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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: July 2017

22 - Poems, by Mrs John Hunter

from Anne Hunter's poetry


November, 1784

Now yellow autumn's leafy ruins lie

In faded splendor, on deserted plains,

Far from the madding crowd, alone I fly,

To wake in solitude the mystic strains.

On themes of high import I dare to sing,

While Fate impels my hand to strike the trembling string.

Bright on my harp the meteors gleam,

As through the shades they glancing shine;

Now the winds howl, the night birds scream,

And yelling ghosts the chorus join:

Chimeras dire, from fancy's deepest hell,

Fly o'er yon hallow'd tow'r, and toll the passing bell.

November hears the dismal sound,

As slow advancing from the pole;

He leads the months their wintry round;

See black'ning clouds attendant roll,

Where frowns a giant band, the sons of care,

Dark thoughts, presages fell, and comfortless despair!

O'er Britain's isle they spread their wings,

And shades of death dismay the land;

November wide his mantle flings,

And lifting high his vengeful hand,

Hurls down the demon Spleen, with pow'rs combin'd,

To check the springs of life, and crush the enfeebled mind.

His drear dominion he maintains,

Beneath a cold inclement sky;

While noxious fogs, and drizzling rains,

On Nature's sick'ning bosom lie.

The op'ning rose of youth untimely fades,

And Hope's fair friendly light beams dimly thro’ the shades.

Now prowls abroad the ghastly fiend,

Fell Suicide, whom Frenzy bore;

His brows with writhing serpents twin'd;

His mantle steep'd in human gore!

The livid flames around his eye-balls play,

Stern Horror stalks before, and Death pursues his way!

Hark! is not that the fatal stroke?

See where the bleeding victim lies;

The bonds of social feeling broke,

Dismay'd the frantic spirit flies:

Creation starts, and shrunken2 Nature views

Appall'd the blow which heav'n's first right subdues.

Behold! the weight of woes combin'd,

A woman has the power to scorn;

Her infant race to shame consign'd,

A name disgrac'd, a fortune torn,

She meets resolv'd; and combating despair,

Supports alone the ills a coward durst not share.

On languid Luxury and Pride

The subtle fiend employs his spell;

Where selfish, sordid passions bide,

Where weak impatient spirits dwell;

Where thought oppressive from itself would fly,

And seeks relief from time in dark eternity.

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The Life and Poems of Anne Hunter
  • Online ISBN: 9781781388464
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