Printed for Joseph Johnson, In St. Paul’s Church-Yard.
To the Right Honourable Lady Mary West, These poems are respectfully inscribed By her Ladyship’s obliged And most obedient servant,
Anna LÆtitia Aikin.
Warrington, 1772-12-01Dec. 1ſt. 1772.
- Page 20, line ult. for fenſe read ſenſe.
- Page 25, line 2, for theme read themes.
- ---------- for reverend read reverent.
- The two pages after the 73d, inſtead of 66, 67, ſhould be numbered 74, 75; and the two pages after the 77th, inſtead of 70, 71, should be numbered 78, 79.
- Page 89, line ult. inſtead of a full ſtop put a comma.
Corsica. Written in the year 17691769.
Hail generous Corsica! unconquer’d iſle!
The fort of freedom; that amidſt the waves
Stands like a rock of adamant, and dares
The wildeſt fury of the beating ſtorm.
And are there yet, in this late ſickly age
(Unkindly to the tow’ring growths of virtue)
Such bold exalted ſpirits? Men whoſe deeds,
To the bright annals of old Greece oppos’d,
Would throw in ſhades her yet unrival’d name,
And dim the luſtre of her faireſt page.
And glows the flame of Liberty ſo ſtrong
In this lone ſpeck of earth! this ſpot obſcure,
Shaggy with woods, and cruſted o’er with rock,
By ſlaves ſurrounded and by ſlaves oppreſs’d!
What then ſhould Britons feel? ſhould they not catch
The warm contagion of heroic ardour,
And kindle at a fire ſo like their own?
Such were the working thoughts which ſwell’d the breaſt
Of generous Boswell; when with nobler aim
And views beyond the narrow beaten track
By trivial fancy trod, he turn’d his courſeFrom 003 B2r 3
From poliſh’d Gallia’s ſoft delicious vales,
From the grey reliques of imperial Rome,
From her long galleries of laurel’d ſtone,
Her chiſel’d heroes, and her marble gods,
Whoſe dumb majeſtic pomp yet awes the world,
To animated forms of patriot zeal,
Warm in the living majeſty of virtue,
Elate with fearleſs ſpirit, firm, reſolv’d,
By forunefortune unſubdued, unaw’d by power.
How raptur’d fancy burns, while warm in thought
I trace the pictur’d landſcape; while I kiſs
With pilgrim lips devout the ſacred ſoil
Stain’d with the blood of heroes. Cyrnus, hail!
Hail to thy rocky, deep indented ſhores,
And pointed cliffs, which hear the chafing deep
Inceſſant foaming round their ſhaggy ſides:
Hail to thy winding bays, thy ſhelt’ring portsB2 And 004 B2v 4
And ample harbours, which inviting ſtretch
Their hoſpitable arms to every ſail:
Thy numerous ſtreams, that burſting from the cliffs
Down the ſteep channel’d rock impetuous pour
With grateful murmur: on the fearful edge
Of the rude precipice, thy hamlets brown
And ſtraw-roof’d cots, which from the level vale
Scarce ſeen, amongſt the craggy hanging cliffs
Seem like an eagle’s neſt aerial built:
Thy ſwelling mountains, brown with ſolemn ſhade
Of various trees, that wave their giant arms
O’er the rough ſons of freedom; lofty pines,
And hardy fir, and ilex ever green,
And ſpreading cheſnut, with each humbler plant,
And ſhrub of fragrant leaf, that clothes their ſides
With living verdure; whence the cluſt’ring bee
Extracts her golden dews: the ſhining box,
And ſweet-leav’d myrtle, aromatic thyme,The 005 B3r 5
The prickly juniper, and the green leaf
Which feeds the ſpinning worm; while glowing bright
Beneath the various foliage, wildly ſpreads
The arbutus, and rears his ſcarlet fruit
Luxuriant, mantling o’er the craggy ſteeps;
And thy own native laurel crowns the ſcene.
Hail to thy ſavage foreſts, awful, deep:
Thy tangled thickets, and thy crowded woods,
The haunt of herds untam’d; which ſullen bound
From rock to rock with fierce unſocial air
And wilder gaze, and conſcious of the power
That loves to reign amid the lonely ſcenes
Of unbroke nature: precipices huge,
And tumbling torrents; trackleſs deſarts, plains
Fenc’d in with guardian rocks, whoſe quarries teem
With ſhining ſteel, that to the cultur’d fields
And ſunny hills which wave with bearded grain
Defends their homely produce. Liberty,The 006 B3v 6
The mountain goddeſs, loves to range at large
Amidſt ſuch ſcenes, and on the iron ſoil
Prints her majeſtic ſtep: for theſe ſhe ſcorns
The green enamel’d vales, the velvet lap
Of ſmooth ſavannahs, where the pillow’d head
Of luxury repoſes; balmy gales,
And bowers that breathe of bliſs: for theſe, when firſt
This iſle emerging ike beauteous gem
From the dark boſom of the Tyrrhene main
Rear’d its fair front, ſhe mark’d it for her own,
And with her ſpirit warm’d: her genuine ſons,
A broken remnant, from the generous ſtock
Of ancient Greece, from Sparta’s ſad remains,
True to their high deſcent, preſerv’d unquench’d
The ſacred fire thro’ many a barabrous age:
Whom, nor the iron rod of cruel Carthage,
Nor the dread ſceptre of imperial Rome,
Nor bloody Goth, nor griſly Saracen,Nor 007 B4r 7
Nor the long galling yoke of proud Liguria,
Could cruſh into ſubjection. Still unquell’d
They roſe ſuperior, burſting from their chains
And claim’d man’s deareſt birthright, Liberty:
And long, thor’ many a hard unequal ſtrife
Maintain’d the glorious conflict; long withſtood
with ſingle arm, the whole collected force
Of haughty Genoa, and ambitious Gaul:
And ſhall withſtand it, truſt the faithful Muſe.
It is not in the force of mortal arm,
Scarcely in fate, to bind the ſtruggling ſoul
That gall’d by wanton power, indignant ſwells
Againſt oppreſſion; breathing great revenge,
Careleſs of life, determin’d to be free.
And fav’ring heaven approves: for ſee the Man,
Born to exalt his own, and give mankind
A glimpſe of higher natures: juſt, as great;
The ſoul of counſel, and the nerve of war;Of 008 B4v 8
Of high unſhaken ſpirit, temper’d ſweet
With ſoft urbanity, and polish’d grace,
And attic wit, and gay unſtudied ſmiles:
Whom heaven in ſome propitious hour endow’d
With every purer virtue: gave him all
That lifts the hero, or adorns the man.
Gave him the eye ſublime; the ſearching glance
Keen, ſcanning deep, that ſmites the guilty ſoul
As with a beam from heaven; on his brow
Serene, and ſpacious front, ſet the broad ſeal
Of dignity and rule; then ſmil’d benign
On this fair pattern of a God below,
High wrought, and breath’d into his ſwelling breaſt
The large ambitious wiſh to ſave his country.
Oh beauteous title to immortal fame!
The man devoted to the public, ſtands
In the bright records of ſuperior worth
A ſtep below the ſkies: if he ſucceed,The 009 C1r 9
The firſt fair lot which earth affords, is his;
And if he falls, he falls above a throne.
When ſuch their leader can the brave deſpair?
Freedom the cauſe and Paoli the chief.
Succeſs to your fair hopes! a Britiſh muſe,
Tho’ weak and powerleſs, lifts her fervent voice,
And breathes a prayer for your ſucceſs. Oh could
She ſcatter bleſſings as the morn ſheds dews,
To drop upon your heads! but patient hope
Muſt wait the appointed hour; ſecure of this,
That never with the indolent and weak
Will freedom deign to dwell; ſhe muſt be ſeiz’d
By that bold arm that wreſtles for the bleſſing:
’Tis heaven’s beſt gift and muſt be bought with blood.
When the ſtorm thickens, when the combat burns,
And pain and death in every horrid ſhape
That can appall the feeble, prowl around,
Then virtue triumphs; then her tow’ring formC Dilates 010 C1v 10
Dilates with kindling majeſty; her mien
Breathes a diviner ſpirit, and enlarg’d
Each ſpreading feature, with an ampler port
And bolder tone, exulting, rides the ſtorm,
And joys amidſt the tempeſt: then ſhe reaps
Her golden harveſt; fruits of nobler growth
And higher reliſh than meridian ſuns
Can ever ripen; fair, heroic deeds,
And godlike action. ’Tis not meats, and drinks,
And balmy airs, and vernal ſuns, and ſhowers
That feed and ripen minds; ’tis toil and danger;
And wreſtling with the ſtubborn gripe of fate;
And war, and ſharp diſtreſs, and paths obſcure
And dubious. The bold ſwimmer joys not ſo
To feel the proud waves under him, and beat
With ſtrong repelling arm the billowy ſurge;
The generous courſer does not ſo exult
To toſs his floating mane againſt the wind,And 011 C2r 11
And neigh amidſt the thunder of the war,
As virtue to oppoſe her ſwelling breaſt
Like a firm ſhield againſt the darts of fate.
And when her ſons in that rough ſchool have learn’d
To ſmile at danger, then the hand that rais’d
Shall huſh the ſtorm, and lead the ſhining train
Of peaceful years in bright proceſſion on.
Then ſhall the ſhepherd’s pipe, the muſe’s lyre,
On Cyrnus’ ſhores be heard: her grateful ſons
With loud acclaim and hymns of cordial praiſe
Shall hail their high deliverers; every name
To virtue dear be from oblivion ſnatch’d,
And plac’d among the ſtars: but chiefly thine,
Thine, Paoli, with ſweeteſt ſound ſhall dwell
On their applauding lips; thy ſacred name,
Endear’d to long poſterity, ſome muſe,
More worthy of the theme, ſhall conſecrate
To after ages, and applauding worlds
Shall bleſs the godlike man who ſav’d his country.
So vainly wiſh’d, ſo fondly hop’d the Muſe:
Too fondly hop’d: The iron fates prevail,
And Cyrnus is no more. Her generous ſons,
Leſs vanquiſh’d than o’erwhelm’d, by numbers cruſh’d,
Admir’d, unaided fell. So ſtrives the moon
In dubious battle with the gathering clouds,
And ſtrikes a ſplendour thro’ them; till at length
Storms roll’d on ſtorms involve the face of heaven
And quench her ſtruggling fires. Forgive the zeal
That, too preſumptuous, whiſper’d better things
And read the book of deſtiny amiſs.
Not with the purple colouring of ſucceſs
Is virtue beſt adorn’d: th’ attempt is praiſe.
There yet remains a freedom, nobler far
Than kings or ſenates can deſtroy or give;
Beyond the proud oppreſſor’s cruel graſp
Seated ſecure; uninjur’d; undeſtroy’d;
Worthy of Gods: The freedom of the mind.
The Invitation: To Miss B*****.
Health to my friend, and long unbroken years,
By ſtorms unruffled and unſtain’d by tears:
Wing’d by new joys may each white minute fly;
Spring on her cheek, and ſunſhine in her eye:
O’er that dear breaſt, where love and pity ſprings,
May peace eternal ſpread her downy wings:Sweet 014 C3v 14
Sweet beaming hope her path illumine ſtill,
And fair ideas all her fancy fill.
