Laura Sophia Temple

The Outcast

When sun-beams bid the world adieu,
And ev'ning gales their flight pursue,
Slow o'er the heath I wind my way,
To muse upon the golden day,
    Of hopes for ever flown.

The infant smiles of blushing May,
The buds that carol on the spray,
Can boast no charms to Sorrow's child;
For Fancy weaves her visions wild,
    And sings of vanish'd hours.

Then does her bold advent'rous hand,
"Ne'er under Reason's sage command"
Lift the mysterious awful veil,
That hides the dark and blotted tale,
    Of moments yet to come.

Now does she guide my wand'ring eye,
O'er Time's perplex'd and wat'ry sky,
Spreads to my glance the features dark;
E'en all the dusky tints that mark
    The tissue of my fate.

Oft have I listen'd to the theme
That speaks of youth's enchanting dream,
Oft have I smil'd to hear its praise:
For I shall never feel the rays
    That wait upon its morn.

Where are the joys, the mantling joys,
The dimpled loves with laughing eyes,
The hopes that soar on airy wing,
And o'er the scene rich magic fling,
    Stealing the tints of truth!

When Night's dull wing with shadowy sweep
In darkness veils the world of sleep,
Or when the moon's affrighted eye
Peeps through the wild embattl'd sky,
    Silv'ring the rough cloud's edge;

'Tis then I face the piercing wind,
What shelter can an outcast find?
'Tis then that midst the whistling blast,
The while the beating rain falls fast,
    I tread my weary way.

How oft when journeying o'er the plain,
My sad heart torn by grief and pain,
While o'er my cheek the cold-gale blows,
"That cheek whence Care has chas'd the rose
    That once so gaily bloom'd."

Around I throw my eager gaze,
And view the ghosts of other days.
Hurrying on the North's bleak wing
They come, they come! I hear them sing
    Sad strains that Mem'ry loves.

Blest shades of all I once ador'd!
Of all I've worship'd and deplor'd!
Ye whom the hand of death laid low!
Dooming this heart to feel a blow
    Greater than wreck of worlds.

As some fair trees whose branching shade,
Shelters the wild-flow'r of the glade,
So did ye skreen my helpless head,
So did your arms their shelter spread
    To shield my youth from ill.

But lo! the angry tempest came,
And fiercely rag'd the light'ning's flame;
Soon were my lovely trees laid low
And I was doom'd to feel a blow
    Greater than wreck of worlds.

Behold! they beckon from the hill,
They ask where here I linger still--
I come--the storm will soon be past--
My weary sun is setting fast--
    And then--we meet once more.

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