Early Writing in Canada
Hours of Childhood
29th Jun 2016Posted in: Early Writing in Canada 0

Hours
of
Childhood
And
Other Poems

Montreal
Published By A. Bowman
August 1820
[inside front cover]

Hours of Childhood
And
Other Poems

For me the day
Hath duties which require the vigorous hand
Of steadfast application, but which leave,
No deep improving trace upon the mind.
But be the day another’s ; - let it pass!
The night’s my own!
Kirke White

MONTREAL
Published by A. Bowman
1820

[unnumbered page]

PREFACE

It is a fact universally allowed, that few authors are so totally indifferent to the stamp which their writings may bear in the minds of the public, as to feel no anxiety concerning their success; and to contemplate with perfect composure, the prospect of critical analysis of their productions, in which, each blemish is to be exposed to the most rigorous censure.
No writer is entirely exempt from this doubtful solitude – even those who have raised themselves about the quibblings of fire-side commentators, and are only read to be admired, have their moments of fear; – the opinions of the public may change; critics may condemn, and their names may be tarnished by a failure.

Since then, those who possess every classical requisite for poetical excellence; who are blessed with time, retirement, and an access to the to the writings of all nations, and ages; whose minds are cheered in their pursuits, by a solid hope of success, founded on the remembrance of former approbations, cannot altogether confide in their infallibility. It will not be doubted, that a youth, unlettered, and unlearned, who in his first essay has been debarred all those advantages which are considered almost indispensable in the pursuit of literary distinction – should appear before the public with the utmost diffidence; fearful that the pursuit which has given him employment in his midnight hours, and added a zest to his short period of leisure, should reflect discredit upon his authorship.

The writer of HOURS OF CHILDHOOD, far from enjoying “Poetie leisure,” has, from the age of thirteen, filled a situation which requires “the vigorous hand of stedfast application,” and, which has left little time for studious improvement: But his work is to appear on the same stage, with the productions of the man of science; and to be judged by the same tribunal. – These are not happy auspices – yet, he ventures to present this volume to the public, conscious of the many defects which may be discovered in it, – but hoping to reap instruction from its fate. Nor would he deprecate criticism; he wishes only that the sentence bestowed upon it, should, as far as justice will allow, consider the circumstances under which it appears.

It has no patron; it goes forth into the world, unprotected, and alone – to stand or fall by its own merits – as a tender parent ushers into the world a beloved child; – sensible of his faults, he cherishes a hope, that it will judge of them with charity; nor crush, by a sentence too severe, the latent seeds of virtue which may spring up to maturity and perfection. The child has been his comfort, in many an hour of sorrow; and fancy, with healing influence, has drawn his growing virtues starting forth into fragrant blossom.

For whatever national feeling is expressed in this work, an apology cannot be necessary to a reasonable person, of what country soever: The warm attachment of the author to his Native Land, is but the natural feeling of every honest heart, – in that land, the hours of infancy were whiled away under the influence of hope, and fancy; and the delights of that innocent period, are engraven on the tablets of memory, in the lovely hues of youthful imagination. Nor does this laudable partiality cast a reflection upon the same predilection in the natives of other countries; those who feel the true amor patria are charmed with the same sentiment in others of whatever nation.

The smaller pieces are the effusions of the moment written at different times, and are incapable of being altered from their original crudeness.

CONTENTS

Page
Hours of Childhood 9
A Mother’s Love 67
Addressed to a Young Lady 72
Stanza’s 78
“The Moon’s Pale Ray,” 80
To a Friend 83
The Alter’d Lay 86

[blank page]

POEMS
HOURS OF CHILDHOOD

There is a solace to the aching breast,
Long worn by care, that sighs for tranquil rest;
Midst toils of day, in slumbers of the night,
Fond memory paints each infantine delight,
Each vanish’d  joy that woke the bosom’s glow,
When all look’d gay as heaven’s aerial bow,
And youth, and health, and nature’s charms combin’d,
Shed calm contentment o’er the guileless mind. [unnumbered page]

The ceaseless waves of time, that swiftly roll
Man’s feeble bark to dar oblivion’s goal,
Sweep harmless o’er the mem’ry of those days,
When childhood tuned its unambtitious lays,
And soft-eyed pleasure, in her gay attire,
Woke the wild numbers of the trembling lyre.

II.

Bright were the scenes that fancy drew,
And blythe the hours that gaily flew,
In life’s gay morn, when all was new;
And softly, hope her radiance shed,
In happy childhood round my head.

Deceitful smiled; that angel smile
Was wont my sorrows to beguile, [page 10]
And every transient cloud of woe,
That dim’d the visions of my eye,
Fled as the sun’s enliv’ning glow
Chas’d the light vapour from the sky
And nature, in that halcyon hour,
Claim’d o’er my mind a magic power,
Ope’d to my eye her boundless store,
And bade her vast delights explore,
Her solemn contemplative glades,
Her grottoes cool, her sylvan shades,
Or where she wears no gentle smile,
But frowning wastes her form despoil; --
Midst gloomy haunts and forests drear,
Toss boisterous, when the tempest raves.
Where silence tires the drowsy ear,
Or where, with stunning sound, the waves
Toss boisterous, when the tempest raves. [page 11]

III.

And fancy, oft, would guide my feet
To glooms, where sleepless spirits wander’d.
	Or lonely vales, retirement sweet,
Were some lorn stream its course meander’d.
Oft, in some deep untrodden dell,
Where Eremite might build his cell,
Remote from all the ills that wait
The pompous equipage of stae;
To human steps so much  unknown,
Ev’n thought might find herself alone;
Naught on her silence to intrude,
Or break her much lov’d solitude – 
Imagination’s forceful power,
Would charm away the passing hour; [page 12]
And fondly picture scenes of old,
By hoary matron’s legend told,
In number’s mystic, strange, and wild,
To soothe me, when a forward child;
Of ravening giant of the wold,
Of ladie fair, and gallant bold;
And grey hair’d minstrel, blythe and old;
Of martial lists, of daring deeds,
Of nedding plumes, and prancing steeds;
Of knight caparison’d in arms,
To combat for a damsel’s charms:
Or still, the more replete with fear,
The story whisper’d in the ear,
Lest angry fiend, perchance, might hear,
Of wither’d hag, or wandring sprite,
Who roam the unhallow’d hour of night, [page 13]
Or form more gay, of Fairy light,
Qho, when the moon’s soft ray is glancing
On the flower green, is dancing
	In many an airy roundelay; - 
	Vanishing ere dawn of day.

