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Pure stream ! in whose transparent wave
My youthful limbs I wont to lave;
No torrents stain thy limpid source;
No rocks impede thy dimpling course,
That sweetly warbles oer its bed,
With white, round, polish'd pebbles spread ;
While, lightly pois'd, the scaly brood
In myriads cleave the crystal flood;
The springing trout, in speckled pride;
The salmon, monarch of the tide;
The ruthless pike, intent on war;
The silver eel, and mottled par.
Devolving from thy parent lake,
A charming maze thy waters make,
By bowers of birch, and groves of pine,
And edges flower'd with eglantine.
Still on thy banks, so gaily green,
May numerous herds, and flocks be seen,
And lasses chanting o'er the pail,
And shepherds piping in the dale,
And ancient faith that knows no guile,
And industry imbrown'd with toil,
And hearts resolv'd, and hands prepar'd,
The blessings they enjoy to guard.
Ah! cease this kind persuasive strain,
Which, when it flows from friendship's tongue,
However weak, however vain,
O'erpowers beyond the Siren's song:
Leave me, my friend, indulgent go,
And let me muse upon my wo.
Why lure me from these pale retreats ?
Why rob me of these pensive sweets?
Can Music's voice, can Beauty's eye,
Can Painting's glowing hand, supply
A charm so suited to my mind,
As blows this hollow gust of wind,
As drops this little weeping rill
Soft-tinkling down the moss-grown hill,
Whilst through the west, where sinks the crimson day,
Meek Twilight slowly sails, and waves her banners gray,
Say, from Amiction's various source Do none but turbid waters flow?
And cannot Fancy clear their course?
For Fancy is the friend of wo.
Say, 'mid that grove, in love-lorn state,
When yon poor ringdove mourns her mate,
Is all that meets the shepherd's ear,
Inspir'd by anguish, and despair?
Ah no, fair Fancy rules the
She swells her throat; she guides her tongue;
She bids the waving aspen-spray
Quiver in cadence to her lay;
She bids the fringed osiers bow,
And rustle round the lake below,
To suit the tenor of her gurgling sighs,
And sooth her throbbing breast with solemn sympathies.
To thee, whose young and polish'd brow
The wrinkling hand of Sorrow spares;
Whose cheeks, bestrew'd with roses, know
No channel for the tide of tears;
To thee yon abbey dank, and lonė,
Where ivy chains each mould'ring stone
That nods o'er many a martyr's tomb,
May cast a formidable gloom.
Yet some there are, who, free from fear,
Could wander through the cloisters drear,
Could rove each desolated isle,
Though midnight thunders shook the pile;
And dauntless view, or seem to view,
(As faintly flash the lightnings blue) Thin shiv'ring ghosts from yawning charnels throng, And glance with silent sweep the shaggy vaults along.
But such terrific charms as these,
I ask not yet : my sober mind
The fainter forms of sadness please ;
My sorrows are of softer kind.
Through this still valley let me stray,
Wrapt in some strain of pensive Gray:
Whose lofty genius bears along
The conscious dignity of song;
And, scorning from the sacred store
To waste a note on Pride, or Power,
Roves, when the glimmering twilight glooms,
And warbles 'mid the rustic tombs :
He too perchance, (for well I know
His heart would melt with friendly wo)
He too perchance, when these poor limbs are laid,
Will heave one tuneful sigh, and sooth my hov'ring
O PARENT of each lovely Muse !
Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse ;
O'er all my artless songs preside,
My footsteps to thy temple guide;
To offer at thy turf-built shrine,
In golden cups no costly wine;
No murder'd fatling of the flock,
But flowers and honey from the rock.
O nymph! with loosely-flowing hair,
With buskin'd leg, and bosom bare ;
Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd;
Waving in thy snowy hand
An all-commanding magic wand;
Of power to bid fresh gardens blow
'Mid cheerless Lapland’s barren snow ;
Whose rapid wings thy flight convey,
Through air, and over earth and sea :
While the vast, various landscape lies
Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes;