Amelia Opie Poems Part 02

Amelia Opie Poems Part 02,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 02

 

Love Elegy, to Henry

Then thou hast learnt the secret of my soul,
Officious Friendship has its trust betrayed;
No more I need the bursting sigh control,
Nor summon pride my struggling soul to aid.

But think not banished hope returns again,
Think not I write thy thankless heart to move;
The faded form that tells my tender pain
May win thy pity, but it can’t thy love.

Nor can I move thee by soft winning art,
By manners taught to charm, or practised glance;
Artless as thine, my too too feeling heart
Disdains the tutored eye, the fond advance.

The cold coquette, to win her destined prey,
May feign a passion which she ne’er can feel;
But I true Passion’s soft commands obey,
And fain my tender feelings would conceal.

In others’ eyes, when fixed on thine, I see
That fondness painted which alone I know;
Think not, my Henry, they can love like me,
More love I hide than they can e’er bestow.

While tender glances their emotions speak,
And oft they heave and oft suppress the sigh;
O turn to me, behold my pallid cheek
Shrinking from thine, behold my downcast eye!

While they by mirth, by wit, thine ear amuse,
And by their eloquence thy plaudits seek;
See me the fond contention still refuse,
Nor in thy presence, Henry, dare to speak.

When asked to breathe the soul-enchanting song,
See them o’erjoyed exert their utmost art;
While vainly I would join the choral throng,
Lost are those tones which once could touch the heart.

But, Henry, wert thou in Love’s language wise,
Vainly would others more than Emma shine;
Beyond their sweetest strains thy heart would prize
One faint, one broken, tender tone of mine.

O proofs of passion, eloquent as vain!
By thee unheeded, or perhaps unknown,….
But learn, the pangs that prompt this pensive strain,
Ere long, disdainful youth, may be thine own.

Ah! no….in hopeless love thou canst not pine,
Thou ne’er canst woo the brightest maid in vain;
For thee Love’s star midst cloudless skies will shine,
And light thy graceful steps to Hymen’s fane:

While I, as hope, and strength, and life recede,
Far, far from thee shall waste the languid day;
Blest, if the scroll that speaks thy bliss I read,
But far more blest to feel life’s powers decay.

 Amelia Opie Poems (Part-02)
Amelia Opie Poems (Part-02)

On the Approach of Autumn

Farewell gay Summer! now the changing wind
That Autumn brings commands thee to retreat;
It fades the roses which thy temples bind,
And the green sandals which adorn thy feet.

Now flies with thee the walk at eventide,
That favouring hour to rapt enthusiasts dear;
When most they love to seek the mountain side,
And mark the pomp of twilight hastening near.

Then fairy forms around the poet throng,
On every cloud a glowing charm he sees….
Sweet Evening, these delights to thee belong:….
But now, alas! comes Autumn’s chilling breeze,
And early Night, attendant on its sway,
Bears in her envious veil sweet Fancy’s hour away.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

Secret Love

Not one kind look….one friendly word!
Wilt thou in chilling silence sit;
Nor through the social hour afford
One cheering smile, or beam of wit?

Yet still, absorbed in studious care,
Neglect to waste one look on me;
For then my happy eyes may dare
To gaze and dwell unchecked on thee.

And still in silence sit, nor deign
One gentle precious word to say;
For silent I may then remain,
Nor let my voice my soul betray.

This faltering voice, these conscious eyes,
My throbbing heart too plainly speak:
There timid hopeless passion lies,
And bids it silence keep, and break .

To me how dear this twilight hour,
Cheered by the faggot’s varying blaze!
If this be mine, I ask no more
On morn’s refulgent light to gaze:

For now, while on HIS glowing cheek
I see the fire’s red radiance fall,
The darkest seat I softly seek,
And gaze on HIM , unseen by all.

His folded arms, his studious brow,
His thoughtful eye, unmarked, I see;
Nor could his voice or words bestow
So dear, so true a joy on me.

But he forgets that I am near….
Fame, future fame, in thought he seeks:
To him ambition’s paths appear,
And bright the sun of science breaks.

His heart with ardent hope is filled;
His prospects full of beauty bloom:
But, oh! my heart despair has chilled,
My only prospect is….the tomb!

