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When Truth and Virtue hand in hand
upon the smiling land.
Thence my eyes on Britain glance,
And, awaken'd from my trance,
While my busy thoughts I rear,
Oft I wipe the falling tear.
When the night again descends
And her shadowy cone extends,
O'er the fields I walk alone,
By the silence of the moon.
Hark! upon my left I hear
Wild music wand'ring in the air;
Led by the sound I onward creep,
And through the neighb'ring hedge I peep;
There I spy 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 such 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 music dies away,
Wasting in the sea of air,
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 show is fled, Home I haste me to my bed ; There, if thou with magic wand On my temples tak'st thy stand, I see in mix'd disorder rise All that struck my waking eyes. So when I pause and round me gaze, Where the fam'd Lodona strays; On the woods and thickets brown, Which its sedgy margin crown, And watch the vagrant clouds that fly Through the vast desart of the sky; When adown I cast my look On the smooth unruffled brook, (While its current clear doth run, And holds its mirror to the sun,) There I see th' inverted scene Fall, and meet the eye again.
Where art thou, Fancy, visionary maid ?
Whose lenient artifice and easy aid
Can quell the fierce disorders of the breast,
And sooth the pensive soul to rest?
Whether along the daisy bank reclin'd,
With foliage veil'd, you court the fanning wind,
Or by the brook's loquacious channel stray,
Where the deep dimpled eddies play ;
Haste thee, from the blended glow
Of beauties in yon lucid bow,
With fine spun light and golden beams,
Softly weave thy waking dreams :
Bid the rang'd ideas fly,
Opening to the ravish'd eye
A glimpse of bliss, where gay Desire is found
Sporting with Youth while music wakes around.
Behold the variegated prospect rise ;
What gallant harmony! what glad surprise !
The sweet Mygdonian pipe with rural strains
Collects the nymphs and shepherd swains.
Secure in yonder vale their fleecy breed,
And heifers ʼmidst the neighbouring pastures feed.
Meanwhile, with flowrets deck'd, each blithsome
Have bid adieu to pine and care.
See them hand in hand advance
Circling in the smooth-pac'd dance :
Now to numbers quaint they stray,
Bounding on the mazy way!
The goldfinch and the linnet nigh
Join the simple minstrelsy : The simple notes, and merry gambols fire (Plac’d by the hawthorne-hedge) each ancient sire.
But see! where Solitude, of sober mien,
With Health and Modesty, her charming maids,
Leaving the straw-roof'd neighbourhood, is seen
To rove beneath the venerable shades !
O harmless cottages! O happy glades.!
Where no misfortunes factious rage deplore, No discontent the quiet breast invades: How pleasant 'tis from this far season'd shore To hear the tumbling ocean's wavy roar! Now whither, with the sun-beam's darting speed, Thy rapt enthusiast, Fancy, wilt thou lead?
What other scenes of more sincere delight
The goddess and her guest invite?
She, like the Sybil with her golden bough,
Descends to search the sacred realms below,
In amaranthine bowers the blest appear,
By pearly grot or fountain clear:
To heroes'ghosts, or scepter'd kings,
The laurel'd bard divinely sings.
Hark! the animating strains
Warble thro'th'Elysian plains :
When the pause admits delay
Thus th' immortals seem to say,
(Closing the accents of each tuneful voice)
“ For ever thus, for ever we rejoice."
What sad transition, means this rising show
To drive out real pain with fancied woe?
I see the mourners in the darken'd room,
The rustic hearse, the letter'd tomb.
Still, still the wayward, wild ideas take
The solemn livery of death, and wake
Tender-ey'd pity, as the village train
The shrouded husbandman sustain.
What semblances of wretched plight
'Mid the procession strike the sight!
Ah! 'tis grief herself appears,
Her flowing tresses steep'd in tears ;
Her garments torn, her bosom bare,
Reckless of th' inclement air :