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Minority. No tutor charged his hand
RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE OUT
THE GIFT OF MY COUSIN ANNE BODHAM.
O that those lips had language! Life has pass'd
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
My mother! when I learn'd that thou wastdead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed? Hoverd thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun? Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a kiss; Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss Ah, that maternal smile! it answers—Yes. I heard the bell tolld on thy burial day, I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away, And, turning from my nursery window, drew A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu! But was it such?—It was—where thou art gone Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown. May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, The parting word shall pass my lips no more! Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern, Oft gave me promise of thy quick return. What ardently I wish’d, I long believed, And, disappointed still, was still deceived. By expectation every day beguiled, Dupe of to-morrow even from a child. Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went, Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent, I learn’d at last submission to my lot, But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot. Where once we dwelt our name is heard no
more, Children not thine have trod my nursery floor; And where the gardener Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way, Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapp'd In scarlet mantle warm,
and velvet cap, 'Tis now become a history little known, That once we call’d the pastoral house our own.
Shortlived possession! but the record fair,
Could Time, his flight reversed,restore the hours, When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers, The violet, the pink, and jessamine, I prick'd them into paper with a pin (And thou wast happier than myself the while, Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and
smile), Could those few pleasant days again appear, Might one wish bring them, would I wish them
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast
shore • Where tempests never beat nor billows roar',' And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide Of life long since has anchor'd by thy side. But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest, Always from port withheld, always distress'd Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest-toss'd, Sails ripp’d,seams opening wide,and compass lost, And day by day some current's thwarting force Sets me more distant from a prosperous course. Yet O the thought that thou art safe, and he! That thought is joy, arrive what may to me. My boast is not, that I deduce
birth From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth; But higher far my proud pretensions riseThe son of parents pass’d into the skies. And now farewell—Time unrevoked has run His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is done. By Contemplation's help, not sought in vain, I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again; To have renew'd the joys that once were mine, Without the sin of violating thine;
And, while the wings of Fancy still are free, And I can view this mimic show of thee, Time has but half succeeded in his theftThyself removed, thy power to sooth me left.
HEROISM. There was a time when Ætna's silent fire Slept unperceived, the mountain yet entire: When, conscious of no danger from below, She tower'd a cloud-capp'd pyramid of snow. No thunders shook with deep intestine sound The blooming groves that girdled her around. Her unctuous olives, and her purple vines (Unfelt the fury of those bursting mines), The peasant's hopes, and not in vain, assured, In peace upon her sloping sides matured: When on a day, like that of the last doom, A conflagration labouring in her womb, She teen’d and heaved with an infernal birth That shook the circling seas and solid earth, Dark and voluminous the vapours rise, And hang their horrors in the neighbouring skies, While through the Stygian veil that blots the day, In dazzling streaks the vivid lightnings play. But oh! what Muse, and in what powers
song, Can trace the torrent as it burns along? Havoc and devastation in the van, It marches o'er the prostrate works of man; Vines, olives, herbage, forests disappear, And all the charms of a Sicilian year.
Revolving seasons, fruitless as they pass, See it an uninform’d and idle mass;