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Glows in the tiger's den, the serpent's nest,
On every form of varied life imprest.
The social tribes its choicest influence hail :
And, when the drum beats briskly in the gale,
The war-worn courser charges at the sound,
And with young vigour wheels the pasture round. Oft has the aged tenant of the vale
Lean'd on his staff to lengthen out the tale;
Oft have his lips the grateful tribute breath'd, From sire to son with pious zeal bequeath'd. When o'er the blasted heath the day declin'd, And on the scath'd oak warr'd the winter wind; When not a distant taper's twinkling ray
Gleam'd o'er the furze to light him on his way: When not a sheep-bell sooth'd his listening ear, And the big rain-drops told the tempest near;
Then did his horse the homeward track descry,'
The track that shunn'd his sad, inquiring eye;
And win each wavering purpose to relent,
With warmth so mild, so gently violent,
That his charm'd hand the careless rein resign'd,
And doubts and terrors vanish'd from his mind.
Recall the traveller, whose alter'd form
Has borne the buffet of the mountain-storm;
And who will first his fond impatience meet?
Yes, tho' the porter spurn him from his door,
Tho' all, that knew him, know his face no more,
His faithful dog shall tell his joy to each,
With that mute eloquence which passes speech.
And see, the master but returns to die!
Yet who shall bid the watchful servant fly?
The blasts of heav'n, the drenching dews of earth,
The wanton insults of unfeeling mirth,
These, when to guard Misfortune's sacred grave,
Will firm Fidelity exult to brave.
Led by what chart, transports the timid dove
The wreaths of conquest, or the vows of love?
Sweet bird! thy truth shall Harlem's walls attest,
And unborn ages consecrate thy nest.
When with the silent energy of grief,
With looks that ask'd, yet dar'd not hope relief,
Want, with her babes, round generous Valour clung,
To wring the slow surrender from his tongue,
"Twas thine to animate her closing eye;
Alas! 'twas thine perchance the first to die,
Crush'd by her meagre hand, when welcom'd from
Hark! the bee winds her small but mellow horn,"
Blithe to salute the sunny smile of morn.
O'er thymy downs she bends her busy course,
And many a stream allures her to its source.
'Tis noon, 'tis night. That eye so finely wrought,
Beyond the search of sense, the soar of thought,
Now vainly asks the scenes she left behind;
Its orb so full, its vision so confin'd!
Who guides the patient pilgrim to her cell?
Who bids her soul with conscious triumph swell?