Tho' humble the banquet to which I invite thee,
Thou'lt find there the best a poor bard can command:
Eyes, beaming with welcome, shall throng round, to light thee,
And Love serve the feast with his own willing hand.
And tho' Fortune may seem to have turned from the dwelling
Of him thou regardest her favoring ray,
Thou wilt find there a gift, all her treasures excelling,
Which, proudly he feels, hath ennobled his way.
'Tis that freedom of mind, which no vulgar dominion
Can turn from the path a pure conscience approves;
Which, with hope in the heart, and no chain on the pinion,
Holds upwards its course to the light which it loves.
'Tis this makes the pride of his humble retreat,
And, with this, tho' of all other treasures bereaved,
The breeze of his garden to him is more sweet
Than the costliest incense that Pomp e'er received.
Then, come,--if a board so untempting hath power
To win thee from grandeur, its best shall be thine;
And there's one, long the light of the bard's happy bower,
Who, smiling, will blend her bright welcome with mine.