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Matilda Betham-Edwards
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 22 pages of information about Vignettes in Verse.

“And would’st thou wish,” the monarch cried,
“To set our gentle laws aside? 
Thou hast no friend in Common Sense,
In such affairs she thinks it wisest,
To stand aside without pretence,
And sanction laws which thou despisest. 
But try the plan, it merits praise,
Success may crown its winning ways! 
The lady must be blind indeed,
    With whom such offers of neglect,
    And cool, habitual disrespect
Would not succeed. 
But come no longer here to flout us,
Since, truly, thou canst do without us;
For dignity is lost in sport,
An outlaw for contempt of court;
We banish thee with all thy pride
Until thy heart be rarified.”

XIX.

ABSENCE.

Written in Derbyshire, by the same Friend.

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When recollection brings to mind,
The kindred ties I’ve left behind,
The converse gentle and refin’d,
                                I grieve!

Deep the regret, the pain extreme,
And yet I fondly love the dream,
And find the sad, delightful theme
                                Relieve.

It bids all present forms decay,
All present feelings fade away;
Impeding distance, long delay
                                Are o’er!

Fancy, so active in the gloom,
Till some one enters in the room,
Can all the images of home
                                Restore.

Alas! when weeks, and months are past,
Shall I that home behold at last,
Which even the dark clouds overcast
                                Endear?

Lest one of all the cares that dart
Like arrows round each thoughtful heart,
May pierce ere then some vital part
                                I fear!

XX.

On reading in Savary’s Travels the death of Ali Bey, who, it is there represented, in the midst of enlightened and benevolent efforts to benefit his country, was repeatedly betrayed, and at length taken captive by his brother-in-law, whom he had advanced and loved, and who, till the very last, he could not believe to be his enemy.

--------

O generous Ali! while thy fate inspires
Indignant pity, with a patriot’s fires,
I mourn for Egypt, and with equal zeal,
For her, for thee, and ruin’d science feel: 
Admire the confidence my heart deplores
And blame the weakness it almost adores!

Pride of thy race! before my mental eyes,
I see thee, like another Alfred rise;
See honour splendent on thy ample brow,
While Thought and Genius fill the orbs below;
Those beaming orbs! where lofty sweetness shone,
And where the soul sate smiling on her throne: 
Depriv’d too soon of that benignant ray,
Which impious Dahab shudder’d to survey. 
Pale, bleeding, conquer’d, dying, and forlorn,
I see thee view the wretch with silent scorn! 
See thy cheek flush at the false tears he shed,
And proudly turn away the languid head,
With mingled anger, sorrow, and disdain,
That he should dare to tempt thy love again!

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