The Fading Gleam Of Parting Day

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I

1.
The fading gleam of parting day
Forsakes the western sky,
Now shines Diana’s chaster ray
With virgin majesty;
Her face with milder glory bright
Pales o’er the dusky shades of night,
And brings the varied scene to view:
The glassy lake, the bubbling stream,
Again reflect the borrow’d beam,
And take the silver hue.

2 .
From the deep shade of yonder trees
The screaming night-birds call,
While floats in Zephyr’s balmy breeze
The distant water-fall;
Sad Philomela’s warbling throat
Pours forth the sweetly-mournful note,
And charms the lay-resounding grove,
Where, trembling at the gentle gale,
The bending fir, and poplar pale,
In rushing murmurs move.

3 .
What joyful sounds arise!—
These strains of rural music sink,
And shrill-ton’d clarions rend the skies,
The air a voice of triumph chears—
Behold, an awful form appears
On Cherwell’s sedgy brink!
His azure length of robe behind
Loosely wantons in the wind,
Glowing like the vernal morning
Beams benign his eye-balls shed,
Ceres’ wealth his brows adorning
Shades his venerable head.
Say, heav’nly Vision, what these notes portend;
Sits white-wing’d Vict’ry on Britannia’s arms?
Does proud Iberia to our legions bend,
Or flies the Gaul at Granby’s dread alarms,
Or stalks on India’s sun-burnt plains afar
The force of Conflict keen, and giant rage of War?

II.
1.
‘Far hence, he cried, the tumult’s roar
‘To distant climes shall fly,
‘Mirth revels now on Albion’s shore,
‘And blithe Festivity.
‘Ye Muses, twine each fragrant flower
‘To crown with roseate braids the hour
‘Which gave to George a blooming Heir;
‘Ye guardians of this favour’d isle,
‘With graceful pleasure kindly smile,
‘Ye Nymphs your wreaths prepare.

2.
‘Come happy babe! delight the lands
‘Which time shall make thy own;
‘Come happy babe! whom Heav’n commands
‘To fill a future throne.
‘And when the sacred lore of truth
‘Shall gently form thy ripening youth,
‘May ev’ry grateful Briton find
‘The soul of George’s godlike race,
‘With lovely Charlotte’s softer grace,
‘Attemper’d in thy mind.

3 .
‘For thee on Afric’s burning coast
‘Aloft the British ensign waves;
‘For thee by rattling tempests tost
‘Their navies awe the Gallic pride,
‘On every realm, whose hostile side
‘The boundless ocean laves;—
‘With nobler skill and fiercer fire
‘Strike the rapture-breathing lyre!
‘Hark!—on Cambria’s cloud-topt mountains
‘Music winds her streams along:
‘As they flow, the crystal fountains
‘Listen to the jocund song!
‘Lo! glorious shades and halcyon days appear
‘Fair as the Morn in saffron mantle dight,—
‘But sounds divine ill suit the human ear,
‘And fleeting visions mock the mortal sight.’
He said: and rushing from my wond’ring eyes,
On rapid light’ning borne, he sought his native skies.

 

– Henry James Pye

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