Time; on Leaving Castella


WHEN Time the lov'd Castella's Ariel flew,
Nor sleep nor interval Enchantment knew,
The saddled horse delusion's charm reprov'd,
M Y WATCH the error of my feelings prov'd.
" Superfluous intruder, " I exclaim'd,
" By Taste rejected, and by Love disclaim'd;
Officious mirrour of the fading joy,
No more the visionary scene destroy,
Against imperial Fancy's throne rebel,
Or thy abhorr'd and baneful secrets tell.
Away to Misery, and cheer its doom,
Or bid the " hope deferr'd " its light resume:
But never tell the happy, they must part,
Or undeceive the reckoning of the heart.
Inquisitor, farewell! be thine despair —
For me the gale of hope, the vernal air:
A Memory that calculates like thee
Is form'd of elements too cold for me;
Nor, when I visit next Castella's bower,
Shall I of thee demand the passing hour,
Nor, when the genial Spring Lantrissant greets,
And Cambria's Judge again the Sheriff meets,
Shall my records a note of thee permit,
Whose vain rebuke 'tis nobler to forget;
Thy restless wing Affection's golden chain
Shall bind with Fancy, and with joy detain. "
I said, and quitted that Elysian scene;
But, when its Angels could no more be seen,
The cheat inverted — I again its prey,
The minute was an hour, the hour a day.
'Twas then I hop'd that Fancy was deceiv'd;
The voice of Truth I courted and believ'd;
" But vain the hope, for not in days or hours
Can Time suspend or animate his powers;
And, though he lingers in the barren waste,
Or wing'd as lightning in the realms of taste,
His oracle no witness can impart,
Nor speaks to feeling minds but in the heart. "
I said, and, piqued at subtle Pain's delay,
Threw the dull implement of Time away.
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