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O TIME, who know'st a lenient hand to lay
Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence
(Lulling to sad repose the weary sense)
The faint pang stealest unperceiv'd away!
On thee I rest my only hope at last,
And think, when thou hast dried the bitter tear
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,
may look back on every sorrow past,
And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile-
As some lone bird, at day's departing hour,
Sings in the sunbeam, of the transient shower
Forgetful, though its wings are wet the while :
Yet ah! how much must that poor heart endure,
Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure!
'Twas morn, and beauteous on the mountain's brow,
(Hung with the beamy clusters of the vine)
Stream'd the blue light, when on the sparkling Rhine
We bounded, and the white waves round the prow
In murmurs parted ; varying as we go,
Lo! the woods open, and the rocks retire,
Some convent's ancient walls, or glistening spire,
'Mid the bright landscape's track, unfolding slow.
Here dark, with furrow'd aspect, like despair,
Frowns the bleak cliff-there on the woodland's side
The shadowy sunshine pours its streaming tide ;
Whilst Hope, enchanted with the scene so fair,
Would wish to linger many a summer's day,
Nor heeds how fast the prospect winds away.
Go then, and join the roaring city's throng!
Me thou dost leave to solitude and tears,
To busy phantasies, and boding fears,
Lest ill betide thee : but 'twill not be long,
And the hard season shall be past: till then
Live happy: sometimes the forsaken shade
Remembering, and these trees now left to fade ;
Nor, 'mid the busy scenes and “ hum of men,”
Wilt thou my cares forget: in heaviness
To me the hours shall roll, weary and slow,
Till mournsul autumn past, and all the snow
Of winter pale! the glad hour I shall bless,
That shall restore thee from the crowd again,
To the green hamlet in the peaceful plain.
How shall I meet thee, Summer, wont to fill
My heart with gladness, when thy pleasant tide
First came, and on each coomb's romantic side
Was heard the distant cuckoo's hollow bill?
Fresh flowers shall fringe the wild brink of the stream,
As with the songs of joyance and of hope
The hedge-rows shall ring loud, and on the slope
The poplars sparkle in the transient beam;
The shrubs and laurels which I lov'd to tend,
Thinking their May-tide fragrance might delight,
With many a peaceful charm, thee, my best friend,
Shall put forth their green shoot, and cheer the sight!
But I shall mark their hues with sickening eyes,
And weep for her who in the cold grave lies !
O Ever skill'd to wear the form we love!
To bid the shapes of fear and grief depart;
Come, gentle Hope! with one gay smile remove
The lasting sadness of an aching heart.
Thy voice, benign Enchantress ! let me hear;
Say that for me some pleasures yet shall bloom,
That Fancy's radiance, Friendship's precious tear,
Shall soften, or shall chase, misfortune's gloom.
But come not, glowing in the dazzling ray,
Which once with dear illusions charm'd my eye;
0, strew no more, sweet flatterer! on my way
The flowers I fondly thought too bright to die ;
Visions less fair will soothe my pensive breast,
That asks not happiness, but longs for rest!