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Louisa Stuart Costello

(1799-1870 / France)

November Fifth


Anniversary of the Loss of H.M.S. Tweed




Oh, what relief to gaze on yonder sky,
Where all is holy, calm, and purely bright!
Within, the sound of mirth and revelry
Startles the timid ear of sober night.


And eyes are bright and silver voices thrill,
As the harp echoes through the glittering hall;
The jest is there that wakes the laugh at will,
And mirth has cast her fairy spell o'er all.


I turn, fair spirit of light! where peaceful thou
Art shining in unatler'd majesty;
The thin clouds float across thy placid brow,
And catch its silver beam in passing by.

To-night!—oh! on this night—nor many years
Have wasted, since in sad regret and pain,
Upon the wave, the sound of woe, and tears,
And frantic pray'rs arose—arose in vain!


Thy light was shrouded then in deepest gloom;
On that dark coast no friendly radiance shone
To warn the victims of their gaping tomb—
Despair and death and horror reign'd alone!


Shine on, shine on, thou treacherous planet still;
Gild with thy beams the now untroubled wave:
Alas! thou fair and fatal cause of ill,
Thy smiles are lovely—but too late to save!

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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