IV.

Ah! In life’s morn, the trusting soul
Is calm; - the hours unheeded roll;
No passions urge their fierce controul.
Then, not a wish was unsupplied,
For scarce a boon had I to crave,
Save those, which in the heart abide,
And those indulgent nature gave.
Upon the blossom of my cheek,
The rose bud’s hue was wont to speak. [page 14]

The calmest sunshine of the heart,
That health and happiness impart:
Free, as the mountain breeze, was I!
That sweeps the light cloud o’er the sky:
Unknown a foretaste of the woes, - 
Companions of man’s ripening years, - 
That bar the eyelids from repose,
And wash them with untimely tears.
I know not, then, the brow o’ercast
By gloomy thought, or sullen care,
I brooded o’er no pleasures past;
The future, all look’d bright and fair:
An undefined, elysian dream,
Illum’d by hope’s deceitful beam.
That hope has past!- its early ray
No more irradiates my way. – [page 15]

V.

How wildly swells the craggy height!
Whence the rough torrent, rushing bright,
In morning’s gay reflected beams,
A sheet of burnished silver seems;
With bickering wave, and foaming spray
In columns rising to the day;
While, midst the far resounding roar
The dark plumed eagles proudly soar;
Commingling, with the discord rude
That wakes the mountain solitude,
Their rustling pinion’s heavy sound;
Their bodeing, and terrific scream;
Re-echoing o’er the cliff profound;
Startling the owlet from his dream,
Where, in the darkest wood, supreme [page 16]
In sullen loneliness, he sits,
Mutt’ring his moody tones by fits;
‘Till evening spreads her shadow dun,
And, ‘neath the western hill, the sun
Has sunk, his daily circle run.
Then, to some distant turret’s height,
He speeds his melancholy flight,
To mope, unseen,  the livelong night.

VI.

Where every sense, in tumult drown’d,
Yields to the mighty torrent’s sound,
I love in thoughtfulness to roam; - 
Where the swift cataract, white with foam,
Rush’d down the steep, in tumult rude,
To muse in contemplative mood; [page 17]
To dwell, upon the mountain’s brow,
O’er the soft scenes that spread below.
Ah! There are those, who senseless, scorn
Each joy of lovely nature born!
Nor listen to her angel voice.
Too sadly erring in their choice,
They fly the unfrequented shade,
The bower, for contemplation made;
And seek in concourse, noise, and strife,
Those calmer joys of human life
Which only in retirement dwell,
Remote from folly’s wild’ring spell.
There is a music in the sound,
That swells the eddying stream around;
A boldness in the torrent’s flood;
A calmness in the waving wood; [page 18]
A softness in the verdant vale
Where fragrant flowers their balm exhale;
That fills the bosom with delight,
And charms the child of nature’s sight.

VII.

I loved to stand upon the rock,
Sear’d many an age by thunder’s shock;
And mark the boiling flood beneath
Toss its wild foam, in many a wreath;
And count each bubble, as it rose,
Like joy’s bright gem, midst seas of woes;
Whelm’d, instant in the rushing tide; - 
Too vain and empty to abide.
So rise, upon life’s flowing stream,
The gay, who shine in folly’s beam: [page 19]
They glitter bright their little hour,
The shallow tools of transient power.
Then, like the bubble on the wave,
They sink beneath the pow’r that gave
Their fleeting splendour; by the frown
Of tyrants hurl’d from grandeur down.

VIII.

Oft, on the mountain’s highest peak,
Round which rude peals of thunder break, - 
When tempests from on high are hurl’d, - 
I’ve stood, and mark’d, beneath unfurl’d,
The varied charms of nature’s face;
Where, undisturb’d, my eye could trace
Each winding brook, each rushing stream,
Each charm that wakes in fancy’s dream; [page 20]
The ocean’s measureless  expense,
On whose calm breast bright shadows glance;
Unruffled, pure, and peaceful, save
Where zephyrs fan its sleeping wave.
There, breaking thro’ its endless blue,
Soft rise the isles of verdant hue,
Where heavenly habitants might rest,
And sanctify earth’s lovely breast.
And fancy oft would paint, (among
Their verdant bowers, where wild bird’s song
Enliven’d with its melody,
The tranquil scene; which well might vie
With nature’s fairest, loveliest spot,)
The blest, and undisturbed lot,
With some congenial, tender breast,
To seek retirement, peace, and rest, [page 21]
And to bid folly’s train adieu,
For verdant isle, in ocean blue.

IX.

Or stretched, in undulating maze,
To tire with charms the wandering gaze,
The valley, hill abrupt, and steep,
Sequester’d dell, remote and deep;
The rustling fields of golden corn,
Emblazon’d by the beams of morn;
The hamlet’s cluster’d form, where rest,
With health, and peace, the simply blest;
Where reigns, (by heaven auspicious lent,)
Joy’s purest spirit, calm content;
Enlivening every rustic eye,
That beams with self-taught sympathy. [page 22]

Blest with each joy these scenes impart,
Which soothe, yet not corrupt the heart;
Unversed in manners of the crowd,
The falsly gay, the meanly proud,
Who scoff at peasant joys aloud;
Unversed in fashion’s mystic lore;
Untaught to crave another’s store;
They peaceful live, and calmly die,
Embosom’d in tranquility.

X.

