Imatges de pÓgina
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Discarded Hagar ! who can trace thy fate,
And sigh not o'er the wrongs pride, lust, and pow'r
Can wreak on woman's all-defenceless head ?
Was not thy soul as free to love as hers
Who callid thee slave, and dared thy virgin zone
Unbind to him she call'd her wedded lord,
Nor think thy heart as much of woman own'd
As prompts the right its master free to choose ?-
She who, thus far, thy fate with selfish pride
O’er-ruled, found all her power vain to check
The mighty laws that rule the human heart :-
Thy love, thy youth, thy fruitfulness were thine;
And, he to whom her folly gave them, owed
To thee a husband's care, and pride, and love;
For thou, with thy young life, did bring him joy-
The joy a father feels his firstborn son
To hail !

Too common fate of trusting love Was thine! for, ever thus, we see with man Some vain and selfish fancy prompts the wish Of full possession; and each art is used

To win the trust, the honour, and the love
Of still devoted and confiding woman,
Till the next comer shall divorce those bonds
No social laws sustain or eld from wrong.-
How many Hagars have been driven forth
Into life's wilderness, and wept, and died !

NOTE.

Instances of man's deficient sense of his moral obligation to protect and succour the victims of illegal connections, are too observable, throughout history, and in the general conduct and feeling of society, to need a recourse to fiction to show their enormity and evils.

Hagar's history is but one of the many sad facts that prove the truth of this position, though by no means the worst, unless it be considered a precedent for the selfish, and so far more dangerous; for, whatever may be the orthodox view of her dismissal as regards Abraham (whose peculiar faith may be supposed to exempt him from being judged by ordinary rules), it is only to a miracle, after all, that we are indebted for an interruption to the tragic consequences which naturally belonged to it.

The frequency of infanticide in modern days, in similar circumstances, serves to throw Hagar's fortitude and maternal endurance into the highest relief; and that is the chief object that induced the treatment of the subject.

LIFE'S DREAMS.

LO V E.

“ Was it a dream !...... Make
Me to dream so twenty years together;
Not all the senses of the world can match
The pleasure of that madness !"

WINTER'S TALE,

1.

[Awaking.] Oh, sweet brief dream of life's delusive morning,

Would I had never known thy transient bliss ! Oh, day of life, that knows no second dawning,

'Tis desolation to awake like this,

And walk the world alone!

Alone, in all the bosom feareth-craveth;

Alone in joy; in sorrow, still alone; Alone, e'en while in song my spirit poureth Her notes of passion-still alone, alone !

Alone, alas, alone!

II.

So soon to 'waken from the spell that bound me !—

So soon to learn it was illusion all !

Can I forgive the hand that could dispel thee,
Nor shrink to see thee into ruin fall

From thy once fair estate ?
Forgive? Ah! yes, forgive; but still remember

It should have spared the dreamer and the dream; For, Oh! I fancied it was no dissembler When first it beck'd me to behold thy beam,

To me the star of fate.

111.

Sweet dream, farewell |—with thee my bliss has ended ! –

I break, reluctant, from thy magic wile;
All that I know of joy with thee was blended;
E'en now I love thee, though thou didst beguile-

Too well, alas, too well ! -
Farewell l-Ah !-yet the mystic vision lingers

O'er the 'reft soul, whose all is lost in thee :
As o'er the harp-strings, 'neath the pausing fingers,
Some soft tone vibrates, as if loth to flee

To Angerona's cell !

IV.

Bright dream!-Oh! why, with more than mortal gladness,

Did my soul hail thee as the dawning light,
If but to see thy glory fade in sadness
That makes creation universal night-

Why camest thou but to fade ?
A fairy world to me was thy dominion,

Peopled with thoughts all fair, and pure, and true :
Over its realms I soar'd on Fancy's pinion,
Bathing my burning brow in heaven's dew,

And earth Elysium made.

V.

The air was redolent with many flowers :

Affection, cradled in the lily's breast, Seem'd sleeping there, as in primeval bowers It lull'd a sinless pair to blissful rest

Till Morn's bright eye look'd down; The rose blush'd sweetly, Passion's story telling,

Hiding its thorns beneath its verdant leaves Full of rich incense-all its petals swelling, Pleading with fervour that too well deceives,

Though age and wisdom frown;

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