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Warning, said Richard, seems the only thing Or looks for pardon ere the ill be done, That would a spirit on an errand bring; Because 'tis vain to strive our fate to shun; To turn a guilty mind from wrong to right In spite of ghosts, predestined woes would A ghost might come, at least I think it.
And warning add new terrors to our doom. But, said the Brother, if we here are tried, Yet there are tales that would remove our A spirit sent would put that law aside;
doubt, It gives to some advantage others need, The whisper'd tales that circulate about, Or hurts the sinner should it not succeed: That in some noble mansion take their rise, If from the dead, said Dives, one were sent And told with secrecy and awe, surprise : To warn my brethren, sure they would It seems not likely people should advance,
For falsehood's sake, such train of circumBut Abraham answer'd, if they now reject
stance; The guides they have, no more would that Then the ghosts bear them with a ghosteffect;
like grace, Their doubts too obstinate for grace would That suits the person, character, and place.
But let us something of the kind recite: For wonder hardens hearts it fails to move. What think you, now, of Lady Barbara's Suppose a sinner in an hour of gloom,
spright?And let a ghost with all its horrors come; I know not what to think; but I have heard From lips unmoved let solemn accents flow, A ghost, to warn her or advise, appear'd; Solemn his gesture be, his motion slow; And that she sought a friend before she died Let the waved hand and threatening look To whom she might the awful fact confide,
Who seal'd and secret should the story keep Truth to the mind and terror to the heart: Till Lady Barbara slept her final sleep, And, when the form is fading to the view. In that close bed, that never spirit shakes, Let the convicted man cry: this is true! Nor ghostly visitor the sleeper wakes.Alas! how soon would doubts again invade Yes, I can give that story, not so well The willing mind, and sins again persuade! As your old woman would the legend tell, I saw it-What?-1 was awake, but how? But as the facts are stated; and now hear Not as I am, or I should see it now: How ghosts advise, and widows persevere. It spoke, I think, I thought, at least, it
spoke, And look'd alarming-yes, I felt the look. But then in sleep those horrid forms arise, That the soul sees,-and, we suppose, the When her lord died, who had so kind a heart,
That any woman would have grieved to part, And the soul hears,—the senses then thrown It had such influence on his widow's mind,
That she the pleasures of the world resign'd, She is herself the ear, herself the eye; Young as she was, and from the busy town A mistress so will free her servile race Came to the quiet of a village down; For their own tasks, and take herself the Not as insensible to joys, but still
With a subdued but half-rebellious will; In sleep what forms will ductile fancy take, For she had passions warm, and feeling And what so common as to drea awake?
strong, On others thus do ghostly guests intrude? With a right mind, that dreaded to be Or why am I by such advice pursued ?
wrong ; One out of millions who exist, and why Yet she had wealth to tie her to the place They know not-cannot know--and such Where it procures delight and veils disgrace;
Yet she had beauty to engage the eye, And shall two beings of two worlds, to meet, A widow still in her minority; The laws of one, perhaps of both, defeat? | Yet she had merit worthy men to gain, It cannot be-But if some being lives And yet her hand no merit could obtain; Who such kind warning to a favourite gives, For, though secluded, there were trials made, Let him thene doubts from my dull spirit When he who soften'd most could not clear,
persuade; And once again, expected guest! appear. Awhile she hearken'd as her swain proposed, And if a second time the power complied, And then his suit with strong refusal closed. Why is a third, and why a fourth denied ? Thanks, and farewell !-give credit to my Why not a warning ghost for ever at our
That I shall die the widow of my lord; Ah, foolish being ! thou hast truth enough, / 'Tis my own will, I now prefer the state, Augmented guilt would rise on greater if mine should change, it is the will of fate.
Snch things were spoken, and the hearers Blind and imperions passion disbelieves,
cried, Or madly scorns the warning it receives, l 'Tis very strange, -perhaps she may be tried. The lady past her time in taking air, While the kind friend so gently blamed the In working, reading, charities, and prayer;
deed, In the last duties she received the aid He smiled in tears, and wish'd her to proceed; of an old friend, a priest, with whom she For the boy pleased her, and that roguish eye
And daring look were cause of many a sigh, And to his mansion with a purpose went, When she had thought how much would such That there should life be innocently spent;
quick tem per try: Yet no cold vot’ress of the cloister she, And oft she felt a kind of gathering glooin, Warm her devotion, warm her charity; Sad, and prophetic of the ills to come. The face the index of a feeling mind Years fled unmark’d; the lady taught no more And her whole conduct rational and kind. Th’ adopted tribe as she was wont before; Though rich and noble, she was pleased to But by her help the school the lasses sought,
And by the vicar's self the boy was taught; Into the habits of her reverend guide, Not unresisting when that cursed Greek And so attended to his girls and boys, Ask'd so much time for words that none She seem'd a mother in her fears and joys;
will speak. On her they look'd with fondness, something What can men worse for mortal brain check'd
contrive By her appearance, that engaged respect; | Than thus a hard dead language to revive! For still she dress'd as one of higher race, Heav'ns, if a language once be fairly dead, And her sweet smiles had dignity and grace. Let it be buried, not preserved and read,
The bane of every boy to decent station bred;
| If any good these crabbed books contain, George was her favourite, and it gave her joy
Translate them well, and let them then To indulge and to instruct the darling boy;
remain ; To watch, to soothe, to check the forward
To one huge vault convey the useless atore, child,
Then lose the key, and never find it inore.'
