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- Miscellaneous Poems - 1/8 -

Transcribed by Mark Sherwood, e-mail:


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


Scene: --A MADHOUSE.


"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.

I doubted: --fool I was to doubt! If that all-piercing eye could see, - If He who looks all worlds throughout, Would so minute and careful be As to perceive and punish me: - With man I would be great and high, But with my God so lost, that He, In His large view should pass me by.

Thus blest with children, friend, and wife, Blest far beyond the vulgar lot; Of all that gladdens human life, Where was the good that I had not? But my vile heart had sinful spot, And Heaven beheld its deep'ning stain; Eternal justice I forgot, And mercy sought not to obtain.

Come near,--I'll softly speak the rest! - Alas! 'tis known to all the crowd, Her guilty love was all confess'd; And his, who so much truth avow'd, My faithless friend's.--In pleasure proud I sat, when these cursed tidings came; Their guilt, their flight was told aloud, And Envy smiled to hear my shame!

I call'd on Vengeance; at the word She came: --Can I the deed forget? I held the sword--the accursed sword The blood of his false heart made wet; And that fair victim paid her debt, She pined, she died, she loath'd to live; - I saw her dying--see her yet: Fair fallen thing! my rage forgive!

Those cherubs still, my life to bless, Were left; could I my fears remove, Sad fears that check'd each fond caress, And poison'd all parental love? Yet that with jealous feelings strove,

Miscellaneous Poems - 1/8

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