Charlotte Dacre Poems >>
How Canst Thou Doubt?

ALAS! for that voice which the envoy of Heaven,
    In accents celestial, pour'd sweet on the ear,
That when the song ceas'd, to its spell it was giv'n,
    Attention to fix, as still seeming to hear.

Oh! might such persuasion belong to my numbers,
    As dwelt on the lips of the angel of light,
No more should these phantoms intrude on thy slumbers,
    Or vex with their terrors the dream of the night.

When the mind is distracted, oft visions obtrusive
    Collect round the couch, and appear to the eye,
When the frame is disorder'd, oft fancies illusive
    Impose, that the vigor of health would defy.

Shall the fumes of such fancies bewilder our reason,
    Must the pulse cease to throb, or the bosom to glow?
And shall we concur in the blasphemous treason
    That Heav'n presents but the chalice of woe?

Can that love be impure which aspires to perfection,
    From all that is vulgar and sordid refin'd?
Can that flame be unholy which lights an affection,
    Expanding the heart and enlarging the mind?

Too well sure we feel, could our wills have decided,
    Our lives, like our souls, had been blended in one,
But Fate too untoward, our lot has divided,
    Let Fate then account for the work it has done.

But whence is that ray which thro' the gloom brightens,
    And scatters its radiance the meadows among?
'Tis the torch of the glow-worm that nightly enlightens,
    And shines for the elves as they trip it along.

Oh! no, that fond light which in splendid profusion,
    Effulgent she flings the soft foliage between,
She wastes not, to aid superstitious illusion,
    It shews her wing'd mate where she glows in the green.

Yes this is the law, the fond law of each nature,
    Attracting, attracted to fly to its kind;
Yes, this is the secret, kind instinct of nature,
    To choose what is best for its pleasure design'd.

Accurst was that prince , who in horrible union,
    Ordain'd that the living and dead should be join'd;
But man has decreed the more hateful communion
    Which fetters two souls of dissimilar kind.

Oh! man, foolish man, shall thy skill be exerted
    The laws which creation obeys to controul?
Shall the order of nature by thee be inverted?
    And would'st thou enchain what is freest,--the soul?

Know its spirit, disdaining restriction, sententious,
    Its right shall assert to select and adore,
Unlike in all else to that passion licentious,
    Which seeks what is sensual, and seeks for no more.

O! 'tis only we love, when with souls sweetly blending
    The thought meets the thought from the lips ere it part;
O! 'tis only we love, when with passion transcending
    The hope and the wish spring alike from the heart.

Then thus let us live, and in death lie together,
    Embracing, embrac'd, let the light'ning consume;
Our spirits shall range thro' the fields of pure ether,
    Our ashes together repose in the tomb.