77 Spenserians in three cantos. William Glen's fantastic story of an island paradise is pious in the manner of James Beattie's The Minstrel and sentimental in the manner of Thomas Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming. The volume was privately printed and not reviewed.
Monimia is an orphan (the name derives from Thomas Otway's The Orphan) who is left in the hands of a cruel uncle. The uncle has young Monimia and her lover kidnapped and placed aboard a ship bound for the South Seas. After the ship is driven off course, the captain deposits the pair on a deserted island; there is a loud clap, and the ship mysteriously explodes. Monimia and Henry offer prayers to God, and discover that the island is a lovely paradise. In the second canto Henry builds a fortified house, which Monimia decorates like a fairy bower. Calling the place "the lonely isle," they make their vows to heaven and resolve to life like Adam and Eve. The third canto opens with the birth of Edward, an only child. The paradise is shattered when Edwin is abducted by Indians. Three years pass, when an English ship appears on the horizon. At Henry's signal it sends out a pinnance, and the sailors are startled to discover the feather-clad castaways. They leave a picture carved in wood for Henry to discover, and board the ship for England. Monimia confronts her uncle, who promptly drops dead with her father's will in his hand. The story concludes with the parents resolving to hire a ship and go in pursuit of Edward. Glen seems to have tired of the project, for the intended sequel never appeared.
Let me essay to sing of other times,
Ere the fair blossoms of my memory fade;
Bid me re-echo, what, in distant climes,
Appeared in splendid witchery arrayed:
It is a Tale about a lovely Maid
And Youth, upon whose brow would honour smile,
Who were by cruel treachery betrayed,
And basely hurried from their native soil,
To perish in a distant, lone, romantic Isle.
Gentle Monimia was as sweet a flower
As ever England boasted for her own;
She flourished, beauteous, till, in evil hour,
Misfortune bent the lovely blossom down;
Then all her peace was for a season flown;
Her Angel wept when her fond Parents died,
And tho' her path with boundless wealth was strewn,
Yet only that the keenest woe supplied,
And surely innocence was ne'er severer tried.
Monimia's parents to her did bequeath
All their vast riches, all their treasures here;
Yet, ere they entered on the sleep of death,
Her father clasped his only brother dear,
And said, while lingered on his cheek the tear,
"Be kind unto our only pledge of love,
Thou art her guardian, bring her up in fear
Of Him in Heaven, nor let her young thoughts rove,
So that, in lapse of time, we'll meet our child above.
"Be her Protector, till some worthy Youth
Will take our innocent from thy good hand;
Then join them, Brother, in the bands of truth,
And may they live a blessing to the land:
Yet, if Almighty God gives his command,
And takes my lovely little One to heaven
Ere the young bud to fullest flower expand;
Then all my wealth, for which I long have striven,
To thee, my dearest Brother, is for ever given."
That sigh's the last! — they're now in bowers of bliss;
But, sweet Monimia, thou art left alone,
And while thy Parents dwell in paradise,
Thou art upon the wide, wide world now thrown;
Thy cruel Guardian has a heart of stone,
Wherein the pride of love did never dwell,
A virtuous ray ne'er thro' his dark soul shone,
Or if of yore there heaved one generous swell,
'Twas long since it had bid his callous breast farewell.
Now sixteen summers had rolled o'er the maid,
And she was all that beauty could express;
Peerless she stood, in matchless charms arrayed,
The sweetest form of earthly loveliness!
Nay, who, beholding her, could think her less
Than some fair wanderer from the bowers of heaven,
Who, for awhile, had left the land of bliss
To dazzle mortals, — like the lamp of Even,
That to a lonely night is for a season given.
But what avails the Flower of Beauty, when
Its earthly Guardian is a tyrant vile,
When his dark bosom is a murderous den,
Where lurks a Tyger-soul intent on spoil?
Gentle Monimia! tho' with sweetest smile
Thou wouldst obey thy Uncle's harsh command,
Ah! little knowest thou of the desert Isle,
Where thou art doomed, a rock-encircled land,
Where South-sea billows murmur on the lonely strand!
Henry she loved — a youth, whose manly form
Was only equalled by his noble soul;
And he returned it, for such feelings warm
Of mutual love, did ne'er o'er mortals roll:
The watchful Uncle soon remarked the whole,
And fixt upon them as his hapless prey;
Then murderous images across him stole;—
But suddenly his purpose in array
Before him stood — he quickly hastened to obey.
