John Morgan.

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Go little book, andjto the world impart

The nat'ral feelings of an am'rous heart,

That some unborn, far in a future age,

May read my thoughts with pleasure on thy page.

Not always in the rich and great we find

The brightest genius of the human mind :

Oft in a humble cottage may be found

Lips that breathe a pure poetic sound.

Where nature's index points, we always find,

Rich streams of matter flowing through the mind.







Cathmanda in the Wood ... - page 7

They have borne away my Mary ... 16

One hour in Windsor - - - - 18

The Old Tree ..... 21

Pastoral the First - - - - -25

Pastoral the Second - - - 30
William Mansfield, on hearing the situation of young Fanny

Elmore ...... 35

Written in a Thunder Storm - 36

A dispute between two Lovers 38

Asking a favour ..... 40

Written in praise of the Heroes of the late French War - 41

Exchanging a Flower for a Kiss ... 46

An Elegy written at the Funeral of a Girl nine years old - 47

The Summer of Youth, and Winter of Old Age - 48

The Last Farewell 50

Written in praise of Beer ... - 52

On the Banks of the Wye - - - - 53

Shewing the Atheist the Works of Nature - - 57

The Battle Dream . - - - - 101


You are aware that it is with great reluct-
ance I have submitted to your long persuasion of
publishing this little volume. You have often tried
to induce me to do so, but as I had a dislike of having
anything to do with the press, have, for a long time,
evaded your wishes. You know that I have written
mostly for my own pleasure, because writing of this
description is to me pleasant. Numerous pieces I have
written, but through neglect have lost them. Some I
have sent to you for your inspection, and have never
had them returned ; and other portions of my writings
have been accidentally burnt. In submitting this
little volume for your inspection, I trust its readers
will be gratified by a perusal, as it will give me great
pleasure to hear that I have given satisfaction. If my


writings, generally, have given you pleasure by the
mere reading of them in manuscript, surely they must
be equally acceptable, now they are printed. As

works of this kind are written entirely from the ima-
gination of the poet to the imagination of the reader
or hearer, it is evident that whatever impression rises
in the mind of the writer, he must endeavour with the
same ardour to impress it on the mind of the hearer
or reader. If the writer can accomplish this, there
is no doubt but that the same degree of pleasure would
be imparted to the peruser, as the author felt when
he wrote the subject. That one heart should vibrate
■with the same degree of feeling as the other, is all a
poet can hope to give or a reader expect to receive.
But this depends entirely on the reader's ear ; if he
have no poetical ear — no feeling for the sublime —
no taste for the fine arts — he can never expect to
have his imagination roused, not even by the finest
writer on earth. If he ever found pleasure in read-
ing any poetical work, he must have some taste, as
there is no pleasure without some degree of taste.

It is too often the case that those who have no taste
must have something to do ; they turn critics,
though perhaps never able to put two sentences to-
gether well in their lives. They envy the talent
heaven has bestowed on another, and often act, as
Mr. Pope said,

" Bold in the practice of mistaken rules,
Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools."

Real critics, those who are the masters of that art,
are of great service to point out the errors of the au-
thor; but where we have one real critic we have a
thousand pretended ones, who endeavour to turn every
rose into a thistle, and envy the talent they never
can reach. If a master wish to employ a mechanic,
he should never hearken to what his friends or foes
might say of his abilities : he should see the man's
work, and then he can judge at once all about him.
This is the only true scale in which the merit of
every man ought to be tried. I boast of no talent
or merit, nor look for any reward ; but I lay this
little volume before you because you wished me to


do so ; and should I be assured that you find the
same degree of pleasure in reading it as I did in
writing it, I have no doubt but it will soon increase
in size, but if not my pen drops for ever into obli-
vion, as thousands before have done who have failed
in their attempt to please. But should I fail in
the same way, I hope your pardon will be before your
censure, since you must be aware all human nature is
limited, and none can exceed its bounds.

Therefore, my dear friends and readers, I implore
your pardon for anything I might have done or
said which is inconsistent with religion, morality,
or good feeling towards mankind ; and shall beg for
ever to remain,

Your most humble, sincere, and

devoted servant,

John Morgan.

London, Nov. 1811.


The sun had sunk deep in the west,
The trees in solemn silence stood ;

The birds had sought their lonely rest
Within the bosom of the wood.

