« PreviousContinue »
Youth stops at first its wilful ears
To wisdom's prudent voice; w
Till now arriv'd to riper years,
Experienc'd age, worn out with cares,
Repents its earlier choice.
What though its prospects now appear
So pleasing and refin'd;
Yet groundless hope, and anxious fear,
By turns the busy moments share, And prey upon the mind.
Since then false joys our fancy cheat
With hopes of real bliss;
Ye guardian pow'rs that rule my fate,
The only wish that I create,
Is all compris'd in this:
May I through life's uncertain tide,
Be still from pain exempt;
May all my wants be still supply'd,
My state too low t'admit of pride,
And yet above contempt.
But should your providence divine
A greater bliss intend;
May all those blessings you design,
(If e'er those blessings shall be mine)
Be centr'd in a friend.
Queen of the silver bow!—by thy pale beam,
Alone and pensive, I delight to stray,
And watch thy shadow trembling in the stream,
Or mark the floating clouds that cross thy way. .
And while I gaze, thy mild and placid light
Sheds a soft calm upon my troubled breast;
And oft I think,-fair planet of the night,
That in thy orb the wretched may have rest:
The sufferers of the earth perhaps may go,
Releas'd by death—to thy benignant sphere;
And the sad children of despair and woe
Forget, in thee, their cup of sorrow here.
Oh! that I soon may reach thy world serene,
Poor wearied pilgrim—in this toiling scene!
DEPARTURE OF the NIGHTiNG ALE.
Sweet poet of the woods—a long adieu!
Farewell, soft minstrel of the early year!
Ah! 'twill be long ere thou shalt sing anew,
And pour thy music on the ‘night's dull ear.”
Whether on spring thy wandering flights await,
Or whether silent in our groves you dwell,
The pensive muse shall own thee for her mate,
And still protect the song she loves so well.
With cautious step, the love-lorn youth shall glide
Through the lone brake that shades thy mossy nest;
And shepherd girls from eyes profane shall hide
The gentle bird, who sings of pity best:
For still thy voice shall soft affections move,
And still be dear to sorrow, and to lovel
"Twas when the slow declining ray
Had ting'd the cloud with evening gold;
No warbler pour'd the melting lay,
No sound disturb’d the sleeping fold;
When by a murmuring rill reclin'd,
Sat wrapt in thought a wandering swain;
Calm peace compos'd his musing mind;
And thus he rais'd the flowing strain:
“Hail, Innocence! celestial maid!
What joys thy blushing charms reveal!
Sweet as the arbour's cooling shade,
And milder than the vernal gale.
“On thee attends a radiant quire,
Soft smiling Peace, and downy Rest,
With Love that prompts the warbling lyre,
And Hope that sooths the throbbing breast.
“O sent from heav'n to haunt the grove,
Where squint-ey'd Envy ne'er can come;
Nor pines the cheek with luckless love,
Nor anguish chills the living bloom;
“But spotless Beauty, rob'd in white,
Sits on yon moss-green hill reclin'd;
Serene as heaven's unsully'd light,
And pure as Delia's gentle mind:
“Grant, heav'nly Power! thy peaceful sway
May still my ruder thoughts control;
Thy hand to point my dubious way,
Thy voice to sooth the melting soul!
“Far in the shady sweet retreat
Let thought beguile the lingering hour;
Let quiet court the mossy seat,
And twining olives form the bower.
“Let dove-ey'd Peace her wreath bestow;
And oft sit listening in the dale,
While night's sweet warbler from the bough
Tells to the grove her plaintive tale.
“Soft as in Delia's snowy breast,
Let each consenting passion move,
Let angels watch its silent rest,
And all its blissful dreams be love.”
The diamond's and the ruby's rays
Shine with a milder, finer flame,
And more attract our love and praise
Than Beauty's self, if lost to Fame,
But the sweet tear in Pity's eye
Transcends the diamonds brightest beams;
And the soft blush of Modesty
More precious than the ruby seems.
The glowing gem, the sparkling stone,
May strike the sight with quick surprise;
But Truth and Innocence alone
Can still engage the good and wise.
No glitt'ring ornament or show
Willaught avail in grief or pain:
Only from inward worth can flow
Delight that ever shall remain,