Ah! vanished—like those dear regretted hours
That fled away on Pleasure's fairy wing,
When Hope light scattered o'er my glowing way
Her rose-buds of delight.—The cooling breeze,
The wily sportive warblers of the trees,
And garlands sweet that made the woods so gay,
All, all are gone.—Spring will return again,
But never more for me its charms shall bloom,
For me then slumbering in the dreary tomb
The birds will sing and flow'rets blow in vain;
While gentle gales, the budding trees that wave,
Will breathe their lonely sighs across my grave.
Why should I fear the spirits of the dead?
What if they wander at the hour of night,
Amid these sacred walls, with silent tread,
And dimly visible to mortal sight!
What if they ride upon the wandering gale,
And with low sighs alarm the listening ear;
Or swell a deep, a sadly-sounding wail,
Like solemn dirge of death! why should I fear?
No! seated on some fragment of rude stone,
While through the ash-trees waving o'er my head
The wild winds pour their melancholy moan,
My soul, by fond imagination led,
Shall muse on days and years for ever flown,
And hold mysterious converse with the dead!
Martha Hanson published by subscription with the firm J. Mawman and
T. Lake a two-volume poetry collection entitled Sonnets and Other Poems
(1809). The contents reveal that she spent her childhood near Hurstpier-
point, Sussex, and that the poems were penned at Belle-vue House. She also
clearly admired two other prominent sonneteers—Mary Robinson and
Fancy! to thee, I pour a votive strain,
Who kindly cheer'st the lonely midnight hour,
For oft thy airy and fantastic power,