AND Sonnets.

by Cornwall Bayley

    The Author of the following Poem had not resolved to commit it to the press, till the first part of this little Volume was in types—This will account for it’s not appearing under it’s proper head.


Written in NEW-YORK at the close of the Year 1804.

“His saltem accumulem donis, et sungar inani.
“Munere”!                         Virg.

    This Elegy was written at the close of the year 1804, as a tribute of regret to the memory of several friends most dear to the author, who in that year paid the debt of nature. The first of these was Dr. Percival, of Manchester; well known in the literary world, as a skilful Physician, an elegant Scholar, an amiable Companion, and a pious Christian.—As he was “a second father” to the author, mention is here also made of his real parent, who was chief Magistrate of Manchester—and died in June, 1802, aged 57.—A memoir of his life was published by Dr. Percival, in the Monthly Magazine for that year.—The second person lamented, is Robert Sumner, A. B. whose virtues have been so imperfectly recorded in the former pages.—The third is John, son of the late Sir John Mosely, of Staffordshire, a student of Oriel College, Oxford—he died almost suddenly in the 18th year of his age. This young man added to his mental qualities, the most singular beauty of person;—and was remarked even when a boy for his wonderful elegance and activity,—his manly and ingenuous countenance,—and his great superiority of strength.
    The fair female whose name closes this list of sorrow, was a young lady, the most intimate companion of the author’s sister, who died at Manchester, in October 1804, aged 23, after a short illness.



    SWIFTLY the year has past;—whose genial beams,
For me on Albion’s blissful plains arose;
    And now, by Hudson’s unregarded streams,
Marks me a dreary wand’rer at it’s close!


    Yet time may fly, and chance may bid me rove
To trace new scenes of Fashion or of Fame;
    But time and place can never change the love
Which centers only in it’s country’s name!


    Then let me glance my mem’ry on the few,
Who still are there, to raise my drooping head;
    And let the genuine tear their names bedew,
Whom the last year has number’d with the dead!


    For there were hearts which now no longer beat,
For me where many a parting sorrow burn’d;
    And there were lips which mine no more shall meet,
That bade me live to bless them when return’d! [Page 48]


    O! witness this, thou, on whose recent grave,
A thousand mourning Charities attend;
    Thou, “Percival,” whom Heav’n and Virtue gave
My guide, my second—Father, and my friend!


    For I had once a father—(and can claim
A father still, immortaliz’d above)
    And such a father, as enhanc’d the name
With more than human tenderness and love!


    Him had his Mersey twice—three lustres seen,
The guardian of her Justice and her laws;
    Him had she twice rous’d from the peaceful scene
To wield the sabre in his country’s cause!


    Him had she seen, when daily toil had ceas’d,
Stray forth at eve to calm some suff’ring breast;
    At once the donor of the Social feast,
At once the pauper’s charitable guest!


    Him had she seen the husband of a hand;
Worthy his heart, and with his heart combin’d;
    Him too the parent of a num’rous band,
Large, yet encompass’d in his larger mind!


    To these (bereft of him) in pitying love,
Heav’n gave a second father as sincere;
    Who then paternal fondness so could prove,
As now to wake afresh the filial tear!


    For I remember when in pain reclin’d,
Thy medicinal hand was constant there;
    And oft thy more—than medicinal mind
In deep affliction snatch’d me from Despair!


    And I remember when my earliest youth,
In dreams of Fancy and of Error stray’d;
    Thy precepts led me to the paths of Truth,
Unask’d, and (save by conscience) unrepaid!


    How did thy feast of reasoning wit regale!
How did thy converse tedious night beguile! [Page 49]
    Combined the moral with the cheerful tale,
And taught the Sigh to mingle with the Smile!


    Or did’st thou guide the pen, how swiftly flow’d
Genius with elegance spontaneous fraught;
    Where Wisdom’s self, where pure Religion glow’d,
Luxuriant language, yet the chastest thought.


    Bless’d be thy mem’ry! And if happly now
Thy Spirit meets my father in it’s charms;
    O! join with him to guide me here below,
And (if thou canst’) restore me to his arms!


    For—may not Hope, without presumption think,
That friends on earth, are guardian angels there;
    Who snatch the soul when on destruction’s brink
And oft direct it to the realms of air?


    And may not Faith anticipate the hour,
When Hope, dissolv’d in Certainty, shall fail;
    And Charity renew’d with nobler pow’r,
Unblemish’d and unfailing shall prevail?


    Then—in redeeming mercy, may my soul,
Give happier passions and affections birth;
    Freed from the pangs of Envy’s dread control,
And all that injures friendship, when on earth!


    Then from my Sumner, may it never part,
For whom the muse long pour’d the sorrowing strain;
    There share the raptures of his cheerful heart,
Without the anguish of his former pain!


    Nor less with thee, thro’ genial skies above,
My airy spirit then may wing it’s flight;
    Thou, whom this year, so fatal to my love,
Plung’d in a moment to the shades of night!


    Thou, Mosely,—whom my earliest childhood lov’d;
My chosen playmate e’re I knew thy worth;
    When hand in hand on Avon’s banks we rov’d,
And mock’d the schoolboy’s hardships in our mirth! [Page50]


    Whilst health sate blushing thro’ thy downy cheek,
And pleasure sparkled in thy moistening eyes;
    (Those eyes which erst an eloquence could speak
Of every feeling that might chance to rise;)


    Whilst Vigour cloath’d thy manly limbs with charms,
“Harmonious swell’d by nature’s finest hand;”
    Taught thee to stem the current with thy arms,
And bade the ball recoil at thy command;


    Yes!—whilst the banks of Isis fondly shew’d,
A form so perfect in a stripling’s years;
    And prov’d that beauty, when on worth bestow’d,
The brightest work of bounteous Heav’n appears;


    Death hover’d o’er, with his resistless dart,
And instantaneous dealt the fatal blow;
    Bade cease the throbbings of thy gen’rous heart,
And laid thy youth’s aspiring honors low!


    When Virtue, thus, array’d in op’ning bloom,
Fram’d to delight the mind, the sense to cheer,
    Sinks early blasted to the silent tomb,
Who can suppress the sigh—restrain the tear?


    Then who—when join’d to Beauty and to Truth,
The name of “Female”—heightens every grace;
    Can cease to weep, when in expanding youth,
Her form is sever’d from his fond embrace?


    Such was Eliza! such my Sister’s friend;
That Sister mark’d her live—and mark’d her die!
    Long must she mourn her lov’d companion’s end;
Long shall her brother mourn in sympathy!


    For she was all—the fond fraternal mind,
Could wish a darling Sister to possess;
    And that the purest heart on earth could find;
And Seraphs now may glory to caress!


    Such are the names, that Sorrow bids me write,
(Tho’ rude the hand) on Mem’ry’s sable Urn;
    Names which this year has shadow’d in its night;
And, like itself, can never more return! [Page 51]


    Yes! ’tis the year of sorrow, past!—and now,
Another dawns as fickle, tho’ as clear;
    This too may ravish other friends below,
But none more virtuous—few more justly dear.


    The year of Sorrow!—quickly has its past!
Quickly will pass the few that yet remain;
    ’Tis but a journey!—and our souls at last,
Shall meet their friends, never to part again!


FINIS. [Page 52]