And hold sweet converse on the dusky green;
To hail the spot where first their friendship grew,
And heav’n and nature open’d to their view!
Oft, when he trims his cheerful hearth, and sees
A smiling circle emulous to please;
There may these gentle guests delight to dwell,
And bless the scene they lov’d in life so well!
Oh thou! with whom my heart was wont to share
From Reason’s dawn each pleasure and each care;
With whom, alas! I fondly hop’d to know
The humble walks of happiness below;
If thy blest nature now unites above
An angel’s pity with a brother’s love,
Still o’er my life preserve thy mild controul,
Correct my views, and elevate my soul;
Grant me thy peace and purity of mind,
Devout yet cheerful, active yet resign’d;
Grant me, like thee, whose heart knew no disguise,
Whose blameless wishes never aim’d to rise,
To meet the changes Time and Chance present,
With modest dignity and calm content.
When thy last breath, ere Nature sunk to rest,
Thy meek submission to thy God express’d;
When thy last look, ere thought and feeling fled,
A mingled gleam of hope and triumph shed;
What to thy soul its glad assurance gave,
Its hope in death, its triumph o’er the grave?
The sweet Remembrance of unblemish’d youth,
The still inspiring voice of Innocence and Truth!
Hail, memory, hail! in thy exhaustless mine
From age to age unnumber’d treasures shine!
Thought and her shadowy brood thy call obey,
And Place and Time are subject to thy sway!
Thy pleasures most we feel, when most alone;
The only pleasures we can call our own.
Lighter than air, Hope’s summer-visions die,
If but a fleeting cloud obscure the sky;
If but a beam of sober Reason play,
Lo, Fancy’s fairy frost-work melts away!
But can the wiles of Art, the grasp of Power,
Snatch the rich relics of a well-spent hour?
These, when the trembling spirit wings her flight,
Pour round her path a stream of living light;
And gild those pure and perfect realms of rest,
Where Virtue triumphs, and her sons are blest!
NOTES ON THE FIRST PART.
Up springs at every step to claim a tear,
I came to the place of my birth, and cried, “The friends of my Youth, where are they?”—And an echo answered, “Where are they?” From an Arabic Ms.
Awake but one, and lo, what myriads rise!
When a traveller, who was surveying the ruins of Rome, expressed a desire to possess some relic of its antient grandeur, Poussin, who attended him, stooped down, and, gathering up a handful of earth shining with small grains of porphyry, “Take this home,” said he, “for your cabinet; and say boldly, Questa e Roma Antica.”