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Verse Memorials:
Electronic Edition.

Lamar, Mirabeau Buonaparte, 1798-1859


Funding from the University of North Carolina Library supported the electronic publication of this title.


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First edition, 2006
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University Library, UNC-Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
2006.

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Source Description:
(title page) Verse Memorials.
Mirabeau B. Lamar.
[3]-224 p.
New York:
Published by W.P. Fetridge & Co.
1857.

Call number PS2199. L3 V4 (Emory University Library)



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Illustration

[Title Page Image]


VERSE MEMORIALS.

BY

MIRABEAU B. LAMAR.


                       "Such is the nature of my lays --
                       Plain, simple strains in Beauty's praise,
                       Designed at first for those fair friends
                       Whose memory with my being blends,
                       And now sent forth, to find their way
                       To minds congenial, grave or gay." INTRODUCTION -- PAGE 38.

NEW YORK:
PUBLISHED BY W. P. FETRIDGE & CO.,
281 BROADWAY.
1857.


Page 4

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857,
BY W. P. FETRIDGE & CO.
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and for the
Southern District of New York. SAVAGE & McCREA, STEREOTYPERS,
13 Chambers Street, N. Y.


Page 5

DEDICATION.

        TO MRS. WILLIAM L. CAZNEAU -- so favorably known to the public by her pen, as "CORA MONTGOMERY," and now the wife of one of my best and long-cherished friends -- I beg leave to dedicate this little volume. Her name, like that of her husband, is identified with the history of TEXAS. Both have given their highest efforts and the best years of their lives to the support of her interests.

        General CAZNEAU was one of that ever-faithful band of patriots, whose talents, courage, and personal devotion, sustained me amid the multiform trials which surrounded my path in organizing and systematizing the chaotic materials of government which existed in our new-born republic of the LONE STAR when I was called to the Presidency.


Page 6

        To whom, then, among my lady-friends, can I inscribe this collection of kindly reminiscences with more propriety than to the chosen companion of a man endeared to me by years of pleasant associations, and his inflexible adherence to our common principles?

        It is my wish and hope that this humble tribute of esteem to one who is so worthy of being the partner of such a man, will be regarded by him as a feeble recognition of his past services and continued affection.

MIRABEAU B. LAMAR.

RICHMOND, FORT-BEND COUNTY, TEXAS,
February 10, 1857.


Page 7

PREFACE.

        IN presenting this volume to the public, the author is actuated mainly by the desire of manifesting to the friends, who have been so long the sunshine of his life, that he still holds them in grateful remembrance. The verses themselves are very unpretending in their character; and are but fragments of thought and feeling, rescued from the turmoil of a life that permitted little leisure for literary recreation. The style and subjects of the poems indicate very clearly that they were not written for the general public. They are but spontaneous effusions, extorted by the circumstances of the moment, or the solicitations of friendship. As mere literary productions, they are scarcely entitled to consideration; yet it is possible they may find some acceptance, not only with those for whom they were written, but also among congenial minds that are more interested in the feelings of the man than in the genius of the poet. As destitute of intrinsic merit as the author knows them to be, they are, nevertheless, his only fortune. Whatever else he may have attempted or achieved, has been for the benefit of others; and of the rich vineyard in which he has been so long a volunteer laborer, this little cluster of recollections is almost all he can claim as his own, or bequeath to his only child.


Page 8

        That these poems -- which have dropped like wild-flowers along the rugged path of public duty -- may prove hereafter a source of utility and pleasure to the sole offspring of a happy home, is an additional reason for their collection and publication. The author would wish that his little daughter might acquire from these verses a better knowledge of her father's heart -- or at least of some of its impulses -- than she may be able to derive from the public records of his political and military life; for such records generally can very little more than represent the sterner and less attractive phases of character. He is not unwilling -- nay, he desires -- to be judged, as a patriot, a soldier, and a statesman, by his documents and his official acts; but at the same time he would have the child of his heart to know that her father, however rigid in the discharge of official duty, was something more than the mere soldier and politician; and that while he was devoted to his country, he was equally so in his private relations, and always less mindful of himself than of others. This she will gather from the present volume better than from history.

        After all, should these poems -- if it be not a misnomer to dignify them with that name -- possess no other value, they are at least thus far serviceable to the author, in reviving in his heart and keeping alive the recollection of those kindly affections and beautiful associations which gave them birth, and which he would not willingly surrender except with life.

        Such are the motives of the author in sending forth his little volume of MEMORIALS; and in these motives he must find his sole recompense for whatever he may lose, in a literary point of view, by their publication.

NEW YORK, May 12, 1857.


Page 9

TRIBUTARY VERSES.

LINES

TO GENERAL MIRABEAU B. LAMAR.

BY MRS. ANN S. STEPHENS.

I.


                       THE sands have all been golden sparks
                       Which measured out the time
                       Since thou, brave friend! hast been a guest
                       In our chilly northern clime:
                       The sweet and dreamy summer's sun,
                       That kindles half the year
                       The blossoms of thy prairie-land,
                       We can not give thee here.

II.


                       Our eaves are hung with icicles,
                       Our mountains clad in snow;
                       And the jewelry of Winter chains
                       The brooklet's silvery flow.
                       But the sunshine of thy own bright deeds
                       Its genial warmth imparts;
                       And blossoms are surrounding thee,
                       From a thousand friendly hearts.
Page 10

III.


                       High deeds, high thoughts, enkindle still
                       Our northern patriot blood;
                       No frost can reach its sparkling thrill,
                       Or check its ruby flood.
                       Our love will ever linger round
                       That bright and fragrant land,
                       Which owes its wealth and freedom
                       To thy strong and willing hand!

IV.


                       To a wilderness of blushing flowers
                       Thy sword and lute have given
                       High freedom, and the voice of song --
                       Those two best gifts of Heaven.
                       And thou hast won the pale Lone Star
                       Its brightest golden beam;
                       And from our own dear home afar,
                       We joy to watch its gleam.

NEW YORK, March, 1845.


Page 11

STANZAS
TO GENERAL MIRABEAU B. LAMAR.

BY MRS. CAROLINE M. SAWYER.

I.


                       How shall I wake the farewell strain, and weave
                       The simple lay, that may my theme befit?
                       For thou hast bid me sing, and I would leave
                       Some echo in thy soul, to linger yet
                       When thou art far away!

II.


                       High song should greet the gallant and the brave,
                       And lofty numbers swell the proud refrain;
                       Yet, o'er thy brow though verdant laurels wave,
                       And mine is but a woman's faltering strain,
                       Thou wilt accept the lay.

III.


                       By the glad gatherings round the social hearth;
                       The thoughtful mingling, mind with kindred mind;
                       The quiet converse and the gentle mirth;
                       The generous glow and sentiment refined --
                       I shall remember thee!


Page 12

IV.


                       So, in thy home where fadeless beauty dwells --
                       Where broad savannas drink the torrid ray --
                       When in thy breast some pleasant memory swells
                       Of by-gone scenes and friends far, far away --
                       May I remembered be!

V.


                       Yet think of me as thou wouldst think of one
                       For whom 't were well that earth's vain dreams were o'er;
                       Whose troubled journey may be nearly done;
                       Whose spirit yearns to seek the better shore --
                       The beautiful and far!

VI.


                       But fare thee well! -- thy country calls thee back;
                       Lone and in peril, she hath need of thee:
                       Go -- and, in all your proud and shining track,
                       May thou and she alike victorious be! --
                       Adieu to thee -- LAMAR!

NEW YORK, January, 1845.


Page 13

IMPROMPTU
TO MRS. HENRIETTA LAMAR,
ON PRESENTING HER WITH A COPY OF THE KNICKERBOCKER GALLERY.


                       FAIR daughter of a gifted sire,
                       Whose lips were touched with hallowed fire,
                       And glowed with light and thought intense,
                       The very soul of eloquence:
                       And, happier still, the cherished bride
                       Of one who is his country's pride --
                       To whom the blended wreaths belong
                       Of valor, statesmanship, and song:
                       Fair lady, unto thee so blest,
                       And worthy of such noble love --
                       So doubly honored, so caressed,
                       So prized all other forms above --
                       To thee, whose sweetly-cultured mind
                       By every virtue is refined --
                       This wreath of kindred thoughts I send,
                       A tribute from thy husband's friend.

A. B. MEEK.

MOBILE, February 21, 1855.


Page 15

CONTENTS.


Page 17

APOLOGY.


                       I NEVER hoped in life to claim
                       A passport to exalted fame;
                       'T is not for this I sometimes frame
                       The simple song --
                       Contented still, with humble name,
                       To move along.


                       I write because there's joy in rhyme;
                       It cheers an evening's idle time;
                       And though my verse the true sublime
                       May never reach,
                       Yet Heaven will never call it crime,
                       If truth it teach.


                       The labor steals the heart from wo;
                       It makes it oft with rapture glow;
                       And always teaches to forego
                       Each low desire;
                       Then why on those our blame bestow
                       Who strike the lyre?


                       If virtue in the song be blent,
                       I know no reason to repent
                       My hours of studious content,
                       And lettered joy;
                       'T were well if leisure ne'er was spent
                       In worse employ.


Page 19

VERSE MEMORIALS.

INTRODUCTION.

I.


                       O GENTLE ladies, gay and bright,
                       For you -- and you alone -- I write;
                       And if my verse shall fail to please,
                       For want of your own native ease,
                       You must your faithful bard forgive,
                       Whose songs are not designed to live;
                       Who only cons a cheerful lay --
                       Light ditty of a summer's day --
                       To share, like flowers, a transient while,
                       The light of Beauty's gracious smile,
                       And then be idly thrown aside --
                       For ever lost in Lethe's tide!
Page 20

II.


                       It grieves me, gentle friends, to know
                       That ye, from whom our comforts flow,
                       Should not in just proportion share
                       The brilliant joys you scatter here:
                       Yet so it is -- 't is yours, the while
                       All earth is lighted by your smile,
                       To see your virtues unrepaid,
                       Your wit despised, your love betrayed;
                       Nor feel one bliss your charms impart,
                       Reflected back upon the heart.

III.


                       Proud man may take the morning's wing
                       And fly wherever dwells the Spring;
                       The world of passion lies before him,
                       And Beauty's light is shining o'er him;
                       And though he may not realize
                       The highest objects of his sighs,
                       He still at least retains the right
                       To chase the phantoms of delight.
                       But such is not fair woman's doom --
                       The world she decks is but her tomb!
                       She must not after pleasure rove,
                       She must not tread the Paphian grove;
Page 21


                       She can not play the warrior bold,
                       She can not delve in mines for gold;
                       Denied to her the helm of state --
                       She dares in nothing to be great:
                       The only bliss that she can know,
                       Must from domestic comforts flow;
                       And should these blessings ne'er attend,
                       Then welcome Death, her only friend.

IV.


                       Restricted thus -- forbid to roam --
                       Chained like a captive to her home --
                       How more than cruel must it be,
                       If he, who rules her destiny,
                       Should make that home the home of tears --
                       A dungeon of despairing years!
                       Yet this has been, and still must be,
                       While woman's bound and man is free.
                       To Beauty's sacred rights unjust,
                       Sad recreant to his troth and trust,
                       The husband ceases soon to prize
                       The once bright angel of his sighs;
                       Beholds unmoved her falling tears,
                       Contemns her fondness, mocks her fears;
                       And, turning from her cheerful beauty,
                       Despising truth, and loathing duty,
Page 22


                       Seeks in the horrid dens of vice
                       The madd'ning cup -- the treach'rous dice --
                       And all those joys, debased and vain,
                       That bring destruction in their train;
                       While she, who once, with soul elate,
                       Entwined with his, her hope and fate,
                       And fondly deemed her home would prove
                       An Eden-world of light and love,
                       Now finds that home all wo and strife --
                       A dark entombment of her life --
                       Where no sweet ray of hope can come,
                       To light the deep, sepulchral gloom.
                       The wretch that blights, with serpent-art,
                       The paradise of woman's heart,
                       Should, serpent-like, be doomed to feel
                       The iron crush of every heel.

V.


                       There lies in Fancy's fairy clime,
                       Like Eden in its early prime,
                       A lovely landscape, fresh and green,
                       With fragrant flowers and waters sheen,
                       And gentle birds of plumage gay,
                       Pouring their songs from every spray.
                       Fond woman thinks, if she could dwell,
                       Embowered with love, in that fair dell,
Page 23


                       Her life like some bright stream would be,
                       Flowing in light and melody.
                       But when she seeks with hasty feet
                       The blessings of that green retreat,
                       The luring lawn is scarcely passed,
                       Ere darkness over all is cast;
                       And soon she finds her fairy ground
                       A dreary waste with ruin crowned.
                       The verdure green has disappeared,
                       The birds are flown -- no music heard --
                       The turbid waters scarcely flow,
                       And every flower has lost its glow:
                       All, all are changed -- the vision flies,
                       And hope, without fruition, dies. --
                       O woman fair, that landscape green,
                       Is married life at distance seen;
                       The dreary waste it proves to be,
                       Is married life as found by thee.

VI.


                       Now, if this realm were mine to-day,
                       And I a king of boundless sway,
                       Fair woman soon, from every wo,
                       Should leap exulting like the doe,
                       And no presumptuous man should dare
                       To build his bliss on her despair.
Page 24


                       All tyrant-laws I would explode --
                       I'd purge the statutes -- change the code --
                       And by some system, just and true,
                       Secure the rights to Beauty due.
                       But since the world is prone to slight
                       The wisdom of a rhyming wight,
                       And falsely deem the tuneful tribe
                       Unfit for aught but jest and jibe,
                       I must content me with my lays,
                       To sing in Truth and Virtue's praise,
                       And humbly lay the wreath I twine
                       An offering frail at Beauty's shrine.
                       I can not brook the soulless bard,
                       Who lacks for woman due regard --
                       Who sees no heaven within her eyes,
                       And all her world of worth denies.
                       To me she is a planet bright,
                       An ever-faithful beacon-light --
                       The star I seek to guide my way,
                       Whose lustre never leads astray;
                       And he, the minstrel mean and vile,
                       Who would her sacred name defile,
                       Should ne'er in life those raptures know
                       Which fame and beauty can bestow.
                       O may his songs remain unread,
                       No honors crown his recreant head,


Page 25


                       And woman's love, like morning light,
                       Ne'er dawn on his distracted night!

VII.


                       Ungrateful man! by Beauty blessed,
                       Too fondly cherished and caressed,
                       When will you learn the boon to prize --
                       The blessing sent you from the skies --
                       An angel with the name of Wife --
                       Bright rainbow of your stormy life?
                       Oh, soothe her by each gentle art,
                       Allay the anguish of her heart,
                       And leave her not, beneath your scorn,
                       To sink like some sweet bloom of morn;
                       But wear her as the priceless gem
                       That decks a monarch's diadem.
                       She is the jewel of your youth,
                       Your manhood's talisman of truth,
                       And still will be, in life's decline,
                       Your shelt'ring and sustaining vine.
                       Then be to her as she to you,
                       For ever kind -- for ever true;
                       And while her daily smiles you share,
                       Fond object of her constant care,
                       Oh, let it be your highest pride
                       Through life to linger by her side;
Page 26


                       And feel and know that, come what will,
                       One star is beaming o'er you still!

VIII.


                       The sweetest wife, and most beloved,
                       May be to transient anger moved,
                       As quiet lakes and tranquil seas
                       Are ruffled by the passing breeze;
                       But who for this shall love her less,
                       Or slacken in his fond caress?
                       If sometimes, mid her thousand cares,
                       She should her husband chide in tears --
                       Rebuke him for some fault forgot,
                       Some error best remembered not --
                       Perchance a something undesigned,
                       A word or look she deemed unkind,
                       Or, hurtful more to woman's pride,
                       Some boon demanded and denied --
                       Oh, let him not, with angry flash,
                       Retort in language rude and rash;
                       But, folding in a warm embrace,
                       Her lovely form of perfect grace,
                       Inflict upon the rosy pout,
                       Some fifty kisses long drawn out,
                       And thus a sweet revenge impose --
                       The only one that honor knows.
Page 27

IX.


                       And does my HENRIETTA say --
                       "I like the precepts of your lay,
                       But more it would my soul delight
                       To see you practise what you write?" --
                       Nay, say not so -- nor e'en in jest,
                       Disturb the halcyon of that breast,
                       In which thy image lies enshrined,
                       Like pearl in Ocean's caves confined.
                       I may, indeed, have often erred,
                       And deeply wronged my bonny bird;
                       But, dearest one, as down we go
                       Life's chequered scenes of joy and wo,
                       'T is wisdom's part to cull the rose,
                       And leave the nightshade where it grows.
                       If e'er, by angry word or deed,
                       I've caused thy gentle heart to bleed,
                       And left thee sorrowing by the hearth,
                       Neglectful of thy matchless worth,
                       A due repentance now is mine,
                       And sweet forgiveness must be thine.
                       E'en while my passions went astray,
                       My heart still loved the better way;
                       And oft in deep contrition longed
                       To kneel before the shrine I wronged;
Page 28


                       For how could I forget the bride
                       I wooed and won in beauty's pride --
                       And, dearer still, the faithful wife
                       Whose love has blessed my troubled life?
                       The needle, forced by some rude jar,
                       Forsakes awhile its polar star;
                       Yet feeling still its secret sway,
                       It always settles to that ray:
                       So doth my spirit, tempest-tost,
                       Too oft its helm of reason lost,
                       Still turn to thee, its polar light --
                       The star that ever guides aright.
                       Then cease, my HENRIE -- cease to chide --
                       Look only on the brighter side;
                       And when around our humble hearth
                       We meet again in joy and mirth,
                       Oh, bend on me thine eye of light,
                       In token sweet that all is right --
                       As I shall cast me on thy breast,
                       My only home of peace and rest!

X.


                       Full soon I hope in Texan shades --
                       Fair land of flowers and blooming maids --
                       To roam enraptured by thy side,
                       As blessed with thee on Brazos' tide
Page 29


                       As when I first, on Galvez' isle,
                       Walked in the rainbow of thy smile.
                       We'll rise, my love, at early dawn,
                       We'll ramble down the dewy lawn,
                       We'll drink the freshness of the breeze,
                       We'll wake the wild-birds in the trees;
                       And as we go through glen and glade,
                       Culling bright flowers thy locks to braid,
                       Thy voice, in converse soft and clear,
                       Shall be my spirit's dulcimer.
                       No bodings dark shall intervene,
                       No shadows dim the blissful scene;
                       But pleasant thoughts -- sweet, peaceful dove --
                       Thoughts born of beauty, truth, and love --
                       Shall in thy Eden-bosom rise,
                       And send their moonlight through thine eyes;
                       Or, breathing inward quietness,
                       Shall silent dwell in their recess,
                       Like hoarded stores of rich perfume,
                       Locked in the rose-bud ere it bloom.
                       The lark's first carol to the morn,
                       Will find us in the field of corn --
                       The distant field far down the dell,
                       Whose lively green thou lov'st so well;
                       And ere Aurora's beams shall mar
                       The lustre of the Morning Star,


Page 30


                       We'll seek again our peaceful cot,
                       When thine shall be the cheerful lot
                       Thy household duties to resume;
                       And mine the task -- the sterner doom --
                       To drive the ploughshare through the soil,
                       Or mingle in the world's turmoil.
                       But what is labor -- what is strife --
                       And what are all the ills of life --
                       If man but meet them undeterred,
                       By God sustained and beauty cheered?

