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Poem by Alexander Wilson


Matilda


Ye dark rugged rocks, that recline o'er the deep,
  Ye breezes, that sigh o'er the main,
Here shelter me under your cliffs while I weep,
  And cease while ye hear me complain.

For distant, alas! from my dear native shore,
  And far from each friend now I be;
And wide is the merciless ocean that roars
  Between my Matilda and me.

How blest were the times when together we stray'd,
  While Phœbe shone silent above,
Or lean'd by the border of Cartha's green side,
  And talk'd the whole evening of love!

Around us all nature lay wrapt up in peace,
  Nor noise could our pleasures annoy,
Save Cartha's hoarse brawling, convey'd by the breeze,
  That soothed us to love and to joy.

If haply some youth had his passion express'd,
  And praised the bright charms of her face,
What horrors unceasing revolved though my breast,
  While, sighing, I stole from the place!

For where is the eye that could view her alone,
  The ear that could list to her strain,
Nor wish the adorable nymph for his own,
  Nor double the pangs I sustain?

Thou moon, that now brighten'st those regions above,
  How oft hast thou witness'd my bliss,
While breathing my tender expressions of love,
  I seal'd each kind vow with a kiss!

Ah, then, how I joy'd while I gazed on her charms!
  What transports flew swift through my heart!
I press'd the dear, beautiful maid in my arms,
  Nor dream'd that we ever should part.

But now from the dear, from the tenderest maid,
  By fortune unfeelingly torn;
'Midst strangers, who wonder to see me so sad,
  In secret I wander forlorn.

And oft, while drear Midnight assembles her shades,
  And Silence pours sleep from her throne,
Pale, lonely, and pensive, I steal through the glades,
  And sigh, 'midst the darkness, my moan.

In vain to the town I retreat for relief,
  In vain to the groves I complain;
Belles, coxcombs, and uproar, can ne'er soothe my grief,
  And solitude nurses my pain.

Still absent from her whom my bosom loves best,
  I languish in mis'ry and care;
Her presence could banish each woe from my heart,
  But her absence, alas! is despair.

Ye dark rugged rocks, that recline o'er the deep;
  Ye breezes, that sigh o'er the main--
Oh, shelter me under your cliffs while I weep,
  And cease while ye hear me complain!

Far distant, alas! from my dear native shore,
  And far from each friend now I be;
And wide is the merciless ocean that roars
  Between my Matilda and me.



Alexander Wilson


Alexander Wilson's other poems:
  1. The Fishermans Hymn
  2. Connel and Flora
  3. Auchtertool
  4. The Solitary Tutor


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