One only boon from Heaven I claim,
And may it grant the fond desire!
That I may live to hear his fame,
And in that throb of joy expire .

Oft hast thou marked my chilling eye,
And mourned my cold reserve to see,
Resolved the fickle friend to fly,
Who seemed unjust to worth and thee:

While I, o’erjoyed, thy anger saw….
Blest proof I had not tried in vain
To give imperious passion law,
And hide my bosom’s conscious pain.

But when night’s sheltering darkness came,
And none the conscious wretch could view,
How fiercely burned the smothered flame!
How deep was every sigh I drew!

Yet still to thee I’ll clothe my brow
In all that jealous pride requires;
My look the type of Ætna’s snow….
My heart, of Ætna’s secret fires.

One little moment, short as blest,
Compassion Love’s soft semblance wore;
My meagre form he fondly pressed,
And on his beating bosom bore.

His frame with strong emotion shook,
And kindness tuned each faltering word;
While I, surprised, with anxious look
The meaning of his glance explored.

But soon my too experienced heart
Read nought but generous pity there;
I felt presumptuous hope depart,
And all again was dark despair.

Yet still, in memory still, my heart
Lives o’er that fleeting bliss again;
I feel his glance, his touch, impart
Emotion through each bursting vein.

And “Once ,” I cry, “those eyes so sweet
On me with fondness deigned to shine;
For once I felt his bosom beat
Against the conscious throbs of mine!”

Nor shall the dear remembrance die
While aught of life to me is given;
But soothe my last convulsive sigh,
And be, till then, my joy….my heaven!

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

Song: Yes, Mary Ann, I Freely Grant

Yes, Mary Ann, I freely grant,
The charms of Henry’s eyes I see;
But while I gaze, I something want,
I want those eyes — to gaze on me.

And I allow, in Henry’s heart
Not Envy’s self a fault can see:
Yet still I must one wish impart,
I wish that heart — to sigh for me.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

The Lucayan’s Song

Hail, lonely shore! hail, desert cave!
To you, o’erjoyed, from men I fly,
And here I’ll make my early grave….
For what can misery do but die?Sad was the hour when, fraught with guile,
Spain’s cruel sons our valleys sought;
Unknown to us the Christian’s wile,
Unknown the dark deceiver’s thought.They said, that here, for ever blest,
Our loved forefathers lived and reigned;
And we, by pious fondness prest,
Believed the flattering tales they feigned.

But when we learnt the mournful truth….
No, I’ll the horrid tale forbear:
For on our trusting, blighted youth,
My brethren, who will drop a tear!

Thou treasure of these burning eyes,
Where wave thy groves, dear native isle?
Methinks where yon blue mountains rise,
‘Tis there thy precious valleys smile!

Yes….yes….these tears of joy that start,
The softly-soothing truth declare:
Thou whisperest right, my beating heart….
My loved regretted home is there!

But then its trees that wave so high,
The glittering birds that deck each grove,
I cannot, cannot hence descry,
Nor, dearer far, the forms I love.

Yet still the winds that cool my brow,
And o’er these murmuring waters come,
A joy that mocks belief bestow;
For sure they lately left my home.

Then deeply I’ll the breeze inhale,
To life it yet imparts one joy,
Methinks your breath has filled the gale,
My faithful love, my prattling boy!

My prattling boy, my beauteous wife!
Say, do you still my name repeat,
And only bear the load of life
In hopes that we once more may meet!

My love! in dreams thou still art nigh,
But changed and pale thou seemest to be;
Yet still the more thou charmest my eye,
I think thee changed by love for me:….

While oft, to fond remembrance true,
I see thee seek the sparkling sand,
In hopes the little bark to view
That bears me to my native land.

But never more shall Zama’s eye
Her loved returning husband see,
Nor more her locks of ebon dye
Shall Zama fondly braid for me.

Yet still, with hope chastised by fear,
Watch for my bark from yonder shore,
And still, my Zama, think me near,
When this torn bosom throbs no more.

Yet surely hope, each day deceived,
At length to daring deeds will fire;
The Spaniard’s tale no more believed,
My fate will fearful doubts inspire.

And then, blest thought! across the main
Thou’lt haste, thy injured love to find,
All danger scorn, all fears disdain,
And gladly trust the waves and wind.

