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Poems   By: (1776-1852)

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POEMS

BY

MATILDA BETHAM.

1808.

TO LADY ROUSE BOUGHTON, AS A TESTIMONY OF RESPECT AND GRATITUDE FOR LONG CONTINUED FRIENDSHIP, THIS LITTLE VOLUME IS INSCRIBED BY HER OBLIGED HUMBLE SERVANT, MATILDA BETHAM.

New Cavendish street,

Feb. 3, 1809.

ADVERTISEMENT.

Before this book was printed, I thoughtlessly concluded there must be a preface; but, on consideration, see no particular purpose it would answer, and gladly decline a task I should have undertaken with much timidity and reluctance. All I feel necessary to premise, is, that the tale in the Old Shepherd's Recollections is founded on an event which happened in Ireland; and that last spring I suppressed the song ending in page 65 [The Old Man's Farewell], some time after it had been in the hands of the composer, from meeting accidentally with a quotation in a magazine that resembled it.

CONTENTS.

POEMS. The Old Fisherman Lines to Mrs. Radcliffe, on first reading The Mysteries of Udolpho The Heir To a Llangollen Rose, the day after it had been given me by Miss Ponsonby L'Homme de l'Ennui The Grandfather's Departure Reflections occasioned by the Death of Friends To Mrs. T. Fancourt To a Young Gentleman Fragment

SONGS. "Thrice lovely Babe" "What do I love?" A Sailor's Song Another Once more, then farewell! Henry, on the Departure of his Wife from Calcutta Sonnet On the Regret of Youth Elegy on Sophia Graham To Miss Rouse Boughton To the Same To the River which separates itself from the Dee at Bedkellert The Old Man's Farewell Song Distance from the Place of our Nativity. The Old Shepherd's Recollections Reflection Retrospect of Youth The Daughter Youth unsuspicious of evil The Mother Edgar and Ellen

POEMS.

THE OLD FISHERMAN.

'My bosom is chill'd with the cold, My limbs their lost vigour deplore! Alas! to the lonely and old, Hope warbles her promise no more!

'Worn out with the length of my way, I must rest me awhile on the beach, To feel the salt dash of the spray, If haply so far it may reach.

'As the white foaming billows arise, I reflect on the days that are past, When the pride of my strength could despise The keen driving force of the blast.

'Though the heavens might menace on high, I would still push my vessel from shore; At my calling undauntedly ply, And sing as I handled the oar.

'When fortune rewarded my toil, And my nets, deeply laden, I drew, I hurried me home with the spoil, And its inmates rejoic'd at the view.

'Though the winds and the waves were perverse, I was sure to be welcom'd with glee; My presence the cares would disperse, That were only awaken'd for me.

'Whether weary, with toiling in vain, Or gay, from abundant success, I heard the same blessing again, I met the same tender caress:

'I fancied the perils repay'd, That could such affection ensure; By fondness and gratitude sway'd, I was eager to dare and endure.

'My cot did each comfort contain, And that gave my bosom delight; When drench'd by the winterly rain, I watch'd in my vessel at night.

'But, alas! from the tyrant, Disease, What love or what caution can save! A fever, more harsh than the seas, Consign'd my poor wife to the grave.

'My children, so tenderly rear'd, And pining for want of her care, Though more by my sorrows endear'd, Could not rescue my heart from despair.

'I tempted the dangers of night, And still labour'd hard at the oar, My sufferings appear'd to be light, But I suffer'd with pleasure no more.

'And yet, when some seasons had roll'd, I seem'd to awaken anew; My children I lov'd to behold, How tall and how comely they grew.

'My boy became hardy and bold, His spirit was buoyant and free; And, as I grew thoughtful and old, Was loud and oppressive to me... Continue reading book >>




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