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'Till April starts, and calls around
The sleeping fragrance from the ground,
And lightly o'er the living scene
Scatters his freshest tenderest green.
New-born flocks, in rustic dance,
Frisking ply their feeble feet;
Forgetful of their wintry trance,
The birds his presence greet ;
But chief, the sky-lark warbles high
His trembling thrilling ecstacy;
And, lessening from the dazzled sight,
Melts into air and liquid light.
Yesterday, the sullen year
Saw the snowy whirlwind fly;
Mute was the music of the air,
The herd stood drooping by;
Their raptures now that wildly flow,
No yesterday nor morrow know;
'Tis man alone that joy descries
With forward and reverted eyes.
Smiles on past Misfortune's brow
Soft Reflection's hand can trace,
And o'er the cheek of Sorrow throw
A melancholy grace;
While Hope prolongs our happier hour
Or deepest shades, that dimly lower
And blacken round our weary way,
Gilds with a gleam of distant day.
Still, where rosy Pleasure leads,
See a kindred Grief pursue;
Behind the steps that Misery treads,
Approaching Comfort view :
The hues of bliss more brightly glow,
Chastis'd by sabler tints of woe,
And blended form, with artful strife,
The strength and harmony of life.
See the wretch, that long has tost
On the thorny bed of pain,
At length repair his vigour lost,
And breathe and walk again :
The meanest floweret of the vale,
The simplest note that swells the gale,
The common sun, the air, the skies,
To him are opening Paradise.
MR. GRAY'S ODE AT THE GRANDE CHARTREUSE.-Translated by Miss Bowdler.
OH Thou! whose awful Spirit o'er the gloom
Of these deep shades presides, with rites severe
In trembling silence here ador'd-(For sure
Amidst the pathless woods, the mountains wild,
And hollow cliffs re-echoing to the sound
Of rushing torrents foaming o'er the rocks,
The conscious spirit feels thy awful presence
More deep impress'd than in the stately dome
By Phidian art adorn'd)—Oh, hear my pray'r;
Receive a weary youth with grief oppress'd,
And soothe his anxious bosom to repose!-
But if compell'd to leave these peaceful shades,
This hallow'd silence, and again to steer
My feeble bark on life's tempestuous tide,
Oh give at last some haven of repose,
Far from the tumults of the world, where peace
May bless the evening of my days, and age
May gently sink to rest.-
How swiftly glide the fleeting years
Nor virtue, piety, nor tears,
Their rapid course can stay;
Time blasts, alas! the fairest face
Death hastens on with steady pace,
To summon us away.
He mocks the feeble pow'rs of man,
Nor all the richest treasures can
Protract the final doom:
The rich, the poor, the great, the small,
Must yield obedience to his call,
And fill alike the tomb.
What though we shun the stormy sea!
What though, where thund'ring cannons play,
From Death the coward flies?
Death close pursues, a ruthless foe,
And, where he least expects the blow,
In hed the dastard dies.
Then must we leave those darling joys,
Our tender wife, our pratling boys,
Which form'd our bliss before!
All must, at last, from earth retreat;
Our stately house, our peaceful seat,
Shall know us then no more.
The waving wood, the shady grove,
With all the scenes of social love,
We must for ever leave;
And while we moulder into earth,
Our sprightlier heirs, with wanton mirth,
Shall riot o'er our grave.