Henry J. (Henry John) Van-Lennep.

The American lady's preceptor : a compilation of observations, essays and poetical effusions designed to direct the female mind in a course of pleasing and instructive reading online

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Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry John) Van-LennepThe American lady's preceptor : a compilation of observations, essays and poetical effusions designed to direct the female mind in a course of pleasing and instructive reading → online text (page 17 of 18)
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Thy voice, like music's sweetest tone,

A seraph's soothing voice will glide,
And with its breath attention^ chaiji :

" Thy tears, thy pangs shall pa:33 away ;
" And joy resume her blissfui reign

" In realms where springs eternal day !^'

G. W. C.


Imitatedfrom Petrarch,

Now spring again enlivens all the green,

And, blushing, throws her bloomy treasures
round :

A glowing verdure clothes tlie smiling ground.
And mirth and music gladden the sweet scene.
On budding sprays the joyful birds convene ;

And love on all inflicts his gentle wound;

Yet me no views enliven, no sweet sound
Delights ; nor fragrant bowers, nor skies serene !
But ail luxuriant nature to my sight

Seems like a desert and a dreary wild :

2d2 sonnet ODE.

For oh ! the form that woke my passion proud.
And with entrancing smiles each grief beguil'd,
Is sunk forever in unchanging night,- —
And all my hopes lie buried in her shroud !

G. W. C-


Bard of Valclusa, from thy faithfullyre

What mournful strains for Laura lost arose !

And hapless Camoens pour'd his deeper woes :
Such ills 'gainst love relentless stars conspire.-—

And still he weeps, the god of young desire ;

And still his melting music plaintive flows :
Beauty no respite from the tyrani knows ;

Death still triiuiiphant steals the vital fire !

Lo ! in the grave another star-eyed maid

In the frt sh morn of lovely youth is laid :
Her eyes lu t; sting slumber veil their light.

Ah ! o't r that beauteous form, those limbs com-

Whose s) mmetry the exulting winds disclos'd,
Fall the thick shttdes of death's eternal night !

G. W. C.


That beauteous structure which the world ad-

And for a little space the earth adorn'd,

Yet seem'd alas ! the while

A vision of the sky,

Like a bright summer cloud has pass'd away,
Hhs vanish'd from our sight. ISio trace is left


Of ruins fair behind,

The eye might contemplate

In silent sadness ; or the traveller

Mark with a sigh, and mourn the wreck of things !

Save in my sorrowing verse, —

Save in my joyless heart.

By memory deep enshrin'd, and balm'd with tears,
The dear idea lives. — Ah me ! when fell

Those stately honours, sunk

And levell'd- in the dust,

Hope fled, and joy my darkened sphere. — And say
Have they ilium 'd again my summer hours ?

Has their bright sunshine once

E'er glanc'd across the gloom ?

She too the smiling sorceress, who stole
My infant mind, and lap'd it pleas'd in song,

Now, melancholy boon ! *

My brows with cypress crowns.

Tedious the space of day, and the drear night
Rolls on, yet brings no rest. — A cheerless blank,

A void in nature seems

That nothing can supply !

G. W. C.


IF in oblivious dews I now might steep,
All memory of my soul-consuming grief;
For all my sorrows might I find relief.

And bid these eyes no longer bend to weep ;


The mournful treasure still my heart should keep
Of sad regrets, and shades of pleasures brief;
Of clouded hopes, of vanish'd hours ; but chief
The memory of that maid, engraven deep
In sombre colours on my heart, no power

Of bland forgetfulness should e'er erase !

There is a pleasure left me e'en in woe,

I would not change for joy's entrancing hour :

To muse in sadness on that death-pale face,

And feel how vain is happiness below.

G. W. C.



Author of the Wanderer of Sic'itzerland.

I GAVE my harp to sorrow's hand,
And she has ruled the chords so long,

They will not speak at my command,
They warble only to her song.

Of dear departed hours,

Too fondly loved to last,
< — The dew, the breath, the bloom of flowers,

That died untimely in the blast j*—

Of long, long years of future care

Till lingering nature yields her breath ;

And endless ages of despair

Beneath the judgment-day of death ;—

The weeping minstrel sings.

