Felicia Dorothea Hemans

(25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England)

Fairy Favours


Wouldst thou wear the gift of immortal bloom?
Wouldst thou smile in scorn at the shadowy tomb?
Drink of this cup! it is richly fraught
With balm from the gardens of genii brought;
Drink, and the spoiler shall pass thee by,
When the young all scatter'd like rose-leaves lie.

And would not the youth of my soul be gone,
If the lov'd had left me, one by one?
Take back the cup that may never bless,
The gift that would make me brotherless!
How should I live, with no kindred eye
To reflect mine immortality?

Wouldst thou have empire, by sign or spell,
Over the mighty in air that dwell?
Wouldst thou call the spirits of shore and steep
To fetch thee jewels from ocean's deep?
Wave but this rod, and a viewless band,
Slaves to thy will, shall around thee stand.

And would not fear, at my coming then,
Hush every voice in the homes of men?
Would not bright eyes in my presence quail?
Young cheeks with a nameless thrill turn pale?
No gift be mine that aside would turn
The human love for whose founts I yearn!

Wouldst thou then read thro' the hearts of those
Upon whose faith thou hast sought repose?
Wear this rich gem! it is charm'd to show
When a change comes over affection's glow;
Look on its flushing or fading hue,
And learn if the trusted be false or true!

Keep, keep the gem, that I still may trust,
Tho' my heart's wealth be but pour'd on dust!
Let not a doubt in my soul have place,
To dim the light of a lov'd one's face;
Leave to the earth its warm, sunny smile–
That glory would pass could I look on guile!

Say, then, what boon of my power shall be,
Favour'd of spirits! pour'd forth on thee?
Thou scornest the treasures of wave and mine,
Thou wilt not drink of the cup divine,
Thou art fain with a mortal's lot to rest–
Answer me! how may I grace it best?

Oh! give me no sway o'er the powers unseen,
But a human heart where my own may lean!
A friend, one tender and faithful friend,
Whose thoughts' free current with mine may blend,
And leaving not either on earth alone,
Bid the bright, calm close of our lives be one!

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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