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Yet now, would Phæbe ber consent afford,
Her slave alone, again he'd mount the board;
With her should years of growing love be spent,
And growing wealth :—she sighed, and looked consent.
Now, through the lane, up hill, and cross the green,
(Seen by but few, and blushing to be seen-
Dejected, thoughtful, anxious, and afraid)
Led by the lover, walked the silent maid:
Slow through the meadows roved they many a mile,
Toyed by each bank and trifled at each style;
Where, as he painted every blissful view,
And highly colored what he strongly drew,
The pensive damsel, prone to tender fears,
Dimmed the false prospect with prophetic tears :
Thus passed the allotted hours, till, lingering late,
The lover loitered at the master's gate;
There he pronounced adieu! and yet would stay,
Till chidden-soothed—entreated-forced away!
He would of coldness, though indulged, complain,
And oft retire and oft return again;
When, if his teazing vexed her gentle mind,
The grief assumed compelled her to be kind!
For he would proof of plighted kindness crave,
That she resented first, and then forgave,
And to his grief and penance yielded more
Than his presumption had required before.
Lo! now with red rent cloak and bonnet black, And torn green gown loose hanging at her back, One who an infant in her arms sustains, And seems in patience striving with her pains; Pinched are her looks, as one who pines for bread, Whose cares are growing and whose hopes are fled; Pale her parched lips, her heavy eyes sunk low, And tears unnoticed from their channels flow; Serene her manner, till some sudden pain Frets the meek soul, and then she's calm again; Her broken pitcher to the pool she takes, And every step with cautious terror makes; For not alone that infant in her arms, But nearer cause her anxious soul alarms; With water burdened then she picks her way, Slowly and cautious, in tbe clinging clay; Till, in mid green, she trusts a place unsound, And deeply plunges in the adhesive ground; Thence, but with pain, her slender foot she takes, While hope the mind as strength the frame forsakes; For when so full the cup of sorrow grows, Add but a drop, it instantly o’erflows. And now her path, but not her peace, she gains, Safe froin her task, but shivering with her pains; Her home she reaches, open leaves the door, And placing first her insant on the floor,
She bares her bosom to the wind, and sits,
And sobbing struggles with the rising fits;
In vain-they come, she feels the inflating grief,
That shuts the swelling bosom from relief;
That speaks in feeble cries a soul distressed,
Or the sad laugh that cannot be repressed;
The neighbor matron leaves her wheel, and flies
With all the aid her poverty supplies;
Unsee'd, the calls of nature she obeys,
Not led by profit, not allured by praise;
And waiting long, till these contentions cease,
She speaks of comfort, and departs in peace.
Friend of distress! the mourner feels thy aid;
She cannot pay thee, but thou wilt be paid.
But who this child of weakness, want, and care? 'Tis Phæbe Dawson, pride of Lammas fair; Who took her lover for his sparkling eyes, Expressions warm, and love inspiring lies: Compassion first assailed her gentle heart For all his suffering, all his bosom's smart: " And then his prayers! they would a savage move, And win the coldest of the sex to love:" But ah! too soon his looks success declared, Too late her loss the marriage-rite repaired; The faithless flatterer then his vows forgot, A captious tyrant or a noisy sot: If present, railing till he saw her pained; If absent, spending what their labors gained; Till that fair form in want and sickness pined, And bope and comfort fled that gentle mind.
THE HARDSHIPS OF THE POOR.
Or will you deem them amply paid in health,
Labor's fair child, that languishes with wealth?
Go, then! and see them rising with the sun,
Through a long course of daily toil to run ;
See them beneath the dog.star's raging heat,
When the knees tremble and the temples beat;
Behold them, leaning on their scythes, look o'er
The labor past, and toils to come explore ;
See them alternate suns and showers engage,
And hoard up aches and anguish for their age;
Through fens and marshy moors their steps pursue,
When their warm pores imbibe the evening dew.
There may you see the youth of slender frame
Contend with weakness, weariness, and shame;
Yet urg'd along, and proudly loath to yield,
He strives to join his fellows of the field;
Till long.contending nature droops at last,
Declining health rejects his poor repast,
His cheerless spouse the coming danger sees,
And mutual murmurs urge the slow disease.
Yet grant them health, 'tis not for us to tell,
Though the head droops not, that the heart is well;
Or will you praise that homely, healthy fare,
Plenteous and plain, that happy peasants share?
Oh! trifle not with wants you cannot feel,
Nor mock the misery of a stinted meal;
Homely not wholesome, plain not plenteous, such
As you who praise would never deign to touch.
Ye gentle souls, wbo dream of rural ease,
Whom the smooth stream and smoother sonnet please;
Go! is the peaceful cot your praises share,
Go look within, and ask if peace be there:
If peace be his--that drooping, weary sire,
Or theirs, that offspring round their feeble fire ;
Or hers, that matron pale, whose trembling land
Turns on the wretched hearth th' expiring brand,
A BETROTHED PAIR IN HUMBLE LIFE.
