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Ev'n now his eyes with smiles of rapture glow, As on he wanders through the scenes of morn, Where the fresh flowers in living lustre blow, Where thousand pearls the dewy lawns adorn, A thousand notes of joy in every breeze are borne.
But who the melodies of morn can tell?
The wild brook babbling down the mountain's side; The lowing herd; the sheepfold's simple bell; The pipe of early shepherd dim descried In the lone valley; echoing far and wide The clamorous horn along the cliffs above; The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide; The hum of bees, the linnet's lay of love, And the full choir that wakes the universal grove.
The cottage curs at early pilgrim bark;
Crown'd with her pail the tripping milkmaid sings, The whistling ploughman stalks afield; and, hark! Down the rough slope the ponderous waggon rings; Through rustling corn the hare astonish'd springs ; Slow tolls the village-clock the drowsy hour; The partridge bursts away on whirring wings; Deep mourns the turtle in sequester'd bower, And shrill lark carols clear from her aerial tour.
O Nature, how in every charm supreme!
And held high converse with the godlike few, Who, to th' enraptured heart, and ear, and eye, Teach beauty, virtue, truth, and love, and melody.
Hence! ye who snare and stupify the mind,
(Though loth on theme so mean to waste a rhyme} With vengeance to pursue your sacrilegious crime.
But hail, ye mighty masters of the lay,
Nature's true sons, the friends of man and truth!
There harmony, and peace, and innocence, abide.
Ah me! neglected on the lonesome plain,
Wonder and joy ran thrilling to his heart; Much he the tale admired, but more the tuneful art.
Various and strange was the long-winded tale;
Midst fiends and spectres, quench the moon in blood, Yell in the midnight storm, or ride th' infuriate flood.
But when to horror his amazement rose,
That heart by lust of lucre sear❜d to stone!
Behold, with berries smear'd, with brambles torn,†
* Macbeth. How now, ye secret, black, and midnight hags, What is't you do?
Witches. A deed without a name.
See the fine old ballad, called, "The Children in the Wood."
For from the town the man returns no more." But thou, who Heaven's just vengeance darest defy, This deed with fruitless tears shalt soon deplore, When death lays waste thy house, and flames consume thy store.
A stifled smile of stern vindictive joy
Brighten❜d one moment Edwin's starting tear.-
Nor be thy generous indignation check'd, Nor check'd the tender tear to misery given; From guilt's contagious power shall that protect, This soften and refine the soul for heaven. But dreadful is their doom, whom doubt has driven To censure fate and pious hope forego : Like yonder blasted boughs by lightning riven, Perfection, beauty, life, they never know, But frown on all that pass, a monument of woe.
Or shall frail man Heaven's dread decree gainsay, Which bade the series of events extend
Wide through unnumber'd worlds, and ages without
One part, one little part, we dimly scan
Through the dark medium of life's feverish dream; Yet dare arraign the whole stupendous plan, If but that little part incongruous seem. Nor is that part perhaps what mortals deem; Oft from apparent ill our blessings rise. O then renounce that impious self-esteem, That aims to trace the secrets of the skies: For thou art but of dust; be humble, and be wise..
Thus Heaven enlarged his soul in riper years,
Yet deem they darkness light, and their vain blunders wit.
Nor was this ancient dame a foe to mirth;
Oft cheer'd the shepherds round their social hearth;