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Say, fair shepherdess of night
Who thy starry flock dost lead
Unto rills of living light,

On the blue ethereal mead;

At this moment, dost thou see,
From thine elevated sphere,
One kind friend who thinks of me,-
Thinks, and drops a feeling tear?

On a brilliant beam convey

This soft whisper to his breast,"Wipe that generous drop away; He for whom it falls is blest.

"Blest with Freedom unconfined,
Dungeons cannot hold the Soul:
Who can chain the immortal Mind?
None but He who spans the pole."

Fancy, too, the nimble fairy,
With her subtle magic spell,

In romantic visions airy

Steals the captive from his cell.

On her moonlight pinions borne,
Far he flies from grief and pain;
Never, never to be torn

From his friends and home again.

Stay, thou dear delusion! stay; Beauteous bubble! do not break; - Ah! the pageant flits away;

Who from such a dream would wake?

March 7, 1795.


NOCTURNAL Silence reigning,
A Nightingale began
In his cold cage complaining
Of cruel-hearted Man :
His drooping pinions shiver'd,
Like wither'd moss so dry;
His heart with anguish quiver'd,
And sorrow dimm'd his eye.

His grief in soothing slumbers
No balmy power could steep;
So sweetly flow'd his numbers,
The music seem'd to weep.
Unfeeling Sons of Folly!

To you the Mourner sung;
While tender melancholy

Inspired his plaintive tongue.

"Now reigns the moon in splendor

Amid the heaven serene;

A thousand stars attend her,

And glitter round their queen:

Sweet hours of inspiration!
When I, the still night long,
Was wont to pour my passion,

And breathe my soul in Song.

"But now, delicious season!

In vain thy charms invite;
Entomb'd in this dire prison,
I sicken at the sight.
This morn, this vernal morning,
The happiest bird was I,
That hail'd the sun returning,
Or swam the liquid sky.

"In yonder breezy bowers,
Among the foliage green,
I spent my tuneful hours,

In solitude serene:
There soft Melodia's beauty
ravish'd eye;

First fired my

I vow'd eternal duty;

She look'd-half kind, half shy

"My plumes with ardor trembling
I flutter'd, sigh'd, and sung;
The fair one, still dissembling,
Refused to trust my tongue :
A thousand tricks inventing,
A thousand arts I tried ;
Till the sweet nymph, relenting,
Confess'd herself my bride.


"Deep in the grove retiring,

To choose our secret seat,
We found an oak aspiring,
Beneath whose mossy feet,
Where the tall herbage swelling
Had form'd a green alcove,
We built our humble dwelling,
And hallow'd it with love.

"Sweet scene of vanish'd pleasure!
This day, this fatal day,

My little ones, my treasure,
My spouse, were stolen away

I saw the precious plunder,

All in a napkin bound;
Then smit with human thunder,
I flutter'd on the ground!


"O man! beneath whose vengeance
All Nature bleeding lies!
Who charged thine impious engines

With lightning from the skies?

Ah! is thy bosom iron?

Does it thine heart enchain?

As these cold bars environ,
And, captive, me detain?

"Where are my offspring tender?
Where is my widow'd mate?

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- Thou Guardian Moon! defend her!

Ye Stars! avert their fate!

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