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She eyed the main ; where, gaining on the view,
Blazed the Iberian streamer from afar :
She saw; and, on refulgent pinions borne,
TRIUMPH OF MELANCHOLY.
Memory, be still! why throng upon the thought
These scenes so deeply stained with sorrow's dye? Is there in all thy stores no cheerful draught,
To brighten yet once more in Fancy's eye ?
Yes—from afar a landscape seems to rise,
Embellished by the lavish hand of spring; Thin gilded clouds float lightly through the skies,
And laughing loves disport on fluttering wing.
How blest the youth in yonder valley laid !
What smiles in every conscious feature play! While, to the murmurs of the breezy glade,
His merry pipe attunes the rural lay.
Hail, Innocence! whose bosom all serene,
Feels not, as yet, the internal tempest roll. Oh, ne'er may care distract thy placid mein !
the shades of doubt o'erwhelm thy soul!
Vain wish! for lo, in gay attire concealed,
Yonder she comes ! the heart-inflaming fiend ! (Will no kind power the helpless stripling shield !)
Swift to her destined prey see Passion bend !
O smile accurst, to hide the worst designs !
Now with blithe eye she wooes him to be blest ; While round her arm, unseen, a serpent twines
And lo, she hurls it hissing at his breast !
And, instant, lo, his dizzy eyeball swims
Ghastly, and reddening darts a frantic glare; Pain, with strong grasp, distorts his writhing limbs,
And Fear's cold hand erects his frozen hair.
Is this, O Life, is this thy boasted prime !
And does thy spring no happier prospect yield ! Why should the sunbeam paint thy glittering clime,
When the keen mildew desolates the field !
How memory pains ! Let some gay theme beguile
The musing mind, and sooth to soft delight. Ye images of woe, no more recoil !
Be life's past scenes wrapt in oblivious night.
Now when fierce Winter, armed with wasteful power,
Heaves the wild deep that thunders from afar ; How sweet to sit in this sequestered bower,
To hear, and but to hear, the mingling war!
Ambition here displays no gilded toy,
That tempts on desperate wing the soul to rise ; Nor Pleasure's paths to wilds of woe decoy,
Nor Anguish lurks in Grandeur's proud disguise.
Oft has Contentment cheered this lone abode,
With the mild languish of her smiling eye ; Here Health in rosy bloom has often glowed,
While loose-robed Quiet stood enamoured by.
Even the storm lulls to more profound repose ;
The storm these humble walls assails in vain.
The shrub is sheltered, when the whirlwind blows,
While the oak's mighty ruin strows the plain.
Blow on, ye winds ! Thine, Winter, be the skies ;
And toss the infuriate surge, and vales lay waste. Nature thy temporary rage defies;
To her relief the gentler Seasons haste.
Throned in her emerald car, see Spring appear !
(As Fancy wills, the landscape starts to view.) Her emerald car the youthful Zephyrs bear,
Fanning her bosom with their pinions blue.