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Poems: With a Sketch of the Life and Experience of Annie R. Smith

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    The Exiled Prisoner

    Lines occasioned by the Story of an Exile who died of grief on meeting a former friend.PSAS 114.4

    I met him in his gloomy cell,
    Where all alone and sad,
    He spent the darksome day and night
    In homely vesture clad.
    No golden sunlight ever threw
    Its lustre o’er his room;
    No gladsome voices ever cheered
    Its dreariness and gloom.
    PSAS 114.5

    Oh! he was fair and beautiful,
    With clustering auburn hair,
    That waved in many a ringlet o’er
    The brow of genius rare-
    The loved in his sweet native land,
    The pride of his dear home,
    Once he, who sat within these walls,
    In iron fetters lone.
    PSAS 115.1

    I wept as I did on him look,
    For we were friends in youth;
    Together trod the selfsame path
    Of wisdom and of truth;
    Together roamed o’er hill and dale,
    As happy, light, and free
    As joyous birds in summer air,
    In boyish pride and glee.
    PSAS 115.2

    Ah! strangely altered now his face,
    Depicted with despair;
    Yet still methought that I could trace
    Some former beauty there.
    Yet something of the light had gone
    That flashed his raven eye,
    And pallid cheek, and thin, white lip,
    Told of full many a sigh.
    PSAS 115.3

    Oh! tell me, friend, in grief he cried,
    About my joyful home,
    And those bright, sunny fields o’er which
    We used to sport and roam.
    Oh! is the waterfall still there,
    Wherein I used to play,
    Without one thought of grief and care,
    Through all the livelong day.
    PSAS 115.4

    And is my father, mother, there,
    And brother, sister kind?
    And so they know my hopeless lot,
    In this dark cell confined?
    Oh! could I see them but once more,
    And press them to my breast,
    And meet their sweet, forgiving smile,
    My weary soul could rest.
    PSAS 116.1

    Ah! had I not too fondly loved,
    I had not seen this day,
    Apart from all that I hold dear,
    Alone to waste away.
    A rival came-with vilest art
    Allured her from my side,
    And triumphed in my loss, until
    She found him false, and died.
    PSAS 116.2

    Sick of the world, I left my home,
    Far from parental care;
    I roved, a wild and thoughtless thing,
    Exposed to every snare,
    Till tossed on fortune’s faithless sea,
    I sought to drown my woe
    In revelry and crime, that’s brought
    Me in this dungeon low.
    PSAS 116.3

    Oh! cruel Fate that bids me dwell
    In this cold, living tomb!
    Oh! mother, couldst thou see me here,
    And know my deepest gloom,
    Thou wouldst forgive thy erring son,
    And heal his broken heart;
    Repenting, thou wouldst soothe his grief,
    And words of love impart.
    PSAS 116.4

    Upon his knees, his hands he clasped,
    In agony he cried-
    We part! the past comes o’er my brain
    Like an overwhelming tide;
    ‘Tis like a dark and troubled dream,
    That fain I would forget-
    But oh! through all the day and night
    Its horror haunts me yet.
    PSAS 117.1

    Ah! wildly now he grazed around
    The cell; no more he said,
    Save in some broken accents wild,
    For reason now had fled.
    I looked again-his noble form
    Lay stretched upon the floor;
    He gave one last, one bitter groan-
    The prisoner was no more.
    PSAS 117.2

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