From glittering ſcenes which ſtrike the dazzled ſight
With mimic grandeur and illuſive light,
From idle hurry, and tumultous noiſe,
From hollow friendſhips, and from ſickly joys,
Will Delia, at the muſe’s call retire
To the pure pleaſures rural ſcenes inſpire?
Will ſhe from crowds and buſy cities fly,
Where wreaths of curling ſmoke involve the ſky,
To taſte the grateful ſhade of ſpreading trees,
And drink the ſpirit of the mountain breeze?
When winter’s hand the rough’ning year deforms,
And hollow winds foretel approaching ſtorms,
Then Pleaſure, like a bird of paſſage, flies
To brighter climes, and more indulgent ſkies;
Cities and courts allure her ſprightly train,From 015 C4r 15
From the bleak mountain and the naked plain;
And gold and gems with artificial blaze,
Supply the ſickly ſun’s declining rays:
But ſoon returning on the weſtern gale
She ſeeks the boſom of the graſſy vale;
There, wrapt in careleſs eaſe, attunes the lyre
To the wild warblings of the woodland quire;
The daiſied turf her humble throne ſupplies,
And early primroſes around her riſe.
We’ll follow where the ſmiling goddeſs leads,
Thro’ tangled foreſts or enamel’d meads;
O’er pathleſs hills her airy form we’ll chaſe,
In ſilent glades her fairy footſteps trace:
Small pains there needs her footſteps to purſue,
She cannot fly from friendſhip, and from you.
Now the glad earth her frozen zone unbinds,
And o’er her boſom breathe the weſtern winds:
Already now the ſnow-drop dares appear,The 016 C4v 16
The firſt pale bloſſom of th’ unripen’d year;
As Flora’s breath, by some transforming power,
Had chang’d an icicle into a flower:
Its name, and hue, the ſcentleſs plant retains,
And winter lingers in its icy veins.
To theſe ſucceed the violet’s duſky blue,
And each inferior flower of fainter hue;
Till riper months the perfect year diſcloſe,
And Flora cries exulting, See my Roſe!
The Muſe invites, my Delia haſte away,
And let us ſweetly waſte the careleſs day.
Here gentle ſummits lift their airy brow;
Down the green ſlope here winds the labouring plow;
Here bath’d by frequent ſhow’rs cool vales are ſeen,
Cloath’d with freſh verdure, and eternal green;
Here ſmooth canals, acroſs th’ extended plain,
Stretch their long arms, to join the diſtant main:The 017 D1r 17
The ſons of toil with many a weary ſtroke
Scoop the hard boſom of the ſolid rock;
Reſiſtleſs thro’ the ſtiff oppoſing clay
With ſteady patience work their gradual way;
Compel the genius of th’ unwilling flood
Thro’ the brown horrors of the aged wood;
Croſs the lone waſte the ſilver urn they pour,
And chear the barren heath or ſullen moor:
The traveller with pleaſing wonder ſees
The white ſail gleaming thro’ the duſky trees;
And views the alter’d landſcape with ſupriſe,
And boubts the magic ſcenes which round him riſe.
Now, like a flock of ſwans, above his head
Their woven wings the flying veſſels ſpread;
Now meeting ſtreams in artful mazes glide,
While each unmingled pours a ſeparate tide;
Now through the hidden veins of earth they flow,
And viſit ſulphurous mines and caves below;D The 018 D1v 18
The ductile ſtreams obey the guiding hand,
And ſocial plenty circles round the land.
But nobler praiſe awaits our green retreats;
The Muſes here have fixt their ſacred ſeats.
Mark where its ſimple front yon manſion rears,
The nurſery of men for future years:
Here callow chiefs and embryo ſtateſmen lie,
And unfledg’d poets ſhort excurſions try:
While Merſey’s gentle currents, which too long
By fame neglected, and unknown to ſong,
Between his ruſhy banks, (no poet’s theme)
Had crept inglorious, like a vulgar ſtream,
Reflects th’ aſcending ſeats with conſcious pride,
And dares to emulate a claſſic tide.
Soft muſic breathes along each op’ning ſhade,
And ſooths the daſhing of his rough caſcade.
With myſtic lines his ſands are figur’d o’er,And 019 D2r 19
And circles trac’d upon the letter’d ſhore.
Beneath his willows rove th’ inquiring youth,
And court the fair majeſtic form of truth.
Here nature opens all her ſecret ſprings,
And heav’n-born ſcience plumes her eagle wings:
Too long had bigot rage, with malice ſwell’d,
Cruſh’d her ſtrong pinions, and her flight witheld;
Too long to check her ardent progreſs ſtrove:
So writhes the ſerpent round the bird of Jove;
Hangs on her flight, reſtrains her tow’ring wing,
Twiſts its dark folds, and points its venom’d ſting.
Yet ſtill (if aught aright the Muſe divine)
Her riſing pride ſhall mock the vain deſign;
On ſounding pinions yet aloft ſhall ſoar,
And thro’ the azure deep untravel’d paths explore.
Where ſcience ſmiles, the Muſes join the train;
And gentleſt arts and pureſt manners reign.
Ye generous youth who love this ſtudious ſhade,D2 How 020 D2v 20
How rich a field is to your hopes diſplay’d!
Knowledge to you unlocks the claſſic page;
And virtue bloſſoms for a better age.
Oh golden days! oh bright unvalued hours!
What bliſs (did ye but know that bliſs) were yours?
With richeſt ſtores your glowing boſoms fraught,
Perception quick, and luxury of thought;
The high deſigns that heave the labouring ſoul,
Panting for fame, impatient of controul;
And fond enthuſiastic thought, that feeds
On pictur’d tales of vaſt heroic deeds;
And quick affections, kindling into flame
At virtue’s, or their country’s honour’d name;
And ſpirits light to every joy in tune;
And friendſhip ardent as a ſummer’s noon;
And generous ſcorn of vice’s venal tribe;
And proud diſdain of intereſt’s ſordid bribe;And 021 D3r 21
And ſmiles unforc’d; and eaſy confidence;
And vivid fancy; and clear ſimple truth;
And all the mental bloom of vernal youth.
How bright the ſcene to fancy’s eye appears,
Thro’ the long perſpective of diſtant years,
When this, this little group their country calls
From academic ſhades and learned halls,
To fix her laws, her ſpirit to ſuſtain,
And light up glory thro’ her wide domain!
Their various taſtes in different arts diſplay’d,
Like temper’d harmony of light and ſhade,
With friendly union in one maſs ſhall blend,
And this adorn the ſtate, and that defend.
Theſe the ſequeſter’d ſhade ſhall cheaply pleaſe,
With learned labour, and inglorious eaſe:
While thoſe, impell’d by ſome reſiſtleſs force,
O’er ſeas and rocks ſhall urge their vent’rous courſe;Rich 022 D3v 22
Rich fruits matur’d by glowing ſuns behold,
And China’s groves of vegetable gold;
From every land the various harveſt ſpoil,
And bear the tribute to their native ſoil:
But tell each land (while every toil they ſhare,
Firm to ſuſtain, and reſolute to dare,)
Man is the nobler growth our realms ſupply,
And Souls are ripen’d in our northern ſky.
Some penſive creep along the ſhelly ſhore;
Unfold the ſilky texture of a flower;
With ſharpen’d eyes inſpect an hornet’s ſting,
And all the wonders of an inſect’s wing.
Some trace with curious ſearch the hidden cauſe
Of nature’s changes, and her various laws;
Untwiſt her beauteous web, diſrobe her charms,
And hunt her to her elemental forms:
Or prove what hidden powers in herbs are foundTo 023 D4r 23
To quench diſeaſe and ſtaunch the burning wound;
With cordial drops the fainting head ſuſtain,
Call back the flitting ſoul, and ſtill the throbs of pain.
The patriot paſſion this ſhall ſtrongly feel,
Ardent, and glowing with undaunted zeal;
With lips of fire ſhall plead his country’s cauſe,
And vindicate the majeſty of laws.
This cloath’d with Britain’s thunder, ſpread alarms
Thro’ the wide earth, and ſhake the pole with arms.
That to the ſounding lyre his deeds rehearſe,
Enſhrine his name in ſome immortal verſe,
To long poſterity his praiſe conſign,
And pay a life of hardſhips by a line.
While others, conſecrate to higher aims,
Whoſe hallow’d boſoms glow with purer flames,
Love in their heart, perſuaſion in their tongue,
With words of peace ſhall charm the liſt’ning throng,Draw 024 D4v 24
Draw the dread veil that wraps th’ eternal throne,
And launch our ſouls into the bright unknown.
Here ceaſe my ſong. Such arduous themes require
A maſter’s pencil, and a poet’s fire:
Unequal far ſuch bright deſigns to paint,
Too weak her colours, and her lines too faint,
My drooping Muſe folds up her fluttering wing,
And hides her head in the green lap of ſpring.
The Groans of the Tankard.
Of ſtrange events I ſing, and portents dire;
Tho’ ſtrange the tale, the faithful Muſe believe,
And what ſhe ſays with pious awe receive.
’Twas at the ſolemn, ſilent, noon-tide hour,
When hunger rages with deſpotic power,
When the lean ſtudent quits his Hebrew roots,
For the groſs nouriſhment of Engliſh fruits,
And throws unfiniſh’d airy ſyſtems by
For ſolid pudding and ſubſtantial pye,E When 026 E1v 26
When hungry poets the glad ſummons own,
And leave ſpare faſt to dine with Gods alone;
Our ſober meal diſpatch’d with ſilent haſte,
The decent grace concludes the ſhort repaſt:
Then urg’d by thirſt we caſt impatient eyes
Where deep, capacious, vaſt, of ample ſize,
The tankard ſtood, repleniſh’d to the brink
With the cool beverage blue-ey’d Naiads drink.
But lo! a ſudden prodigy appears,
And our chill’d hearts recoil with ſtartling fears;
Its yawning mouth diſclos’d the deep profound,
And in low murmurs breath’d a ſullen ſound;
Cold drops of dew did on the ſides appear;
No finger touch’d it, and no hand was near;
At length th’ indignant vaſe its ſilence broke,
Firſt heav’d deep hollow groans, and then diſtinctly ſpoke.
How chang’d the ſcene! for what unpardon’d crimes
Have I ſurviv’d to theſe degenerate times?I, who 027 E2r 27
I, who was wont the ſeſtal board to grace,
And midſt the circle lift my honeſt face,
White o’er with froth, like Etna crown’d with ſnow,
Which mantled o’er the brown abyſs below,
Where Ceres mingled with her golden ſtore
The richer ſpoils of either India’s ſhore
The dulcet reed the Weſtern iſlands boaſt
And ſpicy fruit from Banda’s fragrant coast.
At ſolemn feaſts the nectar’d draught I pour’d
And often jouney’d round the ample board:
The portly Alderman, the ſtately Mayor,
And all the furry tribe my worth declare;
And the keen Sportſman oft, his labours done,
To me retreating with the ſetting ſun
Deep draughts imbib’d, and conquer’d land and ſea,
And overthrew the pride of France by me.
