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THE POPLAR FIELD.
The poplars are fell’d, farewell to the shade,
Twelve years have elapsed since I last took a view
The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
My fugitive years are all hasting away,
WRITTEN IN A TIME OF AFFLICTION.
Oh, happy shades—to me unbless'd !
Friendly to peace, but not to me! How ill the scene that offers rest,
And heart that cannot rest, agree! This glassy stream, that spreading pine,
Those alders quivering to the breeze, Might soothe a soul less hurt than mine,
And please, if any thing could please. But fix'd unalterable Care
Foregoes not what she feels within, Shows the same sadness every where,
And slights the season and the scene. For all that pleased in wood or lawn,
While Peace possess’d these silent bowers, Her animating smile withdrawn, .
Has lost its beauties and its powers. The saint or moralist should tread
This moss-grown alley musing slow; They seek like me the secret shade,
But not like me to nourish wo!
Me fruitful scenes and prospects waste
Alike admonish not to roam; These tell me of enjoyments past,
And those of sorrows yet to come.
Weak and irresolute is man;
The purpose of to-day, Woven with pains into his plan,
To-morrow rends away.
Vice seems already slain;
And it revives again.
Some foe to his upright intent
Finds out his weaker part; Virtue engages his assent,
But Pleasure wins his heart.
"Tis here the folly of the wise
Through all his art we view; And, while his tongue the charge denies,
His conscience owns it true.
Bound on a voyage of awful length
And dangers little known,
Man vainly trusts his own.
To reach the distant coaşt:
Or all the toil is lost.
The lapse of time and rivers is the same,
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.
Sweet stream, that winds through yonder glade,
SONG ON PEACE.
Air-“ My fond shepherds of late," &c.
No longer I follow a sound;
No longer a dream I pursue ; O Happiness! not to be found,
Unattainable treasure, adieu!
I have sought thee in splendour and dress,
In the regions of pleasure and taste; I have sought thee, and seem'd to possess,
But have proved thee a vision at last.
An humble ambition and hope
The voice of true Wisdom inspires; 'Tis sufficient, if Peace be the scope
And the summit of all our desires.
Peace may be the lot of the mind
That seeks it in meekness and love: But rapture and bliss are confined
To the glorified spirits above.