Imágenes de página


Skili'd by a touch to deepen scandal's tints
With all the kind mendacity of hints,
While mingling truth with falsehood—sneers with smiles-
A thread of candour with a web of wiles;
A plain blunt show of briefly-spoken seeming,
To hide her bloodless heart's soul-barden'd scheming,
A lip of lies—a face formed to conceal;
And, without feeling, mock at all who feel:
With a vile mask the Gorgon would disown;
A cheek of parchment—and an eye of stone.
Mark, how the channels of her yellow blood
Ooze to her skin, and stagnate there to mud,
Cased like the centipede in saffron mail,
Or darker greenness of the scorpion's scale—
( For drawn from reptiles only may we trace
Congenial colours in that soul or face)—
Look on her features I and behold her mind
As in a mirror of itself defined:
Look on the picture ! deem it not o'crcharged—
There is no trait which might not be enlarged;—
Yet true to « Nature's journeymen, » who made
This monster when their mistress left off trade,—
This female dog-star of her little sky,
Where all beneath her influence droop or die.

Oh ! wretch without a tear—without a thought,
Save joy above the ruin thou hast wrought—
The time shall come, nor long remote, when thou
Shalt feel far more than thou inflictest now;
Feel for thy vile self-loving self in vain,
And turn thee howling in unpitied pain.
May the strong curse of crushed affections li^ht
Back on thy bosom with reflected blight!

And make thee in thy leprosy of mind

As loathsome to thyself as to mankind?

Till all thy self-thoughts curdle into hate,

Black—as thy will for others would create:

Till thy hard heart be calcined into dust,

And thy soul welter in its hideous crust. ,

Oh! may thy grave be sleepless as the bed,—

The widow'd couch of fire, that thou hast spread!

Then, when thou fain would'st weary Heaven with prayer,

Look on thine earthly victims—and despair!

Down to the dust!—and, as thou rott'st away,

Even worms shall perish on thy poisonous clay.

But for the love I bore, and still must bear,

To her thy malice from all ties would tear—

Thy name—thy human name—to every eye

The climax of all scorn should hang on high,

Exalted o'er thy less abhorred compeers—

And festering in the infamy of years.

March 3o, 1816.



Spoken at Drury-lane Theatre.

When the last sunshine of expiring day
In summer's twilight weeps itself away,
Who hath not felt the softness of the hour
Sink on the heart, as dew along the flower?
With a pure feeling which absorbs and awes,
While Nature makes that melancholy pause,
Her breathing moment on the bridge where Time
Of light and darkness forms an arch sublime,
Who hath not shared that calm so still and deep,
The voiceless thought which would not speak but weep,
A holy concord—and a bright regret,
A glorious sympathy with suns that set?
'Tis not harsh sorrow—but a tenderer woe,
Nameless, but dear to gentle hearts below,
Felt without bitterness—but full and clear,
A sweet dejection—a transparent tear
Unmixed with worldly grief or selfish stain,
Shed without shame—and secret without pain.
Even as the tenderness that hour instills
When Summer's day declines along the hills,
So feels the fulness of our heart and eyes
When all of Genius which can perish dies.
A, mighty Spirit is eclipsed—a Power
Hath passed from day to darkness—to whose hour
Of light no likeness is bequeathed—no name,
Focus at once of all the rays of Fame!

The flash of Wit—the bright Intelligence,

The beam of Song—thc bl >ze of Eloquence,

Set \vith their suu—but still have left behind

The enduring produce of immortal Mind;

Fruits of a genial morn, and glorious noon,

A deathless part of him who died loo soon.

But small that portiou of the wondrous whole,

These sparkling segments of that circling soul,

Which all embraced—and lightened over ail,

To cheer—to pierce—to please—or to appal.

From the charmed council to the festive board,

Of human feelings the unbounded lord;

In whose acclaim the loftie't voices vied,

The praised—the proud—who made his praise their prk'r

When the loud cry of trampled Hindustan

Arose to Heaven in her appeal from man,

His was the thunder—his the avenging rod,

The wrath—the delegated voice of God!

Which shook the nations through his lips—and Maze;!

Till vanquished senates trembled as they praised.

And here, oh ! here, where yet all young and warn

The gay creat1ons of his spirit charm,

The matchless dialogue—the deathless wit,

W:hich knew not what it was to intermit;

The glowing portraits, fresh from life, that bring

Home to our hearts the truth from which they spring;

These wondrous beings of his fancy, wrought

To fulness by ihefat of his thought,

Here in their first abode you still may meet,

Bright with the hues of his Promethean heat;

A halo of the light of other days,

Which still the splendour of its orb Lctrays.


Put should there be to whom the fatal blight
Of failing Wisdom yields a base delight,
Men who exult when minds of heavenly tone
Jar in the music which was born their own,
Still let them pause—Ah ! little do they know
That what to them seemed vice might be but woe.
Hard is his fate on whom the public gaze
Is fixed for ever to detract or praise;
Repose denies her requiem to his name,
And Folly loves the martyrdom of Fame.
The secret enemy whose sleepless eye
Stands sentinel—accuser—judge—and spy,
The foe—the fool—the jealous—and the vain,
The envious who but breathe in other's pain,
Behold the host I delighting to deprave,
Who track the steps of Glory to the grave,
Watch every fault that daring Genius owes
Half to the ardour which its birth bestows,
Distort the truth, accumulate the lie,
And pile the pyramid of calumny

These are his portion—but if joined to these
Gaunt Poverty should league with deep Disease,
If the high Spirit must forget to soar,
And stoop to strive with Misery at the door,
To sooth Indignity—and face to face
Meet sordid Rage—and wrestle with Disgrace,
To find in Hope but the renewed caress,
The serpent-fold of further Faithlessness;–
If such may be the ills which men assail,
What marvel if at last the mightiest fail?
Breasts to whom all the strength of feeling given
Bear hearts clectric–charged with fire from Heaven,

« AnteriorContinuar »