Amelia Opie Poems Part 01

Amelia Opie Poems Part 01,Born in 1769 in Norwich, writer Ameila Opie was perhaps best known for her prose work but also published a number of individual poems and collections during her lifetime. She was brought up in a reasonably affluent family, her father was a physician and her cousin a prominent judge in the region. She was a fervently political individual at a time when this was not fashionable and inherited her radical views from her father.

Amelia Opie

Amelia Opie Bio

Opie wrote from an early age and composed her first novel called The Dangers of Coquetry when she was just 18. The book was published anonymously in 1790 and marked the start of a distinguished writing career that would span the next 40 years. Her literary circle expanded when, in 1794, she began making regular trips from Norwich to London.

There Opie came into contact with some of the writing greats of the age such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Sarah Siddons and William Godwin who would influence her future writing. Further support came from her husband, painter John Opie, who encouraged her to publish the novel Father and Daughter in 1801 which achieved some critical success.

Throughout her life she was an ardent abolitionist and poems such as The Black Man’s Lament reflect her views in this area. But she also covered subjects that explored domestic issues and had a highly moral vein. After the death of her father, she continued to make relationships with and advise other writers including travelogue writer George Burrows and Germaine de Staël who had been one of the chief opponents of Napoleon.

After catching a chill at a Norfolk coastal resort, Opie died a year later in 1853 at the age of 84. Her body was laid to rest at the Gildencroft Cemetery in her home county of Norwich.

 Amelia Opie Poems

 

Amelia Opie Poems Part 01

 

Ballad

Round youthful Henry’s restless bed
His weeping friends and parents pressed;
But she who raised his languid head
He loved far more than all the rest.Fond mutual love their bosoms fired;
And nearly dawned their bridal day,
When every hope at once expired,
For Henry on his death-bed lay.The fatal truth the sufferer read
In weeping Lucy’s downcast eye:
“And must I, must I, then,” he said,
“Ere thou art mine, my Lucy, die!

“No,…deign to grant my last, last prayer;
‘T would soothe thy lover’s parting breath,
Wouldst thou with me to church repair,
Ere yet I feel the stroke of death.

“For trust me, love, I shall my life
With something like to joy resign,
If I but once may call thee wife,
And, dying, claim and hail thee mine.”

He ceased: and Lucy checked the thought
That he might at the altar die,….
The prayer with such true love was fraught,
How could she such a prayer deny?

They reached the church….her cheek was wan
With chilling fears of coming woe….
But triumph when the rites began
Lent Henry’s cheek a flattering glow.

The nuptial knot was scarcely tied,
When Henry’s eye strange lustre fired,
“She’s mine! she’s mine!” he faltering cried,
And in that throb of joy expired.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

Lines Written in 1799

Hail to thy pencil! well its glowing art
Has traced those features painted on my heart;
Now, though in distant scenes she soon will rove,
Still here I behold the friend I love–
Still see that smile, “endearing, artless, kind,”
The eye’s mild beam that speaks the candid mind,
Which, sportive oft, yet fearful to offend,
By humour charms, but never wounds a friend.But in my breast contending feelings rise,
While this loved semblance fascinates my eyes;Now, pleased I mark the painter’s skilful line,
And now, rejoice the skill I mark is thine:
And while I prize the gift by thee bestow’d,
My heart proclaims, I’m of the giver proud.
Thus pride and friendship war with equal strife,
And now the friend exults, and now the wife.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

