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ODE TO EVENING.
Ir aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs and dying gales; Oh nymph reserved, 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,
Now teach me, maid.composed,
To breathe some soften'd strain, Whose numbers, stealing through thy darkening vale, May not unseemly with its stillness suit,
As, musing slow, I hail
Thy genial loved return!
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.
Whose walls more awful nod
Or if chill, blustering winds, or driving rain,
That from the mountain's side
Views wild and swelling floods,
Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil. While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont, And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light:
Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes :
Thy gentlest influence own,
When Music, heavenly maid, was young,
And, as they oft had heard apart
Amid the chords bewilder'd laid,
E’en at the sound himself had made.
Next Anger rush'd, his eyes on fire,
In lightnings own’d his secret stings, In one rude clash he struck the lyre,
And swept with hurried hands the strings, With woful measures wan Despair
Low sullen sounds his grief beguiled, A solemn, strange, and mingled air,
'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild. But thou, oh Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delightful measure? Still it whisper'd promised pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail ! Still would her touch the strain prolong,
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, She call'd on Echo still through all the song;
And where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close, And hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden
hair. And longer had she sung—but, with a frown,
Revenge impatient rose,
And, with a withering look,
And ever and anon he beat
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between,
Dejected Pity at his side
Her soul-subduing voice applied,
Yet still he kept his wild unalter'd mien, While each strain'd ball of sight seem'd bursting from his head.
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to naught were fix'd,
Of differing themes the veering song was mix'd,
With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
And from her wild sequester'd seat,
Through glades and glooms the mingled measu
Or o'er some haunted streams with fond delay, Round an holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.
But oh, how alter'd was its sprightlier tone!
Satyrs and sylvan boys were seen,
Peeping from forth their alleys green;
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear,
And Sport leap'd up, and seized his beechen spear
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial,
First to the lively pipe his hand address'd,
They would have thought, who heard the strain,
Amidst the festal-sounding shades,
While, as his flying fingers kiss'd the strings,
And he, amidst his frolic play,
Oh Music, sphere-descended maid,