BETA

To Margaret.

Let Fortune frown ; let Sorrow reign ;1
Thou, ever smiling, meet’st my sight ;2
Thy bosom’s sunshine can disdain3
To yield its empire to the night.4
Of change thy mind no shadow knows,5
Thou art superior to its sway ;6
Mild as the dawn, when orient glows,7
And tranquil as the eve of day.8
Without thy smile to gild the scene,9
And bid the shades of sorrow flee,10
Life had a rayless vision been,11
And earth a wilderness to me ! —12
What more than thee could passion seek ? —13
In vernal softness ever fair,14
There is a lustre on thy cheek15
To bless the eye that gazes there :16
And thou hast that which charms no less,17
A link ’ tween heaven and earth below,18
A heart that melts in tenderness;19
At every tale and tone of wo !20
I would to heaven thou could’st forget,21
There e’er was such as me on earth,22
I would to heaven we ne’er had met,23
If only grief reward thy worth :24
Oh ! often, it hath pained my heart,25
Desponding with its load of care,26
To think in it thou bor’st a part,27
And never changed, and still would’st bear :28
Like some benign, supernal power,29
To cheer my bosom by its beams,30
For ever, on my lonely hour,31
The lustre of thy spirit gleams ;32
For ever, in my evening walk33
My footsteps undirected stray,34
To where, in fondly whispered talk,35
We oft have lived the eve away !36
The eglantine perfumes the air,37
The hawthorn blossoms on the spot ;38
I think of thee—who art not there ;39
I listen—but I hear thee not ;40
I pass my hand across my brow,41
And muse on days that we have seen,42
Contrasting the unhappy now,43
With all the raptures that have been !44
I turn me to the happy years,45
When first our hearts together clung ;46
When ardent hope o’ermastered fears,47
And love was warm, and life was young :48
I turn me to the glowing scenes,49
It was our happy lot to share ; —50
A lapse of darkness intervenes,51
Triumphant o’er the joys that were :52
But still, upon my mind, they rise53
In autumn sweetness, rich and warm,54
As when they first did bless mine eyes ;55
As when they first my heart did charm !56
Oh ! think upon the lovely nights57
For we have roamed on many such ;58
Oh ! think upon our lost delights,59
And do not deem a tear too much !60
When, thro’ the heavens, the cloudless moon,61
Careering, cleaves the pathless sky,62
Around thee gaze, and think how soon63
The summer of the soul can fly !64
How soon, before unwelcome truth,65
The rapturous dreams of hope can fade ;66
How fast the visions of our youth,67
Sink from the sunshine to the shade !68
Is happiness the aim of man,69
The end, and object of his care ?70
How doth he waste his little span,71
On empty trifles, light as air !72
His are the selfish aims of life ;73
For these he sacrifices rest ;74
His years are an eternal strife,75
’Tween promised joy, and hope unblest.76
Oh ! could he list to Wisdom’s tongue,77
And give the reins to Nature’s hands,78
And let his heart be ever young,79
To sink, or swell, as she commands :80
Then, then a happier, nobler race81
Would tread the weary walks of earth ;82
And Vice would shrink from Virtue’s face,83
And Wealth subservient be to Worth.84
My time below has not been much ;85
But I have witnessed storm and shine,86
And never tasted blessings such87
As those my heart hath shared with thine.88
And thou, in proud fidelity,89
Hast stood my beacon through the night,90
And shed, athwart the moonless sea,91
Thy faithful and unfailing light :92
And, when the waves of error drove93
My bark upon the deep to roam,94
Thou ever wert the sheltering cove95
To bid the wanderer welcome home.96
And since the charm will never break 97
Which bound, and binds my heart to thine,98
If grief and joy our portion make,99
Oh ! be the sorrows only mine !100
For thine a constancy hath been,101
Which could the shafts of wo endure ;102
In doubt that ever stood. serene,103
In trial and temptation pure.104
Tho’ many a change, since first we met,105
Hath, frowning, come to mar my lot,106
Thou wert too noble to forget,107
And too well loved to be forgot.108
And, though no earthly recompense109
To thy benignant heart be given,110
Thou hast thy treasure far from hence,111
And thy reward awaits in heaven !112

* Δ’s request shall be most gladly complied with, whenever he puts it in our power to
do so.C. N.