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1 DAWN had not streak'd the spacious veil of night,
2 When EYEZION, the light poet of the spring,
3 Hied from his restless bed, to sing,
4 Impatient for the promis'd beams of light:
5 Sweetly his voice through woods and vallies rang,
6 While fleeting o'er the hills, these anxious notes he sang:
7 Swift, swift, ye lingering hours,
8 And wake the morning star;
9 Rouse from the dew-fraught flowers
10 The shades, and drive them far.
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11 Quick on the wings of morning,
12 Dart the young glimmering light,
13 Th' horizon's verge adorning,
14 With blushing radiance dight.
15 Rise, Phoebus, from yon mountain,
16 Your saffron robes display;
17 Warm every lake and fountain,
18 And kindle up the day.
19 My soul, fledg'd with desires,
20 Flutters, and pants for morn,
21 To catch the orient fires
22 Light trembling o'er the lawn.
23 When rays, o'er meadows blushing,
24 Illumine VIZA's eyes,
25 Her lily-bosom flushing
26 Reflects the glowing skies.
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27 O soul! that dart'st through ages,
28 And wing'st with subtile power,
29 Why weak, when ardour rages,
30 To speed one slumbering hour?
31 Its beams when morning glances,
32 VIZA unfolds her charms,
33 Spangled with dews advances,
34 And glows within my arms.
35 Midst rills she laves her tresses,
36 And blooming beams delight;
37 Swift-love my soul oppresses -
38 Why's thought more quick than light?
39 All hung with stars, as scorning,
40 Night lingers 'mid the skies;
41 O! when will rise the morning?
42 O! when will VIZA rise?
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43 These notes a sportive zephyr gently blew;
44 The lovely VIZA op'd her star-like eyes:
45 Her dreams dissolving 'mid night's shadows flew,
46 While sweet sensations in her bosom rise.
47 Her ears th' enchanting strains with pleasure greet,
48 She asks, who sang so early, and so sweet?
49 From VIZA's memory then is EYEZION flown?
50 And is the music she inspires unknown?
51 If still no trait on thy remembrance pours,
52 Listen, whilst I describe my mental powers.
53 A current of creative mind,
54 Wild as the wandering gusts of wind,
55 'Mid fertile fancy's visions train'd,
56 Unzon'd I shot, and o'er each limit strain'd;
57 Around in airy circles whirl'd
58 By a genius infinite;
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59 While Love in wanton ringlets curl'd
60 My tresses, passion to excite.
61 Music waited on my birth,
62 And call'd itself the soul of verse;
63 And wildly, through the mazy earth,
64 My lips its melodies rehearse.
65 Thus skimming o'er the tracts of life,
66 Borne on light elements, I bound;
67 Free from rage, and coarser strife,
68 I catch new beauties all around;
69 From Love's light wings I steal the tender down,
70 While each gay Muse my aspiring temples crown.
71 When Grief pursues with harpy wing,
72 To whirl me to dark realms of Care,
73 Upon poetic spells I fly,
74 Wafted afar from black Despair;
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75 And, as I sing,
76 Am rais'd on high:
77 Young Joy with pleasure smoothes the scene,
78 Of mortal eyes unseen;
79 With these I fleet,
80 Amid the Loves and Smiles sweet flowrets wreathe;
81 And every sigh I waft, and every joy I breathe,
82 Mix'd with seraphic airs, fly on poetic feet.
83 Thou sweet enthusiast! say, what brings thee here,
84 Ere mounting larks have hail'd the morning star?
85 Involving shades, with cruel care,
86 Now wrap thee in their womb;
87 Though here and there a glittering star
88 Shoots through blank night, and breaks the gloom.
89 Drawn by what irresistless power,
90 Shall I with trembling notes recite,
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91 Why, glowing like an opening flower,
92 I fleet before the morning light?
93 Yet fancy paints a conscious blush
94 O'er thy fair cheeks; nor need my tongue
95 With deeper die thy beauties flush -
96 Thou know'st I'm drawn by thee alone.
97 From distant tracts I bound along,
98 Nor hills nor streams my course delay,
99 Whilst oft reverb'rating my song,
100 Sweet echo with the Muses play.
101 Methinks the fading night decays,
102 And morning breezes fan the air.
103 Distinct I view the silvering rays
104 O'er yonder mountain tops appear.
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105 Soon as young light shall clear the heaven,
106 Urg'd by the glowing rays of morn;
107 When circling mists are distant driven,
108 Expect me on the dewy lawn.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): BEFORE TWILIGHT.
Genres: meditation

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Source edition

Cristall, Ann Batten. Poetical Sketches by Ann Batten Cristall. London: Printed for J. Johnson, St. Paul's Church Yard, 1795, pp. 1-8. [14],187,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T126557)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.