Sweet guardian of the rosy cheek!
Whene'er to thee I raise my hands
Upon the mountain's breezy peak,
Or on the yellow winding sands,
If thou hast deign'd, by Pity mov'd,
This fev'rish phantom to prolong,
I've touch'd my lute, for ever lov'd,
And bless'd thee with its earliest song!
And oh! if in thy gentle ear
Its simple notes have sounded sweet,
May the soft breeze, to thee so dear,
Now bear them to thy rose-wreath'd seat!
For thou hast dried the dew of grief,
And Friendship feels new ecstacy:
To Pollio thou hast stretch'd relief,
And, raising him, hast cherish'd me.
So, whilst some treasur'd plant receives
Th' admiring florist's partial show'r,
The drops that tremble from its leaves
Oft feed some near uncultur'd flow'r.
For late connubial Fondness hung
Mute o'er the couch where Pollio lay;
Love, Hope, and Sorrow, fixed her tongue,
Thro' sable night till morning grey.
There, too, by drooping Pollio's side,
Stood Modesty, a mourner meek,
Whilst Genius, mov'd by grief and pride,
Increas'd the blush which grac'd her cheek;
For much the maiden he reprov'd
For having spread her veil of snow
Upon the mind he form'd and lov'd,
Till she was seen to mourn it too.
O Health! when thou art fled, how vain
The witchery of earth and skies,
Love's look, or music's sweetest strain,
Or Ocean's softest lullabies!
Oh! ever hover near his bow'r,
There let thy fav'rite sylphs repair;
Fence it with ev'ry sweet-lipp'd flow'r,
That Sickness find no entrance there.
So shall his lyre, untouch'd so long,
The tone with which it charm'd regain;
Sweet spirit! thou shall teach his song,
With mine, to breathe the grateful strain.