THE azure face of Heaven no cloud enveils,
No light-breeze waves the foliage of the wood,
No voice, no murmur, now the ear assails,
Mild, tranquil all, as souls divinely good.
Thy placid beams, fair MOON! diffuse around,
O’er earth and sky a sweetly soften’d day;
While rocks and woods, and hollow glens profound,
Contrast their shadowy glooms to thy pure ray.
How sweet, O NATURE! are thy simple charms:
What fair delights attend thy silent hour:
How different far, from those the din of arms
Conveys in TRIUMPH to the sons of power.
No PRIDE, no ENVY, no AMBITION, here
No sanguine HOPE, no spectre-haunted FEAR,
No self-devoted sacrifice to CARE.
The stream of DAY smooth-gliding from its source,
Thro’ smiling vales of ever green delight,
Here wandering, winds its gently devious course,
To dance with moon-beams on the lake of NIGHT.
Long banish’d hence, each dark, discordant thought:
Each vain desire, each passion sooth’d to peace:
Lost the false lore by EDUCATION taught,
While all the mental energies increase.
Increase and kindle, NATURE, as I view
Thy hourly-varying beauties round me rise,
Or, up the mountain-steeps my course pursue,
Where wilder, more stupendous scenes surprize.
And canst thou, ACHMED, thus serenely blest,
Turn to yon agitated world of strife?
Can its vain joys, its love, pervade thy breast,
And bid it sigh again for social life?
Yes—often does that sigh of social love,
With charm instinctive softly here intrude,
And tell me, ‘MAN was never born to rove
O’er rugged wilds, in ceaseless SOLITUDE.’
Yet often too, does old EXPERIENCE find,
The firm support of REASON’s potent sway:
Her voice recals th’ afflicted wand ring mind,
From all that FATE, or FORTUNE reft away.
Asks the fond heart, if midst the world of youth
It found ONE SOUL congenial with its own?
Enquires if HONOR, EQUITY, and TRUTH,
Dwell in the cottage, or sustain the throne?
If cities, courts, or camps their presence grace?
If yet sweet PEACE with man has deign’d to dwell,
Parent of blessings to the human race,
Beyond the comforts of this silent cell?
‘Ah! NO.’—Th’ inspiring voice of HEAVEN replies,
‘Here gratefully repose, in true contentment wise.’