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And O! if Eyes whose holy glances roll,
Swift messengers, and eloquent of soul;

If Smiles more winning, and a gentler Mien
Than the love-wildered Maniac's brain hath seen
Shaping celestial forms in vacant air,

If these demand the impassioned Poet's care
If Mirth and softened Sense and Wit refined,
The blameless features of a lovely mind;
Then haply shall my trembling hand assign
No fading wreath to Beauty's saintly shrine.
Nor, Sara! thou these early flowers refuse-
Ne'er lurked the snake beneath their simple hues ;,
No purple bloom the Child of Nature brings
From Flattery's night-shade: as he feels he sings.
September, 1792.

SONNET I.

"Content, as random Fancies might inspire,
If his weak harp at times or lonely lyre
He struck with desultory hand, and drew
Some softened tones to Nature not untrue."

BOWLES.

My heart has thanked thee, Bowles! for those soft strains
Whose sadness soothes me, like the murmuring

Of wild-bees in the sunny showers of spring!
For hence not callous to the mourner's pains

Through Youth's gay prime and thornless paths I went :
And when the mightier throes of mind began,
And drove me forth, a thought-bewildered man,
Their mild and manliest melancholy lent
A mingled charm, such as the pang consigned
To slumber, though the big tear it renewed;
Bidding a strange mysterious Pleasure brood
Over the wavy and tumultuous mind,
As the great Spirit erst with plastic sweep
Moved on the darkness of the unformed deep.

SONNET II.

As late I lay in slumber's shadowy vale,
With wetted cheek and in a mourner's guise,
I saw the sainted form of Freedom rise:

She spake not sadder moans the autumnal gale—
Great Son of Genius! sweet to me thy name,
Ere in an evil hour with altered voice

Thou bad'st Oppression's hireling crew rejoice
Blasting with wizard spell my laurelled fame.
Yet never, Burke ! thou drank'st Corruption's bowl!
Thee stormy Pity and the cherished lure
Of Pomp, and proud Precipitance of soul
Wildered with meteor fires. Ah Spirit pure!
That error's mist had left thy purged eye:
So might I clasp thee with a Mother's joy!"

SONNET III.

THOUGH roused by that dark Vizir Riot rude
Have driven our Priestley o'er the ocean swell;
Though Superstition and her wolfish brood
Bay his mild radiance, impotent and fell ;
Calm in his halls of brightness he shall dwell!
For lo! Religion at his strong behest
Starts with mild anger from the Papal spell,
And flings to earth her tinsel-glittering vest,
Her mitred state and cumbrous pomp unholy;
And Justice wakes to bid the Oppressor wail
Insulting aye the wrongs of patient Folly:
And from her dark retreat by Wisdom won
Meek Nature slowly lifts her matron veil
To smile with fondness on her gazing son!

SONNET IV.

WHEN British Freedom for a happier land

Spread her broad wings, that fluttered with affright, Erskine thy voice she heard, and paused her flight Sublime of hope! For dreadless thou didst stand

(Thy censer glowing with the hallowed flame)
A hireless Priest before the insulted shrine,
And at her altar pour the stream divine

Of unmatched eloquence. Therefore thy name
Her sons shall venerate, and cheer thy breast

With blessings heaven-ward breathed. And when the doom
Of nature bids thee die, beyond the tomb

Thy light shall shine as sunk beneath the West
Though the great Summer Sun eludes our gaze,
Still burns wide Heaven with his distended blaze.

SONNET V.

It was some Spirit, Sheridan! that breathed
O'er thy young mind such wildly various power!
My soul hath marked thee in her shaping hour,
Thy temples with Hymmettian flow'rets wreathed:
And sweet thy voice, as when o'er Laura's bier
Sad music trembled through Vauclusa's glade;
Sweet, as at dawn the love-lorn Serenade
That wafts soft dreams to Slumber's listening ear.
Now patriot rage and indignation high

Swell the full tones! And now thine eye-beams dance
Meanings of Scorn and Wit's quaint revelry!

Writhes inly from the bosom-probing glance

The Apostate by the brainless rout adored,

As erst that elder Fiend beneath great Michael's sword.

SONNET VI.

O WHAT a loud and fearful shriek was there,

As though a thousand souls one death-groan poured!
Ah me! they saw beneath a hireling's sword
Their Kosciusko fall! Through the swart air
(As pauses the tired Cossac's barbarous yell
Of triumph) on the chill and midnight gale
Rises with frantic burst or sadder swell

The dirge of murdered Hope! while Freedom pale
Bends in such anguish o'er her destined bier,

As if from eldest time some Spirit meek
Had gathered in a mystic urn each tear
That ever on a Patriot's furrowed cheek

Fit channel found, and she had drained the bowl
In the mere wilfulness, and sick despair of soul!

SONNET VII.

As when far off the warbled strains are heard
That soar on Morning's wing the vales among,
Within his cage the imprisoned matin bird
Swells the full chorus with a generous song:
He bathes no pinion in the dewy light,
No Father's joy, no Lover's bliss he shares,
Yet still the rising radiance cheers his sight;
His fellows' freedom soothes the captive's cares!
Thou, Fayette! who didst wake with startling voice
Life's better sun from that long wintry night,
Thus in thy Country's triumphs shalt rejoice,
And mock with raptures high the dungeon's might:
For lo! the morning struggles into day,

And Slavery's spectres shriek and vanish from the ray!

SONNET VIII.

THOU gentle Look, that didst my soul beguile, Why hast thou left me? Still in some fond dream

Revisit my sad heart, auspicious Smile!

As falls on closing flowers the lunar beam :
What time, in sickly mood, at parting day
I lay me down and think of happier years;
Of Joys, that glimmered in Hope's twilight ray,
Then left me darkling in a vale of tears.
O pleasant days of hope-forever gone!-
Could I recall you!-But that thought is vain.
Availeth not Persuasion's sweetest tone
To lure the fleet-winged Travellers back again :
Yet fair, though faint, their images shall gleam
Like the bright Rainbow on a willowy stream.

SONNET IX.

PALE Roamer through the night! thou poor Forlorn ! Remorse that man on his death-bed possess,

Who in the credulous hour of tenderness

Betrayed, then cast thee forth to want and scorn!
The world is pitiless: the chaste one's pride
Mimic of Virtue scowls on thy distress:

Thy Loves and they, that envied thee, deride :
And Vice alone will shelter wretchedness!
O! I could weep to think, that there should be
Cold-bosomed lewd ones, who endure to place
Foul offerings on the shrine of misery,
And force from famine the caress of Love;
May He shed healing on the sore disgrace,
He, the great Comforter that rules above!

SONNET X.

SWEET Mercy! how my very heart has bled
To see thee, poor Old Man! and thy gray hairs
Hoar with the snowy blast: while no one cares
To clothe thy shrivelled limbs and palsied head.
My Father! throw away this tattered vest

That mocks thy shivering! take my garment-use
A young man's arm! I'll melt these frozen dews

That hang from thy white beard and numb thy breast.

My Sara too shall tend thee, like a Child :

And thou shalt talk, in our fireside's recess,

Of purple pride, that scowls on wretchedness.

He did not so, the Galilean mild,

Who met the Lazars turned from rich men's doors,

And called them Friends, and healed their noisome sores!

SONNET XI.

THOU bleedest, my poor Heart! and thy distress

Reasoning I ponder with a scornful smile,

And probe thy sore wound sternly, though the while

Swoln be mine eye and dim with heaviness.

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