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The Philosophy of Love. [A Plea in Defence of Virtue and Truth!] A Poem in Six Cantos, with Other Poems

Canto Third

“Philosophy of Love”: Page 45.

Canto Third.

How sweet is Truth to the confiding heart!
’Tis the best condiment the soul enjoys,
While dealing with the duties of this life;
And more, especially in th’ affairs of Love,
page 46“Philosophy of Love”: Page 46. Love; SocietyWhat though the lover may be sorely vex’d
By circumstances cross, which mar th’ advance
Of union’s joys; if corresponding truth.
And sympathy be hers, he feels as blest
While musing on the darling of his heart,
With whom his soul is wed; although apart,
’Tis a foretaste of what he holds in view!
Such sunny prospects fancy thus presents
As founded on her sympathy and truth,
Make him courageous ’mid intrusive cares,
Arising from fortuitous events,
Which prove the barrier to united loves;
Nay, hardships lose their grievousness, in hopes
Of being soon triumphant o’er them all!

Love; Future; Imagination; Religion; Joy; TechnologyBut oft it haps, ’midbouyant hopes of bliss,
View’d in the future, charming to behold,
Like telescopic scenes, for beauty’s sheen,
That wayward things will yet one’s path beset,
’S ifProvidence had doom’d his lot, to be
Far otherwise, than what he for himself
Had chosen; or the one on whom his heart
Is fix’d, is not appointed as—“mine own!”
Imagination; Memory; Suffering; TechnologyHard, hard is such a case: adversity
Would seize him as the victim of its sport,
page 47“Philosophy of Love”: Page 47. And tantalize him with her image fair,
In midday fancies, or in midnight dreams,
As placed before his eyes for his embrace:
So fix’d, as photograph’d, on memory’s front
Is every sweet remembrance of her; while
His energies are task’d to rise above
All heart depressing cares! He feels alone,
Even amid the circle of good friends;
Nor can he in their pleasures sympathise,
For, Lo, his heart’s devotion is elsewhere!
And as some intervention would debar
Communion where affections are engaged,
Such weighs his spirits down, an incubus
Of an oppressive nature, fit to tempt,
’Gainst common sense, his feelings to rebell!
The idea of his heart’s delight thus held
Before imagination’s fondest gaze,
And yet of her sweet fellowship denied,
Creates emotions hard to be endured!

Society; Technology; LoveSo had it been with Alliquis, and his
Devoted Anna in minority:
But through some secretly concocted plan,
Which none but ardent lovers can devise;
As if some spirit telegram had given
page 48“Philosophy of Love”: Page 48. Their minds intelligence of either’s wish,
They, at certain hour, when rose the sun,
Would from their couches rise; gaze to’ard his disk,
(The only medium of communion theirs,)
And breathe their vows afresh, to be as true
To either, as the sun is true to rise
At his appointed time; and pray kind Heaven
Might haste his revolutions, to bring round
The time, when such restraints would be no more!

The course of true-love seldom will run smooth;
Oft, some misapprehension will arise
With one or other, eausing much of pain
To both alike;—she, jealous of some sleight,
She fancies she sustain’d; of which he feels
Unconscious such he gave! Thus, for a time,
A difficulty unexplain’d exists,
Creating much of sorrow to them both,
With secret sighings, grievings, and distress,
Which no one else must know; while thus to part
Is more, than ev’n the injured can sustain!
She loves him notwithstanding; yes she feels
It more than ever, when on terms of peace!—
And he feels his affections strength, have gain’d,
Despite the sad misunderstanding risen!
page 49“Philosophy of Love”: Page 49. Love; PerceptionWhat struggles rise twixt love and wounded pride!
—Now, which to gain the mast’ry o’er his mind
Becomes the theme of mental arguement,
While inclination strongly would oppose
Pride’s vile suggestion, “no more to return!”—
Yes, warm affections paint the picture true,
And shew most vividly unto his mind,
What would be the result of hearing Pride:—
Were she another’s to become, ’twould be
Like tearing from his breast his bleeding heart!
—Ah! such is more than nature can endure!—
True love is in th’ ascendant, has fast hold
Upon him, strongly urging him to go
And seek a reconciliation, and
A kind renewal of their former joys.—
Shall such a plea meet a denial?—No!
Her heart, once trembling between hope and fear,
Now beats more joyous, seeing his return;
And more delighted is she to forgive,
Than hear the self-reproachings of her swain;
And feels assured his love is like her own,
page 50“Philosophy of Love”: Page 50. Devoid of guile and highly to be prized!
Love; Friendship; JoySuch leads to closer friendship, which results
In truth’s foreshaddow’d hymenial bliss!
What blest results! when confidential truth
Becomes the basis of sweet union’s joys;
’Tis bliss to both, compared to those enjoy’d
In former state, of an expectant kind,
When little jealouses were apt to blight
The fondest hopes the heart could e’er maintain!
Now in each other’s company can each
Rewarded feel, as truly bosom-friends!

