Page images

The delay which since that period has taken place, has been occasioned partly by the hope of finding a preface to the present publication, which there was some reason to suppose herself had written, and partly from an intention of annexing a short account of her life; but it having been since decided to publish biographical memoirs, and a selection of her correspondence, on a more enlarged plan, and under the immediate authority of her own nearest relatives, it was thought unnecessary; and the motives for deferring the publication are altogether removed.

The public, who have received the several editions of Mrs. Smith's former Poems with unbounded approbation, will, without doubt, admit the claims of the present work to an equal share of their favour; and her friends and ad

mirers cannot fail of being highly gratified in observing, that although most of the Poems included in this volume were composed during the few and short intervals of care which her infirmities permitted her to enjoy; yet they bear the most unquestionable evidence of the same undiminished genius, spirit, and imagination, which so imminently distinguished her former productions.

The Poem entitled BEACHY HEAD is not completed according to the original design. That the increasing debility of its author has been the cause of its being left in an imperfect state, will it is hoped be a sufficient apology.

There are two Poems in this collection, viz. FLORA, and STUDIES BY THE SEA, which have already been published in Mrs. Smith's

"Conversations for the Use of Children and Young Persons"; but as many of her friends. considered them as misplaced in that work, and not likely to fall under the general observation of those who were qualified to appreciate their superior elegance and exquisite fancy, and had expressed a desire of seeing them transplanted into a more congenial soil, the Publisher, with his usual liberality, has permitted them to reappear in the present volume.

January 31, 1807.



ON thy stupendous summit, rock sublime!

That o'er the channel rear'd, half way

at sea

The mariner at early morning hails,

I would recline; while Fancy should go forth,
And represent the strange and awful hour

Of vast concussion; when the Omnipotent

Stretch'd forth his arm, and rent the solid hills,
Bidding the impetuous main flood rush between


The rifted shores, and from the continent

Eternally divided this green isle.

Imperial lord of the high southern coast!

From thy projecting head-land I would mark

Far in the east the shades of night disperse,

Melting and thinned, as from the dark blue wave Emerging, brilliant rays of arrowy light

Dart from the horizon; when the glorious sun

Just lifts above it his resplendent orb.
Advances now, with feathery silver touched,
The rippling tide of flood; glisten the sands,
While, inmates of the chalky clefts that scar
Thy sides precipitous, with shrill harsh cry,

Their white wings glancing in the level beam,

The terns, and gulls, and tarrocks, seek their food,

And thy rough hollows echo to the voice

« PreviousContinue »