Something like this the lively boy express'd, Who was at once affectionate and wild ; Happy and grateful for her tender care,
When Homer was his torment and his jest. And pleased her thoughts and company to
share. George was a boy with spirit strong and high, George, said the
and high. George, said the father, can at pleasure seize With handsome face, and penetrating eye; 1
Blindre? The point he wishes, and with too much ease; O'er his broad forehead hung his locks of
And hence, depending on his powers and vain, brown,
He wastes the time that he will sigh to gain. That gave a spirit to his boyish frown;
The partial widow thought the wasted days •My little man,' were words that she applied
He would recover, urged by love and praise; To him, and he received with growing pride;
And thus absolved, the boy, with grateful Her darling even from his infant years
mind, Had something touching in his smiles and
Repaid a love so useful and so blind; tears;
Her angry words he loved, although he And in his boyish manners he began
fear'd, To show the pride that was not made for man;
And words not angry doubly kind appear'd. But it became the child, the mother cried,
George, then on manhood verging, felt the And the kind lady said it was not pride.
charms George, to his cost, though sometimes to Of war, and kindled at the world's alarms:
| Yet war was then, though spreading wide Was quite a hero in these early days,
and far, And would return from heroes just as stout, A state of peace to what h
stout. A state of peace to what has since been war; Blood in his crimson cheek,and blood without:| Twas then some dubious claim at sea or
land, What! he submit to vulgar boys and low, He bear an insult, he forget a blow!
That placed a weapon in a warrior's hand; They call’d him Parson-let his father bear
But in these times the causes of our strife His own reproach, it was his proper care ;
Are hearth and altar, liberty and life.
His father's questions, cool and shy nppear'd. The father, thoughtful of the time foregone, Who had the honours ? Ilonour! said the Was loth to damp the spirit of his son;
youth, Rememb'ring he himself had early laurels Honour at college--very good, in truth!
What hours to study did he give?- Hegare The mother, frighten'd, begg'd him to Enough to feel they made him like a slave
In fact, the Vicar found if George should rise And not his credit or his linen stain ; "T was not by college-rules and exercise.
At least the time for your degree abide, The purest damask blossom'd in her cheek, And be ordain'd, the man of peace replied; The eyes said all that eye are want to speak; Then you may come and aid me while I Her pleasing person she with care adond
Nor arts that stay the fiying graces kund; And watch, and shear th' hereditary sheep; Nor held it wrong these grace to renes, Choose then your spouse.—That heard the Or give the fading rose its opening toe:
youth, and sigh'd, Yet few there were who needed as the art Nor to aught else attended or replied. To hide an error, or a grace impart
George had of late indulged unusual fears George, yet a child, her faultless for And dangerous hopes : he wept unconscious
And call'd his fondness love as truth required; Whether for camp or college, well he knew But now, when conscious of the secret flane, He must at present bid his friends adien ; His bosom's pain, he dared not give the His father, mother, sisters, could he part With these, and feel no sorrow at his In her the mother's milder passion get. heart?
Tender she was, but she was placid toe; But from that lovely lady could he go? From him the mild and filial love was gose, That fonder, fairer, dearer mother-No! And a strong passion came is triomph on For while his father spoke, he fix'd his eyes Will she, he cried, this impious lore allow? On that dear face, and felt a warmth arise, And, once my mother, be my mistress nor? A trembling flush of joy, that he could ill | The parent-spouse? how far the thought disguise
from her. Then ask'd himself from whence this grow- And how can I the daring wish are? ing bliss,
When first I speak it, how will those dar This new-found joy, and all that waits on this?
