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If aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear,
Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales;
O Nymph reserved, while now the bright-haired Sun
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
O’erhang his wavy bed :
Now air is hushed, save where the weak-eyed bat,
With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing ;
Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn,
As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum;
Now teach me, Maid composed,
To breathe some softened strain,
Whose numbers, stealing through thy darkening vale,
May not unseemly with its stillness suit;
As, musing slow, I hail
Thy genial loved return!
For when thy folding-star arising shows
His paly circlet, at his warning lamp
The fragrant Hours, and Elves
Who slept in buds the day, And many a Nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge,
25 And sheds the freshening dew, and, lovelier still,
The pensive Pleasures sweet,
Prepare thy shadowy car.
Then let me rove some wild and heathy scene;
Or find some ruin 'midst its dreary dells,
30 Whose walls more awful nod
By thy religious gleams.
Or, if chill blustering winds, or driving rain,
Prevent my willing feet, be mine the hut,
That from the mountain's side
Views wilds, and swelling floods,
And hamlets brown, and dim-discovered spires ;
And hears their simple bell, and marks o'er all
Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil.
40 While Spring shall pour his showers, as oft he wont, And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!
While Summer loves to sport
Beneath thy lingering light; While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves ; 45 Or Winter, yelling through the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes ;
So long, regardful of thy quiet rule,
Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, smiling Peace, 50
Thy gentlest influence own,
And love thy favourite name!
Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower,
Thou's met me in an evil hour ;
For I maun crush amang the stoure
Thy slender stem :
To spare thee now is past my power,
Thou bonnie gem.
Alas! it's no thy neebor sweet,
The bonnie lark, companion meet !
Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet
Wi’ speckled breast,
When upward-springing, blithe, to greet
The purpling east.
Cauld blew the bitter-biting north
Upon thy early, humble birth;
Yet cheerfully thou glinted forth
Amid the storm ;
Scarce reared above the parent-earth
Thy tender form.
The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
High sheltering woods and wa’s maun shield,
But thou, beneath the random bield
O'clod, or stane,
Adorns the histie stubble-field,
There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
Thy snawie bosom sunward spread,
Thou lifts thy unassuming head
In humble guise ;
But now the share uptears thy bed,
And low thou lies !
Such is the fate of artless maid,
Sweet floweret of the rural shade!
By love's simplicity betrayed,
And guileless trust,
Till she, like thee, all soiled, is laid
Low i' the dust.
Such is the fate of simple bard,
On life's rough ocean luckless-starred !
Unskilful he to note the card
Of prudent lore,
Till billows rage, and gales blow hard,
And whelm him o'er !
Such fate to suffering worth is given,
Who long with wants and woes has striven,
By human pride or cunning driven
To misery's brink,
Till, wrenched of every stay but Heaven,
He, ruined, sink !
Even thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
That fate is thine -no distant date ;
Stern Ruin's ploughshare drives, elate,
Full on thy bloom,
Till crushed beneath the furrow's weight,
Shall be thy doom.
ON THE DEATH OF RICHARD WEST.
In vain to me the smiling mornings shine,
And reddening Phæbus lifts his golden fire,
The birds in vain their amorous descant join,
Or cheerful fields resume their green attire.
These ears, alas ! for other notes repine,
A different object do these eyes require ;
My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine,
And in my breast the imperfect joys expire ;
Yet morning smiles the busy race to cheer,
And new-born pleasure brings to happier men ;
The fields to all their wonted tribute bear,
To warm their little loves the birds complain ;
I fruitless mourn to him that cannot hear,
And weep the more, because I weep in vain.
TO THE HONOURABLE MISS CARTERET.
Bloom of beauty, early flower
Of the blissful bridal bower,
Thou, thy parents' pride and care,
Fairest offspring of the fair,
Lovely pledge of mutual love,
Angel seeming from above,
Was it not thou day by day
Dost thy very sex betray,
Female more and more appear,
Female, more than angel dear,
How to speak thy face and mien,
(Soon too dangerous to be seen)
How shall I, or shall the Muse,
Language of resemblance choose,
Language like thy mien and face,
Full of sweetness, full of grace?
By the next returning spring,
When again the linnets sing,
When again the lambkins play,
Pretty sportlings full of May,
When the meadows next are seen,
Sweet enamel, white and green,
And the year in fresh attire
Welcomes every gay desire,
Blooming on shalt thou appear
More inviting than the year,
Fairer sight than orchard shows,
Which beside a river blows :
Yet another spring I see,
And a brighter bloom in thee :
And another round of time,
Circling, still improves thy prime :