[Page 136]

EDWIN AND ALICIA.

A TALE.

1 MANY are the mournful stories
2 Which the page of love unfolds;
3 Many are the piercing sorrows
4 Which that faithful record holds.
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5 Love, that jewel of our nature,
6 Parents oft have sought to buy;
7 But 'tis merit makes the purchase,
8 Or 'tis fancy casts the die.
9 'Tis not wealth, nor sordid riches,
10 That are treasures of the mind;
11 No; 'tis surely sweet contentment
12 Which in humble breasts we find.
13 Think not, parents, that your children
14 Can your sober plans pursue,
15 Or your influence bind their natures
16 E'er to think or act like you.
17 Fifty years have render'd callous
18 Those affections which you blame;
19 But let Memory be recorder,
20 And you'll find yours once the same.
21 If at twenty hearts were harden'd,
22 And could every feeling brave;
23 What would be their rigid natures
24 Ere they dropp'd into the grave!
25 Once within this happy island
26 Liv'd a knight of mighty fame;
27 Birth, and wealth, and growing greatness,
28 From the world acquire a name.
29 Pride had mix'd with every honour,
30 And ambition steel'd his breast;
31 Nor did there e'er one soft emotion
32 Make atonement for the rest.
33 Yet the wise and gracious Donor
34 Had one counter-gift bestow'd;
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35 And, to lead his soul to mercy,
36 Sweet Alicia points the road.
37 Youth conjoin'd with all the Graces
38 Taught the maiden how to move,
39 And in every beauteous feature
40 Beam'd benevolence and love.
41 Flora, as she cross'd her garden,
42 Twin'd the lily with the rose;
43 And, when passing sweet Alicia,
44 On her head the gift bestows.
45 Form'd by virtue and by nature
46 For the solace of some heart,
47 Many a youth with noble fervour
48 Sought in her's to gain a part.
49 Merit only caught the maiden,
50 Merit made one youth belov'd;
51 Edwin durst not hope for favour,
52 Yet 'twas Edwin she approv'd.
53 Birth nor riches gild his title,
54 Simple worth is all his claim;
55 Yet she thinks that fair escutcheon
56 Brightest in heraldic fame.
57 But, alas! the world's opinion
58 Will not sanctify the thought;
59 Nor, Alicia, will thy father
60 Value merit as it ought.
61 Long was seen the lovely maiden
62 In dejection slowly move!
63 Smiles forsook their former mansion
64 And she fear'd the cause was love.
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65 This the angry father told her,
66 And as he told he scorn'd her woes;
67 To her child, blanch'd with emotion,
68 The unhappy mother goes.
69 "Ah, my love, have you deceiv'd me!
70 Why not trust this feeling breast?
71 Sure thou knowest I'd die to save thee,
72 Die to lull thy woes to rest."
73 "Yes; too well I know your goodness,
74 Gratitude now swells this heart;
75 And when forc'd to pierce that bosom,
76 Think but how my own must smart.
77 Your inquiring looks have ask'd me
78 Often why the smother'd sigh?
79 And your nice discernment told you
80 Every cause and reason why.
81 Often have you seen my sorrow,
82 Seen the anguish of my soul;
83 Edwin but I need not tell you,
84 Edwin does this heart controul!"
85 The gallant ship her wings unfurls,
86 And speeds before the favouring wind;
87 Edwin from his lov'd retreats
88 Reluctant hies to burning Ind.
89 'Tis not change of place nor climate
90 Can a rooted sorrow move;
91 Neither is the power of absence
92 Equal to the charm of love.
93 Edwin found this truth, and, drooping,
94 On the Ganges' banks reclin'd;
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95 Sultry suns seem'd in conjunction
96 With the fever of his mind.
97 Sad despair, and cruel absence,
98 Swift the vital thread had worn;
99 And upon his funeral bier
100 Hapless Edwin soon was borne.
101 Equal grief by slower movements
102 Brought Alicia to the tomb;
103 Deep disease by secret workings
104 Undermin'd her youthful bloom.
105 Absence all her comforts wasted,
106 All her joys with Edwin flew;
107 Though each day her glowing fancy
108 Brought her Edwin to her view.
109 O'er her father's rigid nature
110 Dying sorrows now prevail;
111 "Live Alicia, live my daughter!
112 Nor on me thy woes entail.
113 My pride and hate I've now discarded;
114 Edwin's merit claims thy hand;
115 Soon, soon may propitious breezes
116 Waft him to his native land!"
117 Joy illum'd its former mansion,
118 Alicia's eye again was bright;
119 Hope shone forth in rays of gladness,
120 And her soul was all delight.
121 But ah, how short our gleams of pleasure!
122 Sorrow only seems to last;
123 Joys, like arrows, swiftly flying,
124 Scarce are seen ere they are past.
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125 Alicia heard her Edwin's story,
126 Then sweet hope for ever fled;
127 Every look declar'd her dying,
128 And how much she wish'd her dead.
129 Soon her wishes were accomplish'd,
130 Soon she breath'd her latest breath;
131 And her parents mourn'd, heartbroken,
132 Their dear Alicia till their death.
133 Yearly shall the village maidens
134 Visit poor Alicia's tomb,
135 And, as they list her simple story,
136 Strew fresh flowers of fairest bloom.

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Title (in Source Edition): EDWIN AND ALICIA. A TALE.
Themes:
Genres: narrative verse

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Source edition

The Poetical Works of Miss Susanna Blamire “The muse of Cumberland.” Now for the first time collected by Henry Lonsdale, M.D. with a preface, memoir, and notes by Patrick Maxwell, ... Edinburgh: John Menzies, 61 Princes Street; R. Tyas, London; D. Robertson, Glasgow; and C. Thurnam, Carlisle. MDCCCXLII., 1842, pp. 136-141. 

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

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