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From human eye, behind earth's fhading orb
Total withdrawn, th' aërial landscape fades.
Diftinction fails: and in the darkening weft,
The laft light, quivering, dimly dies away.
And now th' illufive flame, oft seen at eve,
Upborne and blazing on the light-wing'd gale,
Glides o'er the lawn, betokening Night's approach:
Arifing awful o'er the eastern sky,
Onward she comes with filent step and flow,
In her brown mantle wrapt, and brings along
The ftill, the mild, the melancholy hour,
And Meditation, with his eye on heaven.
Mufing, in fober mood, of Time and Life,
That fly with unreturning wing away
To that dark world, untravel'd and unknown,
Eternity! through defert ways I walk;
Or to the cyprefs-grove, at twilight fhun'd
By paffing fwains. The chill breeze murmurs low,
And the boughs ruftle round me where I ftand,
With fancy all-arous'd.-Far on the left,
Shoots up a fhapeless rock of dusky height,
The raven's haunt: and down its woody steep,
A dashing flood in headlong torrent hurls
His founding waters; white on every cliff
Hangs the light foam, and fparkles through the gloom.
Behind me rifes huge a reverend pile
Sole on this blafted heath, a place of tombs,
Waste, defolate, where Ruin dreary dwells.
Brooding o'er fightlefs fculls, and crumbling bones,
Ghaftful he fits, and eyes with stedfast glare,
(Sad trophies of his power, where ivy twines
Its fatal green around) the falling roof,
The time-fhook arch, the column grey with moss,
The leaning wall, the fculptur'd ftone defac'd,
Whole monumental flattery, mix'd with duft,
Now hides the name it vainly meant to raise.
All is dread filence here, and undisturb'd,
Save what the wind fighs, and the wailing owl
Screams folitary to the mournful moon,
Glimmering her western ray through yonder ifle,
Where the fad fpirit walks with fhadowy foot
His wonted round, or lingers o'er his grave.
Hail, midnight-fhades! hail, venerable dome!
By age more venerable; facred fhore,
Beyond Time's troubled fea, where never wave,
Where never wind of paffion, or of guilt,
Of fuffering or of forrow, fhall invade
The calm found night of thofe who rest below.
The weary are at peace: the fmall and great,
Life's voyage ended, meet and mingle here.
Here fleeps the prifoner fafe, nor feels his chain,
Nor hears th' oppreffor's voice. The poor and old,
With all the fons of mourning, fearless now
Of want or woe, find unalarm'd repose.
Proud greatnefs, too, the tyranny of power,
The grace of beauty, and the force of youth,
And name and place, are here-for ever loft!
But, at near distance, on the mouldering wall
Behold a monument, with emblem grac'd,
And fair infcription: where with head declin'd,
And folded arms, the Virtues weeping round
Lean o'er a beauteous youth who dies below.
Thyrfis-'tis he! the wifest and the best!
Lamented fhade! whom every gift of heaven
Profufely bleft: all learning was his own.
Pleafing his fpeech, by Nature taught to flow,
Perfuafive fenfe and ftrong, fincere and clear.
His manners greatly plain; a noble grace,
Self-taught, beyond the reach of mimic Art,
Adorn'd him his calm temper winning mild;
Nor Pity fofter, nor was Truth more bright.
Conftant in doing well, he neither fought
Nor fhun'd applause. No bashful merit figh'd
Near him neglected: fympathizing he
Wip'd off the tear from Sorrow's clouded eye
With kindly hand, and taught her heart to smile.
'Tis morning and the fun, his welcome light, Swift, from beyond dark ocean's orient stream, Cafts through the air, renewing Nature's face With heaven-born beauty. O'er her ample breaft, O'er fea and shore, light Fancy speeds along, Quick as the darted beam, from pole to pole, Excurfive traveller. Now beneath the north, Alone with Winter in his inmost realm, Region of horrors! Here, amid the roar Of winds and waves, the drifted turbulence Of hail-mix'd fnows, refides th' ungenial Power, For ever filent, fhivering, and forlorn! From Zembla's cliffs on to the ftraits furmiz'd
Of Anian eastward, where both worlds oppofe
Their fhores contiguous, lies the polar fea,
One glittering wafte of ice, and on the morn
Cafts cold a chearless light. Lo, hills of snow,
Hill behind hill, and alp en alp, ascend,
Pil'd up from eldest age, and to the fun
Impenetrable; rifing from afar
In misty profpect dim, as if on air
Each floating hill, an azure range of clouds.
Yet here, ev'n here, in this difaftrous clime,
Horrid and harbourlefs, where all life dies,
Adventurous mortals, urg'd by thirst of gain,
Through floating ifles of ice and fighting ftorms,
Roam the wild waves, in fearch of doubtful shores,
By Weft or Eaft; a path yet unexplor❜d.
Hence eastward to the Tartar's cruel coaft,
By utmost ocean wafh'd, on whose last wave
The blue sky leans her breast, diffus'd immenfe
In folitary length the Defert lies,
Where Defolation keeps his empty court.
No bloom of spring, o'er all the thirsty vaft,
Nor fpiry grafs is found; but fands instead
In fteril hills, and rough rocks rifing grey.
A land of fears! where vifionary forms
Of griefly spectres from air, flood, and fire,
Swarm and before them fpeechlefs Horror stalks!
Here, night by night, beneath the stariefs dufk,
The fecret hag and forcerer unbleft
Their fabbath hold, and potent fpells compofe,
Spoils of the violated grave: and now,
Late, at the hour that fevers night from morn,
When fleep has filenc'd every thought of man,
They to their revels fall, infernal throng!
And as they mix in circling dance, or turn
To the four winds of heaven with haggard gaze;
Shot ftreaming from the bofom of the north,
Opening the hollow gloom, red meteors blaze,
To lend them light, and distant thunders roll,
Heard in low murmurs through the lowering fky.
From these fad fcenes, the wafte abodes of death,
With devious wing, to fairer climes remote
Southward I ftray: where Caucafus in view,
Bulwark of nations, in broad eminence
Upheaves from realm to realm a hundred hills,
On from the Caspian to the Euxine stretch'd,
Pale-glittering with eternal fnows to heaven.
From this chill fteep, which midnight's highest fhades
Scarce climb to darken, rough with murmuring woods,
Imagination travels with quick eye
Unbounded o'er the globe, and wondering views
Her rolling feas and intermingled ifles;
Her mighty continents out-ftretch'd immense,
Where Europe, Afia, Afric, of old fame,
Their regions numberlefs extend: and where,
To farthest point of weft, Columbus late,
Through untry'd oceans borne to shores unknown,
Moor'd his firft keel adventurous, and beheld
A new, a fair, a fertile world arife!
But nearer fcenes of happy rural view,
Green dale, and level down, and bloomy hill,
The Mufe's walk, on which the fun's bright eye