On Leaving Lehena,
in October, M DCC LXXXVIII.
1 DEAR fields, where oft In infancy I stray'd,
2 When every trifle charms the vacant mind!
3 Kind groves, that wrapp'd me in your circling shade,
4 When thoughtful Science first my soul refin'd!
5 Say, must I bid this lov'd recess adieu,
6 Once more to float on Dissipation's tide?
7 Where shall I meet with friends so safe, so true,
8 To whom I may my careless youth confide?
9 Where yon tall elms have form'd a dark retreat,
10 How oft the showers of April did I shun!
11 Beneath the limes that overhang yon seat,
12 How sweet my shelter from the summer sun!
13 Or when rude Boreas urg'd the chilling blast,
14 And desolation darken'd all the plain,
15 Musing I wander'd o'er the wintry waste,
16 And knew my charms more transient and more vain:
17 For soon again shall Phœbus' golden beams
18 Restore the meadows to their pristine bloom:
19 But not his brightest, not his warmest gleams
20 Can wake my slumbering ashes from the tomb —
21 Till the last trumpet with terrific sound
22 Shall call the trembling culprit to appear,
23 Where perfect Justice shall my guilt confound,
24 Or endless Mercy ease my anxious fear.
25 Whene'er the inclement skies compell'd my stay
26 Within the walls of yon sequester'd dome,
27 How very short appear'd each sullen day,
28 While o'er the storied page my eyes did roam!
29 Or when, exchanging books for free discourse,
30 A Parent's words instructed as they pleas'd,
31 While to her words her actions gave new force,
32 My mind example more than precept rais'd.
33 She taught me humbled goodness to revere,
34 To cheer the sad, to succour the forlorn;
35 Taught me to think bright Virtue only fair,
36 And senseless Pride to treat with equal scorn.
37 Sometimes the Friendly Sisters*
* Relations of the Writer. too would come,
38 Their conduct blameless, and their souls sincere,
39 Adding new pleasure to our peaceful home,
40 For heaven-born Friendship can each scene endear.
41 But now no more Maria glads our eyes,
42 No more with her the verdant fields we tread:
43 Med'cine in vain its healing virtue tries;
44 Our lov'd Maria's number'd with the dead!
45 Yet, Anna, cease this unavailing tear,
46 Utter no more that deep, heart-rending sigh:
47 Maria's body wastes upon the bier;
48 Maria's purer soul can never die.
49 Methinks, she views you now with tender care,
50 She drops a tear of pity to your woe:
51 Ah! then, your sainted Sister's quiet spare,
52 Who can no sorrow now but Anna's know.
53 Alas! while I indulge the pensive strain,
54 Apollo sinks into the lap of Night:
55 When he illumines next yon western plain,
56 No more this lawn shall open to my sight.
57 Stay, envious Cynthia, suffer yet one view!
58 To-morrow I these blissful meads forsake;
59 From her moist veil she shakes the silver dew,
60 Deaf to each feeble accent that I speak.
61 Then farewell each regretted, rural scene,
62 Each rising tree my careful hand has nurs'd!
63 Long may your branches crown this happy green,
64 When these frail limbs lie mouldering in the dust!