Let meaner clay contain the limpid wave,
The clay for ſuch an office nature gave;E2 “Let 028 E2v 28
Let China’s earth, enrich’d with colour’d ſtains,
Pencil’d with gold, and ſtreak’d with azure veins,
The grateful flavour of the Indian leaf,
Or Mocho’s ſunburnt berry glad receive;
The nobler metal claims more generous uſe,
And mine ſhould flow with more exalted juice.
Did I for this my native bed reſign,
From the dark bowels of Potosi’s mine?
Was I for this with violence torn away,
And drag’d to regions of the upper day?
For this the rage of toturing furnace bore,
From foreign droſs to purge the bright’ning ore?
For this have I endur’d the fiery teſt,
And was I ſtamp’d for this with Britain’s lofty creſt?
Unbleſt the day, and luckleſs was the hour
Which doom’d me to a Preſbyterian’s power;
Fated to ſerve the Puritanick race,“Whoſe 029 E3r 29
Whoſe ſlender meal is ſhorter than their grace;
Whoſe moping ſons no jovial orgies keep;
Where evening brings no ſummons but to ſleep;
No Carnival is even Chriſtmas here,
And one long Lent involves the meagre year.
Bear me, ye pow’rs! to ſome more genial ſcene,
Where on ſoft cuſhions lolls the gouty Dean,
Or roſy Prebend, with cherubic face,
With double chin, and paunch of portly grace,
Who lull’d in downy ſlumbers ſhall agree
To own no inſpiration but from me.
Or to ſome ſpacious manſion, Gothic, old,
Where Comus ſprightly train their vigils hold;
There oft exhauſted, and repleniſh’d oft,
Oh! let me ſtill ſupply th’eternal draught;
Till care within the deep abyſs be drown’d,
And thought grows giddy at the vaſt profound.
More had the goblet ſpoke, but lo! appears
And ancient Sybil furrow’d o’er with years;
Her aſpect ſour, and ſtern ungracious look
With ſudden damp the conſcious veſſel ſtruck;
Chill’d at her touch its mouth it ſlowly clos’d,
And in long ſilence all its griefs repos’d:
Yet ſtill low murmurs creep along the ground,
And the air vibrates with the ſilver ſound.
On the Backwardneſs of the Spring 17711771.
In vain the ſprightly ſun renews his courſe,
Climbs up th’ aſcending ſigns and leads the day,
While long embattled clouds repel his force,
And lazy vapours choak the golden ray.
In vain the ſpring proclaims the new-born year;
No flowers beneath her lingering footſteps ſpring,
No roſy garland binds her flowing hair,
And in her train no feather’d warblers ſing.
Her opening breaſt is ſtain’d with frequent ſhowers,
Her ſtreaming treſſes bath’d in chilling dews,
And ſad before her move the penſive hours,
Whoſe flagging wings no breathing ſweets diffuſe.
Like ſome lone pilgrim, clad in mournful weed,
Whoſe wounded boſom drinks her falling tears,
On whoſe pale cheek relentleſs ſorrows feed,
Whoſe dreary way no ſprightly carol chears.
Not thus ſhe breath’d on Arno’s purple ſhore,
And call’d the Tuſcan Muſes to her bowers;
Not this the robe in Enna’s vale ſhe wore,
When Ceres daughter fill’d her lap with flowers.
Clouds behind clouds in long ſucceſſion riſe,
And heavy ſnows oppreſs the ſpringing green;
The dazzling waſte fatigues the aching eyes,
And fancy droops beneath th’unvaried ſcene.
Indulgent nature looſe this frozen zone;
Thro’ opening ſkies let genial ſun-beams play;
Diſſolving ſnows ſhall their glad impulſe own,
And melt upon the boſom of the May.
Verses written in an Alcove.
Now the moon-beam’s trembling luſtre
Silvers o’er the dewy green,
And in ſoft and ſhadowy colours
Sweetly paints the checquer’d ſcene.
Here between the opening branches
Streams a flood of ſoften’d light,
There the thick and twiſted foliage
Spreads the browner gloom of night.
This is ſure the haunt of fairies,
In yon cool Alcove they play;
Care can never croſs the threſhold,
Care was only made for day.
Far from hence be noiſy clamour,
Sick diſguſt and anxious fear;
Pining grief and waſting anguiſh
Never keep their vigils here.
Tell no tales of ſheeted ſpectres,
Riſing from the quiet tomb;
Fairer forms this cell ſhall viſit,
Brighter viſions gild the gloom.
Choral ſongs and ſprightly voices
Echo from her cell ſhall call;
Sweeter, ſweeter than the murmur
Of the diſtant water fall.
Ever ruder guſt of paſſion
Lull’d with muſic dies away,
Till within the charmed boſom
None but ſoft affections play:
Soft, as when the evening breezes
Gently ſtir the poplar grove;
Brighter than the ſmile of ſummer,
Sweeter than the breath of love.
Thee, th’inchanted Muſe ſhall follow,
Lissy! to the ruſtic cell,
And each careleſs note repeating
Tune them to her charming ſhell.
Not the Muſe who wreath’d with laurel,
Solemn ſtalks with tragic gait,
And in clear and lofty viſion
Sees the future births of fate;
Not the maid who crown’d with cypreſs
Sweeps along in ſcepter’d pall,
And in ſad and ſolemn accents
Mourns the creſted heroe’s fall;
But that other ſmiling ſiſter,
With the blue and laughing eye,
Singing, in a lighter meaſure,
Strains of woodland harmony:
All unknown to fame or glory,
Eaſy, blith and debonair,
Crown’d with flowers, her careleſs treſſes
Looſely floating on the air.
Then, when next the ſtar of evening
Softly ſheds the ſilent dew,
Let me in this ruſtic temple,
Lissy! meet the Muſe and you.
The Mouse’s Petition, To Doctor Priestley.
Found in the Trap where he had been confined all Night.
Oh! hear a penſive captive’s prayer,
For liberty that ſighs;
And never let thine heart be ſhut
Againſt the priſoner’s cries.
For here forlorn and ſad I ſit,
Within the wiry grate;And 038 F3v 38
And tremble at th’ approaching morn,
Which brings impending fate.
If e’er thy breaſt with freedom glow’d,
And ſpurn’d a tyrant’s chain,
Let not thy ſtrong oppreſſive force
A free-born mouſe detain.
Oh! do not ſtain with guiltleſs blood
Thy hoſpitable hearth;
Nor triumph that thy wiles betray’d
A prize ſo little worth
The ſcatter’d gleanings of a feaſt
My ſcanty meals ſupply;
But if thine unrelenting heart
That ſlender boon deny,
The chearful light, the vital air,
Are bleſſings widely given;
Let nature’s commoners enjoy
The common gifts of heaven.
The well taught philoſophic mind
To all compaſſion gives;
Caſts round the world an equal eye,
And feels for all that lives.
If mind, as ancient ſages taught,
A never dying flame,
Still ſhifts thro’ matter’s varying forms,
In every form the ſame,
Beware, leſt in the worm you cruſh
A brother’s ſoul you find;
And tremble leſt thy luckleſs hand
Diſlodge a kindred mind.
Or, if this tranſient gleam of day
Be all of life we ſhare,
Let pity plead within thy breaſt
That little all to ſpare.
So may thy hoſpitable board
With health and peace be crown’d;
And every charm of heartfelt eaſe
Beneath thy roof be found.
So when unſeen deſtruction lurks,
Which men like mice may ſhare,
May ſome kind angel clear thy path,
And break the hidden ſnare.
To Mrs. P--------,
With ſome Drawings of Birds and Insects.
Amanda bids; at her command again
I ſeize the pencil, or reſume the pen;
No other call my willing hand requires,
And friendſhip, better than a Muſe inſpires.
Painting and poetry are near allied;
The kindred arts two ſiſter Muſes guides;G This 042 G1v 42
This charms the eye, that ſteals upon the ear;
There ſounds are tun’d; and colours blended here:
This with a ſilent touch enchants our eyes,
And bids a gayer brighter world ariſe:
That, leſs allied to ſenſe, with deeper art
Can pierce the cloſe receſſes of the heart;
By well ſet ſyllables, and potent ſound,
Can rouſe, can chill the breaſt, can ſooth, can wound;
To life adds motion, and to beauty ſoul,
And breathes a ſpirit through the finiſh’d whole:
Each perfects each, in friendly union join’d;
This gives Amanda’s form, and that her mind.
But humbler themes my artleſs hand requires,
Nor higher than the feather’d tribe aſpires.
Yet who the various nations can declare
That plow with buſy wing the peopled air?
Theſe cleave the crumbling bark for inſect food;Thoſe 043 G2r 43
Thoſe dip their crooked beak in kindred blood:
Some haunt the ruſhy moor, the lonely woods;
Some bathe their ſilver plumage in the floods;
Some fly to man; his houſhold gods implore
And gather round his hoſpitable door;
Wait the known call, and find protection there
From all the leſſer tyrants of the air.
The tawny Eagle ſeats his callow brood
High on the cliff, and feaſts his young with blood.
On Snowden’s rocks, or Orkney’s wide domain,
Whoſe beetling cliffs o’erhang the weſtern main,
The royal bird his lonely kingdom forms
Amidſt the gathering clouds, and ſullen ſtorms;
Thro’ the wide waſte of air he darts his ſight
And holds his ſounding pinions pois’d for flight;
With cruel eye premeditates the war,
And marks his deſtin’d victim from afar:G2 Deſcend- 044 G2v 44
Deſcending in a whirlwind to the ground,
His pinions like the ruſh of waters ſound;
The faireſt of the fold he bears away,
And to his neſt compels the ſtruggling prey;
He ſcorns the game by meaner hunters tore,
And dips his talons in no vulgar gore.
With lovelier pomp along the graſſy plain
The ſilver pheasant draws his ſhining train;
On India’s painted ſhore, by Ganges’ ſtream,
He ſpreads his plumage to the ſunny gleam:
But when the wiry net his flight confines,
He lowers his purple creſt, and inly pines;
The beauteous captive hangs his ruffled wing
Oppreſs’d by bondage, and our chilly ſpring.
To claim the verſe, unnumber’d tribes appear
That ſwell the muſic of the vernal year:
Seiz’d with the ſpirit of the kindly ſpringThey 045 G3r 45
They tune the voice, and ſleek the gloſſy wing:
With emulative ſtrife the notes prolong
And pour out all their little ſouls in ſong.
When winter bites upon the naked plain,
Nor food nor ſhelter in the groves remain;
By inſtinct led, a firm united band,
As marſhall’d by ſome ſkilful general’s hand,
The congregated nations wing their way
In duſky columns o’er the trackleſs ſea;
In clouds unnumber’d annual hover o’er
The craggy Baſs, or Kilda’s utmoſt shore:
Thence ſpread their ſails to meet the ſouthern wind,
And leave the gathering tempeſt far behind;
Purſue the circling ſun’s indulgent ray,
Courſe the ſwift ſeaſons, and o’ertake the day.
