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ONE morning in the month of May
I wandered o'er the hill;
Tho' nature all around was gay,
My heart was heavy still.
Can God, I thought, the just, the great, These meaner creatures bless,
And yet deny to man's estate
The boon of happiness?
Tell me, ye woods, ye smiling plains,
Ye blessed birds around,
In which of nature's wide domains
Can bliss for man be found.
The birds wild caroll'd over head,
The breeze around me blew, And nature's awful chorus said-No bliss for man she knew.
I question'd love, whose early ray,
So rosy bright appears,
And heard the timid genius say
His light was dimm'd by tears.
I questioned friendship: Friendship sigh'd,
And thus her answer gave-
The few whom fortune never turn'd
Were wither'd in the grave!
I ask'd if vice could bliss bestow ?
Vice boasted loud and well,
But fading from her wither'd brow,
The borrowed roses fell.
I sought of feeling, if her skill
Could sooth the wounded breast;
And found her mourning, faint and still, For others' woes distressed!
I question'd virtue: virtue sighed, No boon could she dispenseNor virtue was her name, she cried, But humble penitence.
I question'd death-the grisly shade
Relax'd his brow severe-
And I am happiness," he said,
"If Virtue guides thee here."
I SEE them on their winding way,
About their ranks the moonbeams play ;
Their lofty deeds and daring high
Blend with the notes of victory.
And waving arms, and banners bright,
Are glancing in the mellow light:
They're lost-and gone, the moon is past,
The wood's dark shade is o'er them cast;
And fainter, fainter, fainter still
The march is rising o'er the hill.
Again, again, the pealing drum,
The clashing horn-they come, they come;
Through rocky pass, o'er wooded steep,
In long and glittering files they sweep.
And nearer, nearer, yet more near,
Their soften'd chorus meets the ear;
Forth, forth, and meet them on their way;
The trampling hoofs brook no delay;
With thrilling fife and pealing drum,
And clashing horn, they come, they come.
REFLECTED on the lake I love
To see the stars of evening glow; So tranquil in the heavens above,
So restless in the wave below.
Thus heavenly hope is all serene,
But earthly hope, how bright so e'er, Still fluctuates o'er this changing scene, As false and fleeting as 'tis fair.