“Tell her I wish not to intrude
Upon her sacred solitude,
Nor cast my undulating chain,
Around her glowing heart again;
No! every claim I now resign,
Yet let some small regard be mine;
Let one, who nurs’d her infant years,
And wip’d away some bitter tears,
Still animate the scenes around,
And make her tread on fairy ground;
Give playful sweetness to each lay,
And decorate the passing day.
“Tell her, if now she scorns my strain,
She may invoke my name in vain;
In vain my proffered aid implore,
Contemn’d, I hardly pardon more.”
She said, and springing from the earth,
Attending found her suitor Mirth,
Who caught her hand, with lively air,
And plac’d her in his silver chair,
Which through the yielding ether flew,
And quickly bore them from my view.
Loud beats the rain! The hollow, groan
Of rushing winds I hear,
That with a deep and sullen moan,
Pass slowly by the ear.
Soon will my dying fire refuse
To yield a cheerful ray,
Yet, shivering still I sit and muse
The latest spark away.
Ah, what a night! the chilly air
Bids comfort hence depart,
While sad repining’s clammy wings
Cling icy, to my heart.
To-morrow’s dawn may fair arise,
And lovely to the view;
The sun with radiance gild the skies,
Yet then—I say adieu!
Oh, stay, dear Night, with cautious care,
And lingering footsteps move,
Though day may be more soft and fair,
Not her, but thee, I love.
Stay, wild in brow, severe in mien,
Stay! and ward off the foe;
Who, unrelenting smiles serene,
Yet tells me I must go.
Forsake these hospitable halls,
Where Truth and Friendship dwell,
To these high towers and ancient walls,
Pronounce a long farewell.
Alas! will Time’s rapacious hand,
These golden days restore?
Or will he suffer me to taste
These golden days no more?
Will he permit that here again,
I turn my willing feet?
That my glad eyes may here again,
The look of kindness meet?
That here I ever may behold,
Felicity to dwell,
And often have the painful task
Of sighing out farewell?
Ah, be it so! my fears I lose,
By hope’s sweet visions fed;
And as I fly to seek repose,
She flutters round my bed.
Thou, Margaret, lov’st the secret shade,
The murmuring brook, or tow’ring tree;
The village cot within the glade,
And lonely walk have charms for thee.
To thee more dear the jasmine bow’r,
That shelt’ring, undisturb’d retreat,
Than the high canopy of pow’r,
Or Luxury’s embroider’d seat.