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THE PLEASURES OF HOPE

PART I.

At summer eve, when Heav'n's aerial bow Spans with bright arch the glittering hills below, Why to yon mountain turns the musing eye, Whose sunbright summit mingles with the sky Why do those cliffs of shadowy tint appear More sweet than all the landscape smiling nearl'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view, And robes the mountain in its azure hue.

Thus, with delight, we linger to survey The promis'd joys of life's unmeasur'd way; Thus, from afar, each dim-discover'd scene More pleasing seems than all the past hath been; And every form, that Fancy can repair From dark oblivion, glows divinely there.

What potent spirit guides the raptur'd eye
To pierce the shades of dim futurity ?
Can Wisdom lend, with all her heav'nly power,
The pledge of Joy's anticipated hour?
Ah, no! she darkly sees the fate of man-
Her dim horizon bounded to a span;
Or, if she hold an image to the view,
'Tis Nature pictur'd too severely true.
With thee, sweet Hope! resides the heav'nly

light,
That pours remotest rapture on the sight:
Thine is the charm of life's bewilder'd way,
That calls each slumb'ring passion into play:

Wak'd by thy touch, I see the sister band,
On tiptoe watching, start at thy command,
And fly where'er thy mandate bids them steer,
To Pleasure's path, or Glory's bright career.

Primeval Hope, the Aonian Muses say,
When Man and Nature mourn'd their first

decay; When every form of death, and every woe, Shot from malignant stars to earth below; When Murder bar'd his arm, and rampant War Yok'd the red dragons of her iron car; When Peace and Mercy, banish'd from the plain, Sprung on the viewless winds to Heav'n again ; All, all forsook the friendless guilty mind, But Hope, the charmer, linger'd still behind.

Thus, while Elijah's burning wheels prepare, From Carmel's height, to sweep the fields of air, The prophet's mantle, ere his flight began, Dropp'd on the world—a sacred gift to man.

Auspicious Hope! in thy sweet garden grow Wreaths for each toil, a charm for every woe: Won by their sweets, in Nature's languid hour, The way-worn pilgrim seeks thy summer bower; There, as the wild-bee murmurs on the wing, What peaceful dreams thy handmaid spirits

bring! What viewless forms th' Æolian organ play, And sweep

the furrow'd lines of anxious thought away! ! Angel of life! thy glittering wings explore Earth's loneliest bounds, and Ocean's wildest

shore.
Lo! to the wintry winds the pilot yields
His bark careering o'er unfathom'd fields ;

on Atlantic waves he rides afar,
re Andes, giant of the western star,

With meteor standard to the winds unfurl'd, Looks, from his throne of clouds, o'er half the

world. Now far he sweeps, where scarce a summer

smiles, On Behring's rocks, or Greenland's naked isles ; Cold on his midnight watch the breezes blow, From wastes that slumber in eternal snow ; And aft, across the waves' tumultuous roar, The wolf's long howl from Oonalaska's shore.

Poor Child of danger, nursling of the storm, Sad are the woes that wreck thy manly form! Rocks, waves, and winds, the shatter'd bark

delay; Thy heart is sad, thy home is far away.

But Hope can here her moonlight vigils keep, And sing to charm the spirit of the deep: Swift as yon streamer lights the starry pole, Her visions warm the watchman's pensive soul: His native hills that rise in happier climes, The grot that heard his song of other times, His cottage-home, his bark of slender sail, His glassy lake, and broomwood blossom’d vale, Rush on his thought; he sweeps before the wind, Treads the lov'd shore he sigh'd to leave behind; Meets at each step a friend's familiar face, And flies at last to Helen's long embrace; Wipes from her cheek the rapture-speaking tear, And clasps, with many a sigh, his children dear! While, long neglected, but at length caress’d, His faithful dog salutes the smiling guest, Points to the master's eyes (where'er they roam) His wistful face, and whines a welcome home.

Friend of the brave! in peril's darkest hour, Intrepid Virtue looks to thee for power ;

To thee the heart its trembling homage yields,
On stormy floods, and carnage-cover'd fields,
When front to front the banner'd hosts combine,
Halt ere they close, and form the dreadful line.
When all is still on Death's devoted soil,
The march-worn soldier mingles for the toil;
As rings his glittering tube, he lifts on high
The dauntless brow, and spirit-speaking eye,
Hails in his heart the triumph yet to come,
And hears thy stormy music in the drum!

And such thy strength-inspiring aid that bore
The hardy Byron to his native shore.-1
In horrid climes, where Chiloe's tempests sweep
Tumultuous murmurs o'er the troubled deep,
'Twas his to mourn misfortune's rudest shock,
Scourg'd by the winds, and cradled on the rock,
To wake each joyless morn, and search again
The famish'd haunts of solitary men,
Whose race, unyielding as their native storm,
Knows not a trace of Nature but the form ;
Yet, at thy call, the hardy Tar pursued,
Pale, but intrepid, sad, but unsubdued,
Pierc'd the deep woods, and, hailing from afar,
The moon's pale planet and the northern star;
Paus'd at each dreary cry, unheard before,
Hyænas in the wild, and mermaids on the shore;
Till, led by thee o’er many a cliff sublime,
He found a warmer world, a milder clime,
A home to rest, a shelter to defend,
Peace and repose, a Briton and a friend !?

Congenial Hope! thy passion-kindling power, How bright, how strong, in Youth's untroubled

hour! On yon proud height, with Genius hand in hand, I see thee light, and wave thy golden wand.

“Go, child of Heaven! (thy winged words

proclaim) 'Tis thine to search the boundless fields of fame! Lo! Newton, Priest of Nature, shines afar, -Scans the wide world, and numbers ev'ry star! Wilt thou, with him, mysterious rites apply, And watch the shrine with wonder-beaming eye? Yes, thou shalt mark, with magic art profound, The speed of light, the circling march of sound; With Franklin grasp the lightning's fiery wing, Or yield the lyre of Heav'n another string.”

“The Swedish Saget admires, in yonder bow'rs, His winged insects, and his rosy

flow'rs; Calls from their woodland haunts the savage train With sounding horn, and counts them on the

plain So once, at Heav'n's command, the wand'rers To Eden's shade, and heard their various name.

“Far from the world, in yon sequester'd clime, Slow pass the sons of Wisdom, more sublime

; Calm as the fields of Heav'n, his sapient eye The lov'd Athenian lifts to realms on high, Admiring Plato on his spotless page, Stamps the bright dictates of the Father sage: • Shall Nature bound to Earth's diurnal span The fire of God, th’immortal soul of man?'

Turn, Child of Heav'n, thy rapture-lighten'd

eye To Wisdom's walks, the sacred Nine are nigh: Hark! from bright spires that gild the Delphian

height, From streams that wander in eternal light, Rang’d on their hill, Harmonia's daughters swell The mingling tones of horn, and harp, and shell;

came

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