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The naked hill, the leafless grove,
The hoary ground, the frowning skies! Nor only through the wasted plain,
Stern winter! is thy force confess'd; Still wider spreads thy horrid reign,
I feel thy pow'r usurp my breast. Enliv’ning hope, and fond desire,
Resign the heart to spleen and care;
Scarce frighted love maintains her fire,
And rapture saddens to despair,
In groundless hope, and causeless fear,
Unhappy man! behold thy doom;
Still changing with the changeful year,
The slave of sunshine and of gloom. Tir'd with vain joys, and false alarms,
With mental and corporeal strife, Snatch me, my Stella, to thy arms,
And screen me from the ills of lifet.
ON HER GIVING THE AUTHOR A GOLD AND SILK NET
WORK PURSE OF HER OWN WEAVING.
THOUGH gold and silk their charms unite
To make thy curious web delight,
In vain the varied work would shine,
If wrought by any hand but thine;
Thy hand, that knows the subtler art
To weave those nets that catch the heart.
Spread out by me, the roving coin Thy nets may catch, but not confine; Nor can I hope thy silken chain The glitt’ring vagrants shall restrain. Why, Stella, was it then decreed, The heart, once caught, should ne'er be freed?
ON HER PLAYING UPON THE HARPSICHORD, IN A ROOM HUNG WITH FLOWER-PIECES OF HER OWN PAINTING".
WHEN Stella strikes the tuneful string,
In scenes of imitated spring,
Where beauty lavishes her pow'rs
On beds of never-fading flow'rs,
And pleasure propagates around
Each charm of modulated sound;
Ah! think not, in the dang’rous hour,
The nymph fictitious as the flow'r;
But shun, rash youth, the gay alcove,
Nor tempt the snares of wily love.
When charms thus press on ev'ry sense,
What thought of fight, or of defence ?
Deceitful hope, and vain desire,
For ever flutter o'er her lyre,
Delighting, as the youth draws nigh,
To point the glances of her eye,
And forming, with unerring art,
New chains to hold the captive heart.
But on those regions of delight
Might truth intrude with daring flight,
Printed among Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies.
Could Stella, sprightly, fair, and young, One moment hear the moral song, Instruction, with her flowers, might spring, And wisdom warble from her string.
Mark, when from thousand mingled dies Thou seest one pleasing form arise, How active light, and thoughtful shade In greater scenes each other aid; Mark, when the different notes agree In friendly contrariety, How passion's well-accorded strife Gives all the harmony of life; Thy pictures shall thy conduct frame, Consistent still, though not the same; Thy musick teach the nobler art, To tune the regulated heart.
EVENING; AN ODE
Ev’NING now from purple wings
Sheds the grateful gifts she brings;
Brilliant drops bedeck the mead,
Cooling breezes shake the reed;
Shake the reed, and curl the stream,
Silver'd o'er with Cynthia's beam;
Near the checquer'd, lonely grove,
Hears, and keeps thy secrets, love.
Stella, thither let us stray,
Lightly o'er the dewy way.
Phoebus drives his burning car
Hence, my lovely Stella, far;
In his stead, the queen of night
Round us pours a lambent light;
Light, that seems but just to show
Breasts that beat, and cheeks that glow.
Let us now, in whisper'd joy,
Ev’ning's silent hours employ;
Silence best, and conscious shades,
Please the hearts that love invades;
Other pleasures give them pain,
Lovers all but love disdain.
WHETHER Stella's eyes are found
Fix'd on earth, or glancing round,
If her face with pleasure glow,
If she sigh at others' woe,
If her easy air express
Conscious worth, or soft distress,
Stella's eyes, and air, and face,
Charm with undiminish'd grace.
If on her we see display'd
Pendent gems, and rich brocade;
If her chints with less expense
Flows in easy negligence;
Still she lights the conscious flame,
Still her charms appear the same;
If she strikes the vocal strings,
If she's silent, speaks, or sings,
If she sit, or if she move,
Still we love, and still approve.
Vain the casual, transient glance,
Which alone can please by chance;
Beauty, which depends on art,
Changing with the changing heart,
Which demands the toilet's aid,
Pendent gems and rich brocade.
I those charms alone can prize,
Which from constant nature rise,
Which nor circumstance, nor dress,
E’er can make, or more, or less.
No more thus brooding o'er yon heap,
With av’rice, painful vigils keep;
Still unenjoy'd the present store,
Still endless sighs are breath'd for more.
Oh! quit the shadow, catch the prize,
Which not all India's treasure buys!
To purchase heav'n has gold the power ?
Can gold remove the mortal hour ?
In life, can love be bought with gold ?
Are friendship's pleasures to be sold ?
No all that's worth a wish-a thought,
Fair virtue gives unbrib’d, unbought.
Cease then on trash thy hopes to bind,
Let nobler views engage thy mind.
With science tread the wondrous way,
Or learn the muses' moral lay;
In social hours indulge thy soul,
Where mirth and temp’rance mix the bowl;
To virtuous love resign thy breast,
And be, by blessing beauty-blest.