Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colors idly spread:—behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin destinies; who ever weave
The shadows, which the world calls substance, there.
I knew one who had lifted it—he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendor among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king, —
Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow
Through public scorn—mud from a muddy spring, —
Rulers, who neither see, nor feel, nor know,
But leech-like to their fainting country cling,
Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow, —
A people starved and stabbed in the untilled field, —
An army, which liberticide and prey
Makes as a two-edged sword to all who wield,
Golden and sanguine laws which tempt and slay, —
Religion Christless, Godless—a book sealed;
A Senate—Time's worst statute unrepealed, —
Are graves, from which a glorious Phantom may
Burst, to illumine our tempestuous day.
Jane Alice Sargant wrote novels and plays as well as Sonnets and Other Poems,
a 120-page volume published by subscription by Hatchard in 1817. A sec-
ond edition quickly followed. In 1821 Sargant brought out Extracts from the
Pilgrimage of St. Caroline: With Notes, by an Englishwoman, published by the
London firm W. Wright.