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Oil Time beheld its silvery head
With graceful grandeur towering,

Its pensile boughs profusely spread,
The breezy lawn embowering,

Till, arch'd around, there seem'd to shoot

A grove of scions from one root.

Thither, at summer noon, he view'd

The lovely Nine retreating,
Beneath its twilight solitude

With songs their Poet greeting;
Whose spirit in the Willow spoke,
Like Jove's from dark Dodona's oak.

By harvest moonlight there he spied

The fairy bands advancing;
Bright Ariel's troop, on Thames's side,

Around the willow dancing;
Gay sylphs among the foliage play'd,

And glowworms glitter'd in the shade.

One morn, while Time thus mark'd the tree,

In beauty green and glorious,
"The hand," he cried, "that planted thee

O'er mine was oft victorious;
Be vengeance now my calm employ,—
One work of Pope's I will destroy."

lie spake, and struck a silent blow
With that dread arm whose motion

Lays cedars, thrones, and temples low,
And wields o'er land and ocean

The unremitting axe of doom,

That fells the forest of the tomb.

Deep to the Willow's root it went,

Ami cleft the core asunder,
Like sudden secret lightning, sent

Without recording thunder:

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From that sad moment, slow away
Began the Willow to decay.

In vain did Spring those bowers restore,
Where loves and graces re veil'd,

Autumn's wild gales the branches tore,
The thin gray leaves dishevell'd,

And every wasting winter found

The willow nearer to the ground.

Hoary, and weak, and bent with age,

At length the axe assail'd it:
It bow'd before the woodman's rage;

The swans of Thames bewail'd it,
With softer tones, with sweeter breath,
Than ever charm'd the ear of death.

O Pope! hadst thou, whose lyre so long
The wondering world enchanted,

Amidst thy paradise of song
This Weeping Willow planted;

Among thy loftiest laurels seen,

In deathless verse for ever green,—

Thy chosen Tree had stood sublime,

The storms of ages braving,
Triumphant o'er the wrecks of Time

Its verdant banner waving,
While regal pyramids decay'd,
And empires perish'd in its shade.

An humbler lot, O Tree! was thine; —

Gone down in all thy glory,
The sweet, the mournful task be mine,

To sing thy simple story;
Though verse like mine in vain would raist
The fame of thy departed days.

Yet, fallen Willow! if to me
Such power of song were given,

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My lips should breathe a soul through thee,

And call down fire from heaven,
To kindle in this hallow'd Urn
A flame that would for ever bum.

I Wander'D in a lonely glade,
Where, issuing from the forest shade,

A little mountain stream
Along the winding valley play'd,

Beneath the morning beam.

Light o'er the woods of dark brown oak
The west-wind wreathed the hovering smoke.

From cottage roofs conceal'd,
Below a rock abruptly broke,

In rosy light reveal'd.

'Twas in the infancy of May,
The uplands glow'd in green array,

While from the ranging eye,
The lessening landscape stretch'd away,

To meet the bending sky.

'Tis sweet in solitude to hear
The earliest music of the year,

The blackbird's loud wild note,
Or, from the wintry thicket drear,

The thrush's stammering throat.

In rustic solitude 'tis sweet

The earliest flowers of spring to greet.

The violet from its tomb,
The strawberry, creeping at our feet,

The sorrel's simple bloom.
Wherefore I love the walks of spring,—
While still I hear new warblers sin#,

Fresh-opening bells I seb;
Joy flits on every roving wing,

Hope buds on every tree.

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That morn I look'd and listen'd long,
Some cheering sight, some woodland song,

As yet unheard, unseen,
To welcome, with remembrance strong

Of days that once had been ;—

When gathering flowers, an eager child,
I ran abroad with rapture wild;

Or, on more curious quest,
Peep'd breathless through the copse, and smiled.

To see the linnet's nest.

Already had I watch'd the flight

Of swallow* darting through the light,

And mock'd the cuckoo's call; Already view'd, o'er meadows bright,

The evening rainbow fall.

Now in my walk, with sweet surprise,
I saw the first spring cowslip rise,

The plant whose pensile flowers
Bend to the earth their beauteous eyes,

In sunshine as in showers.

Lone on a mossy bank it grew,
Where lichens, purple, white, and blue,

Among the verdure crept;
Its yellow ringlets, dropping dew,

The breezes lightly swept.

A bee had nestled on its blooms,
He shook abroad their rich perfumes,

Then fled in airy rings;
His place a butterfly assumes,

Glancing his glorious wings.

O welcome, as a friend! I cried;

A friend through many a season tried,

Nor ever sought in vain,
When May, with Flora at her side,

Is dancing on the plain.


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Sure as the Pleiades adorn
The glittering coronet of morn,

In calm delicious hours,
Beneath their beams thy buds are born,

'Midst love-awakening showers.

Scatter' d by Nature's graceful hand,
In briary glens, o'er pasture land,

Thy fairy tribes we meet;
Gay in the milkmaid's path they stand,

They kiss her tripping feet.

From winter's farmyard bondage freed,
The cattle bounding o'er the mead,

Where green the herbage grows,
Among thy fragrant blossoms feed,

Upon thy tufts repose.

Tossing his forelock o'er his mane,
The foal, at rest upon the plain,

Sports with thy flexile stalk,
But stoops his little neck in vain,

To crop it in his walk.

Where thick thy primrose blossoms play, Lovely and innocent as they, ,"4E O'er coppice lawns and dells,

In bands the rural children stray,
To pluck thy nectar'd bells;

Whose simple sweets, with curious skill.
The frugal cottage dames distil,

Nor envy France the vine,
While many a festal cup they fill

With Britain's homely wine.

Unchanging still from year to year,
Like stars returning in their sphere,

With undiminish'd rays,
Thy vernal constellations cheer

The dawn of lengthening days.

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