To Fortune

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To the editor of the ‘‘Morning Chronicle’’ Sir, —
The following poem you may perhaps deem admissible into your journal — if not, you will commit it eiV ieròn menoV Hfaistoio.
— I am, with more respect and gratitude than I ordinarily feel for Editors of Papers, your obliged, &c.,Cantab. — S.T.C.
[Composed during a walk to and from the Queen’s Head, Gray’s Inn Lane, Holborn, and Hornsby’s and Co., Cornhill.]

Promptress of unnumber’d sighs,
O snatch that circling bandage from thine eyes!
O look, and smile! No common prayer
Solicits, Fortune! thy propitious care!
For, not a silken son of dress,
I clink the gilded chains of politesse,
Nor ask thy boon what time I scheme
Unholy Pleasure’s frail and feverish dream;
Nor yet my view life’s dazzle blinds —
Pomp! — Grandeur! Power! — I give you to the winds!
Let the little bosom cold
Melt only at the sunbeam ray of gold —
My pale cheeks glow — the big drops start —
The rebel Feeling riots at my heart!
And if in lonely durance pent,
Thy poor mite mourn a brief imprisonment —
That mite at Sorrow’s faintest sound
Leaps from its scrip with an elastic bound!
But oh! if ever song thine ear
Might soothe, O haste with fost’ring hand to rear
One Flower of Hope! At Love’s behest,
Trembling, I plac’d it in my secret breast:
And thrice I’ve view’d the vernal gleam,
Since oft mine eye, with Joy’s electric beam,
Illum’d it — and its sadder hue
Oft moisten’d with the Tear’s ambrosial dew!
Poor wither’d floweret! on its head
Has dark Despair his sickly mildew shed!
But thou, O Fortune! canst relume
Its deaden’d tints — and thou with hardier bloom
May’st haply tinge its beauties pale,
And yield the unsunn’d stranger to the western gale!

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.