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Or Bard's or Minstrel's lay of war or love.
Friend to the friendless, to the Sufferer health,
He hears the widow's prayer, the good man's praise ;
To scenes of bliss transmutes his fancied wealth,
And young and old shall now see happy days.
On many a waste he bids trim Gardens rise,
Gives the blue sky to many a prisoner's eyes ;
And now in wrath he grasps the patriot steel,
And her own iron rod he makes Oppression feel.
Sweet Flower of Hope! free Nature's genial child !
That didst so fair disclose thy early bloom,
Filling the wide air with a rich perfume !
For thee in vain all heavenly aspects smiled;
From the hard world brief respite could they win-
The frost nipp'd sharp without, the canker prey'd
Ah! where are fled the charms of verpal Grace,
And Joy's wild gleams that lightened o'er thy face?
Youth of tumultuous soul, and haggard eye!
Thy wasted form, thy hurried steps I view,
On thy wan forehead starts the lethal dew,
And oh! the anguish of that shuddering sigh!
Such were the struggles of the gloomy hour,
When Care, of withered brow, Prepared the poison's death-cold power: Already to thy lips was raised the bowl,
When near thee stood Affection meek
(Her bosom bare, and wildly pale her cheek) Thy sullen gaze she bade thee roll
On scenes that well might melt thy soul; Thy native cot she flashed upon thy view, Thy native cot, where still, at close of day,
Peace smiling sate, and listened to thy lay;
Thy Sister's shrieks she bade thee hear,
And mark thy Mother's thrilling tear;
See, see her breast's convulsive throe,
Her silent agony of woe !
Ah! dash the poisoned chalice from thy hand !
And thou had'st dashed it, at her soft command,
But that Despair and Indignation rose,
And told again the story of thy woes ;
Told the keen insult of the unfeeling heart ;
The dread dependence on the low-born mind;
Told every pang, with which thy soul must smart,
Neglect, and grinning Scorn, and Want combined !
Recoiling quick, thou bad'st the friend of pain
Roll the black tide of Death through every freez-
O Spirit blest ! Whether the Eternal's throne around, Amidst the blaze of Seraphim, Thou pourest forth the grateful hymn; Or soaring thro' the blest domain Enrapturest Angels with thy strain,Grant me, like thee, the lyre to sound, Like thee with fire divine to glow;But ah! when rage the waves of woe, Grant me with firmer breast to meet their hate, And soar beyond the storm with upright eye elate !
Ye woods! that wave o'er Avon's rocky steep,
To Fancy's ear sweet is your murmuring deep !
For here she loves the cypress wreath to weave
Watching, with wistfuleye, the saddening tints of eve.
Here, far from men, amid this pathless grove,
In solemn thought the Minstrel wont to rove,
Like star-beam on the slow sequestered tide
Lone-glittering, thro' the high tree branching wide.
And here, in Inspiration's eager hour,
When most the big soul feels the mastering power,
These wilds, these caverns roaming o'er,
Round which the screaming sea-gulls soar, With wild unequal steps he passed along, Oft pouring on the winds a broken song: Anon, upon some rough rock's fearful brow [low. Would
pause abruptmand gaze upon the waves be
Poor Chatterton ! he sorrows for thy fate
Who would have praised and loved thee, ere too late.
Poor Chatterton ! farewell ! of darkest hues
This chaplet cast I on thy unshaped tomb;
But dare no longer on the sad theme muse,
Lest kindred woes persuade a kindred doom :
For oh! big gall-drops, shook from Folly's wing,
Have blackened the fair promise of my spring ;
And the stern Fate transpierced with viewless dart
The last pale Hope that shivered at my heart !
Hence, gloomy thoughts ! no more my soul shall
dwell On joys that were ! No more endure to weigh The shame and anguish of the evil day, Wisely forgetful! O'er the ocean swell Sublime of Hope I seek the cottaged dell Where Virtue calm with careless step may stray; And, dancing to the moon-light roundelay, The wizard passions weave a holy spell !
O Chatterton ! that thou wert yet alive!
Sure thou would'st spread the canvass to the gale,
And love with us the tinkling team to drive
O'er peaceful Freedom's undivided dale;
And we, at sober eve, would round thee throng,
Would hang, enraptured, on thy stately song,
And greet with smiles the young-eyed Poesy
All deftly masked, as hoar Antiquity.
Alas, vain Phantasies ! the fleeting brood
Of Woe self-solaced in her dreamy mood !
Yet will I love to follow the sweet dream,
Where Susquehana pours his untamed stream;
And on some hill, whose forest-frowning side
Waves o'er the murmurs of his calmer tide,
Will raise a solemn Cenotaph to thee,
Sweet Harper of time-shrouded Minstrelsy!
And there, soothed sadly by the dirgeful wind,
Muse on the sore ills I had left behind.
The Pixies, in the superstition of Devonshire, are a race of beings invisibly small, and harmless or friendly to man. At a small distance from a village in that county, half way up a wood-covered hill, is an excavation called the Pixies' Parlour. The roots of old trees form its ceiling; and on its sides are innumerable cyphers, among which the author discovered his own and those of his brothers, cut by the hand of their childhood. At the foot of the hill flows the river Otter.
To this place the Author, during the summer months of the year 1793, conducted a party of young ladies; one of whom, of stature elegantly small, and of complexion colcurless yet clear, was proclaimed the Faery Queen. On which occasion the following Irregular Ode was written.
HOM the untaught Shepherds call
Pixies in their madrigal,
Fancy's children, here we dwell:
Welcome, Ladies ! to our cell.
Here the wren of softest note
Builds its nest and warbles well;
Here the blackbird strains his throat;
Welcome, Ladies ! to our cell.
When fades the moon to shadowy-pale,
And scuds the cloud before the gale,
Ere the Morn, all gem-bedight,
Hath streak'd the East with rosy light,
We sip the furze-flower's fragrant dews
Clad in robes of rainbow hues :
Or sport amid the shooting gleams
To the tune of distant-tinkling teams,
While lusty Labour scouting sorrow
Bids the Dame a glad good-morrow,
Who jogs the accustomed road along,
And paces cheery to her cheering song.
But not our filmy pinion
We scorch amid the blaze of day,
When Noontide's fiery-tressed minion
Flashes the fervid ray.
Aye from the sultry heat
We to the cave retreat
O'ercanopied by huge roots intertwined
With wildest texture, blackened o'er with age: