Thomas Love Peacock ( )

Marias Return

          The whitning ground
          In frost is bound;
   The snow is swiftly falling;
While coldly blows the northern breeze,
And whistles through the leafless trees,
   In hollow sounds appalling.
          On this cold plain,
          Now reachd with pain,
   Once stood my fathers dwelling:
Where smiling pleasure once was found,
Now desolation frowns around,
   And wintry blasts are yelling.
          Hopes visions wild
          My thoughts beguild,
   My earliest days delighting,
Till unsuspected treachry came,
Beneath affections specious name,
   The lovely prospect blighting.
          With many a wile
          Of blackest guile
   Did Henry first deceive me:
What winning words to him were givn!
He swore, by all the powrs of Heavn,
   That he would never leave me.
          With fondest truth
          I lovd the youth:
   My soul, to guilt a stranger,
Knew not, in those too simple hours,
That oft beneath the sweetest flowrs
   Is couchd the deadliest danger.
          With him to roam
          I fled my home;
   I burst the bonds of duty;
I thought my days in joy would roll;
But Henry hid a demons soul
   Beneath an angels beauty!
          Shall this poor heart
          Eer cease to smart?
   Oh never! never! never!
Did avrice whisper thee, or pride,
False Henry! for a wealthier bride
   To cast me off for ever?
          My sire was poor:
          No golden store
   Had he, no earthly treasure:
I only could his griefs assuage,
The only pillar of his age,
   His only source of pleasure.
          With anguish wild,
          He missd his child,
   And long in vain he sought her:
The fiercest thunder-bolts of heavn
Shall on thy guilty head be drivn,
   Thou Disobedient Daughter!
          I feel his fears,
          I see his tears,
   I hear his groans of sadness:
My cruel falsehood seald his doom:
He seems to curse me from the tomb,
   And fire my brain to madness!
          Oh! keenly blow,
          While drifts the snow,
   The cold nocturnal breezes;
On me the gathring snow-flakes rest,
And colder grows my friendless breast;
   My very heart-blood freezes!
          Tis midnight deep,
          And thousands sleep,
   Unknown to guilt and sorrow;
They think not of a wretch like me,
Who cannot, dare not, hope to see
   The rising light to-morrow!
          An outcast hurld
          From all the world,
   Whom none would love or cherish,
What now remains to end my woes,
But here, amid the deepning snows,
   To lay me down and perish?
          Deaths icy dart
          Invades my heart:
   Just Heavn! all-good! all-seeing!
Thy matchless mercy I implore,
When I must wake, to sleep no more,
   In realms of endless being!

Thomas Love Peacock's other poems:
  1. The Lady, the Knight, and the Friar
  2. Rich & Poor; or Saint & Sinner
  3. Lines on the Death of Julia
  4. To a Young Lady, Netting
  5. The Sundial

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