The poetical calendar: Containing a collection of scarce and valuable pieces of poetry: ... by the most eminent hands. Intended as a supplement to Mr. Dodsley's collection. Written and selected by Francis Fawkes, M. A. and William Woty. In twelve volumes. [pt.4]
THE POETICAL CALENDAR. VOL. IV. FOR APRIL.
THE POETICAL CALENDAR.
CONTAINING A COLLECTION Of ſcarce and valuable PIECES OF POETRY: With Variety of ORIGINALS AND TRANSLATIONS, BY THE MOST EMINENT HANDS.
Written and Selected By FRANCIS FAWKES, M.A. And WILLIAM WOTY.
IN TWELVE VOLUMES.
THE SECOND EDITION.
LONDON: Printed by DRYDEN LEACH; For J. COOTE, at the King's Arms, in Pater-noſter-Row. MDCCLXIII.
THE POETICAL CALENDAR.
1. APRIL. AN ODE.
TO woo green April, lo the ſun
That very form (which Jove put on
To bear Europa from her native land)
Aſſumes to win the queen of ſhowers!
A new-blown primroſe decks her hand,
Her taper waiſt a zone of flowers;
Like a young widow ſhe appears
Shining thro' ſhades, and beautiful in tears.
Now genial nature every ſeed
Opens to grace the vernal mead,
The lark now ventures up the ſapphire ſkies,
Tho' Zephyr ſhakes his madid wing,
Yet warmth awakes the embryo flies
To creep, and meet parental ſpring:
When lo! a ſhower of drizzling rain,
Or drowns, or drives them to their neſts again!
Prolific miſts o'er every rill
Preſide, and ſhade the diſtant hill;
A tepid moiſture gladdens every root,
The huſbandmen now pole and bind
The hops, and bid the tendrils ſhoot,
Thus guarded from the ſouthern wind,
While every vegetative power
Imbibes young April's ſoft balſamic ſhower.
Mark! how each month's unwearied toil
Succeſſive cloaths, or ſtrips the ſoil!
From heat to cold they traverſe thro' the ſky,
And yet unerring is the plan,
And regular from hot to dry
The calendar of ſocial man!
In no one track the ſteps appear,
Yet all to one united centre ſteer.
2. AN ODE.
STern winter now, by ſpring repreſs'd,
Forbears the long-continued ſtrife,
And nature, on her naked breaſt,
Delights to catch the gales of life.
Now, o'er the rural kingdom roves
Soft Pleaſure with her laughing train,
Love warbles in the vocal groves,
And vegetation paints the plain.
Unhappy! whom to beds of pain
Arthritic tyranny conſigns,
Whom ſmiling nature courts in vain,
Tho' rapture ſings, and beauty ſhines.
Yet, tho' my limbs diſeaſe invades,
Her wings imagination tries,
And bears me to the peaceful ſhades,
Where —'s humble turrets riſe.
Here ſtop, my ſoul, thy rapid flight,
Nor from the pleaſing groves depart,
Where firſt great nature charm'd my ſight,
Where wiſdom firſt inform'd my heart.
Here let me thro' the vales purſue
A guide, a father, and a friend;
Once more great nature's works review,
Once more on wiſdom's voice attend.
From falſe careſſes, cauſeleſs ſtrife,
Wild hope, vain fear, alike remov'd,
Here let me learn the uſe of life,
Then beſt enjoy'd, when moſt improv'd.
Teach me, thou venerable bower,
Cool meditation's quiet ſeat,
The generous ſcorn of venal power,
The ſilent grandeur of retreat.
When Pride, by guilt, to greatneſs climbs,
Or raging factions ruſh to war,
Here let me learn to ſhun the crimes
I can't prevent, and will not ſhare.
But, leſt I fall by ſubtler foes,
Bright wiſdom, teach me Curio's art,
The ſwelling paſſions to compoſe,
And quell the rebels of the heart.
3. SPRING. AN ODE.
Redeunt jam gramina campis,
A Gain the bloſſom'd hedge is ſeen;
The turf again is dreſs'd in ſmiling green:
Again the lark aſcends the ſky,
Winnows the air, and leſſens on the eye.
The ſwallow, that the meads forſook,
Reviſits now, and ſkims along the brook.
The daw to ſteeple-top up-ſprings,
And the rook ſpreads his ventilating wings.
The feather'd tribe, on every ſpray,
Chant lively carols to the vernal day.
Each lengthening morn's diurnal light
Beams freſher beauties on the raptur'd ſight.
The leaves hang cluſtering on the trees,
And Health comes riding on the tepid breeze;
Where-e'er the goddeſs fans her way,
Creation feels her univerſal ſway.
The garden moiſt with April ſhowers,
Teems with a family of laughing flowers.
Not even a ray, or drop of rain,
But what impregnates, or that ſhines in vain:
Yet tho' the bounteous hand of heaven,
All good, this liberality has given,
Beyond our wiſhes amply kind,
Ingratitude ſtill ſtains the human mind:
Man ſees around celeſtial power,
And thankleſs taſtes the bleſſings of each hour:
He reaps the produce of the plains,
And meanly thinks it tribute for his pains.
Fond wretch! the ſordid thought forbear,
Nor to thy narrow ſelf confine thy care;
For know, the Deity who gives to-day,
To-night may blaſt thy crops, and ſnatch thy ſoul away.
4. TO A YOUNG LADY ON HER BIRTH-DAY, BEING THE FIRST OF APRIL.
LET others write for by-deſigns,
I ſeek ſome moral in my lines,
Which whoſoever reads muſt bear,
Or great, or learn'd, or young, or fair;
Permit me then, with friendly lay,
To moralize your April day.
Checquer'd your native month appears
With ſunny gleams, and cloudy tears;
'Tis thus the world our truſt beguiles,
Its frowns as tranſient as its ſmiles;
Nor pain nor pleaſure long will ſtay,
For life is but an April day.
Health will not always laſt in bloom,
But age or ſickneſs ſurely come;
Are friends belov'd? why fate muſt ſeize
Or theſe from you, or you from theſe:
Forget not earneſt in your play,
For youth is but an April day.
When piety and fortune move
Your heart to try the bands of love,
As far as duty gives you power,
Guiltleſs enjoy the preſent hour:
Gather your roſe-buds while you may,
For love is but an April day.
What clouds ſoe'er without are ſeen,
Oh, may they never reach within!
But virtue's ſtronger fetters bind
The ſtrongeſt tempeſt of the mind:
Calm may you ſhed your ſetting ray,
And ſunſhine end your April day.
5. STANZAS ON THE SPRING.
NOW from the ſouthern climes returning ſpring
Breathes fragrant odours o'er th' enamell'd ground,
The feather'd warblers flutter on the wing,
And with their notes th' embowering woods reſound.
The riſing ſun, when firſt he gilds the plains,
Receives the tribute of the ſylvan throng,
And Philomela, fraught with tragic ſtrains,
Tunes, to the full-orb'd moon, her plaintive ſong.
Now blithſome Colin, with his oaten reed,
Delights the liſtening ſwains in glade or grove;
While Corydon, in yonder yellow mead,
To Amaryllis tells his tale of love.
At evening hour the nymphs and ſwains advance,
And rang'd in order on the plain are ſeen,
In various orbs revolve the ruſtic dance,
And beat with meaſur'd pace the level green.
The purple violet ſcents the moſſy hill,
And rich in bloom the fragrant hawthorn blows;
While, near the margin of ſome brawling rill,
The cowſlip brightens, and the daiſy glows.
The lawns, the mountains, and the vocal woods,
The groves with leaves adorn'd, the fields with flowers,
The hills, the valleys, and the cryſtal floods,
Rejoice, and ſeem to hail the vernal hours.
Hark! how the birds in conſort raiſe their notes;
And ſweetly chant the renovated lay,
'Tis nature's impulſe tunes their warbling throats,
To hail thee, Flora, goddeſs of the May.
To thee of old, on fair Auſonia's plains,
(With eaſe and wealth by godlike Titus bleſt)
The blooming virgins, and the jovial ſwains,
Pour'd the full bowl, and pil'd the annual feaſt.
And ſtill to thee, in fair Britannia's iſle,
When each revolving year renews the ſpring;
(Beneath great George! while eaſe and plenty ſmile)
My ſwelling lyre ſhall annual tribute bring.
Hail, Flora! goddeſs, hail! to thee belong
Thoſe ſtrains Theocritus of old eſſay'd;
Be thine the lays; be thine the tuneful ſong
Of every Britiſh ſwain, and every beauteous maid.
6. INSCRIPTION FOR AN HERMITAGE.
FOnd man, retire to this lone cell,
And bid the buſy world farewell:
Ah! quit the city's noiſy ſcene
For pleaſures tranquil and ſerene;
Seek in this calm, this ſweet receſs
The roſe-lip'd cherub, happineſs,
That haunts the hermit's moſſy floor,
And ſimple peaſant's rural door.
How pleaſing is yon oak's brown ſhade?
The ſpreading beech, th' adjacent glade;
The cryſtal ſtreams that ſmoothly glide;
The warbling thruſh at even-tide!
Fond man, here ſweetly may'ſt thou ſpend
Thy fleeting days, nor fear thy end:
Stealing thro' life, as thro' the plain
Yon rill flows ſilent to the main.
Here (when in ruſſet veſt the morn
Walks o'er the mountain or the lawn)
Thy early oriſons begin,
And live ſecure from woe and ſin;
Here too, at evening's ſober hour,
Adore the great almighty power,
The ſovereign ruler of the ſkies,
For ever juſt, and good, and wiſe.
7. ANACREONTIC. ON THE SPRING.
AS o'er the varied meads I ſtray,
Or trace thro' winding woods my way,
While opening flowers their ſweets exhale,
And odours breathe in every gale;
Or, ſtretch'd beneath the beechen ſhade,
Deſcry from far the ſunny glade;
Where ſage Contentment builds her ſeat,
And Peace attends the calm retreat;
My ſoul reſponſive hails the ſcene,
Attun'd to joy and peace within:
But muſing on the liberal hand
That ſcatters bleſſings o'er the land;
That gives for man, with power divine,
The earth to teem, the ſun to ſhine;
My grateful mind with rapture burns,
And pleaſure to devotion turns.
8. THE AFRICAN PRINCE, NOW IN ENGLAND, TO ZARA AT HIS FATHER'S COURT.
WROTE IN THE YEAR MDCCXLIX.
PRinces, my fair, unfortunately great,
Born to the pompous vaſſalage of ſtate,
Whene'er the public calls, are doom'd to fly
Domeſtic bliſs, and break the private tie.
Fame pays with empty breath the toils they bear,
And love's ſoft joys are chang'd for glorious care.
Yet conſcious virtue, in the ſilent hour,
Rewards the hero with a nobler dower.
For this alone I dar'd the roaring ſea,
Yet more, for this I dar'd to part with thee.
But while my boſom feels the nobler flame,
Still unreprov'd, it owns thy gentler claim.
Tho' virtue's awful form my ſoul approves,
'Tis thine, thine only, Zara, that it loves.
