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No ray from Grandeur's gilded car,
Flash on the startled eye.
But if some pilgrim through the glade,
Thy hallowed bowers explore,
O guard from harm his hoary head,
And listen to his lore;
For he of joys divine shall tell,
That wean from earthly woe,
And triumph o'er the mighty spell,
That chains this heart below.
For me, no more the path invites
Ambition loves to tread ;
No more I climb those toilsome heights
By guileful Hope misled;
Leaps my fond fluttering heart no more
To Mirth's enlivening strain;
For present pleasure soon is o'er,
And all the past is vain.
STILL shall unthinking man substantial deem
The forms, that fleet through life's deceitful dream?
On clouds, where Fancy's beam amusive plays,
Shall heedless Hope the towering fabric raise?
Till at Death's touch the fairy visions fly,
And real scenes rush dismal on the eye;
And, from Elysium's balmy slumber torn,
The startled soul awakes, to think, and mourn.
Oye, whose hours in jocund train advance,
Whose spirits to the song of gladness dance,
Who Aowery vales in endless view survey,
Glittering in beams of visionary day;
O, yet while Fate delays the impending woe,
Be roused to thought, anticipate the blow;
Lest, like the lightning's glance, the sudden ill
Flash to confound, and penetrate to kill ;
Lest, thus encompassed with funereal gloom,
Like me, ye bend o'er some untimely tomb,
Pour your wild ravings in Night's frighted ear,
And half pronounce Heaven's sacred doom severe.
Wise, beauteous, good ! O every grace combined,
That charms the eye, or captivates the mind !
Fair, as the floweret opening on the morn,
Whose leaves bright drops of liquid pearl adorn!
Sweet, as the downy-pinioned gale, that roves
To gather fragrance in Arabian groves !
Mild, as the strains, that, at the close of day,
Warbling remote, along the vales decay!
Yet, why with these compared ? What tints so fine,
What sweetness, mildness, can be matched with thine!
Why roam abroad ? Since still, to Fancy's eyes,
see thy lovely form arise.
Still let me gaze, and every care beguile,
Gaze on that cheek, where all the Graces smile ;
That soul-expressing eye, benignly bright,
Where meekness beams ineffable delight;
That brow, where Wisdom sits enthroned serene,
Each feature forms, and dignifies the mein:
Still let me listen, while her words impart
The sweet effusions of the blameless heart,
Till all my soul, each tumult charmed away,
Yields, gently led, to Virtue's easy sway.
By thee inspired, O Virtue ! Age is young,
And music warbles from the faltering tongue:
Thy ray creative cheers the clouded brow,
And decks the faded cheek with rosy glow,
Brightens the joyless aspect, and supplies
Pure heavenly lustre to the languid eyes:
But when Youth's living bloom reflects thy beams,
Resistless on the view the glory streams ;
Love, Wonder, Joy, alternately alarm,
And Beauty dazzles with angelic charm.
Ah! whither fled! ye dear illusions, stay !
Lo, pale and silent lies the lovely clay !
How are the roses on that cheek decay'd,
Which late the purple light of youth display'd !
Health on her form each sprightly grace bestow'd;
With life and thought each speaking feature glow’d.
Fair was the flower, and soft the vernal sky;
Elate with hope, we deemed no tempest nigh ;
When lo! a whirlwind's instantaneous gust
Left all its beauties withering in the dust!
All cold the hand, that soothed Woe's
head! And quenched the eye, the pitying tear that shed ! And mute the voice, whose pleasing accents stole, Infusing balm into the rankled soul! O Death! why arm with cruelty thy power, And
spare the idle weed, yet lop the flower ? Why fly thy shafts in lawless error driven ?
Is Virtue then no more the care of Heaven?
But peace, bold thought! be still my bursting heart!
We, not ELIZA, felt the fatal dart.
Scaped the dark dungeon, does the slave complain,
Nor bless the hand that broke the galling chain?
Say, pines not Virtue for the lingering morn,
On this dark wild condemned to roam forlorn ?