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Come, musing Silence, nor refuse to shed
Thy sober influence o'er this darkling cell :
The desert waste and lonely plain
Could ne'er confine thy peaceful reign;
Nor dost thou only love to dwell
'Mid the dark mansions of the vaulted dead :
For still at eve's serenest hour
All Nature owns thy soothing power :
Oft hast thou deign'd with me to rove,
Beneath the calm sequester'd grove ;
Oft deign’d my sacred steps to lead
Along the dewy pathless mead ;
Or up the dusky lawn, to spy
The last faint gleamings of the twilight sky.
Then wilt thou still thy pensive vot’ry meet,
Oft as he calls thee to this gloomy seat :
For here, with solemn' mystic rite,
Wert thou invok'd to consecrate the ground, Ere these rude walls were rear'd remote from sight,
Or ere with moss this shaggy roof was crown'd.
Hail! blessed parent of each purer thought,
That doth at once the heart exalt and mend !
Here wilt thou never fail to find
My vacant solitude inclin'd
Thy serious lessons to attend.
For they I ween shall be with goodness fraught,
Whether thou bid me meditate
On man, in untaught Nature's state ;
How far this life he 'ought to prize ;
How far its transient scenes despise ;
What heights his reason may attain,
And where its proud attempts are vain ;
What toils his virtue ought to brave,
For Hope's rewarding joys beyond the grave :
Or if in man redeem'd you bid me trace
Each wondrous proof of Heaven's transcendent grace;
Then breathe some sparks of that celestial fire,
Which in the raptur'd seraph glows above, Where sainted myriads crowd the joyful choir,
And harp their praises round the throne of love. The trifling sons of Levity and Pride Hence shall thy awful seriousness exclude ;
Nor shall loud Riot's thoughtless train
With frantic mirth this grot profane. No foe to peace shall here intrude.
For thou wilt kindly bid each sound subside,
Save such as soothe the list ning sense,
And serves to aid thy influence:
Save where, soft-breathing o'er the plain,
Mild Zephyr waves the rustling grain ;
Or where some stream, from rocky source,
Slow trickles down its ceaseless course ;
Or where the sea’s imperfect roar
Comes gently murm’ring from the distant shore.
But most in Philomel, sweet bird of night,
In plaintive Philomel, is thy delight:
For she, or studious to prolong her grief,
Or oft to vary her exhaustless lay, With frequent pause, from thee shall seek relief,
Nor close her strain, till dawns the noisy day.
Without thy aid, to happier tasteful art,
No deep instructive science could prevail :
For only where thou dost preside,
Can wit's inventive powers be tried ;
And reason's better task would fail,
Did not thy haunts the serious theme impart.
The critic, that with plodding head,
Toils o'er the learning of the dead;
The cloister'd hermit that explores,
By midnight lamp, religion's stores;
Each sage that marks with thoughtful gaze,
The lunar orb or planet's maze !
And every bard, that strays along
The sylvan shade, intent on sacred song;
Shall all to thee those various praises give,
Which, through thy friendly aid, themselves receive;
For though thou mayst from glory's seats retire,
Where loud applause proclaim the honour'd name; Yet doth thy modest wisdom still inspire
Each nobler work that swells the voice of Fame.
Sorr Sleep, profoundly pleasing power,
Sweet patron of the peaceful hour,
O listen from thy calm abode,
And hither wave thy magic rod ;
Extend thy silent, soothing sway,
And charm the canker Care away.
Whether thou lov'st to glide along,
Attended by an airy throng
Of gentle dreams and smiles of joy,
Such as adorn the wanton boy;
Or to the monarch's fancy bring
Delights that better suit a king;
The glittering host, the groaning plain,
The clang of arms, and victor's train ;
Or, should a milder vision please,
Present the happy scenes of peace;
Plump Antumn, blushing all around,
Rich Industry with toil embrown'd,
Content, with brow serenely gay,
And genial Art's refulgent ray.