THE pious sire of ARLA rear’d her youth
Strongly to feel the great Creator’s power;
In her pure bosom sow’d the seeds of truth,
And open’d Nature’s inexhaustless store:
Early he led her mind
To pure religion’s unadultered stream;
The young musician caught th’ extatic theme,
And sung GOD’S glories to the sounding wind.
Call’d by his king to war,
He left her young,
To those impressions which his tender care
Had on her pliant heart imprinted strong.
Her lively senses music’s influence found;
Her fingers struck the sacred organ’s keys;
With pious hopes and heavenly extasies
Her soul flew upward, wing’d by lofty sound.
So sweet she sung
That infidels would hear;
The hallow’d notes which fir’d her sacred tongue
Infus’d her faith, and taught them to revere.
Her soul was meek, her energy was strong,
And force divine fir’d each seraphic song.
Her simple frame no ornaments adorn’d,
No earthly radiance blush’d,
But every look her mental force inform’d;
The infant soul with beams immortal dawn’d,
And breaking forth her eyes and bosom flush’d.
Her temperament was so replete with fires
She scarcely seem’d to feel the earthly part;
Her genius with excentric force aspires,
Its boundless flights with strong conceptions dart:
But dazzled by its light, and led astray,
Her inexperienc’d reason fell a prey;
Th’ entrancing Muse seduc’d her early youth,
More fraught with energy than fed with truth.
Her soul, enrich’d by Nature’s noblest stores,
Gave to wild fancy mad and sovereign sway;
Imagination drew her finer powers,
Until the balance of her soul gave way;
And, its pure tenor thus destroy’d and broke,
The dormant passions of her nature woke:
For minds with innate force and quickness fir’d,
To their own operations left in youth,
Too oft, by foster’d prejudice inspir’d,
Are warp’d from the more simple paths of truth.
Strong inclination points the unknown way,
And licens’d passions blindly lead astray.
Her strengthening Muse still more enchanting glows;
Deluded the frail mortal strains her powers,
While giant weeds in her rich soil arose,
Vainly the self-supposed saint adores.
Till lost in feverish dreams,
‘Mid fancy’s fires she heavenly visions saw,
As rapt she sang her wild melodious themes,
Nature she thought relax’d its rigid law;
Angels she saw descending from on high,
Unfolding all the wonders of the sky,
And caught a glimpse of the DIVINITY.
One noon amid the sea-girt rocks she stray’d,
Th’ expansive ocean and the heavens survey’d;
Her soul was aw’d, while lost in zeal she stood,
And the majestic wilds of nature view’d.
The air condens’d, to sullen mists transforms,
The sky frown’d awful, big with threatening storms,
And gathering clouds unite;
The blackening ocean foams upon the shore,
While distant thunders ‘mid the mountains roar,
And pelting drops fast o’er the rocks alight.
The angry clouds in troops convolving part,
The dun horizon gleams with horrid dye;
From sulph’rous vapours bursting lightenings dart,
And louder thunders echo through the sky.
Shelter amid the rocky caves she sought,
From the large shower and vivid flash retires,
While solemn peals woke every awful thought,
And the fierce lightenings fill’d the cave with fires.
Still rolling on terrific o’er her head,
The rain in hasty torrents burst the clouds,
Which spent like smoke cross the blue ether fled,
Whose brightness following vapours dimly shroud;
Trembling her face amid the rocks she hides,
Till the fierce horror of the storm subsides.
Flush’d by her fears, with awe she rear’d her head,
By all the grandeur of the scene inspir’d;
As distantly the solemn clouds retir’d,
She quits the cave, and hail’d them as they fled,
With wild imagination strongly fir’d:
While lambent still the lightnings flash’d around,
And the hoarse thunders roll’d a sullen sound;
Her lifted eyes the clouded heavens transpierce,
Divinest strains she sang of heavenly verse.
Thus, with enthusiastic raptures blind,
A heavenly vision fir’d her feverish mind;
GOD’S voice she thought amid the tempest roll’d.
And fancied streams of glory fill’d the skies!
