John Morgan.

Original poems, written in hours of leisure online

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Online LibraryJohn MorganOriginal poems, written in hours of leisure → online text (page 1 of 3)
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Lady Leda Sharing the Fates of her Husband

in the Battle Fiekl .... 7

The Universal Book iG

Agnes Dare, the Village Maid . . .19

Pastoral the First 32

Pastoral the Second, or the Lost Lamb . 3S

A Widow in her Bridal Bed ... 44

The Lord's Prayer in Verse . . , .53

The 35th Chapter of Isaiah in Verse . 54

Richmond Hill at Day- Break . . .56

True Religion and True Morality . . 60

A Landscape on the Alps . . . .61

Lines to the late Mr. Haydon ... 63

Shakspeare's Birth-Day . . . .64

The Orphan Child 69

The Grave 72


My dear Friends, —

Many of you are aware that, about three years
ago, I published a volume of Poems, containing
134 pages. Those Poems were on various sub-
jects, and much in the style of the present ones.
I promised, in my address to you in that volume,
that should the work meet with success, I would
increase it's size ; but, as a great number of that
edition has been disposed of amongst you, it would
be useless for you to purchase the same work
over again ; therefore, I shall publish my Poems
in small parts, like the present ; and, whenever I
have manuscript sufficient to make up about seventy
pages, I shall publish it, as 1 have had ample proofs
of your being satisfied with the larger volume. I do
not write for a living nor profit, but entirely for
my own amusement. I have never yet put any of
my books into the hands of a publisher, nor would
I do so until I had tried the opinions of my friends
on a small scale.

I moreover beg to assure you, that any subject
you may read in my writings is purely original,
and never in print before. I have neither copied
nor imitated any person's subject, manner, or style.
What I write, whether censurable or praiseworthy7
is purely my own ; and should I fail in pleasing
you, I shall be more deserving your pity than your
censure, — since I have made the attempt, but na-
ture withheld her hand.


I give this little work the title of having been
written in hours of leisure. Since man's life is
divided into different portions of time, such as
labour or business, sleep, devotion, pleasure, &c.,
still there will be some odd hours and shreds of
time that will not work into any of the above por-
tions, — these I call hours of leisure ; and, that no
vacuum may form itself in any space of our lives,
we should employ those hours in some innocent
pursuit, such as would amuse ourselves and prove
beneficial to others. It is in those hours we should
practise and endeavour to display the abilities
heaven has bestowed on our noble nature ; — it is
in those hours of leisure that I have penned up-
wards of 200 pages of those innocent, and, I hope,
some way amusing Poems. Neither the ambition
of fame nor the hope of gain has induced me to
write ; it is the pure inclination of my soul that
bids me do so.

I shall here conclude my address by saying,

Should the whole world my humble verse refuse,
To the wild woods and gales I'll sing my muse.

I am, my dear Friends,

Your obedient Servant,


London, January, 1848.




'Twas on a smiling summer's morn,
The fields with gentle airs abound,

The sun on golden clouds was borne
With all his eastern glories round.

And here now sat a noble knight,
And by his side a lady fair —

He came to join the glorious fight,
And she in all his fates would share.

But oft he urg'd her to her home.
Where she had left her baby dear ;

Nor wait the bloody fields to roam
Amidst the sounding shield and spear.

Oh, think thy baby needs thee there,
And to thy silent home remove,

And nurse with fond and tender care
The produce of our wedded love.


The fields, where urgent struggles call,
Are but the scene for martial men ;

Now haste and seek thy silent hall,
And wait till I return again.

Oh, hark the clarion sound of war,
Amidst the din of arms is heard ;

Now speed thy courser quick and far,
And shun the dangers of the sv.ord.

There sit thy infant baby dear,

Once more upon his mother's knee,

And wipe away his harmless tear.
And kiss his lips again for me.

And if grim death that haunts the plains
Should light his barbed dart on me.

And life come gushing through my veins,
Think it no more than fate's decree.

Tell thy baby on some future day
Of all his father's glorious fame ;

Speak not a word to him of me.
Should I deserve a coward's name.

When martial trumpets summon me,
I fly to yonder field of fame ;

This day must set a nation free,
Or thou must bear a widow's name.


No tongue shall urge me from the field,
While I can draw my vital breath,

I'll wait the glories fate may yield.
Or bind thy mortal wounds in death.

Duty calls me to the martial plains,
I fear no danger in the strite,

But wait to heal thy leaking veins,
And stop the crimson stream of life.

