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THE FLYING FISH. I
A mother saw our eyelids close,
When I have seen thy snow-white wing
But, when I see that wing, so bright,
Oh Virtue ! when thy clime I seek, Let not my spirit's flight be weak : Let me not, like this feeble thing, With brine still dropping from its wing, Just sparkle in the solar glow And plunge again to depths below; But, when I leave the grosser throng With whom my soul hath dwelt so long, Let me, in that aspiring day, Cast every lingering stain away, And, panting for thy purer air, Fly up at once and fix me there.
Yet now, my Kate, a gloomy sea Rolls wide between that home and me; The moon may thrice be born and die, Ere ev'n that seal can reach mine eye, Which used so oft, so quick to come, Still breathing all the breath of home, As if, still fresh, the cordial air From lips belov'd were lingering there. But now, alas, — far different fate! It comes o'er ocean, slow and late, When the dear hand that fill'd its fold With words of sweetness may lie cold.
But hence that gloomy thought! at last, Beloved Kate, the waves are past : I tread on earth securely now, And the green cedar's living bough Breathes more refreshment to my eyes Than could a Claude's divinest dyes. At length I touch the happy sphere To liberty and virtue dear, Where man looks up, and, proud to claim His rank within the social frame, Sees a grand system round him roll, Himself its centre, sun, and soul ! Far from the shocks of Europe — far From every wild, elliptic star That, shooting with a devious fire, Kindled by heaven's avenging ire, So oft hath into chaos hurld The systems of the ancient world.
TO MISS MOORE.
FROM NORFOLK, IN VIRGINIA, NOVEMBER, 1803.
Is days, my Kate, when life was new,
The warrior here, in arms no more, Thinks of the toil, the conflict o'er, And glorying in the freedom won For hearth and shrine, for sire and son, Smiles on the dusky webs that hide His sleeping sword's remember'd pride. While Peace, with sunny cheeks of toil, Walks o'er the free, unlorded soil, Effacing with her splendid share The drops that war had sprinkled there.
1 It is the opinion of St. Austin upon Genesis, and I be- τους πιτομενους προς τα νηκτα. With this thought in our lieve of nearly all the Fathers, that birds, like fish, were ori- minds, when we first see the Flying-Fish, we could almost ginally produced from the waters ; in defence of which idea fancy, that we are present at the moment of creation, and they have collected every fanciful circumstance which can witness the birth of the first bird from the waves. tend to prove a kindred similitude between them; our yively
Thrice happy land ! where he who flies
Such is the picture, warmly such,
The simple strain I send you here, s
Oh ! love the song, and let it oft
THE LAKE OF THE DISMAL SWAMP.
WRITTEN AT NORFOLK, IN VIRGINIA.
But, courage, yet, my wavering heart !
and now, my Kate,
So here I pause
• They tell of a young man, who lost his mind upon the death of a girl he loved, and who, suddenly disappearing from his friends, was never afterwards heard of. As he had frequently said, in his ravings, that the girl was not dead, but gone to the Dismal Swamp, it is supposed he had wandered into that dreary wilderness, and had died of hunger, or been lost in some of its dreadful morasses." - Anon.
“ La Poésie a ses monstres comme la nature." - D'ALENBERT.
“ They made her a grave, too cold and damp
“ For a soul so warm and true;
| Such romantic works as “ The American Farmer's Let- 2 Norfolk, it must be owned, presents an unfavourable i ters," and the account of Kentucky by Imlay, would seduce specimen of America. The characteristics of Virginia in us into a belief, that innocence, peace, and freedom had de- general are not such as can delight either the politician or serted the rest of the world for Martha's Vineyard and the the moralist, and at Norfolk they are exhibited in their least banks of the Ohio. The French travellers, too, almost all attractive form. At the time when we arrived the yellow | from revolutionary motives, have contributed their share to fever had not yet disappeared, and every odour that assailed the diffusion of this flattering misconception. A visit to the us in the streets very strongly accounted for its visitation. country is, however, quite sufficient to correct even the most 3 A trifling attempt at musical composition accompanied enthusiastic prepossession.
And she's gone to the Lake of the Dismal Swamp, '
MARCHIONESS DOWAGER OF DONEGALL.
FROM BERMUDA, JANUARY, 1804.
" And her fire-fly lamp I soon shall see,
“ And her paddle I soon shall hear ; * Long and loving our life shall be, And I'U hide the maid in a cypress tree, " When the footstep of death is near.”
