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Ask not why oft my charmed sight

I bend along that lawn and grove,
Ask not why thus my steps delight

Along that mountain side to rove,
Nor ask why by that wandering brook,
I linger long with earnest look.
That lawn and grove no scenes display,

That other lawns and groves surpass ;
Dark pines that mountain side array,

And thinly shade its walks of grass ; Thru' whispering reeds that streamlet glides, And humbie osiers crown its sides.


But, ah! this is the well-known space,

Seen after tedious years are past, Within whose bound which well I trace,

My part of sprightly youth was cast : My infant steps have trød this green, These banks iny early sports

have O! haunts, long from my sight withdrawn,

Oft to my mind by fancy brought, How gladly now I trace each lawn,

Where jocund youth its pleasures sought, Where I was wont in careless play With Lycon oft to waste the day.

Can'st thou not tell, O limpid stream!

For far we stray'd not from thy side,
How oft to shun the summer beam,

We wont to'plunge into thy tide,
How oft we swept thy ice-bound Anod,
When winter stirr'd our youthtul bloods
Together by the tinkling rill

We bent our sportive bows at morn,
Together round the pine-clad hill

We urg'd the chace with sounding horn,
Or to the hazel bank retir’d,
We sung what oft the Muse inspir'd.
But, ah! how happy was that day,

When love first taught me hir soft law,
When in the shades in early May,.

The blooming Myra first I saw: How beauteous was she by that wood ! How gazing on the nymph I stood ! From yonder mead, to grace her hair,

I cull’d the lily and fresh rose, In yonder bower, to soothe the fair,

Soft numbers for my reed I chose ; We sat beneath yon poplar shade, These willows heard the vows we made.

But why these scenes should I retrace,

Nor seek to taste such joys again? The lawn, the grove, each well-known place,

The hill and limpid stream remain; The poplars green their shadows spread, And May with fresh flowers crowns the mead. Then bring to me my polish'd bow,

And bring the pipe of tuneful breath,
And let me crop the flowers that blow,

And let me twine a fragrant wreath,
So shall I all the joys renew,
Which here in youthful days I knew.
But from the softly-whispering reeds,

And from the stream that glides below,
With plaintive voice a sound proceeds,

Whose tender accents feebly flow, 6 Forbear, fond man, it seems to say, Forbear and chase these dreams away. The hill, the lawn, the well-known bowers,

The mead and silver stream remain,
The breath of Spring calls forth the flowers,

To crown once more the dewy plain :
But, ah! thy youth on hasty wing
Is flown, nor knows returning Spring.

Thy art may teach the pipe to blow,

Thy hand may grasp the bow once more, But can the pipe or polish'd bow

Thy careless youth to thee restore? Or can the flowery garland chace The wrinkles printed on thy face? Will Lycon now his bed forsake

If thou at dawn shalt wind the horn? Will Myra at thy call awake

If thy soft flute resound at morn? Ah! no: dark tombs their ashes keep, Within the peaceful grove they sleep.

Then rather go to yon dark towers

Along whose walls pale ivy creeps,
Go thou and deck the spot with flowers,

Where Lycon near thy Myra sleeps,
An aged yew-tree marks the place,
Each tomb pale stones of marble grace.
There sit, and while thy pensive mind

Calls back those golden days again
When Myra to thy love was kind,

When Lycon trod with thee the plain,
Think that thou also soon shalt have

Thy dwelling with them in the grave." 1776.



We all do fade as a Leaf.

ISAIAH Ixiv. 6.

See the leaves around us falling,

Dry and wither'd to the ground;
Thus to thoughtless mortals calling,

In a sad and solemn sound:
Sons of Adam, once in Eden

Blighted when like us he fell,
Hear the lecture we are reading,

'Tis, alas ! the truth we tella

Virgins, much, too much, presuming On

your boasted white and red, View us, late in beauty blooming,

Number'd now among the dead. Griping misers, nightly waking,

See the end of all your care; Fled on wings of our own making,

We have left our owners bare. Sons of honour, fed on praises,

Flutt'ring high' in fancied worth, Lo! the fickle air, that raises,

Brings us down to parent earth. Learned sophs, in systems jaded,

Who for new ones daily call, Cease, at length, by us persuaded,

Ev'ry leaf must have its fall! Youths, tho' yet no losses grieve you,

Gay in health and manly, grace, Let not cloudless skies deceive you,

Summer gives to Autumn place. Venerable sires, grown hoary,

Hither turn th' unwilling eye, Think, amid your falling glory,

Autumn tells a winter nigh. Yearly in our course returning

Messengers of shortest stay, Thus we preach this truth concerning,

· Heav'n and earth shall pass away.' On the Tree of Life eternal,

Man, let all thy hope be staid, Which alone, forever vernal,

Bears a Leaf that shall not fade.

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