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"O let me still with simple Nature live,
My lowly field-flowers on her altar lay, Enjoy the blessings that she meant to give,
And calnily waste my inoffensive day!
'No titled name, no envy-teasing dome,
No glittering wealth my tutor'd wishes crave; So Health and Peace be near my humble home, A cool stream murmur, and a green tree wave.
'So may the sweet Euterpé not disdain
At Eve's chaste hour her silver lyre to bring; The muse of pity wake her soothing strain, And tune to sympathy the trembling string.
Thus glide the pensive moments, o'er the vale While floating shades of dusky night descend; Not left untold the lover's tender tale,
Nor unenjoy'd the heart-enlarging friend.
'To love and friendship flow the social bowl! To attic wit and elegance of mind;
To all the native beauties of the soul,
The simple charms of truth, and sense refin❜d.
Then to explore whatever ancient sage Studious from Nature's early volume drew, To chase sweet Fiction through her golden age, And mark how fair the sun-flower, Science,blew.
'Haply to catch some spark of eastern fire, Hesperian fancy, or Aonian ease;
Some melting note from Sappho's tender lyre, Some strain that Love and Phoebus taught to please.
When waves the grey light o'er the mountain
Then let me meet the morn's first beauteous ray; Carelessly wander from my sylvan shed,
And catch the sweet breath of the rising day.
'Nor seldom, loitering as I muse along,
Mark from what flower the breeze its sweetness Or listen to the labour-soothing song
Of bees that range the thymy uplands o'er.
Slow let me climb the mountain's airy brow! The green height gain'd, in museful rapture lie; Sleep to the murmur of the woods below, Or look on Nature with a lover's eye. 'Delightful hours! O, thus for ever flow;
Led by fair Fancy round the varied year; So shall my breast with native raptures glow, Nor feel one pang from folly, pride, or fear. Firm be my heart to Nature and to Truth, Nor vainly wander from their dictates sage: So joy shall triumph on the brows of Youth, So Hope shall smooth the dreary paths of age.'
On! yet, ye dear, deluding visions, stay!
And vanish'd from the powerful rod of Care.
So the poor pilgrim, who in rapturous thought Plans his dear journey to Loretto's shrine, Seems on his way by guardian seraphs brought, Sees aiding angels favour his design:
Ambrosial blossoms, such of old as blew
By those fresh founts on Eden's happy plain, And Sharon's roses all his passage strew:
So Fancy dreams; but Fancy's dreams are vain ! Wasted and weary on the mountain's side,
His way unknown, the hapless pilgrim lies, Or takes some ruthless robber for his guide, And prone beneath his cruel sabre dies.
Life's morning landscape gilt with orient light,
Where Hope and Joy and Fancy hold their reign; The grove's green wave, the blue stream sparkling bright,
The blithe hours dancing round Hyperion's wain, In radiant colours Youth's free hand portrays, Then holds the flattering tablet to his eye; Nor thinks how soon the vernal grove decays, Nor sees the dark cloud gathering o'er the sky. Hence Fancy, conquer'd by the dart of Pain, And wandering far from her Platonic shade, Mourns o'er the ruins of her transient reign, Nor unrepining sees her visions fade. Their parent banish'd, hence her children fly, The fairy race that fill'd her festive train; Joy tears his wreath, and Hope inverts her eye, And Folly wonders that her dream was vain.
THE eye of Nature never rests from care;
In vain no ill shall haunt the walks of life,
Lavinia, form'd with every powerful grace,
Lavinia !-Peace, my busy, fluttering breast!
The golden star, that leads the radiant morn, Looks not so fair, fresh rising from the main; But her bent eye-brow bears forbidding scorn,— But Pride's fell furies every heartstring strain.
Lavinia, thanks to thy ungentle mind;
I now behold thee with indifferent eyes; And Reason dares, though Love as Death be blind, Thy gay, thy worthless being to despise.
Beauty may charm without one inward grace,
The youth that once the sculptur'd nymph admir'd,
Had turn'd disdainful from his offer'd arms.
Go, thoughtless maid! of transient beauty vain,
Feed the high thought, the towering hope extend; Still may'st thou dream of splendour in thy train,
And smile superb, while love and flattery bend.
For me, sweet peace shall sooth my troubled mind,
WRITTEN AMONG THE
RUINS OF PONTEFRACT CASTLE.
RIGHT sung the bard, that all-involving age
A pile stupendous, once of fair renown,
This mouldering mass of shapeless ruin rose, Where nodding heights of fractur'd columns frown, And birds obscene in ivy bowers repose: