Again sweet spring delights the laughing earth,
With verdure clothes the grove, with flow’rs the vale,
To lumb’ring nature gives a second birth,
Blooms on each tree, and breathes in ev’ry gale.
Still in yon cloud the ev’ning crimson flows
As light it floats o’er ether’s boundless scene,
Like that bright hue remember’d pleasure throws
O’er the pure azure of a mind serene.
Till where yon mountains mingle with the skies
Their loftiest summits catch the ling’ring beam,
First on those heights the morning sun shall rise
And longest there the moon’s soft lustre gleam.
The feather’d choir still tune their ev’ning song,
And who on such a lovely scene can gaze
Nor, fill’d with holy joy, like them prolong
The varied notes of Piety and Praise?
Hence metaphysic eyes — I care not why
Yon varied landscape glads my ravished sight,
Why yon warm tints impart a livelier joy
Then the chill horrors of a starless night.
Why when on nature’s wide expanse I gaze,
Earth and its joys or sorrows I despise,
My thoughts unfetter’d as the solar rays
In holy transports soar above the skies.
As children oft will break some fav’rite toy,
To know whate’er its polished [???] contains,
Seeking its cause, your pleasure you destroy
Yet waste in vain your ineffectual pains.
While you the rose of happiness resign,
Its parent tree still anxious to explore,
And find alone the thorn — still be it mine
To know I’m happy, and to know no more.
And far from me be those whose jaundiced souls
To all things give their melancholy hue:
Where now its peaceful tide yon river rolls,
Whose minds alone the wintry torrent view.
Who where yon mountains stretch their length’ning chain
Can see no beauty on their barren brows,
At noon of Phoebus’ scorching ray complain
That genial ray that life and light bestows.
Like passing clouds reflected in the tide
Who deem all pleasure but a shadow vain,
Illusion ever; by a breath destroy’d
Or past and vanish’d ere you look again.
What tho’ yon rising stream that mead o’erflow’d,
’Tis thence its herbage drew its brighter dyes;
A richer nectar for her fragrant load
The thyme-clad mountain to the bee supplies.
Take from yon firmament its glorious sun,
And where is earth and all its beauty fled?
Its jarring seeds to second chaos run,
A joyless scene, to life and pleasure dead.
If earthly pleasure be a shadow vain
And fleeting like a summer’s cloud away,
It is the shadow of her purer reign
In the bright regions of eternal day.
Still be it mine amid life’s stormy course,
To catch the transient beam that shines serene;
Tho’ thorns unnumber’d guard her fairest flow’rs,
To pluck them gaily as they bloom between.
If fortune grant me all my heart desire,
Or plunge me deeply in the sea of care,
Oh may I still in trembling hope aspire
The sunshine of that cloudless day to share.