Benighted was a damsel fair,

Weeping, she stood beneath some trees ;
The ringlets of her light brown hair

Were trembling in the dewy breeze.

The distant spot she wish'd to gain

Was where her father's mansion stood;

But still she wish'd, and wish'd in vain,
No path led there but through the wood.

By chance the heav'ns had lower'd that night,
And gloomy clouds were rolling on ;

No moon or star had lent its light,
In absence of the setting sun.


But I the howling tempest fear'd,
Had early penn'd my fold that day ;

And homewards through a path I steer'd,
Which led across some fields of Lea.

When near where Eldon's rolling stream
In shining waters deeper stood —

I heard a female's piteous scream
Burst from the margin of the wood.

Amaz'd, I stood with phrenzy wild,
And view'd the distant gloomy spot ;

And there I thought some way-lost child
Had wander'd from a distant cot.

At length there stood before my eyes,
A heav'nly maid in rich attire ;

It swell'd my soul with new surprise —
She was the daughter of yon squire.

Why stand you here sweet blooming maid,
Bewailing sorrows dismal mood ?

Oh ! I'm afraid, kind. youth, she said,
To wander through that lonely wood.

Long time I've waited near this place,
A lover's promis'd hand to meet ;

'Till night has spread its gloomy face,
And heav'nly dews have bath'd my feet.


Softly on her breathing bosom fair,
The airs of virgin spring had play'd ;

And spread the ringlets of her hair
In sad confusion round her head.

In pensive woe she wept aloud,
My heart was smitten at her cries ;

No drops were falling from the cloud —
Enough fell from her streaming eyes.

At length faint words her silence broke,
Tho' they were mingl'd with her sighs ;

Still plain to me as if she spoke —
I read their meaning in her eyes.

Forbear to weep my lovely maid,
And cease ye briny tears to flow ;

These hands shall be your faithful guide
Safe to the place you wish to go.

Tho' she was heiress to that land,

And all the groves that round us stood ;

Yet she receiv'd my humble hand

To guide her through the lonely wood.

Near where her father's mansion stood,
Confusion widely spread around;

The neighbours search'd each grove and wood,
But fair Cathmanda was not found.


Her father too with hasty tread,

Search'd through the halls and every room ;
And weeping, shook his aged head,

That hung with blossoms of the tomb.

All my possessions I will give,

And all my stores of gems and gold ;

Could I but once more see her live,
Or hear her absence cause unfold'd.

In unregarded woe I stand,

No friend to raise my aged head ,

No youthful daughter's tender hand,
The balm of life around to spread.

Tho' she is heiress to this land

That lies around my mansion wide ;

Yet I'll consent to give her hand
To be her fondest lover's bride.

And should he be a virt'ous youth,

Tho' scanty be his humble lot ;
His heart imbu'd by love and truth,

High titles and riches matter not.

But should I live to see my child

Wrapp'd in misfortune's direful doom ;

Or by some villain's hand beguil'd,
'Twill bend my honors to the tomb.


My snowy locks, and aged head,
Cannot survive this sorrow long ;

And may the world my troubles read
In some kind poet's future song.

For thee I still will weep and sigh,
Until the midnight hour be past ;

Then down in sorrow I will lie,
And joyfully breath out my last.

And should she not by then return,
To sooth her aged father's care ;

His lamp of hope wiH cease to burn,
And vanish for ever in despair.

And while his lips these words impart,
Each eyelid glitt'ring with a tear,

Strange impulse flutter'd at his heart,
And deep confusion struck his ear.

The hall's re-echo'd with a sound
Unusual at that hour of night ;

New joys and mirth were fleeting round,
And every lamp was shining bright.

The aged sire in haste was there,

And sent around his eager views ;
While on the verge of deep despair

He met that sweet reviving news.

b 2


The halls with shouts of joy resound,
The menials voices echo'd' wild ;

The father view'd each face around,
But could not yet behold his child.

At length her heav'nly voice was heard
Soft stealing on her father's ear ;

His tongue forbore to yield a word,
But not his eye to yield a tear.

Like midnight's soft refreshing dew,
That on the drooping flowers fall ;

So did her voice each face renew,

When she breath'd her accents in the hall.

Thy father's peace is now restor'd,
And tears of joy are falling fast ;

A blessing I from heaven implor'd —
Is now bestow'd on me at last.