Should mortal wounds now lay thee low,
Thy Leda's hand will raise thy head,

Or wish for death by that same blow
That struck a gallant husband dead.

And should I lose a husband dear.

Let death now stretch me by his side ;

This very day makes but one year
Since I have been his wedded bride.

Kind heaven aid us with thy care.
Since 'tis the duty of a wife

In all her husbana's fates to share,
And save his feeble web of life.

Whilst thou my babe, devoid of care,
Can'st safely sleep and take thy rest,

Nor dost thou know what troubles tear
The vitals of thy parent's breast.


It is not war that bids me sigh,

From which no nation can be free ;

It is to fear — a widow I,

And a poor orphan thou wilt be.

Thou sun that shed'st thy morning ray,
No doubt beneath thee thousands fall,

Long ere thou shut'st the scene of day,
Or sink'st beneath this earthly ball.

Each soldier now she onwards press'd,
And pointed where their dangers hung

She bound the victory to each breast
With the soft language of her tongue.

Young heroes, will you now be free ?

'Tis that great cause this day we try ;
Yonder stands the flag of liberty,

We win it or this day we die.

Be bondsmen to another state.

The free-born heart must never yield—
This day we try the doubtful fate

In Fealand's wide extended field.

Victory to every heart we bind,
And when the doubtful day is o'er,

Our flags shall wave in freedom's wind,
On every port along the shore.


Now the scatter'd ranks are seen a-far,
Hast'ning o'er the wide extended plain ;

Each trumpet speaks the voice of war,
And mournful is its plaintive strain.

She sees her husband on the field,
With his bright steelly armour on —

She sees his blazing casque and shield
Reflect new rad'ance from the sun.

And now the din of arms is heard

Loudly clashing on the sounding shield,

Each manly warrier plies his sword,

And death with thousands gluts the field.

Round the field she flies with fearful speed,
Her horse is of the martial stud ;

And now she sees a milk-white steed.
His rider deeply stain'd with blood.

Oh, see what horrors meet her sight,
The sparkling tear stands in her eye ;

She sees it is her own dear knight
Mortally wounded in his thigh.

She leap'd from off her courser bold,
While blood ran streaming to the ground;

And took her scarf of silk and gold.
And tightly tied the gaping wound.


His horse was of the warlike breed,
And quickly bore him from her sight ;

She stood and eyed the flying steed
'Till he had mingled in the fight.

The clash of arms again is heard,

And thousands more are newly slain ;

See death in triumph wields his sword,
And steps majestic o'er the plain.

An arrow from a mighty bow

Was aim'd at Lady Leda's head —

It miss'd its aim and past more low,
And struck her fav'rite courser dead.

To no despair her heart could yield,
She grasp'd a dying warrier's sword,

And fac'd the dangers of the field,
In search of her dear absent lord.

Oh, see she treads the sanguine field,
And leaps the liquid streams of gore ;

She eyes each warrior's casque and shield,
But sees not that her husband wote.

His casque was of pure silver bright,

The top with sparkling horse-hair crown'd-

His shield flash'd beams of rad'ant light
On all the warlike scene around


Loudly she call'd her husband's name,
And view'd the casque on every head,

For much she fear'd his thirst for fame
Had laid him low amongst the dead.

Oh, now she heaves and pants for breath,
And see she roams the bloody plain,

And seeks amidst the works of death,
For her dear knight she fears is slain.

Oh, death, she cried, now spare thy hand —
Think how dear a soldier earns his fame,

And see what thousands in this land
Already bear an orphan's name.

And thou, my only baby dear,
Wilt see thy father's face no more ;

His leaking veins so much I fear

Have added to these streams of gore.

Forbear yon cloud to seal that light —
Forbear to hide the setting sun —

Forbear ye gloomy shades of night —
Until the doubtful day be won.

Again she seeks her husband there,
But still she seeks for him in vain ;

At length worn out with long despair.
She faints upon the sanguine plain.


See, a soldier, with more tender heart,
Came flying o'er the distant plains,

For much he fear'd some random dart
Had drunk its fill in her dear veins.

He lights from off his gallant steed,
And heaves her from the gory plain ;

Her breath, her colour, all had fled —
He leaves her there amongst the slain.

And mounts his courser brave and bold,
And measures back the distant plain ;

To her dear knight the truth he told,

That she was stretch'd amongst the slain.

What troubles these sad tidings cost.
Nor to her assistance could he go ;

No moment now couid there be lost,
While they were chasing of the foe.

And now the doubtful day is o'er.

