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Meanwhile the world, Ambition, owns thy sway;
Fame's loudest trumpet labours with thy name; For thee the Muse awakes her sweetest lay,
And Flattery bids for thee her altars flame.
Nor in life's lofty bustling sphere alone,
The sphere where monarchs and where heroes toil, Sink Virtue's sons beneath Misfortune's frown,
While Guilt's thrilled bosom leaps at Pleasure's smile:
Full oft, where Solitude and Silence dwell,
Far, far remote, amid the lowly plain, Resounds the voice of Woe from Virtue's cell:
Such is man's doom; and Pity weeps in vain.
Still grief recoils-How vainly have I strove,
Thy power, O Melancholy, to withstand! Tired I submit; but yet, O yet remove,
Or ease the pressure of thy heavy hand.
Yet, for a while, let the bewildered soul
Find in society relief from woe;
Some respite, Friendship, wilt thou not bestow!
Come then, PHILANDER! whose exalted mind
Looks down from far on all that charms the great ; For thou canst bear, unshaken and resigned,
The brightest smiles, the blackest frowns of Fate !
Come thou, whose love unlimited, sincere,
Nor faction cools, nor injury destroys ; Who lend'st to Misery's moan a pitying ear,
And feel’st with ecstasy another's joys:
Who know'st man's frailty, with a favouring eye
And melting heart, behold'st a brother's fall; Who, unenslaved by Fashion's narrow tye,
With manly freedom follow'st Nature's call.
And bring thy DELIA, sweetly-smiling fair,
Whose spotless soul no rankling thoughts deform; Her gentle accents calm each throbbing care,
And harmonize the thunder of the storm.
Though blest with wisdom, and with wit refined,
She courts no homage, nor desires to shine ; In her each sentiment sublime is joined
To female softness, and a form divine.
Come, and disperse the involving shadows drear;
Let chastened mirth the social hours employ. O catch the swift-winged moment while 'tis near
On swiftest wing the moment flies of joy.
Even while the careless disencumbered soul
Sinks, all dissolving, into pleasure's dream, Even then to time's tremendous verge we roll,
With headlong haste, along life's surgey stream.
Can gaiety the vanished years restore,
Or on the withering limbs fresh beauty shed,
Or soothe the sad INEVITABLE HOUR,
Or cheer the dark, dark mansions of the dead
Still sounds the solemn knell, in Fancy's ear,
That called Eliza to the silent tomb;
How shone the nymph in beauty's brightest bloom !
Ah! Beauty's bloom avails not in the grave !
Youth's lofty mien, nor Age's awful grace. Moulder alike unknown the prince and slave,
Whelmed in the enormous wreck of human race.
The thought-fixed portraiture, the breathing bust,
The arch with proud memorials arrayed, The long-lived pyramid shall sink in dust,
To dumb Oblivion's ever desert shade.
Fancy from joy still wanders far astray.
Ah Melancholy, how I feel thy power ! Long have I laboured to elude thy sway
But 'tis enough, for I resist no more.
The traveller thus, that o'er the midnight waste,
Through many a lonesome path is doomed to roam, Wildered and weary sits him down at last;
For long the night, and distant far his home.