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With MEMORY's aid, he sits at home, and sees
His children sport beneath their native trees,
And bends to hear their cherub-voices call,
O'er the loud fury of the torrent's fall.
But can her smile with gloomy Madness dwell ?
Say, can she chase the horrors of his cell ?
Each fiery flight on Frenzy's wing restrain,
And mould the coinage of the fevered brain?
Pass but that grate, which scarce a gleam supplies,
There in the dust the wreck of Genius lies!
He, whose arresting hand divinely wrought
Each bold conception in the sphere of thought;
And round, in colours of the rainbow, threw
Forms ever fair, creations ever new !
But, as he fondly snatched the wreath of Fame,
The spectre Poverty unnerved his frame.
Cold was her grasp, a withering scowl she wore;
And Hope's soft energies were felt no more.
Yet still how sweet the soothings of his art !
From the rude wall what bright ideas start!
Even now he claims the amaranthine wreath,
With scenes that glow, with images that breathe !
And whence these scenes, these images, declare.
Whence but from Her who triumphs o'er despair ?
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, prophaned 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!
Ah! who can tell the triumphs of the mind,
By truth illumined, and by taste refined ?
When age has quenched the eye, and closed the ear,
Still nerved for action in her native sphere,
Oft will she rise—with searching glance pursue
Some long-loved image vanished from her view;
Dart thro’ the deep recesses of the past,
O’er dusky forms in chains of slumber cast;
With giant-grasp fling back the folds of night,
And snatch the faithless fugitive to light.
So thro' the grove the impatient mother flies,
Each sunless glade, each secret pathway tries;
Till the thin leaves the truant boy disclose,
Long on the wood-moss stretched in sweet repose.
Nor yet to pleasing objects are confined The silent feasts of the reflecting mind.
Danger and death a dread delight inspire;
And the bald veteran glows with wonted fire,
When, richly bronzed by many a summer-sun,
He counts his scars, and tells what deeds were done.
Go, with old Thames, view Chelsea's glorious pile;
And ask the shattered hero, whence his smile?
Go, view the splendid domes of Greenwich-Go,
And own what raptures from Reflection flow.
Hail, noblest structures imaged in the wave!
A nation's grateful tribute to the brave.
Hail, blest retreats from war and shipwreck, hail!
That oft arrest the wondering stranger's sail.
Long have ye heard the narratives of
The battle's havoc, and the tempest's rage;
Long have ye known Reflection's genial ray
Gild the calm close of Valour's various day.
Time's sombrous touches soon correct the piece,
Mellow each tint, and bid each discord cease:
A softer tone of light pervades the whole,
And steals a pensive languor o'er the soul.
Hast thou thro' Eden's wild-wood vales pursued
Each mountain-scene, majestically rude;
To note the sweet simplicity of life,
Far from the din of Folly's idle strife;
Nor there awhile, with lifted eye, revered
That modest stone which pious PEMBROKE reared;
Which still records, beyond the pencil's power,
The silent sorrows of a parting hour;
Still to the musing pilgrim points the place,
Her sainted spirit most delights to trace?
Thus, with the manly glow of honest pride,
O'er his dead son the gallant Ormond sighed.
Thus, thro' the gloom of ShensTONE's fairy-grove,
Maria's urn still breathes the voice of love.
As the stern grandeur of a Gothic tower
Awes us less deeply in its morning-hour,
Than when the shades of Time serenely fall
On every broken arch and ivied wall;
The tender images we love to trace,
Steal from each year a melancholy grace!
And as the sparks of social love expand,
As the heart opens in a foreign land;
And, with a brother's warmth, a brother's smile,
The stranger greets each native of his isle;
So scenes of life, when present and confest,
Stamp but their bolder features on the breast;
Yet not an image, when remotely viewed,
However trivial, and however rude,
But wins the heart, and wakes the social sigh,
With every claim of close affinity!
But these pure joys the world can never know;
In gentler climes their silver currents flow.
Oft at the silent, shadowy close of day,
When the hushed grove has sung its parting lay;
When pensive Twilight, in her dusky car,
Comes slowly on to meet the evening-star;
Above, below, aërial murmurs swell,
From hanging wood, brown heath, and bushy dell!
A thousand nameless rills, that shun the light,
Stealing soft music on the ear of night.
So oft the finer movements of the soul,
That shun the sphere of Pleasure's gay controul,
In the still shades of calm Seclusion rise,
And breathe their sweet, seraphic harmonies !
Once, and domestic annals tell the time, (Preserved in Cumbria's rude, romantic clime) When Nature smiled, and o'er the landscape threw Her richest fragrance, and her brightest hue,