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Ah, still as soon the young Aurora plays,
Tho' moons and flambeaux trail their broadest blaze ;
As soon the sky-lark pours his matin-song,
Tho' Evening lingers at the masque so long,
There let her strike with momentary ray,
As tapers shine their little lives away ;
There let her practise from herself to steal,
And look the happiness she does not feel ;
The ready smile and bidden blush employ
At Faro-routs that dazzle to destroy ;
Fan with affected ease the essenced air,
And lisp of fashions with unmeaning stare.
Be thine to meditate an humbler flight,
When morning fills the fields with rosy light ;
Be thine to blend, nor thine a vulgar aim,
Repose with dignity, with Quiet fame.
Here no state-chambers in long line unfold,
Bright with broad mirrors, rough with fretted gold ;
Yet modest ornament, with use combined,
Attracts the eye to exercise the mind.
Small change of scene, small space his home requires,
Who leads a life of satisfied desires.
What tho' no marble breathes, no canvas glows, From every point a ray of genius flows !
Be mine to bless the more mechanic skill,
That stamps, renews, and multiplies at will;
And cheaply circulates, thro’ distant climes,
The fairest relics of the purest times.
Here from the mould to conscious being start
Those finer forms, the miracles of art;
Here chosen gems, imprest on sulphur, shine,
That slept for ages in a second mine ;
And here the faithful graver dares to trace
A MICHAEL's grandeur, and a RAPHAEL's grace!
Thy gallery, Florence, gilds my humble walls;
And my low roof the Vatican recalls!
Soon as the morning-dream my pillow flies,
To waking sense what brighter visions rise !
O mark! again the coursers of the Sun,
At Guido's call, their round of glory run!
Again the rosy Hours resume their flight,
Obscured and lost in floods of golden light!
But could thine erring friend so long forget
(Sweet source of pensive joy and fond regret)
That here its warmest hues the pencil flings,
Lo! here the lost restores, the absent brings ;
And still the Few best loved and most revered
Rise round the board their social smile endeared ?
Selected shelves shall claim thy studious hours ;
There shall thy ranging mind be fed on flowers !*
There, while the shaded lamp's mild lustre streams,
Read ancient books, or dream inspiring dreams ;
And, when a sage's bust arrests thee there,
Pause, and his features with his thoughts compare.
—Ah, most that Art my grateful rapture calls,
Which breathes a soul into the silent walls ;t
Which gathers round the Wise of every Tongue,
All on whose words departed nations-hung;
Still prompt to charm with many a converse sweet ;
Guides in the world, companions in retreat !
thatched bath no rich Mosaic knows,
A limpid spring with unfelt current flows.
Emblem of Life! which, still as we survey,
Seems motionless, yet ever glides away!
The shadowy walls record, with Attic art,
The strength and beauty which its waves impart.
Here Thetis, bending, with a mother's fears
Dips her dear boy, whose pride restrains his tears.
. apis Matina
Grata carpentis thyma. .-Hor. † Postea verò quam Tyrannio mihi libros disposuit, mens addita videtur meis ædibus.-Cic.
There Venus, rising, shrinks with sweet surprise, As her fair self reflected seems to rise !
Far from the joyless glare, the maddening strife, And all the dull impertinence of life, These eyelids open to the rising ray, And close, when Nature bids, at close of day. Here, at the dawn, the kindling landscape glows; There noonday levees call from faint repose. Here the flushed wave flings back the parting light; There glimmering lamps anticipate the night. When from his classic dreams the student steals,* Amid the buzz of crowds, the whirl of wheels, To muse unnoticed—while around him press The meteor-forms of equipage and dress ; Alone, in wonder lost, he seems to stand A very stranger in his native land! And (tho' perchance of current coin possest, And modern phrase by living lips exprest) Like those blest Youths, forgive the fabling page, Whose blameless lives deceived a twilight age,
* Ingenium, sibi quod vacuas desumsit henas,
Et studiis annos septem dedit, insenuitque
Libris et curis, statuâ taciturnius exit
Spent in sweet slumbers; till the miner's spade
Unclosed the cavern, and the morning played.
Ah, what their strange surprise, their wild delight !
New arts of life, new manners meet their sight!
In a new world they wake, as from the dead;
Yet doubt the trance dissolved, the vision fled!
O come, and, rich in intellectual wealth,
Blend thought with exercise, with knowledge health ;
Long, in this sheltered scene of lettered talk,
With sober step repeat the pensive walk,
Nor scorn, when graver triflings fail to please,
The cheap amusements of a mind at ease;
Here every care in sweet oblivion cast,
And many an idle hour—not idly passed.
No tuneful echoes, ambushed at my gate,
Catch the blest accents of the wise and great.
Vain of its various page, no Album breathes
The sigh that Friendship or the Muse bequeaths.
Yet some good Genii o'er my hearth preside,
Oft the far friend, with secret spell, to guide ;
And there I trace, when the gray evening lours,
A silent chronicle of happier hours !
When Christmas revels in a world of snow,
And bids her berries blush, her carols flow,