On Hearing that Constantinople…

Fallen are thy towers, Byzantium! towers that stood
Before the Turk’s dread fury, when he came,
The crescent sparkling amidst Christian blood,
And to the reeking den of Moloch turned
Sophia’s holy fane! Where, where are now,
Imperial city, the late proud remains
Of thy brave founder’s greatness, when he clothed
In worldly grandeur pure Religion’s form;
Then placed beside him, placed upon a throne,
The lowly Nazarene’s meek simple child!….
He, wandering then upon a Christian land,
Stranger at home had been, nor known again
His artless rites, his followers, in the domes
Filled with the sparkling shrine, the rich-robed priests,
And pomp of earthly greatness……..But not long
Lived there his name….Science and art, farewell!
The foe of light and love, Mohammed, comes,
And Constantine’s proud race exists no more.But, sons of Mahomet, the towers he built,
Though by your anger spared, have fallen now,
And crushed your bloody race! A mightier arm
Than his who raised, or spared, yon domes came forth;
From the hot sable rolling cloud it came,
And crumbled them to dust!….The wind, the air,
Seem in strict silence bound, but smiling still
Appears the face of day; assassin-like,
Smiling, though conscious of intended death.
But Nature trembles at her own repose;
The brute creation dread forebodings shake;
While man alone is bold…..But see where now
The labouring ocean, in fantastic shapes
And sudden swells, her heaving bosom rears;
Like the mad Pythia, when the Delphian god
Spoke by her fraudful lips….But here, alas!
A real God that world of waters moves
To do his dreadful bidding!….
Hark! he comes!
The thunder’s roar, the rush of winds proclaim
The Mighty One is near….But oh! when past
His power, and those he spared raised up their heads,
Where was the eye could bear upon the waste
To gaze, and mark the ruin stretching wide!
Oh! ye were blest, ye victims, ye who fell
Deep in the yawning chasm!….”Where are now,”
The sad survivor cries, “my peaceful home,
The sacred mosque I loved, the child, the wife
I clasped but now; the city towering high,
Proud in its strength?….Disperse, thou gloomy cloud,
And let me gaze on them!” The cloud’s dispersed;
But he beholds no city, he can trace
No vestige of his home: a putrid lake
Or barren ground replace them, and proclaim,
Devouring earthquake, thy resistless power.England! blest country, from such woes as these
Thy temperate clime preserves thee; lightly felt,
If ever, by thy comfort-breathing shores,
The earthquake desolating distant lands:
And….thou hast cause to lift thy voice most high,
In the great choir of nations hymning praise.
But ye, who wander from your native shores,
While haply such calamity draws near
As sunk Byzantium; ye, whose eager hearts
Anticipate a glad return to scenes
Ye shall behold no more, for ever swept
From off the earth, unconscious heirs of woe;
For you I mourn!….Methinks I see the cheek
Flushed with delight, chastized perhaps by fear,
When your own land approaches….See the eye
Misty with tears ope wide its eager lid
To catch the well-known objects! Horrid change!
Fear pales that glowing cheek, and dries that eye,
“It is our native shore,….but where are gone
The fanes, the spires, erewhile our city’s pride?”
I hear you cry. “The pilot is deceived,
And hope deceived us too….’Tis not our land!”
But soon the mournful certainty ye guess,
And leap to shore; and there ye call in vain
On all ye loved….Throughout the silent streets
That yet remain, perhaps some meagre form
May trembling steal along, and tell the tale;
While on the ruins some lone maniac sits,
And, as he points to where the chasm yawned,
Boasts of the treasures earth preserves for him;
Or, while a sudden beam of reason darts,
Screams his discordant anguish, and commands
Earth to give back his children!….

Angel of woe, that from the eternal hand
Receivest thy dread commission, going forth
To flap thy sable pinions o’er the world,
And shed unnumbered evils, which appear
To piety’s uplifted eye as good
Concealed in evil’s garb;….angel of woe,
Upon thy awful power I’ve pondered oft,
In all its dark varieties, I’ve sought
The horrid path where Madness stalks along
In fancied majesty, or from his cell
Sends the loud shriek, or more afflicting laugh;
And, as I hurried from the o’erwhelming scene,
Have shuddering owned thy awful presence there ,….
I’ve seen thee by the death-bed sit, and bid
The silent corse to speak again, and urge
The eyes for ever closed to ope once more
And beam as they were wont:….and I have walked
In slow procession to the opening grave,
And seen thee triumph when the earth received
The form beloved, and the deep bursting groan
Bespoke affliction’s forced composure o’er,
And agony victorious! I have gazed
Upon the guilty wretch, when, doomed to die,
Terror has vanquished him, and his pale cheek
Has proved the falsehood of his vaunting tongue,
While, to his startled fancy, in the rear
Of Death came judgement, and the world to come
Unfolded all its horrors! There, O there,
Thee I beheld, and fled from!….and I’ve heard
How on the sultry suffocating breath
Of livid pestilence, thou, floating wide,
Hast done thy master’s bidding! Vain were then
The ties of nature! from the parent’s grasp
The child has forced its once sustaining hand,
And, horror-struck, has from contagion fled!
While the fond parent, from his dying child
Vainly his aid imploring, terror-winged,
Has urged his selfish flight* ! And there thou wert….
But when the earthquake’s varied horrors come,
All, all thy ministers are waiting round,
Fear, Madness, Pestilence, Pain, Famine, Death,
And all the AGONIES COMBINED are there!

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

Remembrance

How dear to me the twilight hour!
It breathes, it speaks of pleasures past;
When Laura sought this humble bower,
And o’er it courtly splendours cast.

Fond fancy’s friend, dim twilight, hail!
Thou canst the absent nymph restore;
And as around thy shadows sail,
They bring the form I still adore.

Again her pensive smile I view,
Her modest eye’s soft chastened fire;
And mark her cheek of tender hue
From thee a softer tint acquire.

No eye but mine in that dim hour
The softly blushing maid could see;
And then her voice of magic power
Charmed with its sweetness none but me.

But now, alas! to distant plains,
To crowded scenes, perhaps, she flies;
She speaks, to charm unnumbered swains;
She smiles, to bless unnumbered eyes.

Yet if, while crowds before thee bow,
Thy lips to favouring smiles incline,
Think not, sweet maid, their bosoms glow
With love as pure, as true as mine.

Reflect,….I knelt before thy feet,
Afraid to speak, or look, or move,
Nor e’en thy pity dared entreat
For hours of hopeless pining love.

They can with bold unfaltering tongue
Their loudly-boasted flame reveal;
But, Laura, spurn the heartless throng,
They talk of pangs I only feel .

From glowing cheeks, and sparkling eyes,
O turn, my Laura! turn to him
From whose sunk cheek the colour flies,
Whose eye with hopeless love is dim.

O turn to me, whose blighted youth
The wreck of former days appears!….
But well the change has proved my truth,
And thou wilt own that change endears.

Yet, no; ah, no! forget, forget
My ardent love, my faith, and me;
Remember not we ever met;
I would not cause one pang to thee.

And when I hear that thou art blest,
My own distress I’ll learn to scorn;
I’ll bid imperious anguish rest,
While smiles my pallid lips adorn.

Deep in my heart the load of grief,
Concealed from every glance, shall lie;
Till sorrow proves its own relief,
And I shall suffer, smile, and die.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

Song Written to a Hindoo Air

Ask not, whence springs my ceaseless sadness,
But let me still the secret keep:
Ask not, why thus in restless madness
Pass the long hours once given to sleep:And strive not thus my looks to read:….
For ‘t is by certain fate decreed,
The cause that bids me rove forlorn,
If known, would only move thy scorn,
And make with anger’s lightnings shine
Those now soft-smiling eyes of thine.But know, when I no more behold thee,
And to distant scenes remove;
Should e’er a mournful tale be told thee,
Of a youth who died for love,

Who, though unknown to rank and fame,
Dared to admire a high-born dame;
But, still averse to wound her pride,
Sad silence kept, and pined, and died:….
My likeness in that victim see,
And pitying him thou’lt pity me.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

Stanzas to Cynthio

As o’er the sands the youthful Cynthio strayed,
Moist from the wave he saw a pebble shine,
While, with its borrowed lustre charmed, he said
“Henceforth this sparkling treasure shall be mine.”But when his hand had dried the glistening prize,
Wond’ring he found the pebble beamed no more!
Then, having viewed it with disdainful eyes,
He, frowning, whirled it to its native shore.Suppress thy fruitless rage! and on thy heart
Let this, sweet boy, a moral truth impress,
To blunt the power of Disappointment’s dart,
And make the dangerous sway of Fancy less.

