Felicia Dorothea Hemans

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

To My Younger Brother, On His Return From Spain, After The Fatal Retreat Under Sir John Moore, And The Battle Of Corunna.


THO' dark are the prospects and heavy the hours,
Tho' life is a desert, and cheerless the way;
Yet still shall affection adorn it with flow'rs,
Whose fragrance shall never decay!

And, lo! to embrace thee, my brother! she flies,
With artless delight, that no words can bespeak;
With a sun-beam of transport illuming her eyes,
With a smile and a glow on her cheek!

From the trophies of war, from the spear and the shield,
From scenes of destruction, from perils unblest;
Oh! welcome again to the grove and the field,
To the vale of retirement and rest!

Then warble, sweet muse! with the lyre and the voice,
Oh! gay be the measure and sportive the strain;
For light is my heart, and my spirits rejoice,
To meet thee, my brother! again.

When the heroes of Albion, still valiant and true,
Were bleeding, were falling, with victory crown'd;
How often would fancy present to my view,
The horrors that waited thee round!

How constant, how fervent, how pure was my pray'r,
That Heav'n would protect thee from danger and harm;
That angels of mercy would shield thee with care,
In the heat of the combat's alarm!

How sad and how often descended the tear,
(Ah! long shall remembrance the image retain!)
How mournful the sigh, when I trembled with fear,
I might never behold thee again!

But the pray'r was accepted, the sorrow is o'er,
And the tear-drop is fled, like the dew on the rose;
Thy dangers, our tears, have endear'd thee the more,
And my bosom with tenderness glows!

And, oh! when the dreams, the enchantments of youth,
Bright and transient, have fled, like the rainbow, away;
My affection for thee, still unfading in truth,
Shall never, oh! never, decay!

No time can impair it, no change can destroy,
Whate'er be the lot I am destin'd to share;
It will smile in the sun-shine of hope and of joy,
And beam thro' the cloud of despair!

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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