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RHAPSODY

1 LO! here a cloud comes sailing, richly clad
2 In royal purple, which the parting beams
3 Of bounteous Phoebus edge with tints of gold
4 And lucid crimson. One might fancy it
5 A noble bird, that laves its graceful form,
6 And bathes its rosy bosom in the light.
7 Look! how it swells and rears its snowy crest
8 With haughty grandeur; while the blue expanse,
9 In smiling patience lets the boaster pass,
10 And swell his train with all the lazy vapours
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11 That hover in the air: an easy prey
12 To the gigantic phantom, whose curl'd wing,
13 Sweeps in these worthless triflers of the sky,
14 And wraps them in his bosom. Go, vain shadow!
15 Sick with the burthen of thy fancied greatness,
16 A breath of zephyr wafts thee into nothing,
17 Scatters thy spreading plumes, uncrowns thy front,
18 And drives thee downward to thy mother earth,
19 To mix with vapour and dissolve in dew.
20 Such are the dreams of hope, which to the eye
21 Of youthful inexperience, seem to touch
22 The pure, unclouded sky of certainty.
23 Buoy'd up by the fond eloquence of thought,
24 And nurtur'd by the smile of vanity,
25 Each hour the air-born vision gathers bulk,
26 And Fancy decks it with a thousand hues,
27 Varied and wild, till it abounds in charms
28 Which sink the soul to sadness, when the breath
29 Of gentle Reason breaks the beauteous bubble,
30 And leaves us nought but vain regret behind.
             FEBRUARY 1, 1797.

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Title (in Source Edition): RHAPSODY
Themes:
Genres: blank verse; ode

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Source edition

Elegies and Other Small Poems, by Matilda Betham. Ipswich: Printed by W. Burrell, and sold by Longman, Paternoster-Row, and Jermyn and Forster, Ipswich, 1797, pp. [79]-80.  (ESTC T143264)

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