John Logan

(1748-1788 / Scotland)

Ode, Written In A Visit To The Country In Autumn - Poem by John Logan

'Tis past! no more the Summer blooms!
Ascending in the rear,
Behold congenial Autumn comes,
The Sabbath of the year!
What time thy holy whispers breathe,
The pensive evening shade beneath,
And twilight consecrates the floods;
While nature strips her garment gay,
And wears the vesture of decay,
Oh, let me wander through the sounding woods!

Ah! well-known streams!-ah! wonted groves,
Still pictured in my mind!
Oh! sacred scene of youthful loves,
Whose image lives behind!
While sad I ponder on the past,
The joys that must no longer last;
The wild-flower strown on Summer's bier
The dying music of the grove,
And the last elegies of love,
Dissolve the soul, and draw the tender tear!

Alas! the hospitable hall,
Where youth and friendship played,
Wide to the winds a ruined wall
Projects a death-like shade!
The charm is vanished from the vales;
No voice with virgin-whisper hails
A stranger to his native bowers:
No more Arcadian mountains bloom,
Nor Enna valleys breathe perfume;
The fancied Eden fades with all its flowers!

Companions of the youthful scene,
Endeared from earliest days!
With whom I sported on the green,
Or roved the woodland maze!
Long exiled from your native clime,
Or by the thunder-stroke of time
Snatched to the shadows of despair;
I hear your voices in the wind,
Your forms in every walk I find;
I stretch my arms: ye vanish into air!

My steps, when innocent and young,
These fairy paths pursued;
And wandering o'er the wild, I sung
My fancies to the wood.
I mourned the linnet-lover's fate,
Or turtle from her murdered mate,
Condemned the widowed hours to wail:
Or while the mournful vision rose,
I sought to weep for imaged woes,
Nor real life believed a tragic tale!

Alas! misfortune's cloud unkind
May summer soon o'ercast!
And cruel fate's untimely wind
All human beauty blast!
The wrath of nature smites our bowers,
And promised fruits and cherished flowers,
The hopes of life in embryo sweeps;
Pale o'er the ruins of his prime,
And desolate before his time,
In silence sad the mourner walks and weeps!

Relentless power! whose fated stroke
O'er wretched man prevails!
Ha! love's eternal chain is broke,
And friendship's covenant fails!
Upbraiding forms! a moment's ease-
O memory! how shall I appease
The bleeding shade, the unlaid ghost?
What charm can bind the gushing eye,
What voice console the incessant sigh,
And everlasting longings for the lost?

Yet not unwelcome waves the wood
That hides me in its gloom,
While lost in melancholy mood
I muse upon the tomb.
Their chequered leaves the branches shed;
Whirling in eddies o'er my head,
They sadly sigh that Winter's near:
The warning voice I hear behind,
That shakes the wood without a wind,
And solemn sounds the death-bell of the year.

Nor will I court Lethean streams,
The sorrowing sense to steep;
Nor drink oblivion of the themes
On which I love to weep.
Belated oft by fabled rill,
While nightly o'er the hallowed hill
A“¿al music seems to mourn;
I'll listen Autumn's closing strain;
Then woo the walks of youth again,
And pour my sorrows o'er the untimely urn!


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010



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