Sidor som bilder
PDF

DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM RIVERS OF BABYLON 419

in.

She's gone, who shared my diadem; She sunk, with her my joys entombing;

I swept that flower from Judah's stem,
Whose leaves for me alone were
blooming;
And mine's the guilt, and mine the hell,

This bosom's desolation dooming; And I have earned those tortures well, Which unconsumed are still consuming! Jan. 15, 1815.

ON THE DAY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM BY TITUS. 1.

Fkom the last hill that looks on thy once

holy dome, I beheld thee, oh Sion! when rendered

to Rome:

'Twas thy last sun went down, and the

flames of thy fall Flashed back on the last glance I gave

to thy wall.

n.

I looked for thy temple — I looked for

my home, And forgot for a moment my bondage to

come;

I beheld but the death-fire that fed on thy fane,

And the fast-fettered hands that made vengeance in vain.

nr.

On many an eve, the high spot whence I gazed

Had reflected the last beam of day as it blazed;

While I stood on the height, and beheld

the decline Of the rays from the mountain that

shone on thy shrine.

IV.

And now on that mountain I stood on that day,

But I marked not the twilight beam melting away;

Oh! would that the lightning had

glared in its stead, And the thunderbolt burst on the

Conqueror's head!

v.

But the Gods of the Pagan shall never profane

The shrine where Jehovah disdained

not to reign; And scattered and scorned as thy people

may be,

Our worship, oh Father! is only for thee. 1815.

BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON WE SAT DOWN AND WEPT.

1.

We sate down and wept by the waters

Of Babe!, and thought of the day When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters,

Made Salem's high places his prey; And Ye, oh her desolate daughters! Were scattered all weeping away.

11.

While sadly we gazed on the river

Which rolled on in freedom below, They demanded the song; but, oh never

That triumph the Stranger shall know I

May this right hand be withered for ever,

Ere it string our high harp for the foe! in.

On the willow that harp is suspended,

Oh Salem! its sound should be free; And the hour when thy glories were ended

But left me that token of thee: And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended

With the voice of the Spoiler by me!

Jan. 15, 1813.

"BY THE WATERS OF BABYLON."

In the valley of waters we wept on the day

When the host of the Stranger made

Salem his prey; And our heads on our bosoms all droop

ingly lay,

And our hearts were so full of the land far away!

II.

The song they demanded in vain—it lay still

In our souls as the wind that hath died

on the hill — They called for the harp — but our

blood they shall spill Ere our right hands shall teach them

one tone of their skill.

in.

All stringlcssly hung in the willow's sad tree,

As dead as her dead-leaf, those tnute

harps must be: Our hands may be fettered — our tears

still are free For our God — and our Glory — and

Sion, Oh Thee! 1815. [First published, Fugitive Pieces, by

I. Nathan, 1829.]

THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB.

The Assyrian came down like the wolf

on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple

and gold;

And the sheen of their spears was like

stars on the sea, When the blue wave rolls nightly on

deep Galilee.

11.

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,

That host with their banners at sunset

were seen: Like the leaves of the forest when

Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered

and strown.

in.

For the angel of Death spread his wings

on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as

he passed; And the eyes of the sleepers waxed

deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved —

and for ever grew still 1

rv.

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,

But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;

And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,

And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

v.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,

With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:

And the tents were all silent — the banners alone —

The lances unlifted — the trumpet unblown.

VI.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in

their wail, And the idols are broke in the temple of

Baal;

And the might of the Gentile, unsmote

by the sword, Hath melted like snow in the glance of

the Lord 1

Seaham, Feb. 17, 1815.

A SPIRIT PASSED BEFORE ME.

FROM JOB.
I.

A Spirit passed before me: I beheld
The face of Immortality unveiled —

FAREWELL! IF EVER FONDEST

PRAYER LOVE AND GOLD 421

Deep Sleep came down on every eye

save mine — And .there it stood, — all formless —

but divine: Along my bones the creeping flesh did

quake;

And as my damp hair stiffened, thus it spake:

H.

"Is man more just than God? Is man more pure

Than he who deems even Seraphs insecure?

Creatures of clay — vain dwellers in the dust!

The moth survives you, and are ye

more just? Things of a day ! you wither ere the night, Heedless and blind to Wisdom's wasted

light!"

POEMS 1814-1816.

FAREWELL! IF EVER FONDEST
PRAYER.
I.

Farewell! if ever fondest prayer
For other's weal availed on high,

Mine will not all be lost in air,
But waft thy name beyond the sky.

Twere vain to speak — to weep — to sigh:

Oh! more than tears of blood can tell,

When wrung from Guilt's expiring eye, Are in that word — Farewell! — Farewell!

a.

These lips are mute, these eyes are dry;

But in my breast and in my brain, Awake the pangs that pass not by,

The thought that ne'er shall sleep again.

My soul nor deigns nor dares complain,
Though Grief and Passion there rebel:

I only know we loved in vain —
I only feel — Farewell! — Farewell!

[First published, Corsair, Second Edition, 1814.]

WHEN WE TWO PARTED, t.

When we two parted

In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted

To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,

Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold

Sorrow to this.

a.

The dew of the morning

Sunk chill on my brow — It felt like the warning

Of what I feel now. Thy vows are all broken,

And light is thy fame: I hear thy name spoken,

And share in its shame.

