NOt that thy Fair Hand
Should lead me from my deep Dispaire,
Or thy Love, Cloris, End my Care,
And back my Steps command:
But if hereafter thou Retire,
To quench with Tears, thy Wandring Fire,
This Clue I'll leave behinde,
By which thou maist untwine
The Saddest Way,
To shun the Day,
That ever Grief did find.
First take thy Hapless Way
Along the Rocky Northern Shore,
Infamous for the Matchless Store
Of Wracks within that Bay.
None o're the Cursed Beach e're crost,
Unless the Robb'd, the Wrack'd, or Lost
Where on the Strand lye spread,
The Sculls of many Dead.
Their mingl'd Bones,
Among the Stones,
Thy Wretched Feet must tread.
The Trees along the Coast,
Stretch forth to Heaven their blasted Arms,
As if they plaind the North-winds harms,
And Youthful Verdure lost.
There stands a Grove of Fatal Ewe,
Where Sun nere pierc't, nor Wind ere blew.
In it a Brooke doth fleet,
The Noise must guide thy Feet,
For there's no Light,
But all is Night,
And Darkness that you meet.
Follow th'Infernal Wave,
Until it spread into a Floud,
Poysoning the Creatures of the Wood,
There twice a day a Slave,
I know not for what Impious Thing,
Bears thence the Liquor of that Spring.
It adds to the sad Place,
To hear how at each Pace,
He curses God,
Himself, his Load,
For such his Forlorn Case.
Next make no Noyse, nor talk,
Until th'art past a Narrow Glade,
Where Light does only break the Shade;
'Tis a Murderers Walk.
Observing this thou need'st not fear,
He sleeps the Day or Wakes elsewhere.
Though there's no Clock or Chime,
The Hour he did his Crime,
His Soul awakes,
His Conscience quakes
And warns him that's the Time.
Thy Steps must next advance,
Where Horrour, Sin, and Spectars dwell,
Where the Woods Shade seems turn'd Hell,
Witches here Nightly Dance,
And Sprights joyn with them when they call,
The Murderer dares not view the Ball.
For Snakes and Toads conspire,
To make them up a Quire.
And for their Light,
And Torches bright,
The Fiends dance all on fire.
Press on till thou descrie
Among the Trees sad, gastly, wan,
Thinne as the Shadow of a Man,
One that does ever crie,
She is not; and she ne're will be,
Despair and Death come swallow me,
Leave him; and keep thy way,
No more thou now canst stray
Thy Feet do stand,
In Sorrows Land,
It's Kingdomes every way.
Here Gloomy Light will shew
Reard like a Castle to the Skie,
A Horrid Cliffe there standing nigh
Shading a Creek below.
In which Recess there lies a Cave,
Dreadful as Hell, still as the Grave.
Sea-Monsters there abide,
The coming of the Tide,
No Noise is near,
To make them fear,
God-sleep might there reside.
But when the Boysterous Seas,
With Roaring Waves resumes this Cell,
You'd swear the Thunders there did dwell.
So lowd he makes his Plea;
So Tempests bellow under ground,
And Ecchos multiply the Sound!
This is the place I chose,
Changeable like my Woes,
Now calmly Sad,
Then Raging Mad,
As move my Bitter Throwes.
Such Dread besets this Part,
That all the Horrour thou hast past,
Are but Degrees to This at last.
The sight must break my Heart.
Here Bats and Owles that hate the Light
Fly and enjoy Eternal Night.
Scales of Serpents, Fish-bones,
Th'Adders Eye, and Toad-stones,
Are all the Light,
Hath blest my Sight,
Since first began my Groans.
When thus I lost the Sense,
Of all the heathful World calls Bliss,
And held it Joy, those Joys to miss,
When Beauty was Offence:
Celestial Strains did read the Aire,
Shaking these Mansions of Despaire;
A Form Divine and bright,
Stroke Day through all that Night
As when Heav'ns Queen
In Hell was seen,
With wonder and affright !
The Monsters fled for fear,
The Terrors of the Cursed Wood
Dismantl'd were, and where they stood,
No longer did appear.
The Gentle Pow'r, which wrought this thing,
Eudora was, who thus did sing.
Dissolv'd is Cloris spell,
From whence thy Evils fell,
Send her this Clue,
'Tis there most due
And thy Phantastick Hell.
Top Anne Killigrew Poems