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Broader 'tis, and brighter far
Than the golden Indies are;
Ships that trace the watery stage
Cannot coast it in an age;
Harts or horses, strong and fleet,
Had they wings to help their feet,
Could not run it half way o'er
In ten thousand days or more.
Yet the silly wandering mind,
Loath to be too much confined,
Roves and takes her daily tours,
Coasting round the narrow shores,
Narrow shores of flesh and sense,
Picking shells and pebbles thence :
Or she sits at Fancy's door,
Calling shapes and shadows to her,
Foreign visits still receiving,
And to’ herself a stranger living.
Never, never would she buy
Indian dust or Tyrian dye,
Never trade abroad for more,
If she saw her native store ;
If her inward worth were known,
She might ever live alone.
Fair pledges of a fruitful tree,
Why do ye fall so fast?
Your date is not so past,
But you may stay yet here awhile
To blush, and gently smile,
And go at last.
What, were ye born to be
An hour or half's delight,
And so to bid good night?
'Twas pity nature brought ye forth
Merely to show your worth,
And lose you quite !
But you are lovely leaves, where we
May read how soon things have
Their end, though ne'er so brave: And after they have shown their pride Like you, awhile, they glide
Into the grave.
THE OLD MAN'S SONG. SHALL man of frail fruition boast?
Shall life be counted dear, Oft but a moment, and at most
A momentary year? There was a time,—that time is pass’d,
When, Youth! I bloomed like thee; A time will come, –’tis coming fast,
When thou shalt fade like me : Like me through varying seasons range,
And past enjoyments mourn;
For ah! the sweetest spring shall change
To winter in its turn.
In Infancy, my vernal prime,
When life itself was new, Amusement pluck'd the wings of Time,
Yet swifter still he flew,
Summer, my youth, succeeded soon,
My sun ascended high,
And Pleasure held the reins till noon,
But Grief drove down the sky.
Like Autumn, rich in ripening corn,
Came Manhood's sober reign,
My harvest-moon scarce filled her horn
When she began to wane.
Then followed Age, infirm Old Age,
The winter of my year,
When shall I fall before his rage,
To rise beyond the sphere!
I long to cast the chains away
That bind me down to earth;
To burst these dungeon walls of clay,
And start to second birth.
Life lies in embryo,-never free
Till nature yields her breath,
Till Time becomes Eternity,
And man is born in death!
FAIR daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon :
Until the hastening day
But to the even song;
And, having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along!
We have short time to stay as you;
We have as short a spring,
As quick a growth to meet decay
As you or any thing:
As your hours do, and dry
Like to the summer's rain,
Or as the pearls of morning dew;
Ne'er to be found again.
A Moral Rhapsody. BLESS'D groves! bless'd mansion! though your
humble gate No Doric columns crowd with idle state, No bustos, statues, temples, arcs surprise, Nor gilded roofs fatigue the gazer's eyes; Here Nature reigns, with modest grace array'd, By Art, her subject, served and not betray'd: Here all the mild domestic Joys reside, And rural Elegance unspoil'd by Pride, Unsullied Honour, Peace with eye serene, Friendship's warm glow, and Candour's open mien; Benevolence stands smiling at the door, The friend to welcome, and to feed the poor.
Imperial piles and glittering domes that rise, And back reflect their glories to the skies,
Vain Grandeur's tinsel'd train, the gorgeous glare
Of crowns and thrones and banners waved in air
May give the dazzled eye a short delight,
But tire at length the satiated sight,
Which views with unabated pleasure still
The flower-enameld mead and rambling rill,
The sloping vale, which rocky mountains bound,
And verdant hills with waving woods imbrown’d,
The straw-built cottage smoking in the grove,
And grazing herds that o'er the champaign rove,
Rich harvests glowing o'er the golden fields,
And all the simple charms that Nature yields.
Hail, grass-crown'd Genius of the silvan scene,
Shrined in thy lonely bower of flowering green!
Hail, Sire of Sages, Heroes, Bards of old,
Who in thy woods (while baser eras rolld)
Preserved the bright Saturnian age of gold !
Methinks I see in solemn order stand
Dictators, consuls, kings, an awful band !
Whose virtues, nursed beneath the lowly shed,
By thee to mighty feats of fame were bred;
To speak, to dare in Freedom's sacred cause-
To form the rising state-to dictate laws
To wild ambition, and profuse of blood
Pour in their country's right the generous flood.
Hence Numa humanized ferocious hearts,
And soothed a savage brood to peaceful arts;
Hence honest Curius tamed a tyrant's pride,
And hence Fabricius lived and Decius died.
What though no longer in thy rural school
Statesmen and heroes learn to fight or rule;
Still to thy solitary shades belong
The sage's wisdom and the poet's song.
0, bless'd the man whom meditation leads To these sequester'd groves and silent meads!