The shining day, and nightly shade,
The cheerful plain and gloomy glade,
The homeward flocks, and shepherds play,
The busy hamlet’s closing day,
Full many a breast with pleasures swell,
Who ne’er shall have the gift of words to tell,
Oft’ when the moon looks from on high,
And black around the shadows lie;
And bright the sparkling waters gleam,
And rushes rustle by the stream,
Shrill sounds, and fairy forms are known
By simple ’nighted swains, who wander late alone.
Ye kindle up the inward glow,
Ye strengthen ev’ry outward show;
Ye overleap the strongest bar,
And join what Nature sunders far:
And visit oft’ in fancies wild,
The bread of learned sage, and simple child.
From him who wears a monarch’s crown,
To the unletter’d artless clown,
All in some strange and lonely hour
Have felt, unsought, your secret pow’r,
And lov’d your roving fancies well,
You add but to the bard the art to tell.
Ye mighty spirits of the song,
To whom the poets’ pray’rs belong,
My lowly bosom to inspire,
And kindle with your sacred fire,
Your wild obscuring heights to brave,
Is boon, alas! too great for me to crave.
But O, such sense of matter bring!
As they who feel and never sing
Wear on their hearts, it will avail
With simple words to tell my tale;
And still contented will I be,
Tho’ greater inspirations never fall to me.
My Phillis, all my hopes are o’er,
And I shall see thy face no more.
Since ev’ry secret wish is vain,
I will not stay to give thee pain.
Then do not hang thy low’ring brow,
But let me bless thee ere I go:
Nor, O, despise my last adieu!
I’ve lov’d thee long, and lov’d thee true.
The prospects of my youth are crost,
My health is flown, my vigour lost;
My soothing friends augment my pain,
And cheerless is my native plain;
Dark o’er my spirit hangs the gloom,
And thy disdain has fix’d my doom.
But light gales ruffle o’er the sea,
Which soon shall bear me far from thee;
And wherefoe’er our course is cast,
I know will bear me to my rest.
Full deep beneath the briny wave,
Where rest the venturous and brave,
A place may be decreed for me;
And should no tempest raise the sea,
Far hence upon a foreign land,
Whose sons, perhaps, with friendly hand
The stranger’s lowly tomb may raise;
A broken heart will end my days.
But Heaven’s blessing on thee rest!
And may no troubles vex thy breast!
Perhaps, when pensive and alone,
You’ll think of me when I am gone;
And gentle tears of pity shed,
When I am in my narrow bed.
Yet softly let thy sorrow flow!
And greater may’st thou never know!
All free from worldly care and strife,
Long may’ft thou live a happy life!
And ev’ry earthly blessing find,
Thou loveliest of womankind:
And blest thy secret wishes be!
Tho’ cruel thou hast been to me.