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To teach the wanderer, as his woes increase,
HYMN ON SOLITUDE.
HAIL, mildly pleasing Solitude,
Oh! how I love with thee to walk,
A thousand shapes you wear with ease, And still in every shape you please. Now wrapt in some mysterious dream, A lone philosopher you seem; Now quick from hill to vale you fly, And now you sweep the vaulted sky. A shepherd next you haunt the plain, And warble forth your oaten strain. A lover
with all the grace Of that sweet passion in your face ; Then, calm’d to friendship, you assume The gentle-looking Hartford's bloom, As, with her Musidora, she (Her Musidora fond of thee) Amid the long withdrawing vale, Awakes the rivall’d nightingale.
Thine is the balmy breath of morn, Just as the dew-bent rose is born; And while meridian fervors beat, Thine is the woodland dumb retreat; But chief, when evening scenes decay, And the faint landscape swims away, Thine is the doubtful soft decline, And that best hour of musing thine.
Descending ages bless thy train, The virtues of the sage and swain; Plain innocence in white array'd, Before thee lifts her fearless head : Religion's beams around thee shine, And cheer thy glooms with light divine : About thee sports sweet liberty ; And wrapt Urania sings to thee.
Oh, let me pierce thy secret cell, And in thy deep recesses dwell. Perhaps from Norwood's oak-clad hill, When meditation has her fill, I just may cast my careless eyes Where London's spiry turrets rise ; Think of its crimes, its cares, its pain, Then shield me in the woods again.
HYMN TO DARKNESS.
DARKNESS, thou first great parent of us all,
Thou art our great original;
Since from thy universal womb Does all thou shad'st below, thy numerous offspring
Thy wondrous birth is even to Time unknown,
Or, like Eternity, thou’dst none;
Whilst Light did its first being owe
Say, in what distant region dost thou dwell,
To Reason inaccessible ?
From form and duller matter free,
Involv'd in thee, we first receive our breath,
Thou art our refuge too in death :
Great Monarch of the grave and womb, Where'er our souls shall go, to thee our bodies come.
The silent globe is struck with awful fear,
When thy majestic shades appear :
Thou dost compose the air and sea, And Earth a Sabbath keeps, sacred to rest and thee.
In thy serener shades our ghosts delight,
And court the umbrage of the night;
In vaults and gloomy caves they stray,
Though solid bodies dare exclude the light,
Nor will the brightest ray admit;
No substance can thy force repel, Thou reign'st in depths below, dost in the centre dwell.
The sparkling gems, and ore in mines below,
To thee their beauteous lustre owe ;
Tho'form’d within the womb of night, Bright as their sire they shine, with native rays of light.
When thou dost raise thy venerable head,
And art in genuine night array'd,
Thy negro beauties then delight; Beauties like polish'd jet, with their own darkness bright.
Thou dost thy smiles impartially bestow,
And know'st no difference here below;
All things appear the same by thee,
Thou, Darkness, art the lover's kind retreat,
And dost the nuptial joys complete :
Thou dost inspire them with thy shade, Giv'st vigour to the youth, and warm'st the yielding