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MEDITATION IN A CHURCH-YARD).
ANONYMOUS. HARK! not a breath of wind; no zephyr now Flits by on sportive wing; no ruffled wave Disturbs this quiet port of life, nor moves The sleeping calm ; but dreary silence reigns. Those storms of wrath that oft, by tyrants breath'd, Convuls'd the trembling world, here die away, And rage no more; the froth of heighten'd pride Beats on the rocks, and beats itself to nothing ; The pomp of kings, the panegyric breath Of soothing flatterers, and menial crowds, The voice of Slander, the destroying blasts Of self-distracting Envy, softly seem, Like dying thunders in a distant cloud, Gently to vanish from the attentive ear. Death, rigid Death, impartially declares Our frame is nothing but a heap of dust, Clay, cold, insensible. Wipe from thy cheek, O Man! the soft, emasculating tear, For die thou must; just as by nature streams: In silver mazes roll their easy tides: A tribute to the main-thus art thou born A short-liv'd glory, pre-ordain'd to die. The thought of groans, convulsions, obsequies, 'Tis that distracts thy soul. The kiss of Death Is soft and harmless, golden rest attends it, And soon dissolves the fretful dream of life. Nature's great law is death. -As rising flames Seek their congenial place, and mount to Heaven, Thus haste we to our end : the bloom of youth Expels our infant years, then hoary age Comes on with tott'ring pace, and shuts the scene. Alas! the impartial grave no diff'rence owns 'Twixt king and peasant : where's the monarch
now? Fast by the tyrant sleeps the tyrant's slave; What lustre now attends the head that bore A regal crown, enchas'd with India's pearl ? What Machiavel, or what Sejanus here Rules with a nod, or with a whisper kills ? What cheek, empurpled with a rosy blush, Vies with the op'ning glories of the morn ? Ah! where's Lucinda, and the beauteous form That boasted once a paradise of charms? Alas! she's mingled with the vulgar dust, Close to what most she fear'd, deformity; The life, warmth, softness, fragrance of her beauty Dissolv'd, and moulder'd into putrid earth. And foul corruption ; her enchanting voice Is vanish'd into air; and, oh! adieu The dear enliv'ning smile and melting eye, '; That stream'd with sparkling lustre, now no more; Black-robed Confusion shades the gloomy void With raven-wings and scatter'd indistinction. Cease, Mortal, then to boast thy transient charmas, A prey to worms; in vain the glass reflects A well-proportion'd harmony of parts, Since thou must rot in earth a corpse obscene.
AN EVENING'S CONTEMPLATION...
ANONYMOUS. How smooth that lake expands its ample breast,
When smiles in soften'd glow the summer sky! How vast the rocks that o'er its surface rest!
How wild the scenes its winding shores supply ! Now down the western steep low sinks the sun,
And paints with yellow gleams the tufted woods; While here the mountain's shadow, broad and dun,
Sweeps o'er the crystal mirror of the floods.
Mark how his splendour tips with partial light,
Those shatter'd battlements, that on the brow Of yon bold promontory burst to sight
From o'er the woods that darkly spread below.
In the soft blush of light's reflected power,
The ridgy rocks, the woods that crown its steep; The illumin'd battlements, the darker tower,
On the smooth wave in trembling beauty sleep.
How sweet that strain of melancholy horn,
That floats along the slowly-ebbing wave! And up the far-receding mountains borne,
Returns a dying close from Echo's cave.
But, lo! the sun recalls his fervid ray,
And cold and dim the wat’ry visions fail, While o'er yon cliff, whose pointed crags decay,
Mild Evening draws her thin empurpled veil.
Hail, shadowy forms of still expressive eve!
Your pensive graces stealing on my heart, Bid all the fine-attun'd emotions live,
And fancy all her loveliest dreams impart.
TO THE GLOW-WORM.
Say--dost thou kindly light the Fairy train,
Hanging thy lamp upon the moisten'd blade ?
And chase the horrors of the midnight shade?
Oh! may no feather'd foe disturb thy bower,
Oh! may no ruthless torrent of the sky,
To bid thee 'midst the humming myriads die !
Queen of the insect world! what leaves delight?
Of such these willing hands a bower shall form, To guard thee from the rushing rains of night,
And hide thee from the wild wing of the storm! Sweet child of stillness ! 'mid the awful calin
Of pausing nature, thou art pleas'd to dwell In happy silence to enjoy thy balm,
And shed through life a lustre round thy cell. How diff'rent man !--the imp of noise and strife, Who courts the storm that tears and darkens life,
Blest when the passions wild his soul invade! How nobler far to bid these whirlwinds cease, To taste, like thee, the luxury of peace,
And, silent, shine in solitude and shade!
; THE SEA-NYMPH.
When the night-winds rock the sea-bird's nest,
And shake the rude cliff's pallid flowers, I wake from dreams of golden rest,
That sooth me in my moonlight bowers.
On gliding feet unseen I rove
Through gelid grots of whit’ning spar, O'ershadow'd by the emerald grove
That sparkles to the western star.
I love to wreathe my humid brow
With flowers that bloom in lucid caves, While unsunn'd dew from every bough
Falls dimpling in the crystal waves.
Where many a wide transparent wing
O'ercanopies the lunar sphere,
The cradle of the infant year,
I hail the spirit of the breeze
That sings to rest the trembling tide, When o'er the clear Venetian seas
The fairy barks of Pleasure glide.
I gem the myrtle's vernal bowers
That blossom on Italian shores,
That sparkle round the dashing oars.