A private lot had made the claim but one,
The prince alone muſt love, for virtue, ſhun.
Ah! why, diſtinguiſh'd from the happier crowd,
To me the bliſs of millions diſallow'd?
Why was I ſingled for imperial ſway,
Since love and duty point a different way?
Fix'd the dread voyage, and the day decreed,
When, duty's victim, love was doom'd to bleed,
Too well my memory can thoſe ſcenes renew,
We met to ſigh, to weep our laſt adieu.
That conſcious palm, beneath whoſe towering ſhade
So oft our vows of mutual love were made;
Where hope ſo oft anticipated joy,
And plann'd of future years the bleſt employ;
That palm was witneſs to the tears we ſhed,
When that fond hope, and all thoſe joys were fled.
Thy trembling lips, with trembling lips, I preſs'd,
And held thee panting to my panting breaſt.
Our ſorrow, grown too mighty to ſuſtain,
Now ſnatch'd us, fainting, from the ſenſe of pain.
Together ſinking in the trance divine,
I caught thy fleeting ſoul, and gave thee mine.
O! bleſt oblivion of tormenting care!
O! why recall'd to life and to deſpair?
The dreadful ſummons came, to part—and why?
Why not the kinder ſummons but to die?
To die together were to part no more,
To land in ſafety on ſome peaceful ſhore,
Where love's the buſineſs of immortal life,
And happy ſpirits only gueſs at ſtrife.
" If in ſome diſtant land my prince ſhould find
" Some nymph more fair, you cried, as Zara kind"—
Myſterious doubt! which could at once impart
Relief to mine, and anguiſh to thy heart.
Still let me triumph in the fear expreſt,
The voice of love that whiſper'd in thy breaſt;
Nor call me cruel, for my truth ſhall prove
'Twas but the vain anxiety of love.
Torn from thy fond embrace, the ſtrand I gain,
Where mourning friends inflict ſuperfluous pain;
My father there his ſtruggling ſighs ſuppreſs'd,
And in dumb anguiſh claſp'd me to his breaſt,
Then ſought, conceal'd the conflict of his mind,
To give the fortitude he could not find;
Each life-taught precept kindly he renew'd,
" Thy country's good, ſaid he, be ſtill purſued!
" If, when the gods ſhall here my ſon reſtore,
" Theſe eyes ſhall ſleep in death, to wake no more;
" If then theſe limbs, that now in age decay,
" Shall mouldering mix with earth's parental clay;
" Round my green tomb perform the ſacred rite,
" Aſſume my throne, and let thy yoke be light;
" From lands of freedom glorious precepts bring,
" And reign at once a father and a king."
How vainly proud, the arrogantly great
Preſume to boaſt a monarch's godlike ſtate!
Subject alike, the peaſant and the king,
To life's dark ills, and care's corroding ſting.
From guilt and fraud, that ſtrikes in ſilence ſure,
No ſhield can guard us, and no arms ſecure.
By theſe, my fair, ſubdued, thy prince was loſt,
A naked captive on a barbarous coaſt.
Nurtur'd in eaſe, a thouſand ſervants round,
My wants prevented, and my wiſhes crown'd,
No painful labours ſtretch'd the tedious day,
On downy feet my moments danc'd away.
Where-e'er I look'd, officious courtiers bow'd,
Where-e'er I paſs'd, a ſhouting people croud;
No fears intruded on the joys I knew,
Each man my friend, my lovely miſtreſs you.
What dreadful change! abandon'd and alone,
The ſhouted prince is now a ſlave unknown;
To watch his eye, no bending courtiers wait,
No hailing crouds proclaim his regal ſtate;
A ſlave, condemn'd, with unrewarded toil,
To turn, from morn to eve, a burning ſoil.
Fainting beneath the ſun's meridian heat,
Rouz'd by the ſcourge, the taunting jeſt I meet:
Thanks to thy friends, they cry, whoſe care recalls
A prince to life, in whom a nation falls!
Unwholſome ſcraps my ſtrength but half ſuſtain'd,
From corners glean'd, and even by dogs diſdain'd;
At night I mingled with a wretched crew,
Who by long uſe with woe familiar grew;
Of manners brutiſh, mercileſs and rude,
They mock'd my ſufferings, and my pangs renew'd;
In groans, not ſleep, I paſs'd the weary night,
And roſe to labour with the morning light.
Yet, thus of dignity and eaſe beguil'd,
Thus ſcorn'd and ſcourg'd, inſulted and revil'd,
If heaven with thee my faithful arms had bleſs'd,
And fill'd with love my intervals of reſt,
Short tho' they were, my ſoul had never known
One ſecret wiſh to glitter on a throne;
The toilſome day had heard no ſigh of mine,
Nor ſtripes, nor ſcorn, had urg'd me to repine.
A monarch ſtill beyond a monarch bleſt,
Thy love my diadem, my throne thy breaſt;
My courtiers, watchful of my looks, thy eyes
Should ſhine, perſuade, and flatter, and adviſe;
Thy voice my muſic, and thy arms ſhould be—
Ah! not the priſon of a ſlave in me!
Could I with infamy content remain,
And wiſh thy lovely form to ſhare my chain?
Could this bring eaſe? forgive th' unworthy thought,
And let the love that ſinn'd atone the fault.
Could I, a ſlave, and hopeleſs to be free,
Crawl, tamely recent from the ſcourge, to thee?
Thy blooming beauties could theſe arms embrace?
My guilty joys enſlave an infant race?
No: rather blaſt me lightnings, whirlwind tear,
And drive theſe limbs in atoms thro' the air;
Rather than this, O! curſe me ſtill with life,
And let my Zara ſmile a rival's wife:
Be mine alone th' accumulated woe,
Nor let me propagate my curſe below.
But, from this dreadful ſcene, with joy I turn;
To truſt in heaven, of me let Zara learn.
The wretch, the ſordid hypocrite, that ſold
His charge, an unſuſpecting prince, for gold,
That juſtice mark'd, whoſe eyes can never ſleep,
And death, commiſſion'd, ſmote him on the deep.
The generous crew their port in ſafety gain,
And tell my mournful tale, nor tell in vain;
The king, with horror of th' atrocious deed,
In haſte commanded, and the ſlave was freed.
No more Britannia's cheek, the bluſh of ſhame,
Burns for my wrongs, her king reſtores her fame:
Propitious gales, to freedom's happy ſhore,
Waft me triumphant, and the prince reſtore;
Whate'er is great and gay around me ſhine,
And all the ſplendor of a court is mine.
And knowledge here, by piety refin'd,
Sheds a bleſt radiance o'er my brightening mind;
From earth I travel upward to the ſky,
I learn to live, to reign, yet more, to die.
O! I have tales to tell, of love divine—
Such bliſsful tidings! they ſhall ſoon be thine.
I long to tell thee, what, amaz'd, I ſee,
What habits, buildings, trades, and polity!
How art and nature vie to entertain
In public ſhows, and mix delight with pain.
O! Zara, here, a ſtory like my own,
With mimic ſkill, in borrow'd names, was ſhown;
An Indian chief, like me, by fraud betray'd,
And partner in his woes an Indian maid.
I can't recal the ſcenes, 'tis pain too great,
And, if recall'd, ſhould ſhudder to relate.
To write the wonders here I ſtrive in vain,
Each word would aſk a thouſand to explain.
The time ſhall come, O! ſpeed the lingering hour!
When Zara's charms ſhall lend deſcription power;
When plac'd beſide thee in the cool alcove,
Or thro' the green Savannahs as we rove,
The frequent kiſs ſhall interrupt the tale,
And looks ſhall ſpeak my ſenſe, tho' language fail.
Then ſhall the prodigies, that round me riſe,
Fill thy dear boſom with a ſweet ſurprize;
Then all my knowledge to thy faithful heart,
With danger gain'd, ſecurely I'll impart.
Methinks I ſee thy changing looks expreſs
Th' alternate ſenſe of pleaſure and diſtreſs;
As all the windings of my fate I trace,
And wing thy fancy ſwift from place to place.
Yet where, alas! has flattering thought convey'd
The raviſh'd lover with his darling maid?
Between us ſtill unmeaſur'd oceans roll,
Which hoſtile barks infeſt, and ſtorms controul.
Be calm my boſom, ſince th' unmeaſur'd main,
And hoſtile barks, and ſtorms, are God's domain:
He rules reſiſtleſs, and his power ſhall guide
My life in ſafety o'er the roaring tide;
Shall bleſs the love that's built on virtue's baſe,
And ſpare me to evangelize my race.
Farewell! thy prince ſtill lives, and ſtill is free:
Farewell! hope all things, and remember me.
9. ZARA, AT THE COURT OF ANAMABOE, TO THE AFRICAN PRINCE NOW IN ENGLAND.
SHould I the language of my heart conceal,
Nor warmly paint the paſſion that I feel,
My riſing wiſh ſhould groundleſs fears confine,
And doubts ungenerous chill the glowing line,
Would not my prince, with nobler warmth, diſdain
That love, as languid, which could ſtoop to feign?
Let guilt diſſemble—in my faithful breaſt
Love reigns unblam'd, and be that love confeſt.
I give my boſom naked to thy view,
For what has ſhame with innocence to do?
In fancy, now, I claſp thee to my heart,
Exchange my vows, and all my joys impart.
I catch new tranſport from thy ſpeaking eye;—
But whence this ſad involuntary ſigh?
Why pants my boſom with intruding fears?
Why from my eyes diſtil unbidden tears?
Why do my hands thus tremble as I write?
Why fades thy lov'd idea from my ſight?
O! art thou ſafe on Britain's happy ſhore,
From winds that bellow, and from ſeas that roar?
And has my prince—(Oh, more than mortal pain!)
Betray'd by ruffians, felt the captive's chain?
Bound were thoſe limbs ordain'd alone to prove
The toils of empire, and the ſweets of love?
Hold, hold! Barbarians of the fierceſt kind!
Fear heaven's red lightning—'tis a prince ye bind;
A prince, whom no indignities could hide,
They knew, preſumptuous! and the gods defied.
Where-e'er he moves let love-join'd reverence riſe,
And all mankind behold with Zara's eyes!
Thy breaſt alone, when bounding o'er the waves
To freedom's climes, from ſlavery and ſlaves;
Thy breaſt alone the pleaſing thought could frame
Of what I felt, when thy dear letters came:
A thouſand times I held them to my breaſt,
A thouſand times my lips the paper preſt:
My full heart panted with a joy too ſtrong,
And "Oh my prince!" died faltering on my tongue:
Fainting I ſunk, unequal to the ſtrife,
And milder joys ſuſtain'd returning life.
Hope, ſweet enchantreſs, round my love-ſick head
Delightful ſcenes of bleſt deluſion ſpread.
" Come, come, my prince! my charmer! haſte away;
" Come, come, I cried, thy Zara blames thy ſtay.