Not ſo the Inſect race, ordain’d to keep
The lazy ſabbath of a half-year’s ſleep.Entomb’d, 046 G3v 46
Entomb’d, beneath the filmy web they lie,
And wait the influence of a kinder ſky;
When vernal ſun-beams pierce their dark retreat,
The heaving tomb diſtends with vital heat;
The full-form’d brood impatient of their cell
Start from their trance, and burſt their ſilken ſhell;
Trembling a-while they ſtand, and ſcarcely dare
To launch at once upon the untried air:
At length aſſur’d, they catch the favouring gale,
And leave their ſordid ſpoils, and high in Ether ſail.
So when Rinaldo ſtruck the conſcious rind,
He found a nymph in every trunk confin’d;
The foreſt labours with convulſive throes,
The burſting trees the lovely births diſcloſe,
And a gay troop of damſels round him ſtood,
Where late was rugged bark and lifeleſs wood.
Lo! the bright train their radiant wings unfold,
With ſilver fring’d and freckl’d o’er with gold:On 047 G4r 47
On the gay boſom of ſome fragrant flower
They idly fluttering live their little hour;
Their life all pleaſure, and their taſk all play,
All ſpring their age, and ſunſhine all their day.
Not ſo the child of ſorrow, wretched man,
His courſe with toil concludes, with pain began:
Pleaſure’s the portion of the th’ inferior kind;
But glory, virtue, Heaven for Man deſign’d.
What atom forms of inſect life appear!
And who can follow nature’s pencil here?
Their wings with azure, green, and purple gloſs’d
Studded with colour’d eyes, with gems emboſsed,
Inlaid with pearl, and mark’d with various ſtains
Of lively crimſon thro’ their duſky veins.
Some ſhoot like living ſtars, athwart the night,
And ſcatter from their wings a vivid light,
To guide the Indian to his tawny loves,
As thro’ the woods with cautious ſtep he moves.
See the proud giant of the beetle race;
What ſhining arms his poliſh’d limbs enchaſe!
Like ſome ſtern warrior formidably bright
His ſteely ſides reflect a gleaming light;
On his large forehead ſpreading horns he wears,
And high in air the branching antlers bears;
O’er many an inch extends his wide domain,
And his rich treasury ſwells with hoarded grain.
Thy friend thus ſtrives to cheat the lonely hour,
With ſong, or paint, an inſect, or a flower:
Yet if Amanda praiſe the flowing line,
And bend delighted o’er the gay deſign,
I envy not, nor emulate the fame
Or of the painter’s, or the poet’s name:
Could I to both with equal claim pretend,
Yet far, far dearer were the name of friend.
Oh! born to ſooth diſtreſs, and lighten care;
Lively as ſoft, and innocent as fair;
Bleſt with that ſweet ſimplicity of thought
So rarely found, and never to be taught;
Of winning ſpeech, endearing, artleſs, kind,
The lovelieſt pattern of a female mind;
Like ſome fair ſpirit from the realms of reſt
With all her native heaven within her breaſt;
So pure, ſo good, ſhe ſcarce can gueſs at ſin,H But 050 H1v 50
But thinks the world without like that within;
Such melting tenderneſs, ſo fond to bleſs,
Her charity almoſt becomes exceſs.
Wealth may be courted, wiſdom be rever’d,
And beauty prais’d, and brutal ſtrength be fear’d;
But goodneſs only can affection move;
And love muſt owe its origin to love.
Of gentle manners, and of taſte refin’d,
With all the graces of a poliſh’d mind;
Clear ſenſe and truth ſtill ſhone in all ſhe ſpoke,And 051 H2r 51
And from her lips no idle ſentence broke.
Each nicer elegance of art ſhe knew;
Correctly fair, and regularly true:
Her ready fingers plied with equal ſkill
The pencil’s taſk, the needle, or the quill.
So pois’d her feelings, so compos’d her ſoul,
So ſubject all to reaſon’s calm controul,
One only paſſion, ſtrong, and unconfin’d,
Diſturb’d the balance of her even mind:
One paſſion rul’d deſpotic in her breaſt,
In every word, and look, and thought confeſt;
But that was love, and love delights to bleſs
The generous tranſports of a fond exceſs.
On a Lady’s Writing.
Her even lines her ſteady temper ſhow;
Neat as her dreſs, and poliſh’d as her brow;
Strong as her judgment, eaſy as her air;
Correct though free, and regular though fair:
And the ſame graces o’er her pen preſide
That form her manners and her footſteps guide.
Hymn to Content.
O Thou, the Nymph with placid eye!
O ſeldom found, yet ever nigh!
Receive my temperate vow:
Not all the ſtorms that ſhake the pole
Can e’er diſturb thy halcyon ſoul,
And ſmooth unalter’d brow.
O come, in ſimplest veſt array’d,
With all thy ſober cheer diſplay’dTo 054 H3v 54
To bleſs my longing ſight;
Thy mien compos’d, thy even pace,
Thy meek regard, thy matron grace,
And chaſte ſubdued delight.
No more by varying paſſions beat,
O gently guide my pilgrim feet
To find thy hermit cell;
Where in ſome pure and equal ſky
Beneath thy ſoft indulgent eye
The modeſt virtues dwell.
Simplicity in Attic veſt,
And Innocence with candid breaſt,
And clear undaunted eye;
And Hope, who points to diſtant years,
Fair opening thro’ this vale of tears
A viſta to the ſky.
There Health, thro’ whoſe calm boſom glide
The temperate joys in even tide,
That rarely ebb or flow;
And Patience there, thy ſiſter meek,
Preſents her mild, unvarying cheek
To meet the offer’d blow.
Her influence taught the Phrygian ſage
A tyrant maſter’s wanton rage
With ſettled ſmiles to meet;
Inur’d to toil and bitter bread
He bow’d his meek ſubmitted head,
And kiſs’d thy ſainted feet.
But thou, oh Nymph retir’d and coy!
In what brown hamlet doſt thou joy
To tell thy ſimple tale;The 056 H4v 56
The lowlieſt children of the ground,
Moſs roſe, and violet, bloſſom round,
And lily of the vale.
O ſay what ſoft propitious hour
I beſt may chuſe to hail thy power,
And court thy gentle ſway?
When Autumn, friendly to the Muſe,
Shall thy own modeſt tints diffuſe,
And ſhed thy milder day.
When Eve, her dewy ſtar beneath,
Thy balmy ſpirit loves to breathe,
And every ſtorm is laid;
If ſuch an hour was e’er thy choice,
Oft let me hear thy ſoothing voice
Low whiſpering thro’ the ſhade.
O Wisdom! if thy ſoft controul
Can ſooth the ſickneſs of the ſoul,
Can bid the warring paſſions ceaſe,
And breathe the balm of tender peace,
Wisdom! I bleſs thy gentle ſway,
And ever, ever will obey.
But if thou com’ſt with frown auſtere
To nurſe the brood of care and fear;
To bid our ſweeteſt pasſſions die,
And leave us in their room a ſigh;I Or 058 I1v 58
Or if thine aſpect ſtern have power
To wither each poor tranſient flower,
That cheers the pilgrimage of woe,
And dry the ſprings whence hope ſhould flow;
Wisdom, thine empire I diſclaim,
Thou empty boaſt of pompous name!
In gloomy ſhade of cloiſters dwell,
But never haunt my chearful cell.
Hail to pleaſure’s frolic train;
Hail to fancy’s golden reign;
Feſtive mirth, and laughter wild,
Free and ſportful as the child;
Hope with eager ſparkling eyes,
And eaſy faith, and fond ſurpriſe:
Let theſe, in fairy colours dreſt,
Forever ſhare my careleſs breaſt;
Then, tho’ wiſe I may not be,
The wiſe themſelves ſhall envy me.
The Origin of Song-Writing. Addreſſed to the Author of Eſſays on Song-Writing.
When Cupid, wanton boy, was young,
His wings unfledg’d, and rude his tongue,I2 He 060 I2v 60
He loiter’d in Arcadian bowers,
And hid his bow in wreaths of flowers;
Or pierc’d ſome fond unguarded heart,
With now and then a random dart;
But heroes ſcorn’d the idle boy,
And love was but a ſhepherd’s toy:
When Venus, vex’d to ſee her child
Amidſt the foreſts thus run wild,
Would point him out ſome nobler game,
Gods, and godlike men to tame.
She ſeiz’d the boy’s reluctant hand,
And led him to the virgin band,
Where the ſiſter muſes round
Swell the deep majeſtic ſound;
And in ſolemn ſtrains unite,
Breathing chaſte, ſevere delight:
Songs of chiefs, and heroes old,
In unſubmitting virtue bold;Of 061 I3r 61
Of even valour’s temperate heat,
And toils to ſtubborn patience ſweet;
Of nodding plumes, and burniſh’d arms,
And glory’s bright terrific charms.
The potent ſounds like light’ning dart
Reſiſtleſs thro’ the glowing heart;
Of power to lift the fixed ſoul
High o’er fortune’s proud controul;
Kindling deep, prophetic muſing;
Love of beauteous death infuſing;
Scorn, and unconquerable hate
Of tyrant pride’s unhallow’d ſtate.
The boy abaſh’d, and half afraid,
Beheld each chaſte immortal maid:
Pallas ſpread her Egis there;
Mars ſtood by with threat’ning air;And 062 I3v 62
And ſtern Diana’s icy look
With ſudden chill his boſom ſtruck.
Daughters of Jove receive the child,
The queen of beauty ſaid, and ſmil’d:
(Her roſy breath perfum’d the air
And ſcatter’d ſweet contagion there;
Relenting nature learnt to languiſh,
And ſicken’d with delightful anguiſh:)
Receive him, artleſs yet and young;
Refine his air and ſooth his tongue;
Conduct him thro’ your fav’rite bowers,
Enrich’d with fair perennial flowers,
To ſolemn ſhades and ſprings that lie
Remote from each unhallow’d eye;
Teach him to ſpell thoſe myſtic names
That kindle bright immortal flames;And 063 I4r 63
And guide his young unpractis’d feet
To reach coy learning’s lofty ſeat.
Ah, luckleſs hour! miſtaken maids!
When Cupid ſought the Muſes ſhades:
Of their ſweetest notes beguil’d,
By the ſly inſidious child,
Now of power his darts are found
Twice ten thouſand times to wound.
Now no more the ſlacken’d ſtrings
Breathe of high immortal things,
But Cupid tunes the Muſes lyre,
To languid notes of ſoft deſire:
In every clime, in every tongue,
’Tis love inſpires the poet’s ſong.
Hence Sappho’s ſoft infectious page;
Monimia’s woe, Othello’s rage;
Abandon’d Dido’s fruitleſs prayer;And 064 I4v 64
And Eloiſa’s long deſpair;
The garland bleſs’d with many a vow,
For haughty Sachariſſa’s brow;
And waſh’d with tears the mournful verſe
That Petrarch laid on Laura’s herſe.
But more than all the ſiſter quire,
Muſic confeſs’d the pleaſing fire.
Here ſovereign Cupid reign’d alone;
Muſic and ſong were all his own.
Sweet as in old Arcadian plains,
The British pipe has caught the ſtrains:
And where the Tweed’s pure current glides,
Or Liffy roles her limpid tides,
Or Thames his oozy waters leads
Thro’ rural bowers or yellow meads,
With many an old romantic tale
Has cheer’d the lone ſequeſter’d vale;With 065 K1r 65
With many a ſweet and tender lay
Deceiv’d the tireſome ſummer-day.