The  waving forest’s wilde domain,
Beyond the lawn, my vision greets.
There, every verdure softly meets; - 
The towering pine’s deep em’rald stain;
The willow’s light and cheerful green; [page 23]
The beach, in yellow foliage drest;
The poplar’s dark and shining vest,
Its leaves, in every breath that quiver,
And in  the cool air seem to shiver;
Each bright variety of hue
There strikes upon th’ admiring view.
Through its dark groves’ refreshing shade,
The wild breeze hollow murmurs made;
Its bosom heav’d with gentle motion,
Like the softly troubled ocean;
Beneath that forest’s sombre shade,
Oft have my vagrant footsteps stray’d,
Oft have I paus’d, it’s depths among,
To breath a light and artless song;
Oft paus’d amidst its gloomy haunts,
Where nature’s wildest livery flaunts,
To heave the sigh that childhood grants, [page 24]
When crowds of wishes, undefined,
Steal on the uninstructed mind.

XI.

Why I sigh? I knew not, yet,
A semblance even of regret;
Why did I sigh? Was it, because
Nature’s fair bloom would soon decay:?
The fountain’s stream would know a pause,
The forest’s foliage fade away,
Each fairy vale, each verdant meadow,
Would pass, like morning’s fleeting shadow?
Ah no! that gloomy hour was fraught\
With all the luxury of thought; -
A willing gloom, a painful pleasure,
Play’d o’er my heart in rapt’rous measure; [page 25]
‘Twas poesy’s spirit swell’d my soul,
And bade, on fancy’s golden pnions,
Airy thoughts, extatic, roll
O’er the raind’s unchain’d dominions.

XII.

‘Twas meditation’s hallowed ground!
And soft she shed her influence round:
O’er many a forest flower I stray’d,
That bloom’d beneath the dark oak’s shade,
And yielded sweet its wild perfume,
Shrouded in uncongenial gloom, - 
And birds from soft melodious throats,
To gentle echo sung their notes. [page 26]

XIII.

Upon the wild stream’s shadowy brink,
‘Tis sweet, alone to stand, and think; - 
In riper years it claims a sigh,
A sigh, the bosom cannot stifle,
That as the current rushes by,
Rending each flower that blossoms nigh,
So time our early joys will rifle.
Delights, that gild our dawn of day,
Like the swift stream, will pass away;
Each image, in life’s early dream,
Dissolves, ere manhood’s stronger beam
Light the true pathway of our fate,
Or shows how vain, but ah too late!0
Was the fair future fancy gave;
Vain as the streamlet’s gliding wave, [page 27]
That sparkles but a moment’s space,
Then fades, nor leaves one single trace
Of where, or what it was before, - 
Lost in the billow’s ceaseless roar!
We gaze, and as the river flows,
Life’s varying course its passage shows;
Now, swell’d by headlong mountain streams;
“Now, softly murmuring calm and slow,
Far off its waveless mirror  gleams,
“(And of heaven’s own shadow spreads below)
Amid the ever blooming grave,
“Like future joy thro’ hope’s false beams:
They fickle, frail, and worthless prove!
Each hour that owns bright pleasure’s sway;
The fire of genius; fancy’s ray;
Love’s cheating power, and ardent flame,
All! All! Save friendship’s sacred name, [page 28]
Upon the torrent wave of time,
Flee, with our manhood’s fleeting prime;
And leave, alone, the sullen gloom
Of spirits, journeying to the tomb;
Save, that tho’ faint her light is beaming,
HOPE still upon the soul is gleaming!
Points, thro’ misfortune’s darkest shade,
To brighter joys, that never fade; - 
Not vivid, as in life’s gay morning
	“She dane’d in nature’s lovely bowers;
Not falsely, as in youth adorning
	With promis’d ecstacy the hours!
But calm, unclouded, firm, and pure;
Tho’ dira her beams; their guidance sure. – 
So on the last resounding wave,
That speeds to an unfathom’d grave, [page 29]
The sunbeam sheds its brilliant ray;
On each bright drop its glimm’rings play;
It fades in radiant beams of day:
Whelm’d in the ocean’s bosom deep,
The silent waves unconscious sleep; - 
Unconscious,  that they once had swept
Along the soil, where genius slept’;
Or bounded o’er the rocky height,
Swell’d into rage by tempest’s might;
Or, that their waters once had laved
A land that ne’er might be enslaved;
By patriot arm in peril sav’d.
Ev’n as unconscious as the clay
That wraps our remnant of decay,
When to the joyless sea of age
Recedes the stream of youthful rage.  [page 30]

XIV.

Hark! From the village, distant far
Re-echoed, varied discords jar;
The busy hum, the social din,
That welcome gentle twilight in,
Come swelling, from the vale below,
Up the lone mountain’s craggy side;
Sweeping “in solemn tones and slow,”
Round the broad summit’s crested pride:
Gently o’er the water dashing,
Where the silver waves are flashing
Beneath the rays of yellow light,
That mark the near approach of night.-
How lovely is the placid hour!
How soft and tranquil is its power, [page 31]
Ere the sun’s last faint tints have faded,
While yet the tender radiance lingers,
In heaven’s softest colours shaded,
By gentle twilight’s fairy fingers – 
The swain from healthful labour turns
His lingering steps, as, dimly burns,
Upon yon western summit’s height,
Sol’s latest beams of golden light,
To the dear cot where labors cease,
And kind endearments whisper peace.
Around their smiling father’s knee,
In unassum’d and heartfelt glee,
The troop of little urchins press,
And clamour for his fond caresss.
Nor alighted is the dame’s embrace,
Proud of her simple, virtuous race. [page 32]

XV.

Soft smiling, in the burnish’d west,
Where Phoebus’ orb has sank to rest,
Shines heavenly Venus’s goddess light,
(Propitious beam to lovers sight:)
Thick starry throngs pervade the skies,
And, on the gentle water lies
The semblance of the lovely heaven,
Drest in the hues of coming eve’n;
And, as the Zephyr stirs the breast
On which the starry myriads rest,
The mighty band, in tumult tost,
Now glimmer, now they fade away;
In seeming, wild confusion lost,
Like glitt’ring spears in mortal fray. [page 33]
Then, as the semblance struck my eye,
Came the long tale across my mind,
Of conq’ring hosts, and victory,
That proud ambition’s votries blind
To evils reason can descry.

XVI.

