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To scenes of bliss transmutes his fancied wealth,
And young and old shall now see happy days.
On many a waste he bids trim Gardens rise,
Gives the blue sky to many a prisoner's eyes;
And now in wrath he grasps the patriot steel,
And her own iron rod he makes Oppression feel.
Sweet Flower of Hope! free Nature's genial child !
That didst so fair disclose thy early bloom,
Filling the wide air with a rich perfume !
For thee in vain all heavenly aspects smild;
From the hard world brief respite could they win-
The frost nipp'd sharp without, the canker prey'd
Ah! where are fled the charms of vernal Grace,
And Joy's wild gleams that lightened o'er thy face?
Youth of tumultuous soul, and haggard eye!
Thy wasted form, thy hurried steps I view,
On thy wan forehead starts the lethal dew,
And oh! the anguish of that shuddering sigh !
Such were the struggles of the gloomy hour,
When CARE, of withered brow, Prepared the poison's death-cold power : Already to thy lips was raised the bowl,
When near thee stood Affection meek
(Her bosom bare, and wildly pale her cheek) Thy sullen gaze she bade thee roll
On scenes that well might melt thy soul;
Thy native cot she flashed upon thy view,
Thy native cot, where still, at close of day,
Peace smiling sate, and listened to thy lay;
Thy Sister's shrieks she bade thee hear,
And mark thy Mother's thrilling tear;
See, see her breast's convulsive throe,
Her silent agony of woe!
Ah! dash the poisoned chalice from thy hand!
And thou had'st dashed it, at her soft command,
But that Despair and INDIGNATION rose,
And told again the story of thy woes ;
Told the keen insult of the unfeeling heart;
The dread dependence on the low-born mind;
Told every pang, with which thy soul must smart,
Neglect, and grinning Scorn, and Want combined !
Recoiling quick, thou bad'st the friend of pain
Roll the black tide of Death through every freezing vein!
Ye woods ! that wave o'er Avon's rocky steep,
To Fancy's ear sweet is your murmuring deep!
For here she loves the cypress wreath to weave
Watching, with wistful eye, the saddening tints of eve.
Here, far from men, amid this pathless grove,
In solemn thought the Minstrel wont to rove,
Like star-beam on the slow sequestered tide
Lone-glittering, through the high tree branching wide.
And here, in INSPIRATION's eager hour,
When most the big soul feels the mastering power,
These wilds, these caverns roaming o'er,
Round which the screaming sea-gulls soar, With wild unequal steps he passed along Oft pouring on the winds a broken song : Anon, upon some rough rock's fearful brow Would pause abrupt—and gaze upon the waves below.
Poor CHATTERTON! he sorrows for thy fate
Who would have praised and loved thee, ere too late.
Poor CHATTERTON! farewell! of darkest hues
This chaplet cast I on thy unshaped tomb;
But dare no longer on the sad theme muse,
Lest kindred woes persuade a kindred doom :
For oh! big gall-drops, shook from Folly's wing,
Have blackened the fair promise of my spring;
And the stern Fate transpierced with viewless dart
The last pale Hope that shivered at my heart !
Hence, gloomy thoughts ! no more my soul shall dwell On joys that were ! No more endure to weigh
The shame and anguish of the evil day,
Wisely forgetful ! O'er the ocean swell
Sublime of Hope I seek the cottaged dell
Where Virtue calm with careless step may stray;
And, dancing to the moon-light roundelay,
The wizard PASSIONS weave an holy spell !
O CHATTERTON ! that thou wert yet alive!
Sure thou would'st spread the canvass to the gale,
And love, with us the tinkling team to drive
O'er peaceful Freedom's undivided dale;
And we, at sober eve, would round thee throng,
Hanging, enraptured, on thy stately song!
And greet with smiles the young-eyed Poes y
All deftly masked, as hoar ANTIQUITY.
Alas vain Phantasies ! the feeting brood
Of Woe self-solaced in her dreamy mood !
Yet will I love to follow the sweet dream,
Where Susquehannah pours his untamed stream;
And on some hill, whose forest-frowning side
Waves o'er the murmurs of his calmer tide,
Will raise a solemn Cenotaph to thee,
Sweet Harper of time-shrouded MINSTRELSY!
And there, soothed sadly by the dirgeful wind,
Muse on the sore ills I had left behind.
The Pixies, in the superstition of Devonshire, are a race of beings invisibly small, and harmless or friendly to man. small distance from a village in that county, half way up a woodcovered hill, is an excavation called the Pixies' Parlour. The roots of old trees form its ceiling; and on its sides are innumerable cyphers, among which the author discovered his own cypher and those of his brothers, cut by the hand of their childhood. At the foot of the hill flows the river Otter.
To this place the Author conducted a party of young Ladies, during the Summer mouths of the year 1793 ; one of whom, of stature elegantly small, and of complexion colourless yet clear, was proclaimed the Faery Queen. On which occasion the following Irregular Ode was written.
Whom the untaught Shepherds call
Pixies in their madrigal, Fancy's children, here we dwell :
Welcome, LADIES ! to our cell.