Port Talbot Poems in the Montreal Scribbler

By Adam Hood Burwell



       And here they bound me,
       With damp walls around me?
And here I must languish, and languish alone?
       A crust but to dine on, —
       Not straw to recline on, —


No bed but the earth, and no chair but a stone?

       O! why was I plunged in
       This dark gloomy dungeon?
Why loaded with chains on my feet and my hands?
       These hoarse grating portals


       Shut me from all mortals —
Alas! I’ve no hope — ’tis a tyrant’s commands.

       No friend is admitted,
       However I’m pitied;
Not even the wife of my bosom I see:


       She might weep beside me,
       But that is denied me —
All shadow of comfort is taken from me.

       How fickle is fortune!
       How soon she cuts short one!


I once was a happy as mortal could be;
       My parents they bless’d me,
       My friends they caress’d me —
But ah! recollection — how painful to me!

       My smiling babes round me,


       How sweet their arms bound me,
How lovely they welcomed me when I came home!
       But now, who befriends them?
       But now, who defends them?
Or who provides for them? Alas! there is none.


       My fields may all bloom, and
       Emit their perfume, and
The music of morning may break from the thorn;
       My flocks they may ramble,
       And o’er the meads gambol;


But I am distracted, distress’d, and forlorn. [Page 46]

       The gush of the fountain,
       That breaks from the mountain,
And spreads, slowly winding, my pastures around,
       Which gave me enjoyment,


       And found me employment,
Now rises to view but my feelings to wound.

       Bright Pheobus may rise, and
       Illumine the skies, and
The season may roll o’er, and roll o’er again,


       I’ve nought for each morrow
       To bring me but sorrow —
Alas! how reflection increases my pain.

       My heart and breast languish
       My soul bursts with anguish;


Around my dark mansion distracted I stare:
       My reason’s perverted;
       Kind hope has deserted,
And left me a prey to black, howling despair.




Port Talbot, U.C. [Page 47]


* This poem appeared in The Scribbler (Montreal), II, 104-106 (15 August, 1822). [back]