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Shoots into port at some well-havened
THE POPLAR FIELD isle, Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons THE poplars are felled ; farewell to the smile,
shade, There sits quiescent on the floods that show And the whispering sound of the cool colonHer beauteous form reflected clear be
The winds play no longer and sing in the While airs impregnated with incense play
leaves, Around her, fanning light her streamers Nor Ouse on his bosom their image regay;
ceives. So thou, with sails how swift! hast reached the shore,
Twelve years have elapsed since I first took “ Where tempests never beat nor billows
a view roar."
my favourite field, and the bank where And thy loved consort on the dangerous they grew; tide
And now in the grass behold they are Of life long since has anchored by thy laid, side.
And the tree is my seat that once lent me But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest, 100
a shade! Always from port withheld, always distressed
The blackbird has fled to another retreat, Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest Where the hazels afford him a screen from tost,
the heat, Sails ripped, seams opening wide, and com- And the scene where his melody charmed
me before And day by day some current's thwarting Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no force
more. Sets me more distant from a prosperous
My fugitive years are all hasting away, Yet, oh, the thought that thou art safe, and And I must ere long lie as lowly as they, he!
With a turf on my breast, and a stone at That thought is joy, arrive what may to
Ere another such grove shall arise in its My boast is not, that I deduce my birth
stead. From loins enthroned and rulers of the earth;
'Tis a sight to engage me, if anything But higher far my proud pretensions
To muse on the perishing pleasures of man; The son of parents passed into the skies ! Though his life be a dream, his enjoyments, And now, farewell — Time unrevoked has
Have a being less durable even than he. 20 His wonted course, yet what I wished is
done. By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
ON THE LOSS OF THE ROYAL I seem to have lived my childhood o'er
GEORGE again ; To have renewed the joys that once were
WRITTEN WHEN THE NEWS ARRIVED mine, Without the sin of violating thine :
[Written Sept., 1782] And, while the wings of Fancy still are
To the march in “ Scipio." free, And I can view this mimic show of thee,
TOLL for the brave ! Time has but half succeeded in his theft
The brave that are no more ! Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me All sunk beneath the wave, left.
Fast by their native shore !
Sing'st thou, sweet Philomel, to me,
For that I also long Have practised in the groves like thee,
Though not like thee, in song ? Or sing'st thou rather, under force
Of some divine command, Commissioned to presage a course
Of bappier days at band ?
And joyless year have I,
Beneath a wintry sky.
Who only need'st to sing,
And every season Spring.
Weigh the vessel up,
Once dreaded by our foes ! And mingle with our cup
The tears that England owes.
[Publ. 1793] The twentieth year is well-nigh past, Since first our sky was overcast; Ah, would that this might be the last !
My Mary! Thy spirits have a fainter flow, I see thee daily weaker grow; 'Twas my distress that brought thee low,
Whyles, ranging like a roarin lion,
Thence, countra wives, wi' toil an' pain, For prey, a' holes an' corners trying; Whyles, on the strong-wing'd tempest flyin, For o! the yellow treasure's taen
May plunge an' plunge the kirn in vain; Tirlin the kirks;
By witching skill;
An' dawtit, twal-pint hawkie's gaen
As yell's the bill.
I've heard my rev'rend graunie say,
Nod to the moon,
Wi' eldritch croon.
Thence, mystic knots mak great abuse
young guidmen, fond, keen an' croose; When the best wark-lume i' the house,
By cantraip wit,
Just at the bit.