Ha! even now the distant sky
Seems by one spot of darkness crost;
Yes, yes, a vessel meets my eye!…..
Or else I gaze in phrensy lost!

It hither steers!……..No….beating breast,
Too well I see what bade thee glow;
The sea-bird hastening to its nest,
To taste a joy I ne’er shall know.

Moment of hope, too bright to last,
Thou hast but deepened my despair;
But woe’s severest pangs are past,
For life’s last closing hours are near.

‘T was morn when first this beach I sought,
Now evening’s shadows fill the plain;
Yet here I’ve stood entranced in thought,
Unheeding thirst, fatigue, or pain.

‘T is past….I faint…my throbbing brow
Cold clammy drops I feel bedew;
Dear native shore! where art thou now?….
Some Spaniard shuts thee from my view.

Monster, away! and let me taste
That joy in death, in life denied!
Still let me o’er the watery waste
Behold the hills which Zama hide!

Alas! I rave! no foe is near;
‘T is death’s thick mist obscures my sight;
Those precious hills, to memory dear,
No more shall these fond eyes delight!

But sent from thee, my native shore,
Again that precious breeze is nigh….
Zama, I feel thy breath once more,
And now content, transported, die!

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

The Origin of the Sail

“Sweet maid! on whom my wishes rest,
My morning thought, my midnight dream,
O grant Lysander’s fond request,
And let those eyes with mercy beam!”Thy coy delays at length give o’er,
And let me claim thy nuptial vow!
Bid that cold bosom, cold no more,
With mutual passion’s ardour glow.”To yonder isle amidst the sea,
Which sportive laves those mountains’ feet,
Beloved Euphrasia, haste with me,
And there the priest of Hymen meet.

“There, spicy groves thick foliage spread
The timid virgin’s blush to hide;
There, gales which tender languors shed
Diffuse the richest perfumes wide.

“O! blest retreat for happy love!
And see the sun’s descending beams
Now richly gild each distant grove,
And shed around soft roseate gleams.

“Then let this bark for thee designed,
For thee by anxious fondness drest,
Yon beauteous island strive to find,
And bear us o’er the ocean’s breast.”

Here paused the youth, and round her waist
His arm with timid boldness threw;
While from his grasp, with blushing haste,
The pleased yet frowning fair withdrew.

“And wilt thou scorn my suit?” he said,
While in despair his hands he wrung….
“Behold!” replied the yielding maid,
And to the bark she, sighing, sprung.

There, fondly seated by her side,
The youth her fluttered spirits cheered,
And o’er the eve-empurpled tide
To find the priest of Hymen steered.

But too, too slow for lovers’ haste
The sluggish bark appeared to move;
Still lengthening seemed the watry waste,
To thy fond glances, eager love!

At length with fruitless wishes tired,
The fretful youth to Cupid prayed;
Who, pitying power! a thought inspired
The ardent suppliant’s will to aid.

To hide her face from Love’s keen gaze,
O’er which Consent’s soft languor spread,
Within her veil’s luxuriant maze
Euphrasia wrapt her beauteous head.

But now that veil the youth unbinds,
Then to the bark with ardour ties….
See! its folds catch the passing winds,
And lo, to land the vessel flies!

But not alone, youth loved of heaven!
Thy glowing bosom blessed that hour;
The thought, to crown thy wishes given,
Still charms with never-ending power:

And grateful ages yet unborn
Shall bless Euphrasia’s floating veil;
Thence dawned on Art a brighter morn,
For thence she framed the swelling sail.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

To Anna

This faded lip may oft to thee
As gay a smile, my Anna, wear,
As when in youth, from sorrow free,
I only shed the transient tear.

And oft chill Autumn’s varying day,
Resembles April’s genial hours;
And glitters with the noontide ray,
Though oftener dark with clouds and showers.

And, when I join the social throng,
This heart as warmly seems to glow
As when my pensive early song
Was only tuned to fancied woe.

