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And hither Morpheus sent his kindest dreams, Raising a world of gayer tinct and grace; O'er which were shadowy cast eiysian gleams, That play'd, in waving lights, from place to place, And shed a roseate smile on nature's face. Not Titian's pencil e'er could so array, So fleece with clouds, the pure etherial space; Ne could it e'er such melting forms display, As loose on flow'ry beds all languish in g1y lay.
No, fair illusions! artful phantoms, no!
My Muse will not attempt your fairy-land:
She has no colours that like you can glow;
To catch your vivid scenes too gross her hand.
But sure it is, was ne'er a subtler band
Than these same guileful angel-seeming sprites,
Who thus in dreams voluptuous, soft, and bland,
Pour'd all th' Arabian heaven upon our nights,
And bless'd them oft besides with more refin'd
They were, in sooth, a most £nchanting train,
Ev'n feigning virtue; skilful to unite
With evil good, and strew with pleasure pain.
But for those fiends whom blood and broils delight,
Who hurl the wretch, as if to hell outright,
Down,downblackgulphs,where sullen waters sleep,
Or hold him clamb'ring all the fearful night
On beetling cliffs, or pent in ruins deep;
They, till due lime should serve, were bid far hence
Ye guardian spirits, to whom man is dear,
From these foul demons shield the midnight gloom:
Angels of fancy and of love be near.
And o'er the blank of sleep diffuse a bloom:
Evoke the sacred shades of Greece and Rome,
And let them virtue with a look impart:
But chief, awhile, oh lend us from the tomb
Those long-lbst friends for whom in love we smart,
And fill with pious awe and joy-mixt woe the heart.
Or, are you sportive? Bid the morn of youth'
Rise to new light, and beam afresh the days
Of innocence, simplicity, and truth,
To cares estrang'd, and manhood's thorny ways.
What transport, to retrace our boyish plays,
Our easy bliss, when each thing joy supplied;
The woods, the mountains, and the warbling maze
Of the wild brooks !—But, fondly wand'ring wide.
My Muse, resume the task that yet doth thee abide.
One great amusement of our household was, In a huge crystal magic globe to spy, Still as you turn'd it, all things that do pass Upon this ant-hill earth ; where constantly Of idly-busy men the restless fry . Hun bustling to and fro with foolish haste, In search of pleasures vain that from them fly, Or which obtain'd the caitiffs dare not taste: When nothing is enjoy'd, can there be greater waste?
Of Vanity the mirror this was call'd. Here you a muckworm of the town might see At his dull desk, amid his ledgers stall'd, Eat up with carking care and penurie; Most like to carcase pitch'd on gallow-tree. * A penny saved is a penny got:' Firm to this scoundrel-maxim keepeth he, Ne of its rigor will he bate a jot, Till it has quench'd his fire, and banished his pot.
Straight from the filth of this low grub, behold! Comes flutt'ring forth a gaudy spendthrift heir, All glossy gay, enamell'd all with gold, The silly tenant of the summer air, In folly lost, of nothing takes he care; Pimps, lawyers, stewards, harlots, flatterers vile, And thieving tradesmen him among them share: His father's ghost from limbo-lake, the while. Sees this, which more damnation does upon him pile.
This globe pourtray'd the race of learned men,
Still at their books, and turning o'er the page
Backwards and forwards: oft they snatch the pen,
As if inspir'd, and in a Thespian rage;
Then write and blot, as would your ruth engage.
Why, Authors, all this scrawl and scribbling sore?
To lose the present, gain the future age,
Praised to be when you can hear no more,
And much enrich'd with fame when useless worldly
Then would a splendid city rise to view,
With carts, and cars, and coaches roaring all.
Wide pour'd abroad behold the giddy crew:
See how they dash along from wall to wall!
At ev'ry door, hark, how they thund'ring call!
Good Lord ! what can this giddy rout excite?
