Page images
PDF
EPUB

BOOK THE SECOND.

Introductory Lines to Book the Second.

TO THE

RIGHT HONOURABLE THE LADY

BEFORE HER MARRIAGE.

Fair girl, whose very name to me

Recalls that earliest dream of love, Now fixed into a memory

That points like spires above ;I love to think her name is thine,

Fair girl, and I at times can trace
A look like hers a moment shine

On thy yet fairer face.
But Wealth and Power before thine eyes,

Their flowers—shall they too wither?--strew; Thy lot hath all that worldlings prize,

And her lot never knew.

Thou enterest on a stage, in sooth,

Which few so fair unscathed may tread, And pardon, when it notes thy youth,

Delight if dimm’d with dread.

How well—how well, when yet a boy,

I saw it rise I can recall An orb of glory and of joy,

Of which thyself but saw the fall. What form wore love so lovelily ?

Hers was the Virgin-mother's air ! And in her brow-and calmest eye

How brightly slept the angel there!
She was a thing, like thee, that seemed

Almost too glorious for desire;
And all of which Romance had dreamed,

Tamed all that Passion meant to fire.
Look round—and where the bright—the holy-

The Dawn star ? ---fallen from its skies ! And apter Vice and craftier Folly,

Where nobler Natures weep—despise. And Fashion smiles upon the crime,

But frowns in wrath on the revealing ; And nought-save Silence, Memory, Time,

Are hers, to whom a world was kneeling! Ah! doth the sin deserve the sting

To gorge all Malice with her shame? And feel her glory grown a thing

That Fops affect a scorn to claim ?

And Thou, fair lady of my line,

Sweet Namesake of my heart's recorded, Thou, too, art doom’d at least to shine

Where nought save Art can be rewarded. In that false world to which thou 'rt chained,

Who sins not, is too tame to reign ; And Custom in an hour hath gained,

What Vice for aye had stormed in vain. And duller-colder sins shall mar

The gloss upon thy spirit’s pinion ; This sorcerer World but makes the star

It most invokes, the most its minion. And all the pleasures which possess thee But dim thy heart while they caress thee ;And Truth will lose her virgin beauty ;And Art shall mould itself to Duty ;And all that Fashion bids thee follow Leave Love forsworn and Friendship hollow. I would not meet thee when some years Have taught thy heart how folly sears, And trifles now so tempting frittered Away the youth they but embittered, When all our fancies most adore, Cling round that joyous form no more, When the still graces of the cheek Forget the soul's soft tale to speak. Nor would we seek to learn that tale, Nor court the coy thought from its veil,

G

« PreviousContinue »