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Aloof, with hermit-eye I scan
A wild and dream-like trade of blood and guile,
TO A YOUNG FRIEND,
ON HIS PROPOSING TO DOMESTICATE WITH THE
A MOUNT, not wearisome and bare and steep, But a green mountain variously up-piled, Where o'er the jutting rocks soft mosses creep, Or colored lichens with slow oozing weep;
Where cypress and the darker yew start wild;
Calm Pensiveness might muse herself to sleep;
Made meek inquiry for her wandering lamb:
The adventurous toil, and up the path sublime Now lead, now follow: the glad landscape round, Wide and more wide, increasing without bound}/
O then 'twere loveliest sympathy, to mark The berries of the half-uprooted ash Dripping and bright; and list the torrent's dash,Beneath the cypress, or the yew more dark,
Seated at ease, on some smooth mossy rock;
Till high o'er head his beckoning friend appears, And from the forehead of the topmost crag
Shouts eagerly for haply there uprears That shadowing pine its old romantic limbs,
Which latest shall detain the enamored sight Seen from below, when eve the valley dims,
Tinged yellow with the rich departing light; And haply, basoned in some unsunned cleft, A beauteous spring, the rock's collected tears, Sleeps sheltered there, scarce wrinkled by the gale! Together thus the world's vain turmoil left, Stretched on the crag, and shadowed by the pine, And bending o'er the clear delicious fount, Ah! dearest youth! it were a lot divine To cheat our noons in moralizing mood, While west-winds fanned our temples toil-bedewed: Then downwards slope, oft pausing, from the mount,
To some lone mansion, in some woody dale,
Low murmuring, lay; and starting from the rocks
And from the stirring world up-lifted high,
And oft the melancholy theme supply)
There, while the prospect through the gazing eye Pours all its healthful greenness on the soul, We'll smile at wealth, and learn to smile at fame, Our hopes, our knowledge, and our joys the same,
As neighboring fountains image, each the whole : Then when the mind hath drunk its fill of truth, We'll discipline the heart to pure delight, Rekindling sober joy's domestic flame. They whom I love shall love thee, honored youth ! Now may Heaven realize this vision bright!
LINES TO W. L.
WHILE HE SANG A SONG TO PURCELL'S MUSIC.
WHILE my young cheek retains its healthful
And I have many friends who hold me dear;
With no beloved face at my bed-side, To fix the last glance of my closing eye, Methinks, such strains, breathed by my angel
Would make me pass the cup of anguish by,
A YOUNG MAN OF FORTUNE,
WHO ABANDONED HIMSELF TO AN INDOLENT AND CAUSELESS MELANCHOLY.
HENCE that fantastic wantonness of woe,
Pace round some widow's grave, whose dearer part Was slaughtered, where o'er his uncoffined limbs The flocking flesh-birds screamed! Then, while thy heart
Groans, and thine eye a fiercer sorrow dims, Know (and the truth shall kindle thy young mind) What nature makes thee mourn, she bids thee heal! O abject! if, to sickly dreams resigned, All effortless thou leave life's common-weal A prey to tyrants, murderers of mankind.
SONNET TO THE RIVER OTTER.
DEAR native brook! wild streamlet of the West! How many various-fated years have past, What happy, and what mournful hours, since last I skimmed the smooth thin stone along thy breast, Numbering its light leaps! yet so deep imprest Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes I never shut amid the sunny ray,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,
Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows grey, And bedded sand that, veined with various dyes, Gleamed through thy bright transparence! On my
Visions of childhood! oft have ye beguiled Lone manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs : Ah! could I be once more a careless child!
COMPOSED ON A JOURNEY HOMEWARD; THE AUTHOR HAVING RECEIVED INTELLIGENCE OF THE BIRTH
OF A SON, SEPT. 20, 1796.
Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past.
* Ιν που ἡμῶν ἡ ψύχη πρὶν ἐν τῷδε τῷ ἀνθρωπίνῳ εἴδει γενέσθαι -Plat. in Phædon.