Light breezes dance along the air,
The sky in smiles is drest,
And heav’ns pure vault, serene and fair,
Pourtrays the cheerful breast.
Each object on this moving ball
Assumes a lovely hue;
So fair good-humour brightens all
That comes within her view.
Her presence glads the youthful train,
Reanimates the gay,
And, round her, by the couch of pain,
The light-wing’d graces play.
Her winning mein and prompt reply,
Can sullen pride appease;
And the sweet arching of her eye
E’en apathy must please.
To you, with whom the damsel dwells
A voluntary guest,
To you, Maria, memory tells,
This tribute is addrest.
The feeble strains that I bequeath,
With melody o’erpay;
And let thy lov’d piano breathe
A sweet responsive lay.
Although the mellow sounds will rise,
So distant from my ear,
The charmer Fancy, when she tries,
Can make them present here.
Can paint thee, as with raptur’d bend,
You hail the powers of song;
When the light fingers quick descend,
And fly the notes along:
Feel the soft chord of sadness meet,
An echo in the soul,
And waking joy the strains repeat,
When Mirth’s-quick measures roll.
This “mistress of the powerful spell,”
Can every joy impart;
And ah! you doubtless know too well
How she can wring the heart.
She rules me with despotic reign,
As now I say adieu_;
And makes me feel a sort of pain,
As if I spoke to you.
FEB. 14, 1797.
WRITTEN IN ZIMMERMANN’S SOLITUDE.
Hail, melancholy sage! whose thoughtful eye,
Shrunk from the mere spectator’s careless gaze,
And, in retirement sought the social smile,
The heart-endearing aspect, and the voice
Of soothing tenderness, which Friendship breathes,
And which sounds far more grateful to the ear,
Than the soft notes of distant flute at eve,
Stealing across the waters: Zimmermann!
Thou draw’st not Solitude as others do,
With folded arms, with pensive, nun-like air,
And tearful eye, averted from mankind.
No! warm, benign, and cheerful, she appears
The friend of Health, of Piety, and Peace;
The kind Samaritan that heals our woes,
The nurse of Science, and, of future fame
The gentle harbinger: her meek abode
Is that dear home, which still the virtuous heart,
E’en in the witching maze of Pleasure’s dance,
In wild Ambition’s dream, regards with love,
And hopes, with fond security, to pass
The evening of a long-protracted day,
Serenely joyful, there.
IN MEMORY OF MR. AGOSTINO ISOLA,