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Why do the birds, that song and rapture brought See, in the rear of the warm sunny shower
And, lo! in the dark east, expanded high,
Fond fool, that deem'st the streaming glory nigh, ! Where now the rill, melodious, pure, and cool, How vain the chase thine ardor has begun! And meads, with life, and mirth, and beauty "Tis fled afar, ere half thy purpos'd race be run.
crown'd? Ah! see, th' unsightly slime, and sluggish pool, Yet couldst thou learn, that thus it fares with age, Have all the solitary vale embrown'd;
When pleasure, wealth, or power, the bosom warm Fled each fair form, and mute each melting sound, This based hope might tame thy manhood's rage, The raven croaks forlorn on naked spray:
And disappointment of her sting disarm. And hark! the river, bursting every mound, But why should foresight thy fond heart alarm? Down the vale thunders, and with wasteful sway Perish the lore that deadens young desire ; Uproots the grove, and rolls the shatter'd rocks Pursue, poor imp, th' imaginary charm, away.
Indulge gay hope, and Fancy's pleasing fire:
Fancy and Hope too soon shall of themselves expire " Yet such the destiny of all on Earth : So flourishes and fades majestic Man.
When the long-sounding curfew from afar Fair is the bud his vernal morn brings forth, Loaded with loud lament the lonely gale, And fostering gales awhile the nursling fan. Young Edwin, lighted by the evening star, O smile, ye Heavens, serene; ye mildews wan, Lingering and listening, wander'd down the vale. Ye blighting whirlwinds, spare his balmy prime, There would he dream of graves, and corses pale ; Nor lessen of his life the little span.
And ghosts that to the charnel-dungeon throng, Borne on the swift, though silent, wings of Time, And drag a length of clanking chain, and wail, Old age comes on a pace, to ravage all the clime. Till silenc'd by the owl's terrific song,
Or blast that shrieks by fits the shuddering isles along “ And be it so. Let those deplore their doom, Whose hope still grovels in this dark sojourn : Or, when the setting Moon, in crimson dyed, But lofty souls, who look beyond the tomb, Hung o'er the dark and melancholy deep, Can smile at Fate, and wonder how they mourn. To haunted stream, remote from man, he hied, Shall Spring to these sad scenes no more return? Where fays of yore their revels wont to keep; Is yonder wave the Sun's eternal bed ?
And there let Fancy rove at large, till sleep Soon shall the orient with new lustre burn, A vision brought to his entranced sight. And Spring shall soon her vital influence shed, And first, a wildly-murmuring wind 'gan creep Again attune the grove, again adorn the mead. Shrill to his ringing ear; then tapers bright,
With instantaneous gleam, illum'd the vault of night Shall I be left forgotten in the dust, When Fate, relenting, lets the flower revive ? Anon in view a portal's blazon'd arch Shall Nature's voice, to man alone unjust,
Arose ; the trumpet bids the valves unfold : Bid him, though doom'd to perish, hope to live? And forth an host of little warriors march, Is it for this fair Virtue oft must strive
Grasping the diamond-lance, and targe of gold. With disappointment, penury, and pain ?
Their look was gentle, their demeanor bold, No: Heaven's immortal Spring shall yet arrive, And green their helms, and green their silk attire ; And man's majestic beauty bloom again,
And here and there, right venerably old, Bright through th' eternal year of Love's triumphant The long-rob'd minstrels wake the warbling wire, reign."
And some with mellow breath the martial pipe in
spire. This truth sublime his simple sire had taught ; In sooth, 'twas almost all the shepherd knew. With merriment, and song, and timbrels clear, No subtle nor superfluous lore he sought,
A troop of dames from myrtle bowers advance; Nor ever wish'd his Edwin to pursue.
The little warriors doff the targe and spear, "Let man's own sphere,” said he, "confine his view, And loud enlivening strains provoke the dance. Be man's peculiar work his sole delight."
They meet, they dart away, they wheel askance; And much, and oft, he warn'd him to eschew To right, to left, they thrid the flying maze; Falsehood and guile, and aye maintain the right, Now bound aloft with vigorous spring, then glance By pleasure unseduc'd, unaw'd by lawless might. Rapid along : with many-colord rays
Of tapers, gems, and gold, the echoing forests blaze “And from the prayer of Want, and plaint of Woe, O never, never turn away thine ear!