And oft we see gay ivy’s wreath
The tree with brilliant bloom o’erspread,
When, part its leaves, and gaze beneath,
We find the hidden tree is dead.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

To Laura

Cease, Laura, cease, suspect no more
This careless heart has learnt to love,
Because on yonder lonely shore
I still at pensive evening rove;Because of Henry’s worth I speak
With eager warmth and sparkling eye;
Because his favourite haunts I seek,
And still o’erjoyed to meet him fly:….But, Laura, should my faltering tongue
Refuse to speak in Henry’s praise,
My trembling voice deny the song
When Henry claims his favourite lays;

When Henry comes, should I neglect
With smiles the welcome youth to seek,
But meet him full of cold respect,
While conscious blushes paint my cheek;

Should I, when Ella shares his praise,
Heave deeply-drawn but smothered sighs,
And, when on me he deigns to gaze,
Fix on the earth my conscious eyes;….

Then, I’ll no more thy charge deny,
No more thy tender fears reprove:
Then, Laura, heave compassion’s sigh,
For mine will be the sigh of love.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

Yes, Mary Ann

Yes, Mary Ann, I freely grant,
The charms of Henry’s eyes I see;
But while I gaze, I something want,
I want those eyes — to gaze on me.And I allow, in Henry’s heart
Not Envy’s self a fault can see:
Yet still I must one wish impart,
I wish that heart — to sigh for me.
 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

Lines on the Opening of a Spring Campaign

Spring! thy impatient bloom restrain!
Nor wake so soon thy genial power;
For deeds of death must hail thy reign,
And clouds of fate around thee lower:….In vain thy balmy breath to me
Scents with its sweets the evening gale;
In vain the violet’s charms I see,
Or fondly mark thy primrose pale:To me thy softest zephyrs breathe
Of sorrow’s soul-disparting tone;
To me thy most attractive wreath
Seems tinged with human blood alone.

Arrest thy steps, thou source of love,
Thou genial friend of joy and life!
Let not thy smile propitious prove
To works of carnage, scenes of strife:

Bid winter all his frowns recall,
And back his icy footsteps trace;
Again the soil in frost enthral,
And check the war-fiend’s murderous chase.

Fond, fruitless prayer! Thy hand divine
The smiling season on must lead;
And still at war’s ensanguined shrine
Must bid unnumbered victims bleed.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

Ode to Borrowdale

IN CUMBERLAND.

Hail , Derwent’s beauteous pride!
Whose charms rough rocks in threatening grandeur guard,
Whose entrance seems to mortals barred,
But to the Genius of the storm thrown wide.

He on thy rock’s dread height,
Reclined beneath his canopy of clouds,
His form in darkness shrouds,
And frowns as fixt to keep thy beauties from the sight.

But rocks and storms are vain:
Midst mountains rough and rude
Man’s daring feet intrude,
Till, lo! upon the ravished eye
Burst thy clear stream, thy smiling sky,
Thy wooded valley, and thy matchless plain.

Bright vale! the Muse’s choicest theme,
My morning thought, my midnight dream;
Still memory paints thee, smiling scene,
Still views the robe of purest green,
Refreshed by beauty-shedding rains,
Which wraps thy flower-enamelled plains;

Still marks thy mountains’ fronts sublime,
Force graces from the hand of time;
Still I thy rugged rocks recall,
Which seem as nodding to their fall,
Whose wonders fixed my aching sight,
Till terror yielded to delight,
And my surprises, pleasures, fears,
Were told by slow delicious tears.

But suddenly the smiling day
That cheered the valley, flies away;
The wooded rocks, the rapid stream,
No longer boast the noon-tide beam.

But storms athwart the mountains sail,
And darkly brood o’er Borrowdale.
The frightened swain his cottage seeks,
Ere the thick cloud in terror speaks:–
And see, pale lightning flashes round!
While as the thunder’s awful sound
On Echo’s pinion widely flies,
Yon cataract’s roar unheeded dies;….
And thee, Sublimity! I hail,
Throned on the gloom of Borrowdale.

But soon the thunder dies away,
The flash withdraws its fearful ray;

Again upon the silver stream
Waves in bright wreaths the noon-tide beam.

O scene sequestered, varied, wild,
Scene formed to soothe Affliction’s child,
How blest were I to watch each charm
That decks thy vale in storm or calm!

To see Aurora’s hand unbind
The mists by night’s chill power confined;
Upon the mountain’s dusky brow
Then mark their colours as they flow,
Gliding the colder West to seek,
As from the East day’s splendours break.

