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Hence, gloomy thoughts! no more my soul shall dwell
O Chatterton! that thou wert yet alive!
Sure thou would'st spread the canvass to the gale, And love, with us, the tinkling team to drive
O’er peaceful Freedom's undivided dale;
Alas vain Phantasies ! the fleeting brood
SONGS OF THE PIXIES.
THE Pixies, in the superstition of Devonshire, are a race of beings invisibly small, and harmless or friendly to man. At a small distance from a village in that county, half way up a wood-covered hill, is an excavation, called the Pixies' Parlour. The roots of old trees form its ceiling; and on its sides are innumerable cyphers, among which the author discovered his own cypher and those of his brothers, cut by the hand of their childhood. At the foot of the hill flows the river Otter. To this place the author conducted a party of young ladies, during the summer months of the year 1793, one of whom, of stature elegantly small, and of complexion colourless yet clear, was proclaimed the Fairy Queen, on which occasion, and at which time, the following irregular ode was written.
Whom the untaught Shepherds call
Builds it's nest and warbles well ;
Welcome, Ladies ! to our cell.
When fades the moon all shadowy pale,
While lusty Labour scouting sorrow
But not our filmy pinion
We scorch amid the blaze of day, When Noontide's fiery-tressed minion Flashes the fervid ray.
Aye, from the sultry heat
We to the cave retreat. O’ercanopied by huge roots intertwin'd With wildest texture, blacken'd o'er with age: Round them their mantle green the ivies hind,
Beneath whose foliage pale
Fann'd by the unfrequent gale We shield us from the Tyrant's mid-day rage.
Thither, while the murm'ring throng
By Indolence and Fancy brought,
Wooes the Queen of Solemn Thought,
Gazing with tearful eye,
To pensive Mem'ry dear!
We glance before his view: O'er his hush'd soul our soothing witch’ries shed And twine our fairy garlands round his head.
When Evening's dusky car,
Crown'd with her dewy star,
On leaves of aspen trees
We tremble to the breeze,
Or, haply, at the visionary hour,
Or, guide of soul-subduing power,
Or thro' the mystic ringlets of the vale We flash our fairy feet in gamesome prank ; Or, silent-sandal'd, pay our defter court
Circling the Spirit of the Western Gale,
Supine he slumbers on a violet bank;
Hence! thou lingerer Light!
Eve saddens into Night.
The sombre hours, that round thee stand,
With down-cast eyes (a duteous band !)
Sorceress of the ebon throne !
Heaven's lucent roses glow,
Float in light drapery o'er thy sable vest;
Mellowing the woods beneath its pensive beam: For mid the quiv'ring light 'tis ours to play,
Aye dancing to the cadence of the stream.
Welcome, Ladies! to the cell,
Where the blameless Pixies dwell. But thou, sweet Nymph! proclaim'd our Fairy Queen,
With what obeisance meet
Thy presence shall we greet ?
Graceful Ease in artless stole,
With Honour s softer mien :
Unboastful Maid! tho' now the Lily pale
Transparent grace thy beauties meek; Yet ere again along th' impurpling vale, The purpling vale and elfin-haunted grove,