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A Muse, unskilled in venal praise,
Swift to reward a parent's fears,
Let not thy towering mind despise The village and the grove. No slander there shall wound thy fame, No ruffian take his deadly aim, No rival weave the secret snare : For innocence, with angel smile, Simplicity, that knows no guile, And love and peace are there. When winds the mountain oak assail, And lay its glories waste, Content may slumber in the vale, Unconscious of the blast. Through scenes of tumult while we roam, The heart, alas! is ne'er at home, It hopes in time to roam no more : The mariner, not vainly brave, Combats the storm, and rides the wave, To rest at last on shore. Ye proud, ye selfish, ye severe, How vain your mask of state! The good alone have joy sincere, The good alone are great : Great, when, amid the vale of peace, They bid the plaint of sorrow cease, And hear the voice of artless praise ; As when along the trophied plain Sublime they lead the victor train, While shouting nations gaze.
ON ARRIVING AT THE AGE OF
Stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth year!
But my late spring no bud or blossom showeth, Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,
That I to manhood am arrived so near;
Than some more timely happy spirits endu'th. Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot, however mean or high, Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Hea
All is, if I have grace to use it so,
O MEMORY, thou fond deceiver,
Still importunate and vain, To former joys recurring ever,
And turning all the past to pain.
Thy smiles increase the wretch's woe;
Thy memory, as a spell
of love, comes o'er the mind;
As perfume on the wind;
As sunshine on the river;
“Rather than have one bliss forgot,
AND wouldst thou advise me to mix with the crowd,
And strive to efface the remembrance of years ; When, though mists and misfortune loo often might
shroud, One smile hath repaid me for long hours of tears? And say'st thou that memory only can feed
The fever that preys on the desolate heart ? Oh! thou knowest not, unless thou hast felt it in
deed, What joy the remembrance of joy can impart ! There are things that are past, which I would not
forget, For the brightest of pleasures that earth can
now give; Their bliss had a mixture of sorrow, and yet
Like stars in the night of my bosom they live. As on scenes we have passed, when by distance
made soft, We gaze the more fondly the further we go, So, when years of our prime have gone over, how
oft We turn with delight to past pleasure and woe.