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The path that leads, where, hung sublime, And seen afar, youth's gallant trophies, bright In Fancy's rainbow ray, invite
His wingy nerves to climb.
Pursue thy pleasurable way,
Safe in the guidance of thy heavenly guard,
While melting airs are heard,
And soft-eyed cherub forms around thee play:
Simplicity, in careless flowers array'd,
Prattling amusive in his accent meek;
And Modesty, half turning as afraid,
The smile just dimpling on his glowing cheek!
Content and Leisure, hand in hand
With Innocence and Peace, advance, and sing; And mirth, in many a mazy ring,
Frisks o'er the flowery land.
Frail man, how various is thy lot below!
To-day though gales propitious blow,
And Peace soft gliding down the sky
Lead Love along and Harmony,
To-morrow the gay scene deforms:
Then all around
The thunder's sound
Rolls rattling on through Heaven's profound,
And down rush all the storms.
Ye days, that balmy influence shed,
When sweet childhood, ever sprightly,
In paths of pleasure sported lightly,
Whither, ah whither are ye fled?
Ye cherub train, that brought him on his way,
O leave him not midst tumult and dismay;
For now youth's eminence he gains:
But what a weary length of lingering toil remains !
They shrink, they vanish into air.
Now Slander taints with pestilence the gale;
And mingling cries assail,
The wail of Wo, and groan of grim Despair.
Lo, wizard Envy from his serpent eye
Darts quick destruction in each baleful glance ;
Pride smiling stern, and yellow Jealousy,
Frowning Disdain, and haggard Hate advance;
Behold, amidst the dire array,
Pale wither'd Care his giant stature rears,
And lo, his iron hand prepares
To grasp its feeble prey.
Who now will guard bewilder'd youth
Safe from the fierce assault of hostile rage?
Such war can Virtue wage,
Virtue, that bears the sacred shield of Truth?
Alas! full oft on Guilt's victorious car
The spoils of Virtue are in triumph borne ;
While the fair captive, mark'd with many a scar,
In lone obscurity, oppress'd, forlorn,
Resigns to tears her angel form.
Ill-fated youth, then whither wilt thou fly?
No friend, no shelter now is nigh:
And onward rolls the storm.
But whence the sudden beam that shoots along? Why shrink aghast the hostile throng?
Lo, from amidst Affliction's night,
Hope bursts all radiant on the sight : Her words the troubled bosom soothe. 'Why thus dismay'd?
Though foes invade,
Hope ne'er is wanting to their aid
Who tread the path of Truth.
'Tis I, who smooth the rugged way,
I, who close the eyes of Sorrow,
And with glad visions of to-morrow
Repair the weary soul's decay.
When Death's cold touch thrills to the freezing
Dreams of Heaven's opening glories I impart,
Till the freed spirit springs on high
In rapture too severe for weak Mortality.'
COME, peace of mind, delightful guest!
Return and make thy downy nest
Once more in this sad heart:
Nor riches I nor power pursue,
Nor hold forbidden joys in view;
We therefore need not part.
Where wilt thou dwell, if not with me,
From av'rice and ambition free,
And pleasure's fatal wiles?
For whom, alas! dost thou prepare
The sweets, that I was wont to share,
The banquet of thy smiles?
The great, the gay, shall they partake
The heav'n that thou alone canst make?
And wilt thou quit the stream
That murmurs through the dewy mead,
The grove and the sequester'd shed,
To be a guest with them?
For thee I panted, thee I priz'd,
For thee I gladly sacrific'd
Whate'er I lov'd before;
And shall I see thee start away,
And helpless, hopeless hear thee say-
Farewell! we meet no more?
UNAW'D by threats, unmov'd by force,
My steady soul pursues her course,
Collected, calm, resign'd;
Say, you who search with curious eyes
The source, whence human actions rise,
Say, whence this turn of mind?
"Tis Patience-lenient goddess, hail!
O let thy votary's vows prevail,
Thy threaten'd flight to stay!
Long hast thou been a welcome guest;
Long reign'd an inmate in this breast,
And ruled with gentle sway.
Through all the various turns of fate,
Ordain'd me in each several state
My wayward lot has known,
What taught me silently to bear,
To curb the sigh, to check the tear,
When sorrow weigh'd me down?
'Twas Patience-temperate goddess, stay! For still thy dictates I obey,
Nor yield to passion's power;
Though by injurious foes borne down,
My fame, my toil, my hopes o'erthrown,
In one ill-fated hour.
When, robb'd of what I held most dear,
My hands adorn'd the mournful bier
Of her I lov'd so well;
What, when mute sorrow chain'd my tongue,
As o'er the sable hearse I hung,
Forbade the tide to swell?
"Twas Patience !-goddess ever calm!
Oh pour into my breast thy balm,
That antidote to pain;
Which flowing from thy nectar'd urn,
By chemistry divine can turn
Our losses into gain.
When sick and languishing in bed
Sleep from my restless couch had fled,
(Sleep which e'en pain beguiles)
What taught me calmly to sustain
A feverish being rack'd with pain,
And dress'd my looks with smiles?