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The silence of that dreamless sleep
I envy now too much to weep;
Nor need I to repine,
That all those charms have pass'd away;
I might have watch'd through long decay.
The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd
Must fall the earliest prey;
Though by no hand untimely snatch'd,
The leaves must drop away:
And yet it were a greater grief
To watch it withering, leaf by leaf,
Than see it pluck'd to-day;
Since earthly eye but ill can bear
To trace the change to foul from fair.
I know not if I could have borne
To see thy beauties fade;
The night that follow'd such a morn
Had worn a deeper shade :
Thy day without a cloud hath pass'd,
And thou wert lovely to the last;
Extinguish'd, not decay'd;
As stars that shoot along the sky
Shine brightest as they fall from high.
As once I wept, if I could weep,
My tears might well be shed,
To think I was not near to keep
One vigil o'er thy bed;
To gaze, how fondly! on thy face,
To fold thee in a faint embrace,
Uphold thy drooping head;
And show that love, however vain,
Nor thou nor I can feel again.
Yet how much less it were to gain,
Though thou hast left me free,
The loveliest things that still remain,
Than thus remember thee !
The all of thine that cannot die
Through dark and dread Eternity
Returns again to me,
And more thy buried love endears
Than aught except its living years.
IF SOMETIMES IN THE HAUNTS OF MEN
IF sometimes in the haunts of men
Thine image from my breast may fade,
The lonely hour presents again
The semblance of thy gentle shade:
And now that sad and silent hour
Thus much of thee can still restore,
And sorrow unobserved may pour
The plaint she dare not speak before.
Oh, pardon that in crowds awhile
I waste one thought I owe to thee,
And self-condemn'd, appear to smile,
Unfaithful to thy memory:
Nor deem that memory less dear,
That then I seem not to repine;
I would not fools should overhear
One sigh that should be wholly thine.
If not the goblet pass unquaff'd,
It is not drain'd to banish care;
The cup must hold a deadlier draught,
That brings a Lethe for despair.
And could Oblivion set my soul
From all her troubled visions free,
I'd dash to earth the sweetest bowl
That drown'd a single thought of thee.
For wert thou vanish'd from my mind,
Where could my vacant bosom turn?
And who would then remain behind'
To honour thine abandon'd Urn?
No, no-it is my sorrow's pride
That last dear duty to fulfil :
Though all the world forget beside,
'Tis meet that I remember still.
For well I know, that such had been
Thy gentle care for him, who now
Unmourn'd shall quit this mortal scene,
Where none regarded him, but thou:
And, oh! I feel in that was given
A blessing never meant for me;
Thou wert too like a dream of Heaven
For earthly Love to merit thee.
LINES TO A LADY WEEPING
WEEP, daughter of a royal line,
A Sire's disgrace, a realm's decay;
Ah! happy if each tear of thine
Could wash a father's fault away!
Weep-for thy tears are Virtue's tears-
Auspicious to these suffering isles;
And be each drop in future years
Repaid thee by thy people's smiles!
That yielding breast, that melting eye,
Too much invited to be bless'd:
That gentle prayer, that pleading sigh,
The wilder wish reproved, repress'd.
Oh let me feel that all I lost
REMEMBER HIM WHOM PASSION'S POWER
REMEMBER him whom passion's power
Severely, deeply, vainly proved:
Remember thou that dangerous hour,
When neither fell, though both were loved.
But saved thee all that conscience fears; And blush for every pang it cost
To spare the vain remorse of years.
Yet think of this when many a tongue,
Whose busy accents whisper blame,
Would do the heart that loved thee wrong,
And brand a nearly blighted name.
Think that, whate'er to others, thou
Hast seen each selfish thought subdued:
I bless thy purer soul even now,
Even now, in midnight solitude.
Oh, God! that we had met in time,
Our hearts as fond, thy hand more free;
When thou hadst loved without a crime,
And I been less unworthy thee!
Far may thy days, as heretofore,
From this our gaudy world be past!
And that too bitter moment o'er,
Oh! may such trial be thy last. This heart, alas! perverted long,
Itself destroy'd might there destroy; To meet thee in the glittering throng,
Would wake Presumption's hope of joy. Then to the things whose bliss or woe,
Like mine, is wild and worthless all,
That world resign-such scenes forego,
Where those who feel must surely fall.
Thy youth, thy charms, thy tenderness,
Thy soul from long seclusion pure ;
From what even here hath pass'd, may guess
What there thy bosom must endure.
Oh! pardon that imploring tear,
Since not by Virtue shed in vain,
My frenzy drew from eyes so dear;
For me they shall not weep again.
Though long and mournful must it be,
The thought that we no more may meet;
Yet I deserve the stern decree,
And almost deem the sentence sweet.
Still, had I loved thee less, my
Had then less sacrificed to thine;
It felt not half so much to part
As if its guilt had made thee mine.
SONNET, TO GENEVRA
THINE eyes' blue tenderness, thy long fair hair,
And the wan lustre of thy features-caught
From contemplation-where serenely wrought,
Seems Sorrow's softness charm'd from its despair-
Have thrown such speaking sadness in thine air,
That but I know thy blessed bosom fraught
With mines of unalloy'd and stainless thought—-
I should have deem'd thee doom'd to earthly care.
With such an aspect by his colours blent,
When from his beauty-breathing pencil born (Except that thou hast nothing to repent),
The Magdalen of Guido saw the mornSuch seem'st thou-but how much more excellent! With nought Remorse can claim-nor Virtue scorn. December 17, 1813.
SONNET, TO THE SAME
THY cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe,
And yet so lovely, that if Mirth could flush
Its rose of whiteness with the brightest blush, My heart would wish away that ruder glow: And dazzle not thy deep-blue eyes-but, oh!
While gazing on them sterner eyes will gush, And into mine my mother's weakness rush, Soft as the last drops round heaven's airy bow. For, through thy long dark lashes low depending, The soul of melancholy Gentleness
Gleams like a seraph from the sky descending,
Above all pain, yet pitying all distress;
At once such majesty with sweetness blending,
I worship more, but cannot love thee less.