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Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Ode to the Moon

 PALE GODDESS of the witching hour;
Blest Contemplation's placid friend; 
Oft in my solitary bow'r,
I mark thy lucid beam
From thy crystal car descend,
Whitening the spangled heath, and limpid sapphire stream.
And oft, amidst the shades of night I court thy undulating light; When Fairies dance around the verdant ring, Or frisk beside the bubbling spring, When the thoughtless SHEPHERD'S song Echoes thro' the silent air, As he pens his fleecy care, Or plods with saunt'ring gait, the dewy meads along.
CHASTE ORB! as thro' the vaulted sky Feath'ry clouds transparent sail; When thy languid, weeping eye, Sheds its soft tears upon the painted vale; As I ponder o'er the floods, Or tread with listless step, th'embow'ring woods, O, let thy transitory beam, Soothe my sad mind, with FANCY'S aëry dream.
Wrapt in REFLECTION, let me trace O'er the vast ethereal space, Stars, whose twinkling fires illume Dark-brow'd NIGHT'S obtrusive gloom; Where across the concave wide; Flaming METEORS swiftly glide; Or along the milky way, Vapours shoot a silvery ray; And as I mark, thy faint reclining head, Sinking on Ocean's pearly bed; Let REASON tell my soul, thus all things fade.
The Seasons change, the "garish SUN" When Day's burning car hath run Its fiery course, no more we view, While o'er the mountain's golden head, Streak'd with tints of crimson hue, Twilight's filmy curtains spread, Stealing o'er Nature's face, a desolating shade.
Yon musky FLOW'R, that scents the earth; The SOD, that gave its odours birth; The ROCK, that breaks the torrent's force; The VALE, that owns its wand'ring course; The woodlands where the vocal throng Trill the wild melodious song; Thirsty desarts, sands that glow, Mountains, cap'd with flaky snow; Luxuriant groves, enamell'd fields, All, all, prolific Nature yields, Alike shall end; the sensate HEART, With all its passions, all its fire, Touch'd by FATE'S unerring dart, Shall feel its vital strength expire; Those eyes, that beam with FRIENDSHIP'S ray, And glance ineffable delight, Shall shrink from LIFE'S translucid day, And close their fainting orbs, in DEATH'S impervious night.
Then what remains for mortal pow'r; But TIME'S dull journey to beguile; To deck with joy, the winged hour, To meet its sorrows with a patient smile; And when the toilsome pilgrimage shall end, To greet the tyrant, as a welcome friend.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

The Bee and the Butterfly

 UPON a garden's perfum'd bed 
With various gaudy colours spread, 
Beneath the shelter of a ROSE 
A BUTTERFLY had sought repose; 
Faint, with the sultry beams of day, 
Supine the beauteous insect lay.
A BEE, impatient to devour The nectar sweets of ev'ry flow'r, Returning to her golden store, A weight of fragrant treasure bore; With envious eye, she mark'd the shade, Where the poor BUTTERFLY was laid, And resting on the bending spray, Thus murmur'd forth her drony lay:­ "Thou empty thing, whose merit lies In the vain boast of orient dies; Whose glittering form the slightest breath Robs of its gloss, and fades to death; Who idly rov'st the summer day, Flutt'ring a transient life away, Unmindful of the chilling hour, The nipping frost, the drenching show'r; Who heedless of "to-morrow's fare," Mak'st present bliss thy only care; Is it for THEE, the damask ROSE With such transcendent lustre glows? Is it for such a giddy thing Nature unveils the blushing spring? Hence, from thy lurking place, and know, 'Tis not for THEE her beauties glow.
" The BUTTERFLY, with decent pride, In gentle accents, thus reply'd: "'Tis true, I flutter life away In pastime, innocent and gay; The SUN that decks the blushing spring Gives lustre to my painted wing; 'Tis NATURE bids each colour vie, With rainbow tints of varying die; I boast no skill, no subtle pow'r To steal the balm from ev'ry flow'r; The ROSE, that only shelter'd ME, Has pour'd a load of sweets on THEE; Of merit we have both our share, Heav'n gave thee ART, and made me FAIR; And tho' thy cunning can despise The humble worth of harmless flies; Remember, envious, busy thing, Thy honey'd form conceals a sting; Enjoy thy garden, while I rove The sunny hill, the woodbine grove, And far remov'd from care and THEE, Embrace my humble destiny; While in some lone sequester'd bow'r, I'll live content beyond thy pow'r; For where ILL-NATURE holds her reign TASTE, WORTH, and BEAUTY, plead in vain; E'en GENIUS must to PRIDE submit When ENVY wings the shaft of WIT.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Ode on Adversity

