At Oxford, 1786

A poem by William Lisle Bowles

Bereave me not of Fancy's shadowy dreams,
Which won my heart, or when the gay career
Of life begun, or when at times a tear
Sat sad on memory's cheek--though loftier themes
Await the awakened mind to the high prize
Of wisdom, hardly earned with toil and pain,
Aspiring patient; yet on life's wide plain
Left fatherless, where many a wanderer sighs
Hourly, and oft our road is lone and long,
'Twere not a crime should we a while delay
Amid the sunny field; and happier they
Who, as they journey, woo the charm of song,
To cheer their way; till they forget to weep,
And the tired sense is hushed, and sinks to sleep.

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