3

They name thee before me,

A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me —

Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,

Who knew thee too well: — Long, long shall I rue thee,

Too deeply to tell.

4

In secret we met —

In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,

Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee

After long years,
How should I greet thee ? —

With silence and tears.
[First published, Poems, 1816.]

[LOVE AND GOLD.]
1.

I Cannot talk of Love to thee,
Though thou art young and free and
fair

There is a spell thou dost not see,
That bids a genuine love despair.

And yet that spell invites each youth,

For thee to sigh, or seem to sigh; Makes falsehood wear the garb of truth,

And Truth itself appear a lie.

If ever doubt a place possest In woman's heart, 'twere wise in thine:

Admit not Love into thy breast, . Doubt others' love, nor trust in mine.

Perchance 'tis feigned, perchance sincere,

But false or true thou canst not tell; So much hast thou from all to fear, In that unconquerable spell.

Of all the herd that throng around,
Thy simpering or thy sighing train,

Come tell me who to thee is bound
By Love's or Plutus' heavier chain.

6.

In some 'tis Nature, some 'tis Art
That bids them worship at thy shrine;

But thou deserv'st a better heart,
Than they or I can give for thine.

For thee, and such as thee, behold,
Is Fortune painted truly — blind!

Who doomed thee to be bought or sold,
Has proved too bounteous to be kind.

8.

Each day some tempter's crafty suit
Would woo thee to a loveless bed:

I see thee to the altar's foot
A decorated victim led.

Adieu, dear maid! I must not speak Whate'er my secret thoughts may be;

Though thou art all that man can seek I dare not talk of Love to thee.

[First published, 1900,]

STANZAS FOR MUSIC.1

I Speak not, I trace not, I breathe not thy name,

There is grief in the sound, there is

guilt in the fame: But the tear which now burns on m>

cheek may impart The deep thoughts that dwell in that

silence of heart.

Too brief for our passion, too long for our peace,

Were those hours — can their joy or

their bitterness cease? We repent, we abjure, we will break"

from our chain, — We will part, we will fly to — unite it

again!

3

Oh! thine be the gladness, and mine

be the guilt! Forgive me, adored one! — forsake, if

thou wilt; — But the heart which is thine shall expire

undebased, And man shall not break it — whatever

thou mayst.

4

And stern to the haughty, but humble to thee,

This soul, in its bitterest blackness, shall be:

And our days seem as swift, and Out

moments more sweet, With thee by my side, than with worlds

at our feet.

5

One sigh of thy sorrow, one look of thv love,

Shall turn me or fix, shall reward or reprove;

• ["Thou hast asked me for a song, and I enclose you an experiment, which has cost mc something more than trouble, and is, therefore, less likely to be worth your taking any in your proposed setting. Now, if it be so, throw it into the fire without phrast." — Letter to Moore. May 4, 1814.)

ADDRESS TO BE RECITED AT THE CALEDONIAN MEETING 423

And the heartless may wonder at all I resign —

Thy lip shall reply, not to them, but to mine. May 4, 1814.

[First published, Fugitive Pieces, by L Nathan, 1829.]

ADDRESS INTENDED TO BE RECITED AT THE CALEDONIAN MEETING.'

Who hath not glowed above the page

where Fame Hath fixed high Caledon's unconquered

name;

The mountain-land which spurned the

Roman chain, And baffled back the fiery-crested Dane, Whose bright claymore and hardihood

of hand

No foe could tame — no tyrant could

command? That race is gone — but still their

children breathe, And Glory crowns them with redoubled

wreath:

O'er Gael and Saxon mingling banners shine,

And, England! add their stubborn

strength to thine. The blood which flowed with Wallace

flows as free, But now 'tis only shed for Fame and

thee!

Oh! pass not by the northern veteran's claim,

But give support — the world hath given him fame!

The humbler ranks, the lowly brave, who bled

While cheerly following where the

Mighty led — Who sleep beneath the undistinguished

sod

'[The "Caledonian Meeting,"at which these lines were, or were intended to be, recited was a meeting of subscribers to the Highland Society, field annually in London, in support of the [Royal] Caledonian Asylum "for educating and supporting children of soldiers, sailors, and marines, natives of Scotland."!

Where happier comrades in their

triumph trod, To us bequeath — 'tis all their fate

allows —

The sireless offspring and the lonely spouse:

She on high Albyn's dusky hills may raise

The tearful eye in melancholy gaze, Or view, while shadowy auguries disclose

The Highland Seer's anticipated woes, The bleeding phantom of each martial form

Dim in the cloud, or darkling in the storm;

While sad, she chants the solitary song, The soft lament for him who tarries long —

For him, whose distant relics vainly crave

The Coronach's wild requiem to the brave!

'Tis Heaven — not man — must charm

away the woe, Which bursts when Nature's feelings

newly flow; Yet Tenderness and Time may rob the

tear

Of half its bitterness for one so dear; A Nation's gratitude perchance may spread

A thornless pillow for the widowed head;

May lighten well her heart's maternal care,

And wean from Penury the soldier's heir;

Or deem to living war-worn Valour just Each wounded remnant — Albion's

cherished trust — Warm his decline with those endearing

rays,

Whose' bounteous sunshine yet may

gild his days — So shall that Country — while he sinks

to rest —

His hand hath fought for —by his heart be blest!

May, 1814. [First published, Letters and Journals, 1830, i. 559-1

« FöregåendeFortsätt »