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TO A YOUNG LADY.
YET once again, in yonder myrtle bow’rs,
Whence rose-lipp’d zephyrs, hov'ring, shed perfume, I weave the painted radiance of the flow’rs,
And press coy Nature in her days of bloom,
Shall she, benignant, to the wond’ring eyes
Of the lone hermit all her charms unfold ? Or, gemm’d with dew, bid her gay florets rise
To grace the rustic master of the fold ?
Shall these possess her bright, her fragrant store,
These snatch the wreath, by plastic Nature wove,
For she shall come; with her each sister grace,
With her the kindred pow'rs of harmony, The deep recesses of the grove shall trace,
And hang with flow'rs each consecrated tree.
Blithe Fancy too shall spread her glittring plumes,
She loves the white cliffs of Britannia’s isle, She loves the spot where infant Genius blooms,
She loves the spot, where Peace and Freedom smile.
Unless her aid the mimic queen bestow,
In vain fresh garlands the low vales adorn; In vain with brighter tints the florets glow,
Or dewdrops sparkle on the brow of morn.
Opes not one blossom to the spicy gale,
'Throws not one elm its moss-wreath'd branches wide, Wanders no rill thro' the luxuriant vale,
Or, glist’ning, rushes down the mountain side,
But thither, with the morning's earliest ray,
Fancy has wing'd her ever-mazy flight,
Proud of the theft she mounts her lucid car,
Her car the rainbow's painted arch supplies ; so this item Her swift wing’d steeds unnumber'd loves prepare, **
An countless zephyrs waft her thro' the skies. 11?
There, while her bright wheels pause in cloudless air, at
She waves the magic sceptre of command, i alime And all her flatt'ring visions, wild as fair,
Start into life beneath the potent wand.
Ilere, proudly nodding o’er the vale below,
High rocks of pearl reflect the morning ray, Whence gushing streams of azure necter flow,
And tinge the trickling herbage on their way.
These, cull'd from ev'ry mountain, ev'ry plain,
Perennial flow'rs the ambient air perfume, Far off stern Boreas holds his drear domain,
Nor chains the streams, nor blights the sacred bloom.
Thro' all the year, in copse and tangled dale,
Lone Philomel her song to Venus pours,
Illusive visions ! O, not here,-not here,
Does Spring eternal hold her placid reign, Already Boreas chills the alt’ring year,
And blasts the purple daughters of the plain.
So fade my promis’d joys !—fair scenes of bliss,
Ideal scenes, too long believ'd in vain, Plung’d down and swallow'd deep in Time's abyss !—
So veering Chance, and ruthless fates ordain.
Thee, Laura, thee, by fount, or mazy stream,
Or thicket rude, unpress’d by human feet, I sigh, unheeded, to the moon's pale beam ;
Thee, Laura, thee, the echoing hills repeat.
Oh! long of billows wild, and winds the sport,
Seize, seize the safe asylum that remains ! Here Truth, Love, Freedom, Innocence resort,
And offer long oblivion to thy pains.
When panting, gasping, breathless, on the strand
The shipwreck'd mariner reclines his breast, Say, shall he scorn the hospitable hand,
That points to safety, liberty, and rest?
But thou, too soon forgetful of past woe,
Again would'st tempt the winds, and treacherous sea; Ah! shall the raging blast forget to blow,
Shall ev'ry wiutry storm be hush'd for thee ?
Not so ! I dread the elemental war,
Too soon, tog soun the calm, deceitful, flies ; I hear the blast come whistling from afar,
I see the tempest gath’ring in the skies.
Yet let the tempest roar !-love scorns all harms,
I plunge amid the storm, resolv'd to save; This hour, at least, I clasp thee in my arms,
The next let ruin join us in the grave.