only clues to who 'Edith Mary' was ^ ^ ^ ^
No lofty title, no high-sounding name
Declare this Volume emulous of fame,
Content some modest flowers of verse to save,
From their impending fate, an early grave;
Here shall each tributary off'ring live,
And to affection's heart new pleasure give,
Oft as they meet the sympathetic eye,
Or the charmed ear drinks in their victory,
The playful Satire here shall find a place,
And sparkling trities these fair pages grace;
Here shall they live beyond the Critic's ken,
Remote from keen Reviewer's caustic pen,
And win, a meed, O dearer far than Fame,
The tender pride, that hallows each loved name.
To Edith Mary On her Third Birthday
My darling child, my Edith-Mary
Would, for thy sake I were a Fairy
With gifts and graces without measure
Would I endow my playful treasure
And shield her yet unconscious head
From every evil mortals dread
First Piety, whose heav'nly light
Should guide thy wand'ring footsteps right
Then Intellect's pure lamp should shine
And all her choicest gifts be thine
And sparkling ___ and humor gay
Untinged by Satire's baneful ray
A Temper even, sweet and free
From all caprice, all jealousy,
And Painting's charm & Music's pow'r
To wile away each heavy hour
But most of all shouldst thou pofsefs
The spirit's happy joyfulnefs
That buoyant temp'rament which sees
The summer's promise in each breeze
That, even when dark tempests lower
Thanks Heaven that sent them not before
And finds in ev'ry cloud a star
To cheer the weary from afar.
These & much more sweet Edith Mary
Should be my gifts were I a Fairy
A mortal, I can only pray
For blessings on thy Natal Day
A. E. B. 1840
In commemoration of an incident that occurred on the Rhine 30 May 1842,
when Henrietta . . . . accidentally dropped into the river, a letter she had
written to her friend Catherine
. . . . containing an account and description of her journey, and what she
ONE day upon the Rhine's left bank,
A water Nymph was idly dozing,
Her head 'mid water-lilies sank,
And willow boughs above her closing.
The rapid stream ran hoarse below,
Calming to rest each thought & feeling,
And, lulled by its continual flow,
Oblivion fast was o'er her stealing.
When lo a shrill & piercing cry,
Echoed among the rocks above her,
She sprung up in the act to Fly,
Thinking it was some lawless rover.
But glancing up the Rhine's broad stream,
She spied a bargue full richly laden,
While from its deck that piteous scream was uttered by a hapless maiden.
She stood with baudsft? eyes uplifted,
While swiftly sailed the barque along,
Whilst on the Rhine's broad bosom drifted,
A Scroll, the subject of my Song.
That Scroll was closely written o'er,
Gentle the words that filled each page,
Mingled with legendary lore,
Poetic thoughts inf'rence sage.
Sunk 'neath the Rhine's blue waters now,
That precious scroll must soon decay,
Or borne by their impetuous flow,
Be cast on some lone bank away.
But soft our nymph is downwards bending,
And ruder airs all cease to play,
She is her kind assistance lending,
The truant on its path to stay.
And now tis anchored far beneath,
A rock that has for ages stood,
Whose castle decked with many a wreath,
Of flaunting weeds fromns o'er the flood.
A fairy islet this shall be,
Ordained the nymph with sudden pleasure,
And Heaven & Earth & Air & Sea,
Shall each bring here its choicest treasure.
Away she flew & left the Isle,
Alone on that majestic river,
But soon returned with __ous smile,
Bringing all Earth & Air could give her.
And ____ a sound of many wings,
And nymphs like rainbows floating round her,
Laden with all the glorious things,
That they in Sky & Sea have found her.
And thus the fairy islet grew,
While all the rocks & plants & flowers,
As if its origin they knew,
Formed for themselves appropriate bowers.
Here where some ____ old & dark,
Was told with ____ & _____ _____,
A mystic ___ the spot would mark,
A boiling torrent's hidden source.
And where attention's gentle tone,
Was imaged forth in gentler words,
M__'s___s claimed the spot her own,
And o'er it flew bright humming birds.
And mimic castles crowned the _eak,
Based on some tale of ancient glory,
While turtle-doves & fountains? speak,
Of some true lovers hapless story.
And where a loftier theme was tried,
The Christian emblem Passion flower,
With peaceful olive by its side,
Had twined into a lovely bower.
And gems & crystals sparkle where,
Some flash of __it has lately been,
And butterflies are sporting there,
Children of Fancy's playful Queen.
With em'rald turf the earth was spread,
Streamlets like diamonds trickle o'er it,
While, for the canopy o'er head,
No sky was half so blue before it.
