Address to the Spirit of Attic Nights

Miss Vardill

Spirit of Attic Nights, return!
Not fameless leave my fun’ral urn!
Redeem the lyre I lov’d to praise,
Athena’s pride in elder days!

For thee, with truth demanding eyes,
I see a guardian Chilo rise:
My own Menander’s mirth I trace
Hid in a youthful maiden’s face.

They linger yet — their jocund train
Waits for thy call to wake again,
With lighter step in Pleasure’s bow’r
To steal from Night her sweetest hour.
Go, Attic Spirit! round thy shrine
Renew the wreath which once was mine;
The critic’s holly, smooth, yet keen
The sage’s olive, ever green.
Nor scorn the poet’s blossom brief — 
E’en Juno loves the poppy’s leaf:
And many a flow’ret asks thy care
Which shuns Apollo’s noontide glare;
But touch’d by friendship’s silver light
Their treasured relics shall be bright,
As amber changes to a gem
When time has sapp’d its parent stem.

Spirit! — thy chosen mansion claim — 
Preserve thy first-born Patron’s fame,
And he releas’d from Pluto’s shore
On Attic nights will live once more!

Aulus Gellius

Novr. 1814