A ship was bound for islands far at sea,
A long long voyage, the wide world around;
And as she, for some years away would be,
The Guardian judged the proper moment found.
The Captain was not difficult to sound,
And for a handsome sum of golden ore,
He'd place the Lovers on some unknown ground,
Where not a noise they'd hear, save ocean's roar,
Some dreary distant isle, where foot ne'er stept before.
One evening, as the lovers fondly walked
Beneath the soft beams of the setting ray,
As, arm-in-arm, they rapturously talked
About their happiness on future day,
Behind a rock, upon the beach that lay,
Some men sprung forth upon the hapless pair,
And bore them to the ready boat away,
Amid the shrieks and struggles of despair,
The tears of innocence were only laughed at there.
And soon they reached a gallant ship, that lay,
Far in the offing, all equipt for sea;
And having first secured their helpless prey,
The sails were loosened to the breezes free,
And thro' the waves she darted rapidly,
While the rough sailors hailed the favouring wind,
And gave themselves to merriment and glee;
Some with a careless, some a callous mind,
And only two wept for the land they left behind.
For many months the ship kept on her way,
Dancing with glee upon the stormy wave,
It seemed as if with joy she would obey,
To place the lovers in their living grave!
Lovely Monimia would sometimes rave,
In sad delirium, at her hapless state,
Then weep, and say, "There's none on earth can save,
And He in Heaven has left us to our fate!
We are surrounded here by fears and perils great."
Arraign not Providence, my lovely Maid,
It yet will dry the eye that sadly weeps;
Remember, tho' thou'rt far from mortal aid,
The King of Heaven slumbers not nor sleeps:
He who commands the wild wave of the deeps,
And holds the stormy ocean in his hand,
Will not forsake thee; tho' a tyrant heaps
His wrath upon thy head, thy God will stand
A father to thee, tho' in the loneliest land.
Young Henry aye assayed to cheer his love,
Tho' he, too, oft would Providence arraign,
And oft he with the cautious Captain strove,
With tears, with threats, the mystery to explain:
But all his threats and arguments were vain.
The Captain laughed when tears began to flow,
And when he dwelt too long upon the strain,
He with a barbarous oath would from him go,
And leave the Youth again to misery and wo.
One gloomy eve, the sun's dull setting ray
Shot heavily athwart a sea of gloom,
And long before its last beam was away,
The heavens and waters wildest forms assume:
Convulsed was Ocean from her deepest womb,
The night closed dark, the sea ran mountains high,
All thought, ere morn, they'd have a watery tomb,
They mount to heaven, then to the abyss they fly,
And Alpine waves appear to mingle with the sky.
For weeks the tempest raged in fullest force,
No sun or stars did all that time appear;
They guessed they steered a wild bewildered course,
But knew not in what latitude they were.
Again the sun beamed forth refulgent fair,
The sea waxed smooth, an island met their view,
The richest flavours floated in the air,
The land was dreary rocks that met their view,
But what the island was, none of the gazers knew.
No damage in the storm the ship sustained,
With main-sail backed, she rested nigh the Isle.
The Captain called the ruffians he had gained,
And bade them launch the Pinnace out mean while;
Then told the Lovers, with a fiend-like smile,
Their dwelling was to be in yonder land!
He wished them health to cultivate the soil,
Which ne'er before, mayhap, had known man's hand,
Or mortal step been printed on the sun-dried strand.
Two little trunks were lowered to the boat,
With liquors good, and of provisions store;
Muskets, and ammunition too a lot,
To lengthen life a little — but no more.
"Save us! O save!" Monimia cried, and tore
Her hair in agony; — but all in vain;
Off rowed the boat with swiftness to the shore.
Some of the crew cried loud — it was a scene
That would with infamy their ruffian Captain stain.
The lovers landed on a little beach,
Close to a rock, which towered up like a wall,
When from the ship a murderous yell did reach
Their ears, and struck wild horror in them all:
A shout that would the stoutest heart appal;—
Some musket shot re-echoed to the shore,—
A signal fluttered for the boat's recal,
Which having landed all the little store,
The seamen sprung on board, and swiftly plyed the oar.
Henry then placed Monimia on a chest,
And nimbly vaulted up a little rock;
"Monimia! the boat's aboard; but, list!
Those yells and groans! and don't you see the smoke?
My God! what's that?" and instantly a shock,
That shook the island, thundered in their ears.
It was a sound that wildest fear awoke—
All pitchy darkness — now the black cloud clears,—
But where's the gallant ship? Alas! no ship appears.
Like lightning, bounding from his restless place,
Young Henry darted where Monimia lay;
He sprinkled water on her pallid face,
And for awhile he deemed her soul away.
Pale he leaned o'er her, like a piece of clay,
By sculptor formed to imitate despair!—
His pulse, late throbbing strong, scarce seemed to play;
He gazed in wo, for she was all his care,
Yes, all his earthly joy and happiness lay there.
At length she opened her twin orbs of blue,
And gazed, inanimate, she knew not where;
Her lovely cheeks had caught the lily's hue,
But never was there lily half so fair:
One sweet embrace, — life soon rekindled there,
Quickly the rose usurped the lily's place;
She clasped him to her breast, — and such a pair
The Prince of Painters would have loved to trace,
Yes, great Apelles would have owned their matchless grace!
"My sweet Monimia! O my life! my soul!
Let not thy spotless bosom feel dismay;
If thou art safe, tho' ruin round me roll,
Still, blest with thee, I'd be content and gay:
Our cruel enemies are now away,
Blotted for ever from the mortal page;
O! I will for their sinful spirits pray,
That the Almighty would his wrath assuage,
Come, my Monimia, we may avert his rage."
Then knelt they down upon the burning sand,
And Henry lifted up his eyes in prayer.
The supplicants were clasped, hand-in-hand,
While his warm pleadings floated in the air,
Intreating God their foes dark souls to spare,
And save them from the dreary depths of wo,
To let them heavenly joys and pleasures share,
And keep them from those darksome pits below,
Where endless groans are heard, and tears of misery flow.
The Lovers wandered now among the rocks,
And every cranny for an opening tried;
'Till, straying where the wild-fowl rose in flocks,
A little fissure, like a door, they spied:
Nimbly thro' it the weary wand'rers hied—
But, heavens! O! what a country met their view!
Henry, with sudden rapture, almost died,
He nigh had fainted; but the tear-drops flow
To his relief, he then the sweetest pleasure knew.
The country seemed about ten miles around,
Where little hills at intervals were seen;
A noble carpet covered all the ground,
Rich as the velvet of the emerald green:
A beauteous rivulet, of silver sheen,
Meandered thro' this little vale of bliss;
The air was cool and pleasant; — well, I ween,
An angel would have deemed it Paradise!
And to a mortal said, "My home's a home like this."
Night coming on, young Henry gathered grass,
And, 'neath a tree, a soft warm couch he made;
And as the night-time must securely pass,
He went for arms, but not a moment staid.
Then sweet Monimia laid her weary head
On Nature's pillow, and soon sunk asleep;
While Henry walked around — he was afraid,
Some barbarous savage, or wild beast, might leap
Upon their helpless prey; so he sure watch did keep.
Lovely on them unclosed the morning's eye,
The red Flamingo trode the river side;
The Bird of Paradise light poised on high,
Unfolded to the sun his plumes with pride;
The Albatross spread forth his pinions wide;
The Humming Bird, nigh orange blossom fair,
Could not his sparkling ruby gorget hide;—
It seemed, as if the Spirit of the air
Was scattering all his richest, brightest treasures there!
The gaudiest flowers adorned the velvet green,
Of sweetest fragrance, and of colours rare;
The lofty Cocoa towering high was seen,
And Mountain Cabbage quivered in mid-air:
Delicious fruits showed Nature's tender care,
The Sapadillo and the Nectarine,
The Guava, Shaddock, Pine, the Prickly Pear,
The Mammee Apple, with the clustering Vine,
And hundreds more were there, all luscious, rich, and fine.
The playful Goat, too, skipt upon the rock;—
The springing Antelope danced past with glee;
Of other creatures, too, were many a flock,
Ranging at ease amid the pastures free.
Then Henry and Monimia bent the knee,
And poured their praises to the God of heaven,
That tho' from mortal aid afar they be,
Gone were the terrors with which they had striven,
He had a place of rest to his poor children given.
Henry then from the sea-side brought the stores,
And they enjoyed a loving sweet repast;
Never before upon these distant shores,
Had linen cloth upon the green been cast.
