« PreviousContinue »
On shadowy greens to thee the Fays
Shall there a moonlight altar raise;
And there, by Cynthia's paly ray,
Will I to thee my orgies pay!-
Meads shall smile; the frisking flock
Shall bleat from valley and from rock ;
And oft at fold their tinkling bell
Shall wake the poet's pensive shell;
To thee by twilight he shall sing,
Soothed by the air soft-murmuring.
At morn, from furrow'd lands afar,
Ploughmen's songs shall tend thy car;
And the woodman's echoing stroke,
That too often hath awoke
The genius of the deepen'd wood
From the still shades of his abode.
But, within the fertile vale,
Dasied pastures shall not fail,
With flowerets wild of every hue,
To ope their blossoms to thy view;
While the steeple-bells shall ring,
And down the wave their echoes fling,
Which, soften’d by the warbling wind,
With ecstasies shall fill the mind.
In yonder pansied meadow's bound,
With hill and wood enclosed around,
My love and I will wildly stray,
To pick each flower that drinks thy ray.
May her enchanting form no fate,
Like that unhappy maid's, await,
Whom gloomy Dis by force convey'd
To his low region's dismal shade!
For she, sad nymph, had only stray'd
To bask amid thy fragrant blooms,
And fill her lap with thy perfumes,
When he, black God! with grim delight,
Bore the wild maid to endless night.
Ah, no! I never will profane
With gloomy fears thy joyous reign;
But, while this youthful blood shall sport
Within my veins, I thee will court;
The pleasures of thy train will join,
And hail thy blooming nymphs divine;
To them my tales of love repeat,
And mark how thy prolific heat
On their soft cheeks bids blushes rise,
And sheds sweet languor o'er their eyes.
If hoary locks my temples shade,
Ere in the peaceful grave I'm laid,
Then may I haunt the rural hall,
Round which the rooks, with clamorous call,
To thee their early rites begin,
Far from the peopled city's din;
And waked by them, at dawning day,
Watch how the buds their leaves display;
And soothed by them, when eve shall come,
Mark their thick flocks returning home!
Awhile contentious strife and noise
And loud complaint their rest destroys;
But by degrees the tumults close,
The murmurs sink to calm repose.
While thus I watch them to their nest,
Soothed by soft sympathy to rest,
Sweet slumbers o'er mine eyes will creep,
And in mild dreams my fancy steep.
Thus, Spring, with thee I'll pass my day, Thus soothe my evening hours away; Thus, as I totter on life's brink, To my last slumbers softly sink.
SIR E, BRYDGES.
FANCY, whose delusions vain Sport themselves with human brain; Rival thou of Nature's power, Canst, from thy exhaustless store, Bid a tide of sorrow flow, And whelm the soul in deepest woe: Or, in the twinkling of an eye, Raise it to mirth and jollity; Dreams and shadows round thee stand, Taught to run at thy command, And along the wanton air Flit like empty gossamer. Black Melancholy thee of yore To the swift wing'd Hermes bore: From the mixture of thy line Different natures in thee join, Which thou choosest to express By the variance of thy dress. Now like thy sire thou lovest to seem Light and gay with pinions trim, Dipp'd in all the dyes that glow In the bend of Iris' bow : Now, like thy mother drear and sad (All in mournful vestments clad, Cypress weeds and sable stole), Thou rushest on the affrighted soul.
Oft I feel thee coming on, When the Night has reach'd her noon, And Darkness, partner of her reign,
Round the world hath bound her chain; VOL. III.
Then, with measured step and slow,
In the churchyard path I go,
And while my outward senses sleep,
Lost in contemplation deep,
Sudden I stop, and turn my ear,
And listening hear, or think I hear,
First a dead and sullen sound
Walks along the holy ground;
Then through the gloom alternate break
Groans and the shrill screechowl's shriek,
Lo! the moon hath hid her head,
And the graves give up their dead :
By me pass the ghastly crowds,
Wrapp'd in visionary shrouds;
Maids, who died with love forlorn,
Youths, who fell by maidens' scorn,
Helpless sires and matrons old
Slain for sordid thirst of gold,
And babes who owe their shortened date
To cruel stepdame's ruthless hate;
Each their several errands go,
To haunt the wretch that wrought their woe;
From their sight the caitiff flies,
And his heart within him dies;
While a horror damp and chill
Through his frozen blood doth thrill,
And his hair for very dread
Bears itself upon his head.
When the early breath of day
Hath made the shadows flee away,
Still possess’d by thee I rove
Bosom'd in the sheltering grove;
There, with heart and lyre new strung,
Meditate the lofty song.
And if thou my voice inspire,
And with wonted frenzy fire,
Aided by thee, I build the rhyme,
Such as nor the flight of time
Nor wasting flame nor eating shower
Nor lightning's blast can e'er devour.
Or if chance some moral page
My attentive thoughts engage,
On I walk, with silent tread,
Under the thick-woven shade,
While the thrush, unheeded by,
Tunes her artless minstrelsy.
Listening to their sacred lore,
I think on ages long pass'd o’er,
When Truth and Virtue, hand in hand,
Walk'd upon the smiling land,
Thence my eyes on Britain glance,
And, awaken'd from my trance,
While my busy thoughts I rear,
Oft I wipe the falling tear.
When the night again descends
And her shadowy cone extends,
O’er the fields I walk alone,
By the silence of the moon.
Hark! upon my left I hear
Wild music wandering in the air;
Led by the sound I onward creep,
And through the neighbouring hedge I peep ;
There I spy the fairy band
Dancing on the level land,
Now with step alternate bound,
Join'd in one continued round,
Now their plighted hands unbind,
And such tangled mazes wind