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The radiant ruler of the year
At length his wintry goal attains;
Soon to reverse the long career,
And northward bend his steady reins.
Now, piercing half Potosi's height,
Prone rush the fiery floods of light,
Ripening the mountain's silver stores,
While in some cavern's horrid shade,
The panting Indian hides his head,
And oft the approach of eve implores.


But lo, on this deserted coast

How pale the sun! how thick the air!
Mustering his storms, a sordid host,
Lo, Winter desolates the year.
The fields resign their latest bloom ;
No more the breezes waft perfume,
No more the streams in music roll:
But snows fall dark or rains resound;
And, while great Nature mourns around,
Her griefs infect the human soul.


Hence the loud city's busy throngs
Urge the warm bowl and splendid fire;
Harmonious dances, festive songs,
Against the spiteful heaven conspire.
Meantime, perhaps with tender fears,
Some village-dame the curfew hears,
While round the hearth her children play:
At morn their father went abroad;

The moon is sunk, and deep the road;
She sighs, and wonders at his stay.


But thou, my lyre, awake, arise,
And hail the sun's returning force;
Even now he climbs the northern skies,
And health and hope attend his course.
Then louder howl the aërial waste,
Be earth with keener cold embraced,
Yet gentle hours advance their wing;
And Fancy, mocking Winter's might,
With flowers, and dews, and streaming light,
Already decks the new-born spring.


O fountain of the golden day!
Could mortal vows promote thy speed,
How soon before thy vernal ray
Should each unkindly damp recede!
How soon each hovering tempest fly,
Whose stores for mischief arm the sky,
Prompt on our heads to burst amain;
To rend the forest from the steep,

Or, thundering o'er the Baltic deep,
To whelm the merchant's hopes of gain!


But let not man's unequal views
Presume o'er Nature and her laws;
'Tis his with grateful joy to use
The indulgence of the sovran Cause;
Secure that health and beauty springs
Through this majestic frame of things,
Beyond what he can reach to know,
And that Heaven's all-subduing will,
With good, the progeny of ill,
Attempereth every state below.


How pleasing wears the wintry night,
Spent with the old illustrious dead!
While by the taper's trembling light
I seem those awful scenes to tread

Where chiefs or legislators lie,
Whose triumphs move before my eye,
In arms and antique pomp arrayed;
While now I taste the Ionian song,
Now bend to Plato's godlike tongue
Resounding through the olive shade.


But should some cheerful, equal friend,
Bid leave the studious page a while,
Let mirth on wisdom then attend,
And social ease on learned toil;
Then while, at love's uncareful shrine,
Each dictates to the god of wine
Her name whom all his hopes obey,
What flattering dreams each bosom warm,
While absence, heightening every charm,
Invokes the slow-returning May!


May, thou delight of heaven and earth,
When will thy genial star arise?

The auspicious morn, which gives thee birth,
Shall bring Eudora to my eyes.
Within her sylvan haunt behold,
As in the happy garden old,
She moves like that primeval fair :
Thither ye silver-sounding lyres,
Ye tender smiles, ye chaste desires,
Fond hope and mutual faith, repair.


And if believing love can read

His better omens in her eye,

Then shall my fears, O charming maid,

And every pain of absence die :
Then shall my jocund harp, attuned
To thy true ear, with sweeter sound


Pursue the free Horatian song;
Old Tyne shall listen to my tale,
And echo down the bordering vale,
The liquid melody prolong.


To me, whom in their lays the shepherds call
Actæa, daughter of the neighbouring stream,
This cave belongs. The fig-tree and the vine,
Which o'er the rocky entrance downward shoot,
Were placed by Glycon. He with cowslips pale,
Primrose and purple lychnis, decked the green
Before my threshold, and my shelving walls
With honeysuckle covered. Here, at noon,
Lulled by the murmur of my rising fount,
I slumber: here my clustering fruits I tend,
Or from the humid flowers at break of day
Fresh garlands weave, and chase from all my bounds
Each thing impure or noxious. Enter in,
O Stranger, undismayed. Nor bat nor toad
Here lurks; and, if thy breast of blameless thoughts
Approve thee, not unwelcome shalt thou tread
My quiet mansion: chiefly if thy name
Wise Pallas and the immortal Muses own.


[CHRISTOPHER SMART was born at Shipbourne in Kent on April 11, 1722. He was educated at Durham School and at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, becoming a Fellow in 1745- In 1753 he married and came to live in London, where his careless habits soon brought him into grave difficulties. He was for some time out of his mind, and it was during his confinement. in an interval of sanity, that the Song to David was written. In 1770 he closed a life in which he had known all forms of disappointment and unhappiness. His poems were first collected in 1753, and a posthumous edition in two volumes was published in 1791. The Song to David appeared in a separate quarto in 1763, and was republished in 1819 by the Rev. R. Harvey.]

The posthumous Editor of Smart's poems makes an apology for the entire exclusion of the Song to David and some other pieces on the ground that 'they were written after the author's confinement, and bear for the most part melancholy proofs of the recent estrangement of his mind. Such poems however,' he adds, 'have been selected from his pamphlets and inserted in the present work as were likely to be acceptable to the reader.' The volumes so introduced contain a curious assemblage of quite worthless verses ; Seatonian prize-poems, epigrams, birthday addresses, imitations of Pope and Gay, and all else that might be expected from a facile and uninspired versifier of that date. Two generations ago Smart's name was familiar to schoolboys from his translation of Horace into prose; a work about as worthy of immortality as were his imitative verses. It is only in our own day that attention has been recalled to the single poem by which he deserves to be not only remembered, but remembered as a poet who for one short moment reached a height to which the prosaic muse of his epoch was wholly unaccustomed. There is nothing like the Song to David in the eighteenth century; there is nothing out of which it might seem

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