Laura Sophia Temple

The Last Adieu

And Death with Nature's noblest worlds at strife,
Quench'd the fair star that smil'd upon his life.

Now the hollow drum resounding,
    Fired each valiant Soldier's breast,
High the youthful spirits bounding,
    Future hours in conquest drest.

Brightly beam'd the eye of Morning,
    Gaily smil'd the face of Spring;
Balmy sweets the sense delighted
    Borne on Zephyr's trembling wing.

Hark ! to the Cymbal's brazen clangour!
    Hark to the Trumpet's shrill reply!
Each brave heart shakes off its languor,
    Proudly the crimson banners fly.

Now a cadence softly warbles,
    'Tis the Flute's melodious sound;
Now the measure loudly swelling,
    Flings its awful thunder round.

See! the gallant band advances,
    Glitt'ring sabres brandish'd high;
Hope in ev'ry bosom dances,
    Courage speaks in ev'ry eye.

But who is he that slowly follows?
    Mark the grief that fades his form!
In each wan feature passion struggles,
    Passion's wild tumultuous storm.

View his glances quickly shifted,
    View the mis'ry they express;
Now to Heav'n his eyes are lifted,
    Now cast down in mute distress.

To him are lost Hope's Siren-accents,
    Harsh are those spirit-waking strains;
On his lorn mind no morning opens,
    There a night of sadness reigns.

But Honour's pow'rful voice prevailing,
    Breaks the spell that Fancy wove;
Tow'ring Fame at distance hailing,
    Drowns the timid voice of Love.

Now his footsteps fondly linger,
    Mark ! oh mark the soul-fraught gaze!
He views the fair departing lustre,
    The last, last glimpse of beauty's rays.

So the lost wretch, whom Fate pursuing
    Exiles from the light of day,
Once more the lovely landscape viewing,
    Dwells on each charm, then hastes away.

Thus did he seek the beauteous vision,
    And thus each well-known grace explore,
Catch the soft day-break of those glances
    Whose brightness he must view no more.

Ah! ne'er again on him they rested!
    Those liquid suns have ceas'd to roll;
Of all their sparkling pow'r divested,
    No more they fire the raptur'd soul.

Pale is the cheek of polish'd texture,
    Where once the rose of Summer smil'd;
And those sweet lips where Love resided,
    Are of their honey'd store beguil'd.

Cold is that breast, of Heav'n the dwelling,
    Which once with noblest feelings glow'd,
No more with soft compassion swelling,
    No more of Truth the pure abode.

Beneath the turf now pow'rless lying
    Those limbs where Grace its magic spread;
Of Death she tastes the leaden slumber,
    While bleak winds whistle o'er her head.

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