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How oft the laughing brow of joy
A sickening heart conceals! And through the cloister's deep recess
Invading sorrow steals.
In vain through beauty, fortune, wit,
The fugitive we trace;
That brightens Clodio's face.
Perhaps the joy to these denied,
The heart in friendship finds : Ah! dear delusion, gay conceit
Of visionary minds.
Howe'er our varying notions rove,
Yet all agree in one,
At distance from our own.
O blind to each indulgent aim
Of Power supremely wise, Who fancy Happiness in aught,
The hand of Heaven denies !
Vain are alike the joys we seek,
And vain what we possess, Unless harmonious Reason tunes
The passions into peace.
'To temper'd wishes, just desires,
Is happiness confined,
The music of the mind.
WRITTEN AT MIDNIGHT
BY THE SAME.
Let coward Guilt, with pallid Fear,
To sheltering caverns-fly,
That thunders through the sky,
Protected by that Hand, whose law
The threatening storms obey, Intrepid Virtue smiles secure,
As in the blaze of day.
In the thick cloud's tremendous gloom,
The lightning's lurid glare,
That breathes the vernal air.
Through nature's ever-varying scene,
By different ways pursued, The one eternal end of Heav'n
Is universal good:
With like beneficent effect
O’er flaming ether glows,
Or blushes in the rose.
By Reason taught to scorn those fears
That vulgar minds molest, Let no fantastic terrors break
My dear Narcissa's rest.
Thy life may all the tenderest care
Of Providence defend; And delegated angels round
Their guardian wings extend,
When, through creation's vast expanse,
The last dread thunders roll, Uutune the concord of the spheres,
And shake the rising soul :
Unmov'd mayst thou the final storm
Of jarring worlds survey, That ushers in the glad serene
Of everlasting day.
THE EVENING WALK.
BY THE SAME.
How sweet the calm of this sequester'd shore,
Where ebbing waters musically roll; And solitude and silent eve restore
The philosophic temper of the soul,
The sighing gale, whose murmurs lull to rest
The busy tumult of declining day,
And ev'ry wild emotion dies away.
Farewell, the objects of diurnal care,
Your task be ended with the setting sun ; Let all be undisturb'd vacation here,
While o'er yon wave ascends the peaceful moon.
What beauteous visions o'er the soften'd heart
In this still' moment all their charms diffuse, Serener joys and brighter hopes impart,
And cheer the soul with more than mortal views!
Here faithful Mem'ry wakens all her pow'rs,
She bids her fair ideal forms ascend,
Come, ****, come, and with me share,
The sober pleasures of this solemn scene; While no rude tempest clouds the ruffled air,
But all, like thee, is smiling and serene.
Come, while the cool, the solitary hours
Each foolish care and giddy wish control, With all thy soft persuasion's wonted pow'rs,
Beyond the stars transport my listening soul.
Oft, when the earth detain'd by empty show,
Thy voice has taught the trifler how to rise! Taught her to look with scorn on things below,
And seek her better portion in the skies.
Come, and the sacred eloquence repeat :
The world shall vanish at its gentle sound, Angelic forms shall visit this retreat,
And opening heaven diffuse its glories roand.
BY THE SAME.
WHILE soft through water, earth, and air,
The vernal spirits rove,
To rural scenes remove.