 WHERE o'er my head, the deaf'ning Tempest blew, 
And Night's cold lamp cast forth a feeble ray; 
Where o'er the woodlands, vivid light'nings flew, 
Cleft the strong oak, and scorch'd the blossom'd spray; 
At morn's approach, I mark the sun's warm glow 
O'er the grey hill a crimson radiance throw; 
I mark the silv'ry fragrant dew, 
Give lustre to the vi'let's hue; 
The shallow rivers o'er their pebbly way, 
In slow meanders murmuring play; 
Day spreads her beams, the lofty forest tree, 
Shakes from its moisten'd head the pearly show'r, 
All nature, feels the renovating hour, 
All, but the sorrowing child of cold ADVERSITY; 
For her, the linnet's downy throat 
Breathes harmony in vain; 
Unmov'd, she hears the warbling note 
In all the melody of song complain; 
By her unmark'd the flowret's bloom, 
In vain the landscape sheds perfume; 
Her languid form, on earth's damp bed, 
In coarse and tatter'd garb reclines; 
In silent agony she pines; 
Or, if she hears some stranger's tread, 
To a dark nook, ashamed she flies, 
And with her scanty robe, o'er-shades her weeping eyes.
Her hair, dishevel'd, wildly plays With every freezing gale; While down her cold cheek, deadly pale, The tear of pensive sorrow strays; She shuns, the PITY of the proud, Her mind, still triumphs, unsubdu'd Nor stoops, its misery to obtrude, Upon the vulgar croud.
Unheeded, and unknown, To some bleak wilderness she flies; And seated on a moss-clad stone, Unwholesome vapours round her rise, And hang their mischiefs on her brow; The ruffian winds, her limbs expose; Still, still, her heart disdains to bow, She cherishes her woes.
NOW FAMINE spreads her sable wings; INGRATITUDE insults her pangs; While from a thousand eager fangs, Madd'ning she flies;­The recreant crew With taunting smiles her steps pursue; While on her burning, bleeding heart, Fresh wounded by Affliction's dart, NEGLECT, her icy poison flings; From HOPE's celestial bosom hurl'd, She seeks oblivion's gloom, Now, now, she mocks the barb'rous world, AND TRIUMPHS IN THE TOMB.

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Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Ode to Eloquence

 HAIL! GODDESS of persuasive art! 
The magic of whose tuneful tongue 
Lulls to soft harmony the wand'ring heart 
With fascinating song; 
O, let me hear thy heav'n-taught strain, 
As thro' my quiv'ring pulses steal 
The mingling throbs of joy and pain, 
Which only sensate minds can feel; 
Ah ! let me taste the bliss supreme, 
Which thy warm touch unerring flings 
O'er the rapt sense's finest strings, 
When GENIUS, darting frown the sky, 
Glances across my wond'ring eye, 
Her animating beam.
SWEET ELOQUENCE! thy mild controul, Awakes to REASON's dawn, the IDIOT soul; When mists absorb the MENTAL sight, 'Tis thine, to dart CREATIVE LIGHT; 'Tis thine, to chase the filmy clouds away, And o'er the mind's deep bloom, spread a refulgent ray.
Nor is thy wond'rous art confin'd, Within the bounds of MENTAL space, For thou canst boast exterior grace, Bright emblem of the fertile mind; Yes; I have seen thee, with persuasion meek, Bathe in the lucid tear, on Beauty's cheek, Have mark'd thee in the downcast eye, When suff'ring Virtue claim'd the pitying sigh.
Oft, by thy thrilling voice subdued, The meagre fiend INGRATITUDE Her treach'rous fang conceals; Pale ENVY hides her forked sting; And CALUMNY, beneath the wing Of dark oblivion steals.
Before thy pure and lambent fire Shall frozen Apathy expire; Thy influence warm and unconfin'd, Shall rapt'rous transports give, And in the base and torpid mind, Shall bid the fine Affections live; When JEALOUSY's malignant dart, Strikes at the fondly throbbing heart; When fancied woes, on every side assail, Thy honey'd accents shall prevail; When burning Passion withers up the brain, And the fix'd lids, the glowing drops sustain, Touch'd by thy voice, the melting eye Shall pour the balm of yielding SYMPATHY.
'Tis thine, with lenient Song to move The dumb despair of hopeless LOVE; Or when the animated soul On Fancy's wing shall soar, And scorning Reason's soft controul, Untrodden paths explore; 'Till by distracting conflicts tost, The intellectual source is lost: E'en then, the witching music of thy tongue Stealing thro' Mis'ry's DARKEST GLOOM, Weaves the fine threads of FANCY's loom, 'Till every slacken'd nerve new strung, Bids renovated NATURE shine, Amidst the fost'ring beams of ELOQUENCE DIVINE.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Cupid Sleeping

