Printed for the author, and sold by
in Norwich and Norfolk. 1790MDCCXC
Saham Gardens, A Poem:
Addreſſed to the Rev. Charles Parrott.
Be mine, O Pollio, oft to rove
Adown the ſlope, or thro’ the grove,
When Spring beſtows her choiceſt green
On Saham’s gay, luxuriant ſcene!
When eſſence hangs on vernal bloom
And opening roſe-buds breathe perfume:
Full oft, at early morn, to paſs
O’er gravel firm, with verge of graſs,
To trip the Terrace blithe along,
Liſtening to the wood-lark’s ſong;B ’Neath 002 B1v 2
’Neath the Cornel-hedge to ſtray
Cornel, favorite buſh of May!
When the bloſſoms ’gin t’appear,
Earneſt of the ſmiling year:
Up the ſteepy Mount to climb,
Mount, emboſs’d with fragrant thyme;
Art, in Nature’s ſimple guiſe,
Swell’d the round, and bad it riſe.
Next the fair Exotics view,
Spangled o’er with morning dew;
How they fondly ſtrive to ſip
Sweets, from Zephyr’s humid lip!
Extending wide his downy wing,
He ſweeps the muſky lap of Spring;
Bearing thence her odours rare
Thro’ lucid tracts of yielding air,
He hovers o’er each bluſhing flower,
Diffuſing far the fragrant ſhower.
Then give my willing feet to ſtray
Where dubious windings poſe the way;
Hedge-row trim, in ruſtic pride,
Smiles, the daiſied-mead beſide:
Art and Nature, hand in hand,
Wait, O Pollio, thy command;
Still the vivid ſcene renewing,
Still thy favorite plan purſuing,All 003 B2r 3
All their various graces blending,
Still advancing, ſtill amending,
Till fair perfection’s goal they reach,
The mode, my Pollio, thou canſt teach:
Liberal Nature bends to thee,
Nor revels too profuſely free;
Ductile Art the meaſure treads
As thy plaſtic genius leads;
Genius, Nature, Art conſpire,
To make the raviſh’d world admire.
On to Beechen-grove I’ll wander—
Turn, to view the Ruin—yonder;
Round the fabric, ſtately trees
Wave, and murmur to the breeze;
Here and there, the boughs between,
Diſtant landſcape’s coyly ſeen—
Verdent meadow ſtarts to view!
Buſket grey, and hillock blue,
Herds, and flocks—at random ſtraying,
Rimpled ſtreamlet—nimbly playing,
Lurid heath, with aſpect keen;
Varying ſtill the rural ſcene.
Beneath the Beeches’ ſilken ſhade
(For Loves and laughing Pleaſures made,
And Fairies boon, who joy to play
When Phœbe ſheds her ſilver ray),B2 I’ll 004 B2v 4
I’ll ſit,—.and deftly tune the lyre;
Each jocund muſe, the lay inſpire,
Inſpire the lay, and pour along
The rural elegance of ſong!
Linnets, catch the dulcet ſtrain,
Warble back the notes again;
Sky-larks, poiz’d on buoyant wing,
Mount, and flutter, as ye ſing;
Tuneful throſtles, ſwell your throats,
Varying oft your mellow notes;
Blackbirds quaint, on hawthorn ſpray,
Trill the wild, untutor’d lay,
Hopping blithe, from buſh to buſh,
Cheerly join the vocal thruſh;
Cuckoos, tell the am’rous tale
To your ſleek-mates, in the vale:
Hark!—the halcyon ring-dove’s voice!
Sons of pleaſure, now rejoice;
Bliſsful murmurs fill the grove!
This the ſeaſon—meet for love.
(O! cou’d the Muſe, with myſtic ſpell,
Call yonder Bullfinch from his cell!
His cell,—where death and darkneſs ſpread
The gloomy awning o’er the dead:
Cou’d ſhe re-plume his faded wing,
Re-tune his bill, and hear him ſingSuch 005 B3r 5
Such ſtrains as, erſt, her Bully ſung!
On which the ear enraptured hung!
When, on the finger of the fair—
He warbled Laura’s favorite air!
Peace to thy manes, gentle bird!
Before the choral tribe preferr’d;
Lo! Pollio builds thy mural tomb,—
Immortal ſweets around thee bloom!
And, laſt when Sappho wander’d here,
She dropp’d the ſympathetic tear,—
The tear—ſtill twinkles to the view
To vulgar eyes—a drop of dew).
Hither, maid and jovial ſwain,
Gaily join the rural train,
Life and pleaſure quickly fly;
The theme is love, and harmony!
Roſy Pan, O come along,
Lead the band, and raiſe the ſong,—
Raiſe the ſong, the band advance—
Swell the chorus, form the dance;
Hither, nymphs and ſatyrs, all,
Nymphs and ſatyrs, wait the call,
Form the dance in myſtic round,
Nimbly tread the moſſy ground,—
Now advancing, now retreating,
Twinkling feet, harmonious beating,B3 With 006 B3v 6
With ſteps reſponſive to the lay—
Quick third the maze and ſcud away.
At eve the Cavern’d-path I’ll tread,
With branching hornbeams overſpread,
Where the fragrant woodbines twine—
Round the ſlender eglantine;
Heapy ſtones we there diſcover,
Stones, with ivy-broider’d over;
On the bank the primroſe pale;
’Neath,—the lily of the vale
Mingling oft with vi’let blue,
Tipp’d all day, with algid dew;
Faint the beams that ſteal between
Boughs that ſhadow o’er the ſcene,
Trembling rays, that help to ſhow
Plants, and moſs, and roots below:
There, my Pollio’s taſte deſign’d
A banquet for the cultured mind,
Excluding thence the fulgent ray
That leads the errant thoughts aſtray.
Hail! to thy gloom, ſequeſter’d ſhade!
For Contemplation aptly made;
Great, philoſophic maid—repair,
And deign to meet thy vot’ry there!
With thee, I’ll number o’er the dead
Whom erſt thy plaſtic hand hath led,Thro’ 007 B4r 7
Thro’ vaulted caves, and aiſles along,
Old ſtoried urns and buſts among;—
We’ll trace, with Young, the awful gloom,
Still deep’ning o’er the recent tomb;
With Rowe Mrs. Rowe. behold the ſpirit riſe,
Thro’ faith’s pure medium to the ſkies.
Suppoſe, with Maro, then we trace,
The godlike chiefs, of Trojan race ?
Or, ſhun, with Tully, toils of ſtate,
In calm Arpinum’s ſafe retreat?
Next with lofty Plato rove
Enrapt, in academic grove ?
And, thence, eſſay the ways to ſcan
That ſcience taught to erring man.
Be mine, at lonely twilight hour,
To muſe beneath the ruin’d Tower,
Where penſile-ivy loves to crawl
In myſtic mazes on the wall—
Winding mould’ring ſtones beſide,
Where the deep chink yawneth wide;
When the droning beetle ſings,
When the bat, on ebon wings
Flits around the nodding dome,
And the vagrant rooks come home;Then, 008 B4v 8
Then, on moſs-grown ſtep reclined,
I’ll give to Fancy all my mind,
Yield to her hand the mental rein,
And, airy ſkim her light domain.
Shou’d mimic forms, in changeful guiſe
Float afore my vacant eyes,
And ſhrilling pipe, with unwiſt ſound,
Breathe from the hallow walls around;
While frantic winds, from Boreas ſent,
Long in his vaulted caverns pent,
Come howling fierce, and loud, and ſtrong,
Driving the rattling hail along—
Still, unappall’d, and void of fear,
I’d paſs my frequent vigils here.
Oft-times rambling up the Hill
I mark the Watton. Town, and neighb’ring Mill—
Extending all her buxom fails
Sporting with the wanton gales:
From thence the Mirror Saham Meer. broad, I view,
Reflecting Nature’s impreſs true,—
Trees from ruſhy-banks depending,
Fleeting clouds with ether blending—
Catching in their tranſient way—
Various modes, and tinges gay;Oft 009 B5r 9
Oft on its fair expanſe, the bow,
With anſwering hues, appears to glow;
And oft the meteor, as it flies
Athwart the murky midnight ſkies,
In traits exact, and ſtrong, and clear,
Portrays its beaming phaſes here;
And oft we ſee the full-orb’d moon
When riding near her higheſt noon,
Reflected in the argent tide,
With many a bright-ſtar by her ſide.
Sequeſter’d in the lonely dell—
My Pollio fix’d his favorite Cell;
The nitid ſhells he curious choſe,
And placed them round in equal rows;
Within, he taſte and neatneſs join’d,
At once to ſtrike and win the mind;
He taught the devious light to play
Thro’ pictured-glaſs, with changeful ray,
And here, and there aſkaunce to throw
Gay cinctures on the floor below:
The glaſs with many a tale inwrought,
Gives hints to aid the cultured thought;
E’en to the eye of village ſwain
Cloſe poring thro’ the ſtoried pane,
The luſtres yield unwiſt delight,
As near he ſtrains the dazzled orbs of ſight.There 010 B5v 10
There oft have we in converſe ſat,
All ſmiling at his eaſy chat;
Or, raptured, on the numbers hung,
That jovial Horace, whilom ſung:
For ah! ’tis his, to tune the lyre—
Replete with genuine Roman fire,
In flowing meaſures, ſweet and clear,
Adapted to the Britiſh ear.
Now the evening ſteals along,
Gradual ſinks the choral ſong;
Sober ſilence wins its way,
Thro’ the tranquil pauſe of day;
Wearied airs a requiem hold;
Drowſy tinkling lull the fold;
Now the owl reſumes her flight,
And the glow-worm’s tipp’d with light;
And the ſnail, demure and ſlow,
Glides along the path below;
And the hoary mantle’s ſpread—
O’er the diſtant mountain’s head;
Hark!—the bell, with minute-toll,
Strikes with ſudden awe—the ſoul!
Let me greet the hallow’d ſound—
Pealing ſlow, thro’ airs profound;
While tipp’d by yonder ling’ring beam
That ſtreaks the weſtern ſkies’ extreme,Thro’ 011 B6r 11
Thro’ yawning glade, of ſable yew,
The Urn, prophetic, meets my view!
There we’ll cloſe the varied ſcene,
Emblem of this Ball Terrene.
Here Art woos Nature’s winning guiſe,
Here light and ſhade alternate riſe,
And ſunny hill, and buſky dell,
And pile antique, and rural cell;
And all that captivates the eye—
That Art and Nature can ſupply;
And all the judging mind—holds dear,
That prompts the wiſh to lingerhere:
Yet vain the wiſh!—ſince all things tend
(Thus ſang the Horace. bard) to one ſad end;
A few ſhort years, the ſcene is o’er,
Ourſelves, our Works exiſt no more.
Be mine to ſnatch the preſent hour,
The next, perchance, eludes my pow’r,
And grateful,—conſecrate to fame
A verſe, enrich’d with Pollio’s name.
But, if ſome loftier bard, inſpired
With ſcenes that Pope had ſung untired,
Shou’d bolder ſtrike the ſounding wire,
Harmonious warbling to the lyre,—
How Pollio’s genius round the place
Draws every Muſe, and every Grace,—To 012 B6v 12
To view, with elegance deſign’d,
This vivid portrait of his mind:
A mind—beneficent and great,
Capacious, eminent, complete!
I’ll ſilent watch the grateful ſtrain;
Bid echo waft it o’er the plain:
Reſign the task, the lyre reſign—
Enrapt in minſtrelſy divine!
So, ſome ſleek linnet, on the ſpray,
Wakes blithe the rude unpoliſh’d lay,
And hops, and flits, and chirps along
Thro’ all the minor modes of ſong:
When philomel reſumes her notes!
Thro’ ether bland, the deſcant floats,
Till raptured Nature hear the ſound,
From many a vocal ſteep rebound!
The linnet pauſes on the buſh,
And neſtles cloſe to liſt’ning thruſh:
She marks the ſtrain,—her ſong is o’er,
She hops, and flits, and chirps no more;
But, as the graceful choriſt ſings
Applauding floats her dewy wings,
Then, claſps her pinions to her breaſt
And gently drops into her neſt.
on The late Rev. Charles Parrott, Rector of Saham, Norfolk.
Come ſhepherds, and lift to the lay,
Come virgins, attend to the verſe,
Bring flowrets as freſh as the May,
And ſcatter them over the hearſe,—
The hearſe—where my Pollio is laid:
Alas! ’tis with anguiſh I tell
He’s number’d, too ſoon, with the dead.
How ſolemn and ſlow tolls the knell!
Come hither, and haſte to prepare—
Ere they ſnatch the dear Saint from the view,
Bring quickly the primroſe ſo fair,
The panſey, and violet-blue,
The lily, that blooms in the vale
That leads to the ivy-clad tower;
You know how he lov’d the cool dale,
Where bloſſoms his favorite flower.
Bring boughs of each flouriſhing green
He planted, and labour’d to rear,
The cypreſs and myrtle between—
Let the laurel and yew-branch appear;
And now we’ll the chaplet entwine,
As we ſtand round the grave in a ring:
Ye ſhepherds the eulogy join,
That gratitude prompts us to ſing.
Recitative.—By the Shepherds.
Tho’ tranſlated to the ſky,
Pitying view thy friends below;
A moment we ſtern grief defy,
Invoke the powers of harmony:
Tho’ the heart replete with woe
Prompt the twinkling tear to flow,
Tho’ the ſtruggling ſigh repreſt
Throb with anguiſh all the breaſt,
Yet the tongue eſſays to ſing,
Trembling fingers urge the ſtring;
Reluctant ſtrings imperfect tones convey,
And ſad and ſolemn ſounds the funeral lay.
Religion come, celeſtial maid!
Deſcend, with miniſtrelſy divine,
Attune the voice, the dying numbers aid—
With warblings ſweet the hallow’d requiem join.
Chorus of Shepherds.
While on earth, he gave to thee—
All the raptured ſoul could give!
Here—we bend the ſuppliant knee—
Teach us thus to act, and live,
Thus to meet the venom’d dart
When it ſtrikes the quiv’ring heart,
Thus—to yield the fleeting breath,
Smiling in the graſp of death:
For thus to live, and thus to die—
Is, ſurely, bliſs beneath the ſky:
A foretaſte of immortal joy,
Which time, ſecurely, haſtes to bring,
Which robs the grave of victory,
And death of his empoiſon’d ſting
Chorus of Shepherds.
For thus to live, and thus to die,
Is, ſurely, bliſs, beneath the sky.
With thee to mount, and ſoar, and ſing,
Upborne on light etherial wing,
With thee ecſtatic ſongs to raiſe,
To hymn the great Jehovah’s praiſe
To raptured ſounds of living lyre,
In ſtrains ſymphonious with th’ angelic choir.
Chorus of Shepherds.
With thee to mount, and ſoar, and ſing,
Upborne on light etherial wing,
Be our’s when life’s ſhort date is o’er,
In realms, where pain and ſorrow are no more.
Return, ye ſhepherds, to the Cypreſs-grove,
Deſcending dews impregn the hallow’d ſod;
The gentle Spirit, ſooth’d with heavenly love,
Repoſes, in the boſom of its God.
Here will we meditate,—the lunar-beam
Now ſhines effulgent thro’ the ſtarry-ſky,
See, how it twinkles on the rimpled ſtream,
And gives the Terrace, brightening, to the eye:
How was he wont beſide the Urn to ſtand,
To view his ſmiling paradiſe, around,
The beech-tree riſing from the fallow-land,
The oak, wide-ſpreading o’er the ſwelling mound.
Yon ruſtic Fane, for meditation meet,
He, judging, placed in low ſequeſter’d dell;
There muſing thought, and melancholy ſweet,
And ſcience bland, and poeſy love to dwell.
Erſt have we ſeen him, at the ſpring of day,
Slow climbing up the branching elms between,
Or, cheerly tripping by the hedge-row gay,
Or, muſing on the margin of the green.
And, oft he’d ſeek, at gloomy twilight hour,
When ſcarce a beam illumed the fading weſt,
The ſolemn umbrage of the gothic tower;
While holy raptures ſwell’d his throbbing breaſt!
’Twas there his boſom heaved the ardent ſigh,
From hallow’d lips the pious accents ſtole,
To heav’n he raiſed the ſupplicating eye
Enrapt in fervent ecſtaſy of ſoul!
The ſhepherds return’d at the dawn,
To ſeek for the flow’rets that grew
On the border that ſkirted the lawn;
But the flowrets were ſhrunk from the view:
Not a primroſe, or vi’let were ſeen,
Tho’ they ſearch’d for them carefully round;
The leaves, that at eve were ſo green,
Lay ſcatter’d, and parch’d on the ground.
The blaſt blew ſo harſh to the ear
It fill’d their ſad boſoms with woe;
Each twig was impregn’d with a tear,
And it dropp’d on the herbage below:Thick 019 C4r 19
Thick vapours obſtructed the ſky,
The landſcape was wrapt from the ſight,
No beauty attracted the eye,
No veſtige of former delight.
The lark was all huſh in the grove,
Nor call’d up the ſlumbering morn;
The turtle ſat mute by her love,
And the blackbird ſhe droop’d on the thorn:
’Twas the lark, that high floating in air,
Due poiz’d on light quivering wing,
Trill’d the matin, ſo wondrous rare,
’Twas rapture to hear the bird ſing!
Then Pollio obſerved her on high,
As he ſprang from the bed of repoſe,
And he watch’d the ſweet bird in the ſky
While he haſtily threw on his clothes;
Alert from the manſion he flew,
Ere the cows from their paſtures were led,
While the herbage was ſprinkled with dew,
And the orient all glowing with red:
Then the blackbird, ſo blithe, on the ſpray:
Saluted his ear with a ſong;
And ſhe’d ſing to him all the long day,
If Pollio attended ſo long:
How oft her wild notes would he cheer—
And whiſtle, and ſtop while ſhe ſung;
And often he pluck’d the ripe-ear
To nouriſh the bird and her young.
Alas! what a change will be ſeen,
When Mira returns to the plain!
No muſic is heard on the green,
All mute is the paſtoral ſtrain!
Not a blackbird will ſwell her ſweet throat,
Not a lark will her pinions extend;
But the redbreaſt ſtill pours his ſad note,
All by the dank grave of his friend.
Come ſhepherds, let’s haſte to retire,
Adieu! to the ſcenes that he loved!
His plaudits gave force to the lyre,
And ſweet was the lay he approved:
All mirth from the village is fled,
The ſong and paſtime are o’er;
But, the dirge ſhall be ſung for the dead—
Till friendſhip and life be no more.
Lines occaſioned by reading Collins’s Poems, in the year 17861786.
Where ſlept the Muſes—when their Collins fled
Mute, and inglorious—to the gloomy dead—
That not a minſtrel ſtruck the hallow’d lyre?
Awake to all the ſympathies of woe!
Harmonious warbling to the quiv’ring wire—
In tones accordant,—and in meaſures ſlow;
In ſtrains ſymphonious with the dying gale,
That, melting, murmurs down the winding vale.
On Arun’s banks my virgin lyre was ſtrung;
And mazy Arun liſten’d while he ſung:
O! had I heard the faſcinating ſong!
That charm’d the naiads as they ſkimm’d along,
That ſent the waters, vocal with the ſtrain,
All wildly murm’ring, to the wond’ring main!
But, envious time had ſhadow’d o’er the ſcene
Ere my light footſteps preſs’d the humid green—
Or ſought the oozy margin of the flood—
Where Collins, plaintive bard! had erſt, enraptured, ſtood.All 022 C5v 22
All ’neath the willow where his lute had hung
The rude-ruſh flouriſh’d, and the bramble ſprung,
And not a zephyr whiſper’d to my ear—
That ſuch a bard had roved, and caroll’d there;
Elſe had my childiſh muſe eſſay’d a verſe,
And hung the humble diſtich on his hearſe.
But, when my mind, with dawning hope elate,
Skimm’d lightly o’er the adverſe turns of fate,
His—rambling, ſought the viſionary cell
Where ſounds unwiſt, and forms fantaſtic, dwell;
Light forms that twinkle in the mental ray,
When ſickly reaſon quits the ſov’reign ſway;
And fancy leads her deſultory train
Thro’ every burning inlet of the brain.
To ſtrains melodious, wild ecſtatic lays—
And all that merited eternal praiſe—
Succeeded ſtupor, with benumbing glare;
Or moon-ſtruck madneſs, verging on deſpair. Collins was, at times, quite raving, and noisy; though Dr. Johnſon thought otherwiſe.
What are the gifts that genius, wit impart—
What vivid fancy, and the feeling heart—
What all the bleſſings Providence beſtows—
When thro’ diſtemper’d veins, the boiling fever flows?
Erſt as I tripp’d the cloiſter aiſle along,
What time the beetle ’gins his evening ſong,My 023 C6r 23
My trembling ear has ſtartled at the ſound,
And my quick-glance—brought flitting ſpectres round!
No ſpectre ſhriek’d—’twas Collins gave the cry:—
The tale I heard, and heard it with a ſigh,
While chilling horrors o’er my ſenſes ran,
And pity melting for the hapleſs man.
When with my years my rip’ning genius grew,
And ſcenes poetic brighten’d to my view,
Juſt as I ’gan, with tow’ring fancy fraught,
To trace the gay viciſſitudes of thought—
My My Father. patron dropp’d—my hand forſook the wire,
And on his tomb I laid— the votive lyre.
Then was it mine, remote from native praiſe,
To weave the tiſſue of ſucceeding days,
And, ’mid a madd’ning world’s illuſive ſtrife—
Meet the mix’d ills of complicated life.
Awhile, ſupine, on ſorrow’s lap I lay,
Tear after tear enforced its rapid way;
My lab’ring ſoul, with recent grief oppreſs’d,
Urged the deep ſigh, that ſtruggled in my breaſt:
But time brought hope, and, ſmiling in her train
The blue-eyed pleaſures ſkimm’d the flow’ry plain;And 024 C6v 24
And poeſy came—with faſcinating ſpell—
Touch’d, as he paſs’d, the ſoul enchanting ſhell—
Call’d forth the ſounds of harmony divine,
The varied warblings of the tuneful Nine.
Again the dawn with beamy ſplendors glow’d,
And down the glade the purple luſtres flow’d,
The muſes, ſporting in the ſolar beam,
Raiſed the bold thought, and urged the future theme;
And fancy, glitt’ring in her vivid dyes,
Waved the light wing, excurſive, in the ſkies;
Her painted veſture, flutt’ring in the air,
Tinged the thin clouds that deck’d the welkin rare:
Still as ſhe, tow’ring, gain’d ſuperior height,
My eager eyes purſued the trailing light,
My mind expanding as ſhe ſwept along—
Caught the bright flaſh, and kindled into ſong.
’Twas then I ſcann’d, with retroſpective eye,
The motley ſcenes that time had hurried by;
Trim youth return’d, with friends, a ſimp’ring train,
And antic dance, and light untuneful ſtrain—
From bards of vapid tone, and authors fleet,
Who mar the ſurface of the lab’ring ſheet.Next 025 D1r 25
Next roſe companions of maturer age,
The learn’d conductors of the poliſh’d page:
Then judging method, with preciſion came,
And recollection oped the liſts of fame;
There Collins’ name by Langhorne’s hand enroll’d
Appear’d—in characters of living gold:
And, where’s the bard, in ecſtaſy I cried,
The bard, who charm’d fair Arun’s mazy tide?
Who ſent his waters, vocal with the ſtrain,
All wildly murmring—to the wond’ring main?
Alas! no more! a kindred ſpirit ſaid,
No votive garland crown’d his drooping head,
Unnoticed, and unwept he ſtole away;
As fades the ſhadow at the cloſe of day,
When, gradual, mixing with the gloom of night,
The tranſient ſemblance dies upon the ſight.
Alas! ’twas his, with genuine fancy fraught,
To prove the wild excurſive powers of thought;
’Twas his the force of harmony to prove—
Free, and unbias’d by the voice of love;
’Twas his to ſweep with angel-hand the lyre,
And chant ſuch ſtrains as Angels might admire!
If powers like theſe, in life’s meridian bloom,
Were loſt, ere death unbarr’d the ſhelt’ring tomb,D Were 026 D1v 26
Were loſt, nor left one glimm’ring beam behind
On the dim chaos of the ſhapeleſs mind,
Where torpid apathy aſſumed the ſway,
And wiped, from mem’ry’s page, each former trait away:
If fate like his demand the penſive ſong—
Come, mournful Muſe, and pour the dirge along.
Tho’ here PI wander ’mid ſequeſter’d plains,
Where muſing ſolitude eternal reigns,
Tho’ here I tune the ſoft inglorious lyre
In ſecret concert with the woodland choir;
Uncheer’d by praiſe, unknown to public fame,
And all that ſwells, and elevates a name,—
Yet here my Muſe repeats his varied lays,
And echo ſpreads the penſive tones of praiſe,
Wafts them thro’ flow’ry lawns, and length’ning glades,
Thro’ heathy-glens, and bliſsful beechen-ſhades;
To wakeful ſhepherds tells the tale of woe,
In numbers ſad, and querulous, and ſlow,
Till trickling tears their ſun-burnt cheeks bedew,
All ſilent liſt’ning ’neath the church-yard yew:
What time grey evening ſpreads her ſolemn gloom,
And fear ſtands tiptoe by the recent tomb.
O, might the ruſtic Muſe a wiſh impart!
The pious wiſh that warms her feeling heart,
That wiſh ſhould be—to ſee one living line—
To him inſcribed, by Hayley’s pen divine.
Say, haſt thou hung, with kindred thoughts depreſt,
O’er the mute-ſod where Collins’ manes reſt?
There haſt thou ſhed the ſympathetic tear,
And mourn’d his lot, diſtreſsful, and ſevere?
Where wert thou Hayley, whom the Nine inſpire
With all the rage of true poetic fire,
Thou, who can’ſt ſweep with myſtic force the ſtring,
Sublimely ſoaring on extended wing,
Who round Parnaſſus takeſt thy arduous flight,
Wrapt in the blaze of empyreal light!
Where wert thou Hayley, when his ſpirit fled
Mute, and inglorious to the gloomy dead?
That not a diſtich graced his early hearſe;
Nor on his tomb appears the monumental verſe.
Tho’ timid youth, unequal to the force
That now maintains thy ripe meridian courſe,
Declined the tow’ring flight, the radiant ſkies
Where worlds on worlds in beauteous order riſe,
Yet, e’en in infancy thy liſping ſtrains
Won honeſt praiſes from the wondring ſwains;D2 For 028 D2v 28
For tho’ the ſimple rhyme unmeaſured ran,
The prompt effuſion mark’d the future man.
