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Light-hearted youth! aye, as he bastes along,
He meditates the future song,
How dauntless Ælla fray'd the Dacyan foe;
And while the numbers flowing strong
In eddies whirl, in surges throng,
Exulting in the spirits' genial throe
In tides of power his life-blood seems to flow.
And now his cheeks with deeper ardours flame,
His eyes have glorious meanings, that declare
More than the light of outward day shines there,
A holier triumph and a sterner aim !
Wings grow within him, and he soars above
Or Bard's or Minstrel's lay of war or love.
Friend to the friendless, to the Sufferer health,
He hears the widow's prayer, the good man's
To scenes of bliss transmutes his fancied wealth,
And young and old shall now see happy days.
On many a waste he bids trim Gardens rise,
Gives the blue sky to many a prisoner's eyes ;
And now in wrath he grasps the patriot steel,
And her own iron rod he makes Oppression
Sweet Flower of Hope! free Nature's genial.
That didst so fair disclose thy early bloom,
Filling the wide air with a rich perfume!
For thee in vain all heavenly aspects smiled ;
From the hard world brief respite could they winThe frost nipped sharp without, the canker preyed
within! Ah! where are fled the charms of vernal Grace, And Joy's wild gleams that lightened o'er thy face? Youth of tumultuous soul, and haggard eye! Thy wasted form, thy hurried steps I view, On thy wan forehead starts the lethal dew, And oh! the anguish of that shuddering sigh!
Such were the struggles of the gloomy hour,
When Care, of withered brow, Prepared the poison's death-cold power: Already to thy lips was raised the bowl,
When near thee stood Affection meek
(Her bosom bare, and wildly pale her cheek)
Thy sullen gaze she bade thee roll
On scenes that well might melt thy soul ;
Thy native cot she flashed upon thy view,
Thy native cot, where still, at close of day,
Peace smiling sate, and listened to thy lay:;
Thy Sister's shrieks she bade thee hear,
And mark thy Mother's thrilling tear ;
See, see her breast's convulsive throe,
of woe! Ah! dash the poisoned chalice from thy hand !
And thou had'st dashed it, at her soft command,
But that Despair and Indignation rose,
And told again the story of thy woes ;
Told the keen insult of the unfeeling heart
The dread dependence on the low-born mind;
Told every pang, with which thy soul must smart,
Neglect, and grinning Scorn, and Want combined !
Recoiling quick, thou bad'st the friend of pain
Roll the black tide of Death through every freez-
O Spirit blest!
Whether the Eternals throne around,
Amidst the blaze of Seraphim,
Thou pourest forth the grateful hymn ;
Or soaring thro' the blest domain
Enrapturest Angels with thy strain,
Grant me, like thee, the lyre to sound,
Like thee with fire divine to glow ;-
But ah! when rage the waves of woe,
Grant me with firmer breast to meet their hate,
And soar beyond the storm with upright eye elate !
Ye woods! that wave o'er Avon's rocky steep,
To Fancy's ear sweet is your murmuring deep,
For here she loves the cypress wreath to weave
Watching, with wistful eye, the saddening tints of
Here, far from men, amid this pathless grove,
In solemn thought the Minstrel wont to rove,
Like star-beam on the slow sequestered tide
Lone-glittering, thro' the high tree branching
And here, in Inspiration's eager hour,
When most the big soul feels the mastering power,
These wilds, these caverns roaming o'er,
Round which the screaming sea-gulls soar, With wild unequal steps he passed along, Oft pouring on the winds a broken song : Anon, upon some rough rock's fearful brow Would pause abrupt—and gaze upon the waves
Poor Chatterton ! he sorrows for thy fate [late.
Who would have praised and loved thee, ere too
Poor Chatterton! farewell ! of darkest hues
This chaplet cast I on thy unshaped tomb;
But dare no longer on the sad theme muse,
Lest kindred woes persuade a kindred doom :
For oh! big gall-drops, shook from Folly's wing,
Have blackened the fair promise of my spring ;
And the stern Fate transpierced with viewless dart
The last pale Hope that shivered at my heart !
Hence, gloomy thoughts! no more my soul shall
dwell On joys that were ! No more endure to weigh The shame and anguish of the evil day, Wisely forgetful! O'er the ocean swell Sublime of Hope I seek the cottaged dell Where Virtue calm with careless step may stray ; And, dancing to the moonlight roundelay, The wizard Passions weave a holy spell !
O Chatterton! that thou wert yet alive!
Sure thou wouldst spread the canvas to the gale,
And love with us the tinkling team to drive
O'er peaceful Freedom's undivided dale ;
And we, at sober eve, would round thee throng,
Would hang, enraptured, on thy stately song,
And greet with smiles the young-eyed Poesy
All deftly masked, as hoar Antiquity.
Alas, vain Phantasies ! the fleeting brood
Of Woe self-solaced in her dreamy mood !
Yet will I love to follow the sweet dream,
Where Susquehanna pours his untamed stream;
And on some hill, whose forest-frowning side
Waves o’er the murmurs of his calmer tide,
Will raise a solemn Cenotaph to thee,
Sweet Harper of time-shrouded Minstrelsy!
And there soothed sadly by the dirgeful wind,
Muse on the sore ills I had left behind.