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NEAR ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, ANNAPOLIS.
THEE, ancient tree! autumnal storms assail,
Thy shatter'd branches spread the sound afar;
Thy tall head bows before the rising gale,
Thy pale leaf flits along the troubled air.
No more thou boastest of thy vernal bloom,
Thy wither'd foliage glads the eye no more;
Yet still thy presence and thy lonely gloom
A secret pleasure to my soul restore.
For round thy trunk my careless childhood stray'd
When fancy led me cheerful o'er the green,
And many a frolic feat beneath thy shade
Far distant days and other suns have seen.
Fond recollection kindles at the view,
And acts each long departed scene anew.
FAIR rose the sun and ting'd the smiling skies With saffron hues, with crimson, and with gold; But 'midst the morn see sable clouds arise,
And all the splendors of the day infold. Such sad reverses man's frail life supplies;
His fond hopes yield to pale Misfortune's blow: While air-drawn schemes his youthful fancy spies, Stern Fate approaching lays the dreamer low.
Thee, Walley, 'midst thy generous toil for fame Untimely snatch'd, the friendly muse shall mourn; For, though no respite could thy labours claim Till the due laurel should thy brows adorn, Yet of thy meed thou shalt not be forlorn,
If aught my feeble lyre can grace thy name.
YE elves! ye fairies! who with tripping pace
O'er many a moonlight green disport, who lead
Your antic frolics at this silent hour
Upon the dewy lawn; where your gay band,
To various tasks directed, labour; some
To raise the tender shoot and clothe the field
With its luxuriant growth; others to spread
The gently sprinkled dew alike on each
Gay plant or flower; some too upon the beach
To deck the sea-shells with new beauties, mix'd
In spots or undulating streaks; while all
Together hasten on the works of spring.
Ye sprites! be present! whereso'er you be:
Whether ye plant the bays on Virgil's tomb,
Or sport on Avon's banks, attend my call!
While silence undisturb'd proclaims the hour
Of midnight present, and the taper's flame,
Dim through surrounding darkness, casts abroad
Its dying rays through the thick air, while all
In deep repose the busy world is laid,
Here trip with "light fantastic toe" while still
Your musician the cricket frolic sings.
Ye elves! ye fairies! hear your poet's wish,
For sure a poet may require that you
Should listen to his song. Here let your task
Be speedily accomplished. When sleep
Has stolen upon Lesbia's eyelids, then
With chorus soft and stealing harmony
Breathe to her ear this strain, "Fair maid, whom grace
"And beauty cherish, whom good sense adorns,
"Whom virtue calls her own, though now thou
"While innocence, a guardian angel, sits
"To watch thy slumbers, yet at this still hour, "When wearied nature bids the world repose, "There wakes a youth, whose watchful thoughts to
"Incessant turn, and in his ardent mind
"Still views thy much lov'd form. Let then thy thoughts
"Be sometimes bent on him; and, if the sighs
"Of faithful love can aught avail with thee,
"Let him some portion of affection claim!"
Ye gentle sprites, the lover's pray'r attend;
Tell this soft message gently in her ear,
And whisper pleasing dreams, and mould her soul
To peace, to harmony, to melting love.
So may no chilling winds blast the green prime
Of your perennial labours, nor the frowns
Of winter hurt your rising herbs and flow'rs:
may the moon unclouded lend her light
To all your gambols by some desert stream,
Or where some ancient oak its branches spreads;
And when her light is gone, with friendly torch,
Still may the glow-worm light you to your homes;
And still may many a bard rehearse your praise,
many a lover give you honour due.
Written on the wall in the gallery of St. John's College, on visiting the same after a long absence.
THOU reverend pile, where erst my careless youth
Enjoy'd true happiness without alloy,
Where, when engaged in the search of truth,
To me each added day brought added joy!
Again I visit thy thrice-hallow'd walls;
But ah! how chang'd from what they were before! Each object now some absent friend recals
Whose well-known visage I behold no more. Yet if perchance in future days their eyes
Should view my fond remembrance here exprest, Oh! let the memory of him arise
Who bears their image graven in his breast!