Oh, see what numbers more are slain,

And streams of blood more than before
Run steaming o'er the heathy plain.

And now the dreadful work is done,
Let every tongue with quick reply

Thank heav'n for that glorious sun,
Which still hangs in the western sky.


Oh, sun, what numbers saw thee rise
In blooming health and vigour brave —

Has death for ever clos'd their eyes,

And swept whole thousands to the grave ?

And now her dear victorious knight
In haste flies o'er the heathy plain —

His eyes prepar'd to meet the sight
Of his dear lady basely slain.

But heav'n protect'd his lady fair,
Whom all around believ'd was slain,

Tho' she with grief and sad despair
Had merely fainted on the plain.

He sees her standing on the ground.
With many a comrade at her side ;

Full oft he rides around and round.
And sees her garb with crimson dyed.

Three times he past her gazing eye.

While she could scarce believe her sight ;

'Twas by the scarf that bound his thigh
She first beheld her own dear knight.

His casque and shield that once so bright
Reflect their beaming rays no more —

Those orbs which blaz'd with radiant light
Are deeply stain'd with human gore.

His horse, that was so milky white,
Is now with crimson deeply dyed ;

And all his armour, once so bright,
Is stain'd with gore on every side.

But now she sees her lord again.

And he beholds his lady fair ;
Whom each believ'd had long been slain,

Oh, think what joys their bosoms bear.

And when he saw her free from harm.
To earth he dash'd his batter'd shield ;

He clasp'd her in his folding arm.

And triumphant bore her from the field.


Begin, my muse, begin to sing.

While o'er bless'd nature's laws I look ;
And learn from whence all causes spring,

Of which I read in nature's book.

Arise, my soul, on wings of wind,
The works of nature further trace ;

And tell what wonders thou can'st find
Through all this universal space.


Before yon starry worlds were there,
All space and matter were the same ;

Tho' rudely mix'd in common air,
And Chaos was their early name.

'Till heaven's first almighty cause
These matters to their centres huil'd,

And press'd by gravitating laws,

Around each centre, form'd a world.

Sing, my soul, in heav'n's devotion.
Nor dare deny that pow'r I venture ;

Which sets a thousand worlds in motion,
Rolling round their common centre.

And sing, my muse, in nature's praise,
On all her noble works sublime,

And think a thousand worlds rise
From out of Chaos at one time.

In four elements hang every cause,

The hand of God has plac'd them there

All regulations, rules, and laws,
Fix'd in fire, water, earth, and air.

And all creation's noble race

That breathe our atmospheric air,

Or vegetate the world's wide face,
The common laws of nature share.


Stay, sinner, ere thy day is spent,
Drop a relenting tear and pause ;

Can'st thou behold such grand event,
And yet deny thy God the cause ?

Here see nature's glorious book
Is spread to all the nations round,

And on what page soe'er we look
The works of God therein abound.

See nature's laws extending far,

In ev'ry space their pow'r is shown ;

They rule the distant solar star,

And thousands more to us unknown.

What more can mortal man be taught,
Or what is more for him to know ?

To fill his mind with heav'nly thought,
And learn from whence its pleasures flow.

When man the works of nature know,
And all her laws are understood,

His heart with virtuous deeds will glow,
And all his actions tend to good.

When on creation's laws we look,
Can we the works of heav'n deny ?

We read them all in nature's book.
And prove their truths in yonder sky.


'Twas in a valley rich and green,

Where cowslips rear'd their blooming heads,
And cattle o'er the distant scene

Lay sleeping in their flow'ry beds.

The sun was feeble in his pow'r,

While nature breath'd his beams a-ne\v ;
Like diamonds on each blooming flow'r
Hung glitt'ring gems of amber dew.

I sat me down beside a spring,

Where drooping willows hung around ;

The birds had just begun to sing —
The trees were rich in heav'nly sound.

Far up the vale a village stood,
And to the southern view declin'd ;

Behind it gently rose a wood,

And shelter'd from the northern wind.

Here the heav'nly vale spread open wide,
And shew'd its landscapes rich and new —

Declining back on either side.
And ending in the distant view.


1 sat me by that gentle stream,

And view'd the heav'nly scenes around,
Until the sim's far warmer beam

Had chas'd the dews from off the ground.

The new-born stream so gently glid'd,
Soft music o'er my soul did creep ;

While musing by its lonely side.
My thoughts fell into balmy sleep.

When I awoke, in looking round,
At some small distance from my side,

A miniature in gold I found,

Which bore the features of a maid.