And while her numbers flow,
jNIy spirit trembles thro' the strings,

And everv note is full of woe.


Would gladness move a sprightlier strain,
Arid wake this wild harp's clearest tones,

The chords, impatient to complain.
Are dumb, or only utter moans.

And yet to soothe the mind

With luxury of grief,
The soul to suffering all resigned

In sorrow's music feels relief.

Thus o'er the light iEolian lyre.

The winds of dark November stray,

Touch the quick nerve of ev'ry wire
And on its magic pulses play ;

Till all the air around.

Mysterious murmurs fill,
—A strange bewildering dream of sound,,

Most heavenly sweet — ^yet mournful still.

O snatch the harp from sorrow's hand,
Hope ! who hast been a stranger long :

O strike it with sublime command,
And be the poet's life thy song !

Of vanish'd troubles sing

Of fears forever fled,
— Of flowers, that hear the voice of spring,

And burst and blossom from the dead !

Of home, contentment, health, repose,
Serene delights, while years increase ;

And weary life's triumphant close
In some calm sunset hour of peace ;

Of bliss that reigns above,
Celestial May of youth,


Unchanging as Jehovah's love,
And everlasting as his truth ; — .

Sing heavenly hope ! — and dart thine hand
O'er my frail harp, untuned so long ;

That harp shall breathe at thy command,
Immortal sweetness thro' thy song.

Ah ! then this gloom controul ;

And at thy voice will start
A new creation in my soul,

And a new Eden in my heart J

Sheffield, Sept. 29, 1806.


THROUGH many a land and clime a ranger,
With toilsome steps, I've held my way ;

A lonely, unprotected stranger.
To stranger's ills a constant prey.

While steering thus my course precarious,

My fortune ever was to find
Men's hearts and dispositions various,

But women grateful, true, and kind.

Alive to ev'ry tender feeling,

To deeds of mercy always prone.

The wounds of pain and sorrow healing,
With soft compassion's sv/eetiest tone.

No proud delay, no dark suspicion.
Taints the free bounty of their heart

They turn not from the sad petition.
But cheerful aid at once impart.

* See page 58.


Form'd in benevolence of nature,
Obliging, modest, gay, and mild,

Woman's the same endearing creature,
In courtly town, or savage wild.

When parch'd with thirst, with hunger wasted,
Her friendly hand refreshment gave :

How sweet the coarsest food has tasted !
How cordial was the simple wave !

Her courteous looks, her words caressing,
Shed comfort on the fainting soul ;—

Woman's the stranger's gen'ral blessing,
From sultry India to the Pole.


MARK ye the Tower whose lonely halls

Re-echo to yon falling stream ?
Mark ye its bare and crumbling walls,

While slowly fades the sinking beam ?

There, oft, when eve in silent trance,

Hears the lorn redbreast's plaintive moan,

Time, casting round a cautious glance.

Heaves from its base some mould'ring stone=

There,. tho' in time's departed day.

War wav'd his glittering banners high ;,

Tho' many a minstrel pour'd the lay.
And many a beauty tranc'd the eye ;

Yet never, midst the gorgeous scene.

Midst the proud feasts of splendid pow'r;,


Shone on the pile a beam serene,
So bright as gilds its falling hour.

Oh ! thus when life's gay scenes shall fade,
And pleasure lose its wonted bloom,

When creeping age shall bare my head,
And point to me the silent tomb ;

Then may Religion's hallow'd flame
Shed on my mind its mildest ray ;

And bid it seek in purer frame
One bright Eternity of Day.