Long did the simple meal with pleasure last,
The silver rivulet allayed their thirst;
While birds, whose plumage as the diamond flashed,
Poured forth their songs — May-hap they were the first
Of mortals, on whose ears such melody ere burst.
The Lovers wandered forth with cheerful smile,
In search of some secure and lovely spot;
Impregnable to wild beasts of the Isle,
Where they might build a little sheltering cot;
And soon they found a place not far remote,
A little hillock circled round with trees.
In all the land around them there was not
A place so fortified, so formed to please,
And there they hoped to live in happiness and ease.
Henry, with proper tools, the work commenced,
And soon the cottage rose beneath his hand;
With wall of planks it was securely fenced,
Of strength enough to foil a ruffian band:
In loop-holes, too, upon a proper stand,
His muskets were all placed in bright array;
It looked a castle fitted to command,
And keep the roving savages at bay,
If any on the isle at certain seasons lay.
Monimia, too, would cheer his daily toil,
And make him liquors for the sultry hour,
Prepare a kid, and, with a witching smile,
Soothe weary labour with a lover's power;
She planted shady vines like fairy bower,
And led the tendrils all the cottage o'er,
Then intermixed them with each lovely flower,
Of which around her grew luxuriant store,
And then she'd smile to see the look the cottage wore.
Six months now saw their labours fairly done,
The vines and flowers diversified the scene;
And when the blossoms opened to the sun,
'Twas like the palace of a fairy queen;
For all around was neat, and trim, and clean;—
And when the Humming Birds, with rapid flight,
Skimmed thro' the openings of the vine-leaves green,
The contrast sweet, was dazzling to the sight—
The little birds seemed showers of living rubies bright!
The rainy season now was setting in,
Proclaimed by the angry thunder's roar;
For days was nothing but eternal din,
And vivid flashes from the lightning store:
Then heaven wide op'd its windows, and a pour
Of rain was sent, as if a sea was there;
Which kept the Lovers close within the door;
Who were not idle, but made all things fair
Inside, which soon appeared for beauty passing rare.
And oft of England talking would they keep,
Dwelling with rapture on their native soil;
And thoughtful meditate in wonder deep,
What cruel being sent them to this Isle:
They never deemed the Guardian so vile,
As to mark them for his devoted prey,
Or use so villanous, so base a wile,
And such hard-hearted wickedness display,
As leave them on an unknown coast so far away.
Yet they would say, "Almighty God is good!
We might have shared the fate of those sad men,
Who, 'mid the wildest scenes of guilt and blood,
Were hurled to death, mayhap to endless pain:
He might have thrown us on some sandy plain,
Where we with thirst and hunger might have pined,
Or led us where some savage had his den;—
While here we're housed from rains and parching wind;
The King of Heaven is to the weary wanderer kind."
The rains began now to decrease apace,
The singing birds, with sweet strains, cheered the land;
Nature again put on a smiling face,
And looked with aspect, noble, rich, and grand:
The Antelopes skipt brisk in many a band;
The Goats, too, bounded on the high rocks free;—
'Twas Heaven itself had issued the command,
The rock, the sward, the bush, the lofty tree,
Seemed full of life, and joy, and merriment, and glee.
Henry one morning wandered with his gun,
And 'neath a tree surprised a sleeping kid;
He gave Monimia what he bloodless won;
Who prized it more than ere its mother did:
She taught it what to do when it was bid,
And soon she suffered it to frisk unbound;
It would not be a moment from her hid,
But used to follow her o'er all the ground;
Looking to be carest, and jumping round and round.
But now the flowers demanded proper care,
Again she strewed them all the dwelling o'er;
Which re-appeared as gaudy and as fair;
Mayhap it was more lovely than before:
And all around her such a blithe look wore,
That she oft said to Henry, and would smile,
"I care not if I ne'er see England more;
Nay, smile not, what to me's my native soil,
I'm happy here, in my romantic Lonely Isle.
"We're far removed from all the world's sad wo,
And I am happy, O! I'm happy here,
Monimia would never pleasure know,
If ever parted from her Henry dear:
O! if some savage man would come, and tear
Me from the valued friend I prize so high,
Life of my soul! without a pang of fear,
Without a murmur, save for thee one sigh,
I'd close my joyless eyes, and lay me down and die.
"Care I for all the wealth I left behind?
If it was here, say, what would it avail?
This little spot's so pleasant to my mind,
That if I left it, I would weep and wail:
Surely no misery can e'er assail,
Two loving hearts in this sweet vale of joy,
Excepting one; — but I will not look pale,
Death surely will not all my peace destroy,
But on me, first, his strong unerring hand employ.
But haste away! thou soul distracting thought—
My Henry, I must your approval claim,
A title for this Paradise I've sought;
Tell me if I've been erring in my aim?
The "Lonely Isle" must be from hence its name,
For it is lonely in the sea's broad zone;
It is, my Henry, an unrivalled gem,
Hid from the view of man, unseen, alone,—
A fairer, happier isle the sun ne'er looked upon."
"Monimia! thou art happy now, I see,
And I'm supremely blest when thou art so;
The Isle shall get no other name from me,
And by some name we certain should it know:
'Tis surely lonely, for no scene of wo
Was ever known within its rocky wall;
And often will imagination show,
(And well I love the image to recal)
What our first Parents were before their wretched fall.
O! let me dwell upon the subject still,
To paint my love, Monimia! give me leave,
Thou knowest I will do whate'er's thy will,
But do not Henry of fond hope bereave:
I'll be thy Adam, be my lovely Eve;
Long, long for thee I have in silence striven;
If thou deniest me, Sweetest, I'll not grieve;
But if thou takest me, here my oath is given,
My wedded Wife thou art, before the throne of heaven!
Monimia blushed, red as Flamingo's wing,
When the bright sun is beaming on his plumes;
Her struggling answer's soft and murmuring,
Like breeze of night in grove of rich perfumes.
Henry's bright eye more lustre now assumes,
His spirit trembles on Monimia's breath;
But soon the kindling dawn of hope illumes
His breast; — like some good mortal of pure faith,
Who sees a glimpse of Heaven when in the arms of death!
"Henry! my chiefest pride, my highest aim,
Is aye to live in love and bliss with thee;
There's none on earth, my Henry, I could name,
Except thyself, with whom I'd happy be:
My heart is thine, thou'st had it long from me,
And I guess rightly, when I say I've thine.
O! many a happy hour, I trust, we'll see,
And days of true delight will on us shine;
My joy is in thy breast, thy happiness in mine."
Henry then clasped her in a warm embrace,
His soul was lightened of a heavy load;
The tears of joy and love bedewed each face;—
And, hand-in-hand, they knelt upon the sod:
They offered up their holy vows to God,
That their fond hearts might ne'er asunder rove—
And sure they found their way to heaven's abode,
And were inserted in God's book above,
Their's were the purest vows of innocence and love.
Then to their fairy home, in ecstasy,
Their raptured steps the happy lovers bent;
Their bosoms throbbed with pleasure and with glee,
They loved each other, and were innocent:
No hardened ruffians could now prevent
Their joy by dark premeditated plan;
They laid them on their healthy couch content,
Nor did they dream of ghastly spectres wan,
Of savage beasts of prey, or still more savage man!
Nine years had seen their happiness increase,
For Heaven had granted them one Pledge of Joy;
And every passing day, the Land of Peace
Seemed still more lovely to a Parent's eye.
For little Edward was a blooming boy,
Wherein the graces of his mother smiled;
His eye, like her's, was as the dark blue sky,
But it was far more piercing, and more wild—
He was indeed a lovely interesting child.
Arrayed in head-dress of wild plumage bright,
Girdle with Humming-bird's rich feathers wove;
His left hand in his Mother's, in his right
A little bow and arrows, — to some grove,
Together prattling, they would often rove.
Henry would view them with endearing smile,
Fancy them Cupid and the Queen of Love,
Wandering in Paphos! and he'd muse, meanwhile,
In classic reverie, on some distant Grecian Isle.
The kid (now grown) would all day long attend
On Edward wheresoever he might go;
He was to him a playful merry friend,
And would his pleasure in mad gambols show.
Affection every day would stronger grow;
And that affection Edward joyed to meet;—
And from his Mother pleasure-tears would flow,
To hear, at night, the farewel clap and bleat,
And see her Son asleep, the goat stretched at his feet!
One morning Edward, with his friend the goat,
Climbed o'er the rocks, and wandered by the sea;
'Till, sudden! a Canoe he saw afloat,
And much he marvelled what thing it could be.
He saw a Savage! and he turned to flee;
In vain; — the Indian sprung up to pursue,
And soon o'ertook him; then, with shouts of glee,
He bore him to some others now in view,
And carefully they placed him in the war-canoe.
