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

The rapid and abrupt descent,
  The stain’d and ruffled plume,
Would seem as if they were not meant
  Their ardour to resume.

But soon their beauty and their force
  Sweet hours of rest renew;
Full soon their light, their varied course
  Careering they pursue.

Alternately to rise and fall,
  Or float along the day—­
And this is Fortune—­This is all
  I would vouchsafe to say!

II.

  Lucy, I think not of thy beauty,
    I praise not each peculiar grace;
  To see thee in the path of duty,
    And with that happy, smiling face,
Conveys more pleasure to thy friend,
Than any outward charm could lend.

  I see thy graceful babes caress thee,
    I mark thy wise, maternal care,
  And sadly do the words impress me,
    The magic words—­that thou art fair. 
I wonder that a tongue is found
To utter the unfeeling sound!

  For, art thou not above such praises? 
    And is this all that they can see? 
  Poor is the joy such flattery raises,
    And, oh! how much unworthy thee! 
Unworthy one whose heart can feel
The voice of truth, the warmth of zeal!

  O Lucy, thou art snatch’d from folly,
    Become too tender to be vain,
  The world, it makes me melancholy,
    The world would lure thee back again! 
And it would cost me many sighs,
To see it win so bright a prize!

  Though passing apprehensions move me,
    I know thou hast a noble heart;
  But, Lucy, I so truly love thee,
    So much admire thee as thou art,
That, but the shadow of a fear,
Wakes in my breast a pang sincere.

III.

The artisan.

This twilight gloom.  This lone retreat—­
This silence to my soul is sweet! 
Awhile escap’d from toil and strife,
And all the lesser ills of life,
Here only at the evening’s close,
My weary spirit finds repose;
My sinking heart its freedom gains,
Which poverty had bound in chains!

For here unheard the moments fly—­
And so secure, so happy I,
That, often at the very last,
I feel not that my dream is past. 
The little hour of bliss I spend,
With thee, my chosen, only friend! 
That transient hour the heart sustains,
Which poverty has bound in chains!

And for this dear, this precious hour,
I would not, if I had the power,
Exchange a worldling’s life of ease,
Whom all around him seek to please. 
I have no other friend beside,
But here I safely may confide. 
Suspicion ne’er the bosom stains,
Which poverty has bound in chains!

How oft I wonder at my lot! 
How oft are all but thee forgot! 
While in this half-despairing breast,
Love builds a little, quiet nest,
To hover o’er with joyous wing,
Nay, sometimes soar aloft and sing! 
’Tis this alone the heart sustains,
Which poverty has bound in chains!

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