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Yet not these flowery fields of joy
Can long iny pensive mind employ;
Haste, Fancy, from the scenes of folly,
To meet the matron Melancholy!
Goddess of the tearful eye,
That loves to fold her arms and sigh;
Let us with silent footsteps go
To charnels, and the house of woe;
To gothic churches, vaults, and tombs,
Where each sad night some virgin comes,
With throbbing breast, and faded cheek,
Her promis'd bridegroom's uru to seek.
Or to some abbey's mouldering tow'rs,
Where, to avoid cold wintry show'rs,
The naked beggar shivering lies,
While whistling tempests round her rise,
And trembles lest the tottering wall
Should on her sleeping infants fall,
Now let us louder strike the lyre,
For my heart glows with martial fire :
I feel, I feel, with sudden heat,
My big tumultuous bosom beat;
The trumpet's clangors pierce my ear,
A thousand widows' shrieks I hear :
• Give me another horse,' I cry,
Lo, the base Gallic squadrons fly;
Whence is this rage?what spirit say,
To battle hurries me away?
Tis Fancy, in her fiery car,
Transports me to the thickest war;
There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
Where tumult and destruction reign;
Where, mad with pain, the wounded steed
Tramples the dying and the dead;
Where giant Terror stalks around,
With sullen joy surveys the ground,
And pointing to the ensanguin'd field
Shakes his dreadful gorgon-shield.
O guide me from this horrid scene
To high-arch'd walks, and alleys green,
Which lovely Laura seeks, to shun
The fervours of the mid-day sun.
The pangs of absence, O remove,
For thou can't please me near my love;
Can'st fold in visionary bliss,
And let me think I steal a kiss,
While her ruby lips dispense
Luscious nectar's quintessence!
When young-ey'd Spring profusely throws
From her green lap' the pink and rose;
When the soft turtle of the dale
To Summer tells her tender tale;
When Autumn cooling caverns seeks,
And stains with wine his jolly cheeks;
When Winter, like poor pilgrim old,
Shakes his silver beard with cold;
At every season let my ear
Thy solemn whispers, Fancy, hear.
O warm, enthusiastic maid,
Without thy powerful, vital aid,
That breathes an energy divine,
That gives a soul to every line,
Ne'er may I strive with lips profane,
To utter an unhallow'd strain;
Nor dare to touch the sacred string,
Save when with smiles thou bid'st me sing.
O hear our prayer, O hither come,
From thy lamented Shakspeare's tomb,
On which thou lov'st to sit at eve,
Musing o'er thy darling's grave:
queen of numbers, once again
Animate some chosen swain,
Who, filld with inexhausted fire,
May boldly smite the sounding lyre,
Who with some new, unequall'd song,
May rise above the rhyming throng;
O’er all our listening passions reign,
O'erwhelm our souls with joy and pain :
With terror shake, with pity move,
Ronse with revenge, or melt with love.
O deign to’attend his evening walk,
With him in groves and grottos talk;
Teach him to scorn with frigid art,
Feebly to touch the' enraptur'd heart;
Like lightning, let his mighty verse
The bosom's inmost foldings pierce;
With native beauties win applause,
Beyond cold critic's studied laws:
Olet each Muse's fame increase,
O bid Britannia rival Greece!
TO EVENING. Hail, meek-ey'd maiden, clad in sober grey, Whose soft approach the weary wood-man loves; As homeward bent to kiss his prattling babes, Jocund he whistles through the twilight groves. When Phæbus sinks behind the gilded hills, You lightly o'er the misty meadows walk; The drooping daisies bathe in honey dews, And nurse the nodding violet's slender stalk. The panting dryads, that in day's fierce heat To inmost bowers, and cooling caverns ran; Return to trip in wanton evening-dance; Old Silvan too returns, and laughing Pan. To the deep wood the clamorous rooks repair, Light skims the swallow o'er the watery scene; And from the sheep-cote, and fresh-furrow'd field, Stout ploughmen meet, to wrestle on the Green. The swain, that artless sings on yonder rock, His supping sheep, and lengthening shadow spies; Pleas'd with the cool, the calm, refreshful hour, And with hoarse humming of unnumber'd flies. Now every passion sleeps : desponding Love, And pining Envy, ever-restless Pride; A holy calm creeps o'er my peaceful soul, Anger, and mad Ambition's storms subside. O modest Evening ! oft let me appear A wandering votary in thy pensive train ; Listening to every wildly-warbling throat Tbat fills with farewell sweet thy darkening plain.
TO LIBERTY. O GODDESS, on whose steps attend Pleasure and laughter-loving Health, White-inantled Peace, with olive-wand, Young Joy, and diamond-sceptred Wealth ; Blithe Plenty, with her loaded horn, With Science, bright-ey'd as the morn, In Britain, which for ages past Has been thy choicest darling care ; Who mad'st her wise, and strong, and fair, May thy best blessings ever last ! For thee the pining prisoner mourns, Depriv'd of food, of mirth, of light; For thee, pale slaves to galleys chain'd, That ply tough oars from morn to night; Thee, the proud sultan's beauteous train, By eunuchs guarded, weep in vain, Tearing the roses from their locks; And Guinea's captive kings lament, By christian lords to labour sent, Whip'd like the dull, unfeeling ox. Inspird by thee, deaf to fond nature's cries, Stern Brutus, when Rome's genius loudly callid, Gave her the matchless filial sacrifice, Unable to behold her power enthrall’d ! And he of later age, but equal fame, Dard stab the tyrant though he lov'd the friend; How burnt the Spartan' with warm patriot flame, In thy great cause bis valorous life to end ! How burst Gustavus from the Swedish mine! Like light from chaos dark, eternally to shine.