« EelmineJätka »
The morning dews, and gather in their prime
Fresh-blooming flowers, to grace thy braided hair,
And thy lov'd bosom that improves their sweets.
See where the winding vale its lavish stores,
Irriguous, spreads. See, how the lily drinks
The latent rill, scarce oozing through the grass,
Of growth luxuriant: or the humid bank,
In fair profusion, decks. Long let us walk,
Where the breeze blows from yon extended field
Of blossom'd beans. Arabia cannot boast
A ful er gale of joy, than, liberal, thence
Breathes through the sense, and takes the ravish'd
Nor is the mead unworthy of thy foot,
Full of fresh verdure, and unnumber'd flowers,
The negligence of Nature, wide, and wild;
Where, undisguis'd by mimic Art, she spreads
Unbounded beauty to the roving eye.
Here their delicious task the fervent bees,
In swarming millions, tend: around, athwart,
Through the soft air, the busy nations fly,
Cling to the bud, and, with inserted tube,
Suck its pure essence, its ethereal soul;
And oft, with bolder wing, they soaring dare
The purple heath, or where the wild thyme grows,
And yellow load them with the luscious spoil.
Lend me your song, ye nightingales! oh! pour
The mazy-running soul of melody
Into my varied verse! while I deduce,
From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings,
The symphony of Spring, and touch a theme
Unknown to fame, the passion of the groves.
When first the soul of love is sent abroad,
Warm through the vital air, and on the heart
Harmonious seizes, the gay troops begin,
In gallant thought, to plume the painted wing;
And try again the long-forgotten strain,
At first faint-warbled. But no sooner grows
At length the finish'd garden to the view
Its vistas opens, and its alleys green.
Snatch'd through the verdant maze, the hurried eye The soft infusion prevalent and wide,
Distracted wanders; now the bowery walk
Of covert close, where scarce a speck of day
Falls on the lengthen'd gloom, protracted sweeps:
Now meets the bending sky; the river now
Dimpled along, the breezy ruffled lake,
The forest darkening round, the glittering spire,
Th' ethereal mountain, and the distant main.
But why so far excursive? when at hand,
Along these blushing borders, bright with dew,
And in yon mingled wilderness of flowers,
Fair-handed Spring unbosoms every grace;
Throws out the snow-drop, and the crocus first;
The daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue,
And polyanthus of unnumber'd dyes;
The yellow wall-flower, stain'd with iron-brown;
And lavish stock that scents the garden round:
From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed,
Anemonies; auriculas, enrich'd
With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves;
And full ranunculus of glowing red.
Then comes the tulip-race, where beauty plays
Her idle freaks; from family diffus'd
To family, as flies the father dust,
The varied colors run; and while they break
On the charm'd eye, th' exulting florist marks,
With secret pride, the wonders of his hand.
No gradual bloom is wanting; from the bud,
First-born of Spring, to Summer's musky tribes:
Nor hyacinths, of purest virgin white,
Low-bent, and blushing inward; nor jonquils,
Of potent fragrance; nor Narcissus fair,
As o'er the fabled mountain hanging still;
Nor broad carnations, nor gay spotted pinks;
Nor, shower'd from every bush, the damask-rose.
Infinite numbers, delicacies, smells,
With hues on hues expression cannot paint,
The breath of Nature and her endless bloom.
Hail, source of Being! Universal Soul
Of Heaven and Earth! essential Presence, hail!
To thee I bend the knee; to thee, my thoughts
Continual climb; who, with a master-hand,
Hast the great whole into perfection touch'd.
By thee the various vegetable tribes,
Wrapt in a filmy net, and clad with leaves,
Draw the live ether, and imbibe the dew;
By thee dispos'd into congenial soils,
Stands each attractive plant, and sucks and swells
The juicy tide; a twining mass of tubes.
At thy command the vernal Sun awakes
The torpid sap, detruded to the root
By wintery winds; that now in fluent dance,
And lively fermentation, mounting, spreads
All this innumerous-color'd scene of things.
As rising from the vegetable world
My theme ascends, with equal wing ascend,
My panting Muse; and hark how loud the woods
Invite you forth in all your gayest trim.
