Ann Maria Michell Wood.

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%-3t -7^.





By a. M. W.

BtoTow fiEXntx) yaXrfvtjv."




The followinj^ slight verses are printed that they
may be more easily read by the friends — " two, or
one" — who have liked them in MS.

The original pieces are monotonous, as they ex-
press but the (piiet enjoyment of quiet scenery, and
the simple emotions of a life that has known little
variety but much tranquillity, and to which

" die ray
Of a bright sun can make sufficient holiday."

The sensations which were delightful iu their
existence arc grateful in recollection, and these



memorials of them have been retained as we pre-
serve the spray of Eglantine gathered in our walk,
for the sake of the pleasure of which it reminds us
by the fragrance that lingers in its leaves.

" Xapitv poSwv Si ytjpag
Nforjjrof iffxtv oSfirjv."

Southend, June, 1836.

S T A N Z A S, Jicc.



Though smiles on every face I see,
Yet still my thoughts revert to thee,
Land of my earliest memory !

Where passed away
My careless yeai-s, from clouds as free

As summer day.

In thee again I seem to be.
Again am idly pleased to see
The patient ox that quietly

Treads out the corn,
With spell from which the evil flee,

Twined round his horn.


Again I rest beneath the vine,
Again on hieezy hill recline,
And list the murmurs of the pine,

That waves on high,
While calm in evening's golden shine

The valleys lie.

Now quenched the fervid light that fell
On chestnut grove and olive dell,
I hear the convent's solemn bell

Borne on the air,
The pensive hour of vespers tell,

And warn to prayer.

Then through the shades as I retire.
And twilight's dewy breath respire,
Glows, 'mid the gloom, the fly of fire,

On viewless wing.
And sweetly to their simple lyre.

The peasants sing.

Oh! as the child from home lirst sent.
That home recals with fond lament,
Dwells on each bliss its precincts lent

With sad delight —
Sighs as each thought is thither bent

To share its flight —


So parted froiu thy azure sky,
Forced from thy genial sun to fly
To the cold north, where bitterly

Blows the keen air,
So for thy cherished scenes I sigh,

Thy scenes so fair I

January, 1808.



" Virtue, like the sun, goes on with her work, be the air ever so
cloudy, and finishes her course." — Seneca.

Lo ! heaven's first orb, whom rays unfading crown,

In bright serenity pursues his course :
Nor heeds of gathering clouds the lowering frown.

Nor the dark tempest's overwhelming force :
But at his journey's end he sinks to rest,
Calm and resplendent in the glowing west.

So with the virtuous man — his innate light

Life's storms quench not, nor envy's shades destroy ;

But in unchangeable cflulgence, bright
It burns within his breast : at length with joy

His pilgrimage concludes — he quits the scene,

And on earth's peaceful bosom sleeps serene.

March 7, 1809.


Sundai/, November lU, 1809.

Clear dawns the mom— the orient rays
Gild the grey mists that lightly float,
And wide a stream of glory plays
On faded woods and hills remote.

But lo ! the orient beams are fled,
And chilling rains are falling fast —
While the far mountain's shadowy head
With storm-clouds dark is overcast.

Yet shines again the golden ray —
And heaven's blue arch again appears —
Emblem of man's uncertain day,
A varying scene of smiles and tears.


Passed is the cloud — the gloom — the shower-
Soft are the gale's expiring sighs —
And sweetly beams the evening hour,
And sound its closing harmonies.

Is not this tranquil close of even,
This sacred calm on all impressed,
An emblem of the peace of heaven,
The sabbath of eternal rest ?


January, 1810.

Sad on our hearts thy parting accents fell,
My father! yet when fading from our sight,
Tremhled thy dim sail on th' horizon's light.

Thought wc that we had heard thy last farewell ?

Alas ! when aching throbs ray bosom swell,

And doubt and fear the bloom of feeling blight.
On that kind voice that gently taught the right,

with what yearning vain doth memory dwell !

But thou art past all danger and all care,
Safe in the deep serenity of heaven !

And though my youth a saddened aspect wear,
And the bright flowers be from its chaplet riven.

Yet bliss is in the hope to meet thee there.
All tears forgot, and every fault forgiven.

October 19, 1810.

Yon awful sky that cloudless spreads
Its arch immense of azure bright —
Yon sinking glowing orb that sheds
A dazzling flood of golden light —

The dew-wet flower, the fading leaf.
That trembles on the forest tree —
Renew the tears of pensive grief
That flowed, my parted friend ! for thee.

