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From false caresses, causeless strife,
Wild hope, vain fear, alike remov'd,
Here let me learn the use of life,
When best enjoy'd-when most improv'd. Teach me, thou venerable bower,
Cool meditation's quiet seat,
The gen'rous scorn of venal power,
The silent grandeur of retreat.
When pride, by guilt, to greatness climbs,
Or raging factions rush to war,
Here let me learn to shun the crimes,
I can't prevent, and will not share.
But, lest I fall by subtler foes,
Bright wisdom, teach me Curio's art,
The swelling passions to compose,
And quell the rebels of the heart.
O PHŒBUS! down the western sky,
Far hence diffuse thy burning ray,
Thy light to distant worlds supply,
And wake them to the cares of day.
Come, gentle eve, the friend of care,
Come, Cynthia, lovely queen of night!
Refresh me with a cooling air,
And cheer me with a lambent light:
Lay me, where o'er the verdant ground
Her living carpet nature spreads;
Where the green bow'r, with roses crown'd,
In show'rs its fragrant foliage sheds;
Improve the peaceful hour with wine;
Let musick die along the grove ;
Around the bowl let myrtles twine,
And ev'ry strain be tun'd to love.
Come, Stella, queen of all my heart!
Come, born to fill its vast desires!
Thy looks perpetual joys impart,
Thy voice perpetual love inspires.
Whilst, all my wish and thine complete,
By turns we languish and we burn,
Let sighing gales our sighs repeat,
Our murmurs-murmuring brooks return.
Let me, when nature calls to rest,
And blushing skies the morn foretell,
Sink on the down of Stella's breast,
And bid the waking world farewell.
ALAS! with swift and silent pace,
Impatient time rolls on the year;
The seasons change, and nature's face
Now sweetly smiles, now frowns severe.
"Twas spring, 'twas summer, all was gay,
Now autumn bends a cloudy brow;
The flow'rs of spring are swept away,
And summer-fruits desert the bough.
The verdant leaves, that play'd on high,
And wanton'd on the western breeze,
Now, trod in dust, neglected lie,
As Boreas strips the bending trees.
The fields, that wav'd with golden grain,
As russet heaths, are wild and bare;
Not moist with dew, but drench'd with rain,
Nor health, nor pleasure, wanders there. No more, while through the midnight shade, Beneath the moon's pale orb I stray, Soft pleasing woes my heart invade,
As Progne pours the melting lay.
From this capricious clime she soars,
Oh! would some god but wings supply!
To where each morn the spring restores,
Companion of her flight I'd fly.
Vain wish! me fate compels to bear
The downward season's iron reign;
Compels to breathe polluted air,
And shiver on a blasted plain.
What bliss to life can autumn yield,
If glooms, and show'rs, and storms prevail, And Ceres flies the naked field,
And flowers, and fruits, and Phoebus fail? Oh! what remains, what lingers yet, To cheer me in the dark'ning hour! The grape remains! the friend of wit, In love, and mirth, of mighty pow'r. Haste-press the clusters, fill the bowl; Apollo! shoot thy parting ray :
This gives the sunshine of the soul,
This god of health, and verse, and day. Still still the jocund strain shall flow, The pulse with vig'rous rapture beat; My Stella with new charms shall glow, And ev'ry bliss in wine shall meet.
No more the morn, with tepid rays,
Unfolds the flow'r of various hue;
Noon spreads no more the genial blaze,
Nor gentle eve distils the dew.
The ling'ring hours prolong the night,
Usurping darkness shares the day;
Her mists restrain the force of light,
And Phoebus holds a doubtful sway.
By gloomy twilight, half reveal'd,
With sighs we view the hoary hill,
The leafless wood, the naked field,
The snow-topp'd cot, the frozen rill.
No musick warbles through the grove,
No vivid colours paint the plain;
No more, with devious steps, I rove
Through verdant paths, now sought in vain.
Aloud the driving tempest roars,
Congeal'd, impetuous show'rs descend;
Haste, close the window, bar the doors,
Fate leaves me Stella, and a friend.
In nature's aid, let art supply
With light and heat my little sphere;
Rouse, rouse the fire, and pile it high,
Light up a constellation here.
Let musick sound the voice of joy,
Or mirth repeat the jocund tale;
Let love his wanton wiles employ,
And o'er the season wine prevail.
Yet time life's dreary winter brings,
When mirth's gay tale shall please no more Nor musick charm-though Stella sings;
Nor love, nor wine, the spring restore.
Catch, then, Oh! catch the transient hour,
Improve each moment as it flies;
Life's a short summer-man a flow'r:
He dies-alas! how soon he dies!
BEHOLD, my fair, where'er we rove,
What dreary prospects round us rise;
The naked hill, the leafless grove,
The hoary ground, the frowning skies!
Nor only through the wasted plain,
Stern winter! is thy force confess'd;
Still wider spreads thy horrid reign,
I feel thy pow'r usurp my breast.
Enliv'ning hope, and fond desire,
Resign the heart to spleen and care;
Scarce frighted love maintains her fire,
And rapture saddens to despair.
In groundless hope, and causeless fear,
Unhappy man! behold thy doom;
Still changing with the changeful year,
The slave of sunshine and of gloom.
Tir'd with vain joys, and false alarms,
With mental and corporeal strife,
Snatch me, my Stella, to thy arms,
And screen me from the ills of life".
ON HER GIVING THE AUTHOR A GOLD AND SILK
NETWORK PURSE OF HER OWN WEAVING.
THOUGH gold and silk their charms unite
To make thy curious web delight,
In vain the varied work would shine,
If wrought by any hand but thine;
Thy hand, that knows the subtler art
To weave those nets that catch the heart.
Spread out by me, the roving coin
Thy nets may catch, but not confine;
Nor can I hope thy silken chain
The glitt❜ring vagrants shall restrain.
Why, Stella, was it then decreed,
The heart, once caught, should ne'er be freed?
e And hide me from the sight of life. 1st edition.
' Printed among Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies.