Literary Gazette, 1st March 1823, Page 139
A Nereid floating on a Shell.
Thy dwelling is the coral cave,
Thy element the blue sea wave,
Thy music the wild billows dashing,
Thy light the diamond's crystal flashing:
I'd leave this earth to dwell with thee,
Bright-haired daughter of the sea!
It was an hour of lone starlight
When first my eye caught thy sweet sight:
Thy white feet press'd a silver shell,
Love's own enchanted corracle;
Thy fair arms waved like the white foam
The seas dash from their billowy home;
And far behind, thy golden hair,
A bright sail, floated on the air;
And on thy lips there was a song,
As music wafted thee along.
They say, sweet daughter of the sea,
Thy look and song are treachery;
Thy smile is but the honied bait
To lure thy lover to his fate.
I know not, and I care still less;
It is enough of happiness
To be deceived. Oh, never yet
Could love doubt—no, one doubt would set
His fettered pinions free from all
His false but most delicious thrall.
Love cannot live and doubt; and I,
Vowed slave to my bright deity,
Have but one prayer: Come joy, come ill,
If you deceive, deceive me still;
Better the heart in faith should die
Than break beneath love's perjury.