’Twas then Eugenia, Eugenia, the late Mrs. Hayley. with maternal joy,
Hung, all-enraptured, o’er the darling boy,
Foretold the honors that await her ſon,
And ſtopp’d her fair career, where Hayley’s fame begun.
Thus Luna ſets, when Sol diſplays his light,
And thro’ the welkin fiercer ſplendors glow;
Leſt two vaſt orbs, intolerably bright,
At once confound, and blind the world below.
’Tis thine, O, Hayley, yes, ’tis thine to own
The luxury, to vulgar minds unknown;
How oft doſt thou invoke the ſolemn lyre,
And drop a tear on each accordant wire—
When loſt Eugenia—ſwells the theme of woe,
How ſoft, how ſad the melting meaſures flow!
There are, who verging to the noon of life
Warp’d by ambition, avarice, love or ſtrife,
Throw off the trammels of the filial tie;
The ſavage ſons of lawleſs liberty!
But thou improveſt what fond nature wrought,
On the light tiſſue of the infant thought,
Where ſhe in dubious characters deſign’d
The firſt faint ſketches of thy future mind,And 029 D3r 29
And but one trait in vivid col’rings drew,—
Clear, and conſpicuous to the parent’s view—
That the keen yearnings of the ſoul expreſt:
She mark’d, and claſp’d thee to her doting breaſt.
Low, and imperfect was the nurſling’s cry—
The ſhades of death hung hovering o’er thine eye,
Thy pallid cheek—a chilly dew o’erſpread,
And cold, and lifeleſs ſunk thy infant head:
But heaven approving, bleſs’d her pious care—
Recording angels watched the riſing pray’r:—
Thro’ thy weak frame returning vigour ſtole,
New ſtrung thy nerves, and harmoniz’d thy ſoul;
Each tepid limb with kindling fervor glow’d,
And thro’ the ſwelling veins the genial current flow’d.
Soon on her words thine ear delighted hung,
And gratitude unloos’d thy trembling tongue,
The thronging ſounds in ſweet confuſion ſtrove
Expreſſive all of tenderneſs, and love!
How bleſs’d the time! when nature thus imparts
The pureſt tranſports, to the pureſt hearts!
And bleſs’d the man, who can untainted run
Thro’ life’s mix’d ſcenes, and ſtill preſerve the ſon,—
Bleſs’d be the bard! immortal be his name—
Who founds on filial piety—his fame.
Occaſioned by my viſiting Cambridge, 1787-11Nov. 1787.
The ſun was ſunk beneath the weſtern main,
The dews deſcended from the murky sky,
Thick humid vapours hover’d o’er the plain,
And chilly blaſts aſſail’d the roving eye;
Fatigued and languid, at the ſolemn hour
When fades the diſtant landſcape on the view,
My prying glance deſcried an ancient tower,
As near its baſe my weary footſteps drew.
What ſudden tranſport o’er my ſenſes ſtole!
O! then for voice, for minſtrelſy divine!
To ſing the fervid tranſports of the ſoul—
How weak the aid of all the boaſted Nine.
Soft flows the verſe,—and ſoft the muſic flows
When fancy leads the light fantaſtic throng,
But heighten’d joys, or heart corroding woes
Diſdain the gaudy pageantry of ſong.
In ſimple non-age on the tale I hung,
Paternal eloquence enrich’d the tale,
Sweet to my ear, as when the blackbird ſung,
Or cheerful linnet warbled in the vale:—
Of Alma-Mater—would he joy to tell,
Of youthful friends, whom erſt his ſoul held dear,
With fond affection on each ſcene he’d dwell,
’Till twinkling eyes betray’d the urgent tear:
The ſoft infection pliant childhood caught,
The tender ſorrows gliſten’d in my eyes:
Now oft emblazon’d on the pictured thought—
The gentle images ſucceſſive riſe.
Oft would he tell, while rapture ſwell’d his heart,
Of Clare’s bland aſpect, and her verdant meads,
Where Camus wantons, not devoid of art,
And oft, with murm’rings wild, the errant ſtudent leads.
There had fair ſcience mark’d him for her ſon,
Deſign’d the ſketch that ſtampt his future fame,
And, when the tranſient courſe of life was run,
Gave the bold traits to conſecrate his name.
Now darkneſs reign’d, and wrapt from mortal ſight,
The mingled maſs of half creation lay;
When fancy, beaming from the gloom of night,
Shed o’er my ſilent couch, her many-tinctured ray:
The motly viſion, on my yielding mind,
With myſtic pen, and vivid touch ſhe drew,
The various characters her hand deſign’d—
In bright ſucceſſion open’d on my view
My vagrant feet the tender herbage preſt,
What time the ſun illumes the eaſtern sky,
When feather’d warblers flutter from the neſt
And dew-drops glitter to the downcaſt eye;
When lo! a female of celeſtial race!
Of ſtature tall, and eminently fair!
Peace in her look, in every motion grace—
Approach’d, with tranquil, and majeſtic air;
Looſe flow’d her azure veſtments in the wind,
And all unbound, her ſwelling boſom roſe,
Her golden treſſes—on her neck behind
Wanton’d—like ſun-beams on the mountain ſnows.
Struck with amazement! fearful I withdrew,
When lo! a voice—of energy divine!
Turn, trembling mortal, turn thy timid view,
Lo! Alma-Mater woos thee to her ſhrine:
Behold, the Muſe, the Genius, and the Guide—
Of all who grace yon venerable pile;
I o’er the Schools, with regal power preſide,
And ſwell the Anthem, pealing thro’ the aiſle.
Quick changed the ſcene:—when active fancy brought
A ſplendid ſtructure, Senate Houſe. ’fore my wondring eyes,
With curious art the poliſh’d walls were wrought,
And the tall columns glitter’d to the ſkies!
The Guide celeſtial led the devious way,
The ſteps aſcending, gently ſwept along:
While round her temples beaming luſtres play,
Soft Muſic breathes, and deſultory ſong.
Next to my ſight a beauteous fabric roſe,
I mark’d it well, I mark’d the verdant meads—
Where ſilver Camus all luxuriant flows,
And oft, with murm’rings wild, the errant ſtudent leads—
Gilt with the weſtern ſun, thro’ broider’d vale,
Gaily meand’ring rolls his halcyon ſtream,
The waters rimpled by the ſportive gale
In varied cinctures, twinkle in the beam:
On the rich margin of his mazy tide
The niveous-pink, and motlied-daiſy grow,
And, all-depending from his ſloping ſide
The ſlim-ruſh trembles o’er the wave below:
There, ſweetly warbling from o’er-arching trees,
The feather’d choriſts hail the breathingmorn;
There, lightly quiv’ring in the riſing breeze,
Pellucid dew-drops glitter on the thorn:
’Twas there Alcanor My Father. in the ſilent ſhade
Met ſacred ſcience—at the lonely hour,—
For ſolemn thought, and contemplation made,
What time the moon-beams tip the hallow’d tower.
Thus glanced reflection on my wav’ring mind,
While things fantaſtic mingled with the true,
When, lo! a Form, long ſince to death conſign’d,
Roſe, pure, and perfect to my raptur’d view!
Such was the man, when nature in her prime
Gave the ſmooth cheek the animated glow;
Ere pain aſſail’d him, or the ſhafts of time,
Or ſorrows, urged by complicated woe.
High roſe his forehead, prominent and fair,
With mild effulgence beam’d the orbs of ſight;
In gloſſy ringlets waved his auburn hair,
Streak’d—as it flow’d, with tranſient gleams of light.
Supreme, adown the mure admiring throng,
With looks of ſoft benignity, and love,—
He graceful paſt—with gliding pace along,
Light as the breeze that fans the vernal grove.
The full-toned organ ſtruck the hallow’d ear,
The form paternal waved the radiant hand,
High roſe the ſtrains, ſonorous ſtrong, and clear,
As the Bright-Viſion, join’d the tuneful band—
Where King’s Coll. Chapel. the arch’d roof diſplays the powers of art,
Where pictured glaſs admits the varied ray,
Where rapt devotion fires the fervent heart,
And woos the ſpirit from its maſs of clay:
Where the loud anthem fills the vaulted choir,
While kindling ſouls to ecſtaſy are wrought,
As themes celeſtial fan the holy fire
And plume the pinions of excurſive thought:
Thro’ the wide roof the heavenly pæans rung,
Angelic voices join’d the raptured lays,
Loud hallelujahs flow’d from every tongue,
And the deep organ ſwell’d the tones of praiſe;
Tranſported nature could ſuſtain no more:
Beyond the limits to frail mortals given
When the bold ſpirit raſhly dares to ſoar,
Back to its ſource the towering mind is driven:
Thus, at the dawn, recoil’d the roving thought,
And ſober reaſon ſtood confeſt to view;
But ſuch the ſcenes by fancy’d pencil wrought,
That ſober reaſon wiſh’d the viſion true.
On the Death of my dear Mother.
Hail! to thy powers—O Solitude!
Thy brumal-gale, thy tempeſt rude,
Attune the penſive mind;
The awful blaſt, that howls along,
Gives energy to plaintive ſong,
The ſong—to grief aſſign’d.
Pour on ye thick deſcending rains,
Quick deluge all the neighb’ring plains,
Accordant to my woe;
My tears ſhall ſwell the devious tide,
As, ruſhing down the mountain’s ſide
It ſeeks the ſtream below.
Give me the wild tremendous roar
Of billows daſhing ’gainſt the ſhore
When midnight horrors reign;
When low-brow’d rocks, and caverns, round,
Re-bellow to the fearful ſound,
Loud iſſuing from the main:
Then, ſeated in ſome lonely tow’r—
I’ll hail the ſolemn midnight hour,
And watch the raging deep;
While thunders roll, and lightnings glare,
And woes,—hard bordering on deſpair,
Conſpire to—murder ſleep.
To grief attuned, my wakeful lyre
Shall woo no vague fantaſtic fire,
Nore feign’d—Apollo’s art:
To grief attuned—and pungent woe—
My numbers wild, and ſad, and ſlow—
Shall touch the feeling heart.
A Friend I mourn!—indulgent heaven—
To ſooth my cares, a Friend had given,
To heighten every joy;
Our love was firm, ’twas pure, refined;
Deep centred in the heart, and mind,
It knew no groſs alloy.
Snatch’d, in a moment, from my eyes!
The ſpirit ſought its kindred skies—
And dropp’d its maſs of clay!
High ſoaring thro’ the fields of light,—
The viſion mock’d my wilder’d ſight
Wrapp’d in the blaze of day!
To the pious Memory of Jane, Relict of the Reverend, and learned Daniel Gittins, L.L.B. Rector of South Stoke, and Vicar of Leominſter, in Suſſex,—who exchanged her Mortality for Immortality, 1779-12-22December22, 1779, aged 61 years.
In Friendſhip’s arms reſigning up her breath,
Serene and tranquil at the hour of death—
Compoſed ſhe lay, with eyes uplift to heaven,
And ſunk in peace, each venial fault forgiven:
Without a groan th’ immortal part withdrew,
And left the mortal! ſmiling to the view.
Here reſts entomb’d the cold inconſcious clay;
While the free ſpirit ſeeks its bleſs’d abode—
Soars toward the manſions of eternal day,
And pants to view the radiance of the God.
When the Archangel gives the final ſound,
And, thro’ the ſkies reſponſive thunders roll,
When Nature trembles to her furtheſt bound,
And livid lightnings dart from pole to pole,—
Then ſhall theſe ſcatter’d particles unite,
And, burſting from the tomb, in glory riſe,
A fairer form, ſuperlatively bright,
Prepared for happineſs, in purer ſkies.
In Memory of my late pious Friend Mrs. Bold, of Wade Court, Hampſhire,
How oft remembrance brings thee to my mind,
In all the glow of youthful beauty bright!
Ere thy ſoft charms, to death’s cold graſp conſign’d,
Sunk to the grave, in dull oblivious night:
Thy loved remains, in mute inconſcious reſt,
Now lie, unheeded by the buſy throng;
Yet ſtill, Eliza, in thy Anna’s breaſt
Thou liveſt—the darling ſubject of her ſong.
Thrice bleſs’d was I!—when dearer to thy ſoul
Than all the toys this idle world beſtows:
How oft did’ſt thou my wayward thoughts controul,
Or ſooth my ſorrow with congenial woes.
In infant ſports our ductile minds agreed—
We dreſs’d the baby, or we threw the ball,
Tripp’d round the May-pole with unwearied ſpeed,
Or hymn’d the carol, ſounding thro’ the hall.
’Twas our’s adown the graceful dance to move
With rival ſteps, accordant to the ſtrains;—
While looks of innocence, and cordial love,
Drew lively plaudits from the raptured ſwains.
As year on year with rapid motion flew,
How thought we then, life’s meridian bloom?
My gayer mind the halcyon proſpect drew,—
While your’s—deep centred in the mould’ring tomb:
Thy graver fancy choſe the ſolemn theme,
And life’s ſhort date educed from ſacred lore,—
How ſhall we wake, as from an awful dream,
When this ſtrange ſcene, and all its charms are o’er.
Short was thy date, and tranſient was thy joy,
Prepared, thou met’ſt th’ inevitable blow,
Thy ſpirit, freed from ev’ry baſe alloy,
Roſe pure and ſpotleſs from this vale of woe.
Ah! dear to friendſhip! if allow’d to view
The varying modes that added years attend,
Accept the tribute to thy virtues due,
The diſtant tribute of a faithful friend.
Nore time, nor chance, the ſteady mind can change,
In mem’ry’s page thou liveſt, for ever dear!
Allow’d thro’ long-drawn ſcenes in thought to range,
I, ſilent, drop the unavailing tear:
And oft when ſlumbers ſeal my wearied eyes,
What time the cock proclaims the dawning light,
I, raptured, ſee thy gentle ſpirit riſe!
Pure as the air, and as the morning bright.
The bliſsful viſion leaves a trace behind
To gild the precincts of returning thought,
Stamps its fair veſtige on the wakeing mind
By reaſon nurtured, tho’ by fancy wrought.
Such be the charm, thro’ life’s precarious road,
Still may’ſt thou cheer me in the gloomy way,
Till angels waft me to their bleſs’d abode,
To thee, Eliza, in the realms of day.
Addreſſed to Mrs. D――n, on the Death of a dear, deſerving Son.
When Maro mourn’d Marcellus dead—
Th’ afflicted matron hung her head
And dropp’d the ſilent tear:
When he his early proweſs ſung,
Enraptur’d on the ſtrains ſhe hung!
Such ſtrains as gods might hear!
Immortal in the matchleſs ſong,
She heard him rank’d the gods among,
Nor longer wept his doom:
Tranſported—ſaw is deathleſs name
Enroll’d amongſt the liſts of fame;
Victorious o’er the tomb.
Fame cou’d the Roman’s grief controul;
For nobler principle her ſoul—
Had never underſtood:
In reaſon’s darkling maze ſhe ſtray’d,
What reaſon taught, her mind eſſay’d;
But knew no greater good.
No darkling maze have we to tread—
Thro’ fabled regions of the dead
To wind a devious way:
Religion points the certain road,
She lights the longing ſoul to God,
With truth’s unerring ray.
Shall we,—with Revelation bleſt,
While faith ſhows all the God,—confeſt
To each enquiring eye,—
Shall we lament, as void of hope?
Who view unveil’d the boundleſs ſcope
Of bleſt Eternity?
Ceaſe Sachariſſa,—ceaſe to mourn;
Nor pious tears o’er Florio’s urn—
Still, unavailing, ſhed:
Angelic—in the purer ſkies
Behold his brighten’d form ariſe!
Nor rank him with the dead.
Superior to the farce of life—
Illuſive joy—deſtructive ſtrife,
He nobly met his doom,
And bleſs’d the hand that dealt the blow;
As hov’ring o’er the vale of woe—
He mark’d the deep’ning gloom;—
What art thou life? (the ſpirit ſaid)—
A motly ſcene—of light, and ſhade,
An unſubſtantial toy:
Nor more my pure pervaſive ſight,
Can view the viſion with delight,
Can call the phantom—joy.
For lo! afore my raviſh’d eyes—
What bright celeſtial glories riſe,
To tempt my ardent gaze!
Oh! for the ſkill to pour along!
Th’ ecſtatic energies of ſong!
The Great Creator’s praiſe!
Thus the freed ſoul eſſay’d to join
The heav’nly choir,—the hymn divine—
By raptured ſpirits ſung:
Applauding Angels caught the ſound—
As, echoing thro’ the vaſt profound,
The mighty chorus rung.
On the Loss of a dear Friend. My valued Mother.
Virgins, I have loſt my friend,
No more you’ll ſee her wander,
Where the willow-boughs extend
Wide o’er the ſtreamlet, yonder:
I, for her, my home forſook
Near Arun’s lucid fountain,
Left the plain, and glaſſy brook
That winds beneath the mountain.
Never ſhall we ſee her more!
(Expect not her returning)
’Till we reach the halcyon ſhore,
Where joy ſucceeds to mourning:
Thither is my Portia flown—
O, Nymphs, I tell ye, thither!
Ah! woe—for me! from earth ſhe’s gone—
For ever!—and for ever!
On the Death of a Reverend Friend: Addreſſed to Mrs. A――n.
Say—ſhould the lyre remain unſtrung—
And, loſt to eloquence, the tongue
Attempt no plaintive ſtrain?
When numbers can the force controul
Of pointed grief that wrings the ſoul,
And ſooth the hour of pain.
’Tis Friendſhip lifts the glowing eye!
She calls the powers of harmony
Around her loneſome cell;
She woos the penſive muſe to ſing,
And ſtrikes, with trembing hand, the ſtring—
To ſound the ſad—farewel:
Farewel!—accept the fault’ring lay;
If, ling’ring near the dormant clay,
Thy timid ſpirit tries—
In faint, imperfect modes of flight
Its force,—nor yet enwrapt in light
Expatiates in the ſkies.
Farewel—bleſt ſhade!—too early fled!
In theſe drear manſions of the dead
Deſpondent Friendſhip mourns:
The hallow’d walls and caverns, round,
Return the melancholy ſound:
The gale her voice returns:
Fear ſtartles at the midnight gale—
All mournful murm’ring down the vale
In ſtrains of mimic woe!
While ruthleſs grief her aid ſupplies—
And prompts the momentary ſighs,
And prompts the tears to flow.
But who, at this ſequeſter’d hour,
Beneath the ivy-mantled tower
Hangs o’er the recent tomb?
’Tis ſad Conſtantia;—ſunk in grief
Her harraſs’d ſoul, diſdains relief,
And ſeeks the ſhelt’ring gloom:
With heart-corroding woes oppreſt,
Maternal anguiſh wrings her breaſt,
And ſwells her tearleſs eye:
Be dumb my cares,—ſhall I complain ?
Conſtantia mark the ſoothing ſtrain,
That Friendſhip bids me try.
Enough to ruthleſs grief is given:
Lo! beamy Hope, deſcends from heaven,
In native glory bright!
Deck’d in the panoply of love—
Calm gliding thro’ the cypreſs grove,
She radiates on the ſight!
And now ſhe points, thro’ Faith, the road,
Where Spirits—bleſs’d, unite with God
When time ſhall be no more!
She ſhows the intermediate ſpace,
Where all the favor’d ſons of grace—
In trembling hope adore.
A Sacred Ode.
Bring me a lute, ye minſtrels of the ſky,
Tune ev’ry ſtring to ſacred harmony;
Bid raptures breathe from each reſounding wire,
Raiſe ev’ry thought, and ev’ry wiſh inſpire,
Let your bright influence o’er my ſenſes roll,
And wake to ecſtaſy divine my ſoul!
Elſe how ſhall mortal ſwell the tones of praiſe?
How from this earth the themes angelic raiſe?
How teach the laughing hills, and vallies round—
How the tall woods to catch th’ enchanting ſound?
How make the rocks the joyful ſtrains proclaim
And the deep lakes repeat Jehovah’s name?
When tuneful David rais’d the Hebrew ſong,
Sweet flow’d the verſe, tho’ ſweet—ſublime and ſtrong;
With skill divine he ſwept the golden ſtrings,
Applauding angels clapp’d their radiant wings,
With notes ſymphonious ſwell’d the hallow’d lay
And raptured breath’d it thro’ the realms of day.
Jehovah praiſe (the royal pſalmiſt cry’d,—
With anſw’ring ſounds his full-ton’d harp reply’d),
To brazen trumpets join th’ ecſtatic voice—
Let heav’ns, and earth, and ſeas, and floods rejoice!
And lofty woods, and cloud-capt mountains ſing,
The theme is Judah’s—and ’tis David’s king.
When God ſhone forth in majeſty profound,
The frail earth trembled to its utmoſt bound,
Beneath his feet the heav’ns aſtoniſh’d bow’d,
The rains ruſh’d furious from th’ encircling cloud;
Sublime, upon the ſpirit’s wings he flew!
And coals were kindled at his piercing view:
Above, about the livid lightnings play’d—
Reflectent, on the deep impervious ſhade;
Then conſcious Sinai felt the preſent God,
And mov’d ſubmiſſive at the ſov’reign-nod;
Like melted wax adown her ſmoking ſides
The liquid metals flow’d, in ſparkling tides.
Soft ſtole the numbers of the ſapient king,
With lighter touch he wak’d each warbling ſtring,
To rouſe the ſoul the halcyon monarch ſtrove,
With all the winning energy of love,
The Saviour’s love—the Church’s grace he ſung;
While muſic dropp’d, like honey, from his tongue.
But who can reach Iſaiah’s hallow’d fire,
Or mark the force of his prophetic lyre,
Who trace his ſkill, his minſtrelſy divine?
The task, O Lowth, th’ immortal taſk, was thine:
To thee, bleſs’d Saint, the wondrous powers were given
T’ expound the Seer, the favorite Seer of heaven.
Thro’ Edom’s wilderneſs, in times of yore,
Three martial kings their potent legions bore,
Seven weary days they kept the devious way,
Athirſt, and ſcorch’d by ſol’s pervaſive ray;
No bubbling fountains cheer’d the famiſh’d ground,
But all was parch’d,—; wild,—; deſert round!
The pallid legions dropp’d the liſtleſs hand,
And ſank, deſpondent, on the burning ſand:
With pangs convulſive, in the graſp of death,
The panting cattle drew the faultring breath:
When Iſral’s monarch ſmote his throbbing breaſt,
And thus, in plaintive terms, his woe expreſt—
Is this, alas! the pre-determin’d hour,
When we muſt yield to Moab’s curſed pow’r?
And hath Jehovah in his mighty rage—
Now call’d us forth, a hopeleſs war to wage?
Diſmay’d we ſhrink beneath the chaſt’ning rod,
Raiſing our ſuppliant hands to thee, O! God.
When thus Jehoſaphat (with princely grace,
Celeſtial wiſdom beaming from his face)—
Is there not, mighty king, ſome holy Seer—
Some ſacred perſonage, ſome Prophet here?
That we may learn Jehovah’s ſov’reign will?
Fulfil our duty, and his mind fulfil.
Then ſpake a man of Iſrael’s royal train,
From thoſe who ſtretch’d recumbent on the plain,
Eliſha’s here who from the limpid ſpring
Pour’d water on Elijah’s hands,—O! king.
Submiſs, the monarchs ſought the Seer’s abode,
Prepar’d to meet the mandate of their God.
With ſolemn majeſty the Prophet roſe,
A harp well tuned, the ſacred minſtrel choſe,
Then touch’d with dubious hand the quiv’ring wire,
Then ſwept with mightier force the ſounding lyre;
As o’er the bounding chords his fingers flew—
Near, and more near the preſent Godhead drew:
High ſoar’d the ſtrain, with inſpiration fraught,
His mind expanding with the ſtretch of thought,
O’er all the man, the heav’nly ardor ſtole,
Tun’d his warm tongue, and harmoniz’d his ſoul,
Then ſtruck by God’s right hand, he lifts his voice,
Rejoice, he cries, ye ſons of care rejoice!
Thus ſaith the Lord, all-gracious, and benign,
The Lord who ſuccors Judah’s choſen line,
No rains ſhall fall, no furious tempeſt blow,
Yet thro’ this deſert vale, the ſtreams ſhall flow;
When breathing morn, the ſolemn rites proclaims,
And the pure victim meets the hallow’d flames.
Such pow’rs to ſacred minſtrelſy belong,
And ſuch the force of all-commanding ſong!
Teach me then, ſkill’d muſicians, how to raiſe,
With varying modes, the dulcet notes of praiſe;
For as the thirſty hart the brook deſires,
So long my ſoul for pure celeſtial fires.
Ye waving foreſts, and ye rocks attend,
Ye ruſhing ſtreams, that down thoſe rocks deſcend,
Ye bleak brow’d mountains that horrific riſe,
Brave the mad ſtorm, and ſhoot in the ſkies,
Ye flow’r-clad vallies, and ye verdant plains—
Attend my numbers, and prolong my ſtrains:
At ſolemn eve the pious ſtrains prolong,
When heav’nly tranſports prompt th’ advent’rous ſong,
When all enrapt the ſpirit ſteals away,
In airy viſion, from the dormant clay,
Hears harps celeſtial ſounding from above,
And roves unbounded thro’ the fields of love.
Verses addreſſed to Mrs. F――g and Mrs. J――s.
When friendſhip ſuch as yours inſpires,
’Tis Virtue fans the poet’s fires,
She tunes the voice, ſhe bids us ſing,
While rapture breathes from ev’ry ſtring:
Then while my ſoul with fervor glows,
Accept the tribute as it flows,
’Tis holy friendſhip gilds the ſong,
’Tis friendſhip pure, ſincere, and ſtrong.
Sequeſter’d from the tinſel glare,
Of all that’s rich, and all that’s fair,
Of all that’s vain, and all that’s great,
Of all the proud parade of ſtate—
You, ſhelter’d in yon lonely cell,
With contemplation chooſe to dwell,
Secure in friendſhip’s ſacred tie,
The varied ills of life defy.
When torrents deluge all the plain,
And hoarſe winds harrow up the main,
When lightnings flaſh, and thunders roll,
And rock the ſkies from pole to pole—
Then Piety—celeſtial maid,
In heav’nly panoply array’d!
Deſcends—to ſhield the bleſt abode;
And raiſe the trembling ſoul to God:
She ſooths the mind with zealous care,
Inſpires the conſecrated pray’r—
Aſſiſts the oriſons to riſe—
And wafts the incenſe to the ſkies.
