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Oft too I pray'd, 'twas Nature form'd the pray'r,
To grace my native scenes, my rural home; To see my trees express their planter's care,
And gay, on Attic models, raise my dome. But now 'tis o'er, the dear delusion's o'er !
A stagnant breezeless air becalms my soul ;
I scorn the palm before I reach the goal.
Bliss ev'n obtrusive courts the frolic mind;
Careless of favour, yet secure to find. Then glows the breast, as opening roses fair; .
More free, more vivid, than the linnet's wing ; Honest as light, transparent ev'n as air,
Tender as buds, and lavish as the spring. Not all the force of manhood's active might,
Not all the craft to subtle age assign'd, Not science shall extort that dear delight,
Which gay delusion gave the tender mind. Adieu, soft raptures! transports void of care !
Parent of raptures, dear deceit! adieu ; And you, her daughters, pining with despair,
Why, why so soon her fleeting steps pursue ! Tedious again to curse the drizzling day!
Again to trace the wintry tracts of snow! Or, sooth'd by vernal airs, again survey
The self-same bawthorns bud, and cowslips blow! O life! how soon of every bliss forlorn!
We start false joys, and urge the devious race; A tender prey; that cheers our youthful morn,
Then sinks uptimely, and defrauds the chase.
No more the Muse obtrudes her thin disguise,
No more with aukward fallacy complains How every fervor from my bosom flies,
And Reason in her lonesome palace reigns. Ere the chill winter of our days arrive,
No more she paints the breast from passion free; I feel, I feel one loitering wish survive
Ah! need I, Florio, name that wish to thee? The star of Venus ushers in the day,
The first, the loveliest of the train that shine! The star of Venus lends her brightest ray,
When other stars their friendly beams resign. Still in my breast one soft desire remains,
Pure as that star, trom guilt, from interest, free; Has gentle Delia tripp'd across the plains,
And need I, Florio, name that wish to thee? While, cloy'd to find the scenes of life the same,
I tune with careless hand my languid lays, Some secret impulse wakes my former tlame,
And fires my strain with hopes of brighter days. I slept not long beneath yon rural bowers,
And lo! my crook with flow'rs adorn'd I see; Has gentle Delia bound my crook with flowers,
And need I, Florio, vame my hopes to thee?
TO A FRIEND, on some slight OCCASION ESTRANGED FROM HIM. Health to my friend, and many a cheerful day!
Around his seat may peaceful shades abide ! Smooth flow the minutes, fraught with smiles, away,
And till they crown our union gently glide ! Ah me! too swiftly fleets our vernal bloom!
Lost to our wonted friendship, lost to joy! Soon may thy breast the cordial wish resume,
Ere wintry doubt its tender warmth destroy! Say, were it ours, by Fortune's wild command,
By chance to meet beneath the torrid zone, Wouldst thou reject thy Damon's plighted hand? Wouldst thou with scorn thy once-lov'd friend
disown? Life is that stranger land, that alien clime;
Shall kindred souls forego their social claim? Launch'd in the vast abyss of space and time,
Shall dark suspicion quench the generous flame? Myriads of souls, that knew one parent mould,
See sadly sever'd by the laws of Chance! Myriads, in Time's perennial list enroll’d,
Forbid by Fate to change one transient glance ! But we have met—where ills of every form,
Where passions rage, and hurricanes descend ; Say, shall we nurse the rage, assist the storm,
And guide them to the bosom-of a friend? Yes, we have met-through rapine, fraud, and
wrong: Might our joint aid the paths of peace explore ! Why leave thy friend amid the boisterous throng,
Ere death divide us, and we part no more?
For, oh! pale Sickness warns thy friend away;
For me no more the vernal roses bloom! I see stern Fate his ebon wand display,
And point the wither'd regions of the tomb. Then the keen anguish from thine eye shall start,
Sad as thou follow'st my untimely bier ; • Fool that I was—if friends so soon must part,
To let suspicion intermix a fear.'
DECLINING AN INVITATION TO VISIT
FOREIGN COUNTRIES, HE TAKES OCCA-
TO LORD TEMPLE.
While others, lost to friendship, lost to love,
Waste their best minutes on a foreign strand, Be mine with British nymph or swain to rove,
And court the genius of my native land. Deluded youth ! that quits these verdant plains,
To catch the follies of an alien soil !
Return exultant, and import the spoil !
No more it blooms, to British climes convey'd; Cramp'd by the impulse of ungenial skies,
See its fresh vigour in a moment fade! The' exotic folly knows its native clime,
An aukward stranger, if we waft it o'er; Why then these toils, this costly waste of time,
To spread soft poison on our happy shore?
I covet not the pride of foreign looms :
In search of foreign modes I scorn to rove; Nor for the worthless bird of brighter plumes
Would change the meanest warbler of my grove. No distant clime shall servile airs impart,
Or form these limbs with pliant ease to play ; Trembling I view the Gaul's illusive art
That steals my lov'd rusticity away. 'Tis long since Freedom fled the Hesperian clime,
Her citron groves, her flow'r-embroider'd shore; She saw the British oak aspire sublime,
And soft Campania's olive charms no more. Let partial suns mature the western mino,
To shed its lustre o'er the' Iberian maid; Mien, beauty, shape, () native soil! are thine ;
Thy peerless danghters ask no foreign aid. Let Ceylon's envied plant ' perfume the seas,
Till torn to season the Batavian bowl; Ours is the breast whose genuine ardours please,
Nor need a drug to meliorate the soul. Let the proud Soldan wound the Arcadian groves,
Or with rude lips the’ Aonian fount profane ; The Muse no more by flowery Ladon roves,
She seeks her Thomson on the British plain. Tell not of realms by ruthless war dismay'd ;
Ah! bapless realms ! that war's oppression feel! In vain may Austria boast her Noric blade,
If Austria bleed beneath her boasted steel. Beneath her palm Idume vents her moan;
Raptur'd, she once beheld its friendly shade; And hoary Memphis boasts her tombs alone,
The mournful types of mighty pow'r decay'd!
1 The cinnamon,