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TO MARY.

[Autumn of 1793.]

The twentieth year is well nigh past
Since first our sky was overcast,
Ah would that this might be the last !

My Mary!
Thy spirits have a fainter flow,
I see them daily weaker grow-
'Twas my distress that brought thee low,

My Mary!

Thy needles, once a shining store,
For my sake restless heretofore,
Now rust disus'd, and shine no more,

My Mary!
For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil
The same kind office for me still,
Thy sight now seconds not thy will,

My Mary!

But well thou play'dst the housewife's part,
And all thy threads, with magic art,
Have wound themselves about this heart

My Mary'

Thy indistinct expressions seem
Like language utter'd in a dream;
Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,

My Mary!

Thy silver locks once auburn bright,
Are still more lovely in my sight
Than golden beams of orient light,

My Mary

For could I view nor them nor thee,
What sight worth seeing could I see?
The sun would rise in vain for me,

My Mary!

Partakers of thy sad decline.
Thy hands their little force resign;
Yet gently prest, press gently mine,

My Mary!

Such feebleness of limbs thou prov'st,
That now at every step thou mov'st,
Upheld by two, yet still thou lov'st,

My Mary!

And still to love, though prest with ill,
In wintry age to feel no chill,
With me is to be lovely still,

My Mary!

But ah! by constant heed I know
How oft the sadness that I show,
Transforms thy smiles to looks of wo,

My Mary!

And should my future lot be cast
With which resemblance of the past,
Thy worn-out heart will break at last,

My Mary! THE CASTAWAY.

[March, 20, 1799.)

OBSCUREST night involv'd the sky;

Th' Atlantic billows roar'd, When such a destined wretch as I,

Wash'd headlong from on board, Of friends, of hope, of all bereft, His floating home for ever left.

No braver chief could Albion boast,

Than he, with whom he went, Nor ever ship left Albion's coast,

With warmer wishes sent. He lov'd them both, but both in vain, Nor him beheld, nor her again.

Not long beneath the whelming brine,

Expert to swim, he lay : Nor soon he felt his strength decline,

Or courage die away; But wag'd with death a lasting strife, Supported by despair of life.

He shouted; nor his friends had fail'd

To check the vessel's course,
But so the furious blast prevail'd,

That, pitiless, perforce,
They left their outcast mate behind,
And scudded still before the wind.

Some succour yet they could afford,

And, such as storms allow, The cask, the coop, the floated cord,

Delay'd not to bestow But he (they knew) nor ship nor shore, Whate'er they gave, should visit more.

Nor, cruel as it seem'd, could he

Their haste himself condemn,
Aware that flight, in such a sea,

Alone could rescue them;
Yet bitter felt it still to die
Deserted, and his friends so nigh.

He long survives, who lives an hour

In ocean, self-upheld:
And so long he, with unspent pow'r

His destiny repell’d:
And ever as the minutes flew,
Entreated help, or cried—“Adieu !"

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At length, his transient respite past,

His comrades, who before
Had heard his voice in ev'ry hlast,

Could catch the sound no more.

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