The Fraternal Duel Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


'Oh hide me from the sun I loath the sightA
I cannot bear his bright obtrusive rayB
Nought is so dreadful to my gloom as lightA
Nothing so dismal as the blaze of dayB
No more may I its sparkling glories viewC
No more its piercing lustre meet my eyeD
On night's black wings my only comfort flewC
At breath of morn I sicken and I dieD
Where can I fly In what sequester'd climeE
Does darkness ever hold her ebon reignF
Where woeful dirges measure out the timeE
And endless echoes breathe the sullen strainF
Where dreary mountains rear their low'ring headsG
To pierce the heavy and umbrageous cloudsH
And where the cavern dewy moisture shedsG
And night's thick veil the guilty mourner shroudsH
There lost in horrors I might vent my sighsI
To open misery myself resignJ
Might snatch each torturing vision ere it fliesI
And feast on prospects desolate as mineJ
Oh let me thither quickly take my flightA
And chuse a favourite and a final seatK
In scenes which would each gentler mind affrightK
But for my guilt affords a fit retreatK
There where no ray no gleam of light could comeE
There and there only could I find reliefL
There might I ruminate on Edward's doomE
And lose myself in luxury of griefL
And as it is though joys around me shineJ
Though pleasure here erects her dazzling browM
Wrapt in despondence will I droop and pineJ
And tears of anguish shall for ever flowN
Oh Edward could'st thou see this alter'd frameE
Which youthful graces lately did adornO
Could'st thou behold and think me still the sameE
Thy once gay friend thus hapless and forlornO
The cheek so late by ruddy health embrown'dK
Now pale and faded with incessant tearsP
The eye which once elate disdain'd the groundK
Now sunk and languid in its orb appearsQ
Oh never never will I cease to grieveR
And sure repentance pardon may obtainF
Can woe unfeign'd incite heav'n to relieveR
A wretch opprest with agonizing painF
Ah no my hands are stain'd with brother's bloodK
A father's curses load my sinking headK
I wish to die but dare not pass the floodK
For there as well as here my hopes are fledK
Sleep which was meant to chase away the thoughtK
To lull the sound of dissonant despairS
Appears to me with added terrors fraughtK
And my torn heart can find no refuge thereS
If for a moment I its fetters wearS
And its soft pressure these pale eyes controulN
I injur'd Emma's just reproaches hearT
Or Edward's form appals my shrinking soulN
When in those transitory sleeps I lieN
I oft his beauteous bleeding form reviewC
A mild benignant lustre lights his eyeN
As come to bid a friend a last adieuC
I start I shudder at his tuneful voiceU
When it in soothing whispers meets my earT
That sound which oft has made my heart rejoiceU
I now all trembling and affrighted hearT
Was it thy fault dear much lamented youthV
If lovely Emma did thy suit preferW
She saw thee form'd of tenderness and truthV
And kings might glory to be lov'd by herW
Thy native sweetness won her artless heartK
And well our different characters she knewC
Whilst thy mild looks did happiness impartK
She saw the murderer in each glance I threwC
Yet for this meanly did I thee upbraidK
And basely urg'd an elder brother's rightK
Then calling impious passion to my aidK
Forc'd thee unwilling to the fatal fightK
Oh ne'er shall I forget the dreadful hourW
I sheath'd my weapon in thy noble breastK
Thy dying hand clasp'd mine with feeble pow'rX
And to thy mangled bosom fondly prestK
Whilst o'er thee I in speechless anguish hungY
Thou saw'st the wild distraction of my eyeN
And though the chills of death restrain'd thy tongueY
Thy bosom heav'd a sympathetic sighN
With cruel tenderness my friends contriv'dK
To bear me from the drear polluted shoreZ
Of every joy of peace itself depriv'dK
Which this despairing breast shall know no moreZ
Since this what frenzy has inspir'd my mindK
My tortur'd mem'ry cannot it retraceA2
No relique now of former days I findK
But horrors which e'en madness can't effaceA2
My dearest brother and my tenderest friendK
O come and save me from this dark abyssB2
Draw hence the darts which my rack'd bosom rendK
And bear me with you to the realms of blissB2
Ah whence that pang which smote my shuddering heartK
Where now for refuge can lost Anselm flyN
'Tis Death I know him by his crimson dartK
And am I fit Oh heav'ns I cannot dieN
My spirit is not form'd for rapid flightK
It cannot cut the vast expanse of airS
No never can it reach the realms of lightK
For sin a weight immoveable lies there '-
Thus wretched Anselm rav'd unhappy youthV
Though passion hurried thee so far astrayB
Thy infant soul ador'd the God of TruthV
And virtue usher'd in thy vernal dayB
Oh had he learn'd his passions to restrainF
And let cool reason in his breast presideK
His op'ning wisdom had not bloom'd in vainF
Nor had he ere the prime of manhood diedK
Yet if remorse could expiate his guiltK
If the worst sufferings could the crime eraseA2
If tears could wash away the blood he spiltK
Then Anselm's penitence obtain'd him graceA2

Matilda Betham


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