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The lowly hermitage, or fair domain,
And every spot in sylvan beauty drest,
WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF THIRTEEX.
WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF THIRTEEN.
Tis sweet to think the spirits of the blest
May hover round the virtuous man's repose; And oft in visions animate his breast,
And scenes of bright beatitude disclose. The ministers of Heaven, with pure control,
May bid his sorrow and emotion cease, Inspire the pious fervour of his soul,
And whisper to his bosom hallow'd peace. Ah, tender thought ! that oft with sweet relief
May charm the bosom of a weeping friend, Beguile with magic power the tear of grief,
And pensive pleasure with devotion blend; While oft he fancies music, sweetly faint, The airy lay of some departed saint.
[In 1808, a collection of her poems, which had long been regarded amongst her friends with a degree of admiration perhaps more partial than judicious, was submitted to the world, in the form (certainly an ill-advised one) of a quarto volume. Its appearance drew down the animadversions of some self-constituted arbiter of public taste, 1 and the young poetess was thus early initiated into the pains and perils attendant upon the career of an author ;-though it may here be observed, that, as far as criticism was concerned, this was at once the first and last time she was destined to meet with any thing like harshness or mortification. Though this unexpected severity was felt bitterly for a few days, her buoyant spirit soon rose above it, and her effusions continued to be poured forth as spontaneously as the song of the skylark.]
WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF THIRTEEN.
OH! may I ever pass my happy hours
I LOVE to hail the mild and balmy hour
When evening spreads around her twilight veil. When dews descend on every languid flower,
And sweet and tranquil is the summer gale. Then let me wander by the peaceful tide,
While o'er the wave the breezes lightly play; To hear the waters murmur as they glide,
To mark the fading smile of closing day. There let me linger, blest in visions dear,
Till the soft moonbeams tremble on the seas; While melting sounds decay on fancy's ear,
Of airy music floating on the breeze.
1 The criticism referred to, and which, considering the circumstances under which the volume appeared, was certainly somewhat ungenerous, and quite uncalled for, ran as follows: -“We hear that these poems are the genuine productions of a young lady, written between the ages of eight and thirteen years,' and we do not feel inclined to question the intelligence; but although the fact may insure them an indulgent reception from all those who have children dear,' yet, when a little girl publishes a large quarto, we are disposed to examine before we admit her claims to public attention. Many of Miss Browne's compositions are extremely jejune. However, though Miss Browne's poems contain some errone. ous and some pitiable lines, we must praise the Reflections in a ruined castle,' and the poetic strain in which they are delivered. The lines to ' Patriotism' contain good thoughts and forcible images; and if the youthful author were to content herself for some years with reading instead of writing, we should open any future work from her pen with an expectation of pleasure, founded on our recollection of this publication; though we must, at the same time, observe, that premature talents are not always to be considered as signs of future excellence. The honeysuckle attains maturity before the oak."--Monthly Review, 1809.
The airy upland and the woodland green, The valley, and romantic mountain scene;
ENGLAND AND SPAIN; OR, VALOUR
WRITTEN AT THE AGE OF FOURTEEN.
-_"His sword the brave man draws, And asks no omen but his country's cause."-Pope.
[New sources of inspiration were now opening to her view. Birthday addresses, songs by the seashore, and invocations to fairies, were henceforth to be diversified with warlike themes ; and trumpets and banners now floated through the dreams in which birds and flowers had once reigned paramount. Her two elder brothers had entered the army at an early age, and were both serving in the 234 Royal Welsh Fusiliers. One of them was now engaged in the Spanish campaign under Sir John Moore; and a vivid imagination and enthusiastic affections being alike enlisted in the cause, her young mind was filled with glorious visions of British valour and Spanish patriotism. In her ardent view, the days of chivalry seemed to be restored, and the very names which were of daily occurrence in the despatches, were involuntarily associated with the deeds of Roland and his Paladins, or of her own especial hero, “ The Cid Ruy Diaz," the Campeador. Under the inspiration of these feelings, she composed a poem entitled “ England and Spain," which was published and afterwards translated into Spanish. This cannot but be considered as a very remarkable production for a girl of fourteen ; lofty sentiments, correctness of language, and historical knowledge, being all strikingly displayed in it.—Memoir, p. 10, 11.]
