Page images

Ye gentle spirits of the vale,

To whom the tears of love are dear, From dying lilies waft a gale,

And sigh my sorrows in her ear.

Oh tell her what she cannot blame,
Though fear my tongue must ever bind;

Oh tell her that my virtuous flame
Is as her spotless soul refin'd.

Not her own guardian angel eyes
With chaster tenderness his care,
Not purer
her own wishes rise,

Not holier her own sighs in prayer.

But if, at first, her virgin fear

Should start at love's suspected name, With that of friendship sooth her earTrue love and friendship are the same.


UNLESS with my Amanda blest,

In vain I twine the woodbine bower; Unless to deck her sweeter breast,

In vain I rear the breathing flower.

Awaken'd by the genial year,

In vain the birds around me sing; In vain the freshening fields appear: Without my love there is no spring.



ever, Fortune, wilt thou prove An unrelenting foe to love,

And when we meet a mutual heart,
Come in between, and bid us part:

Bid us sigh on from day to day,
And wish, and wish the soul away;
Till youth and genial years are flown,
And all the life of life is gone?

But busy busy still art thou,
To bind the loveless joyless vow,
The heart from pleasure to delude,
To join the gentle to the rude.

For once, O Fortune! hear my prayer, And I absolve thy future care;

All other blessings I resign,

Make but the dear Amanda mine.


COME, gentle god of soft desire,

Come and possess my happy breast, Not Fury-like in flames and fire,

Or frantic Folly's wildness drest; But come in Friendship's angel-guise : Yet dearer thou than friendship art, More tender spirit in thy eyes,

More sweet emotions at the heart.

O come with goodness in thy train,

With peace and pleasure void of storm,
And wouldst thou me for ever gain,
Put on Amanda's winning form,


NIGHTINGALE, best poet of the grove,

That plaintive strain can ne'er belong to thee, Blest in the full possession of thy love:

O lend that strain, sweet Nightingale, to me!

"Tis mine, alas! to mourn my wretched fate: I love a maid who all my bosom charms, Yet lose my days without this lovely mate;

Inhuman Fortune keeps her from my arms,

You, happy birds! by Nature's simple laws

Lead your soft lives, sustain'd by Nature's fare; You dwell wherever roving fancy draws,

And love and song is all your pleasing care :

But we, vain slaves of int'rest and of pride,

Dare not be blest, lest envious tongues should blame; And hence in vain I languish for my bride;

O mourn with me, sweet bird, my hapless flame.



THE wanton's charms, however bright,

Are like the false illusive light,
Whose flattering unauspicious blaze
To precipices oft betrays:

But that sweet ray your beauties dart,

Which clears the mind, and cleans the heart,
Is like the sacred queen of night,

Who pours a lovely gentle light
Wide o'er the dark, by wanderers blest,
Conducting them to peace and rest.

A vicious love depraves the mind,
'Tis anguish, guilt, and folly join'd;
But Seraphina's eyes dispense
A mild and gracious influence;
Such as in visions angels shed
Around the heaven-illumin'd head.
To love thee, Seraphina, sure
Is to be tender, happy, pure;
'Tis from low passions to escape;
And woo bright Virtue's fairest shape;
'Tis ecstasy with wisdom join'd;
And heaven infus'd into the mind.





IEREAL race, inhabitants of air,

Who hymn your God amid the secret grove; Ye unseen beings to my harp repair,

And raise majestic strains, or melt in love. Those tender notes, how kindly they upbraid,

With what soft woe they thrill the lover's heart! Sure from the hand of some unhappy maid,

Who died of love, these sweet complainings part. But hark! that strain was of a graver tone,

On the deep strings his hand some hermit throws; Or he the sacred bard +, who sat alone,

In the drear waste, and wept his people's woes. Such was the song which Zion's children sung,

When by Euphrates' stream they made their plaint; And to such sadly solemn notes are strung Angelic harps, to sooth a dying saint. Methinks I hear the full celestial choir,

Through heaven's high dome their awful anthem raise; Now chanting clear, and now they all conspire

To swell the lofty hymn, from praise to praise. Let me, ye wand'ring spirits of the wind,

Who, as wild fancy prompts you, touch the string, Smit with your theme, be in your chorus join'd, For till you cease, my Muse forgets to sing.

Eolus's harp is a musical instrument which plays with the wind, invented by Mr. Oswald; its properties are fully described in the Castle of Indolence.

† Jeremiah.

« PreviousContinue »