Why on each other with fell tooth to fall;
A neighbour's fortune, fame, or peace to blight,
And make new tiresome parties for the coming night!
The puzzling sons of party next appear'd,
In dark cabals and nightly juntos met;
And now they wh isper'd close,now shrugging rear'd
The important shoulder; then, as if to get
New light, their twinkling eyes were inward set.
No sooner Lucifer recals affairs,
Than forth they various rush in mighty fret!
When, lo! push'd up to pow'r, and crown'd their
In comes another set, and kicketh them down stairs.
But what most shew'd the vanity of life, Was to behold the nations all on fire, In cruel broils engag'd, and deadly strife: Most Christian kings, enflam'd by black desire, With honourable ruffians in their hire, Cause war to rage, and blood around to pour: Of this sad work when each begins to tire, They sit them down just where they were before, Till for new scenes of woe peacs shall their force restore.
To number up the thousands dwelling here,
An useless were, and eke an endless task;
.From kings, and those who at the helm appear.
To gypsies brown in summer-glades who bask.
Yea many a man, perdie, I could unmask,
Whose desk and table make a solemn show,
With tape-tied trash, and suits of fools that ask
For place or pension, laid in decent row;
But these I passen by, with nameless numbers moe.
Of all the gentle tenants of the place, There was a man of special grave remark: A certain tender gloom o'erspread his face, Pensive, not sad, in thought involv'd not dark, As soot this man could sing as morning lark And teach the noblest morals of the heart;' But these his talents were yburied stark; Of the fine stores he nothing would impart. Which or boon nature gave, or nature-painting art.
To noon-tide shades incontinent he ran, Where purls the brook with sleep-inviting sound. Or when Dan Sol to slope his wheels began, Amid the broom he bask'd him on the ground, Where the wild thyme and camomoil are found: There would he linger, till the latest ray Of light sat trembling on the welkin's bound; Then homeward thro' the twilight shadows stray. Sauntering and slow. So had he passed many a day!
Yet not in thoughtless slumber were they past: For oft the heavenly fire that lay conceal'd Beneath the sleeping embers, mounted fast. And all its native light anew revoal'd: Oft as he travers'd the cosrulean field, And mark'd the clouds that drove before the wind. Ten thousand glorious systems would he build, Ten thousand great ideas fill'd his mind; But with the clouds they fled,and left no trace behind!
With him was sometimes join'd in silent walk
(Profoundly silent, for they never spoke)
One shyer still, who quite detested talk:
Oft, stun; by spleen, at once away he broke
To groves of pine, and broad o'ershadowing oak;
There, inly thrill'd, he wander'd all alone,
And on himself his pensive fury wroke,
Ne ever utter*d word, save when first shone
The glittering star of eve—' Thank heaven! the
day is done.'
Here lurch'd a wretch who had not crept abroad
For forty years, ne face of mortal seen:
In chamber brooding like a loathly toad:
And sure his linen was not very clean.
Thro' secret loop-holes, that had practis'd been
Near to his bed, his dinner vile he took;
Unkempt, and rough, of squalid face and mien,
Our castle's shame! whence, from his filthy nook.
We drove the villain out for fitter lair to look.
One day there chane'd into these halls to rove
A joyous youth, who took you at first sight;
Him the wild wave of pleasure hither drove,
Before the sprightly tempest tossing light:
Certes, he was a most engaging wight,
Of social glee, and wit humane tho* keen,
Turning the night to day and day to night:
For him the merry bells had rung, I ween,
If in this nook of quiet bells had ever been.
But not e'en pleasure to excess is good:
What most elates then sinks the soul as low:
When spring-tide joy pours in with copious flood,
The higher still th' exulting billows flow,
The farther back again they flagging go.
And leave us groveling on the dreary shore:
Taught by this son of joy, we found it so;
Who, whilst he staid, kept in a gay uproar
Our madden'd castle all, the abode of sleep no more.