Than, all alive, at once their joy o'erflows
In music unconfin'd. Up springs the lark,
Shrill-voic'd, and loud, the messenger of morn;
Ere yet the shadows fly, he mounted sings
Amid the dawning clouds, and from their haunts
Calls up the tuneful nations. Every copse
Deep-tangled, tree irregular, and bush
Bending with dewy moisture, o'er the heads
Of the coy quiristers that lodge within,
Are prodigal of harmony. The thrush
And wood-lark, o'er the kind-contending throng
Superior heard, run through the sweetest length
Of notes; when listening Philomela deigns
To let them joy, and purposes, in thought
Elate, to make her night excel their day.
The black-bird whistles from the thorny brake;
The mellow bull-finch answers from the grove :
Nor are the linnets, o'er the flowering furze
Pour'd out profusely, silent. Join'd to these,
Innumerous songsters, in the freshening shade
Of new-sprung leaves, their modulations mix
Mellifluous. The jay, the rook, the daw,
And each harsh pipe, discordant heard alone,
Aid the full concert: while the stock-dove breathes
A melancholy murmur through the whole.
'Tis love creates their melody, and all
This waste of music is the voice of love;
That ev'n to birds, and beasts, the tender arts
Of pleasing teaches. Hence the glossy kind
Try every winning way inventive love
Can dictate, and in courtship to their mates
Pour forth their little souls. First, wide around,
With distant awe, in airy rings they rove,
Endeavoring by a thousand tricks to catch
The cunning, conscious, half-averted glance
Of their regardless charmer. Should she seem
Softening the least approvance to bestow,
Their colors burnish, and, by hope inspir'd,
They brisk advance; then, on a sudden struck,
Retire disorder'd; then again approach;
In fond rotation spread the spotted wing,
And shiver every feather with desire.
Connubial leagues agreed, to the deep woods
They haste away, all as their fancy leads,
Pleasure, or food, or secret safety prompts;
That Nature's great command may be obey'd:
Nor all the sweet sensations they perceive
Indulg'd in vain. Some to the holly-hedge
Nestling repair, and to the thicket some;
Some to the rude protection of the thorn
Commit their feeble offspring: the cleft tree
Offers its kind concealment to a few,
Their food its insects, and its moss their nests.
Others apart, far in the grassy dale,
Or roughening waste, their humble texture weave. If on your bosom innocence can win,
But most in woodland solitudes delight,
In unfrequented glooms, or shaggy banks,
Steep, and divided by a babbling brook,
Whose murmurs soothe them all the livelong day,
When by kind duty fix'd. Among the roots
Of hazel, pendent o'er the plaintive stream,
They frame the first foundation of their domes;
Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid,
And bound with clay together. Now 'tis nought
But restless hurry through the busy air,
Beat by unnumber'd wings. The swallow sweeps
The slimy pool, to build his hanging house
Intent. And often, from the careless back
Of herds and flocks a thousand tugging bills
Pluck hair and wool; and oft, when unobserv'd,
Steal from the barn a straw: till soft and warm,
Clean, and complete, their habitation grows.
But now the feather'd youth their former bounds,
Ardent, disdain; and, weighing oft their wings,
Demand the free possession of the sky.
This one glad office more, and then dissolves
Unlavish'd Wisdom never works in vain.
As thus the patient dam assiduous sits,
Not to be tempted from her tender task,
Or by sharp hunger, or by smooth delight,
Though the whole loosen'd Spring around her blows, Parental love at once, now needless grown.
Her sympathizing lover takes his stand
High on th' opponent bank, and ceaseless sings
The tedious time away; or else supplies
Her place a moment, while she sudden flits
To pick the scanty meal. Th' appointed time
With pious toil fulfill'd, the callow young,
Warm'd and expanded into perfect life,
Their brittle bondage break, and come to light,
A helpless family, demanding food
With constant clamor: O what passions then,
What melting sentiments of kindly care,
On the new parents seize! Away they fly
Affectionate, and undesiring bear
The most delicious morsel to their young;
Which equally distributed, again
The search begins. E'en so a gentle pair,
By fortune sunk, but form'd of generous mould,
And charm'd with cares beyond the vulgar breast,
In some lone cot amid the distant woods,
Sustain'd alone by providential Heaven,
Oft as they weeping eye their infant train,
Check their own appetites, and give them all.
