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Ask PALESTINE, proud Asia's early boast, (oil,
groves that pour'd her wine and Where the fair towns that crown'd her wealthy coast,
Where the glad swains that tilld her fertile soil?
Ask, and behold, and mourn her hapless fall;
Where JORDAN's vallies smil'd in living green,
And drops the tear of pity as he views.
Ask GRECIA, mourning o'er her ruin'd tow'rs;
Where now the prospects charm'd her bards of old, Her corn-clad mountains, and Elysian bow'rs;
And silver streams thro' fragrant meadows rollid?
Where freedom's praise along the vale was heard,
And town to town return'd the fav’rite sound; Where patriot war her awful standard rear'd,
And brav'd the millions PERSIA pour'd around;
There freedoni's praise no more the valley cheers,
There patriot war no more her banner waves ; Nor bard, nor sage, nor martial chief appears,
But stern barbarians rule a land of slaves.
Of mighty realms are such the poor remains,
Of mighty realms that fell when mad with pow'r, They lur'd each vice to revel on their plains;
Each monster doom'd their offspring to devour!
O ALBION! wouldst thou shun their mournful fates,
To shun their follies and their crimes be thine; And woo to linger in thy fair retreats,
The radiant Virtues, progeny divine!
Bright Truth, the noblest of the sacred band, Sweet Peace, whose brow no ruffling frown de
forms, Fair Charity, with ever open hand,
And Courage, smiling 'midst a thousand storms.
O haste to grace our Isle, ye lovely train !
So may the Pow'r whose hand all blessing yields, Give her fam'd glories ever to remain,
And crown with annual wealth her laughing fields.
The sun far southward bends his annual way,
The bleak north-east wind lays the forest bare, The fruit ungather'd quits the naked spray,
And dreary Winter reigns o'er earth and air.
No mark of vegetable life is seen,
No bird to bird repeats his tuneful call; Save the dark leaves of some rude evergreen,
Save the lone red-breast on the moss-grown wall.
Where are the sprightly scenes by Spring supply'd,
The May-flower'd hedges scenting ev'ry breeze; The white flocks scaitring o'er the mountain side,
The woodlark warbling on the blooming trees? Where is gay Summer's sportive insect train,
That in green fields on painted pinions play’d? The herd at morn wide-pasturing o'er the plain,
Or throng’d at noon-tide in the willow'd shade? Where is brown Autumn's ev'ning, mild and still,
What time the ripen'd corn fresh fragrance yields, What time the village peoples all the hill,
And loud shouts echo o'er the harvest fields?
To former scenes our fancy thus returns,
To former scenes that little pleas’d when here! Our Winter chills us, and our Summer burns,
Yet we dislike the changes of the year. To happier lands then restless fancy flies, [flow;
Where INDIAN streams thro' green savannahs Where brighter suns and ever-tranquil skies,
Bid new fruits ripen, and new flow'rets blow. Let truth these fairer happier lands survey,
There half the year descends in wat'ry storms; Or nature sickens in the blaze of day,
And one brown hue the sun-burnt plain deforms. There oft as toiling in the maizy fields,
Or homeward passing on the shadeless way,
Who dreams of nature free from nature's strife?
Who dreams of constant happiness below? The hope-flush'd ent'rer on the stage of life;
The youth to knowledge unchastis’d by woe.
*For me, long toild on many a weary road,
Led by false hope in search of many a joy; I find in earth's bleak clime no blest abode,
No place, no season sacred from annoy.
For me, while Winter rages round the plains,
With his dark days I'll human life compare; Not those more fraught with clouds, and winds, and
rains, Than this with pining pain and anxious care. O whence this wond'rous turn of mind our fate!
Whate'er the season or the place possest, We ever murmur at our present state;
And yet the thought of parting breaks our rest:
Why else, when heard in ev'ning's solemn gloom,
Does the sad knell that, sounding o'er the plain, Tolls some poor lifeless body to the tomb,
Thus thrill my breast with melancholy pain? The voice of reason echoes in my ear,
Thus thou ere long must join thy kindred clay; No more these “ nostrils breathe the vital air,”
No more these eyelids open on the day.
Thy threat’ning skies in dusky horrors drest!
Nor ask an EDEN for a transient guest.
Enough has Heaven indulg'd of joy below,
To tenipt our tarriance in this lov'd retreat: Enough has Heaven ordain'd of useful woe,
To make us languish for a happier seat.