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Whose every word enlightened and endeared;
In age beloved, in poverty revered;
In Friendship's silent register ye live,
Nor ask the vain memorial Art can give.
But when the sons of peace, of pleasure sleep,
When only Sorrow wakes, and wakes to weep,
What spells entrance my visionary mind
With sighs so sweet, with transports so refined ?
Ethereal Power! who at the noon of night Recall'st the far-fled spirit of delight; From whom that musing, melancholy mood Which charms the wise, and elevates the good; Blest MEMORY, hail! Oh grant the grateful Muse, Her pencil dipt in Nature's living hues, To pass the clouds that round thy empire roll, And trace its airy precincts in the soul.
Lulled in the countless chambers of the brain, Our thoughts are linked by many a hidden chain. Awake but one, and lo, what myriads rise ! Each stamps its image as the other flies. Each, as the various avenues of sense Delight or sorrow to the soul dispense, Brightens or fades; yet all, with magic art, Controul the latent fibres of the heart.
As studious PROSPERO's mysterious spell
Drew every subject-spirit to his cell;
Each, at thy call, advances or retires,
As judgment dictates or the scene inspires.
Each thrills the seat of sense, that sacred source
Whence the fine nerves direct their mazy course,
And thro' the frame invisibly convey
The subtle, quick vibrations as they play;
Man's little universe at once o'ercast,
At once illumined when the cloud is past.
Survey the globe, each ruder realm explore;
From Reason's faintest ray to NEWTON soar.
What different spheres to human bliss assigned !
What slow gradations in the scale of mind!
Yet mark in each these mystic wonders wrought;
Oh mark the sleepless energies of thought!
The adventurous boy, that asks his little share,
And hies from home with many a gossip's prayer,
Turns on the neighbouring hill, once more to see
The dear abode of peace and privacy;
And as he turns, the thatch among the trees,
The smoke's blue wreaths ascending with the breeze,
The village-common spotted white with sheep,
The church-yard yews round which his fathers sleep;
All rouse Reflection's sadly-pleasing train,
And oft he looks and weeps, and looks again.
So, when the mild Tupla dared explore
Arts yet untaught, and worlds unknown before,
And, with the sons of Science, wooed the gale
That, rising, swelled their strange expanse of sail;
So, when he breathed his firm yet fond adieu,
Borne from his leafy hut, his carved canoe,
And all his soul best loved --such tears he shed,
While each soft scene of summer-beauty fled.
Long o'er the wave a wistful look he cast,
Long watched the streaming signal from the mast;
Till twilight's dewy tints deceived his eye,
And fairy-forests fringed the evening-sky.
So Scotia's Queen, as slowly dawned the day, Rose on her couch and gazed her soul away. Her eyes had blessed the beacon's glimmering height, That faintly tipt the feathery surge with light; But now the morn with orient hues pourtrayed Each castled cliff and brown monastic shade: All touched the talisman's resistless spring, And lo, what busy tribes were instant on the wing !
Thus kindred objects kindred thoughts inspire, As summer-clouds flash forth electric fire.
And hence this spot gives back the joys of youth,
Warm as the life, and with the mirror's truth.
Hence home-felt pleasure prompts the Patriot's sigh;
This makes him wish to live, and dare to die.
For this young FOSCARI, whose hapless fate
Venice should blush to hear the Muse relate,
When exile wore his blooming years away,
To sorrow's long soliloquies a prey,
When reason, justice, vainly urged his cause,
For this he roused her sanguinary laws;
Glad to return, tho' Hope could grant no more,
And chains and torture hailed him to the shore.
And hence the charm historic scenes impart;
Hence Tiber awes, and Avon melts the heart.
Aërial forms in Tempe's classic vale
Glance thro' the gloom and whisper in the gale;
In wild Vaucluse with love and LAURA dwell,
And watch and weep in Eloisa's cell.
'Twas ever thus. Young AMMON, when he sought
Where Ilium stood and where PELIDES fought,
Sate at the helm himself. No meaner hand
Steered thro' the waves; and, when he struck the land,
Such in his soul the ardour to explore,
PELIDES-like, he leaped the first ashore.
'Twas ever thus. As now at VIRGIL's tomb
We bless the shade and bid the verdure bloom ;
So Tully paused, amid the wrecks of Time,
On the rude stone to trace the truth sublime;
When at his feet, in honoured dust disclosed,
The immortal Sage of Syracuse reposed.
And as he long in sweet delusion hung,
Where once a Plato taught, a PINDAR sung ;
Who now but meets him musing, when he roves
His ruined Tusculan's romantic groves ?
In Rome's great forum, who but hears him roll
His moral thunders o'er the subject soul ?
And hence that calm delight the portrait gives :
We gaze on every feature till it lives !
Still the fond lover sees the absent maid;
And the lost friend still lingers in his shade!
Say why the pensive widow loves to weep,
When on her knee she rocks her babe to sleep:
Tremblingly still, she lifts his veil to trace
The father's features in his infant face.
The hoary grandsire smiles the hour away,
Won by the raptures of a game at play;
He bends to meet each artless burst of joy,
Forgets his age, and acts again the boy.