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Some wanderer, whom I would not meet,
Should stumble on my loved retreat.
Enamel'd Meads, and Hillocks green,
And Streams that water all the scene!
Ye Torrents, loud in distant ears!
Ye Fountains, that receive my tears!
Ah! still conceal, with caution due,
A charge I trust with none but you.
If, when my pain and grief increase,
I seem to enjoy the sweetest peace,
It is because I find so fair
The charming object of my care,
That I can sport and pleasure make
Of torment suffer'd for his sake.
Ye Meads and Groves, unconscious things!
Ye know not whence my pleasure springs;
Ye know not, and ye cannot know,
The source from which my sorrows flow:
The dear sole Cause of all I feel,-
He knows, and understands them well.
Ye Deserts! where the wild beasts rove,
Scenes sacred to my hours of love;
Ye Forests! in whose shades I stray,
Benighted under burning day;
Ah! whisper not how blest am I,
Nor while I live, nor when I die.
Ye Lambs! who sport beneath these shades,
And bound along the mossy glades,
Be taught a salutary fear,
And cease to bleat when I am near:
may hear your harmless cry,
Whom ye should dread as much as I.
How calm, amid these scenes, my mind!
How perfect is the peace I find!
Oh hush, be still, my every part,
My tongue, my pulse, my beating heart!
That Love, aspiring to its cause,
May suffer not a moment's pause.
Ye swift-finn'd nations, that abide
In seas as fathomless as wide;
And unsuspicious of a snare,
Pursue at large your pleasures there:
Poor sportive fools! how soon does man
Your heedless ignorance trepan!
Away! dive deep into the brine,
Where never yet sunk plummet-line;
Trust me, the vast leviathan
Is merciful, compared with man;
Avoid his arts, forsake the beach,
And never play within his reach!
My soul her bondage ill endures;
I pant for liberty like yours;
I long for that immense profound,
That knows no bottom, and no bound;
Lost in infinity, to prove
The incomprehensible of Love.
Ye Birds! that lessen as ye fly,
And vanish in the distant sky;
To whom yon airy waste belongs,
Resounding with your cheerful songs;
Haste to escape from human sight!
Fear less the vulture and the kite.
How blest, and how secure am I,
When quitting earth, I soar on high;
When lost, like you I disappear,
And float in a sublimer sphere!
Whence, falling within human view,
I am ensnared, and caught like you.
Omniscient God, whose notice deigns
To try the heart and search the reins,
Compassionate the numerous woes,
I dare not, even to thee, disclose;
Oh save me from the cruel hands
who fear not thy commands!
Love, all-subduing and divine,
Care for a creature truly thine;
Reign in a heart, disposed to own
No sovereign but thyself alone;
Cherish a bride who cannot rove,
Nor quit Thee for a meaner love!
THE VICISSITUDES EXPERIENCED
I SUFFER fruitless anguish day by day,
Each moment, as it passes, marks my pain;
Scarce knowing whither, doubtfully I stray,
And see no end of all that I sustain.
The more I strive the more I am withstood;
Anxiety increasing every hour,
My spirit finds no rest, performs no good,
And nought remains of all my former power.
My peace of heart is fled, I know not where;
My happy hours, like shadows, pass'd away; Their sweet remembrance doubles all my care, Night darker seems, succeeding such a day.
Dear faded joys, and impotent regret,
What profit is there in incessant tears?
Oh Thou, whom once beheld, we ne'er forget,
Reveal thy Love, and banish all my fears!
Alas! He flies me-treats me as his foe,
Views not my sorrows, hears not when I plead;
Woe such as mine, despised, neglected woe,
Unless it shortens life, is vain indeed.
Pierced with a thousand wounds, I yet survive;
My pangs are keen, but no complaint transpires;
And while in terrors of thy wrath I live,
Hell seems to lose its less tremendous fires.
Has Hell a pain I would not gladly bear,
So thy severe displeasure might subside?
Hopeless of ease, I seem already there,
My life extinguish'd, and yet death denied.
Is this the joy so promised?—this the love,
The unchanging love, so sworn in better days?
Ah! dangerous glories! shown me, but to prove
How lovely Thou, and I how rash to gaze.
Why did I see them? had I still remain'd
Untaught, still ignorant how fair thou art,
My humbler wishes I had soon obtain'd,
Nor known the torments of a doubting heart.
Deprived of all, yet feeling no desires,
Whence then, I cry, the pangs that I sustain ? Dubious and uninform'd, my soul inquires, Ought she to cherish, or shake off her pain?
Suffering, I suffer not; sincerely love,
Yet feel no touch of that enlivening flame;
As chance inclines me, unconcern'd I move,
All times, and all events, to me the same.
I search my heart, and not a wish is there,
But burns with zeal that hated self may
Such is the sad disquietude I share,
A sea of doubts, and self the source of all.
I ask not life, nor do I wish to die;
And if thine hand accomplish not my cure,
I would not purchase with a single sigh,
A free discharge from all that I endure.
I groan in chains, yet want not a release;
Am sick, and know not the distemper'd part;
Am just as void of purpose as of peace;
Have neither plan, nor fear, nor hope, nor heart.
My claim to life, though sought with earnest care,
No light within me or without me shows;
Once I had faith, but now in self-despair
Find my chief cordial and
my best repose.