As o’er the pebble’s form the waves had shed
In silver dews a soft attractive power,
So Fancy’s hand delights in youth to spread
Delusive colours on the future hour.

Moist from her pencil tempting scenes arise;
On common life, romance’s tints she lays;
Till cold Reality her hand applies,
And at the touch each flattered form decays.

Ingenuous boy, warned by experience, now
The pebble’s charms shall tempt thine eyes no more;
Would that my verse, my Cynthio, could bestow
A shield to guard thee against Fancy’s power!

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

The Moon and the Comet

This fact is clear….Both man and woman
Prize not what’s good, but what’s uncommon ;
And most delighted still they are,
Not with the excellent, but rare,….
I could of this give proofs most stable,
But, par exemple , take a fable.

‘T was night….but still a mimic day
Shone softly forth from milky way;
For now the bright unclouded moon
‘Was riding in her highest noon….’
Who, as she slowly sailed along,
Beheld a most unusual throng
With eyes upraised devoutly gazing,
And heard, “Behold! see there! amazing!”
“What can this mean?” dame Cynthia said,
“Perhaps,” and high she drew her head,
“Perhaps that I to earth tonight
Shine with unwonted beauty bright;
And therefore mortals in amaze
Come crowding forth on me to gaze;”
And then,….for heavenly beauties love,
Like earthly ones, applause to move,….
She stooped, within a lake below
To see how looked her sparkling brow:
And as her crescent she adjusted,
She thought, if mirrors might be trusted,
That night, so wondrous was her beauty,
To gaze on her was mortals’ duty.
But O! sad fall to female pride!
She soon with wondering looks descried
‘Twas not on her that eyes were turned;
For her no curious ardour burned;
At her no telescopes were aimed,
Nor wonder at her charms proclaimed;….
Some other idol now, she found,
Had fickle man in fetters bound;
And Cynthia was compelled to own,
Unseen her matchless beauty shone.
“But what,” she cried, “thus rivals me?
I all the stars and planets see….
Orion has his belt in order;
Of Saturn’s ring bright shines the border;
Mars sports his coat of reddest hue;
The Bear has put his horses to;….
But still, these sights so oft are seen,
There’s nothing new in them I ween:
And after all I know the cry
Is, ‘they are nought when I am by….’
‘Tis strange; and I shall surely pout
Until I’ve found my rival out.”

This said, she looked on every side
With eager looks of wounded pride,
And round with all the spite inspected
Of conscious beauty quite neglected;
When, lo! she saw with wondring breast,
Just twinkling in the northern west,
And dimly seen, since seen from far,
A rayless, misty, long-tailed star;
While homage from her charms was ravished,
To be on this poor Comet lavished!

W–k–e, beware! Though amateurs,
And nobles, artists, connoisseurs,
Thy works admire, thy skill commend,
And smiling o’er thy canvass bend,
Thy powers will be no more respected,
Thy crowded easel soon neglected,
If ever artist should appear
(The comet of dame fashion’s sphere,)
Who works to wondering London shows
Not done with fingers, but with….toes.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

To a Maniac

There was a time, poor phrensied maid,
When I could o’er thy grief have mourned,
And still with tears the tale repaid
Of sense by sorrow’s sway o’erturned.But now thy state my envy moves:
For thou art woe’s unconscious prize;
Thy heart no sense of suffering proves,
No fruitless tears bedew thine eyes.

Excess of sorrow, kind to thee,
At once destroyed thy reason’s power;
But reason still remains to me,
And only bids me grieve the more.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

To Henry, Written to a Russian Air

How I hail this morn’s appearing!
It will thee, my love, restore:
Safety danger past endearing,
Sure we meet to part no more!

Fame is thine, lo! crowds aver it,
And her smile is dear to thee;
But I charge thee, don’t prefer it
E’er again to home and me.

Thou, thy country’s call obeying,
Hast her battles nobly fought;
And, thy ready zeal repaying,
See, she gives the laurels sought.

