Felicia Dorothea Hemans

(25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England)

Ode To Cheerfulness - Poem by Felicia Dorothea Hemans

LOVELY nymph! with eye serene,
Dimpled smile and frolic mien;
Come, with airy step advancing,
Come, with blooming Hebe dancing;
O'er the meads I see thee straying—
Youth and sport around thee playing—
Gay content, thy sister fair,
Twines a garland round thy hair.
Thine the lip of roseate dye;
Thine the pleasure-sparkling eye;
Thine the cheek that softly glows,
Brighter than the blushing rose!

Guide me to thy fav'rite bow'rs,
To deck thy rural shrine with flow'rs.
In thy lowly, sylvan cell,
Peace and virtue love to dwell;
Ever let me own thy sway,
Still to thee my tribute pay.

When Zephyr waves his balmy wing,
To kiss the sweets of May;
When the soft melodies of spring
Resound from ev'ry spray;
With thee, sweet maid! I'll rove along,
And tread the morning dews;
To hear the wood-lark's early song,
To court the laughing muse.

With thee I'll rove, when summer pours
Her treasures o'er the land;
When fair Pomona sheds her stores,
With kind, luxuriant hand;—

When Autumn, bearing golden sheaves,
Delights the happy swain;
And softly paints the fading leaves,
And crowns the fertile plain.

And e'en in winter's hoary reign
I'll wake my festive lays;
Thy look shall prompt th' enliv'ning strain,
And 'brighten at the blaze!'

I court thee in the vernal hours
Of life's enchanting morn;
Thy hand shall strew my path with flow'rs
And steal away the thorn:

But when the dawn of youth is fled,
The spring of life so fair;
Ah! wilt thou then benignly shed
Thy placid beams around my head,
And steal my thoughts from care?

Yes! gentle pow'r, thy heav'nly ray
Shall cheer my morning bright;
And e'en in life's declining day,
Shall gild the dark and thorny way,
With mild, celestial light!

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010

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