The dream is fled. Proud harbinger of day, Forlorn, in this bleak wilderness below,
Who scar'd'st the vision with thy clarion shrill, Ah! what were man, should Heaven refuse to hear ? Fell chanticleer! who oft hath reft away To others do (the law is not severe)
My fancied good, and brought substantial ill' What to thyself thou wishest to be done.
O to thy cursed scream, discordant still, Forgive thy foes; and love thy parents dear, Let Harmony aye shut her gentle ear: And friends, and native land ; nor those alone; Thy boastful mirih let jealous rivals spill, All human weal and woe learn thou to make thine Insult thy crest, and glossy pinions tear, own."
And ever in thy dreams the ruthless fox appear
Forbear, my Muse. Let Love attune thy line. Various and strange was the long.winded tale;
But when to horror his amazement rose,
A tale of rural life, a tale of woes,
The orphan-babes, and guardian uncle fierce In the lone valley; echoing far and wide
O cruel! will no pang of pity pierce The clamorous horn along the cliffs above;
That heart, by lust of lucre sear'd to stone ? The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide ;
For sure, if aught of virtue last, or verse, The hum of bees, the linnet's lay of love,
To latest time shall tender souls bemoan And the full choir that wakes the universal grove.
Those hopeless orphan-babes by thy fell arts undone. The cottage-curs at early pilgrim bark;
Behold, with berries smear'd, with brambles torn, Crown'd with her pail, the tripping milk-maid sings; The babes now famish'd lay them down to die : The whistling plowman stalks afield; and, hark!
Amidst the howl of darksome woods forlom, Down the rough slope the ponderous wagon rings; Folded in one another's arms they lie; Through rustling corn the hare astonish'd springs;
Nor friend, nor stranger, hears their dying cry: Slow tolls the village-clock the drowsy hour;
For from the town the man returns no more.” The partridge bursts away on whirring wings;
But thou, who Heaven's just vengeance dar’st defy,
This deed with fruitless tears shalt soon deplore, Deep mourns the turtle in sequester'd bower, And shrill lark carols clear from her aërial tour.
When Death lays waste thy house, and flames con
sume thy store. O Nature, how in every charm supreme !
A stifled smile of stern vindictive joy
Brighten'd one moment Edwin's starting tear,
“ But why should gold man's feeble mind decoy, To sing thy glories with devotion due !
And innocence thus die by doom severe ? Blest be the day I 'scaped the wrangling crew,
O Edwin! while thy heart is yet sincere, From Pyrrho's maze, and Epicurus' sty ;
Th' assaults of discontent and doubt repel : And held high converse with the godlike few,
Dark even at noontide is our mortal sphere; Who to th' enraptur'd heart, and ear, and eye,
But let us hope ; to doubt is to rebel ; Teach beauty, virtue, truth, and love, and melody.
Let us exult in hope, that all shall yet be well. Hence! ye who snare and stupefy the mind,
Nor be thy generous indignation check’d, Sophists, of beauty, virtue, joy, the bane!
Nor check'd the tender tear to Misery given; Greedy and fell, though impotent and blind, From Guilt's contagious power shall that protect, Who spread your filthy nets in Truth's fair fane,
This soften and refine the soul for Heaven. And ever ply your venom'd fangs amain!
But dreadful is their doom, whom doubt has driven Hence to dark Error's den, whose rankling slime
To censure Fate, and pious Hope forego : First gave you form! Hence! lest the Muse should like yonder blasted boughs by lightning riven, deign,
Perfection, beauty, life, they never know, (Though loth on theme so mean to waste a rhyme, But frown on all that pass, a monument of woe. With vengeance to pursue your sacrilegious crime.
Shall he, whose birth, maturity, and age, But hail, ye mighty masters of the lay,
Scarce fill the circle of one summer day, Nature's true sons, the friends of man and truth!