With thee I marked the fading trees.
The autumn sky in gold arrayed —
And when I felt the evening breeze.
Around thy pleasant brow it played.


Now does deep gloom thine eyes enfold —
They slumber in the silent ground —
Thy smooth, fair brow, all icy cold.
Is now with death's pale fillets bound —

Now on thy tomb the sun-beams play,
And fragrant breathes the evening air —
Fall the light dews at close of day,
And the sere leaf now withers there.


June, 1812.

Lo ! as the sun declines to rest,
What splendour calm illumes the west !
Yon stream with flowing gold it fills,
In brightness veils the purpled hills,
And kindles wide the mists that float
O'er the blue vales and woods remote.
Now let me climb the mountain height,
While fades the^flood of fervid light.
And mark the gradual close of day,
While gales of life around me play.
And the grey turret's outlines rise
In contrast with the twilight skies :
Then, as displays the evening star.
His beaming circlet from afar.
And o'er the hamlet deep below
The darkening shadows gather slow.
How sweet the dying notes to hear
Of woodland music lingering near,


Till the clear dews refresh the g:rouucl,
And mystic silence reigns around.
Mild evening hour ! how dear to me,
This doubtful light's tranquillity I
For o'er its stillness steal the lays,
That memory breathes of former days,
Wlien from the fragrant morning's glow,
Diffused upon the mountain's brow,
To the last rays that evening gave.
Faint gleaming on the sleeping wave.
Each circling hour that o'er me fled,
Peace from its white-plumed pinions shed :
Of days with studious pleasure fraught,
Of tempered feeling, wakened thought ;
Of solitude from languor free.
Of glad spontaneous piety.
That simple faith and love inspire —
O still while memory's fine-strung lyre
Unbroken, to her touch replies,
The sweetest notes that thence arise,
And the rapt soul to tears subdue.
Days of my love ! shall breathe of you !


Psalm 104.

Jehovah, my God ! may I worship thy name,

From the dawning of mom to tlie sun's setting ray ;

For the heavens in their splendour thy glory proclaim,
And thy presence while shrouding, thy greatness display.

On the wings of the storm in thy power dost tliou ride.
In the roar of the ocean thy footsteps resound ;

And when calmy and silent the green billows glide,
O'er the hush of the waters thy pathway is found.

Thou bidst the pure wave steal through channels of night.
Till it springs witli clear gush to the day's welcome beams—

The beasts of the desert rejoice at the sight,

And the flocks in their pastures feed glad by its streams.

O'er the mountains thy cedars their shadows extend.
Thou leadest the vine o'er the slope of the hills \

Thy dews on the corn-fields, in ripeness, descend.
And thy sun to the olive its richness instils.


The herds on a thousand hills, tameless and free,

The folds wliose soft fleeces spread fair o'er the plains,

All that wing the wide air, all that float in the sea.
By thy goodness created, thy goodness sustains.

All wait upon Thee ! all thy providence claim

Through the shadows of night— in the hrightnessof day —

Upheld by thy power, may I worship thy name,
Thy goodness adore, thy commandments obey !


April, 1813.

While slowly in the fading west

Yon wreath of golden clouds subsides,
And twilight, in her shadowy vest.

O'er earth with hushing murmur glides —
Yon star its quiet beams effusing,

Those notes of dying melody.
Subdue the soul to pensive musing,

And saddened thought reverts to thee !

Alas ! thy early urn around

The winds of winter thrice have mourncd-
And thrice, to strew the hallowed ground.

Has summer with her flowers returned.
Now spring his dewy garlands weaving,

Again recals thee to my view.
With fond belief his smile receiving

As pledge of life, and vigour new.


As last we met I see thee now,

Worn with long pain, and languor slow,
Yet fleeting still across thy brow

Of lingering hope the flushing glow.
Illusion fond of ardent feeling —

Soon will its transient spell be past !
O'er its fair pictured scenes dark stealing.

The shades of death are gathering fast !

thou ! on earth not duly loved,

But wept with many a contrite tear —
If tliose to happier climes removed.

Can still commune with spirits here —
Oft hast thou known, when evening closes,

And of its star serene, the shine
Bright on the slumbering wave reposes,

The thought of thee my soul refine.

For as in morning light, appear

The idle pageantries of dreams,
Each hope or fear that centres here,

At thought of thee, so idle seems.
Each scene of fancied bliss retiring,

Fades like the cloud that melts in air,
And my rapt soul to heaven aspiring,

Breathes but the wisli to meet thee there '.




" Hum mover de ollios brando e piedoso." — Ca.moens.