’Tis yours to cull with happy art
Each meaning verſe that ſpeaks the heart;
And fair array’d, in order meet,
To lay the wreath at beauty’s feet.
Come here fond youth, whoe’er thou be,
That boaſts to love as well as me;
And if thy breaſt have felt ſo wide a wound,
Come hither and thy flame approve;
I’ll teach thee what it is to love,
And by what marks true paſſion may be found.
It is to be all bath’d in tears;
To live upon a ſmile for years;
To lie whole ages at a beauty’s feet:To 067 K2r 67
To kneel, to languiſh and implore;
And ſtill tho’ ſhe diſdain, adore:
It is to do all this, and think thy ſufferings ſweet.
It is to gaze upon her eyes
With eager joy and fond ſurpriſe;
Yet temper’d with ſuch chaſte and awful fear
As wretches feel who wait their doom;
Nor muſt one ruder thought preſume
Tho’ but in whiſpers breath’d, to meet her ear.
It is to hope, tho’ hope were loſt;
Tho’ heaven and earth thy paſſion croſt;
Tho’ ſhe were bright as ſainted queens above,
And thou the leaſt and meaneſt ſwain
That folds his flock upon the plain,
Yet if thou dar’ſt not hope, thou doſt not love.
It is to quench thy joy in tears;
To nurſe ſtrange doubts and groundleſs fears:
If pangs of jealouſy thou haſt not prov’d,
Tho’ ſhe were fonder and more true
Than any nymph old poets drew,
Oh never dream again that thou haſt lov’d.
If when the darling maid is gone,
Thou doſt not ſeek to be alone,
Wrapt in a pleaſing trance of tender woe;
And muſe, and fold thy languid arms,
Feeding thy fancy on her charms,
Thou doſt not love, for love is nouriſh’d ſo.
If any hopes thy boſom ſhare
But thoſe which love has planted there,
Or any cares but his thy breaſt enthrall,Thou 071 K4r 69
Thou never yet his power haſt known;
Love ſits on a deſpotic throne,
And reigns a tyrant, if he reigns at all.
Now if thou art ſo loſt a thing,
Here all thy tender ſorrows bring,
and prove whoſe patience longeſt can endure:
We’ll ſtrive whoſe fancy ſhall be loſt
In dreams of fondeſt paſſion moſt;
For if thou thus haſt lov’d, oh! never hope a cure.
If ever thou didſt joy to bind
Two hearts in equal paſſion join’dO ſon 072 K4v 70
O ſon of Venus! hear me now,
And bid Florella bleſs my vow.
If any bliſs reſerv’d for me
Thou in the leaves of fate ſhould’ſt ſee;
If any white propitious hour,
Pregnant with hoarded joys in ſtore;
Now, now the mighty treaſure give,
In her for whom alone I live:
In ſterling love pay all the ſum,
And I’ll abſolve the fates to come.
In all the pride of full-blown charms
Yield her, relenting, to my arms:
Her boſom touch with ſoft deſires,
And let her feel what ſhe inſpires.
But, Cupid, if thine aid be vain
The dear reluctant maid to gain;
If ſtill with cold averted eyes
She daſh my hopes, and ſcorn my ſighs;
O! grant (’tis all I aſk of thee)
That I no more may change than ſhe;
But ſtill with duteous zeal love on,
When every gleam of hope is gone.
Leave me then alone to languiſh;
Think not time can heal my anguiſh;
Pity the woes which I endure;
But never, never grant a cure.
Leave me, ſimple ſhepherd, leave me;
Drag no more a hopeleſs chain:
I cannot like, nor would deceive thee;
Love the maid that loves again.
Tho’ more gentle nymphs ſurround me,
Kindly pitying what I feel,
Only you have power to wound me;
Sylvia, only you can heal.
Corin, ceaſe this idle teazing;
Love that’s forc’d is harſh and ſour:
If the lover be diſpleaſing,
To perſiſt diſguſts the more.
’Tis in vain, in vain to fly me,
Sylvia, I will ſtill purſue;
Twenty thouſand times deny me,
I will kneel and weep anew.
Cupid ne’er ſhall make me languiſh,
I was born averſe to love;
Lovers’ ſighs, and tears, and anguiſh,
Mirth and paſtime to me prove.
Still I vow with patient duty
Thus to meet your proudeſt ſcorn;
You for unrelenting beauty,
I for conſtant love was born.
But the fates had not conſented,
Since they both did fickle prove;
Of her ſcorn the maid repented,
And the ſhepherd of his love.
When gentle Celia firſt I knew,
A breaſt ſo good, ſo kind, ſo true,
Reaſon and taſte approv’d;
Pleas’d to indulge ſo pure a flame,
I call’d it by too ſoft a name,
And fondly thought I lov’d.
Till Chloris came, with ſad ſurpriſe
I felt the light’ning of her eyes
Thro’ all my ſenſes run;
All glowing with reſiſtleſs charms,
She fill’d my breaſt with new alarms,
I ſaw, and was undone.
O Celia! dear unhappy maid,
Forbear the weakneſs to upbraid
Which ought your ſcorn to move;
I know this beauty falſe and vain,
I know ſhe triumphs in my pain,
Yet ſtill I feel I love.
Thy gentle ſmiles no more can pleaſe,
Nor can thy ſofteſt friendſhip eaſe
The torments I endure;
Think what that wounded breaſt muſt feel
Which truth and kindneſs cannot heal,
Nor even thy pity cure.
Oft ſhall I curſe my iron chain,
And wiſh again thy milder reign
With long and vain regret;L2 All 080 L4v 76
All that I can, to thee I give,
And could I ſtill to reaſon live
I were thy captive yet.
But paſſion’s wild impetuous ſea
Hurries me far from peace and thee;
’Twere vain to ſtruggle more:
Thus the poor ſailor ſlumbering lies,
While ſwelling tides around him riſe,
And puſh his bark from ſhore.
In vain he ſpreads his helpleſs arms,
His pitying friends with fond alarms
In vain deplore his ſtate
Still far and farther from the coaſt,
On the high ſurge his bark is toſt,
And foundering yields to fate.
As near a weeping ſpring reclin’d
The beauteous Araminta pin’d,
And mourn’d a falſe ungrateful youth;
While dying echoes caught the ſound,
And ſpread the ſoft complaints around
Of broken vows and alter’d truth;
An aged ſhepherd heard her moan,
And thus in pity’s kindeſt tone
Addreſs’d the loſt deſpairing maid:
Ceaſe, ceaſe unhappy fair to grieve,
For ſounds, tho ſweet, can ne’er relieve
A breaking heard by love betray’d.
Why ſhouldſt thou waſte ſuch precious ſhowers,
That fall like dew on wither’d flowers,
But dying paſſion ne’er reſtor’d?
In beauty’s empire is no mean,
And woman, either ſlave or queen,
Is quickly ſcorn’d when not ador’d.
Thoſe liquid pearls from either eye,
Which might an eaſtern empire buy,
Unvalued here and fruitleſs fall;
No art the ſeaſon can renew
When love was young, and Damon true;
No tears a wandering heart recall.
Ceaſe, ceaſe to grieve, thy tears are vain,
Should thoſe fair orbs in drops of rain
Vie with a weeping ſouthern ſky:For 083 M2r
For hearts o’ercome with love and grief
All nature yields but one relief;
Die, hapleſs Araminta, die.
When firſt upon your tender cheek
I ſaw the morn of beauty break
With mild and chearing beam,
I bow’d before your infant ſhrine,
The earlieſt ſighs you had were mine,
And you my darling theme.
I ſaw you in that opening morn
For beauty’s boundleſs empire born,And 084 M2v 80
And firſt confeſs’d your ſway;
And e’er your thoughts, devoid of art,
Could learn the value of a heart,
I gave my heart away.
I watch’d the dawn of every grace,
And gaz’d upon that angel face,
While yet ’twas ſafe to gaze;
And fondly bleſt each riſing charm,
Nor thought ſuch innocence could harm
The peace of future days.
But now deſpotic o’er the plains
The awful noon of beauty reigns,
And kneeling crowds adore;
Theſe charms ariſe too fiercely bright,
Danger and death attend the fight,
And I muſt hope no more.
Thus to the riſing God of day
Their early vows the Persians pay,
And bleſs the ſpreading fire;
Whoſe glowing chariot mounting ſoon
Pours on their heads the burning noon;
They ſicken, and expire.
Yes, Delia loves! My fondeſt vows are bleſt;
Farewel the memory of her paſt diſdain;
One kind relenting glance has heal’d my breaſt,
And balanc’d in a moment years of pain.
O’er her ſoft cheek conſenting bluſhes move,
And with kind ſtealth her ſecret ſoul betray;Bluſhes, 087 M4r 83
Bluſhes, which uſher in the morn of love,
Sure as the red’ning eaſt foretels the day.
Her tender ſmiles ſhall pay me with delight
For many a bitter pang of jealous fear;
For many an anxious day, and ſleepleſs night,
For many a ſtifled ſigh, and ſilent tear.
Delia ſhall come, and bleſs my lone retreat;
She does not ſcorn the ſhepherd’s lowly life;
She will not bluſh to leave the ſplendid ſeat,
And own the title of a poor man’s wife.
The ſimple knot ſhall bind her gather’d hair,
The ruſſet garment claſp her lovely breaſt:
Delia ſhall mix amongſt the rural fair,
By charms alone diſtinguiſh’d from the reſt.
And meek Simplicity, neglected maid,
Shall bid my fair in native graces ſhine:
She, only ſhe, ſhall lend her modeſt aid,
Chaſte, ſober prieſteſs, at ſweet beauty’s ſhrine!
How ſweet to muſe by murmuring ſprings reclin’d;
Or loitering careleſs in the ſhady grove,
Indulge the gentleſt feeling of the mind,
And pity thoſe who live to aught but love!
When Delia’s hand unlocks her ſhining hair,
And o’er her ſhoulder ſpreads the flowing gold,
Baſe were the man who one bright treſs would ſpare
For all the ore of India’s coarſer mold.
By her dear ſide with what content I’d toil,
Patient of any labour in her ſight;
Guide the ſlow plough, or turn the ſtubborn ſoil,
Till the laſt, ling’ring beam of doubtful light.
But ſofter taſks divide my Delia’s hours;
To watch the firſtlings at their harmleſs play;
With welcome ſhade to ſcreen the languid flowers,
That ſicken in the ſummer’s parching ray.
Oft will ſhe ſtoop amidſt her evening walk,
With tender hand each bruiſed plant to rear;
To bind the drooping lily’s broken ſtalk,
And nurſe the bloſſoms of the infant year.
When beating rains forbid our feet to roam,
We’ll ſhelter’d fit, and turn the ſtoried page;
There ſee what paſſions ſhake the lofty dome
With mad ambition or ungovern’d rage:
What headlong ruin oft invovles the great;
What conſcious terrors guilty boſoms prove;
What ſtrange and ſudden turns of adverſe fate
Tear the ſad virgin from her plighted love.
Delia ſhall read, and drop a gentle tear;
Then caſt her eyes around the low-roof’d cot,
And own the fates have dealt more kindly here,
That bleſt with only love our little lot.
