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The insect-youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honeyed spring,

And float amid the liquid noon;
Some lightly o'er the current skim,
Some show their gayly gilded trim

Quick-glancing to the sun.

To Contemplation's sober eye

Such is the race of Man;
And they that creep, and they that fly,

Shall end where they began.
Alike the Busy and the Gay
But flutter through life's little day,

In Fortune's varying colors drest;
Brushed by the hand of rough Mischance,
Or chilled by Age, their airy dance

They leave, in dust to rest.

Methinks I hear, in accents low,

The sportive kind reply:
Poor moralist! and what art thou ?

A solitary fly!
Thy joys no glittering female meets,
No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets,

No painted plumage to display:
On hasty wings thy youth is flown;
Thy sun is set, thy spring is gone

We frolic while 't is May.


YE distant spires, ye antique towers,

That crown the watery glade,
Where grateful Science still adores

Her Henry's holy shade;
And ye, that from the stately brow
Of Windsor's heights th' expanse below

Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among
Wanders the hoary Thames along

His silver-winding way!

Ah, happy hills ! ah, pleasing shade!

Ah, fields beloved in vain !
Where once my careless childhood strayed,

A stranger yet to pain!

I feel the gales that from ye blow
A momentary bliss bestow,

As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seemed to soothe,
And, redolent of joy and youth,

To breathe a second spring. Say, Father Thames, — for thou hast seen

Full many a sprightly race Disporting on thy margent green,

The paths of pleasure trace, Who foremost now delight to cleave With pliant arm thy glassy wave ?

The captive linnet which enthrall ? What idle progeny succeed To chase the rolling circle's speed,

Or urge the flying ball ?

While some, on earnest business bent,

Their murmuring labors ply 'Gainst graver hours that bring constraint

To sweeten liberty:
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,

And unknown regions dare descry;
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,

And snatch a fearful joy.

Gay hope is theirs, by fancy fed,

Less pleasing when possest; The tear forgot as soon as shed,

The sunshine of the breast: Theirs buxom health, of rosy bue, Wild wit, invention ever new,

And lively cheer, of vigor born; The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light,

That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas! regardless of their doom,

The little victim's play ;
No sense have they of ills to come,

No care beyond to-day:
Yet see, how all around them wait
The ministers of human fate

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And black Misfortune's baleful train! Ah, show them where in ambush stand, To seize their prey, the murtherous band !

Ah! tell them they are men ! These shall the fury Passions tear,

The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,

And Shame that skulks behind;
Or Pining Love shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy, with rankling tooth,

That inly gnaws the secret heart;
And Envy wan, and faded Care,
Grim-visaged, comfortless Despair,

And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,

Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,

And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
And hard Unkindness' altered eye,

That mocks the tear it forced to flow;
And keen Remorse with blood defiled,
And moody Madness laughing wild

Amid severest woe.
Lo! in the vale of years beneath

A grisly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death,

More hideous than their queen :
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every laboring sinew strains,

Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo! Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,

And slow-consuming Age.
To each his sufferings: all are men,

Condemned alike to groan;
The tender for another's pain,

Th' unfeeling for his own. Yet, ah! why should they know their fate, Since sorrow never comes too late,

And happiness too swiftly flies ? Thought would destroy their Paradise. No more: where ignorance is bliss,

'Tis folly to be wise.



Ruin seize thee, ruthless King!

Confusion on thy banners wait! Though fanned by Conquest's crimson wing,

They mock the air with idle state.

Helm, nor hauberk's twisted mail, Nor e'en thy virtues, Tyrant, shall avail

To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,

From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears !” Such were the sounds that o'er the crested pride

Of the first Edward scattered wild dismay, As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side

He wound with toilsome march his long array. Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance; "To arms!” cried Mortimer, and couched his quivering lance.

On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er cold Conway's foaming flood,

Robed in the sable garb of woe,
With haggard eyes the poet stood;

(Loose his beard, and hoary hair
Streamed, like a meteor, to the troubled air ;)
And with a master's hand and prophet's fire,

Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre:
“Hark, how each giant oak, and desert cave,

Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath!
O’er thee, O King! their hundred arms they wave,

Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe ;
Vocal no more, since Cambria’s fatal day,
To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.

« Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,

That hushed the stormy main ;
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed ;

Mountains, ye mourn in vain

Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topt head.

On dreary Arvon's shore they lie,
Smeared with gore, and ghastly pale:
Far, far aloof the affrighted ravens sail;

The famished eagle screams, and passes by. Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,

Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,

Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,
Ye died amidst your dying country's cries.

No more I weep: they do not sleep;

On yonder cliffs, a grisly band,
I see them sit; they linger yet,

Avengers of their native land;
With me in dreadful harmony they join,
And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.

“ Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
The winding-sheet of Edward's race:

Give ample room, and verge enough,
The characters of hell to trace,

Mark the year, and mark the night,

When Severn shall re-echo with affright
The shrieks of death, through Berkeley's roof that ring,

Shrieks of an agonizing King!
She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs,
That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled mate,

From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs
The scourge of Heaven. What terrors round him wait !

Amazement in his van, with Flight combined And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind.

“Mighty victor, mighty lord !
Low on his funeral couch he lies !

No pitying heart, no eye, afford
A tear to grace his obsequies.

Is the sable warrior fled ?
Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead.
The swarm, that in thy noontide beam were born ?

Gone to salute the rising morn.
Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,

While proudly riding o'er the azure realm
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes :

Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm;
Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,
That, bushed in grim repose, expects his evening prey.

“Fill high the sparkling bowl!

The rich repast prepare!
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast :

Close by the regal chair

Fell Thirst and Famine scow)
A baleful smile upon their baffled guest.

Heard ye the din of battle bray,
Lance to lance, and horse to horse ?

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