Lament of the Genii,

A Fragment,

Written Upon the Occasion of Lady E—— Leaving
the Sea Coast for the Metropolis.

As I paced the ocean shore,1
Listening to its ceaseless roar,2
Genii of the land and sea3
Held unwonted colloquy. 4
Once, within the southern zone,5
Magic arts to me were shown ;6
Sparkles of their fire I caught,7
Lore by years of wandering bought.8
Well I know, by mystic sign,9
When unearthly powers combine:10
Though the cold ungifted ear11
Nothing in that roar can hear,12
I can read its voice, and know13
Hoary Ocean speaks in wo.14
Genius of the ocean speaks:15
Sea-girt City, weeping, say,16
Must we lose our all to-day?17
For what dire offence must I18
Pay this scornful penalty?19
Have ye not my breezes blown20
Round the dwelling once her own,21
Fanning, with your lightest wing,22
Bowers where youth was blossoming?23
Did I not at evening, too,24
All my anxious cares renew,25
With a gently rippling sound,26
Lull each sense to rest profound?27
From my shores she yet would flee!28
Have ye blown too faint or free,29
Spirits of the boundless main?30
If too free, I will restrain ;31
If too faint, I will unbind32
Every tributary wind.33
As the passing bark at night34
Sheds a transient glorious light,35
When the lamp upon its prow36
Shows the illumined wave below,37
So upon my shores she came,38
Bright and fitful as the flame ;39
Faithless as the dream of hope,40
Fleeting as the antelope ;41
Seen, alas ! but to depart,42
Yet imprinting on the heart43
All that fancy loves to trace,44
Eye of fire and form of grace.45
City of the Ocean, say,46
Must we lose our all to-day?47
Some unthought-of joy supply,48
To avert this penalty ;49
Bid the chariot wheels delay,50
Drive the fated hour away ;51
Oh, her visit still prolong,52
Like some soul-entrancing song,53
Sweeter as it lasts more long.54
City of the Ocean, say,55
Must we lose our Queen to-day?”56