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That haunt the midnight of delirious Guilt
Then vanish; in that home of endless rest
All sorrows cease!.. Would I might slumber there !

Why then this panting of the fearful heart? This miser love of life, that dreads to lose Its cherish'd torment? Shall a man diseased Yield up his members to the surgeon's knife, Doubtful of succour, but to rid his frame Of fleshly anguish; and the coward wretch, Whose ulcerated soul can know no help, Shrink from the best Physician's certain aid ? Oh, it were better far to lie me down Here on this cold damp earth, till some wild beast Seize on his willing victim.

If to die Were all, 'twere sweet indeed to rest my head On the cold clod, and sleep the sleep of Death. But if the Archangel's trump at the last hour Startle the ear of Death, and wake the soul To frenzy ? .. Dreams of infancy; fit tales For garrulous beldames to affrighten babes ! What if I warr'd upon the world ? the world Had wrong'd me first: I had endured the ills Of hard injustice; all this goodly earth Was but to me one wide waste wilderness; I had no share in Nature's patrimony; Blasted were all my morning hopes of youth, Dark Disappointment followed on my ways, Care was my bosom inmate, Penury Gnaw'd at my heart. Eternal One, thou know'st How that poor heart, even in the bitter hour

Of lewdest revelry has inly yearn'd

For peace.

My Father! I will call on thee, Pour to thy mercy-seat my earnest prayer, And wait thy righteous will, resign'd of soul. O thought of comfort ! how the afflicted heart, Tired with the tempest of its passions, rests On you with holy hope! The hollow howl Of yonder harmless tenant of the woods Comes with no terror to the sober'd sense. If I have sinn'd against mankind, on them Be that past sin; they made me what I was. In these extremeșt climes Want can no more Urge me to deeds of darkness, and at length Here I may rest. What though my hut be poor The rains descend not through its humble roof:... Would I were there again! The night is cold; And what if in my wanderings I should rouse The savage from his thicket!

Hark! the gun! And lo, the fire of safety! I shall reach My little hut again ! again by toil Force from the stubborn earth my sustenance, And quick-ear'd guilt will never start alarm’d Amid the well-earn’d meal. This felon's garb.. Will it not shield me from the winds of Heaven? And what could purple more? O strengthen ine, Eternal One, in this serener state ! Cleanse thou mine heart, so Penitence and Faith Shall heal my soul, and my last days be peace.

Oxford, 1794.

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Go, Valentine, and tell that lovely maid
Whom fancy still will pourtray to my sight,
How here I linger in this sullen shade,
This dreary gloom of dull monastic night;
Say, that from every joy of life remote
At evening's closing hour I quit the throng,
Listening in solitude the ring-dove's note,
Who pours

like me her solitary song ;
Say, that her absence calls the sorrowing sigh;
Say, that of all her charms I love to speak,
In fancy feel the magic of her eye,
In fancy view the smile illume her cheek,
Court the lone hour when silence stills the grove,
And heave the sigh of memory and of love.

O BE F Ti

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II. Think, Valentine, as speeding on thy way Homeward thou hastest light of heart along, If heavily creep on one little day The medley crew of travellers among, Think on thine absent friend; reflect that here On life's sad journey comfortless he roves, Remote from every scene his heart holds dear, From him he values, and from her he loves. And when, disgusted with the vain and dull Whom chance companions of thy way may doom, Thy mind, of each domestic comfort full, Turns to itself and meditates on home, Ah think what cares must ache within his breast Who loathes the road, yet sees no home of rest.

1794.

III.
Not to thee, Bedford, mournful is the tale
Of days departed. Time in his career
Arraigns not thee that the neglected year
Hath past unheeded onward. To the vale
Of years thou journeyest; may the future road
Be pleasant as the past; and on my friend
Friendship and Love, best blessings, still attend,
Till full of days he reach the calm abode
Where Nature slumbers. Lovely is the age
Of virtue: with such reverence we behold
The silver hairs, as some gray

old
That whilome mock'd the rushing tempest's rage,
Now like a monument of strength decay'd,
With rarely-sprinkled leaves casting a trembling shade

oak grown

IV. CORSTON. As thus I stand beside the murmuring stream And watch its current, memory here pourtrays Scenes faintly form'd of half-forgotten days, Like far-off woodlands by the moon's bright beam Dimly descried, but lovely. I have worn Amid these haunts the heavy hours away, When childhood idled through the Sabbath-day; Risen to my tasks at winter's earliest morn; And when the summer twilight darken'd here, Thinking of home, and all of heart forlorn, Have sigh'd and shed in secret many a tear. Dream-like and indistinct those days appear, As the faint sounds of this low brooklet, borne Upon the breeze, reach fitfully the ear.

1794.

V. THE EVENING RAINBOW. Mild arch of promise, on the evening sky Thou shinest fair with many a lovely ray Each in the other melting. Much mine eye Delights to linger on thee; for the day, Changeful and many-weatherd, seemed to smile Flashing brief splendour through the clouds awhile, Which deepen'd dark anon and fell in rain: But pleasant is it now to pause, and view Thy various tints of frail and watery hue, And think the storm shall not return again. Such is the smile that Piety bestows On the good man's pale cheek, when he, in peace Departing gently from a world of woes, Anticipates the world where sorrows cease.

1.794.

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