	Or upland, from the ocean’s surge,
I turn’d my eye, the landscape’s verge
(As twilight’s lovely hour come on,
And faint along the horizon,
Bland nature’s soft, and tender dye,)
Seemed mingling with the hues of sky,
Was drest in softest livery.
When all around was sweet and still,
Its distant note the Whip-poor will [page 34]
Sigh’d on the zephyr’s airy sail,
That softly swept along the vale,
And o’er the stream, in magic swell,
The echo fondly loved to dwell;
As if, beneath its crystal wave,
It sought a calm and tranquil grave;
‘Till wak’d, the softly solemn strain
Renew’d its music wild again,
And echo, still, the note repeated,
And vale, and hill, its numbers greeted.

XVII.

	Far off, upon the village green,
The children at their sports are seen;
Beneath fair Cynthia’s argent ray,
In many squadrons mix’d they play [page 35]
Now to the ranks of mimic war
They rush, beneath the martial star,
Its red rays beaming from afar;
And brandish high the edgeless brand,
And poise the musket at command,
While every bosom,  frought with ire,
Feels all a hero’s glowing fire: - 
Or o’er the plain, in panting chace,
The football-sports pro voke the race;
And hark! The wild and clam’rous shout,
That hails the victors of the rout,
The boyish note, of rapt’rous glee,
The joy of bloodless victory.

XVIII.

How happy! but they all must know
The poignant sting of human woe. [page 36]
Short is the morning of delight,
And all its tints are sweetly bright;
No cloud tempestuous mars its peace,
Til sad conviction bids it cease,
And reason’s voice, in thund’ring sound,
Bids view each real object round’;
The sorrows all are doom’d to brave –
Save those, who, where the cypress wave,
Have hap’ly found an early grave;
Oh, they in sweet unconsciousness,
Nought know of the sorrow, woe, or care!
The sod in infant thoughtlessness,
Cradles their forms in silence there;
And in the fitful gusts of air,
The drooping willow, [page 37]
Their turf with bending foliage sweeps;
Each branch, in dewy fragrance, weeps
O’er the cold grave, where childhood sleeps
On balmy pillow.
Blest lot, to reach the happy goal
When unpolluted was the soul;
Ere vice had dim’d the heavenly ray,
Or mix’d that spark with baser clay;
The goal of our short human course
No skill can pass; no giant force
Can change its being or its date;
All tread the downward path of fate!
O who would o’er their cold graves sigh!
Or shed one parting tear of sorrow,
They died in happy infancy,
They live in day that knows no morrow. [page 38]

XIX.

	Mark the bright moon, tho’ azure sky,
Sails slow, in conscious majesty!
No cloud o’er all the heav’n is seen,
But, like the spirit of a dream,
When nought of earth dare intervene,
She darts around her softest beam!
It glitters on the rippling stream;
It dwells along the hillock’s side;
It sleeps upon the ocean’s tide;
It sparkles o’er the forest wide;
And every shrub, and every flower,
Owns its soft away, and magic power;
The dew drops, on the velvet green,
Glitter beneath the radiance sheen; [page 39]
Around in  wild profusion spread,
The violet droops its modest head,
The daisy rears its penile stem,
Dressing the turf with many a gem;
A chequer’d carpet, spangled meet
For sprightly dance of fairy feet.
Titania, as in ancient days
She liv’d in Shakespeare’s magic lays, --
Might o’er the turf unearthly glance,
And lead the circles of the dance;
With Oberon in concert move,
The peerless Queen of airy love.

XX.

Upon the rude rock’s barren height
Shoost the pale ray of lunar light; [page 40]
And, streaming round its gloomy base,
Bright beams the murky darkness chase. –
There, the intentive eye may trace
The sparkling granite’s shining grain;
The dusky flint’s conspicuous vein;
And many a garment , rudely rent
When thunder shook the firmament.
Let the proud sons of wealth and power
In riot spend the midnight hour;
In wine dissolve their cares away,
And fain be vicious, to be gay.
Let wealth unfold her glittering store
An hour of peace, I value more
Than mines of India’s golden ore; –
Let all her pleasures sense display,
That hour more rapture yields than they. [page 41]

In such an hour, the soul is free
From shackles of mortality;
In such an hour, in scenes like this,
Reflection opes her store of bliss,
And fancy’s bright, unclouded trance
Bids, before the enraptured eyes,
Light unearthly spirits dance,
And many a fabled memory’s glance.

XXI.

	O’er all the landscape’s varied scene
My footsteps wander’d; up the green,;
Thro’ tangled forest spreading wide;
Along the mountain’s echoing side;
Through vales where streams pellucid glide; [page 42]
O’er lawn the forest groves between,
Whence dim, the mountain’s head is seen,
Embosom’d in a misty veil,
In giant strength it view; the dale;
O’er the soft landscape’s tranquil form
Frowns, midst the terrors of the storm,
Scorns the low beauties of the vale,
And bare its forehead to the gale.
	Such he, whose high, ambitious mind
	Sighs for an empire unconfined;
The path of blood, and danger braves,
To tyrannise a land of slaves;
Who stems, with iron nerve, the tide,
To raise his empire’s tow’ring pride;
Who scorn, the humble vale of peace,
Retirement, and domestic case; [page 43]
No joy within his bosom blows,
To virtue cold as Alpine snows;
No blessing falls upon his head,
For him no fervent prayer is said;
Unknown to him the soul serene,
The smiling eye, the cheerful mien;
Peace flies his bosom; fell despair
Fixes her fiend-like impress there; - 
None weep his fall, none dress his bier,
Or heave for him one sigh sincere;
Nor love, nor friendship’s soothing power
Attend his dissolution’s hour.

XIII.

	The Macedonian’s restless mood
Deluged the world in kindred blood. [page 44]
Not half the globe in fetters chain’d,
Could sate him, while the rest remain’d.
Unmeasured, as earth’s farthest bound,
Ambition, still new conquest found;
But still, though lord of every soil,
Enrich’d by every kingdom’s spoil,
Unknown to him the pure delight, 
Of deeds approved in virtue’s sight;
Blood mark’d the progress of his fame,
And terror waits upon his name.

XXIV.

