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Poem by Anne Grant


The Nymph of the Fountain


FAIR daughter of that fleeting race
Who fade like Autumn's leafy store,
Welcome, my rocky haunts to trace,
And all my secret cells explore.
Full many an oak, whose lofty head
With sacred mistletoe was crown'd,
Since first I own'd that stony bed,
Sunk dodder'd to its native ground.
And many a towering grove of pine,
Whose gloom shut out the noon-day sun,
In shatter'd ruin lies supine,
Since first my wat'ry course begun.
And many a toiling race of man
Has joy'd in youth, and mourn'd in age,
Since first my pensive view began
To trace their weary pilgrimage.
And many a nymph with sounding bow,
Slow-rolling eyes, and heavy locks,
As young, as fair, as soft as thou,
Has chas'd the deer o'er yonder rocks.
And when the sun's meridian heat
With fervid splendour fir'd the heath,
Oft have they sought my cool retreat,
With glowing breast and panting breath.
Yet, never did I pour my stream
To bathe a breast more pure than thine,
Or visit eyes in whose mild beam
So clear the gentler virtues shine.
When with light step thy naked feet
Move quick my primrose banks along,
I bid my streams with murmur sweet
Their liquid melody prolong.
When Echo to thy voice replies
From yonder arch of rugged stone,
Well pleas'd I lift my humid eyes,
As blue and languid as thy own:
When from yon hazle's pendent shade
Sweet spring awakes the blackbird's strain,
Come to my bosom, gentle maid,
And lave thy streaming locks again.
Pluck from my brink the flow'ry store
That blushing decks the infant year,
And to increase their beauty more,
Deign round thy brow the wreath to wear.
And when the summer's ardent glow
Shrinks every brook in yonder plain,
Come where my lucid waters flow,
And bathe thy graceful form again.
Nor yet, when wintry tempests howl,
To haunt my lonely margin cease:
Through life's dark storms the virtuous soul
Finds Reason's steady light increase.
Hard ice, that crusts my current clear,
Renews more pure my sparkling stream;
Thus may Affliction's hand severe
Add lustre to the mental gem.
Where'er you rove, where'er you rest,
May Peace your pensive steps attend,
And halcyon Innocence your breast
From each contagious blast defend! 



Anne Grant


Anne Grant's other poems:
  1. Eighteen Hundred and Thirteen
  2. To Miss Dunbar of Boath
  3. Sent to a Young Noblema
  4. On the Death of Burns
  5. Blue Bell of Scotland


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