Joined: 09 Feb 2007
|Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:39 pm Post subject: " The Bastille " etc poems by Helen Maria Williams
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-bastille-a-vision/ [ HAS A VIDEO ]
The Bastille: A Vision - Poem by Helen Maria Williams
"Drear cell! along whose lonely bounds,
Unvisited by light,
Chill silence dwells with night,
Save where the clanging fetter sounds!
Abyss, where mercy never came,
Nor hope the wretch can find;
Where long inaction wastes the frame,
And half annihilates the mind!
"Stretch'd helpless in this living tomb,
O haste, congenial death!
Seize, seize this ling'ring breath,
And shroud me in unconscious gloom.
BRITAIN ! thy exil'd son no more
Thy blissful vales shall see--
Why did I leave thy hallow'd shore,
Ah, land ador'd, where all are free?"
BASTILLE ! within thy hideous pile,
Which stains of blood defile,
Thus rose the captive's sighs,
Till slumber seal'd his weeping eyes.
Terrific visions hover near!
He sees an awful form appear!
Who drags his step to deeper cells,
Where stranger, wilder horror dwells!
"O! tear me from these haunted walls,
Or these fierce shapes controul!
Lest madness seize my soul!
That pond'rous mask of iron* falls,
I see--" "Rash mortal, ha! beware,
Nor breathe that hidden name!
Should those dire accents wound the air,
Know death shall lock thy stiff'ning frame.
"Hark! that loud bell which sullen tolls!
It wakes a shriek of woe
From yawning depths below;
Shrill through this hollow vault it rolls!
A deed was done in this black cell
Unfit for mortal ear--
A deed was done when toll'd that knell,
No human heart could live and hear!
"Arouse thee from thy numbing glance,
Near yon thick gloom, advance;
The solid cloud has shook;
Arm all thy soul with strength to look--
Enough!--thy starting locks have rose--
Thy limbs have fail'd--thy blood has froze!--
On scenes so foul, with mad affright,
I fix no more thy fasten'd sight.
"Those troubled phantoms melt away!
I lose the sense of care--
I feel the vital air--
I see--I see the light of day!
Visions of bliss!--eternal powers!
What force has shook those hated walls?
What arm has rent those threat'ning towers?
It falls--the guilty fabric falls!"
"Now, favour'd mortal, now behold!
To soothe thy captive state
I ope the book of fate;
Mark what its registers unfold:
Where this dark pile in chaos lies,
With nature's execrations hurl'd,
Shall Freedom's sacred temple rise,
And charm an emulating world!
" 'Tis her awak'ning voice commands
Those firm, those patriot bands;
Arm'd to avenge her cause,
And guard her violated laws!--
Did ever earth a scene display
More glorious to the eye of day,
Than millions with according mind,
Who claim the rights of human kind?
"Does the fam'd Roman page sublime
An hour more bright unroll,
To animate the soul,
Than this lov'd theme of future time?--
Posterity, with rapture meet,
The consecrated act shall hear;
Age shall the glowing tale repeat,
And youth shall drop the burning tear!
"The peasant, while he fondly sees
His infants round the hearth
Pursue their simple mirth,
Or emulously climb his knees,
No more bewails their future lot,
By tyranny's stern rod opprest;
While freedom cheers his straw-roof'd cot,
And tells him all his toils are blest!
"Philosophy! O, share the meed
Of freedom's noblest deed!
'Tis thine each truth to scan,
And dignify the rank of man!
'Tis thine all human wrongs to heal,
'Tis thine to love all nature's weal;
To give our frail existence worth,
And shed a ray from heaven on earth."
Helen Maria Williams
Last edited by dai on Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:13 pm; edited 2 times in total
Joined: 09 Feb 2007
|Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:43 pm Post subject:
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-charter/ [ HAS A VIDEO ]
The Charter - Poem by Helen Maria Williams
TO MY NEPHEW
ATHANASE C. L. COQUEREL,
ON HIS WEDDING DAY, 1819.