Shall the poor gnat, with discontent and rage, Whose song, sublimely sweet, serenely gay, Exclaim that Nature hastens to decay, Amus'd my childhood, and inform’d my youth. If but a cloud obstruct the solar ray, O let your spirit still my bosom soothe,
If but a momentary shower descend ? Inspire my dreams, and my wild wanderings guide! Or shall frail man Heaven's dread decree gainsay, Your voice each rugged path of life can smooth: Which bade the series of events extend For well I know, wherever ye reside,
Wide through unnumber'd worlds, and ages without 'There harmony, and peace, and innocence abide.
end ? Ah me! neglected on the lonesome plain,
One part, one little part, we dimly scan As yet poor Edwin never knew your lore, Through the dark medium of life's feverish dream; Save when against the winter's drenching rain, Yet dare arraign the whole stupendous plan, And driving snow, the cottage shut the door. If but that little part incongruous seem. Then, as instructed by tradition hoar,
Nor is that part, perhaps, what mortals deem; Her legend when the beldame 'gan impart, Oft îrom apparent ill our blessings rise. Or chant the old heroic ditty o'er,
O then renounce that impious self-esteem, Wonder and joy ran thrilling to his heart;
That airns to trace the secrets of the skies : Much he the tale adınir'd, but more the tuneful art. For thou art but of dust; be humble, and be wise. 102
Thus Heaven enlarg'd his soul in riper years. of elegance as yet he took no care ;
By chance, or search, was offer'd to his view, Yet deem they darkness light, and their vain blun. He scann’d with curious and romantic eye. ders wit.
Whate'er of lore tradition could supply
From Gothic tale, or song, or fable old,,
Rous'd him, still keen to listen and to pry.
For many a long month lost in snow profound,
When Sol from Cancer sends the season bland,
Torrents are hurl'd; green hills emerge ; and lo,
But on this verse if Montague should smile.
For still with truth accords her taste refin'd.
At lucre or renown let others aim,
Of chance or change O let not man complain,
For, from the imperial dome, to where the swain
Rears the lone cottage in the silent dale, Responsive to the sprightly pipe, when all
All feel th' assault of Fortune's fickle gale ; In sprightly dance the village youth were join'd,
Art, empire, Earth itself, to change are doom'd; Edwin, of melody aye held in thrall,
Earthquakes have rais'd to Heaven the humble vale. From the rude gambol far remote reclin'd,
And gulfs the mountain's mighty mass entomb'd; Sooth'd with the soft notes warbling in the wind.
And where th' Atlantic rolls, wide continents have Ah then, all jollity seem'd noise and folly,
bloom'd.* To the pure soul by Fancy's fire refind,
But sure to foreign climes we need not range, Ah, what is mirth but turbulence unholy,
Nor search the ancient records of our race, When with the charm compar'd of heavenly melan- To learn the dire effects of time and change, choly !
Which in ourselves, alas! we daily trace.
Yet at the darken'd eye, the wither'd face, Is there a heart that music cannot melt?
Or hoary hair, I never will repine:
But spare, 0 Time, whate'er of mental grace,
Whate'er of fancy's ray or friendship’s flame is mine
So I, obsequious to Truth's dread coinmand,
of childhood, where I sported many a day,
Warbling and sauntering carelessly along; For Edwin, Fate a nobler doom had plann'd; Where every face was innocent and gay, Song was his favorite and first pursuit.
Each vale romantic, tuneful every tongue,
Sweet, wild, and artless all, as Edwin's infant song.
* See Plato's Timeus.
“ Perish the lore that deadens young desire,” · Vain man! is grandeur giv'n to gay aitire ? Is the soft tenor of my song no more.
Then let the butterfly thy pride upbraid : Edwin, tho' lov'd of Heaven, must not aspire To friends, atiendants, arinies, bought with hire ? To bliss, which mortals never knew before. It is thy weakness that requires their aid : On trembling wings let youthful fancy soar, To palaces, with gold and gems inlaid ? Nor always haunt the sunny realms of joy : They fear the thief, and tremble in the storm : But now and then the shades of life explore ; To hosts, through carnage who 10 conquest wade ? Though many a sound and sight of woe annoy, Behold the vicior vanquish'd by the worm! And many a qualm of care his rising hopes destroy. Behold, what deeds of woe the locust can perform' Vigor from toil, from trouble patience grows.
“True dignity is his, whose tranquil mind The weakly blossom, warm in summer-bower,
Virtue has rais'd above the things below; Some tints of transient beauty may disclose ;
Who, every hope and fear lo lleaven resign'd, But soon it withers in the chilling hour.
Shrinks noi, though Foriune aim ber deadliest blow.' Mark yonder oaks! Superior to the power
This strain from 'midst the rocks was heard to flow, Of all the warring winds of Heaven, they rise,
In solemn sounds. Now beam'd the evening star; And from the stormy promontory tower,
And from emballled clouds emerging slow And toss their giant arms amid the skies,
Cynthia came riding on her silver car; While each assailing blast increase of strength sup. And hvary inountain-cliffs shone faintly from afar. plies.
Soon did the solemn voice its theme renew :
(While Edwin wrapt in wonder listening stood) And walks of wider circuit were his choice,
“ Ye tools and toys of tyranny, adieu, And vales more mild, and mountains more sublime. Scorn'd by the wise and haled by the good! One evening, as he fram'd the careless rhyme,
Ye only can engage ihe servile brood It was his chance to wander far abroad,
of Levity and Lust, who all their days, And o'er a lonely eminence to climb,
Asham'd of truth and liberty, have wood, Which heretofore his foot had never trode ;
And hugg'd the chain, that, glittering on their gazo A vale appear'd below, a deep retir'd abode.
Seems to outshine the pomp of Heaven's empyreal
blaze. Thither he bied, enamour'd of the scene. For rocks on rocks pil'd as by magic spell,
Like them, abandon'd to Ambition's sway, Here scorch'd with lightning, there with ivy green,
I sought for glory in the paths of guile; Fenc'd from the north and east this savage dell.
And fawn'd and smil'd, to plunder and betray, Southward a mountain rose with easy swell,
Myself betray'd and plunder'd all the while; Whose long, long groves eternal murmur made :
So gnaw'd the viper the corroding file; And toward the western sun a streamlet fell,
But now, with pangs of keen remorse, I rue Where, through the cliffs, the eye, remote, survey'd Those years of trouble and debasement vile. Blue hills, and glittering waves, and skies in gold Yet why should I this cruel theme pursue ? array’d.
Fly, fly, detested thoughts, for ever from my view! Along this narrow valley you might see
" The gusts of appetite, the clouds of care, The wild deer sporting on the meadow ground,
And storms of disappointment, all o'erpast, And, here and there, a solitary tree,
Henceforth no earthly hope with Heaven shall share Or mossy stone, or rock with woodbine crown'd.
This heart, where peace serenely shines at last. Oft did the cliffs reverberate the sound
And if for me no treasure be amass'd, Of parted fragments tumbling from on high ;
And if no future age shall hear my name, And from the summit of that craggy mound
I lurk the more secure from fortune's blast, The perching eagle oft was heard to cry,
And with more leisure feed this pious fame, Or on resounding wings, to shoot athwart the sky.
Whose rapture far transcends the fairest hopes of
fame. One cultivated spot there was, that spread
· The end and the reward of toil is rest. Its flowery bosom to the noonday beam, Where many a rose-bud rears its blushing head,
Be all my prayer for virtue and for peace. And herbs for food with future plenty teem.
Of wealth and fame, of pomp and power possess'd Sooth'd by the lulling sound of grove and stream,
Who ever felt weight of woe decrease ?
Ah! what avails the lore of Rome and Greece, Romantic visions swarm on Edwin's soul: He minded not the Sun's last trembling gleam,
The lay heaven-prompied, and harmonious string, Nor heard from far the twilight curfew toll ;
The dust of Ophir, or the Tyrian fleece, When slowly on his car these moving accents stole : All that art, fortune, enterprise, can bring,
If envy, scorn, remorse, or pride, the bosom wring! “ Hail, awful scenes, that calm the troubled breast, And woo the weary to profound repose !
Let Vanity adorn the marble tomb Can passion's wildest uproar lay to rest,
With trophies, rhymes, and scutcheons of renown, And whisper comfort to the man of woes? In the deep dungeon of some Gothic dome, Here Innocence may wander, safe from foes, Where night and desolation ever frown. And Contemplation soar on seraph wings.