Now the green plain enchants the sight,
Adorned with spots of yellow light;
While, by its magic influence, shade
With contrast seems each charm to aid,
And clothes the woods in deeper dyes,
To suit the azure-vested skies.
While, lo! the lofty rocks above,
Where proudly towers the bird of Jove;
See from the view yon radiant cloud
His broad and sable pinions shroud,
Till, as he onward wings his flight,
He vanishes in floods of light;
Where feathered clouds on æther sail,
And glittering hang o’er Borrowdale…..

Or, at still midnight’s solemn hour,
When the dull bat revolves no more,
In search of nature’s awful grace,
I’d go, with slow and cautious pace,
Where the loud torrent’s foaming tide
Lashes the rock’s uneven side,….
That rock which, o’er the stream below
Bending its moss-clad crumbling brow,
Makes pale with fear the wanderer’s cheek,
Nor midnight’s silence fails to break
By fragments from its aged head,
Which, rushing to the river’s bed,
Cause, as they dash the waters round,
A dread variety of sound;

While I the gloomy grandeur hail,
And awe-struck rove through Borrowdale.

Yes, scene sequestered, varied, wild,
So form’d to soothe Affliction’s child,
Sweet Borrowdale! to thee I’ll fly,
To hush my bosom’s ceaseless sigh.
If yet in Nature’s store there be
One kind heart-healing balm for me,
Now the long hours are told by sighs,
And sorrow steals health’s crimson dyes,–
If aught can smiles and bloom restore,
Ah! surely thine’s the precious power!

Then take me to thy world of charms,
And hush my tortured breast’s alarms;
Thy scenes with unobtrusive art
Shall steal the mourner from her heart,….
The hands in sorrow claspt unclose,
Bid her sick soul on Heaven repose,
And, soothed by time and nature, hail
Health, peace, and hope in Borrowdale.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

On the Place de la Concorde

[Originally called the Place de Louis Seize,–next the Place de la
Revolution, where the perpetual guillotine stood.]Proud Seine, along thy winding tide
Fair smiles yon plain expanding wide,
And, deckt with art and nature’s pride,
Seems formed for jocund revelry.Scene, formed the eye of taste to please!
There splendid domes attention seize,
There, proudly towering, spreading trees
Arise in beauteous rivalry:….

But there’s a place amidst that plain
Which bids its beauties beam in vain;
Which wakes the inmost soul to pain,
And prompts the throb of agony.

That place by day, lo! numbers fly,
And, shuddering, start to see it nigh;
Who there at midnight breathe the sigh
Of faithful, suffering, loyalty.

While, blending with those loyal sighs,
Oft times the patriot’s murmurs rise,
Who thither, hid by darkness, flies,
To mourn the sons of liberty.

Lo! as amidst that plain I stray,
Methinks strange sadness shrouds the day,
And clothed in slaughter’s red array
Appears the scene of gayety.

For once that spot was dark with blood,
There death’s destroying engine stood,
There streamed, alas! the vital flood
Of all that graced humanity.

Ah! since this fair domain ye chose,
Dread ruffians, for your murderous blows,
Could not the smiling scene unclose
Your hearts to love and charity!

No….horrid contrast! on that scene
The murderer reared his poniard keen;
There proudly stalked with hideous mien
The blood-stained sons of anarchy.

Nor, Gallia, shall thy varied mirth,
Thy store of all that graces earth,
Ere give a kind oblivion birth
To thy recorded cruelty.

In all thy pomp of charms and power,
Earth can, alas! forget no more
The awful guilt that stains thy shore
With dies of sanguine tyranny,

Than they who see blue lightnings beam
Can ere forget, though fair they seem,
That danger lurks in every gleam,
And death’s appalling agency.

Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

Song

I am wearing away like the snow in the sun,
I am wearing away from the pain in my heart;
But ne’er shall he know, who my peace has undone,
How bitter, how lasting, how deep is my smart.

I know he would pity–so kind is his soul,
To him my affliction would agony be;
But never, while I can my feelings control,
The youth whom I love shall know sorrow through me.

Though longing to weep, in his presence I’ll smile,
Call the flush of my cheek the pure crimson of health;
His fears for my peace by my song I’ll beguile,
Nor venture to gaze on his eyes but by stealth.

