Ode to Blindness.

Ah ! think if June’s delicious rays1
The eye of sorrow can illume,2
Or wild December’s beamless days3
Can fling o’er all a transient gloom :4
Ah ! think if skies, obscure or bright,5
Can thus depress or cheer the mind6
Ah ! think, mid clouds of utter night,7
What mournful moments wait the blind !8
And who shall tell his cause for wo,9
To love the wife he ne’er must see,10
To be a sire, and not to know11
The silent babe that climbs his knee !12
To have his feelings daily torn,13
With pain the passing meal to find ;14
To live distress’d and die forlorn,15
Are ills that oft await the blind.16
When to the breezy upland led,17
At noon, or blushing eve, or morn,18
He hears the red-breast o’er his head,19
While round him breathes the scented thorn :20
But oh ! instead of Nature’s face,21
Hills, dales, and woods, and streams combined,22
Instead of tints, and forms, and grace,23
Night’s blackest mantle shrouds the blind.24
If rosy youth, bereft of sight,25
Midst countless thousands pines unblest,26
As the gay flower withdrawn from light27
Bows to the earth where all must rest :28
Ah ! think, when life’s declining hours29
To chilling penury are consign’d,30
And pain has palsied all his powers,31
Ah ! think, what woes await the blind !”32