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LOVE AND MADNESS.
Written in 1795.
Hark! from the battlements of yonder tower® The solemn bell bas tolled the midnight hour! Roused from drear visions of distempered sleep, Poor B-k wakes—in solitude to weep!
“ Cease, Mem’ry cease (the friendless mourner cried) To probe the bosom too severely tried ! Oh ever cease, my pensive thoughts, to stray Through the bright fields of Fortune's better day: When youthful hope, the music of the mind, Tuned all its charms, and E
-n was kind!
“Yet, can I cease, while glows this trembling frame In sighs to speak thy melancholy name? I hear thy spirit wail in every storm ! In midnight shades I view thy passing form! Pale as in that sad hour, when doomed to feel, Deep in thy perjured heart the bloody steel !
“ Demons of Vengeance! ye at whose command grasped the sword with more than woman's hand Say ye, did Pity's trembling voice control, Or horror damp the purpose of my soul? · No! my wild heart sat smiling o’er the plan, Till Hate fulfilled what baffled Love began !
• Warwick Castle.
“ Yes; let the clay-cold breast, that never knew One tender pang
Nature true, Half mingling pity with the gall of scorn, Condemn this heart that bled in love forlorn!
“ And ye, proud fair, whose soul no gladness warmis, Save Rapture's homage to your conscious charms ! Delighted idols of a gaudy train ! Il can your blunter feelings guess the pain, When the fond faithful heart, inspired to prove Friendship refined, the calm delight of love, Feels all its tender strings with anguish torn, And bleeds at perjured Pride's inhuman scorn!
“Say, then, did pitying Heav'n condemn the deed, When Vengeance bade thee, faithless lover! bleed? Long had I watched thy dark foreboding brow, What time thy bosom scorned its dearest vow! Sad, though I wept the friend, the lover changed, Still thy cold look was scornful and estranged, Till from thy pity, love, and shelter thrown, I wandered hopeless, friendless, and alone!
“ Oh! righteous Heav'n! 'twas then my tortured soul
“ 'Tis done! the flame of hate no longer burns;
Cold on my heart the hand of terror lies,
“ Oh! 'twas a deed of Murder's deepest grain !
Unhappy youth! while yon pale crescent glows,
“ Soon may this fluttering spark of vital flame
THE WOUNDED HUSSAR.
ALONE by the banks of the dark rolling Danube
Fair Adelaide hied when the battle was o'er: Oh whither, she cried, hast thou wandered, my lover,
Or here dost thou welter, and bleed on the shore ! What voice did I hear? 'twas my Henry that sighed!
All mournful she hastened, nor wandered she far, When bleeding, and low, on the heath she descried, By the light of the moon, her poor wounded Hussar!
From his bosom that heaved, the last torrent was strean
ing, And pale was his visage, deep marked with a scar; And dim was that eye, once expressively beaming,
That melted in love, and that kindled in war! How smit was poor Adelaide's heart at the sight!
How bitter she wept o'er the victim of war! Hast thou come my fond Love, this last sorrowful night,
To cheer the lone heart of your wounded Hussar? Thou shalt live, she replied, Heav'n's mercy relieving
Each anguishing wound, shall forbid me to mourn ! Ah, no! the last pang in my bosom is heaving!
No light of the morn shall to Henry return! Thou charmer of life, ever tender and true :
Ye babes of my love that await me afar ! His faltering tongue scarce could murmur adieu, When he sunk in her arms—the poor wounded
The last, the fatal hour is come,
That bears my love from me;
I mark the gallows tree !
To bear a death of shame?
No bosom trembles for thy doom;
No mourner wipes a tear;
The sledge is all thy bier'
So soon, so sad, to part,
You triumphed o'er my heart?
Your hunter garb was trim;
That bound your manly limb!
These limbs in fetters bound; Or hear, upon thy scaffold floor,
The midnight hammer sound. Ye cruel, cruel, that combined
The guiltless to pursue ;
He could not injure you!
Thy widow all forlorn,
Regards my wo with scorn?
And hate thine orphan boy ;
The form of Gilderoy!
That wraps thy mouldering clay;