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To his Friend, written under the Confinement of a long

Indisposition. W HILE calm you sit beneath your secret shade,

And lose in pleasing thought the summer-day, Or tempt the wish of some unpractis'd maid,

Whose heart at once inclines and fears to stray:

The sprightly vigour of my youth is fled,

Lonely and sick, on death is all my thought; Oh spare, Persephone, this guiltless head!

Love, too much love, is all thy suppliant's fault.

No virgin's easy faith I e'er betray’d,

My tongue ne'er boasted of a feign'd embrace: No poisons in the cup have I convey'd,

Nor veil'd destruction with a friendly face:

No secret horrors gnaw this quiet breast,

This pious hand ne'er robb’d the sacred fane; I ne'er disturb'd the gods' eternal rest

\Vith curses loud-but oft have pray'd in vain.

No stealth of time has thinn’d my flowing hair,

Nor age yet bent me with his iron hand: Ah! why so soon the tender blossom tear,

Ere autumn yet the ripen’d fruit demand?

Ye gods, whoe'er in gloomy shades below,

Now slowly tread your melancholy round; Now wandering view the paleful rivers flow,

And musing hearken to their solemn sound:

Oh, let me still enjoy the cheerful day,

Till, many years unheeded o'er me rolld, Pleas’d in my age, I trifle life away,

And tell how much we lov’d, ere I grew old.

But you who now, with festive garlands crown'd,

In chace of pleasure the gay moments spend, By quick enjoyment heal love's pleasing wound,

And grieve for nothing but your absent friend.


IF aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear,

Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales;

O nymph reserv'd, while now the bright-hair'd sun
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
O’erhang his wavy bed:

Now air is hush'd, save where the weak-eyed bat,
With short shrill shriek, flits by on leathern wing;

Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn,

As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum:

Now teach me, maid compos’d,
To breathe some soften’d strain,

Whose numbers, stealing through thy darkening
May not unseemly with its stillness suit, (vale,

As, musing slow, I hail
Thy genial loy'd return!

For when thy folding-star arising shows · His paly circlet, at his warning lamp,

The fragrant hours, and elves
Who slept in buds the day,

And many a nymph who wreathes her brows with

sedge, And sheds the freshening dew; and, lovelier still,

The pensive pleasures sweet
Prepare thy shadowy car:

Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene,
Or find some ruin ʼmidst its dreary dells,

Whose walls more awful nod
By thy religious glcams. .

Or if chill blustering winds, or driving rain,
Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut,

VOL. II. . E

That from the mountain's side
Views wilds, and gwelling floods,

And hamlets brown, and dim-discover'd spires,
And hears their simple bell, and marks o’er alt

Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil.

While Springshall pour his showers, as oft he wont, · And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!

While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light :

While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves,
Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,

Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes :

So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, smiling Peace,

Thy gentlest influence own,
And love thy favourite name!

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