Borne on devotion’s ardent wing,
Your raptured ſpirits ſoar, and ſing,
’Till op’ning on the mental ſight—
Expand the viſions of delight!
To you bleſs’d Pair, to you ’tis giv’n
To antedate the joys of heav’n,
To catch, with faith’s diſcerning eye,
A glimpſe of bright futurity.
What could enure you to ſuſtain
An age of agonizing pain ?
When nature, hopeleſs of relief,
Sinks—in ſatiety of grief—
Nought, ſave the lenient balm of love,
Deſcending from the ſource above;
Whence copious emanations flow,
On ev’ry ſuppliant child of woe.
When tranſient eaſe brings back the mind,
From meditation more refine’d,
Friendſhip diſplays her ſov’reign pow’r,—
Diffuſive, o’er the halcyon hour.
From earth, and earth-born joys apart,
She meets the mild, devoted heart,
The wearied pilgrim ſtops, and cheers;
Sad journeying in this vale of tears.
When nature ſhrinks, and faultring breath
Betrays the quick approach of death,
She ſmooths the couch, the head ſuſtains,
And ſhares, and mitigates the pains:
And when the vital ſpirit’s fled,
Awhile ſhe hovers round the dead,
Expands her wings—then ſoars away,
To radiate in eternal day.
A Sacred Ode to Spring.
To ſilent glooms, and ſolemn glades,
To thick impenetrable ſhades,—
Where the calm ſage life’s toil evades,
Direct my errant feet:—
There will I all my ſoul enjoy,
Its whole expreſſive powers employ;
Raptures, unconſcious of alloy,
And Meditation ſweet.
On Contemplation’s buoyant wing,
O let me mount, and ſoaring ſing
The beauties of th’ enliv’ning ſpring;
And thank my God, benign;
Who, kind, allures his creatures eye,
That they may excellence deſcry
In nature’s juſteſt harmony,
And praiſe the work divine.
Bring living lutes, the viol bring,
Praiſe the ſupreme, celeſtial King!
Let ſoul-expreſſing anthems riſe!
Pour forth the full-toned organ’s peal;—
Now warbling ſighs ſymphonious ſteal;
Now deep-mouth’d thunders ſhake the skies!
On oaten pipe the ruſtic ſwain,
Sweet, modulates his humble ſtrain;
Grateful, he ſings the youthful year;
And God inclines his liſt’ning ear.
How verdant appear the gay fields!
How ſport the young lambs on the plain!
The earth all her fragrancy yields,
Refreſh’d by the ſoft-dropping rain.
Fair nature I view in her dawn:
The birds fill the woods with their lays;
The nightingale, perch’d on the thorn,
Re-echoes her quavering praiſe.
My heart with warm gratitude burns;
Accept, my great God, my applauſe,
To ſerve it moſt cheerfully learns,—
To follow thy peace-bearing laws.
With holy ardor hymns inſpire,
Kindle in me ſacred fire!
Attend ye rapt, celeſtial choir!
Strike the reſounding chord:
Wing’d muſic quivers in the air;—
Notes ſympathiſing ſouls prepare;—
Symphonious minſtrels praiſe declare
Of great Jehovah,—lord.
Ariſe! enthuſiaſtic bard;
All groveling, worldly thoughts diſcard;
Let not their load our flight retard
To manſions of delight:
Aſcending craggy heights ſublime,
Above the empire let us climb,
Ruled by the iron hand of time,—
To realms, ætherial, bright
On the Arrival of His Royal Highneſs PrinceWilliam of Gloucester, at the Univerſity of Cambridge.
Fair Science! wave thy golden hair;
Deck with ſmiles thy beauteous face;
The royal pupil be thy care;
And his brow with laurels grace.
Science! ſhew thy charms around,
Thy form divine, with varied garlands crown’d:
With matchleſs ſkill unfold his wond’ring mind,
To joys ſublime, to wiſdom’s laws conſign’d.
The changing ſcenes with art diſcloſe,
And mark where ſplendid honor grows,
And virtue ſprings:—beneath fair Albion’s ſky,
While goodneſs reigns, enthron’d, in majeſty.
From realms of empyrean light,
Benignant, bend thy airy flight!
With amaranthine chaplet crown’d—
Deſcend, propitious, on the ground!Flow’rets 070 G5v 70
Flow’rets ’neath thy footſteps ſpring,
Woodland warblers ſweetly ſing;
In renovated foliage gay
The trees with ſportive zephyrs play:
Triumphant nature hails the nymph, divine,
Regards her beauty with a ſmile benign:
Creation glows with ſympathetic fire,
And wiſdom’s praiſe—chants forth th’ enraptured choir!
Camus! roll thy ſilver ſtream,
Sparkling with the ſolar beam;
Full ſmoothly glide the rural walks between,
And kiſs the margin of the flow’ry green:
With conſcious pride, high ſwell the limpid wave,
Heave thy big boſom, and thy borders lave:
Bear to the Prince each joy that time can give!
Long may his virtue!—long his glory live!
But, hark! what feſtive ſounds ſalute my ear!
Tranſporting muſic floats the air around;
Lo! princely virtue pours her influence here:
Sound the loud trump, th’ awak’ning viol ſound!Bring 071 G6r 71
Bring living lutes, the merry cymbals bring,
Attune to harmony the throng!
With rapture ſtrike each ſoul-enchanting ſtring,
And raiſe the ſweet ecſtatic ſong.
Let full-toned organs wake the mind to joy;
Or, warbling, ſound their dulcet melody.
Can breaſts, with patriotic tranſport fired,
Or honeſt hearts, with loyal love inſpired,
Refuſe the praiſe the princely offspring claims?
Can Britons, taught to reverence their King,
His virtues celebrate, his praiſes ſing;—
Can they withhold the tribute of applauſe,
Decreed by wiſdom’s juſt, unerring laws?
Britannia’s ſons ſhall e’er rejoice to crown
Their noble heroes, of deſerv’d renown,
With circling wreaths of glorious laurel made,
Whoſe bloom, in virtue’s clime, can never fade.
Lo! ſcience comes, with eye ſerene,
Deſcribes this wond’rous orb terrene;
And leads her royal pupil thro’ the maze—
That nature treads in varied round,
Thro’ heights ſublime, thro’ depths profound,
While mortals with inquiring eye-balls gaze.She 072 G6v 72
She tells, how firſt the world began;
The glorious origin of man;
And all the orbs, that grace the ſky,
The fowls that ’mid the æther fly;
The beaſts that feed in graſſy fields;
The myriads that the ocean yields;
And ev’ry plant that decks the ſod,
All exiſting from our God:—
Then bids him bow to great Jehovah’s name,
Raiſe the rapt hymn, and celebrate his fame:
Imbibe religion’s holy joys, refin’d;
Admire the works by providence deſign’d.
Behold, he liſtens with attentive ear;
Surveys the myſteries with awful fear;
Seeks to explore the hidden laws, ſublime,
Wrapt in the mantle of obſcuring time:
Nature’s ſtupendous works he learns to ſcan,
And view the mightieſt—moſt exalted—Man;
The mind he ſearches with inquiring eye,
And traces, deep, her grand immenſity;
The mind, that knows no limit to her way,
But ſoars to regions of ætherial day.
Thus heav’n-born ſcience guides the royal youth,
And leads him o’er the univerſe terrene:
Her ſteps he follows, with majeſtic grace,
In ſearch of happineſs, and ſimple truth:
The riſing ſtar of Brunſwick ſhines, ſerene,
And darts effulgence on his leader’s face.
Ye rocks, where cold ſolitude dwells,
I fly to your caverns, diſtreſt,
I ſpend the ſad day in your cells,
And heave the deep ſigh from my breaſt:
Ye woods, where pale ſorrow delights,
Conceal in your boſom a ſwain!
Your wildneſs no longer affrights;—
Ah! what can embitter my pain?
To roam in the deſert—I love;
To pour my complaints to the wind:
To mourn with the pitying dove:—
Miranda no longer is kind!
I fly to the den of diſmay;—
The gloomy and terrible cave,
Where deſpair ſits—all pining away,—
While her tears ſwell the neighbouring wave.
I ſhun the keen eye of my friend,
In ſolitude paſs the long day:
My ſorrow—ah! when will it end?
My anguiſh will ne’er flee away.
I weep, as I ſit ’neath the height
With ivy and bramble o’ergrown,
Till all be envelop’d in night
And each cavern re-echo my moan.
An Ode to Melancholy.
Come Melancholy, heaven-born maid!
Attend thy ſuppliant’s prayer:
She woos thee to the ſylvan ſhade,
The ſylvan ſcene, the moſs-grown glade,
Are objects of thy care.
Full oft at eventide,
Where argent ſtreamlets glide
Vernal banks between,
Winding, warbling ſweet along
Tufted graſs and ſtones among,
Art thou ſeen;
With ſtep ſedate and ſlow—
Imprinting oft th’ enamell’d green—
Soft muſing as you go
Toward yon humid cell:
Where tenfold echoes dwell—
Returning full the ſolemn ſound,
When thunders burſt, and tempeſts yell:
From yawning caves and depths profound—
Hark it murmurs!—round and roundThe 077 H3r 77
The undulating meaſures roll,
Muſic to the penſive ſoul!
Myſterious all, and holy,
Fit receſs for melancholy.
Come away thrice welcome fair
Lo! I fly to meet thee there,
For there thy much lov’d Milton us’d to ſtray
From noiſe and buſineſs free;
And Shakeſpear, Fancy’s child, and ſweetly
Retired full oft to meditate with thee.
’Tis ſoothing all,
The water’s fall;
The brook that chinks along;
The coming breeze
That bends the trees,
The beetle’s droning ſong.
Hither give my feet to ſtray,
What time pale Heſper ſheds his ray;
When Cynthia from the mountain-brow,
Beholds the checker’d vale below,
And ſportive throws her ſilver beams
O’er lucid founts, and twinkling ſtreams.
When moping owl, from time-ſhook tower
Hails ſhrill, the deep ſequeſter’d hour;A H3 078 H3v 78
And Philomela thro’ the vale,
Trills ſoft her love-lamenting tale—
Be mine to ſeek the cavern’d cell,
Where the babbling echoes dwell,
And the drops beſprent with light—
Glittering on the curious ſight,
Hang in many a ſhining row;
Or where adown the ſloping ſide
Wand’ring ſoft the vagrants glide
Increaſing as they go—
Stealing pointed ſpars between,
Glimm’ring o’er the pebbles ſheen;
Oft in wanton maze delighting,
Now dividing, now uniting;
Quick and quicker now they pour
Deſcending in a trickling ſhow’r,
’Till the ſtreamlet on the floor
Winding, wander here, and there,—
Cool, pellucid, freſh and fair:
Now increaſing to a rill,
Hark! it ruſhes down the hill,
Gains at length the level plain;
And ſteals, in gentle murmurs, to the main.
Thus the Bæotian Mount beſide,
Gurgling on in native pride,Thro’ 079 H4r 79
Thro’ the flow’r-beſprinkled vale,
Glides the bright ſtream of tuneful Acidale.
Oft the Heliconian ſpring,
Aids the infant Muſe’s wing,
’Till all ſublime ſhe ſoar,
Mount to new worlds, and mightier themes explore.
Be mine to quaff the myſtic draught
Urging on the lab’ring thought,
’Till all-inſpired I riſe,
Mount the briſk gale, and ſoar amid the ſkies!
Aid me goddeſs, ſage, and holy,
Aid me, penſive Melancholy.
Lo! I ſtrike the myſtic ſhell!
Echo anſwers from the cell!
How the ſolemn meaſures ſwell!
Be huſh’d my Muſe, attentive ſtand,
A bard ſuperior ſweeps the bounding ſtrings,
Around him wait a fair angelic band,
And wond’ring ſpirits brighten as he ſings!
Thus when angels ſtrike the lyre,
Swelling high the heavenly choir,
Skill’d in the great ſublime of ſong,
Breathe forth th’ecſtatic airs, and riſe, and pour along.On 080 H4v 80
On yonder cloud bedight in grey,
Whoſe skirtings catch the lunar-ray—
Sits the great bard;—whoſe hands divine
Th’ immortal lyre explore:
Celeſtial forms bright hov’ring o’er
Extend their lucid wings:
While kindred ſpirits flock around,
And catch the ſweet harmonious ſound,
Enraptur’d as he ſings!
’Tis Gray—immortal Gray!
Adown his form in radiant foldings play
The purple veſtments bright,
With gliſt’ning gems bedight,
And all the various hues of vivifying light,
Contraſted full with deep ſurrounding night.
All hail! ſweet bard, ſublime, and holy!
Erſt the friend of Melancholy.
How flow’d thy numbers while below?
The melting notes attun’d to woe—
Sunk in the yielding heart;
Full oft thou badſt the tear to flow:
Then with the niceſt touch of art
Thou to the riſing ſoul cou’d’ſt pureſt joys impart.When 081 H5r 81
When thou ſoar’d’ſt on daring pinion,
Bards inferior, bleſt thy ſkill;
Bending own’d thy high dominion,
All ſubſervient to thy will.
When he to heavenly themes aſpired,
I plume’d my vent’rous wing,
Purſued his rapid flight untir’d,
By his immortal verſe inſpired:
And e’en eſſay’d to ſing:—
To ſing,—’twas then my Muſe began,
The yielding chords to try,
And thro’ the latent mazes ran
Of melting harmony!
She ſought her down the lowly vale,
And up the tow’ring hill:
Her voice oft ſwell’d the whiſp’ring gale,
When drowſy evening’s ſhades prevail,
And copious dews from algid rocks diſtill.
O, if a mortal voice can riſe,
Amid th’ immortal choir—
Stoop from thy ſtation in the ſkies,
That ſuppliant voice inſpire:
To thee, great bard, belong
The mighty powers of ſong,
Grant me a ſpark of thy celeſtial fire,
And touch with myſtic force, my full reſounding lyre.
Ode to Friendship.
Hail! Friendſhip hail, thou pow’r benign!
But deſtin’d on how few to ſhine
With pure unſullied ray:
Too oft thy mild diffuſive beam,
Converges to the fierce extreme
Of love’s capricious day.
How oft beneath thy ſpecious name,
We harbour love’s deſtructive flame,
Regardleſs of our peace;
’Till reaſon found the dread alarm—
Contemn the jeſt, diſſolve the charm,
And bid deluſion ceaſe.
Thine is the mild refulgent light
That decorates the brow of night,
When nature ſmiles ſerene;
When, free from care, and active ſtrife
And all the buſtling coil of life,
We hail the tranquil ſcene.
His is the fierce, pervaſive ray
That animates the face of day
When in meridian height;
Apollo from his flaming car
Pours his redundant beams afar,
Thrice happy ſhe whoſe equal mind
Feels thy full force, thy flame refin’d,
Thy ſympathetic glow:
Who views with philoſophic eye,
The ſportive loves that flutter by
And fill the vale below:
Her’s—is the mild unruffled joy
That knows no turbid, baſe alloy,
No paſſion in extreme:
Reaſon ſupplies the balmy gale,
Buoyant on hope ſhe ſpreads the ſail
And ſkims the halcyon ſtream.
Were I allow’d to form a pray’r—
Remote from love, and noiſe, and care,
Where reaſon points the ſeat;
With thee, I’d unambitious dwell:
And call the Muſes round my cell,
To bleſs the ſnug retreat.
An Ode, (Inscribed to a Friend)
Written on leaving Stoke, and Caiſter, in Norfolk, in the year 17781778.
Ye nymphs of Aganippe’s ſpring
Who teach the youthful bard, to ſing
And form the varied dream,
When ’fore his glad enraptured eyes—
Poetic images ariſe,
To gild his future theme;
’Tis yours to aid the tow’ring thought;
By you the ſons of Græcia taught
To loftieſt themes aſpired:
Bold Pindar wing’d ſuperior flight,
And round Parnaſſus’ airy height
Purſued his courſe untired.
I aſk not Pindar’s god-like force;
Nor his who charm’d Iliſſus’ courſe
With eloquence divine!
The ſimpleſt ſounds, devoid of art,
That melting, mingle with the heart—
That eloquence be mine.
How oft, when youth and fortune ſmile’d,
Have you my errant thoughts beguil’d
In fancy’s bright domain;
As rapt in all the charms of ſong—
I warbled wild, the path along,
And pleas’d the ruſtic ſwain.
Nor bid the ſweet deluſion ceaſe,
Tho’ years, and buſtling cares increaſe,
And youth has ta’en its flight:
Still deign to bleſs my rural hours,
With all your ſoft enchanting pow’rs,
Your viſions of delight!Teach 087 I2r 87
Teach me to weave the tale of woe
In meaſure full, and ſoft, and low,
With melancholy fraught;
That when it meet Anſelmo’s eye,
Diſtinct from ev’ry borrow’d dye
He trace the genuine thought.
’Tis his, with e’en paternal care,
The buſy ills of life, to ſhare,
That pain my anxious mind:
And, when the gloomy proſpect clears,—
He points beyond this vale of tears—
To happineſs refined.
When tranſient gleams from weſtern ſkies,
Tinge humid vapours, as they riſe,
With variegated beams;
’Tis then, with keen enqui’ring ſight,
I pierce the floating maſs of light,
That hovers o’er the ſtreams:
Thrice happy! if on neighb’ring hill,
Or, by the brook that turns the mill,
Anſelmo greet my view!
Deſcending quick, the banks between,
Or nimbly tripping croſs the green,
To ſhun the ev’ning dew.
O! muſt I quit thee, dear retreat! The Cottage at Stoke.
Of friendſhip long, the favor’d ſeat,
Where too, the voice of love,
Hath waked—with pureſt ſtrokes of art,
The finer feelings of the heart,
Soft warbling from the grove?
Farewel ye groves! ye mural cells! Caiſter,—the ancient Venta Icenorum of the Romans.
Yon vaulted tower, where echo dwells,
Reſponſive to my ſong!
Who joys to catch the parting ſound
As thro’ the vale, or o’er the mound
It murm’ring floats along.
Nymph of the many-figured voice,
Still mourn with me, with me rejoice
In imitative ſtrain,
When, far from Caiſter’s gentle tide,
I ſing, on ocean’s craggy ſide,
Or to the waves complain.
Attentive to my preſent tale,
Thou mak’ſt the rampire and the dale
Companions of my woes;
The ſympathetic ſorrow ſpreads!
The zephyrs ſigh along the meads—
The ſtream repining flows!
Flow on thou ſoft repining ſtream!
And, aid ſome abler poet’s dream,
When I am far away;
Enough for me, that clear, and ſtrong,
Thy preſent cadence rolls along,
Accordant to the lay:
But tell him—prattling Naiads, tell—
How, Laura ſung her ſad farewel,
And dropp’d—a parting tear!
While, on the trembling branch ſhe hung
The little ditty that ſhe ſung,
To melancholy dear.
An Ode, On His Majesty’s Illneſs.
Long fix’d in this rural retreat,
To pleaſures domeſtic confined,
No troubles, I thought, of the great
Cou’d ruffle the calm of my mind:
Each morning contented I roſe,
And bleſs’d the return of the light;
At even, prepared for repoſe,
And quietly ſlept thro’ the night.
The moments thus glided away,
Reliev’d by the Muſe, with a ſong;
So cheerfully paſs’d the long day,
That I never once thought it too long;
For friendſhip, with love in her train,
Enraptured the moments that flew;
And the foreſt and furze-ſkirted plain,
Were objects ſtill dear to the view.
But, ah! what ſad tidings I hear!
With anguiſh I liſt to the tale!
My eye is ſurcharge’d with a tear,
And I ſigh to the ſorrowing gale!
The heart that is human muſt mourn,
The tear of compaſſion will flow:
Will the bright-ſun of healing return—
To gild this horizon of woe?
O, Lord of ſoft mercy, attend!
The ragings of frenzy controul,
Bid the beams of refreſhment deſcend,
And relume the dark ſphere of his ſoul!
In pity—Oh! hear us complain!
In mercy—attend to our prayer!
Aſſiſt him, his woes to ſuſtain,
And ſhield his ſad mind from deſpair!
O, Thurlow, thy virtue is great,
(Thy virtue with tranſport I ſing)
May bleſſings for ever await
The man—thus attach’d to his King!
Be ſteady, and firm in the cauſe
Which heaven commits to thy hand,
Defend us and ſuccour our laws,
The bulwark, and ſtrength of the land.And 093 I5r 93
And Pitt, thou great champion of truth!
In wiſdom and politics—ſage,
Who temper’ſt the ardour of youth—
With the thought and preciſion of age:
Whoſe manners, all pure, and refined,
Diſdain the vain trappings of art;
Whoſe cauſe—is the cauſe of mankind,—
Whoſe words—the exceſs of the heart,—
A heart—with benevolence fraught,
Which Faction, adverſe, would repreſs;
Which nature indulgently taught—
To ſoften the pangs of diſtreſs:
Who feels for the Monarch he loves,
Whoſe right he, intrepid, maintains;
And, while reaſon his conduct approves,
The jargon of faction—diſdains:—
O, liſten awhile to the lay,—
The motive that prompts me to ſing
Is the homage affection would pay—
To the man—I adore as my King!How 094 I5v 94
How ſweet are the tones of the lyre—
When duty engages the ſong!
When gratitude breathes on the wire,
And wafts the ſoft meaſures along!
The foreſt and furze-ſkirted plain
No longer afford me delight;
The landſcape is varied in vain,
The objects grow dim on the ſight:
I feel for the woes of the great,
My heart is with anguiſh oppreſt;
No language, alas! can relate
The ſorrow that ſaddens my breaſt.
Thou bright-ſun of healing return!
Thou ſource of ſweet-comfort deſcend!
Our hearts ſhall with gratitude burn,
Till life, and till gratitude end:
Then, aloft in the manſions of air
Enraptured we’ll ſtrike the bold ſtrings—
Loud pæans of glory prepare—
To the Lord—the protector of Kings.
An Ode On His Majesty’s Recovery.
Tune—The favorite Hymn of Eve.
Sound lute, the ſweet concords of praiſe!
Enraptured I ſtrike the bold ſtring,
Loud pæans of gratitude raiſe,
For God has reſtor’d me my King!
Pale Faction in ſolitude mourns!
Leave the tears of her Minions to flow;
The bright-ſun of healing returns,
And gilds the horzion of woe.
See, the Monarch from languor ariſe!
He bends at the footſtool of grace;
Fair gratitude beams from his eyes,
And devotion illumines his face!
See the Circle of Virtue attend,
With looks of complacence and love;
Their raptures like incenſe aſcend—
And angels record them above.
What boſom, but throbs with delight,
When fancy preſents to the mind
The Pair whom ſuch virtues unite,—
The bleſſing, and pride of mankind!
O! long may the God they adore
Grant life, un-impair’d by alloy!
When life is a bleſſing no more—
Tranſport them, to manſions of joy!
O, Lord of ſweet mercy, to thee—
With fervent devotion I ſing;
My ſpirit, exalted and free,
Exults in the praiſe of my King?
O, grant, that a ſubject’s faint pray’r
May reach thy celeſtial abode!
Wing the theme thro’ the regions of air,
And, give it acceſs to my God.
To devotion He temper’d the clay
Embelliſh’d and form’d by his hand,—
Soon the mind caught the heav’nly ray
And, inſtant, began to expand;Devotion 097 K1r 97
Devotion enraptured the tongue,
The paſſions confeſs’d its controul,—
And bleſs’d were the tranſports that ſprung
All warm, and direct from the ſoul!
Now bleſs’d be the God we adore!
Who pours down his balm from above!
Who ſmites, in diſpleaſure, no more—
But turns—with refreſhment, and love:
The boon ſhould our gratitude raiſe,
And urge, in full chorus, to ſing,—
Till the foreſt, made vocal with praiſe,
Re-echo with—God ſave the King!
Sung at Edgefield Church, on the 1789-04-2323d of April, 1789, By the Scholars of the Sunday School.
Britons your voices raiſe,
Sound the full chords of praiſe,
Strike the loud ſtring:
Let’s in full chorus join,
To our great God, benign,
Who bids his mercy ſhine
On George our King.
O Lord, our God, attend—
While the pure themes aſcend
On raptured wing;
Accept the grateful ſtrain;
Long may our Monarch reign;
Exempt from care, and pain—
Long live the King.
Hark! the long aiſle rebounds!
Raiſe the ſeraphic ſounds,
Join ye attentive throng—
Swell the ecſtatic ſong,
With notes ſublime, and ſtrong—
To God, our King.
Leah to Jacob.
Permit me, Iſrael, ere I cloſe mine eye
In death, in darkneſs, and obſcurity,
Once more to crave forgiveneſs at thy hand,
For prompt obedience to my fire’s command.
Long ere that night,—this tortur’d boſom ſtrove
With all the pangs of ill-requited love:
When firſt I ſaw thee at my father’s gate,
Supreme in grace, in native beauty great!
As o’er thy form mine eye delighted ran—
’Twas then—my train of miſeries began,
That fatal moment ſeal’d my future doom—
A life of ſorrows,—and a diſtant tomb.
My happier ſiſter mock’d my ſilent woe,
And oft, too oft, conſtrain’d the tear to flow,
For ah! in vain it ſtrove to lurk conceal’d,
Her biting taunts the latent ill reveal’d.
When ſeven revolving years had roll’d away,
Clear, and auſpicious dawn’d the bridal day:Then 101 K3r 101
Then gen’rous It may be ſuppoſed that Leah beheld in a favorable light, that act of Laban which put her in poſſeſſion of the man ſhe loved, ſhe therefore ſpeaks with tender regard of her father Laban ſpread the lib’ral feaſt,
And call’d around each friend, ; Syrian gueſt;
The ready gueſts in choſen robes drew near,—
While melting muſic fill’d the ambient air!
The bridal ſtrains, the ſkilful ſhepherds ſung,
And liſt’ning maidens, on the carol hung.
The favor’d flocks, in vernal garlands dreſt,
By chearful bleatings inwards joys expreſt;
While lowing herds, reſponſive to the ſtrain,
Pour’d the deep cadence o’er the vocal plain.
I roſe reluctant from a bed of woe,
And ſpite of pride the guſhing tears would flow:
Oh! how I wiſh’d for dark ſurrounding night,
To ſhroud my ſorrows from the prying ſight
Of friends, of gueſts;—but moſt of all from thee—
Too lovely author of my miſery!
