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Where Reason's meteor-rays, with sickly glow,
O’er the dun gloom a dreadful glimmering throw ?
Disclosing dubious to the affrighted eye
O'erwhelming mountains tottering from on high,
Black billowy seas in storm perpetual toss'd,
And weary ways in wildering labyrinths lost.
O happy stroke, that bursts the bonds of clay,
Darts through the rending gloom the blaze of day,
And wings the soul with boundless flight to soar,
Where dangers threat, and fear alarms no more!
Transporting thought! here let me wipe away
The tear of grief, and wake a bolder lay.
But ah! the swimming eye o'erflows anew,
Nor check the sacred drops to pity due ;
Lo! where in speechless, hopeless anguish, bend
O'er her loved dust, the Parent, Brother, Friend!
How vain the hope of man !—But cease the strain,
Nor Sorrow's dread solemnity profane ;
Mixed with yon drooping mourners, on her bier
In silence shed the sympathetic tear.
I. 1. O thou, who glad’st the pensive soul, More than Aurora's smile the swain forlorn, Left all night long to mourn Where desolation frowns, and tempests howł; And shrieks of woe, as intermits the storm, Far o'er the monstrous wilderness resound, And cross the gloom darts many a shapeless form, And many a fire-eyed visage glares around, O come, and be once more my guest ! Come, for thou oft thy suppliant's vow hast heard, And oft with smiles indulgent cheer'd,
And soothed him into rest.
Smit by thy rapture-beaming eye,
Deep flashing through the midnight of their mind,
The sable bands combined,
Where Fear's black banner bloats the troubled sky,
Appalled retire. Suspicion hides her head,
Nor dares th' obliquely gleaming eye-ball raise ;
Despair, with gorgon-figured veil o'erspread,
Speeds to dark Phlegethon's detested maze.
Lo, startled at the heavenly ray,
With speed unwonted Indolence upsprings,
And, heaving, lifts her leaden wings,
And sullen glides away.
Ten thousand forms, by pining Fancy view'd,
Dissolve. Above the sparkling flood
When Phæbus rears his awful brow,
From lengthening lawn and valley low
The troops of fen-born mists retire.
Along the plain
The joyous swain
Eyes the gay villages again,
And gold-illumined spire;
While, on the billowy ether borne,
Floats the loose lay's jovial measure;
And light along the fairy Pleasure,
Her green robes glittering to the morn,
Wantons on silken wing. And goblins all
To the damp dungeon shrink, or hoary hall
Or westward, with impetuous flight,
Shoot to the desart realms of their congenial Night.
When first on Childhood's eager gaze
Life's varied landscape, stretch'd immense around,
Starts out of night profound,
Thy voice incites to tempt th' untrodden maze.
Fond he surveys thy mild maternal face,
His bashful eye still kindling as he views,
And, while thy lenient arm supports his pace,
With beating heart the upland path pursues :
The path that leads, where, hung sublime,
And seen afar, youth's gallant trophies, bright
In Fancy's rainbow ray, invite
His wingy nerves to climb.
Pursue thy pleasurable way,
Safe in the guidance of thy heavenly guard,
While melting airs are heard,
And soft-eyed cherub forms around thee play:
Simplicity, in careless flowers array'd,
Prattling amusive in his accent meek;
And Modesty, half turning as afraid,
The smile just dimpling on his glowing cheek;