"Lines Written by the Side of a River." by Mary Darby Robinson (1758-1800)
FLOW soft RIVER, gently stray, Still a silent waving tide O'er thy glitt'ring carpet glide, While I chaunt my ROUNDELAY, As I gather from thy bank, Shelter'd by the poplar dank, King-cups, deck'd in golden pride, Harebells sweet, and daisies pied; While beneath the evening sky, Soft the western breezes fly. Gentle RIVER, should'st thou be Touch'd with mournful sympathy, When reflection tells my soul, Winter's icy breath shall quellThy sweet bosom's graceful swell, And thy dimpling course controul; Should a crystal tear of mine, Fall upon thy lucid breast, Oh receive the trembling guest, For 'tis PITY'S drop divine !
GENTLE ZEPHYR, softly play,Shake thy dewy wings around,Sprinkle odours o'er the ground, While I chaunt my ROUNDELAY. While the woodbine's mingling shade, Veils my pensive, drooping head; Fan, oh fan, the busy gale,That rudely wantons round my cheek,Where the tear of suff'rance meek, Glitters on the LILY pale: Ah! no more the damask ROSE, There in crimson lustre glows; Thirsty fevers from my lip Dare the ruddy drops to sip; Deep within my burning heart, Sorrow plants an icy dart; From whose point the soft tears flow, Melting in the vivid glow; Gentle Zephyr, should'st thou be Touch'd with tender sympathy; When reflection calls to mind, The bleak and desolating wind, That soon thy silken wing shall tear, And waft it on the freezing air; Zephyr, should a tender sigh To thy balmy bosom fly, Oh! receive the flutt'ring thing, Place it on thy filmy wing, Bear it to its native sky, For 'tis PITY'S softest sigh.
O'er the golden lids of day Steals a veil of sober grey; Now the flow'rets sink to rest, On the moist earth's glitt'ring breast; Homeward now I'll bend my way, AND CHAUNT MY PLAINTIVE ROUNDELAY.