Port Talbot Poems in the Montreal Scribbler

By Adam Hood Burwell



[An introductory note]
Mr. Scribbler

          As I observe you are something of a knight-errant in the cause of man’s other self, I take the liberty of enclosing a few lines which Mr. Erieus wrote under kindred impressions with those of L.L.M. (the editor). You may if you please, throw them in the face of Mr. Critic, with his she-devils.

O lovely woman, fairest flower that springs,
In sweetness robed, from the Creator’s hand;
Bestow’d on man to be his constant friend,
His joys, his pains, his pleasures, to command.

Who hath not sought the sunshine of thy smiles?


Who hath not own’d the empire of thy charms?
Or striven to win thee by a thousand wiles,
And clash his conqueror in his eager arms.

Man is oppress’d; solicitude and care
Weigh down his soul; but when he flies to thee,


Thy soothing words beguile his anxious heart,
And from their burthen set his spirits free.

He mixes in the busy calls of life,
Till wearied nature asks the balm of rest;
He quits the noisy, bustling scenes of strife,


And flies for respite to thy faithful breast.

He feels the rack of pain and sore disease,
Thy helping hand supports his weary frame;
Thy constant kindness gives the sufferer ease,
And mitigates e’en in raging fever’s flame.


By thee his name descends to future times;
He sees himself, through bowed by length of years,
Live in his children, through life’s morn again,
And in their praises, his own praise he hears.

And yet we see thee mark’d by treacherous man


Fit game for lawless passion. Innocence
Protects thee not against thy wily foe. —
The weak find in it but a poor defence. [Page 23]

As if to shame and ruin left a prey,
See how the taunting finger points with scorn!


Compassion hardly finds a tear for thee,
Nor pity turns to sooth the wretch forlorn.

While he, the spoiler, is allow’d to pass,
Unmark’d by censure, and secure from shame,
In the broad world to seek and sacrifice


Some other victim to his guilty flame.

O injured woman! I will love thee still,
For where a friend so faithful can I find?
Woman supports us through life’s every ill,
A WOMAN bore the SAVIOUR of mankind. *



Port Talbot, U.C.

* [A note by the Editor of The Scribbler]; “Is this not rather misplaced, and making too free with the mysteries of our religion? It is however, the observation of an eminent writer on polemic divinity. ‘Non dedignatur Christus ex meretricibus et gentilibus nasci quia venit ut utrasque salvaret.’ POLI SYNOPSIS. ‘For Christ himself did not disdain to be descended from harlots and from sinners, for it was unto them that he brought salvation.’” [back] [Page 24]


* This poem appeared in The Scribbler (Montreal), I, 135-136 (18 October, 1821). [back]