Thus the wild hurricane's impetuous force
tain ? How long shall despots and usurpers reign ? Is honour's lofty soul for ever fled ! Is virtue lost? is martial ardour dead ? Is there no heart where worth and valour dwell, No patriot WALLACE, no undaunted TELL ? Yes, Freedom ! yes ! thy sons, a noble band, Around thy banner, firm, exulting stand; Once more, 'tis thine, invincible to wield The beamy spear and adamantine shield ! Again thy cheek with proud resentment glows, Again thy lion-glance appals thy foes ; Thy kindling eye-beam darts unconquer'd fires, Thy look sublime the warrior's heart inspires ; And, while to guard thy standard and thy right, Castilians rush, intrepid, to the fight, Lo! Britain's generous host their aid supply, Resolved for thee to triumph or to die; And Glory smiles to see Iberia's name Enrolld with Albion's in the book of fame!
Too long have Tyranny and Power combined To sway, with iron sceptre, o'er mankind; Long has Oppression worn th' imperial robe, And Rapine's sword has wasted half the globe! O'er Europe's cultured realms, and climes afar, Triumphant Gaul has pour'd the tide of war: To her fair Austria veil'd the standard bright; Ausonia's lovely plains have own'd her might; While Prussia's eagle, never taught to yield, Forsook her towering height on Jena's field !
Illustrious names ! still, still united beam, Be still the hero's boast, the poet's theme : So, when two radiant gems together shine, And in one wreath their lucid light combine ; Each, as it sparkles with transcendant rays, Adds to the lustre of its kindred blaze.
O gallant Frederic ! could thy parted shade Have seen thy country vanquish'd and betray'd, How had thy soul indignant mourn'd her shame, Her sullied trophies, and her tarnish'd fame ! When Valour wept lamented BRUNSWICK's doom, And nursed with tears the laurels on his tomb; When Prussia, drooping o'er her hero's grave, Invoked his spirit to descend and save; Then set her glories—then expired her sun, And fraud achieved c'en more than conquest won!
Descend, O Genius ! from thy orb descend ! Thy glowing thought, thy kindling spirit lend ! As Memnon's harp (so ancient fables say) With sweet vibration meets the morning ray, So let the chords thy heavenly presence own, And swell a louder note, a nobler tone; Call from the sun, her burning throne on high, The seraph Ecstasy, with lightning eye; Steal from the source of day empyreal fire, And breathe the soul of rapture o'er the lyre !
O'er peaceful realms, that smiled with plenty
gay, Has desolation spread her ample sway; Thy blast, 0 Ruin ! on tremendous wings, Has proudly swept o'er empires, nations, kings.
Hail, Albion ! hail, thou land of freedom's
birth! Pride of the main, and Phoenix of the earth! Thou second Rome, where mercy, justice, dwell, Whose sons in wisdom as in arms excel !
From ancient days, when dwelt her savage race,
Thine are the dauntless bands, like Spartans
brave, Bold in the field, triumphant on the wave; In classic elegance and arts divine, To rival Athens' fairest palm is thine; For taste and fancy from Hymettus fly, And richer bloom beneath thy varying sky, Where Science mounts in radiant car sublime To other worlds beyond the sphere of time! Hail, Albion, hail ! to thee has fate denied Peruvian mines and rich Hindostan's pride, The gems that Ormuz and Golconda boast, And all the wealth of Montezuma's coast : For thee no Parian marbles brightly shine, No glowing suns mature the blushing vine; No light Arabian gales their wings expand, To waft Sabæan incense o'er the land ; No graceful cedars crown thy lofty hills, No trickling myrrh for thee its balm distils; Not from thy trees the lucid amber flows, And far from thee the scented cassia blows : Yet fearless Commerce, pillar of thy throne, Makes all the wealth of foreign climes thy own; From Lapland's shore to Afric's fervid reign, She bids thy ensigns float above the main ; Unfurls her streamers to the favouring gale, And shows to other worlds her daring sail : Then wafts their gold, their varied stores to thee, Queen of the trident! empress of the sea !