Away to the Dismal Swamp he speeds —
His path was rugged and sore, Through tangled juniper, beds of reeds, | Through many a fen, where the serpent feeds,
And man never trod before.
LADY! where'er you roam, whatever land
And, when on the earth he sunk to sleep,
If slumber his eyelids knew,
The flesh with blistering dew!
And near him the she-wolf stirr’d the brake,
And the copper-snake breath'd in his ear, Till he starting cried, from his dream awake, * Oh! when shall I see the dusky Lake,
" And the white canoe of my dear ?”
Yet, Lady, no — for song so rude as mine,
He saw the Lake, and a meteor bright
Quick over its surface play'd – * Welcome,” he said, “my dear one's light !” And the dim shore echoed, for many a night,
The name of the death-cold maid.
Till he hollow'd a boat of the birchen bark,
Which carried him off from shore ;
And the boat return'd no more.
But oft, from the Indian hunter's camp,
This lover and maid so true
And paddle their white canoe !
Say, have you ne'er, in nightly vision, stray'd
The Great Dismal Swamp is ten or twelve miles distant 4 M. Gebelin says, in his Monde Primitif, “ Lorsque Strafrom Norfolk, and the Lake in the middle of it (about seven bon crût que les anciens théologiens et poëtes plaçoient les miles long) is called Drummond's Popd.
champs élysées dans les isles de l'Océan Atlantique, il n'en: Lady Donegall, I had reason to suppose, was at this time tendit rien à leur doctrine." M. Gebelin's supposition, I still in Switzerland, where the well-known powers of her have no doubt, is the more correct; but that of Strabo is, in pencil must have been frequently awakened.
the present instance, most to my purpose. 3 The chapel of William Tell on the Lake of Lucerne.
Believe me, Lady, when the zephyrs bland
Bright rose the morning, every wave was still,
Delicate Ariel ! who, in brighter hours,
GEORGE MORGAN, ESQ.
OF NORFOLK, VIRGINIA.3
FROM BERMUDA, JANUARY, 1804.
Never did weary bark more gladly glide,
Κεινη δ' ηγεμοεσσα και ατροπα, οια 9' άλιτλης,
CALLIMACH. Hymn in Del. v. 11.
Oh, what a sea of storm we've pass'd !
High mountain waves and foamy showers, And battling winds whose savage blast
But ill agrees with one whose hours
Have pass'd in old Anacreon's bowers.
Then thought I, too, of thee, most sweet of all The spirit race that come at poet's call,
| Nothing can be more romantic than the little harbour of well and warmly, but I could never turn his house into a St. George's. The number of beautiful islets, the singular Grecian temple again. clearness of the water, and the animated play of the graceful 3 This gentleman is attached to the British consulate at little boats, gliding for ever between the islands, and seeming Norfolk. His talents are worthy of a much higher sphere; to sail from one cedar-grove into another, formed altogether but the excellent dispositions of the family with whom he as lovely a miniature of nature's beauties as can well be resides, and the cordial repose he enjoys amongst some of the imagined.
kindest hearts in the world, should be almost enough to atone ? This is an allusion which, to the few who are fanciful to him for the worst caprices of fortune. The consul bimenough to indulge in it, renders the scenery of Bermuda par- self, Colonel Hamilton, is one among the very few instances ticularly interesting. In the short but beautiful twilight of of a man, ardently loyal to his king, and yet beloved by the their spring evenings, the white cottages, scattered over the Americans. His house is the very temple of hospitality, and islands, and but partially seen through the trees that sur- I sincerely pity the heart of that stranger who, warm from round them, assume often the appearance of little Grecian the welcome of such a board, could sit down to write a libel on temples; and a vivid fancy may embellish the poor fisher. his host, in the true spirit of a modern philosophist. See the man's hut with columns such as the pencil of a Claude might Travels of the Duke de la Rouchefoucault Liancourt, vol. ii. imitate. I had one favourite object of this kind in my walks, 4 We were seven days on our passage from Norfolk to which the hospitality of its owner robbed me of, by asking Bermuda, during three of which we were forced to lay-to in me to visit him. He was a plain good man, and received me a gale of wind. The Driver sloop of war, in which I went, When close they reef'd the timid sail,
The muse and I together sung, When, every plank complaining loud,
With Boreas to make out the trio. We labour'd in the midnight gale,
But, bless the little fairy isle ! And ev'n our haughty main-mast bow'd,
How sweetly after all our ills, Even then, in that unlovely hour,
We saw the sunny morning smile The Muse still brought her soothing power,
Serenely o'er its fragrant hills; And, midst the war of waves and wind,
And felt the pure, delicious flow In song's Elysium lapp'd my mind.