And some sweet flow'rs with roses gay,
Around the miniature were spread ;

A music box still closer lay

In tuneful motion near my head.

I view'd the flow'ry meadows round,
And down beside the infant stream ;

No human features there were found —
'Twas like the phantom of a dream.

At some small distance on the ground.
And by pure accident dropp'd there,

A handsome little book 1 found,

Mark'd with the name of Agnes Dare.

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The miniature I haste to view —

The workmanship was rich and bold ;

The features soft with beaut'ous hue,
Laid in a frame of purest gold.

It was a maiden's lovely face,

But still no tongue was there to tell

What damsel had been at that place,
And left her portrait near the well.

Homeward I bore my lonely way

Along beside the crystal stream,
Where gath'ring waters deeper lay,

Refulgent in the morning beam.

An aged man by chance I met,

Whose brow seem'd furrow'd deep with care ;
His sun of life had nearly set —

His head was crown'd with silver hair.

Come sit you down my gentle sire,
Here Phoebus's beams are falling hot.

While I important truths inquire
About those lands around this spot.

I live in yonder village far.

Whose beauty grace this noble scene ;
For years I've been the guiding star

To all besides that dwell therein.


One sweet blooming daughter dear —
The comfort of my drooping age —

Has just now reach'd the twentieth year
Of life's fair prosperous stage.

Many a youth our village hold,
And full many a maiden fair ;

While some can boast of lands and gold,
Of beauty boast young Agnes Dare.

That name old man I fain would know-
Canst thou but now direct me where ;

Large gifts on thee I will bestow,
For once the sight of Agnes Dare.

This picture hast thou ever seen —

This little music box also —
This book so richly bound in green,

The name upon it doest thou know ?

The aged sire with feeble eye

Now view'd the miniature around ;

To speak his lips full oft did try,
But trembling fear denied tlie sound.

At length he rais'd his aged head —
It is my blooming daughter dear ;

Does she still live, in haste he said.
How came that vaiu'd portrait here?


His eyes with briny tears o'erflow'd,

The stream roU'd down his furrow'd cheek ;

The long white hair that brightly glow'd,
With beaming silver grac'd his neck.

Forbear to weep, my aged sire,

And dry affection's rolling tear ;
May heav'n yet hear thy earnest pray'r,

And bless thy youthful daughter dear.

Hard by the source of this pure stream,
Where drooping willows hang around —

Beneath this morning's early beam
I laid me sleeping on the ground.

When drowsy sleep unseal'd m.y eyes,
Beside the crystal stream I found

This handsome little fav'rite prize,

With blooming flowers strew'd around.

What baneful thoughts did on him roll
When I those words to him did say ;

It seem'd as if his anxious soul

Would quickly leave that house of clay.

Amidst his sorrows, oft he said,

What debt to affection could she owe?

Perhaps this stream rolls o'er her head,
While she lies breathless deep below.


No deceitful love did she adore,
No village youth to her was dear ;

Fly, doubtful thoughts, and now once more
Let hope dry up the pearly tear.

Our village with happiness abound.
And is to all the country dear ;

Sorrows ne'er shade it's happy ground,
Nor troubles found an entrance there.

Upon a spot of rising ground
My happy little mansion stands,

And breathes pure fragrance all around,
From waving woods and pasture lands.

Now come witli me, my youthful swain —
And share the joys my home afford ;

This day with me some friends will dine,
And thou shalt grace my happy board.

If heav'nly peace still dvvelleth there,
Rich aged wines shall flow around ;

Now in my joy or sorrow share,
Until this secret can be found.

Homeward he plod his weary way ;

His thoughts were oft absorbed in care ;
When hope would yield a clieering ray,

'Twas quickly clouded by despair.

When we the village church drew near.

It was the work of ancient day ;
And still what made that pile more dear,

It held Lord Clifford's mould'ring clay.

Come now, my aged sire, tell,

Oh ! quickly tell me now, I pray,

Why sounds that mournful fun'ral knell
Upon this happy summer's day.

On some other day, as stories tell,

When noble Clifford own'd those lands,

He struggl'd, and in battle fell

By Lord Digby's murderous hands.

One youthful son Lord Clifford had,
And he by chance was sent to sea ;

Heav'n knows w^hate'er befel the lad ;
He ne'er was heard of to this day.

And still those noble vales of land
The dire usurpers now enjoy ;

All would fall from their murd'rous hand,
Should heav'n again^restore the boy.

To all this vale the name is dear,
And ev'ry tongue herein can tell

That on this day, in every year,

Is lieard Lord Clifford's fun'ral knell.


