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An unforeseen and fatal hand
Cross'd all the measures love had plann'd;
Intrusion marr'd the tender hour,
A demon started in the bower;
If, like the past, the future run,
And my dark day is but begun,
What clouds may hang above my head?
What tears may I have yet to shed?
Hen. Oh, do not wound that gentle breast,
Nor sink, with fancied ills oppress'd;
For softness, sweetness, all, thou art,
And love is virtue in thy heart.
That bosom ne'er shall heave again
But to the poet's tender strain;
And never more these eyes o'erflow
But for a hapless lover's wo.
Long on the ocean tempest-toss'd,
At last we gain the happy coast;
And safe recount upon the shore
Our sufferings past, and dangers o'er:
Past scenes; the woes we wept erewhile
Will make our future minutes smile:
When sudden joy from sorrow springs,
How the heart thrills through all its strings!
Har. My father's castle springs to sight;
Ye towers, that gave me to the light!
Oh hills! oh vales! where I have play'd;
Ye woods, that wrap me in your shade!
Oh scenes I've often wander'd o'er!
Oh scenes I shall behold no more!
I take a long, last, lingering view:
Adieu! my native land, adieu !
Oh father, mother, brother dear!
Oh names still utter'd with a tear!
Upon whose knees I've sat and smiled,
Whose griefs my blandishments beguiled;
Whom I forsake in sorrows old,
Whom I shall never more behold!
Farewell, my friends, a long farewell,
Till time shall toll the funeral knell.
Hen. Thy friends, thy father's house resign;
My friends, my house, my all is thine :
Awake, arise, my wedded wife,
To higher thoughts and happier life!
For thee the marriage feast is spread,
For thee the virgins deck the bed ;
The star of Venus shines above,
And all thy future life is love.
They rise, the dear domestic hours!
The May of love unfolds her flow'rs;
Youth, beauty, pleasure spread the feast,
And friendship sits a constant guest;
In cheerful peace the morn ascends,
In wine and love the evening ends;
At distance grandeur sheds a ray,
To gild the evening of our day.
Connubial love has dearer names,
And finer ties, and sweeter claims,
Than e'er unwedded hearts can feel,
Than wedded hearts can e'er reveal;
Pure as the charities above,
Rise the sweet sympathies of love;
And closer cords than those of life
Unite the husband to the wife.
Like cherubs new come from the skies,
Henrys and Harriets round us rise;
And playing wanton in the hall,
With accent sweet their parents call;
To your fair images I run,
You clasp the husband in the son;
Oh how the mother's heart will bound!
Oh how the father's joy be crown'd!
THE BRAES OF YARROW.
THY braes were bonny, Yarrow stream!
When first on them I met my lover :
Thy braes how dreary, Yarrow stream!
When now thy waves his body cover.
For ever now, oh Yarrow stream,
Thou art to me a stream of sorrow;
For never on thy banks shall I
Behold my love, the flower of Yarrow.
He promised me a milkwhite steed
To bear me to his father's bowers;
He promised me a little page
To 'squire me to his father's towers;
He promised me a wedding-ring-
The wedding-day was fix'd to-morrow : Now he is wedded to his grave,
Alas! his wat'ry grave in Yarrow.
Sweet were his words when last we met-
My passion I as freely told him ;
Clasp'd in his arms, I little thought
That I should never more behold him.
Scarce was he gone, I saw his ghost,
It vanish'd with a shriek of sorrow;
Thrice did the water wraith ascend,
And give a doleful groan through Yarrow.
His mother from the window look'd,
With all the longing of a mother;
His little sister, weeping, walk'd
The greenwood path to meet her brother: They sought him east, they sought him west, They sought him all the forest thorough,
They only saw the cloud of night,
They only heard the roar of Yarrow.
No longer from thy window look-
Thou hast no son, thou tender mother!
No longer walk, thou lovely maid—
Alas! thou hast no more a brother.
No longer seek him east or west,
And search no more the forest thorough,
For, wandering in the night so dark,
He fell a lifeless corse in Yarrow.
The tear shall never leave my cheek,
No other youth shall be my marrow;
I'll seek thy body in the stream,
And then with thee I'll sleep in Yarrow. The tear did never leave her cheek,
No other youth became her marrow; She found his body in the stream,
And now with him she sleeps in Yarrow.
NATHANIEL COTTON. 1707-1788.
DEAR CHLOE, while the busy crowd,
The vain, the wealthy, and the proud,
In folly's maze advance;
Though singularity and pride
Be call'd our choice, we'll step aside,
Nor join the giddy dance.
From the gay world we'll oft retire
To our own family and fire,
Where love our hours employs;
No noisy neighbour enters here,
No intermeddling stranger near,
To spoil our heartfelt joys.
If solid happiness we prize,
Within our breast this jewel lies,
And they are fools who roam;
The world hath nothing to bestow,
From our own selves our bliss must flow,
And that dear hut our home.
Of rest was Noah's dove bereft,
When with impatient wing she left
That safe retreat, the ark;
Giving her vain excursions o'er,
The disappointed bird once more
Explored the sacred bark.
Though fools spurn Hymen's gentle powers,
We, who improve his golden hours,
By sweet experience know,
That marriage, rightly understood,
Gives to the tender and the good
A paradise below.
Our babes shall richest comforts bring;
If tutor❜d right they'll prove a spring
Whence pleasures ever rise:
We'll form their minds with studious care,
To all that's manly, good, and fair,
And train them for the skies.
While they our wisest hours engage,
They'll joy our youth, support our age,
And crown our hoary hairs;
They'll grow in virtue every day,
And they our fondest loves repay,
And recompense our cares.
No borrow'd joys! they're all our own,
While to the world we live unknown,
Or by the world forgot:
Monarchs! we envy not your state,
We look with pity on the great,
And bless our humble lot.