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Of all my race there breathes not one, To comfort or deplore me;
Pain wakes a pulse in every bone,
And death is closing o'er me. Still doth his lifted stroke delay,
Protracted tortures dooming. I feel, ere life has passed away, His very worm consuming.
Night spreads her mantle o'er the sky,
And all around are sleeping,
While I, in tears of agony,
My restless couch am steeping.
I sigh for morn,--the rising day
Awakes the earth to gladness,
I turn with sickening soul away,➡
It smiles upon my sadness.
Cursed be that day,in tempest wild,-
When first with looks delighted,
My mother smiled upon her child,
And felt her pangs requited!
Oh! that, by human eye unseen,
I might have fled from sorrow; And been as though I had not been,As I would be to-morrow!
The light wave sparkling in the beam,
That trembles o'er the river,
A moment sheds its quivering gleam,
Then shuns the sight for ever:
So soft a ray can pleasure shed,
While secret snares surround it,
So swift that faithless hope is fled,
Which wins the heart to wound it!
A crown of glory graced my brow,
Whole nations bent before me,
Princes and hoary sires would bow
To flatter and adore me.
To me the widow turned for aid,
And ne'er in vain addressed me:
For me the grateful orphan prayed,
The soul of misery blessed me.
I raised the drooping wretch that pined,
In lonely anguish lying;
Was balm unto the wounded mind,
And solace to the dying.
Till one stern stroke of all my state,
Of all my bliss bereft me;
And I was worse than desolate,
For God himself had left me.
Ye, too, as life itself beloved,
When all conspired to bliss me,
I deemed ye friends, but ye have proved,
The foes who most oppress me.
I could have borne the slave's rude scorn,
The wreck of all I cherished:
Had one, but one,-remained to mourn
O'er me, when I too perished.
My children sleep in death's cold shade,
And nought can now divide them ;
Oh! would the same wild storm had laid
Their wretched sire beside them!
I had not then been doomed to see
The loss of all who love me ;
Unbroken would my slumbers be,
Though none had
wept above me.
All hope on earth for ever fled,
A higher hope remaineth ;
E'en while his wrath is o'er me shed,
I know my Saviour reigneth.
The worm may waste this withering clay,
When flesh and spirit sever;
My soul shall see eternal day,
And dwell with God for ever.
WRITTEN ON THE AUTHOR'S BIRTH-DAY.
This is my Natal Day! to me, the thought
Awakens serious musings, and the sigh
Of softened recollection. Heretofore,
This day has ne'er returned, since manhood shaped
My wayward heart, not finding me the dupe
Of feverish day-dreams, and the very slave
Of hope's delicious phantasies. This day
Has ne'er returned, not finding me possesed
Of her, whose parent-claims to love were lost
In friendship's mightier attributes! O God!
And I am doomed this very day to know
Those dreams, hope's phantasies, and my first friend,
For ever gone!
-It boots not to complain; Therefore will I, with meek and bowed thoughts,
Muse calmly on life's desolated path!
As the way-wanderer, who the onward track
Gazes unanxious, though the bleak day fade-
Though the wet winds sweep chilly; and the bark
Of shepherd's watch-dog, from the far-off hill,
Die on the gusty blast, if he reflect
That still in scenes remote, a goodly home
Awaits his wearied feet. Yes, so can I
Look on life's waste with the composed smile
Of resignation, (though amid that waste,
For me no floweret blossom,) hoping yet
To enter the abode where tears are wiped
From every eye, where the dear buried friend
Shall recognise her long-bewildered child!
Yet let me, as I travel on, if chance
A pilgrim, like myself, cross the drear scene
I needs must tread, mingle with his
For this bad world-beguile the little hour
With what my spirit from its scanty store
May spare, in kindliest sort, to entertain
One haply not unsuffering;-then pursue
My simple path, nor let the woes or joys
Of weak, self-satisfied humanity,
Break the long sabbath of my centred soul.
Enough, if I the vacant moment soothe
With social intercourse !'Tis not in man