Rise Cathmanda from thy bending knee,
And let the harp thy hands employ ;

Since my last hope is fix'd in thee,
Come then and share thy father's joy.

Thy aged parent worn with care,
Will now for ever cease to mourn ;

And every maid our joys shall share,
Whose kindness welcom'd thy return.


But still thy plaintive tale I'll hear
With accents high ; oh ! let me press

That thou will tell thy father's ear,
What caus'd thy absence and distress ?

Beneath the shadow of yon grove,

That lies some distance from my home ;

To meet my first young love I strove —
But he unfaithful did not come.

No hand my virtues have disgrac'd ;

While I in waiting amhush stood, —
Dark clouds the beams of heav'n defac'd —

And shut me up within the wood.

While there, a gentle youth I met,

Whose hand and heart to me were kind ;

When I with heav'nly dews were wet,
His pleasing words inspir'd my mind.

He kindly offered me that aid,

While I 'midst fear and trembling stood ;-
That would protect a virtuous maid

Safely through the dangerous wood.

Tho' he's a stranger to the great,
His heart is gentle, soft and kind ;

And love's strong flame has left a heat
Deep in the recess of my mind.


Her father wildly gazing round —

Where is the stranger? now he cri'd —

And soon the pleasing youth was found
Standing hard by Cathmanda's side.

"Who is thy father, tell, my youth —
His possessions, and his name ;

Conceive no wrong, but speak the truth,
Of what family or what birth you came ?

My father lives hard by the Tone,
An ancient river fresh and clear ;

The land he tills is all his own,
And I'm his only son and heir.

Of no lordly titles we're possess'd,
Purchas'd with blood in battle fields ;

With peace and plenty we are bless'd —
When harvest to the sickle yields.

The watchful farmer's honest care
Is all our fields and flocks require ;

And when we in their bounty share,
What more can man desire.

Many with gold and titles high —

Have oft disgrac'd an honor'd name ;

Tho' now in deep oblivion lie,
Have left behind eternal shame.


But since a law to man is giv'n —

And to his race alone confin'd ;
The first great cause was breath'd in heav'n,

That man should own a noble mind.

And when that mind is form'd complete,
By laws that heav'n and nature gave ;

Sometimes it lustres in the great,

And sometimes brightens in the slave.

The father's heart beat high with joy,
And all his aged features smil'd,

While he bless'd the stranger boy —
And gave to him his only child.

Go happy youth, enjoy thy prize —
The flow'r of Europe now is thine !

And may your lovely offsprings rise
Like grapes upon the pliant vine.


Now in a grove so thick and green,
To Cypress gloomy shades I fly ;

And sit to weep the pride of men,
Who will not listen to my sigh.

While earth conceal'd the light of day,
And all the skies were bright and starry ;

Beneath the moon's unclouded ray,
They bore away my Mary.

They may as well forbid the sun,

And tell the stars to cease their shining ;

As bid me from my promise run,
Or set my love the least declining.

What direful rage her brothers show,
While her to distant lands they carry ;

Tho' ocean's waves between us flow,
My heart is ever with my Mary.

The angry waves may rage and roll,
And space deny our speaking ;

When faithful love inspires the soul,
'Twill bind the heart from breaking.


From all her friends I turn my face,

No longer in this land I tarry ;
But haste to find that distant place —

Where they have borne my Mary.

Through burning sands and diff'rent climes
I'll trace the rolling globe around —

From snow-clad poles to Peru's mines,
Where human features can be found.

Through heav'n's wide space yon star I trace,

Whose path does never vary ;
Oh ! lead me to that secret place —

Where they have borne my Mary.

And now kind fortune's fav'rite wheel,
Roll'd by the timely hand of fate ;

My uncle dies, and by his will
He gives to me his whole estate.

Now from her haughty brother's hands

I claim my fav'rite maid ;
Tho' she may live in distant lands —

Or deep in dust her bones be laid.

And now their stony hearts relent,
Since kind fortune smil'd on me ;

They of their haughty deeds repent,
And sent the news across the sea.


While earth conceal'd the light of day,
And all the skies were bright and starry ;-

Beneath the moon's unclouded ray,
They bore me back my Mary.


Windsor ! behold a stranger calls,
From Britain's darling city bound ;

He begs to view thy royal walls.
And sing thy beauties all around.

