MORNING

MORNING [1] 

--------Toties nostros Titonia questus
Praeterit, et gelido spargit miserata flagello.

Statius [2] 
1799
O Morn! I hail thy soft enchanting breezes,
Thy soul-felt presence, and reviving light,
Thy glad approach my anxious bosom eases,
And care & sorrow for a while take flight.
Like Youth's gay hours, or spring's delicious season,5
To me once more thy balmy breath appears,
Lost hope returns, assumes the face of reason,
And half persuades to flight oppressive fears.
While darken'd casements vainly light excluded,
I woo'd propitious sleep with languid sighs,10
Care thro' the gloom his anxious face obtruded,
And banish'd slumber from my weary eyes.
Ah! what avail the couch, or curtain'd awning,
The eider's softness, or luxurious bed?
With sleepless, aching eyes I wait thy dawning15
While the vain pillow mocks my throbbing head.
The tedious hours I told with watchful anguish,
And oft, Oh Morn! accus'd thy long delay:
I hail thee now, no longer vainly languish
But quit my couch and bless refreshing day.20
Thro' the long night impatient, sad, and weary,
How melancholy life itself appear'd!
Lo! cheerful day illumes my prospects dreary,
And how diminished are the ills I fear'd!
Tho' pleasure shine not in th'expected morrow,25
Tho' nought were promised but return of care,
The light of Heav'n could banish half my sorrow,
And comfort whispers in the fresh, cool air.
I hear the grateful voice of joy and pleasure,
All nature seems my sadness to reprove, 30
High trills the lark his wild extatic measure,
The groves resound with liberty and love.
Ere his glad voice proclaim'd thy dawning early
How oft deceiv'd I rose thy light to hail,
Thro' the damp grass hoarse accents sounded cheerly35
As woo'd his distant love the watchful rail.
Oh, you! who murmur at the call of duty,
And quit your pillow with reluctant sloth,
For whom the Morn in vain displays her beauty,
While tasteless you can greet her smiles so loth.40
You cannot know the charm which o'er me stealing
Revives my senses as I taste her breath,
Which half repays the agony of feeling
A night of horrors, only less than death.

Notes

[1] EDITOR'S NOTE: "Morning" is printed without a date in Psyche, with Other Poems, with lines 13-16 omitted, and with the "Titonia" of the epigraph replaced with "Titania." BACK

[2] EDITOR'S NOTE: Statius, "To Sleep," Silvae 5.4.9-10: "So often does Tithonia pass me by and in pity sprinkle me with her chill whip" (D. R. Shackleton Bailey translation). BACK

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