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There within a nook most dark,
Where none my musing mood may mark,
Let me in many a whisper'd rite
The genius old of Greece invite,
With that fair wreath my brows to bind,
Which for his chosen imps he twin'd,
Well nurtur'd in Pierian lore,
On clear Ilissus' laureate shore.-
Till high on waving nest reclin'd,
The raven wakes my tranced mind!
Or to the forest-fringed vale,
Where widow'd turtles love to wail,
Where cowslips, clad in mantle meek,
Nod their tall heads to breezes weak;
In the midst, with sedges gray
Crown'd, a scant rivulet winds its way,
And trembling through the weedy wreaths,
Around an oozy freshness breathes.
O'er the solitary green,
Nor cot, nor loitering hind is seen:
Nor aught alarms the mute repose,
Save that by fits an heifer lows:
A scene might tempt some peaceful sage
To rear him a lone hermitage;
Fit place his pensive eld might choose
On virtue's holy lore to muse.
Yet still the sultry noon t' appease,
Some more romantic scene might please;
Or fairy bank, or magic lawn,
By Spenser's lavish pencil drawn:
Or bow'r in Vallombrosa's shade,
By legendary pens portray'd.
Haste, let me shroud from painful light,
On that hoar hill's aerial height,
In solemn state, where, waving wide,
Thick pines with darkening umbrage hide
The rugged vaults, and riven towers
Of that proud castle's painted bowers,
Whence Hardyknute, a baron bold,
In Scotland's martial days of old,
Descended from the stately feast,
Begirt with many a warrior guest,
To quell the pride of Norway's king,
With quivering lance and twanging string.
As through the cavern dim I wind,
Might I that holy legend find,
By fairies spelt in mystic rhymes,
To teach inquiring later times,
What open force, or secret guile,
Dash'd into dust the solemn pile.
But when mild Morn in saffron stole
First issues from her eastern goal,
Let not my due feet fail to climb
Some breezy summit's brow sublime,
Whence Nature's universal face
Illumin'd smiles with new-born grace;
The misty streams that wind below
With silver-sparkling lustre glow;
The groves and castled cliffs appear
Invested all in radiance clear;
O! every village charm beneath!
The smoke that mounts in azure wreath!
O beauteous, rural interchange!
The simple spire, and elmy grange!
Content, indulging blissful hours,
Whistles o'er the fragrant flowers,
And cattle, rous'd to pasture new,
Shake jocund from their sides the dew.
'Tis thou, alone, O Summer mild,
Canst bid me carol wood-notes wild:
Whene'er I view thy genial scenes;
Thy waving woods, embroider'd greens;
What fires within my bosom wake,
How glows my mind the reed to take !
What charms like thine the muse can call,
With whom 'tis youth and laughter all!
With whom each field's a paradise,
And all the globe a bower of bliss!
With thee conversing, all the day,
I meditate my lightsome lay.
These pendant cloisters let me leave,
To breathe iny votive song at eve,
In valleys, where mild whispers use,
Of shade and stream, to court the Muse;
While wandering o'er the brook's dim verge,
I hear the stock-dove's dying dirge.
But when life's busier scene is o'er,
And Age shall give the tresses hoar,
· I'd fly soft Luxury's marble dome,
And make an humble thatch my home,
Which sloping hills around enclose,
Where many a beach and brown oak grows;
Beneath whose dark and branching bowers
Its tides a far-fam'd river pours:
By Nature's beauties taught to please,
Sweet Tusculane of rural ease!
Still grot of Peace! in lowly shed
Who loves to rest her gentle head.
For not the scenes of Attic art
Can comfort care, or sooth the heart:
Nor burning cheek, nor wakeful eye,
For gold and Tyrian purple fly.
Thither, kind Heav'n, in pity lent,
Send me a little, and content;
The faithful friend, and cheerful night,
The social scene of dear delight:
The conscience pure, the temper gay,
The musing eve, and idle day.
Give me beneath cool shades to sit,
Rapt with the charms of classic wit:
To catch the bold heroic flame,
That built immortal Græcia's fame.
Nor let me fail, meantime, to raise
The solemn song to Britain's praise :
To spurn the shepherd's simple reeds,
And paint heroic ancient deeds:
To chant fam'd Arthur's magic tale,
And Edward, stern in sable mail;
Or wandering Brutus' lawless doom,
Or brave Bonduca, scourge of Rome.
O ever to sweet Poesy
Let me live true votary!
She shall lead me by the hand,
Queen of sweet smiles, and solace bland!
She from her precious stores shall shed
Ambrosial flowerets o'er my head:
She, from my tender youthful cheek,
Can wipe, with lenient finger meek,
The secret and unpitied tear,
Which still I drop in darkness drear.
She shall be my blooming bride;
With her, as years successive glide,
I'll hold divinest dalliance,
For ever held in holy trance.
WRITTEN IN A VISIT TO THE COUNTRY IN
"Tis past! No more the Summer blooms
Ascending in the rear,
Behold congenial Autumn comes,
The sabbath of the year!
What time thy holy whispers breathe,
The pensive evening shade beneath,
And twilight consecrates the floods;
While Nature strips her garment gay,
And wears the vesture of decay,
O let me wander through the sounding woods.
Ah! well-known streams! Ah! wonted groves, Still pictur'd in my mind!
Oh! sacred scene of youthful loves,
Whose image lives behind!
While sad I ponder on the past,
The joys that must no longer last;
The wild-flower strown on Summer's bier,
The dying music of the grove,
And the last elegies of love,
Dissolve the soul, and draw the tender tear.