1 AT the close of the day, when the hamlet is still,
2 And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove,
3 When nought but the torrent is heard on the hill,
4 And nought but the nightingale's song in the grove;
5 'Twas then, by the cave of a mountain, reclin'd,
6 An Hermit his nightly complaint thus began,
7 Tho' mournful his voice, his heart was resign'd,
8 He thought as a sage, but he felt as a man.
9 "Ah, why thus abandon'd to mourning and woe,
10 " Why thus, lonely Philomel, slows thy sad strain?
11 "For Spring shall return, and a lover bestow,
12 " And thy bosom no trace of dejection retain;[Page 48]
13 "Yet if pity inspire thee, ah, cease not thy lay,
14 " Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls thee to mourn,
15 "O soothe him whose pleasures like thine pass away,
16 " Full swiftly they pass, but they never return.
17 "Now gliding remote on the verge of the sky,
18 " The moon, half extinct, her wan crescent displays:
19 "Yet lately I saw, where majestic on high,
20 " She shone, and the stars were conceal'd in her rays;
21 "Roil on, thou fair orb, and with gladness pursue
22 " The path that conducts thee to splendor again;
23 "But man's faded glory no change shall renew,
24 " Ah, fool! to exult in a glory so vain.
25 "'Tis dark, and the landscape is lovely no more,
26 " I mourn not, ye woodlands, I mourn not for you;
27 "For morn shall return, all your charms to restore,
28 " Perfum'd with fresh fragrance, and glittering with dew:
29 "Nor yet for the ravage of Winter I mourn,
30 " Kind Nature the embryo blossoms shall save;
31 "But when shall Spring visit the mouldering urn?
32 " Oh, when shall it dawn on the gloom of the grave? "