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Oft let remembrance sooth his mind
With dreams of former days,
When in the lap of Peace reclined
He framed his infant lays;
When Fancy roved at large, nor Caro
Nor cold Distrust alarm'd,
Nor envy with malignant glare
His simple youth had harm’d.
'T was then, O Solitude, to thee
His early vows were paid,
From heart sincere, and warm, and free,
Devoted to the shade.
Ah why did Fate his steps decoy
In stormy paths to roam,
Remote from all congenial joy .....
O take the Wanderer home. '
Thy shades, thy silence, now be mine,
Thy charms my only theme;
My haunt the hollow cliff, whose pine
Waves o'er the gloomy stream,
Whence the scared owl on pinions grey
Breaks from the rustling boughs,
And down the lone vale sails away
To more profound repose.
O, while to thee the woodland pours
Its wildly warbling song,
And balmy from the bank of flowers
The zephyr breathes along;
Let no rude sound invade from far,
No vagrant foot be nigh,
No ray from Grandeur's gilded car,
Flash on the startled eye.
But if some pilgrim through the glade
Thy hallow'd bowers explore,
O guard from harm his hoary head,
And listen to his lore;
For he of joys divine shall tell,
That wean from earthly wo,
And triumph o'er the mighty spell
That chains his heart below.
For me, no more the path invites
Ambition loves to tread;
No more I climb those toilsome heights
By guileful Hope misled;
Leaps my fond fluttering heart no more
To Mirth's enlivening strain;
For present pleasure soon is o'er,
And all the past is vain.
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1758.
Still shall unthinking man substantial deem
The forms that fleet through life's deceitful dream?
Till at some stroke of Fate the vision flies,
And sad realities in prospect rise ;
And, from Elysian slumbers rudely torn,
The startled soul awakes, to think, and mourn.
O ye, whose hours in jocund train advance,
Whose spirits to the song of gladness dance,
Who flowery plains in endless pomp survey,
Glittering in beams of visionary day;
O, yet while Fate delays th' impending wo,
Be roused to thought, anticipate the blow;
Lest, like the lightning's glance, the sudden ill
Flash to confound, and penetrate to kill ;
Lest, thus encompass’d with funereal gloom,
Like me, ye bend o'er some untimely tomb,
Pour your wild ravings in Night's frighted ear, And half pronounce Heaven's sacred doom severe.
Wise, Beauteous, Good! O every grace combined, That charms the eye, or captivates the mind ! Fresh, as the flowret opening on the morn, Whose leaves bright drops of liquid pearl adorn! Sweet, as the downy-pinion'd gale, that roves To gather fragrance in Arabian groves! Mild, as the melodies at close of day, That heard remote along the vale decay! Yet, why with these compared? What tints so fine, What sweetness, mildness, can be match'd with thine! Why roam abroad, since recollection true. Restores the lovely form to Fancy's view? Still let me gaze, and every care beguile, Gaze on that cheek, where all the graces smile ; That soul-expressing eye, benignly bright, Where meekness beams ineffable delight; That brow, where Wisdom sits enthroned serene, Each feature forms, and dignifies the mien : Still let me listen, while her words impart The sweet effusions of the blameless heart,