Spirit of ALFRED! patriot soul sublime ! Thou morning-star of error's darkest time ! Prince of the Lion-heart ! whose arm in fight, On Syria's plains repell’d Saladin's might ! EDWARD ! for bright heroic deeds revered, By Cressy's fame to Britain still endear'd! Triumphant HENRY! thou, whose valour proud, The lofty plume of crested Gallia bow'd ! Look down, look down, exalted shades! and
view Your Albion still to freedom's banner true! Behold the land, ennobled by your fame, Supreme in glory, and of spotless name: And, as the pyramid indignant rears Its awful head, and mocks the waste of years ; See her secure in pride of virtue tower, While prostrate nations kiss the rod of power !
Lo! where her pennons, waving high, aspire, Bold Victory hovers near, “with eyes of fire !" While Lusitania hails, with just applause, The brave defenders of her injured cause; Bids the full song, the note of triumph rise, And swells th' exulting pæan to the skies !
For this thy noble sons have spread alarms,
And they, who late with anguish, hard to tell, Breathed to their cherish'd realms a sad farewell ! Who, as the vessel bore them o'er the tide, Still fondly linger'd on its deck, and sighd; Gazed on the shore, till tears obscured their sighty And the blue distance melted into lightThe Royal exiles, forced by Gallia's hate To fly for refuge in a foreign stateThey, soon returning o'er the western main, Ere long may view their clime beloved again : And as the blazing pillar led the host Of faithful Israel o'er the desert coast, So may Britannia guide the noble band O'er the wild ocean to their native land. O glorious isle !-O sovereign of the waves ! Thine are the sons who “never will be slaves ! *
Bright in the annals of th' impartial page, Britannia's heroes live from age to age !
See them once more, with ardent hearts advance,
Is there no bard of heavenly power possess'd
Serene he lifts to heaven those closing eyes,
Oh, could my muse on seraph pinion spring, O thou, the sovereign of the noble soul! And sweep with rapture's hand the trembling Thou source of energies beyond control ! string!
Queen of the lofty thought, the generous deed, Could she the bosom energies control,
Whose sons unconquer'd fight, undaunted bleed,And pour impassion'd fervour o'er the soul ! Inspiring Liberty ! thy worshipp'd name Oh, could she strike the harp to Milton given, The warm enthusiast kindles to a flame; Brought by a cherub from th' empyrean heaven! Thy charms inspire him to achievements high, Ah, fruitless wish! ah, prayer preferr'd in vain, Thy look of heaven, thy voice of harmony. For her—the humblest of the woodland train ; More blest with thee to tread perennial snows, Yet shall her feeble voice essay to raise
Where ne'er a flower expands, a zephyr blows; The hymn of liberty, the song of praise !
Where Winter, binding nature in his chain,
In frost-work palace holds perpetual reign ; Iberian bands ! whose noble ardour glows Than, far from thee, with frolic step to rove To pour confusion on oppressive foes ;
The green savannas and the spicy grove; Intrepid spirits, hail ! 'tis yours to feel
Scent the rich balm of India's perfumed gales, The hero's fire, the freeman's godlike zeal! In citron-woods and aromatic vales : Not to secure dominion's boundless reign, For oh ! fair Liberty, when thou art neor, Ye wave the flag of conquest o'er the slain; Elysium blossoms in the desert drear ! No cruel rapine leads you to the war, Nor mad ambition, whirl'd in crimson car.
