“The Heart and the World” by Augusta Browne

by Ann Neilson

The Heart and the World
By Augusta Browne [possibly the American composer Augusta Browne?]
From the Knickerbocker, Volume 35, March, 1850, pg. 202.

HEART, with thy pulses lightly beating,
World, with thy pageants false as fleeting,
What concord can ye have?
Hushed shall thy pulse be, Heart! forever;
Soon shall thy reign, proud World! be over;
Thine an oblivious grave.

Heart, canst thou grasp thy hope’s fruition?
World, dost thou yield the heart’s petition,
Gushing in music’s tone?
None e’er enjoyed his soul’s best dreaming;
Still to the prayer most earnest seeming
Thou answerest back a moan.

Heart, hast thou found thy joys all sparkling?
World, then withhold thy shadows darkling;
Spare the untainted breast!
Trump-like I hear, ‘midst scenes of pleasure,
A voice proclaim, in solemn measure,
Lo! here is not thy rest!”

Heart, seek on high thy sphere of action;
World, I contemn thy vain attraction,
All baseless as the wind;
Let me so use my brief probation
As to secure in Heaven’s duration
The pinions of the mind.

Heart, with affections rich and trusting,
World, crowned with gauds bemoulded, rusting,
Hence with thy specious rays!
Soul, up and strain thy best endeavor,
Relax th’ momentous combat never,
Till mortal strength decays!

New-York, October, 1849.