To the Swallows on Their Departure 1809
Ye Birds that fearful of th’ inclement skies
Now bid your straw-built summer seats adieu
No Summer viewed you with propitious eyes
No days of warmth and splendour shined on you.
To weep the fate of Europe, wat’ry Jove
The Earth has deluged with unceasing rain
To dry the falling moisture Phoebus strove
And tho’ by Sirius aided, strove in vain.
Athwart the skies was spread a dusky veil
That hid his glories from the toiling swains
For months obscured in clouds, or wan and pale
He shed a sickly lustre on the plains.
When next you come may he in slendour rise
And smile upon you from unclouded skies.