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Miscellaneous Poems   By: (1754-1832)

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Contents Sir Eustace Grey The Hall of Justice Woman The Birth of Flattery Reflections




"Veris miscens falsa." SENECA.


I'll know no more; the heart is torn By views of woe we cannot heal; Long shall I see these things forlorn, And oft again their griefs shall feel, As each upon the mind shall steal; That wan projector's mystic style, That lumpish idiot leering by, That peevish idler's ceaseless wile, And that poor maiden's half form'd smile, While struggling for the full drawn sigh! I'll know no more.


Yes, turn again; Then speed to happier scenes thy way, When thou hast view'd, what yet remain, The ruins of Sir Eustace Grey, The sport of madness, misery's prey: But he will no historian need, His cares, his crimes, will he display, And show (as one from frenzy freed) The proud lost mind, the rash done deed.

That cell to him is Greyling Hall: Approach; he'll bid thee welcome there; Will sometimes for his servant call, And sometimes point the vacant chair: He can, with free and easy air, Appear attentive and polite; Can veil his woes in manners fair, And pity with respect excite.


Who comes? Approach! 'tis kindly done: My learn'd physician, and a friend, Their pleasures quit, to visit one Who cannot to their ease attend, Nor joys bestow, nor comforts lend, As when I lived so blest, so well, And dreamt not I must soon contend With those malignant powers of hell.


"Less warmth, Sir Eustace, or we go."


See! I am calm as infant love, A very child, but one of woe, Whom you should pity, not reprove: But men at ease, who never strove With passions wild, will calmly show How soon we may their ills remove, And masters of their madness grow.

Some twenty years, I think, are gone, (Time flies I know not how, away,) The sun upon no happier shone, Nor prouder man, than Eustace Grey. Ask where you would, and all would say, The man admired and praised of all, By rich and poor, by grave and gay, Was the young lord of Greyling Hall.

Yes! I had youth and rosy health; Was nobly form'd, as man might be; For sickness, then, of all my wealth, I never gave a single fee: The ladies fair, the maidens free, Were all accustom'd then to say, Who would a handsome figure see Should look upon Sir Eustace Grey.

He had a frank and pleasant look, A cheerful eye and accent bland; His very speech and manner spoke The generous heart, the open hand; About him all was gay or grand, He had the praise of great and small; He bought, improved, projected, plann'd, And reign'd a prince at Greyling Hall.

My lady! she was all we love; All praise (to speak her worth) is faint; Her manners show'd the yielding dove, Her morals, the seraphic saint: She never breath'd nor look'd complaint; No equal upon earth had she Now, what is this fair thing I paint? Alas! as all that live shall be.

There was, beside, a gallant youth, And him my bosom's friend I had; Oh! I was rich in very truth, It made me proud it made me mad! Yes, I was lost but there was cause! Where stood my tale? I cannot find But I had all mankind's applause, And all the smiles of womankind.

There were two cherub things beside, A gracious girl, a glorious boy; Yet more to swell my full blown pride, To varnish higher my fading joy, Pleasures were ours without alloy, Nay, Paradise, till my frail Eve Our bliss was tempted to destroy Deceived and fated to deceive.

But I deserved; for all that time, When I was loved, admired, caress'd,. There was within, each secret crime, Unfelt, uncancell'd, unconfess'd: I never then my God address'd, In grateful praise or humble prayer; And if His Word was not my jest (Dread thought!) it never was my care... Continue reading book >>

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