Eliza Acton

On Approaching Paris 1826

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We journey'd on !--the twilight star
Shone, in its tranquil beauty, o'er us;
While, with its thousand lights, afar
The glitt'ring city lay before us.
Oh! never o'er an ev'ning's close
Sank more serene, and sweet repose!
So lingeringly the sun-set ray
Had faded from the west away,
It seem'd as if the Fire-God met
His parting moment with regret;
The voices of the winds were still,
And breath'd no sigh on bow'r or hill;

There was not ev'n the slightest cloud
The heavens clear depth of blue to shroud;
But all things wore that peaceful mood,
Which wins the soul to solitude--
And it might well the spirit grieve
Such scene's soft quietude to leave,
To mix with restless crowds again,
Amidst the wildering haunts of men;
Where warring interests wear away
The best affections,--and decay
The links of confidence,--and steal
The springs of life from hearts that feel.
In sadness at the thought, I turn'd
To mark the countless fires that burn'd
Along the distance--flashing high,
From tow'r, and wall their radiancy;
For different, as the changing glare,
Of the red, fitful gleamings there,
To the pure planet's holy light,
Which o'er us beam'd, so calmly bright,

The throng'd resorts, where thousands press
To snatch the spoils of selfishness,
To Nature's still seclusions are,
By God to Man, in goodness giv'n,
Where Vice not yet hath dar'd to mar,
The blest, and stainless gifts of heav'n!

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Eliza Acton