	The Roman, whose resistless hand
Spread war to Britain’s distant land;
Bade Rome’s brave eagles, proudly sweep
O’er every strand, o’er every deep, [page 45]
And after thousand perils brav’d,
His country’s liberties enslaved:-
Count not the nations he subdued;
Count not the toils his strength withstood;
Court not his honest martial fame,
To fix a stamp to Caesar’s name!
Mark but the moral of his end,
Beneath the poniard of his friend.

XXV.

	But tranquil scenes, from vice apart,
Infuse their influence in the heart;
Instruct the mind, delight the eye,
And soften disappointment’s sigh;
Well did I know, no future bliss,
Midst busy crowds, could equal this, [page 46]

Well did my bosom’s rapture tell
No future hours would please so well;
Yet oft, a vagrant wish would rise,
To breath the air of foreign skies;
Still would I heave a half formed sigh,
On other scenes to feast my eye,
Extend o’er earth my raptured view,
And search creation’s beauties through;
Oh had that wish but been suppress’d!
That sigh ne’er heav’d my infant breast,
Still had I in retirement dwelt,
And quiet’s tranquil influence felt.

XXVI.

	I gaz’d upon the pale moon’s face;
I sought the meteor’s path to trace; [page 47]
I counted every orb of light,
That gem’d the azure vault of night;
I gaz’d o’er all the starry train
‘Till softly, sleep came o’er my brain,
My senses sunk in soft repose,
Bright visions to my sight arose.

XXVII.

	The moon has fled upon the hill,
No more its gilds the murm’ring rill;
The stars are faint, and dimly seen,
Unlighted by their lovely queen;
The magic of the night is past,
And morning’s rays are coming fast;
In the grey skirtings of the east,
Across the ocean’s waveless breast, [page 48]
Faint streaks of doubtful light appear,
Betok’ning Phoebus’s chariot near,
The mountains in the spreading light.
Gleam from their dark and cloudy height;
Stretch shadowy, o’er the landscape wide,
And tremble on the ebbing tide.
From the low dewy vale’s retreat,
Light clouds of mist the morning greet;
Now, stronger from the orient streaming,
O’er nature’s breast the sun is beaming;
The glittering woods enliven’d smile,
The fields resound the voice of toil,
Light songsters flutter in the groves,
And pleasure o’er the woodland roves:
Hark! O’er the valley, soft and clear
The rustic song swells on the ear; [page 49]
The song by health and joy inspired,
In hearts with nature’s beauties fired.

XXVIII.

Is there, among the giddy throng
Who heedless sweep time’s course along, - 
One, who such scenes unmoved has view’d,
Whose eye has on such beauties dwelt,
And his cold bosom never felt
Its thoughts with solemn power refined,
And rapture steal upon his mind?
No pure emotions fill his soul;
No bright reflections o’er it roll;
‘Tis form’d in dark, and savage mould,
No genial virtues there unfold. [page 50]
 
But sombre, as the glooms of night,
The forms that please its callous sight;
Cold to each virtue’s hallowed feeling,
	The heart that nature cannot warm,
That owns not, round each fibre stealing,
	In lonely wilds, her secret charm,
That owns not, round each fibre stealing,
	In lonely wilds, her secret charm,
Chaseing every cloud of sadness!
Yielding clam and placid gladness.
‘Tis nature prompts each noble aim,
Each softer grace is nature’s claim,
Each trait, from varied nature caught,
Fix’d in the mind, with her is fraught:
The hardy Swiss, from mountain rock,
As hardy stems the battle shock;
Italia’s soft and verdant plains,
Repeat the lute’s melodious strains; [page 51]

Each nation, whereso’er you range,
Change as the scenes of nature change.

XXIX.

	And thou, my country, lov’d so dear,
Land of free hearts, and faith sincere,
Fair freedom’s blest, congenial home,
Thou landmark in an age of gloom;
Claim’st from the gales that round thee sweep,
	They forests wild, thy summits steep,
	They rushing torrents rudely swelling,
	The rocks, thy might eagle’s dwelling;-
	A hardy, independent band,
	The bulwark of they favor’d land. [page 52]

XXX.

	When the bright arms of Albion bore
Rude war, to thy affrighted shore;
When Britain’s cross, in warlike form,
Lower’d oe’r thee like a thunder storm;
	Then, from their wild, uncouth domain
The hardy patriots sallied forth,
	Display, on bloody battle plain,
Their generous ardor, loyal worth;
There nature in her bosom wild,
Had nurs’d her patriotic child,
Who gave my native soil a name,
Undying as creations frame.
His was the valor that imparts
Its influence to his followers hearts; [page 53]

His was the skill his foes to foil
In every art, escape each toil,
Insure success by wise delay,
Or sudden snatch the prize away.

XXXI.

	In childhood, to my listening ear,
O! WASHINGTON! Thy name was dear;
Embalm’d  in freeman’s breast,
The memory of thy deeds shall rest;
The first on glory’s radiant line,
In after days, thy name shall shine,
The freeman’s beacon blaze of war,
Columbia’s proudly beaming star.
First in the senate’s grave debate;
First at the troubled helm of state; [page 54] 
Thy name shall fill the future page,
The greatest of the present age.

XXXII.

	Such were the charms that pleas’d my eye,
When infant years flew swiftly by.
Pat are those scenes, those days are fled,
Those joys are sleeping with the dead;
The world has oped her gaudy store
Of pleasures, unconceived before;
Far from my childhood’s happy home,
My wand’ring  footsteps widely roam.
Ah; to whatever clime I stray,
Fond memory still shall point the way,
To the lone, undistrub’d retreat,
Where sped life’s morning, bright and fleet, [page 55] 
Where childhood’s hours were gaily spent
With virtue, peace, and sweet content.
The beauties of a lovelier sky
Speak less of heaven to my eye,
The verdure of a distant plain,
The billows of a foreign main,
Raise not the rapture of delight,
Like scenes that charm our infant sight.

XXXIII.

