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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.
Alas! the hospitable hall,
Where youth and friendship play'd, Wide to the winds a ruin'd wall Projects a death-like shade! The charm is vanish'd from the vales; No voice with virgin-whisper hails A stranger to his native bowers: No more Arcadian mountains bloom, Nor Enna valleys breathe perfume, The fancied Eden fades with all its flowers!
Companions of the youthful scene,
Endear'd from earliest days!
With whom I sported on the green,
Or rov'd the woodland maze!
Long-exil'd from your native clime,
Or by the thunder-stroke of Time
Snatch'd to the shadows of despair;
I hear your voices in the wind,
Your forms in every walk I find,
I stretch my arms: ye vanish into air!
My steps, when innocent and young,
These fairy paths pursued;
And, wandering o'er the wild, I sung
My fancies to the wood.
I mourn'd the linnet-lover's fate,
Or turtle from her murder'd mate,
Condemn'd the widow'd hours to wail;
Or while the mournful vision rose,
I sought to weep for imag'd woes,
Nor real life believ'd a tragic tale!
Alas! misfortune's cloud unkind
May Summer soon o'ercast;
And cruel Fate's untimely wind
All human beauty blast!
The wrath of Nature smites our bowers,
And promis'd fruits, and cheris'd flowers,
The hopes of life in embryo sweeps;
Pale o'er the ruins of his prime,
And desolate before his time,
In silence sad the mourner walks and weeps!
Relentless power! whose fated stroke
O'er wretched man prevails!
Ha! loves eternal chain is broke,
And friendship's covenant fails! Upbraiding forms! a moment's easeO memory! how shall I appease
The bleeding shade, the unlaid ghost? What charm can bind the gushing eye? What voice console th' incessant sigh, And everlasting longings for the lost?
Yet not unwelcome waves the wood,
That hides me in its gloom,
While lost in melancholy mood
I muse upon the tomb.
Their chequer'd leaves the branches shed,
Whirling in eddies o'er my head,
They sadly sigh, that Winter's near: The warning voice I hear behind, That shakes the wood without a wind, And solemn sounds the death-bell of the year.
Nor will I court Lethean streams
The sorrowing sense to steep;
Nor drink, oblivion of the themes
On which I love to weep.
Belated oft by fabled rill,
While nightly o'er the hallow'd hill
Aerial music seems to mourn;
I'll listen Autumn's closing strain;
Then woo the walks of youth again,
And pour my sorrows o'er th' untimely urn!
TO WILLIAM PULTENEY, ESQ.
REMOTE from liberty and truth,
By fortune's crime my early youth
Drank error's poison'd springs.
Taught by dark creeds and mystic law,
Wrapt up in reverential awe,
I bow'd to priests and kings.
Soon reason dawn'd-with troubled sight
I caught the glimpse of painful light,
Afflicted and afraid,
Too weak it shone to mark my way,
Enough to tempt my feet to stray
Along the dubious shade.
Restless I roam'd, when from afar
Lo Hooker shines! the friendly star
Sent forth a steady ray.
Thus cheer'd, and eager to pursue,
I mount, till, glorious to my view,
Locke spreads the realms of day.