But have I no claims, my rover?
Claims as fondly dear to thee?
Yes, O yes! and, wandering over,
Thou wilt rest with love and me.

Ha! methinks, thy glances reading,
From thine eyes my fate I know;
Duty still love’s claim impeding,
Thou again must seek the foe.

Of my fears too dread revival!
Yet, with tearful joy I see,
Duty is the only rival
Potent over love and me.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

To Lothario

Think not, Lothario, while I view
The bright expression of thy face,
And on thy cheek of crimson hue
Emotion’s varying beauties trace,That in my heart one feeling dwells,
But what the coldest must approve,
Nor think my conscious bosom swells
With aught resembling secret love.

No….still these eyes can fix on thine,
Nor fear their keenest glance to meet;
And when thou boldly searchest mine,
My quiet heart disdains to beat.

But, if by vain self-love misled,
Thou in my looks canst passion see;
And think, by weak illusions fed,
My towering hopes aspire to thee….

Let us my absent Henry seek;
And when he meets my conscious eyes,
In every glance my heart will speak,
And plainly tell for whom it sighs.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

Julia, or the Convent of St. Claire

Stranger, that massy, mouldering pile,
Whose ivied ruins load the ground,
Reechoed once to pious strains
By holy sisters breathed around.

There many a noble virgin came
To bid the world she loved….adieu;
There, victim of parental pride,
To years of hopeless grief withdrew.

Yes, proud St. Claire! thy costly walls
Have witnessed oft the mourner’s pain;
And hearts in joyless durance bound,
Which sighed for kindred hearts in vain.

But never more within thy cells
Shall beauty breathe the fruitless sigh,
Nor hid beneath the envious veil
Shall sorrow dim the sparkling eye.

For now, a sight by reason blest,
Thy gloomy dome in ruins falls,
While bats and screechowls harbour there,
Sole tenants of thy crumbling walls.

And soon, blest change! as those dread plains,
Where Etna’s burning torrents poured,
Become, when Time its power has shed,
With softly-smiling verdure stored:

So, when thy darkly-frowning towers
The verdant plain no longer load,
These scenes, where sorrow reigned, may prove
Fond, faithful lovers’ blest abode.

And they shall pledge the nuptial vow,
Where once far different vows were heard;
And where thy pining virgins mourned,
Shall babes, sweet smiling babes, be reared.

Hail, glorious change, to Nature dear!
Methinks I see the bridal throng;
And hark, where lonely sisters prayed,
How sweetly swells the social song!

But nought, O! nought can her restore
To social life, to happy love,
Who once amidst thy cloistered train
With passion’s hopeless sorrow strove.

Lamented maid! my faithful Muse
To pity’s ear shall tell thy tale;
Shall tell, at midnight’s awful hour
Why groaning ghosts affright the vale.

On Julia’s softly dimpled cheek
Just bloom’d to view youth’s opening rose,
When, proudly stern, her father bade
St. Claire’s dark walls her bloom enclose.

But no reluctance to obey
With tears bedewed her beauteous cheek,
Since love with soft persuasive power
Not yet had taught her heart to speak.

“Yes,….be a nun’s vocation mine,
So I my brother’s bliss improve;
His be their wealth,” sweet Julia cried,
So I may boast my parent’s love!”

Proud Clermont blessed his generous child;
Her gentler mother dropped a tear,
As if her boding heart foretold
That love and Julia’s woes were near.

For lo! where glows the nuptial feast,
And Clermont’s heir leads in his bride,
While Julia, called that feast to grace,
Sits by a blooming baron’s side.

Dear, fatal hour! the feast is o’er,
But still in faithful memory charms,
And Julia’s conscious heart has learnt
To throb with passion’s new alarms.

“Now then I feel the power of love,”
She on her sleepless pillow cried,
“Then must I still my sire obey,
And this warm heart in cloisters hide?

“But hold, fond girl! thy throbbing breast
May be with hopeless fondness fraught;
Yet sure Montrose’s speaking eyes
Declared he felt the love he taught.”

