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Poems 1773, Edited by Lisa Vargo and Allison Muri
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VERSES written in an Alcove spacer


Jam Cytherea choros ducit Venus imminente Luna.

HORAT.

N OW the moon-beam's trembling lustre
    Silvers o'er the dewy green,
And in soft and shadowy colours
    Sweetly paints the checquer'd scene.

Here between the opening branches
    Streams a flood of soften'd light,
There the thick and twisted foliage
    Spreads the browner gloom of night.

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There is sure the haunt of fairies,
    In yon cool Alcove they play ;
Care can never cross the threshold,
    Care was only made for day.

Far from hence be noisy clamour,
    Sick disgust and anxious fear ;
Pining grief and wasting anguish
    Never keep their vigils here.

Tell no tales of sheeted spectres,
    Rising from the quiet tomb ;
Fairer forms this cell shall visit,
    Brighter visions gild the gloom.

Choral songs and sprightly voices
    Echo from her cell shall call ;
Sweeter, sweeter than the murmur
    Of the distant water fall.

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Every ruder gust of passion
    Lull'd with music dies away,
Till within the charmed bosom
    None but soft affections play :

Soft, as when the evening breezes
    Gently stir the poplar grove ;
Brighter than the smile of summer,
    Sweeter than the breath of love.

Thee, th' inchanted Muse shall follow,
    LISSY ! to the rustic cell,
And each careless note repeating
    Tune them to her charming shell.

Not the Muse who wreath'd with laurel,
    Solemn stalks with tragic gait,
And in clear and lofty vision
    Sees the future births of fate ;

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Not the maid who crown'd with cypress
    Sweeps along in scepter'd pall,
And in sad and solemn accents
    Mourns the crested heroe's fall ;

But that other smiling sister,
    With the blue and laughing eye,
Singing, in a lighter measure,
    Strains of woodland harmony :

All unknown to fame or glory,
    Easy, blith and debonair,
Crown'd with flowers, her careless tresses
    Loosely floating on the air.

Then, when next the star of evening
    Softly sheds the silent dew,
Let me in this rustic temple,
    LISSY ! meet the Muse and you.

About this Page

Published @ RC

April 2000