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So dies in human hearts the thought of death :
Ev'n with the tender tear which Nature sheds
O'er those we love, we drop it in their grave.
Can I forget Philander? that were strange !.
O my full heart!-But should I give it vent,
The longest night, though longer far, would fail,
And the lark listen to my midnight song.
The sprightly lark's shrill matin wakes the morn.
Grief's sharpest thorn hard pressing on my breast,
I strive, with wakeful melody, to cheer
The sullen gloom, sweet Philomel ! like thee,
And call the stars to listen : every star
Is deaf to mine, enamour'd of thy lay.
Yet be not vain; there are who thine excel,
And charm through distant ages. Wrapt in shade,
Prisoner of darkness! to the silent hours
How often I repeat their rage divine,
To lull my griefs, and steal my heart from woe!
I roll their raptures, but not catch their fire.
Dark, though not blind, like thee, Mæonides!
Or, Milton! thee; ah, could I reach your strain !
Or his who made Mæonides our own.
Man, too, he sung : immortal man I sing :
Oft bursts my song beyond the bounds of life:
but immortality can please?
O had he press'd his theme, pursued the track
Which opens out of darkness into day!
O had he mounted on his wing of fire,
Soard where I sink, and sung immortal' man,
How had it blest mankind, and rescued me!
To Her Grace the Dutchess of Portland,
Ignoscenda quidem, scirent si ignoscere manes.
FROM dreams, where thought in Fancy's maze
To reason, that heav'n-lighted lamp in man,
Once more I wake; and at the destin'd hour,
Punctual as lovers to the moment sworn,
I keep my assignation with my woe.
0! lost to virtue, lost to manly thought,
Lost to the noble sallies of the soul!
Who think it solitude to be alone.
Communion sweet! communion large and high!
Our reason, guardian-angel, and our god !
Then nearest these, when others most remote;
And all, ere long, shall be remote but these:
How dreadful, then, to meet them all alone,
A stranger ! unacknowledg'd! unapprov'd!
Now woo them, wed them, bind them to thy breast:
To win thy wish creation has no more :
Or if we wish a fourth, it is a friend.--
But friends how mortal! dangerous the desire.
Take Phæbus to yourselves, ye basking bards! Inebriate at fair Fortune's fountain-head, And reeling through the wilderness of joy, Where Sense runs savage, broke from Reason's chain, And sings false peace, till smother'd by the pall. My fortune is unlike, unlike my song, Unlike the deity my song invokes. I to day's soft-ey'd sister pay my court, (Endymion's rival) and her aid implore, Now first implor'd in succour to the Muse.
Thou who didst lately borrow Cynthia's form, And modestly forego thine own! O thou
Who didst thyself, at midnight hours, inspire!
Say, why not Cynthia, patroness of song ?
As thou her crescent, she thy character
Assumes, still more a goddess by the change.
Are there demurring wits who dare dispute
This revolution in the world inspir'd ?
Ye train Pierian! to the lunar sphere,
In silent hour, address your ardent call
For aid immortal, less her brother's right.
She with the spheres harmonious nightly leads
The mazy dance, and hears their matchless strain,
A strain for gods, deny'd to mortal ear.
Transmit it heard, thou silver queen of Heav'n!
What title or what name endears thee most?
Cynthia ! Cyllene! Phæbe-or dost hear
With higher gust, fair Portland of the skies?
Is that the soft inchantment calls thee down,
More powerful than of old Circean charm?
Come, but from heavenly banquets with thee bring
The soul of song, and whisper in mine ear
The theft divine; or in propitious dreams
(For dreams are thine) transfuse it through the breast
of thy first votary-but not thy last,
If, like thy namesake, thou art ever kind.
And kind thou wilt be, kind on such a theme; A theme so like thee, a quite lunar theme, Soft, modest, melancholy, female, fair ! A theme that rose all pale, and told my soul 'Twas night; on her fond hopes perpetual night; A night which struck a damp, a deadlier damp Than that which smote me from Philander's tomb. Narcissa follows ere his tomb is clos'd. Woes cluster ; rare are solitary woes; They love a train ; they tread each other's heel ; Her death invades his mournful right, and claims The grief that started from my lids for him ; Seizes the faithless, alienated tear, Or shares it ere it falls. So frequent Death) Sorrow he more than causes ; he confounds; For human sighs his rival strokes contend,
And make distress distraction. Oh, Philander !
What was thy fate? a double fate to me;
Portent and plain! a 'menace and a blow!
Like the black raven hovering o'er my peace,
Not less a bird of omen than of prey.
It calld Narcissa long before her hour;
It call'd her tender soul by break of bliss,
From the first blossom, from the buds of joy;
Those few our noxious fate unblasted leaves
In this inclement clime of human life.
Sweet harmonist! and beautiful as sweet!
And young as beautiful ! and soft as young!,
And gay as soft! and innocent as gay!
And happy (if aught happy here) as good!
For Fortune fond, had built her nest on high.
Like birds quite exquisite of note and plume,
Transfix'd by Fate (who loves a lofty mark)
How from the summit of the grove she fell,
And left it unharmonious! all its charm
Extinguish'd in the wonders of her song !
Her song still vibrates in my ravish'd ear,
Still melting there, and with voluptuous pain
(O to forget her!) thrilling through my heart !
Søng, beauty, youth, love, virtue, joy ! this group
Of bright ideas, flowers of Paradise,
As yet unforfeit! in one blaze we bind,
Kneel, and present it to the skies, as all
We guess of Heav'n; and these were all her own;
And she was mine; and I was-was !-most blest
Gay title of the deepest misery!
As bodies grow more pond'rous robb'd of life,
Good lost weighis more in grief than gain'd in joy.
Like blossom'd trees o'erturn'd by vernal storm,
Lovely in death the beauteous ruin lay;
And if in death still lovely, lovelier there,
Far lovelier! pity swells the tide of love.
And will not the severe excuse a sigh?
Scorn the proud man that is asham'd to weep.
Our tears indulg'd indeed deserve our shame.
Ye that e'er lost an angel, pity me!
Soon as the lustre languish'd in her eye, Dawning a dimmer day on human sight, And on her cheek, the residence of Spring, Pale Omen sat, and scatter'd fears around On all that saw, (and who would cease to gaze That once had seen?) with haste, parental haste, I flew, I snatch'd her from the rigid North, Her native bed, on which bleak Boreas blew, And bore her nearer to the sun; the sun (As if the sun could envy) check'd his beam, Denied his wonted succour; nor with more Regret beheld her drooping than the bells Of lilies ; fairest lilies, not so fair !
Queen lilies ! and ye painted populace Who dwell in fields, and lead ambrosial lives! In morn and evening dew your beauties bathe, And drink the sun, which gives your cheeks to
glow, And outblush (mine excepted) every fair ; You gladlier grew, ambitious of her hand, Which often cropt your odours, incense meet To thought so pure ! Ye lovely fugitives ! Coëval race with man! for man you smile ; Why not smile at him too? You share, indeed, His sudden pass; but not his constant pain.
So man is made nought ministers delight But what his glowing passions can engage; And glowing passions, bent on aught below, Must, soon or late, with anguish turn the scale; And anguish after rapture, how severe ! Rapture? bold man! who tempts the wrath divine, By plucking fruit denied to mortal taste, While here presuming on the rights of Heav'n. For transport dost thou call on every hour, Lorenzo ? At thy friend's expense be wise : Lean not on earth ; 'twill pierce thee to the heart; A broken reed at best ; but oft a spear : On its sharp point Peace bleeds, and Hope expires. Turn, hopeless thought! turn from her.-Thought