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With hoarse and hollow sounds ; secure, self-blest,
There oft thou liften'st to the wild uproar
Of Aeets encountring, that in whispers low
Ascends the rocky summit, where thou dwell'st
Remote from man, conversing with the spheres !
O lead me, queen sublime, to solemn glooms
Congenial with my soul; to cheerless shades,
To ruin'd seats, or twilight cells and bow'rs,
Where thoughtful Melancholy loves to muse,
Her fav'rite midnight haụnts. The laughing scenes
Of purple Spring, where all the wanton train
Of Smiles and Graces seem to lead the dance
In sportive round, while from their hands they show'r
Ambrosial blooms and flow'rs, no longer charm;
Tempe, no more I court thy balmy breeze,
Adieu green vales ! ye broider'd meads, adieu !
Beneath yon ruin'd abbey's moss-grown piles
Oft let me fit, at twilight hour of eve,
Where through some western window the pale moon
Pours her long-levell d rule of streaming light ;
While sullen sacred silence reigns around,
Save the lone screech-owl's note, who builds his bow'r
Amid the mould'ring caverns, dark and damp,
Or the calm breeze, that rustles in the leaves
Of Aaunting ivy, that with mantle green
Invests some wasted tow'r. Or let me tread
Its neighb'ring walk of pines, where mus'd of old
The cloyster'd brother : through the gloomy void
That far extends beneath their ample arch
As on I pace, religious horror wraps
My soul in dread repose. But when the world
Is clad in Midnight's raven-colour'd robe,
'Mid hollow charnels let me watch the flame
Of taper dim, shedding a livid glare
O'er the wan heaps ; while airy voices talk
Along the glimm'ring walls : or ghostly shape
At distance seen, invites with beck’ning hand
My lonesome steps, through the far-winding vaults.
Nor undelightful is the solemn noon
Of night, when haply wakeful from
I start: lo, all is motionless around!
Roars not the rushing wind; the fons of men
beast in mute oblivion lie;
All nature's hush'd in silence and in Neep.
O then how fearful is it to reflect,
That through the still globe's aweful folitude,
No being wakes but me! 'till stealing Neep
My drooping temples bathes in opiate dews.
Nor then let dreams, of wanton folly born,
My senses lead through flowery paths of joy;
But let the sacred Genius of the night
Such mystic visions send, as Spenser saw,
When through bewild'ring Fancy's magic maze,
To the fell house of Busyrane, he led
Th' unshaken Britomart; or Milton knew,
When in abstracted thought he first conceiv'd
All heav'n in tumult, and the Seraphim
Come tow'ring, arm'd in adamant and gold.
Let others love soft summer's ev'ning smiles,
As, lift'ning to the distant water-fall,
They mark the blushes of the streaky west;
I choose the pale December's foggy glooms.
Then, when the sullen shades of ev'ning close,
Where through the room a blindly-glimm'ring gleam
The dying embers scatter, far remote
From Mirth's mad houts, that thro' th' illumin'd roof
Resound with festive echo, let me fit,
Bleft with the lowly cricket's drowsy dirge.
Then let my thought contemplative explore
This fleeting state of things, the vain delights,
The fruitless toils, that still our search elude,
As through the wilderness of life we rove.
This sober hour of silence will unmask
False Folly's smiles, that like the dazzling spells
Of wily Comus cheat th' unweeting eye
With blear illusion, and persuade to drink
That charmed cup, which Reason's mintage fair
Unmoulds, and stamps the monster on the man.
Eager we taste, but in the luscious draught
Forget the pois'nous dregs that lurk beneath.
Few know that elegance of soul refin'd,
Whose soft sensation feels a quicker joy
From Melancholy's scenes, than the dull pride
Of tasteless splendor and magnificence
Can e'er afford. Thus Eloise, whose mind
Had languish'd to the pangs of melting love,
More genuine transport found, as on some tomb
Reclin'd, she watch'd the tapers of the dead;
Or through the pillar'd iles, amid pale shrines
Of imag'd saints, and intermingled graves,
Mus'd a veild votaress : than Flavia feels,
As through the mazes of the festive ball,
Proud of her conquering charms, and beauty's blaze,
She floats amid the filken fons of dress,
And shines the fairest of th' assembled fair.
When azure noon-tide cheers the dædal globe,
And the blest regent of the golden day
Rejoices in his bright meridian bow'r,
How oft my wishes ask the night's return,
That best befriends the melancholy mind!
Hail, facred Night! thou too shalt share my song!
Sister of Ebon-scepter'd Hecat, hail !
Whether in congregated clouds thou wrap'st
Thy viewless chariot, or with silver crown
Thy beaming head encircleft, ever hail !
What though beneath thy gloom the forceress-train,
Far in obscured haunt of Lapland-moors,
With rhymes uncouth the bloody cauldron bless;
Though Murder wan, beneath thy shrouding shade
Summons her Now-ey'd vot'ries to devise
Of secret Naughter, while by one blue lamp
In hideous conf'rence fits the listening band,
And start at each low wind, or wakeful found:
What though thy stay the pilgrim curseth oft,
As all benighted in Arabian wastes
He hears the wilderness around him howl
With roaming monsters, while on his hoar head
The black descending tempest ceaseless beats ;
Yet more delightful to my pensive mind
Is thy return, than bloomy morn's approach,