" For thee the ſhrubs their richeſt ſweets retain;
" For thee new colours wait to paint the plain;
" For thee cool breezes linger in the grove,
" The birds expect thee in the green alcove;
" 'Till thy return the rills forget to fall,
" 'Till thy return, the ſun, the ſoul of all!—
" He comes, my maids, in his meridian charms,
" He comes refulgent to his Zara's arms:
" With jocund ſongs proclaim my love's return;
" With jocund hearts his nuptial bed adorn.
" Bright as the ſun, yet gentle as the dove,
" He comes, uniting majeſty and love."—
Too ſoon, alas! the bleſt deluſion flies;
Care ſwells my breaſt, and ſorrow fills my eyes.
Ah! why do thy fond words ſuggeſt a fear?—
Too vaſt, too numerous, thoſe already here!
Ah! why with doubts torment my bleeding breaſt,
Of ſeas that ſtorms controul, and foes infeſt?
My heart, in all this tedious abſence, knows
No thoughts but thoſe of ſeas, and ſtorms, and foes.
Each joyleſs morning, with the riſing ſun,
Quick to the ſtrand my feet ſpontaneous run:
" Where, where's my prince! what tidings have ye brought?"
Of each I met with pleading tears I ſought.
In vain I ſought—ſome, conſcious of my pain,
With horrid ſilence pointed to the main;
Some with a ſneer the brutal thought expreſt,
And plung'd the dagger of a barbarous jeſt;
Day follow'd day, and ſtill I wiſh'd the next,
New hopes ſtill flatter'd, and new doubts perplex'd;
Day follow'd day, the wiſh'd to-morrow came;
My hopes, doubts, fears, anxieties the ſame.
At length—"O Power Supreme! whoe'er thou art,
" Thy ſhrine the ſky, the ſea, the earth, or heart;
" Since every clime, and all th' unbounded main,
" And hoſtile barks, and ſtorms, are thy domain,
" If faithful paſſion can thy bounty move,
" And goodneſs ſure muſt be the friend of love,
" Safe to theſe arms my lovely prince reſtore,
" Safe to his Zara's arms, to part no more.
" O! grant to virtue thy protecting care,
" And grant thy love to love's availing prayer,
" Together then, and emulous to praiſe,
" A flowery altar to thy name we'll raiſe;
" There, firſt and laſt, on each returning day,
" To thee our vows of gratitude we'll pay."
Fool that I was, to all my comfort blind,
Why, when thou went'ſt, did Zara ſtay behind?
How could I fondly hope one joy to prove,
'Midſt all the wild anxieties of love?
Had fate, in other mold, thy Zara form'd,
And my bold breaſt in manly friendſhip warm'd,
How had I glow'd exulting at thy ſide!
How all the ſhafts of adverſe fate defied!
Or yet a woman, and not nerv'd for toil,
Oh! that with thee I'd turn'd a burning ſoil!
In the cold priſon had I lain with thee,
In love ſtill happy, we had ſtill been free;
Then fortune, brav'd, had own'd ſuperior might,
And pin'd with envy, while we forc'd delight.
Why ſhouldſt thou bid thy love remember thee?
Thine all my thoughts have been, and ſtill ſhall be.
Each night the cool Savannahs have I ſought,
And breath'd the fondneſs of enamour'd thought;
The curling breezes murmur'd as I ſigh'd,
And hoarſe, at diſtance, roar'd my foe the tide:
My breaſt ſtill haunted by a motley train,
Now doubts, now hopes prevail'd, now joy, now pain.
Now fix'd I ſtand, my ſpirit fled to thine,
Nor note the time, nor ſee the ſun decline;
Now rouz'd I ſtart, and wing'd with fear I run,
In vain, alas! for 'tis myſelf I ſhun.
When kindly ſleep its lenient balm ſupplied,
And gave that comfort waking thought denied;
Laſt night—but why, ah Zara! why impart
The fond, fond fancies of a loveſick heart?
Yet true delights on fancy's wings are brought,
And love's ſoft raptures realiz'd in thought—
Laſt night I ſaw, methinks I ſee it now—
Heaven's awful concave round thy Zara bow;
When ſudden thence a flaming chariot flew,
Which earth receiv'd, and fix white courſers drew;
Then—quick tranſition—did thy Zara ride,
Borne to the chariot—wonderous—by thy ſide:
All glorious both, from clime to clime we flew,
Each happy clime with ſweet ſurprize we view.
A thouſand voices ſung—"All bliſs betide
" The prince of Lybia, and his faithful bride."
" 'Tis done, 'tis done" reſounded thro' the ſkies,
And quick aloft the car began to riſe;
Ten thouſand beauties crouded on my ſight,
Ten thouſand glories beam'd a dazzling light.
My thoughts could bear no more, the viſion fled,
And wretched Zara view'd her lonely bed.—
Come, ſweet interpreter, and eaſe my ſoul;
Come to my boſom, and explain the whole.
Alas! my prince—yet hold, my ſtruggling breaſt!
Sure we ſhall meet again, again be bleſt.
" Hope all, thou ſay'ſt, I live, and ſtill am free;"
Oh then prevent thoſe hopes, and haſte to me.
Eaſe all the doubts thy Zara's boſom knows,
And kindly ſtop the torrent of her woes.—
But, that I know too well thy generous heart,
One doubt, than all, more torment would impart;
'Tis this, in Britain's happy courts to ſhine,
Amidſt a thouſand blooming maids, is thine—
But thou, a thouſand blooming maids among,
Art ſtill thyſelf, incapable of wrong;
No outward charm can captivate thy mind,
Thy love is friendſhip heighten'd and refin'd;
'Tis what my ſoul, and not my form inſpires,
And burns with ſpotleſs and immortal fires.
Thy joys, like mine, from conſcious truth ariſe,
And, known theſe joys, what others canſt thou prize?
Be jealous doubts the curſe of ſordid minds,
Hence, jealous doubts, I give ye to the winds.—
Once more, O come! and ſnatch me to thy arms!
Come, ſhield my beating heart from vain alarms!
Come, let me hang enamour'd on thy breaſt,
Weep pleaſing tears, and be with joy diſtreſt!
Let me ſtill hear, and ſtill demand thy tale,
And, oft renew'd, ſtill let my ſuit prevail!
Much ſtill remains to tell and to enquire,
My hand ſtill writes, and writing prompts deſire;
My pen denies my laſt farewell to write,
Still, ſtill, "return," my wiſhful thoughts indite:
Oh hear, my prince, thy love, thy miſtreſs call,
Think o'er each tender name, and hear by all.
Oh pleaſing intercourſe of ſoul with ſoul,
Thus, while I write, I ſee, I claſp thee whole;
And theſe kind letters trembling Zara drew,
In every line ſhall bring her to thy view.
Return, return, in love and truth excell;
Return, I write; I cannot add Farewell.
10. ABELARD TO ELOISA.*
IN my dark cell, low proſtrate on the ground,
Mourning my crimes, thy letter entrance found;
Too ſoon my ſoul the well-known name confeſt;
My beating heart ſprung fiercely in my breaſt:
Thro' my whole frame a guilty tranſport glow'd,
And ſtreaming torrents from my eyes faſt flow'd.
O Eloiſa! art thou ſtill the ſame?
Doſt thou ſtill nouriſh this deſtructive flame?
Have not the gentle rules of peace and heaven
From thy ſoft ſoul this fatal paſſion driven?
Alas! I thought thee diſengag'd and free;
And can'ſt thou ſtill, ſtill ſigh and weep for me?
What powerful deity, what hallow'd ſhrine,
Can ſave me from a love and faith like thine?
Where ſhall I fly, when not this awful cave,
Whoſe rugged feet the ſurging billows lave;
When not theſe gloomy cloiſter's ſolemn walls,
O'er whoſe rough ſides the languid ivy crawls;
When my dread vows in vain their force oppoſe,
Oppos'd to love—alas! how vain are vows!
In fruitleſs penitence I wear away
Each tedious night; each ſad revolving day
I faſt, I pray; and, with deceitful art,
Veil thy dear image from my tortur'd heart:
My tortur'd heart conflicting paſſions move,
I hope, deſpair, repent—yet ſtill I love.
A thouſand jarring thoughts my boſom tear,
For thou, not God, O Eloiſe art there.
To the falſe world's deluding pleaſures dead,
Nor longer by its wandering fires miſled,
In learn'd diſputes harſh precepts I infuſe,
And give that counſel I want power to uſe.
The rigid maxims of the grave and wiſe
Have quench'd each milder ſparkle of my eyes;
Each lovely feature of this well-known face,
By grief revers'd, aſſumes a ſterner grace.
O Eloiſa! ſhould the fates once more,
Indulgent to my view, thy charms reſtore!
How wouldſt thou from my arms with horror ſtart,
To miſs the form familiar to thy heart!
Nought could thy quick, thy piercing judgment ſee,
To ſpeak thy Abelard—but love of thee.
Lean abſtinence, pale grief, and haggard care,
The dire attendants of forlorn deſpair,
Have Abelard the young, the gay, remov'd,
And in the hermit ſunk the man you lov'd.
Wrapt in the gloom theſe holy manſions ſhed,
The thorny paths of penitence I tread;
Loſt to the world, from all its intereſts free,
And torn from all my ſoul held dear in thee.
Ambition, with its train of frailties gone,
All love, all forms forgot, but thine alone.
Amid the blaze of day, the duſk of night,
My Eloiſa riſes to my ſight:
Veil'd, as in Paraclete's ſecluded towers,
The wretched mourner counts the lagging hours;
I hear her ſighs, ſee the ſwift-falling tears,
Weep all her griefs, and pine with all her cares.
O vows! O convents! your ſtern force impart,
And frown the melting phantom from my heart:
Let other ſighs a worthier ſorrow ſhow;
Let other tears, for ſin, repentant flow:
Low to the earth my guilty eyes I roll,
And humble to the duſt my contrite ſoul.
Forgiving power! thy gracious call I meet,
Who firſt impower'd this rebel heart to beat;
Who thro' this trembling, this offending frame,
For nobler ends diffus'd life's active flame:
O change the temper of this labouring breaſt,
And form anew each beating pulſe to reſt!
Let ſpringing grace, fair faith, and hope remove
The fatal traces of deſtructive love;
Deſtructive love from its warm manſion tear,
And leave no tracks of Eloiſa there.
Are theſe the wiſhes of my inmoſt ſoul?
Would I its ſofteſt, tendereſt ſenſe controul?
Would I this touch'd, this glowing heart refine
To the cold ſubſtance of that marble ſhrine?
Transform'd like theſe pale ſwarms that round me move
Of bleſt inſenſibles—who know not love?
Ah! rather let me keep this hapleſs flame;
Adieu, falſe honour! unavailing fame!
Not your harſh rules, but tender love ſupplies
The ſtreams that guſh from my deſpairing eyes:
I feel the traitor melt around my heart,
And thro' my veins with treacherous influence dart.
Inſpire me, heaven! aſſiſt me grace divine!
Aid me, ye ſaints! unknown to crimes like mine;
You who on earth ſerene all griefs could prove,
All but the torturing pangs of hopeleſs love:
A holier rage in your pure boſoms dwelt,
Nor can you pity what you never felt.
