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William Lisle Bowles

Age

Age, thou the loss of health and friends shalt mourn!
But thou art passing to that night-still bourne,
Where labour sleeps. The linnet, chattering loud
To the May morn, shall sing; thou, in thy shroud,
Forgetful and forgotten, sink to rest;
And grass-green be the sod upon thy breast!

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The Butterfly and the Bee

Methought I heard a butterfly
Say to a labouring bee:
"Thou hast no colours of the sky
On painted wings like me."

"Poor child of vanity! those dyes,
And colours bright and rare,"
With mild reproof, the bee replies,
"Are all beneath my care.

"Content I toil from morn to eve,
And scorning idleness,
To tribes of gaudy sloth I leave
The vanity of dress."

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Stanzas For Music

I trust the happy hour will come,
That shall to peace thy breast restore;
And that we two, beloved friend,
Shall one day meet to part no more.

It grieves me most, that parting thus,
All my soul feels I dare not speak;
And when I turn me from thy sight,
The tears in silence wet my cheek.

Yet I look forward to the time,
That shall each wound of sorrow heal;
When I may press thee to my heart,
And tell thee all that now I feel.

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Dirge OF Nelson

Toll Nelson's knell! a soul more brave
Ne'er triumphed on the green-sea wave!
Sad o'er the hero's honoured grave,
Toll Nelson's knell!

The ball of Death unerring flew;
His cheek has lost its ardent hue;
He sinks, amid his gallant crew!
Toll Nelson's knell!

Yet lift, brave chief, thy dying eyes;
Hark! loud huzzas around thee rise;
Aloft the flag of conquest flies!
The day is won!

The day is won--peace to the brave!
But whilst the joyous streamers wave,
We'll think upon the victor's grave!
Peace to the brave!

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A Cenotaph,

Oh, hadst thou fall'n, brave youth! on that proud day,
When our victorious fleet o'er the red surge
Rolled in terrific glory, thou hadst fall'n
Most honoured; and Remembrance, while she thought
Upon thy gallant end, had dried her tear!
Now far beyond the huge Atlantic wave
Thy bones decay; the withering pestilence,
That swept the islands of the western world,
Smote thee, untimely drooping to the tomb!
But 'tis enough; whate'er a soldier's fate,
That firm he hied him, where stern honour bade;
Though with unequal strength, he sunk and died.

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VII. At a Village in Scotland....

O NORTH! as thy romantic vales I leave,
And bid farewell to each retiring hill,
Where thoughtful fancy seems to linger still,
Tracing the broad bright landscape; much I grieve
That mingled with the toiling croud, no more
I shall return, your varied views to mark,
Of rocks winding wild, and mountains hoar,
Or castle gleaming on the distant steep.
Yet not the less I pray your charms may last,
And many a soften'd image of the past
Pensive combine; and bid remembrance keep
To cheer me with the thought of pleasure flown,
When I am wand'ring on my way alone.

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VII. At a Village in Scotland....

O NORTH! as thy romantic vales I leave,
And bid farewell to each retiring hill,
Where thoughtful fancy seems to linger still,
Tracing the broad bright landscape; much I grieve
That mingled with the toiling croud, no more
I shall return, your varied views to mark,
Of rocks winding wild, and mountains hoar,
Or castle gleaming on the distant steep.
Yet not the less I pray your charms may last,
And many a soften'd image of the past
Pensive combine; and bid remembrance keep
To cheer me with the thought of pleasure flown,
When I am wand'ring on my way alone.

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Sonnet III. O Thou, whose stern command and precepts pure...

O THOU, whose stern command and precepts pure
(Tho' agony in every vein should start,
And slowly drain the blood-drops from the heart)
Have bade the patient spirit still endure;
Thou, who to sorrow hast a beauty lent,
On the dark brow, with resolution clad,
Illumining the dreary traces sad,
Like the cold taper on a monument;
O firm Philosophy! display the tide
Of human misery, and oft relate
How silent sinking in the storms of fate,
The brave and good have bow'd their head and died.
So taught by Thee, some solace I may find,
Remembering the sorrows of mankind.

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III. O Thou, whose stern command and precepts pure...

O THOU, whose stern command and precepts pure
(Tho' agony in every vein should start,
And slowly drain the blood-drops from the heart)
Have bade the patient spirit still endure;
Thou, who to sorrow hast a beauty lent,
On the dark brow, with resolution clad,
Illumining the dreary traces sad,
Like the cold taper on a monument;
O firm Philosophy! display the tide
Of human misery, and oft relate
How silent sinking in the storms of fate,
The brave and good have bow'd their head and died.
So taught by Thee, some solace I may find,
Remembering the sorrows of mankind.

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On Leaving A Village In Scotland

Clysdale! as thy romantic vales I leave,
And bid farewell to each retiring hill,
Where musing memory seems to linger still,
Tracing the broad bright landscape; much I grieve
That, mingled with the toiling crowd, no more
I may return your varied views to mark,
Of rocks amid the sunshine towering dark,
Of rivers winding wild, or mountains hoar,
Or castle gleaming on the distant steep!--
Yet many a look back on thy hills I cast,
And many a softened image of the past
Sadly combine, and bid remembrance keep,
To soothe me with fair scenes, and fancies rude,
When I pursue my path in solitude.

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