Nor toil alone they scorn; exalting love,
By the great Father of the Spring inspir'd,
Gives instant courage to the fearful race,
And to the simple, art. With stealthy wing,
Should some rude foot their woody haunts molest,
Amid a neighboring bush they silent drop,
And whirling thence, as if alarm'd, deceive
Th' unfeeling school-boy. Hence, around the head
Of wandering swain, the white-wing'd plover wheels
Her sounding flight, and then directly on
In long excursion skims the level lawn,
To tempt him from her nest. The wild-duck, hence,
O'er the rough moss, and o'er the trackless waste
The heath-hen flutters, pious fraud! to lead
The hot pursuing spaniel far astray.
Be not the Muse asham'd, here to bemoan
Her brothers of the grove, by tyrant man
Inhuman caught, and in the narrow cage
From liberty confin'd, and boundless air.
Dull are the pretty slaves, their plumage dull,
Ragged, and all its brightening lustre lost;
Nor is that sprightly wildness in their notes,
Which, clear and vigorous, warbles from the beech.
O then, ye friends of love and love-taught song,
Spare the soft tribes, this barbarous art forbear;
Music engage, or piety persuade.
But let not chief the nightingale lameat
Her ruin'd care, too delicately fram'd
To brook the harsh confinement of the cage.
Oft when, returning with her loaded bill,
Th' astonish'd mother finds a vacant nest,
By the hard hand of unrelenting clowns
Robb'd, to the ground the vain provision falls;
Her pinions ruffie, and, low dropping, scarce
Can bear the mourner to the poplar shade;
Where, all abandon'd to despair, she sings
Her sorrows through the night; and, on the bough
Sole-sitting, still at every dying fall
Takes up again her lamentable strain
Of winding woe; till, wide around, the woods
Sigh to her song, and with her wail resound.
"Tis on some evening, sunny, grateful, mild,
When nought but balm is breathing through the
With yellow lustre bright, that the new tribes
Visit the spacious heavens, and look abroad
On Nature's common far as they can see,
Or wing, their range and pasture. O'er the boughs
Dancing about, still at the giddy verge
Their resolution fails; their pinions still,
In loose libration stretch'd, to trust the void
Trembling refuse: till down before them fly
The parent-guides, and chide, exhort, command,
Or push them off. The surging air receives
Its plumy burden; and their self-taught wings
Winnow the waving element. On ground
Alighted, bolder up again they lead,
Farther and farther on, the lengthening flight;
Till, vanish'd every fear, and every power
Rous'd into life and action, light in air
Th' acquitted parents see their soaring race,
And once rejoicing never know them more.
High from the summit of a craggy cliff,
Hung o'er the deep, such as amazing frowns
On utmost Kilda's* shore, whose lonely race,
Resign'd the setting sun to Indian worlds,
The royal eagle draws his vigorous young,
Strong-pounc'd, and ardent with paternal fire.
Now fit to raise a kingdom of their own,
He drives them from his fort, the towering seat,
For ages, of his empire; which, in peace,
Unstain'd he holds, while many a league to sea
He wings his course, and preys in distant isles.
*The farthest of the western islands of Scotland.