A ſympathizing grief alone can cure;
The hand that heals muſt feel what I endure:
Thou Eloiſe alone canſt give me eaſe,
And bid my ſtruggling ſoul ſubſide to peace;
Reſtore me to my long-loſt heaven of reſt,
And take thyſelf from my reluctant breaſt.
If crimes like mine could an allay receive,
That bleſt allay thy wonderous charms muſt give:
Thy form, that firſt to love my heart inclin'd,
Still wanders in my loſt, my guilty mind:
I ſaw thee as the new-blown bloſſoms fair,
Sprightly as light, and ſoft as ſummer's air;
Bright as their beams thy eyes a mind diſcloſe,
While on thy lips gay bluſh'd the fragrant roſe:
Wit, youth, and beauty, in each feature ſhone,
Preſs'd by my fate, I gaz'd—and was undone!
There died the generous fire, whoſe vigorous flame
Enlarg'd my ſoul, and urg'd me on to fame;
Nor fame, nor wealth, my ſoften'd heart could move,
My heart, inſenſible to all but love!
Snatch'd from myſelf my learning taſteleſs grew,
Vain my philoſophy oppos'd to you.
A train of woes ſucceed, nor ſhould we mourn
The hours which cannot, ought not to return.
As once to love I ſway'd thy yielding mind,
Too fond, alas!—too fatally inclin'd!
To virtue now let me thy breaſt inſpire,
And fan with zeal divine the holy fire;
Teach thee to injur'd heaven, all-chang'd, to turn,
And bid thy ſoul with ſacred raptures burn.
O that my own example could impart
This noble warmth to thy ſoft trembling heart!
That mine, with pious undiſſembled care,
Might aid the latent virtue ſtruggling there!
Alas I rave! nor grace, nor zeal divine,
Burns in a breaſt o'erwhelm'd with crimes like mine.
Too ſure I find, while I the tortures prove
Of feeble piety, conflicting love,
On black deſpair my forc'd devotion built,
Abſence, to me, has ſharper pangs than guilt.
Ah! yet, my Eloiſe, your charms I view,
Yet breathe my ſighs, my tears yet pour for you;
Each weak reſiſtance ſtronger knits my chain,
I ſigh, weep, love, deſpair, repent—in vain.
Haſte, Eloiſa, haſte, your lover free,
Amidſt your warmer prayers, O think of me!
Wing with your riſing zeal my groveling mind,
And let me mine from your repentance find:
Ah! labour, ſtrive, your love, yourſelf controul,
The change will ſure affect my kindred ſoul;
In bleſt conſent our purer ſighs ſhall grieve,
And heaven aſſiſting ſhall our crimes forgive.
But if unhappy, wretched, loſt, in vain,
Faintly th' unequal combat you ſuſtain;
If not to heaven you feel your boſom riſe,
Nor tears refin'd fall contrite from your eyes;
If ſtill your heart its wonted paſſions move,
If ſtill, to ſpeak all pains in one—you love,
Deaf to the weak eſſays of living breath,
Attend the ſtronger eloquence of death.
When that kind power this captive ſoul ſhall free,
(Which only then can ceaſe to doat on thee)
When gently ſunk to my eternal ſleep,
The Paraclete my peaceful urn ſhall keep;
Then, Eloiſa, then your lover view,
See his quench'd eyes no longer fix'd on you;
From their dead orbs that tender utterance flown,
Which firſt to yours my heart's ſoft tale made known;
This breaſt no more (at length to eaſe conſign'd)
Pant like the waving aſpin in the wind;
See all my wild, tumultuous paſſions o'er,
And you, amazing change! belov'd no more;
Behold the deſtin'd end of human love—
But let the ſight your zeal alone improve:
Let not your conſcious ſoul, to ſorrow mov'd,
Recal how much, how tenderly I lov'd;
With pious care your fruitleſs grief reſtrain,
Nor let a tear your ſacred veil profane;
Nor even a ſigh on my cold urn beſtow,
But let your breaſt with new-born raptures glow;
Let love divine frail mortal love dethrone,
And to your mind immortal joys make known;
Let heaven relenting ſtrike your raviſh'd view,
And ſtill the bright, the bleſt purſuit renew;
So with your crimes ſhall your misfortunes ceaſe,
And your rack'd ſoul be calmly huſh'd to peace.
Qualis populeâ moerens Philomela ſub umbrâ
Flet noctem, ramoque ſedens miſerabile carmen
Integrat, et moeſtis latè loca queſtibus implet.
FRom theſe lone ſhades, and ever-gloomy bowers,
Once the dear ſcenes of Henry's ſofter hours!
What tender ſtrains of paſſion can impart
The pangs of abſence to an amorous heart!
Far, far too faint the powers of language prove,
Language that ſlow interpreter of love!
Souls pair'd like ours, like ours to union wrought,
Converſe by ſilent ſympathy of thought;
O then, by that myſterious art, divine
The wild impatience of my breaſt by thine!
And, to conceive what I would ſay to thee,
Conceive, my love, what thou wouldſt ſay to me!
As in the tenderneſs of ſoul I ſigh,
Methinks I hear thy tender ſoul reply;
And as in thought, o'er heaps of heroes ſlain,
I trace thy progreſs on the fatal plain,
Perhaps thy thought explores me thro' the grove,
And, ſoftening, ſteals an interval of love;
In the deep covert of a bowering ſhade
Deſcribes my poſture—languiſhingly laid!
Now, ſadly ſolac'd with the murmuring ſprings,
Now, melting into tears, the ſofteſt things!
And how the feign'd ideas all agree!
So bowers the ſhade, ſo melt my tears for thee!
Here, as in Eden, once we bliſsful lay,
How oft night ſtole, unheeded, on the day!
Our ſoft-breath'd raptures charm'd the liſtening grove,
And all was harmony, for all was love!
But hark! the trumpet ſounds! ſee diſcords riſe!
'Tis honour calls; from me my Henry flies!
Honour, to him, more bright than Roſamonda's eyes!
Not thus my honour with his paſſion ſtrove,
His ſighs I pitied, and indulg'd his love:
He then cried, "honour was an empty name,
" And love a ſweeter recompence than fame."
Oh! had I liv'd in ſome obſcure retreat,
Securely fair, and innocently ſweet;
How had I bleſs'd ſome humble ſhepherd's arms!
How kept my fame as ſpotleſs as my charms!
Then hadſt thou ne'er beheld theſe eyes of mine,
Nor they bewail'd the fatal power of thine!
Dear fatal power! to me for ever dear—
Fix'd in my tender breaſt, and rooted there!
For ever in my tender breaſt remain—
And be for ever a delightful pain!
With what ſurprize thoſe glories firſt I view'd,
That in one moment my whole heart ſubdued!
With ſuch reſiſtleſs beams, ſo fierce they ſhone,
Not ſuch the dazzling radiance of thy crown!
Sent from thy crown I never felt a dart;
The lover, not the monarch, won my heart:
Nor e'er the monarch with ſuch charms appears,
As when the lover's ſoften'd dreſs he wears:
As when he, ſilent, deigns my breaſt to ſeek,
And looks ſuch language as no tongue can ſpeak.
Whene'er my crimes (if love a crime can be,
If 'tis a crime to live, and die for thee!)
In hideous forms ariſe, and cloud my ſoul,
One thought of Henry can that gloom controul:
No more my breaſt alternate paſſions move,
The froſts of honour melt before the fires of love.
Again I muſt repeat that fatal hour,
Which ſnatch'd my Henry from his Woodſtock bower;
When mad Bellona, with tumultuous cries,
The hero rouz'd, and drown'd the lover's ſighs.
Stretch'd on my downy couch at eaſe I lay,
And ſought by reading to beguile the day;
With amorous ſtrains I ſooth'd a grateful fire,
And all the woman glow'd with ſoft deſire.
'Till, as I wiſh'd, I heard the vocal breeze
Proclaim my Henry ruſtling thro' the trees;
O'erjoy'd, I ran to meet thy longing arms,
And taſte a dear remembrance of thy charms;
But ſoon I ſaw ſome ſad conceal'd ſurprize,
Fade on thy cheeks, and languiſh on thine eyes;
Thro' each diſſembled ſmile a ſorrow ſtole,
And whiſper'd out the ſecret of thy ſoul.
What this could mean uncertain to divine;
No fault I knew, yet fear'd ſome fault was mine.
But ſoon thy love diſpell'd thoſe airy fears,
Diſpell'd alas!—but brought too ſolid cares.
For as with hands, entwin'd in hands, we walk'd,
Of Love, and hapleſs lovers, ſtill thou talk'd:
Thy tears of pity anſwer'd each ſad moan,
And in their ſeeming miſeries wept thy own.
" I cannot leave her!"—I o'erheard thee ſay,—
Pierc'd to the ſoul, I ſunk, and died away.
What art reſtor'd me, thou alone canſt tell,
For thy kind arms embrac'd me as I fell.
My opening eyes fix'd on thy beauties hung,
And my ears drank the cordial of thy tongue.
Again my thoughts return with killing pain,
Within thy arms I ſink, and ſwoon again:
Again thou doſt my ſweet phyſician prove,
From death to life alternately I move,
Now dead by anguiſh, now reviv'd by love.
But when, without diſguiſe, the truth I found,
My agonizing ſorrows knew no bound:
My locks I tore; then all-intranc'd I lay,
'Till by degrees my grief to words gave way,
And ſoft I cried,—"oh! ſtay, my Henry ſtay.
" One moment more!—add yet,—and yet, a kiſs!—
" Oh! give me thine, and take my ſoul in this!
" Farewell!—perhaps, farewell for ever!—oh!
" Who can ſuſtain ſo dire a weight of woe?"
Ah! wretched maid!—alas! a maid no more!
No herbs that ſpotleſs title can reſtore!
Ah! who ſhall now protect thy injur'd fame?
Who ſhield thy weakneſs from th' aſſaults of ſhame?
Who lull thy anxious ſoul to balmy reſt,
If Henry, deareſt Henry, flies thy breaſt?
Yet, tho' he flies, your wings, ye angels, ſpread,
And hover guardians o'er my Henry's head!
Who knows, but this kind prayer is pour'd too late,
And he already ſtruggles with his fate?
Already wounded, pants, and gaſps in death,
And Roſamonda is his lateſt breath?
Propitious heaven! vouchſafe a gracious ear!
Grant theſe be only phantoms of my fear:
Heaven ſtill is gracious, if true ſuppliants pray!
And lo!—the foul chimeras fleet away!
Tranſporting proſpects to my wiſhes riſe,
Beam on my ſoul, and brighten in my eyes!
He lives! he lives! I ſee his banner ſpread,
And laurels wreath'd round the gay victor's head!
Ye winds! convey the news to Albion's floods!
Ye floods! reſound it to the joyous woods!
Ye joyous woods! your tuneful choirs prepare
To hail my hero from the toils of war!
Deluſive ſcenes! too beautiful to ſtay!
They fade in viſionary ſtreaks away.
Alas! no lovely Henry now is nigh!
