“To a Friend”
To lose my visionary life
Has been my dearest wish of late;
Tir’d of the world’s eternal strife,
I bow beneath the storms of Fate.
Condemn’d to misery and pain, 5
Long have I wander’d, long suppress’d
The chilling marks of cold disdain
From those in whom I once was blest!
But, ah! the rankling wound can ne’er
Within my bosom’s core be heal’d; 10
Those pangs are always most severe
That in the heart remain conceal’d.
Retirement’s haunts at length invite
To promis’d scenes of future peace;
There, if I cannot hope delight, 15
Oppressive tumults yet may cease.
Ah ! strive not then by tender care
To lure me from my fix’d abode,
On Earth my fate is fell despair—
In Heav’n—my Judge will be my God! 20
9 rankling “To fester, esp. to a degree that causes pain” (OED).
13 Retirement “A secluded or private place; a retreat” (OED).
16 tumults “Great disturbance of mind or feeling” (OED).
19 fell “Intensely painful or destructive” (OED).
SOURCE: Poems on Various Subjects (London, 1793), pp. 10-11. [Google Books]
Edited by Halsey Williamson