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Though wisdom reprove it, let fancy's power
Still chain me to her throne;

Still dear to this heart be the evening hour,
And moonlight-all my own.



St Leon having ruined himself and family by gambling, seeks refuge for his wife and children in foreign countries, frequently enduring the most appalling calamities and distressing privations.


TIME, Twilight.-SCENE, The interior of a Cottage.


The dreadful thunder storm at length is past;
May God forgive the doubtfulness that swept
In sinful murmurings through my troubled breast;
-I doubt not the benevolence of heaven!

(Looks out at a lattice.)
The gloomy clouds disperse along the sky,
And all is stillness in the open air ;

I see again the mountain's lofty brow
Rising sublime above the forest-shades,
Distant from which, along the shore extends
The level ocean's yet unbroken blue.
When will the moon arise? Its silver smiles
Will soften down the terrors of the scene,
And safer light St Leon to his home.

(She goes to a lamp.) How very pale this flickering lamp now burns; Its yellow rays scarce reach the dusky floor, Blending its mist and gloominess around; It is indeed a melancholy sight! An emblem, as 'tis said, of human hope Suspended in our sepulchre of care. Yet will I not repine-urged on by fate, 'Tis ours to wander thus from place to place, Ruined-despised: the father hath undone The offsprings of our love—the tempter's art Ensnared him to lay waste in madd'ning zeal, Their fortunes i' the world; so our wretched lives We pine away in penance for the past— Helpless-and sad; and oft in silent night, When tears bedew the pillow of my grief, The voice of duty whispers in mine ear, -I, as a mother, should be calm and firm ; Meanwhile my children, with dejected mien,

Raising to me their sweet affectionate eyes,
Lisp gentle words, and wear deceiving smiles,
And silent hunger for their daily bread.

St Leon-still I love to breathe his name,
And will upbraid it not-where-where art thou?
Heaven grant amidst the fury of the storm,
When elements the elements assailed,
Like unfed lions battling for their prey,—
Thy all-protecting mercy, like a shield,
Guarded a being, whose most sinful deeds
Have been atoned by all our bitterest tears.
Soft-there are footsteps on the terrace now;
I'll meet him smiling-since the smile of love
Can soothe to peace the troubled brow of thought,
And all the pangs that rend an aching heart.
(Enter St Leon.)


Once more returned-I hasten to receive
Affections sweet-thy beautiful embrace.
How is it with thee now?


'Tis well-quite well!

Time hung a little heavy as it should,

In absence such as thine-of thee I thought,

Thy danger in the storm-and sighed and prayed-
Then smiling, mused upon the dreamlike hope
Of happiness to come.


Sweet minister of comfort! who can see
With guilty eye such purity as thine,
Without an overwhelming flood of grief?
What have I done? How ruined thee and thine?
Thy virtue-love-and beauty, my reproach ;—
But now thou art my victim-then my judge;
And the deep sense of thy perfection breathes
More dreadful sentence on the head of him
Who was the fell destroyer of thy peace.

(Starting wildly.)

I see I know I feel myself accursed;
The very demons shout it in my ears;—
Hark! they exulting laugh at my despair;-
I hear my children cry to me for bread,
'Father, I hunger,that one nears the grave-
My son calls down reproaches on my name,
Whilst thou-

(Becoming calm.)

I see thee as an angel rise, Smiling forgiveness; nearer, and nearer stillUntil I fold thee in my shuddering arms,

To wet thy bosom with my guilty tears ;-
Oh-agony-remorse! Forgive wild words,
'Tis thou alone, sweet woman, can control
An erring spirit wildered by distress.



Oppressed with grief, oppressed with care,

A burden more than I can bear,
I sit me down and sigh;

O life! thou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road,

To wretches such as I!
Dim backward as I cast my view,
What sick'ning scenes appear!
What sorrows yet may pierce me through,
Too justly I may fear!
Still caring, despairing,

Must be my bitter doom;
My woes here shall close ne'er,
But with the closing tomb!

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