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By gloomy twilight half reveal'd,
With sighs we view the hoary hill,
The leafless wood, the naked field,
The snow topt cot, the frozen rill. No music warbles through the grove, No vivid colours paint the plain; No more with devious steps I rove
Through verdant paths, now sought in vain. Aloud the driving tempest roars,
Congeal'd, impetuous showers descend;
Haste, close the window, bar the doors,
Fate leaves me Stella, and a friend.
In nature's aid, let art supply,
With light and heat my little sphere;
Rouze, rouze the fire, and pile it high,
Light up a constellation here.
Let music sound the voice of joy,
Or mirth repeat the jocund tale; Let Love his wanton wiles employ,
And o'er the season wine prevail. Yet time life's dreary winter brings,
When mirth's gay tale shall please no more; Nor music charm.....though Stella sings;
Nor love, nor wine, the spring restore.
Catch, then, Oh! catch the transient hour,
Improve each moment as it flies;
Life's a short summer.....man a flower;
He dies.....alas! how soon he dies!
BEHOLD, my fair, where'er we rove,
What dreary prospects round us rise; The naked hill, the leafless grove,
The hoary ground, the frowning skies! Nor only through the wasted plain,
Stern Winter! is thy force confess'd; Still wider spreads thy horrid reign,
I feel thy power usurp my breast.
Enlivening hope, and fond desire,
Resign the heart to spleen and care ;
Scarce frighted Love maintains her fire,
And rapture saddens to despair.
In groundless hope, and causless fear,
Unhappy man! behold thy doom;
Still changing with the changeful year,
The slave of sunshine and of gloom.
Tir'd with vain joys, and false alarms,
With mental and corporeal strife, Snatch me, my Stella, to thy arms,
And screen me from the ills of life.
TO MISS *****
ON HER GIVING THE AUTHOR A GOLD AND SILK NET
WORK PURSE OF HER OWN WEAVING.*
THOUGH gold and silk their charms unite
To make thy curious web delight,
*Printed among Mrs. William's Miscellanies.
In vain the varied work would shine,
If wrought by any hand but thine;
Thy hand, that knows the subtler art
To weave those nets that catch the heart.
Spread out by me, the roving coin
Thy nets may catch, but not confine;
Nor can I hope thy siiken chain
The glitt❜ring vagrants shall restrain.
Why, Stella, was it then decreed
The heart once caught should ne'er be freed?
ON HER PLAYING UPON THE
HARPSICHORD IN A ROOM HUNG WITH FLOWER PIECES OF HER OWN PAINTING.*
WHEN Stella strikes the tuneful string
In scenes of imitated Spring,
Where Beauty lavishes her powers
On beds of never fading flowers,
And pleasure propagates around
Each charm of modulated sound;
Ah! think not, in the dangerous hour,
The nymph fictitious as the flow'r;
But shun, rash youth, the gay alcove,
Nor tempt the snares of wily love.
When charms thus press on ev'ry sense,
What thought of flight, or of defence?
* Printed among Mrs. William's Miscellanies.
Deceitful hope, and vain desire,
For ever flutter o'er her lyre,
Delighting as the youth draws nigh,
To point the glances of her eye,
And forming with unerring art
New chains to hold the captive heart.
But on those regions of delight
Might truth intrude with daring flight,
Could Stella, sprightly, fair, and young,
One moment hear the moral song,
Instruction with her flowers might spring,
And wisdom warble from her string.
Mark, when from thousand mingled dyes
Thou seest one pleasing form arise,
How active light, and thoughtful shade,
In greater scenes each other aid;
Mark when the different notes agree
In friendly contrariety,
How passion's well accorded strife
Gives all the harmony of life;
Thy pictures shall thy conduct frame,
Consistent still, though not the same;
Thy music teach the nobler art,
To tune the regulated heart.
EVENING now from purple wings
Sheds the grateful gifts she brings;
Brilliant drops bedeck the mead,
Cooling breezes shake the reed;
Shake the reed, and curl the stream
Silver'd o'er with Cynthia's beam;
Near the checker'd, lonely grove,
Hears, and keeps thy secrets, Love.
Stella, thither let us stray,
Lightly o'er the dewy way.
Phoebus drives his burning car,
Hence, my lovely Stella, far;
In his stead, the Queen of Night
Round us pours a lambent light;
Light that seems but just to show
Breasts that beat, and cheeks that glow.
Let us now, in whisper'd joy,
Evening's silent hours employ,
Silence best, and conscious shades,
Please the hearts that love invadés,
Other pleasures give them pain,
Lovers all but love disdain.