Should I my steps turn to the rural seat,
Whose lofty elms, and venerable oaks,
Invite the rook, who high amid the boughs,
In early Spring, his airy city builds,
Around him feeds his many-bleating flock,
Of various cadence; and his sportive lambs,
This way and that convolv'd, in friskful glee
Their frolics play. And now the sprightly race
And ceaseless caws amusive; there, well pleas'd, Invites them forth; when swift, the signal given,
I might the various polity survey
Of the mixt household kind. The careful hen
Calls all her chirping family around,
Fed and defended by the fearless cock;
Whose breast with ardor flames, as on he walks
Graceful, and crows defiance. In the pond,
The finely-chequer'd duck, before her train,
Rows garrulous. The stately sailing swan
Gives out his snowy plumage to the gale;
And, arching proud his neck, with oary feet
Bears forward fierce, and guards his osier-isle,
Protective of his young. The turkey nigh,
Loud threatening reddens; while the peacock
They start away, and sweep the massy mound
That runs around the hill; the rampart once
Of iron war, in ancient barbarous times,
When disunited Britain ever bled,
Lost in eternal broil: ere yet she grew
To this deep-laid indissoluble state,
Where Wealth and Commerce lift their golden
And o'er our labors, Liberty and Law,
Impartial, watch; the wonder of a world!
What is this mighty Breath, ye sages, say,
That, in a powerful language, felt, not heard,
Instructs the fowls of heaven; and through their
His every-color'd glory to the Sun,
And swims in radiant majesty along.
O'er the whole homely scene, the cooing dove
Flies thick in amorous chase, and wanton rolls
The glancing eye, and turns the changeful neck.
These arts of love diffuses? What, but God?
Inspiring God! who, boundless Spirit all,
And unremitting Energy, pervades,
Adjusts, sustains, and agitates the whole.
He ceaseless works alone; and yet alone
Seems not to work with such perfection fram'd
Is this complex stupendous scheme of things.
But, though conceal'd, to every purer eye
Th' informing Author in his works appears:
Chief, lovely Spring, in thee, and thy soft scenes,
The smiling God is seen; while water, earth,
And air, attest his bounty; which exalts
The brute creation to this finer thought,
And annual melts their undesigning hearts
Profusely thus in tenderness and joy.
While thus the gentle tenants of the shade
Indulge their purer loves, the rougher world
Of brutes, below, rush furious into flame,
And fierce desire. Through all his lusty veins
The bull, deep-scorch'd, the raging passion feels.
Of pasture sick, and negligent of food,
Scarce seen, he wades among the yellow broom,
While o'er his ample side the rambling sprays
Luxuriant shoot; or through the mazy wood
Dejected wanders, nor th' enticing bud
Crops, though it presses on his careless sense.
And oft, in jealous maddening fancy wrapt,
He seeks the fight; and, idly butting, feigns
His rival gor'd in every knotty trunk.
Him should he meet, the bellowing war begins:
Their eyes flash fury; to the hollow'd earth,
Whence the sand flies, they mutter bloody deeds,
And, groaning deep, th' impetuous battle mix:
While the fair heifer, balmy breathing, near,
Stands kindling up their rage. The trembling steed,
With this hot impulse seiz'd in every nerve,
Nor heeds the rein, nor hears the sounding thong;
Blows are not felt; but, tossing high his head,
And by the well-known joy to distant plains
Attracted strong, all wild he bursts away;
Still let my song a nobler note assume,
And sing th' infusive force of Spring on man;
When heaven and earth, as if contending, vie
To raise his being, and serene his soul.
Can he forbear to join the general smile
Of Nature? Can fierce passions vex his breast,
While every gale is peace, and every grove
Is melody? Hence! from the bounteous walks
Of flowing Spring, ye sordid sons of Earth,
Hard, and unfeeling of another's woe!
Or only lavish to yourselves; away!
But come, ye generous minds, in whose wide thought,
Of all his works, creative Bounty burns
With warmest beam; and on your open front,
And liberal eye, sits, from his dark retreat
Inviting modest Want. Nor, till invok'd,
O'er rocks, and woods, and craggy mountains flies: Can restless goodness wait: your active search
And, neighing, on th' aerial summit takes
Th' exciting gale; then, steep-descending, cleaves
The headlong torrents foaming down the hills,
Ev'n where the madness of the straiten'd stream
Turns in black eddies round; such is the force
With which his frantic heart and sinews swell.
Leaves no cold wintery corner unexplor'd;
Like silent-working Heaven, surprising oft
The lonely heart with unexpected good.
