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Gay sylphs among the foliage played,
One morn, while Time thus marked the tree,
In beauty green and glorious,
O'er mine was oft victorious;
He spake, and struck a silent blow
With that dread arm whose motion Lays cedars, thrones, and temples low,
And wields o'er land and ocean The unremitting axe of doom, That fells the forest of the tomb.
Deep to the willow's root it went,
And cleft the core asunder,
Without recording thunder:
In vain did spring these bowers restore,
Where loves and graces revelled, Autumn's wild gales the branches tore,
The thin gray leaves dishevelled, And every wasting winter found The willow nearer to the ground.
Hoary, and weak, and bent with age,
At length the axe assailed it:
The swans of Thames bewailed it
O Pope! hadst thou, whose lyre so long
The wondering world enchanted,
This weeping willow planted ;
Thy chosen tree had stood sublime,
The storms of ages braving,
Its verdant banner waving,
A humbler lot, O tree! was thine ;
Gone down in all thy glory,
To sing thy simple story ;
Yet, fallen willow! if to me
Such power of song were given,
And call down fire from heaven,
A WALK IN SPRING.
I WANDERED in a lonely glade,
A little mountain stream
Beneath the morning beam.
Light o'er the woods of dark brown oak
From cottage roofs concealed,
In rosy light revealed.
'T was in the infancy of May,
While from the ranging eye
'Tis sweet in solitude to hear The earliest music of the year,
The blackbird's loud wild note, Or, from the wintry thicket drear,
The thrush's stammering throat.
In rustic solitude 't is sweet
The violet from its tomb,
The sorrel's simple bloom.
Fresh opening bells I see ;
Hope buds on every tree.
As yet unheard, unseen,
Of days that once had been ;
Or, on more curious quest,
To see the linnet's nest.
And mocked the cuckoo's call ;
The evening rainbow fall.
The plant whose pensile flowers
In sunshine as in showers.
Lone on a mossy bank it grew,
Among the verdure crept ;
A bee had nestled on its blooms,
Then fled in airy rings;
Glancing his glorious wings.
Nor ever sought in vain,
Is dancing on the plain.
In calm delicious hours,
'Midst love-awakening showers. Scattered by Nature's graceful hand, In briery glens, o'er pasture-land,
Thy fairy tribes we meet ; Gay in the milkmaid's path they stand,
They kiss her tripping feet. From winter's farmyard bondage freed, The cattle bounding o'er the mead,
Where green the herbage grows,
Upon thy tufts repose.
Sports with thy flexile stalk,
To crop it in his walk, Where thick thy primrose blossoms play, Lovely and innocent as they,
O'er coppice, lawns, and dells, In bands the rural children stray,
To pluck thy nectared bells; Whose simple sweets, with curious skill, The frugal cottage dames distil,
Nor envy France the vine, While many a festal cup they fill With Britain's homely wine.