XI.


                       When duty's claims no longer press,
                       And labor grants us sweet recess,
                       Oft will we roam, in frolic-mood,
                       Through valleys wide and tangled wood,
                       And reap the joy that Nature yields
                       To all who love her open fields.
                       For thee, my love, will Spring unfold
                       Her gorgeous robes of green and gold;
                       And, like a troop of rural maids,
                       The flowery children of her shades
                       Their welcome guest will smiling greet,
                       And look their best to look as sweet.
                       The rose will blush with deeper red,
                       The lily hold a higher head,
Page 31


                       The trees assume a livelier green,
                       The waters roll in brighter sheen;
                       And all things pleasing, all things bright,
                       Whate'er inspires a gay delight,
                       Shall lend their soft, enchanting powers,
                       To gild and bless the flying hours,
                       And to thy pure and gentle heart
                       A radiant glow of joy impart.

XII.


                       What God designs for our delight,
                       It is ingratitude to slight;
                       And, baser still, with selfish pride,
                       To seize the joys, and not divide.
                       Poor worth, indeed, the happiest lot,
                       If kindred love can share it not!
                       So, dearest one, as forth we wend,
                       The good and lovely shall attend --
                       And hand in hand, and side by side,
                       We'll frolic all till eventide.
                       With sparkling eye and spirit gay,
                       Your sister, love, shall lead the way,
                       And, with her sweet Euterpean art,
                       Awake bright joy in every heart.
                       Her daughter, too -- celestial born --
                       Bright rising star of early morn --
Page 32


                       Shall o'er the flowery path we tread,
                       The sunshine of her beauty shed.
                       Her fairy feet, where'er she goes,
                       Shall fall so lightly on the rose,
                       As not to shake the sparkling dews
                       That hang like diamonds on its hues.
                       LOLA, sweet LOLA, shall be there,
                       With coal-black eye and sunny hair;
                       An elfin-sprite -- a fairy thing --
                       Light as a swallow on the wing,
                       Rich as the rose's crimson flush,
                       And laughing like the fountain's gush,
                       As o'er the flowery mead she hies,
                       In chase of rainbow butterflies.
                       And many a lovely one beside,
                       In youthful bloom and beauty's pride,
                       Shall mingle in the gay parade --
                       Themselves a sunlight without shade.
                       Nor shall the sprightly lassies lack
                       Attendants on their shining track;
                       For round their beauty's dazzling rays,
                       Like moths around the taper's blaze,
                       The beaux shall flock -- a chosen band,
                       The best and noblest of the land --
                       Gay, gallant youths, from vices free,
                       Of lofty truth and chivalry;


Page 33


                       For such alone, and not the vile,
                       Should share the light of Beauty's smile.
                       So bright, my love, the train shall be,
                       So linked by social harmony,
                       That all who shall behold the sight
                       Will say with wonder and delight --
                       "Oh, what a garland have you wove,
                       Of living beauty, light, and love!"

XIII.


                       And where is she, our beauteous friend,
                       The boasted flower of "Old Fort Bend"?
                       Oh, she shall in our sports unite,
                       Sweet queen of beauty, love, and light.
                       I name her not -- but well opine
                       That all will know her by this sign --
                       The lady of cerulean eye,
                       Of aspect sweet and mild reply.
                       By those who know and love her well,
                       She's styled "The Lily of the Dell."
                       Her fairy form is light and free,
                       As flexile as the willow-tree,
                       And, like that tree, though ne'er at rest,
                       Is still with graceful motion blest.
                       From Rio Bravo to Sabine,
                       A fairer face may not be seen --
Page 34


                       All radiant with happy thought,
                       And yet like Grecian sculpture wrought.
                       The wedded roses on her cheek
                       A thousand modest virtues speak;
                       For, like the fragrance of the rose,
                       Sweet truth in all her language flows.
                       Her honeyed lips of vermil dye,
                       Whose breath with Eden-gales might vie,
                       Are all too pure, too free from guile,
                       To harshly speak, or falsely smile;
                       Nor can her bright and sparkling eyes,
                       In which the light of genius lies,
                       Direct against a sister's heart,
                       Malignity's envenomed dart.
                       No -- she is good as she is fair,
                       A sunny blessing everywhere;
                       An angel to the suffering poor,
                       Dispensing kindness evermore;
                       But most the friend of modest worth,
                       The unregarded good of earth,
                       Who pine neglected in the shade,
                       Where Pride would blush to tender aid.
                       At home, where woman best appears,
                       She's mindful of her household cares;
                       The ever cheerful, faithful wife,
                       Bright jewel of her husband's life;


Page 35


                       And more beloved by all, I ween,
                       For charms like these -- too rarely seen --
                       Than flaunting dames in rich brocade,
                       To folly wed, and vice betrayed.
                       How sweet to hear her flowing words,
                       Soft as the song of summer birds!
                       Her lute-like voice, with truth combined,
                       Is music married to the mind,
                       Still changing with unlabored grace
                       To suit the purpose, time, and place.
                       As subjects grave or gay provoke,
                       To sober thought or merry joke,
                       That voice flows on like honeyed streams
                       Of melody in morning dreams.
                       When leisure leaves her to be gay,
                       And all is bright as rosy May,
                       Behold her in the dance's maze,
                       A floating star of dazzling rays,
                       The glory of the festal hall,
                       The light, the life, the soul of all --
                       Dispensing, like Euphrosyné,
                       The joy of motion -- light of glee --
                       Until the gazer almost deems
                       Himself involved in golden dreams,
                       Or thinks some form of heavenly birth
                       Had come in rainbows to the earth,


Page 36


                       To show this world how purely bright
                       The creatures of supernal light.
                       She is -- but stay! -- I find, my dear,
                       I'm painting you instead of her;
                       For on my soul, and sense, and sight,
                       Is stamped so deep your image bright,
                       I can no other charms review,
                       But those that live and breathe in you: --
                       So let me change to sable dye,
                       The azure of that sparkling eye --
                       And lo! the "Lily of the Dell"
                       Is but my own sweet Nonpareil!

XIV.


                       The day is spent. At evening hour,
                       We'll sit and sing in LOLA'S bower,
                       Or frolic on the velvet green,
                       Beneath the moon's inviting sheen;
                       Nor shall one thought or passion rude
                       Upon the peaceful scene intrude;
                       But friendship, love, and gay good-will,
                       Shall triumph over every ill.
                       Thus will we many a summer day
                       Devote to pleasures light and gay --
                       Sweet pastimes of the cheerful mind,
                       And of that pure and guiltless kind,
Page 37


                       That Memory often will restore
                       With fond delight when all is o'er.

XV.


                       O ye, who may by chance peruse
                       These gathered products of my muse,
                       Remember that my songs were writ
                       To show my love, and not my wit;
                       And hard it were by rigid rule
                       To judge the bard of such a school.
                       My verse may want the torrent's force,
                       And some may scorn its quiet course;
                       Yet there is many a bosom still,
                       That echoes to the rippling rill.
                       What though no vivid lightnings shine
                       Along my loose and careless line,
                       Yet welcome still in summer night
                       May be the fire-fly's glancing light.
                       The bard whom love alone beguiles,
                       Who only sings for beauty's smiles --
                       To wake in souls of gentle tone
                       The tenderness that thrills his own --
                       May never gain, by lofty thought
                       And daring speech, the purpose sought;
                       For gentle woman, pure of heart,
                       Is won by nature, not by art;
Page 38


                       And welcome more than florid lies
                       Is truth to her in homely guise.
                       Such is the nature of my lays --
                       Plain, simple strains in Beauty's praise;
                       Designed at first for those fair friends
                       Whose memory with my being blends,
                       And now sent forth to find their way
                       To minds congenial, grave or gay.
                       Oh, could their simple tones impart
                       One throb of joy to woman's heart,
                       The bard would find, for all his toil,
                       An over-payment in her smile.

XVI.


                       It would my spirit deeply grieve
                       If any song of mine should leave
                       A stain upon the tender mind,
                       Or tempt to pleasures unrefined.
                       I sometimes write in merry style,
                       To wake the gay, good-natured smile --
                       To cast a gleam, a flitting ray
                       Of sunshine o'er a cloudy day;
                       But not for all Australia's gold
                       Would I one evil thought unfold,
                       Or over Guilt's abhorrent mien
                       Extend a veil of silver sheen.
Page 39


                       No -- rather let me gently show
                       The goodly way the world should go;
                       Inspire the young, unsullied mind
                       With love of GOD and humankind,
                       And teach the beautiful of earth
                       That blended piety and mirth
                       Can brighten all things here below,
                       And save the heart from many a wo.
                       If, after all, should sorrows rude
                       Disturb the bosom's quietude,
                       Be mine the gentle task to dry
                       The tear that darkens Beauty's eye,
                       And taste the joy which all must feel
                       Who shall the wounded spirit heal.

XVII.


                       And now ye damsels sweet and shy,
                       One friendly word, and then good-by. --
                       Youth is the season of delight,
                       And pleasure too is Beauty's right;
                       But wo betide the maid who strays
                       From Virtue's pure and sacred ways,
                       To gather on forbidden ground
                       The joys which never yet were found!
                       The wicked may not hope for rest;
                       The good and wise alone are blest;
Page 40


                       And those who think that rapture dwells
                       In Error's dark, secluded dells,
                       Will find -- when Vice has sent his dart
                       Envenomed to the bleeding heart --
                       A disappointment dark and deep,
                       A dread remorse that will not sleep,
                       A deathless pang, a foul disgrace
                       Which time and tears can ne'er efface.
                       Then fly, ye ever-smiling throng,
                       Sweet listeners to my careless song --
                       For ever fly the Upas-shade,
                       Where all that's beautiful must fade,
                       And seek those valleys pure and bright,
                       Fair, smiling vales of love and light,
                       Where sacred Truth has built her shrine,
                       And made the landscape half divine.

XVIII.


                       I would not have you over-sage,
                       Nor prisoned in a golden cage,
                       But free to roam, to sport and sing
                       With lightsome heart, like birds of spring;
                       And, dancing with the smiling hours,
                       Throw sunshine over fields and flowers.
                       Yet, lassies, let me say again,
                       Nor deem reiteration vain,
Page 41


                       That virtue is the joy of youth --
                       There is no peace apart from truth;
                       And every pleasure wrongly bought
                       Will be revenged in sober thought.
                       If, in your frolics light and gay,
                       Ye quite forget the coming day,
                       And have no moral wealth prepared
                       To bless ye when ye're silver-haired,
                       Your fate will be like thoughtless bees,
                       That widely sport in bower and breeze,
                       Yet gather from the rose's bloom
                       No honeyed stores for winter's gloom.
                       Where'er ye go, whate'er ye do,
                       This useful lesson keep in view --
                       That peace below, and bliss above,
                       Are only won by truth and love.

NEW YORK, April, 1857.


Page 43

SOLDIER OF THE CROSS.

INSCRIBED TO THE PIONEER PREACHER OF TEXAS.

I.


                       NAY -- tell me not of dangers dire
                       That lie in duty's path;
                       A Warrior of the Cross can feel
                       No fear of human wrath.
                       Where'er the Prince of Darkness holds
                       His earthly reign abhorred,
                       Sword of the Spirit! thee I draw,
                       And battle for the Lord.

II.


                       I go, I go to break the chains
                       That bind the erring mind,
                       And give the freedom that I feel,
                       To all of human kind;
                       But oh, I wear no burnished steel,
                       And seek no gory field;
                       My weapon is the Word of God,
                       His promise is my shield.
Page 44

III.


                       And thus equipped, why need I fear,
                       Though hosts around me rise? --
                       There is a power in gospel truth
                       No heathen can despise;
                       And he who boldly fights with that,
                       Will through more perils wade
                       Than the vain warrior, trusting to
                       His bright Damascus blade.

IV.


                       No blasts by land or sea can shake
                       The purpose of my soul;
                       The tempest of a thousand winds
                       May sweep from pole to pole,
                       Yet still serene, and fixed in faith,
                       All fear of death I scorn --
                       I know it is my Father's work --
                       He's with me in the storm.

V.


                       Then let me go where duty calls,
                       Where God himself commands --
                       Bearing the banner of his Son
                       To dark and distant lands;
Page 45


                       And if the high and holy cause
                       Require my early fall,
                       A recreant he who would not die
                       For Him who died for all.

WRITTEN AT THE SUGGESTION OF MRS. DR. HOXEY,

INDEPENDENCE, WASHINGTON COUNTY, TEXAS.


Page 46

THE ENVIOUS ROSE.

TO MISS ANNA MILES, ILLINOIS.


                       THE Rose I saw on ANNA'S breast,
                       I deemed the happiest of its race;
                       In such a world of beauty blest,
                       How could it ask a brighter place?
                       Yet all its hues departed soon,
                       Like fading clouds at closing day; --
                       It could not brook superior bloom,
                       And sank in envy's pale decay.


Page 47

MY GEM OF DELIGHT.

TO A FAIR FRIEND, MACON, GEORGIA.

I.


                       OH, bright is the maiden who wakens my sighs,
                       No planet can equal the light of her eyes;
                       Her form is elastic -- her spirit elate --
                       The spring of the willow is seen in her gait;
                       The tones of her laughter are dulcimer-sounds,
                       And gladness is scattered wherever she bounds.
                       Oh, thou art -- my CASSA -- that maiden so bright,
                       Sweet spirit of beauty, and Gem of Delight.

II.


                       What gift shall I bring thee to merit thy love --
                       Some pearl from the ocean, or star from above?
                       What wreath shall I twine thee to soften thy scorn --
                       The laurels of battle, or myrtles of song?
                       Thy will shall be law, and the lofty shall bend;
                       My harp it shall praise thee, my sword shall defend;
                       Then tell me, fair CASSA -- oh, tell me to-night,
                       The best way to woo thee, my Gem of Delight.
Page 48

III.


                       Too cold is this climate for beauty like thine;
                       No heart can adore thee so warmly as mine;
                       I laugh at all peril when woman's the prize --
                       The stars of my banner are love-lighted eyes!
                       As swift as a falcon the steed that I ride,
                       And sharp is the sabre that hangs by my side;
                       Then fly with me, CASSA -- there's bliss in the flight,
                       And glory shall circle my Gem of Delight.

IV.


                       But oh, if my fair one can never be mine,
                       To silence for ever my harp I consign;
                       Undrawn in its scabbard my sabre shall rust,
                       And glory and honors I trample in dust.
                       How cold is all glory by Beauty unblest!
                       Like Erebus' shadows it falls on my breast;
                       But oh, it is sunshine to soul and to sight,
                       When kindled by CASSA, my Gem of Delight.


Page 49

ON THE DEATH OF MY DAUGHTER.

IN REPLY TO LINES RECEIVED FROM THE

REV. EDWARD FONTAINE, AUSTIN, TEXAS.

I.


                       ALL honor to thy minstrel skill,
                       Dear friend of happier days;
                       Thy notes are sweet, but sweeter still
                       The love that prompts thy lays.
                       From sorrows deep, and cherished long,
                       Thou fain wouldst free my heart --
                       Thou wouldst, by thine enchanting song,
                       New hopes and joys impart.

II.


                       But vain it is thy harp to strike;
                       My woes thou canst not drown,
                       Unless thy notes, Cecilia's like,
                       Can draw an angel down.
                       Until I meet my daughter fair,
                       Lost Pleiad of my soul,
                       The burning tears of my despair
                       Must ever, ever roll.
Page 50

III.


                       Nor would I, if I could, revive
                       From my distraction wild;
                       I love the grief that keeps alive
                       The memory of my child;
                       And if again by hope betrayed,
                       My soul should court repose,
                       How poorly would the guilt be paid,
                       By all that earth bestows!

IV.


                       The morning star that fades from sight,
                       Still beams upon the mind;
                       So doth her beauty leave the light
                       Of memory behind.
                       Thought lost to earth -- too early gone --
                       By others seen no more,
                       She is to me still shining on,
                       And brighter than before.

V.


                       The smile she wore when last we met,
                       The tear she shed at parting,
                       The kiss upon mine eyelids set
                       To keep my own from starting,
Page 51


                       Like bright remembered dreams of bliss,
                       Are lingering with me yet --
                       That smile, and tear, and parting kiss,
                       Oh, how can I forget?

VI.


                       And you, my friend, who knew her worth,
                       And loved that worth to praise,
                       And how amid the ills of earth
                       She walked in beauty's ways,
                       Will not condemn the grateful tears --
                       The ever-flowing stream --
                       That keeps a loveliness like hers
                       In memory fresh and green.

VII.


                       No -- let me still in silence keep
                       My vigils o'er her tomb,
                       And with my tears for ever steep
                       The flowers that o'er it bloom.
                       Though all the world should pass it by,
                       A place remembered not,
                       'T is meet that I should linger nigh,
                       And bless the hallowed spot.
Page 52

VIII.


                       The sacred love, the holy woes,
                       Awakened by the dead,
                       Are like the fragrance of the rose
                       When all its hues are fled;
                       And as beside the grave we stand,
                       The mournful thoughts that rise,
                       Are whispers from the Spirit-Land --
                       Sweet voices from the skies.

IX.


                       Then leave, oh leave me to my grief,
                       Too wedded now to part;
                       'T will duly work its own relief,
                       By eating out the heart;
                       But till my daughter, pure and bright,
                       To me shall reappear,
                       My life must be a sleepless night,
                       Without a star to cheer.

X.


                       You tell me that my grief is vain,
                       My child will not return;
                       No earthly tears can wake again
                       The ashes of the urn;
Page 53


                       You tell me too that she is gone
                       To regions blest and fair --
                       And wrong it is her loss to mourn,
                       Since she's an angel there.

XI.


                       I know it all -- I know it all;
                       Yet still with grief opprest,
                       My spirit sighs for her recall,
                       And will not be at rest.
                       I can not, can not give her up --
                       I am not reconciled;
                       Oh, take away the bitter cup,
                       And bring me back my child!

