The Pleasures Of The Mind

by Elizabeth Bentley

Elizabeth Bentley

IN Life's first dawn, ere Reason's ray
Rising sheds the promis'd day,
Gay Novelty officious flies,
With mantle dipt in heav'nly dies;
Trifles than morning clouds more light,
Deck'd by his hand allure the sight;
Each object by his touch some grace assumes,
In youthful beauty all creation blooms.
Infancy delights to stray
Where smiling meads their charms display,
To make each simple flow'r her own,
That liberal Nature's hand has sown;
The trembling harebell ting'd with blue,
The glossy kingcup's yellow hue,
Or snowy daisy tipt with red,
Springing spontaneous on their grassy bed;
The flaunting butterfly to chace.
Or Evening's flitting shadows trace;
Or seek the spot (yet never found)
Where the rainbow meets the ground.
Fond passions next the soul inspire,
She glows with Friendship's gen'rous fire;
Now on fairy land she treads,
And now th' etherial pinion spreads,
To soar from earth her pow'r she tries,
As Hope's ideal pleasures rise;
Young Fancy bids her seek some silent stream,
Where tufted trees exclude the mid-day beam;
Where scenes by Nature's brightest pencil drawn,
Th' enamel'd banks adorn:
Or range some pathless desert o'er,
Where human foot ne'er prest before;
When whirling winds the sandy surface sweep,
Or boisterous rouse the boiling deep;
When clouds meet clouds in tempest driv'n,
And livid flame illumes the vault of heav'n,
The heart exults with awful rapture warm,
And glories in the grandeur of the storm.
The mind now feels firm Reason's sway,
Empress of Life's meridian day;
Imagination's airy dream is o'er,
Gay dazzling Novelty enchants no more;
Wisdom comes with step sedate,
Calmer pleasures round her wait,
Hope no more deludes the eye,
With promis'd bliss, not found beneath the sky;
Each thought refines, the heart content can share
Her lot of happiness tho' mix'd with care.
When summon'd by the sacred word
Of Heav'n's creating Lord,
The soul forsakes her vehicle of clay,
And seeks her native realms of day,
Then shall earth's sublimest joys
Vanish like Childhood's glittering toys;
Eternal transports in the breast shall glow,
At God's right hand, where purest pleasures flow.

Last updated January 14, 2019