Mary's Evening Sigh (1801-2)

MARY’S EVENING SIGH (1802)  [*] 

[To the Editor of the Mirror.

Near the Shepherd and Shepherdess,

City Road, Sept. 1, 1802.


Not having for a long time past contributed to your publication, I here send you a trifle, which I do not esteem to be any way striking or novel. If you give place to it, it is much at your service, with my most sincere acknowledgement to your more constant correspondents.

The news of Dermody’s death is truly afflicting; and glad am I to find the literary worthies were not backward in relieving his distress, however his distress came.

I have not composed any small pieces lately, and the enclosed was written in May last, without any thought of publication. I stumbled upon it yesterday, and lo! Here it is.

Sir, your rheumatic old Friend,



With lovely pearl the western sky
Is glowing far and wide,
And yon light golden clouds that fly
So slowly side by side;
The deepening tints, the arch of light,5
E’en I with rapture see;
And sigh, and bless the charming sight
That lures my love from me.


O Hill! That shad’st the valley here,
Thou bear’st on thy green brow10
The only wealth to Mary dear,
And all she’ll ever know.
Full in the crimson light I see
Above thy summit rise
My Edward’s form; he looks to me15
A statue in the skies


Descend, my love, the hour is come;
Why linger on the hill?
The sun hath left my quiet home,
But thou canst see him still;20
Yet why a lonely wanderer stray?
Alone the joy pursue?
The glories of the closing day
Can charm thy Mary too.


O Edward, when we strolled along25
Beneath the waving corn,
And both confess’d the power of song,
And bless’d the dewy morn;
To thy fond words my heart replied,
(My presence then could move,)30
‘How sweet, with Mary by my side,
To gaze and talk of love.’


Thou are not false;—that cannot be!
Yet I my rivals deem
Each woodland charm, the moss, the tree,35
The silence, and the stream.
If these, my love, detain thee now,
I’ll yet forgive thy stay;
But with tomorrow’s dawn come thou—
We’ll brush the dews away.40


*Published in The Monthly Mirror, 14 (1802), 195, and later included, in a lightly revised form, in Wild Flowers. BACK