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Ye trees, that whisper'd music to mine ears,
Which fill'd my boyish eyes with rapture's tears !
Ye lawns, where Fancy's many-colour'd rays
First round me shot a visionary blaze,
Is it the whim of folly, that to years
Long past I look ; and glory, if appears
Learning's high lamp her steady light to raise
E'en then o'er your abodes ?---I backward turn,
Two centuries and more, my pensive thought,
And see the same fond love for letters burn ;
With equal thirst for fame your inmate fraught !
Ah happier he, whose memory still survives :
Mine with the grave's oblivion vainly strives !
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The morning sun o'er that rude flinted tower
Bosom'd in antique trees ; when first awoke
On each delighted sense the vernal flower,
And birds began, touch'd by young spring, to pour
Their tremulous harmony ; when first the croak
Of that old rookery, and the woodman's stroke,
Speeded with purest joy mine infant hour ;
O dear departed sprites of holy men,
By intellectual efforts purified,
Hover'd ye round your earthly haunts again,
To thirst of fame like yours my soul to guide ?
'Tis thus perchance that, from life's earliest dawn,
Forwards by fairy lights my steps are drawn !
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Their tottering efforts tried, nor quite unknown
To the loved Muses hill or vale or down,
Dingle, or upland lawn, or deep retreat
Of woods, where first upon my childhood shone
The light of Heaven ! On yonder turfy seat,
When great Eliza's sway adorn'd the throne,
A Sage profound was daily wont to greet
Fair Science and her handmaids.---Truths abstruse
Here they evolv'd together, pondering well
The facts of many-colour'd life, whose use,
Courts, State, War, Travel, taught them how to spell.
To me, dear scenes, ye softer themes impart :
To learn and sing the dictates of the heart !
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Impenetrable to each impulse fine
Of the soul's movements, it has not been thine
Within this sacred shelter to maintain !
Spirits of nobler cast, upon whose brain
Nature, more generous, spread the spark divine,
Wont in a nation's great affairs to join,
Quiet within thine arms did not disdain !
Tho' silent now at times thine halls have been,
And thro' thy groves the common sight could view
No Muse her footsteps bending, yet are seen,
By purer eyes, in vests of varied hue,
Thro' the domain the Sisters Nine to play,
Circled by forms of every orient ray.
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Passing, from thence a local tincture drew,
Here first upon my new-born body blew !
O was there magic in the trembling breeze,
That could with such delicious softness seize
Each melting sense ; and wake to music new ;
And bear upon it's wings a shadowy crew,
That only Fancy's gifted vision sees ?
Still round the sacred mansion do ye dwell,
Ye lovely Fairy tribes, or are ye fled ?
O once again renew th' entrancing spell ;
And o'er each raptur'd vein your pinions spread !
Bliss above earth were mine, could I once more
Those dear delusions of the soul restore !