Μεσονυκτίοις ποθ' ὥραις, κ.τ.λ.
'Twas now the hour when Night had driven
Her car half round yon sable heaven;
Boötes, only, seem'd to roll
His Arctic charge around the Pole;
While mortals, lost in gentle sleep,
Forgot to smile, or ceas'd to weep:
At this lone hour the Paphian boy,
Descending from the realms of joy,
Quick to my gate directs his course,
And knocks with all his little force;
My visions fled, alarm'd I rose,—
"What stranger breaks my blest repose?"
"Alas!" replies the wily child
In faltering accents sweetly mild;
"A hapless Infant here I roam,
Far from my dear maternal home.
Oh! shield me from the wintry blast!
The nightly storm is pouring fast.
No prowling robber lingers here;
- [The motto does not appear in Hours of Idleness or Poems O. and T.]
- The Newstead MS. inserts—
No Moon in silver robe was seen
Nor e'en a trembling star between.