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“ Ye splendid fabrics, palaces and towers, “ Where Dissipation leads the giddy hours, “ Where Pomp, Disease, and Knavery reside, “ And Folly bends the knee to wealthy. Pride; “Where Luxury's purveyors learn to rise, “ And Worth, to Want a prey, unfriended dies; “ Where warbling eunuchs glitter in brocade, “ And hapless poets toil for scanty bread: " Farewel! to other scenes I turn my eyes, “ Embosom'd in the vale where Auburn lies, “ Deserted Auburn, those now ruin'd glades,
Forlorn, yet ever dear and honour'd shades. “ There though the hamlet boasts no smiling train, “ Nor sportful pastime circling on the plain; “ No needy villains prowl around for prey, “ No slanderers, no sycophants betray; “ No gaudy foplings scornfully deride “ The swain, whose humble pipe is all his pride. « There will I fly to seek that soft repose, “ Which solitude contemplative bestows: “ Yet oh fond hope! perchance there still remains * One lingering friend behind, to bless the plains; « Some hermit of the dale, enshrin'd in ease, “ Long-lost companion of my youthful days;
« With whose sweet converse in his social bower, “ I oft may chide away some vacant hour; 66 To whose pure sympathy I may impart “ Each latent grief that labours at my heart,
Whate'er I felt, and what I saw, relate,
The shoals of luxury, the wrecks of state; “ Those busy scenes, where Science wakes in vain, “ In which I shar'd, ah, ne'er to share again! “ But whence that pang? does nature now rebel? “Why faulters out my tongue the word farewel? “ Ye friends! who long have witness'd to my toil, “ And seen me ploughing in a thankless soil; “ Whose partial tenderness hush'd every pain, “ Whose approbation made my bosom vain: « 'Tis you, to whom my soul divided hies “With fond regret, and half unwilling flies; “ Sighs forth her parting wishes to the wind, “ And lingering leaves her better half behind. “ Can I forget the intercourse I shar'd, “What friendship cherish'd, and what zeal endear’d? « Alas! remembrance still must turn to you, “ And to my latest hour protract the long adieu. “ Amid the woodlands, wheresoe'er I rove, “ The plain, or secret covert of the grove,
“ Imagination shall supply her store “ Of painful bliss, and what she can restore; “ Shall strew each lonely path with flowrets gay, “ And wide as is her boundless empire stray. “ On eagle pinions traverse earth and skies, “ And bid the lost and distant objects rise. “Here, where encircled o'er the sloping land “ Woods rise on woods, shall Aristotle stand; “ Lyceum round the godlike man rejoice, “ And bow with reverence to wisdom's voice. “ There spreading oaks shall arch the vaulted dome; • The champion, there, of liberty, and Rome, « In Attic eloquence shall thunder laws, « And uncorrupted senates shout applause. « Not more ecstatic visions rapt the soul « Of Numa, when to midnight grots he stole, " And learnt his lore, from virtue's mouth refin'd, “ To fetter vice, and harmonize mankind. “ Now stretch'd at ease, beside some fav’rite stream, « Of beauty and enchantment will I dream; “ Elysium, feats of art, and laurels won, “ The Graces three, and Japhet's* fabled son:
6 Whilst Angelo shall wave the mystic rod, “ And see a new creation wait his nod, 6 Prescribe his bounds to Time's remorseless power; “ And to my arms my absent friends restore, “ Place me amidst the group, each well-known face, “ The sons of science, lords of human race; “ And as oblivion sinks at his command, « Nature shall rise more finish'd from his hand, “ Thus some magician fraught with potent skill, “ Transforms, and moulds each vary'd mass at will; “ Calls animated forms of wondrous birth, “ Cadmean offspring from the teeming earth, * Uncears the ponderous tombs, the realms of night, « And calls their cold inhabitants to light; “ Or, as he traverses a dreary scene, “ Bids every sweet of nature there convene. " Huge mountains skirted round with wavy woods, “ The shrub-deckt lawns, and silver-sprinkled floods, " Whilst flowrets spring around the smiling land, " And follow on the traces of his wand.
“ Such prospects, lovely Auburn! then, be thine; “ And what thou canst of bliss impart be mine; “ Amid thy humble shades, in tranquil ease, “ Grant me to pass the remnant of my days:
« Unfetter'd from the toil of wretched gain, “ My raptur'd muse shall pour her noblest strain, « Within her native bowers the notes prolong, « And, grateful, meditate her latest song. “ Thus, as adown the slope of life I bend, “ And move, resign'd, to meet my latter end, « Each worldly wish, each worldly care represt, “ A self-approving heart alone possest, Content, to bounteous heaven I'll leave the rest."
Thus spoke the Bard: but not one friendly power With nod assentive crown'd the parting hour; No eastern meteor glar'd beneath the sky, No dextral omen; Nature heav'd a sigh, Prophetic of the dire impending blow, The presage of her loss, and Britain's woe. Already portion'd, unrelenting Fate Had made a pause upon the number'd date; Behind, stood Death, too horrible for sight, In darkness clad, expectant prunid for flight; Pleas'd at the word, the shapeless monster sped, On eager message to the humble shed. Where wrapt by soft poetic visions, round, Sweet slumbering, Fancy's darling son he found. At his approach the silken-pinion'd train,