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April the 25th, 1737
- TWENTY lost years have stoln their hours away,
- Since, in this inn, ev'n in this room, I lay:
- How chang'd! what, then, was rapture, fire, and air,
- Seems, now, sad silence, all, and blanc despair!
- Is it, that youth paints every view too bright,
- And, life advancing, fancy fades her light?
- Ah! no--nor, yet, is day so far declin'd,
- Nor can time's creepng coldness reach the mind.
- 'Tis--that I miss th' inspirer of that youth;
- Her, whose soft smile was love, whose soul was truth,
- Her, from whose pain, I never wish'd relief,
- And, for whose pleasure, I could smile at grief.
- Prospects, that (view'd with her) inspir'd, before,
- Now, seen without her, can delight no more.
- Death snatch'd my joy, by cutting off her share,
- But left her griefs, to multiply my care.
- Pensive, and cold, this room, in each chang'd part,
- I view, and shock'd, from ev'ry object, start:
- There hung the watch, that beating hours, from day,
- Told its sweet owner's lessening life away.
- There, her dear diamond taught the sash my name;
- 'Tis gone! frail image of love, life, and fame.
- That glass, she dress'd at, keeps her form no more;
- Not one dear foot-step tunes th' unconscious floor.
- There sat she--yet, those chairs no sense retain,
- And busy recollection smarts, in vain.
- Sullen, and dim, what faded scenes are here!
- I wonder, and retract a starting tear.
- Gaze, in attentive doubt--with anguish, swell,
- And o'er, and o'er, on each weigh'd object, dwell.
- Then, to the window, rush, gay views invite,
- And tempt idea, to permit delight.
- But unimprssive, all in sorrow, drown'd,
- One void forgetful desert glooms, around.
- On life!--deceitful lure of lost desires!
- How short thy period, yet, how fierce thy fires!
- Scarce can a passion start, (we change so fast)
- E're new lights strike us, and the old are past.
- Schemes following schemes, so long life's taste explore,
- That, e'er we learn to live, we live no more.
- Who, then, can think--yet sigh, to part with breath?
- Or shun the healing hand of friendly death?
- Guilt, penitence, and wrongs; and pain, and strife,
- Form thy whole heap'd amount, thou flatterer, life!
- Is it for this, that toss'd, 'twixt hope, and fear,
- Peace, by new shipwrecks, numbers each new year?
- Oh, take me, death! indulge desir'd repose,
- And draw thy silent curtain round my woes.
- Yet hold--one tender pang revokes that pray'r,
- Still, there remains one claim, to tax my care.
- Gone tho' she is, she left her soul behind,
- In four dear transcripts of her copy'd mind.
- They chain me down to life, new task supply,
- And leave me not, at leisure, yet, to die!
- Busied, for them, I, yet, forego release;
- And teach my wearied heart, to wait for peace.
- But, when their day breaks broad, I welcome night,
- Smile at discharge from care, and shut out light.
- Aaron Hill
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