And well her hopes his glance had read,….
Montrose a mutual passion felt,
Nor long his tender pangs concealed,
But at her feet impassioned knelt.

Her downcast eye, her blush, her smile
To crown her lover’s suit conspired,
Who, bold in hope, to Clermont told
The artless wish by fondness fired.

But told in vain–“Away!” he cried;
“O’er me your pleadings boast no power:
Think not my son his rights shall yield,
To swell my pining daughter’s dower.”

“No:–let his rights still sacred be,”
Montrose with throbbing heart replied,
“Give me but Julia’s willing hand,
I ask, I wish for nought beside.”

“And darest thou think that Clermont’s child
Shall e’er pronounce the nuptial vow
Unless,” he said, “I could a dower
Equal to Clermont’s rank bestow!

“Away, young lord! entreat no more!
Nor thus with vain complainings mourn;
For, ere tomorrow’s sun has set,
My child shall to her cell return.”

He spoke, and frown’d.–Alas, Montrose!
In vain thy manly bosom mourned
For, ere tomorrow’s sun had set,
Thy Julia to her cell returned.

But changed indeed! Youth’s opening rose
Now on her cheek no longer glowed;
And now, with earthly cares opprest,
Before the holy shrine she bowed.

Now to religion’s rites no more
Her heart with ready zeal impelled;
No more with genuine fervour warm,
Her voice the holy anthem swelled.

“Whence thy pale cheek? and whence, my child,
Proceeds this change?” the abbess said,
“Why heaves thy breast with deep-drawn sighs,
And wherefore droops thy youthful head?”

“Yes,….you shall know,” the sufferer cried,
“And let my fate your pity move!
See Passion’s victim! Morn and eve
This struggling soul is lost in love.

“And I yon sacred shrine profane;
The cross with languid zeal I press;
Montrose’s image claims the vows
Which my false lips to Heaven address.

“Yes:–while I drop the sacred bead,
His form obtrudes upon my view,
And love’s warm tears my rosary wet,
Love claims the sigh devotion’s due.

“Inhuman Father! wilt thou risk
My peace on earth, and hopes of heaven?
Tremble, tyrannic parent, think
What love may do to madness driven!”

With pitying heart the abbess heard;
For she an answering pang had known,
And well her gentle soul could mourn
A fate, a grief, so like her own.

“But why despair, my child?” she said,
“Before thy father lowly kneel,
And teach that heart, though fenced by pride,
Compassion’s generous throb to feel.”

Julia the kind advice obeyed;
And when the haughty Clermont came,
Before his feet she lowly knelt,
And hailed him by a parent’s name.

“Think’st thou to wrong thy brother’s rights
I e’er can be by thee beguiled?”
“Father!” her trembling lips replied,
“Say, is not Julia too your child?

“For him you bid the nuptial feast,
And all life’s dearest blessings glow,
While I, alike your child, you doom
To hopeless love, and lonely woe.”

But vain remonstrance, tears, and prayers;
The Count’s proud heart could all deride,
For Nature’s voice can never melt
The callous bosom fenced by pride.

“Urge me no more,” he fiercely said,
“But know, not long these prayers can last;
Reflect, fond girl! at morning’s dawn
The year of thy probation’s past!”

Pale, pale grew then her youthful cheek,
Heart-piercing seemed her mournful cry:
“Clermont! relent,” her mother cried,
“Nor coldly doom thy child to die.”

But vain was Julia’s piercing shriek;
Nor justice he nor mercy knew:
“Receive,” he said, “my last embrace,”….
Then from the mournful scene withdrew.

Loud called the evening bell to prayers,
But still on Julia vainly called,
Who, leaning on her mother’s breast,
With desperate words that breast appalled.

“Suppress, suppress thy grief, my child,
Or fear to call dread vengeance down:
Wouldst thou not tremble, impious girl!
Before thy God’s avenging frown?”

“Paint not that gracious God in frowns,
Did not for us a Saviour bleed?
In mercy clothe his awful power,
For I shall soon that mercy need.”