XII.


                       She was the last enchanting ray
                       That cheered me here below --
                       The only star that lit my way
                       Through this dark world of wo;
                       And now, bereft of that sweet light,
                       Oh, how shall I sustain
                       The shadows of the awful night
                       Which must with me remain!
Page 54

XIII.


                       Like him upon the rocky peak,
                       In wrath and vengeance doomed
                       A victim to the vulture's beak,
                       To suffer unconsumed --
                       So am I doomed in darkness deep,
                       All desolate and chill,
                       To bear a pang that will not sleep --
                       A death that will not kill.

XIV.


                       Then be it so -- all silently
                       I'll bear the adverse weight;
                       But HE I hope in yonder sky,
                       Who dooms me to my fate,
                       Will, in his own good way and time,
                       My lovely one restore --
                       If not on earth, in that blest clime
                       Where parting is no more.

XV.


                       I know He will -- for even now,
                       On Faith's enraptured eye
                       He breaketh, like his own bright bow
                       Of promise from on high.
Page 55


                       Amid my deep despondency,
                       He whispers in my ear --
                       "Thy daughter may not come to thee,
                       But thou canst go to her."

XVI.


                       Enough, enough -- I ask no more --
                       A light has flashed within;
                       My child from earth He only bore,
                       To lure me on to him.
                       Then let him keep the jewel bright,
                       Oh, let him wear the gem;
                       I would not snatch so pure a light
                       From his bright diadem.

XVII.


                       The only boon, O GOD, I crave,
                       Is soon thy face to see;
                       I long to pass the dull, cold grave,
                       And wing my way to thee --
                       To thee, O GOD, and all my friends
                       In thine eternal sphere,
                       Where I may make some poor amends
                       For all my errors here.

RICHMOND, TEXAS.


Page 56

SERENADE.

TO MISS ANNA TRUESDELL, BROOKLYN.

I.


                       THE moon, the cold, chaste moon, my love,
                       Is riding in the sky;
                       And like a bridal veil, my love,
                       The clouds are floating by.
                       Oh, brighter than that planet, love,
                       Thy face appears to me;
                       But when shall I behold its light,
                       Through bridal drapery?

II.


                       We owe our gratitude, my love,
                       To Sol's enlivening ray;
                       And yet I prize the moonlight, love,
                       Above the glare of day.
                       O bonnie ANN, thou art to me
                       Whate'er in both is best --
                       Thou art the moonbeam to mine eye,
                       The sunbeam to my breast.


Page 57

IRENE,

THE JENNY LIND OF GEORGIA.

I.


                       I'VE seen the belles of many lands,
                       Pure gems of living light --
                       Their native climes illumining
                       As stars illumine night;
                       And yet in Beauty's gorgeous sky,
                       No planet have I seen
                       With Georgia's sparkling gem to vie --
                       The beautiful IRENE.

II.


                       She is the incarnation bright
                       Of some angelic thought;
                       She is the poetry of heaven
                       In human figure wrought;
                       And never yet was writ or read
                       So sweet a book, I ween,
                       As that fair volume of delight --
                       The beautiful IRENE.
Page 58

III.


                       Her close alliance to the skies
                       Is seen in all her ways;
                       We know it by her gentleness,
                       We feel it in her lays;
                       And who can tell how bright and blest --
                       How ever fresh and green --
                       This world would be, if all were like
                       The beautiful IRENE!

IV.


                       There is no winter where she smiles,
                       No darkness where she dwells;
                       She is a morning on the hills,
                       A May among the dells.
                       The groves and valleys know their spring,
                       The roses know their queen,
                       And all the wild-birds sing in tune
                       To beautiful IRENE.

V.


                       I well remember all the songs
                       She sung me at Lanier's;
                       They fell upon my melting heart
                       Like music from the spheres;
Page 59


                       And still as sweet as silver bells
                       O'er waters heard at e'en,
                       The siren-notes are sounding on,
                       Of beautiful IRENE.

VI.


                       Oh, let me wander where I may,
                       From Georgia's valleys bright,
                       To where the Brazos rolls its waves
                       In musical delight --
                       Fond Memory still will turn to hail,
                       Through every changing scene,
                       The gem that decks her native land --
                       The beautiful IRENE.

VII.


                       Sweet mistress of the tuneful art,
                       Bright child of melody,
                       My star, my poem, and my spring,
                       All happiness to thee! --
                       May sorrow never reach thy heart,
                       No shadows intervene,
                       To dim the Eden blooming there,
                       Sweet, beautiful IRENE.
Page 60

VIII.


                       And when thy bright career is o'er
                       Of loveliness and grace,
                       And thou art called among the stars,
                       To take thy shining place --
                       Oh, mayst thou to that higher home
                       Ascend in all thy sheen,
                       And be the morning planet there,
                       Sweet, beautiful IRENE!

MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA.


Page 61

GRIEVE NOT, SWEET FLOWER.

TO A YOUNG LADY OF MOBILE.

I.


                       GRIEVE not, sweet flower, to leave these shades,
                       Grieve not to say farewell;
                       Ye soon shall find a happier home,
                       Where heavenly beauties dwell.
                       Transplanted on my fair one's breast,
                       To shed your fragrance there,
                       Each breath of life will far outweigh
                       Whole centuries elsewhere.

II.


                       'T was thus I whispered to the Rose,
                       As from the dewy dell
                       I plucked it for my favorite fair --
                       The lass I love so well.
                       Nor will a gentle one like her,
                       Reject the gift I bring --
                       Because she is herself a flower,
                       Outblooming all the spring.
Page 62

III.


                       Then take, fair maiden, take the Rose --
                       It blooms alone for thee;
                       And while it basks beneath thy smile,
                       More blest than I can be,
                       Oh, may it whisper what I feel,
                       Yet tremble to avow --
                       A passion deep and long indulged,
                       But never named till now.


Page 63

LAMENT FOR LORETTO.

DEDICATED TO HER MOTHER,

MRS. HARDMAN, EUFAULA, ALABAMA.

I.


                       MILD, blue-eyed queen -- enchanting Spring!
                       O'er mountain, dell, and plain,
                       Thou scatter'st with a liberal hand
                       The blessings of thy reign;
                       Ten thousand happy, happy hearts
                       Thy glad return will hail,
                       And who should love thee more than we,
                       Of bright Eufaula's vale?

II.


                       And yet, sweet Spring, although thou com'st,
                       In radiant beauty drest,
                       Thou bring'st no solace to our woes --
                       No sunshine to the breast.
                       'T is ours to mourn the early dead,
                       A child of beauty rare,
                       Whose presence made all seasons bright --
                       A spring-time everywhere.
Page 64

III.


                       We find her not in dale nor dell,
                       We miss her by the hearth,
                       We hear no more her joyous laugh,
                       The music of her mirth.
                       The bower she built is blooming yet,
                       The flowers are fresh and fair,
                       But she who was its life and light
                       Is seen no longer there.

IV.


                       She was a joy to every heart,
                       A light to every eye,
                       And sadness found no resting-place
                       When she was sporting nigh. --
                       Unless thou canst that flower restore --
                       Bring back its bloom again,
                       Sweet Spring, we hail not thy return --
                       Thou com'st to us in vain.

V.


                       O blest LORETTO, beauteous one,
                       Mild flow'ret of thy race,
                       No vernal joys nor vain delights
                       Can fill thy ruined place.
Page 65


                       Around the parent-stem may cling
                       The tendrils of the vine,
                       Yet closer still around the heart
                       Our grief for thee must twine.

VI.


                       How bright and brief was thy career,
                       How like the star of eve --
                       The fairest of the shining train,
                       And first to take its leave! --
                       And as that planet, pure and bright,
                       Goes gladd'ning down the west,
                       So didst thou sink, in all the light
                       Of loveliness, to rest.

VII.


                       Mild evening star! we may not grieve
                       To see thy light decline,
                       For thou wilt come to-morrow eve,
                       And just as brightly shine;
                       But how can we our grief restrain,
                       Or cease our tears to pour,
                       For that sweet star that set so soon,
                       And comes to us no more!
Page 66

VIII.


                       And is it thus? -- is loveliness
                       A perishable light --
                       A blessing lent us for a day,
                       To close in endless night?
                       No, lost one, no -- thou art not dead --
                       Thy beauty can not die;
                       And we shall meet again, fair child,
                       In thy blest home on high.

IX.


                       The hope of this -- the pleasing hope
                       Our parting is but brief --
                       Is all that now remains to us,
                       Our only balm of grief.
                       Then let us cease our loud lament,
                       Nor dare our GOD upbraid --
                       The hand, in time, that dealt the blow,
                       Will heal the wound it made.


Page 67

IN LIFE'S UNCLOUDED, GAYER HOUR.

TO A LADY IN HOUSTON, TEXAS.

I.


                       IN life's unclouded, gayer hour,
                       I bowed to beauty's sway;
                       I felt the eye's despotic power,
                       And trembled in its ray;
                       But beauty now no more enthralls --
                       Its magic spell hath flown;
                       Upon my heart it coldly falls,
                       Like moonlight on a stone.

II.


                       The chords of feeling soon were broke,
                       Where love delighted played;
                       Affliction dealt too rude a stroke,
                       And all in ruin laid;
                       Yet, lady fair, there was a time
                       I might have worshipped thee;
                       Thy beauty would have been the shrine
                       Of my idolatry.
Page 68

III.


                       That time is past, and I am left
                       A sad sojourner here --
                       Of hope, of joy, of all bereft,
                       That makes existence dear.
                       Despair hath o'er my bosom cast
                       The gloom of starless night --
                       A darkness which through life must last,
                       Unpierced by beauty's light.


Page 69

NORA,

RICHMOND, TEXAS.

I.


                       NORA, cease that lively lay;
                       Vain to me its numbers flow;
                       Sing it to the light and gay,
                       Not to him oppressed with wo.
                       Flowery songs that bind to earth,
                       Songs of unreflecting mirth,
                       Sweet to others though they be,
                       No fond raptures bring to me.

II.


                       Give me in thy gathered breath,
                       Gushing songs of days gone by --
                       Solemn requiems of death,
                       Wringing tear-drops from the eye.
                       O'er the dead I love to weep,
                       All my thoughts are where they sleep,
                       And I may not brook the glee,
                       Mindless of their memory.
Page 70

III.


                       If thou canst, O lady fair,
                       Charm the buried back again,
                       Breathe, oh breathe the magic air --
                       Bless me with the heavenly strain;
                       And the forms so purely bright,
                       While they break upon my sight,
                       Thou, with them beloved so well,
                       Ever in my heart shalt dwell.

IV.


                       Songs thou hast of siren flow,
                       Gloom or gladness to impart --
                       Soothing to the mourner's wo,
                       Cheering to the youthful heart.
                       Give the sad ones to the grave,
                       To the young the merry stave --
                       Binding thus by melody,
                       Youth and age alike to thee.

V.


                       And in life's enchanting pride,
                       When to Hymen's rosy bowers,
                       Thou art led a blushing bride,
                       Brighter than thy crowning flowers,
Page 71


                       I, thy friend, will joy to see
                       One so excellent as thee,
                       Blest with all that's good on earth --
                       Blest according to thy worth.


Page 72

PERPETUAL LOVE.

I.


                       PERPETUAL love plays round my heart
                       For some fair form -- I do n't know who;
                       I would not with the passion part,
                       Although its object mocks my view.

II.


                       To meet a girl with sparkling eye --
                       She is that phantom of my breast;
                       But if a brighter pass me by,
                       I'm sure to love the brighter best.

III.


                       I thought, dear LUCY, long ago,
                       For none but thee my soul could sigh;
                       But LAURA spread superior glow --
                       Love waved his wings and bade good-by.

IV.


                       Oh, do not say that I'm to blame --
                       'T is Nature's fault that made me so;
                       Heaven knows my love's a constant flame,
                       But who I love -- I do not know.


Page 73

OH, IS IT NOT A PITY, NOW?

TO A YOUNG LADY IN MILLEDGEVILLE, GEORGIA.

I.


                       OH, is it not a pity, now,
                       That I am growing old;
                       That Time has written on my brow,
                       So legibly and bold,
                       What every glancing eye may see,
                       And folly can not hide --
                       That I am now, of fifty-three,
                       Upon the shady side?

II.


                       The happy days, so gay and bright,
                       I never can recall,
                       When beauty was a great delight,
                       And love was all in all.
                       The spring of life is quickly fled --
                       And when it hath declined,
                       A wintry heart and hoary head
                       Are all it leaves behind.
Page 74

III.


                       Yet, lady fair, to whom I pour
                       This light and laughing lay,
                       If guilty Time could but restore
                       The gifts he bore away,
                       I then might breathe a softer tale,
                       A more devoted strain;
                       And oh, if passion might prevail,
                       I should not sing in vain.

IV.


                       Behold imbedded in thy ring
                       That gem of sparkling dye,
                       Thy fairy hand illumining
                       With lustre like thine eye; --
                       So should my heart encircle thee,
                       And thou, implanted there,
                       My pure and sparkling gem shouldst be,
                       To light me everywhere.


Page 75

SALLY RILEY.

IN TWO CANTOS.


Page 77

SALLY RILEY.

1825.

CANTO I.

I.


                       SCRIBBLERS there are who ne'er to truth aspire;
                       Insensible to guilt's compunctious shame,
                       They prostitute their venal minds for hire,
                       And stab, assassin-like, at worth and fame.
                       Oh, let them to their destined hell depart,
                       As deeply damned as they're corrupt in heart!

II.


                       I'll mention one -- the low, abandoned knave,
                       Who publishes a paper called "Diurnal;"
                       A ready rascal and a shameless slave,
                       He labors daily in his task infernal,
                       To vent on truth his helleboric breath --
                       A human Upas, spreading moral death.
Page 78

III.


                       O Mr. GRANTLAND, never like that elf
                       Withhold the meed to worth and talents due;
                       And from the right be never swerved by pelf,
                       But still your old accustomed course pursue,
                       To scourge the graceless scoundrels of the times --
                       Be sure -- nay, very sure -- you print my rhymes.

IV.


                       I do not write for popular applause;
                       I can not lie, the multitude to please;
                       Nor heed I aught your plodding schoolman's laws;
                       I take whatever course may suit my ease,
                       At random steering by the rudder rhyme --
                       Bound to no port, and careless of the clime.

V.


                       And ask ye, reader, wherefore I aspire,
                       In spite of genius, to a rambling song,
                       Regardless of the critic's vengeful ire? --
                       Perhaps ye think it is unwise -- nay, wrong --
                       To con the verse that can not purchase fame;
                       A skilless effort is the heir of shame.
Page 79

VI.


                       I write obsequious to my fair one's will,
                       And seek no recompense beyond her smiles;
                       If she can tolerate my want of skill,
                       I little heed who censures or reviles;
                       At her command I'll rhyme till reason reels,
                       Though every critic cur comes yelping at my heels.

VII.


                       I know that Nature never did infuse
                       In my lethargic clay poetic fires;
                       Nor did I ever wish to woo the muse --
                       Sad is the lot of him whom she inspires --
                       Especially if poor -- he ne'er shall claim
                       The smiles of beauty or the meeds of fame.

VIII.


                       I had a friend -- the best I ever had --
                       The sweetest minstrel of his day and time;
                       He was, indeed, a very gifted lad,
                       And oft the village echoed with his rhyme.
                       But he in life was spurned -- in death, forgotten;
                       And why? -- because he'd neither cash nor cotton.
Page 80

IX.


                       No more remembered is the child of song --
                       The warm, devoted, and aspiring youth,
                       Whose spirit was a river rolling strong,
                       Melodious in love, and powerful in truth;
                       His worth, his genius, and his tuneful strains,
                       Were all sepulchred with his cold remains.

X.


                       By menial hands the humble bier was borne,
                       And he was placed at rest, with few to weep;
                       But Nature seems her fav'rite bard to mourn --
                       For in the valley, where his ashes sleep,
                       She plants perennial flowers of every hue,
                       And bathes them nightly with her tears of dew.

XI.


                       No marble rises by the willow-tree,
                       No verse invokes the tribute of a tear;
                       Unlettered dullness scorns his memory,
                       And kindred genius ceases to revere;
                       These lowly lines -- which may not hope to live --
                       Are all I have, and these I fondly give
Page 81

XII.


                       In token of my love. -- I have no art
                       To paint his virtues, or describe my wo;
                       But surely he must have a marble heart,
                       Insensible to every generous glow,
                       Who can not weep -- who has no tears to shed --
                       When memory wakes to view some friend long dead.

XIII.


                       Poor HAL has winged his way to realms above,
                       Where none can enter but the pure in heart;
                       That I may meet him in that land of love,
                       Oh, let me from his maxims ne'er depart.
                       How pleasant will it be to recognise
                       Each other, as we tread along the skies!

XIV.


                       I've thought the sweetest flower that scents the grove,
                       Was oft the first to lose its vernal bloom;
                       I've thought the child of poesy and love
                       Was oft the earliest victim to the tomb.
                       Is there no power the sinking rose to save?
                       Can no one snatch bright genius from the grave?
Page 82

XV.


                       O Doctor PANGLOSS! what avails thy skill,
                       If thou canst not delay the parting breath?
                       Hast thou no compound rare -- no potent pill --
                       With which to combat and to baffle Death?
                       Methinks, indeed, a brain like thine, prolific,
                       Should never be at fault for a specific.

XVI.


                       Long hast thou been thy teeming genius training,
                       To perpetrate a book with wisdom rife --
                       Perchance of deep philosophy -- explaining
                       The grand phenomena of human life.
                       When wilt thou print? -- then none shall physic need;
                       Thy book will physic every one who'll read.

XVII.


                       Go on, dear doctor -- in thy closet work --
                       I laugh sometimes, but still admit thy worth;
                       Nor gall nor envy in my heart can lurk;
                       And sure thou canst forgive a little mirth,
                       E'en at thy own expense. In former times
                       Didst thou not pen some quite unsparing rhymes?
Page 83

XVIII.


                       Oft have I read thy high-resounding verse
                       With profit and delight; -- but since thy Muse
                       Doth not disdain to play at cut and tierce,
                       Thou must not murmur if my own should choose,
                       In sportive mood, to have at thee, old friend,
                       And for thine Oliver a Rowland send.

XIX.


                       Then on, I say -- the critics may deride
                       Thy "words of learnéd length and thundering sound;"
                       And they may say thou hast pedantic pride,
                       And call thy noddle an obscure profound;
                       But never let them work thee to vexation --
                       To murder honest fame is their vocation.

XX.


                       As for myself, I scorn the rabid throng;
                       I do n't their wit nor hateful malice dread;
                       Deaf to their rage, I still pursue my song,
                       Though dull it be as Johnny's anvil-head.
                       'T is SALLY RILEY that demands the lay;
                       'T is fame to please her -- pleasure to obey.
Page 84

XXI.


                       Oh, SALLY RILEY is a lovely lass,
                       In whom the light of every virtue dwells --
                       A bright divinity that doth surpass
                       All earthly forms in weaving magic spells;
                       The fetters which her young, aurora face,
                       Entwines around the heart, no other can displace.

XXII.


                       I well remember when I met her first,
                       And all the rapture of the heavenly sight;
                       She broke upon me like a sudden burst
                       Of glory from the realms of love and light;
                       And never did a Chaldee watch his star
                       With more devotion than I worshipped her.

XXIII.


                       She had that day been through the city shopping,
                       And called at Mr. Shaw's to buy a sash;
                       And I -- as if by accident -- did pop in
                       The moment she was counting down the cash;
                       And from that very time that I first met her,
                       I vowed I'd marry her -- if I could get her.
Page 85

XXIV.


                       Two other girls were with her -- soon the three,
                       Together linking with their 'kimbo arms,
                       Departed from the store in merry glee,
                       With such high lustre streaming from their charms,
                       As gave a double brilliance to the day,
                       And swept all shadows lying in their way.

XXV.


                       The one was of a tall, attractive shape,
                       But seldom equalled, and surpassed by none;
                       She wore a deep vermilion Canton crape,
                       That glistened as its foldings caught the sun;
                       Her ostrich-feathers nodded to the skies,
                       And lambent lightnings arrowed from her eyes.

XXVI.


                       The other was of stature rather low,
                       And was in cambric very neatly drest;
                       Disdaining gewgaw and fantastic show,
                       She deemed that simple beauty was the best --
                       And never sought a dandy dunce to win,
                       With shining tinsel or a practised grin.
Page 86

XXVII.


                       No -- she was Nature's unaffected child,
                       Exempt from all the blandishment of art;
                       Her modest mien, and manners ever mild,
                       Bespoke the gentle nature of her heart;
                       And he who weds that girl need never roam
                       For bliss -- she'll make a paradise of home.

XXVIII.


                       But SALLY was the gem for me -- far, far
                       Outshining every pure and sparkling thing;
                       Hers was the beauty of a new-born star,
                       The morning's glory, and the bloom of spring.
                       No mortal might behold her eyes and live,
                       Did not her sweetness soothe the wounds they give.

XXIX.


                       The moonbeams dancing on the waters bright,
                       The singing of the birds at dewy dawn,
                       The sweet-brier's odor, and the lily's white,
                       The waving osier, and the gliding swan,
                       Are all delightful things -- in which we trace
                       Her smiles and melody, her purity and grace.
Page 87

XXX.


                       I will not try to paint the rainbow's hues,
                       Nor sketch the splendor of supernal day.
                       What bard may render justice to the rose,
                       Or concentrate its fragrance in his lay?
                       And yet these tasks were easier far, I ween,
                       Than weave in song my fair one's heavenly sheen.

XXXI.


                       She is, indeed, the jewel of her race,
                       And, like the diamond, shines without a peer;
                       The fairest belle that worships her own face,
                       Is but the dark antithesis of her;
                       And he who would her dazzling lights portray,
                       Must dip his pencil in celestial ray.

XXXII.


                       One girl hath a good heart -- another, sense;
                       A third, distinguished for her beauty bright; --
                       But where is she, of such rare excellence,
                       In whom these qualities do all unite?
                       Such fair perfection, Envy must allow,
                       Was dear MARIA'S once -- is SALLY'S now.
Page 88

XXXIII.


                       Ay -- not to beauty's fascinating power
                       Is SALLY RILEY'S loveliness confined;
                       Beauty is rightly called a fading flower --
                       Its glories soon are scattered in the wind.
                       Heaven did to her two richer gems impart --
                       A mind reflective, and a feeling heart.

XXXIV.


                       Who that has ever heard her counsels wise,
                       Can doubt the soul of goodness whence they came?
                       When laughs her heart, and sport lights up her eyes,
                       What stoic breast, so spiritless and tame,
                       As not to revel in the wit that flows? --
                       I always wish the strain might never close.

XXXV.


                       O ye proud belles, in whom no merit glows,
                       Whose value quadrates with your fathers' pence,
                       Be it your task to win the brainless beaux --
                       'T is SALLY'S praise to please all men of sense;
                       The world may woo you -- woo you for your pelf;
                       The world loves SALLY -- loves her for herself.
Page 89

XXXVI.


                       To genius, truth, and modesty unknown,
                       Go, flutter like the moth, in rich brocade;
                       For, nursed in folly, and in pride full-blown,
                       Your low ambition lies in vain parade.
                       To bankrupt gentlemen ye are a prize,
                       But never need ye hope to win the wise.

XXXVII.


                       Go, wed some doctor with cadaverous jaw,
                       Whose idle drugs are moulding on the shelf;
                       Go, wed some lawyer, who can't practise law,
                       But's doomed to have it practised on himself;
                       Or, take the merchant, who must shortly fail --
                       Be locked in wedlock, or be locked in jail.

XXXVIII.


                       Oh, these will tell you that you're fresh and fair,
                       Though horrible as MILTON'S Death and Sin;
                       And that you're witty too they'll freely swear,
                       Though all Boeotia's darkness reigns within.
                       'T is gold extorts their praise -- not wit nor beauty --
                       And well they know that flattery gains the booty.
Page 90

XXXIX.


                       Far nobler conquests SALLY makes than these;
                       Her frowns repel the mercenary slave;
                       But ah! she has the power and will to please
                       The virtuous, generous, and the brave.
                       Then come, ye witless belles, in her behold
                       What ye have not -- some worth that is not gold.

XL.


                       She is -- but stay! -- some other time I'll sing
                       Her praise, in bolder verse, if I am able;
                       But now I hear the bell for dinner ring,
                       And this is MARY'S week to grace the table.
                       Excuse me -- I must go -- indeed, I think
                       That bards, as other folks, should eat and drink.
Page 91

SALLY RILEY.

1843.

CANTO II.

I.


                       SOME eighteen years ago, when I was young,
                       And life was one continued vernal day,
                       I then my harp to SALLY RILEY strung,
                       And to its music framed a merry lay --
                       But left it incomplete. -- I now rewake
                       The slumbering chords for old affection's sake.

II.


                       My former canto closed with SALLY'S praise;
                       To honor SALLY was my great, high aim;
                       And I had hoped, in more exalted lays,
                       To place her on the Teneriffe of fame: --
                       But from some cause, to me quite unexpected,
                       She ridiculed my verse, and love rejected.
Page 92

III.


                       This made me angry, and I dropped the theme,
                       And left her beauties unimmortalized;
                       "A change came o'er the spirit of my dream,"
                       And she who was so once beloved and prized,
                       Now o'er my altered nature lost her power,
                       And SALLY was to me as any other flower.

IV.


                       "Of chance and change, oh let not man complain;
                       Else never, never will he cease to wail." --
                       Thus sung the minstrel in his truthful strain,
                       Knowing full well how fickle and how frail
                       Are all things here below, and prone to vex --
                       Especially in reference to the softer sex.

V.


                       There's no stability in all creation --
                       No permanence in matter or in mind;
                       E'en rocks themselves are subject to mutation.
                       In every earthly thing some change we find --
                       Except my purse -- there is no change in that --
                       Not e'en enough to buy a Roram hat.
Page 93

VI.


                       But woman is -- of all this shifting sphere --
                       The most unstable, fluctuating ray;
                       Fair Cynthia changes thirteen times a year,
                       But woman changes oftener every day;
                       And yet, like Cynthia too, I must confess,
                       No change destroys her light of loveliness.

VII.


                       For ever varying, and for ever bright,
                       She circles in an orbit wild and wide,
                       Yet scatters blessings in her wayward flight
                       That make us feel she is to Heaven allied --
                       A bright embodiment of fascinations,
                       In spite of all her devilish vacillations.

VIII.


                       'T was so with SALLY -- once she was, indeed,
                       As true to me as needle to the pole; --
                       Although I sometimes deemed the Turkish creed
                       Was half-way true -- that women have no soul --
                       A jealous thought, that rose like visions wild,
                       But always vanished when my fair one smiled.
Page 94

IX.


                       But, like her sex, she changed. -- The verse divine
                       She bade me build, she called it Namby-Pamby;
                       And took my rival's hand instead of mine,
                       Which made me take at Ware's a glass of brandy;
                       Yet wit and sweetness lingered round her still,
                       And won my praise, despite of every ill.

X.


                       Nor will I now that lovely one upbraid,
                       Nor wound her spirit by a word unkind;
                       She was, in sooth, a very gentle maid,
                       In manners, taste, and feelings, all refined,
                       And never erred but once -- but let that rest --
                       She doubtless meant it kindly for the best.

XI.


                       And how I bore my sufferings at that time,
                       It little boots the reader now to know;
                       Perchance I drowned them in a flood of rhyme,
                       Or in the goblet's more oblivious flow;
                       There's one thing certain -- that I did not choose
                       To terminate them in a running noose.
Page 95

XII.


                       Oh, Love to me may be a welcome guest,
                       But never can it mar my summer day;
                       The warrior's steel may penetrate my breast,
                       But woman's scorn and coldness can not slay;
                       The spells of beauty and the tricks of art
                       May chain awhile, but can not crush the heart.

XIII.


                       I love no longer, when I love in vain;
                       I leave the chary for the smiling maid --
                       And she who treats my passion with disdain,
                       Her scorn shall be with tenfold scorn repaid;
                       Proud Beauty can not triumph in her whims,
                       Unless the lamp of hope she duly trims.

XIV.


                       My love for SALLY was an honest glow,
                       And seemed inflexible as Fate's decree.
                       "Wilt thou be mine?" -- the gipsy answered, "No!" --
                       Which set at once my captive spirit free;
                       That word dissolved the force of Beauty's spell,
                       And Love, insulted, bade a long farewell.
Page 96

XV.


                       O SALLY RILEY -- SALLY RILEY O! --
                       Some eighteen years have passed since last we met,
                       And I have felt the weight of many a wo;
                       But never could, in all my griefs, forget
                       The happy days, when o'er my spirit bright,
                       Thy beauty poured a luminous delight.

XVI.


                       I still behold thee in thine early pride,
                       In all the brightness of thy morning ray;
                       And thoughts and feelings through my bosom glide
                       That make our parting seem like yesterday.
                       Mild planet of my youth's idolatry,
                       Thou beamest on me still -- a star of memory.

XVII.


                       Thy smile, as brilliant as the rainbow's hues;
                       Thy voice, as pleasant as the laughing streams;
                       Thy step, that scarcely shook the morning dews;
                       Thy song, that flowed like music in my dreams --
                       Are all to me as palpable as when,
                       In youthful days, we frolicked down the glen.
Page 97

XVIII.


                       The tricks you played me, and your saucy ways;
                       The wild-goose chases into which you lured me;
                       The ridicule you threw upon my lays;
                       And, finally, the jilt, that fairly cured me
                       Of love and madness, and my rhymes absurd,
                       Are all forgotten now; -- they are, upon my word!

XIX.


                       I know thee only as an ornament
                       Of womankind -- a star of light and truth --
                       My best, bright friend, whose name is blent
                       With all that was delightful in my youth,
                       When pleasures thronged apace, without alloy,
                       And thou the light and life, the soul of every joy.

XX.


                       But every earthly pleasure hath its bane,
                       And darkness follows Fancy's vivid rays;
                       The power that bids thy beauties bloom again,
                       Revives the pangs of long-departed days,
                       And makes me pour afresh affliction's tears
                       For the beloved and lost of other years.
Page 98

XXI.


                       Oh, where are now those fair, enchanting maids,
                       Who used to circle round thy father's hearth?
                       Or, lightly sporting in Oconee's shades,
                       Made hills and valleys echo with their mirth? --
                       Alas! along the margin of those waves,
                       Sweet roses, like themselves, are blooming o'er their graves.

XXII.


                       I'll name them not -- the theme is one of grief --
                       And who will now with me their doom deplore?
                       And yet I sometimes think 't would bring relief
                       To many of my woes, if I could pour
                       My love and gratitude, in one full song,
                       To those whose memories I have cherished long.

XXIII.


                       But this may never be -- for though my heart
                       May feel the fervor of poetic fires,
                       Yet Nature has denied the pleasing art
                       To clothe in words the feelings she inspires;
                       And I must still in silence bear my cares,
                       Which have no voice, except the voice of tears.
Page 99

XXIV.


                       Then fare ye well, ye once-delightful train --
                       Sweet listeners to, and laughers at, my lays;
                       When I contrast the glories of your reign
                       With all the evil of these after-days,
                       I wish that mine had been your early doom,
                       Instead of lingering here to weep o'er Beauty's tomb.

XXV.


                       I met a Rose in life's tumultuous hour,
                       As bright as ever bloomed on Sharon's field;
                       But when I went to pluck the shining flower,
                       I felt the thorn beneath its charms concealed: --
                       Oh, SALLY RILEY was that rose and thorn --
                       I wooed her beauties and received her scorn.

XXVI.


                       I then beheld a Lily in the vale,
                       And loved it dearly from the day I found it;
                       It blushed to hear my warm, impassioned tale,
                       But sweetly smiled when to my heart I bound it.
                       That thornless flower was one whose cherished name
                       I hold too sacred for the songs I frame.
Page 100

XXVII.


                       But how can I of her unmindful prove,
                       Who blest me with the light of her blue eyes,
                       And gave me all she had -- life, soul, and love,
                       And now is smiling on me from the skies?
                       Oh, that I had the gift of deathless song,
                       That I might sing of her, and not her memory wrong!

XXVIII.


                       She was all beauty, melody, and mirth --
                       A spirit bright, that gladdened soul and eye;
                       But as the fair and cherished things of earth,
                       Whose sweetness links them to their kindred sky,
                       Are always first to wither and to fall --
                       So perished she, the loveliest of them all.

XXIX.


                       Brief was the space -- a few enchanting years,
                       Between her bridal and her burial day;
                       With soul serene, and eye undimmed by tears,
                       She smiled upon her friends and passed away,
                       Like some bright star that blendeth with the morn --
                       A welcome one to realms where she was born.
Page 101

XXX.


                       To yonder valley's dark and lonely shade,
                       Where winds and streams and birds their music blend,
                       As if they sought my silence to upbraid,
                       By pouring requiems which myself should send.
                       Her cold remains were borne, and buried there,
                       Beneath the willow sad, that shareth my despair.

XXXI.


                       But oh, her spirit from this world of wo
                       Was borne by angels to her home above;
                       And she who was my Lily here below,
                       Is now a Seraph in the land of love;
                       And I am left abandoned and forlorn --
                       My life a long, long night, without the hope of morn.

XXXII.


                       At random driven by the stormy breeze,
                       With breakers roaring round him wild and hoarse,
                       Behold the mariner on rocky seas,
                       Without his polar star to point his course: --
                       So am I sweeping now o'er life's dark tide,
                       Without my planet bright, which might in safety guide.
Page 102

XXXIII.


                       O Memory, thou art no friend to me;
                       For though my life has flowed in Honor's ways,
                       By crimes untarnished and from falsehood free,
                       Still on the gloomy past I may not gaze
                       With rapture or delight -- I there behold
                       Unnumbered woes, and sorrows yet untold.

XXXIV.


                       And thou, fair Hope, with bright, fallacious smile --
                       To me thy promises are vainly made;
                       No more canst thou my weary soul beguile,
                       Which thou so oft hast flattered and betrayed;
                       Still gloomy as the past, my coming years
                       Must darkly roll in solitude and tears.

XXXV.


                       If, in the social hour, I sometimes seem
                       To wear the smile of youth's enchanting prime,
                       'T is but a borealis light -- a gleam
                       That springeth from a dark and frozen clime;
                       And only serves my sufferings to conceal --
                       To hide the wounds which Time can never heal.
Page 103

XXXVI.


                       And if along the sacred dells and plains,
                       Where, with my early friends, I used to stray,
                       I sometimes pour my rude, unpolished strains,
                       As I am pouring now this lowly lay --
                       I court no purpose, but the peace that springs
                       From contemplation and the sounding strings.

XXXVII.


                       For fame and fortune let me not contend --
                       They bring no rapture to the tortured mind;
                       But thou, sweet Poesy -- affliction's friend --
                       Thine is the power the bleeding heart to bind;
                       E'en songs like mine, though all devoid of skill,
                       May soften wo, and fortify an ill.

XXXVIII.


                       Then who shall blame me, though I fail to please
                       The polished ear, familiar to the Nine?
                       'T is meet that he on every source should seize,
                       To soothe his heart whose sorrows are like mine --
                       Whose sorrows may not cease till life shall close,
                       And I may find in heaven my long-desired repose.
Page 104

XXXIX.


                       And, like my life, behold my present lay --
                       Begun in gayety, to close in gloom.
                       Then let me pause awhile -- some happier day
                       I may, perhaps, my humble harp resume,
                       And with its lighter tones thy praises blend,
                       O SALLY RILEY dear, my unforgotten friend!


Page 105

ELEGIAC.


Page 106

NOTE.

        THE six following poems -- and particularly the last four -- are so nearly connected in subject and thought, that it seems necessary to state that they were all written while the heart was yet bleeding under the bereavement to which they allude. Notwithstanding the similarity of sentiment and feeling -- and in a few instances of language also -- that pervades them, the author is not willing to disconnect them, and still less to suppress any of them, as they are the memorials, not only of departed worth, but of a period of sorrow and suffering whose dark shadows are in sacred contrast with the calm sunshine of his present life.


Page 107

THOU IDOL OF MY SOUL, ADIEU.

WRITTEN AT THE GRAVE OF MY WIFE.

I.


                       THOU idol of my soul, adieu!
                       With one so loved, 't is hard to part;
                       Thine angel-form still haunts my view,
                       And lives within the constant heart
                       That soon must break for thee.

II.


                       When spring returns, each modest flower
                       That wears thy grace, shall blossom here;
                       And oft I'll come, at twilight hour,
                       To bathe their beauties with the tear
                       Of memory shed for thee.

III.


                       But none shall ever mark that tear,
                       For none can rock my soul to sleep;
                       Do thou, blest shade, but hover near,
                       When in my lonely walks I weep
                       My life away for thee.
Page 108

IV.


                       That life no hope survives to cheer,
                       Except the one that thou art blest,
                       And that the day is drawing near
                       When mine shall with thine ashes rest,
                       My spirit wing to thee.

V.


                       Oh, yes -- though doomed so sad to part,
                       We'll meet in heaven's eternal day;
                       For thou my saving angel art,
                       To light my footsteps in the way
                       That leads to GOD and thee.

VI.


                       E'en now I feel thy peaceful sway;
                       I hear thy voice, I see thy smile.
                       Oh, do not pass like dreams away;
                       Tarry, my love, a little while --
                       I come, I come to thee!

COLUMBUS, GEORGIA.


Page 109

MONODY.

WRITTEN AT EVENING, ON THE BANKS OF THE CHATTAHOOCHEE.

I.


                       OFT when the sun along the west
                       His farewell splendor throws,
                       Imparting to the wounded breast
                       The spirit of repose --
                       My mind reverts to former themes,
                       To joys of other days,
                       When love illumined all my dreams,
                       And hope inspired my lays.

II.


                       I would not for the world bereave
                       Fond Memory of those times,
                       When seated here at summer eve,
                       I poured my early rhymes
                       To one whose smiles and tears proclaimed
                       The triumph of my art,
                       And plainly told, the minstrel reigned
                       The monarch of her heart.
Page 110

III.


                       Enriched with every mental grace,
                       And every moral worth,
                       She was the gem of her bright race,
                       A paragon on earth;
                       So luminous with love and lore,
                       So little dimmed by shade,
                       Her beauty threw a light before
                       Her footsteps as she strayed.

IV.


                       But all the loveliness that played
                       Around her once, hath fled;
                       She sleepeth in the valley's shade,
                       A dweller with the dead;
                       And I am here with ruined mind,
                       Left lingering on the strand,
                       To pour my music to the wind,
                       My tears upon the sand.

V.


                       I grieve to think she hears no more
                       The songs she loved so well --
                       That all the strains I now may pour
                       Of evenings in the dell,
Page 111


                       Must fall as silently to her,
                       As evening's mild decline --
                       Unheeded as the dewy tear
                       That Nature weeps with mine.

VI.


                       Oh, if thou canst thy slumbers break,
                       My dear departed one,
                       Now at thy minstrel's call awake,
                       And bless his evening song --
                       The last, perchance, his failing art
                       May o'er these waters send --
                       The last before his breaking heart
                       Shall songs and sorrows end.

VII.


                       I fain would let thee know, blest shade,
                       Though years have sadly flown,
                       My love with time has not decayed --
                       My heart is still thine own;
                       And till the sun of life shall set,
                       All thine it must remain,
                       As warmly as when first we met,
                       Until we meet again.
Page 112

VIII.


                       If I have sought the festal hall,
                       My sorrows to beguile,
                       Or struck my harp at lady's call,
                       In praise of beauty's smile --
                       Oh, still thou didst my thoughts control
                       Amid the smiling throng;
                       Thou wert the idol of my soul,
                       The spirit of my song.

IX.


                       Take, take my rhyme, O ladies gay,
                       For you it freely pours;
                       The minstrel's heart is far away --
                       It never can be yours.
                       The music of my song may be
                       To living beauty shed,
                       But all the love that warms the strain --
                       I mean it for the dead.

COLUMBUS, GEORGIA.


Page 113

NO, NO, THE HARP I DARE NOT WAKE.

TO MISS GOOD, MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA.

I.


                       No, no -- the harp I dare not wake,
                       So long neglected lain;
                       My heart, my heart would surely break,
                       To hear its voice again.
                       The tones that once so sweetly threw
                       Oblivion o'er my cares,
                       Would only bring to memory's view,
                       The woes of vanished years.

II.


                       To Love's celestial, higher home,
                       My life's enchanting light,
                       Hath on the wings of morning flown,
                       And left my soul in night;
                       Yet sometimes from that lovely sphere,
                       All beautiful and blest,
                       A gentle seraph comes to cheer
                       The minstrel's lonely breast.
Page 114

III.


                       Oh, while that seraph dwelt on earth,
                       It was her smiles alone,
                       That gave my lyre its wonted mirth,
                       And sweetened every tone;
                       From her my inspiration came,
                       With her it passed away,
                       And how can I resume the strain,
                       Unkindled by her ray?

IV.


                       Then marvel not that I withhold
                       The boon that Beauty claims;
                       My heart, my heart is dark and cold --
                       Extinct are all its flames;
                       And well I know, when love is gone,
                       And grief alone remains,
                       More dreary is the poet's song,
                       Than winter o'er the plains.
Page 115

OH, LET MY HARP, LIKE JUDAH'S LYRE

TO MRS. MARY ANN JETER, COLUMBUS, GEORGIA.

I.


                       OH, let my harp, like Judah's lyre,
                       To silence be consigned;
                       Each sound extorted from the wire,
                       Brings madness to the mind.
                       It wakes a train of painful thought,
                       Beyond my strength to bear --
                       Reviving scenes with misery fraught,
                       In days of my despair.

II.


                       I may not breathe her name adored,
                       My life's lost paragon,
                       For whom my early strains were poured,
                       Herself the soul of song.
                       In all my notes she bore a part --
                       She sang them o'er and o'er --
                       Delighted with my minstrel art,
                       But with the minstrel more.
Page 116

III.


                       And shall that harp -- that fav'rite harp,
                       She lives no more to hear --
                       Be touched to win another's heart,
                       To please another's ear?
                       No, no -- to break its tranquil sleep,
                       Would break my life's repose;
                       Its voice would only make me weep
                       Afresh o'er former woes.

IV.


                       Then ask me not my hand to fling
                       Across the wires again;
                       To thee, they could no rapture bring --
                       To me, consuming pain.
                       Soon may they wake in yonder sphere,
                       The heavenly choir among,
                       Responsive to the voice of her,
                       For whom they first were strung.
Page 117

AND MUST I TOUCH THE CHORDS AGAIN?

TO A LADY OF GALVESTON, TEXAS.

I.


                       AND must I touch the chords again,
                       At Beauty's high behest?
                       And must I pour a formal strain,
                       Unechoed from the breast? --
                       No, lady, no -- I will not wrong
                       Exalted charms like thine;
                       I will not pour a lifeless song
                       At Beauty's sacred shrine.

II.


                       Oh, how couldst thou, of soul and sense,
                       Thy deep-felt scorn conceal,
                       For him who sings in lady's ear
                       The songs he does not feel? --
                       Whose songs at best would only shine
                       Like phosphor of the tomb,
                       Shedding a light that gives no heat,
                       Yet shows surrounding gloom!
Page 118

III.


                       And if his cold, unkindling lay,
                       Excite thy just disdain,
                       Oh, how much more thy pride would spurn
                       The high, impassioned strain,
                       If thou shouldst know that all the light
                       Around the numbers thrown,
                       Was struck from recollected love,
                       And beauty not thine own!

IV.


                       Yet such were mine -- my frozen notes
                       Would fall like flakes of snow;
                       Or, if the memory of the past
                       Should wake a genial glow,
                       Still all unconscious of the light
                       Of beauty sparkling near,
                       My soul and song would rise to one
                       Who gems another sphere.

V.


                       I know I shall, on some blest strand,
                       Where souls of goodness throng --
                       Some Jordan of the Spirit-Land,
                       Whose waters roll in song --
Page 119


                       My own bright seraph meet once more,
                       Renew her fav'rite lay,
                       And all my soul's devotion pour
                       Through Love's eternal day.

VI.


                       Yet now with me, all minstrel fire
                       Is quenched in sorrow's tears;
                       And though the lyre I still retain,
                       Its spirit dwells with hers;
                       And vain it were to touch the chords --
                       The notes would sound in vain!
                       For where would be her smiles, to fling
                       Enchantment o'er the strain?

VII.


                       Then, lady, ask me not to sing --
                       A bard of low degree,
                       Whose songs, if warm, would not be thine,
                       If cold, unworthy thee.
                       Some happier one, of higher art,
                       Should strike to thee the strings,
                       Whose inspiration is his theme --
                       The beauty that he sings.
Page 120

VIII.


                       Or dost thou love the minstrelsy
                       With which Creation teems --
                       The lute-like winds -- the vocal grove --
                       The sweetly-sounding streams?
                       These, these, my fair, should raise to thee
                       Their music rich and wild,
                       For Nature's voice is best attuned
                       To Nature's fav'rite child.
Page 121

OH, DO NOT ASK ME NOW FOR RHYME.

TO MY DAUGHTER, REBECCA ANN.

I.


                       OH, do not ask me now for rhyme,
                       For I am lonely-hearted;
                       And lost are all the dear delights
                       The Muses once imparted.
                       I sigh no more for Hybla's dews,
                       Nor Helicon's bright water;
                       I only crave a sable wave
                       Of Lethe's stream, my Daughter.

II.


                       And wouldst thou share thy father's woes,
                       Partake his bitter weeping?
                       Then seek with him you valley's shade,
                       Where beauty's wreck is sleeping;
                       For in that dark and lonely place --
                       Death's solemn, silent quarter --
                       Was laid the pride of all her sex,
                       The mother of my Daughter.
Page 122

III.


                       She was all bright and beautiful,
                       A floating star before me,
                       Whose lustre was my guiding light,
                       For ever shining o'er me;
                       So much of heaven in all her ways,
                       How often have I thought her
                       Some angel sent us from the skies,
                       To bless this earth, my Daughter!

IV.


                       It was from her alone I drew
                       My minstrel inspiration;
                       But when she died and left me here --
                       My soul in desolation --
                       I broke the shell she loved so well,
                       Destroyed the songs I wrought her;
                       Nor can my voice again rejoice
                       In cheerful strains, my Daughter.

V.


                       Then name some other boon, my child; --
                       Thou know'st I can deny thee
                       No gift thine innocence demands,
                       While thou art smiling by me:
Page 123


                       But should I dare re-string the harp
                       By Chattahoochee's water,
                       The bitter tears of other years
                       Would flow afresh, my Daughter.


Page 125

O LADY, WHILE A NATION POURS.

TO MRS. ANN S. STEPHENS.

I.


                       O LADY, while a nation pours
                       Its praises in thine ear,
                       Wilt thou the lay that Friendship weaves,
                       A moment deign to hear?
                       I bring no wreath to flatter pride,
                       No gem to brighten fame;
                       My only gift's a grateful heart,
                       And this thou well mayst claim.

II.


                       The world may laud thy genius rare --
                       Its triumphs high proclaim;
                       But there are loftier honors still,
                       Inwoven with thy name.
                       They are the moral gems, that form
                       Thy life's enchanting light --
                       Uunsullied truth -- unwavering love --
                       And fervor for the right.
Page 126

III.


                       The cheering smile -- sustaining word --
                       The ready aid at call --
                       The active love that wearies not
                       In working good to all: --
                       To make another's wrong thine own,
                       To vindicate the poor,
                       To never turn uncomforted
                       The wretched from thy door --

IV.


                       These, these are bright, enduring bays,
                       That with thy glories blend;
                       And while they win the world's applause,
                       Still make me more thy friend.
                       The author's fame may pass away,
                       The woman's can not die --
                       The flash of genius is of earth,
                       But love is from the sky.

V.


                       Oh, could I snatch, Prometheus-like,
                       From Love's celestial throne,
                       The fire of life -- to give my lyre
                       The spirit of thine own --
Page 127


                       How sweet, in Friendship's sacred name,
                       A wreath of song to twine,
                       Whose kindred fragrance might embalm
                       My name and fame with thine!

VI.


                       What though my lyre may only breathe
                       Affection's simple tone;
                       What though no robes of starry light
                       Are round its numbers thrown --
                       Yet ever welcome to the good
                       The artless song must prove,
                       That pours the heart-felt homage due
                       To genius, truth, and love.

NEW YORK, April, 1857.


Page 128

THE SEASONS.

INSCRIBED TO MY NIECE,

MRS. SUSAN WIGGINS, MACON, GEORGIA.

I.


                       THE Spirit of Spring, from the regions of light,
                       Brought music, and odor, and all that was bright;
                       But vain were the blessings -- they shed no delight
                       On the heart that lay locked in a Lapland night.

II.


                       The Spirit of Summer then came with a glow,
                       And warmth on the beauties of Spring did bestow;
                       But all of the sunshine ne'er melted the snow
                       That fell on the heart in the Winter of wo.

III.


                       The Spirit of Autumn now chills with its wing
                       The blushes of Summer and beauties of Spring;
                       But light is the mischief its breezes may fling,
                       Compared to the ruin that sorrow can bring.

IV.


                       The Spirit of Winter will come very soon,
                       On the wings of a cloud that shall darken the noon,
                       More welcome to me than perennial bloom,
                       For the frown of the storm is the type of my gloom.


Page 129

THERE IS A MAID I DEARLY LOVE.

TO MY COUSIN ANN.

I.


                       THERE is a maid I dearly love,
                       A fascinating girl,
                       As modest as the lily white,
                       And beautiful as pearl.
                       I long have been her worshipper,
                       And evermore must be;
                       Yet colder far than Zembla's snows
                       That maiden is to me.

II.


                       From early youth to womanhood
                       I've seen her charms expand,
                       And fondly hoped, some happy day,
                       To win her heart and hand;
                       But oh, the bud that was so sweet,
                       And long my secret pride,
                       Has only blushed into the rose,
                       To be another's bride.
Page 130

III.


                       She soon will wear a garland bright,
                       A wreath upon her brow,
                       And will before the altar stand,
                       To breathe the bridal vow.
                       I know she will not think of me,
                       Nor heed the grief she makes;
                       Yet warmer than the heart she weds,
                       Will be the heart she breaks.

IV.


                       O Cousin ANNA, wouldst thou know
                       Who may this maiden be? --
                       Then to thy mirror turn, sweet girl,
                       And there her beauties see;
                       For thou art she, that cruel one,
                       The source of my distress --
                       Yet all too beautiful for me
                       To ever love thee less.


Page 131

THE STAR AND CUP.

INSCRIBED

TO MY SISTER, MRS. MARY ANN MORELAND, TEXAS.

        THE second of March -- the anniversary of the Declaration of the Independence of TEXAS -- was on one occasion celebrated in a grove in Washington county, and the rigid exclusion of wine made a special feature of the rural banquet. The cup which circulated on that day under our "Single Star" was filled with the pure crystal of the spring. Hence the following lines and their title.

I.


                       I LOVE the bright, Lone Star, that gems
                       The banner of the brave;
                       I love the light that guideth men
                       To freedom or the grave;
                       But oh, there is a fairer Star,
                       Of pure and holy ray,
                       That lights to glory's higher crown,
                       And freedom's brighter day: --
                       It is the Star before whose beams
                       All earth should bow the knee --
                       The Star that rose o'er Bethlehem,
                       And set on Calvary.
Page 132

II.


                       Let others round the festive board
                       The madd'ning wine-cup drain;
                       Let others court its guilty joys,
                       And reap repentant pain;
                       But oh, there is a brighter Cup,
                       And be its raptures mine,
                       Whose fragrance is the breath of life --
                       Whose spirit is divine: --
                       It is the Cup that JESUS filled --
                       He kissed its sacred brim,
                       And left the world to do the same,
                       In memory of him.


Page 133

OH, I HAVE WEPT O'ER BEAUTY'S DOOM.

TO MISS BETTIE MORSELL, WASHINGTON CITY.

I.


                       OH, I have wept o'er Beauty's doom,
                       So very loud and long,
                       I did not think my heart again
                       Could wake to love and song;
                       Yet, lady fair, thy notes this night
                       Have lightened my distress,
                       And made me feel that woman's voice
                       Has still the power to bless.

II.


                       When first upon my spirit fell
                       Thy soft, enchanting tone,
                       It seemed to be direct from heaven,
                       And meant for me alone;
                       For oh, I thought it was the voice
                       That charmed me long ago --
                       And, in the dear delusion lost,
                       My tears began to flow.
Page 134

III.


                       Forgive, forgive this dewy proof
                       Of thy o'erpowering art;
                       For where's the melody but thine
                       To melt so cold a heart? --
                       A heart that has not dared to smile,
                       Nor felt one throb of love,
                       Since she who was my Rose below,
                       Became a Star above.

IV.


                       O'er loved Laredo's blooming plains
                       I soon shall wander free,
                       And I shall hear the Bravo roll
                       In music to the sea;
                       But where, oh where will be thy songs? --
                       My soul will pine in vain,
                       To drink once more their golden light,
                       And happy be again.

V.


                       Adieu, adieu, thou tuneful one! --
                       My gratitude I owe
                       To her who touched my frozen heart,
                       And made its fountains flow.
Page 135


                       Where'er she wanders through this world,
                       May blessings ever throng
                       Around the bright and beautiful
                       Embodiment of song!


Page 136

OCTAVIA.

TO MISS WALTON, NOW MADAME LAVERT, MOBILE.

I.


                       WHEN first to town OCTAVIA came,
                       All eyes were pleased, all hearts were flame;
                       Aside the students' books were laid,
                       And every bard a rhyme essayed.
                       Our native girls no longer prized,
                       Their wit forgot, their worth despised --
                       All, all gave place to that bright Star,
                       Who touched so well the Light Guitar.

II.


                       Oh, let them to that fair one bow,
                       And chaplets weave to grace her brow --
                       My native maids I still admire,
                       To them alone I tune my lyre;
                       Nor in my heart shall they give place
                       To higher birth or richer race --
                       Not e'en to thee, thou shining Star,
                       Who touch'st so well the Light Guitar.

MILLEDGEVILLE, GEORGIA.


Page 137

SUNSET SKIES.

INSCRIBED TO MY SISTER,

MRS. LORETTO CHAPPELL, MACON, GEORGIA.

I.


                       THE sunset skies -- the sunset skies!
                       Their splendor, LORD, is thine;
                       Those golden hues -- those Tyrian dyes --
                       And all yon glow divine,
                       Are shadows of a regal gem --
                       Dim flashings of GOD'S diadem.

II.


                       O radiant West -- O radiant West!
                       Thou seem'st, to Fancy's eye,
                       A lovely land -- a home of rest --
                       Bright realm 'twixt earth and sky,
                       Where kindred spirits sing and soar,
                       And meet again to part no more.
Page 138

III.


                       Perchance to heaven so near they dwell,
                       They hear the seraphim;
                       Perchance their own glad voices swell,
                       Responsive to their hymn;
                       Oh, when shall I, in that blest land,
                       Unite me with that choral band?

IV.


                       While gazing on the splendid scene,
                       I sometimes think I see
                       My long-lost friends, with smile serene,
                       Waving their hands for me --
                       As if they fain, from earthly woes,
                       Would call me to their own repose.

V.


                       Ye clouds, so beautiful and bright,
                       Floating in rich array,
                       Oh, bear me on your pinions light
                       From this dull world away --
                       I heed not whither -- anywhere,
                       If truth abide, and friends are there.


Page 139

THEY SAY THOU ART AN ANGEL BRIGHT.

TO MISS MARTHA CLARK.

I.


                       THEY say thou art an angel bright,
                       A seraph from on high; --
                       Alas! I may not censure those
                       Who breathe the pleasing lie;
                       For lo! thou art so beautiful,
                       So fraught with every grace,
                       They well might make the sweet mistake,
                       While gazing on thy face.

II.


                       And yet, despite thy heavenly charms,
                       No angel thou in truth;
                       For how can she an angel be,
                       Who murders without ruth?
                       And dost thou ask me for the proof? --
                       Behold it in my woes --
                       Hast thou not stabbed me with thine eye,
                       And murdered my repose?
Page 140

III.


                       Then do not deem thyself, fair maid,
                       A creature from the skies,
                       Because the light of those blest spheres
                       Is sparkling in thine eyes;
                       But if thou wouldst the being be
                       Thou seemest unto the sight,
                       Then soothe the pangs thy charms have wrought,
                       And be an angel quite.


Page 141

ISABEL.

MEXICAN GIRL -- MATAMORAS.

I.


                       MY ISABEL -- dear ISABEL!
                       Oh, take the flowers I send thee;
                       And with the gift, the donor's prayers,
                       All blessings to attend thee.
                       With health, and wealth, and lengthened life,
                       And many friends around thee,
                       Oh, be this world a world of flowers,
                       Without a thorn to wound thee.

II.


                       Sweet girl, these flowers are like thyself,
                       Thy native vales adorning,
                       In all the lovely lights arrayed
                       Of Iris and the morning;
                       But brighter far than any rose,
                       That blooms by Bravo's water,
                       Is that which decks thy father's hall --
                       Don LOPEZ' smiling daughter.
Page 142

III.


                       Too oft, alas! unfeeling man
                       Is viper in the roses --
                       And many a tear the maid may shed,
                       Who on his faith reposes;
                       But wo betide the ruthless one,
                       By earth and Heaven rejected,
                       Who woos and wins so sweet a flower,
                       To leave its bloom neglected!

IV.


                       Full soon the bright bouquet will fade,
                       For beauty hath a fleetness;
                       But when the flowers have lost their hues,
                       They still retain their sweetness: --
                       So will it be, dear maid, with thee,
                       And all the gentle-hearted --
                       The power to please will linger still,
                       When beauty hath departed.

V.


                       Oh, by-and-by, when I am old,
                       And thou in all thy glory,
                       Some gayer bard will sing to thee
                       His love-inspiring story;
Page 143


                       And should he be, as I have been,
                       Still true to love and duty,
                       Then be the minstrel's high reward
                       The hand and heart of beauty.


Page 144

NAY, TELL ME NOT THAT WOMAN LOVES.

TO MISS LAURA THOMPSON.

I.


                       NAY, tell me not that woman loves,
                       Because her bosom heaves the sigh;
                       And, tell me not that pity moves,
                       Because she hath a tearful eye;
                       How easy 't is to seem to feel,
                       How easy for the tear to steal!
                       Oh, Affectation's practised part
                       Makes Nature seem less true than Art.

II.


                       Each tale of unrequited love,
                       My feeling LAURA weeps to read;
                       No flower that withers in the grove,
                       But makes her gentle bosom bleed;
                       Yet while she mourns the faded rose,
                       And gives her tears to fictious woes,
                       She still derides my real distress,
                       And still withholds her power to bless.


Page 145

CARMELITA.

MONTEREY, MEXICO.

I.


                       O CARMELITA, know ye not
                       For whom all hearts are pining?
                       And know ye not, in Beauty's sky,
                       The brightest planet shining? --
                       Then learn it now -- for thou art she,
                       Thy nation's jewel, born to be
                       By all beloved, but most by me --
                       O Donna CARMELITA!

II.


                       But wo is me thy love to lose,
                       Apart from thee abiding;
                       Between us roars a gloomy stream,
                       Our destiny dividing.
                       That stream with blood incarnadined,
                       Flows from thy nation's erring mind,
                       And rolls with ruin to thy kind,
                       O Donna CARMELITA.
Page 146

III.


                       'T is mine, while floating on the tide,
                       To stick to love and duty;
                       I draw my sabre on the foe,
                       I strike my harp to beauty;
                       And who shall say the soldier's wrong,
                       Who, while he battles with the strong,
                       Still softens war with gentle song,
                       O Donna CARMELITA?

IV.


                       I soon shall seek the battle-field,
                       Where Freedom's flag is waving --
                       My Texas comrades by my side,
                       All perils madly braving;
                       I only grieve to think each blow,
                       That vengeance bids the steel bestow,
                       Must make thee mine eternal foe,
                       O Donna CARMELITA.

V.


                       Full well I know thy pride will spurn
                       The brightest wreaths I bring thee;
                       Full well I know thou wilt not heed
                       The sweetest songs I sing thee;
Page 147


                       Yet, all despite thy scorn and hate,
                       Despite the thousand ills of fate,
                       I still my soul must dedicate --
                       To Donna CARMELITA.

VI.


                       Then fare thee well, dear, lovely one --
                       May happiness attend thee;
                       Ten thousand harps exalt thy name,
                       Ten thousand swords defend thee: --
                       And when the sod is on my breast,
                       My harp and sabre both at rest,
                       May thee and thine be greatly blest,
                       O Donna CARMELITA!


Page 148

TELL ME, BOOK-WORM, STUDIOUS SAGE.

I.


                       TELL me, book-worm, studious sage,
                       Who nightly pore o'er Learning's page,
                       Wouldst thou the realms of Thought explore,
                       And add new wealth to Wisdom's lore? --
                       Then fly, for ever fly the sheen
                       Of Richmond's bright and beauteous queen;
                       For on her glories shouldst thou gaze,
                       Adieu, adieu to Learning's maze;
                       Her face will be thy only book --
                       Thine only study her fair look.

II.


                       Say, warrior clad in armor bright,
                       Shield of thine own and country's right,
                       Wouldst thou fair Freedom still maintain,
                       And scorn to wear the conqueror's chain? --
                       Then fly in time -- for ever fly,
                       The lightning of that regal eye;
                       For triple mail nor polished lance
                       Can aught avail against its glance;
                       And all who dare one flash to brave,
                       Must fall her captive and her slave.


Page 149

MUSINGS.

INSCRIBED TO MY SISTER,

MRS. LOUISA M'GEHEE, SUMMERFIELD, ALABAMA.

I.


                       THIS morn the sun rose bright and clear,
                       And seemed in gladness shining;
                       Deep in the west 't will soon appear,
                       With all its beams declining.
                       Thus sanguine men the world begin,
                       With prospects bright before them;
                       As life speeds on, the light grows dim,
                       And darkness soon comes o'er them.

II.


                       Oh, who in manhood ever found
                       The joy his youth expected?
                       And who o'er dark affliction's wound,
                       Has never wept dejected?
                       Oft are we soonest called to sigh
                       O'er things we hold the dearest;
                       And oft when bliss seems smiling by,
                       The spoiler's hand is nearest.
Page 150

III.


                       The fairest hopes of virtue born,
                       But leave the heart to languish;
                       We seize the flower and feel the thorn --
                       All earth is doomed to anguish.
                       If transient joys are sometimes caught
                       From fortune, fame, or beauty,
                       Dark Vengeance comes in after-thought,
                       And points at murdered Duty.

IV.


                       With me, the flowers of hope are dead,
                       My path no more adorning;
                       As transient was the light they shed,
                       As dewdrops in the morning.
                       Bereft of all that might elate,
                       Of all that once was shining,
                       Oh, let me meet the ills of fate,
                       And bow without repining.

V.


                       And was it for this lowly lot
                       The lamp of life was lighted --
                       To sigh for joys and find them not,
                       And then go down benighted --
Page 151


                       Down to the dust without a tear,
                       Unheeded, unregarded,
                       And e'en by Him who placed us here
                       Unpitied and discarded? --

VI.


                       No, no -- beyond the Morning Star
                       A brighter world is beaming;
                       We hail the day-spring from afar --
                       The dawning light is streaming!
                       There will the weary find repose,
                       The peace that earth has blighted;
                       Eternal bliss will crown their woes,
                       And all their wrongs be righted.

VII.


                       Then thither let us wend our way,
                       Our lives no longer wasting
                       On seeming joys that fade like day,
                       Or turn to gall in tasting.
                       We all may win that land of love,
                       Whate'er on earth betide us,
                       If we but watch the Star above,
                       That GOD hath lit to guide us.

PUTNAM COUNTY, GEORGIA.


Page 152

THE COQUETTE.


                       OH, what shall be the fair one's doom,
                       Who seeks a vain renown,
                       By luring victims with her smile,
                       To murder with her frown? --
                       Oh, she shall feel what she inflicts,
                       A passion unrepaid;
                       Be wooed by many -- wed by none --
                       Still flattered and betrayed;
                       And when her triumphs are no more --
                       When all her charms depart --
                       Her guilty victories will coil
                       Like adders round the heart.


Page 153

LOVE AND MARRIAGE.

INSCRIBED TO FANNY FERN.

I.


                       SAY, have you seen Aurora rise,
                       The face of Nature bright'ning,
                       And then beheld the evening skies
                       Deformed with stormy lightning? --
                       Oh, Love is like that morning ray,
                       It speaks a warm and cloudless day;
                       But Marriage is the evening storm,
                       That breaks the promises of morn.

II.


                       Say, have you seen an early flower
                       Its thousand charms displaying,
                       And then beheld, at twilight hour,
                       Its beauties all decaying? --
                       Oh, Love is like that morning rose,
                       We think its beauties will not close;
                       But Marriage is the twilight dews,
                       That blights its freshness and its hues.
Page 154

III.


                       Say, have you seen wet-weather streams,
                       O'er shining rocks careering,
                       And then beheld, at Sol's bright beams,
                       The waters disappearing? --
                       Oh, Love is like that hasty rill,
                       Its course is bright, but downward still;
                       And Marriage is the noonday beam,
                       That dries the fountain of the stream.

IV.


                       Say, have you seen, at summer eve,
                       A calm upon the ocean,
                       And then beheld the tempest heave
                       The waves in wild commotion? --
                       Oh, Love is like that halcyon sea,
                       We think the voyage will stormless be;
                       But Marriage is the tempest dark,
                       That wakes the waves, and wrecks the bark.


Page 155

OH, TWINE NO LAUREL-WREATH FOR ME.

INSCRIBED TO MRS. SARAH J. HALE.

I.


                       OH, twine no laurel-wreath for me,
                       Nor Mammon's stores impart;
                       I ask no fame but woman's smiles,
                       No treasure but her heart.
                       The flash of glory fades like day,
                       And riches have their flight;
                       But love -- the star of woman's life --
                       Knows no declining light.

II.


                       Go where you may -- to regions drear,
                       Where icy mountains rise,
                       Or tread Sahara's burning waste,
                       O'er which the siroc flies --
                       Still woman's love and loveliness
                       Will every clime relieve,
                       And ne'er allow man's wayward heart
                       For brighter lands to grieve.
Page 156

III.


                       What though along the realms of ice
                       No vernal beauties blow;
                       What though along the burning waste
                       No cooling waters flow --
                       Amid the snows, amid the sands,
                       Her smiles will still impart
                       A spring-like feeling in the mind,
                       A fountain in the heart.

IV.


                       O Woman, beautiful and bright,
                       A blessing everywhere,
                       I want the skill to sing thy praise,
                       My gratitude declare;
                       Thou art indeed the poor man's friend,
                       The rich man's diadem --
                       Through weal and wo my shining light,
                       My star of Bethlehem!


Page 157

O LADY, IF THE STARS SO BRIGHT.

TO MISS HENRIETTA MAFFITT, GALVESTON.

I.


                       O LADY, if the stars so bright
                       Were diamond worlds bequeathed to me,
                       I would resign them all this night,
                       To frame one song befitting thee;
                       For thou art dearer to my heart
                       Than all the gems of earth and sky;
                       And he who sings thee as thou art,
                       May boast a song that can not die.

II.


                       But how shall I the task essay? --
                       Can I rejoin the tuneful throng,
                       No longer cheered by beauty's ray,
                       The only light that kindles song?
                       No, no -- my harp in darkness bound,
                       Can never more my soul beguile;
                       Its spirit fled when HENRIE frowned --
                       It hath no voice without her smile.
Page 158

III.


                       Then blame me not -- my skill is gone;
                       I have no welcome song to give;
                       But thou shalt be my fav'rite one
                       To love and worship while I live.
                       Where'er I wander sad and lone,
                       I will thine angel-image bear
                       Upon my heart, as on a stone,
                       In deathless beauty sculptured there.


Page 159

GRIEVE NOT FOR ME.

INSCRIBED TO MY SISTER,

MRS. AMELIA RANDLE, GEORGIA.

I.


                       THERE is a sorrow in my heart
                       The world may never know --
                       A pang that never will depart,
                       Till Death shall lay me low;
                       Yet light and cheerful still I seem --
                       No signs of sorrow see;
                       I wear to all a cheerful mien,
                       That none may GRIEVE FOR ME.

II.


                       My suff'rings soon, I know, must end,
                       For life is on its ebb;
                       The autumn leaves that first descend
                       Will find me with the dead: --
                       I wish my fall may be like theirs,
                       From lamentations free;
                       I ask no unavailing tears,
                       No friends to GRIEVE FOR ME.
Page 160

III.


                       Grieve for themselves, that they are left
                       A thorny world to tread,
                       But not for him who goes to rest
                       Among the quiet dead;
                       For there no dreams disturb the mind,
                       Though dark the mansion be;
                       And if in faith I sink resigned,
                       Why need they GRIEVE FOR ME?

IV.


                       Oh, if they knew my soul's unrest,
                       The agonies I bear --
                       If they could view my inmost breast,
                       And see the vulture there --
                       They would not chain me to my woes,
                       But freely let me flee,
                       Nor break their own pure hearts' repose
                       By GRIEVING AFTER ME.

V.


                       Around my bed no brothers bow,
                       No sisters vigils keep;
                       No mother bathes my aching brow,
                       Or fans me while I sleep.
Page 161


                       Alas! I would not have them near --
                       Sad would their presence be;
                       I could not bear their plaints to hear,
                       Or see them GRIEVE FOR ME.

VI.


                       But there are those I dearly love,
                       Whose pilgrimage is o'er,
                       Called to the shining realms above,
                       Where sorrow is no more.
                       I humbly hope, O GOD, to find
                       A home with them and thee;
                       And strengthen thou each suff'ring mind
                       That vainly GRIEVES FOR ME.


Page 162

BEHOLD THE PAINTER'S MIMIC POWERS.

WRITTEN UNDER A PICTURE OF FLOWERS,

PAINTED BY MY SISTER EVALINA.

I.


                       BEHOLD the painter's mimic powers!
                       The pictured seem like living flowers;
                       The rose -- it wears such natural red,
                       We think it freshly from the bed.

II.


                       But take a more observant view --
                       Its freshness is not drunk from dew,
                       No sweetness from its beauty flows;
                       'T is but the semblance of a rose!

III.


                       While thus the painter's happy skill
                       Deceives the eye, yet pleases still,
                       We may this homely lesson glean --
                       Things are not always what they seem.

FAIRFIELD, PUTNAM COUNTY, GEORGIA.


Page 163

TO MARY ANN.

I.


                       O MARY, when we parted last,
                       Beneath our fav'rite tree,
                       You bade me watch the evening star,
                       And strike my harp to thee.
                       That harp is not what once it was --
                       Confusion o'er it reigns;
                       The chords have caught my own despair,
                       And breathe bewildered strains;
                       There is no gladness in their voice,
                       They shed no welcome balm--
                       They only deepen my lament
                       For thee, my MARY ANN.

II.


                       Then be my lyre in silence laid,
                       Till brighter days shall bloom;
                       And should no future morning break,
                       Its spirit to relume --
                       Oh, should it waft no more, my love,
                       Its wonted strains to thee --
Page 164


                       Thou must not deem thyself forgot,
                       Or less beloved by me;
                       But let its tones in happier days,
                       When first our love began,
                       Still be my soul's interpreter
                       To thee, my MARY ANN.

III.


                       Long have I been, my lovely one,
                       A worshipper of thee --
                       Long hast thou been a pure and bright
                       Divinity to me;
                       And though denied by Fortune now
                       To bow before thy shrine,
                       My heart beats on, all warmly still --
                       Its every pulse is thine;
                       Nor can I cease, while yet remains
                       Of life a lingering span,
                       To pour my daily orisons
                       For thee, my MARY ANN.

IV.


                       Why should I change? -- I know the flowers
                       Are bright in Texan dells,
                       And brighter still the sparkling eyes
                       Of Texas' sprightly belles;
Page 165


                       Yet in this land of light and love,
                       All beautiful -- divine --
                       There is no flower or living thing
                       Whose charms can equal thine;
                       O'er all that's pure, and sweet, and bright,
                       Thy beauty bears the palm --
                       Thou art the rose of all thy race,
                       My blue-eyed MARY ANN.

V.


                       That matchless rose -- that matchless rose!
                       Though blooming far away,
                       Can I allow its loveliness
                       In memory to decay?
                       No, loved one, no -- by day and night
                       My thoughts are turned on thee,
                       And every recollection wrings
                       A silent tear from me: --
                       For mine's a love that's full of grief,
                       A life-consuming pang,
                       That will not let me cease to weep
                       For thee, my MARY ANN.

VI.


                       My home is in the battle-field --
                       My resting-place the grave;
Page 166


                       Where trampled Freedom shrieks for aid,
                       There must my banner wave.
                       The hope of thy approving voice
                       Will still my soul inflame --
                       Will pour fresh valor in the heart
                       And light me on to fame;
                       But oh, the wreath the soldier wins,
                       In danger's stormy van,
                       Is not so welcome as one smile
                       From thee, my MARY ANN.

VII.


                       Adieu, adieu, thou cherished one,
                       Beloved of early years,
                       Whose beauty threw a rainbow light
                       O'er all my cloud of cares.
                       When fortune failed, and friends fell off,
                       And foes came trooping on,
                       I found a refuge in thy smiles,
                       A solace in thy song.
                       Then be thy life prolonged and blest,
                       Thy death serene and calm;
                       We'll meet again -- if not on earth --
                       In heaven, my MARY ANN.

VELASCO, TEXAS.


Page 167

THE GIFT.

TO MISS ELIZA SPRINGER, SPARTA, GEORGIA.


                       WHENE'ER a lover's doomed to part
                       With her who has transfixed his heart,
                       A custom -- founded long ago --
                       Bids him some little gift bestow --
                       Which gift the fair is bound to take,
                       If only for politeness' sake.
                       Now, as the time is drawing nigh
                       When you, sweet girl, will say, "Good-by,"
                       And in the lurch your lover leave,
                       With sad, desponding heart to grieve --
                       He fain would make some gift to you,
                       As pledge of love for ever true.
                       What shall it be -- a diamond ring? --
                       Ah! that, you know's, a costly thing,
                       And my scant coffers may not bear
                       To purchase gems so rich and rare.
                       I will not give the full-blown rose,
                       For that with transient beauty glows,
Page 168


                       And you might say, just like that flower,
                       My love would wither in an hour.
                       Suppose I labor, morn and eve,
                       In Fancy's loom a lay to weave --
                       Ah! wouldst thou not deride each line,
                       Because it could not equal thine? --
                       No ring -- no rose -- no rhyme -- no pelf --
                       What shall I give? -- I'll give myself!
                       Wilt thou accept? -- the gift is poor,
                       But, 'pon my word, I've nothing more.


Page 169

GAY SPRING, WITH HER BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS.

TO FLORENCE DUVAL (SIX YEARS OLD), AUSTIN, TEXAS.

I.


                       GAY Spring, with her beautiful flowers,
                       Is robing the valleys and hills;
                       Sweet music is heard in the bowers,
                       And laughter is sent from the rills.
                       Oh, let me, while kindled by these,
                       The feelings of childhood recall,
                       And frame a soft sonnet to please
                       The fair little FLORENCE DUVAL.

II.


                       The rose may be proud of its red,
                       The lily be proud of its white,
                       And sweet-scented jessamines shed
                       Their treasures of fragrant delight;
                       Yet brighter and sweeter than these,
                       And far more enchanting to all,
                       Is the beautiful pink of Bellemont,
                       The fair little FLORENCE DUVAL.
Page 170

III.


                       Her locks are as white as the lint,
                       Her eyes are as blue as the sky;
                       Her cheeks have a magical tint --
                       A rainbow which never should die.
                       Oh, surely there's no living thing,
                       That dwelleth in cottage or hall,
                       Can vie with the Peri I sing --
                       The fair little FLORENCE DUVAL.

IV.


                       But why is she resting from play --
                       And why is that tear in her eye?
                       Alas! a bright bird on the spray
                       Is pouring its carols hard by;
                       Her spirit is drinking the song --
                       She weeps at the notes as they fall;
                       For genius and feeling belong
                       To fair little FLORENCE DUVAL.

V.


                       Oh, long may the Peri bloom on,
                       Still ever in gladness and love,
                       And blend with her genius for song
                       The feelings that light us above.
Page 171


                       That life may be lengthened and blest,
                       And sorrows may never enthrall,
                       Must still be the prayer of each breast
                       For fair little FLORENCE DUVAL.

BELLEMONT (NEAR AUSTIN),
RESIDENCE OF JUDGE JAMES WEBB.


Page 172

SONNET TO SOLITUDE.

ACROSTIC.


                       SAY, why will man with fellow-man contend,
                       And kindle passions that in ruin end?
                       Reason and Nature prompt to social life,
                       And fly the cursed concomitants of strife.
                       Hail! gentle Solitude, unknown to crimes,
                       Retreat of Virtue in these jarring times --
                       Oh, let me in thy peaceful shades abide,
                       Secure from all the wars of power and pride;
                       Some nook be mine, in which to clear a field,
                       Erect a cottage, and to quiet yield.
                       There could I dwell, contented and confined,
                       To GOD devoted and to death resigned;
                       Enough of turbulence -- I mourn its woes --
                       Religious Solitude, I court thy calm repose.

MILLEDGEVILLE, GEORGIA, 1825.


Page 173

ARM FOR THE SOUTHERN LAND.

INSCRIBED TO MY NEPHEW, LUCIUS M. LAMAR.

TUNE -- "Oft in the stilly night."

I.


                       ARM for the Southern land,
                       All fear of death disdaining;
                       Low lay the tyrant hand
                       Our sacred rights profaning!
                       Each hero draws
                       In Freedom's cause,
                       And meets the foe with bravery;
                       The servile race,
                       And tory base,
                       May safety seek in slavery.
                       Chains for the dastard knave --
                       Recreant limbs should wear them;
                       But blessings on the brave
                       Whose valor will not bear them!
Page 174

II.


                       Stand by your injured State,
                       And let no feuds divide you;
                       On tyrants pour your hate,
                       And common vengeance guide you.
                       Our foes should feel
                       Proud freemen's steel,
                       For freemen's rights contending;
                       Where'er they die,
                       There let them lie,
                       To dust in scorn descending.
                       Thus may each traitor fall,
                       Who dare as foe invade us;
                       Eternal fame to all
                       Who shall in battle aid us!

III.


                       Proud land! shall she invoke
                       Another's hand to right her? --
                       No! -- her own avenging stroke
                       Shall backward roll the smiter.
                       Ye tyrant band,
                       With ropes of sand,
                       Go bind the rushing river;
Page 175


                       More weak and vain
                       Is slavery's chain,
                       While GOD is freedom's giver.
                       Then welcome to the day
                       We meet the proud oppressor,
                       For GOD will be our stay --
                       Our right hand and redressor.

COLUMBUS, GEORGIA, 1833.


Page 176

ODE TO FISHING CREEK.

AN ACROSTIC.


                       SWEET stream, although thou glid'st along
                       Unknown to fame and classic song,
                       Still on thy banks I oft abide,
                       As glad as th' swains on Levan's tide;
                       Not that thy banks are gayly green,
                       Nor that thy waves are silver sheen;
                       All other streams might boast thy bowers,
                       Have equal flocks, and fields, and flowers,
                       Their cadenced waves as sweetly shine,
                       Reflecting light as pure as thine --
                       Oh, still no stream so dear to me;
                       Some fond remembrance dwells with thee --
                       Some pleasing thought of fleeted days,
                       Enjoyed upon thy banks and braes: --
                       Thou mind'st me of my much-loved maid,
                       The times we've loitered in thy shade,
                       Each cheerful word, each pleasing smile,
                       Replete with joy and free from guile.


Page 177

GIVE TO THE POET HIS WELL-EARNED PRAISE.

WRITTEN ON THE PROSPECT OF BATTLE.

INSCRIBED TO GENERAL E. B. NICHOLS, GALVESTON, TEXAS.

I.


                       GIVE to the poet his well-earned praise,
                       And the songs of his love, preserve them;
                       Encircle his brows with fadeless bays,
                       The children of genius deserve them;
                       But never to me such praises breathe,
                       To the minstrel-feeling a stranger --
                       I only sigh for the laurel-wreath
                       That a patriot wins in DANGER.

II.


                       Speed, speed the day when to war I hie!
                       The fame of the field is inviting;
                       Before my sword shall the foemen fly,
                       Or fall in the flash of its lightning.
                       Away with song, and away with charms! --
                       Insulted Freedom's proud avenger,
                       I bear no love but the love of arms,
                       And the bride that I woo is DANGER.
Page 178

III.


                       When shall I meet the audacious foe,
                       Face to face where the flags are flying? --
                       I long to thin them, "two at a blow,"
                       And ride o'er the dead and the dying!
                       My sorrel steed shall his fetlocks stain
                       In the brain of the hostile stranger;
                       With an iron heel he spurns the plain,
                       And he breathes full and free in DANGER.

IV.


                       When victory brings the warrior rest,
                       Rich the rewards of martial duty --
                       The thanks of a land with freedom blest,
                       And the smiles of its high-born beauty.
                       Does victory fail? -- enough for me,
                       That I fall not to fame a stranger;
                       His name shall roll with eternity
                       Who finds the foremost grave in DANGER.


Page 179

TO A VILLAGE COQUETTE,

MONTICELLO, GEORGIA.

I.


                       FAIR renegade of faith and love,
                       Apostate to thy vow,
                       The ruin of my earthly hopes
                       Is written on thy brow!
                       'T is vain to smile -- I trust no more
                       The light that leads astray;
                       The triumphs of thy arts are o'er --
                       Thou canst no more betray.

II.


                       Among the gems that decked thy youth,
                       To me a heavenly host,
                       It was the lovely star of truth
                       That charmed my spirit most;
                       But when that star, that rose so fair,
                       Went down in Beauty's sky,
                       It left no other planet there,
                       For me to wander by.
Page 180

III.


                       Yet, lady fair, despite my wrong,
                       I will not now upbraid;
                       If thou hast peace, my parting song
                       Shall not that peace invade.
                       I will not seek thy hopes to mar,
                       Nor break thy new-born spell;
                       Thou art no more my ruling star,
                       Yet still I wish thee well.

IV.


                       The ring you gave, I may not wear --
                       'T is meet that I restore
                       The gem that deepens my despair,
                       And makes me mourn the more;
                       But back I may not give to thee
                       The memory of the past;
                       For that must dwell a thorn with me
                       While life itself shall last.

V.


                       The bleeding soldier, feeling yet
                       The arrow near his heart,
                       May quite forgive -- but not forget --
                       The hand that sped the dart.
Page 181


                       So do I blend, amid my woes,
                       Forgiveness with regret;
                       But she who murdered my repose --
                       Oh, how can I forget!

VI.


                       While yet in Jasper's valleys green
                       Is left a lingering tree,
                       To mind me of how blest I've been,
                       But never more may be --
                       So long shall I thy change lament,
                       And weep that one so fair
                       Should doom the heart that loved her most
                       To darkness and despair.


Page 182

LOVE.


                       OH, envy not the happy state
                       Of those who seem with joy elate --
                       For all things are not what they seem,
                       And bliss is but a morning dream;
                       And much of what we crave below,
                       If ours, might work us endless wo. --
                       I envied, once, a happy fly,
                       That glanced along LUCINDA'S eye,
                       And lit upon her velvet lip.
                       Oh, then said I -- "Could I but sip
                       The nectared sweets with that poor fly,
                       What prince on earth so blest as I?" --
                       And as I spake, impelled by Fate,
                       I seized upon the tempting bait,
                       And stole a warm, unbidden kiss: --
                       But ruin lurked amid the bliss;
                       For through my soul and through my frame
                       There shot a fierce and quenchless flame --
                       A fire that never is at rest,
                       Unsleeping Ætna of the breast,
                       Consuming all my joys on earth --
                       O Love, thou murderer of Mirth!


Page 183

ANNA COWLES.

I.


                       I WISH I could revive the past,
                       I wish I could recall
                       The happy days that fled so fast --
                       The most beloved of all --
                       When first I wandered by thy side,
                       Where bright Oconee rolls,
                       And thou went'st forth in beauty's pride,
                       My lovely ANNA COWLES.

II.


                       Long years since then have disappeared,
                       In shadows overcast,
                       Yet deeply in my heart endeared,
                       I've borne thee to the last.
                       Of all the gay, enchanting throng,
                       Fond Memory sacred holds,
                       Thou art the best-remembered one,
                       My lovely ANNA COWLES.
Page 184

III.


                       The light of other days I see
                       Still beaming on thy brow;
                       And never didst thou seem to me
                       More beautiful than now.
                       Though younger belles are blooming by --
                       Gay girls with happy souls --
                       With thine their beauties may not vie,
                       My lovely ANNA COWLES.

IV.


                       I marvel if thy heart remains
                       Unaltered as thy face;
                       I marvel if it still retains
                       For me a kindly place.
                       Thou needst not speak -- that cheerful air
                       The welcome truth unfolds,
                       That time has wrought no changes there,
                       My lovely ANNA COWLES.

V.


                       Then wherefore feel myself forlorn --
                       Why should the spirit grieve,
                       Since the same star that lit its morn
                       Returns to gem its eve?
Page 185


                       In thee, for ever pure and fair,
                       The minstrel still beholds
                       His morning and his evening star,
                       My lovely ANNA COWLES.

VI.


                       I may not feel as once I felt,
                       For Passion's reign is o'er;
                       The shrines of Beauty where I knelt,
                       Can hear my vows no more;
                       Yet Friendship's hallowed flame is mine --
                       My heart it still controls,
                       And binds me on to thee and thine,
                       My lovely ANNA COWLES.

VII.


                       I soon shall seek my home afar --
                       The region of the rose --
                       The land where Freedom's new-born Star
                       Its glorious lustre throws;
                       Yet even there, where all is bright,
                       Amid his evening strolls
                       The bard will miss his purer light,
                       My lovely ANNA COWLES.
Page 186

VIII.


                       Adieu, adieu! -- where'er I rove,
                       One bliss will still attend --
                       That she who was mine early love,
                       Will be my latest friend;
                       And safely anchored in thy heart,
                       No storm that ever rolls
                       Can wreck my spirit's buoyant bark,
                       My lovely ANNA COWLES.


Page 187

THE MARRIAGE DAY.

TO MISS MARTHA KENNEDY,

NOW MRS. DR. MATHER, NEW ORLEANS.

I.


                       COME, MARTHA, view the streamlet sheen,
                       That glides so gayly down yon green;
                       As pass its waters swiftly by,
                       So doth the youthful season fly: --
                       Then haste, my fair -- no more delay --
                       And fix in youth the MARRIAGE DAY.

II.


                       That current's source may never fail --
                       Long will its waters seek the vale;
                       But, lovely one, thou must not deem
                       Thy youth can last like that bright stream,
                       'T were best, before it fleets away,
                       To haste, to haste the MARRIAGE DAY.
Page 188

III.


                       Behold the field with roses spread --
                       Pass some brief time, and all are dead.
                       So will thy beauties shed, fair maid,
                       A transient gleam, and sink decayed;
                       And when they're gone -- ah! none will say,
                       "Come, MARTHA, haste the MARRIAGE DAY."

IV.


                       Full soon will Spring, with genial powers,
                       Rebeautify the field with flowers;
                       But ah! the bloom of youth once o'er,
                       No Spring its glories can restore; --
                       Then, ere they fade like flowers away,
                       O haste, O haste the MARRIAGE DAY!


Page 189

THE ROSE, THE MOON, AND NIGHTINGALE.

TO THE BELLE OF THE BRAZOS, RICHMOND, TEXAS.

I.


                       MANY a flower of beauty rare
                       May blossom on the plain;
                       But none, however sweet and fair,
                       Have reason to be vain --
                       For all are passed neglected by,
                       When Sharon's Rose is blooming nigh.

II.


                       Many a star that gems the night,
                       In seeming gladness glows,
                       As if it sought to match the light
                       The dazzling diamond throws;
                       Yet e'en the Evening Star declines
                       Whene'er the Moon in glory shines.
Page 190

III.


                       Many a bird may carol loud,
                       In sadness or in glee;
                       But none have reason to be proud,
                       Though sweet their music be --
                       For what can all their notes avail,
                       Compared with thine, sweet Nightingale?

IV.


                       As reigns the Rose, the queen of flowers,
                       The Moon, the queen of night --
                       As Philomel's melodious powers
                       Excel in rich delight --
                       So reigns my fair o'er Virtue's throng --
                       The queen of Beauty, Light, and Song.


Page 191

MY LILY, STAR, AND PEACEFUL DOVE.

TO THE PRIDE OF THE VILLAGE, RICHMOND, TEXAS.

I.


                       THE Rose, in gorgeous dyes arrayed,
                       May queen it on the throne;
                       But more beloved, in yonder shade,
                       The Lily blooms alone; --
                       For who can hesitate between
                       Her modest worth and beauty's sheen?

II.


                       The Moon may dim the stars above,
                       With cold, unkindling light;
                       But more the golden beams I love
                       Of yonder planet bright --
                       The Star that shines a queenly gem
                       In dewy Evening's diadem.
Page 192

III.


                       The Nightingale may strain its throat,
                       Ambitious songs to pour;
                       But there's a bird of mournful note,
                       Whose pathos pleases more --
                       The bird that bore, o'er waters dark,
                       The welcome olive to the ark.

IV.


                       Let others, then, the splendors hail
                       Of Brazos' shining belle;
                       The Rose -- the Moon -- the Nightingale,
                       May suit her glories well;
                       But more than these, by far, I love
                       My Lily, Star, and peaceful Dove.


Page 193

NO GIRL CAN WIN MY STUBBORN BREAST.

TO LAURA DENT, NANCY MASON, SARAH GORDON, MARTHA FANNIN, AND

ELIZA MOORE,

ALL OF EATONTON, GEORGIA.

I.


                       No girl can win my stubborn breast,
                       Unless with every beauty blest
                       That e'er in lover's fancy glowed,
                       Or Nature lavishly bestowed
                       On LAURA.

II.


                       She must possess an active mind,
                       By books of taste improved, refined;
                       An abstract wit of easy flow,
                       That wounds no friend and makes no foe,
                       Like NANCY'S.

III.


                       Her heart, where warm affection glows,
                       And social goodness overflows,
                       Must know no guile -- have no deceit --
                       But with the truth and candor beat
                       Of SARAH'S.
Page 194

IV.


                       To win the love of one like this,
                       I'd never pray for brighter bliss;
                       For life would glide as free from wo
                       As those dear days, spent long ago,
                       With MARTHA.

V.


                       But where shall I the fair one find,
                       In whom these charms are all combined?
                       Oh, such an one I know there be;
                       To point her out, I'd turn to thee --
                       ELIZA.


Page 195

NOURMAHAL.

WRITTEN IN A BALLROOM, MILLEDGEVILLE, 1825.

I.


                       WHILE beauty is shedding its magical light,
                       And music and merriment mingle their power,
                       To chase from each bosom its sorrowful night --
                       Oh, may not a lover, in such a sweet hour,
                       The charms of his far-distant beauty forget,
                       And whisper of love to the belles that are by?
                       No, no -- I would rather my spirit should set
                       In darkness for ever, than leap to the eye
                       Of any -- the brightest -- that beam in this ball --
                       The light of my bosom is fair NOURMAHAL.

II.


                       O MARY, if beauty and sweetness could chase
                       My long-cherished love, and a new one supply,
                       It might be the smile of thy luminous face --
                       It might be the glance of thy soul-stirring eye.
Page 196


                       Like a Peri from heaven you float in the dance,
                       As light as a zephyr from orient bowers;
                       I now and then give you a transient glance,
                       Just such as I'd throw upon winter wild-flowers;
                       For never, oh never thy splendor can thrall
                       The bosom that's bound to my fair NOURMAHAL.

III.


                       Oh, NOURMA was copied from angels above,
                       And all of their goodness enlivens her breast;
                       I never can sigh for another one's love,
                       So long as with hers I am happily blest.
                       Oh, wonder not then that I join not in mirth,
                       Since I find not my star of idolatry here;
                       The purest of pleasures that brighten this earth,
                       And all of the bliss of a far better sphere,
                       I'd freely relinquish as valueless all,
                       Unless I could share them with fair NOURMAHAL.


