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No charms she now can boast,'-'tis true,

But other charmers wither too :

And she is old,'-the fact I know,
And old will other heroines grow;
But not like them has she been laid,
In ruin'd castle, sore dismay'd;
Where naughty man and ghostly spright

Fill'd her pure mind with awe and dread,
Stalk'd round the room, put out the light,
And shook the curtains round her bed.
No cruel uncle kept her land,

No tyrant father forc'd her hand;
She had no vixen virgin-aunt,
Without whose aid she could not eat,
And yet who poison'd all her meat,
With gibe and sneer and taunt.
Yet of the heroine she'd a share,
She sav'd a lover from despair,
And granted all his wish, in spite

Of what she knew and felt was right:
But heroine then no more,

She own'd the fault, and wept and pray'd,

And humbly took the parish aid,

And dwelt among the poor.



The Widow's Cottage.-Blind Ellen one.—. -Hers not the Sorrows or Adventures of Heroines.-What these are, first described.-Deserted Wives; rush Lovers; courageous Damsels: in desolated Mansions; in grievous Perplexity. These Evils, however severe, of short duration.-Ellen's Story.-Her Employment in Childhood.-First Love; first Adventure; its miserable Termination.-An idiot Daughter.-A Husband.Care in Business without Success.-The Men's Despondency and its Effect.-Their Children: how disposed of.-One particularly unfortunate.-Fate of the Daughter. Ellen keeps a School and is happy.. Becomes Blind: loses her School.-Her Consolations.


OBSERVE yon Tenement, apart and small,
Where the wet Pebbles shine upon the Wall;
Where the low Benches lean beside the Door,
And the red Paling bounds the Space before;
Where Thrift and Lavender, and Lad's-love* bloom,—
That humble Dwelling is the Widow's Home;
There live a Pair, for various Fortunes known,
But the blind Ellen will relate her own;-
Yet ere we hear the Story she can tell,

On prouder Sorrows let us briefly dwell.

* The lad's or boy's love of some counties, is the plant Southernwood, the Artemisia Abrotanum of Botanists.

I've often marvel'd, when by night, by day,
I've mark'd the Manners moving in my way,
And heard the Language and beheld the Lives
Of Lass and Lover, Goddesses and Wives,
That Books, which promise much of Life to give,
Should show so little how we truly live.

To me it seems, their Females and their Men
Are but the Creatures of the Author's Pen;
Nay, Creatures borrow'd and again convey'd
From Book to Book-the Shadows of a Shade:
Life, if they'd search, would show them many a change;
The Ruin sudden and the Misery strange!

With more of grievous, base, and dreadful things,
Than Novelists relate or Poet sings:

But they, who ought to look the World around,
Spy out a single Spot in Fairy-Ground;

Where all, in turn, ideal Forms behold,

And Plots are laid and Histories are told.

Time have I lent-I would their Debt were less

To flow'ry Pages of sublime Distress;

And to the Heroine's soul-distracting Fears

I early gave my Sixpences and Tears:
Oft have I travell'd in these tender Tales,

To Darnley-Cottages and Maple-Vales,

And watch'd the Fair-one from the first-born sigh,
When Henry pass'd and gaz'd in passing by ;
Till I beheld them pacing in the Park,

Close by a Coppice where 'twas cold and dark;
When such Affection with such Fate appear'd,
Want and a Father to be shunn'd and fear'd,
Without Employment, Prospect, Cot, or Cash,
That I have judg'd th' heroic Souls were rash.
Now shifts the Scene,-the Fair in Tower confin'd,
In all things suffers but in change of Mind;

Now woo'd by Greatness to a Bed of State,
Now deeply threaten'd with a Dungeon's Grate;
Till suffering much and being tried enough,
She shines, triumphant Maid!-Temptation-proof.
Then was I led to vengeful Monks, who mix
With Nymphs and Swains, and play unpriestly tricks ;
Then view'd Banditti who in Forest wide,

And Cavern vast, indignant Virgins hide;
Who, hemm'd with bands of sturdiest Rogues about,
Find some strange Succour, and come Virgins out.
I've watch'd a wint'ry Night on Castle-Walls,
I've stalk'd by Moon-light through deserted Halls,
And when the weary World was sunk to rest,
I've had such Sights as-may not be express'd.
Lo! that Chateau, the western Tower decay'd,
The Peasants shun it,-they are all afraid;
For there was done a Deed?-could Walls reveal,
Or Timbers tell it, how the Heart would feel;
Most horrid was it:-for, behold, the Floor
Has Stain of Blood, and will be clean no more:
Hark to the Winds! which through the wide Saloon
And the long Passage send a dismal Tune,-
Music that Ghosts delight in ;-and now heed

Yon beauteous Nymph, who must unmask the Deed;
See! with majestic Sweep she swims alone
Through Rooms, all dreary, guided by a Groan:
Though Windows rattle, and though Tap'stries shake,
And the Feet falter every step they take,
'Mid Moans and gibing Sprights she silent goes,
To find a something, which will soon expose
The Villanies and Wiles of her determin'd Foes:
And, having thus adventur'd, thus endur'd,
Fame, Wealth, and Lover, are for Life secur'd.

Much have I fear'd, but am no more afraid,

When some chaste Beauty, by some Wretch betray'd,

Is drawn away with such distracted speed,

That she anticipates a dreadful Deed:
Not so do I-Let solid Walls impound
The captive Fair, and dig a Moat around;
Let there be brazen Locks and Bars of steel,
And Keepers cruel, such as never feel;

- With not a single Note the Purse supply,
And when she begs, let Men and Maids deny :
Be Windows those from which she dares not fall,
And Help so distant, 'tis in vain to call;

Still means of Freedom will some Power devise,
And from the baffled Ruffian snatch his Prize.

To Northern Wales, in some sequester'd Spot,
I've follow'd fair Louisa to her Cot;
Where, then a wretched and deserted Bride,
The injur'd Fair-one wish'd from Man to hide ;
Till by her fond repenting Belville found,
By some kind chance-the straying of a Hound,
He at her Feet crav'd Mercy, nor in vain,
For the relenting Dove flew back again.

There's something rapturous in Distress, or, oh! Could Clementina bear her lot of Wo?

Or what she underwent could Maiden undergo?
The Day was fix'd; for so the Lover sigh'd,
So knelt and crav'd, he couldn't be denied ;
When, Tale most dreadful! every Hope adieu,—
For the fond Lover is the Brother too:

All other Griefs abate; this monstrous Grief
Has no Remission, Comfort, or Relief;

Four ample Volumes, through each page disclose,—
Good Heaven protect us! only Woes on Woes;

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