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a close approximation to savage life, not only in the liberty which they enjoy, but in the violence of party spirit and of private animosity which results from it. This illiberal zeal embitters all social in:ercourse ; and, though I scarcely could hesitate in selecting the party whose views appeared the more pure and rational, yet I was sorry to observe that, in asserting their opinions, they both assume an equal share of intolerance; the Democrats, consistently with their principles, exhibiting a vulgarity of rancour which the Federalists too often are so forgetful of their cause as to imitate.
The rude familiarity of the lower orders, and indeed the unpolished state of society in general, would neither surprise nor disgust if they seemed to flow from that simplicity of character, that honest ignorance of the gloss of refinement, which may be looked for in a new and inexperienced people. But, when we find them arrived at maturity in most of the vices, and all the pride, of civilization, while they are still so remote from its elegant characteristics, it is impossible not to feel that this youthful decay, this crude anticipation of the natural period of corruption, represses every sanguine hope of the future energy and greatness of America.
I am conscious that, in venturing these few remarks, I have said just enough to offend, and by no means sufficient to convince ; for the limits of a preface will not allow me to enter into a justification of my opinions, and I am committed on the subject as effectually as if I had written volumes in their defence. My reader, however, is apprised of the very cursory observation upon which these opinions are founded, and can easily decide for himself upon the degree of attention or confidence which they merit.
With respect to the poems in general, which occupy the following pages, I know not in what manner to apologize to the public for intruding upon their notice such a mass of unconnected trifles, such a world of epicurean atoms, as I have here brought in conflict together. To say that I have been tempted by the liberal offers of my bookseller is an excuse which can hope for but little indulgence from the critic; yet I own that, without this seasonable inducement, these poems very possibly would never have been submitted to the world. The glare of publication is too strong for such imperfect productions : they should be shown but to the eye of friendship in that dim light of privacy which is as favourable to poetical as to female beauty, and serves as a veil for faults, while it enhances every charm which it displays. Besides, this is not a period for the idle occupations of poetry, and times like the present require talents more active and more useful. Few have now the leisure to read such trifles, and I sincerely regret that I have had the leisure to write them.
TO LORD VISCOUNT STRANGFORD.
By any spell my hand could dare
To make thy disk its ample page,
And write my thoughts, my wishes there ; How many a friend, whose careless eye Now wanders o'er that starry sky, Should smile, upon thy orb to meet The recollection, kind and sweet, The reveries of fond regret, The promise never to forget, And all my heart and soul would send To many a dcar-loved, distant friend! O Strangford ! when we parted last, I little thought the times were past, For ever past, when brilliant joy Was all my vacant heart's employ: When, fresh from mirth to mirth again,
We thought the rapid hours too few, Our only use for knowledge then
To turn to rapture all we knew! Delicious days of whim and soul !
When, mingling lore and laugh together, We learned the book on pleasure's bowl,
And turned the leaf with folly's feather! I little thought that all were flea, That, ere that summer's bloom was shed, My eye should see the sail unfurled That wafts me to the western world! And yet 'twas time.-In youthful days, To cool the season's burning rays, The heart may let its wanton wing Repose awhile in pleasure's spring, But, if it wait for winter's breeze, The spring will dry, the heart will freeze ! And then, that Hope, that fairy Hope,
Oh! she awaked such happy dreams, And gave my soul such tempting scope
For all its dearest, fondest schemes, That not Verona's child of song,
When flying from the Phrygian shore, With lighter hopes could bound along,
Or pant to be a wanderer more! Even now delusive hope will steal Amid the dark regrets I feel, Soothing, as yonder placid beam
Pursues the murmurers of the deep, And lights them with consoling gleam,
And smiles them into tranquil sleep! Oh! such a blessed night as this,
I often think, if friends were near, How we should feel, and gaze with bliss
Upon the moon-bright scenery here! The sea is like a silvery lake,
And, o'er its calm the vessel glides
The slumber of the silent tides !
Hath hung its shade on Pico's height, *
And scowling at this heaven of light,
Invisible, at this soft hour,
That brighten many an orange bower;
And see the blushing cheek it shades,
To tell of young Azorian maids.
Some faithful lover (not so blest
May cradle every wish to rest)
Those madrigals, of breath divine,
And gave, all glowing warm, to thine !
And breathe them with thy graceful tone,
Would make the coldest nymph his own!
Pico is a very high mountain on one of the Azores, from which the island acrives its name. It is said by some to be as high as the Peak ni Tenerife.
There as thy lover dries the tear
Yet warm from life's malignant wrongs, Within his arms, thou lov'st to hear
The luckless Lyre's remembered songs ! Still do your happy souls attune
The notes it learned, on earth, to move; Still breathing o'er the chords, commune
In sympathies of angel love!
TO THE FLYING-FISH. WHEN I have seen thy snowy wing O'er the blue wave at evening spring: And give those scales, of silver white, So gaily to the eye of light, As if thy frame were formed to rise, And live amid the glorious skies; Oh! it has made me proudly feel How like thy wing's impatient zeal Is the pure soul that scorns to rest Upon the world's ignoble breast, But takes the plume that God has given. And rises into light and heaven ! But, when I see that wing, so bright, Grow languid with a moment's flight, Attempt the paths of air in vain, And sink into the waves again ; Alas! the flattering pride is o'er; Like thee, awhile, the soul may soar, But erring man mast blush to think, Like thee, again, the soul may sinki O 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 !
TO MISS MOORE.
In days, my Kate, when life was new.
I heard, in home's beloved shade, The din the world at distance made ; When every night my weary head Sunk on its own unthorned bed, And, mild as evening's matron hour Looks on the faintly shutting flower, A mother saw our eyelids close, And blessed them into pure repose ! Then, haply if a week, a day, I lingered from your arms away, How long the little absence seemed ! How bright the look of welcome bearned, As mute you heard, with eager smile, My tales of all that passed the while ! Yet now, my Kate, a gloomy sea Rolls wide between that home and me; The moon may thrice be born and die Ere e'en your seal can reach mine eye; And oh ! e'en then, that darling seal (Upon whose print I used to feel The breath of home, the cordial air Of loved lips, still freshly there !) Must come, alas ! through every fate Of time and distance, cold and late, When the dear hand whose touches filled The leaf with sweetness may be chilled ! 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 hurled The systems of the ancient world !
The warrior here, in arms no more,