To My Husband

Miss Vardill


They say this Alpine cot is drear,
These mountain-rocks are rude and bare;
And when the clouds of midnight scowl,
’Tis sad to hear the torrent howl:
Yet still I love this rocky pile
For here I met thy fondest smile;
’Twas sweet along the torrents side
To watch thy coming shadow glide:
And when yon clouded moon I see,
I know my Henry thinks on me!


When in this lonely bow’r I rest
And gaze upon the fading west,
’Tis not because in fancy’s eyes
My father’s castle-turrets rise;
It is because the wild weeds wave
Unheeded round my mother’s grave;
Because no daughter’s duteous tear
Drops balmy on her distant bier — 
Ah! who can tell but mine may be
Forgotten by my babe and thee!


When round my neck a sister prest
And hid her wan cheek in my breast,
Would Henry know why mute and weak,
I look’d the grief I could not speak?
Not for my native home I sigh’d,
My father’s wealth, my kindred’s pride;
It griev’d my conscious breast to own
A softness to thy soul unknown;
I griev’d that other eyes should see
A tear in mine unfelt by thee!


When faithful Agnes bade me trust
To friendship ever fond and just,
While oft and long she linger’d near
And watch’d my half-forbidden tear,
I wept not that on Albion’s shore
Our kindred hearts should meet no more — 
O no! I only fear’d to prove
That friendship had less pangs than love:
I would not live to feel that she
Was truer to my trust than thee!


But when, a fonder kiss to claim,
My infant lisps a father’s name,
Or trills these echoing rocks among
Thy Dora’s oft-remember’d songs,
I will not, cannot fear to find
Thy heart ungentle or unkind;
For well I know thou could’st not press
His cherub lips and love me less;
Thou could’st not hear his voice and be
A truant from thy home and me!


Come, Henry, come! — our cot is warm,
Safe shelter’d from the mountain-storm!
Content and social Peace are here,
They cannot fly while thou art near;
Tho’ Beauty, Youth and Wealth depart
My love shall find them in thy heart — 
Beneath these hills’ eternal snow
The purest fires of nature glow:
No winter in the clime can be
Where Henry lives — and lives for me!

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