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To know in dissolution's void
That mortals' baubles, sunk, decay,—
To baffle the lean Passions of their prey,—
His countless courtiers mock the words they say
Tremble, ye proud, whose grandeur mocks the woe
POSTHUMOUS FRAGMENTS OF
Being Poems found amongst the Papers of that noted Female, who attempted the life of the King in 1786. Edited by John Fitzvictor. [Oxford, Printed and sold by J. Munday, 1810.]
The energy and native genius of these Fragments must be the only apology which the Editor can make for thus intruding them on the public notice. The first I found with no title, and have left it so. It is intimately connected with the dearest interests of universal happiness; and, much as we may deplore the fatal and enthusiastic tendency which the ideas of this poor female had acquired, we cannot fail to pay the tribute of unequivocal regret to the departed memory of genius which, had it been rightly organized, would have made that intellect, which had since become the vietim of frenzy and despair, a most brilliant ornament to society.
In case the sale of these Fragments evinces that the public have any curiosity to be presented with a more copious collection of my unfortunate Aunt's poems, X have other papers in my possession which shall, in that case, be subjected to their notice. It may be supposed they require much arrangement: but I send the following to the press in the same state in which they came into my possession.
SUPPOSED TO BE AN EPITHALAMIUM OF FRANCIS RAVAILLAC AND CHARLOTTE CORDAY.
'Tis midnight now. Athwart the murky air
Dank lurid meteors shoot a livid gleam;
It shows the bending oak, the roaring stream.
I pondered on the ceaseless rage of kings;
The mazy volume of commingling things,
When the blasts on the wild lake sleep,
O'er the breast of the waveless deep.
I thought it had been Death's accents cold
I laid mine hot head on the surge-beaten mould,
But a heavenly sleep, that did suddenly steep
In balm my bosom's pain,
Did mine intellect range again.
in. Methought, enthroned upon a silvery cloud,
Which floated 'mid a strange and brilliant light, My form, upborne by viewless ether, rode,
And spurned the lessening realms of earthly night. What heavenly notes burst on my ravished ears!
What beauteous spirits met my dazzled eye! Hark! louder swells the music of the spheres—
More clear the forms of speechless bliss float by—And heavenly gestures suit etherial melody.
But fairer than the spirits of the air,
More graceful than the sylph of symmetry, Than the enthusiast's fancied love more fair,
Were the bright forms that swept the azure sky. Enthroned in roseate light, a heavenly band
Strewed flowers of bliss that never fade away; They welcome virtue to its native land,
And songs of triumph greet the joyous day When endless bliss the woes of fleeting life repay.
Congenial minds will seek their kindred soul,
E'en though the tide of time has rolled between: They mock weak matter's impotent control,
And seek of endless life the eternal scene.
In Nature's chaos this will not decay:
Thy soul, O Charlotte, 'yond this chain of clay
Yes, Francis! thine was the dear knife that tore
Thine was the daring at a tyrant's gore
And thine, loved glory of thy sex! to tear
To laugh at sorrow in secure despair,
Yes! the fierce spirits of the avenging deep
With endless tortures goad their guilty shades! I see the lank and ghastly spectres sweep
Along the burning length of yon arcades; And I see Satan stalk athwart the plain—
He hastes along the burning soil of hell:— "Welcome, thou despots, to my dark domain!
With maddening joy mine anguished senses swell To welcome to their home the friends I love so well!"
Hark to those notes! How sweet, how thrilling sweet, They echo to the sound of angels' feet!
Oh! haste to the bower where roses are spread,
Oh! haste! . . Hark, hark! . . They're gone!
Whilst love every care is erasing!
And, if any soft passion be near
Which mortals, frail mortals, can know,
Let love shed on the bosom a tear,
Symphony. Francis. Soft, my dearest angel, stay! Oh! you suck my soul away! Suck on, suck on! I glow, I glow! Tides of maddening passion roll, And streams of rapture drown my soul! VOL. II. 2 K
Now give me one more billing kiss—
And I will clasp thy form.
But I think, love, thou feelest me warm!
Till I mingle into thee;
And thou shalt give kisses to me;—
Oh ! dost thou not joy at this?
A long long night of bliss.
Spirits, when raptures move,
And the tremulous lips dare not speak
Than the fell tyrant's last expiring yell?
I. And canst thou mock mine agony, thus calm In cloudless radiance, Queen of silver night?