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But was it such? It was.-Where thou art gone,
Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown.
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,
The parting word shall pass my lips no more!
Thy maidens, griev'd themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return.
What ardently I wish’d, I long believ'd,
And disappointed still, was still deceiv'd.
By expectation ev'ry day beguil’d,
Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till all my stock of infant sorrow spent,
I learn'd at last submission to my lot,,
But, though I less deplor'd thee, ne'er forgot.
'Tis past-another year for ever gone
Proclaims the end of all; with awful voice
It calls the soul to thought: awhile she turns
From present scenes, and wanders o'er the past;
Or darting forward strives to pierce the veil
Which hides from mortal eyes the time to come.
O thou, to grateful mem’ry ever dear!
Whom fond affection still delights to name!
Whom still my heart exults to call my friend!
In fancy yet be present. Oft with thee,
In many a lonely walk and silent shade,
My soul holds converse; oft recalls the hours
When pleas'd attention hung upon thy voice,
While the pure dictates of celestial truth
In friendship’s gentlest accents charm’d my ear,
And sooth'd each anxious thought, and shew'd the
Which leads to present peace; and future bliss.
Tho' now far distant, yet in thought be néar,
And share with me reflection's sacred hour.
And oh! to thee may each revolving year
Its choicest blessings bring! May heavenly peace,
To every thoughtless mind unknown, pursued
In vain thro’ scenes of visionary good,
That peace which dwells with piety alone;
Still on thy steps thro' every stage attend !
And purest joy from virtue's sacred source
Blest in the thought of many a well-spent day,
Blest in the prospect of unbounded bliss,
Cheer every hour, and triumph in the last!
As when a traveller, who long has rov'd
Through many a varied path, at length attains
Some eminence, from whence be views the land
Which late he pass'd; groves, streams, and lawns
And hills with flocks adorn'd, and lofty woods ;
And ev'ry charm which Nature's hand bestows
In rich profusion decks the smiling scene;
No more he views the rugged thorny way,
The steep ascent, the slippery path, which led
High o'er the brink of some rude precipice;
Unnumber'd beauties scarce obsery'd before
At once combine to charm his raptur'd view,
And backward turning, oft in transport lost,
His toils and dangers past no more are felt,
But long and tedious seems the road to come.
Thus oft, when youth is fled, when health decays,
And cares perplex, and trifling pleasures cloy,
Sick of vain hopes, and tired of present scenes,
The soul returns to joys she feels no more,
And backward casts her view: then Fancy comes,
In Memory's form, and gilds the long-past days,
Recalls the faded images of joy,
Paints every happy moment happier still ;
But hides each anxious fear, and heartfelt pang,
Each pleasure lost, and hope pursued in vain,
Which oft o'erspread with gloom the gayest hour,
And taught evin youth and innocence to mourn.
O Happiness, in every varied scene,
Thro’ toil, thro'danger, and thro' pain, pursued !
Yet oft when present scarce enjoy'd ; when past,
Recall'd to wound the heart, to blast the sweets
Yet given to life: how are thy votaries,
Misled by vain delusions, thus deceiv'd!
Let rising Hope for ever on the wing
Still point to distant good, to perfect bliss;
While conscious of superior pow'rs, the soul
Exulting hears her call, and longs to soar
To scenes of real and unfading joy.
Yet while on earth, some feeble rays are shed
To cheer the mournful gloom: 0 let not man
Reject the proffer'd gift? with innocence
And gratitude enjoy'd, each present good
Beyond the fleeting moment may extend
Its pleasing force. When Nature's varied charms
In all the gayest lustre of the spring
Delight the wond'ring view ; while every grove
With artless music hails the rising morn,
The sportive lambkins play, the shepherd sings,
Creation smiles, and every bosom feels
The general joy: 0 say, from scenes like these
Shall not the sweet impressions still remain
Of Innocence, and Peace, and social Love,
To bless the future hour? When the glad heart
Exulting beats at Friendship’s sacred call,
And feels what language never can express ;
While every joy exalted and refind,
And each tumultuous passion charm'd to peace,
Owns the sweet influence of its matchless power ;
(That power which ev'n o'er grief itself can shed
A heavenly beam, when pleasure courts in vain,
And wealth and honours pass unheeded by :)
Shall joys like these, on Virtue's basis rais'd,
Like Fancy's vain delusions pass away?
O no!-Nor time nor absence shall efface
The ever-dear remembrance; ev'n when past,
When deep affliction mourns the blessing gone,
Yet shall that blessing be for ever priz’d,
For ever felt. When heaven-born Charity
Expands the heart, and prompts the liberal hand
To soothe distress, supply the various wants
Of friendless poverty; and dry the tears
Which bathe the widow's cheek, whose dearest
Is snatch'd away, and helpless orphans ask
That aid she cannot give : say, shall the joy
(Pure as the sacred source from whence it springs)
Which then exalts the soul, shall this expire ?
The grass shall wither, and the flower shall fade,
But Heaven's eternal Word shall still remain,
And Heaven's eternal Word pronounc'd it blest.
Ye calm delights of Innocence and Peace!
Ye joys by Virtue taught, by Heaven approved!
Is there a heart, which lost in selfish views
Ne'er felt your pleasing force, ne'er knew to share
Another's joy, or heave a tender sigh
For sorrows not its own; which all around
Beholds a dreary void, where Hope, perhaps,
May dart a feeble ray, but knows not where
To point its aim; for real good, unknown,
While present is pursued, but ne'er attain'd?
Is there a heart like this ?-At such a sight,
Let soft Compassion drop a silent tear,
And Charity reluctant turn away
From woes she ne'er shall feel, nor can relieve.
But oh! let those whom Heaven has taught to feel
The purest joys which mortals e'er can know,
With gratitude recall the blessings given,
Tho' grief succeed; nor e'er with envy. view
That calm which cold indifference seems to share,
And think those happy who can never lose
The good they never knew; for joys like these
Refine, ennoble, elevate the mind,
And never, never shall succeeding woes
Efface the blest impression; Grief itself
Retains it still; while Hope exulting comes
To snatch them from the power of Time and Death,
And tell the soul, They never shall decay.
When Youth and Pleasure gild the smiling morn,
And Fancy scatters roses all around,
What blissful visions rise! In prospect bright
Awhile they charm the soul : but scarce attain'd,
delusion fades. Another comes,
The soft enchantment is again renew'd,
And Youth again enjoys the airy dreams
Of fancied good.-But ah! how oft ev’n these
By stern Affliction's hand are snatch'd away,
Ere yet experience proves them vain, and shews
That earthly pleasures to a heavenly mind
Are but the shadows of substantial bliss ?
But Pleasure rais'd by Virtue's powerful charm
Above each transient view, each meaner aim,
Can bless the present hour, and lead the soul
To brighter prospects, rich in every good,
Which man can feel, or Heaven itself bestow.
While thus returning o'er the long-past scenes
Of former life, the mind recalls to view
The strange vicissitudes of grief and joy.
O may the grateful heart for ever own
The various blessings given ; nor dare repine
At ills which all must share; or deem those ills.
From chance or fate (those empty names which veil
The ignorance of man) could ever flow;
But warned alike by Pleasure and by Pain,
That higher joys await the virtuous mind
Than aught on earth can yield : in every change
Adore that Power which rules the whole, and gives,
In Pleasure's charms, in Sorrow's keenest pangs,
The means of good, the hope, the pledge of bliss.
Thou rising Year, now opening to my view,
Yet wrapt in darkness, whither dost thou lead?
What is Futurity? It is a time