For you, the roving spirit of the wind
Blows Spring abroad; for you, the teeming clouds
Descend in gladsome plenty o'er the world;
And the Sun sheds his kindest rays for you,
Ye flower of human race! In these green days,
Reviving Sickness lifts her languid head:
Life flows afresh; and young-ey'd Health exalts
The whole creation round. Contentment walks
The sunny glade, and feels an inward bliss
Spring o'er his mind, beyond the power of kings
To purchase. Pure serenity apace
Induces thought, and contemplation still.
By swift degrees the love of Nature works,
And warms the bosom; till at last sublim'd
To rapture, and enthusiastic heat,
We feel the present Deity, and taste
The joy of God to see a happy world!
Nor undelighted by the boundless Spring
Are the broad monsters of the foaming deep:
From the deep ooze and gelid cavern rous'd,
They flounce and tumble in unwieldy joy.
Dire were the strain, and dissonant, to sing
The cruel raptures of the savage kind:
How by this flame their native wrath sublim'd,
They roam, amid the fury of their heart,
The far-resounding waste in fiercer bands,
And growl their horrid loves. But this the theme
I sing, enraptur'd, to the British Fair,
Forbids, and leads me to the mountain-brow,
Where sits the shepherd on the grassy turf,
Inhaling, healthful, the descending Sun.
These are the sacred feelings of thy heart,
Thy heart inform'd by reason's purer ray,
O Lyttleton, the friend! thy passions thus
And meditations vary, as at large,
Courting the Muse, through Hagley Park thou But full of guile. Let not the fervent tongue,
Prompt to deceive, with adulation smooth,
Gain on your purpos'd will. Nor in the bower,
Where woodbines flaunt, and roses shed a couch,
While Evening draws her crimson curtains round,
Trust your soft minutes with betraying man.
Thy British Temple! There along the dale,
With woods o'er-hung and shagg'd with mossy rocks,
Whence on each hand the gushing waters play,
And down the rough cascade white-dashing fall,
Or gleam in lengthen'd vista through the trees,
You silent steal; or sit beneath the shade
Of solemn oaks, that tuft the swelling mounts
Thrown graceful round by Nature's careless hand,
And pensive listen to the various voice
With sighing languishment. Ah then, ye fair!
Be greatly cautious of your sliding hearts:
Dare not th' infectious sigh; the pleading look,
Downcast, and low, in meek submission drest,
Of rural peace: the herds, the flocks, the birds,
The hollow-whispering breeze, the plaint of rills,
That, purling down amid the twisted roots
Which creep around, their dewy murmurs shake
On the sooth'd ear. From these abstracted oft,
You wander through the philosophic world;
Where in bright train continual wonders rise,
Or to the curious or the pious eye.
And oft, conducted by historic truth,
You tread the long extent of backward time;
Planning, with warm benevolence of mind,
And honest zeal, unwarp'd by party-rage,
Britannia's weal; how from the venal gulf
To raise her virtue, and her arts revive.
Or, turning thence thy view, these graver thoughts
The Muses charm: while, with sure taste refin'd,
You draw th' inspiring breath of ancient song;
Till nobly rises, emulous, thy own.
Perhaps thy lov'd Lucinda shares thy walk,
With soul to thine attun'd. Then Nature all
Wears to the lover's eye a look of love;
And all the tumult of a guilty world,
Tost by ungenerous passions, sinks away.
The tender heart is animated peace;
And as it pours its copious treasures forth,
In varied converse, softening every theme,
You, frequent pausing, turn, and from her eyes,
Where meeken'd sense, and amiable grace,
And lively sweetness dwell, enraptur'd, drink
That nameless spirit of ethereal joy,
Unutterable happiness! which love,
Alone, bestows, and on a favor'd few.
Meantime you gain the height, from whose fair brow
The bursting prospect spreads immense around:
And stretch'd o'er hill and dale, and wood and lawn,
And verdant field, and darkening heath between,
And villages embosom'd soft in trees,
And spiry towns by surging columns mark'd
Of household smoke, your eye excursive roams:
Wide-stretching from the hall in whose kind haunt
The hospitable genius lingers still,
To where the broken landscape, by degrees,
Ascending, roughens into rigid hills;
Flush'd by the spirit of the genial year,
Now from the virgin's cheek a fresher bloom
Shoots, less and less, the live carnation round;
Her lips blush deeper sweets; she breathes of youth;
The shining moisture swells into her eyes,
In brighter flow; her wishing bosom heaves
With palpitations wild; kind tumults seize
Her veins, and all her yielding soul is love.
