Page images
PDF
EPUB

The mountain snows are all dissolv'd,

And husb’d the blustering gale; While fragrant zephyrs gently breathe

Along the flowry vale.

The circling planets' constant rounds

The wintry wastes repair ;
And still, from temporary death,

Renew the verdant year.

But, ah! when once our transient bloom,

The spring of life, is o'er, That rosy season takes its flight,

And must return no more.

Yet judge by reason's sober rules,

From false opinion free,
And mark how little pilfering years

Can steal from you or me.

Each moral pleasure of the heart,

Each lasting charm of truth, Depends not on the giddy aid

Of wild inconstant youth.

The vain coquet, whose empty pride

A fading face supplies,
May justly dread the wintry gloom,

Where all its glory dies.

Leave such a ruin to deplore,

To fading forms confined :
Nor age nor wrinkles discompose

One feature of the mind.

Amidst the universal change,

Unconscious of decay,
It views, unmov'd, the sithe of Time

Sweep all besides away.

Fix'd on its own eternal frame,

Eternal are its joys;
While, borne on transitory wings,

Each mortal pleasure flies.

While every short-lived flower of sense

Destructive years consume, Through Friendship's fair enchanting walks,

Unfading myrtles bloom.

Nor with the narrow bounds of time

The beauteous prospect ends, But, lengthen'd through the vale of death,

To paradise extends.

TO WISDOM.

BY THE SAME.

The solitary bird of night
Through the pale shades now wings his flight,

And quits the time-shook tower,
Where, sheltered from the blaze of day,
In philosophic gloom he lay,

Beneath his ivy bower.

With joy I lear the solemn sound
Which midnight echoes waft around,

And sighing gales repeat ;
Favourite of Pallas ! I attend,
And faithful to thy summons bend

At Wisdom's awful seat.

She loves the cool, the silent eve,
Where no false shows of life deceive,

Beneath the lunar ray:
Here Folly drops each vain disguise,
Nor sports her gaily-colour'd dyes,

As in the glare of day.

O! Pallas, queen of every art, “ That glads the sense, or mends the heart,"

Bless'd source of purer joys ; In every form of beauty bright, That captivates the mental sight

With pleasure and surprise ;

To thy unspotted shrine I bow;
Assist thy modest suppliant's vow,

That breathes no wild desires :
But, taught by thy unerring rules
To shun the fruitless wish of fools,

To nobler views aspires.

Not fortune's gem, ambition's plume,
Not Cytherea's fading bloom,

Be objects of my prayer:
Let avarice, vanity, and pride,
These glittering envied toys divide,

The dull rewards of care.

To me thy better gifts impart,
Each moral beauty of the heart,

By studious thought refined :
For wealth, the smiles of glad content;
For power, its amplest best extent,

An empire o'er my mind,

When fortune drops her gay parade, When pleasure's transient roses fade,

And wither in the tomb, Unchanged is thy immortal prize, Thy ever-verdant laurels rise

In undecaying bloom.

By thee protected, I defy
The coxcomb's sneer, the stupid lie

Of ignorance and spite;
Alike contemn the leaden fool,
And all the pointed ridicule

Of undiscerning wit.

From envy, hurry, noise, and strife, The dull impertinence of life,

In thy retreat I rest ; Pursue thee to thy peaceful groves, Where Plato's sacred spirit roves,

In all thy graces dress’d.

He bade Ilissus' tuneful stream
Convey the philosophic theme

Of perfect, fair, and good: Attentive Athens caught the sound, And all her listening sons around

In awful silence stood.

« PreviousContinue »