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Thou should'st have loved it most, when most oppressid.
And nurs'd it with an agony of Care,
Ev'n as a Mother her sweet infant heir,
That wan and sickly droops upon her breast!
Thou gentle Look, that didst my soul beguile,
Why hast thou left me? Still in some fond dream
Revisit my sad heart, auspicious Smile!
As falls on closing flowers the lunar beam :
What time, in sickly mood, at parting day
I lay me down and think of happier years ;
Of Joys, that glimmer'd in Hope's twilight ray
Then left me darkling in a vale of tears.
O pleasant days of Hope-for ever flown!
Could I recall you !-But that thought is vain.
Availeth not Persuasion's sweetest tone
To lure the fleet-wing'd Travellers back again :
Yet fair, tho' faint, their images shall gleam
Like the bright Rainbow on an evening stream.
Dear native Brook! wild Streamlet of the West !
How many various-fated years have past,
What blissful and what anguish'd hours, since last
I skimm'd the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
Numbering its light leaps! Yet so deep imprest
Sink the sweet scenes of Childhood, that mine eyes
I never shut amid the sunny blaze,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,
Thy crossing plank, thy margin's willowy maze,
And bedded sand that, vein'd with various dies,
Gleam'd thro' thy bright transparence to the gaze!
Visions of Childhood ! oft have ye guild
Lone Manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs,
Ah! that once more I were a careless Child !
COMPOSED WHILE CLIMBING THE LEFT ASCENT OF BROCK
LEY COOMB, IN THE COUNTY OF SOMERSET,
With many a pause and oft reverted eye
I climb the Coomb's ascent: sweet songsters near
Warble in shade their wild-wood melody :
Far off th' unvarying Cuckoo soothes my ear.
Up scour the startling stragglers of the Flock
That on green plots o'er precipices browze:
From the forc'd fissures of the naked rock
The Yew tree bursts! beneath its dark green boughs
(Mid which the May-thorn blends its blossoms white)
Where broad smooth stones jut out in mossy seats,
I rest.–And now have gain'd the topmost site.
Ah! what a luxury of landscape meets
My gaze! Proud Towers, and Cots more-dear to me;
Elm-shadow'd Fields, and prospect-bounding Sea!
Deep sighs my lonely heart : I drop the tear:
Enchanting spot ! O were my Sara here!
Sweet Mercy! how my very heart has bled
To see thee, poor Old Man! and thy grey hairs
Hoar with the snowy blast; while no one cares
To cloathe thy shrivell’d limbs and palsied head.
My father! throw away this tatter'd vest
That mocks thy shiv'ring! take my garment-use
A young man's arm! I'll melt these frozen dews
That hang from thy white beard and numb thy breast.
My Sara too shall tend thee, like a Child :
And thou shalt talk, in our fire side's recess,
Of purple Pride, that scowls on Wretchedness.-
He did not scowl, the Galilæan mild,
Who met the Lazar turn'd from rich man's doors,
And call'å him Friend, and wept upon his sores!
Pale Roamer, thro' the Night! thou poor Forlorn!
Remorse that man on his death-bed possess,
Who in the credulous hour of tenderness
Betray'd, then cast thee forth to Want and Scorn .
The world is pityless; the Chaste one's pride,
Mimic of Virtue, scowls on thy distress:
Thy Loves and they, that envied thee, deride:
And vice alone will shelter Wretchedness!
O! I am sad to think, that there should be
Cold-bosom'd lewd ones, who endure to place
Foul offerings on the shrine of Misery,
And force from Famine the caress of Love!
May He shed healing on thy sore disgrace,
He, the great Comforter that rules above !
SCHILLER! * that hour I would have wish'd to die,
If thro' the shudd'ring midnight I had sent
From the dark Dungeon of the Tower time-rent
That fearful voice, a famish'd Father's cry-
That in no after moment aught less vast
Might stamp me mortal ! A triumphant shout
Black Horror scream’d and all her goblin rout,
From the more with’ring scene diminish'd past,
Ah! Bard tremendous in sublimity !
Could I behold thee in thy loftier mood,
Wand'ring at eve with finely frenzied eye
Beneath some vast old tempest-swinging wood !
Awhile with mute awe gazing I would brood,
Then weep aloud in a wild extacy!
COMPOSED ON A JOURNEY HOMEWARD; THE AUTHOR HAV
ING RECEIVED INTELLIGENCE OF THE BIRTH OF A SON, SEPTEMBER, 20, 1796.
Oft o'er my brain does that strange fancy roll
Which makes the present (while the flash doth last)
Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past,
Mix'd with such feelings as perplex the soul
Self-question'd in her sleep: and some have said *
We liv’d, ere yet this fleshy robe we wore.
O my sweet Baby! when I reach my door,
If heavy looks should tell me, thou wert dead
(As sometimes, thro' excess of hope, I fear)
I think that I should struggle to believe
Thou wert a Spirit, to this nether sphere
Sentenc'd for some more venial crime to grieve ;
Didst scream, then spring to meet Heaven's quick reprieve,
While we wept idly o'er thy little bier !
TO A FRIEND, WHO ASKED HOW I FELT, WHEN THE NURSE
FIRST PRESENTED MY INFANT TO ME.
CHARLES ! my slow heart was only sad, when first
I scann'd that face of feeble infancy:
For dimly on my thoughtful spirit burst
* Ην που ημώνη ψυχη πριν εν τωδε τα ανθρωπινω ειδει γενεσθαι.