 [Inscribed to Her Grace the Duchess of Devonshire.
] CLOSE in a woodbine's tangled shade, The BLOOMING GOD asleep was laid; His brows with mossy roses crown'd; His golden darts lay scatter'd round; To shade his auburn, curled head, A purple canopy was spread, Which gently with the breezes play'd, And shed around a soften'd shade.
Upon his downy smiling cheek, Adorned with many a "dimple sleek," Beam'd glowing health and tender blisses, His coral lip which teem'd with kisses Ripe, glisten'd with ambrosial dew, That mock'd the rose's deepest hue.
­ His quiver on a bough was hung, His bow lay carelessly unstrung: His breath mild odour scatter'd round, His eyes an azure fillet bound: On every side did zephyrs play, To fan the sultry beams of day; While the soft tenants of the grove, Attun'd their notes to plaintive Love.
Thus lay the Boy­when DEVONS feet Unknowing reach'd the lone retreat; Surpriz'd, to see the beauteous child Of every dang'rous pow'r beguil'd! Approaching near his mossy bed, Soft whisp'ring to herself she said:­ " Thou little imp, whose potent art " Bows low with grief the FEELING HEART; " Whose thirst insatiate, loves to sip " The nectar from the ruby lip; " Whose barb'rous joy is prone to seek " The soft carnation of the cheek; " Now, bid thy tyrant sway farewell, " As thus I break each magic spell: " Snatch'd from the bough, where high it hung, O'er her white shoulder straight she flung The burnish'd quiver, golden dart, And each vain emblem of his art; Borne from his pow'r they now are seen, The attributes of BEAUTY'S QUEEN! While LOVE in secret hides his tears; DIAN the form of VENUS wears!

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Female Fashions for 1799

 A form, as any taper, fine ;
A head like half-pint bason ;
Where golden cords, and bands entwine,
As rich as fleece of JASON.
A pair of shoulders strong and wide, Like country clown enlisting ; Bare arms long dangling by the side, And shoes of ragged listing ! Cravats like towels, thick and broad, Long tippets made of bear-skin, Muffs that a RUSSIAN might applaud, And rouge to spoil a fair skin.
Long petticoats to hide the feet, Silk hose with clocks of scarlet ; A load of perfume, sick'ning sweet, Bought of PARISIAN VARLET.
A bush of hair, the brow to shade, Sometimes the eyes to cover ; A necklace that might be display'd By OTAHEITEAN lover ! A bowl of straw to deck the head, Like porringer unmeaning ; A bunch of POPPIES flaming red, With motly ribands streaming.
Bare ears on either side the head, Like wood-wild savage SATYR ; Tinted with deep vermilion red, To shame the blush of nature.
Red elbows, gauzy gloves, that add An icy cov'ring merely ; A wadded coat, the shape to pad, Like Dutch-women -- or nearly.
Such is CAPRICE ! but, lovely kind ! Oh ! let each mental feature Proclaim the labour of the mind, And leave your charms to NATURE.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Lines to the memory of Richard Boyle Esq.

