Verse > Anthologies > Francis T. Palgrave, ed. > The Golden Treasury
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Francis T. Palgrave, ed. (1824–1897). The Golden Treasury.  1875.
 
T. Gray
 
CXVII. Ode on the Pleasure Arising from Vicissitude
 
NOW the golden Morn aloft 
  Waves her dew-bespangled wing, 
With vermeil cheek and whisper soft 
  She woos the tardy Spring: 
Till April starts, and calls around         5
The sleeping fragrance from the ground, 
And lightly o'er the living scene 
Scatters his freshest, tenderest green. 
  
Newborn flocks, in rustic dance, 
  Frisking ply their feeble feet;  10
Forgetful of their wintry trance 
  The birds his presence greet: 
But chief, the skylark warbles high 
His trembling thrilling ecstasy; 
And lessening from the dazzled sight,  15
Melts into air and liquid light. 
  
Yesterday the sullen year 
  Saw the snowy whirlwind fly; 
Mute was the music of the air, 
  The herd stood drooping by:  20
Their raptures now that wildly flow 
No yesterday nor morrow know; 
'Tis Man alone that joy descries 
With forward and reverted eyes. 
  
Smiles on past misfortune's brow  25
  Soft reflection's hand can trace, 
And o'er the cheek of sorrow throw 
  A melancholy grace; 
While hope prolongs our happier hour, 
Or deepest shades, that dimly lour  30
And blacken round our weary way, 
Gilds with a gleam of distant day. 
  
Still, where rosy pleasure leads, 
  See a kindred grief pursue; 
Behind the steps that misery treads  35
  Approaching comfort view: 
The hues of bliss more brightly glow 
Chastised by sabler tints of woe, 
And blended form, with artful strife, 
The strength and harmony of life.  40
  
See the wretch that long has tost 
  On the thorny bed of pain, 
At length repair his vigour lost 
  And breathe and walk again: 
The meanest floweret of the vale,  45
The simplest note that swells the gale, 
The common sun, the air, the skies, 
To him are opening Paradise. 
 
 
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