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Thus bless'd with children, friend, and wife
Bless'd far beyond the vulgar lot; Of all that gladdens human life,
Where was the good that I had not? But my vile heart had sinful spot,
And heaven beheld its deepening stain ; Eternal justice I forgot,
And mercy sought not to obtain. Come near, I'll softly speak the rest!
Alas! 'tis known to all the crowd, Her guilty love was all confess'd ;
And his who so much truth avow'd, My faithless friend's—In pleasure proud
I sat, when these cursed tidings came; Their guilt, their flight was told aloud,
And envy smiled to hear my shame ! I call'd on vengeance ; at the word
She came ;-Can I the deed forget ? I held the sword, th' accursed sword,
The blood of his false heart made wet; And that fair victim paid her debt,
She pined, she died, she loathed to live ;I saw her dying—see her yet :
Fair fallen thing! my rage forgive! Those cherubs still, my life to bless,
Were left; could I my fears remove, Sad fears that check'd each fond caress,
And poison'd all parental love? Yet that with jealous feelings strove,
And would at last have won my will,
Th' extremes of mortal good and ill.
They droop'd : as flowers when blighted bow, The dire infection came :-They died,
And I was cursed—as I am now, Nay, frown not, angry friend,-allow
That I was deeply, sorely tried ; Hear then, and you must wonder how
I could such storms and strifes abide. Storms —not that clouds embattled make,
When they afflict this earthly globe ; But such as with their terrors shake
Man's breast, and to the bottom probe ;
They try us all, if false or true;
And I was long the slave of two.
Like him, with haughty, stubborn mind,
I, in my state, my comforts sought; Delight and praise I hoped to find,
In what I builded, planted, bought! O arrogance! by misery taught
Soon came a voice ! I felt it come; " Full be his cup, with evil fraught,
Demons his guides, and death his doom ! Then was I cast from out my state ;
Two fiends of darkness led my way; They waked me early, watch'd me late,
My dread by night, my plague by day! O! I was made their sport, their play,
Through many a stormy troubled year; And how they used their passive prey
Is sad to tell :—but you shall hear And first, before they sent me forth,
Through this unpitying world to run, They robb'd Sir Eustace of his worth,
Lands, manors, lordships, every one; So was that gracious man undone,
Was spurn'd as vile, was scorn'd as poor, Whom every former friend would shun,
And menials drove from every door. Then those ill-favour'd Ones,* whom none
But my unhappy eyes could view, Led me, with wild emotion, on,
And, with resistless terror, drew. Through lands we fled, o'er seas we flew,
And halted on a boundless plain : Where nothing fed, nor breathed, nor grew
But silence ruled the still domain.
Upon that boundless plain, below,
The setting sun's last rays were shed, And gave a mild and sober glow,
Where all were still, asleep, or dead ; Vast ruins in the midst were spread,
Pillars and pediments sublime, Where the gray moss had form'd a bed,
And clothed the crumbling spoils of time. There was I fix'd, I know not how,
Condemnd for untold years to stay : Yet years were not ;-one dreadful now
Endured no change of night or day; The same mild evening's sleeping ray
Shone softly solemn and serene, And all that time I gazed away,
The setting sun's sad rays were seen. At length a moment's sleep stole on,
Again came my commission'd foes ; Again through sea and land we're gone,
No peace, no respite, no repose : Above the dark broad sea we rose,
We ran through bleak and frozen land; I had no strength their strength t’ oppose,
An infant in a giant's hand. They placed me where these streamers play,
Those nimble beams of brilliant light; It would the stoutest heart dismay,
To see, to feel, that dreadful sight:
Peace, peace, my friend ; these subjects ily;
Collect thy thoughts-go calmly on.
And shall I then the fact deny ?
I was,—thou know'st,-1 was begone, Like him who fill'd the eastern throne,
To whom the watcher cried aloud !* That royal wretch of Babylon,
Who was so guilty and so proud.
• Prophecy of Daniel, chap. iv. 22.
* Vide Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.
So swift, so pure, so cold, so bright,
They pierced my frame with icy wounds, And all that half year's polar night,
Those dancing streamers wrapp'd me round.
I've hung upon the ridgy steep
Of cliffs, and held the rambling brier; I've plunged below the billowy deep,
Where air was sent me to respiro; I've been where hungry wolves retire ;
And (to complete my woes) I've ran Where bedlam's crazy crew conspire
Against the life of reasoning man.
