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Nymph! with thee, at early Morn,
Let me brush the waving corn;
And, at Noon-tide's sultry hour,
O bear me to the woodbine bow'r!
When Evening lights her glow-worm, lead
To yonder dew-enamell’d mead;
And let me range at Night those glimm'ring groves,
Where Stillness ever sleeps, and Contemplation
This my tributary lay
Grateful at thy shrine I pay,
Who for sev'n whole years hath shed
Thy balmy blessings o'er my head ;
O! let me still enamour'd view
Those fragrant lips of rosy hue,
Nor thinks there needs th' allay of sharp disease,
To quicken thy repast, and give it pow'r to please.
Now by swiftest Zephyrs drawn,
Urge thy chariot o'er the lawn;
In yon gloomy grotto laid,
Palemon asks thy kindly aid ;
If goodness can that aid engage,
O hover round the virtuous sage :
Nor let one sigh for his own suff'rings rise ;
Each human suff'ring fills his sympathizing eyes.
Venus from Aeneas' side
With successful efforts try'd
To extract th' envenom'd dart
That baffled wise lapis' art:
If thus, Hygeia, thou could'st prove
Propitious to the queen of love,
Now on thy favor'd Heberden bestow
Thy choicest healing pow'rs, for Pallas asks them now.
What though, banish'd from the fight,
To the Hero's troubled sight,
Ranks on ranks tumultuous rose
Of Alying friends and conqu’ring foes;
He only panted to obtain
A laurel wreath for thousands slain;
On nobler views intent, the Sage's mind
Pants to delight, instruct, and humanize mankind.
Hope, sweetest child of Fancy born,
Tho' transient as the dew of morn,
Thou who canst charm, with sound and light,
The deafen'd ear, and darken'd sight,
And in dry desarts glad the swains
With bubbling springs, and cultur'd plains;
No more invent thy airy schemes,
Nor mock me with fantastic dreams;
No more thy flattering stories tell,
Deceitful prattler, Hope, farewell!
Adieu the pleasing prospect, plann'd By Fancy's fair delusive hand ! No more that momentary ray, Which gilds by fits a showery day, Shall show me, in a distant grove, Health, friendship, peace, content and love ; While many a nymph, and many a youth, By Hymen join'd, and crown'd by Truth,
On verdant hillocs danc'd and play'd,
Or warbled in the hawthorn shade.
No more, with sweet endearing talk,
Shalt thou beguile my vernal walk;
No more, as thro' the wintry vale,
We journey on, with many a tale
Of fancied pleasure, cheer the day,
And strow with flowers the rugged way,
Still pointing to that rural cell
Where Innocence and Stella dwell;
Charm with the bubbling of a rill,
That gushes from the neighbouring hill.
O let me now in silence rove Thro' yon sequester'd
cypress grove, Where, crown’d with leaves of baleful yew, And circled by a Stygian crew, (When from the ivy-mantled tower, The cock proclaims the midnight hour) Pale Melancholy takes her round, And o'er the mouldering, hallow'd ground Where lovers lie, desponding stands, And, dumb with pity, wrings her hands.
While thus, with gloomy thought opprest, Heart-piercing sorrow heav’d my breast, A heavenly form swift gliding by, With healing comfort in her eye,
A look of winning softness cast, And thus addrest me as she past : “ Mortal, be wise! and, even in death, “ Let Hope receive thy parting breath! “ Securely trust my guardian care, “ And, led by Reason, shun Despair.”