O Jacob, then,—exulting in the pride
Of youthful beauty, ſhone thy peerleſs bride!
With art ſhe cull’d each variegated flower,
To raiſe her charms, and aggrandize her power;K3 The 102 K3v 102
The vivid wreath her blooming temples preſt,
And the full roſe glow’d, conſcious, on her breaſt;
Her gloſſy treſſes turn’d with niceſt care
Flow’d on her neck,—too exquiſitely fair!
You mark’d thoſe charms, thus artfully diſplay’d,
The ſwelling whiteneſs, and the deep’ning ſhade,—
And while the tranſport kindled in your eyes!
Unheeded flow’d my tears,—unheeded ſtole my ſighs.
But, Laban mark’d the anguiſh of my mind,
For his warm ſoul to pity e’er inclin’d:
As thus he ſpake,—with all a father’s care,
His twinkling eye but ill conceal’d a tear,
The half-form’d ſigh roſe ſtruggling in his breaſt,
While thus his fault’ring tongue his fixt reſolve expreſt—
O think not Leah, that I mean to break
Thro’ Syria’s well-fram’d laws, for Rachel’s ſake;
She weds not firſt, altho’ the genial feaſt
Already ſmile propitious, on the gueſt;
Tho’ Jacob woo her, be it thine to ſhare
The fond endearments of his nightly care!“Aſſume 103 K4r 103
Aſſume th’ accuſtom’d veil, It is a cuſtom in the Eaſt for the bride to be preſented to the bridegroom covered with a veil, which made it eaſy for Laban to deceive Jacob. retire with ſpeed;
A father’s bleſſing ſanctifies the deed.
What mighty tumults in my boſom ſtrove!
What quick viciſſitudes of fear, and love!
Conflicting paſſions tore my inmoſt ſoul,
And raged at large impatient of controul.
At length the morn aroſe—the orient light
Diſcloſed the cheat; you ſtarted at the ſight!
I look’d—for love,—but oh! the ſigns of hate—
Hung on your brow, and ſtampt my future fate:
Avaunt bold maiden, all enraged you cried,
Is this my Rachel! this my promis’d bride?
And ſpurn’d me, half expiring, from your ſide.
To her you flew, and mad with wild deſpair,
In raving frenzy tore your auburn hair:
Her own keen feelings cautiouſly ſuppreſt,
’Twas thus ſhe ſooth’d your mighty ſoul to reſt—
(Attentive on th’ enchanting ſounds you hung,
And bleſt the honey’d accents of her tongue!)
I too am thine:—one irkſome week endure;
The next unites us in a league ſecure;Thus 104 K4v 104
Thus Laban ſware: and Leah ſhall reſign
Thy envied perſon; for thy heart is mine:
Tenacious of the prize, the world to me
Were light, were worthleſs if deprived of thee:
For Rachel’s ſake let well-diſſembled eaſe
Smile on thy cheek, thro’ ſix ſucceeding days:
Leſt Laban, marking thy contracted brow,
Riſe to fierce wrath, and abrogate his vow:
So, ſhould I mourn thee—torn from all that’s dear,
And ceaſsleſs pour the unavailing tear.
Shunn’d, and neglected, that ſad week I paſt,
And ſigh’d, and pray’d each hour might be my laſt;
No more you deign’d to view my hated face:—
And all was ſorrow, ſhame, and fell diſgrace:
Alone I pined, and hopleſs of relief
Had ſunk in deep ſatiety of grief—
But for that Power who hears the orphan’s cry,
And aids the cauſe of helpleſs miſery;
That Power benign,—on whom thou bad’ſt me call,
That Power who made, ſuſtains, and governs all!
Who to thy fathers lent a gracious ear;
Whom ſtill I honor, ſupplicate, revere;For 105 K5r 105
For whoſe dread name I quit our houſhold gods;
On whom I truſt for peace in thoſe abodes
Where raptured ſpirits diſembodied ſoar,
In bliſs diſtinct, ’till time ſhall be no more.
As ’fore his throne one night, I proſtrate lay,
From the broad eaſt burſt forth a dazzling ray!
The lucid ſplendor o’er the chamber ſtole—
And a bright beam of hope illumed my ſinking ſoul—
When lo! a voice angelic, ſtrong, and clear
Brake the deep ſilence, and aſſail’d mine ear!
Leah, be comforted, the viſion ſaid,
Lift from abject ground, thy drooping head:
Thy prayers aſcend, thy ſupplications riſe
Above the ſtarry concave of the skies;
E’en to the throne of God, they force their way,
The radiant manſions of eternal day!
From thence commiſſion’d to thine ear I bear
The awful mandate, thro’ the fields of air.
Lo! from thy womb, a train of Patriarchs ſprings,
Of Prieſts, of Prophets, and of future Kings:
Increaſing tribes ſhall ſwell thy honor’d fame,
And late poſterity revere thy name:“From 106 K5v 106
From thee derived, in Judah’s choſen line,
Meſſiah comes! the promiſed Seed—divine—
The teſt of ſacred love, to human-race,
Pointing to glory—thro’ the means of grace:
Thouſands unborn ſhall bleſs thee as they riſe,
And waft, in grateful themes, thy praiſes to the ſkies.
How ſweet the voice! how raptured was the ſtrain!
O’er the ſcorch’d ſurface of the famiſh’d plain
Thus ſpreads the genial ſhow’r; the vivid green
With renovated verdure clothes the laughing ſcene:—
Thus roſe my ſoul, with added vigour fraught,
My mind expanding brighten’d into thought!
Lo! Iſrael, now, the awful hour draws nigh,
That trembling Leah muſt prepare to die;
Compoſed of brittle earth, the timid clay
Anticipates the act; and dreads decay:
While the rapt ſpirit darts the bright’ning eye
And dares the proſpect of futurity;
To Him who gave it ſhall the ſpark return:—
But my cold corſe, religiouſly inurn.
Oh! hold me, ſinking, to thy honor’d breaſt,
Thy Leah haſtens to the port of reſt:Yet 107 K6r 107
Yet ſtill ſhe heſitates,—the love of thee
Breaks in,—and combats with eternity.
The Patriarch heard,—and drew a length of ſighs,
While the big drops roll’d, conſcious, from his eyes;
His lab’ring heart with mighty thought oppreſt
Leap’d from its ſeat, and throbb’d againſt his breaſt:
Remorſe, and gratitude, alternate ſtrove—
And almoſt rouſed his yielding ſoul to love:
Full on th’ expiring fair, his eyes he threw—
But ſhrunk appall’d—and ſhudder’d at the view!
Th’ impatient ſoul that inſtant ſprang away—
And death’s chill dews enwrapt the pallid clay.
Dido, Queen of Carthage, was daughter of Belus, King of Tyre, and wife to Sichæus, one of the prieſts of Hercules. Sichæus having been baſely ſlain at the altar by Pygmalion, the brother of Dido (at that time King of Tyre) appeared to her, and informed her of the impious deed; diſcovering to her the place where his treaſures were depoſited, he warned her to fly inſtantly. Dido flew to Afric, (accompanied by her ſiſter Anna, Barce, the nurſe of Sichæus, and many Tyrians, who were grown weary of the cruelties and oppreſſions of Pygmalion); ſettling there, ſhe founded Carthage.
Iarbas, ſon of Jupiter Ammon, king of Getulia, ſought her in marriage: but ſhe, reſolutely determined to keep her vows to her deceaſed lord inviolate, refuſed him. The enraged Moor made war againſt her, conquer’d, and reduced her to the neceſſity of marrying him, or dying. She, to gain time, required a few days to appeaſe the manes of her deceaſed huſband, and retiring to a grove conſecrated to his memory, there ſtabbed herſelf.The 109 L1r 109
The firſt part of this epiſtle is ſuppoſed to be written while Iarbas ſues as an obſequious lover: it is deſcriptive; the ſentiments being thoſe of a great mind at full liberty, it is declarative of contempt; and ſhows a fixt reſolution to ſhun the object of its averſion.
The latter part, as flowing from the heart of an enraged, conquered, but magnanimous woman, abounds with anger, reſentment and imprecation.
The author having only morality to build upon, hopes that the mode of her Heroine’s exit, will merit the excuſe (if not the approbation) of the candid Chriſtian.
Dido to Iarbas: A Poetical Epistle.
Fix’d, and determined as the will of fate,
Is Dido’s firm, irrevocable hate:
Whether you woo her in ſmooth Lydian ſtrains,
Soft as the melting muſic of the plains,
When ’neath the ſycamore’s extenſive ſhade
The raptured Tyrian wins, his long obdurate maid:
Or to more lofty ſtrains invite the lyre,
Strains more adapted to the Queen of Tyre,
You ſing, and nations liſten to the ſound!
While tenfold echoes waft the rapture round!
The lighter notes, in airy meaſures riſe,
Mount the tall hills, and ring along the ſkies,
While the deep cadence fills the vales below
With accents bold, ſonorous, full, and ſlow.
You ſing my form, all graceful to the ſight
As the young cedar, of majeſtic height;
More pure my cheek than Sharon’s envied roſe,
Or thoſe bright tints the ruddy orient ſhows;More 111 L2r 111
More white my neck—more exquiſitely fair!
Than Alpine-ſnows, or virgin-lilies are.
Ah! ſuch is flattery—ſuch the art of man!
Thrice happy ſhe who knows the truth to ſcan;
Who looks beyond the common face of things,
And reads the thoughts of peaſants, and of kings.
Not thus Sichæus won my virgin heart;—
Pure native eloquence, devoid of art—
The emanation of a ſoul refined,
Gain’d on mine ear, and ſtole upon my mind.
In vain thou plead’ſt—Eliza ſcorns thy flame,
Turns pale and ſickens at Iarbas’ name:
Turns pale and ſickens—not with abject fear—
Know mighty Moor, ſhe ſcorns a woman’s tear:
Let cowards weep, and timid maidens cry;
Tyre’s firm Queen unſullied lifts the eye:
With anger fell—her ruddy cheek grows pale,
And her ſoul ſickens at thy loathſome tale.
The ſtrain melodious when it flows from thee
Is dull, and harſh, ’tis diſſonance to me.
Eliza ſcorns thy animated lay,
And deaf to all great Ammon’s ſon can ſay,
Reſolves to fly him, far as pole from pole;
Stung by a keen antipathy of ſoul.
Far from Eliza be the thought of change,
Let lawleſs ſavages licentious range,
From clime to clime may maids abandon’d rove,
And ſhameleſs boaſt variety in love.
My honor dearer than my life I prize:
In conſtant firmneſs all that honour lies;
To one fix’d object all my ſoul adheres,
Unmoved by promiſes, unawed by fears;
Secure of that—and to my fate reſign’d,
I wait th’ event with fortitude of mind.
Ah, well thou know’ſt that when Sichæus bled,
I drew down vengeance on the murd’rer’s head,
More than his life, his treaſures forced away,
And bore them guiltleſs o’er the briny ſea:
My ſwift wing’d gallies flew with eagles’ ſpeed;
For Juno ſaw, and ſanctified the deed.
Bleſt in my ſubjects, in my ſiſter bleſt.,
I fondly hoped to’ve gain’d the port of reſt.
Ah! why relentleſs, haſt thou quench’d the ray,
That dawn’d to gild my viſionary day,
The beamy hope, that o’er the mazy tide,
Led my frail bark,—or bad it ſafely ride,
When, lodged at anchor ’neath the Libyan ſhore,
I heard from far, the burſting tempeſt’s roar.
Can I who reverence the hallow’d dead,
Who hourly curſe the hand by which he bled;
Who to his manes have each honor aid,
And hold nocturnal converſe with his ſhade:
Can I my vows retract, and ſtoop to join
My hand, with one of Ammon’s ſwarthy line?
No:—all the gods our union muſt oppoſe,
Or ſign the contract with a train of woes.
Retreat then nobly, leave me to my fate,
To guide the ſenate, and confirm the ſtate,
To rule my ſubjects by unerring laws,
To ſpeak—till thouſands echo back applauſe.
Thus bleſt, my lot,—ere bold Iarbas came—
Beloved, and reverence’d, my ſpotleſs name;
Unſhaken rectitude adorn’d my breaſt,
True conſcious honor all my ſoul poſſeſt:
Thus arm’d without, as innocent within,
I founded peace—on abſtinence from ſin.
My ſtate, my people were the points in view,
True to thoſe objects, to their intereſt true;
How oft have I neglecting needful reſt,
The turns of fate revolving in my breaſt,
Quick from my couch with keen impatience flown,
The haſty mantle o’er my ſhoulders thrown,L3 While 114 L3v 114
While all redundant play’d the robe behind,
As chance incautious gave it to the wind:
When firſt Aurora darts the gleams of light
On the grey tiſſue of receding night.
Then o’er the loom, delighted, as I bent,
The white-woof marking, curiouſly intent;
Or, at the cauldron view’d the glowing dye,
The tints commixing, beauteous to the eye;
Or turn’d to where the finiſh’d purples lay,
Bright as the ruddy harbingers of day;
The builders then beheld their active queen,
And quicker plied the ſtrokes, nor pauſed nor talk’d between,
Redoubled ardors fired the gladden’d throng,
The pond’rous burdens moved alert along,
The poliſh’d marbles up the rampires flew,
Compoſed the ſquare, or met the judging view
In ſpiral forms, commenſurate, and true.
But now amazed I hear the clarions ſound!
And thick as bees the ſquadrons gather round:
Doſt woo me then, with armies at my gate?
Deteſted tyrant—object of my hate!
My kingdom’s loſt! the haughty Moor commands,
Around my palace wait the ſwarthy bands;The 115 L4r 115
The lyre unſtrung;—the jav’lin now he wields,
And all illumined flaſh the brazen ſhields,
Along the walls the bright refulgence gleams,
And lucid cieeilings catch the trembling beams:
Rank within rank the proud battalions ſtand,
Drive far my ſubjects, and deſpoil my land;
While their ſaid Queen, to inward griefs a prey,
Sighs thro’ the dreary vacuum of the day.
But what important doth yon herald bear ?
The ſilver trumpets rend the fields of air!
And heaven’s high concave conſcious to the ſound,
Repeats the martial notes, and ſpreads the clangour round!
Alas! no peace—the hated name of wife,
Muſt end the war, and ſeal the curſe for life:
Dreadful alternative!—forbad to fly,
Condemn’d to wed him, or decreed to die!
Doſt think by threats to bend Eliza’s heart?
Her mind unawed ſtill ’poſes art, with art:
Threat on proud Moor,—ſhe baffles all thy skill,
And only yields to fate’s ſuperior will.
Stern, and deliberate behold him wait—
A ſlave ennobled, and a wretch in ſtate!
Dark as thy outward form, I view thy ſoul,
Where all the vices in ſucceſſion roll;Reaſon 116 L4v 116
Reaſon, benighted there, emits no ray,
To gild the horizon, and form the day:
But one continued, unremitting gloom
Hand o’er thy natal hour, and ſhrowds thee to the tomb.
Ah, what is man! when paſſion bears the ſway
And tott’ring reaſon verges to decay ?
When to looſe appetite the rule’s conſign’d,
And wayward fancy dictates to the mind ?
Vain thy prerogative O ſov’reign man,
And vain thy boaſt myſterious things to ſcan,
If ſpite of reaſon, like the brute you live;
Graſping at all reſiſtleſs power can give.
Would then Getulia’s monarch deign to wed,
And drag reluctant to his throne, and bed—
A captive Queen?— a Queen whoſe ſtedfaſt ſoul
Diſdains Iarbas, and diſdains controul.
Women, like me, no lukewarm medium know;
We riſe to rapture, or we ſink to woe:
Nature compoſed us of a mould refined,
Attuned the heart, and harmonized the mind;
The fellow-heart in uniſon muſt move
To ſtrike the key, and wake the ſoul to love.
If no attractive ſympathies impart
The finer feelings to the judging heart—
Then all in vain the ſuppliant lover woos;
We hear the tale, and harden as he ſues.
If to his ſuit the venal dame give way,
How curſed the Hymen of that joyleſs day;
Repugnant Juno bluſhes to behold
Her rites prophaned, her ſacred honors /old.
Far leſs I dread th’ inevitable hour
When death comes on, with unreſiſted power,
When all invelop’d in cimmerian gloom,
We ſhrink appall’d, and ſhelter in the tomb.
Should thirſt of gold o’er virtuous minds prevail,
Or fear of death preponderate the ſcale ?
Women, by nature delicate, refined,
Should ſeek thoſe joys concentrated in the mind;
Should wait till reaſon give th’ aſſenting voice,
And Heaven approving ratify the choice.
Doſt think, vain man, that Dido now withdraws
To plead in ſecret proud Iarbas’ cauſe?
To combat ſelf;—to bid her ſtubborn heart
Submit to Ammon’s ſon?—; kiſs the dart—
The dart accurſed, by all the furies driven!
Unlike the arrow, that, elanced from heaven,The 118 L5v 118
The gods benignant at Eliza threw,
When bleſt Sichæus met her raptured view ?
Wouldſt then ſucceed him when the manes ſmile?
Eluſive ſtratagem—O pious guile!
And doſt allow to theſe diſſembled rites
The myſtic ſpace of three revolving nights?
Within that ſpace my ſoul enlarged and free,
Shall look with pity—on a crown, and thee.
Imperial Juno, from thine awful throne
Bend to my prayer, and pour thy vengeance down!
Mark well this object of my ruthleſs hate,
This bane of freedom, and my riſing ſtate;
And when thy Dido ſlumbers with the dead,
Wreak thy fierce wrath on his devoted head;
Let conſcience ſting him to the inmoſt ſoul,
Nor one faint glimpſe of radiant hope controul
The direful terrors that unceaſing riſe
In mixt confuſion ’fore his tortured eyes!
By day may phantoms glare upon his ſight,
And ghaſtly viſions haunt him thro’ the night;
Till toward deſpair, bewilder’d fancy move,
And all the ills of diſappointed love,
And all the curſes of a ruin’d ſtate—
Ruſh on his mind, and urge him to his fate:Be 119 L6r 119
Be then no tender friend, no comfort nigh,
But all unwept, unpitied let him die!
But, O my Anna—dearer to my heart,
Than all thoſe charms deluſive courts impart,—
In all my troubles have I found in thee
A friend ſincere, from prejudices free.
No woman’s ſoftneſs hung about thy mind,
Clear was thy judgment, as thy will reſign’d;
Alarm’d, Pygmalion would have won thee o’er;
How vain his promiſes, his threats, his power!
How ſhall I leave thee—leave thee thus diſtreſt,
My throbbing heart beats high againſt my breaſt!
And ſhe who ſcoffs at death—the mighty ſhe—
Shrinks to a coward, when ſhe thinks of thee:
Nature pleads warmly, friendſhip aids her call;
But ’tis decreed, and I, alas! muſt fall.
Barce adieu! thy friendly eye, I truſt,
Shall ſee inurn’d my conſecrated duſt.
And now all hail thou reverential grove!
Receſs held ſacred to the power of love:
Hail to thy honors venerable ſhade!
Where ſtill my nightly oriſons are paid.
Here curling vines embrace the ſable yew,
And fun’ral cypreſs weeps in tears of dew;The 120 L6v 120
The liquid-pearls on quiv’ring branches glow,
Or falling deck the ſpiral graſs below.
Thick-pointed myrtles ſpread their fragrance round,
And yellow aſphodels bedeck the ground:
How oft theſe hands their tender ſtems have graced,
With vervain garlands myſtically placed;
How oft with ſnowy-wool their branches crown’d,
And their ſmooth trunks with holy fillets bound.
Deep in the midſt, ſecured by laſting fame
The marble ſtructure riſes to the name
Of good Sichæus: more than half divine,
Ere his pure blood diſtain’d the hallow’d ſhrine.
Here oft I meet him at the noon of night,
When ſilver Cynthia ſheds her trembling light;
’Tis then our ſouls, in holy union join’d,
Ruſh ſoul to ſoul, and mind cements to mind.
Hither I haſte to meditate on thee—
While the rapt ſpirit ſtruggling to be free,
Indignant ſpurns its cumbrous maſs of clay,
And pants to join thee in the realms of day.
Oh! when irreſolute I ſhiv’ring wait
On the dread confines of this mortal ſtate,
When half envelop’d in the glooms of night,
And half reveal’d the proſpect meets the ſight,The 121 M1r 121
The ſcenes eternal flaſhing on the eye,
As flaming meteors glance athwart the sky!
While the wing’d ſoul prepares to ſoar away,
Yet lingers ſtill to prop the tottering clay,
Fearful to plunge amid the flood of day!
O then lov’d ſhade—what yet remains of thee
Attend to aid, and ſet my ſpirit free:
Obſerve me ſtruggling in the graſp of death,
Watch my laſt pang, and catch my parting breath.
O Juno—ſov’reign Empreſs of the ſkies!
To whoſe dread name, you ſplendid fane doth riſe;
Who, when ſad exiles on the Libyan ſtrand,
Led to this deſtin’d ſpot our wand’ring band;
Here bad the columns riſe, the domes aſpire,
And on the altars blaze the ſacred fire;
If ere I bow’d before thy hallow’d ſhrine,
And breathed the vow, that ſeal’d me wholly thine;
Whilſt thou propitious gav’ſt th’ aſſenting nod,
And Jove’s own thunder ſpake th’ approving God;
O ſhield me now, at this tremendous hour—
When death comes on with unreſiſted power;When M 122 M1v 122
When the cold dagger rankling at my heart,
Drives thro’ each tortured nerve intolerable ſmart.
When various horrors in ſucceſſion riſe,
And mingled objects ſwim before mine eyes.
As all convulſive on the couch I lie,
O teach thy vot’ry nobly how to die!
She whiſpers ſoft—Tis thro’ conflicting ſtrife
The lab’ring ſoul emerges into life.
I hear thee guardian-goddeſs, and behold,
Thro’ death’s dim medium various charms unfold!
Now as this mortal frame diſſolves away,
Pure, and effulgent breaks the dazzling ray,
That gilds th’ eternal ſphere, and vivifies the day.
Now rapt in ecſtaſy the ſpirit ſoars!
And loſt in wonder boundleſs themes explores.
Anna, ſiſter to Dido, Queen of Carthage, and daughter of Belus, King of Tyre, accompanying her ſiſter in her flight, ſettled with her in Africa, after whoſe death, being in great affliction, and in a diſtreſsful ſituation, ſhe determines to follow Æneas into Italy: previous to her departure from Carthage, the following Epiſtle, it muſt be preſumed, was written.
Anna to Æneas: A Poetical Epistle.
O Say—if ’mid the charms of regal ſtate
Æneas feel—for wretched Anna’s fate ?
If friendſhip’s flame ſtill animate his breaſt?
A conſtant, peaceful, unremitted gueſt!
Or if variety with pow’rful art,
Hath forced her image from its ſeat,—his heart?
There was a time,—ah! how I bleſt the day!
When fervent friendſhip ſwell’d thy poliſh’d lay;
When, all-inſpired, you ſung the ſacred flame;
And Anna’s praiſes reach’d the ears of fame:
How ſtole thy fingers o’er the warbling wire!
While the chaſte Muſes fann’d the lambent fire,—
(Sweet flows the ſtrain when friendſhip’s flame refined
Beams from the ſoul, and dignifies the mind,
Swells the warm heart, and prompts the ardent ſigh,
Glows in the cheek, and ſparkles in the eye!)
The willing lyre reſponſive ſounds convey’d,
While all enraptured ſat thy favor’d maid!The 125 M3r 125
The mighty theme, immortal as thy ſong,
Rais’d the full tones, and ſoar’d ſublime along:
My raviſh’d thoughts aſcended as you ſung!
And thro’ the vaulted aiſles the length’ning echoes rung,
Till Carthage-Tow’rs, as conſcious to the ſtrains
Caught the bold notes, and pour’d them o’er the plains.
Eliza Dido. too, unenvious, heard the lays,
And join’d her voice—to ſwell a ſiſter’s praiſe.
Oh! had ſhe view’d with me, each blooming grace
That ſmiling ſat depicted on thy face!
Had ſhe to friendſhip ev’ry wiſh confined,—
And left her hopes, dependent on the mind!
But ah! the gods had other things in ſtore:
And mortals frail ſhould tremble and adore.
Hermes of late deſcending from above,
Commiſſion’d from the court of ſov’reign Jove,
Shot, meteor like, athwart the duſky ſkies;
What time we watch the midnight ſacrifice;
When the pure flames in ſpiral forms aſcend,
And choſen virgins on the rites attend.M3 I 126 M3v 126
I mark’d him well—as thro’ the glooms of night,
The radiant godhead wing’d his rapid flight,
And tipt the Trojan ſhips, with gleams of momentary light.
At Jove’s command the ſoft Idalian boy
Came fraudful, veſted in the guiſe of Troy:
What were the joys of that deluſive night!
When all were loſt in rapture, and delight!
When royal Dido, like the queen of love
Deck’d to approach the throne of regal Jove,—
Shone all reſplendent! ev’ry winning grace
Uniting vied, to dignify her face:
Her cheek, all animated, ſeem’d to glow
With charms ſuperior to the race below;
Her eye illumined caſt a pow’rful ray,
Like thoſe bright beams that vivify the day;
Pure native majeſty in ev’ry look
The innate greatneſs of her mind beſpoke:
(But what is greatneſs in this checker’d vale!
Fate ſets her hand, and human efforts fail.)
Graceful ſhe mov’d the parting crouds between,
The raptured Tyrians hail’d their beauteous queen!
While Troy’s bold ſons rejoin’d the gen’ral voice,
And, undiſcenring, bleſt their prince’s choice!
’Twas then we mark’d the heav’n-deſcended boy!
Dido beheld him with maternal joy;
Round his fair neck her ſnowy arms ſhe threw,
View’d his fine form, and kindled at the view!
Each look, each geſture ſpake his high deſcent:
But blinded all by joy, by merriment—
But moſt by fate’s immutable decree:
We claſp’d th ’impending ill,—the latent Deity.
Now my ſad mind, a ſtranger to delight,
Reverts to view the horrors of that night—
That fatal night! when loved Eliza fled
From Anna’s arms, to join th’ illuſt’rous dead.
Unhappy Dido! parent—ſiſter—friend—
How oft I contemplate thy direful end!
How oft the dreadful tragedy review,—
Still vibrates in mine ear thy laſt adieu!
When thy wan lips, all tremulous, eſſay’d
To ſound thy ſad farewell—farewell diſtreſſed maid!
