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DEEPLY INTERESTED IN THE SUBJECT OF THE
< But soft, but see, or rather do not see, « My fair rose wither."
Awak’d to thought, matur'd by age,
No more those sportive toys engage,
That wont in Fancy's jocund hours
To frolic thro' the festal bowers.
To memory dear, tho' far remov'd,
what title most approv'd Shall greet thee in the wonted lay That hails once more this happy day *.
Then with complacent smile attend
While my true heart salutes thee friend ;
What nobler boon have I to give ?
What worthier gift canst thou receive ?
Indifference proud, and cold disdain,
Avert the scornful brow in vain,
While with exulting glance I view
The chosen band that ranks with
Those friends that led my earliest youth
Along the peaceful paths of truth,
Who fir'd with Virtue's charins divine,
Oft mingled sympathies with mine;
Or those who in maturer years
Awak'd at once my hopes and fears,
While anxious fondness sketch'd their
From thought's dim dawn to mental day;
And moulded soft with patient art
And tender care, the yielding heart,
But since we feel that all is vain,
Since purest pleasures end in pain,
Since all that dazzles, charms, endears,
Eludes our grasp,—or, seen thro' tears,
In dim perspective fades away,
shall animate the lay? What Muse awake the plausive strain, And bid my bosom glow again!
Gay fleeting visions rob’d in light,
That cheer'd my soul and charm'd my sight;
Elysian flowers, whose fragrant breath
Perfum'd with sweets the bed of death,
The solemn thrill, the magic fire,
Wak'd by the soul-commanding lyre,
Adieu !—no more my haunts invade,
Nor come to cruel memory's aid,
For what can fancy now bestow
But darker shades to blacken woe ?
Ah! why did flowers Elysian bloom,
Since cropt to wither in the tomb.
Then let us in the festive bow'r
Escape from cruel memory's pow'r ;
The board where social friendship smiles,
A while the woes of life beguiles.
In vain,- for see the forms deplor'd
Like angels hover o'er the board,
And seem, with softly-melting eye,
To look compassion ere they fly.
Say, generous youth *, whose brow serene,
Benignant smile and open mien,
With candour beaming in thine eyes,
Bespoke the soul without disguise ;
By honour's purest dictates taught,
With “ milk of human kindness” fraught,
Say, didst thou view with gentle scorn
The crowd by selfish passions torn,
Untry'd, forsake the dubious race,
And soar to thy congenial place ?
And She *, in hardest conflicts tried,
By truth, by love, by blood allied,
Who wept with sister's tears his doom,
Too soon to fill a neighbouring tomb :
Ah! why profuse did Nature shed
Her gifts around her infant head;
With varying bloom her face adorn,
Like orient hues that deck the morn,
Shed purest lustre from her eyes,
Like radiant streams from northern skies.
At once inspiring awe and love,
Bade chasten'd graces round her move,
And native force of nobler soul
Pervade and dignify the whole ;
* This lady, as much esteemed for her virtue and understanding, as admired for her beauty and elegance, died about a year after her lamented kinsman. See the Nymph of the Fountain in this volume, addressed to her a few years before her death.
And mild decorum's sober state
On all her looks and actions wait,
While mingled elegance and ease
look and action please ;
With feeling strong, with judgment clear,
Firm probity and truth sincere ;
Thro' sorrow's clouds we saw her shine,
Those clouds that made her your's and mine!
Thus deck'd with every charm and grace,
The loveliest of a lovely race;
Like purest gold in fire refin’d,
And rich in all the wealth of mind,
Why did she tread the paths of pain,
And seek for long-lost rest in vain ?
And why in vain did you
Pour the soft balm of sympathy ?
With generous love the worthy youth
To whom she vow'd her plighted truth,
Too fondly hop'd from future harms
To screen her in his faithful arms :
But soon he finds he grasps a shade,
And soon the transient roses fade,
And soon dissolv'd in ambient light
The beauteous vision quits his sight!
Yet ere she sunk to endless rest,
To soothe the anguish of his breast