Page 197

THE MAIDEN'S REMONSTRANCE.

MILLEDGEVILLE, GEORGIA.

I.


                       THE hand you have so often pressed,
                       You vow you'll ne'er forsake it,
                       And yet you have no wish expressed
                       In wedlock's right to take it; --
                       The heart you have so warmly wooed,
                       You vow you'll ever shield it,
                       And yet you have a course pursued
                       That must to sorrow yield it.

II.


                       You say you love the opening rose --
                       Ah! dost thou know its fleetness?
                       Then why not pluck it while it blows,
                       Before it lose its sweetness?
                       You say you love me as your life --
                       Ah! wouldst thou not deceive me?
                       Then why not take me for your wife,
                       Ere beauty's light shall leave me?
Page 198

III.


                       Cease, oh cease the flatterer's part,
                       An upright mind disdains it;
                       Your guile may win a maiden's heart,
                       But truth alone retains it.
                       If thou hast wooed, but not to wed,
                       If falsely thou hast spoken,
                       Oh, leave me to the tears I shed --
                       My heart, my heart is broken!


Page 199

TO MARION,

ON HEARING HER SING.

I.


                       WHAT heavenly sounds are those I hear --
                       From what blest regions brought?
                       Some angel must be hovering near,
                       With melody o'erfraught.
                       Sing on -- sing on, sweet child of light,
                       And cheer thy listener's heart;
                       More welcome are thy strains to-night
                       Than JENNY'S highest art.

II.


                       There is a brightness in thine eye,
                       A pathos in thy lay --
                       A light that marks thee from the sky,
                       And not of human clay.
                       I can not think such songs of love
                       From earthly lips can flow;
                       And if thou wert not born above,
                       Thy notes are surely so.
Page 200

III.


                       Blest rival of the tuneful Nine,
                       Enchantress of the soul,
                       As sweet to other hearts as mine --
                       Long may thy numbers roll;
                       And I thy friend, when far away,
                       Will bear with fond delight
                       The memory of each golden lay,
                       And bless the minstrel bright.


Page 201

THE RULING PASSION.


                       ALAS! in all the human race,
                       We may some ruling passion trace --
                       Some monarch-feeling of the breast,
                       That reigns supreme o'er all the rest.
                       With some, it is the love of fame --
                       A restless and disturbing flame,
                       Which still incites to deeds sublime,
                       Whether of virtue or of crime.
                       With others, 't is the lust of gold --
                       Sad malady of rooted hold,
                       Which closer round the bosom twines,
                       As virtue dies and life declines.
                       With many, 't is the love of pleasure --
                       A madness without mete or measure,
                       Which never faileth, soon or late,
                       To plunge its votaries in the fate
                       Of thoughtless flies in comfits caught --
                       Dying 'mid sweets too rashly sought.
                       But woman, always good and bright,
                       Great Nature's pride and earth's delight,
Page 202


                       What is this monarch of thy soul --
                       This tyrant of supreme control,
                       That tramples with despotic force
                       All other feelings in its course? --
                       Thou needst not speak -- thou needst not tell,
                       For all who know thee know it well: --
                       We read it in that downcast eye,
                       We learn it from that stifled sigh,
                       We see it in the glowing blush
                       That gives thy cheek its rosy flush;
                       And though compelled, by shame and pride,
                       Deep in thy heart its sway to hide,
                       Still do we know it as a fire
                       Which only can with life expire --
                       Sole inspiration of thy worth,
                       And source of all that's good on earth.
                       O Love! all-conquering and divine,
                       We know where thou hast built thy shrine.


Page 203

ANACREONTIC.

TO MISS SARAH GORDON, EATONTON, GEORGIA.


                       YOU'VE pressed me oftentimes, sweet lass,
                       To sip with you the social glass,
                       Which I as often have denied,
                       And coldly put the wine aside: --
                       But now produce the spacious bowl,
                       I'll quaff the juice with generous soul,
                       Till every ill be merged in mirth,
                       By toasting Beauty, Wit, and Worth.
                       One glass I'll fill -- to her whose face
                       Shall beam with beauty's richest grace;
                       One glass I'll fill -- to her whose mind
                       With wit and taste is most refined;
                       One glass I'll fill -- to her whose soul
                       Is freest from all low control;
                       One glass I'll fill -- to her I prize
                       My warmest friend beneath the skies;
                       One glass I'll fill -- but "Hold!" you cry,
                       "Such numbers bring the bloodshot eye;
Page 204


                       To drink to each of these a bumper,
                       Sure Bacchus' self could not get drunker."
                       Ah! lovely girl, for your sweet sake,
                       I only mean ONE glass to take: --
                       That single glass, when drunk to you,
                       Is drunk to all these virtues too;
                       For thou art Nature's nonpareil,
                       Who dost in everything excel --
                       The brightest and the best of earth,
                       Sweet queen of Beauty, Wit, and Worth!


Page 205

BEHOLD UPON YON BENDING LIMB.

TO MISS JULIA HARRIS,

THE "MINSTREL MAIDEN," MOBILE.

I.


                       BEHOLD upon yon bending limb
                       The bird of jest and jibe,
                       And hark with what enchanting skill
                       It mocks the warbling tribe!
                       Were mine the art, its varied notes
                       To bind in silver words,
                       I'd frame a song to one whose own
                       Is sweeter than that bird's.

II.


                       A glowing mind, by taste refined,
                       A soul sublimely cast;
                       A loveliness that wins all hearts,
                       And truth that holds them fast; --
                       Oh, these -- sweet minstrel maiden -- these
                       My pleasing themes should be;
                       And, with my heart in every line,
                       The song should flow to thee.
Page 206

III.


                       And oh, what bard so blest as I,
                       Howe'er with laurels crowned,
                       If through thy pure and rosy lips
                       My numbers might resound!
                       The song approved and sung by thee,
                       Were more than golden store --
                       A rapture for my living years,
                       And fame when these are o'er.


Page 207

MARY BELL.

I.


                       THERE is a name whose tones once heard,
                       Becomes a constant spell;
                       A musical and magic word,
                       By which all gentle hearts are stirred --
                       That name is MARY BELL.

II.


                       The sunlight of our quiet hearth,
                       Which knows her presence well,
                       Is oft enlivened by her mirth --
                       And ever cherished is the worth
                       Of lovely MARY BELL.

III.


                       Her beauties are the stars above,
                       Her heart a living well;
                       And as for gentleness and love,
                       Where will you find so sweet a dove
                       As lovely MARY BELL?
Page 208

IV.


                       I can not, in this little lay,
                       Her many virtues tell;
                       But this I know, and well may say,
                       She grows upon us every day --
                       The lovely MARY BELL.


Page 209

TO MRS. CAROLINE M. SAWYER.

I.


                       OH had I, dear lady, the power
                       To fashion thy destiny here,
                       Thy life should be sunshine and blossoms,
                       And glory should crown thy career.
                       No cloud should e'er darken thy heaven,
                       No sorrow thy spirit depress,
                       But all that is lovely and loving
                       Should gather around thee to bless.

II.


                       Of roses and laurels united,
                       Combining their crimson and green,
                       Should Fame a rich garland entwine thee,
                       And Piety hallow its sheen.
                       Already such garland thou wearest --
                       How pure and how bright are its rays!
                       Its lustre is caught from affection,
                       Its fragrance, the breath of thy lays.
Page 210

III.


                       O beautiful daughter of Morning,
                       Were mine but the alchemist's art,
                       How soon should this world be transmuted
                       To all that could gladden thy heart!
                       Fame, Fortune, and Friendship -- blest trio!
                       Like spirits should come at my call,
                       And crown thee a queen among women --
                       The brilliant Aurora of all.

IV.


                       Though I bid thee farewell on the morrow,
                       My heart is not severed from thee;
                       For the light of thy loveliness still
                       My constant companion shall be;
                       And purer by far than yon planet,
                       That sparkles so bright in the west,
                       Thine image will rise every evening,
                       And dwell a sweet star in my breast.

NEW YORK, May 4, 1857.


Page 211

TO MRS. MARY ROBERTS.

MOBILE.

I.


                       DEAR, genial friend, enchanting one!
                       Though parted many a long, long year,
                       Still like the bright, returning sun,
                       Thy mem'ry rises calm and clear,
                       And calls me back to those blest days,
                       When, seated by your social hearth,
                       I drank with rapture all your lays,
                       And mingled in your children's mirth.

II.


                       There's LAURA with her footsteps light,
                       Her sparkling eye and ringing laugh;
                       There's WILLIS with his flying kite,
                       And EBER on his grandpa's staff.
                       I see them all in merry mood,
                       As if they still were by my side --
                       A noisy crew -- but never rude--
                       Their parents' pleasure and their pride.
Page 212

III.


                       Fair scions of a generous race!
                       Their high inheritance shall be
                       Their father's worth -- their mother's grace --
                       Instruction pure, and spirit free.
                       How sweet to see their virtues blow,
                       Like buds expanding in the air,
                       And in their parents' likeness grow --
                       The sons all brave -- the daughters fair!

IV.


                       Oh, blest beyond the common lot,
                       Have flown my years since last we met,
                       With every trouble long forgot,
                       And scarce a boon to sigh for yet.
                       Like yon declining sun, my life
                       Is going down all calm and mild,
                       Illumined by an angel-wife,
                       And sweetened by a cherub-child.

V.


                       Yet still I oft recall your worth,
                       And oft your mirth and music miss;
                       Old friendship takes a second birth,
                       And links the past with present bliss.
Page 213


                       I'm happy, too, to know that Time
                       Is strewing still thy path with bloom,
                       And life's best fruit, in richer prime,
                       Swells from the blossom's brief perfume.

VI.


                       I could not think, dear friend, to close
                       This volume of memorial lays,
                       Nor frame one song to her who glows
                       So brightly in departed days.
                       The wreath I twine can bring no fame --
                       Frail garland wove with little art;
                       And yet it may this merit claim --
                       The flowers are gathered from the heart.

NEW YORK, May 5, 1857.


Page 214

TO MISS SOPHIA ROBERTS.


                       I OWN I promised, 't other day,
                       To frame for thee a cheerful lay;
                       But, lady fair, I can't comply --
                       Oh, do forgive the little lie!
                       Some other boon demand -- you know
                       My heart, my life, my all may go;
                       But when you bid me build the rhyme,
                       You only urge me on to crime;
                       For once I penned a sprightly lay,
                       To please the fair -- but missed the way;
                       And since that time, I've often swore,
                       For those I love, I'd rhyme no more;
                       Then, lady, urge me not too hard,
                       Lest I become a perjured bard.


Page 215

THE BEAU'S FAREWELL.

I.


                       WHEN I was young -- when I was young,
                       And spun my harmless rhymes,
                       I dashed the shining dames among,
                       The BRUMMELL of the times;
                       But now, alas! I'm growing old,
                       My locks are turning gray,
                       And by the fair I'm kindly told
                       'T is time to march away.

II.


                       At Fate 't is folly to repine --
                       Our fortunes to deplore;
                       For beaux, like kingdoms, must decline,
                       To reign and rule no more;
                       Yet who the tears of sad regret
                       Has firmness to restrain,
                       That sees his star of glory set,
                       Never to rise again?
Page 216

III.


                       Adieu, adieu, ye flowery lays --
                       And, ladies fair, good-night;
                       I sing no more in beauty's praise,
                       Nor bow before its light.
                       'T is meet that I, who've had my day,
                       To younger beaux should yield: --
                       Ye vet'rans grown unfit for fray,
                       Why linger in the field?


Page 217

APPENDIX.

        

        THE following lines were written by Judge THOMPSON, formerly of South Carolina, but afterward of Texas. He fell at San Antonio, in a fight with the Comanches. The stanzas are inserted here for preservation.

LINES

WRITTEN ON HEARING OF THE DEATH OF MRS. REBECCA LAMAR, OF GEORGIA, THE VENERABLE MOTHER OF M. B. LAMAR: THE DECEASED WAS ON A VISIT TO HER SON, AND DIED OF CONGESTIVE FEVER.

I.


                       CHANGE not the earth of the olden tree,
                       When its leaves are dim and dry;
                       For in the wood, where it long hath stood,
                       'T is fitter it should die.

II.


                       When last I saw the one we weep,
                       Whose spirit now is fled --
                       Bending with years o'er him whose tears
                       Have fallen on the dead --
                       I little thought that Death so soon
                       Would solace all her woes,
                       And lay her agéd lineaments
                       In silence and repose.
Page 218

III.


                       'T is wrong to touch the sod that clings
                       Around the ancient oak,
                       Which long hath trembled in the storm,
                       And braved the lightning-stroke;
                       Its wasted limbs can never bear
                       A stranger clime or sky,
                       And on the earth where it had birth
                       It soon enough will lie.

IV.


                       Sleeper in death, sweet be thy rest! --
                       Life's anxious cares are o'er;
                       And 't was thy doom to find a tomb
                       Upon a stranger-shore:
                       On one thou lovedst, those eyes in death,
                       Like setting stars, grew dim --
                       And gave, in placid gentleness,
                       Their latest tears to him.

V.


                       Undying hope! long will thy stole
                       The sunny world adorn;
                       But robes of righteousness are on
                       The agéd one we mourn.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, 1838.


Page 219

        THE following beautiful and touching lines are from the pen of a gifted young lady -- daughter of my ancient friend the Rev. Mr. CAPERS, near Mobile -- and are inserted here on account of the subject, as well as for the interest we take in the talented authoress. She has many beautiful productions, we are informed, of superior merit, which we hope in due course of time will be given to the public in a permanent form.

LINES

ADDRESSED TO MRS. M'GEHEE, ON THE DEATH OF HER INFANT SON.


                       "Mother, on earth it must be so --
                       Thou rear'st the lovely, to see them go!"

I.


                       LADY, thy voice fell on mine ear,
                       In accents soft and mild,
                       And told that from thy heart was torn
                       A dear and lovely child;
                       Soft sympathy's pathetic chords
                       Did my soul inspire,
                       And bade me wake again to song
                       My rude and simple lyre.

II.


                       Though harsh the tones that from its strings
                       Will fall upon thine ear,
                       And from thy mild and lovely eye
                       Call forth perhaps a tear --
Page 220


                       Forgive the stranger-hand that sweeps
                       The chords once turned to joy;
                       It only weaves a simple song,
                       In memory of thy boy.

III.


                       The sweetest flowers that bloom in spring,
                       The soonest fade and die --
                       And scattered on each silent bed
                       Their withered leaflets lie;
                       And every leaf, though brown and sear,
                       The pleasing thought doth bring,
                       That they will be more beautiful
                       When comes another spring.

IV.


                       Then we, who only watch with eyes
                       That often wake to weep
                       Over some friend or kindred dear
                       When calm they fall asleep,
                       Should think that death is but the gate
                       That leads to endless joy,
                       And in a brighter, fairer clime,
                       Now lives thine angel-boy.

V.


                       Too pure to dwell in this cold world,
                       Where grief alone hath place,
                       Some smiling seraph fondly gazed
                       On his angelic face --
Page 221


                       And bearing on its brilliant wing
                       Back to its native sky,
                       Thy cherub-babe there sweetly lives,
                       To draw thy soul on high.

VI.


                       'T is sad indeed to part with those
                       We dearly love on earth;
                       But in a purer, better world,
                       Their souls alone have birth.
                       So few the fleeting joys of time,
                       To court their longer stay,
                       I marvel not when thus the young
                       And lovely pass away.

VII.


                       Mother! let Faith direct thine eye
                       To blissful worlds above,
                       Where dwells in majesty sublime
                       The holy GOD of love --
                       And know that he will healing balm
                       For every wound impart,
                       And gently with his tender cords
                       Bind up the broken heart.

VIII.


                       Soon will the transient scenes of time
                       With us be sweetly o'er,
                       And we shall gaze with fond delight
                       On Canaan's peaceful shore;
Page 222


                       And then, arrayed in spotless robes,
                       Thy lovely boy will come,
                       To bear his mother's blood-bought soul
                       Back to its native home.

IX.


                       Lady, thy GOD has often been
                       The humble stranger's friend
                       Who dares with thy heart-rending grief
                       Her sympathies to blend;
                       And she will fondly hope that when
                       Life's toilsome journey's o'er,
                       To dwell with thee, thou stricken one,
                       Where sorrows come no more.

CAROLINA.


Page 223

NOTES.

NOTE 1. -- SALLY RILEY.

        THE lady intended originally as the heroine of this poem, was Miss SARAH GORDON, of Eatonton, Georgia. The first canto, however, was not finished until the author removed to Milledgeville, where it was considerably extended and applied to Miss SARAH ROSSETTER -- well worthy of all that is said of her, and whose name is still associated in the author's mind with many pleasant recollections. The second canto was written many years afterward, and published in Macon, Georgia.

        The twenty-fifth stanza in the first canto, beginning thus -- "The one was of a tall, attractive shape" -- applies to Miss LAURA DENT, of Eatonton, Georgia, distinguished in that day for her beauty and majestic grace. The two stanzas that follow (xxvi. and xxvii.) are intended for Miss NANCY MASON, universally esteemed, not only for the qualities ascribed to her, but for many others, which have secured the happiness of her family and the love of all who know her. She still resides in Eatonton.

        The person alluded to as "poor HAL," in the stanzas beginning with -- "I had a friend -- the best I ever had" -- was HENRY DENISON, a young man of considerable promise and of the loftiest sentiments of honor, who wrote some beautiful things, and whose poems, after his death, were collected and published by his friend TEFT, of Savannah, Georgia.

        Dr. PANGLOS, in stanza xv., page 82, alludes to one of the most profound scholars and extensively-read men in Georgia. His name is not given here, from an unwillingness to wound the feelings -- even by the most innocent satire -- of an old friend for whom the author cherishes sincere respect and the kindliest considerations. Although his philosophical treatise on man is not likely to secure the immortality its author expected, the doctor is nevertheless a man of genius and imagination, and has written some good poetry.


Page 224

NOTE 2. -- Page 90.


                       "Some worth that is not gold."

        THERE is a similar expression somewhere in CHURCHILL, but I am not able to refer to it.

NOTE 3. -- Page 110.


                       "So luminous with life and love,
                       So little dimmed by shade,
                       Her beauty threw a light before
                       Her footsteps as she strayed."

        THIS stanza is founded upon some such line as this in MOORE: --

        "She moves in the light of her own making."


NOTE 4. -- Page 195. -- NOURMAHAL.


                       "Oh, may not a lover, in such a sweet hour,
                       The charms of his far-distant beauty forget,
                       And whisper of love to the belles that are by?"

        THIS idea is taken from some well-known lines of MOORE, which are not inserted here, because I can not quote them from memory, and have no copy of his works at hand.

THE END


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