OF gentle manners, and of taste refin'd,
With all the graces of a polish'd mind ;
Clear sense and truth still shone in all she spoke,
And from her lips no idle sentence broke.
Each nicer elegance of art she knew ;
Correctly fair, and regularly true.
Her ready fingers ply'd with equal skill
The pencil's task, the needle, or the quill.
So pois'd her feelings, so compos'd her soul.
So subject all to reason's calm controul.
One only passion, strong, and unconfin'd,
Disturbed the balance of her even mind :
One passion rul'd despotic in her breast,
In every word, and look, and thought confest ;
But that was love, and love delights to bless
The generous transports of a fond excess.


l50N_G. — BY AKENSIDE. 259



SAVIOUR of sinners ! hear thy creature's

And soothe a mind opprest with ev'ry care,
Oh ! let thy word sustain my bleeding breast,
And calm the tumults of my soul to rest.
May I submissive kiss the chast'ning rod
And, tho' in agonies, adore my God.
When the world frowns, and woe to woe succeeds..
When folly triumphs, and when virtue bleeds.
Let not my soul despond, but fixed on thee,
Pursue the prize of l3lest eternity
Firm to that view, let me superior rise
To all the ills of life, and claim the skies.
Oh ! may that gall which to my God was giv'n
Vanquish the world, and raise my soul to heav'n |
And when death o'er me waves his potent wand
Oh ! may I join the great celestial band
To all eternity to sing thy praise,
And know no end of happiness or days.



THE shape alone let others prize,
The features of the fair !

I look for spirit in her eyes,
And meaning in her air.

A damask cheek, and ivory arnm
Shall ne'er my wishes wia;


Give me an animated form,
That speaks a mind within.

A face where awful honour shines,
Where sense and sweetness move,

And angel innocence refines
The tenderness of love.

These are the soul of beauty's frame-,

Without whose vital aid
Unfinish'd all her features seem,

And all her roses dead.

But ah ! where both their charms unite,

How perfect is the view,
With every image of delight.

With graces ever new !

Of power to charm the greatest woe ;

The wildest rage controul ;
Diffusing mildness oVr the brow,

And rapture thro' the soul.

Their power but faintly to express.
All language must despair ;

But go, behold Arpasia's face.
And read it perfect there*



NEAR Avon's banks, a cultur'd spot.
With many a tuft of flow'rs adorn'd,

Was once an aged shepherd's cot.

Who scenes of greater splendor scom'dc



Three beauteous daughters blest his bed.
Who made the little plat their care ;

And ev'ry sweet by Flora spread,
Attentive still they planted there.

Gnce, when still ev'ning veil'd the sky,

The sire walk'd forth and sought the bow'r ;

And bade the lovely maids draw nigh.
And each select some fav'rite flow'r.

The^zr^^ with radiant splendor charm'd,

A variegated Tulip chose ;
The next with love of beauty warm'd,

Preferr'd the sweetly-blushing Rose.

The ihh'd^ who, mark'd with depth of thought^
How these bright flow'rs must droop away ;

An ev'ning Primrose only brought,
Which opens with the closing day.

The sage awhile in silence view'd

The various choice of flow'rs displayed;

And then (with wisdom's gift endued)
Addressed each beauteous list'ning maid :

" Who chose the Tulip's splendid dyes,
" Shall own, too late, when that decays ;

'* That vainly proud, not greatly wise,
" She only caught a short-liv'd blaze :

" The Rose^ though beauteous leaves and sweet,

" It's glorious vernal pride adorn,
" Let her who chose, beware to meet

" The biting sharpness of its thorn.

" But she, who to fair day -light's ti*aln,
" The evening fioxv^r more just preferr'd ;

262 ^ A TABLE.,

" Chose real worth, nor chose in vain,
" The one great object of regard.

" Ambitious thoii^ the Tulip race,
" In all life's varied course beware ;

" Caught with sweet pleasure's roay grace,
'' Do thou^ its sharper thorns beware.

^' Thou^ prudent still, to virtiie^s lore
" Attend, and mark her counsels sage ;

" She, like thy^ozfV, has charms in store,
" To soothe the ev'ning of thine age."

He ceas'd — attend the moral strain,

The muse enlighteji'd pours ;
Nor let her pencil trace in vain

The judgment of the flow'rs.



TIS said of widow, maid, and wife,.
That honour is a woman's life ;
Unhappy sex ! who only claim
A being in the breath of fame.
Which, tainted, not the quick'ning gales
That sweep Sabse's spicy vales.
Nor all the healing sweets restore.
That breathe along Arabia's shore.

The trav'ler, if he chance _to stray,
May turn uncensur'd from his way ',
Polluted streams again are pure.