A BLAND and quiet movement of the eyes

That looked like pity, though no grief were near ;

A calm, sweet smile, slow-wakened but sincere ;
A mild humility, unapt to rise
To joy, but when inspired by glad surprise;

A bashful freedom and a guiltless fear ;

And dignity and gentleness, the clear
Reflection of a soul without disguise ;
And long submission, patient and serene :

These were the graces that composed tlie charm
In her angelic loveliness confessed —

As Circe's spell all potent to disarm.
Yet changing, but to elevate the mien,

And witching but to purify the breast.



April, 1813.

Sunk is the orb of clay —
Yet fading splendour tracks his downward course-
And in the blue expansion floats sublime

The cloud of crimson glow.

Yet to the mountain's brow,
The distant turret and the loftier trees,
The warm reflection of his latest rays

A heightened tint imparts.

So calm the evening air
It scarcely moves o'er the laburnum rich,
A\niose yellow flowers, with wavy gracefulness.

Play in the lightest breeze.


And while my channed sense
Inhales sweet odours from each closing (lower,
But sweetest from the carmine blushing rose

With fragrant moss embossed,

Bright in the east appears
The moon, unclouded, save when dimly seen
Within the veiling mist of roseate hue

That drinks her dewy beams.

Now, while the twilight shade
In sober grey each wanner colour blends,
And all is hushed, save when some liquid note

Falls faintly on the ear —

From the more vivid joys
Of social converse, pleased let me retire,
Entranced to list the retrospective strain

That memory loves to breathe.

Lo ! to her varying tones
Tremble responsive chords within my breast.
O'er which mysterious feelings softly steal

fit tmno'linnr' irwr oviri nfMi*!"

Of mingling joy and grief.



And though her rapi<>l hand
While liglitly wandering o'er her faithful lyre,
May sometimes touch the deep resounding chord

That vibrates agony —

Her song strange magic fills —
It melts my heart e'en with such sad delight
As yields the harp, whose melancholy wires

Mourn to the passing wind.



Las penas returnbavan al gemido." — Camoens.

The barren hills re-echoed the lament

Poured by a lonely shepherd wan and pale,
Whose accents unrequited love bewail,

And hope indulged in vain, and lost content.

The surge against the rocks in caverns rent,
Dashed^and resounded through the hollow vale :
Its mourning voice the cold and shuddering gale

Through the dark clefts in lengthened murmurs sent.

" The barren hills respond to my despair —

" Alas ! " he cried, " the echoes sad complain —

A hoarser moaning answers from the deep —
But thou — for whom the hue of death I wear,

To listen to my anguish dost disdain.
And more obdurate art, the more I weep."



June, 1814.

How beautiful thy coming is, eve !
Mild when thou smilest in the cloudless sky,
Whose fervid glories from the charmed eye

In the blue a;ther melt, yet melting, leave

A roseate colouring in the tranquil vale ;

Where clustering lilacs, the laburnum flowers
That pensile wave, and all that summer showers

Frinn her full horn of fragrance, sweets exhale.

How grateful is the deepening shade that steals
Diflusing freshness with the twilight gleam,

While dimly in the east thy star reveals
The trembling lustre of his dewy beam :

But the blest stillness that the spirit feels

Calmed by thy breath, more dear than all I deem.


October H, 1814.

Thou art liefore me, silent, in ray dreams —
Thy cheek is pallid, and thy dark eye's light
No more as I approach, dilating bright,

Now sadly turns to earth its shaded beams.

Thy brows are smooth, and waves thy silky hair
Round thy fair forehead, as when last we met :
But hope's faint ray that played on it, is set,

And melancholy's calm is settled there.

And art thou come, in all their tints to raise

Sweet and sad visions of departed days ?

O gentle shade ! here could I fix thy stay,
How fast all images of earth would flee —

And thoughts and feelings that now vainly stray,
Recalled and elevate, would rest on thee.


September, 1814.

Pale is the leaf that floats upon tlic air,
And faded are the flowers that fair evolved
Beneath the cloudless light
Of summer's beamy days.

The myrtle blossoms rich with starry rays,
The roses that in fragrant clusters hung.
The sweet-briar's delicate hues
Are mingled with the dust.

But though departed summer's .soft farewell
Has touched with sadness the declining year,
A vivid beauty oft
Kindles th' autumnal scene,


When after passing showers, the landsca})e smiles
With freshness new, and on each quivering spray
The trembling rain-drops glance
In many-coloured light.

And linger still amid the ruins sear

The pea's sweet fragrance and its purple bloom,

The honey-suckle's flowers

And the nasturtium's glow.

How pleasant now, some wood's deep solitude
To seek, and hear the wind among the trees,
Loud as the surge that sounds
Along the echoing shore :

To view the evening's slanting radiance stream
In crimson lustre on their summits high,
While from their mossy trunks
Long shadows darken round :

Then, 'mid the heath and withering fern reclined.
To mark the frequent fall of the red leaf
That through the opening glade
Gleams faintly in the ])eam !



The air of summer fragrant strays

O'er skies iu cloudless azure bright,
And evening o'er the earth displays

Her tempered glow of golden light —
As fragrant breathed the summer air

That bore thy death-bell's echoes stern —
And beamed the evening light as fair

That lingered on thy early urn.

Yet o'er the past, when memory flings

The lustre of her softening rays,
How swiftly to my heart she brings

The feelings of departed days '.
My spirit tranced, th' illusion takes —

With thine communes — with thine it blends-
Till from the cherished dream it wakes

To weep — that the enchantment ends.


I canuot tell thee now, how dear —

How sacred — is thy name to me ! —
How frequent falls th' impassioned tear

For each neglect that saddened thee.
Thou seest not on my soul impressed,

Contrition with regret combine —
Nor how each pang that rent thy breast

Now deeply agonizes mine.

O! I could wish like thee to die —

To see the hues of health decay
As slow as in the twilight sky

Subsides the sun-set's glowing ray.
And then, while o'er my languid frame

The wasting fire would silent steal,
It were a bliss I cannot name

To think I felt as thou didst feel.

July 16<A, 1815.


December, 1815.

Though faded every blooming hue

That glowed in summer's ardent ray,
And autumn's varied glories too

Have yielded to December's sway,
Yet is it sweet again to stray

From all the gloom of cities free,
Thy reign, O Nature, to survey,

And (ind unblemished joys with thee !

For still to those who fondly trace

Each aspect of the earth and skies.
Thy every hour reveals a grace

Unseen but by thy votai-y's eyes.
Dear are to him thy morning dyes,—

Thy noon's dear blue in which they niclt,-
While the dim light of eve supplies

A charm unnamed, but deeply felt.

28 ST.4NZAS.

E'eu uovv, to nie bow fair the day

When morn her purpled radiance throws
On frostwork, glancing in the ray,

Or wave that through the valley flows.
And when the hills are white with snows,

And evening's splendoursfaintly fall,
I love to mark the cold repose

Its powerless lustre sheds o'er all.

The forest's leafy pride is low —

And fled each tint that bloomed around; —
Yet can I see the gorse-flower blow.

And fringe the hills with fir-trees crowned ;-
And hear the while, the rushing sound '

Of winds that o'er their summits sweep.
And view the far horizon bound

The dark blue waters of the deep.

If wintry skies be bright and cold, —

If summer smile in sunny dress —
If vernal blossoms fair unfold,

Or autumn's rich luxuriance bless,
O Nature ! in thy loneliness

Some unseen spirit ever dwells,
Whose sacred influence can repress

Each silent grief the breast that swells !


Nor come its hallowed precincts near

The cares that throng in folly's ways—
Of worldly blame the servile fear,

The idle wish for worldly praise.
A nobler aim my bosom sways

Wlnle o'er me steals its blest controul—
And every gale that round me plays,

Breathes virtue to my strengthened soul.



June, 1816.

When mom illumes the forest green,

The glittei-irig waves, the glowing skies,
With spirits light, with soul serene,

With renovated strength I rise :
And while my raptured eye surveys

The azure dome that boundless swells,
My prayer to thee, God ! I raise.

Whose presence in this temple dwells.

Thee with ray earliest thought I bless

For every good thy hands bestow :
For every friend, whose tenderness

Can brighten joy, and soften woe :
I bless thee for the guiding ray

Thy day-star o'er my path has slied —
For giving me, each cheerful day.

In peace to eat my daily bread.


Parent divine ! my footsteps guide

To walk in wisdom's pleasant way —
Nor, sliouldst thou see them turn aside,

Let me unchecked in error, stray !
Clear to my mind thy will reveal —

To do that will, my own incline —
Till all I wish, or think, or fed,

Shall hlend in harmony with thine.

And when, unheard by other ears.
The noiseless summons calls away,

Assuage dissolving nature's fears,
Gently my trembling spirit stay —

Then strengthen faith's prospective ray-
Herald of bliss, let hope be given —

let them gild my closing day.

And light the awful path to heaven !



Sunday, June 8th, 1817.

Hail to thy tranquil dawning, hallowed day !
'Neath the blue light of tliy unsullied sky
Brightening o'er earth in peace and sanctity,

Glad let my spirit rise and wing its way,

Far from the cares of life, on Sion's hill,
To rest in holy thought, and seem to hear
The strain of angel harps yet breathing near

" Glory to God on high — to man, good- will ;"

And while th' aerial tones in music still

Blend with the rushing of sad Cedron's stream,
Whose shadowing cedars darken o'er its gleam ;

Let faith, and hope, and love, my bosom fill.
And heaven's sereneness silently diffuse,
As steals the twilight hour, and ftill its freshening dews.




Mai/, 1817.

Where late I marked the parting clay

Its farewell splendours bright effuse,
Each amber tint and golden ray

Is quenched in twilight's falling dews :
The voices sweet of even close

Float faintly on the wavy air,
Till furls its wing in soft repose

Each joyous bird that hovered there.

As calm as is the scene, the hour.

Within my heart each feeling be,
While rise ray thoughts to bless the power

Who breathes this deep serenity !
For all his goodness gives to bloom

Around my path, his name be blest : —
For all that memory's rays illume

Of vernal bliss, or sacred rest.


O rather than mine eyes should trace

Thy works, nor there thy presence view,
Dark may they be to every grace

That smiles in Nature's every hue !
Great source whence bliss and good derive.

Thee should my heart e'er cease to know,
Stilled be its pulse, nor life survive

When grateful love forgets to glow !

And when my sun shall low decline,

And shadows darken o'er the scene,
O let thy day-star rise, and shine

Athwart the gathering dusk, serene !
When " life's last shade" that dims mine eye

Before thy summons shall retire.
Let faith in raptured vision die,

And hope, in transport deep, expire !




May \e,th, 1818.

Thy soul was like a vernal day

Of gleamy lin^hts and transient shade : —
It shed o'er earth a gilded ray,

And revelled in the glow it made : —
Thy feelings, in their varying sway,

Like streams in restless movement played.

The stream is dry — the day is set : —
But not forgotten shalt tlioii he !

With holiest thought and long regret,
Thy name shall he revered hy me.

could I love and truth forget,
I then might cease to think on thee !



October, 1818.

Again along the sky of azure deep,

Lit with autumnal splendour slowly stray

Bright floating clouds, that now with shadows grey

Darken yon glimmering hills, now lightly sweep

O'er the hlue waves that in their hosom sleep :
While in the lustrous hues of setting day
Glows the tinged forest, and with crescent ray

Rises the moon, her vigil still to keep,
Filling with brilliance clear the orient air.

How beautiful is nature ! o'er my mind

Wlien steals her power, it wakes sweet music tliere.

As from aerial harps the breathing wind
Wakes melody — and inspirations fair

Suspend my soul, to peace and bliss resigned.




December 8th, 1818.

How beautiful along the orient height

The opening morn dilated, till its rays

Fell on the pure fresh dews in sparkling blaze
And tinged the broken cliff with crimson light.
Gleamed o'er the grove of pines in sounding flight

The dove's white wings, and mid the sere decays

Of the brown woods, the ivy's verdant sprays
With quivering leaves, glanced in the sunshine bright
That glory shed e'en o'er the wintry scene.

Now from the twilight of the eastern sky
Streams the faint radiance of the crescent fair

On clouds where sun-set hues yet lingering lie :
Cold, grey and silent is the hour serene

Save when the owl's long cry floats tremulous on the air.




•Brandas aguas do Tejo, que passando."— Camoens.

Bland waters of the Tejo ! through these plains
Glidiug o'er sparkling sands in limpid flow
Mid fragrant plants, and wild buds sweet that blow

Along your banks, where verdant freshness reigns

Gladdening the folds and shepherds— with sad sUains
Ah waters bland ! I hail you ! for so slow
My parting steps turn from you — with such woe

My heart is fraught, that scarce a hope remains

To whisper, yet again these mournful eyes
Shall view you — yet again in happier years.

Exiled by fortune stern from all I prize,

Farewell ye scenes ! that parting more endears.

I go, in other airs to breathe my sighs,

And other streams make turbid by my tears.



February, 1819.

Yon clouds rose-linteil, whose soft heights appear

Like peaceful hills circling the evening sky,

Retain faint glowing yet, the sun-set dye ;
Wliile darkly rising in the twilight clear

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Online LibraryAnn Maria Michell WoodVerses with imitations and translations → online text (page 1 of 6)