John Logan

(1748-1788 / Scotland)

Monimia. An Ode


In weeds of sorrow wildly 'dight,
Alone beneath the gloom of night,
Monimia went to mourn;
She left a mother's fond alarms;
Ah! never to return!

The bell had struck the midnight hour,
Disastrous planets now had power,
And evil spirits resign'd;
The lone owl, from the cloister'd isle,
O'er falling fragments of the pile,
Ill-boding prophet, plain'd

While down her devious footsteps stray,
She tore the willows by the way,
And gazed upon the wave;
Then raising wild to Heaven her eyes,
With sobs and broken accent, cries,
'I'll meet thee in the grave.'

Bright o'er the border of the stream,
Illumined by a transient beam,
She knew the wonted grove;
Her lover's hand had deck'd it fine,
And roses mix'd with myrtles twine
To form the bower of love.

The tuneful Philomela rose,
And, sweetly mournful, sung her woes,
Enamour'd of the tree;
Touch'd with the melody of wo,
More tender tears began to flow:
'She mourns her mate like me.

'I loved my lover from a child,
And sweet the youthful cherub smiles,
And wanton'd o'er the green;
He train'd my nightingale to sing,
He spoil'd the gardens of the spring
To crown me rural queen.

'My brother died before his day;
Sad, through the church-yard's dreary way,
We wont to walk at eve:
And bending o'er th' untimely urn,
Long at the monument to mourn,
And look upon his grave.

'Like forms funereal while we stand,
In tender mood he held my hand,
And laid his cheek to mine;
My bosom beat unknown alarms,
We wept in one another's arms,
And mingled tears divine.

'From sweet compassion love arose,
Our hearts were wedded by our woes,
And pair'd upon the tomb;
Attesting all the Powers above,
A fond romance of fancied love
We vowed our days to come.

'A wealthy lord from Indian skies,
Illustrious in my parent's eyes,
Implored a mutual mind;
Sad to my chamber I withdrew,
But Harry's footsteps never flew
The wonted scene to find.

'Three nights in dire suspense I sat
Alone; the fourth convey'd my fate,
Sent from a foreign shore;-
'Go, where thy wandering wishes tend
Go, and embrace thy father's friend,
You never see me more!'-

'Despair! distraction! I obey'd,
And one disordered moment made
An ever-wretched wife:
Ah! in the circuit of one Sun,
Heaven! I was wedded and undone,
And desolate for life!

'A part my wedding robes I tore,
And guarded tears now gushing o'er
Distain'd the bridal bed:
Wild I invoked the funeral yell,
And sought devoted now to dwell
For ever with the dead.

'My lord to India climates went,
A letter from my lover sent
Renew'd eternal woes;-
Before my love my last words greet,
Wrapp'd in the weary winding sheet,
I in the dust repose!

'Perhaps your parents have deceived,
Perhaps too rashly I believed
A tale of treacherous art;
Monimia! could you now behold
The youth you loved in sorrows old,
Oh! it would break my heart!

'Now in the grave for ever laid,
A constant solitary shade,
The Harry hangs o'er thee!
For you I fled my native sky:
Loaded with life, for you I die;
My love, remember me!

'Of all the promises of youth,
The tears of tenderness and truth,
The throbs that lovers send;
The vows in one another's arms,
The secret sympathy of charms;
My God! is this the end!

She said, and rushing from the bower,
Devoted sought in evil hour
The promontory steep;
Hung o'er the margin of the main,
Her fix'd and earnest eyeballs strain
The dashing of the deep.

'Waves that resound from shore to shore!
Rocks loud rebellowing to the roar
Of ocean, storm, and wing!
Your elemental war is tame,
To that which rages in my frame,
The battle of the mind!'

With downcast eye and musing mood,
A lurid interval she stood,
The victim of despair;
Her arms then tossing to the skies,
She pour'd in nature's ear her cries,
'My God! my father! where!'-

Wild on the summit of the steep
She ruminated long the deep,
And felt her freezing blood;
Approaching feet she heard behind,
Then swifter than the winged wind
She plunged into the flood.

Her form emerging from the wave,
Both parents saw, but could not save;
The shriek of death arose!
At once she sunk to rise no more;
And sadly sounding to the shore,
The parted billows close!

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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