When thy dim eyes regain’d, but loath’d the light—
Then cloſed, and ſet in everlaſting night.
Silent, and ſolemn thro’ the awful grove
The pyre obſerving, was I left to rove;Silent, 128 M4v 128
Silent, and ſolemn, long I wander’d round,—
Till my torn heart a tranſient requiem found;
Sigh following ſigh convulſive tore my breaſt,
And wearied nature ſunk—to ſullen reſt;
The paſſions ebb’d—and reaſon wing’d her flight,
And broken ſlumbers lull’d me thro’ the night:
The gentle Barce Sichæus’s Nurſe. near me took her ſeat,
Revolving in her mind the various turns of fate.
When half creation, wrapt in calm repoſe,
Forgot the day, and all its train of woes,
When Cynthia, riding in meridian power,
Gave ſolemn ſplendor to the midnight hour;
As all neglectful on the couch I lay,
Lo! fancy form’d a viſionary day;
The mimic luſtre play’d thro’ all the room,
And brighten’d objects ſtarted from the gloom:
Tall, and majeſtic Dido ſtalk’d along!
Enlarged her figure, and her voice more ſtrong!
Fly Anna fly,—the princely viſion ſaid,—
Fly, wretched Anna,—dear ill-fated maid!
Bereft of ev’ry friend! prepare to fly,—
Thy guardian genius points,—to Italy;
There good Æneas, waits to ſooth thy woe:
The Fates ordain it,—Jove will have it ſo.“The 129 M5r 129
The rites ſepulchral, haſten to prepare,
Leſt waſted on the boſom of the air,
My luckleſs aſhes, unprotected driven,
Should adverſe fly,—the ſcoff of angry heaven.
Thoſe rites perform’d, my penſive ſoul ſhall go,
Deſcending peaceful, to the realms below;
With good Sichæus haply doom’d to ſtray,
’Mid the pure regions of eternal day.
Lo! the ſad fate!—the dire impending doom!—
My Carthage trembles ’fore the ſons of Rome!
The world’s great miſtreſs riſes to my eye;
And Carthage ſinks in dread obſcurity.
She ſpake—and ſudden vaniſh’d from my ſight,
Loſt and invelop’d in the ſhades of night.
Enſuing viſions drew a motley ſcene—
A friend propitious,—but a jealous Queen:
Methought I fled from thy Lavinia’s face
O’er rocks ſharp pointed, with unequal pace,
Till from a promontory’s awful brow
Ruſhing precipitate! the ſtream below
Inſtant recoiling to the fountain-head,
Receiv’d me peaceful in his ouzy bed.
Then bright Aurora with her roſeate ray,
Diſſolv’d the gloom, and uſher’d in the day.The 130 M5v 130
The various-featur’d images withdrew,
As ſick’ning fancy languiſh’d on the view.
Ere mighty Sol, from the ſtupendous height
Of eaſtern mountain, pour’d his flood of light,—
Ere his redundant beams, diffuſive given,
From burning ſands the panting hind had driven—
I left my couch, and ſought the awful ſcene
Where luckleſs Dido fell: ill-fated Queen!
The ſacred relicks from the heap they brought,
(How my ſoul ſickens at the dreadful thought!)
From my cold cheek the vital color fled;
As the ſad prieſts inurn’d the mighty dead,
Thick dankiſh miſts deſcended from above,
And hollow murmurs whiſper’d thro’ the grove!
The cypreſs trembled, and the baleful yew
Diſtill’d in copious drops the conſcious dew.
Furious Iarbas threats our infant ſtate;
And the young kingdom verges to its fate:
The artiſts languiſh, and the prieſts deſpair,
The ſlighted virgins tear their golden hair;
Neglected thro’ the ſtreets the children roam,
While the ſad parents ſit abſorb’d in grief at home:
The tow’rs unfiniſh’d meet the uplift eye;
And ſhrines forſaken in confuſion lie.
Go Barce, go, the ſmoking entrails view,
Shall we go to Italy our fate purſue ?
Propitious be the ſigns—the fair portent
Shall guide our choice, and juſtify th’ event.
Propitious omens! ſpread the nival ſail—
Replete with hope, I court the ſpringing gale;
Now ye bland zephyrs whiſper o’er the deep,
Rouſe ye fair Nereids from your balmy ſleep:
The heaving billows break the level green,
Bright ſhines the clear expanſe, the foamy waves between;
The pompous galley on the ocean rides,
The gentle ſurges laſh her golden ſides:
Now here, now there the varied cinctures play,
As changeful waters catch the ſolar ray.
Haſte my bold Tyrians—fierce Orion ſleeps,
Nor more our plains with ruſhing torrent ſteeps.
Early inſtructed in the ſacred lore,
I learn’d to read celeſtial wonders o’er;
Led by Sichæus, thro’ the mighty maze—
Where clouds engender, and where comets blaze,
I learn’d the art, by Cynoſure to guide
The bounding galley, o’er the foaming tide:
Her friendly orb, replete with argent light,
Shall ſafe conduct us thro’ the glooms of night.
But wherefore waſte we this important hour?
Pour to the briny beach, ye Tyrians pour,—
Unfurl the canvaſs to the coming gale,
Which pants impatient for the bellying ſail:
The dancing galley croud on ev’ry ſide;
Extend your oars, the glaſſy deep divide:
Looſe the fixt hawſers, ſpring alert away,
O’er the broad boſom of the halcyon ſea.
Fearleſs my friends now launch into the main,
Anna’s firm hope the deſtin’d port ſhall gain:
Ply your light oars, to Italy we fly,
The ſea invites us, and the ſmiling sky;
Mark how the dolphins o’er the ſurface glide,
And laſh with ſilver tails the gently-curling tide:
Bend to your ſtrokes, the riſing billows ſweep,
Till anſwering ſtrokes reverberate thro’ the deep.
Adieu fair Carthage!—leſſening to the view,
Ye dancing ſpires—eternally adieu!
Ye lofty rocks adorn’d with verdant woods
That hang dependent o’er the azure floods;
Ye humid grots, where blue-ey’d maids reſide,
The tranquil daughters of the ouzy tide,
Who tell the tale, and watch the tinkling rill
That winding wanders down the ſhaggy hill;
Ye ſwarthy ſons of Libya’s ſcorching plains,
Ye maids attentive to your ſwarthy ſwains,All 133 N1r 133
All, all farewell:—the ſwift wing’d galley flies—
Thoſe ſcenes deluſive mock my aching eyes;
Scarce the broad billow burſting on the ſhore
Returns in feeble ſounds its undulating roar:
Quick, and more quick ſhe ſpeeds her rapid flight—
Till the faint objects die upon the ſight.
William and Emma: A Tale.
In L――y’s venerable ſhade
A gothic manſion ſtands,
Whoſe front adown the opening glade
The diſtant view commands;
Antique the pile, the windows ſmall
Admit a feeble ray,
And thro’ the old romantic hall,
Pours ſlow the dubious day.
There—Otho dwelt, a man revered!
With many a virtue fraught,
Whoſe hand a tender maiden rear’d;
By all the graces taught!
Fair as the orient ray of morn,
Young Emma met the view,
Or virgin roſe, that decks the thorn,
Beſprent with pearly dew.
A raptured father’s watchful eye
Beheld each dawning grace,
The lily hue, the vermil dye—
That blended on her face:
He ſaw the outward ſtructure fair,
Soft, elegant, refined!
And, ſtrove with true paternal care
To decorate the mind:
The ſocial virtues, firſt he taught,
Which teach the mind to glow,
Then, gradual led the ripening thought
To Him—from whom they flow:
Then nature’s volume, nature’s laws
Unfolded to her view;
And ſhew’d the grand eſſential Cauſe—
Whoſe hand, the landſcape drew.
And oft ſhe heard the ſtory told
Of anceſtors renown’d,
Of feats of arms, and heroes bold
With verdant laurels crown’d!
Full oft the ſculptured hall ſhe traced,
Where many a valiant knight—
The length’ning wall, in order graced,
In burniſh’d armor dight!
With timid ſtep, at even-tide
(Awed by the thickening gloom)
On tiptoe ſoft, ſhe uſed to glide,
All through the ſolemn room!
But, Otho ſeized her trembling hand,
And meaſured back the ground—
Yon hero mark, behold him ſtand
Scar’d o’er with many a wound!
The conflict dire—the painful ſtrife—
Magnanimous, he bears,
Propp’d on his ſpear, reſigns his life
Amid a nation’s tears!
My Emma weeps!—indulge awhile
The luxury of woe!
That Power who bade creation ſmile,
Gave ſorrow’s tear—to flow.
Beneath a tender father’s care
Young Emma ſtill improved,
Allow’d by all—ſo wondrous fair!
By every youth beloved.
But, yet untouch’d her virgin heart
Had felt no partial flame,
’Till Cupid threw a fatal dart—
Inſcribed with William’s name!
As droops, before the northern blaſt,
The lily of the vale,
When chilly miſts, the ſkies o’ercaſt,
Or driving rains aſſail—
So Emma droop’d:—the roſeat dye
All from her cheek was flown;
The diamond languiſh’d in her eye,
And every charm was gone!
Alarm’d,—the father ſaw her fade,
And preſs’d the cauſe to know!
When, thus, with tears, the trembling maid,
Began the tale of woe—
Thy Emma, loves! ſhe falt’ring cried,
And loves, without thy leave.
Then am I doom’d, he ſtern replied,
For Emma’s crime to grieve!
All vain my hopes, deluded man!
Adieu to my future reſt!
A chilly horror, o’er her ran—
She heard, and ſunk oppreſt.
Amazed, he view’d the breathleſs form
Extended on the floor!
The paſſions ebb’d, the gathering ſtorm
Was huſh’d,—and ſwell’d no more:
Paternal fondneſs took the lead
Within his glowing mind,
My Emma, live,—O! hear me plead!—
No more to be unkind:
Live, live my child, unſeal thoſe eyes,
Quick heaves the falt’ring breath!
Thy William comes; my Emma riſe,
Elude the graſp of death:
Thy William comes,—ſhe heard him ſay,
And health, and peace aroſe;
Aroſe to gild one tranſient day—
That ſeal’d a life of woes.
He came—with ev’ry beauty fraught,
And ev’ry winning grace,
That Venus gave, or Cupid taught
To ſmile upon the face!
And ſoon the bridal morning came
In gold, and ſaffron bright,
And brought the laughter-loving dame
Array’d in ſhining white;
Her radiant head a chaplet crown’d
With roſe, and myrtle twined;
Her flowing treſſes, all unbound
Light wanton’d in the wind:
And next came Love, the dimply boy,
And led the nimble Hours,
Replete with mirth, and feſtive joy,
They ſtrew’d the path with flowers.
And Flora blithe, a welcome gueſt,
Upon the bride beſtow’d—
Two roſe-buds fair; on Emma’s breaſt
The blooming preſent, glow’d.
All beauteous, as the queen of love,
Advanced the bluſhing bride:
Majeſtic, as the regal Jove,
Young William graced her ſide.
The contract ſign’d,—the conſcious ſmile
By raptured William caſt,
His Emma mark’d, as down the aiſle
The gay proceſſion paſt:
A deeper bluſh her cheek o’erſpread,
Down dropp’d her timid eye!
One, luckleſs, flower—had loſt its head,
She ſaw, and heaved a ſigh!
Sad bodings ſeized her throbbing heart,
And tore her tortured mind,
Ye—Powers! ſhe cried, the ſign avert!
Can William prove unkind?
The country round, the feaſt partook,
And bleſs’d the coſtly cheer:
But Otho’s cheek, the blood forſook,
He turn’d,—and dropp’d a tear.
For many a week the bridal feaſt
In order meet, was placed;
And Otho welcomed ev’ry gueſt
That Emma’s nuptials graced.
At length to F—nd—n’s calm retreat
Retired the raptured pair;
And heaven, to make their joy complete,
Beſtowed a blooming heir.
But ſhort, and fading was her joy,
For William’s errant mind,
While Emma claſp’d the darling boy,
To other views inclined.
She mark’d the change,—ſhe heard him ſay—
That man is born to rove.
No more ſhe join’d the young and gay,
But ſought the darkling grove.
Report ſoon caught the riſing tale—
And bore to Otho’s ear—
How—Emma’s cheek was waxen pale,
Waſh’d by the frequent tear.
Nor more effectual ſped the dart
When Phaæbus drew the bow,—
The tidings pierced his heaving heart,
His heart, replete with woe!
Ah! me—ye pitying Powers, he cried,
Attend a parent’s prayer—
Be you, thro’ life, my Emma’s guide,
And ſhield her from deſpair.
Thus, Otho ſpake—the hand of death
Quick cloſed his languid eyes:
Attendant ſpirits caught his breath,
And bore him to the ſkies.
The diſmal tale, to Emma’s ear,
Repeated rumours brought,
Appall’d ſhe heard,—nor friendly tear
Allay’d the tortured thought.
Inconſtant William felt no ſting,
Nor dire remorſe, had he;
He heard the tempting ſyren ſing,
And join’d the frantic glee.
No tender friend, nor huſband nigh,
To ſtem the tide of grief,
In ſilent eloquence—her eye—
Of heaven implored relief;—
One ardent prayer, inſpired by love—
All for her darling boy,
She breathed;—’twas regiſter’d above,
She felt:—and all was joy!
To worlds unknown, her ſpirit fled,
By angels borne away;
And airy minſtrels, round the dead,
Attuned the fun’ral lay.
Miranda lovelieſt of the train
Of Suſſex-Belles renown’d!
The faireſt damſel on the plain,
With peerleſs beauty crown’d,
Beheld the early dawn of life
In Horſa’s Horſham, a town in Suſſex, ſo called from Horſa the Saxon. green retreat:
Where fortune ſeem’d remote from ſtrife,
To ’ve fixt her future ſeat.
Far from the noiſy din of courts,
She paſt her youthful days;
Content with eaſe, and rural ſports,
Content with rural praiſe.
She knew to raiſe the cheerful ſong,
To ſwell the raptured choir;
To trill the various airs along
Reſponſive to the lyre:
Skill’d in the ſprightly dance to move
With each attractive grace;
Or on the hill, or mid the grove,
To join the jovial-chace.
Such was the maid:—when Varro came,
A youth bred up in arms;
Whoſe ſoul athirſt for martial fame,
Had felt no ſoft alarms:
Bent on the glorious deeds of war,
He led his train along;
While wond’ring ſwains beheld from far,
The bold, reſplendent throng!
The bluſhing maidens ſtole a glance;
Miranda drew more near,
She ſaw the martial band advance,
Unawed by timid fear:
Supreme ſhe moved above the reſt—
In genuine beauty bright!
Th’ admiring crouds her charms confeſt,
Enraptured at the ſight!
So, freſh returning from the chace,
Array’d in vivid green,
Young health, and pleaſure in her face,
Appears the huntreſs-queen.
Varro beheld the blooming fair,
And kindled at the view—
His truſty hand forſook the ſpear;
His hand till then ſo true!
True to the ſturdy god of war,
He’d yet undaunted ſtood,
And oft had hail’d his fiery car,
Immerſed in ſeas of blood!
But then to bend his mighty ſoul,
The ſofter paſſions ſtrove;
That heart which brook’d no ſtern controul,
Yet own’d the pow’r of love.
No more he talk’d of feats of arms,
No more of battles ſung;
A milder theme—Miranda’s charms—
Now dwelt upon his tongue.
Æneas thus forgot old Troy,
And, blind to future fame,
Trod the ſoft paths of love, and joy,
To win the Tyrian dame.
Miranda ſaw the martial youth,
And ſaw him, not unmoved;
She heard him vow eternal truth—
And felt,—and own’d ſhe loved.
Acaſto Her Father. too beheld their flame,
And gave th’ aſſenting voice:
Enraptured Varro urged his claim,—
Might Hymen ſeal his choice?
’Twas then the vengeful god of war,
Beſpoke th’ Idalian boy—
’Tis mine to form with niceſt care,
’Tis thine for to deſtroy:
Employ young god, thy puny darts,
On more ignoble prey;
Will none ſuffice but martial hearts—
Thou trifling urchin ſay?
But, vain, and fruitleſs ſhall it prove,
I ſound the dire alarms,
And, all regardleſs of his love,
My ſoldier flies to arms.
Cupid, indignant, heard him ſay,
And thus the bloomy god—
Avaunt ſtout Mars, we know the day,
When e’en thy plumes did nod:
I graſp the bow, I point the darts,
Elanced, the arrows fly,
Till deep in warm devoted hearts,
The miſſive weapons lie.
The martial drum, the trumpet’s ſound,
Proclaim’d th’ approaching war,
The mimic thunders ſhook the ground,
And diſcord ſhriek’d from far!
Varro aſtoniſh’d, heard the cry!
Then firſt ill-boding fear
Forced from his conſtant breaſt a ſigh,
And almoſt—forced a tear!
The trembling maid beheld the ſtrife,
She ſaw her hero bend:
O Varro live—on thee my life,
And happineſs depend:
I’ll fly dear youth, if bleſs’d with thee,
To earth’s extremeſt bound,
Or, dauntleſs o’er th’ encircling ſea,
Will ſkim old ocean round.
But ſtern Acaſto’s ſtrict command,
Conſtrain’d her fatal ſtay;
And penſive Varro left the land,
Alas! to rue the day!
Bereft of all her ſoul held dear,
Miranda ſought the grove,
Alone to pour the copious tear,
And wail her abſent love.
Varro deſerved her tend’reſt care,
Incapable of change,
He own’d no other damſel fair,
Tho’ deſtined far to range.
No more ſhe moved with tuneful pace
The mazy dance along,
Nor foremoſt in the rapid chace,
Appear’d the youth among:
Neglected lay the warbling lyre,
Or tuned to ſtrains of woe—
Deprived of its accuſtom’d fire,
Breathed querulous, and ſlow.
Lorenzo then,—ſo fate decreed,
Firſt ſaw the charming fair,
And flew with all a lover’s ſpeed,
To gain Acaſto’s ear:
His wealth was great, his paſſion ſtrong,
Nor ſentiment refined,
Impreſs’d with eloquence his tongue,
Or dignified his mind.
He ſaw, he loved, and urged his ſuit,
With all that pow’rful art,
Which ſtrikes the tongue of av’rice mute,
And ſways the vulgar heart.
Acaſto heard,—he view’d the gold,
Mark’d well the precious ſtore;
He ſaw the maſſy treaſures told—
Nay, help’d to count them o’er:
His heart took fire—Miranda’s thine,
(The harden’d fire replied)
Deſtined in glitt’ring gems to ſhine;
Ye gods! how bleſs’d a bride!
But oh! what Muſe can paint the grief,
That ſeized Miranda’s mind?
In vain ſhe begg’d,—no kind relief!
To mercy none inclined.
Lorenzo urged by heat of youth,
And love’s impetuous flame,
Laugh’d at her talk of broken truth—
And Varro’s prior claim.
A father’s threats—his ſtern command,
Was tremblingly obey’d:
He ſeized her cold reluctant hand—
And thus indignant ſaid—
To me ſhe owes the boon of life,
And ev’ry bleſſing given;
Take then Lorenzo, take thy wife,
And ſeal thy vows in heaven.
The day was fix’d, the morning roſe,
With deep, and ſullen gloom;
Prophetic morn! replete with woes,
And big with future doom.
Deck’d with the niceſt tricks of art,
Appear’d the penſive bride
For ah! they ſtrove the burſting heart,
’Neath ſpecious ſhew to hide:
But loſt to ev’ry future joy,
Awake to preſent woe;
Miranda curſed each gariſh toy,
And all the labor’d ſhow.
She wept—ſhe droop’d as ſome fair flow’r
Before the chilly blaſt;
The angry Fates had ſtamp’d the hour,
The certain die was caſt.
Oft at the ſullen noon of night,
The frantic bride aroſe,
With ſudden ſtarts—and dread affright,
And viſionary woes!
Then injured Varro’s form drew near
To meet her glowing eye,
In the ſad guiſe of anguiſh drear,
Of hopeleſs miſery!
Kind nature ſtrove, but ſtrove in vain,
To heal the rankling ſmart:
Diſtraction ſeized her tortured brain,
And burſt her throbbing heart:
Acaſto view’d the dying fair,
And ſmote his heaving breaſt;
His empty ſighs diſperſed in air:
Miranda ſunk to reſt.
Soon as the dreadful news was brought,
To Varro’s trembling ear,
He ruſh’d to arms,—and quick as thought
Sent forth the threat’ning ſpear:
Amid the foremoſt rank he ſtood,
And dared the coming foe,
Imploring death, in tides of blood
To drown his mighty woe.
Venus, in pity left the ſkies,
And lighting on the field,
Aſſumed the warrior’s rough diſguiſe,
And graſp’d the boſſy ſhield:
She ſtrung the bow, the dart ſhe choſe,
(While Varro dealt around
Deſtruction on the falling foes)
The goddeſs gave the wound—
His willing heart received the ſtroke,
And inſtant burſt in twain,—
The hero fell! thus falls the oak
Recumbent on the plain.
The goddeſs ſtretch’d the azure wing,
And ſought thoſe fair abodes,
Where nectar flows, and minſtrels ſing
In honor of the gods.
’Tis ſaid; that Cupid pluck’d a quill
From Cytherea’s dove,
And, on the rock, that bounds the hill
Inſcribed the tale of love,
He ſung—Miranda’s ruthleſs doom,
And Varro’s conſtant flame,
And there he raiſed a mural tomb
To conſecrate their fame:
And more—the Muſe was heard to ſay,
That when the god drew near
To write the ſad funereal lay,
He dropp’d a pitying—tear;
The tear depending from the ſtone
Still twinkles in the air,
And tho’ the god have long been gone,
The drop—remaineth there.
Awake, O penſive Muſe, and ſing,
The lighter airs forego,
Strike deep the ſad-reſounding ſtring,
The ſtring attuned to woe:
’Twas when trim youth, and pleaſure ſmiled,
And Cupid, dimply boy,
The laughing hours with love beguiled,
And all the ſcene was joy;
One eve, as ſol’s declining beams
The weſtern ſkies o’er-ſpread,
And fleecy clouds, and rimpled ſtreams
Were tinged with glowing red:
Beneath a quivering aſpen-ſpray,
With pendent dew-drops bright,
A woe-fraught ſwain, deſpondent lay,
And, thus beſpoke the wight—P “Ah! 158 P1v 158
Ah! me,—ye cheerly nymphs, and ſwains,
That gambol round, and round;
Till all the woods, that skirt the plains,
The jocund notes rebound!
Awhile my rueful tale attend,
A tale, with woe in-wrought!
Alas! for me, no feeling friend
Allays the tortured thought!
I aſk not life; no boon I crave
Save this one ſad requeſt,
I die;—and in the ſilent grave,
O grant my bones to reſt:
And, let this caſket, ever dear!
On my cold breaſt repoſe;
When theſe ſunk-eyes, refuſe the tear,
That now, unbidden flows.
When manly vigour ſtrung my frame,
And health illumed my face,
I, luckleſs, loved a beauteous dame,
A dame, of noble race!
A mutual flame my Veſta fired,
And own’d her ſpotleſs love;
As oft from prying eyes retired
We met, in yonder grove:
But adverſe fate, our hopes oppoſed,
Our mutual wiſhes croſt;
And ſoon a convent’s walls encloſed—
This gem, for ever loſt!
A cruel father’s ruthleſs hand
Repell’d her from his gate;
And forced her, in a diſtant land,
To wail her hapleſs fate:
For ſtern Philander’s rigid mind
Confeſs’d the Roman ſway;
And to its narrow pale,—confined
Faint reaſon’s timid ray.
His riches found a foreign heir:
His wealth were nought to me:
I never ſought that wealth to ſhare,
Nor rank of high degree.
Content within my tranquil ſphere,
A patient flock to guide;
I glean’d my pittance from the year;
And ſcorn’d—the gaudes of pride.
But Veſta, hopeleſs of relief
Her painful vigils paſt,
A prey to agonizing grief,
Too mighty long to laſt!
It fed upon her tender frame,
And ſapp’d her maiden bloom,
Unpitying quench’d the vital flame,
And ſunk her to the tomb.
But, when ſhe ſaw, the deadly dart
Prepared to ſtrike the blow—
Preſerve, ſhe cried, this faithful heart,
This heart,—that burſts with woe!
When thro’ the ſcatter’d gloom of death,
Darts pure, eternal day;
And, this faint ſtruggling, anxious breath,
Shall quit the dormant clay—
Then, cloſe my eyes, in decent ſort;
And from my pallid ſide—
Convey my heart:— no more the ſport,
Of cruelty, and pride.
To dear Acetus’ hand reſtore,
This token of my love,
He’ll bleſs the deed, the pledge adore;
When I am—far above.
This ſaid;—to realms of endleſs light,
The gentle ſpirit fled:
The fading cheek appall’d the ſight.
As dropp’d the liſtleſs head.
Then, careful from her ſnowy breaſt,
The clay-cold heart, they drew:
And gave the peaceful corpſe to reſt
Beneath a ſacred yew.
To me the precious relic came,
The pledge—for ever dear!
Still glows the pure exhauſtleſs flame,
Still lives her image here;
And ſtill within my faithful breaſt,
The vivid traits ſhall glow;
Till this ſad heart, that pants for reſt
Shall, ſighing, burſt with woe.
Imitations From the Poems of Ossian.
Ryno, youngeſt ſon of the King of Morven, was ſlain in Ireland, in the expedition againſt Swaran. He was remarkable for his beauty, agility, and great exploits. Minvane, daughter of Morni, and ſiſter to Gaul, was in love with Ryno. See her lamentation, in a note on Berrathon, p. 270: This little piece opens, with the departure of Fingal, from Ireland, after his conqueſt over Swaran. P. 85.
Thus paſs’d the night, in jovial ſong,
And brought the roſy morn along:
’Twas then ſupreme, upon the bright’ning heath,
The glorious Fingal roſe!
He ſhook his glitt’ring ſpear, the ſpear of death—
Bravely victorious o’er his trembling foes;
Then graceful moved tow’r’ds Lena’s glowing plain:
And, as a fiery beam, ſo moved his radiant train.“Spread 164 P4v 164
Spread the white ſails, cried Morven’s king,
And catch the winds that pour
From Lena’s, leſſening ſhore.
We mount the ſwelling waves, and joyous ſing,
Forth ruſh to ſea;—the foaming billows fly:
The lofty meaſures reach the vaulted ſky,
And, on the broken ſurge the fainter accents die.
