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- AS o'er Asteria's fields I rove,
- The blissful seat of peace and love,
- Ten thousand beauties round me rise,
- And mingle pleasure with surprise.
- By Nature blest in every part,
- Adorn'd with every grace of Art,
- This paradise of blooming joys
- Each raptur'd sense, at once, employs.
- But when I view the radiant queen,
- Who form'd this fair enchanting scene;
- Pardon, ye grots! ye crystal floods!
- Ye breathing flowers! ye shady woods!
- Your coolness now no more invites;
- No more your murmuring stream delights;
- Your sweets decay, your verdure's flown;
- My soul's intent on her alone.
- William Somerville
- MY dear companion, and my faithful friend!
- If Orpheus taught the listening oaks to bend:
- If stones and rubbish, at Amphion's call,
- Danc'd into form, and built the Theban wall;
- Why should not thou attend my humble lays,
- And hear my graceful harp resound thy praise?
- True, thou art spruce and fine, a very beau;
- But what are trappings and external show?
- To real worth alone I make my court;
- Knaves are my scorn, and coxcombs are my sport.
- Once I beheld thee far less trim and gay;
- Ragged, disjointed, and to worms a prey;
- The safe retreat of every lurking mouse;
- Derided, shunn'd; the lumber* of my
house! *lumber = junk
- Thy robe how chang'd from what it was before!
- Thy velvet robe, which pleas'd my sires of yore!
- 'Tis thus capricious Fortune wheels us round;
- Aloft we mount--then tumble to the ground.
- Yet grateful then, my constancy I prov'd;
- I knew thy worth; my friend in rags I lov'd;
- I lov'd thee more; nor, like a courtier, spurn'd
- My benefactor, when the tide was turn'd.
- With conscious shame, yet frankly, I confess,
- That in my youthful days--I lov'd thee less.
- Where vanity, where pleasure call'd, I stray'd;
- And every appetite obey'd.
- But sage Experience taught me how to prize
- My self; and how, this world; she bade me rise
- To nobler flights regardless of a race
- Of factious emmets; pointed where to place
- My bliss, and lodg'd me in thy soft embrace.
- Here on thy yielding down I sit secure;
- And, patiently, what Heaven has sent, endure;
- From all the futile cares of business free;
- Not fond of life, but yet content to be:
- Here mark the fleeting hours; regret the past;
- And seriously prepare to meet the last.
- So safe on shore the pension's sailor lies;
- And all the malice of the storm defies:
- With ease of body blest, and peace of mind,
- Pities the restless crew he left behind;
- Whil'st, in his cell, he meditates alone
- On his great voyage, to the world unknown.
- William Somerville
- BEHOLD, my friend, the rosy-finger'd Morn,
- With blushes on her face
- Peeps o'er yon azure hill;
- Rich gems the trees enchase,
- Pearls from each bush distill,
- Arise, arise, and hail the light new-born.
- Hark! hark! the merry horn call, come away!
- Quit, quit thy downy bed;
- Break from Amynta's arms;
- Oh! let it ne'er be said,
- That all, that all her charms,
- Though she's as Venus fair, can tempt thy stay.
- Perplex thy soul no more with cares below,
- For what will pelf avail!
- Thy courser paws the ground,
- Each beagle cocks his tail,
- They spend their mouths around,
- While health, and pleasure, smiles on every brow.
- Try, huntsmen, all the brakes, spread all the plain,
- Now, now, she's gone away,
- Strip, strip, with speed pursue;
- The jocund god of day,
- Who fain our sport would view,
- See, see, he flogs his fiery steeds in vain.
- Pour down, like a flood from the hills, brave boys,
- On the wings of the wind
- The merry beagles fly;
- Dull Sorrow lags behind:
- Ye shrill echoes, reply;
- Catch each flying sound, and double our joys.
- Ye rocks, woods, and caves, our music repeat:
- The bright spheres thus above,
- A gay, refulgent train,
- Harmoniously move,
- O'er yon celestial plain
- Like us whirl along, in concert so sweet.
- Now Puss threads the brakes, and heavily flies,
- At the head of the pack
- Old Fidler bears the bell,
- Every foil he hunts back,
- And aloud rings her knell,
- Till, forc'd into view, she pants, and she dies.
- In life's dull round thus we toil and we sweat;
- Diseases, grief, and pain,
- An implacable crew,
- While we double in vain,
- Unrelenting pursue,
- Till, quite hunted down, we yield with regret.
- This moment is ours, come live while ye may,
- What's decreed by dark Fate
- Is not in our own power,
- Since tomorrow's too late,
- Take the present kind hour:
- With wine cheer the night, as sports bless the day.
- William Somerville
Poets' Corner .
H O M E .