Archive for May 8th, 2019

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

A Soliloquy Written in June, 1746 by William Hamilton

Mysterious inmate of this breast,
Enkindled by thy flame;
By thee my being’s best express’d,
For what thou art I am:

With thee I claim celestial birth,
A spark of Heaven’s own ray;
Without thee sink to vilest earth,
Inanimated clay.

Now in this sad and dismal hour
Of multiplied distress,
Has any former thought the power
To make thy sorrows less?

When all around thee cruel snares
Threaten thy destined breath,
And every sharp reflection bears
Want, exile, chains, or death;

Can aught that pass’d in youth’s fond reign
Thy pleasing vein restore,
Lives Beauty’s gay and festive train
In Memory’s soft store?

Or does the Muse? ‘Tis said her art
Can fiercest pangs appease;
Can she to thy poor trembling heart
Now speak the words of peace?

Yet she was wont at early dawn
To whisper thy repose,
Nor was her friendly aid withdrawn
At grateful evening’s close.

Friendship, ’tis true, its sacred might,
May mitigate thy doom;
As lightning shot across the night,
A moment gilds the gloom.

O God! thy Providence alone
Can work a wonder here,
Can change to gladness every moan,
And banish all my fear.

Thy arm, all powerful to save,
May every doubt destroy;
And, from the horrors of the grave,
New raise to life and joy.

From this, as from a copious spring,
Pure consolation flows;
Makes the faint heart midst sufferings sing,
And midst despair repose.

Yet from its creature, gracious Heaven!
Most merciful and just,
Asks but, for life and safety given,
Our faith and humble trust.

From: Hamilton, William, The Poems of William Hamilton, 1822, C. Whittingham: London, pp. 108-109.

Date: 1746

By: William Hamilton (1704-1754)