Slowly that darkness pass'd away,
When down upon the earth I fell, Some hurried sleep was mine by day;
But, soon as toll'd the evening bell, They forced me on, where ever dwell
Far distant men in cities fair, Cities of whom no trav'llers tell,
Nor feet but mine were wanderers there.
Their watchmen stare and stand aghast,
As on we hurry through the dark ; The watch-light blinks as we go past,
The watch-dog shrinks and fears to bark ; The watch-tower's bell sounds shrill ; and, hark !
The free wind blows-we've left the townA wide sepulchral ground I mark,
And on a tombstone place me down. What monuments of mighty dead !
What tombs of various kinds are found ! And stones erect their shadows shed
On humble graves, with wickers bound; Some risen fresh above the ground,
Some level with the native clay, What sleeping millions wait the sound,
"Arise, ye dead, and come away!"
I've furl'd in storms the flapping sail,
By hanging from the topmast-head ; I've served the vilest slaves in jail,
And pick'd the dunghill's spoil for bread; I've made the badger's hole my bed,
I've wander'd with a gipsy crew; I've dreaded all the guilty dread,
And done what they would fear to do. On sand, where ebbs and flows the flood,
Midway they placed and bade me die ; Propp'd on my staff, I stoutly stood
When the swift waves came rolling by ; And high they rose, and still more high,
Till my lips drank the bitter brine ;
And saw the tide's reflowing sign.
Could yield but my unhappy case ; I've been of thousand devils caught,
And thrust into that horrid place, Where reign dismay, despair, disgrace;
Furies with iron fangs were there, To torture that accursed race,
Doom'd to dismay, disgrace, despair. Harmless I was; yet hunted down
For treasons, to my soul unfit; I've been pursued through many a town,
For crimes that petty knaves commit; I've been adjudged t' have lost my wit,
Because I preach'd so loud and well; And thrown into the dungeon's pit,
For trampling on the pit of hell.
Alas! they stay not for that call ;
Spare me this wo! ye demons, spare ! They come! the shrouded shadows all,
'Tis more than mortal brain can bear; Rustling they rise, they sternly glare
At man upheld by vital breath ; Who, led by wicked fiends, should dare
To join the shadowy troops of death!
Yes, I have felt all man can feel,
Till he shall pay his nature's debt ; Nis that no hope has strength to heal,
No mind the comfort to forget : Whatever cares the heart can fret,
The spirits wear, the temper gall, Wo, want, dread, anguish, all beset
My sinful soul !-together all! Those fiends upon a shaking fen
Fix'd me, in dark tempestuous night ; There never trod the foot of men,
There flock'd the fowl in wintery flight; There danced the moor's deceitful light
Above the pool where sedges grow; And when the morning sun shone bright,
It shone upon a field of snow.
Such were the evils, man of sin,
That I was fated to sustain ; And add to all, without-within,
A soul defiled with every stain That man's reflecting mind can pain;
That pride, wrong, rage, despair, can make In fact, they'd nearly touch'd my brain,
And reason on her throne would shake.
But pity will the vilest seek,
If punish'd guilt will not repine,I heard a heavenly Teacher speak,
And felt the Sun of mercy shine ; I hail'd the light! the birth divine!
And then was seald among the few; Those angry fiends beheld the sign,
And from me in an instant flew.
They hung me on a bough so small,
The rook could build her nest no higher ; They fix'd me on the trembling ball
That crowns the steeple's quivering spire ; They set me where the seas retire,
But drown with their returning tide; And made me flee the mountain's fire,
When rolling form its burning side.
Come, hear how thus the charmers cry
To wandering sheep, the strays of sin, While some the wicket-gate pass by,
And some will knock and enter in :
Full joyful 'tis a soul to win,
VISITER For he that winneth souls is wise ;
The poor Sir Eustace !-Yet his hope Nuw hark! the holy strains begin,
Leads him to think of joys again ; And thus the sainted preacher cries :*
And when his earthly visions droop, * Pilgrim, burden'd with thy sin,
His views of heavenly kind remain :
But whence that meek and humbled strain, Come the way to Zion's gate,
That spirit wounded, lost, resign'd? There, till Mercy let thee in,
Would not so proud a soul disdain
The madness of the poorest mind ?
No! for the more he swell’d with pride, Wait!-till heavenly light appears.
The more he folt misfortune's blow;
Disgrace and grief he could not hide, * Hark! it is the Bridegroom's voice ;
And poverty had laid him low : Welcome pilgrim to thy rest ;
Thus shame and sorrow working slow. Now within the gate rejoice,
At length this humble spirit gave; Safe and seal'd, and bought and bless'd !
