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There sleep till eve; when as thy parent Air ;
With feathery softness flutters o'er thine urn,
And midst the vermeil bower,
The dew thy feet impearls;
Joy'd shalt thou hail the watery-tinted cloud,
Whose radiant skirts half hide the westering orb,
Whilst a fine emerald hue
The whole horizon stains ;
Till through the fragrance of his sweetbriar leaves
Thy glowworm flings a solitary ray,
As peace descends, to hush
The twilight-bosom'd scene !
-RAPT in thought that bids thee rise
In all thy forms before mine eyes,
I glow with joy to see thee come
In rosy health and youthful bloom:
And now cold horror trembles o'er my soul,
When thou, in blank uncertainty array'd,
With iron-hearted deaf control
Throw'st all around thy awful dubious shade.
Oh, give my song, mysterious power,
The joys and terrors of thy sway to tell,
Thy sway o'er universal nature spread,
The sweetest hope of man, and darkest dread!
Behold, where shivering in the rattling hail,
While drizzling black clouds o'er him lour,
Bent o'er his staff, with livid visage fell,
Dull Winter stays his creeping step to pause,
And wishful turns his icy eyes On April's meads. Beckoning on flowery May, With gentle shadowy hand thou movest away The lingering churl. Swift o'er the primrose dale The new-waked bee his humming labour plies;
And sudden from each budding grove
Incense to heaven, the songs of love, Attest rejoicing Nature's glad applause.
Glistening with dew the green-hair'd Spring Walks though the woods; and, smiling in her train,
Youth flutters gay on cherub wing ; And life exulting lifts the eye to heaven.
And crown'd with bearded grain,
And hay grass breathing odours bland, Bold Summer comes in manhood's lusty prime.
Anon his place is given
To veteran Autumn: yellow glows His waving robe: with conscious mien sublime
He proudly lifts his sun-brown'd brows
High o'er the loaded clime.
For him the full-orb'd moon with orange rays
Gilds mild the night; for him her course delays;
And jolly wealth lies wide beneath his hand.
But soon decrepit age he shows,
And all his golden honours past,
Naked before October’s blast,
He flies the plunder'd land.
With hoary bearded cheek and front severe,
Of angry fretful scowl, from forest wild,
Now rheum-eyed Winter hastens to the plain;
The hollow blast low groaning in his ear,
Round his bald head the brown leaves drift amain;
And soon his snowy mantle wide he throws
O’er vale and hill, and icicles he weeps.
The sun withdraws his golden rays,
And short his cold diurnal visit pays
With faint and silvery beam,
As listless to disturb the deep repose,
While languid nature sleeps.
Anon to social mirth beguiled,
Safe from the tempest breme
That howls without, and beating rain,
The tyrant bids the friendly hearth to blaze;
And with the feats of former days,
Of battles dread, and heroes slain,
And valiant deeds of many a knight,
And loves of ladies passing bright,
The long-contented evening sweet he cheers;
While from his day-sport on the ice-bound stream,
Weary return'd, with wonder and delight,
Unrazor'd youth the various legend hears.
These are thy grateful changes, mighty power,
Vicissitude! But far more grateful still
When now from Nature's frozen sleep profound,
Invigor'd vegetation wakes,
And Spring, with primrose garland crown'd, The seeds of plenty o'er the fuming ground
From her green mantle shakes.
HAIL, mildly pleasing Solitude,
Companion of the wise and good;
But, from whose holy piercing eye
The herd of fools and villains fly.
Oh! how I love with thee to walk,
And listen to thy whisper'd talk,
Which innocence and truth imparts,
And melts the most obdurate hearts.
A thousand shapes you wear with ease,
And still in every shape you please.
Now wrapp'd in some mysterious dream,
A lone philosopher you seem;
Now quick from hill to vale you fly,
And now you sweep the vaulted sky;
A shepherd next, you haunt the plain,
And warble forth your oaten strain;
A lover now, with all the grace
Of that sweet passion in your face;
Then, calm’d to friendship, you assume
The gentle-looking Hertford's bloom,
As, with her Musidora, she
(Her Musidora fond of thee),
Amid the long-withdrawing vale,
Awakes the rival'd nightingale.
Thine is the balmy breath of morn,
Just as the dew-bent rose is born;
And while meridian fervours beat,
Thine is the woodland dumb retreat;
But chief, when evening scenes decay,
And the faint landscape swims away,
Thine is the doubtful soft decline,
And that best hour of musing thine.
Descending angels bless thy train,
The virtues of the sage and swain;
Plain Innocence, in white array’d,
Before thee lifts her fearless head;
Religion's beams around thee shine,
And cheer thy glooms with light divine:
About thee sports sweet Liberty;
And rapt Urania sings to thee.
Oh, let me pierce thy secret cell!
And in thy deep recesses dwell;
Perhaps from Norwood's oak-clad hill,
When Meditation has her fill,
I just may cast my careless eyes
Where London's spiry turrets rise,
Think of its crimes, its cares, its pain,
Then shield me in the woods again.
Sunk is the sun, and on yon mountain head
Hangs the last gleam of the declining day; Fades every landscape, deepens every shade;
The clouds, late golden, now are robed in gray. And thine is now the rule, Imperial Night!
All mildly sitt'st thou on thy shadowy throne; While Superstition, seized with self-affright,
Throws o'er thy brow a horror all her own.