From high or zealous feeling,
From arch, excursive grace,
From all with which a lovely mind
Endows the human face.
Perhaps a new and careless eye
May not those beauties see,
And wonder to behold the power
Belinda has with me.
The spell which holds this captive soul
She never would possess,
Were not her varying features rul’d
By sparkling playfulness,
But when with aimless, trackless skill
Is twin’d a mazy chain,
In the warm foldings of a heart,
Perforce it must remain.
Come, Magdalen, and bind my hair,
And put me on my sad array;
I to my father’s house repair,
And hear his final doom to-day.
But wrap me in that cypress veil;
At first his eye I would not brave,
’Till he shall bid the mourner hail,
And knows I come from Edwin’s grave.
I, late his boast, his heir, his pride,
Must like a guilty vassal kneel;
I, who was gallant Edwin’s bride,
Must to my widow’d state appeal!
Closely within my heart must keep
His praise for whom that heart is riv’n,
And let each fond resentment sleep,
For I must die or be forgiven.
The Spanish Lady’s Farewell, 1809.
Manuel, I do not shed a tear,
Our parting to delay!
I dare not listen to my fear!
I dare not bid thee stay!
The heart may shrink, the spirit fail,
But Spaniards must be free;
And pride and duty shall prevail
O’er all my love for thee!
Then go! and round that gallant head,
Like banners in the air,
Shall float full many a daring hope,
And many a tender prayer!
Should freedom perish—at thy death,
’T’were folly to repine—
And I should every feeling lose,
Except the wish for mine!
But if the destiny of Spain,
Be once again to rise,
Oh! grant me heaven, to read the tale,
In Manuel’s joyful eyes!
I am unskill’d in speech: my
tongue is slow
The graceful courtesies of life to pay;
To deck kind meanings up in trim array,
Keeping the mind’s soft tone: words such as flow
From Complaisance, when she alone inspires!
And Caution, with a care that never tires,
Marshals each tribe of thoughts in such a way
That all are ready for their needful task,
The moment the occasion comes to ask,
All prompt to hear, to answer and obey;
When mine, undisciplin’d, their cause betray,
By coward falterings, or rebellious zeal!—
And Art, though subtle, though sublime thy sway,
I doubt if thou canst rule us, when we feel!