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While joys, like these, each hour beguile, Smooth thy rough features to a smile.
When fairer skies shall smile again, And flowers and verdure deck the plainy As the swolen bud expands its hue, May opening pleasures bloom for you Then, oft as at the close of day, Pensive along the glade you stray; While all the mellow tinted west In twilight's last faint blush is drest; And many a mingling murmur's sound, And all the shadowy landscape round Breathe a soft sadness o'er the soul, And forms ideal hold control; And heaves unbid the half drawn sigh, And starts the tear, we know not why: Mid the dim shapes, that hover near, Oh might the minstrel's form appear; For him but heave one half drawn sigh, Start but one tear, you half know why.
May Health, of smiles the joyous queen, With placid air and look serene, Blend on thy cheek her bloom so fair, With feeling's glow, that mantles there. And shall I wish thee wealth and state, The dazzling splendor of the great? Yes, could or wealth, or state impart A single joy to Mary's heart. May heaven more kindly grant to thee An elegant sufficiency:
And ab, more blest a friend to share
Thy every thought, thy every care.
Shall I, though but in colors faint,
What sort of friend, I wish thee, paint?
A judgment clear, a polished mind;
A faney glowing, yet refined;
A taste by quick perception taught,
To mark the nicest shades of thought,
A temper, open, kind, sincere,
A heart to know, and hold thee dear.
Let feeling in his breast beat high;
Gleam in the glances of his eye,
Now all impassioned, e'en to excess,
Now, melting into tenderness;
Yet, let with strict imperious sway,
Discretion teach him to obey,
And mild religion's just control
Soften and sanctify the whole.
But what avails my wish, my prayer, To yield thee joy, or guard from care? 'Tis thine, fair piety, to give
To life, what makes it bliss to live;
When sorrow saddens all the heart,
'Tis thine, with kind persuasive art,
To bid the anxious tumult cease,
And sweetly soothe the soul to peace;
To raise to heaven the weeping eye,
And point where pleasures never die;
To breathe contentment through the mind,
And teach us how to be resigned.
Oh may this power, with light divine,
On thy whole course benignant shine;
Guide thee through life's perplexed maze,
Gild the calm evening of thy days;
Then bid thy gentle spirit fly
To brighter, happier worlds on high.
is a lovely eve. Meek twilight now
Begins her gentle but too short lived reign.
The evening star shines in her radiant front;
The gilded clouds slow rising from the west,
Her robe of state;-her golden sandals press
The verge of heaven. It is a lovely eve.
How different from the morn so lately seen!
Then all was life, and joy, and harmony:
The sportive birds sung to the rising dawn,
And to the quickened sense the perfumed air
Seemed doubly odorous: the dewy grass
Glittered like Fancy's fairy-work;-the sun
Looked on it; and the tints, so beauteous late,
Like the gay dreams of youth, dissolved in air.
Now all is calm and still. No more the groves
Echo the songster's cheerful note.
Nought breaks the silence but the frog's rude croak
Discordant, sounding from the distant pool.
Yet say, is not this contemplative hour,
When all around breathes peace, more dear to thee
Than all the transient splendors of the morn?
But see, the sun, long sunk beneath the west,
Lends his last glories to the evening cloud.
How many eyes that mark his setting beam,
Shall never see his rising!-Even so,
Father, for so it seemeth good to thee.
The longest day that man must spend on earth,
How short, how doubtful! Yet in this brief space,
We toil, and sigh, and strive-and are content.
The twilight now has closed; but all the scene
Of glory is not ended: in its stead,
Majestic night, with all her train of worlds,
Appears sublime in beauty. Fancy now
Escapes from earth and soars above the stars.
Dear lady, so let our short day be spent,
That when our sun is set, its parting beams
May lighten years yet distant; and when time
Has whelmed us in the wreck of days gone by,
Our rising may be joyous! *
SWEET visions of fancy, deceitful as fair,
Though often misguiding, not cherished the less;
How oft have ye solaced the moment of care,
And diffused your bright beams o'er the gloom of distress!
How often has time flitted rapidly by,
When lured by your promise, or charmed by your spell!
How often, when pensive, I could not tell why;
Have ye smiled that I loved your delusions so well!
Such have been my feelings;-such has been your power:-
Farewell! and O, with you, forever adieu,
All the flatteries that gilded my heart's dearest hour,
And the ardor that fancied those flatteries true.
Farewell! at stern duty's command, I resign
All that once was so fondly, so foolishly dear:
Farewell! though your transports no longer are mine,
I am freed from your sadness, your terror, your tear.
O, no more may my spirit recline on your aid,
Its sorrows to soothe, or its fears to disarm;
For the tints of the rainbow, that glitter and fade;
May I look to the sunbeam that lends them
HORACE.ODE 16. LIB. 2.
WHEN gloomy clouds obscure the orb of night,
And guiding stars withhold their twinkling light,
As o'er the main his fragile bark he plies;
'Grant me repose,' th' affrighted seaman cries.
In the long contest with unconquered foes,
The weary soldier asks in vain repose.
But gold, nor diamonds, nor the Tyrian dye
Can e'er the price of calm repose supply;
Nor wealth, nor regal power, nor pomp control
The wild disordering tumult of the soul.
In stately halls, within the gilded dome,
Still hover anxious cares and find a home.
Happy the man, though mean his wealth, whose breast
Nor fear, nor sordid avarice molest;
Whose frugal board his moderate mind bespeaks,
Whose easy slumbers no base passion breaks.
Why for brief life seek we so much to gain?
Why roam to other climes across the main?
Can the poor exile from himself escape?
Care always haunts him in some hideous shape;
With him ascends the sturdy vessel's height;
Nor quits the horseman in his rapid flight:
Swifter than deer, when roused by hunters' cries,
Or winds that drive the storm along the skies.
Pleased with the present let thy mind forbear,
Nor further seek, nor for the uncertain care.
With brow unclouded meet the frowns of fate;
No bliss is perfect in this mortal state:
Not seldom victory brings her bloody wreath
To crown her favorite in the arms of death:
Or spared, perchance, he sinks in slow decay,
And wastes unhonored life's last years away.
Nor worth, nor high renown, nor wit can save
One human being from the greedy grave.
Not thriving flocks that round the mansion bleat,
Nor fields with rich Sicilian kine replete,
Nor robes in Tyrian purple double dyed,
Nor Parthian steeds that neigh with pampered pride,
Can turn aside the inevitable blow,
Or stay the fatal shaft that lays thee low.
My gifts from fortune are but small indeed,
But they afford the little that I need,
And what I lack, the Grecian muse supplies,
And wafts my fancy o'er the earth and skies.
She makes me hate the grovelling, envious throng,
Nor suffers meaner things to check my song.
There seems to us great beauty in the conclusion of the following sonnet of Milton, on his blindness.
HEN I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
Doth God exact day-labor, light denied,
I fondly ask: But patience to prevent
That murmur soon replies, God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke they serve him best; his state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.