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Published by Longman, Keer, Orme Brown & Green, Nov. 1829.
Young Peri of the West!'t is well for me
My years already doubly number thine;
My loveless eye unmoved may gaze on thee,
And safely view thy ripening beauties shine;
Happy, I ne'er shall see them in decline;
Happier, that while all younger hearts shall bleed,
Mine shall escape the doom thine eyes assign
To those whose admiration shall succeed,
But mixed with pangs to love's even loveliest hours
Oh! let that eye, which, wild as the gazelle's,
Now brightly bold or beautifully shy,
Wins as it wanders, dazzles where it dwells,
Glance o'er this page, nor to my verse deny
That smile for which my breast might vainly sigh,
Could I to thee be ever more than friend:
This much, dear maid, accord; nor question why
To one so young my strain I would commend,
But bid me with my wreath one matchless lily blend.
Such is thy name with this my verse entwined;
And long as kinder eyes a look shall cast
On Harold's page, Ianthe's here enshrined
Shall thus he first beheld, forgotten last:
My days once numbered, should this homage past
Attract thy fairy fingers near the lyre
Of him who hailed thee, loveliest as thou wast,
Such is the most my memory may desire;
Though more than hope can claim ---could friendship
less require ?
O for a calm of Eden, that the lake
Might sleep in mirrored majesty around,
And image back the clouds and blue profound !
But who can lull the winds? Their terrors wake;
Their voice is lifted up; the mountains shake,
The billows rise, and whitening roll, with sound
That deafens converse; while the rocks rebound
Their melancholy roar. But He who spake
The word, and it was done, can overawe
The wave, the whirlwind, and the wilder storm
Of passion in the heart: so, when of old
Darkness was on the deep, and without form
And void was embryon earth, the Spirit saw,
And moving on the waters, hushed them and controlled.
How can I sing ?— All power, all good,
The high designs and hopes of yore, Knowledge, and faith, and love, the food
That fed the fire of song, are o’er ;
And I, in darkness and alone,
Sit cowering o’er its embers drear, Remembering how, of old, it shone
A light to guide, a warmth to cheer.
Oh! when shall care and strife be o'er ;
And torn affection cease to smart;
And peace and joy return once more,
To cheer a sad and restless heart!
The lamp of hope is quenched in night,
And dull is friendship’s soul-bright eye ; And cold the hearth of home-delight,
And mute the voice of phantasy.