Gleam with awaken'd horror and surprise; Why sinks that voice so sweetly in mine ear? Will she not, angry and indignant is What makes it now a livelier joy to hear? From my imploring all and bid me die? Why gives that touch-Still, still do I Will she not shndder at the thought and say,
My son! and lift her eyes to bearer, and The fierce delight that tingled through
Alas! I fear-and yet my soul she von Why at her presence with such quickness While she with fond endearmente caird se
flows The vital current?_Well a lover knows. Then first I felt-get knew that I was 0! tell me not of years,-can she be old ?
wrongThose eyes, those lips, can man unmoved This hope, at once so guilty and so strong: behold?
She gave-I feel it now-a mother's kiss, Flas time that bosom chill’d? are cheeks And quickly fancy took a bolder bliss;
60 rosy cold? But hid the burning blush, for fear that eye No, she is young, or I her love t'engage Should see the transport, and the bliss deny: Will grow discreet, and that will seem like 0! when she knows the purpose I coneral,
When my fond wishes to her bosom steal, But speak it not; Death's equalizing arm How will that angel fear? How will the Levels not surer than Love's stronger charm,
woman feel? That bids all inequalities be gone,
And yet perhaps this instant, while I speak, That laughs at rank, that mocks comparison. She knows the pain I feel, the cure I seek; There is not young or old, if Love decrees, Better than I she may my feelings know, He levels orders, he confounds degrees; And nurse the passion that she dares not There is not fair, or dark, or short, or tall,
show: Or grave, or sprightly-Love reduces all; She reads the look,—and sure my eyes have He makes alnite the pensive and the gay,
shown Gives something here, takes something To her the power and triumph of her own,
there away; And in maternal love she veils the flame From each abundant good a portion takes, That she will heal with joy, yet hear with And for each want a compensation makes;
shame. hen tell me not of years—Love, power Come, let me then-no more a son-reveal divine,
The daring hope, and for her favour kneel; Takes, as he wills, from hers, and gives Let me in ardent speech my meanings dress,
And, while I mourn the fault, my love And she, in truth, was lovely-Time had
| And, once confess'd, no more that hope No knows on her, though he so long had
| For she or misery henceforth must be mine. 0! what confusion shall I see advance He heard, he grieved—60 check'd, the On that dear face, responsive to my glance!
eager youth Sure she can love !-In fact, the youth was Dared not again repeat th' offensive truth,
But stopp'd, and fix'd on that loved face She could, but love was dreadful in her sight;
an eye Love like a spectre in her view appear'd, of pleading passion, trembling to reply; The nearer he approach'd the more she fear'd. And that reply was hurried, was express'd But knew she, then, this dreaded love? She With bursts of sorrow from a troubled guess'd
breast; That he had guilt-she knew he had not rest: He could not yet forbear the tender suit, She saw a fear that she could ill define, And dare not speak-his eloquence was And nameless terrors in his looks combine;
mute. It is a state that cannot long endure, But this not long, again the passion rose And yet both parties dreaded to be sure. In him, in her the spirit to oppose:
Yet was she firm; and he, who fear'd the
calm All views were past of priesthood and a of resolution, purposed to alarm,
And make her dread a passion strong and George, fix'd on glory, now prepared for
He fear'd her firmness while her looks were But first this mighty hazard must be run,
mild: And more than glory either lost or won: Therefore he strongly, warmly urged his Yet, what was glory? Could he win that
Till she, less patient, urged him to forbear. And gain that hand, what cause was there I tell thee, George, as I have told before,
I feel a mother's love, and feel no more ; Her love afforded all that life affordo A child I bore thee in my arms, and how Honour and fame were phantasies and words. Could I-did prudence yield-reccive thee But he must see her-She alone was seen
now? In the still evening of a day serene : In the deep shade beyond the garden-walk At her remonstrance hope revived, for oft They met, and talking, ceased and sear'd to He found her words severe, her accents soft;
In eyes that threaten'd tears of pity stood, At length she spoke of parent's love, and And truth she made as gracious as she now
conld ; He hazards all-No parent, lady, thou! But, when she found the dangerous youth None, none to me! but looks so fond and
would seek mild
His peace alone, and still his wishes speak, Would well become the parent of my child.'| Fearful she grew, that, opening thus his She gasp'd for breath-then eat as one
He might to hers a dangerous warmth On some high act, and then the means
All her objections slight to him appear'd, It cannot be, my George, my child, my son! But one she had, and now it must be heard. The thought is misery (Guilt and misery Yes, it must be! and he shall understand
What powers, that are not of the world, Far from us both be such design, oh, far!