	Oh home! Thou dearest, loveliest spot,
However bleak, however wild! – 
Thy mem’ry time can never blot,
Whate’er thro ‘ life may be my lot,
Still; thou shalt charm thy wand’ring child;
Tho’ many a ling'ring year has past,
Since they fond circle shed the tear, [page 56] 
Where childhood’s hours were gaily spent
With virtue, peace, and sweet  content.
The beauties of a lovelier sky
Speak less of heaven to my eye,
The verdure of a distant plain,
The billows of a foreign main,
Raise not the rapture of delight,
Like scenes that charm our infant sight.

XXXIII.

Oh home! Thou dearest, loveliest spot,
However bleak, however wild! – 
Thy mem’ry time can never blot,
Whate’er thro’ life may be my lot,
Still; thou shalt charm thy wand’ring child;
Tho’ many a ling’ring year has past,
Since thy fond circle shed the tear, [page 56] 
(To one bright eye it was the last)
And many heav’d a sigh sincere,
That sorrow, genuine sorrow started,
When from thy blest retreats I parted;-
Still, tho’ the wreaths that fancy braided
In thy lov’d bosom, long have faded,
Those friends who lov’d my infancy,
Claim still my bosom’s warmest sigh,
Thy love me still, no fate can sever
That faithful bond that bides for ever;
A mother’s fond unfeigning love,
Fails only, with the throb of life,
It cannot false, or faithless prove,
By wo unmov’d, unaw’d by strife.
Oh dearer far than wealth, or fame,
Is a lov’d mother’s honor’d name, [page 57] 
It leads us in our early way,
Ere reason lends its guardian ray;
It points to virtue’s bright reward,
It bids us shun deceitful vice,
Persuasion drops from every word,
And love attunes that heavenly voice.

XXXIV.

But her, whose pure affection blest
With friendship’s flame my days of rest,
My brother – generous, brave, and gay,
Where sleep his limbs in dull decay?
Enshrin’d not were his relics cold,
O’er his deep grave no prayer was told;
No sigh breath’d softly o’er his bier,
And none, save strangers, shed a tear; [page 58] 
A last sad tear, at life’s dark close,
The end of all our joys and woes.
The famine’s meagre power was nigh,
Sunk was the cheek, the hollow eye,
Rob’d of its lustre, dimly view’d
On mighty sweep of billows rude;
No happy isle strikes on its fading beam,
Faintly its orb emits a dying gleam;
He turns, instinctive, his receding sight,
Towards that dear land when first he saw the light.
Then did remembrance, to his anguish’d heart,
Each youthful scene, with all its joys impart;
Barb’d every pang that rent his laboring breast,
And death’s pale form in tenfold horrors drest
Then, came that tender, momentary thought,
With wildest, deepest, mortal anguish fraught, [page 59] 
It dwelt on those, who, in the morn of life
Had blest his boyhood, free from noise and strife:
Then, as his last, his lonely prayers arise,
On the wild blast, he struggles, gasps, and dies! – 
Midst coral caves, in ocean’s bosom deep,
Brother belov’d! O tranquil be thy sleep!
Round the gay clusters of the green Ladrones,
The sea-gale sighs, the rushing billow moans,
There murm’rings soft, shall lull thy form to rest;
Thy soul shall dwell in regions of the blest.

* One of the company of the ship Resource, lost in the China seas, Nov. 20th, 1818.

XXXV.

	How oft, did hope they blest return pourtray,
And bid me dwell upon that joyous day,
When once again, from every danger free,
Thy bounding vessel from the story sea, [page 60]
Should to my arms, thy much lov’d form restore,
To taste each blessing of thy native shore;
To charm thy bosom after years of pain,
And ceaseless labor for unstable gain;
Oft, in fond fancy, would I seem to hear
Thy tale of sorrow murm’ring in my ear;
How they wild tempest toss’d thy ship on high,
And fate seem’d brooding in the whirlwind’s sigh;
How swift she flew before the lightning breeze,
And swept resistless o’er the foaming seas;
Or where in polar region’s wintry reign,
Where endless frost o’er nature binds its chain,
The stiffen’d canvass whistled in the blast,
And the vex’d cordage lash’d the lonely mast;
How in the fairest, most enchanting scenes,
Where blooming China spread spreads her living greens, [page 61] 
Her citron forests, and her Orange bowers,
Her vines of plenty, rich in fruit, and flowers;
Still, still, thy home was dearest, loveliest still,
And fond remembrance oft thy eyes would fill;
But fled the hope; no more thy comely form,
With rapt’rous gladness, shall my bosom warm;
Never, again, shall I those features trace,
That join’d to harmonize thy manly face; - 
Entomb’d, unhonor’d, tho’ thy bones may lie,
Thy fate shall claim the deeply breathing sigh;
Far distant, sunk in ocean’s caverns drear,
For thee, shall stream the sympathizing tear.

XXXVI.

O virtue! Ever be my guide,
Whatever storms my life betide! [page 62] 
May I, where’er my wand’rings lead,
Still scorn dishonor’s thriftless deed,
Still glory in a spotless name,
My wishes few, my passions tame;
Still may my native country be
Dearer than foreign climes, to me:
Still may the mem’ry of my sires
My bosom fill with patriot fires;
Awake Columbia’s spirit there,
And prompt, her weal, and wo to share;
O who! That bears a human heart,
Would basely shun an active part,
In day of danger, and of dread,
When foes their native soil invade,
Would mark their country drench’d in blood,
Nor pant to join the sanguine flood. [page 63] 
To die, or conquer in her cause,
And win fair virtue’s warm applause;
To plant, upon the tott’ring breach,
Her eagle banner stain’d with gore;
To pour the life-streams on the beach,
Ere foot of foeman touch’d the shore,	
Where freedom dwells forevermore.

XXXVII.

So will her sons, supremely  brave,
Rejoice in vict’ry or the grave;
Howe’er  around the world they rove,
Still, they the native soil will love;
The spark, from thee, great WASHINGTON!
First breath’d, shall warm each patriot son, [page 64] 
Raise in their breasts the lasting fire,
That ev’n in death, shall ne’er expire;
But, from their cold remains arise,
The flame of future victories.

XXXVIII.

