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Soft as in Delia's snowy breast,
Let each consenting passion move, Let angels watch its silent rest,
And all its blissful dreams be love!
Youth, ah stay, prolong delight,
Close thy pinions stretch'd for flight!
Youth, disdaining silver hairs,
Autumn's frowns and Winter's cares,
Dwell'st thou but in dimple sleek,
In vernal smiles and Summer's cheek?
On Spring's ambrosial lap thy hands unfold, [gold.
They blossom fresh with hope, and all they touch is
Graver years come sailing by ;
Hark! they call me as they fly;
• Quit,' they cry,' for nobler themes,
Statesman, quit thy boyish dreams!
Tune to crowds thy pliant voice,
Or flatter thrones, the nobler choice!
Deserting Virtue, yet assume her state ;
Thy smiles, that dwell with Love, ah! wed them
now to Hate.
Or in Victory's purple plain
Triumph thou on hills of slain!
While the virgin rends her hair,
Childish sires demand their heir,
Timid orphans kneel and weep:
Or, where the unsunn’d treasures sleep,
Sit brooding o'er thy cave in grim repose, (woes.'
There mock at human joys, there mock at human
Years away! too dear I prize
Fancy's haunts, her vales, her skies ;
Come, ye gales that swell the flowers,
soul's expanding powers ;
Come, by streams embowerd in wood,
Celestial forms, the Fair, the Good !
With moral charms associate vernal joys!
Pure Nature's pleasures these--thie rest are Fa-
Come, while years reprove in vain,
Youth, with me and Rapture reign !
Sculpture, Painting, meet my eyes,
Glowing still with young surprise !
Never to the Virgin's lute
This ear be deaf, this voice be mute!
Come, Beauty, cause of anguish, heal its smart,
-Now temperate measures beat, unalter'd else my
Still my soul, for ever young,
Speak thyself divinely sprung!
Wing'd for Heaven, embracing Earth,
Link'd to all of mortal birth,
Brute or man, in social chain
Still link'd to all, who suffer pain,
Pursue th' eternal law !-one power above,
Connects, pervades the whole that power divine
On fly! 'tis dire Suspicion's mien ;
And, meditating plagues unseen,
The sorceress hither bends :
Behold her torch in gall imbrued :
Behold-her garment drops with blood
Of lovers and of friends.
Fly far! Already in your eyes
I see a pale suffusion rise;
And soon through every vein,
Soon will her secret venom spread,
And all your heart and all your head
Imbibe the potent stain.
Then many a demon will she raise
To vex your sleep, to haunt your ways ;
While gleams of lost delight
Raise the dark tempest of the brain,
As lightning shines across the main,
Through whirlwinds and through night.
No more can faith or candour move;
But each ingenuous deed of love,
Which reason would applaud,
Now, smiling o'er her dark distress,
Fancy malignant strives to dress
Like injury and fraud.
Farewell to virtue's peaceful times:
Soon will you stoop to act the crimes
Which thus you stoop to fear:
Guilt follows guilt : and where the train
Begins with wrongs of such a stain,
What horrors form the rear ! · 'Tis thus to work her baleful power, Suspicion waits the sullen hour
Of fretfulness and strife,
When care th' infirmer bosom wrings,
Or Eurus waves his murky wings
To damp the seats of life.
But come, forsake the scene unbless'd
Which first beheld your faithful breast
To groundless fears a prey:
Come, where with my prevailing lyre
The skies, the streams, the groyes conspire
To charm your doubts away.
Thron'd in the Sun's descending car,
What power unseen diffuseth far
This tenderness of mind ?
What genius smiles on yonder flood ?
What god, in whispers from the wood,
Bids every thought be kind ?
O thou, whate'er thy awful name,
Whose wisdom our untoward frame
With social love restrains ;
Thou, who by fair affection's ties
Giv'st us to double all our joys,
And half disarm our pains;
Let universal candour still,
Clear as yon heaven-reflecting rill,
Preserve my open mind;
Nor this nor that man's crooked ways
One sordid doubt within me raise,
To injure human kind.
How thick the shades of evening close!
How pale the sky with weight of snows!
Haste, light the tapers, urge the fire,
And bid the joyless day retire.
-Alas, in vain I try within
To brighten the dejected scene,
While rous'd by grief these fiery pains
Tear the frail texture of my veins ;
While Winter's voice, that storms around,
And yon deep death-bell's groaning sound
Renew my mind's oppressive gloom,
Till starting Horror shakes the room.
Is there in nature no kind power
To soothe affliction's lonely hour?
To blunt the edge of dire disease,
And teach these wintry shades to please ?
Come, Cheerfulness, triumphant fair,
Shine through the hovering cloud of care :
O sweet of language, mild of mein,
O virtue's friend and pleasure's queen,
Assuage the flames that burn my breast,
Compose my jarring thoughts to rest ;
And while thy gracious gifts I feel,
My song shall all thy praise reveal.
As once ('twas in Astræa's reign)
The vernal powers renew'd their train,
It happend that immortal Love
Was ranging through the spheres above,
And downward hither cast his eye,
The year's returning pomp to spy.