Where'er thy smile its magic power bestows, No, brave Castilians ! yours a nobler end, There arts and taste expand, there fancy glows; Your land, your laws, your monarch to defend ! The sacred lyre its wild enchantment gives, For these, for these, your valiant legions rear And every chord to swelling transport lives ; The floating standard, and the lofty spear ! There ardent Genius bids the pencil trace The fearless lover wields the conquering sword, The soul of beauty, and the lines of grace ; Fired by the image of the maid adored !
With bold Promethean hand, the canvass warms, His best-beloved, his fondest ties, to aid,
And calls from stone expression's breathing forms. The father's hand unsheaths the glittering blade ! Thus, where the fruitful Nile o'erflows its bound, For cach, for all, for ev'ry sacred right,
Its genial waves diffuse abundance round, The daring patriot mingles in the fight !
Bid Ceres laugh o'er waste and sterile sands, And e'en if love or friendship fail to warm, And rich profusion clothe deserted lands. His country's name alone can nerve his dauntless arm!
Immortal Freedom ! daughter of the skies !
To thee shall Britain's grateful incense rise. He bleeds ! he falls ! his death-bed is the field ! Ne'er, goddess ! ne'er forsake thy favourite isle, His dirge the trumpet, and his bier the shield ! Still be thy Albion brighten'd with thy smile ! His closing eyes the beam of valour speak, Long had thy spirit slept in dead repose, The flush of ardour lingers on his check;
While proudly triumph'd thine insalting foes;
Yet, though a cloud may veil Apollo's light,
Proceed, proceed, ye firm undaunted band ! Still sure to conquer, if combined ye stand. Though myriads flashing in the eye of day Stream'd o'er the smiling land in long array, Though tyrant Asia pour'd unnumber'd foes, Triumphant still the arm of Greece arose ;For every state in sacred union stood, Strong to repel invasion's whelming flood; Each heart was glowing in the general cause, Each hand prepared to guard their hallow'd
laws; Athenian valour join'd Laconia's might, And but contended to be first in fight; From rank to rank the warm contagion ran, And Hope and Freedom led the flaming van. Then Persia's monarch mourn'd his glories lost, As wild confusion wing'd his flying host; Then Attic bards the hymn of victory sung, The Grecian harp to notes exulting rung ! Then Sculpture bade the Parian stone record The high achievements of the conquering sword. Thus, brave Castilians ! thus may bright renown And fair success your valiant efforts crown!
Yet, though thy transient pageantries are gone,
Genius of chivalry! whose early days Tradition still recounts in artless lays; Whose faded splendours fancy oft recalls, The floating banners and the lofty balls, The gallant feats thy festivals display'd, The tilt, the tournament, the long crusade; Whose ancient pride Romance delights to hail, In fabling numbers, or heroic tale: Those times are fled, when stern thy castles
frown'd, Their stately towers with feudal grandeur crown'd; Those times are fled, when fair Iberia's clime Beheld thy Gothic reign, thy pomp sublime; And all thy glories, all thy deeds of yore, Live but in legends wild, and poet's lore. Lo! where thy silent harp neglected lies, Light o'er its chords the murmuring zephyr sighs; Thy solemn courts, where once the minstrel sung, The choral voice of mirth and music rung; Now, with the ivy clad, forsaken, lone, Hear but the breeze and echo to its moan : Thy lonely towers deserted fall away, Thy broken shield is mouldering in decay.
Yet vain their pride, their wealth, and radiant
state, When freedom waved on high the sword of fate! When brave Ramiro bade the despots fear, Stern retribution frowning on his spear; And fierce Almanzor, after many a fight, O’erwhelm'd with shame, confess'd the Christian's
In later times the gallant Cid arose, Burning with zeal against his country's foes; His victor-arm Alphonso's throne maintain'd, His laureate brows the wreath of conquest gain’d! And still his deeds Castilian bards rehearse, Inspiring theme of patriotic verse ! High in the temple of recording fame, Iberia points to great Gonsalvo's name ! Victorious chief! whose valour still defied The arms of Gaul, and bow'd her crested pride;