Elegies and Other Small Poems eBook

Matilda Betham-Edwards
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 35 pages of information about Elegies and Other Small Poems.

HUMAN PLEASURE OR PAIN.

When clouds and rain deform the sky,
  And light’nings glare around,
Amidst the dreary, cheerless scene,
  Some comfort may be found.

There will, at some far-distant spot,
  A streak of light appear,
Or, when the sullen vapours break,
  The ether will be clear.

And if the sun illumes the east,
  And sheds his gladsome ray,
Some boding mist, or passing cloud
  Will threat the rising day.

The heart rejoicing in the view,
  And dancing with delight,
Oft feels the touch of palsied fear,
  And sinks at thought of night.

So Hope’s bright torch more clearly shines,
  Amidst surrounding gloom,
And, beldame Fortune vainly throws
  Her mantle o’er the tomb.

MARCH 15,1797.

THE COMPLAINT OF FANCY.

To A.R.C.

As, musing, late I sat reclin’d,
And waking dreams absorb’d my mind,
A damsel came, of various dyes,
Like painted Iris from the skies;
A purfled saffron was her vest,
And sweet gum-cistus form’d her crest;
In many a playful ring, her hair
Flew light and flossy in the air;
The mantle, blue and gold, she wore,
A rose of opals held before,
While, graceful in her fairy hand,
Appear’d a crimson-tufted wand,
Whose shade on every object threw
A glowing tint of roseate hue.

“Whence art thou, blooming nymph?” I cried,
And thus a tuneful voice replied: 
“Men call me Fancy; at my shrine
Myriads confess my power divine;
There painters bend the willing knee,
And laurell’d poets sue to me: 
For mine is every vivid ray,
Which partial Nature gave the day;
And, to the music of my song,
A thousand nameless charms belong.

“The friend of Happiness, I dwell
Belov’d alike in court or cell;
Where Glory lifts her ardent eye,
With hasty, kindred zeal I fly,
In sun-beams place the hero’s form,
And bid his arm command the storm;
On swelling clouds an altar raise,
And fan the tow’ring flame of praise.

“Oft, from the lorn enthusiast’s lyre,
My fingers strike etherial fire,
And give to sounds of piercing woe,
Extatic rapture’s fervent glow. 
Oft sooth the maniac’s throbbing vein,
And grace her simple, wilder’d strain;
The tribe of Pain in fetters keep,
Lull wounded Memory to sleep,
And, in the mind of gloomy Care,
Bid Thought an angel’s semblance wear.

“Dear to each blest aerial pow’r,
E’en Wisdom calls me to her bow’r;
My songs her leisure hours beguile,
And teach her holy lip to smile. 
And, when the Muse, with thoughtful care,
Has woven chaplets for her hair,
I let her, with her myrtles, twine,
Full many a fragrant rose of mine.

“Then why, since all the wise and gay,
To me a grateful homage pay,
Since I to all my hand extend,
And, liberal, every heart befriend,
Does Nancy from the croud retire,
And rend my blossoms from her lyre? 
Though every string the loss bewail,
And tones of mellow sweetness fail,
Which us’d to charm the pensive ear,
When list’ning Friendship bent to hear.

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Project Gutenberg
Elegies and Other Small Poems from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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