For love has ſworn (I heard the awful vow)
The wav’ring heart ſhall never be his care,
That ſtoops at any baſer ſhrine to bow:
And what he cannot rule, he ſcorns to ſhare.
My heart in Delia is ſo fully bleſt,
It has not room to lodge another joy;
My peace all leans upon that gentle breaſt,
And only there misfortune can annoy.
Our ſilent hours ſhall ſteal unmark’d away
In one long tender calm of rural peace;
And meaſure many a fair unblemiſh’d day
Of chearful leiſure and poetic eaſe.
The proud unfeeling world their lot ſhall ſcorn
Who ’midst inglorious ſhades can poorly dwell:
Yet if ſome youth, for gentler paſſions born,
Shall chance to wander near our lowly cell,
His feeling breaſt with purer flames ſhall glow;
And leaving pomp, and ſtate, and cares behind,
Shall own the world has little to beſtow
Where two fond hearts in equal love are join’d.
Ovid to his Wife:
Imitated from different Parts of his Tristia.
My aged head now ſtoops its honours low,
Bow’d with the load of fifty winters’ ſnow;
And for the raven’s gloſſy black aſſumes
The downy whiteneſs of the cygnet’s plumes:
Looſe ſcatter’d hairs around my temples ſtray,
And ſpread the mournful ſhade of ſickly grey:I bend 093 N3r 89
I bend beneath the weight of broken years,
Averſe to change, and chill’d with cauſeleſs fears.
The ſeaſon now invites me to retire
To the dear lares of my houſehold fire;
To homely ſcenes of calm domeſtic peace,
A poet’s leiſure, and an old man’s eaſe;
To wear the remnant of uncertain life
In the fond boſom of a faithful wife;
In ſafe repoſe my laſt few hours to ſpend,
Nor fearful nor impatient of their end.
Thus a ſafe port the wave-worn veſſels gain,
Nor tempt again the dangers of the main;
Thus the proud ſteed, when youthful glory fades,
And creeping age his ſtiffening limbs invades,
Lies ſtretch’d at eaſe on the luxuriant plain,
And dreams his morning triumphs o’er again:
The hardlyhardy veteran from the camp retires,
His joints unſtrung, and feeds his houſehold fires;N Satiate 094 N3v 90
Satiate with fame enjoys well-earn’d repoſe,
And ſees his ſtormy day ſerenely cloſe.
Not ſuch my lot: Severer fates decree
My ſhatter’d bark muſt plough an unknown ſea.
Forc’d from my native ſeats and ſacred home,
Friendleſs, alone, thro’ Scythian wilds to roam;
With trembling knees o’er unknown hills I go,
Stiff with blue ice and heap’d with drifted ſnow:
Pale ſuns there ſtrike their feeble rays in vain,
Which faintly glance againſt the marble plain;
Red Iſter there, which madly laſh’d the ſhore,
His idle urn ſeal’d up, forgets to roar;
Stern winter in eternal triumph reigns,
Shuts up the bounteous year and ſtarves the plains.
My failing eyes the weary waſte explore,
The ſavage mountains and the dreary ſhore,
And vainly look for ſcene of old delight;No 095 N4r 91
No lov’d familiar objects meet my ſight;
No long remember’d ſtreams, or conſcious bowers,
Wake the gay memory of youthful hours.
I fondly hop’d, content with learned eaſe,
To walk amidſt cotemporary trees;
In every ſcene ſome fav’rite ſpot to trace,
And meet in all ſome kind domeſtic face;
To ſtretch my limbs upon my native ſoil,
With long vacation from unquiet toil;
Reſign my breath where firſt that breath I drew,
And ſink into the ſpot from whence I grew.
But if my feeble age is doom’d to try
Unuſual ſeaſons and a foreign ſky,
To ſome more genial clime let me repair,
And taſte the healing balm of milder air;
Near to the glowing ſun’s directer ray,
And pitch my tent beneath the eye of day.
Could not the winter in my veins ſuffice,N2 Without 096 N4v 92
Without the added rage of Scythian ſkies?
The ſnow of time my vital heat exhauſt,
And hoary age, without Sarmatian froſt?
Ye tuneful maids! who once, in happier days,
Beneath the myrtle grove inſpired my lays,
How ſhall I now your wonted aid implore;
Where ſeek your footſteps on this ſavage ſhore,
Whoſe ruder echoes ne’er were taught to bear
The poet’s numbers or the lover’s care?
Yet ſtorm and tempeſt are of ills the leaſt
Which this inhoſpitable land infeſt:
Society than ſolitude is worſe,
And man to man is ſtill the greateſt curſe.
A ſavage race my fearful ſteps ſurround,
Practis’d in blood and diſciplin’d to wound;
Unknown alike to pity as to fear,
Hard as their ſoil, and as their ſkies ſevere.Skill’d 097 O1r 93
Skill’d in each myſtery of direct art,
They arm with double death the poiſon’d dart:
Uncomb’d and horrid grows their ſpiky hair;
Uncouth their veſture, terrible their air:
The lurking dagger at their ſide hung low,
Leaps in quick vengeances on the hapleſs foe:
No ſteadfaſt faith is here, no ſure repoſe;
An armed truce is all this nation knows:
The rage of battle works, when battles ceaſe;
And wars are brooding in the lap of peace.
Since Cæsar wills, and I a wretch muſt be,
Let me be ſafe at leaſt in miſery!
To my ſad grave in calm oblivion ſteal,
Nor add the woes I fear to all I feel!
Yet here, forever here, your bard muſt dwell,
Who ſung of ſports and tender loves ſo well.
Here muſt he live: but when he yields his breathO 098 O1v 94
O let him not be exil’d even in death!
Leſt mix’d with Scythian ſhades, a Roman ghoſt
Wander on this inhoſpitable coaſt.
Cæsar no more ſhall urge a wretch’s doom;
The bolt of Jove purſues not in the tomb.
To thee, dear wife, ſome friend with pious care
All that of Ovid then remains ſhall bear;
Then wilt thou weep to ſee me ſo return,
And with fond paſſion claſp my ſilent urn.
O check thy grief, that tender boſom ſpare,
Hurt not thy cheeks, nor ſoil thy flowing hair.
Preſs the pale marble with thy lips, and give
One precious tear, and bid my memory live:
The ſilent duſt ſhall glow at thy command,
And the warm aſhes feel thy pious hand.
To a Lady,
With ſome painted Flowers.
Flowers to the fair: To you theſe flowers I bring,
And ſtrive to greet you with an earlier ſpring.
Flowers ſweet, and gay, and delicate like you;
Emblems of innocence, and beauty too.
With flowers the Graces bind their yellow hair,
And flowery wreaths conſenting lovers wear.Flowers, 100 O2v 96
Flowers, the ſole luxury which nature knew,
In Eden’s pure and guiltleſs garden grew.
To loftier forms are rougher taſks aſſign’d;
The ſheltering oak reſiſts the ſtormy wind,
The tougher yew repels invading foes,
And the tall pine for future navies grows;
But this ſoft family, to cares unknown,
Were born for pleaſure and delight alone.
Gay without toil, and lovely without art,
They ſpring to cheer the ſenſe, and glad the heart.
Nor bluſh, my fair, to own you copy theſe;
Your beſt, your ſweeteſt empire is—to pleaſe.
Ode to Spring.
Sweet daughter of a rough and ſtormy ſire,
Hoar Winter’s blooming child; delightful Spring!
Whoſe unſhorn locks with leaves
And ſwelling buds are crown’d;
From the green iſlands of eternal youth,
(Crown’d with freſh blooms, and ever ſpringing ſhade,)
Turn, hither turn thy ſtep,
O thou, whoſe powerful voice
More ſweet than ſofteſt touch of Doric reed,
Or Lydian flute, can ſooth the madding winds,
And thro’ the ſtormy deep
Breathe thy own tender calm.
Thee, beſt belov’d! the virgin train await
With ſongs and feſtal rites, and joy to rove
Thy blooming wilds among,
And vales and dewy lawns,
With untir’d feet; and cull thy earlieſt ſweets
To weave freſh garlands for the glowing brow
Of him, the favour’d youth
That prompts their whiſper’d ſigh.
Unlock thy copious ſtores; thoſe tender ſhowers
That drop their ſweetneſs on the infant buds,
And ſilent dews that ſwell
The milky ear’s green ſtem.
And feed the flowering oſier’s early ſhoots;
And call thoſe winds which thro’ the whiſpering boughs
With warm and pleaſant breath
Salute the blowing flowers.
Now let me ſit beneath the whitening thorn,
And mark thy ſpreading tints ſteal o’er the dale;
And watch with patient eye
Thy fair unfolding charms.
O nymph approach! while yet the temperate ſun
With baſhful forehead, thro’ the cool moiſt air
Throws his young maiden beams,
And with chaſte kiſſes woeswoos
The earth’s fair boſom; while the ſtreaming veil
Of lucid clouds with kind and frequent ſhade
Protect thy modeſt blooms
From his ſeverer blaze.
Sweet is thy reign, but ſhort; The red dog-ſtar
Shall ſcorch thy treſſes, and the mower’s ſcythe
Thy greens, thy flow’rets all,
Remorſeleſs ſhall deſtroy.
Reluctant ſhall I bid thee then farewel;
For O, not all that Autumn’s lap contains,
Nor Summer’s ruddieſt fruits,
Can aught for thee atone
Fair Spring! whoſe ſimpleſt promiſe more delights
Than all their largeſt wealth, and thro’ the heart
Each joy and new-born hope
With ſofteſt influence breathes.
Verses on Mrs. Rowe.
Such were the notes our chaſter Sappho ſung,
And every muſe dropt honey on her tongue.
Bleſt ſhade! how pure a breath of praiſe was thine,
Whoſe ſpotleſs life was faultleſs as thy line:
In whom each worth and every grace conſpire,
The Christian’s meekneſs and the Poet’s fire.
Learn’d without pride, a woman without art;
The ſweeteſt manners and the gentlest heart.Smooth 106 P1v 102
Smooth like her verſe her paſſions learnt to move,
And her whole ſoul was harmony and love:
Virtue that breaſt without a conflict gain’d
And eaſy like a native monarch reign’d.
On earth ſtill favour’d as by heaven approv’d,
The world applauded, and Alexis lov’d.
With love, with health, with fame, and friendſhip bleſt,
And of a chearful heart the conſtant feaſt,
What more of bliſs ſincere could earth beſtow?
What purer heaven could angels taſte below?
But bliſs from earth’s vain ſcenes too quickly flies;
The golden chord is broke, Alexis dies.
Now in the leafy ſhade, and widow’d grove,
Sad Philomela mourns her abſent love.
Now deep retir’d in Frome’s enchanting vale;
She pours her tuneful ſorrows on the gale;
Without one fond reſerve the world diſclaims,
And gives up all her ſoul to heavenly flames.Yet 107 P2r 103
Yet in no uſeleſs gloom ſhe wore her days;
She lov’d the work, and only ſhun’d the praiſe.
Her pious hand the poor, the mourner bleſt;
Her image liv’d in every kindred breaſt.
