John Logan

(1748-1788 / Scotland)

Ode - On the Death of a Young Lady


The peace of Heaven attend thy shade,
My early friend, my favourite maid!
When life was new, companions gay,
We hail'd the morning of our day.

Ah! with what joy did I behold
The flower of beauty fair unfold!
And fear'd no storm to blast thy bloom,
Or bring thee to an early tomb!

Untimely gone! for ever fled
The roses of the cheek so red;
Th' affection warm, the temper mild,
The sweetness that in sorrow smiled.

Alas! the cheek where beauty glow'd,
The heart where goodness overflow'd,
A clod amid the valley lies,
And 'Dust to dust,' the mourner cries.

O from thy kindred early torn,
And to thy grave untimely borne!
Vanish'd for ever from my view,
Thou sister of my soul, adieu!

Fair, with my first ideas twined,
Thine image oft will meet my mind;
And, while remembrance brings thee near,
Affection sad will drop a tear.

How oft does sorrow bend the head,
Before we dwell among the dead!
Scarce in the years of manly prime,
I've often wept the wrecks of time.

What tragic tears bedew the eye!
What deaths we suffer ere we die!
Our broken friendships we deplore,
And love of youth that are no more.

No after-friendship e'er can raise
Th' endearments of our early days;
And ne'er the heart such fondness prove,
As when it first began to love.

Affection dies, a vernal flower;
And love, the blossom of an hour;
The spring of fancy cares control,
And mar the beauty of the soul.

Versed in the commerce of deceit,
How soon the heart forgets to beat!
The blood runs cold at interest's call: -
They look with equal eyes on all.

Then lovely nature is expell'd,
And friendship is romantic held;
Then prudence comes with hundred eyes:
The veil is rent - the vision flies.

The dear illusions will not last;
The era of enchantment's past;
The wild romance of life is done;
The real history is begun.

The sallies of the soul are o'er,
The feast of fancy is no more;
And ill the banquet is supplied
By form, by gravity, by pride.

Ye gods! whatever ye withold,
Let my affections ne'er grow old;
Ne'er may the human glow depart,
Nor nature yield to frigid art!

Still may the generous bosom burn,
Though doom'd to bleed o'er beauty's urn;
And still the friendly face appear,
Though moisten'd with a tender tear!

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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