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Or, at the purple dawn of day,
Tadmor's marble wastes survey;
You, recluse, again I woo,
And again your steps pursue.
Plum'd Conceit, himself surveying ;
Folly, with her shadow playing;
Purse proud, elbowing Insolence;
Bloated empiric, puff'd Pretence;
Noise, that through a trumpet speaks;
Laughter, in loud peals that breaks;
Intrusion with a fopling's face,
(Ignorant of time and place)
Sparks of fire Dissention blowing,
Ductile, court-bred Flattery, bowing;
Restraint's stiff neck, Grimace's leer;
Squint-ey'd Censure's artful sneer;
Ambition's buskins, steep'd in blood,
Fly thy presence, Solitude!
Sage Reflection, bent with years;
Conscious Virtue, void of fears;
Muffled Silence, wood-nymph shy;
Meditation's piercing eye;
Halcyon Peace, on moss reclin'd;
Retrospect, that scans the mind;
Rapt earth-gazing Reverie,
Blushing artless Modesty,
Health that snuffs the morning air,
Full-ey'd Truth, with bosom bare,
Inspiration, Nature's child,
Seek the solitary wild.
You, with the tragic muse retir'd,
The wise Euripides inspir'd
You taught the sadly-pleasing air
That Athens sav'd from ruins bare.
You gave the Cean's tears to flow,
And unlock'd the springs of wo:
You penn'd what exil'd Naso thought,
And pour'd the melancholy note.
With Petrarch o'er Valcluse you stray'd,
When death snatch'd his long-lov'd maid;
You taught the rocks her loss to mourn,
You strew'd with flowers her virgin-urn,
And late in Hagley* you were seen,
With bloodshot eyes, and sombre mien;
Hymen his yellow vestment tore,
And Dirge a wreath of cypress wore.
But chief your own the solemn lay
That wept Narcissa young and gay;
Darkness clapp'd her sable wing,
While you touch'd the mournful string,
Anguish left the pathless wild,
Grim-fac'd Melancholy smil'd,
Drowsy Midnight ceas'd to yawn,
The starry host put back the dawn,
Aside their harps ev'n seraphs flung,
To hear thy sweet complaint, O Young!
When all Nature's hush'd asleep,
Nor Love nor Guilt their vigil's keep;
Soft you leave your cavern'd den,
And wander o'er the works of men ;
But when Phosphor brings the dawn,
By her dappled courses drawn,
Again you to the wild retreat,
And the early huntsman meet,
Monody on the death of Lady Lyttleton.
Where, as you pensive pace along,
You catch the distant shepherd's song,
Or brush from herbs the pearly dew,
Or the rising primrose view :
Devotion lends her heaven-plum'd wings,
You mount, and nature with you sings.
But when mid-day fervours glow,
To upland airy shades you go,
Where never sunburnt woodman came,
Nor sportsman chas'd the timid game;
And there, beneath an oak reclin'd,
With drowsy waterfalls behind,
You sink to rest :-
Till the tuneful bird of night
From the neighbouring poplar's height,
Wake you with her solemn strain,
And teach pleas'd Echo to complain.
With you roses brighter bloom,
Sweeter every sweet perfume;
Purer every fountain flows,
Stronger every wilding grows.
Let those toil for gold who please,
Or for fame renounce their ease.
What is fame? an empty bubble;
Gold? a transient, shining trouble.
Let them for their country bleed,
What was Sidney's, Raleigh's meed?
Man's not worth a moment's pain,
Base, ungrateful, fickle, vain.
Then let me, sequester'd fair,
To your sybil grot repair;
On yon hanging cliff it stands,
Scoop'd by Nature's savage hands,
Bosom'd in the gloomy shade
Of cypress, not with age decay'd:
Where the owl still hooting sits,
Where the bat incessant flits,
There in loftier strains I'll sing
Whence the changing seasons spring ;
Tell how storms deform the skies,
Whence the waves subside and rise,
Trace the comet's blazing tail,
Weigh the planets in a scale;
Bend, great God! before thy shrine,
The bourneless microcosm is thine.
Save me! what's yon shrouded shade,
That wanders in the dark-brown glade?
It beckons me! -vain fears, adieu!
Mysterious ghost, I follow you.
Ah me! too well that gait I know:
My youth's first friend, my manhood's wo!
Its breast it bares! what! stain'd with blood?
Quick let me stanch the vital flood.
O spirit, whither art thou flown?
Why left me comfortless alone?
O Solitude, on me bestow
The heartfelt harmony of wo,
Such, such, as on th' Ausonian shore,
Sweet Dorian Moschus trill'd of yore:
No time should cancel thy desert,
More, more than Bion* was, thou wert.
O goddess of the tearful eye,
The never-ceasing stream supply,
Alluding to the death of a friend.
Let us with retirement go
To charnels, and the house of wo;
O'er friendship's hearse low-drooping mourn,
Where the sickly tapers burn,
Where Death and nun-clad Sorrow dwell,
And nightly ring the solemn knell.
The gloom dispels, the charnel smiles,
Light flashes through the vaulted isles,
Blow silky soft, thou western gale,
O goddess of the desert, hail!
She bursts from yon cliff-riven cave;
Insulted by the wintry wave;
Her brow an ivy garland binds,
Her tresses wanton with the winds,
A lion's spoils, without a zone,
Around her limbs are careless thrown ;
Her right hand wields a knotted mace,
Her eyes roll wild, a stride her pace;
Her left a magic mirror holds,
In which she oft herself beholds.
O goddess of the desert, hail!
And softer blow, thou western gale!
'Since in each scheme of life I've fail'd,
And disappointment seems entail'd;
Since all on earth I valued most,
My guide, my stay, my friend is lost:
You, only you, can make me blest,
And hush the tempest in my breast.
Then gently deign to guide my feet
To your hermit-trodden seat,
Where I may live at last my own,
Where I at last may die unknown.'
I spoke, she turn'd her magic ray,
And thus she said, or seem'd to say: