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Starting and shivering in the inconstant wind,
Meagre and pale, the ghost of what I was, Beneath some blasted tree I lie reclin'd,
And count the silent moments as they pass : The winged moments, whose unstaying speed
No art can stop, or in their course arrest; Whose flight shall shortly count me with the dead,
And lay me down in peace with them that rest. Oft morning-dreams presage approaching fate;
And morning-dreams, as poets tell, are true : Led by pale gliosts, I enter Death's dark gate,
And bid the realms of light and life adieu. I hear the helpless wail, the shriek of woe;
I see the muddy wave, the dreary shore, The sluggish streams that slowly creep below,
Which mortals visit, and return no more. Farewell, ye blooming fields! ye cheerful plains !
Enough for me the church-yard's lonely mound, Where melancholy with still silence reigas,
And the rank grass waves o'er the cheerless ground. There let me wander at the shut of eve,
When sleep sits dewy on the labourer's eyes ; The world and all its busy follies leave,
And talk with Wisdom where my Daphnis lies. There let me sleep forgotten in the clay,
When death shall shut these weary aching eyes; Rest in the hopes of an eternal day,
Till the long night is gone, and the last morn arise.
Smit with the lightning's ivid glare,
Within'a solitary grave,
Lour'd the grini morn, in murky dies
And dimm'd the struggling day ;
Yon rush-grown moor with sable waves, Full of the dark resolve he took his sullen way.
I mark'd his desultory pace,
With many a mutter'd sound;
Full man a melancholy night
And sought the powers of sleep,
O’er his sad couch, and in the balm Of bland oblivion's dews his burning eyes to steep.
Full oft, unknowing and unknown,
Amid the autumnal wood :
Abrupt the social board to quit, And gaze with eager glance upon the tumbling
Beckoning the wretch to torments new,
A spectre pale, appear'd;
And brought the day's unwelcome close,
Is this,' mistaken Scorn will cry,
Could build the genuine rhyme?'
Had stor'd with all her ample views,
Ah ! from the Muse that bosom mild
To strike the deathful blow :
Though doom'd hard penury to prove,
To griefs congenial prone,
While misery's form his fancy drew
Then wish not o'er his earthly tomb
To drop its deadly dew :
That rudely biuds his turf forlorn,
What though no marble-piled bust
With speaking sculpture wrought?
To build a visionary shrine, Hung with ynfading flowers, from fairy regions
What though refus'd each chaunted rite?
To touch the shadowy shell:
Of Laura, lost in early bloom,
To soothe a lone, unhallow'd shade,
Within an ivied nook :
More radiant shot its parting ray,
• Forbear, fond bard, thy partial praise;
The wreath of glory twine:
Gay Fancy gives her vest to flow,
*Just Heaven, man's fortitude to prove, Permits through life at large to rove
The tribes of hell-born Woe:
· Her aid divine had lull'd to rest
And stay'd the rising storm :
• Vain man! 'tis Heaven's prerogative
Thy tributary breath :
Await thy doom, nor impious haste
THE PLEASURES OF MELANCHOLY. 1745.
MOTHER of musings, Contemplation sage,
Whose grotto stands upon the topmost rock Of Teneriff ; ’mid the tempestuous night, On which, in calmest meditation held, Thou hear'st with howling winds the beating rain And drifting hail descend; or if the skies Unclouded shine, and through the blue serene Pale Cynthia rolls her silver-axled car, Whence gazing stedfast on the spangled vault Raptur'd thou sitt'st, while murmurs indistinct Of distant billows soothe thy pensive ear With hoarse and hollow sounds; secure, self-blest, There oft thou listen'st to the wild uproar Of fleets encountering, that in whispers low Ascends the rocky summit, where thou dwell'st Remote from man, conversing with the spheres ! O lead me, queen sublime, to solémn glooms Congenial with my soul; to cheerless shades, To ruin'd seats, to twilight cells and bow'rs, Where thoughtful Melancholy loves to muse, Her favourite midnight haunts. The laughing scenes Of purple Spring, where all the wanton train Of Smiles and Graces seem to lead the dance In sportive round, while from their hands they show'r Ambrosial blooms and flowers, no longer charm; Tempé, no more I court thy balmy breeze, Adieu, green vales ! ye broider'd meads, adieu!
Beneath yon ruin'd abbey's moss-grown piles Oft let me sit, at twilight hour of eve, Where through some western window the pale moon Pours her long-levell’d rule of streaming light; While sullen sacred silence reigns around, Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his