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HYMN on SOLITUDE.

1 HAIL, ever-pleasing Solitude!
2 Companion of the wise and good!
3 But, from whose holy, piercing eye,
4 The herd of fools, and villains fly.
5 Oh! how I love with thee to walk!
6 And listen to thy whisper'd talk;
7 Which innocence, and truth imparts,
8 And melts the most obdurate hearts.
9 A thousand shapes you wear with ease,
10 And still in every shape you please;
11 Now rapt in some mysterious dream,
12 A lone philosopher you seem;
13 Now quick from hill to vale you fly,
14 And now you sweep the vaulted sky,
15 And nature triumphs in your eye:
16 Then strait again you court the shade,
17 And pining hang the pensive head.
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18 A shepherd next you haunt the plain,
19 And warble forth your oaten strain.
20 A lover now with all the grace
21 Of that sweet passion in your face!
22 Then, soft-divided, you assume
23 The gentle-looking H—d's bloom,
24 As, with her PHILOMELA, she,
25 (Her PHILOMELA fond of thee)
26 Amid the long withdrawing vale,
27 Awakes the rival'd nightingale.
28 A thousand shapes you wear with ease,
29 And still in every shape you please,
30 Thine is th' unbounded breath of morn,
31 Just as the dew-bent rose is born;
32 And while meridian fervors beat,
33 Thine is the woodland's dumb retreat;
34 But chief, when evening scenes decay,
35 And the faint landskip swims away,
36 Thine is the doubtful dear decline.
37 And that best hour of musing thine.
38 Descending angels bless thy train,
39 The virtues of the sage, and swain;
40 Plain Innocence in white array'd,
41 And Contemplation rears the head:
42 Religion with her aweful brow,
43 And rapt URANIA waits on you.
44 Oh, let me pierce thy secret cell!
45 And in thy deep recesses dwell:
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46 For ever with thy raptures fir'd,
47 For ever from the world retir'd;
48 Nor by a mortal seen, save he
49 A LYCIDAS, or LYCON be.

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    About this text

    Title (in Source Edition): HYMN on SOLITUDE.
    Author: James Thomson
    Themes: retirement
    Genres: hymn
    References: DMI 15502

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    Source edition

    A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. III. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 2-4. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.003)

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    The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.