Of airs, that round this Eden blow Nay, when no numbers of my own
Freshly as ev’n the gales that come
O'er our own healthy hills at home.
Could you but view the scenery fair,
That now beneath my window lies, Which time has sav'd from ancient days.
You'd think, that nature lavish'd there
Her purest wave, her softest skies, Take one of these, to Lais sung,
To make a heaven for love to sigh in, I wrote it while my hammock swung,
For bards to live and saints to die in. As one might write a dissertation
Close to my wooded bank below, Upon “Suspended Animation !”
In glassy calm the waters sleep,
And to the sunbeam proudly show Sweet 1 is your kiss, my Lais dear,
The coral rocks they love to steep. ? But, with that kiss I feel a tear
The fainting breeze of morning fails; Gush from your eyelids, such as start
The drowsy boat moves slowly past, When those who've dearly lov'd must part.
And I can almost touch its sails Sadly you lean your head to mine,
As loose they flap around the mast. And mute those arms around me twine,
The noontide sun a splendour pours Your hair adown my bosom spread,
That lights up all these leafy shores ; All glittering with the tears you shed.
While his own heav'n, its clouds and beams, In vain I've kiss'd those lids of snow,
So pictur’d in the waters lie, For still, like ceaseless founts they flow,
That each small bark, in passing, seems Bathing our cheeks, whene'er they meet.
To float along a burning sky.
Oh for the pinnace lent to thee, 3
Blest dreamer, who, in vision bright, Our last — go, false to heaven and me!
Didst sail o'er heaven's solar sea
And touch at all its isles of light.
Within thy orb's ambrosial round!4–
There spring the breezes, rich and warm, Such was the strain, Morgante mio!
That sigh around thy vesper car ; was bault at Bermuda of cedar, and is accounted an excellent Ειπε δ' ανέιρομενω, τινος oύνεκα δακρυα λειβεις ; sea-boat. She was then commanded by my very much re.
Δειδια μη με λιπης εστε γας ορκαταται. gretted friend Captain Compton, who in July last was killed 2 The water is so clear around the island, that the rocks aboard the Lilly in an action with a French privateer. Poor are seen beneath to a very great depth; and, as we entered Compton! he fell a victim to the strange impolicy of allowing the harbour, they appeared to us so near the surface that it such a miserable thing as the Lilly to remain in the service; seemed impossible we should not strike on them. There is so small, crank, and unmanageable, that a well-manned no necessity, of course, for heaving the lead; and the negro merchantinan was at any time a match for her.
pilot, looking down at the rocks from the bow of the ship, This epigram is by Paul the Silentiary, and may be found takes her through this difficult navigation, with a skill and in the Analecta of Brunck, vol. iii. p. 72. As the reading confidence which seem to astonish some of the oldest sailors. there is somewhat different from what I have followed in this 3 In Kircher's “ Ecstatic Journey to Heaven," Cosmiel, translation, I shall give it as I had it in my memory at the the genius of the world, gives Theodidactus a boat of asbestos, time, and as it is in Heinsius, who, I believe, first produced with which he embarks into the regions of the sun. “ Vides the epigram. See his Poemata.
(says Cosmiel) hanc asbestinam naviculam commoditati tuæ "Ηδυ μεν εστι φιλημα το Λαιδος ηδυ δε αυτων
præparatam." – Itinerar. I. Dial. i. cap. 5. This work of Ητιοδινητων δακρυ χεις βλεφαρων, ,
Kircher abounds with strange fancies. Και πολυ κιχλίζουσα σοβεις ευβοστρυχον αιγλης, ,
4 When the Genius of the world and his fellow-traveller "Ημιτερα κεφαλην δηρον εξεισαμένη.
arrive at the planet Venus, they find an island of loveliness, Μυρομενης δ' εφιλησα τα δ' ή, δροσερης ατο πηγης, full of odours and intelligences, where angels preside, who Δαιρνα μιγνυμιών τιπτι κατα στοματων
shed the cosmetic influence of this planet over the earth;