“ And to behold among our neighbours fine, “ More than perhaps became a wife of mine; And now among her neighbours to explore, “ And see her poorest of the very poor!“ I would describe it, but I bore a part, “ Nor can explain the feelings of the heart; Yet memory since has aided me to trace “ The horrid features of that dismal place. “ There she reclined unmoved, her bosom bare “ To her companion's unimpassion'd stare, “ And my wild wonder :-Seat of virtue! chaste As lovely once! O! how wert thou disgraced !

Upon that breast, by sordid rags defiled, “ Lay the wan features of a famish'd child ;“ That sin-born babe in utter misery laid, Too feebly wretched even to cry for aid ; “ The ragged sheeting, o'er her person drawn, - Served for the dress that hunger placed in pawn.

" At the bed's feet the man reclined his frame: Their chairs were perish'd to support the flame " That warm’d his agued limbs; and, sad to see, “ That shook him fiercely as he gazed on me.

“ I was confused in this unhappy view :

My wife! my friend! I could not think it true;

“ My children's mother,-my Alicia,- laid
« On such a bed! so wretched,—so afraid !
“ And her gay, young seducer, in the guise
“ Of all we dread, abjure, defy, despise,
“ And all the fear and terror in his look,
“ Still more my mind to its foundation shook.

At last he spoke:- Long since I would have died, « • But could not leave her, though for death I sigh’d, "And tried the poison'd cup, and dropp'd it as I tried.

“She is a woman, and that famish'd thing • Makes her to life, with all its evils, cling : «« « Feed her, and let her breathe her last in peace, “And all my sufferings with your promise cease!'

6. But

“ Ghastly he smiled :- -I knew not what I felt,


heart melted-hearts of flint would melt, To see their anguish, penury, and shame, “ How base, how low, how groveling they became: 6. I could not speak my purpose, but my eyes And my expression bade the creature rise.

“ Yet, O! that woman's look! my words are vain “ Her mix'd and troubled feelings to explain;

“ True, there was shame and consciousness of fall, “ But yet remembrance of my love withal, And knowledge of that power which she would now


« But still the more that she to memory brought, “ The greater anguish in my mind was wrought; “ The more she tried to bring the past in view, “ She greater horror on the present threw; “ So that, for love or pity, terror thrillid “ My blood, and vile and odious thoughts instill’d.

This war within, these passions in their strife,
“ If thus protracted, had exhausted life;
“ But the strong view of these departed years
“ Caused a full burst of salutary tears,
“ And as I wept at large, and thought alone,
“ I felt my reason re-ascend her throne.”

“My friend !" Sir Owen answer'd, “what became “Of your just anger ?—when you saw their shame, It was your triumph, and you should have shown “ Strength, if not joy—their sufferings were their


« Alas, for them! their own in very deed !
“ And they of mercy had the greater need;
“ Their own by purchase, for their frailty paid, -
And wanted heaven's own justice human aid?
And seeing this, could I beseech my God
For deeper misery, and a heavier rod ?"

“But could you help them ?""Think, Sir Owen, how " I saw them then-methinks I see them now! “ She had not food, nor aught a mother needs, " Who for another life and dearer feeds : “ I saw her speechless; on her wither'd breast “ The wither'd child extended, but not prest, Who sought, with moving lip and feeble cry, • Vain instinct! for the fount without supply.

“ Sure it was all a grievous, odious scene, “ Where all was dismal, melancholy, mean, “ Foul with compellid neglect, unwholesome, and un


“ That arm,--that eye,--the cold, the sunken cheek --

Spoke all, Sir Owen-fiercely miseries speak!"

« And

relieved ?"

“ If hell's seducing crew “ Had seen that sight, they must have pitied too."

Revenge was thine—thou hadst the power, the right; To give it up was heaven's own act to slight.”

« Tell me not, Sir, of rights, and wrongs, or powers! “ I felt it written—Vengeance is not ours !”

“ Well, Ellis, well !—I find these female foes, “. Or good or ill, will murder our repose; And we, when Satan tempts them, take the cup, “ The fruit of their foul sin, and drink it up: “ But shall our pity all our claims remit, “ And we the sinners of their guilt acquit?"

“ And what, Sir Owen, will our vengeance do? « It follows us when we our foe pursue, And, as we strike the blow, it smites the smiters


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6 What didst thou, man?"

I brought them to a cot “ Behind your larches,-a sequester'd spot, " Where dwells the woman: I believe her mind “ Is now enlighten'd-I am sure resign'd: « She gave her infant, though with aching heart “ And faltering spirit, to be nursed apart."

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