From Morven’s rock, Minvane bends,—
And o’er the rolling main
Her ſnowy arms, in vain, extends,
On Ryno, calls—in vain!
She ſaw the bow, and glittering ſhield,
Our darkling looks ſhe read—
That Ryno, in green Ullin’s field—
Lay, mould’ring with the dead:
That, pale, upon the clouds he flew
Which o’er tall Morven paſs;
His voice was in the guſt, that blew
Along the trembling graſs.
And, is the ſon of Fingal low
On Ullin’s moſſy plain?
Strong was the arm, and ſtrong the bow
That have my Ryno, ſlain!Ah! 165 P5r 165
Ah! me—the ſad Minvane cries!
I’m left, alas! forlorn!
Ye boaſting winds, that catch my ſighs
And lift my hair, in ſcorn—
Know this, alone I will not dwell,
Nor ſigh to empty air;
I’ll ſeek ſad Ullin’s darkſome cell,
And ſleep with Ryno, there.
I ſee thee not, all graceful move
Returning from the chace!
The night is round Minvane’s love
In Ryno’s ſilent place.
Where are thy dogs, of boaſted ire!
That chaced the flying deer?
The bow, the ſhield, the ſword of fire,
And Ryno’s glittering ſpear?
Thy mingled arms, which blood diſtain,
Low, in the ſhip, I ſee!
In thy dark hall, thoſe arms were vain,
Once Ryno, dear to thee!
When will the morn—with cheerful ſound,
Cry—king of ſpears—ariſe?
The hunter’s out, the hind, the hound—
Where ſleeping Ryno, lies!Away, 166 P5v 166
Away, thou fair-hair’d morn; away!
All wrapp’d in ſullen gloom,
He hears thee not; the hinds in play
Bound o’er my Ryno’s tomb,
But, O, my king! I’ll ſoftly tread—
And ſighing, yield my breath
Where fate has made thy narrow bed,
Where Ryno, ſleeps in death.
The tuneful maids, ſhall ſeek me long,
But ſeek me long—in vain!
For me they raiſe the parting ſong;
Regardleſs of the ſtrain!
Ceaſe, ceaſe your ſongs, ye tuneful maids,
And ceaſe, for me, to weep:
For I, in Ullin’s moſſy ſhades—
With fair-hair’d Ryno, ſleep.
Address to the Evening Star:
From the Songs of Selma. , page 209.
Star of the gently-falling night!
Fair in the Weſt, thy trembling light
Illumes the orb terrene!
From yon gay cloud,—thy fleecy bed,
Thou graceful lift’ſt thy beamy head—
To view this nether ſcene;
I ſee thee yonder mountain gain,
Now, ſtately bending o’er the plain—
What ſee’ſt thou in the vale?
The ſtormy winds are ſoft, and low,
The diſtant torrents murmuring ſlow,
Reſponſive to the gale.
Afar—the ſwelling billows roar
And, towering climb the rocky ſhore:
Slow move the evening-flies—
And, ſcarce upborn on feeble wing,
Along the field they droning ſing,
And now the murmur dies.
Star of the gently-falling night!
What ſee’ſt thou, fair, declining light!
From yonder verge—extreme ?
The lucent waves, with joy prepare
To bathe thy bright luxuriant hair:
Farewel!—thou ſilent beam!
The Songs of the Five Bards, ; of the Chief, Versified:
Five Bards, paſſing the night, in the houſe of a Chief, who was himſelf a poet, went ſeverally to make their obſervations on, and returned with an extempore deſcription of, Night.—The night happened to be one in October, and in the North of Scotland, it has all that variety, which the Bards aſcribe to it, in their deſcriptions.
Song of the First Bard.
All dark, and doleful is the night!
The clouds on mountains lie;
No ſtar diſplays its trembling light,
No moon illumes the ſky:
I hear the blaſt, that ſhakes the wood,
The blaſt, that diſtant blows;
I hear the valley’s ſudden flood—
Hoarſe murmur—as it flows.
From yonder tree the grave beſide,
I hear the owl complain;
I ſee a dim-form ſlowly glide—
Acroſs the danky plain!
A ghoſtly form!—it fades!—it dies!
Some funeral pomp ſhall paſs—
Where yonder fiery meteor flies,
Along the kindling graſs.
The diſtant dog, with howlings ſhrill,
Aſtounds the echoing vale;
All from the lone-hut, on the hill,
That braves the wint’ry gale.The 171 Q2r 171
The ſtag’s on mountain moſs reclined
(The wind is in his horns)
Safe by his ſide, the timid hind—
Lies ſleeping, ’neath the thorns;
All in his branchy horns, ſhe hears
The rude-winds roar amian,
She ſtarts! ſhe looks! erects her ears,
Then ſinking,—ſleeps again.
Deep in the cavern of the rock
The roe, ſecurely ſleeps:
With head beneath his wing, the cock
His peaceful vigil keeps.
No beaſt, or bird will venture forth
When ſuch fierce tempeſts howl,
To brave the fury of the north,—
Save fox, and hooting owl;
Lone, blinking on a leafleſs tree,
She creaks her empty bill:
And, ſtarting from the covert, he—
Scuds o’er the cloud-capt hill.
Dark, panting, trembling, wan with fear,
The devious pilgrim ſtrays,
Thro’ ſhrubs, thro’ thorns, thro’ buſkets drear,
Appall’d with dire amaze!Q2 He 172 Q2v 172
He hears the vagrant waters chink
Adown the rocky ſteep,
He fears the fen, that forms the brink—
Of yonder vaſty deep;
He fears the ghoſt and ſtands aghaſt!
That ſtalks his nightly rounds:
The old-tree groans before the blaſt,
The falling branch reſounds.
The wind, with breath, collected, ſtrong,
Sweeps o’er the quivering graſs,
It whirls the gathering burs along:
He hears them, as they paſs!
The tread of paſſing ghoſt is near!
It lightly hurries by;
But fear aſſails his trembling ear,
And floats afore his eye.
Dark, duſky, howling is the night:
The ſhrowded ſpectres riſe!
And thro’ the air, the wilder’d ſpright—
With boding pinions flies!
From yawning grace, the livid form
In ghoſtly pomp, aſcends!
The night is dark; the threat’ning ſtorm
Returns me, to my friends.
Song of the Second Bard.
The winds aloft, the coming blaſt—
Sweeps o’er the deſert plain;
The lurid clouds, the sky o’ercaſt,
Deſcend, in pouring rain.
From yon glum mountain ſhrieks the ſpright,
His ſhrieks aſtound the gale!
The woods, that fringed, the airy height
Fall thundering down the vale.
The windows flap: the torrents roar,
To paſs the pilgrim tries,
The faithleſs ford, that tempts him o’er
Gives way,—he ſhrieks, and dies.
Before the driving ſtorm, the horſe
Sweeps—from the mountain’s brow:
The wary goat, with ſlanting courſe
Leads on the lowing cow,
They tremble, as they ſteal along,
And dread the ſwelling tide;
The current daſhing loud, and ſtrong
The mould’ring bank beſide.
The hunter, ſtarting from repoſe
Looks round the darkſome room!
The fire he wakes, the chimney glows,
And cheers the midnight gloom;Q3 His 174 Q3v 174
His wet dogs ſmoke around his feet;
He ſtuffs his chinky wall:
Two mountain ſtreams, that near him meet—
In roaring torrents fall.
Sad, on the ſide of yon grey hill,
The ſhepherd wails his flock;
The tree reſounds, the ſwelling rill
Falls daſhing down the rock:
’Tis dark, and diſmal all around,
In vain he’d further roam;
Till riſing moon-beams gild the ground,
To light the wanderer home.
Ghoſts, on the darkling tempeſt ride,
Borne on the blaſt along;
And when the howling ſqualls ſubſide,
Sweet breathes the heav’nly ſong.
And now the pouring rain is paſt,
But ſtill the dry wind blows;
The driving torrent, meets the blaſt—
And backward, bellowing flows:
The windows flap, the diſcord ſhrill
Confounds the diſtant roar;
The cold-drops from the roof diſtill
And moiſten all the floor.Again, 175 Q4r 175
Again, the ſtars relume the ſky,
But clouds their beams deform;
The Weſt is gloomy, to the eye,
And dark the gathering ſtorm:
The trembling luſtres die away,
No lingering gleam of light,
Now marks the ſphere with glimmering ray:
Receive me from the night.
Song of the Third Bard.
The wind ſtill ſounds along the glens,
The mountains feel the ſhock;
It whiſtles thro’ the graſs that bends
Depending from the rock:
The fir-trees from their ſtation fall,
The turfy hut, is torn;
The thin clouds fly before the ſquall,
The ſtars’ clear orbits burn.
The meteor, harbinger of death,
Flies, ſparkling, thro the air!
On yonder hill, it reſts;—the heath
And blaſted fern, appear:
The rock, and fallen oak, I ſee,
Illumined by its beam.
Who, ſhrowded ſtands, beneath the tree,
That trembles o’er the ſtream?The 176 Q4v 176
The waves dark-tumble on the lake
And laſh its rocky ſide:
The oars, the brimful boat forſake,
And float adown the tide.
Beneath an algid rock, reclined,
A lovelorn maiden mourns;
She views the rolling ſtream, the wind—
Her woe-fraught plaint returns:
She mourns her ling’ring love’s delay,
And ſtrains her weary ſight;
His bark ſhe ſaw, when twilight grey
Led on the duſky night.
Is this, his broken boat that lies,
Upon the ruthleſs ſhore?
Are theſe his groans, that fill the ſkies!
Alas! he comes no more!
Hark! the hail, it rattles round,
Deſcends the flaky ſnow,
With white the top-moſt hills are crown’d,
The winds are huſh’d, and low:
Cold, glum and various is the air,
The sky with clouds bedight;
I, ſhivering, to the hall repair:
Receive me from the night.
Song of the Fourth Bard.
The night is ſettled—ſoft, and fair,
Blue, ſtarry, and ſerene;
With balmy freſhneſs breathes the air,
No clouds obſcure the ſcene,
They ſink behind the ſnow-capt hill;
The moon, the mountain gains:
Bright drops, from trembling trees diſtill,
And glitter, on the plains.
The ſparkling ſtreams, the rock forſake,
And, gurgling, downwards flow,
Till, gathering in a ſettled lake,
The mirror ſhines below.
The trees uptorn, from broken rocks,
And ſcatter’d ſheaves, I ſee;
The wakeful hind, rebuilds the ſhocks,
And whiſtles on the Leigh.
Calm, fair, and ſettled is the night.
What pallid ſpectre’s there?
That form, with robe, all ſnowy-white,
White arms, and dark-brown hair;
Our chieftain’s daughter, peerleſs maid,
Who late lamented, died!
Let’s view thee now, illuſive ſhade!
Of heroes, erſt, the pride!Before 178 Q5v 178
Before the driving blaſt it flies;
I ſee the phantom, ſtill,
Wan, ſhapeleſs now, it fading, tries
To climb the miſty hill.
The deep blue miſts, before the gale,
They hover o’er the narrow vale,
And wrap the heights above—
To heaven they join their towering head.
Night’s ſettled, calm, and fair,
The ſtarry canopy is ſpread,
And balmy breathes the air.
The moon with mild effulgence gay
Diffuſes ſilver light;
Receive me not: her tranquil ray—
All lovely makes the night.
Song of the Fifth Bard.
The night is drear, but calm the air,
The troublous wind’s at reſt:
The moon, that lately ſhone ſo fair,
Now ſlumbers in the Weſt—
Thick gathering clouds obſtruct her beams,
Her ſilver luſtres hide;
And, faint the paſſing radiance gleams
Along the mountain’s ſide:And 179 Q6r 179
And now the diſtant wave I hear,
The torrent louder roars,
Their mingled murmurs ſtrike the ear,
Rebounding from the ſhores.
The cock’s ſhrill clarion, thins the gloom,
And ſtartles drouſy night!
The houſe-wife, groping round the room,
Calls up the ſettled light,
The embers glow, the ſparkles riſe,
Diffuſive ſpreads the ray:
The ſtartled hunter, rubs his eyes!
And hails the fancied, day!
He calls his bounding dogs along,
And breathleſs, gains the ſteep:
Oft—whiſtling blithe, and loud, and ſtrong—
To break the bands of ſleep:
The driving blaſt, comes howling by—
And ſhakes the leafleſs trees;
The driving blaſt, has clear’d the ſky—
The Northern-plough he ſees!
Much of the night is yet to paſs!
Ah! luckleſs wight, forlorn!
Beſide the rock, on tufted graſs
He nods, till riſing morn.Hark! 180 Q6v 180
Hark! the whirlwind hurries forth,
(Some direful woe impends!)
The baleful whirlwind, of the North,
The trembling foreſt bends:
Low murmurs groan along the vale—
And, thro’ the caverns ſpread!
As, pouring from the awfu!l gale—
Deſcend, the mighty dead!
The pale moon ſhrinks behind the hill,
Her laſt faint trembling ray—
On yonder ſteep-rock, lingers ſtill,
Now fades, and dies away:
The trees that crown its topmoſt height
Extend their length’ning ſhades,
Where, thro’ the yawning cleft, the light
The ſullen gloom pervades.
The night is ſtill, but cold, and drear,
Receive me, gentle friends:
Glum darkneſs o’er this nether-ſphere
Her brooding wing extends.
Song of the Chief.
Let clouds upon the mountains reſt,
Wan ſpirits haunt the ſkies,
Fell fear aſſail the pilgrim’s breaſt;
And ſtormy winds ariſe:
From bellowing clouds, the tempeſt break,
While anſwering torrents roar,
From ſhatter’d roofs, the windows ſhake,
And drops be-dew the floor.
And, let the vague, aſtoniſh’d ſight
The green-wing’d meteor trace—
As, ſlanting down the brow of night,
It ſpeeds its fiery race:
Or, riſe the moon,—from mountain ſheen—
Her pale refulgence ſpread,
Or, paſs a lurid cloud between
And wrap her radiant head—
Alike, is waning night to me,
Blue, ſtormy, gloomy, ſtill:
Night’s ſhadows ’fore the morning flee,
When pour’d from eaſtern hill:
The young-day, riſes from his gloom,
The hours, his beams reſtore;
But man, once ſet—beneath the tomb,
Returns, alas! no more.R Ah! 182 R1v 182
Ah! where are now our chieftains fled;
Our kings, of mighty name?
The well-fought fields, erſt ſtrew’d with dead,
No more declare their fame!
Scarce now their moſſy tombs remain:
We too, ſhall quickly paſs,
Our ſons ſhall ſeek this hall, in vain,
Among the ſpiry graſs:
E’en they, ſhall ask, of aged ſeer—
Where ſtood our father’s wall?
No veſtige marks its ruins here,
No trait records its fall.
Then raiſe the ſong,—to cheerful ſound
Of harp, your voices raiſe:
Diſpenſe the joyous ſhells around;
On high, let tapers blaze!
And bid the youths, and maids advance;
And ſome grey bard, be near,
Who, as they thrid the mazy dance,
May charm my liſtening ear:
And while with raptured voice he ſings,
Of deeds, and times of yore,
Of chieftains famed, and valiant kings,
Whom we behold no more,—The 183 R2r 183
The cheery night ſhall wear away,
And roſy morning riſe;
When thro’ the hall, her welcome ray
Salutes our glowing eyes—
(The ſkilful bow-men, all at hand,
The dogs of fleeteſt pace,
Which leads along the racy land,
The youths, that love the chace—)
Then, up the ſteepy hill we’ll go—
With ſhouts, the morning cheer!
Till, from the ruſtling brake below—
Out ſtarts—the trembling deer!
A Sacred Ode,
On his Majesty’s Recovery.
See Albion’s Bard deſponding laid!
Beneath the willow’s ſilver ſhade,
Where Thames delights to hide his gentle ſtream:
The griſly phantoms of ſome wayward dream
To him their woe, their endleſs horrors ſung!
His harp, neglected, on a poplar hung,
No longer warbling with the tuneful choir,
Oft as the breeze, light hov’ring o’er the mead,
With downy pinion ſmote its trembling wire,
Join’d in ſad murmurs with the ſighing reed.
Hark! I hear a feſtal lay,
Sweetly ſounding from afar,
Hail the cheerful dawn of day,
Riding in his gilded car:
Awake! my Bard; pale viſions fly!
And ſhun th’ approach of morn—
The roſy beam, the halcyon sky,
And dew-beſpangled lawn.Awake! 185 R3r 185
Awake! behold a virgin train,
With ev’ry winning grace endued,
Deſcending on the velvet plain,
Forms the fair band of heaven-taught Gratitude.
With lovely mein ſhe ſtrikes her hallow’d ſhell;
And as the melting numbers ſteal along,
That from her lips in ſweeteſt cadence fell,
Joy wakes his living lyre, and ſwells the choral ſong.
Ere this th’ enraptured Minſtrel join’d the lay:
And O! what accents in the ſtrain were heard!
When he, amid the tuneful band,
His ſacred hymn to heaven preferr’d,
Who ſpared the Monarch, and preſerved the land:
Who breathes from realms of pure celeſtial day,
The fragrant breeze, the life-renewing gale,
Whence drooping mortals ſtrength inhale,
And joys that reaſon’s ſelf regale:—
Again he ſtrikes the trembling ſtrings,
And roſeate Health, reſponſive to the lively meaſure ſings.R3 “Favor’d 186 R3v 186
Favor’d ſons of Albion’s iſle,
Raiſe the ſong, and wake the lyre,
Strains that ev’ry care beguile,
Strains that heavenly gifts inſpire.
From the azure ſpace above,
Sent by pure, eternal love,
Who heard th’ afflicted Monarch groan;
To yonder Sage I gave the balm,
That fever’s boiſt’rous tide can calm,
And heal the Sov’reign fainting on his throne.
Ye blooming daughters of this ſea-girt plain,
Where ſoft-eyed Peace delights to dwell,
With ev’ry milder virtue in her train;
Awake to ecſtaſy the ſweet melodious ſhell!
Lo! advance the royal pair,
Indulgent heaven’s tend’reſt care;
And with them, wedded love, of chaſteſt eye,
Compaſſion mild, and kindred charity.
She ſang:—and, while their heaving boſoms glow,
Her notes are echo’d by the virgin band;
Then ſmiling Health, with roſy-tinctured hand,
Binds a fair chaplet on the Monarch’s brow.His 187 R4r 187
His well-tuned harp the hoary Minſtrel takes;
Praiſe Him, Britannia’s much-lov’d ſons (he cries),
Who reigns above the empyrean ſkies;
Glory ſing to God on high!
Guard of ſacred Majeſty:
Benignant love her ſlumb’ring ſoul awakes,
Awakes to gratitude and joy;
While Virtue’s bright, celeſtial charms,
And Peace that Faction’s rage diſarms,
Her days ſerene in nobleſt deeds employ.
Glory ſing to God on high!
Guard of ſacred Majeſty.
Edgefield Parsonage, 1789-04-27April 27, 1789.
Written at Edgefield, On a Calm Winter’s Day.
No more the hoſtile tempeſts blow
And ſhake the cottage, topp’d with ſnow;
Sturdy oaks encaſed in white,
Glitter on the aching ſight,
Many a pearl, and tranſient gem,
Emboſs the branches, and the ſtem,
Pendent—here, and there—are ſeen
Cryſtal ſparks,— the boughs between:
Lofty aſhes rear their head
With hoary mantles, overſpread:
Deck’d with plumes of nival hue,
The fir conif’rous, ſtarts to view,
Boldly ſpreads its ample round,
Graceful, bending o’er the ground,
Then leſs, and leſs its ſpiral form
Meets the ſky, and braves the ſtorm:
There the laurel, fringed with ſnow,
Shades the nitid ſhrubs below;
Its ample leaves, in part, how green!
Virid, ’mid the brumal ſcene,’Mid 189 R5r 189
’Mid the ruthleſs breath of froſt
Stands, with partial touch, emboſt;
Yields, reluctant, to the hand,
That whitens o’er the frigid land:
Sacred, venerable tree!
Dear to Petrarch, and to me!
Haſte, thy foliage to repair,
’Gainſt ſpring approach, all debonair,
Welcome ſhade, at noon of day,
When Phœbus ſheds his fervid ray;
Then at thy halcyon foot reclined,
I’ll warble numbers, ſo refined—
That birds ſhall ſtop their gay career,
And, wond’ring elfins, ſtop to hear!
And, if the ſoul of Laura, dwell—
As fabled, in thy myſtic cell,
I’ll try the powers of harmony,
To ſet the ling’ring ſpirit free,
To ſpeed it thro’ the nether ſky,
And waft it, gentle bard, to thee.
Yonder weeping-willow bends,
O’er its ſtem, the froſt extends,
Round its ſlender boughs entwines,
Twigs in glaſſy fetters binds;
Mark the ſun’s declining rays—
On the fretted branch—he plays,Here, 190 R5v 190
Here, and there a doubtful beam,
Tips with gold, the point extreme.
Laſt the cypreſs, ſtrikes my ſight—
Mournful tree! array’d in white:
Mournful tree, yet ever dear!
Accept the tributary tear!
Accept the tear, that drops on thee,
Mournful, emblematic tree.
Now Boreas comes, he comes along!
And hurls the tempeſt, loud, and ſtrong,
The turgid clouds before him fly—
Impulſive, thro’ the raging ſky;
Now with the blaſt the driving hail
Ruthleſs—ſweeps the deſert vale,
Pelts the mountain’s nitid ſide,
Dances on the frigid tide:
Here—lofty aſhes feel the ſtroke—
They bend,—and bends the ſturdy oak;
Craſhing branches ſcatter round
Mimic cryſtals, on the ground,
No more the pearl, and lucid gem
Emboſs the boughs, and grace the ſtem,
No more, bedropp’d with varying light,
They glitter, on the aching ſight,
But all the halcyon ſcene is paſt,
The tempeſt howls, the ſky’s o’ercaſt!
My garden, late in niveous veſt,
A thouſand magic charms poſſeſt,There 192 R6v 192
There the active hand of froſt,
Silent wrought the fairy-ſcene,
Slender twigs with gems emboſt,
Mimic foliage threw between;
Here, the ſnowy plumage flow’d,
Lightly trembling in the wind,
There, the pendent dew-drop glow’d
To the ſnowy-plumage join’d.
Lo! the diſtant foreſt bends!
Faſt the rattling hail deſcends!
To the warm ſhed the ſhiv’ring cows retire:
Quick ſhut the door,—and heap the crackling fire.
Form the circle round the hearth,
Give the preſent hour to mirth,
While we feel the tepid glow
Bid the ſparkling liquors flow,
Let the can, and genial glaſs
All in decent order paſs.
Reach the lute, we’ll raiſe the ſong,
Strephon’s voice is ſweet, and ſtrong,
Sweet, as linnet’s—from the ſpray,
Strong, as Philomela’s lay.
Now I ſtrike, the trembling ſtrings—
Liſten maidens, while he ſings,Strephon 193 S1r 193
Strephon greets the judging ear
With carol ſweet, and ſtrong, and clear.
Now, ſuppoſe we lead the dance?
Nymphs, and jovial ſwains advance,
Come, and trip it as ye go,
On the light fantaſtic toe;
While the meaſures, brisk and free,
Wake the youthful mind to glee:
Now, advancing hand in hand,
Let me view the agile band,
Meeting now, and now retreating,
Yielding floor alternate beating,
All alert, and blithe, and gay,
Now’s the time for mirth and play.
Let the pealing organ blow,
Bold, ſymphonious, full, and ſlow;
Bid advance the choſen pair,
With geſture meet, and debonair,
Skill’d with artful ſteps to trace—
The dance, thro’ every varied grace,
Skill’d to move the ample round
With ſtep—accordant to the ſound.
Has the graceful dance an end?
Then the mirthful tale attend—S While 194 S1v 194
While we ſip refreſhing tea,
Far be ſcandal, far away!
Fly to dull Bæotia—fly;
We love truth, and harmony.
Thus, we mock ſtern Bruma’s reign
Tho’ wide he ſpread his bleak domain;
Why from Heber ſtrays the god;
Ruling here with iron rod:
Britain irks thy chill embrace;
Return, old boy, return to Thrace.
Long have I wander’d o’er the plain,
In queſt of one, a gentle ſwain—
A ſwain—of ſoul refined;
Who, void of care, would all day long,
Attentive liſten to my ſong,
On moſſy bank—reclined:
At eve—to ſit the brook beſide,
To watch the gently purling tide,
The ſparkling wave to view:
To catch, perchance, the lucent bow,
While in the glaſſy ſtream, below,
We trace each varied hue.
For me,—when ſuch my bliſsful lot,
By all the buſtling world forgot,
I’ll ſit, unenvied, down;
Far from the ſcenes of gay delight,
Where ſparkling beauties, ſhare the night
With foplings, of renown.
To Mr. B. B――n, On his preſenting me with a Bottle of Eſſence.
Thistoken of thy love, I view
With rapture and delight!
Such paſſions angels might purſue—
In bliſsful fields of light.
Thy perfumes ſcent the morning air,
They ſcent the evening ſkies;
Thy virtues, eminently fair,
Like theſe ſweet odours riſe.
Thy mind, attuned to ſocial joy
By reaſon’s nice controul,
Feels no imperfect, baſe alloy,
Nor apathy of ſoul:
By friendſhip warmed, thy paſſions run
In one harmonious train:
So frigid ſtreams, that catch the ſun,
Will purl along the plain.
O may no cloud of vice obſcure
Thy full meridian beam;
Thy ſoul can all the force endure—
Of virtue, in extreme.
Addreſſed to a Gentleman in Wales.
O, Strephon, how can you forſake
Thoſe ſcenes—where the goddeſſes rove?
The mountain, that’s crown’d with the lake,
The grotto, that’s veil’d by the grove?
The ſeat, that you ſcoop’d in the rock?
Where oft you, at even, recline,—
Hear ſhepherds return with their flock
All under your favorite pine.
One morn, the beginning of May,
At dawn, to the mountain you flew,
The landſcape around you was gay,
The graſs—all-beſpangled with dew;
The lake’s moſſy-margin you preſt,
The rod was ſuſpended on high,
A Naiad, ſhe ſtood all confeſt,
Directing the fiſh to the fly:
The halcyon ſkimm’d over the flood
And ruffled the wave with her wing,
Blithe Zephyrus pauſed in the wood,
To hear how the feather’d-folks ſing;
A moment he ſtopp’d in the grove,
Then bruſh’d to the top of the hill;
There breathing ſoft accents of love,—
To the tink of a neighb’ring rill.
