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Smoothly they pursue their way,
With even tenor and with equal breath,
And weeping Wo, and Disappointment keen, Repining Penury, and Sorrow sour,
And self-consuming Spleen.
Know the thought-throned mind to please,
To realms where Fancy's golden orbits roll,
High above the burning zone,
His melancholy moan.
Of sleepless nights of anguish-ridden days, Pangs that his sensibility uprouse
To curse his being and his thirst for praise. Thou gav'st to him with treble force to feel
The sting of keen neglect, the rich man's
scorn ; And what o'er all does in his soul preside Predominant, and tempers him to steel,
His high indignant pride.
Lament not ye, who humbly steal through life,
That Genius visits not your lowly shed; For, ah, what woes and sorrows ever rife
Distract his hapless head ! For him awaits no balmy sleep,
He wakes all night, and wakes to weep; Or by his lonely lamp he sits
At solemn midnight when the peasant sleeps, In feverish study, and in moody fits
His mournful vigils keeps.
II. 2. And, oh! for what consumes his watchful oil ? For what does thus he waste life’s fleeting
breath? 'Tis for neglect and penury he doth toil,
'Tis for untimely death. Lo! where dejected pale he lies,
Despair depicted in his eyes, He feels the vital flame decrease,
He sees the grave wide-yawning for its prey, Without a friend to soothe his soul to peace,
And cheer the expiring ray.
By Sulmo's bard of mournful fame,
Will I thy pangs proclaim;
And far-resounding Fame.
And thou at thy flash'd car dost nations draw, Yet, ah! unseen behind thee fly
Corroding Anguish, soul-subduing Pain, And Discontent that clouds the fairest sky:
A melancholy train. Yes, Genius, thee a thousand cares await. Mocking thy derided state; Thee chill Adversity will still attend, Before whose face flies fast the summer's friend,
And leaves thee all forlorn ; While leaden Ignorance rears her head and
laughs, And fat Stupidity shakes his jolly sides, And while the cup of affluence he quaffs
With bee-eyed Wisdom, Genius derides, Who toils, and every hardship doth outbrave, To gain the meed of praise, when he is moulder
ing in his grave.
FRAGMENT OF AN ODE TO THE
A pathless wanderer o'er a lonely wild,
Nocturnal Study's still retreat,
And through my lofty casement weaves,
An intermingled beam.
These feverish dews that on my temples hang,
This quivering lip, these eyes of dying flame: These the dread signs of many a secret pang,
These are the meed of him who pants for fame ! Pale Moon, from thoughts like these divert my
soul; Lowly I kneel before thy shrine on high; My lamp expires ;—beneath thy mild control,
These restless dreams are ever wont to fly.
Come, kindred mourner, in my breast
And breathe the soul of peace; Mild visitor, I feel thee here, It is not pain that brings this tear,
For thou hast bid it cease.
Oh! many a year has pass'd away
Attun'd my infant reed.
When on the lake's damp marge I lay,
And mark'd the northern meteor's dance,
Twin sisters, faintly now ye deign
To chase superior pain.
And art thou fled, thou welcome orb?
So swiftly pleasure flies;
The beam of ardour dies.
Thou sinkest into rest;
Shall woo the god of soft repose