Mary Robinson ( )


Lewin and Gynneth


WHEN will my troubled soul have rest?
The beauteous LEWIN cried;
As thro the murky shade of night
With frantic step she hied. 

When shall those eyes my GYNNETHS face,
My GYNNETHS form survey ?
When shall those longing eyes again
Behold the dawn of day ? 

Cold are the dews that wet my cheek,
The night-mist damps the ground;
Appalling echoes strike mine ear,
And spectres gleam around. 

The vivid lightnings transient rays
Around my temples play;
Tis all the light my fate affords,
To mark my thorny way. 

From the black mountains awful height,
Where LATHRYTHS turrets rise;
The dark owl screams a direful song,
And warns me as she flies ! 

The chilling blast, the whistling winds,
The mouldring ramparts shake;
The hungry tenants of the wood,
Their cavernd haunts forsake. 

Those tender limbs unusd to stray
Beyond a fathers door;
Full many a mile have journeyd forth,
Each footstep markd with gore. 

No costly sandals deck those feet,
By thorns and briars torn;
The cold rain chills my rosy cheek,
Whose freshness shamd the morn ! 

Slow steals the life-stream at my heart;
Dark clouds oershade my eyes;
Foreboding sorrow tells my soul,
My captive Lover dies. 

Yet if one gentle ray of hope
Can sooth the soul to rest;
Oh ! may it pierce yon flinty towr,
And warm my GYNNETHs breast: 

And if soft pitys tearful eye
A Tyrants heart can move;
Ill-fated LEWIN yet may live
To clasp her vanquishd Love. 

And tho stern war with bonds of steel
His graceful form shall bind;
No earthly spell has powr to hold
The freedom of his mind ! 

And tho his warm and gallant heart
Now yields to fates decree;
Its feelings spurn the base constraint,
And fly to LOVE and ME ! 

Then, BRANWORTH, Lion of the field !
O, hear a maiden plead;
Sheath not thy sword in GYNNETHS breast,
Or too, let LEWINS bleed ? 

To valiant feats of arms renownd
Shall earthly praise be givn;
But deeds of MERCY, mighty Chief,
Are registerd in HEAVN ! 

Thy praises shall resounding fill
The Palace of thy foe;
While down the joyful LEWINS cheek
The grateful tear shall flow. 

And sure the tear that VIRTUE sheds, 
Some rapture can impart;
What gem can deck a victors throne 
Like incense from the heart? 

Now the grey Mornings silvry light, 
Dawnd in the eastern skies,
When at the lofty lattice grate 
Her Lovers form she spies: 

He lives, she cried, My GYNNETH lives ! 
Youth of the crimson shield !
The graceful Hero of my heart, 
The glory of the field ! 

Come down, my souls delight, she said, 
Thy blue-eyd LEWIN see;
YRGANVYS Daughter, thy true Love, 
Who only breathes for THEE: 

Then haste THEE from thy prison house
Ere yet the Foe doth rise !
Oh! haste, ere yet the Morning Sun 
Doth flame along the skies. 

Ah, speak! my heart is chilld with fear,
My faultring voice doth fail;
Why are thy darling eyes so dim, 
Thy cheek so deathly pale ? 

I am THY GYNNETHS GHOST, sweet maid, 
Avoid the maddning sight;
Those eyes that doated on thy charms, 
Are lockd in endless night. 

This loyal heart which beat for thee,
Is rent with many a wound;
Cleft is my shield, my glittring spear 
Lies broken on the ground ! 

My bones the eagle hath conveyd
To feed her ravnous brood;
The savage BRANWORTHS cruel hand 
Hath spilt my purple blood. 

Then hie thee hence, ill-fated maid,
Ere greater woes betide;
To where LLANGADOCS silver streams 
Along the vallies glide. 

There, where the modest PRIMROSE blooms,
Pale as thy lovers shade;
My mangled relics shalt thou find 
Upon the green turf laid. 

Then hie thee hence, with holy hands,
Build up a sacred shrine,
And oh ! chaste maid, thy faith to prove, 
Mingle thy dust with mine ? 

Ah ! have you seen a mothers joy
In cherub sweetness dressd,
Seizd by the numbing hand of death,
Expiring at her breast ? 

Or the fond maid, whom morrows dawn
Had haild a wedded fair;
Doomd to behold her lovers corse
Scorchd by the lightnings glare ? 

So stood the hopeless, frantic maid,
YRGANVYs graceful child,
Cold was her cheek, her dove-like eyes
Fixd in amazement wild ! 

This panting heart, at length she cried
A sharper pang doth feel,
Than thine, brave youth, when rent in twain
By BRANWORTHS poisond steel. 

No more these sad and weeping eyes,
My fathers house shall see;
Thy kindred spirit calls me hence.
I haste to follow thee. 

Beside thy tomb the TRAVLLERS tear
Shall join the crystal spring;
Around the solemn dirge of woe
Shall sainted DRUIDS sing; 

The weary PILGRIM faint and sad, 
Shall stay his steps awhile;
The memory of his OWN hard fate, 
THY story shall beguile; 

There wet with many a holy tear,
The sweetest buds shall blow,
There LEWINS ghost shall mark the shrine 
A monument of woe ! 

Thrice did he ope the lattice grate, 
And thrice he bade adieu;
When lo, to join the parting shade, 
The MAIDENS SPIRIT FLEW!



Mary Robinson's other poems:
  1. Sonnet 13. Bring, Brick to Deck My Brow
  2. Ode to Valour
  3. Sonnet 9. Ye, Who in Alleys Green
  4. Sonnet 35. What Means the Mist
  5. To Cesario


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