BY E. MOORE. 263

Anrl deepest wounds admit a cure ;
Ell- vvom-.ii I no redemption knows,
The v^ouiHs of honour never close.

Tho' dis.ant cv'ry hand to guide,
Nor skiii'd en lite's tempestuous tide.
If once her feeble bark recede.
Or deviate fr«m the course decreed :
In vain she seeks the friendly shore.
Her swifter folly flies before ;
The circling ports against her close,
And shut the wand'rer from repose,
'Till by conflicting waves opprcst,
Her'i?)undVing pinnace sinks to rest.

Are there no offerings to atone
For but a single error ; — None I
Tho' woman is avow 'd of old.
No daughter of celestial mould.
Her temp'ring not without ailay.
And form'd but of the finer clay ;
We challenge from the mortal dame,
The strength angelic nature's claim;
Nay more — for sacred stories tell.
That ev'n immortal angels fell.

In vain may death and time subdue
While nature mints her race anew,
And holds some vital spark apart,
Like virtue, hid in ev'ry heart ;
'Tis hence, reviving warmth is seen,
To clothe a naked world in green ;
No longer barr'd by winter's cold.
Again the gates of life unfold ;
Again each insect tries his wing,
And lifts fresh pinions on the spring ;
Again from ev'ry latent root
The bladed stem, and tendril shoot,
Exhaling incense to the skies.
Again to perish, and to rise.

264 A FABLE,

And must weak woman then disown
The change to which a world is prone ?
In one meridian brightness shine.
And ne'er like ev'ning suns decline ?
Resolv'd and firm alone ? — Is this
What we demand of woman ? — Yes !

But should the spark of vestal fire,
In some unguarded hour expire ;
Or should the nightly thief invade
Hesperia's chaste and sacred shade,
Of all the blooming spoils possessed.
The dragon, honour, charm'd to rest, rj
Shall virtue's flame no more return ? ^ '
No more with virgin splendor burn ?
No more the ravag'd garden blow
With spring's succeeding blossom ?— No ?
Pity may mourn, but not restore.
And woman falls — to rise no more.

Within this sublunary sphere,
A country lies — ^no matter where ;
The clime may readily be found.
By all who tread poetic ground ;
A stream, call'd life, across it glides,
And equally the land divides ;
And here, of vice the province lies.
And there, the hills of virtue rise.

Upon a mountain's airy stand.
Whose summit look'd to either land,
An ancient pair their dwelling chose,
As well for prospect as repose ;
For mutual faith they long were fam'd.
And temp'rance, and religion, nam'd.

A numerous progeny divine,
Confess'd the honours cf their line ;
But in a little daughter fair
Was centered more than half their care;
For heav'n, to gratulate her birth.

BY E. MOORE. 265

Gave signs of future joy to earth :
White was the robe this infant wore,
And chastity the name she bore.

As now the maid in stature grew,
(A flow'r just op'ning to the view)
Oft' thro' her native lawns she stray'd,
And wrestling with the lambkins playM.

But when her rising form was seen
To reach the crisis of fifteen ;
Her parents up the mountain's head,
With anxious step their darling led ;
By turns they snatch'd her to their breast,
And thus the fears of age express'd.

O joyful cause of many a care !
O daughter, too divinely fair !
Yon world, on this important day,
Demands thee to a dang'rous way ;
A painful journey, all must go.
Whose dodbted period none can know.
Whose due direction who can find.
Where reason's mute, and sense is blind !
Ah ! what unequal leaders these.
Thro' such a wide perplexing maze !
Then mark the warnings of the wise,
And learn, what love and years advise.

Far to the right thy prospect bend.
Where yonder tow'ring hills ascend ;
Lo ! there the arduous path's in view, ,
Which virtue, and her sons, pursue ;
With toil, o'er less'ning earth they rise,
And gain, and gain, upon the skies.—
Narrow's the way her children tread.
No walk for pleasure, smoothly spread :
But rough, and difficult, and steep,
Painful to climb, and hard to keep.

Fruits immature those lands dispense,
A food indelicate to sense.
Of taste unpleasant, yet from those,


266 A FABLE,

Pure health, with cheerful vigour, flows ;
And strength, unfeeling of decay,
Throughout the long laborious way.

