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Sweet Hope! ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head.
Whene'er I wander, at the fall of night,
Where woven boughs shut out the moon's bright
Should sad Despondency my musings fright,
And frown, to drive fair Cheerfulness away, Peep with the moonbeams through the leafy roof, And keep that fiend Despondence far aloof.
Should Disappointment, parent of Despair,
Strive for her son to seize my careless heart When, like a cloud, he sits upon the air,
Preparing on his spell-bound prey to dart : Chase him away, sweet Hope, with visage bright, And fright him, as the morning frightens night!
Whene'er the fate of those I hold most dear
Tells to my fearful breast a tale of sorrow, O bright-eyed Hope, my morbid fancy cheer;
Let me awhile thy sweetness comforts borrow : Thy heaven-born radiance around me shed, And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head!
Should e'er unhappy love my bosom pain,
From cruel parents, or relentless fair, O let me think it is not quite in vain
To sigh out sonnets to the midnight air ! Sweet Hope! ethereal balm upon me shed, And wave thy silver pinions o'er my head.
In the long vista of the years to roll,
Let me not see our country's honour fade!
O let me see our land retain her soul!
Her pride, her freedom; and not freedom's shade. From thy bright eyes unusual brightness shed Beneath thy pinions canopy my head !
Let me not see the patriot's high bequest,
Great liberty ! how great in plain attire !
With the base purple of a court oppress’d,
Bowing her head, and ready to expire :
But let me see thee stoop from Heaven on wings
That fill the skies with silver glitterings !
And as, in sparkling majesty, a star
Gilds the bright summit of some gloomy cloud; Brightening the half-veil'd face of heaven afar:
So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud, Sweet Hope! celestial influence round me shed, Waving thy silver pinions o'er my head.
ADST thou lived in days of old,
O what wonders had been told
Of thy lively countenance,
And thy humid eyes, that dance
In the midst of their own brightness,
In the very fane of lightness;
Over which thine eyebrows, leaning,
Picture out each lovely meaning:
In a dainty bend they lie,
Like the streaks across the sky,
Or the feathers from a crow
Fallen on a bed of snow :
Of thy dark hair, that extends
Into many graceful bends;
As the leaves of hellebore
Turn to whence they sprung before ;
And behind each ample curl
Peeps the richness of a pearl.
Downward too flows many a tress
With a glossy waviness,
Full, and round like globes that rise
From the censer to the skies
Through sunny air. Add too, the sweetness
Of thy honied voice; the neatness
Of thine ankle lightly turn'd:
With those beauties scarce discern’d,
Kept with such sweet privacy,
That they seldom meet the eye
Of the little Loves that fly
Round about with eager pry.
Saving when with freshening lave,
Thou dipp'st them in the taintless wave;
Like twin water-lilies, born
In the coolness of the morn.
O, if thou hadst breathed then,
Now the Muses had been ten.
Couldst thou wish for lineage higher
Than twin-sister of Thalia ?
At least for ever, evermore
Will I call the Graces four.
Hadst thou lived when chivalry
Lifted up her lance on high,
Tell me what thou wouldst have been ?
Ah! I see the silver sheen
Of thy broider'd-floating vest
Covering half thine ivory breast :
Which, O Heavens! I should see,
But that cruel Destiny
Has placed a golden cuirass there,
Keeping secret what is fair.
Like sunbeams in a cloudlet nested,
Thy locks in knightly casque are rested;
O’er which bend four milky plumes
Like the gentle lily's blooms
Springing from a costly vase.
See with what a stately pace
Comes thine alabaster steed;
Servant of heroic deed !
O'er his loins, his trappings glow
Like the northern lights on snow.
Mount his back! thy sword unsheath!
Sign of the enchanter's death;
Bane of every wicked spell;
Silencer of dragon's yell.
Alas! thou this wilt never do:
Thou art an enchantress too,
And wilt never surely spill
Blood of those whose eyes can kill.
SPECIMEN OF AN INDUCTION TO A POEM. 15
SPECIMEN OF AN INDUCTION
TO A POEM.
O! I must tell a tale of chivalry;
For large white plumes are dancing
Not like the formal crest of latter days;
Not bending in a thousand graceful ways;
So graceful, that it seems no mortal hand,
Or e'en the touch of Archimago's wand,
Could charm them into such an attitude.
We must think rather, that in playful mood
Some mountain breeze had turn'd its chief delight
To show this wonder of its gentle might.
LO! I must tell a tale of chivalry;
For while I muse, the lance points slantingly
Athwart the morning air : some lady sweet,
Who cannot feel for cold her tender feet,
From the worn top of some old battlement
Hails it with tears, her stout defender sent;
And from her own pure self no joy dissembling,
Wraps round her ample robe with happy trembling.
Sometimes when the good knight his rest could take,
It is reflected, clearly, in a lake,
With the young ashen boughs,'gainst which it rests,
And th' half-seen mossiness of linnets' nests.
Ah! shall I ever tell its cruelty,
When the fire flashes from a warrior's eye,
And his tremendous hand is grasping it,
And his dark brow for very wrath is knit?