care"
Hermossan confused, with quick pity replied,
(Though Jealousy gave him her tremulous tones)
"Yes, I swear, if you say, but to soothe my fond pride,
That no rival of mine my lost talisman owns."
The maiden, whose soul was the spirit of truth,
Scarcely knew how herself to absolve or condemn;
Since she really surmiz'd a proud amorous youth
Had obtain'd by his mother the magical gem.
The conflict distended her innocent breast,
Half lifeless she sinks on Hermossan's strong arm;
To his heart he in wonder her innocence prest,
Not free, jealous honor! from thy rash alarm.
In a soft rising-breeze, yet she hardly has stirr'd,
But her faint eyes unclose to admit the fresh air,
And they now flash with joy in perceiving her bird;
Who drops on her bosom, with "Never Despair."
Thrice blessed Anglama! what language can speak
The joy not confined to thy patrons alone,
While thy queen thus receives from thy dutiful beak
The lesson engrav'd on the magical stone?
All terror, all sickness, all doubt, all distrust,
Fly away from thy friends in this rapturous hour,
And thee they esteem, to thy services just,
A Phenix inshrin'd in Felicity's bower.
Fair reader! if wishing to fix on thy breast
The magic most sure every grace to endear,
As a gem on thy bosom let innocence rest,
Embellishing beauty, and banishing fear!
* * * * *
BALLAD THE SIXTEENTH.
Virtue! thou hast spells divine,
Spells, that savage force controul!
What's the strongest charm of thine?
Courage in a mother's soul.
Haste my song, the scene proclaim,
That may prove the maxim true!
Fair ones of maternal fame,
Hark! for honour speaks to you.
Noblest of your noble band,
Brave Marcella chanc'd to rove,
Leading childhood in her hand,
Thro' a deep and lonely grove:
See her child! how gay! how light!
Twice two years her life has run,
Like a young Aurora bright,
Sporting near the rising sun.
Thro' a pass of sandy stone,
Where autumnal foliage glow'd,
While the quivering sun-beams shone,
Lay their deep, and narrow road:
Now, as thro' the dale they pac'd,
Pleas'd with its umbrageous charm,
Lo! a fiery steed, in haste,
Prancing, spreads a quick alarm,
Fiercest of Arabia's race,
Force and beauty form'd his pride;
Vainly tutor'd for the chace,
Care he scorn'd, and rule defied.
Soon his rider had been flung,
Tho' like Perseus, he adroit,
Oft to flying coursers clung,
Proud of every bold exploit!
Now, on foot, he tried in vain,
Or to soften, or subdue
This wild steed, whose leading rein,
Short and tight he firmly drew:
But the more the horseman strove
To restrain his fiery force,
More he made the solemn grove
Echo to his frantic course.
Snorting loud, with savage leer,
All controuling powers to foil,
See him plunge! and see him rear!
Mocking all his leader's toil!
Fearless for himself alone,
He, of courage bravely mild,
Manly fear was frank to own
For the mother, and her child:
For the beast, in barb'rous ire,
To the child and mother rush'd;
Both he deem'd must now expire,
By the vicious monster crush'd:
For his rage, with forceful art,
Still he fail'd to turn, or tame:
Fear and pity fill'd his heart,
And convuls'd his manly frame,
"Fly!" he cried, in accents weak,
As the rampant courser sped;
"Fly!" was all, that he could speak,
Toss'd beneath the monster's head.
But without her child to fly,
Brave Marcella now disdained:
As her darling's guard to die,
This her only hope remained.
On the bank, where pine-trees mixt,
Thick to form an arching wood,
At her back her child she fixt,
And before it bravely stood:
Firm in voice, in soul elate,
Then in solemn tone she cried,
"With her features fixt as fate--
Tell your father how I died."
Noble parent! nature saw,
Virtue shining in thy soul,
And with sudden, wond'rous awe
Struck the beast, that spurn'd controul;
For, as if thy fixed eyes
Darted fascinating flame,
He, to thy devout surprise,
Stood before thee fondly tame:
He, as touched by powers above,
That can demons dispossess,
View'd thee, with submissive love,
Like a spaniel's meek caress.
Free from all maternal dread,
Now 'twas thine to raise and chear
Him, from whom the courser fled,
Trembling yet with generous fear!
Fear soon turned to strong delight,
When he saw the savage tam'd;
And enchanted by the sight,
Quick the horseman thus exclaim'd:
"God! I thank thee, I behold
Wonders far surpassing thought
More than fiction ever told,
By maternal virtue wrought!"
"Virtue, in thy praises warm,
I may speak how fair thou art:
I have seen thy fairest form--
Courage in a mother's heart."
The Grateful Snake
The Fatal Horse
The Hermit's Dog
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