His genius took his form to ſooth my eye.
No more I ſeem his melting voice to hear!
Peace! babbling fountains! nor abuſe my ear.
Ye flowers! ye ſtreams! ye gales, no longer move!
For ah! how ſtrong is fancy join'd with love!
O! frail inconſtancy of mortal ſtate!
One hour dejected, and the next elate!
Rais'd by falſe hopes, or by falſe fears depreſt,
How different paſſions ſway the human breaſt!
Now ſmiling pleaſures with fair charms invite,
Now frowning horrors with black trains affright.
Future diſtruſts the preſent joys controul,
And fancy triumphs o'er the reaſoning ſoul.
As 'mid the trees I ſolitary rove,
The trees awake ſome image of my love:
Where-e'er their arms in amorous foldings join,
My longing arms I ſpread to fold in thine.
The beauteous flowers thy face reflected bear,
(If flowers in beauty may with thee compare)
Their wafted fragrancies thy breath inſpire,
And my ſoul kindles with ideal fire!
The thick-weav'd ſhades, and grove in circling grove,
Are emblems of th' eternity of love.
My bluſhing guilt the crimſon roſes paint,
And I, like roſes, unſupported faint:
Like theirs my youthful charms (if charms) conſume,
For love, a cloſer canker, eats my bloom.
How bleſt might other nymphs ſurvey theſe ſcenes,
Fountains, and ſhades, and hills, and flowery greens?
Proſpects on proſpects might detain the ſight,
And ſtill variety give new delight.
But I, with thee, ſhould find in deſerts eaſe;
Without thee, not even Paradiſe could pleaſe:
Wilds, by thy preſence, gardens would appear;
Gardens are wilds, ſince Henry is not here.
Let grottos ſink, or porticos ariſe,
Heedleſs I view them with unpleaſur'd eyes:
Their mantling umbrage cools the noon-day fire,
But what can cool a lover's fierce deſire?
In the deep boſom of a darkſome ſhade,
By baleful yew and mournful cypreſs made,
A widow-turtle weeps her raviſh'd love,
And ſorrowfully ſolaces the grove;
Sometimes my paſſion I aloud diſcloſe;
The widow'd turtle, anſwering, cooes her woes.
Bred by my hand, my ſorrow's ſad relief,
A little linnet learns to ſigh my grief;
Taught by my voice, and by obedience tame,
The pretty liſper whiſtles Henry's name:
Perch'd on my head the ſylvan ſyren ſings,
And tunes the harſher notes of gurgling ſprings.
Emboſom'd in a vale, thou know'ſt the ſhade,
Faſt by the murmurs of a ſoft caſcade;
There, while one night full beams of Cynthia play,
(Warm was the night) with wanderings tir'd, I lay,
Till, by degrees, the falling waters clos'd
My eye-lids, and my wearied limbs repos'd.
Sudden the fairy monarch I behold,
Near he approach'd, and thus my fate foretold:
('Twas the ſame Oberon, that once we ſaw
Circle the green, and give his dancers law,)
" Unhappy nymph! thy beauty is thy crime—
" And muſt ſuch beauty periſh in its prime!
" No more great Henry ſhall enjoy thoſe charms,
" Nor thou ill-fated fair adorn his arms!
" Cropt like an opening roſe, thy fall I fear!
" But riſe and ſupplicate the vengeance near."
Then (as methought) I wak'd with threaten'd woes,
Emerging from thick ſhades a phantom roſe:
One hand ſuſtain'd a ſhort, but naked ſword,—
And one a golden bowl with poiſon ſtor'd:
The jealous queen the frowning form expreſs'd,
It ſpoke, and aim'd the dagger at my breaſt.
" Ariſe! nor aſk thy crime—but chuſe thy fate,
" Know prayers are vain—repentance is too late!
" Vengeance is mine— Here! drink this poiſon'd bowl,
" Or this keen dagger drinks thy guilty ſoul!"
It ceas'd: convulſions in my boſom ſtrove,
My curdling blood ſcarce in ſtiff tides could move.
Thrice I cried, "Henry!" with a feeble ſound,
And thrice I ſtarted at the ſad rebound!
Even echo now grew frightful: with ſurprize
Trembling I lay, nor dar'd unveil my eyes,
'Till warbling birds proclaim'd the morning light,
And told me, 'twas a viſion of the night;
Yet not the morn could chace my gloomy care,
But winds and trees alarm'd my ſoul with fear;
While waving boughs, that in the ſun-beams play'd,
Seem'd to ſhow daggers in each pointed ſhade.
Why was I form'd with ſuch a coward mind?
The ſport of ſhadows, or a ruſtling wind!
Nerves, better ſtrung, did manly ſpirits warm,
Glad would I part with every female charm,
Then, cas'd in ſteel, the front of battle dare,
And, with great Henry, rouze the ſoul of war!
This arm ſhould guard the hero from the foe,
Repel the ſtorm, or intercept the blow;
And ſhould my weakneſs in the warrior fail,
The ſoft-beſeeching woman ſhould prevail;
For thee I'd ſooth each proud inſulting foe,
And melt him with petitionary woe;
With thee in every hardy hazard join,
In dangers ſave thy life to make it mine;
By night compoſe thy harraſs'd head to reſt,
And huſh it on the pillow of my breaſt;
With patient eyes eternal vigils keep,
And court good angels to protect thy ſleep.
Alas! in vain I urge my fruſtrate will,
I find myſelf a feeble woman ſtill;
The feeble woman to my breaſt returns,
For Henry's gone, and Roſamonda mourns!
O! ſee my eyes their ſtreaming anguiſh pour,
O! hear my ſighs increaſe the ſwelling ſhower;
What can I more than ſhed my tears and ſighs?
Poor woman's ſtrength alone in weakneſs lies.
But whither is ungovern'd fancy flown?
Thoughts of impoſſibilities be gone!
Guilt claims no miracles, nor heaven conſpires
To aid my crimes, and fan my lawleſs fires.
Life irkſome grows; deteſted is the light,
And my ſoul dreads the viſions of the night.
Swift let me to ſome hallow'd convent go!—
Can I for ever Henry leave?—ah! no:—
But O loſt innocence!—I loſt a name:—
O honour!—broken is the bubble, fame.
Are my ſins monſtrous? do invented crimes,
Alike unknown to paſt or preſent times,
Demand red vengeance? ſome peculiar curſe?—
Crowds ſtand recorded for the ſame,—or worſe.
Have I, unpitying, heard the poor complain,
Or ſeen the wretched weep, and weep in vain?
Have I my flame feign'd for a ſordid end?
E'er wrong'd a foe, or e'er betray'd a friend?
Not to my charge ſuch crimes has malice brought,
Love, only love, is my unbounded fault:
A fault, that ſure may heaven to pity move,
Since half of heaven ('tis ſaid) conſiſts in love.
Ah! fooliſh nymph!—Here, view the queen! the laws!—
But there view Henry as th' enchanting cauſe!
By ſuch a cauſe the prieſteſs would retire,
And quit the veſtal for a nobler fire.
I will again th' immortal powers implore;
Brave Henry for Britannia's ſake reſtore!
In him ſhe lives, to him her joys are due,
And only ſends her earlieſt thanks to you.
But O! my lord, my darling lord, beware!
Tempt not too bold the dangers of the war!
Think, when thou ſeeſt the fate-impelling dart,
O! think it aim'd at Roſamonda's heart!
Were but each breaſt as ſoft as mine, no more
Should tumults riſe, or martial thunders roar:
Heroes ſhould ſcorn the glories of the field,
And the fam'd laurel to the myrtle yield:
For ſweeter paſſions ſweeter ſtrifes inſpire,
And love alone ſhould ſet the ſoul on fire.
May then theſe eyes in tears no longer mourn,
But cheerful hail their Henry's wiſh'd return!
O! ſwift, victorious, huſh the war's alarms!
Swift, if thy Roſamonda boaſts ſome charms,
Fly on the wings of love and conqueſt to her arms!
SHall then his beauteous Roſamonda mourn,
Nor Henry's ſoul the ſoft complaint return?
O ceaſe, my fair! I deeply feel thy ſmart,
And all thy ſorrows double in my heart:
Far from my breaſt, ye ſcenes of war! remove,
Far from my breaſt be every ſcene but love;
Soft riſing thoughts as when, in Woodſtock-bowers,
Joyful, we lov'd away the laughing hours.
Now midnight reſt relieves the ſoldier's care,
Huſh'd are the drums, and every voice of war;
Faint gleam the fires along the dewy field,
And faint the noiſe that ſleeping courſers yield;
Yet love, the lordly tyrant of my breaſt,
Alarms my ſoul, and interrupts my reſt;
In vain a nation's cares the monarch move,
For ah! far greater is the monarch love!
Warm from my lips thy tender letter lies,
And every word is magic to my eyes;
Weeping, I read, and hear thy ſoft-breath'd woes,
And all the warrior in the lover loſe:
Then I by fancy vaniſh'd joys reſtore,
Feaſt on falſe love, and act part pleaſures o'er;
Fancy can ſooth my ſoul with pleaſing dreams,
While tented Gallia bowery Woodſtock ſeems;
Led by deluſive ſteps, in thought, I rove
Thro' well known greens, and every winding grove;
There, haply on ſome flowery bank reclin'd,
My ſweet-repoſing Roſamonda find;
When thou (for then thy ſecret thoughts I ſee)
In pious ſlumbers breath'ſt thy ſoul to me;
Diſſolv'd with joy, and feaſting on thy charms,
I claſp thee in imaginary arms;
And then—ah then!—I ſeem ſincerely bleſt—
Then only Roſamonda knows the reſt—
O glories! empires! crowns! how weak ye prove,
If thus out-rivall'd by a dream of love!
O love! what joys thy real ſweets beſtow,
When even their ſhadows can tranſport me ſo!
O bliſs extatic! bleſt relief from cares!
Thus let me loſe my ſoul in ſofter wars!
Be love's tranſporting ſighs my ſweet alarms,
Nor worlds, but Roſamonda crown my arms!
In her alone my full deſires agree,
Her charms are empires, glories, all to me!
13. ABELARD TO ELOISA.
Abelard and Eloiſa flouriſhed in the twelfth century: they were two of the moſt diſtinguiſhed perſons of their age in learning and beauty, but for nothing more famous than for their unfortunate paſſion. After a long courſe of calamities, they retired each to a ſeveral convent, and conſecrated the remainder of their days to religion. It was many years after this ſeparation, that a letter of Abelard's to a friend, which contained the hiſtory of his misfortunes, fell into the hands of Eloiſa: this occaſioned thoſe celebrated letters (out of which the following is partly extracted), which give ſo lively a picture of the ſtruggles of grace and nature, virtue and paſſion.
AH, why this boding ſtart? this ſudden pain,
That wings my pulſe, and ſhoots from vein to vein?
What mean, regardleſs of yon midnight bell,
Theſe earth-born viſions ſaddening o'er my cell?
What ſtrange diſorder prompts theſe thoughts to glow?
