Page images

Come, ********, come, and with me share
The sober pleasures of this solemn scene;

While no rude tempest clouds the rufiled air,
But all, like thee, is smiling and serene.

Come, while the cool, the solitary hours Each foolish care, and giddy wish control,

With all thy soft persuasion's wonted pow'rs, Beyond the stars transport my listening soul.

Oft when the earth detain'd by empty show, Thy voice has taught the trifler how to rise!

Taught her to look with scorn on things below, And seek her better portion in the skies.

Come, and the sacred eloquence repeat:
The world shall vanish at its gentle sound,

Angelic forms shall visit this retreat,
And op'ning Heaven diffuse its glories round.


by the sa an e.

While soft through water, earth, and air,
The vernal spirits rove,

From noisy joys, and giddy crowds,
To rural scenes remove.

The mountain snows are all dissolv’d,
And hush'd the blust'ring gale;

While fragrant zephyrs gently breathe
Along the flow'ry 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 pilfring 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 confin'd:

Nor age nor wrinkles discompose
One feature of the mind.

Amidst the universal change,
Unconscious of decay,

It views unmov’d, the scythe of Time
Sweep all besides away.

Fixt on its own eternal frame,
Eternal are its joys: -

While, borne on transitory wings,

Each mortal pleasure flies.

While ev'ry short-liv'd flow'r 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. -


from Thomson's se Aso Ns.

Soon as the morning trembles o'er the sky,
And, unperceiv'd, unfolds the spreading day,
Before the ripen'd field the reapers stand
In fair array; each by the lass he loves,
To bear the rougher part, and mitigate,
By nameless gentle offices, her toil.
At once they stoop and swell the lusty sheaves;
While through their cheerful band the rural talk,
The rural scandal, and the rural jest,
Fly harmless, to deceive the tedious time,
And steal, unfelt, the sultry hours away.
Behind the master walks, builds up the shocks,
And, conscious, glancing oft on every side
His sated eye, feels his heart heave with joy.
The gleaners spread around, and here and there,
Spike after spike, their scanty harvest pick.
Be not too narrow, husbandmen' but fling
From the full sheaf, with charitable stealth,
The liberal handful. Think, oh, grateful, think
How good the God of harvest is to you,
Who pours abundance o'er your flowing fields;
While these unhappy partners of your kind
Wide-hover round you, like the fowls of heaven,
And ask their humble dole. The various turns
Of fortune ponder; that your sons may want
What now, with hard reluctance, faint ye give.
The lovely young Lavinia once had friends,
And fortune smil'd deceitful on her birth:
For, in her helpless years depriv'd of all,
Of every stay save Innocence and Heaven,
She with her widow’d mother, feeble, old,
And poor, liv'd in a cottage, far retir'd
Among the windings of a woody vale;
By solitude and deep surrounding shades,
But more by bashful modesty conceal’d.
Together thus they shunn'd the cruel scorn
Which Virtue, sunk to Poverty, would meet
From giddy Passion and low-minded Pride;
Almost on Nature's common bounty fed,
Like the gay birds that sung them to repose,
Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare.
Her form was fresher than the morning rose,
When the dew wets its leaves; unstain’d and pure,
As is the lily or the mountain snow. -
The modest virtues mingled in her eyes,
Still on the ground, dejected, darting all
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers;
Or when the mournful tale her mother told,
Of what her faithless fortune promis'd once,
Thrill'd in her thought, they, like the dewy star
Of Evening, shone in tears. A native grace
Sat fair proportion'd on her polish'd limbs,

« PreviousContinue »