The fires of heaven the awful clouds unfold,
Ethereal essence flush’d her mortal eyes!
More wild she dreams a cherub downward flew,
And dimm’d the sun as tow’rds the earth he drew.
Her spirit saw him cut the ambient skies,
While ocean burns with radiance as he flies;
Such hues empyreal his bright frame adorn,
He seems a ray of the eternal morn!
So fraught with living fires, his ardent eyes
Shot forth long beams, which sparkled thro’ the skies;
From him bright emanations darted round,
And his wav’d pinions gave celestial sound!
Entranc’d, nor doubting what her fancy saw,
Her youthful bosom heav’d with sacred awe;
She view’d him on the strong rock’s pointed height,
Thence breathing strains enchanting mortal ears,
Such as he tun’d amid th’ eternal spheres,
Genius immortal wing’d its ardent flight!
The sea responsive mighty surges roll’d,
Bearing each other on, a voice they found,
Heaving, inspir’d, they labour’d with the sound,
And awfully their wondrous nature told.
The winds which roll the clouds along the sky
In every blast sang forth the Maker’s praise;
The spirit seem’d descended from on high
To catch the song, and to th’ Almighty raise.
Then, like a meteor, fierce he shot along;
(Refulgence brake, for mortal eyes too strong)
Amidst the clouds emerg’d his radiant head,
Wafting the tributes which all nature pays;
Day seem’d as twilight while the spirit fled,
The amber clouds receiv’d his parting rays.
Then round the shore th’ Enthusiast throws her eyes;
(Still foam’d the main, and troubled were the skies)
Dazzled, thro’ clouds the watery sun-beams views,
While parting vapours wild and various stray;
Faintly her lucid bow fair IRIS shews;
ARLA conceiv’d it a remaining ray,
And wildly stretch’d her arms t’implore its stay.
Not unobserv’d her ecstacies had flown,
Nor the vibrations of her heavenly tongue;
For EDRAN ‘mid the rocks survey’d her charms,
And the seraphic phrenzy of her eyes,
Her hair long-streaming o’er her trembling arms,
As from her lips the note of rapture flies.
He saw her with fanatic ardour blind,
And smil’d, while passion in his bosom wrought,
And mischief mingling in the villain’s thought
With triumphs o’er religion puff’d his mind.
He in the world’s base school had studied long,
Vain of his parts, devotion to decry,
And learnt bewitching eloquence of tongue
To palliate vice with shifting sophistry:
His ample front deep penetration shows,
Beneath his powerful brows
Strong flash’d his eyes,
And with invention strength of actions vies.
Potent in ill; he bent his subtile powers
To draw young ARLA in his wily snare,
Join’d in her raptures, while sublime she pours
Entrancing strains of music on his ear.
Her pious fancies he enrich’d with thought,
She listen’d to the wisdom of his tongue,
And from his eyes fresh inspiration caught,
Whilst he enamour’d on her accents hung.
Her passions were already set on fire,
Without a guard her heart defenceless lay;
Soon to his arts her virtues fell a prey;
Her sweet affections glide to his desire.
Ruin’d, he left her plung’d in deep despair;
The lov’d delusions of her soul were broke,
‘Mid anarchy and horror she awoke,
Tumultuous passions her sad bosom tear:
Love warmly lingering in her mem’ry sat,
Urging her wounded soul to desperate hate;
The rapt’rous dreams her heart had cherish’d long
Flew, like the empty echoes of a song.
Devoid of basis, all support decays,
Her frantic mind can no where find relief;
The bubbles burst which shone with glittering rays,
And nought remain’d save passion, guilt, and grief.
Rob’d in religion, EDRAN won her heart;
Her faith is broke while she resents the wrong,
Wild-panting with love’s agonizing smart
She burns, convuls’d with feelings deep and strong;
And oft diseas’d
With mingled passions, fiery ecstasies
Her trembling lips pour’d potently in song.
(Anne Batten Cristall)
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Based on Keywords: expansive, vies, sophistry, sun-beams, transforms, conceptions, operations, sea-girt, impressions, conceiv, penetration