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The associating principle, as here employed, is no less conducive to virtue than to happiness; and, as such, it frequently disco
vers itself in the most tumultuous scenes of
life. It addresses our finer feelings, and gives exercise to every mild and generous propensity.
Not confined to man, it extends through all animated nature; and its effects are peculiarly striking in the domestic tribes.
With magic tints to harmonize the scene.
Stilld is the hum that thro' the hamlet broke,
When round the ruins of their ancient oak
The peasants flock'd to hear the minstrel play,
And games and carols clos'd the busy day.
Her wheel at rest, the matron charms no more
With treasur'd tales, and legendary lore.
All, all are fled; nor mirth nor music flows
To chase the dreams of innocent repose.
All, all are fled; yet still I linger here!
What pensive sweets this silent spot endear?
Mark yon old Mansion, frowning thro' the trees,
Whose hollow turret wooes the whistling breeze.
That casement, arch'd with ivy's brownest shade,
First to these eyes the light of heav'n convey'd.
The mouldering gateway strews the grass-grown court,
Once the calm scene of many a simple sport;.
When nature pleas'd, for life itself was new,
And the heart promis'd what the fancy drew.
See, thro' the fractur'd pediment reveal'd,
Where moss inlays the rudely sculptur'd shield,
The martin's old, hereditary nest.
Long may the ruin spare its hallow'd guest!
As jars the hinge, what sullen echoes call!
Oh haste, unfold the hospitable hall!
That hall, where once, in antiquated state,
The chair of justice held the grave debate.
Now stain'd with dews, with cobwebs darkly hung,
Oft has its roof with peals of rapture rung;
When round yon ample board, in due degree,
'Twas here, at eve, we form'd our fairy ring;
And Fancy flutter'd on her wildest wing.
Giants and genii chain'd each wondering ear;
And orphan-sorrows drew the ready tear.
Oft with the babes we wander'd in the wood,
Or view'd the forest-feats of Robin Hood:
Oft, fancy-led, at midnight's fearful hour,
With startling step we scald the lonely tower;
O'er infant innocence to hang and weep,
Murder'd by ruffian hands, when smiling in its sleep.
Ye Household Deities! whose guardian eye
Mark'd each pure thought, ere register'd on high;
Still, still ye walk the consecrated ground,
And breathe the soul of Inspiration round.
As o'er the dusky furniture I bend,
Each chair awakes the feelings of a friend.
The storied arras, source of fond delight,
With old achievement charms the wilder'd sight;