The Complaint

A poem by Thomas Gent

Ah! this wild desolated spot,
Calls forth the plaintive tear;
Remembrance paints my little cot,
Which once did flourish here.

No more the early lark and thrush
Shall hail the rising day,
Nor warble on their native bush,
Nor charm me with their lay.

No more the foliage of the oak
Shall spread its wonted shade;
Now fell'd beneath the hostile stroke
Of red destruction's blade.

Beneath its bloom when summer smil'd,
How oft the rural train
The lingering hours with tales beguil'd,
Or danc'd to Colin's strain.

And, when Aurora with the dawn
Dispell'd the midnight shade,
Her flocks to the accustom'd lawn
Would lovely Phillis lead.

Delusive grandeur never wreath'd
Around Contentment's head,
'Till war its flaming sword unsheath'd,
And wide destruction spread.

The daemon, rising from afar,
His thunders loudly roll:
And, dreadful in his blazing car,
He shakes the shrinking soul.

His foaming coursers onward bend,
And falling empires moan;
One piercing cry the heavens ascend,
One universal groan!

At length, my cottage (memory's tear
Must here its tribute pay)
Was crush'd beneath the victor's spear,
And war's oppressive sway.

And what avail'd the tears, the woe
Of peace the hamlet's pride:
She fell beneath the monster's blow,
And in oblivion died!

Adieu! ye shades, adieu! ye groves,
Now buried in your fall:
Where'er my eye bewilder'd roves,
Tis desolation all!

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