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That bids me loathe my present state,
And fly from all I prized the most :
It is that weariness which springs
From all I meet, or hear, or see : To me no pleasure Beauty brings;
Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me.
It is that settled, ceaseless gloom
The fabled Hebrew wanderer bore; That will not look beyond the tomb,
But cannot hope for rest before.
What Exile from himself can flee?
To zones though more and more remote, Still, still pursues, where'er I be,
The blight of life—the demon Thought.
Yet others rapt in pleasure seem,
And taste of all that I forsake;
And ne'er, at least like me, awake!
Through many a clime 'tis mine to go,
With many a retrospection curst; And all my solace is to know,
Whate'er betides, I've known the worst.
What is that worst? Nay, do not ask
In pity from the search forbear : Smile on—nor venture to unmask
Man's heart, and view the Hell that's there. WOULD I were a careless child,
Still dwelling in my Highland cave, Or roaming through the dusky wild,
Or bounding o'er the dark blue wave ; The cumbrous pomp of Saxon pride
Accords not with the freeborn soul, Which loves the mountain's craggy side,
And seeks the rocks where billows roll.
Fortune ! take back these cultured lands,
Take back this name of splendid sound ! I hate the touch of servile hands,
I hate the slaves that cringe around. Place me among the rocks I love,
Which sound to Ocean's wildest roar;
I ask but this—again to rove
Through scenes my youth hath known before.
Few are my years, and yet I feel
The world was ne'er design'd for me : Ah! why do dark'ning shades conceal
The hour when man must cease to be ?
A visionary scene of bliss :
Awake me to a world like this?
I loved—but those I loved are gone;
Had friends—my early friends are fled : How cheerless feels the heart alone,
When all its former hopes are dead !
Dispel awhile the sense of ill;
The heart—the heart-is lonely still.
How dull ! to hear the voice of those
Whom rank or chance, whom wealth or power, Have made, though neither friends nor foes,
Associates of the festive hour.
Give me again a faithful few,
In years and feelings still the same, And I will fly the midnight crew,
Where boist'rous joy is but a name.
And woman, lovely woman ! thou,
My hope, my comforter, my all ! How cold must be my bosom now,
When e'en thy smiles begin to pall !
This busy scene of splendid woe,
Which virtue knows, or seems to know.
Fain would I fly the haunts of men
I seek to shun, not hate mankind ; My breast requires the sullen glen,
Whose gloom may suit a darken'd mind. Oh ! that to me the wings were given
Which bear the turtle to her nest! Then would I cleave the vault of heaven,
To flee away, and be at rest.