Ode to Youth by Hannah Brand

Sweet Morn of Life! All hail! Ye hours of ease!
When blooms the cheek with roseate varying dies,
When modest grace exerts each power to please,
And streaming lustre radiates in the eyes.
Thy past hours, innocent; thy present, gay;
Thy future, halcyon Hope depicts without allay.

Day-spring of Life! Oh stay thy fleeting hours!
Thou fairy-reign of ev’ry pleasant thought!
Fancy, to cheer thy path, strews all her flowers,
And in her loom thy plan of years is wrought.
By thee for goodness is each heart carest;
The world, untried, is judg’d by that within thy breast.

Sweet state of Youth! O harmony of Soul!
Now chearful dawns the day; noon brightly beams;
And evening comes serene, nor cares controul;
And night approaches with soft infant dreams.
Circling the morn beholds th’ accustom’d round,
Life’s smiling charities awake, and joys abound.

Season of hope, and peace, and virtues! stay!
And, for my bliss — with inexperience rest!
For what can prudent foresight’s beam display?—
Why — the barbed arrow pointed at my breast!—
Teach to suspect the heart I guileless trust!
And, ere I am betrayed, to think a friend unjust.

Thou candid Age! with ardent Friendship fraught,
That fearless confidence to none denies:
Better sometimes deceiv’d — and artless, taught
By thine own griefs, the wisdom of the wise.
When sad Experience with sorrowing breath,
Sheds, weeping sheds, the pristine roses in Hope’s wreath.

Season belov’d! Ah, doom’d to pass away!
With all thy freshness, all thy flatt’ring joys,
With blooming Beauty’s envied, powerful sway,
With laughing hours the future ne’er annoys.
Ah! be thou spent as Vertue bids thee spend!
Then — though I wish thy stay, no sighs thy reign shall end.

From: http://spenserians.cath.vt.edu/TextRecord.php?&action=GET&textsid=38178

Date: 1791

By: Hannah Brand (1754-1821)

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