Madness on these began to grow, Safe—from all the lures of vice,
And bound him to his fiends a slave. Seal'd-by signs the chosen know,
Though the wild thoughts had touch'd his brain, Bought-by love and life the price,
Then was he free: -So, forth he ran , Bless'd-the mighty debt to owe.
To soothe or threat, alike were vain : « Holy Pilgrim! what for thee
He spake of fiends, look'd wild and wan; in a world like this remain ?
Year after year, the hurried man
Obey'd those fiends from place to place ;
Till his religious change began
To form a frenzied child of Fear-the hope of Heaven shall fly,
grace. Shame—from glory's view retire,
For, as the fury lost its strength, Doubt-in certain rapture die,
The mind reposed; by slow degrees Pain-in endless bliss expire."
Came lingering hope, and brought at length,
To the tormented spirit, ease : But though my day of grace was come,
This slave of sin, whom fiends could seize, Yet still my days of grief I find ;
Felt or believed their power had end ;The former clouds' collected gloom
“ 'Tis faith," he cried, “ my bosom frees, Still sadden the reflecting mind;
And now my Saviour is my friend."
But ah! though time can yield relief,
And soften woes it cannot cure ; And will not look erect again.
Would we not suffer pain and grief,
To have our reason sound and sure ? Thus, though elect, I feel it hard
Then let us keep our bosoms pure, To lose what I possess'd before,
Our fancy's favourite flights suppress ; To be from all my wealth debarr'd,
Prepare the body to endure, The brave Sir Eustace is no more :
And bend the mind to meet distress ; But old I wax and passing poor,
And then His guardian care implore, Stern, rugged men my conduct view;
Whom demons dread and men adore. They chide my wish, they bar my door,
Tis hard—I weep--you see I do. Must you, my friends, no longer stay? Thus quickly all my pleasures end;
THE HALL OF JUSTICE.
Confiteor facere hoc annos; sed et altera causa est, With me, I shall requite them all;
Anxietas animi, continuusque dolor.
Ovo Sir Eustace for his friends shall send, And thank their love at Greyling Hall
MAGISTRATE, VAGRANT, CONSTABLE, &c.
VAGRANT. • li bas been suggested to me, that this change from
Take, take away thy barbarous hand, restlessness to repose, in the mind of Sir Eustace, is
And let me to thy master speak ; Frought by a methodistic call; and it is admitted to be
Remit awhile the harsh command, such: a sober and rational conversion could not have happened while the disorder of the brain continued: yet
And hear me, or my heart will break. the verses which follow, in a different measure, are not
MAGISTRATE. intended to make any religious persuasion appear ridi.
Fond wretch ! and what canst thou relate, culous; they are to be supposed as the effect of memory in the disordered mind of the speaker, and, though evi.
But deeds of sorrow, shame, and sin ? dently enthusiastic in respect to language, are not meant Thy crime is proved, thou know'st thy fate; to convey any impropriety of sentiment.
But come, thy tale !-begin, begin!
My crime !—This sickening child to feed,
I seized the food, your witness saw; 1 knew your laws forbade the deed,
But yielded to a stronger law.
All human laws are frail and weak?
And hear me, or my heart will break. In this, th' adopted babe I hold
With anxious fondness to my breast, My heart's sole comfort I behold,
More dear than life, when life was bless'd; I saw her pining, fainting, cold,
I begg'd—but vain was my request. I saw the tempting food, and seized
My infant sufferer found relief; And, in the pilfer'd treasure pleased,
Smiled on my guilt, and hush'd my grief. 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. Yet nameless let me plead-my name
Would only wake the cry of scorn ; A child of sin, conceived in shame,
Brought forth in wo, to misery born. My mother dead, my father lost,
I wander'd with a vagrant crew; A common care, a common cost,
Their sorrows and their sins I knew; With them, by want on error forced,
Like them, I base and guilty grew. Few are my years, not so my crimes ;
The age, which these sad looks declare, Is Sorrow's work, it is not Time's,
And I am old in shamo and care. Caught to believe the world a place
Where every stranger was a foe, 'I rain'd in the arts that mark our race,
To what new people could I go?
Or live as virtue dictates ? No!
And little found of grief or joy ;
When first I loved—the Gipsy-Boy. A sturdy youth he was and tall,
His looks would all his soul declare ; His piercing eyes were deep and small,
And strongly curl'd his raven hair. Yes, Aaron had each manly charm,
All in the May of youthful pride, He scarcely fear'd his father's arm,
And every other arm defied.-on, when they grew in anger warm,
(Whom will not love and power divide 1) I rose, their wrathful souls to calm,
Not yet in sinful combat tried.
