1807 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Campbell

Samuel Jackson Pratt, "To a Friend in Affliction, with The Pleasures of Hope" Pratt, Sympathy, with other Poems (1807) 315-17.



Receive a beauteous Casket, which enfolds
A Gem more rare than all Peruvia holds.
This little Book a wond'rous charm contains
For the vast catalogue of human pains:
There's a virtue in the Leaves, which you must bind,
With gentlest pressure, on your wounded mind;
And soon o'er ev'ry aching sense will creep
A mental slumber, sweet as infant sleep;
A trance will follow, stealing o'er the past;
Then a soft dream, and wak'd by Hope at last:
The Book of Magic, then, dear Suff'rer, take;
Let the Spell work, nor fear that it will break.

Ah me! how oft, in deep Misfortune's hour,
When Fortune broke her charm, I've tried its pow'r!
Tried it when Falsehood ill repaid my Truth,
And bore full hard on my distemper'd Youth;
Tried it in life mature, when many a year
My eyes had fill'd with Sorrow's various tear;
When foul Ingratitude, — the crime of Hell,
By which from Heav'n itself the angels fell;
The poisonous tooth, like some envenom'd dart,
Tore, without pity, my believing heart;
E'en then I found Hope's life-restoring beam,
Like soothing visions in a sick man's dream;
The pale cheek tinting with Hope's genial ray,
Begun, once more, like morning-light to play;
Gradual expell'd the darkness of despair,
And the half-doubting Soul subdu'd to pray'r.
Oh, Gift of God! blest Hope! e'en now thy smile
May still my latent grief, though sharp, beguile.
I woo thy aid, fair Daughter of the Sky!
To check th' embitter'd drop, and soothe the sigh;
Or bid them both alternate heave and flow
More fast, and give the Lenitives of Woe:
Till, o'er the mist which now thy pow'r enshrouds,
Thy Beams shall rise, as from a World of Clouds;
E'en like the Rainbow Promise of the Soul,
Shall the dread Tide of 'whelming Fate controul.