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Fugitive Pieces

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Through the cracks in these battlements loud the winds whistle,

For the hall of my fathers is gone to decay;

And in yon once gay garden the hemlock and thistle

Have choak'd up the rose, which late bloom'd in the way.

Of the barons of old, who once proudly to battle

Led their vassals from Europe to Palestine's plain;

The escutcheon and shield, which with ev'ry blast rattle,

Are the only sad vestiges now that remain.

No more does old Robert, with harp-stringing numbers,

Raise a flame in the breast, for the war laurell'd wreath,

Near Askalon's Towers John of Horiston slumbers,

Unnerv'd is the hand of his minstrel by death.

Paul and Hubert too sleep in the valley of Cressy,

For the safety of Edward and ENGLAND they fell,

My fathers! the tears of your country redress ye,

How you fought! how you died! still her annals can tell.

On Marston with Rupert 'gainst traitors contending,

Four Brothers enrich'd with their blood the bleak field

For Charles the Martyr their country defending,

Till death their attachment to royalty scal'd.

Shades of heroes farewell! your descendant departing,

From the seat of his ancestors, bids ye adieu!

Abroad, or at home, your remembrance imparting

New courage, he'll think upon glory, and you.

Though a tear dims his eye at this sad separation,

'Tis nature, not fear, which commands his regret;

Far distant he goes with the same emulation,

In the grave, he alone can his fathers forget.

Your fame, and your memory, still will he cherish,

He vows that he ne'er will disgrace your renown;

Like you will he live, or like you will he perish,

When decay'd, may he mingle his dust with your own.


Footnote 1:

Horiston Castle, in Derbyshire, an ancient seat of the B—r—n family.

Footnote 2:

The battle of Marston Moor, where the adherents of CHARLES I. were defeated.

Footnote 3:

Son of the Elector Palatine, and related to CHARLES I. He afterwards commanded the Fleet, in the Reign of CHARLES II.

TO E——.

Let Folly smile, to view the names

Of thee and me in friendship twin'd,

Yet virtue will have greater claims

To love, than rank with vice combin'd.

And though unequal is thy fate,

Since title deck'd my higher birth;

Yet envy not this gaudy state,

Thine is the pride of modest worth.

Our souls at least congenial meet,

Nor can thy lot my rank disgrace;

Our intercourse is not less sweet,

Since worth of rank supplies the place.

November, 1802.



Hush'd are the winds, and still the evening gloom,

Not e'en a zephyr wanders through the grove,

Whilst I return to view my Margaret's tomb,

And scatter flowers on the dust I love.


Within this narrow cell reclines her clay,

That clay where once such animation beam'd;

The king of terrors seiz'd her as his prey,

Not worth, nor beauty, have her life redeem'd.


Oh! could that king of terrors pity feel,

Or Heaven reverse the dread decree of fate,

Not here the mourner would his grief reveal,

Not here the muse her virtues would relate....