How fondly I gaze on the fast falling-leaves,
by Amelia Opie
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!