Hence, as they scale that heav'nly road,
Each limb is lighten'd of its load ;
From earth refining still they go.
And leave the mortal weight below ;
Then spreads the strait, the doubtful clears
And smooth the rugged path appears ;
For custom turns fatigue to ease.
And, taught by virtue, pain can please.

At length, the toilsome journey o'er,
And near the bright celestial shore,
A gulph, black, fearful and profound.
Appears, of either world the bound.
Thro' darkness, leading up to light.
Sense backward shrinks, and shuns the sights
For there the transitory train.
Of time, and form, and care, and pain.
And matter's gross incumb'ring mass,
Man's late associates cannot pass.
But sinking, quit the immortal charge,
And leave the wondVing soul at large ; J
Lightly she wings her obvious way.
And mingles with eternal day.

Thither, O thither, wing thy speed,
Tho' pleasure chaniij or pain impede ;
To such th' all-bounteous powV has giv'n,
For present earth, a future heav'n ;
For trivial loss, unmeasur'd gain.
And endless bliss, for transient pain,
Then fear, ah ! fear, to turn thy sight,
Where yonder flow'ry fields invite ;
Wide on the left the path-way bends.
And with pernicious ease descends ;
There sweet to sense, and fair to show.
New-planted Eden seems to blow ;
Trees that delicious poison bear,

BY £. MOORE. 267

For death is vegetable there.

Hence is the frame of health unbracM,
Each sinew slack'ning at the taste,
The, soul to passions yields her throne,
And sees with organs not her own ;
While, like the slumb'rer in the night,
Pleas'd with the shadowy dream of light,
Before her alienated eyes
The scenes of fairy-land arise ;
'Till verging on the gulphy shore.
Sudden they sink, to rise no more.

But list to what thy fates declare,
Tho' thou art woman, frail as fair.
If once thy sliding foot should stray,
Once quit yon heav'n appointed way.
For thee, lost maid, for thee alone.
Nor pray'rs shall plead, nor tears attone ;
Reproach, scorn, infamy, and hate,
On thy returning steps shall wait.
Thy form be loath'd by ev'ry eye.
And ev'ry foot thy presence fly.

Thus arm'd with words of potent sound,
Like guardian-angels plac'd around ;
A charm, by truth divinely cast.
Forward our young advent'rer pass'd.
Forth from her sacred eye-lids sent.
Like morn, fore-running radiance went.
While honour, hand-maid, late assign'd,
Upheld her lucid train behind.

Awe struck, the much-admiring crowd
Before the virgin-vision bow'd ;
Gaz'd with an ever new delight.
And caught fresh virtue at the sight ;
For not of earth's unequal frame
They deem'd the heav'n-compounded dame,
If matter, sure the most refin'd.
High-wrought, and tempered into mind,
Some darling daughter of the day,

268 A FABLE,

And body'd by her native ray.

Where'er she passes, thousands bend,
And thousands, where she moves, attend,
Her ways observant eyes confess,
Her steps pursuing praises bless ;
While to the elevated maid
Oblations, as to heav'n, are paid.

'Twas on an ever-blithsome day,
The jovial birth of rosy May,
When genial warmth no more suppressed.
New melts the frost in evVy breast ;
The cheek with secret flushing dies.
And looks kind things from chastest eyes ;
The sun with healthier visage glows,
Aside his clouded kerchief throws.
And dances up th' etherial plain,
Where late he us'd to climb with pain ;
While nature, as from bonds set free.
Springs out, and gives a loose to glee.

And now for momentary rest.
The nymph her travelled step repressed >
Just turn'd to view the stage attain'd,
And glory'd in the height she gained.

Out-stretch'd before her wide survey,
The realms of sv/eet perdition lay,
And pity louch'd her soul with woe,
To sec a world so lost below ;
When strait the breeze began to breathe
Airs, gently wafted from beneath,
That bore commission'd witchcraft thence,
And reach'd her sympathy of sense ;
No sounds of discord, that disclose
A people sunk, and lost in woes.

But as of present good possessed.
The very triumph of the bless'd ;
The maid in wrapt attention hung.
While thus approaching Sirens sung.

