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The storms of the morning pursued us no more, And the wave,while it welcomed the moment of rest,
Still heaved, as remembering ills that were o'er! Serenely my heart took the hue of the hour, Its passions were sleeping, were mute as the dead,
[power, And the spirit becalm'd but remember'd their
As the billow the force of the gale that was fled! I thought of the days when to pleasure alone
My heart ever granted a wish or a sigh; When the saddest emotion my bosom had known
Was pity for those who were wiser than I!
In luxury loses its heavenly ray ;
The pearl of the soul may be melted away! And I pray'd of that spirit that lighted the flame,
That pleasure no more might its purity dim; And that sullied but little, or brightly the same,
I might give back the gem I had borrow'd of him! The thought was ecstatic! I felt as if Heaven
Had already the wreath of eternity shown; As if, passion all chasten’d and error forgiven,
My heart had begun to be purely its own! I look'd to the west, and the beautiful sky Which morning had clouded was clouded no
more: Oh, thus,' I exclaim'd, can a heavenly eye Shed light on the soul that was darken'd before!'
THE LEADING STRING. GUIDE of my wayward steps, when young desire Caught the first spark of Emulation's fire (Whose genial power, enkindling as it ran, Raised life to sense, to reason, and to man), Still, still my soul in memory's inmost cell, Where images most dear, most sacred dwell, With willing gratitude retains, reveres Thy faithful service to my weakest years!
Oft as my thoughts recall those early days, Thy gentle aid deserves my warmest praise; By thee at once directed and sustain's, Unhurt I roved where countless dangers reign'd; Where else, each petty pebble had o’erthrown A helpless wanderer in a world unknown.
Beneath a thousand forms reflection shows Combining perils, hardships, pains, and woes : O! baneful influence, every moment spread In varied terrors o'er an infant's head; Whom still, alike unconscious, unalarm’d, The plain invited, and the desert charm’d; Whose heedless foot with equal haste had trod The fatal precipice and flowery road; Who, fondly rash, no other object knew Than what each changing trifle set to view ;Tired of the present, fond of that which flies'; Still prone to fall, and impotent to rise.
Even now I tremble at the affecting scene :Be firm, my soul !-What can this transport mean? Hark! on mine ear some sound more awful breaks! "Tis no illusion! 'tis the Muse that speaks.
My son!' she says, if thus thine heart, aghast, Starts at the little snares thy childhood pass'd,
Think, think what dangers wait thee now! for
Be Virtue first thy care, thy wish, thy aim;
We all do fade as a leaf. Isaiah Ixiv. 6.
SEE the leaves around us falling,
Dry and wither'd, to the ground;
In a sad and solemn sound
Blighted when like us he fell,
"Tis, alas! the truth we tell.
On your boasted white and red,
Number'd now among the dead.
Griping misers, nightly waking,
See the end of all your care; Fled on wings of our own making,
We have left our owners bare. Sons of honour, fed on praises,
Fluttering high in fancied worth, Lo! the fickle air, that raises,
Brings us down to parent Earth. Learned sophs, in systems jaded,
Who for new ones daily call,
Every leaf must have its fall!
Gay in health and manly grace,
Summer gives to autumn place. Venerable sires, grown hoary,
Hither turn the unwilling eye, Think, amid your falling glory,
Autumn tells a winter nigh.
Messengers of shortest stay,
Heaven and earth shall pass away.'
Man, let all thy hope be staid, Which alone, for ever vernal, Bears a leaf that shall not fade.
VERSES TO A FRIEND.
Ehen, fugaces Posthame, Posthume,
Ah friend, we tread the downward road!
The vale of life extends below, By age, with leaden footstep trode,
And sprinkled o'er with locks of snow. There, Winter's icy sceptre rear'd,
Around, in pale assemblage, stand The time-worn cheek, the silver beard,
The shrinking limbs, the palsied hand. Al move in sight; and, while they hail
Our near approach, within the shade Dim lights that glimmer through the veil
Disclose the mansions of the dead. When Memory.o'er the busy past
Rolls back her eye, what forms are shown! Young airy shapes, too gay to last;
A scene of bright illusion,-gone! The freaks of Innocence, the play
Of Youth, that with the passing hour Skims, like the bee, from spray to spray,
And sucks the sweets of every flower : At these, that tell of former days,
Trembling with age and bent with care, We shake our heads; yet fondly gaze,
And envy joys we cannot share.