But all this time the poor goat was not slack,
High on a rock her bleatings echoed wide;
The Chieftain took an arrow from his back,
And instant launched it in the mourner's side.
The swift Canoe then darted o'er the tide,
While Edward called upon his mother dear
So piteous, that even savage pride
Was humbly melted to a pitying tear;—
They gave him fruit, and smiled to calm his boyish fear.
How shrieked Monimia, when she espied
The goat come crawling homeward o'er the rock,
The arrow sticking in her bloody side;—
A mother's feelings, lightning-like, awoke,
Edward's companion had received the stroke
Of death, it lay in quivering agony.
She shrieked again — again the silence broke,
The distant woods re-echoed mournfully;
She wrung her hands, and asked where her dear Son might be.
Henry looked wild, he knew the arrow was
A stranger's — and he tremblingly did say,
"I trust my Edward" — here he made a pause,
Then darting to a telescope that lay
Over the door, he told his Love to stay.
His rapid step the lightning's speed assumes,
And from a rock he views, far far away,
A large Canoe; his soul is wrapt in glooms—
Yon is his Boy aboard! he knows him by his plumes.
Sudden he starts! a noise is at his ear!
'Twas sweet Monimia who met his view;
Pale as the lily did his love appear,
As from his hand the telescope she drew:
Panting and breathless, long she looked it thro',
And cried, in ecstasy, "my sweet Boy smiles!
The Savages caress him! they are few,
And cannot come from very far off Isles,
Mayhap our home, and theirs, is distant but some miles."
But now, exhausted nature, struggling, fell,
And for a little season calmed her woes;
Henry then drooped, he bade the world farewel,
And dark oblivion his eye-lids close.
O! 'twas a fearful, a death-like repose!
Henry had clasped his sweet Monimia's hand,
But when their cheeks rekindled with the rose,
They looked like those who first decked earth's lone land,
When Eve left Adam's side, by God's supreme command!
Monimia op'd her long eye-lashes first,
But when she saw her Henry breathless near,
A shriek of wo! a shower of tears than burst,
As she encircled him she held most dear;—
"Henry, awake! thy own Monimia cheer,
It is Monimia calls! thy all! thy love!
My God! O! wilt thou let me linger here,
When we together have so kindly strove?
Take me, and let me join my dearest joy above."
But soon his breast throbbed with returning life,
Yet his sad lineaments confest despair;
He wept upon the bosom of his wife,
And found a calm when he had nestled there.
"O my Monimia! all our tender care
Hath perished with our good and lovely Boy;—
No! I am raving, there is still a pair
Who yet will taste their old accustomed joy—
But, God! why give us bliss, and yet that bliss destroy?"
Thus would he sometimes argue, sometimes rave,
Till reason triumphed o'er the grief of man;
His Love was proud that she had courage gave,
And that in fortitude she led the van;
But when she saw her Edward's darling Nan
(That was the name she'd given to the goat),
Lying in death, her cheeks turned deadly wan,
And she the aid she gave, from Henry sought,
Her highly boasted courage was but dearly bought.
Storms howl not always on the mighty deep,
Nor doth the raging tempest ceaseless blow;
The widowed eye will not for ever weep,
Nor will the mourner's sorrow ever flow:
Almighty God can soothe the soul of wo,
Nor will he leave the innocent to mourn,
Mercy and innocence together go;—
He will not give the bruised reed to burn,
But bind it up, and all its former strength return.
So, soft tranquility, and peace of mind,
By gentlest slow gradations re-appears;
Lovely Monimia and her Henry find,
That Innocence alone the bosom cheers.
Since Edward's absence, now had passed three years,
And much they wondered, if some island nigh
Had safely held the cause of all their fears;
For tho' so many months had passed by,
They'd often think of him, and heave the heavy sigh.
One evening, as they lay in calm repose,
A noise awoke them — but what could it be?
Again! — the anxious Henry swift arose,
And climbed the high rock with rapidity.
The Moon shone bright, when by her splendour he
Espied a ship at anchor on the wave,
With sails brailed up, 'bout half a mile at sea!
He staggered wildly — he began to rave,
And wept, and sung, and talked about an English grave.
Swift as the light he left his station high,
And clasped Monimia to his bursting breast—
"Love! in the Lonely Isle we will not die;
For Heaven hath heard, and granted our request:
O! who should doubt the Almighty's high behest?
