« PreviousContinue »
But since of late ELIZABETH,
And later, JAMES came in ; They never danc'd on any heath,
As when the time had been. By which we note the FAIRIES
Were of the old profession: Their songs were Ave-Maries,'
Their dances were procession. But now, alas! they all are dead,
Or gone beyond the seas, Or farther for religion fled,
Or elle they take their ease. A tell-tale in their company
They never could endure; And whoso kept not secretly
Their mirth, was punish'd fure : It was a juft and Christian deed
To pinch such black and blue :
Such justices as you!
A regilier they have,
A man both wise and grave.
By one that I could name
TO WILLIAM for the same.
Give laud and praises due,
With tales both old and new :
And pray ye for his noddle; For all the fairies evidence
Were loft, if it were addle.
The villagers in rufiic joy, convene. Amid the secret windings of the wood,
With folemn MEDITATION let me stray : This is the hour, when to the wise and good,
The heav'nly maid repays the toils of day. The river murmurs, and the breathing gale
Whispers the gently-waving boughs among;
And leads the filent host of heav'n along.
The filver empress of the night appears !
And faintly in its breast the woodland bears.
Solemn and constant, from yon dell resound;
The bat, low-wheeling, skims the dulky ground.
'i he Gothic abbey rears its sculptur’d tow'rs; Dull through the roofs resounds the whifiling gale;
Dark soLITUDE among the pillars low'rs. Where yon old trees bend o'er a place of graves,
And, folemn, shade a chapel's Tad remains ; Where yon skaith'd poplar thro' the window waves,
And, twining round, the hoary arch füstains: There oft at dawn, as one forgot behind,
Who longs to follow, yet unknowing where, Some hoary shepherd, o'er his staff reclin'd,
Pores on the graves, and fighs a broken pray'r.
High o'er the pines, that with their dark’ning shade
Surround yon craggy bank, the castle rears Its crumbling turrets: still its tow'ry head
A warlike mien, a sullen grandeur wears. So, ʼmidst the snow of age, a boastful air ’
Still on the war-worn vet’ran's brow attends; Still his big bones, his youthful prime declare,
Though trembling,o'er the feeble crutch he bends. While round the gates the dusky wall-flow'rs creep,
Where oft the knights the beaut’ous dames have Gone is the bow'r, the grot a ruin'd heap,
Where bays and ivy 'o'er the fragments spread. 'Twas here our fires, exulting from the fight,
Great in their bloody arms, march'd o'er the lea, Eying their rescu'd fieids with proud delight;
Now lost to them! and ah, how chang'd to me! This bank, the river, and the fanning breeze,
The dear idea of my Pollio bring; So, shone the moon through these soft-nodding trees,
When here we wander'd in the eves of spring. When April's smiles the flow'ry lawn adorn,
And modest cowslips deck the streamlet's fide: When fragrant orchards, to the roseate morn
Unfold their bloom, in heav'n's own colours dy'd: So fair a blossom gentle POLLIO wore,
These were the emblems of his healthful mind ; To him the letter'd page display'd its lore,
To him bright Fancy all her wealth relign’d: Him, with her purest flames the muse endow'd,
Flames never to th' illiberal thought ally'd; The sacred fifters led where VIRTUE glow'd
In all her charms; he saw, he felt, and dy'd. Oh, partner of my infant griefs and joys!
Big with the scenes now past, my heart o'erflows, Bids each endearment, fair as once, to rise,
And dwells luxur'ous on her melting woes.
Oft with the rising fun, when life was new,
Along the woodland have I roam'd with thee; Oft by the moon have brush'd the ev’ning dew,
When all was fearless INNOCENCE and glee. The sainted-well, where yon bleak hill declines,
Has oft been conscious of those happy hours ! But now the hill, the river crown’d with pines,
And sainted-well, have lost their cheering pow'rs. For thou art gone.—My guide, my friend! oh,where,
Where halt thou fled, and left me here behind : My tend'rest wish, my heart to thee was bare,
Oh, now cut off each passage to thy mind! How dreary is the gulph! how dark, how void,
The trackless shores that never were repast!
Hope faulters, and the soul recoils aghaft.
And shall these stars glow with immortal fire!
And could thy bright, thy living foul expire ? Far be the thought !—The pleasures most sublime,
The glow of friendship, and the virt’ous tear, The tow'ring with, that Icorns the bounds of time,
Chill'd in this vale of death, but languish here. So, plant the vine on NORWAY's wint’ry land,
The languid stranger feebly buds, and dies : Yet there's a clime where virtue shall expand
With godlike ftrength, beneath her native skies. The lonely shepherd on the mountain's fide,
With patience waits the rosy op'ning day; The mariner at midnight's darktome tide,
With cheerful hope expects the morning ray,
In mental vision view the happy shore,
Oh! that some kind, some pitying kindred shade,
Who, now perhaps, frequents this solemn grove, Would tell the awful secrets of the dead,
And, from my eyes the mortal film remove! Vain is the wish-yet surely not in vain,
Man's bosom glows with that celestial fire, Which scorns earth's luxuries, which smiles at pain,
And wings his fpirit with sublime desire. To fan this spark of heav'n, this ray divine,
Still, oh, my soul! ftill be thy dear employ; Still thus to wander through the Mhades be thine,
And swell thy breast with vis’onary joy!
In ancient davs, the holy seers retir'd;
While rising ecstafies their bofoms fir’d; Restor'd creation bright before them rose,
The burning deserts smild as EDEN's plains, One friendly shade the wolf and lambkin chose, The flow'ry mountains sung--- MESSIAH
Yet let me oft frequent this solemn scene,
What time the moon-fhine dimly gleams between. There, where the cross in hoary ruin nods,
And weeping yews o’ershade the letter'd stones, While midnight silence wraps these drear abodes,
And soothes me wand'ring o'er my kindred bones: Let kindled fancy view the glorious morn,
When from the bursting graves the just shall rise, All nature smiling, and, by angels borne,
MESSIAH's cross far blazing o'er the skies!