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Hark, how through many a melting note
She now prolongs her lays:
How sweetly down the void they fioat!
The breeze their magic path attends :
The stars shine out: the forest bends:
The wakeful heifers gaze.
Whoe'er thou art whom chance may bring
To this sequester'd spot,
If then the plaintive syren sing,
Oh softly tread beneath her bower,
And think of heaven's disposing power,
Of man's uncertain lot.
Oh think, o'er all this mortal stage,
What mournful scenes arise:
What ruin waits on kingly rage:
How often virtue dwells with woe:
How many griefs from knowledge flow:
How swiftly pleasure flies.
O sacred bird, let me at eve,
Thus wandering all alone,
Thy tender counsel oft receive,
Bear witness to thy pensive airs,
And pity nature's common cares
Till I forget my own.
O RUSTIC herald of the spring,
At length in yonder woody vale
Fast by the brook I hear thee sing;
And, studious of thy homely tale,
Amid the Vespers of the grove,
Amid the chaunting choir of love,
Thy sage responses hail.
The time has been when I have frown'd
To hear thy voice the woods invade;
And while thy solemn accent drown'd
Some sweeter poet of the shade,
Thus, thought I, thus the sons of care
Some constant youth, or generous fair
With dull advice upbraid.
I said, “ While Philomela's song
“ Proclaims the passion of the grove,
“ It ill beseems a cuckow's tongue
“ Her charming language to reprove.”-
Alas, how much a lover's ear
Hates all the sober truth to heai,
The sober truth of love!
When liearts are in each other bless'd,
When nought but lofty faith can rule
The nymph's and swain's consenting breast,
How cuckow-like in Cupid's school,
With store of grave prudential saws
On fortune's power, and custom's laws,
Appears each friendly fool!
Yet think betimes, ye gentle train
Whom love, and hope, and fancy sway,
har care disdain,
Who by the morning judge the day,
Think that, in April's fairest hours,
To warbling shades and painted flowers
The cuckow joins his lay.
Of all the springs within the mind
in fortune's maze, From none more pleasing aid we find
Than from the genuine love of praise.
Nor any partial, private end
Such reverence to the public bears; Nor any passion, virtue s friend,
So like to virtue's self appears.
For who in glory can delight
Without delight in glorious deeds? What man a charming voice can slight,
Who courts the echo that succeeds ?
But not the echo on the voice
More than on virtue praise depends; To which, of course, its real price
The judgment of the praiser lends.
If praise then with religious awe
From the sole perfect judge be sought,
A nobler aim, a purer law,
Nor priest, nor bard, nor sage hath taught.
With which in character the same,
Though in an humbler sphere it lies,
I count that soul of human fame,
The suffrage of the good and wise.
O'er yonder eastern hill the twilight pale
Walks forth from darkness; and the god of day,
With bright Astræa seated by his side,
Waits yet to leave the ocean. Tarry, nymphs,
Ye nymphs, ye blue-ey'd progeny of Thames,
Who now the mazes of this rugged heath
Trace with your fleeting steps; who all night long
Repeat, amid the cool and tranquil air,
Your lonely murmurs; tarry, and receive
My offer'd lay. To pay your homage due,
I leave the gates of sleep; nor shall my lyre
Too far into the splendid hours of morn
Engage your audience : my observant hand
Shall close the strain ere any sultry beam
Approach you. To your subterranean haunts
Ye then may timely steal; to pace with care
The humid sands, to loosen from the soil
The bubbling sources, to direct the rills
To meet in wider channels; or beneath
Some grotto's dripping arch, at height of noon
To slumber, shelter'd from the burning heaven.
Where shall my song begin, ye nyinphs ? or end? Wide is your praise and copious—First of things,
First of the lonely powers, ere time arose,
Were Love and Chaos. Love the sire of fate;
Elder than Chaos. Born of fate was time,
Who many sons and many comely births
Devour’d, relentless father : till the child
Of Rhea drove him from the upper sky,
And quell’d his deadly might. Then social reignid
The kindred powers, Tethys, and reverend Ops,
And spotless Vesta: while supreme of sway
Rem in'd the cloud-compeller. From the couch
Of Tethys sprang the sedgy crowned race,
Who from a thousand urns, o'er every clime,
Send tribute to their parent: and from them
O Naiads! Arethusa fair,
And tuneful Aganippe; that sweet name,
Bandusia; that soft family which dwelt
With Syrian Daphne; and the honour'd tribes
Belov'd of Pæan. Listen to my strain,
Daughters of Tethys : iisten to your praise.
You nymphs, the winged offspring, which of old
Aurora to divine Astræus bore,
Owns; and your aid beseecheth. When the might
Of Hyperion, from his noontide throne,
Unbends their languid pinions, aid from you
They ask : Favonius and the mild south-west
From you relief implore. Your sallying streams
Fresh vigour to their weary wings impart.
Again they fly, disporting; from the mead
Half ripen'd and the tender blades of corn,
To sweep the noxious mildew ; or dispel
Contagious streams, which oft the parched earth
Breathes on her fainting sons. From noon to eve,
Along the river and the paved brook,
Ascend the cheerful freezes . haild of bards
Who, fast by learned Cam, the Æolian lyre
Solicit; nor unwelcome to the youth
Who on the heights of Tibur, all inclin'd
O'er rushing Anio, with a pious hand
The reverend scene delineates, broken tanes,
Or tombs, or pillar'd aqueducts, the pomp
Of ancient time; and haply, while he scans