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Thou tedious herald of more tedious prayers !

Say, dost thou ever summon from his rest
One being wakening to religious cares,

Or rouse one pious transport in the breast?
Or rather, do not all reluctant creep,
To linger out the time in listlessness or sleep?

I love the bell that calls the poor to pray,

Chiming from village church its cheerful sound,
When the sun smiles on Labor's holy-day,

And all the rustic train are gathered round,
Each deftly dizened in his Sunday's best,
And pleased to hail the day of piety and rest.

And when, dim shadowing o'er the face of day,

The mantling mists of eventide rise slow,
As through the forest gloom I wend my way,

The minster curfew's sullen voice I know,
And
pause,

and love its solemn toll to hear,
As, made by distance soft, it dies upon the ear.

Nor with an idle nor unwilling ear

Do I receive the early passing-bell ;
For, sick at heart with many a secret care,

When I lie listening to the dead man's knell,
I think that in the grave all sorrows cease,
And would full fain recline my head, and be at peace.

But thou, memorial of monastic gall !

What fancy sad or lightsome hast thon given ?

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Thy vision-scaring sounds alone recall

The prayer that trembles on a yawn to heaven.
The snuffling, snaffling Fellow's nasal tone,
And Romish rites retained, though Romish faith be

flown.

Oxford, 1793.

TO HYMEN.

God of the torch, whose soul-illuming flame
Beams brightest radiance o'er the human heart,

Of many a woe the cure,
Of many a joy the source !

To thee I sing, if haply may the Muse
Pour forth the song unblamed from these dull

haunts,
Where never beams thy torch
To cheer the sullen scene.

I pour the song to thee, though haply doomed
Alone and unbeloved to pass my days;

Though doomed perchance to die
Alone and unbewailed.

Yet will the lark, albeit in cage inthralled,
Send out her voice to greet the morning sun,

As wide his cheerful beams
Light up the landscape round;

When high in heaven she hears the carolling,
The prisoner, too, begins her morning hymn,

And hails the beam of joy, –
Of joy to her denied.

Friend to each better feeling of the soul !
I sing to thee; for many a joy is thine,

And

many a Virtue comes To join thy happy train.

Lured by the splendor of thy sacred torch,
The beacon-light of bliss, young Love draws near,

And leads his willing slaves
To wear thy flowery chain.

And chastened Friendship comes, whose mildest

sway
Shall cheer the hour of age, when fainter burn

The fading flame of Love,
The fading flame of Life.

Parent of every bliss ! the busy hand
Of Fancy oft will paint in brightest hues

How calm, how clear, thy torch
Illumes the wintry hour;-

Will paint the weary laborer at that hour,
When friendly darkness yields a pause to toil,

Returning blithely home
To each domestic joy ;

Will paint the well-trimmed fire; the frugal meal,
Prepared with fond solicitude to please;

The ruddy children round
Climbing the father's knee.

And oft will Fancy rise above the lot
Of honest Poverty, and think how man

Nor rich nor poor enjoys
His best and happiest state ;

When toil no longer irksome and constrained
By hard necessity, but comes to please,

To
vary

the still hour
Of tranquil happiness.

Why, Fancy! wilt thou, o'er the lovely scene
Pouring thy vivid hues, — why, sorceress bland !

Soothe sad reality
With visionary bliss ?

Turn thou thine eyes to where the hallowed light
Of Learning shines ; ah! rather lead thy son

Along her mystic paths,
To drink the sacred spring.

Lead calmly on along the unvaried path
To solitary Age's drear abode :

Is it not happiness
That gives the sting to Death?

Well, then, is he whose unimbittered years
Are waning on in lonely listlessness :

If Life hath little joy,

Death hath for him no sting. OXFORD, 1794.

WRITTEN ON THE FIRST OF DECEMBER.

Though now no more the musing ear
Delights to listen to the breeze
That lingers o'er the greenwood-shade,

I love thee, Winter! well.

Sweet are the harmonies of Spring,
Sweet is the Summer's evening gale,
And sweet the autumnal winds that shake

The many-colored grove ;

And pleasant to the sobered soul
The silence of the wintry scene,
When Nature shrouds herself, entranced

In deep tranquillity.

Not undelightful now to roam
The wild heath sparkling on the sight;
Not undelightful now to pace

The forest's ample rounds ;

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