True Love and Prudence when together join’d
In social harmony, can never fail
To gain the best results. Such is a Truth
Which bears the seal of Heaven upon its front;
While best rewards the consequence must be!
But Love; Society; Moralitywhere True Love from Prudence is apart:
What failures oft occur!—It is as when
No one is near, of danger to fore-warn,
Till helplessly we plunge in sorrow’s pool!

See, how it was with Mary.—She was once
page 51“Philosophy of Love”: Page 51. Both blythe and beautiful, but void of thought!
Her beauty, and her gaiety, would draw
Th’ attentions of young lovers of her age;
’Mong whom was one, to whom she felt attach’d,
With all that fondness youthful ardour own’d.
Her love was true; but her eccentric ways
Would make it seem anomalous with truth;
While he of her impassionately fond,
Made friends expectant of their union soon!
Such might have been; but oh! her thoughtless freaks,
Though full of fondness, blighted soon her joys
Pride, in her heart, had the ascendancy,
Which made her glory o’er affections gain’d:
Unthinking such her cherishing required
Thus, at their trysting place, she’d hide, and wait
His due arrival; there rejoice to see
His sad uneasiness at being lone,
Till tired with waiting, and about to go;
Then from her hiding place she’d come, and make
Fond parlous sport, at “why no search he made”!
page 52“Philosophy of Love”: Page 52. Though twice, or thrice, such pleasantly pass’d off,
It yet had strong effect his love t’ abate!
At length his pride got wounded, and that wound
Was like one mortal, beyond healing arts;
For suddenly, all correspondence ceased,
No more to be revived! His study now
Was, how to shun her—never her to meet!
Whene’er he saw her coming on his way,
He’d turn, and take another rout, t’escape
A meeting, as by chance; where formerly,
His study was, to meet her everywhere!
—She felt the change! It was a grievous stroke,
’Twas like a startling thunder-clap, aloud
Declaring a great truth, which reach’d her heart,
(Where, milder hints no entrance could obtain,)
The value of his love she little knew,
Until ’twas irretrivably withdrawn!”
Ah! such a Truth, thus fully realized,
Endanger’d life;—so hard ’twas to endure!

Future; Perception; JoyHard is his lot, whose loving heart would bode
On future joys, as seeing the bright scene
page 53“Philosophy of Love”: Page 53. In vision, in the distance; yet is blind
To all mischances that might lie between—
All tending to debar his near approach
To the enjoyments of realities!
Yes hard his lot, when disappointments rise,
In unawares, to queueh his happiest hopes
In sorrow, and becloud his joyous mind,
Which would indulge in visionary bliss!
’Tis like Land; Nature; Artsthe sunny scene,—a landscape fair
Of villas, fields, and rills, with woodland heights
At distance gleaming,—all, where Nature gay
Displays her beauties ’neath the blest effects
Of a bright atmosphere, and cheering beams
Of summer’s sun; all which having become
In sudden, quite o’ercast; a grievous change
From gladness, to the most foreboding gloom;—
The black clouds gathering thickly, soon to break
Into a violent hurricane of storm!

Love; Suffering; ReligionWhat can try more affection’s truth, than when
A change of fortune, unforeseen, occurrs,
To blight once happy prospetcs? or when comes
page 54“Philosophy of Love”: Page 54. Some sore disease disfiguring the bloom
Of beauty, where in health it once prevail’d?
How oft such things have interfered, to mar
Affection’s hallow’d joys!—Nay, rob the mind
Of peace,—defeating happiness on earth!
*The faithless one, who umbrage seeks in such
Calamities, and there cau find excuse
For ’s turning from the object of his vows,
Is one, who is most worthless in the sight
Of Heaven, and in whose breast can ne’er exist
The milk of human kindness; but, whose heart
Is as accurse;d and void of aught of love!
And therefore is unworthy that the joys
Of love should e’er descend into his heart.—!
Thus measure, given, is meted in return,
By Providence, who orders all things well!

Poetry; Philosophy; Religion; Technology; Prosperity; Colony; Ocean; WorkNow, to illustrate such a doctrine given.
Permit the Muse such instances to give
That best can stir th’ affections of the heart,—
The best affections bent on virtue’s course
Which best accord with Heaven’s eternal truth!

page 55“Philosophy of Love”: Page 55.

Brave Hector; having earn’d a competence,
Afar from home, and love’s enjoyments sweet,
’Neath mercenary India’s torrid clime:
And home returning, shatter’d much in health,]
Yet full of lively hopes to meet the one
He loved more than himself;—whose Image fair,
As photograph’d in memory, oft had stirr’d
His energies, and industry, t’ amass
As speedily as possible his pile:—
Such, reckon’d the most worthy to lay down
Before her, as her own, with his fond heart,
On his return, when claiming her his wife?
But soon his lively hopes are changed to woes:
For, meeting sad misfortune near the close
Of voyage, being shipwreck’d in a storm.
Escaping scarce with life, he lost his ALL,
And so was rendre’d penniless, and poor!
Now suff’ring most from the heart-rending thought
Of being thus rejected—thrust aside,—
For some one else in better case than he!
(If such can be her nature;)—Yes, such thoughts
page 56“Philosophy of Love”: Page 56. Aggrieved him more than all his other loss;
And nearly him of reason had bereft:
Thus making wreck of former happy hopes!
—But what was his reception?—Yes, he made
Bold effort to report himself return’d,
A miserable wretch, poor and forlorn,
With nothing, but the love within his heart!—
Yes, how was he received? In such a state,
When heard his mournful tale, she him embraced
And gave him hearty welcome! On his breast,
She shed compassion’s tear,—love’s feeling shewn
As proof of depth, and genuineness sincere;—
While breathing best of comforts to his heart,
By claiming all his sorrows as her own:—
And in exchange inspiring him with joy,
By shewing him, how Providence had met
His loss with somewhat double the amount,
While uot one particle of love was lost
On either side!—(as she had got, bequeathed,
A goodly portion from a friend, deceased;)—
“I beg thee to accept it with my heart;
page 57“Philosophy of Love”: Page 57. Correction in black ink: “now” This correction is also present in the two copies found in the Golder cottage. Also, “gentleness” has been hand-traced in black ink. As I am thine,—she whisper’d lovingly,—
And feel most happy with thee as thou art!
Oh, what a declaration—As the sun
Looks from behind the storm-cloud black, and shines
With sudden splendour, lighting up the face
Of low Nature with his gladd’ning beams;
Her aspect changing, from all sullen glooms
To smiles of grateful joy! So felt his heart
A gladsome burst of bliss above all hopes;
’Twaslove’s own music which inspired his soul,
As he exclaim’d “God bless Amanda’s heart!
As fast he strain’d her to his throbbing breast:—
And who would reverberate that prayer?
Or give response in a sincere AMEN!
Poetry; PhilosophySee, is not this a pattern of true love,
As seen on either side?—A picture true,
And worthy imitation through all time!

Another instance let the Muse pourtray.—
Who was so fair as Hariot: she, the pride
Of all her sisters, all accounted fair?—
Her rosy check spoke beauty, health and peace,
As the result of gentleness and truth,
page 58“Philosophy of Love”: Page 58. Possess’d in full—the heart’s intrinsic worth,
Beyond all price! Her brow, symmetrical
In breadth and height, intellegence declared;
Her laughing love bespeaking eye reveal’d
The heart’s affections pure, as based on Truth;
Her ruby lips, well form’d, were emblem of
Good disposition, and a cheerful mind:
All other features corresponding well,
While auburn ringlets, as they downward waved,
Gave grace and finish to the whole contour!—
Yes, she was lovely; ay, in ev’ry sense
That loveliness imports! She won th’ esteem
Of Arthur; with reciprocating love
They promised to each other to be true.

Her Arthur was a mariner, had rank
As captain of the Navy, and must needs,
Despite all love-considerations due,
Attend to duty, wheresoever call’d,
In home, or foreign service. So it happ’d
An order from head-quarters had decreed
His ship on a long voyage must proceed;
Such put an interdict on present joys.—
page 59“Philosophy of Love”: Page 59. Deferring union till his next return,
Whenever under Providence ’twould be:—
Exchanging love-regards they parted thus.

Perception; Imagination; Land; ChangeHow sweet the distant prospect to behold!—
Love-fancy’s ever bright with golden dreams;
How like you sunny landscape glowing ’neath
A summer sky, in all its beauteous charms,
Where woodland hills, ’gainst the horizon’s blue,
Stand forth in all varieties of green;
While hedge-environ’d fields display a vast
Of flowery beauties, in their mingling hues,
Bespangling the green pastures, where the kine
’Mid sweet luxuriance graze:—all to the eye
Of observation charming—fit to cheer
The care-beclouded mind, or grieving heart:—
But all such pleasures subject are to change;
For, while enraptured with the lovely scene,
Foreboding clouds pass over the bright sun,
And buries the fair landscape in deep shade;
Which casts a reflex influence on the mind!