 "Fate snatch'd him early to the pitying sky.
" - POPE.
IF WORTH, too early to the grave consign'd, Can claim the pitying tear, or touch the mind ? If manly sentiments unstain'd by art, Could waken FRIENDSHIP, or delight the heart ? Ill-fated youth ! to THEE the MUSE shall pay The last sad tribute of a mournful lay; On thy lone grave shall MAY'S soft dews be shed, And fairest flowrets blossom o'er thy head; The drooping lily, and the snow-drop pale, Mingling their fragrant leaves, shall there recline, While CHERUBS hov'ring on th' ethereal gale, Shall chaunt a requiem o'er the hallow'd shrine.
And if Reflection's piercing eye should scan The trivial frailties of imperfect MAN; If in thy generous heart those passions dwelt, Which all should own, and all that live have felt; Yet was thy polish'd mind so pure, so brave, The young admir'd thee, and the old forgave.
And when stern FATE, with ruthless rancour, press'd Thy withering graces to her flinty breast; Bright JUSTICE darted from her bless'd abode, And bore thy VIRTUES to the throne of GOD; While cold OBLIVION stealing o'er thy mind, Each youthful folly to the grave consign'd.
O, if thy purer spirit deigns to know Each thought that passes in this vale of woe, Accept the incense of a tender tear, By PITY wafted on a sigh sincere.
And if the weeping MUSE a wreath could give To grace thy tomb, and bid thy VIRTUES live; THEN Wealth should blush the gilded mask to wear, And Avarice shrink the victim of Despair.
While GENIUS bending o'er thy sable bier, Should mourn her darling SON with many a tear, While in her pensive form the world should view The ONLY PARENT that thy SORROWS knew.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Sonnet IV: Why When I Gaze

 Why, when I gaze on Phaon's beauteous eyes,
Why does each thought in wild disorder stray?
Why does each fainting faculty decay,
And my chill'd breast in throbbing tumults rise?
Mute, on the ground my Lyre neglected lies,
The Muse forgot, and lost the melting lay;
My down-cast looks, my faultering lips betray,
That stung by hopeless passion,--Sappho dies!
Now, on a bank of Cypress let me rest;
Come, tuneful maids, ye pupils of my care,
Come, with your dulcet numbers soothe my breast;
And, as the soft vibrations float on air,
Let pity waft my spirit to the blest,
To mock the barb'rous triumphs of despair!

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Ode to Melancholy

 SORC'RESS of the Cave profound! 
Hence, with thy pale, and meagre train, 
Nor dare my roseate bow'r profane, 
Where light-heel'd mirth despotic reigns, 
Slightly bound in feath'ry chains, 
And scatt'ring blisses round.
Hence, to thy native Chaos­where Nurs'd by thy haggard Dam, DESPAIR, Shackled by thy numbing spell, Mis'ry's pallid children dwell; Where, brooding o'er thy fatal charms, FRENZY rolls the vacant eye; Where hopeless LOVE, with folded arms, Drops the tear, and heaves the sigh; Till cherish'd Passion's tyrant sway Chills the warm pulse of Youth, with premature decay.
O, fly Thee, to some Church-yard's gloom, Where beside the mould'ring tomb, Restless Spectres glide away, Fading in the glimpse of Day; Or, where the Virgin ORB of Night, Silvers o'er the Forest wide, Or across the silent tide, Flings her soft, and quiv'ring light: Where, beneath some aged Tree, Sounds of mournful Melody Caught from the NIGHTINGALE's enamour'd Tale, Steal on faint Echo's ear, and float upon the gale.
DREAD POW'R! whose touch magnetic leads O'er enchanted spangled meads, Where by the glow-worm's twinkling ray, Aëry Spirits lightly play; Where around some Haunted Tow'r, Boding Ravens wing their flight, Viewless, in the gloom of Night, Warning oft the luckless hour; Or, beside the Murd'rer's bed, From thy dark, and morbid wing, O'er his fev'rish, burning head, Drops of conscious auguish fling; While freezing HORROR's direful scream, Rouses his guilty soul from kind oblivion's dream.
Oft, beneath the witching Yew, The trembling MAID, steals forth unseen; With true-love wreaths, of deathless green, Her Lover's grave to strew; Her downcast Eye, no joy illumes, Nor on her Cheek, the soft Rose blooms; Her mourning Heart, the victim of thy pow'r, Shrinks from the glare of Mirth, and hails the MURKY HOUR.
O, say what FIEND first gave thee birth, In what fell Desart, wert thou born; Why does thy hollow voice, forlorn, So fascinate the Sons of Earth; That once encircled in thy icy arms, They court thy torpid touch, and doat upon thy Charms? HATED IMP,­I brave thy Spell, REASON shuns thy barb'rous sway; Life, with mirth should glide away, Despondency, with guilt should dwell; For conscious TRUTH's unruffled mien, Displays the dauntless Eye, and patient smile serene.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Sonnet XXXI: Far Oer the Waves

