[Page 33]

VERSES written in an Alcove.

Jam Cytherea choros ducit Venus imminente Luna.
1 NOW the moon-beam's trembling lustre
2 Silvers o'er the dewy green,
3 And in soft and shadowy colours
4 Sweetly paints the checquer'd scene.
5 Here between the opening branches
6 Streams a flood of soften'd light,
7 There the thick and twisted foliage
8 Spreads the browner gloom of night.
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9 This is sure the haunt of fairies,
10 In yon cool Alcove they play;
11 Care can never cross the threshold,
12 Care was only made for day.
13 Far from hence be noisy clamour,
14 Sick disgust and anxious fear;
15 Pining grief and wasting anguish
16 Never keep their vigils here.
17 Tell no tales of sheeted spectres,
18 Rising from the quiet tomb;
19 Fairer forms this cell shall visit,
20 Brighter visions gild the gloom.
21 Choral songs and sprightly voices
22 Echo from her cell shall call;
23 Sweeter, sweeter than the murmur
24 Of the distant water fall.
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25 Every ruder gust of passion
26 Lull'd with music dies away,
27 Till within the charmed bosom
28 None but soft affections play:
29 Soft, as when the evening breezes
30 Gently stir the poplar grove;
31 Brighter than the smile of summer,
32 Sweeter than the breath of love.
33 Thee, th' inchanted Muse shall follow,
34 LISSY! to the rustic cell,
35 And each careless note repeating
36 Tune them to her charming shell.
37 Not the Muse who wreath'd with laurel,
38 Solemn stalks with tragic gait,
39 And in clear and lofty vision
40 Sees the future births of fate;
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41 Not the maid who crown'd with cypress
42 Sweeps along in scepter'd pall,
43 And in sad and solemn accents
44 Mourns the crested heroe's fall;
45 But that other smiling sister,
46 With the blue and laughing eye,
47 Singing, in a lighter measure,
48 Strains of woodland harmony:
49 All unknown to fame or glory,
50 Easy, blith and debonair,
51 Crown'd with flowers, her careless tresses
52 Loosely floating on the air.
53 Then, when next the star of evening
54 Softly sheds the silent dew,
55 Let me in this rustic temple,
56 LISSY! meet the Muse and you.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): VERSES written in an Alcove.
Themes: retirement; friendship
Genres: pastoral

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Source edition

Barbauld, Mrs. (Anna Letitia), 1743-1825. Poems. London: printed for Joseph Johnson, 1773, pp. 33-36. vi,138p. ; 4⁰. (ESTC T236; OTA K019955.000) (Page images digitized by New York Public Library.)

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