From the keen gaze her lover turns away,
Full of the dear ecstatic power, and sick
And let th' aspiring youth beware of love,
Of the smooth glance beware; for 'tis too late,
When on his heart the torrent-softness pours.
Then wisdom prostrate lies, and fading fame
Dissolves in air away: while the fond soul,
Wrapt in gay visions of unreal bliss,
Still paints th' illusive form; the kindling grace;
Th' enticing smile; the modest-seeming eye,
Beneath whose beauteous beams, belying Heaven,
Lurk searchless cunning, cruelty, and death:
And still false-warbling in his cheated ear,
Her syren voice, enchanting, draws him on
To guileful shores, and meads of fatal joy.
Ev'n present, in the very lap of love
Inglorious laid; while music flows around,
Perfumes, and oils, and wine, and wanton hours;
Amid the roses fierce Repentance rears
Her snaky crest: a quick-returning pang
Shoots through the conscious heart, where honor
And great design, against the oppressive load
Of luxury, by fits, impatient heave.
But absent, what fantastic woes, arous'd,
Rage in each thought, by restless musing fed,
Chill the warm cheek, and blast the bloom of life!
Neglected fortune flies; and sliding swift,
Prone into ruin, fall his scorn'd affairs.
"Tis nought but gloom around: the darken'd Sun
Loses his light. The rosy-bosom'd Spring
To weeping fancy pines; and yon bright arch,
Contracted, bends into a dusky vault.
All Nature fades extinct; and she alone
Heard, felt, and seen, possesses every thought,
Fills every sense, and pants in every vein.
Books are but formal dullness, tedious friends;
And sad amid the social band he sits,
Lonely, and unattentive. From his tongue
Th' unfinish'd period falls: while, borne away
On swelling thought, his wafted spirit flies
To the vain bosom of his distant fair;
And leaves the semblance of a lover fix'd
In melancholy site, with head declin'd,
And love-dejected eyes. Sudden he starts,
Shook from his tender trance, and restless runs
To glimmering shades, and sympathetic glooms;
Where the dun umbrage o'er the falling stream,
Romantic, hangs; there through the pensive dusk
Strays, in heart-thrilling meditation lost;
Indulging all to love: or on the bank
O'er which the Cambrian mountains, like far clouds Thrown, amid drooping lilies, swells the breeze
That skirt the blue horizon, dusky rise.
With sighs unceasing, and the brook with tea
Thus in soft anguish he consumes the day,
Nor quits his deep retirement, till the Moon
Peeps through the chambers of the fleecy east,
Enlighten'd by degrees, and in her train
Leads on the gentle hours; then forth he walks,
Beneath the trembling languish of her beam,
With soften'd soul, and wooes the bird of eve
To mingle woes with his or while the world
And all the sons of care lie hush'd in sleep,
Associates with the midnight shadows drear;
And, sighing to the lonely taper, pours
His idly-tortur'd heart into the page,
Meant for the moving messenger of love;
Where rapture burns on rapture, every line
With rising frenzy fir'd. But if on bed
Delirious flung, sleep from his pillow flies,
All night he tosses, nor the balmy power
In any posture finds; till the grey morn
Lifts her pale lustre on the paler wretch,
Exanimate by love: and then perhaps
Exhausted nature sinks awhile to rest,
Sull interrupted by distracted dreams,
That o'er the sick imagination rise,
And in black colors paint the mimic scene.
