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ERE yellow Autumn from our plains retir’d,
And gave to wintry storms the varied year, The Swallow race, with foresight clear inspir’d,
To Southern climes prepar’d their course to
On Damon's roof a grave assembly sat ;
His roof, a refuge to the feather'd kind; With serious look he mark'd the nice debate,
And to his Delia thus address'd his mind.
Observe yon twitt’ring flock, my gentle maid,
Observe, and read the wondrous ways of heav'n! With us through summer's genial reign they staid,
And food and lodging to their wants were giv’n:
But now, through sacred prescience, well they
The near approach of elemental strife ; [know The blustry tempest, and the chilling snow,
With every want and scourge of tender life!
Thus taught, they meditate a speedy fight;
For this ev’n now they prune their vig'rous For this consult, advise, prepare, excite, [wing;
And prove their strength in many an airy ring.
No sorrow loads their breast, or swells their eye,
To quit their friendly haunts, or native home; Nor fear they, launching on the boundless sky,
In search of future settlements to roam.
They feel a pow'r, an impulse all divine !
That warns them hence-; they feel it, and obey; . To this direction all their cares resign, [way.
Unknown their destin'd stage, unmark'd their
Well fare your flight! ye mild domestic race !
Oh! for your wings to travel with the sun! Health brace your nerves, and Zephyrs aid your
Till your long voyage happily be done! [pace,
See, Delia, on my roof your guests to-day;
To-morrow on my roof your guests no more ! Ere yet ’t is night, with haste they wing away,
To-morrow lands them on some safer shore.
How just the moral in this scene convey'd !
And what without a moral would we read ? Then mark what Damon tells his gentle maid,
And with his lesson register the deed. .
"Tis thus life's cheerful seasons roll away;
Thus threats the winter of inclement age; Our time of action but a summer's day;
And earth’s frail orb the sadly-varied stage !
And does no Pow'r its friendly aid dispense,
Nor give us tidings of some happier clime ? Find we no guide in gracious Providence
Beyond the stroke of death, the verge of time?
Yes, yes ! The sacred oracles we hear,
That point the path to realms of endless day ; That bid our hearts, nor death nor anguish fear,
This future transport, that to life the way.
Then let us timely for our flight prepare,
And form the soul for her divine abode ; Obey the call, and trust the Leader's care
To bring us safe through Virtue's paths to God.
Let no fond love for earth exact a sigh,
No doubts divert our steady steps aside; Nor let us long to live, nor dread to die ;
Heav'n is our Hope, and Providence our Guide.
WRITTEN APRIL, MDCCXLIX.
AT length the winter's surly blasts are o'er ;
Array'd in smiles the lovely spring returns : Health to the breeze unbars the screaming door,
And every breast with heat celestial burns.