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Poem by William Hamilton Reid


Invocation to Melancholy


Come sober Melancholy, come!
Lead me to some impervious gloom.
I love thy tresses, darkly brown,
That flow thy ivory neck a-down;
Far more than hers whose flying foot
Wantons to the silver lute.
With thee I'll stray in musings slow,
Still moralizing as I go
Through forest brown, or desart wild,
Where never wanton beauty smil'd;
Or where, from cloud-encumber'd steep,
A cat'ract pours with sounding sweep,
To swell some river's ancient pride,
That spreads 'neath oaken branches wide;
Upon whose mossy margin given
The pensive pleasures oft are seen
Urging their silent devious way,
At early dawn, or twilight grey:
But most at eve, when just descry'd,
Across the green the shadows glide;
When distant crowds their clamours cease,
And silence seeks the grot of peace;
Whilst dew-drops fill the cowslip's bell,
And in the copse soft breezes swell,
That never told a blushing tale
To pansie sweet, or primrose pale.Ч
From scenes of hurry let me steal,
Sublimer joys with thee to feel;
Where hands that bless'd their humble lot,
Rear'd here and there a straw-roof'd cot:
There graceful nymph Simplicity!
Let me sweet converse hold with thee.
(As all dissolv'd in bliss I seem
"Wrapt in some wild poetic dream;")
Till in this vi'let fringed bound,
I'm rous'd by distant sheep-bells sound;
Or voices which the echo mocks,
Whilst culling simples from the rocks;
Or where yon elmy row embow'rs,
That ruin'd castle's mould'ring tow'rs;
And many a gloomy dungeon drear
Has witness'd to the hopeless tear:
Or where that lonely turf clad tomb
O'er worth was rais'd in early bloom,
Some genius! he whose stubborn woe
At length impell'd the deathful blow;
Where sorrow ever bending wears
A crown of congelated tears;
And never comes th' unwilling hind
But phantoms rush upon his mind.
Of spectres pale and goblins drear,
That chill his vital blood with fear;Ч
Let me still meditate thy lay
Till twilight wakes the cares of day.



William Hamilton Reid


William Hamilton Reid's other poems:
  1. Ode to Reflexion
  2. Elegy, supposed to be written on a Waste near the Charter-house, London
  3. The Tomb of Shere, an Oriental Elegy
  4. Stanzas on Happiness
  5. Invocation to Fancy


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