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In vain fair Maid you ask in vain My pen s

In vain fair Maid you ask in vain
My pen should try th adventrous strain
And following truths unalterd law
Attempt your character to draw.
I own indeed that generous mind
That weeps the woes of human kind
That heart by friendships charms inspired
That soul with sprightly fancy fired
The air of life the vivid eye
The flowing wit the keen reply
To paint these beauties as they shine
Might ask a nobler pen than mine.


Yet what sure strokes can draw the Fair
Who vary like the fleeting air
Like willows bending to the force
Whereer the gales direct their course
Opposed to no misfortunes power
And changing with the changing hour.
Now gaily sporting on the plain
They charm the grove with pleasing strain
Anon disturbd they know not why
The sad tear trembles in their eye
Led through vain lifes uncertain dance
The dupes of whim the slaves of chance.


From me not famed for much goodnature
Expect not compliment but satire
To draw your picture quite unable
Instead of fact accept a Fable.


One morn in Æsops noisy time
When all things talkd and talkd in rhyme
A cloud exhaled by vernal beams
Rose curling oer the glassy streams.
The dawn her orient blushes spread
And tinged its lucid skirts with red
Wide waved its folds with glittring dies
And gaily streakd the eastern skies
Beneath illumed with rising day
The seas broad mirror floating lay.
Pleased oer the wave it hung in air
Surveyd its glittering glories there
And fancied dressd in gorgeous show
Itself the brightest thing below
For clouds could raise the vaunting strain
And not the fair alone were vain.


Yet well it knew howeer arrayd
That beauty een in clouds might fade
That nothing sure its charms could boast
Above the loveliest earthly toast
And so like them in early dawn
Resolved its picture should be drawn
That when old age with lengthning day
Should brush the vivid rose away
The world should from the portrait own
Beyond all clouds how bright it shone.


Hard by a painter raised his stage
Far famed the Copley 1 of his age.
So just a form his colours drew
Each eye the perfect semblance knew
Yet still on every blooming face
He pourd the pencils flowing grace
Each critic praised the artist rare
Who drew so like and yet so fair.


To him high floating in the sky
Th elated Cloud advanced t apply.
The painter soon his colours brought
The Cloud then sat the artist wrought
Surveyd her form with flattring strictures
Just as when ladies sit for pictures
Declared "whatever art can do
My utmost skill shall try for you
But sure those strong and golden dies
Dippd in the radiance of the skies
Those folds of gay celestial dress
No mortal colours can express.
Not spread triumphal oer the plain
The rainbow boasts so fair a train
Nor een the morning sun so bright
Who robes his face in heavnly light.
To view that form of angel make
Again Ixion would mistake 2
And justly deem so fair a prize
The sovereign Mistress of the skies "


He said and drew a mazy line
With crimson touch his pencils shine
The mingling colours sweetly fade
And justly temper light and shade.


He lookd the swelling Cloud on high
With wider circuit spread the sky
Stretchd to the sun an ampler train
And pourd new glories on the main.
As quick effacing every ground
His pencil swept the canvas round
And oer its field with magic art
Calld forth new forms in every part.


But now the sun with rising ray
Advanced with speed his early way
Each colour takes a differing die
The orange glows the purples fly.
The artist views the alterd sight
And varies with the varying light
In vain! a sudden gust arose
New folds ascend new shades disclose
And sailing on with swifter pace
The Cloud displays another face.
In vain the painter vexd at heart
Tried all the wonders of his art
In vain he beggd her form to grace
One moment she would keep her place
For "changing thus with every gale
Now gay with light with gloom now pale
Now high in air with gorgeous train
Now settling on the darkend main
With looks more various than the moon
A French coquette were drawn as soon."


He spoke again the air was mild
The Cloud with opening radiance smiled
With canvas new his art he tries
Anew he joins the glittring dies
Th admiring Cloud with pride beheld
Her image deck the pictured field
And colours half complete adorn
The splendor of the painted morn.


When lo the stormy winds arise
Deep gloom invests the changing skies
The sounding tempest shakes the plain
And lifts in billowy surge the main.
The Clouds gay dies in darkness fade
Its folds condense in thicker shade
And borne by rushing blasts its form
With lowering vapour joins the storm..

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by:- admin posted in:- john trumbull

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