Theſe ſighs to murmur, and theſe tears to flow?
'Tis ſhe, 'tis Eloiſa's form reſtor'd,
Once a pure ſaint, and more than ſaints ador'd:
She comes in all her killing charms confeſt,
Glares thro' the gloom, and pours upon my breaſt,
Bid heaven's bright guard from Paraclete remove,
And drags me back to miſery and love.
Enjoy thy triumphs, dear illuſion! ſee
This ſad apoſtate from his God to thee;
See, at thy call, my guilty warmths return,
Flame thro' my blood, and ſteal me from my urn.
Yet, yet, frail Abelard! one effort try,
Ere the laſt lingering ſpark of virtue die;
The deadly charming ſorcereſs controul,
And ſpite of nature tear her from thy ſoul.
Long has that ſoul in theſe unſocial woods,
Where anguiſh muſes, and where horror broods,
From love's wild viſionary wiſhes ſtray'd,
And ſought to loſe thy beauties in the ſhade,
Faith dropt a ſmile, devotion lent her fire,
Woke the keen pang, and ſanctified deſire;
Led me enraptur'd to the bleſt abode,
And taught my heart to glow with all its God.
But oh, how weak fair faith and virtue prove!
When Eloiſa melts away in love!
When her fond ſoul impaſſion'd, rapt, unveil'd,
No joy forgotten, and no wiſh conceal'd,
Flows thro' her pen as infant ſoftneſs free,
And fiercely ſprings in ecſtaſies to me.
Ye heavens! as walking in yon ſacred fane
With every ſeraph warm in every vein,
Juſt as remorſe had rous'd an aking ſigh,
And my torn ſoul hung trembling in my eye,
In that kind hour thy fatal letter came,
I ſaw, I gaz'd, I ſhiver'd at the name;
The conſcious lamps at once forgot to ſhine,
Prophetic tremors ſhook the hallow'd ſhrine;
Prieſts, cenſers, altars from thy genius fled,
And heaven itſelf ſhut on me while I read.
Dear ſmiling miſchief! art thou ſtill the ſame,
The ſtill pale victim of too ſoft a flame?
Warm, as when firſt with more than mortal ſhine
Each melting eye-ball mix'd thy ſoul with mine?
Have not thy tears for ever taught to flow,
The glooms of abſence, and the pangs of woe,
The pomp of ſacrifice, the whiſper'd tale,
The dreadful vow yet hovering o'er thy veil,
Drove this bewitching fondneſs from thy breaſt?
Curb'd the looſe wiſh, and form'd each pulſe to reſt?
And canſt thou ſtill, ſtill bend the ſuppliant knee
To love's dead ſhrine, and weep and ſigh for me?
Then take me, take me, lock me in thy arms,
Spring to my lips, and give me all thy charms:
No, fly me, fly me, ſpread th' impatient ſail,
Steal the lark's wing, and mount the ſwifteſt gale;
Skim the laſt ocean, freeze beneath the pole;
Renounce me, curſe me, root thee from thy ſoul;
Fly, fly, for juſtice bares the arm of God;
And the graſp'd vengeance only waits his nod.
Are theſe my wiſhes? can they thus aſpire?
Does phrenzy form them, or does grace inſpire?
Can Abelard, in hurricanes of zeal,
Betray his heart, and teach thee not to feel?
Teach thy enamour'd ſpirit to diſown
Each human warmth, and chill thee into ſtone?
Ah, rather let my tendereſt accents move
The laſt wild tumults of unholy love!
On that dear boſom trembling let me lie,
Pour out my ſoul, and in fierce raptures die,
Rouze all my paſſions, act my joys anew,
Farewell, ye cells! ye martyr'd ſaints! adieu:
Sleep conſcience, ſleep! each awful thought be drown'd,
And ſeven-fold darkneſs veil the ſcene around.
What means this pauſe, this agonizing ſtart?
This glimpſe of heaven quick-ruſhing thro' my heart?
Methinks I ſee a radiant croſs diſplay'd,
A wounded ſaviour bleeds along the ſhade;
Around th' expiring God bright angels fly,
Swell the loud hymn, and open all the ſky:
O ſave me, ſave me, ere the thunders roll,
And hell's black caverns ſwallow up my ſoul.
Return, ye hours! when guiltleſs of a ſtain,
My ſtrong-plum'd genius throb'd in every vein,
When warm'd with all th' Aegyptian fanes inſpir'd,
All Athens boaſted, and all Rome admir'd ;
My merit in its full meridian ſhone,
Each rival bluſhing, and each heart my own.
Return, ye ſcenes! ah no, from fancy fly,
On time's ſtretch'd wing, till each idea die,
Eternal fly, ſince all that learning gave
Too weak to conquer, and too fond to ſave,
To love's ſoft empire every wiſh betray'd,
And left my laurels withering in the ſhade.
Let me forget, that while deceitful fame
Graſp'd her ſhrill trump, and fill'd it with my name,
Thy ſtronger charms, impower'd by heaven to move
Each ſaint, each bleſt inſenſible to love,
At once my ſoul from bright ambition won,
I hugg'd the dart, I wiſh'd to be undone;
No more pale ſcience durſt my thoughts engage,
Inſipid dulneſs hung on every page;
The midnight lamp no more enjoy'd its blaze,
No more my ſpirit flew from maze to maze:
Thy glances bade philoſophy reſign
Her throne to thee, and every ſenſe was thine.
But what could all the froſts of wiſdom do,
Oppos'd to beauty, when it melts in you ?
Since theſe dark, cheerleſs, ſolitary caves,
Death-breathing woods, and daily-opening graves,
Miſ-ſhapen rocks, wild images of woe,
For ever howling to the deeps below;
Ungenial deſerts, where no vernal ſhower
Wakes the green herb, or paints th' unfolding flower;
Th' imbrowning glooms theſe holy manſions ſhed,
The night-born horrors brooding o'er my bed,
The diſmal ſcenes black melancholy pours
O'er the ſad viſions of enanguiſh'd hours;
Lean abſtinence, wan grief, low-thoughted care,
Diſtracting guilt, and hell's worſt fiend, deſpair,
Conſpire, in vain, with all the aids of art,
To blot thy dear idea from my heart.
Deluſive, ſightleſs god of warm deſire!
Why would'ſt thou wiſh to ſet a wretch on fire?
Why lives thy ſoft divinity where woe
Heaves the pale ſigh, and anguiſh loves to glow?
Fly to the mead, the daiſy-painted vale,
Breathe in its ſweets, and melt along the gale;
Fly where gay ſcenes luxurious youths employ,
Where every moment ſteals the wing of joy;
There may'ſt thou ſee, low proſtrate at thy throne,
Devoted ſlaves and victims all thy own:
Each village-ſwain the turf-built ſhrine ſhall raiſe,
And kings command whole hecatombs to blaze.
O memory! ingenious to revive
Each fleeting hour, and teach the paſt to live,
Witneſs what conflicts this frail boſom tore!
What griefs I ſuffer'd! and what pangs I bore!
How long I ſtruggled, labour'd, ſtrove to ſave
An heart that panted to be ſtill a ſlave!
When youth, warmth, rapture, ſpirit, love, and flame,
Seiz'd every ſenſe, and burnt thro' all my frame;
From youth, warmth, rapture, to theſe wilds I fled,
My food the herbage, and the rock my bed.
There, while theſe venerable cloiſters riſe
O'er the bleak ſurge, and gain upon the ſkies,
My wounded ſoul indulg'd the tear to flow
O'er all her ſad viciſſitudes of woe;
Profuſe of life, and yet afraid to die,
Guilt in my heart, and horror in my eye,
With ceaſeleſs prayers, the whole artillery given
To win the mercies of offended heaven,
Each hill, made vocal, echoed all around,
While my torn breaſt knock'd bleeding on the ground.
Yet, yet, alas! tho' all my moments fly
Stain'd by a tear, and darken'd in a ſigh;
Tho' meagre faſts have on my cheek diſplay'd
The duſk of death, and ſunk me to a ſhade,
Spite of myſelf the ſtill-impoiſoning dart
Shoots thro' my blood, and drinks up all my heart;
My vows and wiſhes wildly diſagree,
And grace itſelf miſtakes my God for thee.
Athwart the glooms, that wrap the midnight ſky,
My Eloiſa ſteals upon my eye;
For ever riſes in the ſolar ray,
A phantom brighter than the blaze of day:
Where-e'er I go, the viſionary gueſt
Pants on my lip, or ſinks upon my breaſt;
Unfolds her ſweets, and, throbbing to deſtroy,
Winds round my heart in luxury of joy;
While loud hoſannas ſhake the ſhrines around,
I hear her ſofter accents in the ſound;
Her idol-beauties on each altar glare,
And heaven much-injur'd has but half my prayer:
No tears can drive her hence, no pangs controul,
For every object brings her to my ſoul.
Laſt night, reclining on yon airy ſteep,
My buſy eyes hung brooding o'er the deep;
The breathleſs whirlwinds ſlept in every cave,
And the ſoft moon-beam danc'd from wave to wave;
Each former bliſs in this bright mirror ſeen,
With all my glories, dawn'd upon the ſcene,
Recall'd the dear auſpicious hour anew,
When my fond ſoul to Eloiſa flew:
When, with keen ſpeechleſs ecſtaſies oppreſt,
Thy frantic lover ſnatch'd thee to his breaſt,
Gaz'd on thy bluſhes arm'd with every grace,
And ſaw the goddeſs beaming in thy face;
Saw thy wild, trembling, ardent wiſhes move
Each pulſe to rapture, and each glance to love.
But lo! the winds deſcend, the billows roar,
Foam to the clouds, and burſt upon the ſhore,
Vaſt peals of thunder o'er the ocean roll,
The flame-wing'd lightning gleams from pole to pole.
At once the pleaſing images withdrew,
And more than horrors crouded on my view;
Thy uncle's form, in all his ire array'd,
Serenely dreadful ſtalk'd along the ſhade,
Pierc'd by his ſword, I ſunk upon the ground,
The ſpectre ghaſtly ſmil'd upon the wound;
A group of black infernals round me hung,
And toſs'd my infamy from tongue to tongue.
Deteſted wretch! how impotent thy age!
How weak thy malice! and how kind thy rage!
Spite of thyſelf, inhuman as thou art,
Thy murdering hand has left me all my heart;
Left me each tender, fond affection, warm,
A nerve to tremble, and an eye to charm.
No, cruel, cruel, exquiſite in ill,
Thou thought'ſt it dull barbarity to kill;
My death had robb'd loſt vengeance of her toil,
And ſcarcely warm'd a Scythian to a ſmile:
Sublimer furies taught thy ſoul to glow
With all their ſavage myſteries of woe;
Taught thy unfeeling poniard to deſtroy
The powers of nature, and the ſource of joy;
To ſtretch me on the racks of vain deſire,
Each paſſion throbbing, and each wiſh on fire;
Mad to enjoy, unable to be bleſt,
Fiends in my veins, and hell within my breaſt.
Aid me, fair faith! aſſiſt me, grace divine!
