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SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE.
FAREWELL TO THE MUSE.
AS by some tyrant's stern command,
A wretch forsakes his native land, In foreign climes condemn'd to roam, An endless exile from his home: Pensive he treads the destin'd way, And dreads to go, nor dares to stay ; Till on some neighb'ring mountain's brow He stops and turns his eyes below; There melting at the well-known view, Drops a last tear and bids adieu ! So I thus doom'd from thee to part, Gay Queen of Fancy and of Art: Reluctant move with doubtful mind, Oft stop and often look behind ! Companion of my tender age, Serenely gay and sweetly sage; How blithesome were we wont to rove, By verdant hill or shady grove; Where fervent bees with humming voice, Around the honied oak rejoice; And aged elms with awful bend, In long cathedral walks extend. Lull'd by the lapse of gliding floods Cheer'd by the warbling of the woods; How blest my days, my thoughts how free, In sweet society with thee! Then all was joyous—all was young, And years unheeded roll'd along. But now the pleasing dream is o'er, These scenes must charm me now no more! Lost to the field and torn from you Farewell !-a long-a last adieu ! Me wrangling courts and stubborn Law, To smoke and crowds, and cities draw;
324 SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE.
THE LAW. SHAKESPEARE no more thy sylvan son,
Nor all the art of Addison, Pope's heav'n-strung lyre, nor Waller's ease, Nor Milton's mighty self must please. Instead of these---a formal band In furs and coifs around me stand, With sounds uncouth, and accents dry, That grate the soul of harmony. Each pedant sage unlocks his store, Of mystic dark discordant lore: And points with tott'ring hand the ways That lead me to the thorny maze. There in a winding close retreat Is Justice doom'd to fix her seat : There fenc'd by bulwarks of the Law, She keeps the wond'ring world in awe: And there from vulgar sight retir'd, Like eastern queens is more admir'd: ( let me pierce the secret shade, Where dwells the venerable maid ! There humbly mark, with rev'rend awe, The guardian of Britannia's law, Unfold with joy her sacred page, (Th' united boast of many an age,)
SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE.
Thus tho' my noon of life be pass'd,
'Tis past : the iron North has spent his rage;
Stern Winter now resigns the lengthening day; The stormy howlings of the winds assuage,
And warm o'er ether western breezes play.
Of genial heat and cheerful light the source,
From southern climes, beneath another sky, The sun, returning, wheels his golden course;
Before his beams all noxious vapours fly. Far to the north grim Winter draws his train
To his own clime, to Zembla's frozen shore; Where, thron'd on ice, he holds eternal reign;
Where whirlwinds madden, and where tempests
Loos'd from the bands of frost, the verdant ground
Again puts on her robe of cheerful green, Again puts forth her flowers; and all around,
Smiling, the cheerful face of Spring is seen.
Behold! the trees new deck their wither'd boughs;
Their ample leaves, the hospitable plain, The taper elm, and lofty ash, disclose;
The blooming hawthorn variegates the scene, The lily of the vale, of flowers the queen,
Puts on the robe she neither sew'd nor spun: The birds on ground, or on the branches green,
Hop to and fro, and glitter in the sun. Soon as o'er eastern hills the morning peers,
From her low nest the tufted lark upsprings; And cheerful singing, up the air she steers;
Still high she mounts, still loud and sweet she sings.
On the green furze, clothed o'er with golden blooms
That fill the air with fragrance all around, The linnet sits, and tricks his glossy plumes,
While o'er the wild his broken notes resound. While the sun journeys down the western sky, Along the green sward, mark'd with Roman
mound, Beneath the blithsome shepherd's watchful eye,
The cheerful lambkins dance and frisk around. Now is the time for those who wisdom love,
Who love to walk in Virtue's flowery road, Along the lovely paths of Spring to rove,
And follow Nature up to Nature's God. Thus Zoroaster studied Nature's laws;
Thus Socrates, the wisest of mankind; Thus heav'n-taught Plato trac'd the' Almighty cause,
And left the wondering multitude behind. Thus Ashley gather'd academic bays;
Thus gentle Thomson, as the Seasons roll, Taught them to sing the great Creator's praise,
And bear their poet's name from pole to pole. Thus have I walk'd along the dewy lawn;
My frequent foot the blooming wild hath worn; Before the lark I've sung the beauteous dawn,
And gather's health from all the gales of morn. And, ev'n when Winter chill'd the aged year,
I wander'd lonely o'er the hoary plain : Though frosty Boreas warn'd me to forbear,
Boreas, with all his tempests, warn'd in vain. Then, sleep my nights, and quiet bless'd my days;
I fear'd no loss, my Mind was all my store; No anxious wishes e'er disturb'd my ease;
Heav'n gave content and health-I ask'd no more. Now, Spring returns : but not to me returns
The vernal joy my better years have known; Dim in my breast life's dying taper burns,
And all the joys of life with health are flown,