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Poem by Charlotte Turner Smith


Ode to Death


FRIEND of the wretched! wherefore should the eye
Of blank Despair, whence tears have ceased to flow,
Be turn'd from thee?--Ah! wherefore fears to die
He, who compell'd each poignant grief to know,
Drains to its lowest dregs the cup of woe?
Would Cowardice postpone thy calm embrace,
To linger out long years in torturing pain?
Or not prefer thee to the ills that chase
Him, who too much impoverish'd to obtain
From British Themis right , implores her aid in vain!
Sharp goading Indigence who would not fly,
That urges toil the exhausted strength above?
Or shun the once fond friend's averted eye?
Or who to thy asylum not remove,
To lose the wasting anguish of ungrateful love?
Can then the wounded wretch, who must deplore
What most she loved, to thy cold arms consign'd,
Who hears the voice that soothed her soul no more,
Fear thee , O Death!--Or hug the chains that bind
To joyless, cheerless life, her sick, reluctant mind?

Oh, Misery's cure! who e'er in pale dismay
Has watch'd the angel form they could not save,
And seen their dearest blessing torn away,
May well the terrors of thy triumph brave,
Nor pause in fearful dread before the opening grave! 



Charlotte Turner Smith


Charlotte Turner Smith's other poems:
  1. Sonnet Written in the Churchyard at Middleton in Sussex
  2. Sonnet 32. To Melancholy. Written on the Banks of the Arun, October, 1785
  3. Sonnet 26. To the River Arun
  4. Sonnet 55. The Return of the Nightingale. Written in May, 1791
  5. Sonnet 15. From Petrarch (WHERE the green leaves exclude the summer beam)


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