 Far o'er the waves my lofty Bark shall glide,
Love's frequent sighs the flutt'ring sails shall swell,
While to my native home I bid farewell,
Hope's snowy hand the burnis'd helm shall guide!
Triton's shall sport admidst the yielding tide,
Myriads of Cupids round the prow shall dwell,
And Venus, thron'd within her opal shell,
Shall proudly o'er the glitt'ring billows ride!
Young Dolphins, dashing in the golden spray,
Shall with their scaly forms illume the deep
Ting'd with the purple flush of sinking day,
Whose flaming wreath shall crown the distant steep;
While on the breezy deck soft minstrels play,
And songs of love, the lover soothe to sleep!

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Ode to Della Crusca

 ENLIGHTEN'D Patron of the sacred Lyre?
Whose ever-varying, ever-witching song
Revibrates on the heart
With magic thrilling touch,
Till ev'ry nerve with quiv'ring throb divine,
In madd'ning tumults, owns thy wondrous pow'r;
For well thy dulcet notes
Can wind the mazy song,
In labyrinth of wild fantastic form;
Or with empassion'd pathos woo the soul
With sounds more sweetly mild,
Than SAPPHO's plaint forlorn,
When bending o'er the wave she sung her woes,
While pitying ECHO hover'd o'er the deep,
Till in their coral caves,
The tuneful NEREIDES wept.
AH! whither art thou flown? where pours thy song? The model and the pride of British bards! Sweet STAR of FANCY's orb, "O, tell me, tell me, where?" Say, dost thou waste it on the viewless air That bears it to the confines of high Heav'n? Or does it court the meed Of proud pre-eminence? Or steals it o'er the glitt'ring Sapphire wave, Calming the tempest with its silver sounds? Or does it charm to love The fond believing maid? Or does it hover o'er the ALPINE steep, Or softly breathing under myrtle shades, With SYMPATHY divine, Solace the child of woe? Where'er thou art, Oh! let thy gentle strain Again with magic pow'r delight mine ear, Untutor'd in the spells, And mysteries of song.
Then, on the margin of the deep I'll muse, And bless the rocking bark ordain'd to bear My sad heart o'er the wave, From this ungrateful isle; When the wan queen of night, with languid eye, Peeps o'er the mountain's head, or thro' the vale Illumes the glassy brook, Or dew-besprinkled heath, Or with her crystal lamp, directs the feet Of the benighted TRAV'LLER, cold, and sad, Thro' the long forest drear, And pathless labyrinth, To the poor PEASANT's hospitable cot, For ever open to the wretch forlorn; O, then I'll think on THEE, And iterate thy strain, And chaunt thy matchless numbers o'er and o'er, And I will court the sullen ear of night, To bear the rapt'rous sound, On her dark shad'wy wing, To where encircled by the sacred NINE, Thy LYRE awakes the never-dying song! Now, BARD admir'd, farwel! The white sail flutters loud, The gaudy streamers lengthen in the gale, Far from my native shore I bend my way; Yet, as my aching eye Shall view the less'ning cliff, 'Till its stupendous head shall scarce appear Above the surface of the swelling deep; I'll snatch a ray of hope, For HOPE's the lamp divine That lights and vivifies the fainting soul, With extacies beyond the pow'rs of song! That ere I reach those banks Where the loud TIBER flows, Or milder ARNO slowly steals along, To the soft music of the summer breeze, The wafting wing of TIME May bear this last ADIEU, This wild untutor'd picture of the heart, To HIM, whose magic verse INSPIR'D THE STRAIN.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Stanzas to a Friend

