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The swallow, oft, beneath my thatch,
Shall twitter from her clay-built nest;
Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch,
And share my meal, a welcome guest.
Around my ivied porch shall spring
Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew;
And Lucy, at her wheel, shall sing,
In russet gown and apron blue.
The village-church, among the trees,
Where first our marriage-vows were giv'n,
With merry peals shall swell the breeze,
And point with taper spire to heav'n.
CAG'd in old woods, whose reverend echoes wake
When the hern screams along the distant lake,
Her little heart oft flutters to be free,
Oft sighs to turn the unrelenting key.
In vain! the nurse that rusted relic wears,
Nor mov'd by gold-nor to be mov'd by tears;
And terrac'd walls their black reflection throw
On the green-mantled moat that sleeps below.
Poetic visions charm my closing eye;
And fairy-scenes, that Fancy loves to weave,
Shift to wild notes of sweetest Minstrelsy;
"Tis thine to range in busy quest of prey,
Thy feathery antlers quivering with delight,
Brush from my lids the hues of heav'n away,
And all is Solitude, and all is Night!
-Ah now thy barbed shaft, relentless fly,
Unsheaths its terrors in the sultry air!
No guardian sylph, in golden panoply,
Lifts the broad shield, and points the sparkling spear.
Now near and nearer rush thy whirring wings,
Thy dragon-scales still wet with human gore.
Hark, thy shrill horn its fearful larum flings!
-I wake in horror, and dare sleep no more!'