NOW the grey dawn along the eastern sky,
Faintly begins to light th’ horizon round;
Dark gloom the woods, and mountain rocks on high,
While all below forms one vast shade profound.
Silence—deep silence reigns, ev’n sleeps the breeze,
That wakening soon, shall rise on misty wing;
And o’er the waving foliage of the trees,
Breathe the mild spirit of the bloomy SPRING.
Earnest of joys unnumber’d, rising round
My peaceful dwelling: let not man deride
Those joys of simple NATURE, that abound
Far from FAME’s votaries and the haunts of Pride.
And sure the more remote, the happier still;
If HAPPINESS on earth will deign to dwell,
Pure as the waters of the mountain rill,
Calm as CONTENTMENT sits in yonder cell.
O NATURE, how I love thee! ACHMED cries,
As the wild scenery discloses round:
‘I love thee!’ hark! a faultering voice replies,
The lonely EXILE startles at the sound.
As when soft MUSIC vibrates from the string,
And thro’ the air melodious accents float:
Some kindred lute, some silver vase shall ring
In UNISON, and die as dies the note.
Speaks not some guardian SPIRIT from the rock,
To tell thee—‘ACHMED walks not here alone?
Or does the sportive echo idly mock
A heartfelt sentiment too rarely known?
Yes—NATURE, much I love thee, and that love
Shall live, while life sustains my heaving heart;
And tho’ pure bliss be only found above,
To gain that bliss, from thee I dare not part.
For I DO love thee! Every gladsome morn,
Each tranquil eve—and thro’ the gliding day,
Thy beauties more attractive charms adorn,
And o’er the guileless heart confirm thy sway.
A sway more strong than SULTAN yet could boast;
For whilst it claims the hand, it holds the heart;
More potent, than all AYRAN’s mighty host,
That wield the scimetar or point the dart.
Dire was the wretch, th’ infuriate wretch, who first
Raised the keen sword against his fellow man;
As the fell tyger loves to quench his thirst,
At life’s warm fountain—such the ruthless KHAN.
From such I flee—for such my soul abhors!
I’ve fought, I’ve conquer’d in youth’s feverish reign.
I’ve bled in battle, and with deep remorse,
Year after year, bewail’d the brave men slain.
And if contrition can for guilt atone,
For victims slaughter’d at AMBITION’s call,
Ye MIGHTY of the EARTH! your crimes bemoan,
At whose behest unnumber’d thousands fall.
Learn—learn to think as MEN, as MEN to feel,
And acting as the guardians of mankind;
Exert your powers to sheathe the reeking steel,
And rude CONTENTION yield to waves and wind.
So may th’ ETERNAL BEING, ever blest,
Most merciful to those that MERCY show;
Reward your labors with that peace and rest,
In PARADISE—you meant for MAN below.
But lo! the SUN in dazzling glory, rears
His golden orb above the orient-hills;
While all illumed each mountain head appears,
What dusky shade the woodland valley fills.
While sport the wild goats on the craggy steep,
And many a mountain warbler tunes his song;
Dim, misty, vapours, o’er the low-lands creep,
And darkling glides the little stream along.
Yet, by degrees, th’ obscuring mists shall fly,
Till all the lovely landscape stand reveal’d,
And while ten thousand beauties charm the eye,
Be not th’ emotions of the soul conceal’d?
No! ’tis impossible—for pure and free,
O SUN of NATURE! they arise with thee.