command ; Let it not pain us at the awful bar, So shall he cease, and I in peace shall liveWhere souls are tried, where known the Sighing she spoke—that widowhood can
mother's part That I sustain, and all of either heart. Then to her lover turn'd, and gravely said: To wed with thee I must all shame efface, Let due attention to my words be paid; And part with female dignity and grace: Meet me to-morrow, and resolve t' obey; Was I not told, by one who knew so well Then named the hour and place, and went This rebel heart, that it must not rebel?
her way. Were I not warn'd, yet Reason's voice Before that hour, or moved by spirit vain,
Or woman's wish to triumph and complain; Retreat, resolve, and from the danger fly! She had his parents summon'd, and had If Reason spoke not, yet would woman's
| Their son's strong wishes, nor conceal'd her A woman will by better counsel guide;
own: And should both Pride and Prudence plead And do you give, she said, a parent's aid
To make the youth of his strange love There is a warning that must still remain, I
afraid; And, though the heart rebellid, would ever And, be it sin or not, be all the shame cry: Refrain.
The good old Pastor wonder'd, seem'd to My father early taught us all he dared,
And for his bolder flights our minds prepared: And look'd suspicious on this child of Eve: He read the works of deists, every book He judged his boy, though wild, had never From crabbed Hobbes to courtly Bolingdared
broke; To talk of love, had not rebuke been spared; And when we understood not, he would cry But he replied, in mild and tender tone, Let the expressions in your memory lie, It is not sin, and therefore shame has none. The light will soon break in, and you will The different ages of the pair he knew,
find And quite as well their different fortunes too: Rest for your spirits, and be strong of mind ! A meek, just man; but difference in his Alas! however strong, however weak,
The rest was something we had still to seek! That made the match unequal made it right: He taught us duties of no arduous kind, His son, his friend united, and become The easy morals of the doubtful mind; of his own hearth-the comforts of his He bade us all our childish fears control,
And drive the nurse and grandam from the Was it so wrong? Perhaps it was her pride
soul; That felt the distance, and the youth denied? Told us the word of God was all we saw, The blushing widow heard, and she retired, And that the law of nature was his law; Musing on what her ancient friend desired; This law of nature we might find abstruse, She could not, therefore, to the youth But gain sufficient for our common use.
Thus, by persuasion, we our duties learn'd, That his good father wish'd him to refrain; And were but little in the causc concern'd. She could not add, your parents, George,
obey, They will your absence—no such will had We lived in peace, in intellectual ease,
please, Now, in th' appointed minute met the pair,
And pure morality the keeping free Foredoom'd to meet: George made the
From all the stains of vulgar villany.
But Richard, dear enthusiast! shunn'd
lover's prayer, That was heard kindly; then the lady tried
He let no stain upon his name encroach; For a calm spirit, felt it, and replied:
| But fled the hated vice, was kind and just, George, that I love thee why should I
| That all must love him, and that all might
suppress? For 'tis a love that virtue may profess
trust. Parental,-frown not,-tender, fix'd, sincere;
. Frec, sad discourse was ours; we often Thou art for dearer ties by much too dear,
ar, I To think we could not in some truths And nearer must not be, thou art so very near: Nay, does not reason, prudence, pride agree, our father's final words gave no content,
confide: Our very feelings, that it must not be? Nay, look not so, I shun the task no more. To fix our faith some grave relations sought,
We found not what his self-reliance meant : But will to thee thy better self restore. Then hear, and hope not; to the tale I tell
Doctrines and creeds of various kind they
brought, Attend ! obey me, and let all be well:
And we as children heard what they as Love is forbad to me, and thou wilt find All thy too ardent views must be resignd; Some to the priest referr'd us, in whose
doctors taught. Then from thy bosom all such thoughts
book remove, And spare the curse of interdicted love.
No unbeliever could resisting look: If doubts at first assail thee, wait awhile,
Others to some great preacher's, who could
tame Nor mock my sadness with satiric smile; For, if not much of other worlds we know,
The fiercest mind, and set the cold on flame; Nor how a spirit speaks in this below,
For him no rival in dispute was found
Whom he could not confute or not confound. Still there is speech and intercourse ; and
Some mystics told us of the sign and seal,
now The truth of what I tell I first avow,
And what the spirit would in time reveal, True will I be in all, and be attentive thon.
| If we had grace to wait, if we had hearts
to feel: Others, to Reason trusting, said, believe As she directs, and what she proves receive;
While many told us, it is all but guess, I was a Ratcliffe, taught and train'd to live Stick to your church, and calmly acquiesce. In all the pride that ancestry can give; Thus, doubting, wearied, burried, and My only brother, when our mother died,
perplex'd, Find the dear offices of friend and guide ; This world was lost in thinking of the next: