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From Thee gay Hope her airy colouring draws; And Fancy's flights are subject to thy laws. From Thee that bosom-spring of rapture flows, Which only Virtue, tranquil Virtue, knows.
When Joy's bright sun has shed his evening-ray, And Hope's delusive meteors cease to play ; When clouds on clouds the smiling prospect close, Still thro' the gloom thy star serenely glows: Like yon fair orb, she gilds the brow of night With the mild magic of reflected light.
The beauteous maid, who bids the world adieu, Oft of that world will snatch a fond review ; Oft at the shrine neglect her beads, to trace Some social scene, some dear, familiar face : And ere, with iron-tongue, the vesper-bell Bursts thro' the cypress-walk, the convent-cell, Oft will her warm and wayward heart revivc, To love and joy still tremblingly alive ; The whispered vow, the chaste caress prolong, Weave the light dance and swell the choral song; With rapt ear drink the enchanting serenade, And, as it melts along the moonlight-glade, To each soft note return as soft a sigh, And bless the youth that bids her slumbers fly.
But not till Time has calmed the ruffled breast,
From Guinea's coast pursue the lessening sail, And catch the sounds that sadden every gale. Tell, if thou canst, the sum of sorrows there; Mark the fixed gaze, the wild and frenzied glare, The racks of thought, and freezings of despair ! But pause not then—beyond the western wave, Go, see the captive bartered as a slave! Crushed till his high, heroic spirit bleeds, And from his nerveless frame indignantly recedes.
Yet here, even here, with pleasures long resigned, Lo! MEMORY bursts the twilight of the mind. Her dear delusions soothe his sinking soul, When the rude scourge assumes its base control ; And o'er Futurity’s blank page diffuse The full reflection of her vivid hues. 'Tis but to die, and then, to weep no more, Then will he wake on Congo's distant shore ; Beneath his plantain's ancient shade renew The simple transports that with freedom flew;
Catch the cool breeze that musky Evening blows,
Ah! why should Virtue fear the frowns of Fate?
But most we mark the wonders of her reign, When Sleep has locked the senses in her chain. When sober Judgment has his throne resigned, She smiles away the chaos of the mind; And, as warm Fancy's bright Elysium glows, From Her each image springs, each colour flows. She is the sacred guest! the immortal friend! Oft seen o'er sleeping Innocence to bend, In that dead hour of night to Silence given, Whispering seraphic visions of her heaven.
When the blithe son of Savoy, journeying round With humble wares and pipe of merry sound,
From his green vale and sheltered cabin hies,
But can her smile with gloomy Madness dwell ?
Pass but that grate, which scarce a gleam supplies,
Yet still how sweet the soothings of his art !
Awake, arise! with grateful fervour fraught, Go, spring the mine of elevating thought. He, who, thro’ Nature's various walk, surveys The good and fair her faultless line pourtrays; Whose mind, profaned by no unhallowed guest, Culls from the crowd the purest and the best ; May range, at will, bright Fancy's golden clime, Or, musing, mount where Science sits sublime, Or wake the Spirit of departed Time. Who acts thus wisely, mark the moral Muse, A blooming Eden in his life reviews ! So rich the culture, tho' so small the space, Its scanty limits he forgets to trace. But the fond fool, when evening shades the sky, Turns but to start, and gazes but to sigh! The weary waste, that lengthened as he ran, Fades to a blank, and dwindles to a span!