Dark, cheerless, awful is the night
When tempests load the troubled air;
But darker, gloomier is the mind
Where reigns the ghastly fiend Despair.

Fond mother! in thy Julia’s eyes
Canst thou not see his reign is near?
Inhuman father! hark! loud groans
Shall swell the blast;….Beware! beware!

“Mother, the hour commands thee hence,”
Sad Julia cried, “we now must part;
And never may thy bosom know
A grief like that which rends my heart!

“In all thy prayers tonight for me,
The awful throne of Heaven address,
While I with grateful bosom kneel,
And bid its power thy goodness bless.”

Speechless the mourning mother heard;
Her tongue denied the word ‘farewell!’
At length her quivering lips she pressed,
And Julia hurried to her cell…..

Now chill and loud the North wind blew,
Through the long aisles hoarse murmurs ran;
The shuddering sisters’ cheeks were pale,
When they their midnight tasks began.

Mock’d by deep groans each anthem seemed,
The vaulted roofs still gloomier grew:
The blast of night was swelled by shrieks,
The bird of night ill-omened flew.

The trembling tapers grew more pale,
While, where their languid radiance fell,
A phantom dimly seemed to glide,
And loud was heard the passing bell.

“Did you not see a phantom flit?
Did you not hear the passing bell?”
Each sister cried; while, pale with dread,
With hurried steps she sought her cell.

At length arose the fatal morn
Decreed to seal sad Julia’s doom,
And make the worm of hopeless love
Feed on her beauty’s opening bloom.

“Julia, thy bridal vest prepare;
Thy heavenly spouse expects thee; rise!”
The abbess cried.–“Oh, stay awhile,”
Julia with broken tones replies.

“The tapers burn, the altar glows,
Robed are the priests in costly pride,
The organ sounds! Prepare!”–Again
“One moment stay!” the victim cried.

When through the long and echoing aisles
An unknown voice the abbess hears–
It seems with wild, impatience fraught–
And lo! Montrose himself appears!

“I come,” he cries, “to claim my bride;
A father’s frown no more impedes:
His son’s no more!–and Julia now
To Clermont’s wealth and power succeeds.”

Distrest, yet pleased, the abbess heard,
While on to Julia’s cell she led,
And, as she went, to pitying Heaven
Her arms in pious homage spread.

“Julia, come forth! come forth, my child!
Unlock thy cell, Montrose’s bride!
Now thou art his, a father’s frown
No longer will your fates divide.

“Behold him here to snatch thee hence,
And give thee to thy father’s sight.”
“How! silent still?” Montrose exclaimed;
“Why thus thy lover’s soul affright?”

The door with trembling speed he forced….
Ah me! what object meets their eyes!
Stretcht on her bed in death’s last pangs,
And bathed in blood, his Julia lies.

Presumptuous girl! when Heaven afflicts
Should we its dread decrees arraign?
Lo! Heaven thy woe with mercy saw,
But thou hast made its mercy vain.

“Behold the work of rash despair!”
In fluttering, feeble words she said:
“Had I been patient still, Montrose,
This day had blessings on me shed.

“Didst thou not say my father’s heart
Had deigned at length thy vows to hear?
Too late remorse! but oh, to him
My pardon, and my blessing bear.

“But must I die? and canst not thou
Thy Julia from death’s terrors save?
We should have been so blest, Montrose!
And must I leave thee for the grave?

“Help me! they tear me from thy arms,
Save me, O save thy destin’d bride!
It will not be;….forgive me, Heaven!”
She feebly said, then groaned and died.

Oh! who can paint the lover’s woe,
Or childless father’s deep remorse,
While, bending o’er the blood-stained bed,
He clasped his daughter’s pallid corse!

But from this scene of dreadful woe,
Learn why the village swain turns pale,
When he at midnight wanders near
The mouldering Convent in the vale.

There, faintly heard through whispering trees,
A mournful voice on Julia calls;
There, dimly seen, a blood-stained vest
Streams ghastly o’er the ivied walls.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

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