CHILD of my heart! while others hail
This festive morn, when joys prevail,
With careless wishes they may last,
Spite of all annals of the past;
As if for thee alone, secure,
Their fleeting nature would endure,
With roses strewing all thy way,
And life were but a bridal day;--
For me, by pensive thoughts opprest,
The future fills my anxious breast;
And flowers that fade, and joys that flee,
Are not the things I ask, for thee!--
My heart for thee has learn'd to prove
The throbbings of a mother's love,
Since on thy cradle fell the tear
That mourn'd a sister's early bier;
And sure that angel's sainted prayer
Has shed sweet influence o'er my care;
To sorrow doomed in all the rest,
And only in her children blest!--
While now you sign, with hope elate,
The civic register of fate;
Or at the holy altar bow,
To ratify the plighted vow,
Which made aright, or breath'd amiss,
Includes all future woe, or bliss;
While kneeling youth, and weeping beauty,
Hear the grave ritual of their duty,
And the stern rubrick well approve
That charges to be true to love;
This compact, that for ever binds
In holy links two kindred minds,
Their happiness the mutual barter,
This solemn league we'll call a CHARTER !
Th' allusion never can be wrong,
White omens to the name belong;
Palladium that has all withstood,
And harbinger of boundless good.
And ever may its hallow'd law
Your willing hearts together draw!
Ah! may no ultra thirst of power
Embitter life's domestic hour;
No principles of feudal sway
Teach without loving, to obey;
The heart such joyless homage slights,
And wedlock claims its Bill of Rights--
May you, to Virtue nobly just,
Disdain the whisper of mistrust;
Your truth her dark police may brave,
Made for the tyrant, and the slave.--
May Discord pass with sullen tread,
Far from the threshold of your shed,
With accents that on harshness border,
And words that love would call to order;
Or veto he would pine to hear,
Protesting only by a tear.--
Nor when true fondness, with submisison
Her right asserting of petition,
Shall meekly hint at some abuse,
Or some reform of gen'ral use,
Unheeding all that she may say,
Pass to the order of the day.--
Nor, bidding every blessing fade,
Let Jealousy your peace invade;
Whose shadow clings to all that's dear,
And adds the length'ning shapes of fear;
Whose mind with sickly colours ting'd,
Discerns in all, the code infring'd,
Reads violations in the eye,
And marks the treason of a sigh;
Or loads a tear with false aspersion,
Mistaking sorrow for aversion;
Or construes into acts of guile
The tender pleadings of a smile;
Condemns unheard, with ultra fury,
Nor suffers love to call a jury,
Where innocence her head uprears,
Safe, in a trial by her peers.--
Thus, having ne'er from duty swerved,
The faith of treaties well observ'd;
When Time your destin'd lot shall fling
Of sorrow from his loaded wing,
For you, of other good bereft,
Unchanging love will still be left;
Not like the world he then will roam,
But rest, the morning star of home.
Not yours, their bitter fate, who know
That agony of lonely woe,
An altered heart was bound to share,
Nor find defence, nor charter there!
For you, to every duty true,
The Charter held in rev'rence due,
Each tender clause shall habit seal,
With no suggestion of repeal;
Firm to the law of true election,
And treating change with stern rejection,
Though time the graceful form has worn
To which fidelity was sworn:
For not alone with blooming youth
Is made that league of lasting truth;
The compact sign'd with beauty now,
Includes wan age, with wrinkled brow,
With tresses grey, with visage pale,
And eyes whose liquid lustre fail;
For then the hand, that shrivell'd thing,
Shall still display the nuptial ring,
Pledge of your faith, and cherish'd token
Of vows, through lengthen'd years unbroken;
When all that's left of passion's flame
Is friendship, with a dearer name!
Thus be the charter'd Code imprest,
With all its statutes, on your breast;
No duty it enjoins forsook,
Till Time at length shall close the book;
And hope shall frame, for worlds to come,
A treaty that survives the tomb.
Helen Maria Williams
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum