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Old Midnight's sister, Contemplation sage,
(Queen of the rugged brow and stern-fixt eye,)
To lift my soul above this little earth,
This folly-fettered world: to purge my ears,
That I may hear the rolling planets' song,
And tuneful turning spheres: if this be barred
The little fays, that dance in neighbouring dales,
Sipping the night-dew, while they laugh and love,
Shall charm me with aërial notes.-As thus
I wander musing, lo, what awful forms
Yonder appear! sharp-eyed Philosophy
Clad 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 arrayed, who with her leads
Sweet Innocence, that prattles by her side,
A naked boy!-Harassed 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,
That henceforth I and my immortal train
Forsake Britannia's isle; who fondly stoops
To vice, her favourite paramour.' She spoke,
And as she turned, her round and rosy neck,
Her flowing train, and long ambrosial hair,
Breathing rich odours, I enamoured 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 retired, beneath a plantain's shade,
Where happiness and quiet sit enthroned,
With simple Indian swains, that I may hunt
The boar and tiger through savannahs wild,
Through fragrant deserts and through citron groves?
There fed on dates and herbs, would I despise
The far-fetched cates of luxury, and hoards
Of narrow-hearted avarice; nor heed

The distant din of the tumultuous world.

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Hail, thrice hail!

Ye solitary seats, where Wisdom seeks
Beauty and Good, th' unseparable pair,
Sweet offspring of the sky, those emblems fair
Of the celestial cause, whose tuneful word
From discord and from chaos raised this globe
And all the wide effulgence of the day.
From him begins this beam of gay delight,
When aught harmonious strikes th' attentive mind;
In him shall end; for he attuned the frame
Of passive organs with internal sense,
To feel an instantaneous glow of joy,
When Beauty from her native seat of Heaven,
Clothed in ethereal wildness, on our plains
Descends, ere Reason with her tardy eye
Can view the form divine; and through the world
The heavenly boon to every being flows.

Nor less admire those things, which viewed apart
Uncouth appear, or horrid; ridges black
Of shagged rocks, which hang tremendous o'er
Some barren heath; the congregated clouds
Which spread their sable skirts, and wait the wind
To burst th' embosomed storm; a leafless wood,
A mouldering ruin, lightning-blasted fields;
Nay, e'en the seat where Desolation reigns
In brownest horror; by familiar thought
Connected to this universal frame,
With equal beauty charms the tasteful soul
As the gold landscapes of the happy isles
Crowned with Hesperian fruit: for Nature formed
One plan entire, and made each separate scene

Co-operate with the general of all
In that harmonious contrast.

From these sweet meditations on the charms
Of things external, on the genuine forms
Which blossom in creation, on the scene
Where mimic art with emulative hue
Usurps the throne of Nature unreproved,
On the just concord of mellifluent sounds;
The soul, and all the intellectual train
Of fond desires, gay hopes, or threatening fears,
Through this habitual intercourse of sense
Is harmonized within, till all is fair
And perfect; till each moral power perceives
Its own resemblance, with fraternal joy,
In every form complete, and smiling feels
Beauty and Good the same.




How sleep the brave who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
That Fancy's feet have ever trod.

By fairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim grey,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell a weeping hermit there!


If aught of oaten stop or pastoral song
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear,
Like thy own solemn springs,

Thy springs and dying gales,

O nymph reserved, while now the bright-haired sun
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
O'erhang his wavy bed:

Now air is hushed, 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,

As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum:
Now teach me, maid composed,
To breathe some softened strain,

Whose numbers, stealing through thy darkening vale,
May not unseemly with its stillness suit,
As, musing slow, I hail

Thy genial loved return!

For when thy folding-star, arising, shows
His play circlet, at his warning lamp
The fragrant Hours, and elves
Who slept in flowers 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.

Then lead, calm votaress, where some sheety lake
Cheers the lone heath, or some time-hallowed pile
Or upland fallows grey
Reflect its last cool gleam.

But when chill blustering winds or driving rain
Forbid my willing feet, be mine the hut

That from the mountain's side
Views wilds, and swelling floods,

And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered spires,
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
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;

While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves;
Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes;

So long, sure-found beneath the sylvan shed,
Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, rose-lipped Health,
Thy gentlest influence own,

And hymn thy favourite name!



As once if not with light regard
I read aright that gifted bard
(Him whose school above the rest
His loveliest Elfin Queen has blest)-
One, only one, unrivalled fair
Might hope the magic girdle wear,
At solemn tourney hung on high,
The wish of each love-darting eye;
Lo! to each other nymph in turn applied,

As if, in air unseen, some hovering hand,
Some chaste and angel friend to virgin fame,

With whispered spell had burst the starting band,

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