No surly winds are howling loud,

The groves unfold their mantles green;

The sun climbs up from cloud to cloud,
And pours its genial rays between.

Upon that lofty summit high,

So richly form'd by nature's hands ;

Where Briton's pride and glory lie,
And Windsor's lofty castle stands.

Within the walls a tower rise,

By sloping groves and ramparts bound ;
From whence the stranger turns his eye

On groves and lawns and streams around.


Hark ! the forest with wild voices ring,

The groves, the streams, the vales among ;

But not one word of thee I sing —

Since Pope has made thee rich in song.

In pasture meadows deep below
A gliding stream attracts the eye ;

The Thames has not forgot to flow,
But gently passes Windsor by.

Here on those banks in early days

Young poets came their songs to sing ;

And with new ivy trimm'd their lays,
And view'd their temples in the spring.

Far o'er the meadows fresh and green,
There Eton's ancient College rise ;

Adding new beauties to the scene —
Deserving of a poet's praise.

Now in the royal slopes I stand
'Midst rising beauties all around;

Oh ! could there e'er in Eden's land
A richer sight than this be found ?

Could Eden's garden in its day

Add one beauty to thy scene :
Fountains streaming in the sunny ray,

'Midst flowers and shrubs of evergreen.


And in those slopes of festive land
Some fav'rite shrubs are to be seen ;

Planted by Adelaide's royal hand

When she was Britain's reigning Queen.

I thank thee, Windsor, for thy sight,
On which I've feast'd my longing eyes ;

Could I but stay with thee this night —
I'd spare to morrow in thy praise.

Ye, royal vaults, to you I fly,

Where England's monarchs, once so dear,
Stripp'd of their pomp and glory lie ;

And scarcely now can claim a tear.

Since kings must lay their sceptres down,
And all return from whence they came ;

What value is the richest crown,
When royalty is but a name !


How many years have past — old tree,

Since I this spot have seen ;
In childhood oft thou shelter'dst me,

When I liv'd near this green.

When on my nurse's arm I lay,

She oft did hring me here ;
And soothing words to me did say,

To dry my infant tear.

When first my feet were taught to walk,

'Twas here beneath this tree ;
And here I learnt to lisp and talk,

While on my nurse's knee.

When I could talk and run alone,

'Twas here I us'd to play ;
Thy branches are the same, I own,

As on my infant day.

In storms a shelter oft I found

Beneath this fav'rite tree ;
When wind and rain came whistling round,

Thou oft hast shell er'd me.


And from the heat of summer sky,

To thee I oft did run ;
Beneath thy shady branches lie,

Hid from the scorching sun.

And as from childhood up I grew,

I bore thee in my sight ;
"When at yon school I could thee view,

And bless thy lonely site.

And here beneath thy shady boughs,
The swains would often throng :

To see young damsels milk their cows,
And hear the rustic song.


Young Lovell too with Mary Grey,

Sweet people of the glade ;
Oft here would spend their holiday,

"Within thy cooling shade.

When I grew on, to manhood came,

This tree was still as gay ;
His aged limbs seem'd much the same,

As on my infant day.

Again within thy stately bow'r,

With manly joys of mind ;
I spend full many an evening hour

In whispering tales so kind.


I carv'd my name on thy thick bark

When I last visit'd thee ;
And tho' it now is nearly dark,

Those letters I can see.

Beneath thy spreading branches fair,

In early days of life,
Full many a swain has gather'd here,

And found a future wife.

A fancy tree so richly green,

Shelter from storm or sun ;
No tongue can tell what deeds have been

Beneath thy branches done.

Many circles round that centre light
This rolling earth have made ;

Since thou had bless'd me with thy sight,
Or wrapp'd me in thy shade.

And now once more I come to see

My happy natal spot ;
Where stands this long forgotten tree —

But not my natal cot.

Companions of my childhood day,

No face of yours I see ;
All things are gliding fast away !

But not this noble tree.


How swells the feeling heart with joy,
The eye wrings out a tear ;

To see the spot when I, a boy,
Was then to me so dear.

Deserted is this ancient tree,
No playful youths around ;

No blooming damsels here I see
To raise the vocal sound.

The walls are fading fast away
By time's all-withering hand ;

No relics of the former day,
Upon the green now stand.

But thou> art quite as fair — old tree,

And lookest just as gay
As when thou first did'st shelter me

On my young infant day.



[the time is early in the morning.]

