Davidson, Lucretia Maria - Love, Joy, And Pleasure
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Love, Joy, And Pleasure - Poem by Lucretia Maria Davidson
(Written in her fifteenth year)
The night was calm, the sky serene,
The sea a mirror display'd,
On its bosom the twinkling stars were seen,
The moon-crested waves were dancing between,
And smiling through evening's shade.
On that placid sea Pleasure's bark was riding,
Love and Joy were its guides through the deep,
And their hearts beat high, while on fortune confiding,
They smil'd at the forms that were gloomily striding,
O'er the brow of the wave-wash'd steep.
Those forms were Malice, and Scorn, and Hate,
And they flitted around so dark,
That they seem'd like the gloomy sisters of Fate,
Intent on some dreary, some deadly debate,
To ruin the beautiful bark.
But the eye of Joy was raised on high,
She gaz'd at the moon's pale lamp,
The tear of Pleasure shone bright in her eye,
And she saw not the clouds which were passing by,
Death's messengers dark and damp.
And Pleasure was gazing with childish glee
At the beacon's trembling gleam,
Or watching the shade of her wings in the sea,
With their colours as varied and fickle as she,
As fleeting as Folly's dream.
And Love was tipping his feathery darts,
And feeding his flaming torch,
He was tinging his wings with the blood of hearts,
He was chaunting low numbers, and smiling by starts
At the flowers 'round Hymen's porch.
Meanwhile the clouds were gath'ring drear,
They hung 'round the weeping moon,
And still the mariners dream'd not of fear,
Still in Joy's bright eye beam'd the brilliant tear,
Which sorrow would claim too soon.
The voice of the tempest-god rolled around,
The bark towards heaven was toss'd;
Then, then the fond dreamers awoke at the sound,
And Pleasure, the helmsman, in agony found
That the light-house fire was lost.
Loud and more loud the billows roar,
The ocean no more is gay,
Love dreams of his pinions and arrows no more,
Joy mourns the hour that she left the shore,
And Pleasure's bright wings fade away.
Then Malice sent forth a shadowy bark,
Which, bounding o'er the wave,
Came like a meteor's brilliant spark,
A star of light 'mid the tempest dark,
A beacon of hope from the grave.
Joy onward rush'd to the airy skiff
Which near them gaily drew,
But ah! she sank to the arms of Grief,
For the bark, which promised them sure relief
Away like lightning flew.
Then the smile of Scorn and Malice gleam'd
Across the billow's foam,
And long and loud fell Hatred scream'd
With fiend-like joy, as the lightning stream'd
Around their forms of gloom.
On, on, they drifted before the gale;
Again the signal rose;
Joy and Pleasure the beacon hail,
Love's ashy cheek becomes less pale
As clearer and brighter it glows.
'T was Hope who fired the beacon high,
And she came with her anchor of rest,
And Faith, who raised towards heaven her eye,
Spoke peace to the storm of the troubled sky,
And calm to the weary breast.
And Charity came with her robe of light,
And she led the wanderers home,
She warmed them and wept o'er the woes of the night,
And she welcomed them in with a smile so bright,
That Pleasure forgot to roam.
And she led them to Religion's shrine,
Where Hope was humbly kneeling,
And there the tears of Joy did shine
With a light more dazzling, more divine,
They were mingled with tears of feeling.
There Love's wild wings shone calmly bright,
As over the altar he waved them;
There Pleasure folded her pinions light,
And fondly gazed with a sacred delight
On the scroll which Charity gave them.