Thynn, Carteret, Blackmore,, Orrery approv’d,
And Prior prais’d, and noble Hertford lov’d;
Seraphic Kenn, and tuneful Watts were thine,
And virtue’s nobleſt champions fill’d the line.
Bleſt in thy friendſhips! in thy death too bleſt!
Receiv’d without a pang to endleſs reſt.
Heaven call’d the Saint matur’d by length of days,
And her pure ſpirit was exhal’d in praiſe.
Bright pattern of thy ſex, be thou my muſe;
Thy gentle ſweetneſs thro’ my ſoul diffuſe:
Let me thy palm, tho’ not thy laurel ſhare,
And copy thee in charity and prayer.
Tho’ for the bard my lines are yet too faint,
Yet in my life let me tranſcribe the ſaint.
To Miss R----,
On her Attendance on her Mother at Buxton.
When blooming beauty in the noon of power,
While offer’d joys demand each ſprightly hour,
With all that pomp of charms and winning mein
Which ſure to conquer needs but to be ſeen;
When ſhe, whoſe name the ſofteſt love inſpires,
To the huſht chamber of diſeaſe retires,To 109 P3r 105
To watch and weep beſide a parent’s bed,
Catch the faint voice, and raiſe the languid head,
What mixt delight each feeling heart muſt warm!
An angel’s office ſuits an angel’s form.
Thus the tall column graceful rears its head
To prop ſome mould’ring tower with moſs o’erſpread,
Whoſe ſtately piles and arches yet diſplay
The venerable graces of decay:
Thus round the wither’d trucnk freſh ſhoots are ſeen
To ſhade their parent with a chearful green.
More health, dear maid! thy ſoothing preſence brings
Than pureſt ſkies, or ſalutary ſprings:
That voice, thoſe looks ſuch healing virtues bear,
Thy ſweet reviving ſmiles might cheer deſpair;
On the pale lips detain the parting breath,
And bid hope bloſſom in the ſhades of death.
Beauty, like thine, could never reach a charm
So powerful to ſubdue, ſo ſure to warm.P On 110 P3v 106
On her lov’d child behold the mother gaze,
In weakneſs pleas’d, and ſmiling thro’ decays,
And leaning on that breaſt her cares aſſwage;
How ſoft a pillow for declining age!
For this, when that fair frame muſt feel decay,
(Ye fates protract it to a diſtant day)
When thy approach no tumults ſhall impart,
Nor that commanding glance ſtrike thro’ the heart,
When meaner beauties ſhall have leave to ſhine,
And crowds divide the homage lately thine,
Not with the tranſient praiſe thoſe charms can boaſt
Shall thy fair fame and gentle deeds be loſt:
Some pious hand ſhall thy weak limbs ſuſtain,
And pay thee back the generous cares again;
Thy name ſhall flouriſh by the good approv’d,
Thy memory honour’d, and thy duſt belov’d.
On the Death of Mrs. Jennings. Pages 32-33 were missing from our source copy. The text for these pages has been supplied from the copy reproduced in Eighteenth Century Collections Online. The Author’s Grandmother.
’Tis paſt: dear venerable ſhade, farewel!
Thy blameleſs life thy peaceful death ſhall tell.
Clear to the laſt thy ſetting orb has run;
Pure, bright, and healthy like a froſty ſun:P2 And 112 P4v 108
And late old age with hand indulgent ſhed
Its mildeſt winter on thy favour’d head.
For Heaven porlong’d her life to ſpread its praiſe,
And bleſt her with a Patriarch’s length of days.
The trueſt praiſe was hers, a chearful heart,
Prone to enjoy, and ready to impart.
An Iſraelite indeed, and free from guile,
She ſhow’d that piety and age could ſmile.
Religion had her heart, her cares, her voice;
’Twas her laſt refuge, as her earlieſt choice.
To holy Anna’s ſpirit not more dear
The church of Israel, and the houſe of prayer.
Her ſpreading offspring of the fourth degree
Fill’d her fond arms, and claſp’d her trembling knee.
Matur’d at length for ſome more perfect ſcene,
Her hopes all bright, her proſpects all ſerene,
Each part of life ſuſtain’d with equal worth,
And not a wiſh left unfulfill’d on earth,Like 113 Q1r 109
Like a tir’d traveller with ſleep oppreſt,
Within her childrens’ arms ſhe dropt to reſt.
Farewel! thy cheriſh’d image, ever dear,
Shall many a heart with pious love revere:
Long, long ſhall mine her honour’d memory bleſs,
who gave the deareſt bleſſing I poſſeſs.
Jehovah reigns, let every nation hear,
And at his footſtool bow with holy fear;Let 115 Q2r 111
Let heaven’s high arches echo with his name,
And the wide peopled earth his praiſe proclaim;
Then ſend it down to hell’s deep glooms reſounding,
Thro’ all her caves in dreadful murmurs ſounding.
He rules with wide and abſolute command
O’er the broad ocean and the ſtedfaſt land;
Jehovah reigns, unbounded, and alone,
And all creation hangs beneath his throne:
He reigns alone; let no inferior nature
Uſurp, or ſhare the throne of the Creator.
He ſaw the ſtruggling beams of infant light
Shoot thro’ the maſſy gloom of ancient night;
His ſpirit huſh’d the elemental ſtrife,
And brooded o’er the kindling ſeeds of life;
Seaſons and months began the long proceſſion
And meaſur’d o’er the year in bright ſucceſſion.
The joyful ſun ſprung up th’ etherial way
Strong as a giant, as a bridegroom gay;
And the pale moon diffuſ’d her ſhadowy light
Superior o’er the duſky brow of night;
Ten thouſand glittering lamps the ſkies adorning
Numerous as dew drops from the womb of morning.
Earth’s blooming face with riſing flowers he dreſt,
And ſpread a verdant mantle o’er her breaſt;
Then from the hollow of his hand he pours
The circling waters round her winding ſhores,
The new-born world in their cool arms embracing,
And with ſoft murmurs ſtill her banks careſſing.
At length ſhe roſe complete in finiſh’d pride,
All fair and ſpotleſs like a virgin bride;
Freſh with untarniſh’d luſture as ſhe ſtood
Her Maker bleſt his work, and call’d it good;The 117 Q3r 113
The morning ſtars with joyful acclamation
Exulting ſung, and hail’d the new creation.
Yet this fair world, the creature of a day,
Tho’ built by God’s right hand, muſt paſs away,
And long oblivion creep o’er mortal things,
The fate of empires, and the pride of kings:
Eternal night ſhall veil their proudeſt ſtory,
And drop the curtain o’er all human glory.
The ſun himſelf, with weary clouds oppreſt,
Shall in his ſilent, dark pavilion reſt;
His golden urn ſhall broke and uſeleſs lie,
Amidſt the common ruins of the ſky:
The ſtars ruſh headlong in the wild commotion
And bathe their glittering foreheads in the ocean.
But fix’d, O God, for ever ſtands thy throne;
Jehovah reigns, a univerſe alone;
Th’ eternal fire that feeds each vital flame,
Collected, or diffus’d is ſtill the ſame.
He dwells within his own unfathom’d eſſence,
And fills all ſpace with his unbounded preſence.
But oh! our higheſt notes the theme debaſe,
And ſilence is our leaſt injurious praiſe;
Ceaſe, ceaſe your ſongs, the daring flight controul,
Revere him in the ſtillneſs of the ſoul:
With ſilent duty meekly bend before him,
And deep within your inmoſt hearts adore him.
Praise to God, immortal praise, Although the fig tree ſhall not bloſſom, neither ſhall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive ſhall fail, and the fields ſhall yield no meat, the flock ſhall be cut off from the fold, and there ſhall be no herd in the ſtalls; yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my ſalvation. Habakkuk, iii. 17,18.
For the love that crowns our days;
Bounteous ſource of every joy,
Let thy praiſe our tongues employ.
For the bleſſings of the field,
For the ſtores the garden yield,
For the vine’s exalted juice,
For the generous olive’s uſe:
Flocks that whiten all the plain,
Yellow ſheaves of ripen’d grain;
Clouds that drop their fatt’ning dews,
Suns that temperate warmth diffuſe:
All that Spring with bounteous hand
Scatters o’er the ſmiling land:
All that liberal Autumn pours
From her rich o’erflowing ſtores:
Theſe to thee, my God, we owe;
Source whence all our bleſſings flow;
And for theſe, my ſoul ſhall raiſe
Grateful vows and ſolemn praiſe.
Yet ſhould riſing whirlwinds tear
From its ſtem the ripening ear;
Should the fig-tree’s blaſted ſhoot
Drop her green untimely fruit;
Should the vine put forth no more,
Nor the olive yield her ſtore;
Though the ſick’ning flocks ſhould fall,
And the herds deſert the ſtall;
Should thine alter’d hand reſtrain
The early and the latter rain;
Blaſt each opening bud of joy,
And the riſing year deſtroy;
Yet to thee my ſoul ſhould raiſe
Grateful vows, and ſolemn praiſe;
And, when every bleſſing’s flown,
Love thee—for thyſelf alone.
Again the Lord of life and light
Awakes the kindling ray;
Unſeals the eyelids of the morn,
And pours increaſing day.
O what a night was that, which wrapt
The heathen world in gloom!
O what a ſun which broke this day,
Triumphant from the tomb!
This day be grateful homage paid,
And loud hoſannas ſung;
Let gladneſs dwell in every heart,
And praiſe on every tongue.
Ten thouſand differing lips ſhall join
To hail this welcome morn;
Which ſcatters bleſſings from its wings,
To nations yet unborn.
Jesus, the friend of human kind,
With ſtrong compaſſion mov’d,
Deſcended like a pitying God,
To ſave the ſouls he lov’d.
The powers of darkneſs leagued in vain
To bind his ſoul in death;
He ſhook their kingdom when he fell,
With his expiring breath.
Not long the toils of hell could keep
The hope of Judah’s line;
Corruption never could take hold
On aught ſo much divine.
And now his conquering chariot-wheels
Aſcend the lofty ſkies;
While broke, beneath his powerful croſs,
Death’s iron ſceptre lies.
Exalted high at God’s right hand,
And Lord of all below,
Thro’ him is pardoning love diſpens’d
And boundleſs bleſſings flow.
And ſtill for erring, guilty man,
A brother’s pity flows;
And ſtill his bleeding heart is touch’d
With memory of our woes.
To thee, my Saviour, and my king,
Glad homage let me give;
And ſtand prepar’d like thee to die,
With thee that I may live.
Behold, where breathing love divine,
Our dying Maſter ſtands!
His weeping followers gathering round
Receive his laſt commands.
From that mild teacher’s parting lips
What tender accents fell!
The gentle precept which he gave
Became its author well.
Bleſt is the man, whoſe ſoft’ning heart
Feels all another’s pain;
To whom the ſupplicating eye
Was never rais’d in vain.
Whoſe breaſt expands with generous warmth
A ſtranger’s woes to feel;
And bleeds in pity o’er the wound
He wants the power to heal.
He ſpreads his kind ſupporting arms
To every child of grief;
His ſecret bounty largely flows,
And brings unaſk’d relief.
To gentle offices of love
His feet are never ſlow;
He views thro’ mercy’s melting eye
A brother in a foe.
