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But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ? Still it whisper'd promised pleasure
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail ! Still would her touch the strain prolong;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale She call'd on Echo still through all the song;
And, where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close ; And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden
And longer had she sung :—but with a frown Revenge
impatient rose : He threw his blood-stain'd sword in thunder down;
And with a withering look
And ever and anon he beat
The doubling drum with furious heat ; And, though sometimes, each dreary pause between,
Dejected Pity at his side
Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild unalter'd mien, While each strain'd ball of sight seem'd bursting from
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix'd:
Sad proof of thy distressful state !
And now it courted Love, now raving call'd on Hate.
With eyes up-raised, as one inspired,
Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul :
And dashing soft from rocks around
Bubbling runnels join'd the sound; Through glades and glooms the mingled measure
stole, Or, o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,
Round an holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace, and lonely musing,
Her bow across her shoulder flung,
Her buskins gemm'd with morning dew,
The hunter's call to Faun and Dryad known !
Satyrs and Sylvan Boys, were seen
Peeping from forth their alleys green: Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear ;
And Sport leap'd up, and seized his beechen spear.
Last came Joy's ecstatic trial :
First to the lively pipe his hand addrest :
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best : They would have thought who heard the strain
They saw, in Tempe's vale, her native maids
Amidst the festal-sounding shades
Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round:
As if he would the charming air repay,
O Music ! sphere-descended maid,
142. ODE ON THE SPRING.
Lo! where the rosy-bosom'd Hours
Fair Venus' train, appear,
And wake the purple year!
Cool Zephyrs through the clear blue sky
Their gather'd fragrance fling.
Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch
A broader, browner shade,
O'er-canopies the glade,
How indigent the Great !
Still is the toiling hand of Care;
The panting herds repose :
The busy murmur glows !
Quick-glancing to the sun.
To Contemplation's sober eye
Such is the race of Man :
Alike the busy and the gay
They leave, in dust to rest.
Methinks I hear in accents low
The sportive kind reply:
A solitary fly!
143. THE POPLAR FIELD. The poplars are fell’d, farewell to the shade And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade; The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves, Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives. Twelve years have elapsed since I last took a view Of my favourite field, and the bank where they grew : And now in the grass behold they are laid, And the tree is my seat that once lent me a shade. The blackbird has fled to another retreat Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat ; And the scene where his melody charm'd me before Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more. My fugitive years are all hasting away, And I must ere long lie as lowly as they, With a turf on my breast and a stone at my head, Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead. 'Tis a sight to engage me, if anything can, To muse on the perishing pleasures of man; Short-lived as we are, our enjoyments, I see, Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.