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The sons of Nature they alike delight
In the rough precipices broken steep, In the black terrors of the stormy night,
And in the thunders of the threatening deep ;
When the red ligtnings thro' the ether fly,
And the white foaming billows lash the shores, When to the rattling thunders of the sky
The angry Dæmon of the waters roars.
And when untouch'd by Nature's living fires
No native rapture fills the drowsy soul, Then former ages with their tuneful lyres
Can bid the fury of the passions fall.
By the blue taper's melancholy light
Whilst all around the midnight torrents pour, And awful glooms beset the face of night
They wear the silent solitary hour.
-Ah then, how sweet to pass the night away
In silent converse with the Grecian page, Whilst Homer tunes his ever-living lay,
Or Reason listens to the Athenian sage.
To scan the laws of Nature, to explore
The tranquil reign of mild Philosophy,
Ah! who can paint what raptures fill the soul
When Attic Freedom rises to the war, Bids the loud thunders of the battle roll
And drives the Tyrant trembling from her shore?
From these pursuits the Sons of Genius scan
The end of their creation, hence they know The fair, sublime, immortal hopes of man From whence alone undying pleasures flow.
By science calm’d, over the peaceful soul,
Bright with eternal wisdom's lucid ray,
And drives the fury passions far away.
Virtue, the daughter of the skies supreme,
Directs their life, informs their glowing lays, A steady friend, her animating beam
Sheds its soft lustre o'er their latter days..
When Life's warm fountains feel the frost of time,
When the cold dews of darkness close their eyes, She shows the parting soul uprais'd Sublime,
The brighter glories of her kindred skies.
Thus the pale moon whose pure celestial light
Has chased the gloomy clouds of heaven away, Rests her white cheek with silver radiance bright
On the soft bosom of the western sea.
Lost in the glowing wave her radiance dies,
Yet while she sinks she points her ling’ring ray To the bright azure of the orient skies,
To the fair dawning of the glorious day.
Like the tumultuous billows of the sea
Succeed the generations of mankind, Some in oblivious silence pass away
And leave no vestige of their lives behind.
Others, like those proud waves which beat the shore
A loud and momentary murmur raise,
No future ages echo with their praise.
Like yon proud rocks amidst the sea of time
Superior scorning all the billow's rage, The living Sons of Genius stand sublime,
The immortal children of another age.
For those exist whose
etherial minds Imbibing portions of celestial day, Scorn all terrestrial cares, all mean designs,
As bright-eyed Eagles scorn the lunar ray.
Theirs is the glory of a lasting name
The meed of Genius and her living fires, Theirs is the laurel of eternal fame,
And theirs the sweetness of the Muses lyres.
D. 1795 The EBB TIDE.
Slowly thy flowing tide
Behold the gentle rise.
With many a stroke and strong The labouring boatmen upward plied their oars, And yet the eye beheld them labouring long
Between thy winding shores.
Now down thine ebbing tide The unlaboured boat falls rapidly along, The solitary helms-man sits to guide
And sings an idle song.
Now o'er the rocks, that lay
Thro' wider-spreading shores.