Not on you Arcadian plains I choose
To raise my early strains and sing my muse ;
Tho' oft on you the shepherds us'd to throng
To feed their flocks and sing their rural song.
And what delightful tales we hear of old,
Upon those pleasant plains by shepherds told ;
But I upon my native hills do choose
To feed my flocks and sing my slender muse.
What hills between the poles can finer be
Than those that overlook my native sea ?
Upon these hills my youthful lambs I keep —
Betwixt the cooling shades I feed my sheep.


Not Arcadia's plains can give a fairer view

Than my sweet native hills I find on you ;

When on your lofty tops in early spring,

Forth from the sylvan shades my flock I bring.

The purest pasture nature gives I find,

And feed my sheep in cool refreshing wind ;

No sweeter breezes o'er a flock can blow

Nor purer streams through Arcadia's plains can flow,

And here amidst the breeze and springs I choose

To feed my flocks and sing my rural muse ;

Now western zephyrs balm the early morn —

The vallies echo to the huntsman's horn.

The silver streams in silence creep along,

And wait at times to catch the thrushes song :

The larks leave the hills, singing as they rise,

Until their voice steals into the clouds and dies.

When from my hills the sun withdraws his light,

Philomel swells her strains and charms the night ;

All nature at her voice stands silent round,

The gentle breezes list'ning to the sound.

By night in spring these vocal notes I hear,

'Till silent sleep denies them to my ear;

Not on Arcadian plains could I choose

So sweet a spot to hear the nightly muse.


Still sweeter are the notes my Delia sing,

Whose lofty strains make rocks and wood to ring ;

When first the sun beams in the morn appear,

The music of my Delia's voice I hear.

As forth she comes to feed her father's sheep,

Whose flocks in pasture joining mine she keep ;

Her notes they rise so slender and so clear,

That silent stand the vocal birds to hear.

The groves, the dales, and all the hills along,

Now echo back the chorus of her song ;

The golden fishes in the streams now hear,

And leap to catch the sound in vernal air.

Oft times the music of my flute I try —

But when she sings all other echos die ;

No iriore ye hills the doves from you shall rove,

My Delia's voice invites them to her grove.

Ye thrushes round her cot now tune your throats,

And teach your young by time to chant her notes;

You happy birds are welcome to her grove,

But why from me does she withhold her love?

Oft times in early morn when skies are blue,

Towards her flock she treads the liquid dew ;

And now I haste and meet her in the grove,

And claim the favour of her tender love.

But what if she that favour should denv,

it 7

Then all my earthly joys will fade and die ;

Fear not, my Delia, to meet me in the grove,

Heav'n knows these hands will not assault my love.

Until her features smile with purest bliss,

Even my lips forbare to steal a kiss ;

And now my Delia comes — I haste to meet,

My knees shall kiss the ground before her feet.

Now hand in hand behold my lifted eyes,

And catch the heav'nly smile the first that rise ;

Not a word she speaks — her flashing colour flies,

At length the heaving smiles begin to rise.

Each soften'd smile she crown'd with heav'nly bliss,

And rising from my knees I met the falling kiss ;

Now flocks and flow'ry gardens were our tale,

And smiling she invit'd me down the vale —

To view the spot on which her cottage stood,

A mansion all surrounded by a wood ;

The fragrance of her garden scents the air,

No flow'r that eye can seek but bloometh there.

Sweet vines around her straw thatch'd cottage creep,

And roses through her midnight casement peep ;

Beside her cottage stands a laurel bow'r,

Where oft is seen the queen of every flow'r.


And here my Delia in the morn serene,

Tunes her lyre beneath the laurel green ;

The sun now drives the dews from yonder hills,

Our flocks invite us to the cooling rills.

Beneath yon btech that throws his shade along,

There every bird again shall hear our song ;
And Delia now to please my long desire,

Brings from her bower the tuneful lyre.

First the scatter'd sheep we to thir pasture bring,

Then teach the hills and dales to music sing ;

Now all is done, my Delia's heart is kind,

Her rising notes fly quiv'ring through the wind.

Forbare each bird to leave the sylvan grove,

And charm the harder hearts of swains to love ;

Behold the blossom on my garden trees,

That gives its sweetness to feed my bees.

And on the daisies, in the verdant mead,

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Online LibraryJohn MorganPoetical works → online text (page 1 of 6)