Joanna Baillie

(1762-1851 / Scotland)

To The Lark


MOUNT , child of Morning, mount and sing,
And gaily beat thy fluttering wing,
And sound thy shrill alarms:
Bath'd in the fountains of the dew
Thy sense is keen, thy joys are new;
The wide world opens to thy view,
And spreads its earliest charms.
Far shower'd around, the hill, the plain
Catch the glad impulse of thy strain,
And fling their veil aside;
While warm with hope and rapturous joy
Thy thrilling lay rings cheerily,
Love swells its notes, and liberty,
And youth's exulting pride.

Thy little bosom knows no ill,
No gloomy thought, no wayward will:
'Tis sunshine all, and ease.
Like thy own plumes along the sky,
Thy tranquil days glide smoothly by;
No track behind them as they fly
Proclaims departed peace.
'Twas thus my earliest hopes aspired,
'Twas thus, with youthful ardour fired,
I vainly thought to soar:
To snatch from fate the dazzling prize,
Beyond the beam of vulgar eyes.--
--Alas! th' unbidden sigh will rise.
Those days shall dawn no more!
How glorious rose life's morning star!
In bright procession round her car,
How danced the heavenly train!
Truth beckon'd from her radiant throne,
And Fame held high her starry crown,
While Hope and Love look'd smiling down,
Nor bade my toils be vain.

Too soon the fond illusion past;--
Too gay, too bright, too pure to last,
It melted from my gaze.
And, narrowing with each coming year,
Life's onward path grew dark and drear,
While pride forbade the starting tear
Would fall o'er happier days.
Still o'er my soul, though changed and dead,
One lingering, doubtful beam is shed;
One ray not yet withdrawn;
And still that twilight soft and dear,
That tells of friends and former cheer,
Half makes me fain to linger here,--
Half hope a second dawn.
Sing on! sing on! What heart so cold,
When such a tale of joy is told,
But needs must sympathize!
As from some cherub of the sky
I hail thy morning melody.--
--Oh! could I mount with thee on high
And share thy ecstasies!

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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