Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

180

185

190

195

Aflift me heav'n! but whence arose that pray'r ?
Sprung it from piety, or from despair ?
Ev’n here, where frozen chastity retires,
Love finds an altar for forbidden fires.
I ought to grieve, but cannot what I ought;
'I mourn the lover, not lament the fault;
I view my crime, but kindle at the view,
Repent old plcasures and sollicit new;
Now turn'd to heav'n, I weep my past offence,
Now think of theç, and curse my

innocence.
Of all affliction taught a lover yet,
'Tis sure the hardest science to forget!
How shall I lose the fin, yet keep the sense,
And love th' offender, yet detest th' offence ?
How the dear object from the crime remove,
Or how diftinguish penitence from love?
Unequal task ! a passion to resign,
For hearts so touch’d, fo pierc'd, fo loft as mine.
E’er such a soul regains its peaceful state,
How often must it love, how often hate !
How often hope, despair, resent, regret,
Conceal, disdain-do all things but forget.
But let heav'n seize it, all at once 'tis fir'd,
Not touch'd, but rapt: not waken’d, bút infpir'd !
Oh come! oh teach me nature to subdue,
Rcnounce my love, my life, my self--and you.
Fill my fond heart with God alone, for he
Alone, can rival, can succeed to thee.

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot?
The world forgetting, by the world forgot:
Eternal sun-fhine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each with resign'd;
Labour and rest, that equal periods keep;
" Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;"
Desires compos'd, affections ever even;
Tears that delight, and fighs that waft to heav'n.
Grace shines around her with sereneft beams,
And whispåring Angels prompt her golden dreams.

200

205

210

215

For

220

For her the Spouse prepares the bridal' rings
For her white virgins Hymenæals fing,
For her th? unfading role of Eden blooms,
And wings of Seraphs shed divine perfumes,
To sounds of heav'nly harps she dies away,
And melts in visions of eternal day.

Far other dreams my erring soul employ,
Far other raptures, of unholy joy :
When at the close of each sad, forrowing day, 225
Fancy restores what vengeance snatch'd away.
Then conscience sleeps, and leaving nature free,
All my loose soul unbounded springs to thee.
O curst, dear horrors of all-conscious night!
How glowing guilt exalts the keen delight ! 230
Provoking Dæmons all restraint remove,
And stir within me ev'ry source of love.
I hear thee, view thee, gaze o'er all thy charms,
And round thy phantom glue my clasping arıns.
I wake :-no more I hear, no more I view,

235 The phantom flies me, as unkind as you. I call aloud; it hears not what I say; I ftretch my empty arms; it glides away. To dream once more I close my willing eyes; Ye soft illusions, dear deceits, arise !

240
Alas, no more !-methinks we wand'ring go
Thro' dreary wastes, and weep each other's woe,
Where round some mould'ring tow'r pale ivy creeps,
And low-brow'd rocks hang nodding o'er the deeps.
Sudden you mount, you beckon from the skies; 245
Clouds interpose, waves roar, and winds arise.
I shriek, start up, the same sad prospect find,
And wake to all the griefs I left behind.

For thee the fates, severely kind, ordain
A cool suspense from pleasure and from pain;

250
Thy life a long, dead calm of fix'd repose ;
No pulse that riots, and no blood that glows.
Still as the sea, e'er winds were taught to blow,
Or moving fpirit bade the waters flow;
T 2

Soft

Soft as the slumbers of a saint forgiv'n,

255 And mild as opening gleams of promis'd heav'n.

Come Abelard! for what hast thou to dread? The torch of Venus burns not for the dead. Nature stands checkd; Religion disapproves ; Ev'n thou art cold yet Eloisa loves.

260 Ah hopeless, lafting flames ! like those that burn To light the dead, and warm th' unfruitfal urn.

What scenes appear, where-e'er I turn my view,
The dear ideas where I fly, pursue,
Rife in the grove, before the altar rise,

265
Stain all my soul, and wanton in my eyes.
I waste the matin lamp in fighs for thee,
Thy image steals between my God and me,
Thy voice I seem in ev'ry hymn to hear,
With ev'ry bead I drop too soft a tear.

270 When from the cenfer clouds of fragrance roll, And swelling organs lift the rising foul, One thought of thee puts all the pomp to flight, Priests, tapers, temples, swim before my fight : In seas of Hame my plunging foul is drown’d, 275 While Altars blaze, and Angels tremble round.

While proftrate here in humble grief I lie, Kind, virtuous drops juft gath'ring in my eye, While praying, trembling, in the duft I roll, And dawning grace is opening on my

soul :

280 Come, if thou dar'ft, all charming as thou art ! Oppose thy self to heav'n; dispute my heart ; Coine, with one glance of those deluding eyes Blot out each bright idea of the skies; Take back that grace, those forrows, and those tears ; 285 Take back my fruitless penitence and pray’rs ; Snatch me, just mounting, from the blest abode ; Affist the fiends, and tear me from my

God! No, fly me, fly me! far as Pole from Pole; Rise Alps between us ! and whole oceans roll!

299 Ah come not, write not, think not once

me, Nor share one pang, of all I felt for thee,

of

Thy

300

[ocr errors]

Thy oaths I quit, thy memory resign;
Forget, renounce me, hate whate’er was mine.
Fair eyes; and tempting looks (which yet I view !) 295
Long lov'd, ador'd ideas, all adieu !
O grace ferene ! oh virtue heav'nly fair !
O
Divine oblivion of low-thoughted care !
Fresh blooming hope, gay daughter of the sky !
And faith, our early immortality!
Enter, each mild, each amicable guest;
Receive, and wrap me in eternal rest!

See in her cell fad Eloisa spread,-
Propt on some tomb, a neighbour of the dead !
In each low wind methinks a spirit calls,

305
And more than Echoes talk along the walls.
Here, as I watch'd the dying lamps around,
From yonder shrine I heard a hollow found.

Come, fifter, come! (it said, or feem'd to fay)
• Thy place is here, fad fifter, come away! 310
« Once like thy self, I trembled, wept, and pray'd,

Love's victim then, tho' now a fainted maid : < But all is calm in this eternal fleep; “ Here grief forgets to groan, and love to weep, • Ev'n superftition loses ev'ry fear:

315 • For God, not man, abfolves our frailties here.'

I come, I come! prepare your roseate bow'rs,
Celestial palms, and ever-blooming flow'rs.
Thither, where finners may have rest, I go,
Where flames refin'd in breasts seraphic glow :

320
Thou, Abelard ! the last fad office pay,
And smooth my passage to the realms of day;
See my lips tremble, and my eye-balls roll,
Suck my last breath, and catch my flying foul !
Ah noin facred vestments may'st thou stand,

325
The hallow'd taper trembling in thy hand,
Present the Cross before my lifted eye,
Teach me at once, and learn of me to die.
Ah then, thy once lov'd Eloisa fee !
It will be then no crime to gaze on me.

330 See

1

See from my cheek the transient roses fly!
See the last sparkle languish in my eye!
'Till ev'ry motion, pulse, and breath, be o'er ;
And ev'n my Abelard be lov'd no more.
O Death all-eloquent ! you only prove
!

335 What duft we doat on, when 'tis man we love.

Then too, when fate shall thy fair frame destroy, (That cause of all my guilt, and all my joy) In trance extatic may thy pangs be drown'd, Bright clouds descend, and Angels watch thee round, 340 From opening skies may streaming glories shine, And Saints embrace thee with a love like mine.

May * one kind grave unite each hapless name, And graft my love immortal on thy fame! Then, ages hence, when all my woes are o'er, 345 When this rebellious heart shall beat no more ; If ever chance two wand'ring lovers brings To Paraclete's white walls and filver springs, O’er the pale marble shall they join their heads,“ And drink the falling tears each other sheds;

35° Then sadly say, with mutual pity mov'd, Oh may we never love as these have lov'd!" From the full choir when loud Hosanna's rife, And swell the pomp of dreadful sacrifice, Amid that scene, if some relenting eye Glance on the stone where our cold relicks lie, Devotion's self fhall steal a thought from heav'n, One human tear shall drop, and be forgiv'n. And sure if fate some future bard shall join In fad fimilitude of griefs to mine, Condemn'd whole years in absence to deplore, And image charms he must behold no more ; Such if there be, who loves so long, so well; Let him our sad, our tender story tell; The well-sung woes will footh my pensive ghost 365 He best can paint 'em, who shall feel'em moft.

* Abelard and Eloisa were interred in the same grave, or in monuments ads joining, in the Monastery of the Paraclete : He died in 1142, she in 1163.

360

THE

« AnteriorContinua »