O give me,—enraptured you cried,
On the brow of this mountain to dwell,
Sweet Clio, ſhall ſit by my ſide,
Her voice ſhall make vocal my cell;
Then Boreas unheeded may blow,
Bid tempeſts wide ravage the dale;
We’ll mark how the clouds roll below,
All born on the wings of the gale.
Thus, Strephon, was heard to eſſay
The ditty, that flow’d from his heart;
Dan Phœbus, aſſiſted the lay,
’Twas eve, and he wiſh’d to depart—His 199 S4r 199
His laſt vivid beam, ſtruck the rock,
As flaming, he plunged in the main:
The ſhepherd return’d with his flock,
And his pipe, it enliven’d the plain.
Juſt then, the chaſte Luna was ſeen—
With Veſperus cloſe by her ſide,
Slow riſing, the mountains between
Aſlant—ſtruck her rays on the tide:
He thought it high time to deſcend,
(His farm touch’d the foot of the hill)
Yet, pauſed he awhile to attend—
To the tink of his favorite rill.
Thus muſing, he ſank on his ſeat,
That hung on the verge of the ſteep;
Old Morpheus he play’d him a cheat—
And, inſtantly lull’d him to ſleep:
Bright Sol found him there when he roſe,
And put madam Fancy to flight;
Who’d checker’d poor Strephon’s repoſe,
With all the mad whims of the night:
He dream’d—back to N――, he flew,
Thro’ ether, at cool even-tide,
And ſuddenly, roſe to his view—
A manſion, and fair-bluſhing bride!
Farewell—ye bleak mountains (he said)
Ye wilds, and ye deſerts—ſo drear!
I fly,—to embrace the dear maid;
Whoſe image ſtill follows me here.
Addreſſed to a Gentleman on his leaving Wales.
Ye ſwains of Plinimmon attend,
Who pipe on the verge of the ſteep,
Where torrents ſonorous deſcend
Thro’ paſtures white over with ſheep;
Attend to the bard of the dale,
Who mourns at the foot of the rock;
While ſcattered abroad thro’ the vale,
All carelesſly rambles his flock.
Ye ſwains of the mountain—adieu!
Ye torrents ſonorous—farewel!
How oft have I liſten’d to you,
Reclined in my moſs-cover’d cell;
While Severn roll’d chearful along,
Clear Rydall, and ſweet-flowing Wye;
And oft I have warbled a ſong
To the waves that ran murmuring by.
Ah! then I was jovial and gay,
As the bluſh that emblazons the dawn,
As the ſtream that ſteals gently away,
And purls—as it glides o’er the lawn:
Alert from my grotto I flew—
Snatch’d my pipe, and my ſachel, and crook,
While the herbage was ſprinkled with dew,
And the miſt it ſtill hung o’er the brook.
But why do I droop with my woe,
And mingle my ſighs with the wind?
I’m forced my loved plains to forego
And leave my Sabrina behind!
Ye zephyrs that fan the ſad grove,
Thro’ the willows all-plaintively creep;
Llwellin is forced from his love,
His fountains, his grottos, and ſheep.
How heavily drags the ſad day!
While I linger, as loath to depart;
Tho’ forced from my charmer away—
Her image ſtill dwells in my heart:I 203 S6r 203
I ſit by a fountain and weep,
And pour forth my plaints to the wind,
Oh! why muſt I leave my poor ſheep?
And leave my Sabrina—behind?
Ah! what will become of my flock,
My crook, and my pipe, and my bowl,
My vineyard that clings to the rock—
Whoſe cluſters enliven the ſoul!
My kid, and my favorite Tray?
Alas! ye ſoft lambkins adieu!
No longer Llwellin muſt ſtay
On the plains—with Sabrina, and you.
Come fancy, and paint on my mind—
In traces ſo vivid, and bright,—
The moment my fair-one was kind,
And my ſoul was abſorb’d in delight—
How ſhe ſmiled when I told my ſoft pain,
Then bluſhing—corrected her ſmile:—
In vain, my Sabrina, in vain—
You ſtrove your fond ſwain to beguile:
For the language of love is ſincere,
Tho’ the tongue in feign’d deſcant may rove,
Regardleſs the jargon we hear—
While th’ eyes ſpeak the language of love:
The anguiſh I felt at my heart,
When laſt from your arms I withdrew
Was ſoften’d,—you bade me depart,—
But your eyes ſaid—Llwellin be true.
And true to his love he’ll remain
While the mountain o’er-ſhadows the dale,
While Severn glides ſwift thro’ the plain,
And her waves they make fertile the vale:
Tho’ forced thoſe dear charms to forego—
Thy image ſhall dwell in my mind,
My heart it would burſt with its woe,
Should I fancy Sabrina unkind.
Sabrina to Llwellin:
Ah! why did Llwellin depart!
And why did he fly from the plain?
He ſtill is the pride of my heart,
Tho’ he leave me, unkind, to complain:
I mourn at the foot of the rock,
Or wander diſtreſs’d thro’ the vale;
The maidens take care of my flock,
But marvel to ſee me ſo pale!
I ſlept by the ſide of a ſtream,
I dreamt—my Llwellin ſtood by,
I woke,—and behold ’twas a dream!
All day I did nothing but cry:
My ſatchel lay faſt by my crook,
On the margin, that bounded the tide,
My pipe it was dropp’d in the brook,
That murmuring ran by my ſide;
How rapid it floated along!
’Twas in vain that I bad it to ſtay;
Since ſorrow has ſadden’d my ſong—
Why,—bear it ye Naiads away:
Alas! from Llwellin it came!
He ſaid—’twas a token of love,
And carved on its ſurface—his name,—
All by the tall beech, in the grove.
He gave me a locket of hair,
Which whilom, I wore on my breaſt;
(I think I ſhall die with deſpair!)
’Tis loſt!—and I never can reſt!
I once was as cheerful as May,
My cheeks—all as freſh as the roſe!
My bloom it is wither’d away!
I’m ſure I ſhall die with my woes!
But why do I ſigh, and complain?
Why rove, diſregarded, my ſheep?
I late was the pride of the plain,
But now, I do nothing but weep:Yet 207 T2r 207
Yet, aſk not the cauſe of my woe
Ye maidens, who pity my grief;
My tears—they for ever muſt flow,
I’m hopeleſs, alas! of relief.
When he laſt came to bid me adieu!
I falter’d, I bluſh’d, and I ſigh’d;
My heart it was fervent, and true,—
What language its feelings cou’d hide!
Yet prudence forbad me to tell
The anguiſh I felt at my breaſt,
I bad the dear ſhepherd—farewel;
And now am a ſtranger to reſt.
One eve to his grotto I ſtray’d,
Gay Phœbus was ſunk in the main,
The mountain extended its ſhade;
For Cynthia illumined the plain:
The ſhepherd gang’d home, with his flock,
His pipe was melodious, and clear;
I lean’d on the ſide of the rock,
And ſigh’d, as I thought of—my dear!
The ſtars they beſpangled the ſky,
The zephyrs were lull’d in the grove,
A nightingale, warbled hard by—
And mourn’d the ſad fate of her love:
The fountain, Llwellin had taught
To wander, and wind thro’ the dale
Soft murmur’d,—and gave to my thought,
What ſhe left me to gueſs, of her tale:
I liſten’d awhile to her lay;
Her plaints but encreaſed my deſpair:
I ſtartled!—’twas nothing but Tray,
He thought that his maſter was there;
Sagacious—he flew round the cell:
Poor fellow! thy ſearch is in vain,
Thy maſter he bids us farewel;
We’ve nothing to do, but complain.
All penſive I wander’d along
The path-way that led to my cot,
The night-owl begun her harſh ſong,
And ſhriek’d as ſhe flew by the grot:My 209 T3r 209
My heart it beat high in my ſide,
I trembled and fell at the gate—
My ſorrows will kill me,—I cried,
Come maidens, and mourn my hard fate!
Come ſhepherds,—and ſee me laid low,
In the midſt of yon ſhadowy grove,
Ye fountains, all plaintively flow,
Ye zephyrs, all plaintively move!
The bard, from the verge of the ſteep—
Shall chant the ſad dirge to my ſhade,
Sit round me ye virgins and weep;
When ſpectres glide over the glade.
You tell me all nature looks gay,
You point where the primroſes bloom;
But what are the beauties of May
To a mind that’s envelop’d in gloom!
I ſaw where my Corydon lay,
I wept as I ſtood by his ſide:
Ah! what are the beauties of May!
Then ſadly complaining, I cry’d:
Thoſe beauties which nature beſtows,
All laviſhly painting the ground,
With jonquil and cinnamon-roſe,
She ſcatters the aſphodel round:
On the tulip what colouring glows,
What tincts on the iris I view;
The vi’let exults as it blows,
In regal apparel of blue.
Ah! once I could mark as they ſprung
The flowers that enamell’d the glade,
Could dwell on the dew-drops that hung
Depending from boughs in the ſhade:
Could join the ſweet birds as they ſung,
Inſtructed by nature and love;
The muſic that flow’d from my tongue,
Kind echo prolong’d thro’ the grove.
The ſtream that meander’d along
Slim ruſhes and pebbles between,
Oft pauſed to attend to my ſong,
Then murmur’d afreſh to the green;
As warbling, the willows among,
The moon-beams play’d full on the tide,
Came fairies,—a gliſtering throng,
And Mab, with her ſpark by her ſide.
I’ll ramble again o’er the plain,
And mark how the flow’rets ariſe;
When health paints the cheek of my ſwain
And gladneſs relumines his eyes:Till 212 T4v 212
Till then I’ll in ſilence remain,
Unſtrung, and unnoticed my lyre;
When the heart is averſe to the ſtrain,
No muſe will the ditty inſpire.
The Ghost of Charlotte at the Tomb of Werter.
By the willow that waves o’er the tomb,
O, think not ’twas Charlotte, you ſpied;
When Werter had ſeal’d his ſad doom,
She heard,—ſhe deſpair’d,—and ſhe died!
How deep, and how awful the ſound—
Of the bell,—as it broke on the gale!
From the ſteep-rock I heard it rebound,
And it plaintively poured thro’ the vale.
Where the yew-tree extends its dank ſhade,
And yarrow in looſe-tufts appears,
At even I ſaw her corpſe laid;
And I moiſten’d the ſod with my tears:
I mark’d when young Albert drew nigh,
All pale, and dejected was he!
I ſaw the big tear in his eye,
As he leant on the ſtem of the tree:
’Twas pride that forbad it to flow,
’Twas pride that denied him relief;
His heart was depreſs’d with its woe,
Yet ſilent,—and ſullen his grief!
I mark’d him,—and inwardly ſaid—
(His ſorrows inclined to deplore)
Since Charlotte, ill-fated, is dead,
The joys of poor Albert are o’er!
Oft-times, at the noon of the night,
Pale Charlotte appears on the green,
When the moon ſtrikes aſkaunt on the ſight,
And fancy emblazons the ſcene;
Her cheeks all bereft of their bloom!
Her eye-balls no luſtre retain!
She ſteals, a wan ghoſt, from the tomb,
And glides to the verge of the plain
Where Werter’s cold relics repoſe;
(’Neath the willow impregnate with dew,
Where the green-graſs luxuriantly grows
Round the tomb—half conceal’d from the view),I’ve 215 T6r 215
I’ve ſeen the light phantom recline,
The marble ſuſtain’d her white breaſt;
In ſounds that were almoſt divine,
I’ve heard her fond paſſion expreſt:
Dear ſhade! to thy Charlotte attend,
Tho’ fate have deprived her of breath,
She hangs o’er the urn of her friend,
And love’s in the manſion of death:
Soft murmurs enſued from below—
Faint echoes were heard thro’ the grove,
The accents were mingled with woe—
But woe—that was ſweeten’d with love.
If fancy impoſe on my mind
’Tis a cheat I ſhall ever hold dear,
I muſe on their paſſion refined,
And I think on their fate with a tear:
O! Werter!—I pity thy youth!
Thy love and thy death I deplore,
May ages remember thy truth,
When thy crime is remember’d no more.
To a Gentleman in the Isle of Anglesey.
Gentle Druid come away
From the deep embrowning wood,
Where at noon, the doubtful ray
Scarcely ſtrikes the nether flood;
From the mountain’s awful height,
From the rock’s ſtupendous brow,
Whence the devious orbs of ſight
Faintly mark the ſcenes below—
Hither haſte without delay;
Gentle Druid, come away.
Quit the cavern—dank, and drear,
Myſtic grot, and hallow’d cell,
Where pliant faith educed from fear—
And ſuperſtition love to dwell;
Quit the oak’s impervious gloom
Where the holy minſtrels tread—
Chanting round the ſacred tomb
Solemn requiems for the dead:
Fly the ſoul-inthraling lay—
Gentle Druid,—come away.
Or does ſome ſylph the wiſh inſpire
O’er Bronwen’s The Kromleck, or tomb of Bronwen, daughter of King Lhyr, or Leirus, was in the Iſle of Angleſey,— the ancient Mona. manes ſtill to mourn;
For her to tune the plaintive lyre,
Where legends place her veſtal urn?
While Fancy paints her royal fair
In all the charms of beauty dreſt,
Gives every trait with niceſt care,
And leaves her image on thy breaſt:
Haſte to quit her magic ſway,
Gentle Druid, come away.
Now the cheery linnets ſing
Fluttering round the dewy thorn,
Larks, high poized on quivering wing,
Hail the roſeat ſtreaks of morn;
Briſkly, here, the eaſtern breeze
Sweeps adown the ſpangled vale,
Murmurs thro’ the ruſtling trees
All graceful bending ’fore the gale
Come, and hail with us the day,
Gentle Druid, come away.
Come, and ſit, and ſing with me
Where yellow cowſlips blow,
All beneath the willow tree,
While the gurgling ſtreamlets flow,—
Let’s obſerve the mazy tide,
Wildly wand’ring here, and there,
Trickling down the hillock’s ſide,
’Mong the flow’rets freſh, and fair;
Come, and join the ruſtic lay,
Gentle Druid, come away.
Here I deftly tune the lyre—
Not as Orpheus, bard of yore,
Shepherd ſwains my lays admire
And hum my favorite ditties o’er;
Lambkins friſk it, all around
Fragrance breathing where they tread;
Sweets exhale from thymy ground,
And from purple vi’let-bed:
Come, and ſee my lambkin’s play,
Gentle Druid, come away.
Ode to a Friend
O fix me in thy calm retreat!
Where friendſhip ſpreads her tranquil ſeat,
Remote from noiſe, and love,
Where rural beauties deck the glade:
And nightly, thro’ the checker’d ſhade
The nimble elfins move:
Full oft adown the ſloping green—
From window-arch’d, the band is ſeen,
A light fantaſtic train!
Blythe Oberon and Mab advance,
And agile, thrid the myſtic dance—
Athwart the dappled plain.
When virgin Cynthia, riding high,
Illumes the ſtar-beſpangled ſky,
And gilds the ſcene below;
’Tis then, enrapt, you catch the ſound—
Of waters ſtealing o’er the mound
Soft murmuring, as they flow.
O would the raptured powers of ſong!
But waft thy rhyming friend along—
And ſeat me by thy ſide;
Reclining on the verdant graſs—
We’d mark the Naiads, as they paſs—
Adown the argent tide:
Nor ſhould a Dryade move unſeen—
Acroſs the gay enamell’d green
That bounds the rimpled ſtream;
I’d charm them with the magic lyre,
While Phœbus fann’d the lambent fire
To aid the gentle theme.
Nor ſhould the joys of vagrant Love
Re-echo from the loneſome grove,
Or from the rock rebound;
I’d teach the grove, and mountain tall,
The cavern’d rocks and water-fall
To ſwell a nobler ſound:
He, whilom threw, a random dart,
And pierced a young unguarded heart,
Which felt the inſtant blow;
Awhile with hope it fondly bled,
Anon to hope, and comfort dead,
It pined with ruthleſs woe!
But now above his arts it ſoars;
While friendſhip all her ſkill explores
To heal the rankling wound:
Now comfort dawns, and joy regains
The ſmiling empire of the plains,
And rapture laughs around.
Addreſſed to the Rev. H. Ll――d, on his Poem entitled—Swaffham Jubilee, 1789-04-23April 23, 1789.
From the foreſt, and furze-ſkirted plain,
Where eaſe and ſimplicity dwell,
Soft warbles the wild-flowing ſtrain,
That fancy attunes to the ſhell:
I ſit at the foot of a tree,
And pour forth my ſong to the gale,
But Zephyr ſhall waft it to thee,
As he ſkims o’er the thyme-tufted vale:
He often invites me to ſing
In artleſs accord with his lyre,
Slow murmurs the quivering ſtring
As his pinions approach to the wire;
Then ſweet are the ſtrains to the ear—
When Zephyr aſſiſts in the lay;
The ſhepherds flock round me to hear,
Their lambkins all careleſsly play.
O Strephon, thy ſweet-flowing ſong,
To beauty, and merit conſign’d,
Thro’ ages thy fame ſhall prolong,
And ſtamp its fair traits on the mind:
With truth, and conciſeneſs impreſt
Thy numbers harmoniouſly flow,
Thou wakeſt to ſweet tranſport the breaſt,
And ſtrikeſt the deep meaſures of woe.
You feel the bright charm that inſpires,
You give to ſage merit its due,
Beware of the beauty that fires—
It ſteals on a poet like you:
We ſport with the arrows of Love,
He laughs at our folly unſeen,
I heard him, ere while, in the grove,
As I ſat on the verge of the green:
I ſaw him at bluſh of the morn,
Shake the dew from his quivering wing,
He perch’d on a twig of the thorn,
While the lark was eſſaying to ſing,Then 224 U4v 224
Then ſprang thro’ the regions of air;
To Swaffham directed his flight;
You’ll find the ſly wanderer there
When Heſperus leads on the night:
Alert to the ball-room he flies,
Where beauty and harmony reign;
Take his ſtation in Mar—n’s bright eyes:
The pride of our rural domain!
When ſummer comes laughing along,
She gladdens our village and grove,
The woodlands are vocal with ſong,
And ſweet ſounds the carol of love.
The praiſes of Th—pe you rehearſe,
The Muſes unite in her praiſe,
The ſubject ennobles the verſe,
With rapture we dwell on the lays!
Her muſic impaſſioned, we hear,
Sweet compound of nature and art!
It ſteals on the liſtening ear,
And ſwells with warm tranſport the heart.
And B—ch—ry, ſkilful to trace,
The planets that radiate on high,
Whoſe mind ſkims the wonderful ſpace,
The boundleſs expanſe of the ſky!
Whoſe heart ſtill attent to the poor,
Seeks out the wan object diſtreſt,
Who ne’ev from her ſheltering door,
Return’d with deep anguiſh oppreſt
To Wh—te when you cheerfully ſing
I honor the ſubject you chuſe;
A chaplet, the firſt of the ſpring,
She’ll accept from the hand of thy muſe:
All chaſte as its infantine bloom
Is the taſte in her manners defined,
And rich as its mingled perfume
The virtues that gladden her mind.
When you tune the ſad numbers to Lee—
How truly pathetic they flow!
What mind unaffected can ſee
The gloomy preſages of woe?O 226 U5v 226
O ceaſe the ſad cauſe to deplore,
Each bleſſing has ſtill its alloy;
Ah, dwell on misfortune no more;
The ſeaſon awakes us to joy.
Come ſee with the ſparkling throng
Diana, Diana, Mrs. Ll—――d. the queen of the chace,
She comes with the dance and the ſong,
She moves,—and each motion is grace!
She ſweeps the ſoft ſtrings of her lyre,
Chaſte harmony hovers around!
She warbles—the echoing wire
Returns the juſt concords of ſound.
Attend to the meaſures ſhe ſings—
Her ſubject is paſſion refined,
Her language perſuaſively brings
Calm peace, and content to the mind;
For pleaſures more laſting, and true,
She flies the rude champaign, and grove;
To ſhare in the village with you—
The ſocial endearments of love.
Extempore. To Miſs Kitty M――s,
Playing with a Squirrel.
Kitty, preſent thy hand of ſnow,
And let my raptured Squirrel play—
On that ſoft palm, where roſes blow,
Mixing with lilies, freſh and gay:
For who that lovely hand can view—
That taper finger, pointed nail—
That palm, enrich’d with roſeat hue
Blending with lilies of the vale—
And not, with Pug, delight to preſs
A hand ſo beaut’ous, and ſo ſweet?
Dear, envied ſeat of happineſs,
Where vagrant loves, the graces meet.
Now fain would he aſcend thy breaſt,
And neſtle in his little head;
But Cupid there has fix’d his neſt—
And wide his guardian pinions ſpread:
Then, give him in thy hand to lie,
To view thy cheek’s enchanting bloom;
Baſk in the ſun-ſhine of thine eye,
And from thy breath inhale perfume.
Addreſſed to Miss L――t, on reading her Elegy on my Weeping Willow, deſtroyed in a late ſtorm.
Sweetly ſing melodious fair,
Strike the deep reſounding lyre,
Warbling ſoft the penſive air—
Accordant to the mournful wire.
Reclining in the blaſted ſhade,
All by the brook that winds along,
The Willow on its margin laid,
I hear thy melancholy ſong,
Its fall you ſing—reſponſive tones of woe
Breathe thro’ the ſighing grove, the waves ſad-murm’ring flow.
Could ought my penſive grief aſſwage
For yonder dear devoted Tree—
(Mute victim of the tempeſt’s rage)
’Twere this—its fate is ſung by thee.
Gentle Muſe, whoſe flowing lay
Winds the reedy-bank along,
Where the chryſtal waters ſtray
Murm’ring to thy melting ſong;
Syren, of the ſilver ſtream,
That laves Arunda’s ſloping ſide,
Sweet, as tuneful ſwan of Thame,
Whilom warbling down the tide,
Wake, for me, thy breathing lyre,
Pour the raptured deſcant round,
All my longing ſoul inſpire
With the rich harmonious ſound!
Lead my willing Muſe along,
Thro’ thy melting maze of ſong.
Sonnet, to a Tame Robin.
Pretty warbler, plume thy wing,
Nimbly cleave the liquid way,
Gayly flirt, and ſweetly ſing
Where Cam’s tuneful waters ſtray:
From the dewy-ſpangled thorn,
Let thy matin carol riſe,
When the dappled tints of morn
Glow acroſs the eaſtern ſkies:
Wake, at eve the dulcet ſong;
Briſk, ſonorous, full, and clear—
When the ſtudent prowls along,
Pour the cadence on his ear;
If he pauſe—to look on thee—
Tell him, ſweet, thou cameſt from me.
Safely peck the ſcatter’d grain,
Fearleſs of the prying eye,
That thro’ the froſt-encruſted pane,
Scans the clouds that hover by,
As the blaſt collected, ſtrong
Whirls the turgid maſs along,
And, chilling ſweeps the ſilver-ſurfaced plain:
Freely cull the ſcatter’d ſtore,
Here I wait, to ſcatter more—
(When full, thou tak’ſt a tranſient flight)
Of grain, and crumbs all ſnowy-white:
All I aſk, ſweet bird, of thee—
A carol from the willow-tree,
When balmy Spring reſumes her halcyon reign.
Youth’s a buſy, curious thing,
Lightly floating here and there,
Buoyant on expanded wing,
Wooing ev’ry paſſing air;
Now it ſeeks the gilded hall,
Hears the raptured viols ſound!
Now it leads the agile ball—
Gayly tripping round, and round;
View it in its priſtine bloom,
Freſh as opening bud of May,—
Swift it haſtens to the tomb,
Withers, waſtes, and drops away:
Thus is youth,—a tranſient flower,
Blown, and blaſted in the hour.
On verdant bank, ’neath beechen tree
I ſit, and ſing of love and thee,
To thee, and love attune the lay,
Soft warbling thro’ the live-long day,
And when the evening ſhades prevail,
Unwearied I purſue the tale.
When night in ſlumbers ſeals my eyes
Thy love-inſpiring beauties riſe,
In fancy’s vivid colorings dreſt,
The radiant ſemblance ſtands confeſt:
And when at dappled dawn of day
The gentle viſion ſteals away—
I riſe—and ’neath the beechen tree
Retune the lyre to love and thee.
On the banks of the Cam, on a fine ſummer’s day,
The sky was ſerene, and the month it was May,
I wander’d, and warbled the margin along—
And the waters ſoft murmur’d, attuned to my ſong;
Sly Zephyrus ruſtled, the ruſhes among,
And I fancy, he ſigh’d out the ditty I ſung,
For anon, from the Dryads, that peep’d thro’ the grove,
Breathed the accents of muſic, enliven’d with love;
Lone Echo replied from her time-totter’d cell,
And the cadence was ſweet as it flow’d thro’ the dell!
While the ſtream and the bank, and the cave in the grove,
To the lover’s fond fancy breathed nothing but love:
If ſuch the ſoft tranſports old Cam have in ſtore,
Let me wander, and warble—till youth be no more.
Addreſſed to R.B.F. and C.F. when Boys.
As, eager round a ſpreading buſh,
Two thoughtleſs children ran,
Perch’d on a trembling twig—a thruſh—
Her plaintive tale began,—
She raiſed her ſong, ſhe ſtrain’d her throat,
Expreſſive of her pain,
And pour’d the oft-repeated note
Along the neighb’ring plain:
The tumult in her ſwelling breaſt
Gave vigour to her tongue;
She mourn’d her low, defenceleſs neſt,
She mourn’d her callow-young:
But waſted on the deſert air,
Had ſunk the plaintive lay—
(For ſtrangers ſtill to notes of care,
Are boys, wrapt up in play)—
If Laura had not mark’d her ſtrain,
And mark’d her ſwelling breaſt;
She caught the tones, replete with pain,
And trembled for the neſt!“Away 236 X4v 236
Away, dear boys,—quick haſte away,
Mark yonder anxious thruſh;
See how ſhe flutters from the ſpray,
And lures ye, from the buſh:
To nature’s voice, O lend an ear,
She ſwells her plaintive cry;
And prompts the ſympathetic tear—
That twinkles in my eye:
When nature acts her wonted part
By providence aſſign’d,
She tunes to ſympathy the heart,
And dignifies the mind.
To R.B. Francis (when a Boy) playing with a Butterfly.
Say, pretty little wand’ring thing,
Upborn on light aërial wing,
Ah! whither art thou wont to fly,
Above the ken of mortal eye?
