South Foreland Sepr 1810
O! think not Maria, while distant I prowl
That I bear thee no longer in mind
Not such is the make of thy Father’s fond soul
Which since he possess’d it, has known no control
But feelings all tender and kind.
There’s magic Maria in names that we prize
And the sound of some letters alone
Will throb in the bosom and stream in the eye,
As memory events that are long-lost supplies
And scenes that for ever are flown.
Such, such is thy name dear Maria to me
For early in life, e’er its woes
Had bruis’d and assailed this susceptible heart
She who bore it, occasion’d its every smart
And made or destroyed its repose.
She taught me affection, and friendship, and love
And gave to my bosom a charm
It raised me each selfish sensation above
(For in truth she was tender and soft as the dove)
And led me from error and harm.
All heaven was in this! but it spoilt me, my dear
And made me unfit for this earth,
For my passions were ardent, were true and sincere
And I loved far, far more sensibility’s tear
Than splendour and riches, and mirth.
Thus biass’d, as life had commenced its bright day
With Maria was coupled each joy;
To my every happiness she led the way
Without her, e’en Nature herself look’d not gay
And with her there was not alloy.
Say then my loved girl bearing this dearest name
My daughter, my boast and my pride
To my comfort thus link’d, to my joy and my fame
How doubly thou hast to my bosom a claim
Thus by sympathy fondly allied.
At this moment O! how would thy presence delight
While on Freedown’s delicious assent
The gay coast of Gallia gladdens the sight
And boldly the Fareland extends to the sight
To the left, all the beauties of Kent.
Below in the Downs a forest behold
Of ships, from each climate and land
While alternately tinged with azure and gold
The Channel rolls sparkling, extensive and bold
And the spreading sail glides ’long the strand.
The sun is declining, the glad shepherd boy
To the valley is driving his sheep
To pen them secure from attack or annoy
And around us is heard the cricketer’s joy
As skillful their stations they keep.
At a distance beneath, the spire ’bove the trees
And the farm at the bottom appear
While the loaded team bounds o’er the grattan with ease
And the farmer returning, exultingly sees
His Harvest Lane now very near.
Thus as every beauty by sea and by land
Enraptures this bosom of mine;
I pour out my soul, lov’d Maria to thee
Regretting alone thou art not here to see
All that’s beautiful, grand and sublime.
Farewell! to your Brothers and Sisters so dear
All that’s kind and affectionate say
And to her, whom he cannot but ever severe
To our Mother, our Wife, and our Friend, most sincere,
For amid all our pleasure is still mix’d a tear
That the best belov’d is away.