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O PARENT of each lovely Muse!
Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse ;
O'er all my artless songs preside,
My footsteps to thy temple guide ;
To offer at thy turf-built shrine,
In golden cups no costly wine ;
No murder'd fatling of the flock,
But flowers and honey from the rock.
O nymph! with loosely-flowing hair,
With buskin'd leg, and bosom bare ;
Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd;
Waving in thy snowy hand
And all-commanding magic wand ;
Of power to bid fresh gardens blow
Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow;
Whose rapid wings thy flight convey,
Through air, and over earth and sea :
While the vast, various landscape lies
Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes ;
O lover of the desert, hail !
Say, in what deep and pathless vale,
Or on what hoary mountain's side,
Midst falls of water, you reside ;
Midst broken rocks, a rugged scene,
With green and grassy dales between :
Midst forests dark of aged oak,
Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke ;
Where never human art appear’d,
Nor e'en one straw-rooft cot was rear'u ;
Where Nature seems to sit alone,
Majestic on a craggy throne.
Tell me the path, sweet wanderer, tell,
To thy unknown sequester'd cell ;
Where woodbines cluster round the door,
Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor ;
And on whose top a hawthorn blows,
Amid whose thickly-woven boughs
Some nightingale still builds her nest,
Each evening warbling thee to rest.
Then lay me by the haunted stream,
Wrap'd in some wild, poetic dream ;
In converse while methinks I rove
With Spenser through a fairy grove;
Till suddenly awak’d, I hear
Strange whisper'd music in my ear;
Aud my glad soul in bliss is drown'd,
By the sweetly-soothing sound !
Me, Goddess, by the right-hand lead,
Sometimes through the yellow mead,
Where Joy, and white-rob’d Peace resort,
And Venus keeps her festive court,
Where Mirth and Youth each evening meet,
And lightly trip with nimble feet.
Nodding their lily-crowned heads,
Where Laughter rose-lip'd Hebe leads :
Where Echo walks steep hills among,
List’ning to the shepherd's song:
Yet not these flowery fields of joy
Can long my pensive mind employ;
Haste, Fancy, from the scenes of folly,
To meet the matron Melancholy !
Goddess of the tearful eye,
That loves to fold her arms and sigh ;
Let us with silent footsteps go
To charnels, and the house of woe;
To gothic churches, vaults, and tombs,
Where each sad night some virgin comes,
With throbbing breast, and faded cheek,
Her promis'd bridegroom's urn to seek.
Or to some abbey's mouldering tow'rs,
Where, to avoid cold wintry show'rs,
The naked beggar shivering lies,
While whistling tempests round her rise,
And trembles lest the tottering wall
Should on her sleeping infants fall.
Now let us louder strike the lyre,
For my heart glows with martial fire:
I feel, I feel, with sudden heat,
My big tumultuous bosom beat;
The trumpet's clangors pierce my ear,
A thousand widows' shrieks I hear :
Give me another horse,' I cry,
Lo, the base Gallic squadrons fly;
Whence is this rage ?-what spirit say,
To battle hurries me away?
'Tis Fancy, in her fiery car,
Transports me to the thickest war;
There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
Where tumult and destruction reign ;
Where, mad with pain, the wounded steed
Tramples the dying and the dead;
Where giant Terror stalks around,
With sullen joys surveys the ground,
And pointing to the ensanguin'd field
Shakes his dreadful gorgon-shield.
O guide me from this horrid scene To high-arch'd walks, and alleys green, Which lovely Laura seeks, to shun The fervours of the mid-day sun. The pangs of absence, O remove, For thou can’st please me near my love ; Can'st fold in visionary bliss, And let me think I steal a kiss ; While her ruby lips dispense Lucious nectar's quintessence! When young-ey'd Spring profusely throws From her green lap' the pink and rose ; When the soft turtle of the dale To Summer tells her tender tale ; When Autumn cooling caverns seeks, And stains with wine his jolly cheeks ; When Winter, like poor pilgrim old, Shakes his silver beard with cold; At every season let my ear Thy solemn whispers, Fancy, hear. O warm, enthusiastic maid, Without thy powerful, vital aid, That breathes an energy divine, That gives a soul to every line, Ne'er may I strive with lips profane, To utter an unhallow'd strain ;
Nor dare to touch the sacred string,
Save when with smiles thou bid'st me sing.
O hear our prayer, 0 hither come,
From thy lamented Shakspeare's tomb,
On which thou lov'st to sit at eve,
Musing o'er thy darling's grave
O queen of numbers, once again
Animate some chosen swain,
Who, fill'd with inexhausted fire,
May boldly smite the sounding lyre,
Who with some new, unequallid song,
May rise above the rhyming throng;
O'er all our listening passions reign,
O’erwhelm our souls with joy and pain
With terror shake, with pity move,
Rouse with revenge, or melt with love.
O deign to' attend his evening walk,
With him in groves and grottos talk ;
Teach him to scorn with frigid art,
Feebly to touch the' enraptur'd heart;
Like lightning, let his mighty verse
The bosom's inmost foldings pierce :
With native beauties win applause,
Beyond cold critic's studied laws :
o let each Muse's fame increase,
O bid Britannia rival Greece!
DEAR Chloe, while the busy crowd,
The vain, the wealthy, and the proud,
In folly's maze advance ;
Though singularity and pride
Be call’d our choice, we'll step aside.
Nor join the giddy dance.
From the gay world we'll oft retire
To our own family and fire,
Where love our hours employs ;
No noisy neighbour enters here,
No intermeddling stranger near,
To spoil our heartfelt joys.
If solid happiness we prize,
Within our breast this jewel lies,
And they are fools who roam ;
The world hath nothing to bestow,
From our ownselves our bliss must flow,
And that dear hut-our home.
Of rest was Noah's dove bereft,
When with impatient wing she left
That safe retreat, the ark ;
Giving her vain excursions o'er,
The disappointed bird once more
Explor'd the sacred bark.