His father was our party's chief,
And dark and dreadful was his look ; His presence fill'd my heart with grief,
Although to me he kindly spoke. 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 sunk beneath his blow? 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. The night was dark, the lanes were deep,
And one by one they took their way ; He bade me lay me down and sleep,
I only wept and wish'd for day Accursed be the love he bore,
Accursed was the force ho usea,
For mercy, and be so refused!
Can I in gentle language speak?
Forbear awhile to speak thy woes;
The story of thy life disclose.
Thou'st travellid far and wander'd long; Thy God hath seen thee all the way,
And all the turns that led thee wrong.
Quondam ridentes oculi, nunc fonte perenni Deplorant pænus nocte dieque suas.
CORN. GALLI Eleg.
MAGISTRATE. 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. Compunction weeps our guilt away,
The sinner's safety is his pain ;
Then dreadful was the oath he swore His way through Blackburn Forest led,
His father we beheld no more.
Of all our daring clan not one
True, I was not to virtue train'd, Would on the doubtful subject dwell ;
Yet well I knew my deeds were ill; For all esteem'd the injured son,
By each offence my heart was pain'd, And fear'd the tale which he could tell.
I wept, but I offended still ; But I had mightier cause for fear,
My better thoughts my life disdain'd,
But yet the viler led my will.
My husband died, and now no more
My smile was sought, or ask'd my hand (Yes! we were wed, I know my crime,
A widow'd vagrant, vile and poor, We slept beneath the elmin tree;
Beneath a vagrant's vile command. But I was grieving all the time,
Ceaseless I roved the country round, And Aaron frown'd my tears to see.
To win my bread by fraudful arts, For he not yet had felt the pain
And long a poor subsistence found, That rankles in a wounded breast;
By spreading nets for simple hearts. He waked to sin, then slept again, Forsook his God, yet took his rest.
Though poor, and abject, and despised;
Their fortunes to the crowd I told; But I was forced to feign delight,
I gave the young the love they prized, And joy in mirth and music sought,
And promised wealth to bless the old ; And memory now recalls the night,
Schemes for the doubtful I devised,
And charms for the forsaken sold.
At length for arts like these confined
In prison with a lawless crew, When waking on my heaving breast
I soon perceived a kindred mind, I felt a hand as cold as death ;
And there my long-lost daughter knew. A sudden fear my voice suppress'd, A chilling terror stopp'd my breath.
His father's child, whom Aaron gave
To wander with a distant clan, I seem'd-no words can atter how!
The miseries of the world to brave,
And be the slave of vice and man.
She knew my name—we met in pain, A wife to break her marriage vow?
Our parting pangs can I express ? A son to shed his father's blood ?"
She sail'd a convict o'er the main, I trembled at the dismal sounds,
And left an heir to her distress. But vainly strove a word to say ;
This is that heir lo shame, and pain, So, pointing to his bleeding wounds,
For whom I only could descry The threatening spectre stalk'd away."
A world of trouble and disdain : I brought a lovely daughter forth,
Yet, could I bear to see her die, His father's child, in Aaron's bed;
Or stretch her feeble hands in vain, He took her from me in his wrath,
And, weeping, beg of me supply? " Where is my child ?”—“ Thy child is dead."
No! though the fate thy mother knew Twas false. We wander'd far and wide,
Was shareful! shameful though thy race Through town and country, field and fen, Have wander'd all, a lawless crew, Till Aaron, fighting, fell and died,
Outcasts, despised in every place; And I became a wife again.
Yet as the dark and muddy tide, I then was young :—my husband sold
When far from its polluted source, My fancied charms for wicked price ;
Becomes more pure, and, purified, He gave me oft, for sinful gold,
Flows in a clcar and happy course; The slave, but not the friend of vice :Behold me, Heaven! my pains behold,
In thee, dear infant! so may end And let them for my sins susfice !
Our shame, in thee our sorrows cease!
And thy pure course will then extend, The wretch who lent me thus for gain,
In floods of joy, o'er vales of peace.
Deny me not the boon I crave;
Let this loved child your mercy share, And fruitless all the tears I shed.
And let me find a peaceful grave;
Make her yet spotless soul your care, *The state of mind here described will account for a
And let my sins their portion have ; Vision of this nature, without having recourse to any su.
Her for a better fate prepare, pernatural appearance
And punish whom 'were sin to save!