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“ To cheer me in this melancholy vale,
Helen, by every sympathy allied,
By love of virtue and by love of song, Compassionate in youth, and beauty's pride,
To thee those grateful artless lays belong, For warmly in thy heart the flame of friendship glows, And sweetly from thy lips the voice of comfort flows.
Dark clouds of woe involv'd my troubled soul,
The cheering sun but pain'd my weary sight, To nurse my grief to secret shades I stole,
And shunn'd the social hearth and loath'd the light. Grace, beauty, elegance, increas'd my pain, For those too fondly lovid, I lov’d, alas ! in vain !
Soft pitying accents stealing thro' the gloom,
Like dawning light upon the formless void, Withdrew my thoughts a moment from the tomb,
To scenes now dreary, hopeless, unenjoy’d: Yet busy fancy trac'd thy form unseen, And deck'd with charms thy face, and drest in smiles
So lonely journeying to LORETTO's shrine,
Some darkling pilgrim in the pathless vale, Bends his enraptur'd ear to strains divine,
And turns to bid his guardian-angel hail : 'Tis some fair vot’ress pours unseen her strain, By courteous echoes borne to soothe the wand'rer's pain.
Enjoy, blest maid, the smiling joyous prime,
While pleasure frolics in thy morning ray ; Now heedless of the hastening wings of time,
Crop the fresh primrose and the crocus gay; Ere noon's bright fervours scorch their silken bloom, Or weeping evening mourns their early doom.
As pure thy pleasures as those modest flowers
That twine around the bashful brows of spring; Then, ere the changing sky inconstant low'rs,
Deck thy fair bosom with the sweets they bring ;
For when they fade, nor sun nor fav’ring show'rs, Again can make them spring around thy bow'rs.
For me, with retrospection sadly pleas'd,
When hope's wide vista opens on my sight, I seem from grief's corroding pressure eas'd, To catch a glimpse of pure
celestial light: Then, while I patient wait my day's decline, On thee may summer suns unclouded shine!
Sacred to thee and friendly love,
I consecrate this humble seat,
Hither shall my weary feet
When the silver queen of night,
With her mildly pleasing beams,
Cheers the surface of the streams,
Here Fancy shall exert her magic power,
Fate soon will bear thee to some happier clime,
Yet that kind heart, that generous mind,
By truth and tenderness combin’d, Adorn'd with charms beyond the reach of time : Here oft shall mem'ry to my aid restore, While I with fruitless sighs my loss deplore.