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Where woodbines cluster round the door,
Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor;
And on whose top a hawthorn blows,
Amid whose thickly-woven boughs
Some nightingale still builds her nest,
Each evening warbling thee to rest.
Then lay me by the haunted stream,
Wrapt in some wild, poetic dream;
In converse while methinks I rove
With Spenser through a fairy grove;
Till suddenly awak'd, I hear
Strange whisper'd music in my ear;
And my glad soul in bliss is drown'd,
By the sweetly-soothing sound!
Me, Goddess, by the right-hand lead,
Sometimes through the yellow mead,
Where Joy, and white-rob'd Peace resort,
And Venus keeps her festive court,
Where Mirth and Youth each evening meet,
And lightly trip with nimble feet,
Nodding their lily-crowned heads,
Where Laughter rose-lipp'd Hebe leads :
Where Echo walks steep hills among,
List’ning to the shepherd's song :
Yet not these flowery fields of joy
Can long my pensive mind employ ;
Haste, Fancy, from the scenes of folly,
To meet the matron Melancholy !
Goddess of the tearful eye,
That loves to fold her arms and sigh ;
Let us with silent footsteps go
To charnels, and the house of woe;
To Gothic churches, vaults, and tombs,
Where each sad night some virgin comes,
With throbbing breast, and faded cheek,
Her promis'd bridegroom's urn to seek.
Or to some Abbey's mouldering tow'rs,
Where, to avoid cold wintry show'rs,
The naked beggar shivering lies,
While whistling tempests round her rise,
And trembles lest the tottering wall
Should on her sleeping infants fall.
Now let us louder strike the lyre,
For my heart glows with martial fire;
I feel, I feel, with sudden heat,
My big tumultuous bosom beat ;
The trumpet's clangors pierce my ear,
A thousand widows' shrieks I hear:
Give me another horse, I cry,
Lo, the base Gallic squadrons fly ;
Whence is this rage?-what spirit say,
To battle hurries me away?
"Tis Fancy, in her fiery car,
Transports me to the thickest war;
There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
Where tumult and destruction reign;
Where mad with pain, the wounded steed
Tramples the dying and the dead;
Where giant Terror stalks around,
With sullen joy surveys the ground,
And pointing to the ensangoin'd field
Shakes his dreadful Gorgon-sbield.
O guide me from this horrid scene
To high-arch'd walks, and alleys green,
Which lovely Laura seeks, to shun
The fervors of the mid-day sun.
The pangs of absence, O remove,
For thou canst please-me near my love;
Canst fold in visionary bliss,
And let me think I steal a kiss;
While her ruby lips dispense
Luscious nectar's quintessence !
When young-ey'd Spring profusely throws
From her green lap the pink and rose;
When the soft turtle of the dale
To Summer tells her tender tale;
When Autumn cooling caverns seeks,
And stains with wine his jolly cheeks;
When Winter, like poor pilgrim old,
Shakes his silver beard with cold;
At every season let my ear
Thy solemn whispers, Fancy, hear.
O warm, enthusiastic maid,
Without thy powerful, vital aid,
That breathes an energy divine,
That gives a soul to every line,
Ne'er may I strive with lips profane,
To utter an unhallow'd strain;
Nor dare to touch the sacred string,
Save when with smiles thou bid'st me sing.
O hear our prayer, O hither come,
From thy lamented Shakspeare's tomb,
On which thou lov'st to sit at eve,
Musing o'er thy darling's grave:
O queen of numbers, once again
Animate some chosen swain,
Who fill'd with inexhausted fire,
May boldly smite the sounding lyre,
Who with some new, unequall'd song,
May rise above the rhyming throng ;
O'er all our listening passions reign,
O'erwhelm our souls with joy and pain :
With terror shake, with pity move,
Rouse with revenge, or melt with love.
O deign to attend his evening walk,
With him in groves and grottos talk;
Teach him to scorn with frigid art,
Feebly to touch the enraptur'd heart;
Like lightning, let his mighty verse
The bosom's inmost foldings pierce;
With native beauties win applause,
Beyond cold critic's studied laws :
O let each Muse's fame increase,
O bid Britannia rival Greece!
HAIL! meek-ey'd maiden, clad in sober grey,
Whose soft approach the weary woodman loves;
As homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes,
Jocund he whistles through the twilight groves.
When Phæbus sinks behind the gilded hills,
You lightly o'er the misty meadows walk;
The drooping daisies bathe in honey dews,
And nurse the nodding violet's slender stalk.
The panting dryads, that in day's fierce heat
To inmost bowers, and cooling caverns ran;
· Return to trip in wanton ev'ning-dance,
Old Silvan too returns, and laughing Pan.
To the deep wood the clamorous rooks repair,
Light skims the swallow o'er the watery scene;
And from the sheep-cote, and fresh-furrow'd field,
Stout ploughmen meet, to wrestle on the green.
The swain, that artless sings on yonder rock,
His supping sheep, and lengthening shadow spies;
Pleas'd with the cool, the calm, refreshful hour,
And with hoarse humming of unnumber'd flies.
Now every passion sleeps; desponding Love,
And pining Envy, ever-restless Pride;
An holy calm creeps o'er my peaceful soul,
Anger, and mad Ambition's storms subside.
O modest Evening ! oft let me appear
A wandering votary in thy pensive train;
Listening to every wildly-warbling throat
That fills with farewell sweet thy darkening plain.
Ir vain I court till
dawning light, The coy divinity of night; Restless, from side to side I turn, Arise, ye musings of the morn! Oh, Sleep ! though banish'd from those eyes, In visions fair to Delia rise ; And o'er a dearer form diffuse Thy healing balm, thy lenient dews. Blest be her night as infant's rest, Lull'd on the fond maternal breast, Who, sweetly-playful, smiles in sleep, Nor knows that he is born to weep. Remove the terrors of the night, The phantom-forms of wild affright, The shrieks from precipice or flood, And starting scene that swims with blood. Lead her. aloft to blooming bowers, And beds of amaranthine flowers, And golden skies, and glittering streams, That paint the paradise of dreams. Venus ! present a lover near, And gently whisper in her ear His woes, who, lonely and forlorn, Counts the slow clock from night till morn. Ah ! let no portion of my pain, Save just a tender trace, remain; Asleep consenting to be kind, And wake with Daphnis in her mind.