 AH! think no more that Life's delusive joys,
Can charm my thoughts from FRIENDSHIP'S dearer claim;
Or wound a heart, that scarce a wish employs,
For age to censure, or discretion blame.
Tir'd of the world, my weary mind recoils From splendid scenes, and transitory joys; From fell Ambition's false and fruitless toils, From hope that flatters, and from bliss that cloys.
With THEE, above the taunts of empty pride, The rigid frowns to youthful error given; Content in solitude my griefs I'll hide, Thy voice my counsellor­thy smiles my Heaven.
With thee I'll hail the morn's returning ray, Or climb the dewy mountain bleak and cold; On the smooth lake observe the sun-beams play, Or mark the infant flow'rs their buds unfold.
Pleas'd will I watch the glitt'ring queen of Night Spread her white mantle o'er the face of Heaven; And from thy converse snatch the pure delight, By truth sublime to MENTAL feeling given.
And as the varying seasons glide away, This moral lesson shall my bosom learn, How TIME steals on, while blissful hours decay Like fleeting shadows;­NEVER to return.
And when I see thy warm unspotted mind, Torn with the wound of broken FRIENDSHIP'S dart; When sickness chills thy breast with pangs unkind, Or ruthless sorrow preys upon thy heart; The task be MINE to soothe thee to repose, To check the sigh, and wipe the trickling tear, Or with soft SYMPATHY to share thy woes; O, proudest rapture of the soul sincere ! And ye who flutter thro' the vacant hour, Where tasteless Apathy's empoison'd wand Arrests the vagrant sense with numbing pow'r, While vanquish'd REASON bows at her command.
O say, what bliss can transient Life bestow, What balm so grateful to the social mind, As FRIENDSHIP'S voice­where gentle precepts flow From the blest source of sentiment refin'd? When FATE'S stern hand shall close my weeping eye, And seal, at length, my wand'ring spirit's doom; Oh! may kind FRIENDSHIP catch my parting sigh, And cheer with HOPE the terrors of the TOMB.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Sonnet XV: Now Round My Favourd Grot

 Now, round my favor'd grot let roses rise,
To strew the bank where Phaon wakes from rest;
O! happy buds! to kiss his burning breast,
And die, beneath the lustre of his eyes!
Now, let the timbrels echo to the skies, 
Now damsels sprinkel cassia on his vest, 
With od'rous wreaths of constant myrtle drest,
And flow'rs, deep tinted with the rainbow's dyes!
From cups of porphyry let nectar flow,
Rich as the perfume of Phoenicia's vine!
Now let his dimpling cheek with rapture glow,
While round his heart love's mystic fetters twine;
And let the Grecian Lyre its aid bestow,
In songs of triumph, to proclaim him mine!

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Stanzas Written under an Oak in Windsor Forest

