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P356

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PROEMIUM.

Sweet was the choral song,

When in Arcadian vales,

Primeval shepherds twined the Aonian wreath

While in the dying gales,

That sighed the shades among,

Rapt fancy heard responsive spirits breathe.

Dryads and Genii wandered then

Amid the haunts of guileless men,

As yet unknown to strife:

Ethereal beings poured the floods,

Dwelt in the ever-waving woods,

And filled the varied world with intellectual life.

Ah! whither are they flown,

Those days of peace and love,

So sweetly sung by bards of elder time?

When in the startling grove

The battle-blast was blown,

And misery came, and cruelty, and crime,

Far from the desolated hills,

Polluted meads, and blood-stained rills,

Their guardian genii flew;

And through the woodlands ,waste and wild,

Where erst perennial summer smiled,

Infuriate passions prowled, and wintry whirl

winds blew.

Yet where light breezes sail

Along the sylvan shore,

The bard still feels a sacred influence nigh:

When the far torrent's roar

Floats through the twilight vale,

And, echoing low, the forest-depths reply.

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A meteor-kindled pile, that, while we gaze,

expires.

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