Page images
PDF
EPUB

WRITTEN ON NEW-YEAR'S EVE, WHILE THE BELLS

werE RINGING OUT THE OLD YEAR.

AGAiN the smoothly circling year,
Beneath fair skies serene and clear,

Completes its gentle round;
Sweet bells in tuneful sounds express
Gay thanks for rural happiness,

And months with plenty crown'd.

While yet remains the courteous guest,
0, be my grateful thoughts express'd

Unmix'd with grief or fear.
Farewell, ye Seasons ! roll away ;
I wish not to prolong your stay,

Though age brings up the rear.

III.
Cheerful, I trust, for future good,
The hand which all the past bestow'd,

Nor heed life's shifting scene.
Farewell, kind Year, which still has bless'd
My days with peace, my nights with rest,

And leavest my mind serene.

IV.

Not yet—but now impends the stroke;
The far resounding midnight clock

Has summon'd thee away:
Go, mingle with the countless past;
Till Time himself has lived his last,

In soft oblivion stay.

[ocr errors]

But then with smiling grace appear,
Thou blameless, grief-unsullied Year,

O smile once more on me;
And witness that thy golden hours
Have all been prized, as summer flowers,

By some industrious bee.

TO CHEERFULNESS.

[ocr errors]

Fair Cheerfulness, nymph who all nymphs dost

excel; Ah, tell me, sweet Cheerfulness, where dost thou

dwell ? I would search the world round, thee, dear charmer,

to find, And with thy rosy chaplet my forehead to bind.

II.
When, with thec, shall I drink of the clear crystal

spring,
While birds on the branches rejoicingly sing ?
When, with thee, on the sun-shiny hills shall I play,
When all nature around us looks dowery and gay?

III.
0, why have I lost thee? What heedless offence,
Delightful companion, has banish'd thee hence ?
This heart, still thy own, has admitted no guest
By whom thou, dearest charmer, should be dis-

possess’d,

iv. : Thou ever wert known with Religion to dwell, Aud gild with thy smiles her contemplative cell; With Innocence thou trippest light o'er the green, While the blue sky above shines all clear and serene,

With Philosophy oft thy gay moments were pass'd,
When Socrates heighten'd the pleasing repast;
With Industry ever thou lovest to go,
Though she carry the milk-pail, or follow the
plough.

VI.
Far away from my bosom I banish'd thy foes,
Nor admitted one thought that could hurt thy

repose ; Unresting Ambition, wild Passion's excess, Anxiety vain, and romantic Distress.

VII. Indeed, giddy Mirth and her frolicsome crew But little, if ever, thy Rosalind knew : Yet my solitude often by thee has been bless'd; My days thou hast brighten'd, and sweeten'd my rest.

VIII. Why then art thou gone ? 0, inconstant as fair, Art thou only a tenant of summer's soft air ? Full well did I hope thy perpetual ray Should gild, with mild lustre, life's most gloomy day.

IX.

Sweet songstress, dost thou with sad Philomel fly, To seek in new climes a more temperate sky; While the red-breast all winter continues to sing, And gladdens its snows with the music of spring?

Thou shouldst be through life my companion and

guide, Come sickness, come sorrow, whatever betide; Gift of heaven, to shorten our wearisome way, Through the valley of toil, to the regions of day.

XI.
But, methinks, in my heart still I hear thee re-

ply:
J cherish one guest, who constrains thee to dy;
Gray Memory famous, like Nestor of old,
For honied discourses, and stories twice told.*

XII. Old Memory often will dwell on a tale That makes the fresh rose in thy garland grow pale : Yet what can he tell, that may justly displease Thee, whose cloud-piercing eye all futurity sees ?

Elpnueva uu bodoyeverv. Hom. Od. xü. Human nature has in all ages been the same; and this has been the complaint of youth against age, and of cheerfulness against melancholy, from the earliest times.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »