1796 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Horace Walpole

Anne Maria W—, "On Reading the Castle of Otranto; an Italian Story" Walker's Hibernian Magazine (March 1796) 279.



Farewel, Matilda! beauteous maid!
With tears thy fate I now deplore,
Thy tender heart by love betray'd,
Its woes with gentle meekness bore.

No sordid choice engaged thy mind,
'Twas manly sweetness, manly truth;
For all in Theodore combin'd,
That could adorn the noblest youth.

Thy generous love he well returned,
It ardent in his bosom glow'd;
For thee alone that bosom burn'd,
His love each word, each action show'd.

Dear lovely pair! how hard your fate!
By a stern father's wrath pursued,
In jealous rage — he saw too late,
A daughter's blood his hands imbrued.

O bless my father! heaven, she cried,
Forgive dear mother — Oh! forgive my death;
My Isabel — more I would say — she sighed,—
Then with her lover's name gave up her breath.

Farewel sweet maid! thy mournful life is past,
Thy sorrow's buried in the silent grave;
But ah! thy Theodore's too long must last,
To hopeless grief he's now a constant slave.

Unhappy youth! what woes can equal thine,
The flatterer Hope, from thee for ever flown;
In dark despair condemned thro' life to pine,
No fortune can for thy lost love atone.

'Tis death alone that now can end thy grief,
Death only, can Matilda now restore;
'Tis death alone can give thy heart relief,
In heaven you'll meet, and meet to part no more.
Dublin, Jan. 25th, 1796.