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Vain hope-the irrevocable doom is past,
How did I rave, untaught to bear the blow!
How curse my fate in bitterness of woe!
Fond man, forbear,
Thy fruitless sorrow spare, Dare not to tax what Heaven's high will decreed; In humble rev'rence kiss the afflictive rod, And prostrate bow to an offended God. Perhaps kind Heaven in mercy dealt the blow,
Some saving truth thy roving soul to teach; To wean thy heart from grovelling views below,
And point out bliss beyond Misfortune's reach : To shew that all the flattering schemes of joy, Which towering Hope so fondly builds in air,
One fatal moment can destroy,
Nor let thy Emma die in vain :
Caught and imprison'd in a lonely cage,
Flutters awhile, and spends its little rage:
Droops the sweet mourner-but ere long
And meditates the song : Serenely sorrowing, breathes its piteous case, And with its plaintive warbling saddens all the place. Forgive me, Heaven !-yet, yet the tears will flow,
To think how soon my scene of bliss is past! My budding joys, just promising to blow,
All nipt and wither'd by one envious blast! My hours that laughing wont to fleet away,
Move heavily along;
Where's now the sprightly jest, the jocund song? Time creeps, unconscious of delight: How shall I cheat the tedious day;
And, oh :the joyless night! Where shall I rest iny weary head?
How shall I find repose on a sad widow'd bed?
Come, Theban drug, * the wretch's only aid,
To my torn heart its former peace restore ;
Awhile shall cease his sorrows to deplore:
Again with transport hear
But, ah! the unwelcome morn's obtruding light
Will all my shadowy schemes of bliss depose,
If to the verdant fields I stray,
And darkens all the scene with woe.
Sorrowing I rove
Thro' valley, grot, and grove ; Nought can their beauties or my loss restore ; No herb, no plant, can med'cine my disease, And my sad sighs are borne on every passing breeze.
Sickness and sorrow hovering round my bed,
Who now with anxious haste shall bring relief, With lenient hand support my drooping head,
Assuage my pains, and mitigate my grief? Should worldly business call away,
Who now, shall in my absence fondly mourn, Count every minute of the loitering day,
Impatient for my quick return? Should aught my bosom discompose,
Who now, with sweet complacent air,
And soften all my woes?
How shall I e'er regain my peace?
And thou, my little cherub, left behind
To hear a father's plaints, to share his woes, When Reason's dawn informs thy infant mind,
And thy sweet lisping tongue shall ask the cause, How oft with sorrow shall mine eyes run o'er,
When, twining round my knees, I trace
Thy mother's smile upon thy face!
By all the tears thou'st caus'd-oh! strange to hear!
Who now shall seek with fond delight
By all thy soft endearments blest,
Alas! is gone-yet shalt thou prove
And, O sweet senseless smiler (envied state!) 1 As yet unconscious of thy hapless fate,
When years thy judgment shall mature, And Reason shews those ills it cannot cure,
Wilt thou, a father's grief t' assuage, For virtue prove the Phenix of the earth (Like her, thy mother died to give thee birth,) And be the comfort of my age ?
When sick and languishing I lie,
And, oft as to thy listening ear,
Say, wilt thou drop the tender tear,
Whene'er thou seest the soft distress, Which I would vainly seek to hide,
Say, wilt thou strive to make it less ? To sooth my sorrows all thy cares employ, And in my cup of grief infuse one drop of joy ? ODE TO MELANCHOLY.
sublime! propitious power, Who o'er the unbounded waste art joy'd to roam, Led by the moon, when at the midnight hour
Her pale rays tremble thro' the dusky gloom. O bear me, goddess, to thy peaceful seat!
Whether to Hecla's cloud-wrapt brow convey'd, Or lodg'd where mountains screen thy deep retreat.
Or wandering wild thro' Chili's boundless shade. Say, rove thy steps o'er Lybia's naked waste ?
Or seek some distant solitary shore ?
Dost sit, and hear the solemn thunder roar ?
Fix'd on some hanging rock's projected brow,
Hear'st thou low murmurs from the distant dome? Or stray thy feet where pale dejected Woe
Pours her long wail from some lamented tomb ?
Hark! yon deep echo strikes the trembling ear!
See night's dun curtain wraps the darksome pole! O'er heaven's blue árch yon rolling worlds appear,
And rouse to solemn thought the aspiring soul.
O lead my steps beneath the moon's dim ray,
Where Tadmor stands all desert and alone! While from her time-shook towers the bird of prey
Sounds thro' the night her long-resounding moan.
Or bear me far to yon dark dismal plain,
Where fell-eyed tygers all a-thirst for blood, Howl to the desert; while the horrid train Roams o'er the wild where once great Babel stood;