Or think he'll leave his chosen to despair?
The sun is up, Monimia, do not rest,
Come to the rock, and all my rapture share,
Come, view the ocean-wave, a gallant ship rides there!
Monimia her bright garb upon her flung,
So quick, she spoke not, but with Henry sped;
Like Antelopes swift up the rock they sprung,
While tears of joy and grief Monimia shed:
Still not a word they to each other said,
The rose was fading from Monimia's cheek,
And Henry's colour too began to fade;
"Joy! joy! O joy! (for he at length could speak)
St. George's Ensign waves upon the mizen-peak!"
Then Henry waved his plume of feathers high,
It brightly fluttered to the morning breeze;
The rocks reverberated back his cry:—
At length the gallant ship the signal sees:
Swift o'er the wave a little pinnace flees,
And nighs the shore, manned with a dauntless crew.
Meantime, the Islanders fell on their knees;
But when the sailors had them full in view,
They rested on their oars, and wonder higher grew.
The Bird of Paradise had his plumes lent,
And formed a head-dress to Monimia light;
The robe was what no limner e'er could paint,
Wove with the Humming-bird's rich plumage bright;
Whene'er she turned, she dazzled the strained sight,
Like image framed in no earthly mould!
The sun to view her seemed to take delight,
And loved the different colours to unfold,
The Emerald, Topaz, Ruby, sparkling rich in gold!
And Henry's mantle was of gaudiest hue,
Tho' in his hurry negligent put on;
They seemed, unto the awe-struck wondering crew,
The blessed beings of some other zone.
A foot-board from the boat to shore was thrown,—
The sailors would Monimia sustain;
But Henry placed her on the seat alone;
And, 'mid dumb wonder at the present scene,
They loosed the boat, and swiftly plyed the oar again.
The Captain kindly welcomed them aboard,
And in his cabin screened from gazing eye;
They told their kind deliverer, word for word,
Of their hard fate and long captivity.
The generous Captain often heaved the sigh,
Saying, their usage bore mysterious air;
Bade them be happy, and the tear-drop dry,
That if they'd throw themselves upon his care,
To England he was bound, and he would land them there.
They clasped his hands in silent gratitude;—
But ere they sailed from the Lone Isle away,
Henry the story richly carved in wood,
Which might find Edward if he'd that way stray,
Exhibiting the friendly ship that lay
Off their sweet island, how in her they fly
Across the wave; that there they would not stay,
But come in search of him; — and, to catch his eye,
Floating above the cot, a streamer waved on high.
A breeze sprung up, the lofty ship set sail,
From anchor loosed, she sweeps at liberty;
And gathering swiftness from the freshening gale,
She moves majestic thro' the foaming sea.
Monimia's breast was far from sorrow free,
The crystal drops stood in her eye meanwhile—
"My Boy!" she cried, "I trust in life ye be,
If so, ye'll be releast from bondage vile.—
Farewel, farewel mine own romantic lonely isle!"
Pass we the long and weary voyage o'er,
For nothing varied could the passage show;
They stept at length on England's happy shore,
While tears of rapture from the wanderers flow.
And well they might! for many a scene of wo
Had passed since they had seen their native grove,
Sweet haunt of youthful joys! where long ago
They oft had wandered, in the dawn of love,
And mourned for those who were away to realms above.
Abrupt they entered in the well-known place,
The Guardian then was sitting in the hall;
Hearing a noise, he turned his aged face;
But met a sight that did his soul appal!
Monimia's features he did soon recal;
And when the story of their wo was told,
Remorse was at its height, he told them all,
Produced the will, but could not it unfold—
Sudden he on the floor in strong convulsions rolled!
So sudden was the shock, it snapt the breath
Of the poor wretched horror-struck old man;
They sprung to help him, but the hand of death
Had placed the seal upon his features wan.
Thus, for a little, villains hug their plan;
But, ah! where the Almighty shakes his rod,
Tho' dark and hidden be the course they've ran,
He brings their gray hairs sorrowing to the sod—
Such are thy wondrous ways, thou Omnipresent God.
Now I could tell a strange and wondrous tale,
Of Henry and Monimia again;
How they equipt a war-ship and set sail,
To search for islands on the stormy main:
How they revisited the lonely scene,
Where Edward blessed their fond delighted view!
Of his adventures — a romantic strain!
But ere the marvellous story I renew,
My readers, for a time, I bid ye all adieu.