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Said to have been composed and sung by a Hindustani girl on being separated from the man she loved. She had lived several years in
India with an English gentleman to whom she was tenderly attached; but he, when about to marry, sent his Indian favourite up the country; and, as she was borne along in her palanquin, she was heard to sing the following melody.
"TIS thy will, and I must leave thee:
O then, best-beloved, farewell!
I forbear, lest I should grieve thee,
Half my heart-felt pangs to tell.
Soon a British fair will charm thee,
Thou her smiles wilt fondly woo;
But though she to rapture warm thee,
Don't forget THY POOR HINDOO.
Well I know this happy beauty
Soon thine envied bride will shine;
But will she by anxious duty
Prove a passion warm as mine?
If to rule be her ambition,
And her own desires pursue,
Thou'lt recall my fond submission,
And regret THY POOR HINDOO.
Born herself to rank and splendour,
Will she deign to wait on thee,
And those soft attentions render
Thou so oft has praised in me?
Yet, why doubt her care to please thee?
Thou must every heart subdue;
I am sure each maid that sees thee
Loves thee like THY POOR HINDOO.
No, ah! no!....though from thee parted,
Other maids will peace obtain;
But thy Lola, broken-hearted,
Ne'er, oh! ne'er, will smile again.
O how fast from thee they tear me!
Faster still shall death pursue:
But 'tis well....death will endear me,
And thou'lt mourn THY POOR HINDOO.
ADDRESS TO CONTEMPLATION.
THEE do I own, the prompter of my joys,
The soother of my cares, inspiring peace;
And I will ne'er forsake thee.-Men may rave,
And blame and censure me, that I don't tie
My ev'ry thought down to the desk, and spend
The morning of my life in adding figures
With accurate monotony; that so
The good things of the world may be my lot,
And I might taste the blessedness of wealth:
But, oh! I was not made for money-getting;
For me no much-respected plum awaits,
Nor civic honour, envied-For as still
I tried to cast with school dexterity
The interesting sums, my vagrant thoughts
Would quick revert to many a woodland haunt,
Which fond remembrance cherish'd, and the pen
Dropt from my senseless fingers as I pictur'd,
In my mind's eye, how on the shores of Trent
I erewhile wander'd with my early friends
In social intercourse. And then I'd think
How contrary pursuits had thrown us wide,
One from the other, scatter'd o'er the globe;
They were set down with sober steadiness,
Each to his occupation. I alone,
A wayward youth, misled by Fancy's vagaries,
Remained unsettled, insecure, and veering
With ev'ry wind to ev'ry point o' th' compass.
Yes, in the counting-house I could indulge
In fits of close abstraction; yea, amid
The busy bustling crowds could meditate,
And send my thoughts ten thousand leagues away
Beyond the Atlantic, resting on my friend.
Aye, Contemplation, ev'n in earliest youth
I woo'd thy heavenly influence! I would walk
A weary way when all my toils were done,
To lay myself at night in some lone wood,
And hear the sweet song of the nightingale.
Oh, those were times of happiness, and still
To memory doubly dear; for growing years
Had not then taught me man was made to mourn;
And a short hour of solitary pleasure,
Stolen from sleep, was ample recompence
For all the hateful bustles of the day.
My op'ning mind was ductile then, and plastic,
And soon the marks of care were worn away,
While I was sway'd by every novel impulse,
Yielding to all the fancies of the hour.
But it has now assum'd its character;
Mark'd by strong lineaments, its haughty tone,
Like the firm oak, would sooner break than bend.
Yet still, oh, Contemplation! I do love
To indulge thy solemn musings; still the same
With thee alone I know to melt and weep,
In thee alone delighting. Why along
The dusky tract of commerce should I toil,
When, with an easy competence content,
I can alone be happy; where with thee
I may enjoy the loveliness of Nature,
And loose the wings of Fancy!-Thus alone
Can I partake of happiness on earth;
And to be happy here is man's chief end,
For to be happy he must needs be good.
HOW, as I grace with thee my opening lay,
How, with what language, Mary! may I greet
Thy matron ear, that truth's pure utterance meet
Sound not like Flatt'ry? In life's youthful day,
When to thy charms and virgin beauty bright I tuned my numbers, Hope, enchantress fair, Trick'd a gay world with colours steep'd in air,
And suns that never set in envious night.
Ah! since that joyous prime, beloved wife!
Years, mix'd of good and ill, have o'er us past;
And I have seen, at times, thy smile o'ercast
With sadness-not the less my lot of life
With thee has been most blissful-Heav'nly Peace,
Thy guardian angel, Mary! has beguiled
My woe, and sooth'd my wayward fancy wild.
Nor shall its soothing influence ever cease,
Thou present, weal or woe, as may betide!
Hail Wife and Mother, lov'd beyond the Bride!
HARP of the North, farewell! The hills grow dark,
On purple peaks a deeper shade descending;
In twilight copse the glow worm lights her spark,
The deer, half-seen, are to the covert wending.
Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain lending,
And the wild breeze, thy wilder minstrelsy;
Thy numbers sweet with Nature's vespers blending,
With distant echo from the fold and lea,
And herd-boy's evening pipe, and hum of housing bee.
Yet, once again, farewell, thou Minstrel Harp!
Yet, once again, forgive my feeble sway,
And little reck I of the censure sharp
May idly cavil at an idle lay.
Much have I owed thy strains on life's long way,