1804
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Adieu.

Literary Magazine and American Register 2 (October 1804) 536-37.

Sabina


A pastoral ballad in ten double-quatrain stanzas signed "Sabina." By means of a friend the poet conveys her farewell to Anna, Maria, and Harriot, reflecting on the vicissitudes of fortune, and looking ahead: "May I meet the fair circle of love, | United as now they appear, | In regions, bright regions above, | When ended our pilgrimage here." The Literary Magazine (1803-07) was edited by the novelist Charles Brockden Brown; it published comparatively few poems, though Sabina was a regular contributor throughout its duration.

Port Folio [Philadelphia]: "A new monthly publication has made its appearance in Philadelphia. It is termed the Literary Magazine, and is edited by a gentleman whose talents are acknowledged to be of a superior order. As the author of a novel called Wieland, he acquired considerable celebrity, and we find from the second number that the subject on which that work was founded is to be preserved in the present periodical publication.... While it is to be regretted that every attempt to diffuse miscellaneous information and entertainment by publications of this sort have hitherto been found unprofitable to those who have made effort, it is also to be hoped the the success of the present undertaking will remove the stigma consequently attached to the taste and literature of this country" 4 (11 February 1804) 48.



Adieu to sweet —, adieu!
The village is look'd for in vain,
The woodland has shut it from view;
I ne'er shall behold it again.
Yet with the dear circle I've left,
Methinks I for ever could stay,
And feel as of something bereft,
So soon to be whirled away.

I've bade the fair Anna farewell,
And surely my eyes must have said,
If they the heart's feelings can tell,
How much I admired the maid.
She brought a lov'd sister to mind,
When sporting the graces of youth;
Like her she seem'd gentle and kind,
Like her she look'd candour and truth.

Maria, so lately unknown,
Too swells the soft sigh at my heart,
Her mind so resembled my own,
I felt it like sorrow to part;
Her countenance open as day,
Her soft and intelligent eye,
Seem'd sweetly, I fancied, to say,
A spirit congenial am I.

And Harriot, whose elegant mien
Led captive the eye as she mov'd,
A place in my heart will retain,
She's found out the way to be lov'd.
Ah, when will fate make me amends!
Ah, when for these tortures atone?
I'm smil'd on a moment by friends,
The next, the sweet vision has flown!

And these are the gambols she plays,
Each day it appears at her will,
A sceptre of iron she sways,
Not a change but what's teeming with ill.
The friends of my youth were convey'd
Far distant, or wrapt in the tomb;
I've wander'd thro' life in the shade,
I'm mantled in Destiny's gloom.

But why these repinings of mind?
A Providence rules over all;
Then give me the portion assign'd,
Or sweetness, or wormwood and gall,
I'll fancy it all for the best,
For all it decrees must be right,
Nor murmur at Heaven's behest,
Though ever encircled by night.

And now, courteous —, adieu;
The claim on politeness is paid,
So leave us our way to pursue,
And return to your favourite maid.
Return, see the cloud ascends high,
And threatens a torrent of rain,
Loud thunders roll over the sky,
Sharp lightning glares over the plain:

Return, for the wan of your cheek,
Whence fevers have banish'd the rose,
Tho' youthful, shows nature is weak,
The fluid of life languid flows.
But fear not for us, tho' the hour
The mantle of evening puts on;
We'll trust in the heavenly Power
To guard, as it ever has done.

Though the bosom is fill'd with dismay,
For terror I feel, I must own,
It shall not bewilder our way,
I've learned how to journey alone.
The owl and the whip-poor-will's cry
Casts somehow a gloom o'er the heart,
Tho' the cloud that so mantled the sky
Appears to be breaking apart.

Return, courteous youth, and convey
To friends all that's tender and kind,
But language can never pourtray
The feeling imprest on my mind.
May I meet the fair circle of love,
United as now they appear,
In regions, bright regions above,
When ended our pilgrimage here.

[pp. 536-37]