For conscious I am, by my glance is exprest
The passion that faithful as hopeless will be,
And he, whom, alas! I can ne’er render blest,
Shall never, no never, know sorrow through me.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

Songs Written to Welsh Airs

How fondly I gaze on the fast falling-leaves,
That mark, as I wander, the summer’s decline;
And then I exclaim, while my conscious heart heaves,
“Thus early to droop and to perish be mine!”Yet once I remember, in moments long past,
Most dear to my sight was the spring’s opening bloom;
But then my youth’s spring sorrow had not o’ercast,
Nor taught me with fondness to look on the tomb.Fair Spring! now no longer these grief-faded eyes
Thy rich glowing beauties with pleasure can see;
Thy pale sickly hues, chilly Autumn, I prize,
They suit blighted hopes, and are emblems of me.

Where dost thou bide, blessed soul of my love!
Is ether thy dwelling, O whisper me where!
Rapt in remembrance, while lonely I rove,
I gaze on bright clouds, and I fancy thee there.

Or to thy bower when musing I go,
I think, ‘t is thy voice that I hear in the breeze;
Softly it seems to speak peace to my woe,
And life once again for a moment can please.

If this be phrensy alone, ‘t is so dear,
That long may the pleasing delusion be nigh;
Still Ellen’s voice in the breeze may I hear,
Still see in bright clouds the kind beams of her eye!

Low hung the dark clouds on Plinlimmon’s tall peak,
And slowly, yet surely, the winter drew near;
When Ellen, sweet Ellen, a tear on her cheek,
Exclaimed as we parted, “In May I’ll be here.”

How swiftly I ran up the mountain’s steep height,
To catch the last glimpse of an object so dear!
And, when I no longer could keep her in sight,
I thought on her promise,….”In May I’ll be here.”

Now gladly I mark from Plinlimmon’s tall peak
The low-hanging vapours and clouds disappear,
And climb the rough mountain, thence Ellen to seek,
Repeating her promise….”In May I’ll be here.”

But vainly I gaze the wide prospect around,
‘T is May, yet no Ellen returning is near:
Oh, when shall I see her! when feel my heart bound,
As sweetly she cries, “It is May, and I’m here!”

You ask why these mountains delight me no more,
And why lovely Clwyd’s attractions are o’er;
Ah! have you not heard, then, the cause of my pain?
The pride of fair Clwyd, the boast of the plain,
We never, no never, shall gaze on again!

What though from her coldness keen anguish I felt,
And vainly, to move her, in agony knelt;
Yet could I restore her, I’d never complain,
Not e’en though she doomed me to endless disdain….
I’d bear any torture to see her again.

I grieved when on others with kindness she gazed,
I mourned when another with pleasure she praised;
But could I recall her to life by my pain,
I’d urge her to favour some happier swain,
And wish no reward but to see her again.

Those beauties that charmed me, from death I would free,
Though sure that those beauties another’s should be!
But truth, and affection, and grief are all vain;
The pride of fair Clwyd, the boast of our plain,
We never, ah never! can gaze on again!

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

The Mad Wanderer

There came to Grasmere’s pleasant vale
A stranger maid in tatters clad,
Whose eyes were wild, whose cheek was pale,
While oft she cried, “Poor Kate is mad!”

Four words were all she’d ever say,
Nor would she shelter in a cot;
And e’en in winter’s coldest day
She still would cry, “My brain is hot.”

A look she had of better days;
And once, while o’er the hills she ranged,
We saw her on her tatters gaze,
And heard her say, “How Kate is changed!”

Whene’er she heard the death-bell sound,
Her face grew dreadful to behold;
She started, trembled, beat the ground,
And shuddering cried, “Poor Kate is cold!”

And when to church we brought the dead,
She came in ragged mourning drest;
The coffin-plate she trembling read,
Then laughing cried, “Poor Kate is blest!”

But when a wedding peal was rung,
With dark revengeful leer she smiled,
And, curses muttering on her tongue,
She loudly screamed, “Poor Kate is wild!”

To be in Grasmere church interred,
A corpse one day from far was brought;
Poor Kate the death-bell sounding heard,
And reached the aisle as quick as thought:

When on the coffin looking down,
She started, screamed, and back retired,
Then clasped it….breathing such a groan!
And with that dreadful groan expired.

 Amelia Opie Poems
Amelia Opie Poems

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