My Robert views thy form, with joy,
O ſtay, and bleſs the happy boy!
Ah! whither woud’ſt thou wiſh to ſtray—
Thou little, fluttering trifler,—ſay?
He’ll cull thee ſweets, he’ll make thee poſies,
He’ll feed thee on the buds of roſes,
The primroſe pale, and vi’let blue—
Shall grace thy bower, and bloom for you.
And wilt thou from his finger fly?
He’s flown!—he cleaves the liquid ſky!
He mocks, poor child! thy wond’ring ſight,
And revels in the fields of light.
Thus, Robert, thus—that heav’nly flame
That fills, and animates thy frame
Shall burſt, ere long, theſe bands of clay,
Spring up, and ſoar—in brighter day.
Inscription on the Fragments of a Roman Urn,
Found at Caister, The Venta Icenorum, of the Romans. in Norfolk.
When Cæſar led his bold, imperial band—
Thro’ trembling Britain,—to enſlave the land,
Some Roman then, in this diſtinguiſh’d place,
Of ſimple clay, wrought this unpoliſh’d vaſe,
Fill’d it with relicks, of th’ illuſtrious dead,
And o’er the Urn, the earthy covering ſpread;
Firm grew the ſod, as verdant ſprang the graſs:
Thus, year on year, and age on age did paſs;
Safe, undiſturb’d the ſleeping manes lay,
Securely guarded from the vulgar clay.
But hapleſs fate! the peaſant’s ruthleſs hand
Mark’d the ſad ſpot, and broke the ſacred land,
The earth upturn’d, th’ unſhelter’d vaſe appears,
(Safe had it reſted eighteen hundred years.)
At one fell ſtroke, the ſhatter’d fragments flew!
The light contents expoſed to vulgar view—
In wanton ſport, diſperſed the paſſing gale,
And fann’d them, diverſe, down the diſtant vale.
Possess’d of ev’ry power to pleaſe,
Each native charm, improved by art,
Has all of dignity, and eaſe—
That ſtrikes, pervades, and glads the heart:
Oft art thou preſent to my mind
In all the glow of beauty dreſs’d,
Each charm, exalted, and refined;
By fancy’s pencil well expreſs’d.
But, wherefore abſent from my ſight?
To Anna’s boſom, ever dear!
Who views thee, preſent, with delight,
Who names thee, abſent, with a tear.
Spoken in a Lady’s Dreſſing-Room.
Here could I dwell,—O Laura, ever dear!
Spend all my life, and all my wiſhes here;
Bleſs’d in thy friendſhip, years would roll away
Serenely calm, or innocently gay;
Secure of that, my thoughts would ſoar above,
The tranſient raptures of impaſſion’d love:
Thy mind my object, haſten to impart
The chaſteſt tranſports, to the warmeſt heart,
Which glows with friendſhip of the pureſt kind,
By reaſon ſanction’d, and by years refined;
Which pants for joys, that time has yet in ſtore,
For joys that bloom, when paſſion is no more.
On a Gentleman’s asking—If my Goldfinches could ſupply the loſs of my favorite Squirrel?
You aſk— If yon Goldfinches, gay,
The loſs of my Squirrel ſupply?
Alas! ’tis with ſorrow I ſay,
I think of him, ſtill—with a ſigh!
Tho’ cheerful they hail my return
With accents melodious and clear,
Yet, ſtill for my Squirrel, I mourn,—
Tho’ the carol be ſweet to my ear.
Thus, Strephon, the boſom that glows
With friendſhip all chaſte and refined,
Regards not the accents of thoſe,
Whoſe carol’s as light as their mind:
The friend that is gone, we deplore,
No charm can his abſence ſupply,
No chance can his preſence reſtore;
But we think of him ſtill—with a ſigh.
On ſeeing a Roſe-buſh in bud, in 1788-12December, 1788.
See yonder Roſe-buſh freſh, and fair,
’Mid brumal blaſts, and gloomy ſkies,
In all its vernal charms appear,
In all its priſtine beauties riſe!
Such Portia, ſuch thy ſteady form!
Contemning ſtill the graſp of time
It ſtands uninjured by the ſtorm,
And buds, and blooms in vernal prime.
Elegy on a Robin,
Occaſioned by ſeeing a favorite Cat approach the dead Bird, and after having examined it, leaving it unhurt.
’Twas when the ſnow had powder’d o’er
The nitid landſcape—round,
And famiſh’d birds, could peck no more
The inſect, from the ground,—
A ſolemn yew-tree’s ſhade beneath
A piteous red-breaſt lay,
Struck by the icy hand of death;
Cold, as the parent clay!
On little hill of fleecy ſnow,
His beauteous corpſe was laid,
Nor loud laments of ſhrilling woe,
Recall’d his parting ſhade:
Nor ſkillful bill, of red-breaſt dear,
Had form’d a decent grave,
Nor raiſed a mound, with pious care,
His loved remains—to ſave.Y2 As 244 Y2v 244
As ſtory The Ballad of the Children in the Wood. tells, in days of yore,
They left their ſcanty food—
Two helpleſs babes to cover o’er;
All famiſh’d in the wood:
Leaf, after leaf, unwearied brought
To raiſe the ſylvan tomb:
But brother red-breaſt now forgot
Lay, friendleſs, in the gloom;
For, far away—the careful train
Of feather’d-folk, were flown,
None mourn’d the fate of robin, ſlain,
But trembled for his own.
’Twas Bully then, poor robin found,
As near the ſpot he drew,
All ſtretch’d along the hoary ground,
Beneath the frozen yew;
A cat of gentle, gen’rous mind,
Of ſtep, ſedate and ſlow,
Of mein demure, and mew refined,
And heart attuned to woe;
Unlike the feline-race, was he,
By tender miſtreſs bred,
His docile mind, by ſympathy,
To nobler thoughts was led:He 245 Y3r 245
He look’d, he pauſed,—when on his ear
Broke forth theſe awful words—
Grimalkin ſtop!—a genius hear,
The genius of the birds!
’Tis I, who guard from num’rous ills
Theſe tenants of the grove,
’Tis I, who tune their quivering bills
To melody and love.
When forth in ſpring, they ardent lead
Their young,—in mazy round,
I plume the wing, I point the mead
Where fruit and ſeeds abound;
And when, by adverſe fate they fall,
Their deſtiny I mourn,
Oft on the fleeting ſpirit call—
And woo it, to return;
But if averſe, it wing its way
Beyond the Stygian tide,
To fair Elyſium’s purer day
The wand’ring ghoſt, I guide;
There—ſhalt thou robin, ſwell thy throat,
And prune thy ruffled wing;
While raviſh’d with thy dulcet note
E’en bards forbear to ſing:Y3 “Maro 246 Y3v 246
Maro, perchance, may hear thy ſong,
And woo thee, to his bower;
Where laurels twine, the vines among,
With every fragrant flower.
Juſt then, the lucent form he ſaw!—
(If Laura’s muſe ſing true)
And drawing back th’ extended paw—
Pour’d forth—the plaintive—mew!
Soft pity touch’d his glowing breaſt,
(For pity, cats may move)
Retreating quick, he left to reſt—
The tenant of the grove.
How calm is the eve, and how clear is the ſky,
How awful yon ſhadowy grove!
While Luna’s pale creſcent, juſt beams on the eye,
And Philomel wails her loſt love;
The bleating of lambs, from the thyme-tufted hill,
The lowing of herds thro’ the vale,
The fountain that gurgles, and falls from the rill,
And warbles and winds thro’ the dale—
Yield pleaſures more ſolid than courts can beſtow,
Yield tranſports more pure and refined,
Make us feel, what we are, little monarchs below,
For peace and contentment deſign’d.
The Dead Robin.
Ah! ſweeteſt of the feather’d throng,
That chirps, and flits the glades along,
When ſummer cheers the ſky:
When ruddy breaſt, and thigh of down,
And back, and wing of gloſſy brown
And pretty ſparkling eye—
Who, oft when brumal ſtorms aſſail’d,
And bluſt’ring wind, and rain prevail’d
Againſt my humble ſeat,
Would’ſt, ſhivering, to my roof retire,
And fearleſs view the ſparkling fire,
Cheer’d by the genial heat.
At early dawn, thy quavering throat
Pour’d forth the wild enchanting note—
In deſcant ſweet and ſtrong;
What time my faint returning ſight
Firſt caught the trembling beams of light,
Rouſed by the matin ſong.
Alas! poor bird, I mourn thy lot!
No more thy carol from my cot
Shall drive the lingering gloom:
The weeping Muſe her tribute pays,
And in her own, inferior lays,
She conſecrates thy tomb.
An Elegy, on a Favorite Cat.
When vernal nature ſmiled around,
And all was freſh and gay,
When opening flow’rets deck’d the ground,
In honor of the May,
Then luckleſs Bully left my cot!
His loſs I ſtill deplore;
For ruthleſs grief hath been my lot,
Since Bully was no more!
Ye thoughtleſs Cats—O lend an ear,
How can ye friſk and play?
When penſive Muſes drop the tear,
To ſee ye all ſo gay:
How were ye wont to watch each look,
His ev’ry turn purſue;
And when in mews my Bully ſpoke,
Ye echo’d back the mew.
The faireſt female of the train,
In native ermine dreſt,
Of em’ral’d eye and whiſker vain
And vain of ſnowy breaſt—
All diſregardful of the throng,
Would woo him to the grove;
Ere Philomel returned her ſong—
Her ſong of plaintive love.
But now regardleſs of his doom,
Ye negligently ſtray;
Nor call the genii round the tomb,
To raiſe the fun’ral lay:
When cats like him, ſubmit to fate
And ſeek the ſtygian ſtrand;
In ſilent woe, and mimic ſtate,
Should mourn the feline band.
For me—full oft at eventide,
Enrapt in thought profound—
I hear his ſolemn footſteps glide,
And ſtartle at the ſound!
Oft as the murm’ring gale draws near
(To fancy’s rule conſigned)
His tuneful purr ſalutes mine ear
Soft floating on the wind.
Among the ærial train, perchance,
My Bully now reſides;
Or with the nymphs leads up the dance—
Or skims the argent tides:
Ye rapid Muſes haſte away,
His wand’ring ſhade attend,
Hunt him thro’ buſh and fallow gray,
And up the hill aſcend:
O’er ruſſet heath extend your view
And thro’ th’ imbrowning wood;
On the briſk gale his form purſue
Or trace him o’er the flood:
If he a lucid Sylph ſhould fly,
With various hues bedight;
The Muſe’s keen pervading eye,
Shall catch the ſtreaming light:
Or if transformed to a Faun,
Or Satyr droll he rove;
You’ll find him on the upland lawn,
Or ’neath the ſhelt’ring grove:
If gliding down the gurgling rill
You mark a Naiad fair,
Perchance your all diſcerning ſkill
May find the vagrant there.
Bring, O ye Muſes, to mine ear,
The ſtory of his doom;
Or with his penſive miſtreſs rear,
The ſolitary tomb:
We’ll hang the chaplets round the ſtone,
In elegies deplore,—
That Bully, beſt of cats, if flown,
And purrs—alas! no more.
Elegy on a Favorite Cat and Dog,
Buried under a Weeping-Willow.
Beneath yon pendent willow-tree,
Known to the weeping muſe, and me,
Amid the ſhelt’ring grove—
Reſt,—interr’d with decent care,
Of ſweet domeſtic friends, a pair,—
The objects of my love!
Firſt, Draco, of the feline race,
A Cat endued with every grace,
Reſign’d his quiv’ring breath:
As trembling, at my feet he lay
The grateful accents forced their way,
He purr’d, and ſunk in death.
Unſpoil’d his tabby veſt was ſeen
Extended on the dewy green,
At ſober evening gray;
But ah! the piercing orbs of ſight
Were ſet, in everlaſting night,
Where gleams no cheery ray.
Next, Chloe felt the fatal dart,
By ſlow degrees it reach’d the heart
And drank the vital tide:
Awhile ſhe droop’d, with ſecret pain;
Each art was tried,—but tried in vain,
She, ſhivering, groan’d and died.
’Twas her’s the gentle mind to move
With all the winning wiles of love,
In various modes expreſt:
She caught ſweet rapture from the eye,
Or mark’d, with mimic grief, the ſigh
That ſwell’d the throbbing breaſt.
Companions of the lonely hour,
Poſſeſs’d of each engaging power
That glads the tender mind,
Accept the tributary lay—
That penſive nature bids me pay,
The lay—to grief conſigned.
Here, ſhall the piteous tale be told,
While tears impregn the conſcious mould
That ſhields your loved remains;
Here, ſhall the plaintive dirge be ſung
To ruſtic harp, by ſorrow ſtrung,
Accordant to the ſtrains.
When Cynthia pours her dubious ray
Light twinkling thro’ the leafy ſpray
The nimble elfins, ſheen,
In veſtments—ſuch as fancy brings
From halcyon ſleek, or goldfinch-wings,
Imprint the humid green:
’Tis then, beneath the willow-tree,
The Muſes oft their gambols ſee,
And mark the myſtic round;
’Tis then the deſultory gale
Slow murmuring thro’ the dewy vale
Imbibes the mingled ſound:
O! give it to my liſt’ning ear!
In tones unwiſt,—yet ſweet and clear,
By fancy’s magic wrought,
With all her varied ſtrokes—refined,
Soft pour it on my vacant mind,
To urge the ſlumb’ring thought.
Still nimbly frisk, ye lucent throng,
Led on by elegiac ſong
To ſkim the checker’d plain,
Till, thro’ the ſcatter’d gloom of night,
Irradiate on my curious ſight
The viſionary train.
or Poor The name of my Squirrel. Pug’s Ghost;
To the tune of The Children in the Wood.
Mourn not for me, my miſtreſs dear,
Nor heave the piteous ſigh,
Repreſs the unavailing tear
That twinkles in thine eye;
Behold the Bird, on maple-ſpray,
A Red-breaſt, trim, to view;
Hark, how he trills the warbled lay!
And waves his plumes—at you!
Will Robins—thus eſſay to ſing?
Meer Robins—of the grove!
Will they extend the quivering wing—
Expreſſive of their love?
Will they implore the ſteadfaſt fight,
And woo thee to attend?
When, all around the dews of night
From weeping twigs deſcend?
No,—’tis your Squirrel’s voice you hear;
He marks your evening-walk,
And often turns his liſtening ear—
Attentive to your talk,
And, often ſwells his quavering ſong,
As, ’neath the bank you ſtray;
In deſcant ſweet, and clear, and ſtrong,
All from the maple-ſpray.
An Elegy on Don Pedro, A Favorite Spaniel, Kill’d by a Maſtiff:
Addressed to Mrs. T—.
Me—from Hiſpania’s diſtant ſhore,
The rapid galley, trembling, bore
Acroſs the raging main:
Snatch’d from the dangers of the ſea—
Fatigued, I ſped my weary way
To Edgefield’s chilly plain.
Nurſed on the boſom of the fair
Kind Margaretta’s daily care,
Awhile, how bleſs’d my lot!
Each night within my native bed, A Ruſh-Houſe, from Spain, preſented with the Dog, to Mrs. T. to Mr. W.
Secure, I laid my little head;
And all my toils forgot.
At morn—the milk, with ſugar ſweet,
To tender dog, delicious treat!
In ſaucer clean, I found:
Then out I ran, and ſniff’d the gale—
And bark’d aloud, and wagg’d my tail,
And friſk’d it round, and round.
But ſhort his date! ſo fate aſſigned,
A Maſtiff, of ferocious kind—
Obſerved his feats, unſeen,
And ruſhing forth, with hideous yell,
The little, trembling victim fell,
All breathleſs, on the green.
The Author after taking leave of her elder Son, retired to her Cloſet, with a full heart; but on opening her bureau—a beautiful Pot of Ginger, in full bloom, preſented itſelf: curioſity ſuſpended grief, and the following thoughts occurring, ſhe threw them into the preſent form; and addreſſed them to her Son.
I turn the key—my temples bloom,
My fingers drop a ſweet perfume!
The yielding hinges quick obey,
The lockers meet the eye of day;
When lo! a wonder ſtarts to view—
Gay flow’rets riſe, of golden hue!
Thick cluſtering leaves the ſtalks enfold,
Each branch an emerald, tipp’d with gold:
A caſket fair, the roots encloſe
All pure, and white as mountain ſnows.
And how ſaid I, cou’d flow’rets grow—
Confined—within the dark Bureau?
For here no ſun, with foſtering rays,
Among the opening foliage plays,No 263 Z6r 263
No genial breezes flutter here,
No dews deſcend, the plant to cheer!
A radiant Sylph, in dazzling white,
Then burſt upon my wond’ring ſight!
His ſlender form the locker graced,
Above the ſnowy caſket placed;
His cheeks, a roſeat bloom o’erſpread,
A glittering fillet bound his head;
His gloſſy hair, in ringlets flow’d,
His eyes with beamy luſtres glow’d,
And, ſuch the ſweetneſs of his lip,
As Hybla’s bee, might fondly ſip;
A golden zone his boſom bound,
His lucent veſture floating round;
His purple pinions ’dropp’d with light,
Now met, and now retired from ſight,
As, gently fluttering in the wind,
Or, graceful falling on the robe, behind:
His teeth were pearls, in even rows,
And ſoft his ſpeech, as feather’d ſnows.
Behold a gentle Sylph! he cried,
Thro’ life’s long road, thy faithful guide;
’Tis our’s, to ſtrew the thorny way,
With flow’rets, ever freſh and gay;
We paint, at will, their varying bloom,
And fill their buds, with ſweet perfume,—“Whether 264 Z6v 264
Whether on ſunny bank they grow,
Or, caſual, grace the dark Bureau:
The ſigh I mark’d, the ſad adieu,—
When Damon from thy ſight withdrew,
I ſaw the conflict in thy breaſt,
And heard thee ſob, with woe oppreſt;
I mark’d the big—maternal tear,
And took my ſilent ſtation here;
Reſolved to ſtrike thy curious ſight
With ſome faint veſtige of delight:
’Tis our’s to ſooth the vacant hour,
With ſecret tho’ reſiſtleſs power,
To lure the mind, from urgent grief,
And bring unſeen, unſought relief,
To lead along the roving eye—
Thro’ nature’s fair variety;
Or, with the quainter turns of art—
To greet the ſight, and cheer the heart.
How oft, with thee, I ſecret rove
Thro’ the deep umbrageous grove;
What-time the moon, with twinkling beams
Gilds the gently curling ſtreams,
As the current, wand’ring ſheen,
Sparkles—tufted banks between:
Sometimes floating in the breeze
I myſtic murmur thro’ the trees,“Smiling 265 Aa1r 265
Smiling ſee thee—pauſe to hear—
Sounds unwiſt, approaching near;
Then attentive, ſoft and ſlow
’Long the checker’d glade you go,
Liſtening to the warbled lay
Breathing ſweet, from hawthorn-ſpray;
Know ’tis I—who down the vale
Pour the tones, of nightingale,
Raiſe the notes, ſublime the ſong,
Or, ſwell the cadence—deep and ſtrong.
Unſeen, I’ve watch’d thy varied ways—
Thro’ childhood, youth, maturer days:
Have ſmiled to hear thy liſping verſe
Great Fred’ric’s Alluding to ſome Lines on the late King of Pruſſia, written when the Author was very young. mighty deeds rehearſe;
With trembling hand you ſtruck the ſtring,
The teeming Muſe, eſſay’d the wing,—
With flight unequal, on ſhe flew—
Till loſt, and wilder’d to the view.
Then I found the timid maid,
Slumb’ring ’neath a poplar ſhade,
Wearied with her recent flight;
And wrapt in viſions of the night.
’Twas then a motley ſcene I traced—
With many a varying beauty graced—Aa “Depictured 266 Aa1v 266
Depictured plains, and lofty mountains,
Chalky rocks, and guſhing fountains—
Wand’ring ſtreams, by Naiads led,
From old Arun’s diſtant bed,
Swift—thro’ ſloping meads, deſcending:
Oziers from the banks depending—
With the current, ſeem to glide,
Dancing down the ſparkling tide.
Elfins next, and nimble faies—
Gambol round, in airy maze,
Forming cinctures, as they paſs—
O’er the foot-imprinted graſs:
While the pipe, diſtinct and clear
Breathes harmonious on the ear—
Deſcant ſuch, as minſtrels love
To warble ſoft—thro’ liſtening grove.
Then the ſhepherd feeds his flock
All beneath the ſhadowy rock,
When the ſcorching noontide beam
Drives him to the cooling ſtream;
Or, his tender lambkins leads
Thro’ the daiſy-dappled meads;
Or climbs at eve, the mountain’s height,
To fold them, ere departed light.
Critics next ariſe,—and then
All the buſy hum of men;“Fretted- 267 Aa2r 267
Fretted-hall, ſhe wond’ring views!—
Scene, unapt— to rural Muſe,
Hears the warlike clarion ſound—
Echoing thro’ the vault profound!
Shrilling meaſures, jarring riſe
Tumultuous—ringing thro’ the ſkies;
Halting numbers, vague and ſlow,
Grumble in the ſphere below;
And bulky rhythm, wields along,
Thro’ all the diſſonance of ſong.
Then awoke, by Lydian meaſures
Laughing loves, and winning pleaſures
The lute I took, and ſtruck the ſtring—
Tuned her voice, and bad her ſing;
Bad her, unappall’d, eſſay
The lyric ſmooth, and roundelay,
Paſtorella’s eaſy ſtrain,
Meet for nymph, and ſhepherd ſwain,
Such as artleſs Phillips ſung,
Such as ſweeten’d Shenſtone’s tongue.
Or grant the Muſe, in ſonnet quaint,
Delight a favorite thought to paint
In number’d lines, with pleaſing art
To trace the features, or the heart—
The taſk be her’s:—nor further try
The latent ſource of harmony.Aa2 “To 268 Aa2v 268
To abler minds the powers belong
To tempt the daring heights of ſong;
On vent’rous wings, ſublime to ſoar,
As Pindar,—wond’rous bard! of yore,
Who ſtruck, with god-like force the wire,
And ſung to deep Æolian lyre—
As here and there with mighty force
He ſwept—the Pegaſean courſe.
He ſaid—and melting into light—
Gently glided from my ſight.
Lines in memory of the late Hon. and Rev. Mr. Talbot.
Moved by no int’reſt, by no party ſway’d,
The Muſe indites the melancholy lay,
Pays the juſt tribute to his hallow’d ſhade—
The tribute charity delights to pay.
In life’s fair morn the holy man I knew,
Mark’d the ſweet plaudits of his pious train,
On mem’ry’s page the vivid portrait drew,
And ſtill the faithful characters remain.
How few like him life’s ſpecious charms forego, Friday died at Hammerſmith Mr. Talbot, a Franciſcan Friar, and Titular Roman Catholic Biſhop of London; which honor was conferred on him by the Pope, on his relinquiſhing the honor of Earl of Shrewſbury, to which he was entitled by deſcent.—Chron.1790-02-09Feb. 9, 1790.
The claims of anceſtry, the graſp of power,
And meekly ſtealing thro’ the vale of woe
With joy expect th’ inevitable hour!
Amid the dangers of enſnaring youth
’Tis ſaid—ſtrict virtue’s rigid path he trod,
By wiſdom guided, and the Word of Truth—
The Counſel of his Father, and his God.
Here faith illumed him with her ſteadfaſt ray,
Now glorious, towering to the realms above,
A purer radiance gilds his perfect day,
In the bright precincts of Eternal Love.
Farewel bleſs’d Saint! to recollection dear,
Still may thy conduct animate my mind;
Tho’ ſteadfaſt faith in different modes appear,
In bliſsful union are the virtuous join’d.
Written 1790-01January 1790.
Tho’ far from Arun’s-Vale Arundel, in Suſſex. I rove
The verdant mead, the beechen-grove,
The ſtream that winds along—
Where firſt, as many a ſwain can tell,
I waked the ſoft melodious ſhell
And kindled into ſong;
Yet, pictured on my faithful mind,
In vivid traits exact, refined,
Thoſe varied beauties glow;
The Wood aſcends in rural pride,
The Caſtle frowning o’er the tide
That peaceful glides below.
Now fix’d on Norfolk’s bleaky ſhore,
I hear the German ocean roar
And view the raging main,
As oft at ſolemn cloſe of day
I ſteal along the loneſome way,
That ſkirts the ſandy plain:
True to the ſcenes I once held dear,
I ſcarce reſtrain the twinkling tear,
The riſing ſigh repreſs,
When Mem’ry from her precious ſtore
Selects thoſe friends, which here no more
My longing eyes ſhall bleſs.
O Mem’ry! great immortal power!
Thy ſolace in the preſent hour,
Can life’s dull lapſe ſupply;
Thou lead’ſt along th’ eventful page
From childhood bland, to ripen’d age
The retroſpective eye.
Among the ſcenes of childhood gay
Reverting fancy loves to play
The flowery banks between,
Where tufted thyme, and vi’lets bloom,
And mingling ſweet their rich perfume,
Impregn the laughing ſcene:
She ſees the bubbling runnels flow
Briſk iſſuing from the rock below,
And o’er the bending graſs—
Marks how the currents devious glide,
Adown the valley’s ſloping ſide
Gay ſparkling as they paſs.
She ſees in yonder ſunny glade
That penetrates the ſullen ſhade,
Alcanor’s graceful form,
With Portia,—whoſe collected mind,
To all the ills of life reſign’d,
Contemn’d the adverſe ſtorm.
Deſcending on the nether plain
Lo! many a nymph, and many a ſwain
Her eager eyes regale!
The carol that Eliza ſung—
As recent from her tuneful tongue,
Still vibrates in the vale:
Alonzo marks the warbling notes,
And ſwells the deſcant as it floats
With minſtrelſy ſublime!
Companions of my youthful days,
How fancy loves to thrid the maze,
Obſcured by miſty time!
Where are your gentle ſpirits flown?
To diſtant regions all unknown,
From whoſe ſequeſter’d bourn
No traveller returns,—to ſay—
How fares the pilgrim on his way,
From earthly comforts torn.
To cheer the ſpan that lies between
The preſent and the cloſing ſcene,
And life’s mix’d coil defy—
To ſmooth the rugged path below,
And open thro’ this vale of woe
A viſto to the sky—
Be this, O ſacred Muſe thy care,
With pious ſtrains my mind prepare
To meet th’ angelic throng:
That when the ſpirit takes its flight,
In fields of empyrean height!
I catch the heavenly ſong.