Adieu, bless’d shade!—Imagination
To distant regions, o’er th’ Atlantic wave;
Ah! not to genial skies, or fragrant groves,
To drop a tear upon a kindred grave.
Hard was thy fate, Eliza[B]!—It was thine,
Tho’ wit thy mind, tho’ beauty grac’d thy form,
Behind Affliction’s weeping cloud to shine,
With star-like radiance, in a night of storm.
Fierce from the sun the fiery fever flew,
And bade the burning sand become thy tomb!
O’er thee no willow drops its mourning dew,
Nor spotless lilies o’er thy bosom bloom!
Oh! when we stood around our brother’s bier,
And wept in life’s full bloom to see him torn,
Ah! little did ye think that such a tear
As then ye shed so soon your fate would mourn.
Farewell, dear shades! accept this mournful song,
At once the tribute of my grief and love;
Fain would it try your virtues to prolong,
Here priz’d and honour’d, and now bless’d above.
[Footnote A: Mrs. Hodges, a sister of the author.]
[Footnote B: Mrs Fountaine, another sister of the author, who accompanied her husband to Africa, and died at the Government-house, in one of the British settlements on that coast, where she survived but a short time the death of three of her children.]
Echo! thou sweet enchantress of the grove!
Oh! cease to answer to the tones of love;
Or teach my Delia in thine art divine,
Thou loveliest nymph! to hear and answer mine!
Repeated at an elegant Entertainment
IN THE RUINS OF BERRY CASTLE, DEVONSHIRE.[A]
By your permission, Ladies! I address ye,
And for the boon you grant, my Muse shall bless ye.
I do not mean in solemn verse to tell
What fate the race of Pomeroy befell;
To trace the castle-story of each year,
To learn how many owls have hooted here;
What was the weight of stone, which form’d this pile,
Will on your lovely cheeks awake no smile:
Such antiquarian sermons suit not me,
Nor any soul who loves festivity.
Past times I heed not; be the present hour
In life, while yet it blooms, my chosen flow’r,
For well I know, what Time cannot disown,
Amidst this mossy pile of mould’ring stone,
That Hospitality was never seen
To spread more social joy upon the green;
Or, when its noble and capacious hall
Rang with the gambol gay, or graceful ball,
More beauty never charm’d its ancient beaux
Than what its honour’d ruins now enclose.
Thanks to the clouds, which from the soaking show’r
Preserve the vot’ries of the present hour;
For, strange to tell, beneath the chilling storm,
Lately the rose reclin’d her frozen form;