Laura Sophia Temple

Lines Addressed to My Own Heart

What art thou calm? Is all thy flutt'ring o'er?
Does Joy dilate, does Grief convulse no more?
Has Passion ceas'd to urge her frantic sway,
Or gentler tenderness forgot to play?
Does trembling Doubt, that shapes ideal woe,
O'er my sick mind, no more its shadows throw?
Has Siren-Hope her tendrils ceas'd to twine,
And Fancy's loom to weave its visions fine?
Yes, all is still--still as the sleep of death,
Or stagnant lake that feels not Zephyr's breath;
O'er whose dark breast no swelling wave is driv'n,
Whose lonely banks ne'er catch the smile of Heav'n.
Gone are the rainbow dreams that Fancy wove,
Sunk and extinguish'd is the lamp of love.
Hope has, indeed, her tendrils ceas'd to twine,
Nay, ev'ry wish is flown that once was mine.
Doubt can no longer wake the secret sigh,
Long has it chang'd to mournful certainty.
Yet I am free--free as the wanton gale,
That idly wand'ring thro' the woodland vale,
Pours its wild music to the mountain wave
Diving remote to Ocean's deepest cave.
Mark how the trembling wretch whose frenzied gaze,
Has ask'd in vain the Sun's benignant rays,
Whose wasted form fast sinking to the tomb,
Pants 'midst the horrors of a dungeon's gloom;
Mark, when his freedom dawns, how beams his eye!
See how he hails the smile of Liberty.
But I alas! when unconfin'd and free,
Bitterly musing, curse my Liberty.
Oh, mantling tints that streak'd the morning sky!
Still do ye brightly bloom to Mem'ry's eye.
Still does she dwell on ev'ry touching grace,
Still pause and mourn what time can ne'er replace;
Turns from the scenes where Joy its lustre pours,
To throw her lengthen'd gaze o'er vanish'd hours.
Vain is her gaze, and fruitless are her sighs;
Fast from her mock'd embrace each phantom flies;
'Tis like the fragrance of some far-off vale,
That rising faintly on the evening gale,
Speaks to the aching sense of distant flow'rs,
And smiling verdure wash'd by summer-show'rs;
Of wavey woods and skies of brighter blue,
Of sun-gilt hills the eye is ne'er to view.
Or like the chaste and silv'ry lamp of night,
Which yields no genial warmth tho' giving light.
What then remains to bind me to this world,
When from the steep of Joy my soul is hurl'd?
Say, what remains to snatch me from despair,
What but disgust and moments brown'd by care?
Yes ! yes, one tie still warms my palsied breast,
And stays my soul from flying to her rest.
Still round the scene affection weaves her spells,
For in this barren waste a dear one dwells,
My lov'd companion ! Sun that gilds my day.
The only flow'r that smooths my rugged way.
Life still has charms--her bands I will not rend.
I'll tarry, for my Lover, Mother, Friend.

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