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Warm caves, and deep-sunk valleys, liv'd and lov'd,
In earth's first infancy (as sung the *bard,
By fair Italia's skilful' hand, unknown
The shapely column, and the crumbling busts
Of awful ancestors in long descent?
Yet why should man mistaken deem it nobler
To dwell in palaces, and high roof'd halls,
Than in God's forests, architect supreme!
Say, is the Persian carpet, than the field's
Or meadow's mantle gay, more richly wov'n;
Or softer to the votaries of ease
Than bladed grass perfum'd with dew-drop flow'rs ?.
O taste corrupt! that luxury and pomp,
In specious names of polish'd manners veil'd,
Should proudly banish Nature's simple charms!
All-beauteous Nature! by thy boundless charms'
Oppress'd, O where shall I begin thy praise,
Where turn th' exlatic eye, how ease my breast
That pants with wild astonishment and love?
Dark forests, and the op'ning lawn, refresh'd
With ever-gushing brooks, hill, moadow, dnle,,
The balmy bean-field, the gay-clover'd close.
So sweetly intercbang'd, the lowing ox,
The playful lamb, the distant water.fall,
Now faintly heard, now swelling with the breeze,
The sound of pastoral reed from hazel-bower,
The choral birds, the neighing steed, that snuffs.
His djppled mate, stung with intense desire,
The ripen'd orchard when the ruddy orbs
Betwixt the green leaves blush, the azure skies,.
The cheerful sun that thro' earth's. vitals pours.
Delight and health and heat; all, nil conspire,
To raise, tc.socthe, to harmonize the mind,.
To lift, on wings of praise, to. the great Sire
Of being and of beauty, at whose nod
Creation started. from the gloomy vault
Of dreary Chaos, while the grisly king
Murmur'd to feel his boisterous power confin'd..
Coldly correct, to Shakespear's warblings wild?
Whom on the winding Avon's willow" d banks
Fair Fancy found, and bore the smiling babe
To a close cavern: (still the shepherds shew
The sacred place, whence with religious awe
They hear, returning from the field at eve,,
Strange whisp'rings of sweet music thro' the air),
Here, as with honey gather'd from the rock,
Oft' near some crowded city would I walk,
But let me never fail in cloudless nights, When silent Cynthia in her silver car Thro' the blue concave slides, when shine the hills, Twinkle the streams, and woods look tipt with gold, To seek some level mead, and there invoke Old Midnight's sister, Contemplation sage, (Queen of the rugged brow, and stern-lis'd eye) To lift my soul above this little earth, This folly-fetter'd world: to purge my ears, That 1 may hear the rolling planet's song, And tuneful turning spheres: if this be barr'd, The little Fayes that dance in neighbouring dales, Sipping the night-dew, while they laugh and love, Shall charm me with aerial notes.—As thus I wander musing, lo, what aweful forms Yonder appear! sharpey'd Philosophy Glad in dun robes, an eagle on his wrist, First meets my eye; next, virgin Solitude Serene, who blushes at each gazer's sight; Then Wisdom's hoary head, with crutch in hand,
Trembling, and bent with age; last Virtue's self
Smiling, in white array'd, who with her leads
Sweet Innocence, that prattles by her side,
A naked boy !—Harass'd with fear I stop,
I gaze, when Virtue thus—• Whoe'er thou art,
'Mortal, by whom I deign to be beheld .
'In these my midnight walks; depart, and say- P
'That henceforth I and my immortal traia
'Forsake Britannia's isle; who fondly stoops
'To vice, her favourite paramour.'—She spoke,
And as she turn'd, her round and rosy neck,
Her flowing train, and long ambrosial hair,
Breathing rich odours, I enamour'd view.
O who will bear me then to western climes, (Since Virtue leaves our wretched land) to fields. Yet unpolluted with Iberian, swords :. The isles of innocence, from: mortal view Deeply retir'd, beneath a plantain's shade, Where Happiness and Quiet sit enthron'd, With simple Indian swains, that I may hunt The boar and tiger thro' savannahs wild, Thro' fragrant deserts, and through citron-groves.. There fed on dates and herbs, would I despise The far-fetch'd cates of Luxury, and hoards Of narrow-hearted Avarice; nor heed The distant din of the tumultuous worldi So when rude whirlwinds rouse the roaring main,, Beneath fair Thetis sits, in coral caves, Serenely gay, nor sinking sailors' cries Disturb her sportive nymphs, who round her formi The light fantastic dance, or for her hair Weave rosy crowns, or with according lutes (
Grace the soft warbles of her honied voice.
Ode to Fancy.
0 Parent of each lovely Muse, Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse* O'er all my artless songs preside,. My footsteps to thy temple guide, To offer, at thy turf-built shrine, 111 golden cups no costly wine.
No murder'd fatling of the flock,
O Nymph, with loosely-flowing hair,
Me, Goddess, by the right-hand lead, Sometimes thro' the yellow mead,