To:--- -----

Eliza Acton

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They sleep in peacefulness !--while thou art left
Upon the world's bleak desert, like a leaf,
--A faded, and a fallen one,--of which
The wild winds make their pastime,--toss'd at will
By their still varying breath. How bitterly
Thine own beloved mother would have wept
To mark the change which years have wrought in thee,
The dearest of her sons;--to see the clouds
Of passion mar thy spirit,--and the good
And god-like qualities, which made thy heart
Their hallow'd temple, chill'd,--degraded,--lost.
That pang the grave hath spar'd her !--she is gone

Where even Love,--the latest chain that binds
The human soul unto its earthly home,--
Can wake the throbbings of her breast no more.
HOW CAN Affection perish?--it should be
Link'd unto immortality--its pure,
And delicate essence deathless as divine !--
Oh! had she liv'd thou had'st not been the sad
And lonely thing thou art;--but mid the crowd
Who circle thee with smiles, and witching words,
Or, with enchanted eagerness, drink in
The music of thy dangerous flatteries,
Say is there one, who with enduring truth,
And firm devotedness like hers, would bear
The test of time--of poverty--or grief;--
One,--who if all beside were chang'd--would stand
"Faithful, amid the faithless," like the rose,
--The last, and loveliest,--which, in glowing grace
Meeteth the pallid sun-light, and the breath,
The bitter, blighting breath of Autumn's close.
Believe it not!--of those who gather round

Thy steps with sweetest looks, and honied tones,
The many, would but mock thy trust;--the few,
Who would be all unchang'd, whate'er of ill
Might steal upon thy path-way, must be won
By sacred honour--pure integrity--
By gen'rous actions,--and unsullied truth.
Like the Death-Angel's, thy career hath been
Mark'd out by desolation!--thou hast cast
The shadow of destruction o'er the young,--
The beautiful,--the happy,--and the pure;--
Giving, in base requital of their love,
The cup of bitterness, and shame, to be
The only portion of their blasted years.
Come not these mem'ries o'er thy waking thoughts,
And slumb'ring visions, like the spectre-shapes
Which haunt a murd'rer's dreams ?--Canst thou look back
Upon thy work of ruin unappall'd?--
Doth remorse waken never, when thy glance
Is thrown upon the guilt which tracks the way

Of thy past wand'rings?--'Tis a fearful thing
To know that mutter'd curses have been breath'd
In utt'rance with our name;--but worse it is
To feel that we deserve such malison
From lips once wont to bless us, with the tones,
And fond, deep fervency, of tenderness.
Thy gifted mind was never form'd to lie
Enchain'd in sin's low servitude;--to bend
Its lofty energies, its high proud hopes
Unto polluted pleasure's fettering pow'r.
Then be thy better self again!--nor quench
The early brightness of thy soul in gloom
Dark as the brow of mid-night--still some rays
Of Virtue linger round thee: may their glow
Kindle to rich and glorious light, and shed
A splendid radiance o'er thy coming days !

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