Verses, To William Lyttleton, Esq.

How blithely pass'd the summer's day!
How bright was every flower!
While friends arrived in circles gay,
To visit Damon's bower!

But now, with silent step I range
Along some lonely shore;
And Damon's bower, alas the change!
Is gay with friends no more.

Away to crowds and cities borne,
In quest of joy they steer,
Whilst I, alas! am left forlorn,
To weep the parting year!

O pensive autumn! how I grieve
Thy sorrowing face to see!
When languid suns are taking leave
Of every drooping tree.

Ah! let me not, with heavy eye,
This dying scene survey!
Haste Winter! Haste! usurp the sky;
Complete my bower's decay.

Ill can I bear the motley cast
Yon sickening leaves retain;
That speak at once of pleasure past,
And bode approaching pain.

At home, unblest, I gaze around,
My distant scenes require;
Where, all in murky vapours drown'd,
Are hamlet, hill, and spire.

Though Thomson, sweet descriptive bard!
Inspiring Autumn sung;
Yet how should we the months regard,
That stopt his flowing tongue?

Ah! luckless months, of all the rest,
To whose hard share it fell!
For sure his was the gentlest breast
That ever sung so well.

And see, the swallows now disown
The roofs they loved before,
Each, like his tuneful genius, flown
To glad some happier shore.

The wood-nymph eyes, with pale affright,
The sportsman's frantic deed,
While hounds, and horns, and yells, unite
To drown the Muse's reed.

Ye fields, with blighted herbage brown!
Ye skies, no longer blue!
Too much we feel from Fortune's frown
To bear these frowns from you.

Where is the mead's unsullied green?
The zephyr's balmy gale?
And where sweet friendship's cordial mien,
That brighten'd every vale?

What though the vine disclose her dyes,
And boast her purple store?
Not all the vineyard's rich supplies
Can soothe our sorrows more.

He! he is gone, whose moral strain
Could wit and mirth refine;
He! he is gone, whose social vein
Surpass'd the power of wine.

Fast by the streams he deign'd to praise,
In yon sequester'd grove,
To him a votive urn I raise,
To him, and friendly Love.

Yes, there, my friend! forlorn and sad
I grave your Thomson's name,
And there, his lyre; which Fate forbade
To sound your growing fame.

There shall my plaintive song recount
Dark themes of hopeless woe,
And faster than the drooping fount
I'll teach mine eyes to flow.

There leaves, in spite of Autumn green,
Shall shade the hallow'd ground,
And Spring will there again be seen
To call forth flowers around.

But no kind suns will bid me share,
Once more, his social hour;
Ah! Spring! thou never canst repair
This loss to Damon's bower.

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"Verses, To William Lyttleton, Esq." Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 22 Sep. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/41625/verses,-to-william-lyttleton,-esq.>.

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