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Poem by Laura Sophia Temple


To the Genius of Romance


Oh thou! whose bland intoxicating smile,
Darts o'er the gloomy barrenness of Life
Its lustrous day, making the desart bloom,
E'en as the sun o'er brow of dusky cliff
Resplendent shines, cheering the vale beneath,
And pouring thro' its wild and curtain'd shade,
His gay exulting eye. Thee will I court,
Thee shall my Muse invoke to bless her song,
Her artless song--whose rude unmeasur'd trill,
Has oft-times cheated Sorrow's dreary hour
Of all its wrath, and bade my musing-heart,
Turn from reality to count the charms
Of Fancy's boundless world, has bade it gaze,
In mute delight, on gay ideal realms
Warm'd by th' effusive beams of joy and love.
And thou wast there! Lo! on the sunny shore,
The woodland-swell, the bold and Alpine height
Thy form appear'd! I saw thy bounding step
Dance o'er the fairy plain, and mark'd thine eye
Kindle new beauties in the dreamy scene.
Now--on the breezy mountain's utmost verge
Tow'ring sublime--I view'd thy beauteous form,
With locks loose-streaming to the frolic gale,
And drap'ry floating wild--Entranc'd I've dwelt
On all thy rich variety of grace,
And cunning witcheries of voice and mien.
How promptly has my wond'ring heart obey'd
Thy beck'ning hand that call'd it to survey
The wavy features of thy gay domain.
And oh ! when waking from the thick-wove trance
Of Fancy's day-dreams, when the present hour,
Return'd again in all its barrenness,
How hast thou whisper'd to my palsied soul,
That 'midst the weeds, the rank and vulgar weeds
That crouded up my path, some straggling flow'r
Would brightly rise to gem my rugged fate,
And pour its nectar on my thirsty heart.
Yes sweet Romance ! my love thou long hast been,
Long hast thou sooth'd my pleas'd and list'ning ear,
With charming lies, and bade my cheated sight
Drink the un-real tints, the shad'wy charms
The slanting sun-blaze, and the wand'ring gale
Of Hope's gay land: nor would my heart forego
Thy tempting feast, or lose thy golden smile,
Thy swimming glance, for all the awful charms
That Reason boasts; for 'tis most sweet to think
That Joy's fair star shall ever brightly hang,
Its lustre-beaming lamp, whose lucid light
These eyes have vainly sought among the stars
Of real life! its dull and darkling sky
Seldom emits one lively ray, or yields
One bloomy tint;--'tis murky sadness all,
And threat'ning gloom. Or if a transient gleam,
Bursts th' impris'ning veil of low-born cares,
And wintry-mists, and for one winged hour
Lends its half-hidden light, how soon the train,
The billowy train of Disappointment's clouds
Comes rolling on, to quench its timid beam,
And spread again the universal Night.
Arise, fond Memory, and o'er my verse
Pour thy effulgence! Oh relate the spell
That busy Fancy wove, and sweet Romance
Twin'd round my glowing heart, making each pulse
To riot wild, and spreading all around,
E'en thro' its quivering, its inly core,
The rich voluptuous tide of mad'ning Hope.
How I have sprung to meet the fancied dawn
Of Love's soft Orb! how hail'd its seeming rise,
And proud Meridian! Oh my musing soul!
Dwell on the thrilling dreams, the wild conceits,
The wishes warm, that o'er my wilder'd brain
Have danc'd in gay confusion, scatt'ring wide
Th' amusive flame, when I have seem'd to meet
The glance, and hang upon the melting smile
Of fond affection.--Come then, dear Romance,
Steal o'er my soul, and still shall it survey
The bright enchantments of thy dreamy world.



Laura Sophia Temple


Laura Sophia Temple's other poems:
  1. Sonnet 1. To the Evening Gale
  2. When Lately I Mus'd on the Days That Are Fled
  3. The Hindoo Lover's Address
  4. Recollection
  5. Arabian Song


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