Hither, fairest, hither haste,

BY E. MOORE. 269

Brightest beautj, come and taste

What the pow'rs of bliss unfold ;

Joys too mighty to be told ;

Taste what ecstacies they give, '

Dying raptures taste, and live-

In thy lap, disdaining measure,
Nature empties all her treasure ;
Soft desires, that sweetly languish,
Fierce delights, that rise to anguish f
Fairest, dost thou yet delay ?
Brightest beauty, come away.

List not, when the froward chide,
Sons of pedantry, and pride ;
Snarlers, to whose feeble sense,
April sunshine is offence ;
Age and envy will advise,
Ev'n against the joys they prize,
Come, in pleasure's balmy bowl.
Slake the thirstings of thy soul,
'Till thy raptur'd pow'rs are fainting
With enjoyment, past the painting;
Fairest, dost thou yet delay ?
Brightest beauty, come away.

So sung the Sirens, as of yore,
Upon the false Ausonian shore ;
And, Gh ! for that preventing chain.
That bound Ulysses to the main ;
That so our fair one might withstand
The covert ruin now at hand.

The song her charmVl attention drew,
When now the tempters stood in view ?
Curiosity with prying eyes.
And hands of busy, bold, emprize f
Like Hermes, feather'd were her feet,
And like fore-running fancy fleet.

With her, associate, pleasure came,
Gay pleasure, frolic-loving dame ;
% 2

tiro A FABLE,

Her mien, all swimming in delight,
Her beauties, half reveal'd to sight;
Loose flow'd her garments from the ground,
And caught the kissing winds around.
As erst Medusa's looks were known
To turn beholders into stone,
A dire reversion here they felt.
And in the eye of pleasure melt.
Her glance of sweet persuasion charm'd,
Unnerv'd the strong, the steel' d disarm'd;
No safety, ev'n the flying, find,
Who, vent'rous, looks but once behind.
Thus was the much admiring maid,
, While distant, more than half betray'd.
With smiles, and adulation bland.
They join'd her side, and seiz'd her hand ;
Their touch envenom'd sweets instill'd,
Her frame with new pulsations thrill'd,
While half consenting, half denying,
Reluctant now, and now complying,
Amidst a war of hopes and fears,
Of trembling wishes, smiling tears.
Still down, and down, the winning pair
Compell'd the struggling, yielding fair.
As when some stately vessel, bound
To blest Arabia's distant ground.
Borne from her courses, haply lights
Where Barca's flow'ry clime invites ;
Conceal'd around whose treach'rous land.
Lurks the dire rock, and dang'rous sand j
The pilot warns, with sail and oar.
To shun the much suspected shore.
In vain : the tide too subtly strong,
Stiil bears the wrestling bark along,
'Till found'ring, she resigns to fate,
^ And sinks, o'e^ whelm'd with all her freight*
' V^ So, baffling ev'ry bar to sin,
And^^eav'n's own pilot plac'd within.

BY E. MOORE. 271

Along the devious smooth descent,
With powVs iacreasing as they went,
The dames, accustom'd to subdue,
As with a rapid current drew ;
And o'er the fatal bounds convey'd
The lost, the long-reluctant, maid.

Here stop, ye fair ones, and beware,
Nor send your fond affections there ;
Yet, yet your darling, now deplor'd,
May turn, to you and heav'n restored ;
Till then, with weeping honour wait,
The servant of her better fate.
With honour left upon the shore,
Her friend and handmaid now no more ;
Nor, with the guilty world, upbraid
The fortunes of a wretch betray'd ;
But o'er her failing cast a veil,
Rememb'ring you, yourselves, are frail.
And now, from all-enquiring light.
Fast fled the conscious shades of night ;
The damsel, from a short repose,
Confounded at her plight, arose.

As when with slumb'rous weight oppress'd
Some wealthy miser sinks to rest,
Where felon's eye the glitt'ring prey,
And steal his hoard of joys away.-—

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Online LibraryHenry J. (Henry John) Van-LennepThe American lady's preceptor : a compilation of observations, essays and poetical effusions designed to direct the female mind in a course of pleasing and instructive reading → online text (page 17 of 18)