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For Hope withholds her golden ray,
And Fancy's colours faint away.
Life's ocean slept,—the liquid gale
Gently moved the waving sail.
Fallacious Hope! with flattering eye
You smiled to see the streamers fly.
The thunder bursts, the mad wind raves :
From slumber wake the frighted waves :
You saw me, fled me thus distress’d,
And tore your anchor from my breast.
Yet come, fair fugitive, again !
I love thee still, though false and vain:
Forgive me, gentle Hope, and tell
Where, far from me, you deign to dwell.-
To soothe Ambition's wild desires;
To feed the lover's eager fires;
To swell the miser's mouldy store;
To gild the dreaming chemist's ore;
Are these thy cares? or, more humane,
To loose the war-worn captive's chain,
And bring before his languid sight
The charms of liberty and light:
The tears of drooping Grief to dry;
And hold thy glass to Sorrow's eye?
Or dost thou more delight to dwell
With Silence in the hermit's cell?
To teach Devotion's flame to rise,
And wing her vespers to the skies ;
To urge, with still returning care,
The holy violence of prayer;
In rapturous visions to display
The realms of everlasting day,
And snatch from Time the golden key,
That opens all eternity?
Perchance, on some unpeopled strand
Whose rocks the raging tide withstand,
Thy soothing smile, in deserts drear,
A lonely mariner may cheer,
Who bravely holds his feeble breath,
Attack'd by Famine, Pain, and Death.
With thee, he bears each tedious day
Along the dreary beach to stray:
Whence their wide way his toil'd eyes strain
O'er the blue bosom of the main;
And meet, where distant surges rave,
A white sail in each foaming wave.
Doom'd from each native joy to part,
Each dear connexion of the heart,
You the poor exile's steps attend,
The only undeserting friend :
You wing the slow declining year;
You dry the solitary tear;
And oft, with pious guile, restore
Those scenes he must behold no more.
O most adored of earth or skies !
To thee ten thousand temples rise ;
By age retain’d, by youth caress’d,
The same dear idol of the breast:
Deprived of thee, the wretch were poor
That rolls in heaps of Lydian ore;
With thee the simple hind is gay,
Whose toil supports the passing day.
The rose-lipp'd Loves that, round their queen,
Dance o'er Cythera's smiling green
Thy aid implore, thy power display
In many a sweetly warbled lay.
For ever in thy sacred shrine
Their unextinguish'd torches shine;
Idalian flowers their sweets diffuse,
And myrtles shed their balmy dews.
Ah! still propitious, mayst thou deign
To soothe an anxious lover's pain !
By thee deserted, well I know,
His heart would feel no common woe.
His gentle prayer propitious hear,
And stop the frequent-falling tear.
For me, fair Hope, if once again,
Perchance, to smile on me you deign,
Be such your sweetly rural air,
And such a graceful visage wear,
As when, with Truth and young Desire,
You waked the lord of Hagley's lyre;
And painted to her Poet's mind
The charms of Lucy fair and kind.
But ah! too early lost!—then go,
Vain Hope, thou harbinger of woe.
Ah! no ;—that thought distracts my heart:
Indulge me, Hope, we must not part.
Direct the future as you please ;
But give me, give me present ease.
Sun of the soul! whose cheerful ray
Darts o'er this gloom of life a smile;
Sweet Hope, yet further gild my way,
Yet light my weary steps a while,
Till thy fair lamp dissolve in endless day.
SWEET daughter of a rough and stormy sire, Hoar Winter's blooming child, delightful Spring!
Whose unshorn locks with leaves
And swelling buds are crown'd; From the green islands of eternal youth (shade), (Crown'd with fresh blooms, and ever springing
Turn, hither turn thy step,
O thou, whose powerful voice More sweet than softest touch of Doric reed, Or Lydian flute, can soothe the madding winds,
And through the stormy deep
Breathe thy own tender calm.
Thee, best beloved! the virgin train await
With songs and festal rites, and joy to rove
Thy blooming wilds among,
And vales and dewy lawns, With untired feet; and cull thy earliest sweets To weave fresh garlands for the glowing brow
Of him the favour'd youth
That prompts their whisper'd sigh. Unlock thy copious stores; those tender shower That drop their sweetness on the infant buds,
And silent dews that swell
The milky ear's green stem,
And feed the flowering osier's early shoots ;
And call those winds which through the whisper.
With warm and pleasant breath
Salute the blowing flowers.
Now let me sit beneath the whitening thorn, And mark thy spreading tints steal o'er the dale;
And watch with patient eye
Thy fair unfolding charms. O nymph, approach! while yet the temperate sun With bashful forehead, through the cool moist air
Throws his young maiden beams,
And with chaste kisses woos The earth's fair bosom; while the streaming veil Of lucid clouds with kind and frequent shade
Protects thy modest blooms
From his severer blaze. Sweet is thy reign, but short: The red dog-star Shall scorch thy tresses, and the mower's scythe
Thy greens, thy flowerets all
Remorseless shall destroy.
Reluctant shall I bid thee then farewell;
For 0, not all that Autumn's lap contains
Nor Summer's ruddiest fruits
Can aught for thee atone,
Fair Spring, whose simplest promise more delights
Than all their largest wealth, and through the heart
Each joy and new born hope
With softest influence breathes.
HENCE, Winter, gloomy power!
Beneath thine iron rod we groan too long;
Nor vernal sight nor song
Hath yet awoke to soothe the lagging hour.