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Ah why did Fate his steps decoy
'Thy shades, thy silence now be mine,
'O, while to thee the woodland pours
Its wildly warbling song,
And balmy from the bank of flowers
The Zephyr breathes along;
Let no rude sound invade from far,
No vagrant foot be nigh,
No ray fom Grandeur's gilded car
Flash on the startled eye.
'But if some pilgrim through the glade
Thy hallow'd bowers explore,
O guard from harm his hoary head,
And listen to his lore;
For he of joys divine shall te\\,
That wean from earthly woe,
And triumph o'er the mighty spell
That chains his heart below.
'For me, no more the path invites
Leaps my fond fluttering heart no more
Written in the Year 1758.
STILL shall unthinking man substantial deem
The forms that fleet through life's deceitful dreamt
Till at some stroke of Fate the vision flies,
And sad realities in prospect rise;
And, from elysian slumbers rudely torn,
The startled soul awakes, to think and mourn.
O ye, whose hours in jocund train advance, Whose spirits to the song of gladness dance, Who flowery plains in endless pomp survey, Glittering in beams of visionary day; O, yet while Fate delays th* impending woe, Be roused to thought, anticipate the blow; Lest, like the lightning's glance, the sudden ill Flash to confound, and penetrate to kill; Lest, thus encompass'd with funereal gloom, Like me, ye bend o'er some untimely tomb, Pour your wild ravings in Night's frighted ear, And half pronounce Heaven's sacred doom severe.
Wise, beauteous, good! O every grace combined, That charms the eye, or captivates the mind! Fresh as the floweret opening on the morn, Whose leaves bright drops of liquid pearl adorn! Sweet as the downy-pinion'd gale, that roves To gather fragrance in Arabian groves'. Mild as the melodies at close of day, That heard remote along the vale decay!
Yet, why with these compared? What tints so fine,
What sweetness, mildness, can be match'd with thine f
Why roam abroad., since recollection true
Restores the lovely form to Fancy's view;
Still let me gaze, and every care beguile,
Gaze on that cheek, where all the Graces smile J
That soul expressing eye, benignly bright,
Where Meekness beams ineffable delight;
That brow, where Wisdom sits enthroned serene,
Each feature forms, and dignifies the mien:
Still let me listen, while her words impart
The sweet effusions of the blameless heart,
Till all my soul, each tumult charm'd away,
Yields, gently led, to Virtue's easy sway.
By thee inspired, O Virtue, age is young,
Ah, whither fled! ye dear illusions, stay!
Cold the soft hand, that sooth'd Woe's weary head! And quench'd the eye, the pitying tear that shed \
And mute the voice, whose pleasing accents stole,
Infusing balm, into the rankled soul I
O Death, why arm with cruelty thy power, And spare the idle weed, yet lop the flower? Why fly thy shafts in lawless error driven? Is Virtue then no more the care of Heaven? But peace, bold thought! be still, my bursting heart* We, not Eliza, felt the fatal dart.
Escaped the dungeon, does the slave complain, Nor bless the friendly hand that broke the chain? Say, Dines not Virtue for the lingering morn, On this dark wild condemn'd to roam forlorn! Where Reason's meteor-rays, with sickly glow, O'er the dun gloom a dreadful glimmering throw; Disclosing dubious to th' affrighted eye O'erwhelming mountains tottering from on high, Black billowy deeps in storms perpetual toss'd, And weary ways in wildering labyrinths lost. O happy stroke, that burst the bonds of clay, Darts through the rending gloom the blaze of day, And wings the soul with boundless flight to soar, Where dangers threat and fears alarm no more.
Transporting thought! here let me wipe away The tear of Grief, and wake a bolder lay. But ah! the swimming eye o'erflows anew; Nor check the sacred drops to Pity due; Lo, where in speechless, hopeless anguish, bend O'er her loved dust, the parent, brother, friend! How vain the hope of man! but cease thy strain, Nor sorrow's dread solemnity profane; Mix'd with yon drooping mourners, on her bier In silence shed the sympathetic tear.
ODE TO HOPE.
I. 1. O THOU, who gladd'st the pensive soul, More than Aurora's smile the swain forlorn, Left all night long to mourn Where desolation frowns, and tempests howl; And shrieks of woe, as intermits the storm, Far o'er the monstrous wilderness resouud, And 'cross the gloom darts many a shapeless form, And many a fire-eyed visage glares around. O come, and be once more my guest: Come, for thou oft thy suppliant's vow hast heard, And oft with smiles indulgent cheer'd And sooth'd him into rest.
Smit by thy rapture-beaming eye
Deep flashing through the midnight of their mind,
The sable bands combined,
Where Fear's black banner bloats t»he troubled sky
Appal I'd retire. Suspicion hides her head,
Nor dares th' obliquely gleaming eye-ball raise;
Despair, with gorgon-figured veil o'evspread,
Speeds to dark Phlegethon's detested maze.
Lo, startled at the heavenly ray,
With speed unwonted Indolence upsprings,
And, heaving, lifts her leaden wings,
And sullen glides away:
Ten thousand forms, by pining Fancy view'd,