Each moment has its sickle, emulous
Of time’s enormous scythe: each moment plays
Its little weapon in the narrower sphere
Of sweet domestic comfort, and cuts down
The fairest bloom of sublunary bliss!
’Twas the still hour of Vesper’s shining,
When Mira sought a rock’s retreat;
Where cozy seaweeds hung entwining,
And wept salt tricklings at her feet.
The wat’ry waste, heaven’s concave bounding,
’Gan now with lashing foam to flow;
The dusky twilight all surrounding,
Mourn’d sympathetic to her woe.
Awhile in sullen silence musing,
She lay reflecting scenes behind:
Till rost’ring thought grief’s rage arousing,
Thus sighed her sorrows to the wind.
Ye clifted rocks with summits soaring,
That high o’erhand this sandy plain;
Whence softer streams, in cat’racts roaring,
Conjoin the salt, cerulean main.
Within your wave-worn, lone recesses,
Entomb a grief-distracted maid;
Where terror stalks with startling tresses
And darkness frowns a pitchy shade.
And thou, O deep! that hears’t my pining,
(The unvailing fume of frenzied breath)
’Twas conscious thou and fate combining,
That vail’d my Damon’s eyes in death.
Him howling storms, of life divested,
Have made some hungry fishes prey;
And from my eyes forever wrested,
On this side times short during day.
With lightning’s speed ev’n now I’ll follow
His shade beyond the reach of pain,
Ev’n now the having surge I’ll hollow,
And press the bottom of the main.
So icy death, heaven’s awful envoy,
Long-wish’d, shall change my sick’ning state;
And send a fear-form’d fleeting convoy,
And waft me to the realms of fate.”
She ceas’d — for night’s dark mantle spreading
Had sab’ly veil’d the vaulted sky:
Nor social sound her sorrows heeding,
Save mocking echo made reply.
Despair, her beauteous bosom rending,
Had now suffus’d hope’s glimm’ring ray
When from the rude rock’s summit heading
She desp’rate plunged her headlong way.