Tlie youth with eager ear now heard,
And trembling, listen'd to the tale ;

His tongue forbore to speak a word :
No secret there did he reveal.

Towards his home the sire hast'd,
To meet his blooming daughter dear ;

The youth each eyelid tightly press'd,
And dried therefrom the parent tear.

Through stately walks and ancient bow'rs
The aged sire in haste repair'd ;

And there, amidst rich blooming flow'rs,
His beauteous daughter first appear'd.

Her eyes were of sweet vi'lets blue,
Surrounded by young lilies white ;

Upon her cheeks two roses grew.
Her neck was of pure ivory bright.

A heav'nly maid, by nature form'd.
Complete in every village art ;

Her features ne'er by passion warm'd,
Simplicity was at her heart.

The father spoke, and gently smil'd,
While turning to the stranger youth —

Young man, he said, behold my child,
And know that I have spoke the truth.

Now thronging guests to dinner came,
To celebrate Lord Clifford's day ;

And oft was heard young Edwin's name,
Whom all believe was far away.

When dinner was o'er and mirth went round,
And sparkling joys were in the bowl,

With former tales the roof resound.
For wine had gladden' d every soul.

The father claim'd a silence now.

While all around were mirth and joy ;

Dark horror sadden'd every brow,
Except the youthful stranger boy.

Sweet blooming maid and daughter dear,
Now hearken what thy father say ;

And bring that little portrait here.
Which I've not seen for many a day.

A blush her heav'nly cheeks bestow'd ;

She sought to hide no fault by art ;
Each eye with innocence now glow'd,

For truth sat firmly on her heart.

This morning was so blithe and fair —
Oh, hark ! while I the truth will tell ;

While breathing yonder fragrant air,
I left it near the Landcombe well.


And whosoever finds it lliere,

And kindly should restore the same,

Shall own the hand of Agnes Dare,
And set her free from future shame.

Then here's the portrait, heav'nly maid,
The stranger youth in haste reply'd ;

I now return it back, he said,

And thou must be my happy bride.

Their hands were join'd in love and bliss.
And both did from one goblet sip ;

The stranger smil'd, and snatch'd a kiss
That hung upon her ruby lip.

From whence the youthful stranger came,
No one within that house could tell ;

Nor even knew the youth's right name.
Or how he came so near the well.

Thy name, young man, I fain would know
To this request now answer me ;

See every eye with passion glow.
Anxious to hear what thou wilt say.

Young Edwin Clifford is my name.
This village knew my father well ;

This day relates his dying fame,
On yonder mournful fun'ral knell.


Some eyes were fix'd upon the youth,
And many on the blooming maid ;

For much they doubted of the truth,
Of what Lord Edwin just had said.

But if Lord Clifford's son thou be,
Canst thou confirm that sacred truth ;

That every eye around may see.

And hail thee as the long-lost youth ?

This signet you have seen before,
Let the armorial now be tried :

That self-same ring my father wore
Upon the very day he died.

When I was banish'd from these lands —
Oh, hard have been my cruel fates —

By some dar'd villain's secret hands,
While he enjoy'd my rich estates.

Now every ear with horror thrill'd —
No tongue was heard to yield a sound

The aged sire each goblet fill'd.

And hand the sparkling joys around.

Oh, let the minstrel hither come,
And instrumental music bring.

To welcome Edwin Clifford home.
On every vibrating string.


The village with new mirth abound,
And ceas'd its mournful fun'ral knell ;

The rustic tow'r, with ivy ciown'd,
Proclaim'd its joys on ev'ry bell.

And now our festive mirth's begun,

Each heart with swelling joys expands

We hail thee as Lord Clifford's son,
And drive a murderer from thy lands.

But when the festive joys were o'er,
Lord Clifford claim'd the village maid,

Whom he had promis'd, just before,
Should soon become his happy bride.

But still her father wish'd not so,
And smiling to Lord Clifford said —

Thou .shouldst that promise now forego.
And wed some noble honour'd maid.

When rank and title round thee stand,
With all their courtly pomp and pride,

Perhaps they may refuse a hand
To one who was a village maid.

To fetters of a courtly life

The free-born heart can never yield ;
A village maid should be the wife

Of one who tills your lordship's field.


No words that youth or age might say,
The affection from his heart could movo ;

And oft he nam'd that happy day

Their hands should join in purest love.

And when the bridal day was come,

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Online LibraryJohn MorganOriginal poems, written in hours of leisure → online text (page 1 of 3)