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In this tumultuous sphere, for thee unfit,
How seldom art thou found, Tranquillity!
Unless 'tis when, with mild and downcast eye,
By the low cradles thou delight'st to sit
Of sleeping infants, watching the soft breath,
And bidding the sweet slumberers easy lie ;
Or sometimes hanging o'er the bed of death,
Where the poor languid sufferer hopes to die.
O beauteous sister of the halcyon peace !
I sure shall find thee in that heavenly scene,
Where care and anguish shall their power resign ;
Where hope alike and vain regret shall cease ;
And Memory, lost in happiness serene,
Repeat no more that misery has been mine!
SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN WRITTEN IN A CHURCH-YARD,
OVER THE GRAVE OF A YOUNG WOMAN OF NINETEEN.
O THOU, who, sleep'st where hazle bands entwine
The vernal grass, with paler violets drest!
I would, sweet Maid, thy humble bed were mine,
And mine thy calm and enviable rest.
For never more by human ills opprest,
Shall thy soft spirit fruitlessly repine :
Thou canst not now thy fondest hopes resign
Even in the hour that should have made thee blest.
Light lies the turf upon thy virgin breast;
And lingering here, to love and sorrow true,
The youth who once thy simple heart possest
Shall mingle tears with April's early dew;
While still for him shall faithful Memory save
Thy form and virtues from the silent grave.
In eddying course when leaves began to fly,
And Autumn in her lap the store to strew,
As mid wild scenes I chanc'd the Muse to woo,
Through glens untrod and woods that frown'd on high,
Two sleeping Nymphs with wonder mute I spy!-
And lo, she's gone!--in robe of dark-green hue,
'Twas Echo from her sister Silence flew :
For quick the hunter's horn resounded to the sky !
In shade affrighted Silence melts away.
Not so her sister!-hark, for onward still
With far-heard step she takes her listening way,
Bounding from rock to rock, and hill to hill!
Ah, mark the merry maid in mockful play
With thousand mimic tones the laughing forest fill !
What though, Valclusa, the fond bard be fled,
That woo'd his fair in thy sequester'd bowers,
Long lov'd her living, long bemoan'd her dead,
And hung her visionary shrine with flowers !
What though no more he teach thy shades to mourn
The hapless chances that to love belong,
As erst, when drooping o'er her turf forlorn,
He charm’d wild Echo with his plaintive song!
Yet still, enamour'd of the tender tale,
Pale Passion haunts thy grove's romantic gloom,
Yet still soft music breathes in every gale,
Still undecay'd the fairy garlands bloom,
Still heavenly incense fills each fragrant vale,
Still Petrarch’s Genius weeps o'er Laura's tomb.
Could then the babes from yon unshelter'd cot
Implore thy passing charity in vain ?
Too thoughtless youth, what though thy happier lot
Insult their life of poverty and pain !
What though their Maker doom'd them thus forlorn
To brook the mockery of the taunting throng,
Beneath th' oppressor's iron scourge to mourn,
To mourn, but not to murmur at his wrong!
Yet when their last late evening shall decline,
Their evening cheerful, though their day distrest,
A hope perhaps more heavenly-bright than thine,
A grace by thee unsought and unpossest,
A faith more fix’d, a rapture more divine,
Shall gild their passage to eternal rest.