Yes, there are real mourners; I have seen
A fair sad girl, mild, suffering, and serene;
Attention through the day her duties claimed,
And to be useful as resigned she aimed;
Neatly she dressed, nor vainly seemed to expect
Pity for grief, or pardon for neglect;
But when her wearied parents sunk to sleep,
She sought her place to meditate and weep:
Then to her mind was all the past displayed,
That faithful memory brings to sorrow's aid;
For then she thought ou one regretted youth,
Her tender trust, and his unquestioned truth;
In every place she wandered where they'd been,
And sadly-sacred held the parting scene
Where last for sea he took his leave--that place
With double interest would she nightly trace;
For long the courtship was, and he would say,
Each time he sailed, “ This once, and then the day;"
Yet prudence tarried, but when last he went,
He drew from pitying love a full consent.
Happy he sailed, and great the care she took
That he should softly sleep, and smartly look;
White was his better linen, and his check
Was made more trim than any on the deck;
And every comfort men at sea can know,
Was hers to buy, to make, and to bestow;
For he to Greenland sailed, and much she told
How he should guard against the climate's cold,
Yet saw not danger, dangers he'd withstood,
Nor could she trace the fever in his blood.
His messmates smiled at flushings in his cheek,
And he, too, smiled, but seldom would he speak;
For now he found the danger, felt the pain,
With grievous symptoms he could not explain.
He called his friend, and prefaced with a sigh
A lover's message—“Thomas, I must die;
Would I could see my Sally, and could rest
My throbbing temples on her faithful breast,
And gazing go! if not, this trifle take,
And say, till death I wore it for her sake.
Yes, I must die-blow on, sweet breeze, blow on!
Give me one look before my life be gone;
Oh, give me that! and let me not despair-
One last fond look—and now repeat the prayer.”
He had his wish, and more. I will not paint
The lovers' meeting: she beheld him faint-
With tender fears she took a nearer view,
Her terrors doubling as her hopes withdrew;
He tried to smile, and, half succeeding, said,
“ Yes, I must die"-and hope for ever fled.
Still long she nursed him; tender thoughts meantiine
Were interchanged, and hopes and views sublime.
To her he came to die, and every day
She took some portion of the dread away;
With him she prayed, to him his Bible read,
Soothed the faint heart, and held the aching head;
She came with smiles the hour of pain to cheer,
Apart she sighed, alone she shed the tear;
Then, as if breaking from a cloud, she gave
Fresh light, and gilt the prospect of the grave.
One day he lighter seemed, and they forgot The care, the dread, the anguish of their lot; They spoke with cheerfulness, and seemed to think, Yet said not som Perhaps he will not sink.” A sudden brightness in his look appeared, A sudden vigor in his voice was heard; She had been reading in the Book of Prayer, And led him forth, and placed him in his chair; Lively be seemed, and spoke of all he knew, The friendly many, and the favorite sew; Nor one that day did he to mind recall But she has treasured, and she loves them all. When in her way she meets them, they appear Peculiar people-death has made them dear. He named his friend, but then his hand she pressed, And fondly whispered, “Thou must go to rest." "I go,” he said, but as he spoke she found His hand more cold, and fluttering was the sound; Then gazed affrighted, but she caught a last, A dying look of love, and all was past.
She placed a decent stone his grave above, Neatly engraved, an offering of her love :
For that she wrought, for that forsook her bed,
Awake alike to duty and the dead.
She would have grieved had they presumed to spare
The least assistance-'twas her proper care.
Here will she come, and on the grave will sit,
Folding her arms, in long abstracted fit;
But is observer pass, will take her round,
And careless seem, for she would not be found;
Then go again, and thus her hour employ,
While visions please her, and while woes destroy.
SONG OF THE CRAZED MAIDEN.
Let me not have this gloomy view
About my room, about my bed;
But morning roses, wet with dew,
To cool my burning brow instead;
As flowers that once in Eden grew,
Let them their fragrant spirits shed,
And every day their sweets renew,
Till I, a fading flower, am dead.
O let the herbs I loved to rear
Give to my sense their perfumed breath!
Let them be placed about my bier,
And grace the gloomy house of death.
I'll have my grave beneath a hill,
Where only Lucy's self shall know,
Where runs the pure pellucid rill
Upon its gravelly bed below :
There vjolets on the borders blow,
And insects their soft light display,
Till, as the morning sunbeams glow,
The cold phosphoric fires decay.
That is the grave to Lucy shown;
The soil a pure and silver sand;
The green cold moss above it grown,
Unplucked of all but maiden hand.
In virgin earth, till then unturned,
There let my maiden form be laid;
Nor let my changed clay be spurned,
Nor for new guest that bed be made.
There will the lark, the lamb, in sport,
In air, on earth, securely play:
And Lucy to my grave resort,
As innocent, but not so gay.
I will not have the churchyard ground
With bones all black and ugly grown,
To press my shivering body round,
Or on my wasted limbs be thrown.