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STẢY, Lady, stay, for mercy's sake,
And hear a helpless orphan's tale! Ah, sure my looks must pity wake
'Tis want that makes my cheek so pale! Yet I was once a mother's pride,
And my brave father's hope and joy; But in the Nile's proud fight he died,
And I am now an Orphan Boy.
Poor foolish child! how pleased was I,
When news of Nelson's victory came, Along the crowded streets to fly,
And see the lighted windows flame!
To force me home my mother sought;
She could not bear to see my joy,
For with my father's life 't was bought,
And made me a poor Orphan Boy.
The people's shouts were long and loud ;
My mother shuddering closed her ears: “Rejoice! rejoice!" still cried the crowd ;.
My mother answer'd with her tears. “Why are you crying, thus,” said I,
“ While others laugh and shout for joy ?" She kiss'd me, and with such a sigh!
She call'd me her poor Orphan Boy.
“What is an orphan boy?" I cried,
As in her face I look'd and smiled; My mother through her tears replied,
You'll know too soon, ill-fated child!" And now they've toll'd my mother's knell,
And I'm no more a parent's joy; O lady, I have learnt too well
What 'tis to be an Orphan Boy.
Oh! were I by your bounty fed
Nay, gentle lady, do not chide;
Trust me, I mean to earn my bread;
The sailor's orphan boy has pride.
Lady, you weep!-Ha!--this to me?
You'll give me clothing, food, employ?
Look down, dear parents! look and see
Your happy, happy Orphan Boy.
OH! not in stately halls or gilded rooms,
Or crowded city, would I dwell with thee!
But in a lowly cottage, not so high
But that the jessamine could reach the roof,
And in a lonely valley, paint thee, love!
And a small white dwelling, in a paradise
Of many-colour'd flowers; at the door
Should be a little porch of honeysuckle;
The lattices should have no other blinds
T'han branches of red roses.
In the room
A lute be placed, where music should be heard
Together with the woodlark's evening song;
Fresh flowers in green rush baskets; and some books
O'er which the spirit of sweet Poesy
Had shed his soul of beauty and of passion;
And landscapes on the walls—landscapes that gave
The skies of other nations-rock, and storm,
And mountain-torrent-and black woods where dwell
The dark banditti; so that we might prize
Still more the quiet of our own calm home.
Our garden should be beautiful—but ours
The only hands that made it beautiful.
We would be proud of it. Our crocuses
(Those golden promisers of April's wealth)
Should be the first in spring, and ours the rose
That bloom'd the last in autumn. In the shade
Of an old ash, whose boughs hung o'er a bed
Of purple violets, we'd place our hive
Of bees, and plant a sweetbrier by the stand.
Around, the country should be pleasant fields,
Corn and green meadows, and their hedges rich
With the luxuriant May and wilding rose ;
And in the summer-time, wood strawberries,
Mix'd with the azure bird's-eye at their roots.
Away, yet still the village should be seen
Visible, peeping from the tall elm trees,
With its white church and sunset-gilded spire.
And there should be a little brook, o'erhung
With graceful willows, and the water-lily
Upon its calm cold surface; and at noon
Its ripple would come musical and low,
Mix'd with the wood-dove's plaining to her mate.
I could be happy anywhere with thee!
But this, dear love!--this would be Paradise !
The sudden storm has pass'd away,
And the resplendent orb of day,
Sheds once again his smiling ray.
Upon the deepening azure sky;
While on the dark retreating cloud,
Folded and thick as sable shroud,
At once the rainbow's beauties crown
The heaven-born pomp and brilliancy.
Oh, how the sun's pure lustre gleams!
'Tis like religion's heavenly beams
When its descending glory streams
Upon the weeping world below;
And, broken thus, its light appears
As shining through the vale of tears,
Tinged with our mortal hopes and fears,
It takes each shade of joy or woe.
The first pale yellow tint of light
Is trembling Fear, that shrinks from sight;
But deepening to the saffron bright,
Its golden ray betokens Joy:
While Hope assumes the violet hue,
And holy Love, sublime and true,
Is mark'd by that celestial blue
That knows not earth or earth's alloy.
And meek Humility is seen
Emblem'd upon the modest green;
While Reason's calm imperial mien
Upon the purple tinge is shed:
And spurning even her mild control
light that seems to crown the whole,
The Zeal that fires the ardent soul
Burns brightly in the glowing red.
The splendid tints are fading--gone!
The dazzled eye can trace not one:
It sees the sunny beams alone
That in their hueless lustre shine:
And thus, when this vain scene is o'er,
And earthly thoughts and passions pour
Their drops upon its light no more,
Religion will be all divine!
How brilliant on the Ethiop brow of Night
Burns yon fix'd star, whose intermitting rays,
Like woman's changeful eye, now shun our gaze,
And now break forth in all the life of light!
Far fount of beams! thou scarce art to the sight,
In size, a spangle on the Tyrian stole
Of Majesty, ʼmid hosts more mildly bright,
Although of worlds the centre and the soul !
Sure, 't was a thing for angels to have seen,
When God did hang those lustres through the sky;
And Darkness, turning pallid, sought to screen
With dusky wing her dazed and haggard eye ;
But 't was in vain—for, pierced with light, she died;
And now her timid ghost dares only brood
O'er planets in their midnight solitude,
Doom'd all the day in ocean's caves to hide.
Thou burning axle of a mighty wheel!
Dost thou afflict the beings of thy ray
With feelings such as we on earth must feel-
Pride, passion, envy, hatred, agony?
Doth any weep o'er blighted hope? or curse
That hour thy light first usher'd them to life?
Or malice, keener than the assassin's knife,
Stab in the dark ? or hollow friendship, worse,
Skill'd round the heart with viper coil to wind,
Forsake, and leave his sleepless sting behind !
No! If I deem'd it, I should cease to look
Beyond the scene where thousands know such ills ;
Nor longer read that brightly-letter'd book
Which heaven unfolds, whose page of beauty fills
The breast with hope of an immortal lot,
When tears are dried, and injuries forgot.
Oh, then the soul, no longer earthward weigh'd,
Shall soar tow'rds heaven on exulting wing.
Among the joys past Fancy's picturing,
It may be one to scan, through space display'd,
Those wondrous works our blindness now debars
The awful secrets written in the stars.
APPROACH OF EVENING. Night's wing is on the east-the clouds repose Like weary armies of the firmament, Encamp'a beneath their vanes of pearl and rose, Till the wind's sudden trumpet through them sent, Shakes their pavilions, and their pomps are blent