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What are those wild, those wand'ring, fires,
That o'er the moorland ran?
Vapours.-How like the vague desires
That cheat the heart of man!
But there's a friendly guide!—a flame,
That, lambent o'er its bed,
Enlivens, with a gladsome beam,
The hermit's osier shed.
Among the russet shades of night,
It glances from afar!
And darts along the dusk; so bright,
It seems a silver star!
In coverts (where the few frequent)
If Virtue deigns to dwell,
'Tis thus the little lamp, Content,
Gives lustre to her cell.
How smooth that rapid river slides
Progressive to the deep!
The poppies, pendent o'er its sides,
Have charm'd the waves to sleep.
Pleasure's intoxicated sons;
Ye indolent! ye gay!
Reflect-for as the river runs,
Life wings its trackless way.
That branching grove of dusky green
Conceals the azure sky;
Save where a starry space between
Relieves the darken'd eye.
Old Error, thus, with shades impure
Throws sacred Truth behind:
Yet, sometimes, through the deep obscure
She bursts upon the mind.
Sleep, and her sister Silence reign, They lock the shepherd's fold! But hark-I hear a lamb complain, 'Tis lost upon the wold!
To savage herds, that hunt for prey,
An unresisting prize!
For, having trod a devious way,
The little rambler dies.
As luckless is the Virgin's lot,
Whom pleasure once misguides:
When hurried from the halcyon cot,
Where Innocence presides-
The passions, a relentless train!
To tear the victim, run:
She seeks the paths of peace in vain,
Is conquer'd-and undone.
How bright the little insects blaze,
Where willows shade the way;
As proud as if their painted rays
Could emulate the day!
'Tis thus the pigmy sons of pow'r
Advance their vain parade!
Thus glitter in the darken'd hour,
And like the glow-worms fade!
The soft serenity of night
Ungentle clouds deform!
The silver host that shone so bright, Is hid behind a storm!
The angry elements engage!
An oak (an ivied bower,)
Repels the rough wind's noisy rage, And shields me from the shower.
The rancour, thus, of rushing fate
I've learnt to render vain:
For, whilst Integrity's her seat,
The soul will sit serene.
A raven, from some greedy vault,
Amidst that cloister'd gloom,
Bids me, and 'tis a solemn thought!
Reflect upon the tomb.
The tomb!-The consecrated dome!
The temple rais'd to Peace!
The port, that to its friendly home
Compels the human race!
Yon village, to the moral mind,
A solemn aspect wears;
Where sleep hath lull'd the labor'd hind,
And kill'd his daily cares :
'Tis but the church-yard of the Night;
An emblematic bed!
That offers to the mental sight
The temporary dead.
From hence, I'll penetrate in thought
The grave's unmeasur'd deep;
And tutor❜d hence, be timely taught
To meet my final sleep.
'Tis peace-(the little chaos past!)
The graceful moon restor❜d!
A breeze succeeds the frightful blast,
That through the forest roar'd!
The Nightingale, a welcome guest!
Renews her gentle strains;
And Hope (just wand'ring from my breast)
Her wonted seat regains.
Yes-When yon lucid orb is dark,
And darting from on high;
My soul, a more celestial spark,
Shall keep her native sky.
Fann'd by the light, the lenient breeze,
My limbs refreshment find;
And moral rhapsodies, like these,
Gives vigour to the mind.
EPITAPH ON D. S. THOMSON,
"A bright to-morrow
May be never thine."
Think not though health is bounding in thy vein,
That health, and youth for ever will remain;
Nor let the sparkle of a smiling eye,
Deceive a heart which only beats to die;
Thy friend was young, and bade as fair to live,
With all the pleasing dreams which fancy give;
His morn of life was bright, and hope was there,
With joys in prospect he should never share;
And who could think to see his opening bloom,
That these would soon be wither'd in the tomb ;
He smil❜d to-day-to-morrow sickness came,
And quench'd at once poor life's deceitful flame;
And ye who live, perhaps may fall as soon,
Thy Sun, alas, be darken'd ere the noon
And the long grass which to the night winds wave
May be ere long the covering of thy grave;
This mournful lesson speaks, and speaks aloud,
For thy young friend now slumbers in his shrou!
And nought alas, can animate his clay,
9 But the loud thunders of a judgment day.
ONCE more 'tis night, and Life's dull weight
Hath left the earth in blessed sleep,
The moon shines o'er my chamber floor,
Nor sound nor sail is on the deep.
The silent sky gleams wide and high,
With all its glorious host abroad:
It is the hour whose thoughtful power,
Bends down my heart to thee, oh God!
O'er life's long track, when I look back,
I see the false, and mourn the fair,
I too, have seen the alter'd mein,
I too, have worshipp'd Folly's glare ;
I too have sprung, when Thought was young,
To claim the sceptic's heartless boast,-
And wert not Thou my refuge now,
God of my trust, too were lost!
The dream is past ;-it could not last!
And kindly hast thou dealt with me;-
To wean my heart from worldly art,
And fix its wav'ring faith on Thee.
In vainer days, from pleasure's vase
I quaff'd the draught which millions rue;
Its fragments rust amid the dust,
But Thou canst not deccive me too!
With Thee is life, undimm'd by strife;
The strength whose tow'r time never shakes;
Thou art the way, where none can stray;
The only friend who ne'er forsakes.
Bid sorrow's wave be my hope's grave,—
Blight all the joys for which I strove,-