The Forget Me Not Literary Annual for 1829

Poetess Archive: Collections


Constancy John Bird, Esq.


          She dwelt in her dear native vale, where the light
          Of her loveliness shone like the planet of night,
          That makes all clad in beauty more beautiful still,
          Adds new charms to the valley, new grace to the hill!

          O'er that spot nature?s bounty profusely had thrown,     5
          From her garner of treasures, rare gems of her own!
          And its beautiful glades were as happy as fair,
          For the pride of the valley, young Ada, was there!

          Oh! the charm of her smile was so sunny and bright;
          Her form, like seraph's, all graceful and light,     10
          And her eloquent eye softly told that its ray
          From the sun of her soul had just darted away!

          Yes! she breathed the fair sylph of that sweet shaded spot,
          Bloom'd the chaste, lovely flower of her vine-cover'd cot,
          Where the beauty of nature enchantingly smiled --     15
          Where the mother was blest in the love of her child.

          And of Ada's font heart, there was one, who possess'd
          All its hope -- the devotion, the truth of her breast,
          And whose love was to here as the flower to the bee,
          Or the leaf that ne'er fades on the evergreen tree!     20

          But the pride of her soul, the brave Seymour, was far
          From the bowers of her home, 'mid the tumult of war;
          With the fervour of youth, o'er the wide-rolling wave,
          He had rush'd to the fight, with the noble and brave.

          He departed! -- The ocean divided them now,     25
          And the care for his absence was mark'd on her brow,
          Where anxiety's fear, the soft shading of sorrow,
          Veil'd the bliss of to-day 'neath the hope of to-morrow!

          Time fled -- and he came not -- and, and again,
          Had the summer sun smiled o'er the deep, heaving main; --     30
          Oh! How drear was the night, and how cheerless the day,
          While he dwelt from her own lovely valley away!

          Now the sweet blooming spring brought delight to the earth,
          And the bud and the floweret rejoiced in their birth;
          And though bright glow'd the scene which around her was spread,     35
          Yet the spell of her heart, its enchantment, had fled!

          He sent not -- return'd not -- she heard of his fame,
          And her heart burn'd with joy at the tidings which came;
          For the star of her being was cloudless or dim,
          As Fate dealt her storm or her sunshine to him!     40

          How slow wane the hours when the form we most prize
          Far away! -- far away! -- is estranged from our eyes!
          And the moments to Ada thus painfully wrought
          The sad dread of suspense, the dejection of thought.

          "He is gone! -- and for ever! -- if living, no more     45
          Dwells his thought on the scenes he so valued before.
          Seymour shares not the laurels he wins for his brown
          With the heart that hath loved, and that worships him now!

          "Yes! They tell me, my dear humble home from his thought
          Is all vanish'd away like a dream that is nought.     50
          No! -- No! -- he may fall in the morning of youth,
          But his heart is the temple of virtue and truth!"

          Thus she pensively mourn'd -- and, though many a swain
          Had bow'd down at the shrine of her beauty in vain;
          Where her worshipperrs knelt, and exultingly told     55
          Of their spacious domains and their treasures of gold,

          Yet she heeded them not! -- As the flower that will turn
          to the light of its life, wheresoe'er it may burn;
          So to Seymour her heart turn'd its hope, though the ray
          That Could cherish that hope from her sight was away.     60

          The sun was slow wending to seek for his rest,
          In the sapphirine bower of his realm in the west,
          While his beams softly play'd on the light waving trees
          That now whisper?d their joy at the kiss of the breeze!

          In that hour lovely Ada dejectedly sate     65
          By the door of her cottage, she mused on her fate;
          And though sweetly her bird trill'd his song to her ear,
          Its soft music had lost the rich notes that could cheer.

          And the book she most loved, which had often re-press'd
          The dominion of sorrow that vanquish'd her breast;     70
          Its page, once so prized, fail'd to comfort her now,
          Or to chase the despair that o'ershadow'd her brow!

          Hope died in her soul: -- hark! a footstep is nigh,
          And a shadow has caught the bright glance of her eye --
          She turns -- her breath quickens -- before her he stands,     75
          Her own Seymour! -- the book from her tremulous hands

          Now fell, as she sprang, like an arrow that flies,
          Or a dove that darts swift to her mate in the skies,
          While her heart all its truth, all its ardour confess'd,
          As her fast changing cheek softly sank on his breast.     80

          At that moment, the rose, which she wore in her bosom,
          Fell down at her feet with it redolent blossom;
          As though now all its charms had no fragrance nor worth,
          Since that bosom possess'd all its treasure in earth!

          Oh, Ada! dear Ada! the noon of they youth     85
          Shall be bless'd for they constancy, virtue, and truth.
          And, Seymour! brave Seymour! thy honour shall be
          Thy sure passport to joy -- beauty's garland to thee!

          Oh, woman! what bliss, what enchantment, we owe,
          To the spell of they heart, to thy solace below,     90
          To thy truth so enduring -- thy kindness and care
          In the morning of joy, in the night of despair!

          To thy soul's chosen Love thou unchanged wilt remain,
          In health and in sickness, in pleasure and vain;
          And, when closed are his eyes in Death's mortal eclipse,     95
          Even then, still is his the last kiss of thy lips!

          And over his grave thou wilt mournfully keep
          They lone vigil of sorrow, to pray and to weep:
          Yes! to pray -- that his errors of heart be forgiven,
          And that thou may'st yet meet him unsullied in heaven!     100

Date: 1829 (Web page revisions: 04/22/2006) Author: John Bird, Esq. (Web page revisions: Laura Mandell).
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