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But here with more than common dread
Thy coming strikes the drooping isle: The spirit of delight is ded;
Fled every joy, and every smile.
the tenants of the grove, That cease their songs with wild affright: Nor yet have they prepared to rove
To distant climes with weary flight.
They saw the sun full early rise,
And then a lengthen'd journey run; The wild wood still their food supplies;
They thought the autumn was not gone:
But crackling frost now fills the ground,
And gloomy vapours cloud the sky, And dark, cold evening, closing round
Pursues them as they vainly fly.
And hark! from yonder shady grove
Low, soft, sad sounds thy reign deplore. There wild flow'rs bloom, bright Flora's love,
Nor yet their hour of fragrance o'er;
Still with their sweetest odours blest;
With every glowing colour warm Ah spare them, Winter! if the test
Of beauty can thy rage disarm.
And if upon this western bourn
Night-loving fays have deign'd to dwell, Should they their broken revels mourn,
Each sighing grove the loss shall tell.
Still let them in the chequer'd shade
Their featly moonlight dance pursue! Still let them in each opening glade
Sprinkle the tender herbs with dew!
Spare too that shady beechen tree
Where oft at fervid noon I lay, Where forms of hope I wont to see
That cheer'd the long fatigues of day.
Gay visions danc'd before my sight,
Oft sudden vanishing in air;
Than dull reality more fair,
They bade my hopes again arise,
They painted vanish'd joys again:Yes! fondly did they bid me prize
Hopes that must ever glow in vain.
Delicious transports! ne'er again
Come to delude my aching breast! ; . Though for awhile ye sooth'd my pain,
For then I thought that I was blest:
But, waken'd from these idle dreams,
Fruitless I mourn their transient smile; Yet still that spot affection claims
That sav'd me from myself awhile.
Still then that tree, stern Winter, spare,
To boast its foliage to the day; Nor rudely hurl throughout the air
Each leaflet of the waving spray.
And spare this pale and shivering form
That, touch'd by sickness' withering hand, Trembles before the coming storm,
And fears each changeful gale's command.
Not yet the day that seals thy power,
It lingers still—far hence away; For this is autumn's destin'd hour
His sober radiance to display.
Erewhile we trac'd his placid skies
That glow'd reflected in the wave; And saw a thousand colours rise,
With lavish hand that evening gave.
Mild breezes play'd along the shore,
And gently stirr'd the sleeping flood; They roam'd the airy hill top o'er,
And murmur'd through the quivering wood. And still they whisper'd calm delight,
And fitful musing still would bring, And warmth and life along their flight
They scatter'd from their tepid wing.
And oft by glimpses would we spy
A host of beings heavenly fair. (Deign’d they to meet a mortal eye?
Or were they fancy's forms of air?)
Young Cheerfulness, with glancing eye,
And cheeks where kindred roses vied, And conscious Health, exulting high,
To every social circle hied.
And Love, the child of vernal hours,
Not yet forsook the sinking year,
Fancy, and jest, and transport dear.
Far in a lone untrodden place,
Deep musing Meditation stood, While Leisure joy'd again to trace
Her careless wanderings through the wood.
And often o'er the lonely plain
A female form was seen to stray, Now pacing slow, and now again
Hurrying with quickest steps away.
Dark was her eye, and in it gleam'd
Rapture, and hope, and wild amaze; And mild although its radiance seem'd,
Few could abide her earnest gaze.
Where'er on beauty's sunny vest,
Or horror's dark and stormy shade, The forms of earth and air were dress'd,
The lovely stranger lingering stray'd.
Morn met her in the dewy field, 1.'!
And evening saw her in her round, Noon to her walks its beams would yield,
And midnight oft the wanderer found.
"-And who art thou that mak'st thy home
“ Beneath the rude and shifting skies? “Who lov'st the dewy plain to roam
With suns that set and suns that rise?”.
Ah! well can I the secret tell
Of her who roams ’mid morning dews I mark'd her form-I knew her well;
For long I woo'd her-_'Twas the Muse.