 	The lay that memory, lenient goddess, lent,
Is ended, and my form, that fondly bent
O’er the wild tones that swell my untaught lyre,
Has ceased, extinct the momentary fire;
Mute is the voice, that erewhile tuned the lays,
That sung, dear distant home, thy honest praise.
Oh when again, shall I thy scenes review,
And each fond tie of tenderness renew;
Roam once again, along thy lovely stream;
Court, on thy hills, the moon’s first glitt’ring beam; [page 65]
Dwell on the beauties of thy landscape wide;
And hear the torrent, on thy mountain side;
Tired of the busy, of the bustling scene,
My wishes dwell along thy circled green;
Bound o’er the intervening vast of space,
And all the beauties of thy landscape trace; - 
The far removed, my native grove, from thee,
My faithful heart midst thy wild scenes will be,
When fancy lends her wings of loveliest hue,
And past delights come rushing to the view; -
Mark the sequester’d beauties of thy vales,
And breathe again thy healthful mountain gales.
Remembrance, sweetly, every charm shall bring
That woke delight,  in youth’s gay radiant spring
The dearest blessing of my life shall be,
The lasting mem’ry, and the love of thee. [page 66]

A MOTHER’s LOVE
I.

There is a feeling, warm and true
	As that of seraphims above,
It sheds its balm like Hermon’s dew
	It is a tender mother’s love.

II.

Bright is the pure incipient flame,
	That warms the breast of ardent youth,
And dear the passion nought can tame,
	Inspired by beauty, virtue, truth. [page 67]

III.

Sweet is the sound of friendship’s voice,
	That bids each pulse to rapture move;
That bids each barren scene rejoice,
	But sweeter far a mother’s love.

IV.

Fond is the feeling, that inspires
	With filial love, the tender child,
With gratitude his bosom fires
	To her, who on his boyhood smil’d.

V.

But placid, pure, and undefiled;
	(By nature is the fabric wove)
By nature giv’n the savage wild,
	Or christian, is a mother’s love. [page 68]

VI.

Mark! Where of rosy health bereft,
	Emaciate, wan, and deadly pale,
(The blood its dying cheek has left,)
              The infant lifts its feeble wail.

VII.

And see! The mother by its side,
	Sunk in dejected, tearless woe,
As thro’ its veins, the ebbing tide,
	She views decline, with gradual flow.

VIII.

No sorrowing accent strikes the ear,
	To tell the workings of her grief;
No sob is heard, no falling tear
	Her burning anguish yield relief. [page 69]

IX.

‘Tis silent, as the breathless air,
	In midnight’s deepest, darkest shade;
The hopeless shadow of despair,
	That asks not consolation’s aid.

X.

The infant dies!  - remember’d still,
	More precious to the soul it seems,
For glowing mem’ry paints at will
	A thousand chas in fancy’s dreams.

XI.

That form, thro’ many a lapse of years,
	Comes on imagination’s wing,
And oft, its mother’s soul it cheers,
	And seems an angel’s smile to bring. [page 70]

XII.

See yonder mother! on her breast
	In innocence her infant lays,
In smiles that mark the soul at rest;
	How on his sleep she loves to gaze;

XIII.

Her soul is in her placid eye,
	And rapture lights its beaming glance;
How softly heaves her bosom’s sigh,
	In pure affection’s loveliest trance.

XIV.

That glance, the rapture of the mind,
	Those sighs, her tranquil breast that move,
Are pledges dear, that ever bind
	A mother’s pure, unaltered love. [page 71]

ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.
I.

There is a flower, whose modest mien
	Seems every gazer’s eye to shun;
It flourishes, and fades unseen,
	Through tepid showers, or radiant sun.

II.

Where warm affection sheds its tears,
O’er some lost friend’s remember’d tomb,
Spite of the blast, its head it rears,
And seems to court the kindred gloom. [page 72]

III.

No gay parterre its blossoms share,
It dwells not in the busy croud,
But seeks the wild heath, bleak, and bare,
Or dwells in lonely solitude.

IV.
It decks the humble, lowly dell,
Remov’d afar, from vice, and strife,
Where resignation loves to dwell,
When ills betide this varying life.

V.

Its blossoms bath’d in pearly dew,
	Its drooping crest and tearful eye,
Its lovely tints of azure hue,
	Are emblems dear of sympathy. [page 73]

VI.

The wild bee, sips its honied store,
	Disporting on, from flower, to flower;
The humming birds its sweets explore,
	Shut from the precincts of the bower.

VII.

And such, fair maid, thy modest meing,
	It shuns the gazer’s vulgar eye,
Nor see’st though, eager to be seen,
The croud, where pleasure’s vot’reis hie.

VIII.

But social virtues deck thy name,
	A sympathetic heart is thine,
A soul that knows, nor guilt, nor shame,
	Fraught with fair virtue’s power divine. [page 74]

IX.

Each grace that nature can impart,
	Each generous feeling, too is thine,
Sincerity, that foe to art,	
	Richer than diamond of the mine.

X.

May thy resemblance o’er remain,
	To That soft, sympathetic flower;
Thy hues of grace without a stain,
	Await you to your latest hour. [page 75]

[3 blank pages]

STANZAS

Mark you, the stream of the cataract pouring,
	Its wild wave o’er the rock!
Hear its rude sound, upon loud echo roaring;
	Earth shakes beneath its shock.
Bright in the vale is its silver stream gliding;
	Softly it murmurs along,
Sweet peace on its margent presiding
	Steals the soul with her song. [page 79]

“THE MOON’S PALE RAY.”’

The moon’s pale ray is smiling o’er us,
	And night is joyous in her beam;
	So spread around, is fancy’s dream,
Tho’s life’s tempestuous sea, before us.