Oft with th' enchantress of his soul he talks;
Sometimes in crowds distress'd; or if retir'd
To secret winding flower-enwoven bowers,
Far from the dull impertinence of man,
Just as he, credulous, his endless cares
Begins to lose in blind oblivious love,
Snatch'd from her yielded hand, he knows not how,
Through forests huge, and long untravell'd heaths
With desolation brown, he wanders waste,
In night and tempest wrapt; or shrinks aghast,
Back, from the bending precipice; or wades
The turbid stream below, and strives to reach
The farther shore; where succorless, and sad,
She with extended arms his aid implores;
But strives in vain: borne by th' outrageous flood
To distance down, he rides the ridgy wave,
Or whelm'd beneath the boiling eddy sinks.
These are the charming agonies of love,
Whose misery delights. But through the heart
Should jealousy its venom once diffuse,
"Tis then delightful misery no more,
But agony unmix'd, incessant gall,
Corroding every thought, and blasting all
Love's paradise. Ye fairy prospects, then,
Ye beds of roses, and ye bowers of joy,
Farewell! Ye gleamings of departed peace,
Shine out your last! The yellow-tinging plague
Internal vision taints, and in a night
Of livid gloom imagination wraps.
Ah, then! instead of love-enliven'd cheeks,
Of sunny features, and of ardent eyes,
With flowing rapture bright, dark looks succeed,
Suffus'd and glaring with untender fire;
A clouded aspect, and a burning cheek,
Where the whole poison'd soul, malignant, sits,
And frightens Love away. Ten thousand fears
Invented wild, ten thousand frantic views
Of horrid rivals, hanging on the charms
For which he melts in fondness, eat him up
With fervent anguish, and consuming rage.
In vain reproaches lend their idle aid,
Deceitful pride, and resolution frail,
Giving false peace a moment. Fancy pours,
Afresh, her beauties on his busy thought,
Her first endearments twining round the soul,
With all the witchcraft of ensnaring love.
Straight the fierce storm involves his mind anew,
Flames through the nerves, and boils along the veins;
While anxious doubt distracts the tortur'd heart:
For ev'n the sad assurance of his fears
Were ease to what he feels. Thus the warm youth,
Whom Love deludes into his thorny wilds,
Through flowery-tempting paths, or leads a life
Of fever'd rapture, or of cruel care;
His brightest flames extinguish'd all, and all
His lively moments running down to waste.
But happy they! the happiest of their kind!
Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
The hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend
"Tis not the coarser tie of human laws,
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind,
That binds their peace, but harmony itself,
Attuning all their passions into love;
Where friendship full exerts her softest power,
Perfect esteem, enliven'd by desire
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul;
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will.
With boundless confidence: for nought but love
Can answer love, and render bliss secure.
Let him, ungenerous, who, alone intent
To bless himself, from sordid parents buys
The lothing virgin, in eternal care,
Well merited, consume his nights and days:
Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love
Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel;
Let eastern tyrants, from the light of Heaven
Seclude their bosom-slaves, meanly possess'd
Of a mere, lifeless, violated form:
While those whom love cements in holy faith,
And equal transport, free as Nature live,
Disdaining fear. What is the world to them,
Its pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all!
Who in each other clasp whatever fair
High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can wish;
Something than beauty dearer, should they look
Or on the mind, or mind-illumin'd face;
Truth. goodness, honor, harmony, and love,
The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven.
Meantime a smiling offspring rises round,
And mingles both their graces. By degrees,
The human blossom blows; and every day,
Soft as it rolls along, shows some new charm,
The father's lustre, and the mother's bloom.
Then infant reason grows apace, and calls
For the kind hand of an assiduous care.
Delightful task! to rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot,
pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
To breathe th' enlivening spirit, and to fix
The generous purpose in the glowing breast.
Oh, speak the joy! ye whom the sudden tear
Surprises often, while you look around,
And nothing strikes your eye but sights of bliss,
All various nature pressing on the heart:
An elegant sufficiency, content,
Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
Ease and alternate labor, useful life,
Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven.
These are the matchless joys of virtuous love;
And thus their moments fly. The seasons thus,
As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll,
Still find them happy; and consenting Spring
Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads:
Till evening comes at last, serene and mild;
When, after the long vernal day of life,
Enamour'd more, as more remembrance swells
With many a proof of recollected love,
Together down they sink in social sleep;
Together freed, their gentle spirits fly
To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign