Page images

A pleasure incomplete: For with the charm
Of sweetest eloquence, and wit refined,
By pleasing raillery and lively tale,

The gallant Oscar so beguiled the hour,

That leaden Apathy itself would ne'er
Perceive the ceaseless lapse of time, or owa.
The fast receding moments unemployed.

With palpitating heart, and gen'rous swell,

Erina showed the fondly nourished flame
That glowed when Oscar spoke; whilst he; repos’d
Along the flow'ry margin of the rill,
Half-leaning on the bosom of the maid,
Would drink the rapture of her syren gaze,
And hang upon her with a fondling smile,
And dalliance, extatic oft, till burst
The long hid sigh, which, in a language plain,
Proclaimed Erina empress of his soul,

Thrice happy pair! your pure unsullied joys, Recal to mind that richly luscious hour, When, first, in paradise young Adam prest The balmy lips of Eve, and raptured hung Upon those swelling charms, that asked for more

Than admiration, or the frigid gaze

Of mere Platonick love.-Sweet hour was this!

For hell-born vice, with serpent crest, had yet

Unvisited the fair abodes of peace,

And love and innocence, throughout the scene,

Maintained unbroken sway. Sweet hour was this ! By far the happiest ever spent on earth! Enjoyment, pure and keen as this, would

pay An age of bye-gone toil, and recompense

A lifetime of solicitude and care.

Soon as appeared the shadowy form of eve; And died along the west the golden day,

What time resounds the peasant's voice, no more,

Upon the furrowed hill, and nought of noise,

Instrusive, steals



ear, save when

The watch-dog, from the distant hamlet, howls,

Or from the moss-clad ruin cheerless booms

The solitary owl at this lone hour,

When weary hinds to quietude retire,

And labour seeks repose, Erina loved

To leave the noise of vulgar revelry,

Or idle glee, and in the woodland shade,
Or by the odour breathing arbour stretch'd,
Indulge young Fancy's airy dream, and woo

Sweet Sotitude within her own retreats.

Oh! what a luxury ineffable,

The feeling mind, by lib'ral science stord,
Enjoys amid the wild, the picturesque,
Of rural scenery, where nature blooms
Without disguise, and ev'ry hill and vale,

Afford a rich repast to feed the soul,
And yield a banquet to excursive thought !

Compared with these, what are the charms of sense, *
The blandishments of wealth, the gaudy glare
Of pageantry, the smile of lawless joy,
The pride, the noise, the nonsense of the world?

Nor was Erina wanting in the sweets. Of mental excellence, without the gift

Or exercise of which, external charms

Will lose the power to please, and woman's claim,

To gain an admiration firm and pure,
Or bind the heart in love's undying chain,

Were void, and but a perishable name.

To cultivate the soul, and give her mind
Full scope to range, and freedom to enlarge

Its treasured hoards, was once beloved sire !

(Ere doomed the victim of insatiate war

To slumber in an early tomb) thy fond,

Thy constant care; nor did Erina prove
A pupil, or a child unapt, or one on whom
Parental kindness was bestowed in vain.

By her were prized fair Science, and whate'er
The learned sage has taught of useful lore;

By her were plucked the richest flowers of taste,
And whatso'er, in Fancy's widest field

Luxuriant grows, the magic power of song,

The fascination of the muse, the strain

Of minstrelsy, the music of the lyre.

Time was, my country, when thy blooming maids, Like sweet Erina, near some sacred stream, Where fairy elfins lead their light-heeled dance; Or underneath the venerable oak,

Would wake the soul of music from the lyre,

And teach even Echo to repeat the tones

« PreviousContinue »