UNWELCOME harbinger of languid woe,
Pale emissary from the court of DEATH,
Why wilt thou LUXURY’s soft abode forego,
To bid me draw with pain my labouring breath?
Wilt thou in these wild forests make abode,
Where NATURE holds her ever-temperate reign,
And quit for savage solitudes, the road
That leads thro’ short-lived pleasure’s fair domain?
It lies before thee.—There the sensual throng
Await thy coming, and invite thy stay:
There shall the sons of ART thy powers prolong,
And bid thee reign the despot of the day.
Whether insidious on soft languor’s bed,
Thou hold’st thy secret DIVAN* to destroy;
Or fierce, by fever’d rage of slaughter led,
In wild delirium all thy force employ.
Tremendous power! appall’d, thy form I view,
As the hush’d warbler’s eye beholds the snake;
Shall my fix’d gaze by FASCINATION, too,
Imbibe the venom, and the fate partake?
Forbid it, all ye salutary gales,
That waft a cool refreshment on your wings,
Forbid it, all ye lightly-shaded vales,
And you, ye ever-pure pellucid springs.
Ye rocky summits, where the wild heath blooms
Mid aromatic sweets that ceaseless rise,
And yield the tribute of their fresh perfumes,
A grateful offering to the vernal skies.
Forbid it, HEAVEN! whose kindly genial beam
Renews the vigour of my wasted frame,
Causing the lamp of life with cheerful gleam
Once more to animate its faded flame.
Why wilt thou linger here, dark spectre, say?
Lo! mighty AZRAEL beckons thee away.