 "HERE POPE FIRST SUNG!" O, hallow'd Tree !
Such is the boast thy bark displays;
Thy branches, like thy Patron's lays,
Shall ever, ever, sacred be; 
Nor with'ring storm, nor woodman's stroke, 
Shall harm the POET'S favourite Oak.
'Twas HERE, he woo'd his MUSE of fire, While Inspiration's wond'rous art, Sublimely stealing thro' his heart Did Fancy's proudest themes inspire: 'Twas HERE he wisely learnt to smile At empty praise, and courtly guile.
Retir'd from flatt'ring, specious arts.
From fawning sycophants of state, From knaves, with ravag'd wealth elate, And little SLAVES with TYRANT Hearts; In conscious freedom nobly proud, He scorn'd the envious, grov'ling crowd.
Tho' splendid DOMES around them rise, And pompous TITLES lull to rest Each strugg'ling Virtue in the breast, 'Till POW'R the place of WORTH supplies; The wretched herd can never know The sober joys these haunts bestow.
Does the fond MUSE delight to dwell, Where freezing Penance spreads its shade ? When scarce the Sun's warm beams pervade The hoary HERMIT'S dreary cell? Ah! no­THERE, Superstition blind, With torpid languor chills the mind.
Or, does she seek Life's busy scene, Ah ! no, the sordid, mean, and proud, The little, trifling, flutt'ring crowd, Can never taste her bliss serene; She flies from Fashion's tinsel toys, Nor courts her smile, nor shares her joys.
Nor can the dull pedantic mind, E'er boast her bright creative fires; Above constraint her wing aspires, Nor rigid spells her flight can bind; The narrow track of musty schools, She leaves to plodding VAPID FOOLS.
To scenes like THESE she bends her way, HERE the best feelings of the soul Nor interest taints, nor threats controul, Nor vice allures, nor snares betray; HERE from each trivial hope remov'd, Our BARD first sought the MUSE he lov'd.
Still shall thy pensive gloom diffuse, The verse sublime, the dulcet song; While round the POET'S seat shall throng, Each rapture sacred to the MUSE; Still shall thy verdant branches be The bow'r of wond'rous minstrelsy.
When glow-worms light their little fires, The am'rous SWAIN and timid MAID Shall sit and talk beneath thy shade, AS EVE'S last rosy tint expires; While on thy boughs the plaintive DOVE, Shall learn from them the tale of LOVE.
When round the quiv'ring moon-beams play, And FAIRIES form the grassy ring, 'Till the shrill LARK unfurls his wing, And soars to greet the blushing day; The NIGHTINGALE shall pour to THEE, Her Song of Love-lorn Melody.
When, thro' the forest dark and drear, Full oft, as ancient stories say, Old HERNE THE HUNTER i loves to stray, While village damsels quake with fear; Nor sprite or spectre, shall invade The still repose that marks THY shade.
BLEST OAK! thy mossy trunk shall be As lasting as the LAUREL'S bloom That deck's immortal VIRGIL'S tomb, And fam'd as SHAKSPERE'S hallow'd Tree; For every grateful MUSE shall twine A votive Wreath to deck THY SHRINE.

Written by Mary Darby Robinson |

Lines Written by the Side of a River

 FLOW soft RIVER, gently stray, 
Still a silent waving tide 
O'er thy glitt'ring carpet glide, 
While I chaunt my ROUNDELAY, 
As I gather from thy bank, 
Shelter'd by the poplar dank, 
King-cups, deck'd in golden pride, 
Harebells sweet, and daisies pied; 
While beneath the evening sky, 
Soft the western breezes fly.
Gentle RIVER, should'st thou be Touch'd with mournful sympathy, When reflection tells my soul, Winter's icy breath shall quell Thy sweet bosom's graceful swell, And thy dimpling course controul; Should a crystal tear of mine, Fall upon thy lucid breast, Oh receive the trembling guest, For 'tis PITY'S drop divine! GENTLE ZEPHYR, softly play, Shake thy dewy wings around, Sprinkle odours o'er the ground, While I chaunt my ROUNDELAY.
While the woodbine's mingling shade, Veils my pensive, drooping head; Fan, oh fan, the busy gale, That rudely wantons round my cheek, Where the tear of suff'rance meek, Glitters on the LILY pale: Ah! no more the damask ROSE, There in crimson lustre glows; Thirsty fevers from my lip Dare the ruddy drops to sip; Deep within my burning heart, Sorrow plants an icy dart; From whose point the soft tears flow, Melting in the vivid glow; Gentle Zephyr, should'st thou be Touch'd with tender sympathy; When reflection calls to mind, The bleak and desolating wind, That soon thy silken wing shall tear, And waft it on the freezing air; Zephyr, should a tender sigh To thy balmy bosom fly, Oh! receive the flutt'ring thing, Place it on thy filmy wing, Bear it to its native sky, For 'tis PITY'S softest sigh.
O'er the golden lids of day Steals a veil of sober grey; Now the flow'rets sink to rest, On the moist earth's glitt'ring breast; Homeward now I'll bend my way, AND CHAUNT MY PLAINTIVE ROUNDELAY.