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    THE INNER REALM.   Table of Contents     KNIGHT OF MY MAIDEN LOVE.

Thompson, Priscilla Jane
Ethiope Lays



OH Muse! I crave a favor,
Grant but this one unto me;
Thou hast always been indulgent--
So I boldly come to thee.

For oft I list thy singing--
And the accents, sweet and clear,
Like the rhythmic flow of waters,
Fall on my ecstatic ear.

But of Caucasia's daughters,
So oft I've heard thy lay,
That the music, too familiar--
Fall in sheer monotony.

And now, oh Muse exalted!
Exchange this old song staid,
For an equally deserving--
The oft slighted, Afric maids.

The Muse, with smiles consenting,
Runs her hand the strings along,
And the harp, as bound by duty--
Rings out with the tardy song.


Oh, foully slighted Ethiope maid!
With patience, bearing rude upbraid,
With sweet, refined, retiring, grace,
And sunshine ling'ring in thy face,
With eyes bedewed and pityingly
I sing of thee, I sing of thee.

Thy dark and misty curly hair,
In small, neat, braids entwineth fair,
Like clusters of rich, shining, jet,
All wrapt in mist, when sun is set;
Fair maid, I gaze admiringly,
And sing of thee, and sing of thee.

Thy smooth and silky, dusky skin,
Thine eyes of sloe, thy dimple chin,
That pure and simple heart of thine,
Tis these that make thee half divine;
Oh maid! I gaze admiringly,
And sing of thee, and sing of thee.

Oh modest maid, with beauty rare,
Whoe'er hath praised thy lithe form, fair?
Thy tender mein, thy fairy tread--
Thy winsome face and queenly head?
Naught of thy due in verse I see,
All pityingly I sing of thee.

Who've dared to laud thee 'fore the world,
And face the stigma of a churl?
Or brook the fiery, deep, disdain--
Their portion, who defend thy name?
Oh maiden, wronged so cowardly,
I boldly, loudly, sing of thee.

Who've stood the test of chastity,
Through slav'ry's blasting tyranny,
And kept the while, their virtuous grace,
To instill in a trampled race?
Fair maid, thy equal few may see;
Thrice honored I, to sing of thee.

Let cowards fear thy name to praise,
Let scoffers seek thee but to raze;
Despite their foul, ignoble, jeers,
A worthy model thou appear,
Enrobed in love and purity;
Oh who dare blush, to sing of thee?

And now, oh maid, forgive, I pray,
The tardiness of my poor lay;
The weight of wrongs unto thee done--
Did paralize my falt'ring tongue;
'Twas my mute, innate, sympathy--
That said this song, I sing to thee.

    THE INNER REALM.   Table of Contents     KNIGHT OF MY MAIDEN LOVE.