Page images
PDF
EPUB

ODE XXI.

TO

НОРЕ. .

Come! lovely Queen of endless smiles,
Whose art the woes of life beguiles !
With thee I'll rove, with thee I'll rest,
Amidst thy sweet enchantments blest ;
01 let me, with thy poppies crown'd,
Unconscious tread this thorny ground !
Thy pleasing dreams before me spread,
And stretch thy wings to guard my head,
Secure amidst surrounding strife,
Nor wak'd by all the storms of life!
The brighter side of wealth and

power,
Shall bless the visionary hour ;
Wealth, without care, shall be possest,
And power, without a guilty breast;
Pomp, free from flattery, and from scorn,
And love's sweet flower, without the thorn.
While Fortune, with an erring hand,
Her bounty scatters thro' the land,
And fools, and knaves the treasures find,
By heaven for knaves, and fools, design'd,

Not unrewarded Virtue sighs, In Hope her lasting pleasure lies; Nor while Astraea holds the scale, Shall vice, and ponderous gold, prevail, By Hope external wants supplied, She turns the beam on Virtue's side. Here Time with sweeping stroke destroys, Like grass, possession's transient joys, Hope, like the pine aspiring high, Can all the rage of time defy; For each lopp'd branch, the vigorous root Ordains a double branch to shoot, For one a thousand stems arise, And bloom, and bear, beyond the skies. If hope no distant blessing shows, In vain is all the world bestows; If future joys her smiles display, In vain is all it takes away. The loss of power, of fame of wealth, Yet more, of friends, of ease, and health, By strength of mind we learn to bear, And live, and smile, in spite of care ; But losing thee, all comforts fly, We languish, we despair, we die. Beyond our reach, but still in sight, Thy glittering objects yield delight, If chance possession brings them near, We lose the fading joy in fear : What charm’d the sight, as good and fair, When touch'd, we mourn as clouds and air;

Yet fond the vapor to retain,
Each parting fragment gives us pain.
Thy cheerful light, with guiding ray,
Thro’ life directs our doubtful way,
Invites the journey to fulfil,
Before us, and before us still !
The grave we reach, thy pointing hand
Beyond it shows the promis'd land,
The last, best, effort of thy power
Sustains us in the dreadful hour.
Thy charge, and all our travels, o'er,
We leave thee on the mortal shore,
On realms unknown we land, and share
A fate beyond thy influence there.
Whate'er in realms unknown I be,
Hope! let me live on earth with thee.

ODE XXII.

TO

HOPE.

BY JAMES BEATTIE, L. L. D.

O thou, who glad'st the pensive soul,
More than Aurora's smile the swain forlorn,
Left all night long to mourn
Where desolation frowns, and tempests howl ;
And shrieks of Woe, as intermits the storm,
Far o'er the monstrous wilderness resound,
And cross the gloom darts many a shapeless form,
And many a fire-eyed visage glares around.
O come, and be once more my guest.
Come, for thou oft thy suppliant's vow hast heard,
And oft with smiles indulgent chear'd
And soothed him into rest.

Smit by thy rapture-beaming eye
Deep flashing through the midnight of their mind,
The sable bands combined,
Where Fear's black banner bloats the troubled sky,
Appall'd retire. Suspicion hides her head,
Nor dares th’obliquely gleaming eyeball raise ;

Despair, with gorgon-figured veil o'erspread,
Speeds to dark Phlegethon's detested maze.
Lo, startled at the heavenly ray,
With speed unwonted Indolence upsprings,
And, heaving, lifts her leaden wings,
And sullen glides away :

Ten thousand forms, by pining Fancy view'd,
Dissolve. Above the sparkling flood
When Phoebus rears his awful brow,
From lengthening lawn and valley low
The troops of fen-born mists retire.
Along the plain
The joyous swain
Eyes the gay villages again,
And gold-illumined spire;
While on the billowy ether borne
Floats the loose lay's jovial measure ;
And light along the fairy Pleasure,
Her green robes glittering to the morn,
Wantons on silken wing. And goblins all
To the damp dungeon shrink, or hoary hall,
Or westward, with impetuous flight,
Shoot to the desart realms of their congenial Night.

When first on Childhood's eager gaze
Life's varied landscape, stretch'd immense around,
Starts out of night profound,
Thy voice incites to tempt th' untrodden maze.

« PreviousContinue »