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TO À BEAUTIFUL SPRING IN A VILLAGE.
Once more, sweet Stream! with slow foot wand'ring
I bless thy milky waters cold and clear.
Escap'd the flashing of the noontide hours,
With one fresh garland of Pierian flowers
(Ere from thy zephyr-haunted brink I turn)
My languid hand shall wreath thy mossy urn.
For not thro' pathless grove with murmer rude
Thou soothest the sad wood-nymph, Solitude:
Nor thine unseen in cavern depths to well,
The Hermit-Fountain of some dripping cell!
Pride of the Vale! thy useful streams supply
The scatter'd cots and peaceful hamlet nigh.
The elfin tribe around thy friendly banks
With infant uproar and soul-soothing pranks,
Releas'd from school, their little hearts at rest,
Launch paper navies on thy waveless breast.
The rustic here at eve with pensive look
Whistling lorn ditties leans upon his crook,
Or starting pauses with hope-mingled dread
To list the much-lov'd maid's accustom'd tread:
She, vainly mindful of her dame's command,
Loiter's, the long-fill'd pitcher in her hand.
Unboasted Stream! thy fount with pebbled falls
The faded form of past delight recalls,
What time the morning sun of Hope arose,
And all was joy; save when another's woes
A transient gloom upon my soul imprest,
Like passing clouds impictur'd on thy breast.
Life's current then ran sparkling to the noon
Or silv'ry stole beneath the pensive Moon.
Ah! now it works rude brakes and thorns among,
Or, o'er the rough rock bursts and foams along!
WHO DIED OF A PRENZY PEVER, INDUCED BY
EDMUND! thy grave with aching eye I scan,
And inly groan for Heaven's poor outcast-Man!
'Tis tempest all or gloom : in early youth,
If gifted with the Ithuriel lance of Truth
We force to start amid her feign'd caress,
Vice, siren-hag! in native ugliness,
A brother's fate will haply rouse the tear,
And on we go in heaviness and fear!
But if our fond hearts call to Pleasure's hower
Some pigmy Folly in a careless hour,
The faithless guest shall stamp th'enchanted ground,
And mingled forms of Mis’ry rise around :
Heart-fretting Fear, with pallid look aghast,
That courts the future woe to hide the past;
Remorse, the poison'd arrow in his side ;
And loud lewd Mirth, to Anguish close allied :
Till Frenzy, fierce-eyed child of moping pain,
Darts her hot lightning flash athwart the brain.
Rest, injur'd shade! Shall Slander squatting near,
Spit her cold venom in a dead man's ear?
'Twas thine to feel the sympathetic glow
In Merit's joy, and Poverty's meek woe;
Thine all, that cheer the moment as it flies,
The zoneless Cares, and smiling Courtesies.
Nurs’d in thy heart the firmer Virtues grew,
And in thy heart they wither'd! Such chill dew
Wan Indolence on each young blossom shed;
And Vanity her filmy net-work spread,
With eye that rollid around in asking gaze,
And tongue that traffick'd in the trade of praise.
Thy follies such! the hard world mark’d them well-
Were they more wise, the proud who never fell ?
Rest, injur'd shade! the poor man's grateful prayer
On heaven-ward wing thy wounded soul shall bear.
As oft as twilight gloom thy grave I pass,
And sit me down upon its recent grass,
With introverted eye I contemplate
Similitude of soul, perhaps of—Fate !
To me hath Heaven with bounteous hand assign'd
Energic Reason and a shaping mind,
The daring ken of Truth, the Patriot's part,
And Pity's sigh, that breathes the gentle heart.
Sloth-jaundic'd all! and from my graspless hand
Drop Friendship's precious pearls, like hour-glass sand.
I weep, yet stoop not ! the faint anguish Aows,
A dreamy pang in Morning's fev'rish doze.
Is this pil'd earth our Being's passless mound ?
cold grave! is Death with poppies crown'd? Tir'd Centinel ! 'mid fitful starts I nod, And fain would sleep, though pillow'd on a clod !
WITH A POEM ON THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.
Much on my early youth I love to dwell,
Ere yet I bade that friendly dome farewell,
Where first, beneath the echoing cloisters pale,
I heard of guilt and wonder'd at the tale !
Yet tho' the hours flew by on careless wing,
Full heavily of sorrow would I sing.
Aye as the star of evening flung its beam
In broken radiance on the wavy stream,
My soul, amid the pensive twilight gloom,
Mourn'd with the breeze, O Lee Boo ! * o'er thy tomb :
Where'er I wander'd, Pity still was near,
Breath'd from the heart and glisten'd in the tear:
No knell that toll’d, but fill'd my anxious eye,
And suff'ring Nature wept that one should die! +
Thus to sad sympathies I sooth'd my breast, Calm as the rainbow in the weeping West: When slumb’ring Freedom rous d by high Disdain With giant fury burst her triple chain ! Fierce on her front the blasting Dog-star glow d; Her Banners, like a midnight Meteor, fow'd ; Amid the yelling of the storm-rent skies She came, and scatter'd battles from her eyes ! Then exultation wak'd the patriot fire And swept with wilder hand th' Alcon lyre: * Lee Boo, the son of Abba Thule, Prince of the Pelew Islands, came over to England with Captain Wilson, died of the small.pox, and is buried in Greenwich Church-yard. See Keate's Account. † Southey's Retrospect.
Red from the Tyrant's wound I shook the lance,
And strode in joy the reeking plains of France !
Fall'n is th' oppressor, friendless, ghastly, low,
And my heart aches, tho' Mercy struck the blow.
With wearied thought once more I seek the shade,
Where peaceful Virtue weaves the Myrtle braid.
And 0 ! if Eyes, whose holy glances roll,
Swift messengers, and eloquent of soul ;
If Smiles more winning, and a gentler Mien
Than the love-wilder'd Maniac's brain hath seen
Shaping celestial forms in vacant air,
If these demand th' empassion'd Poet's care-
If Mirth, and soften'd Sense, and Wit refin’d,
The blameless features of a lovely mind;
Then haply shall my trembling hand assign
No fading wreath to Beauty's saintly shrine.
Nor Sara ! thou these early flowers refuse-
Ne’er lurk'd the snake beneath their simple hues :
No purple bloom the Child of Nature brings
From Flatt'ry's night-shade: as he feels, he sings.
TOGETHER WITH AN UNFINISHED POEM.
Thus far my scanty brain hath built the rhyme
Elaborate and swelling: yet the heart
Not owns it. From thy spirit-breathing powers
I ask not now, my friend ! the aiding verse,
Tedious to thee, and from thy anxious thought
Of dissonant mood. In fancy (well I know)
From business wand'ring far and local cares,