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When, in the crimson cloud of Even,
The lingering light decays,
And Hesper, on the front of heaven,
His glittering gem displays ;
Deep in the silent vale, unseen,
Beside a lulling stream,
A pensive Youth, of placid mien,
Indulged this tender theme.
Ye cliffs, in hoary grandeur piled,
High o'er the glimmering dale;
Ye woods, along whose windings wild,
Murmurs the solemn gale;
Where Melancholy strays forlorn,
And Woe retires to weep,
What time the wan moon's yellow horn
Gleams on the western deep.
To you, ye wastes, whose artless charms Ne'er drew Ambition's
eye, 'Scaped a tumultuous world's alarms, To your retreats I fly. Deep in your most sequestered bower, Let me at last recline,
Where Solitude, mild, modest power,
Leans on her ivy'd shrine.
How shall I woo thee, matchless Fair! Thy heavenly smile how win!
Thy smile, that smooths the brow of care, And stills the storm within.
O wilt thou to thy favourite grove
Thine ardent votary bring,
And bless his hours, and bid them move,
Serene, on silent wing.
Oft let remembrance sooth his mind,
With dreams of former days,
When, in the lap of peace reclined,
He framed his infant lays ;
When Fancy roved at large, nor Care,
Nor cold Distrust alarmed,
Nor Envy, with malignant glare,
His simple youth had harmed.
'Twas then, O Solitude, to thee His early vows were paid, From heart sincere, and warm, and free,
Ah why did Fate his steps decoy
In stormy paths to roam,
Remote from all congenial joy ? -
O take the Wanderer home!
Thy shades, thy silence, now be mine,
Thy charms my only theme;
My haunt the hollow cliff, whose pine
Waves o'er the gloomy stream,
Whence the scared owl, on pinions grey,
Breaks from the rustling boughs,
And down the lone vale sails away
To more profound repose.
O! while to thee the woodland pours
Its wildly warbling song,
And balmy from the bank of flowers
The zephyr breathes along ;
Let no rude sound invade from far,
No vagrant foot be nigh,