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Now young-ey'd Spring, on gentle breezes borne,
Mid the deep woodlands, hills, and vales, and bowers,
Unfolds her leaves, her blossoms, and her flowers,
Pouring their soft luxuriance on the morn.
0, how unlike the wither'd, wan, forlorn,
And limping Winter, that o'er russet moors,
Grey, ridgy fields, and ice-encrusted shores,
Strays! and commands his rising winds to mourn.
Protracted Life, thou art ordain'd to wear
A form like his; and, should thy gifts be mine,
I tremble lest a kindred influence drear
Steal on my mind; but pious Hope benign,
The soul's bright day-spring, shall avert the fear,
And gild existence in her dim decline.
TO SYLVIA, ON HER APPROACHING NUPTIALS.
Hope comes to Youth, gliding through azure skies,
With amaranth crown : her full robe, snowy white,
Floats on the gale, and our exulting sight
Marks it afar. From Waning Life she flies
Wrapt in a mist, covering her starry eyes
With her fair hand. But now, in floods of light,
She meets thee, Sylvia, and with glances, bright
As lucid streams, when Spring's clear mornings rise.
From Hymen's kindling torch, a yellow ray
The shining texture of her spotless vest
Gilds; and the Month that gives the early day,
The scent odorous, and the carol blest,
Pride of the rising year,
enamour'd May, Paints its redundant folds with florets gay,
A WRINKLED, crabbed man they picture thee,
Old Winter, with a rugged beard as grey
As the long moss upon the apple-tree ;
Blue-lipt, an ice-drop at thy sharp blue nose ;
Close muffled up, and on thy dreary way
Plodding alone through sleet and drifting snows.
They should have drawn thee by the high-heapt hearth,
Old Winter! seated in thy great arm’d-chair,
Watching the children at their Christmas mirth,
Or circled by them as thy lips declare
merry jest or tale of murder dire,
Or troubled spirit that disturbs the night,
Pausing at times to rouse the mouldering fire,
Or taste the old October brown and bright.
MARY! I want a lyre with other strings,
Such aid from heaven as some have feign'd they drew,
An eloquence scarce given to mortals, new
And undebas'd by praise of meaner things ;
That, ere through age or woe I shed my wings,
may record thy worth with honour due,
In verse as musical as thou art true,
And that immortalizes whom it sings.
But thou hast little need. There is a book,
By seraphs writ with beams of heavenly light,
On which the eyes of God not rarely look,
A chronicle of actions just and bright;
There all thy deeds, my faithful Mary, shine,
And since thou own'st that praise, I spare thee mine.
O for that shell, whose melancholy sound,
Heard in Valclusa, by the lucid stream
Of laurel-shaded Sorga, spread thy theme,
Fair Laura and her scorn, to all around
High-built Avignon, on the rocky mound
That banks the impetuous Rhone ; and like a steam
From some rich incense rising, to the extreme
Of desolate Hesperia did rebound,
And gently wak'd the Muses !—so might I,
Studious of song like thee, and ah! too like
In sad complaint of ill-requited love,
So might I, hopeless now, have power to strike
Such notes, as lovers' tears should sanctify,
And cold Fidele's melting sighs approve.