The Isle was now complete, but how,
To name this little peerless treasure?
Thoughtful became our Nymph's fair brow,
At length she thus declared her pleasure.
"St. Catherine's name this Isle shall bear,
And none shall find its charmed strand,
Why cannot from their soul declare,
They'd serve their friend with heart and hand.
I dedicate this lovely Isle,
To friendship, tender, pure & true."
She said, & with a radiant smile,
Waved her bright plumes, & off she flew.
Vernon Semper Viret
Tis summer tide & the morning sun Shines on a gorgeous & brilliant array,
A gallant procession is moving on, Tis the Lady Margaret's bridal day.
They follow the Wye's meand'ring track, They cross the bridge so steep &
And now they are reining their chargers back, At old Haddon's proud &
And there stands the _____ ______ Seneschal, Whilst a crowd of menials
behind him wait,
To ______ them on to the banquet hall, Where my lord & my lady are seated in
Now comes the high-born & beautiful Bride, And round her are clust'ring her
But who is the ladye who walks by her side, For she's far the loveliest
The ladye Dorothy's deep blue eyes, Are veiled by their long & silken
Her bosom heaves with pent-up sighs, Her once bright cheek is pale as ashes.
Ladye Margaret's eyes shine brightly out, Like stars 'neath her snowy bridal
Her peach-like cheek no timid doubt, No maiden tremors could ever pale.
Now all things are sunny & bright for her, And all smile on Stanley her
While Dorothy's knight is in hiding & fear, In hourly dread of the vengeful
Proud Margaret's beauty is bold & bright, And well can that haughty one play
She awes the senses & dazzles the sight, But Dorothy's loveliness touches
High noon is now past . . . the vows are vowed, The Bride has retired to her
While still in the banquet hall, the crowd, Stay pledging her health for
many an hour.
And the gardens are throng'd with ladies fair, On the stately terrace they
Each with her foot-page & plum'd couture, Or wand'ring minstrel with lute &
The Lady Dorothy too is there, Her charms all other charms excelling,
But say, what means that conscious air, While tears within her eyes are
She stands on the terrace that ladye bright, Her small hand presses the
While heard by ear but screen'd from sight, A voice pours forth a serenade.
It speaks of lovers parted long, Of sorrowing maid & faithful knight,
And still the burden of the song, Seems urging on a courser's? flight,
Tis eventide? but the torches light, Makes evening like the noonday seem,
And from terrace fair to turret's height, Haddon stands pictured in the
And now the masquers come pouring in, Young knights, fair maids & noble
And light the laughter & loud the din, Of jingling spurs & clanging swords.
A hundred tapers fling their rays, Upon the gallery's polish'd floor,
And all the guests impatient gaze, Upon the gallery's half-closed door.
It opens now . . . they come . . . the Bride, Seems like a
graceful sylvan Queen,
But soon she casts her masque aside, Such beauty will not bear a screen.
And hark the music's joyful notes, Call the Bride forth to tread a measure,
The pipers strain their willing throats, And all is mirth & all seems
Tis midnight past" yet in the dancing, No stop there is, no pause at all,
None care to mark the nights advancing, Now miss those absent from the Hall;
Change we the scene" & turn me now, To the terrace grey &
Who stands alone upon its brow, For two long hours this joyous night?
In lowly garb of Kendal? green, Bare-headed to the summer sky,
No nobler Knight could there be seen, Mingling in that Festivity.
At length those portals move & hist?, A hurried step is on the stair,
And the Knights impassion'd lip hath kiss'd, The white hand of his Ladye
Her velvet masque half hid her face, An ample cloak her form conceal'd,
But matchless still in air and grace, Sweet Dorothy stood there reveal'd.
"Now haste thee, haste thee, Ladye bright, Each ling'ring moment seems a
Thy palfrey waits equipped for flight, My steed & page are hiding near."
One mute farewell, one sparkling tear, One fervent blessing on her home,
And panting then 'twixt hope and fear, Young Manners! she is all thine ___!
And now thy terrace length they tread, And now the wicket pass they through,
A hundred devious paths they thread, Before they came their steeds unto.
He gave one hasty glance around, To see no trait'rous Spy
The, springing lightly from the ground, Away, away, like hunted deer.
And little her Father thought that night, As he sought in the crowd of
For his youngest darling his heart's delight, She had fled with his hated
Long years have passed & the summer's sun, Again shines bright on Haddon's
Her Father's grace at length is won, And she's welcom'd back to her Father's
Joy you, o'er Haddon's halls & bowers, To Her & to her
For 'tis declared of Haddon's towers, The heir shall be her noble Boy!