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Dreams and fhadows by thee ftand,
Taught to run at thy command,
And along the wanton air,
Flit like empty Goffimer.
Thee, black Melancholy of yore
To the swift-wing'd Hermes bore:
From the mixture of thy line,
Different natures in thee join,"
Which thou chufest to express
By the variance of thy drefs.
Now like thy fire thou lov'st to seem
Light and gay with pinions trim,
Dipt in all the dyes that glow
In the bend of Iris' bow: 1
Now like thy mother drear and fad,
(All in mournful veftments clad,
Cypress weeds and fable stole,)
Thou rusheft on th' affrighted foul.
Oft I feel thee coming on,
When the night hath reach'd her noon,
And darkness, partner of her reign,
Round the world hath bound her chain,
Then with measur'd step and flow,
In the church-yard path I go,
And while my outward fenfes fleep,
Loft in contemplation deep,
Sudden I ftop, and turn my ear,
And lift'ning hear, or think I hear.
First a dead and fullen found..
Walks along the holy ground;
Then through the gloom alternate break
Groans, and the fhrill fcreech-owl's fhriek.
Lo! the moon hath hid her head,
And the graves give up their dead:
By me pass the ghaftly crowds,
Wrapt in visionary shrouds ;
Maids, who died with love forlorn,
Youths, who fell by maidens' fcorn,
Helpless fires, and matrons old
Slain for fordid thirst of gold,
And babes, who owe their shorten'd date
To cruel step-dames ruthlefs hate;
Each their fev'ral errands
To haunt the wretch that wrought their woe:
From their fight the caitiff flies,
And his heart within him dies;
While a horror damp and chill
Through his frozen blood doth thrill,
And his hair for very dready
Bears itself upon his head.ne
When the early breath of day
Hath made the fhadows flee away;
Still poffefs'd by thee I rove
Bofom'd in the fhelt'ring grove,
There, with heart and lyre new ftrung,
Meditate the lofty fong.
And if thou my voice inspire,
And with wonted frenzy fire,
Aided by thee I build the rhyme
Such, as nor the flight of time,
Nor wafting flame, nor eating show'r,
Nor light'ning's blast can e'er devour.
Or if chance fome moral page
My attentive thoughts engage,
On I walk, with filent tread,
Under the thick-woven fhade,
While the thrush, unheeded by,
Tunes her artless minstrelsy.
Lift'ning to their facred lore,
I think on ages long paft o'er,
When Truth and Virtue hand in hand
Walk'd upon the fmiling land.
Thence my eyes on Britain glance,
And, awaken'd from my trance,
While my bufy thoughts I rear,
Oft I wipe the falling tear.
When the night again defcends
And her fhadowy cone extends,
O'er the fields I walk alone,
By the filence of the moon.
Hark! upon my left I hear
Wild mufic wand'ring in the air;
Led by the found I onward creep,"
And through the neighb'ring hedge I peep;
There I fpy the Fairy band
Dancing on the level land,
Now with step alternate bound,
Join'd in one continu'd round,
Now their plighted hands unbind,
And fuch tangled mazes wind
As the quick eye can scarce pursue,
And would have puzzled that fam'd clue,
Which led th' Athenian's unskill'd feet
Through the Labyrinth of Crete.
At the near approach of day,
Sudden the mufic dies away,
Wafting in the fea of air, anys vir accent
And the phantoms disappear,
All (as the glow-worm waxes dim)..
Vanish like a morning dream,
And of their revels leave no trace,
Save the ring upon the grass.
When the elfin fhow is fled,
Home I hafte me to my bed;
There, if thou with magic wand
On my temples take thy stand,
I fee in mix'd disorder rife.
All that ftruck my waking eyes:
So when I ftand, and round me gaze,
Where the fam❜d Lodona strays,
On the woods and thickets brown,
That its fedgy margin crown,
And watch the vagrant clouds that fly
Through the vast defart of the sky,
When adown I caft my look
On the smooth unruffled brook,
(While its current clear doth run,
And holds its mirrour to the fun,)
There I fee th' inverted scene
Fall, and meet the eye again.