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Hail, mildly pleasing Solitude,
Companion of the wise and good;
But, from whose holy piercing eye
The herd of fools and villains fly.
Oh! how I love with thee to walk,
And listen to thy whisper'd talk,
Which innocence and truth imparts,
And melts the most obdurate hearts.

A thousand shapes you wear with ease, And still in every shape you please. Now wrapp'd in some mysterious dream, A lone philosopher you seem; Now quick from hill to vale you fly, And now you sweep the vaulted sky; A shepherd next, you haunt the plain, And warble forth your oaten strain; A lover now, with all the grace Of that sweet passion in your face; Then, calm’d to friendship, you assume The gentle-looking Hertford's bloom, As, with her Musidora, she (Her Musidora fond of thee), Amid the long-withdrawing vale, Awakes the rivald nightingale. Thine is the balmy breath of morn, Just as the dew-bent rose is born; And while meridian fervours beat, Thine is the woodland dumb retreat; But chief, when evening scenes decay, And the faint landscape swims away,

Thine is the doubtful soft decline,
And that best hour of musing thine.

Descending angels bless thy train,
The virtues of the sage and swain;
Plain Innocence, in white array'd,
Before thee lifts her fearless head;
Religion's beams around thee shine,
And cheer thy glooms with light divine:
About thee sports sweet Liberty;
And rapt Urania sings to thee.

Oh, let me pierce thy secret cell !
And in thy deep recesses dwell;
Perhaps from Norwood's oak-clad hill,
When Meditation has her fill,
I just may cast my careless eyes
Where London's spiry turrets rise,
Think of its crimes, its cares, its pain,
Then shield me in the woods again.



Sunk is the sun, and on yon mountain head

Hangs the last gleam of the declining day; Fades every landscape, deepens every shade;

The clouds, late golden, now are robed in gray. And thine is now the rule, Imperial Night!

All mildly sittst thou on thy shadowy throne; While Superstition, seized with self-affright,

Throws o'er thy brow a horror all her own.

Now to her monster-breeding brain appear
Visions of woe, and hideous forms of fear,

And signs and portents boding ill to come; And flame-eyed goblins gliding o’er the green, And murder'd ghosts with bleeding wounds are

seen, And screechowls heard, that tell her of the tomb. But musing Wisdom seeks thy friendly shade,

To her more gentle than the glare of noon : She loves thy sober solemn charms array'd

With the pale glories of the pensive moon. Fatigued with pleasures, or with cares oppress’d,

Tired of the proud, the vicious, and the vain; How joys my soul, when wheel'd beneath the west

Sinks the gay sun, and hails thy gentler reign! Impertinence's buzz and busy wings, Envy's loud hiss, and sly Detraction's stings,

The taunts of Insolence, the wretch's woes, The stir and strife of Fortune and her tools, The roar of Riot, and the laugh of Fools

No longer interrupt her loved repose. Then Wisdom clears her intellectual eyes,

And elevates her aim to things Divine, Bids all the choir of Mental Graces rise,

Bids all the charms of Moral Beauty shine. Silent are now the groves, no silvan throat

Tunes its wild descant; but the hoot I hear Of the lone owl, though no melodious note,

Yet pleasing still to Contemplation's ear. The stars bright-sparkling o'er the ethereal way, The moon's mild gleams that ever quivering play On the light rills, that warble, as the wind, Gales hollow-roaring, hoarse resounding woods, Rude hanging rocks, dread shades, and dashing

Exalt, and soothe, and harmonize the mind.
Then every rude emotion sinks to rest,

In gentler flow the tides of passion roll,
A solemn calm steals o'er the soften'd breast,

And philosophic transports swell the soul.
O'er Nature's ample field her fancy strays,

Thence her rich store of form and colour brings, With curious art combined a thousand ways,

And paints her beauteous images of things.

Now wantons wild in aromatic groves,
Now the lone heath and howling forest roves,

Pensive and listening to the sighs of woe; Now sits sublime on Alpine heights enthroned, Mid the red blaze of lightnings flashing round,

And hears redoubled thunders roll below.

Now Horror's shade she seeks, and central cave,

Her ghastly visaged ghosts and floods of fire; Now joys in empyrean light to lave,

And catch new rapture from the Seraph's lyre. Then welcome, Night! thou awful pleasing fair!

While the moon seems along the clouds to sail, Which round her throne like fleecy flakes appear,

And now half hide her radiance, now reveal. Pride wants the Sun her plumage to display ; A soul, sublime from no material ray

Draws her rich splendours, or imbibes her joy; Reason's clear beam and Virtue's flame divine Shall with their own eternal glories shine,

When worlds and suns in endless darkness die.

And thou, Great Father! guard my sleeping hours,

Bid the wild war of striving passions cease, Compose in pleasing harmony my powers,

And o'er my throbbing bosom breathe thy peace. Thrice-happy souls who thy protection share !

Virtue in thy parental arms at rest Securely lies, as stranger yet to fear

The suckling slumbers on its mother's breast. Spirits, that hurl the thunders down the sky, Or drive the chariot of the storms on high,

And shake o'er trembling Guilt the fiery rod, Oft bid their vengeful rage the pious spare; Even flames, amid the general wreck, revere And pass untouch'd those temples of their God.



LET others hail the rising sun,
I bow to that whose course is run,

Which sets in endless night;
Whose rays benignant bless'd this isle,
Made peaceful nature round us smile

With calm but cheerful light.
No bounty past provokes my praise,

No future prospects prompt my lays,


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