TO TRANQUILITY

TO
TRANQUILITY [1] 

Oh! once again, Tranquillity!
My darksome path illume;
Or must I never, never see
Thy smiles disperse this gloom?
Lo! from the tempest-blackning sky,5
White beams the placid moon,
The clouds before her radiance fly
Thro' night's obscurest noon.
A transient calm, a moment's peace,
A struggling, lucid ray,10
Bids the wild winds a while to cease
And seems to promise day.
Short hope! again the gathering storms
With rage redoubled rise,
And heavy darkness deep deforms15
The silvery, gleaming skies.
Alas! even thus there shone for me
A gentle flattering hour,
And sooth'd, I hail'd Tranquillity!
Thy soft, restoring power.20
Ah hail'd in vain! again involv'd
Fast bound in misery,
By whirling anguish quick revolv'd
On Care's black wheel I fly.
And is there then no place of rest,25
Is hope extinct and dead?
Has Mercy clos'd her pitying breast
And Peace for ever fled?
Oh! yet return, return once more,
Ador'd Tranquillity!30
This fever'd heart to health restore,
Or lull to Apathy.
Object of all my vows! for thee
I left the rose-crown'd bands,
That sail on Pleasure's silver sea,35
Or tread her golden sands.
For thee I sought mid silent glades
Deep Quiet's lonely bowers
And hid in melancholy shades
Consum'd the languid hours.40
But not for me thy placid smile
Illumines Quiet's cell,
And here no dreams the heart beguile
With transient, joyous spell
The languid hours bring no relief,45
Tho' far from crowds & courts
The care I shunn'd, the bitter grief,
To me alone resorts.
In the dark silence of the grave
Where all things are forgot,50
There shall I find the rest I crave,
At length releas'd from thought?
There I at least may cease to feel
The bitterness of life,
The wounds that hope no more can heal,55
Her agony of strife.
Oh! welcome then thou dreaded vault!
Thou chilly, cypress gloom!
I hail the shrine which long I sought,
Its only porch, the tomb.60

Notes

[1] EDITOR'S NOTE: The first 12 stanzas of "To Tranquility" are printed in Mary where it is dated 1802 (the source text for Collected Poems and Journals). BACK

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