« PreviousContinue »
My steps to walk in Virtue's way,
He had one daughter.—Many years Have fleeted o'er me, since my tears Fell on that form of quiet grace, That humble brow, and beauteous face. She parted from this world of ill When I was yet a child: but still, Until my heart shall cease to beat, That countenance so mildly sweet, That kind blue eye, and golden hair, Eternally are graven there. I see her still, as when she stood In the ripe bloom of womanhood; Yet deigning, where I led, to stray, And mingle in my childhood's play; Or sought my father's dwelling-place, And clasped me in her fond embrace; A friend—when I had none beside; A mother—when my mother died.
Poor Ellen she is now forgot Upon the hearths of this dear spot; And they, to whom her bounty came, They, who would dwell upon her name With raptured voice, as if they found Hope, comfort, riches, in the sound, Have ceased to think how Ellen fled :-Why should they sorrow for the dead? Perhaps, around the festive board, Some aged chroniclers record
Her hopes, her virtues, and her tomb;
There came a dark, infectious Pest To break the hamlet's tranquil rest; It came—it breathed on Ellen's face; And so she went to Death’s embrace, A blooming and a sinless bride,-And how, I knew not—but she died.
I was the inmate of her home, And knew not why she did not come To cheer my melancholy mood; Her father wept in solitude; The servants wore a look of woe,
Their steps were soft, their whispers low; And when I asked them why they sighed, They shook their heads, and turned aside.
I entered that forbidden room All things were still a deathlike gloom Stole on me, as I saw her lie In her white vest of purity. She seemed to smile ! her lips were wet, The bloom was on her features yet: I looked! at first I thought she slept— But when her accents did not bless— And when her arms did not caress— And when I marked her quiet air, And saw that soul was wanting there— I sat me on the ground, and wept!
“Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here!
THE sun hath shed a mellower beam, Fair Thames, upon thy silver stream, And air and water, earth and heaven, Lie in the calm repose of even. How silently the breeze moves on, Flutters, and whispers, and is gone ! How calmly does the quiet sky Sleep in its cold serenity Alas! how sweet a scene were here For shepherd or for sonneteer ; How fit the place, how fit the time, For making love, or making rhyme! But though the sun's descending ray Smiles warmly on the close of day, 'Tis not to gaze upon his light That Eton's sons are here to-night; And though the river, calm and clear, Makes music to the poet's ear, 'Tis not to listen to the sound That Eton’s sons are thronging round.