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Yet then again, ye slumbers, o'er my eyes
Descending, soothe my troubled soul to rest; And yet again, ye pleasing visions rise,
In all my Delia's gentler graces dress’d. And though through every semblance ye can range,
Well might ye choose my Delia's form to wear, Secure, that to no lovelier ye can change,
No mien more graceful, and no face more fair. In vain I call: obedient to my will
No visions rise, no slumbers o'er me creep, And now in glory from yon eastern hill,
The sun ascending bids me wake to weep. Ah! gentle sun! so will I bless thy beams,
Though thy return but grief returning bringsWith cautious reverence steal, where hovering
dreams O'er Delia's pillow wave their busy wings. O! could I stand with trembling duty nigh,
To guard, and guarding gaze upon the maid, No ruder ray should there intrude, no fly
With murmuring error her repose invade.
And if, while thus I gazed, upon her cheek
One smile of haughty scorn should haply dawn; And if one amorous sigh should haply break,
Deep from the involuntary bosom drawn; Now, would I cry, she proudly feigns to smile
While at her feet I seem my suit to press; Now ill conceal’d by many a female wile,
Her mutual love those amorous sighs confess.
And can I thus the flattering tale believe,
Which hope, too ready, whispers in my ear? And can I thus this simple heart deceive,
That still my Delia holds my memory dear? She now can wander in the conscious grove,
Nor think how there I wander'd by her side; In dreams her fancy now can freely rove,
Nor hear me talk, nor see my image glide. Yet be she false, her falsehood shall but show
How fix'd the firm foundation of my truth; For her alone I nurse perpetual woe,
For her, in silence drooping, waste my youth. For her, where lingering on in many a maze
Their humid train the waves of Isis wreathe, The tuneful sorrows of these tender lays
With many a hope and many a fear I breathe: And oft the while, my head, in grief declined,
Wistful I raise to watch the journeying sun ; Sigh as I mark the distance yet behind,
And bid his westering wheels more swiftly run. Then fondly kind in visionary charms
Propitious night my Delia may restore; Then I again may fold her in these arms; O be the vision true! I ask no more.
DELIA. Yes, Delia loves! my fondest vows are bless'd;
Farewell the memory of her past disdain; One kind relenting glance has heal'd my breast,
And balanced in a moment years of pain !
O'er ber soft cheek consenting blushes move,
And with kind stealth her secret soul betray; Blushes, which usher in the morn of love,
Sure as the reddening east foretells the day. Her tender smiles shall pay me with delight
For many a bitter pang of jealous fear; For many an anxious day and sleepless night,
For many a stifled sigh and silent tear,
Delia shall come and bless my lone retreat;
She does not scorn the shepherd's lowly life; She will not blush to leave the splendid seat,
And own the title of a poor man's wife.
The simple knot shall bind her gather'd hair,
The russet garment clasp her lovely breast: Delia shall mix among the rural fair,
By charms alone distinguish'd from the rest. And meek Simplicity, neglected maid,
Shall bid my fair in native graces shine, She, only she shall lend her modest aid,
Chaste sober priestess, at sweet Beauty's shrine!
How sweet to muse by murmuring springs reclined;
Or loitering careless in the shady grove, Indulge the gentlest feelings of the mind,
And pity those who live to aught but love!
When Delia's hand unlocks her shining hair,
And o'er her shoulder spreads the flowing gold, Base were the man who one bright tress would By her dear side with what content I'd toil,
spare For all the ore of India's coarser mould.
Patient of any labour in her sight; Guide the slow plough, or turn the stubborn soil,
Till the last lingering beam of doubtful light. But softer tasks divide my Delia's hours,
To watch the firstlings at their harmless play; With welcome shade to screen the languid flowers
That sicken in the summer's parching ray. Oft will she stoop amidst her evening walk,
With tender hand each bruised plant to rear ; To bind the drooping lily's broken stalk,
And nurse the blossoms of the infant year. When beating rains forbid our feet to roam,
We'll shelter'd sit, and turn the storied page; There see what passions shake the lofty dome
With mad ambition or ungovern'd rage : What headlong ruin oft involves the great;
What conscious terrors guilty bosoms prove; What strange and sudden turns of adverse fate
Tear the sad virgin from her plighted love. Delia shall read, and drop a gentle tear,
Then cast her eyes around the low-roof'd cot, And own the fates have dealt more kindly here,
That bless'd with only love our little lot. For Love has sworn (I heard the awful vow)
The wavering heart shall never be his care That stoops at any baser shrine to bow;
And what he cannot rule he scorns to share. My heart in Delia is so fully bless'd,
It has no room to lodge another joy;
And only there misfortune can annoy.
Our silent hours shall steal unmark'd away
ID one long tender calm of rural peace; And measure many a fair unblemish'd day
Of cheerful leisure and poetic ease. The proud unfeeling world their lot shall scorn
Who midst inglorious shades can poorly dwell : Yet if some youth, for gentler passions born,
Shall chance to wander near our lowly cell, His feeling breast with purer flames shall glow,
And, leaving pomp and cares and state behind, Shall own the world has little to bestow Where two fond hearts in equal love are join'd.
WRITTEN AS FROM A FRENCH LADY, WHOSE HUS
BAND HAD BEEN THREE YEARS PRISONER OF
FLED are the years love should have call’d his own,
Bearing my wasted youth they roll'd away: Dost thou conceive, my husband, how I moan
Through the long lonely disappointed day? Night comes.- -Ah! every instant, as it flies,
Feeds my impatience to behold thee here.Morning will soon relume the darken'd skies,
But when shall my soul's morning reappear? Each separated moment dost thou count
With a regret solicitous as mine?
And bids thee in unransom’d bondage pine.