So was it with fair Hariot:—sad disease,
During th’ interim on her sternly seized,
page 60“Philosophy of Love”: Page 60. Which laid her prostrate, wasting her fair form,
Transforming all her beauty to a sight
Of seeming desolation;—quite worn down
To a wan skeleton! Thus, she became
A shatter’d wreck of what she once had been!
Though life had been despair’d of, yet the shaft
Of Death, though poised with steady aim to strike,
Was put back in the quiver, as the King
Of Terrors changed had suddenly his plan
Of present execution:—so her life
Was spared, though not without a serious loss
Of eyesight;—blindness now becomes her lot:
Like convict doom’d to die, then favour’d with
Commuted sentence, and her life a prey!

Suffering; Religion; JoyRecovering slowly from her sore disease,
Though sad was the infliction, yet in time,
A christian resignation to the will
Of Providence, caused sorrows to depart,
And leave her mind in cheerful happy trim,
By calling in the aid of other powers,
Or faculties, not hitherto required
To take the place of sight, now wholly lost;
While with enlighten’d mind, well store with truth,
page 61“Philosophy of Love”: Page 61. She could enjoy her outward darken’d state,
With sweet composure; and she learn’d to do
By feeling, what by sight had once been done;
Thus, was her time and energies engaged
To all good purpose, which her heart rejoiced!

PerceptionAt length the time arrived, when home return’d,
Her Arthur made appearance, not aware
Of aught that had transpired. The family all
Came forth to welcome; and congratulate
His safe arrival: but his scanning eye
One absent soon observed, when sudden fears
His mind impress’d surmising something wrong:
—“Where is my Hariot?” looking round he cried:
Ah! she was in her room—could not appear,
She thought, with that acceptance she would wish!
—He, having heard the tale, rush’d quickly forth
To meet her where she was. Her placid face
Was now suffused with tears of grief suppress’d;
With loving sympathy he her embraced,
With manly fondness ask’d glad welcome’s kiss!
—“Oh Arthur”, she replied, “can I expect
Thy love in this my state?—Thy voice I hear,
And oh, ’tis pleasant!—But thy dearest face
page 62“Philosophy of Love”: Page 62. I cannot look on but with sightless eyes:
Although ’tis deeply graven on my heart!
I must give-up all hopes of being thine!!”
She cried amid a burst of bitter grief.

What? Dearest!” he exclaim’d, “It cannot be:
Dry up your tears!—Enjoy all former hopes!—
My only one! (impressing on her cheek
Affection’s kiss while mingling with her tears
His manly feelings!)—Bid thy heart rejoice,
My heart is true, and SURELY so is thine:
Thy sad affliction be it mine to bear!—
I LOVE thee truly,—so THOU MUST be mine!

Religion; Love; PhilosophyHere is a scene which Angels might admire!
It is so like ‘LOVE’s light’, which beams from Heaven
On man’s condition, smitten by his sin!
What an avowal! ’Twas submission meek
To Heaven’s decree!—See his large heart of truth
Defying sorrows, which would others scare:
Here is True Love in all its fullness shewn;
Such; that must merit long and full renown!
Go lover, likewise Do; and turn not from
Thy lov’d one, ’mid lost fortunes, or in woes;
Such, that o’er-ruling Providence ordains,
page 63“Philosophy of Love”: Page 63. (Not sprung from vice, or being self-entail’d:)
Such, one can neither foresee, nor prevent;—
Lest thou be found contemptuous to His will!

Wherever fond affection’s strength is tried
By dire calamity, its truth shines out
With tenfold brilliancy; and in the hearts
Of others as spectators sheds its light,
Such, that awakes low, latent sympathy
To’ Worka state resembling energetic life;
As slumb Nature with the rising sun
Awakes to day’s requirements,—so they feel
Love’s genial glow imparted to their souls!

True Love is heavenly power! To be o’ercome
By every trial that beset its course
Is quite beyond its nature; howe’er great
The trial, oft the greater is its strength
To cope with all emergencies; and meet
The sternest with composure, as to bid
It welcome, in defiance of the worst;
As ev’n in Death, its strength is not subdued!

Love; Family; ReligionHail sweet companionship! All hail! to such
That proves the coupling of two kindred hearts,
Whose hopes and feelings are alike;—embued
page 64“Philosophy of Love”: Page 64. With Truth, and sanctified by faith in Him
Who can the end, from the beginning see:
Whose blessing can to Good, reverses turn;
Although such good be not of what we’d dream!

Thus, Emma felt Love’s holiness, and truth,
Upon her heart, to Laura, when betrothed.
Then look’d she forward to that hallow’d time—
The best a heart expectant can conceive,
When they in closer union would be join’d:
That time, though yet at distance, was endear’d,
Nearly as much as were th’ occasion near,
Since otherwise it was not so ordain’d!
Perception; Future; JoyAnticipation will as much enhance
Life’s joys in value, as when realized!—
Anticipation of expected bliss,
How like the bright sun shining in one’s face,
The eyesight dazzling with its glory, so
That pitfalls, or obstructions, which waylay
One’s progress, are unseen—all quite unknown,
Until he gets entangled to his woe!—
Bright was the prospect of their coming joys,
As gladdening their hearts with hallow’d cheer;—
Future; Loss; PerceptionBut,—(Oh! that cruel “BUT”,’tis like the thrust
page 65“Philosophy of Love”: Page 65. Of an assassin’s dagger to the heart
Of all that would await some future good:
It pictures disappointment, on whose back
Grief rides triumphant, bathed in briny tears;
’Tis full of omen of the direst kind,
Yet tells the blandest tale, oft wreath’d in smiles,
That can delight the ear, yet, which the heart
Interprates to its woe!) But, a sad change;
Unlook’d for, came—a typhus sickness sore,
On the affianced bride; an illness, which
Made rapid progress in its wasting work;
A gloom, a deep gloom sheding o’er their hopes,
As come presagers of an awful storm,
Where summer sunshine ruled! Still, even then,
Love summon’d every effort to defeat
The saddest fears that can o’erwhelm the heart
With vexing grief. Hopf, love s companion, strong
In its assistance, here would prove a good
Minist’ring angel whispering to her heart
Sweet things of comfort; Perception; Scienceeven at the worst,
Interprating sad symptoms to the best
page 66“Philosophy of Love”: Page 66. Advantage,—such a crisis will produce
Its best effects, and soon shall all be well
Such cheering hopes oft render blest results,
They are to medicine’s power as handmaids, which
Would soothe the mind, and nervous system; while
Desponding thoughts but aggravate disease!—
But in this case, the bride elect, though fain
To cheer her lover’s heart, she knows, so lorn,
Would try to offer best of comforts, while
Assuring him her love for him’s unchanged,
Though to the will of Providence resign’d;
And, that she his affections highly prized!—
He using every means which fondest hopes
Suggest, to check the fever’s power, by close
Attention, and true kindness; and meanwhile,
To cloak his sad suspicions, “that all help,
Or human skill had fail’d,” would he express
Most loving thoughts, and all of heavenly love!
The source of that, which glows in human hearts!
—While she with faintest shaddow of a smile,
(Weak nature’s fondest effort!) would reply:—
page 67“Philosophy of Love”: Page 67. I feel the truth of all you would advance,
My soul rejoices in my SAVIOUR’s LOVE!”
—Her wasted features beauty’s halo bore,
To him all lovely still, affection’s warmth
Sustaining, strength’ning, even to the last;
Which made him stoop, and gently press a kiss
On her wan cheek.—At this, she turn’d a look
Of sweetest satifaction,—heart-felt thanks!—
When her eye glazed; and smiling, she expired!
For her recovery, ardent were his prayers,
And unremitting care; while patient, she
Was under the stern power of the last foe:
Thus, Providence, inflexible in truth,
Would try affection’s virtue, as He gives
Disguised, His best of blessings; which, at first
We’re apt to reckon quite in the reverse!
For, sad to tell, th’ appointed bridal day
Became the time of a funereal scene!

One lover taken, to the marriage feast
Above, array’d in spotless robes of grace!
Her earthly love, as it was all of truth,
page 68“Philosophy of Love”: Page 68. Betoken’d to her soul that holier love,
Which gave her closer union to her God!
The other, lover left, felt more the shock
Of sorrow, at his being left behind,
Than of her high advancement to the joys
Of Heaven, and the society of the blest!—
He only lives, her monument on earth,
To tell her virtues, all to him endeared;
While making it his aim, by the same means,
She gain’d the prize, to follow in her wake;
Though sorrowful, yet not without a hope
Of joining, with her, in triumphant praise,
Before the throne, where parting is no more!