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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

The Visionary

William Robert Spencer (1770–1834)

WHEN midnight o’er the moonless skies

Her pall of transient death has spread,

When mortals sleep, when spectres rise,

And nought is wakeful but the dead!

No bloodless shape my way pursues,

No sheeted ghost my couch annoys,

Visions more sad my fancy views,

Visions of long departed joys!

The shade of youthful Hope is there,

That linger’d long, and latest died:

Ambition all dissolved to air,

With phantom honours at her side.

What empty shadows glimmer nigh!

They once were Friendship, Truth, and Love!

Oh! die to thought, to memory die,

Since lifeless to my heart ye prove!