Ye martyrs! bleſs me, and ye ſaints! refine,
Ye ſacred groves! ye heaven-devoted walls!
Where folly ſickens, and where virtue calls;
Ye vows! ye altars! from this boſom tear
Voluptuous love, and leave no anguiſh there:
Oblivion! be thy blackeſt plume diſplay'd
O'er all my griefs, and hide me in the ſhade;
And thou, too fondly idoliz'd! attend,
While awful reaſon whiſpers in the friend;
Friend, did I ſay? immortals! what a name?
Can dull, cold friendſhip, own ſo wild a flame?
No; let thy lover, whoſe enkindling eye
Shot all his ſoul between thee and the ſky,
Whoſe warmths bewitch'd thee, whoſe unhallow'd ſong
Call'd thy rapt ear to die upon his tongue,
Now ſtrongly rouze, while heaven his zeal inſpires,
Diviner tranſports, and more holy fires;
Calm all thy paſſions, all thy peace reſtore,
And teach that ſnowy breaſt to heave no more.
Torn from the world, within dark cells immur'd,
By angels guarded, and by vows ſecur'd,
To all that once awoke thy fondneſs dead,
And hope, pale ſorrow's laſt ſad refuge, fled;
Why wilt thou weep, and ſigh, and melt in vain,
Brood o'er falſe joys, and hug th' ideal chain?
Say, canſt thou wiſh, that, madly wild to fly
From yon bright portal opening in the ſky,
Thy Abelard ſhould bid his God adieu,
Pant at thy feet, and taſte thy charms anew?
Ye heavens! if, to this tender boſom woo'd
Thy meer idea harrows up my blood;
If one faint glimpſe of Eloiſe can move
The fierceſt, wildeſt agonies of love;
What ſhall I be, when, dazzling as the light,
Thy whole effulgence flows upon my fight?
Look on thyſelf, conſider who thou art,
And learn to be an abbeſs in thy heart;
See, while devotion's ever-melting ſtrain
Pours the loud organ thro' the trembling fane,
Yon pious maids each earthly wiſh diſown,
Kiſs the dread croſs, and croud upon the throne:
O let thy ſoul the ſacred charge attend,
Their warmths inſpirit, and their virtues mend;
Teach every breaſt from every hymn to ſteal
The ſeraph's meekneſs, and the ſeraph's zeal;
To riſe to rapture, to diſſolve away
In dreams of heaven, and lead thyſelf the way,
Till all the glories of the bleſt abode
Blaze on the ſcene, and every thought is God.
While thus thy exemplary cares prevail,
And make each veſtal ſpotleſs as her veil,
Th' eternal ſpirit o'er thy cell ſhall move
In the ſoft image of the myſtic dove;
The long-loſt gleams of heavenly comfort bring,
Peace in his ſmile, and healing on his wing;
At once remove affliction from thy breaſt,
Melt o'er thy ſoul, and huſh her pangs to reſt.
O that my ſoul, from love's curſt bondage free,
Could catch the tranſports that I urge to thee!
O that ſome angel's more than magic art
Would kindly tear the hermit from his heart!
Extinguiſh every guilty ſenſe, and leave
No pulſe to riot, and no ſigh to heave.
Vain fruitleſs wiſh! ſtill, ſtill, the vigorous flame
Burſts, like an earthquake, thro' my ſhatter'd frame;
Spite of the joys that truth and virtue prove,
I feel but thee, and breath not but to love;
Repent in vain, ſcarce wiſh to be forgiven;
Thy form my idol, and thy charms my heaven.
Yet, yet, my fair! thy nobler efforts try,
Lift me from earth, and give me to the ſky;
Let my loſt ſoul thy brighter virtues feel,
Warm'd with thy hopes, and wing'd with all thy zeal.
And when, low-bending at the hallow'd ſhrine,
Thy contrite heart ſhall Abelard reſign;
When pitying heaven, impatient to forgive,
Unbars the gates of light, and bids thee live;
Seize on th' auſpicious moment ere it flee,
And aſk the ſame immortal boon for me.
Then when theſe black, terrific ſcenes are o'er,
And rebel nature chills the ſoul no more;
When on thy cheek th' expiring roſes fade,
And thy laſt luſtres darken in the ſhade;
When arm'd with quick varieties of pain,
Or creeping dully ſlow from vein to vein,
Pale death ſhall ſet my kindred ſpirit free,
And theſe dead orbs forget to doat on thee;
Some pious friend, whoſe wild affections glow
Like ours, in ſad ſimilitude of woe,
Shall drop one tender, ſympathizing tear,
Prepare the garland, and adorn the bier;
Our lifeleſs reliques in one tomb enſhrine,
And teach thy genial duſt to mix with mine.
Mean while, divinely purg'd from every ſtain,
Our active ſouls ſhall climb th' etherial plain,
To each bright cherub's purity aſpire,
Catch all his zeal, and pant with all his fire;
There, where no face the glooms of anguiſh wears,
No uncle murders, and no paſſion tears,
Enjoy with heaven eternity of reſt,
For ever bleſſing, and for ever bleſt.
14. THE ORIGIN OF DOUBT.
WHen Jove at firſt from nothing call'd forth all,
And various beings fill'd this pendant ball,
In rank ſuperior to our boaſted race,
Subaltern gods, now ſeldom ſeen, had place:
Immortal theſe, but of a doubtful birth,
And all with man joint ſojourners on earth.
Sacred, to ſome bright nymph, was every tree,
To Naiads brooks, to Nereids all the ſea.
By Jove in mercy to her care conſign'd
Reaſon, bright empreſs! claim'd the human mind.
Not the pure radiance that reſides above,
And guides the councils of immortal Jove,
But humbler far, tho' honour'd with the name,
And leſs in power, in eſſence though the ſame.
With Man coeval Time began to be,
Form'd from an atom of eternity.
Earth's genial power produc'd a giant-ſon,
Ignorance his name, a wretch belov'd of none:
From theſe deriv'd, a motley race began,
Not kind with kind commixing, as in man.
Time, in the youth of all that vigorous power
Which ſtill ſuſtains him in his waining hour,
Smit with fair Reaſon bright in blooming charms,
Claſp'd the conſenting goddeſs in his arms;
Nor barren joys the fond embrace beſtows,
A lovely daughter hence, fair Knowledge, roſe;
Favour'd by both, of Time and Reaſon bred,
The father nurs'd her, and the mother fed;
Her charms improving as her ſtature grew,
Unknown deſir'd, and lov'd by all who knew:
Truth's radiant hand adorn'd her form with care,
And Virtue, fondly ſmiling, call'd her fair.
Faſt, by the foot of proud Parnaſſus ſtood,
Remote from vulgar view, a ſacred wood,
Here Contemplation keeps her hallow'd court,
And young Ideas on the breezes ſport,
Celeſtial truths in holy dreams are taught,
And buſy Silence plumes the wings of Thought.
Here Knowledge, ſhelter'd from the noontide ray,
Frequent was wont with chaſte delight to ſtray.
Yet none, not deities, if born below,
The fates exempt from violence and woe;
For here as once ſhe ſate in thought profound,
Her mind in heaven, her eyes upon the ground,
And mus'd on man's free-will, Jove's fixt decrees,
On choice, on preſcience which all future ſees,
On acts impell'd by motives ſtrong as fate,
Rewarded, puniſh'd, in an endleſs ſtate,
On chance, neceſſity, effect and cauſe,
Great nature's end, and truth's eternal laws,
Lo! the huge form of Ignorance appear'd,
Whom known by inſtinct, ſhe by inſtinct fear'd.
With terror wing'd the virgin flies the place,
The monſter follows with unequal pace:
Tho', fir'd with brutal rage, he perſeveres,
The widening diſtance half diſpell'd her fears;
When now, too much elated with her ſpeed,
Her lifted eyes no more her footſteps heed,
She ſtumbles, falls, the raviſher is nigh;
'Tis vain to plead, impoſſible to fly:
His idiot form compreſs'd the trembling maid,
And his rude joys prophan'd the conſcious ſhade;
But from the loath'd embrace the pregnant dame
Conceiv'd a ſon, and Doubt (when born) his name,
Fond of his mother's virtues to partake,
Who ſhuns and hates him for his father's ſake.
15. SOME LINES OCCASIONED BY A SERIES OF THEOLOGICAL ENQUIRIES.
SHall man, who blindly wanders nature thro',
Dark and impervious to his neareſt view;
Shall he, to God, his eye preſumptuous turn,
And hope from whence, and what he is, to learn!
O! firſt and laſt! O! greateſt, wiſeſt, beſt!
To thee be ſtill my prayers and praiſe addreſt,
Nor let me boaſt that I to aſk am free,
How He now is, who ne'er began to be;
How love immenſe, that form'd creation's plan,
Could unexerted lie, till time began;
Or if all nature's works and all their laws
Are co-eternal with their parent-cauſe,
Spontaneous beaming with dependent ray,
As from the ſun the light that gives the day;
If all the vaſt immenſity of ſpace
Is fill'd with beings of an endleſs race;
Or, if ſome narrower bounds the work confine,
And why thus bounded love and power divine;
Whence the deep ſhades of ſin and ſorrow came,
And evil mingled with the general frame;
Why ſpread the dark dominions of the grave,
Or why I wiſh more virtue than I have.
Theſe ſecret things to none but Thee are known,
Veil'd in the darkneſs that ſurrounds thy throne.
O! let my ſoul be ſtill content to know
Thy love, thy wiſdom rules the world below.
Secure, my lot the bleſſing or the rod,
To find a father where I trace the God;
While hope by thee permitted looks on high,
And, as her portion, meditates the ſky,
Safe in the path which terminates above,
Secur'd from wandering, while I walk by love.—
O! brighter ſtill illume the ſocial flame,
Thy ſhining image! in my filial frame;
By juſt gradation let my love aſcend,
All elſe my neighbours, thou alone my friend.
16. TO SIR HUMPHRY MACKWORH, ON THE MINES, LATE OF SIR CARBERY PRICE.
WHat ſpacious veins enrich the Britiſh ſoil,
The various ores, and ſkilful miner's toil;
How ripening metals lie conceal'd in earth,
And teeming Nature forms the wondrous birth;
My uſeful verſe, the firſt, tranſmits to fame,
In numbers tun'd, and no unhallow'd flame.
O generous Mackworth! could the muſe impart
A labour worthy thy auſpicious art;
Like thee ſucceed in paths untrod before,
And ſecret treaſures of the land explore;
Apollo's ſelf ſhould on the labour ſmile,
And Delphos quit for Britain's fruitful iſle.
Where fair Sabrina flows around the coaſt,
And aged Dovey in the ocean's loſt,
Her lofty brows unconquer'd Britain rears,
And fenc'd with rocks impregnable appears;
Which like the well-fix'd bars of nature ſhow,
To guard the treaſures ſhe conceals below.
For Earth, diſtorted with her pregnant womb,
Heaves up to give the forming embryo room:
Hence vaſt excreſcencies of hills ariſe,
And mountains ſwell to a portentous ſize.
