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In thy serener shades our ghosts delight,
And court the umbrage of the night;
In vaults and gloomy caves they stray,
Though solid bodies dare exclude the light,
Nor will the brightest ray admit;
No substance can thy force repel, Thou reign'st in depths below, dost in the centre dwell.
The sparkling gems, and ore in mines below,
To thee their beauteous lustre owe;
Tho’ form'd within the womb of night, Bright as their sire they shine, with native rays of light.
When thou dost raise thy venerable head,
And art in genuine night array'd,
Thy negro beauties then delight; Beauties like polish'd jet, with their own darkness bright.
Thou dost thy smiles impartially bestow,
And know'st no difference here below;
All things appear the same by thee,
Thou, Darkness, art the lover's kind retreat,
And dost the nuptial joys complete :
Thou dost inspire them with thy shade, Giy’st vigour to the youth, and warm’st the yielding
Calm as the bless'd above the Anchorites dwell
Within their peaceful gloomy cell ;
Their minds with heavenly joys are fill’d; The pleasures Light deny, thy shades for ever yield.
In caves of night, the oracles of old
Did all their mysteries unfold:
Darkness did first Religion grace, Gave terrors to the God, and reverence to the place, .
When the Almighty did on Horeb stand,
Thy shades enclos'd the hallow'd land;
In clouds of night he was array'd, And venerable darkness his pavilion made.
When he appear'd arm'd in his power and might,
He veil'd the beatific light;
When terrible with majesty,
Ere the foundation of the earth was laid,
Or brighter firmament was made ;
Ere matter, time, or place was known, Thou, Monarch Darkness, sway'dst these spacious
But now the moon (though gay with borrow'd light)
Invades thy scanty lot of Night :
By rebel subjects thou’rt betray'd, The anarchy of stars depose their monarch, Shade.
Yet fading Light its empire must resign,
And Nature's power submit to thine :
And universal ruin shall erect thy throne, And Fate confirm thy kingdom evermore thy own.
STANZAS ON WOMAN.
WHEN lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray, What charm can sooth her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?
The only art her guilt to cover,
To hide her shame from every eye, To give repentance to her lover,
And wring his bosom-is to die.
EDWIN AND ANGELINA.
66 TURN, gentle Hermit of the dale,
“ And guide my lonely way, “ To where yon taper cheers the vale,
66 With hospitable ray.
6. For here forlorn and lost I tread,
“ With fainting steps and slow; 56 Where wilds immeasurably spread,
“ Seem length’ning as I go.”
“ Forbear, my son,” the Hermit cries,
" To tempt the dangerous gloom ; “ For yonder faithless phantom flies
6. To lure thee to thy doom.
“ Here to the houseless child of want
“ My door is open still ; 66 And though my portion is but scant,
“ I give it with good will.
“ Then turn to-night, and freely share
" Whate'er my cell bestows; “My rushy couch and frugal fare,
“My blessing and repose.
“ No flocks that range the valley free,
“ To slaughter I condemn ; “ Taught by that power that pities me,
“ I learn to pity them:
“But from the mountain's grassy side
“ A guiltless feast I bring ; “ A scrip with herbs and fruits supply'd,
“ And water from the spring.
“ Then pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;
66 All earth-born cares are wrong ; “ Man wants but little here below,
“ Nor wants that little long."
Soft as the dew from Heav'n descends,
His gentle accents fell :
And follows to the cell.
Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay,
And strangers led astray.
No stores beneath its humble thatch
Requir'd a master's care ;
Receiv'd the harmless pair.