William Stanley Roscoe (1785-1843)

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To the Harvest Moon

Again thou reignest in thy golden hall,
Rejoicing in thy sway, fair queen of night!
The ruddy reapers hail thee with delight,
Theirs is the harvest, theirs the joyous call
For tasks well ended ere the season's fall.
Sweet orb, thou smilest from thy starry height,
But whilst on them thy beams are shedding bright,
To me thou comest overshadowed with a pall:
To me alone the year hath fruitless flown,
Earth hath fulfilled her trust through all her lands,
The good man gathereth now where he had sown,
And the great master in his vineyard stands;
But I, as if my task were all unknown,
Come to his gates, alas, with empty hands.

To My Father

Stay thine overshadowing wings, relentless Time,
Nor shed those auburn locks with falling gray,
That over my father's frownless forehead play
Graceful and fair, as in youth's golden prime.
Stay thy rude hand, and he through many a clime
Shall teach thee to retrace thy distant way
To the bright regions of historic day!
Or he shall charm thee with prophetic rhyme
Swept from the strings of freedom's holy lyre,
Or call the muses from the Ausonian land,
And with the strain their breathing lips inspire,
Win thy cold ear, and check thy ebbing sand!
Vain is my prayer--already over my sire
Thou, ruthless power, hast stretched thine iron hand!

On Being Forced to Part with His Library for the Benefit of Creditors

As one who destined from his friends to part,
Regrets his loss, yet hopes again ere-while
To share their converse and enjoy their smile,
And tempers, as he may, affliction's dart,--
Thus, loved asociates! chiefs of elder art!
Teachers of wisdom! who could once beguile
My tedious hours, and lighten every toil,
I now resign you; nor with fainting heart--
For pass a few short years, or days, or hours,
And happier seasons may their dawn unfold,
And all your sacred fellowship restore;
When, freed from earth, unlimited its powers,
Mind shall with mind direct communion hold,
And kindred spirits meet to part no more.