ABOARD THE PHAETON FRIGATE, OFF THE AZORES, BY MOONLIGHT.
Sweet Moon! if, like Crotona's sage,
By any spell my hand could dare
To make thy disk its ample page,
And write my thoughts, my wishes there;
How many a friend, whose careless eye
Now wanders o'er that starry sky,
Should smile, upon thy orb to meet
The recollection, kind and sweet,
The reveries of fond regret,
The promise, never to forget,
And all my heart and soul would send
To many a dear-loved, distant friend.
How little, when we parted last,
I thought those pleasant times were past,
For ever past, when brilliant joy
Was all my vacant heart's employ:
When, fresh from mirth to mirth again,
We thought the rapid hours too few;
Our only use for knowledge then
To gather bliss from all we knew.
Delicious days of whim and soul!
When, mingling lore and laugh together,
We leaned the book on Pleasure's bowl,
And turned the leaf with Folly's feather.
Little I thought that all were fled,
That, ere that summer's bloom was shed,
My eye should see the sail unfurled
That wafts me to the western world.
And yet, 'twas time;--in youth's sweet days,
To cool that season's glowing rays,
The heart awhile, with wanton wing,
May dip and dive in Pleasure's spring;
But, if it wait for winter's breeze,
The spring will chill, the heart will freeze.
And then, that Hope, that fairy Hope,--
Oh! she awaked such happy dreams,
And gave my soul such tempting scope
For all its dearest, fondest schemes,
That not Verona's child of song,
When flying from the Phrygian shore,
With lighter heart could bound along,
Or pant to be a wanderer more!
Even now delusive hope will steal
Amid the dark regrets I feel,
Soothing, as yonder placid beam
Pursues the murmurers of the deep,
And lights them with consoling gleam,
And smiles them into tranquil sleep.
Oh! such a blessed night as this,
I often think, if friends were near,
How we should feel, and gaze with bliss
Upon the moon-bright scenery here!
The sea is like a silvery lake,
And, o'er its calm the vessel glides
Gently, as if it feared to wake
The slumber of the silent tides.
The only envious cloud that lowers
Hath hung its shade on Pico's height,
Where dimly, mid the dusk, he towers,
And scowling at this heaven of light,
Exults to see the infant storm
Cling darkly round his giant form!
Now, could I range those verdant isles,
Invisible, at this soft hour,
And see the looks, the beaming smiles,
That brighten many an orange bower;
And could I lift each pious veil,
And see the blushing cheek it shades,--
Oh! I should have full many a tale,
To tell of young Azorian maids.
Yes, Strangford, at this hour, perhaps,
Some lover (not too idly blest,
Like those, who in their ladies' laps
May cradle every wish to rest,)
Warbles, to touch his dear one's soul,
Those madrigals, of breath divine,
Which Camoens' harp from Rapture stole
And gave, all glowing warm, to thine.
Oh! could the lover learn from thee,
And breathe them with thy graceful tone,
Such sweet, beguiling minstrelsy
Would make the coldest nymph his own.
But, hark!--the boatswain's pipings tell
'Tis time to bid my dream farewell:
Eight bells:--the middle watch is set;
Good night, my Strangford!--ne'er forget
That far beyond the western sea
Is one whose heart remembers thee.