No breeze is up, with soft commotion
	To stir the wild lake’s breast;
	Our haleyon spirits rest,
To’ launch’d on life’s rough heaving ocean

Calmly, our healthful spirits slumber
	On youth’s unruffled wave;
	Tho’ soon upon our grave
Affection’s wail may sound in saddest number [page 80]

When neath the sod our mould’ring bones are
	Sleeping,
O ! may sorrow mark the spot,
	And love forget it not,
But still around our graves, be hallow’d vigils 
	Keeping
Around our current gave, blooms each fav’ring
	Give of heaven,
      And love enchanting smiles, [page 81] 

	But beware of cupid’s wiles, - 
He shades with with hues of death life’s fast approach-
	Ing even
O’ may our frail bark, though smoothest seas be
	Steering;
     As yon moon’s pale placid beam,
      Be our love a happy dream,
And each day our kindred spirits endearing. [page 82]

ADDRESSED TO A FRIEND

Dark night has enfolded her mantle around me,
     And brightness of day to oblivion consign’d
No mnore the wild influence of passions confound Me,
The have fled, and tranquility reigns o’er my mind.
All nature reposed, at this moment is sleeping,
   And man has forgotten the turmoils of care, [page 83]
Ev’n mem’ry, entranced, o’er past happiness weeping
In the “semblance of death” imaged raptures May share
Calm solitude’s power o’er my bosom is stealing,
     In whispers of peace, its monition addres’t,
Arouses each pure spark of genuine feeling,
     Allays every passion that ruffled my breast:
To the bright climes of fancy, where flowers ever Blossom,
     On the wild wing of thought, I would hurry	My flight,
Shake off every sorrow that weighs on my bosom,
     And roam with pure spirits in regions of light. [page 84]
Indulging each sweet intellectual pleasure,
     That fancy’s bright dream, upon man can bestow,
Could I taste of the joy, in its rapturous measure,
     Without you share it? believe me ah no !
Tho’ fancy may yield her precarious blessing,
     Tho’ wit may enliven, and talent may glow,
“tis FRIENDSHIP alone, all our sorrows redress-Sing!
     Yields the purest delight that man’s bosom can know. [page 85]

THE ALTER’D LAY
I.

I gave the strain to wild despair
     When pleasure’s sweetest scenes had faded,
When youth’s gay dreams, so bright and fair,
Misfortune’s murky cloud had shaded.

II .

But still, tho’ sorrow rul’d the song,
     And grief, that gay delights would perish,
Would Hop a softer note prolong,
     And bid my breast her influence cherish. [page 86]

III.

She bade me turn to each delight
     That blest with smiles life’s radiant morning,
And still her hand, with visions bright
     Was every future hour adorning.

IV.

I counted every transient joy,
     That deck’d the gay and blissful season
When I, “a visionary boy,”
     Disclaim’d the voice of sober reason.

V.

And memory swell’d the alter’d lay
     With sounds of sweet, and transient gladness,
They told of pleasure’s fairy sway,
     In hours that mock’d intrusive sadness. [page 87]

VI.

And there was one, in hours gone past,
     Whose smile was like the smile of heaven,
When beauty’s brightest hues are cast
     Along the dress of summer even.

VII.

It woke, within my youthful breast,
     Emotions dear, that never slumber,
They come when all is sunk to rest,
     They breathe upon the sadden’d number.

VIII.

The strain still lov’d to linger o’er
     The mem’ry of our happy meeting,
In childhood’s wild, uncultured bower,
     When heart met heart, in gender greeting. [page 88]

IX.

Her form, her face, Ah what were they?
     Tho’ loveliest beauties there were dwelling;
The ringlets unrestrain’d that stray’d ; 
     The ruby lip with nectar swelling.

X.

Tho’ these were fair, her lovelier mind
     Each outward beauty far exceeded,
By nature’s quick’ning power refined,
     Soft Pity’s gentle voice it heeded.

XI.

And love, had been the tender name
That swell’d our hearts in holiest union,
But ah ! too young to own the flame,
     We felt the bosom’s soft communion. [page 89]

XII.

Sudden, again – the tremb’ling lyre
     Its sound, to sorrow’s notes surrender’d,
Lust was remember’d rapture’s fire,
     And woe seem’d in its strings engender’d.

XIII.

Why changed the sound? Ah why ! no more
     Did rapture wake  th’ inspiring measure?
Why jar’d despair the accents  e‘er.

XIV

Wild shrieks the blast of heaven, round
     The grove, where all her beauties wither ;
The Yew-tree means in solemn sound,
     When gently stirs the ambient aether. [page 90]

XIV.

The cold sod wraps her lovely form,
     The rapture to my soul imparted
She lived in beauty ! but the storm
     In early morn, life’s current thwarted.

XVI.

Where once the laughing, mirthful eye,
     With joy’s bright beam was wont to glisten
( When time  on pinions fleet went by,
     And we to hope’s fond take would listen.

XVII.

Or when the tear-drop started there, --
     The sympathetic gem of feeling, --
And o’er that face in passing fair
     Soft pity’s sorrowing look was stealing). [page 91]

XVIII.

The icy warm his revel keeps,
     And there, his form is dully shining,
Around that lovely forehead creeps,
     Or o’er her faded cheek is twining.

XIX.

The  bosom, once that heav’d with min,
     The throb of joy, or sigh or anguish,
When fancied ill, or fond delight,
     Bad hope arise, or sudden languish.

XX.

Sleeps silent, in the earthy grave,
     No woe her angel-dreams disturbing :
Misfortunes storm there cannot rave !
No passion’s power the rest perturbing. [page 92]
 
O be they spirit ever newar!
     Attend my rude course to its closing :
Melvina! – still thy name is dear,
     A thousand past delights disclosing –

XXII.

Thou wert to me, a kindred flower –
     In nature’s garden, nuu’d together, --
We gre, till in a storm hour
     Thy vernal charms were doom’d to wither.

XXIII.

But gladness still, shall mark the strain,
     And hope shall point to brighter pleasure,
When our torn hearts shall meet again,
     In hallow’d transport’s fullest measure. [page 93]

ERRATA

It is with much regret, that the publisher (notwithstanding his endeavours to prevent it) has discovered a few instances of erroneous typography – those which would impair the verse are the following: — “Hours of Childhood,” page 19th, section VII, Line 2d for Scar’d, read Scar’d. In “The Moon’s Pale Ray,” page 80, 1st, Verse, 4th, for sea, read, sea’. [page 93]

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