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When last I roved these winding wood-walks green,
We were two pretty babes, the youngest she,
AT OSTEND, JULY 22, 1787.
How sweet the tuneful bells' responsive peal!
As when, at opening morn, the fragrant breeze
Breathes on the trembling sense of wan disease, So piercing to my heart their force I feel ! And hark! with lessening cadence now they fall,
And now, along the white and level tide,
They fling their melancholy music wide; Bidding me many a tender thought recall Of summer days, and those delightful years
When by my native streams, in life's fair prime,
The mournfiul magic of their mingling chime First waked my wond'ring childhood into tears ! But seeming now, when all those days are o'er, The sounds of joy once heard, and heard no more.
Go, then, and join the roaring city's throng !
Me thou dost leave to solitude and tears,
To busy fantasies, and boding fears,
Live happy; sometimes the forsaken shade
Rememb'ring, and these trees now left to fade ; Nor, 'mid the busy scenes and “hum of men," Wilt thou my cares forget: in heaviness
To me the hours shall roll, weary and slow,
Till, mournful autumn past, and all the snow Of winter pale! the glad hour I shall bless, That shall restore thee from the crowd again, To the green hamlet in the peaceful plain.
There is strange music in the stirring wind,
When lowers the autumnal eve, and all alone
To the dark wood's cold covert thou art gone, Whose ancient trees on the rough slope reclined Rock, and at times scatter their tresses sear.
If in such shades, beneath their murmuring,
Thou late hast passed the happier hours of spring, With sadness thou wilt mark the fading year; Chiefly if one, with whom such sweets at morn
Or eve thou'st shared, to distant scenes shall stray.
O Spring, return! return, auspicious May!
WHOSE was the gentle voice, that, whispering sweet,
Promised, methought, long days of bliss sincere ?
Soothing it stole on my deluded ear, Most like soft music, that might sometimes cheat Thoughts dark and drooping! 'Twas the voice of Hope !
Of love and social scenes, it seemed to speak,
Of truth, of friendship, of affection meek;
Ah me! the prospect saddened as she sung;
Loud on my startled ear the death-bell rung;
How shall I meet thee, Summer, wont to fill
My heart with gladness, when thy pleasant tide *First came, and on each coomb's romantic side Was heard the distant cuckoo's hollow bill? Fresh flowers shall fringe the wild brink of the stream,
As with the song of joyance and of hope,
The hedge-rows shall ring aloud, and on the slope
Thinking their May-tide fragrance might delight,
Shall put forth their green shoot, and cheer the sight! But I shall mark their hues with sickening eyes, And weep for her who in the cold grave lies !
ON A DISTANT VIEW OF ENGLAND
Ah! from mine eyes the tears unbidden start,
Albion, as now thy cliffs (that white appear
Far o'er the wave, and their proud summits rear To meet the beams of morn) my beating heart With eager hope and filial transport hails.
Scenes of my youth; reviving gales, ye bring,
As when erewhile the tuneful morn of Spring
Fled are those hours, and all the joys they gave,
Yet still I gaze and count each rising wave That bears me nearer to your haunts again; If haply, 'mid those woods and vales so fair, Stranger to peace, I yet may meet her there.
On these white cliffs, that calm above the flood,
Uplift their shadowing heads, and, at their feet,
And o'er the distant billows the still eve
Sailed slow, has thought of all his heart must leave To-morrow; of the friends he loved most dear; Of social scenes, from which he wept to part:
But, if like me, he knew how fruitless all
The thoughts that would full fain the past recall, Soon would he quell the risings of his heart, And brave the wild winds and unhearing tideThe world his country, and his God his guide.
O Time! who know'st a lenient hand to lay
Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence
(Lulling to sad repose the weary sense) The faint pang stealest, unperceived, away ; On thee I rest my only hope at last,
And think, when thou hast dried the bitter tear
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,
As some lone bird, at day's departing hour
Sings in the sunbeam of the transient shower, Forgetful, though its wings are wet the while :Yet, ah! how much must that
heart endure, Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure !