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Ah! what avails this sweetly solemn bower,
That silent stream where dimpling eddies play; Yon thymy bank bedeck'd with many a flower,
Where maple-tufts exclude the beam of day? Robb’d of my love, for how can these delight,
Though lavish Spring her smiles around has cast! Despair, alas! that whelms the soul in night,
Dims the sad eye, and deadens every taste. As droops the lily at the blighting gale,
Or crimson-spotted cowslip of the mead, Whose tender stalk (alas! their stalk so frail) Some hasty foot hath bruised with heedless
tread; As droops the woodbine, when some village hind
Hath fell’d the sapling elm it fondly bound; No more it gadding dances in the wind,
But trails its fading beauties on the ground; So droops my soul, dear maid, downcast and sad,
For ever! ah! for ever torn from thee: Bereft of each sweet hope which once it had, When love, when treacherous love first smiled
Return, bless'd days; return, ye laughing hours,
Which led me up the roseate steep of youth; Which strew'd my simple path with vernal flowers,
And bade me court chaste Science and fair Truth,
Ye know the curling breeze, or gilded fly
That idly wantons in the noontide air, Was not so free, was not so gay as I;
For ah! I knew not then or love or care.
Witness, ye winged daughters of the year,
If e'er a sigh had learn’d to heave my breast! If e'er my cheek was conscious of a tear,
Till Cynthia came and robb’d my soul of rest. Oh, have you seen, bathed in the morning dew,
The budding rose its infant bloom display; When first its virgin tints unfold to view,
It shrinks and scarcely trusts the blaze of day. So soft, so delicate, so sweet she came,
Youth's damask glow just dawning on her cheek; I gazed, I sigh’d, I caught the tender flame, Felt the fond pang, and droop'd with passion,
weak. Yet not unpitied was my pain the while,
For oft beside yon sweetbriar in the dale, With many a blush, with many a melting smile,
She sat and listen’d to the plaintive tale. Ah me! I fondly dreamt of pleasures rare; Nor deem'd so sweet a face with scorn could
glow; How could you cruel then pronounce despair,
Chill the warm hope, and plant the thorn of woe? What though no treasures canker in my chest,
Nor crowds of suppliant vassals hail me lord! What though my roof can boast no princely guest,
Nor surfeits lurk beneath my frugal board! Yet should Content, that shuns the gilded bed,
With smiling Peace, and Virtue there forgot, And rose-lipp'd Health, which haunts the straw
built shed, With cherub Joy, frequent my little cot;
Led by chaste Love, the decent band should come,
O charmer, wouldst thou deign my roof to share? Nor should the Muses scorn our simple dome,
Or, knit in mystic dance, the Graces fair. The woodland nymphs and gentle fays at eve
Forth from the dripping eave and mossy dell, Should round our hearth fantastic measures weave,
And shield from mischief by their guardian spell. Come then, bright maid, and quit the city throng,
Have rural joys no charm to win the soul? She proud, alas ! derides my lowly song,
Scorns the fond vow, and spurns the russet stole. Then, Love, begone, thy thriftless empire yield,
In youthful toils I'll lose the' unmanly pain : With echoing horns I'll rouse the jocund field,
Urge the keen chase, and sweep along the plain. Or all in some lone moss-grown tower sublime With midnight lamp I'll watch pale Cynthia
round, Explore the choicest rolls of ancient time, And heal with Wisdom's balm my hapless
Or else I'll roam-Ah no! that sigh profound
Tells me that stubborn love disdains to yield; Nor flight nor Wisdom’s balm can heal the wound,
Nor pain forsake me in the jocund field.
WRITTEN ON VALENTINE'S MORNING.
HARK, through the sacred silence of the night,
Loud Chanticleer doth sound his clarion shrill, Hailing with song the first pale gleam of light
That floats the dark brow of yon eastern hill. Bright star of morn, oh! leave not yet the wave,
To deck the dewy frontlet of the day, Nor thou, Aurora, quit Tithonus' cave,
Nor drive retiring darkness yet away, Ere these my rustic hands a garland twine,
Ere yet my tongue indite a simple song, For her I mean to hail my Valentine,
Sweet maiden, fairest of the virgin throng. Sweet is the morn, and sweet the gentle breeze
That fans the fragrant bosom of the spring, Sweet chirps the lark, and sweeter far than these
The gentle love-song gurgling turtles sing. Oh, let the flowers be fragrant as the morn,
And as the turtle's song my ditty sweet; Those flowers my woven chaplet must adorn,
That ditty must my waking charmer greet. And thou, bless'd saint, whom choral creatures join
In one enlivening symphony to hail, Oh, be propitious, gentle Valentine,
And let each holy tender sigh prevail. Oh, give me to approach my sleeping love,
And strew her pillow with the freshest flowers, No sigh unhallow'd shall my bosom move,
Nor step profane pollute my true love's bowers. At sacred distance only will I gaze,
Nor bid my unreproved eye refrain; [praise, Meanwhile my tongue shall chant her beauty's
And hail her sleeping with the gentlest strain.
Awake, my fair, awake, for it is time;
Hark, thousand songsters rise from yonder grove, And rising carol this sweet hour of prime,
Each to his mate, a roundelay of love.
All nature sings the hymeneal song,
All nature follows where the spring invites ; Come forth, my love, to us these joys belong,
Ours is the spring, and all her young delights.
For us she throws profusely forth her flowers,
Which in fresh chaplets joyful I will twine ; Come forth, my fair; oh, do not lose these hours,
But wake, and be my faithful Valentine.
Full many an hour all lonely have I sigh’d,
Nor dared the secret of my love reveal, Full many a fond expedient have I tried
My warmest wish in silence to conceal.
And oft to far retired solitude
All mournfully my slow step have I bent, Luxurious there indulged my musing mood,
And there alone have given my sorrows vent.
This day resolved I dare to plight my vow :
This day, long since the feast of love decreed, Embolden'd will I speak my flame, nor thou
Refuse to hear how sore my heart does bleed.'