Mine be the breezy hill that skirts the down; O solitude! the man who thee foregoes,
Where a green grassy turf is all I crave, When lucre lures him, or ambition stings,
With here and there a violet bestrown, Shall never know the source whence real grandeur Fast by a brook, or fountain's murmuring wave; springs.
And many an evening sun shine sweetly on my grave
"And thither let the village-swain repair;
“ Yet, can man's gentle heart become so fell !
"Tis he my doubt can clear, perhaps my care dispel." There let the shepherd's pipe the livelong day Fill all the grove with love's bewitching woe; At early dawn the youth his journey took, And when mild Evening comes in mantle grey, And many a mountain pass’d and valley wide, Let not the blooming band make haste to go; Then reach'd the wild ; where, in a flowery nook. No ghost, nor spell, my long and last abode shall And seated on a mossy stone, he spied know.
An ancient man: his harp lay him beside.
A stag sprang from the pasture at his call, "For though I ny to 'scape from Fortune's rage, And, kneeling, lick'd the wither'd hand that tied And bear the scars of envy, spite, and scorn, A wreath of woodbine round his antlers tall, Yet with mankind no horrid war I wage,
And hung his losiy neck with many a flow'ret Yet with no impious spleen my breast is torn:
The wanderer approaching : innocence
Who art thou, courteous stranger ? and from
whence ? "Along yon glittering sky what glory streams ! Why roam thy steps to this sequester'd dale ?" What majesiy attends Night's lovely queen! “A shepherd-boy," the youth replied, “far hence Fair laugh our valleys in the vernal beams; My habitation; hear my artless tale ; And mountains rise, and oceans roll between, Nor levity nor falsehood shall thine ear assail. And all conspire to beautify the scene. But, in the mental world, what chaos drear;
Late as I roam'd, intent on Nature's charms,
And, leaning where yon oak expands her arms, These dreadful forms to chase, this chaos dark to Heard these rude cliffs thine awful voice rebound, clear!
(For in thy speech I recognize the sound.)
You mourn'd for ruin'd man, and virtue lost, “O Thou, at whose creative smile, yon heaven, And seem'd to feel of keen remorse the wound, In all the pomp of beauty, life, and light,
Pondering on former days by guilt engross'd,
" But say, in courtly lise can craft be learn'd, Oglance on these sad shades one pitying ray, Where knowledge opens and exalts the soul ? To blast the fury of oppressive might,
Where Fortune lavishes her gifts unearn'd, Melt the hard heart to love and mercy's sway, Can selfishness the liberal heart control ? And cheer the wandering soul, and light him on the Is glory there achiev'd by arts, as foul
As those that felons, fiends, and furies plan?
Spiders ensnare, snakes poison, tigers prowl:
O teach a simple youth this mystery to scan.
Or else the lamentable strain disclaim,
Which, late, exulting, view'd in Nature's frame, Hail, Poverty! if honor, wealth, and art,
Goodness untainted, wisdom unconfinu,
Well pleas'd with all, but most with human-kind : He said, and turn d away ; nor did the sage When Fancy roam'd through Nature's works at O'erhear, in silent orisons employ'd.
will, The youth, his rising sorrow to assuage,
Uncheck'd by cold distrust, and uninform’d of Home as he hied, the evening scene enjoy'd :
ill." For now no cloud obscures the starry void ; The yellow moonlight sleeps on all the hills ; “ Wouldst thou,” the sage replied, “ in peace return Nor is the mind with startling sounds annoy'd; To the gay dreams of fond romantic youth, A soothing murmur the lone region fills,
Leave me to hide, in this remote sojour, of groves, and dying gales, and melancholy rills. From every gentle ear the dreadful truth:
For if my desullory strain with ruth But he from day to day more anxious grew, And indignation make thine eyes o'erflow, The voice still seem'd to vibrate on his ear, Alas! what comfort could thy anguish soothe, Nor durst he hope the hermit's tale untrue; Shouldst thou th' extent of human folly know. For man ho seem'd to love, and Heaven to fear; Be ignorance thy choice, where knowledge leads to And none speaks false, where there is none to hear.