Peace from the boſom of his God,
My peace to him I give;
And when he kneels before the throne,
His trembling ſoul ſhall live.
To him protection ſhall be ſhewn;
And mercy from above
Deſcend on thoſe who thus fulfil
The perfect law of love.
Awake, my ſoul, lift up thine eyes;
See where thy foes againſt thee riſe,
In long array, a numerous hoſt;
Awake, my ſoul, or thou art loſt.
Here giant danger threat’ning ſtands
Muſtering his pale terrific bands;
There pleaſure’s ſilken banners ſpread,
And willing ſouls are captive led.
See where rebellious paſſions rage,
And fierce deſires and luſts engage;
The meaneſt foe of all the train
Has thouſands and ten thouſands ſlain.
Thou tread’ſt upon enchanted ground,
Perils and ſnares beſet thee round;
Beware of all, guard every part,
But moſt, the traitor in thy heart.
Come then, my ſoul, now learn to wield
The weight of thine immortal ſhield;
Put on the armour from above
Of heavenly truth and heavenly love.
The terror and the charm repel,
And powers of earth, and powers of hell;
The man of Calvary triumph’d here;
Why ſhould his faithful followers fear?
An Address to the Deity.
God of my life! and author of my days!
Permit my feeble voice to liſp thy praiſe;
And trembling, take upon a mortal tongue
That hallow’d name to harps of Seraphs ſung.
Yet here the brighteſt Seraphs could no more
Than hide their faces, tremble, and adore.
Worms, angels, men, in every different ſphere
Are equal all, for all are nothing here.All 130 S1v 126
All nature faints beneath the mighty name,
Which nature’s works, thro’ all their parts proclaim.
I feel that name my inmoſt thoughts controul,
And breathe an awful ſtillneſs thro’ my ſoul;
As by a charm, the waves of grief ſubſide;
Impetuous paſſion ſtops her headlong tide;
At thy felt preſence all emotions ceaſe,
And my huſh’d ſpirit finds a ſudden peace,
Till every worldly thought within me dies,
And earth’s gay pageants vaniſh from my eyes;
Till all my ſenſe is loſt in infinite
And one vaſt object fills my aching ſight.
But ſoon, alas! this holy calm is broke;
My ſoul ſubmits to wear her wonted yoke;
With ſhackled pinions ſtrives to ſoar in vain,
And mingles with the droſs of earth again.
But he, our gracious Maſter, kind, as juſt,Knowing 131 S2r 127
Knowing our frame, remembers man is duſt:
His ſpirit, ever brooding o’er our mind,
Sees the firſt wiſh to better hopes inclin’d;
Marks the young dawn of every virtuous aim,
And fans the ſmoaking flax into a flame:
His ears are open to the ſofteſt cry,
His grace deſcends to meet the lifted eye;
He reads the language of a ſilent tear,
And ſighs are incenſe from a heart ſincere.
Such are the vows, the ſacrifice I give;
Accept the vow, and bid the ſuppliant live:
From each terreſtrial bondage ſet me free;
Huſh every wiſh that centers not in thee;
Bid my fond hopes, my vain diſquiets ceaſe,
And point my path to everlaſting peace.
If the ſoft hand of winning pleaſure leads
By living waters, and thro’ flow’ry meads,When 132 S2v 128
When all is ſmiling, tranquil, and ſerene,
And vernal beauty paints the flattering ſcene,
Oh! teach me to elude each latent ſnare,
And whiſper to my ſliding heart—Beware:
With caution let me hear the Syren’s voice,
And doubtful, with a trembling heart, rejoice.
If friendleſs, in a vale of tears I ſtray,
Where briars wound, and thorns perplex my way,
Still let my ſteady ſoul thy goodneſs ſee,
And with ſtrong confidence lay hold on thee;
With equal eye my various lot receive,
Reſign’d to die, or reſolute to live;
Prepar’d to kiſs the ſceptre, or the rod,
While God is ſeen in all, and all in God.
I read his awful name, emblazon’d high
When golden letters on th’ illumin’d ſky;Nor 133 S3r 129
Nor leſs the myſtic characters I ſee
Wrought in each flower, inſcrib’d on every tree;
In every leaf that trembles to the breeze
I hear the voice of God among the trees;
With thee in ſhady ſolitudes I walk,
With thee in buſy crowded cities talk,
In every creature own thy forming power,
In each event thy providence adore.
Thy hopes ſhall animate my drooping ſoul,
Thy precepts guide me, and thy fear controul.
Thus ſhall I reſt, unmov’d by all alarms,
Secure within the temple of thine arms,
From anxious cares, from gloomy terrors free,
And feel myſelf omnipotent in thee.
Then when the laſt, the cloſing hour draws nigh,
And earth recedes before my ſwimming eye;
When trembling on the doubtful edge of fateS I ſtand 134 S3v 130
I ſtand and ſtretch my view to either ſtate:
Teach me to quit this tranſitory ſcene
With decent triumph and a look ſerene;
Teach me to fix my ardent hopes on high
And having liv’d to thee, in thee to die.
A Summer Evening’s Meditation.
’Tis paſt! The ſultry tyrant of the ſouth
Has ſpent his ſhort-liv’d rage; more grateful hours
Move ſilent on; the ſkies no more repel
The dazzled ſight, but with mild maiden beams
Of temper’d light, invite the cheriſh’d eye
To wander o’er their ſphere; where hung aloft
Dian’s bright creſscent, like a ſilver bow
New ſtrung in heaven, lifts high its beamy hornsS2 Impa- 136 S4v 132
Impatient for the night, and ſeems to puſh
Her brother down the ſky. Fair Venus ſhines
Even in the eye of day; with ſweeteſt beam
Propitious ſhines, and ſhakes a trembling flood
Of ſoften’d radiance from her dewy locks.
The ſhadows ſpread apace; while meeken’d Eve
Her cheek yet warm with bluſhes, ſlow retires
Thro’ the Heſperian gardens of the weſt,
And ſhuts the gates of day. ’Tis now the hour
When Contemplation, from her ſunleſs haunts,
The cool damp grotto, or the lonely depth
Of unpierc’d woods, whre wrapt in ſolid ſhade
She muſed away the gaudy hours of noon,
And fed on thoughts unripen’d by the ſun,
Moves forward; and with radiant finger points
To yon blue concave ſwell’d by breath divine,
Where, one by one, the living eyes of heaven
Awake, quick kindling o’er the face of etherOne 137 T1r 133
One boundleſs blaze; ten thouſand trembling fires,
And dancing luſtres, where th’ unſteady eye
Reſtleſs, and dazzled wanders unconfin’d
O’er all this field of glories: ſpacious field!
And worthy of the maſster: he, whoſe hand
With hieroglyphics older than the Nile,
Inſcrib’d the myſtic tablet; hung on high
To public gaze, and ſaid, adore, O man!
The finger of thy God. From what pure wells
Of milky light, what ſoft o’erflowing urn,
Are all theſe lamps ſo fill’d? theſe friendly lamps,
For ever ſtreaming o’er the azure deep
To point our path, and light us to our home.
How ſoft they ſlide along their lucid ſpheres!
And ſilent as the foot of time, fulfil
Their deſtin’d courſes: Nature’s ſelf is huſh’d,
And, but a ſcatter’d leaf, which ruſtles thro’
The thick-wove foliage, not a ſound is heardTo 138 T1v 134
To break the midnight air; tho’ the rais’d ear,
Intenſely liſtening, drinks in every breath.
How deep the ſilence, yet how loud the praiſe!
But are they ſilent all? or is there not
A tongue in every ſtar that talks with man,
And wooes him to be wiſe; nor wooes in vain:
This dead of midnight is the noon of thought,
And wiſdom mounts her zenith with the ſtars.
At this ſtill hour the ſelf-collected ſoul
Turns inward, and beholds a ſtranger there
Of high deſcent, and more than mortal rank;
An embryo God; a ſpark of fire divine,
Which muſt burn on for ages, when the ſun,
(Fair tranſitory creature of a day!)
Has clos’d his golden eye, and wrapt in ſhades
Forgets his wonted journey thro’ the eaſt.
Ye citadels of light, and ſeats of Gods!
Perhaps my future home, from whence the ſoulRevolving 139 T2r 135
Revolving periods paſt, may oft look back
With recollected tenderneſs, on all
The various buſy ſcenes ſhe left below,
Its deep laid projects and its ſtrange events,
As on ſome fond and doting tale that ſooth’d
Her infant hours; O be it lawful now
To tread the hallow’d circle of your courts,
And with mute wonder and delighted awe
Approach your burning confines. Seiz’d in thought
On fancy’s wild and roving wing I ſail,
From the green borders of the peopled earth,
And the pale moon, her duteous fair attendant;
From ſolitary Mars; from the vaſt orb
Of Jupiter, whoſe huge gigantic bulk
Dances in ether like the lighteſt leaf;
To the dim verge, the ſuburbs of the ſyſtem,
Where chearleſs Saturn ’midſt her wat’ry moons
Girt with a lucid zone, majeſtic ſitsIn 140 T2v 136
In gloomy grandeur; like an exil’d queen
Amongſt her weeping handmaids: fearleſs thence
I launch into the trackleſs deeps of ſpace,
Where, burning round, ten thouſand ſuns appear,
Of elder beam; which aſk no leave to ſhine
Of our terreſtrial ſtar, nor borrow light
From the proud regent of our ſcanty day;
Sons of the morning, firſt born of creation,
And only leſs than him who marks their track,
And guides their fiery wheels. Here muſt I ſtop,
Or is there aught beyond? What hand unſeen
Impels me onward thro’ the glowing orbs
Of habitable nature; far remote,
To the dread confines of eternal night,
To ſolitudes of vaſt unpeopled ſpace,
The deſarts of creation, wide and wild;
Where embryo ſyſtems and unkindled ſuns
Sleep in the womb of chaos; fancy droops,And 141 T3r 137
And thought aſtoniſh’d ſtops her bold career.
But oh thou mighty mind! whoſe powerful word
Said, thus let all things be, and thus they were,
Where ſhall I ſeek thy preſence? how unblam’d
Invoke thy dread perfection?
Have the broad eye-lids of the morn beheld thee?
Or does the beamy ſhoulder of Orion
Support thy throne? O look with pity down
On erring guilty man; not in thy names
Of terrour clad; not with thoſe thunders arm’d
That conſcious Sinai felt, when fear appall’d
The ſcatter’d tribes; thou haſt a gentler voice,
That whiſpers comfort to the ſwelling heart,
Abaſh’d, yet longing to behold her Maker.
But now my ſoul ununs’d to ſtretch her powers
In flight ſo daring, drops her weary wing,
And ſeeks again the known accuſtom’d ſpot,Dreſt 142 T3v 138
Dreſt up with ſun, and ſhade, and lawns, and ſtreams,
A manſion fair and ſpacious for its gueſt,
And full replete with wonders. Let me here
Content and grateful, wait th’ appointed time
And ripen for the ſkies: the hour will come
When all theſe ſplendours burſting on my ſight
Shall ſtand unveil’d, and to my raviſh’d ſenſe
Unlock the glories of the world unknown.