Lines: On an Autumnal Evening
O thou wild Fancy, check thy wing! No more
Those thin white flakes, those purple clouds explore!
Nor there with happy spirits speed thy flight
Bath’d in rich amber-glowing floods of light;
Nor in yon gleam, where slow descends the day,
With western peasants hail the morning ray!
Ah! rather bid the perish’d pleasures move,
A shadowy train, across the soul of Love!
O’er Disappointment’s wintry desert fling
Each flower that wreath’d the dewy locks of Spring,
When blushing, like a bride, from Hope’s trim bower
She leapt, awaken’d by the pattering shower.
Now sheds the sinking Sun a deeper gleam,
Aid, lovely Sorceress! aid thy Poet’s dream!
With faery wand O bid the Maid arise,
Chaste Joyance dancing in her bright-blue eyes;
As erst when from the Muses’ calm abode
I came, with Learning’s meed not unbestowed!
When as she twin’d a laurel round my brow,
And met my kiss, and half return’d my vow,
O’er all my frame shot rapid my thrill’d heart,
And every nerve confess’d the electric dart.
O dear Deceit! I see the Maiden rise,
Chaste Joyance dancing in her bright-blue eyes!
When first the lark high-soaring swells his throat,
Mocks the tir’d eye, and scatters the loud note,
I trace her footsteps on the accustom’d lawn,
I mark her glancing mid the gleam of dawn.
When the bent flower beneath the night-dew weeps
And on the lake the silver lustre sleeps,
Amid the paly radiance soft and sad,
She meets my lonely path in moon-beams clad.
With her along the streamlet’s brink I rove;
With her I list the warblings of the grove;
And seems in each low wind her voice to float
Lone-whispering Pity in each soothing note!
Spirits of Love! ye heard her name! Obey
The powerful spell, and to my haunt repair.
Whether on clust’ring pinions ye are there,
Where rich snows blossom on the Myrtle-trees,
Or with fond languishment around my fair
Sigh in the loose luxuriance of her hair;
O heed the spell, and hither wing your way,
Like far-off music, voyaging the breeze!
Spirits! to you the infant Maid was given
Form’d by the wond’rous Alchemy of Heaven!
No fairer Maid does Love’s wide empire know,
No fairer Maid e’er heav’d the bosom’s snow.
A thousand Loves around her forehead fly;
A thousand Loves sit melting in her eye;
Love lights her smile — in Joy’s red nectar dips
His myrtle flower, and plants it on her lips.
She speaks! and hark that passion-warbled song —
Still, Fancy! still that voice, those notes prolong.
As sweet as when that voice with rapturous falls
Shall wake the soften’d echoes of Heaven’s Halls!
O (have I sigh’d) were mine the wizard’s rod,
Or mine the power of Proteus, changeful God!
A flower-entangled Arbour I would seem
To shield my Love from Noontide’s sultry beam:
Or bloom a Myrtle, from whose od’rous boughs
My Love might weave gay garlands for her brows.
When Twilight stole across the fading vale,
To fan my Love I’d be the Evening Gale;
Mourn in the soft folds of her swelling vest,
And flutter my faint pinions on her breast!
On Seraph wing I’d float a Dream by night,
To soothe my Love with shadows of delight: —
Or soar aloft to be the Spangled Skies,
And gaze upon her with a thousand eyes!
As when the Savage, who his drowsy frame
Had bask’d beneath the Sun’s unclouded flame,
Awakes amid the troubles of the air,
The skiey deluge, and white lighning’s glare —
Aghast he scours before the tempest’s sweep,
And sad recalls the sunny hour of sleep: —
So tossed by storms along Life’s wild’ring way,
Mine eye reverted views that cloudless day,
When by my native brook I wont to rove,
While Hope with kisses nurs’d the Infant Love.
Dear native brook! like Peace, so placidly
Smoothing through fertile fields thy current meek!
Dear native brook! where first young Poesy
Stared wildly-eager in her noontide dream!
Where blameless pleasures dimple Quiet’s cheek,
As water-lilies ripple thy slow stream!
Dear native haunts! where Virtue still is gay,
Where Friendship’s fix’d star sheds a mellow’d ray,
Where Love a crown of thornless Roses wears,
Where soften’d Sorrow smiles within her tears;
And Memory, with a Vestal’s chaste employ,
Unceasing feeds the lambent flame of joy!
No more your sky-larks melting from the sight
Shall thrill the attunéd heart-string with delight —
No more shall deck your pensive Pleasures sweet
With wreaths of sober hue my evening seat.
Yet dear to Fancy’s eye your varied scene
Of wood, hill, dale, and sparkling brook between!
Yet sweet to Fancy’s ear the warbled song,
That soars on Morning’s wing your vales among.
Scenes of my Hope! the aching eye ye leave
Like yon bright hues that paint the clouds of eve!
Tearful and saddening with the sadden’d blaze
Mine eye the gleam pursues with wistful gaze:
Sees shades on shades with deeper tint impend,
Till chill and damp the moonless night descend.
|This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.|