"Behold, thro' fancy's mirrour, what a scene / The phantom opens, ample, wide, and fair, / Each golden minute, bearing as it flies / Imaginary raptures on its wing; / Flatt'ring my fond deluded heart with dreams / Of lasting pleasure--but alas, how soon / This fairy Eden to a waste is turn'd?"
— Hervey, James (1714-1758)
How short a stay the fugitive has made?
Just like some modish courtly dame, who pays
Her visit, takes her seat-- then bids adieu.
Behold, thro' fancy's mirrour, what a scene
The phantom opens, ample, wide, and fair,
Each golden minute, bearing as it flies
Imaginary raptures on its wing;
Flatt'ring my fond deluded heart with dreams
Of lasting pleasure--but alas, how soon
This fairy Eden to a waste is turn'd?
The distant landscape, spacious, ample, green,
Which sporting fancy drew, weigh'd in the scale
Of cool experience, shrinks and dies away.
Such to the mast-man's eye, his bark with seas
And skies surrounded, seems Britannia's shore;
Her cliffs now sink, now lessen, now are lost.
As from the rounded top on which he stands
He throws a last sad look, and bids adieu,
To her lov'd island, now an isle no more,
While mingling both, as farther he retires
The cloud and land are one--how clearly now
Do I discern the cheat of earthly joys
Delusive phantoms! vanish'd e'er enjoy'd;
Text from Mr. Hervey’s Contemplations on the Night, Done Into Blank Verse, (After the Manner of Dr. Young) By T. Newcomb, M.A. (London: Printed for J. Rivington and J. Fletcher, in Paternoster Row, 1757). <Link to ESTC>