Louring and black the rugged coaſt appears,
The ſullen earth a gloomy ſurface wears;
Yet all beneath, deep as the centre, ſhines
With native wealth, and more than India's mines.
Thus erring Nature her defects ſupplies,
Indulgent oft to what her ſons deſpiſe:
Oft in a rude, unfiniſh'd form, we find
The nobleſt treaſure of a generous mind.
Thrice happy land! from whoſe indulgent womb,
Such unexhauſted ſtores of riches come!
By heaven belov'd! form'd by auſpicious fate,
To be above thy neighbouring nations great!
Its golden ſands no more ſhall Tagus boaſt,
In Dovey's flood his rivall'd empire's loſt;
Whoſe waters now a nobler fund maintain,
To humble France, and check the pride of Spain.
Like Egypt's Nile the bounteous current ſhows,
Diſperſing bleſſings whereſoe'er it flows;
Whoſe native treaſure's able to repair
The long expences of our Gallic war.
The antient Britons are a hardy race,
Averſe to luxury and ſlothful eaſe;
Their necks beneath a foreign yoke ne'er bow'd,
In war unconquer'd, and of freedom proud;
With minds reſolv'd they laſting toils endure,
Unmix'd their language, and their manners pure.
Wiſely does nature ſuch an offspring chuſe,
Brave to defend her wealth, and ſlow to uſe.
Where thirſt of empire ne'er inflames their veins,
Nor avarice, nor wild ambition reigns:
But, low in mines, they conſtant toils renew,
And thro' the earth their branching veins purſue.
As when ſome navy on th' Iberian coaſt,
Chas'd by the winds, is in the ocean loſt;
To Neptune's realms a new ſupply it brings,
The ſtrength deſign'd of European kings:
Contending divers would the wreck regain,
And make repriſals on the graſping main:
Wild in purſuit they are endanger'd more,
Than when they combated the ſtorms before.
The miner thus thro' perils digs his way,
Equal to theirs, and deeper than the ſea;
Drawing, in peſtilential ſteams, his breath,
Reſolv'd to conquer, tho' he combats death.
Night's gloomy realms his pointed ſteel invades,
The courts of Pluto, and infernal ſhades:
He cuts thro' mountains, ſubterraneous lakes,
Plying his work, each nervous ſtroke he takes
Looſens the earth, and the whole cavern ſhakes.
Thus, with his brawny arms, the Cyclops ſtands,
To form Jove's lightning with uplifted hands;
The ponderous hammer with a force deſcends,
Loud as the thunder which his art intends;
And as he ſtrikes, with each reſiſtleſs blow
The anvil yields, and Aetna groans below.
Thy fam'd inventions, Mackworth, moſt adorn
The miner's art, and make the beſt return:
Thy ſpeedy ſails, and uſeful engines, ſhow
A genius richer than the mines below.
Thouſands of ſlaves unſkill'd Peru maintains;
The hands that labour ſtill exhauſt the gains:
The winds, thy ſlaves, their uſeful ſuccour join,
Convey thy ore, and labour at thy mine;
Inſtructed by thy arts, a power they find
To vanquiſh realms, where once they lay confin'd.
Downward, my muſe, direct thy ſteepy flight,
Where ſmiling ſhades, and bounteous realms invite;
I firſt of Britiſh bards invoke thee down,
And firſt with wealth thy graceful temples crown,
Thro' dark retreats purſue the winding ore,
Search nature's depths, and view her boundleſs ſtore;
The ſecret cauſe in tuneful meaſures ſing,
How metals firſt are fram'd, and whence they ſpring.
Whether the active ſun, with chymic flames,
Thro' porous earth tranſmits his genial beams;
With heat impregnating the womb of night,
The offspring ſhines with its paternal light:
On Britain's iſle propitiouſly he ſhines,
With joy deſcends, and labours in her mines.
Or whether, urg'd by ſubterraneous flames,
The earth ferments, and flows in liquid ſtreams;
Purg'd from their droſs, the nobler parts refine,
Receive new forms, and with freſh beauties ſhine.
Thus fluid parts, unknowing how to burn,
With cold congeal'd, to ſolid metals turn:
For metals only from devouring flame
Preſerve their beauty, and return the ſame;
Both art and force the well-wrought maſs diſdains,
And 'midſt the fire its native form retains.
Or whether by creation firſt they ſprung,
When yet unpois'd the world's great fabric hung:
Metals the baſis of the earth were made,
The bars on which its fix'd foundation's laid:
All ſecond cauſes they diſdain to own,
And from th' Almighty's Fiat ſprung alone.
Nature in ſpecious beds preſerves her ſtore,
And keeps unmix'd the well-compacted ore;
The ſpreading root a numerous race maintains
Of branching limbs, and far-extended veins:
Thus, from its watery ſtore, a ſpring ſupplies
The leſſer ſtreams that round its fountain riſe;
Which bounding out in fair meanders play,
And o'er the meads in different currents ſtray.
Methinks I ſee the rounded metal ſpread,
To be ennobled with our monarch's head:
About the globe th' admired coin ſhall run,
And make the circle of its parent ſun.
How are thy realms, triumphant Britain, bleſt!
Enrich'd with more than all the diſtant weſt!
Thy ſons, no more betray'd with hopes of gain,
Shall tempt the dangers of a faithleſs main,
Traffic no more abroad for foreign ſpoil,
Supplied with richer from their native ſoil.
To Dovey's flood ſhall numerous traders come,
Employ'd to fetch the Britiſh bullion home,
To pay their tributes to its bounteous ſhore,
Returning laden with the Cambrian ore.
Her abſent fleet Potoſi's race ſhall mourn,
And wiſh in vain to ſee our ſails return;
Like miſers heaping up their uſeleſs ſtore,
Starv'd with their wealth, amidſt their riches poor.
Where-e'er the Britiſh banners are diſplay'd,
The ſuppliant nations ſhall implore our aid:
Till thus compell'd, the greater worlds confeſs
Themſelves oblig'd, and ſuccour'd by the leſs.
How Cambria's mines were to her offspring known,
Thus ſacred verſe tranſmits the ſtory down:
Merlin, a bard of the inſpired train,
With myſtic numbers charm'd the Britiſh plain;
Belov'd by Phoebus, and the tuneful nine,
His ſong was ſacred, and his art divine:
As on Sabrina's fruitful banks he ſtood,
His wonderous verſe reſtrain'd the liſtening flood;
The ſtream's bright Goddeſs rais'd her awful head,
And to her cave the artful ſhepherd led.
Her ſwift-deſcending ſteps the youth purſues,
And rich in ore the ſpacious mountain views.
In beds diſtinct the well-rang'd metals lay,
Diſperſing rays, and counterfeiting day.
The ſilver, ſhedding beams of orient light,
Struck with too fierce a glare his aking ſight;
Like riſing flames the ruddy copper ſhow'd,
And ſpread its bluſhes o'er the dark abode:
Profuſe of rays, and with unrivall'd beams,
The liquid ſilver flow'd in reſtleſs ſtreams:
Nor India's ſparkling gems are half ſo bright,
Nor waves above, that ſhine with heavenly light;
When thus the Goddeſs ſpake; harmonious Youth,
Rever'd for numbers fraught with ſacred truth!
Belov'd by heaven! attend while I relate
The fix'd decree, and dark events of fate.
Conceal'd theſe treaſures lie in nature's womb,
For future times, and ages yet to come.
When many long revolving years are run,
A hero ſhall aſcend the Britiſh throne,
Whoſe numerous triumphs ſhall Auguſta grace,
In arms renown'd, ador'd for plenteous peace.
Beneath his ſway a generous youth ſhall riſe,
With virtues bleſt, in happy councils wiſe;
Rich with the ſpoils of learning's various ſtore,
Commanding arts, yet ſtill acquiring more.
He, with ſucceſs, ſhall enter this abode,
And nature trace in paths before untrod;
The ſmiling offspring from her womb remove,
And with her entrails glad the realms above.
O youth, reſerv'd by more auſpicious fate,
With fam'd improvements to oblige the ſtate!
By wars impoveriſh'd, Albion mourns no more,
Thy well-wrought mines forbid her to be poor:
The earth, thy great exchequer, ready lies,
Which all defect of failing, funds ſupplies;
Thou ſhalt a nation's preſſing wants relieve,
Not war can laviſh more than thou canſt give.
This, Mackworth, fixes thy immortal name,
The muſe's darling, and the boaſt of fame;
No greater virtues on record ſhall ſtand,
Than thus with arts to grace, with wealth enrich the land.
17. A POEM, SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF A DEARLY BELOVED AND ONLY DAUGHTER, WHO DIED IN THE ELEVENTH YEAR OF HER AGE.
A Common theme a flattering muſe may fire,
To raiſe our paſſions, tho' ſhe ſung for hire;
And may our praiſes or our pity ſteal,
By feigning tranſports, which ſhe does not feel;
But when the ſong from native love proceeds,
And paints the anguiſh of a heart that bleeds;
The mourning muſe exerts ſuperior ſkill,
And dips in tears th' inconſolable quill;
Our boſoms then with riſing ſorrows glow,
And grief ſpontaneous will from nature flow.
Ah! what is life, that thoughtleſs wiſh of all?
A drop of honey, in a draught of gall;
A half exiſtence, or a waking dream;
A bitter fountain with a muddy ſtream;
A tale, a ſhadow, a deluſive ſound,
That's loſt with mourning, and with ſorrow found;
A fading landſcape, painted upon clay,
The ſource of care, and idol of a day;
The ſweet deluder of a reſtleſs mind,
Which, if 'twas loſt, how few would wiſh to find!
Untimely thus, the infant-budding roſe,
By ſome rude hand is cropt before it blows;
Away the little ſoul of fragrance flies,
And blooming beauty unregarded dies,
Snatch'd from the parent ſtem where once it grew,
Embalm'd in odours, and the morning dew.
Can I be dumb, when Love and Nature cries,
And I have loſt the darling of my eyes?
Tho' 'tis in vain to wiſh for her return,
Yet all the ties of Nature bid me mourn.
If thou canſt ſtill the unrelenting ſea,
And make the jarring elements agree;
Or cauſe the tide to ceaſe to ebb and flow;
Or hinder the deſcent of hail and ſnow;
If thou canſt ſtop the thunder's dreadful roar,
Or cauſe the billows not to laſh the ſhore;
If thou canſt lull a hurricane to ſleep;
Then may thy words perſuade me not to weep.
O! give me leave, but to lament her fall,
As David mourn'd for Jonathan and Saul;
When on mount Gilboa (O unhappy day!)
They to Philiſtia fell a ſhameful prey:
Or (if it may with innocence be done)
As he lamented Abſalom his ſon;
When in the anguiſh of his ſoul he cried,
" Would God, my ſon, I in thy place had died!"
Then lend your aid (if any ſuch there be,
That lov'd a child, or mourn for one like me)
Let your kind ſighs with me in concert join,
And add your ſympathizing tears to mine,
That may in ſtreams to ſwelling rivers flow,
Until thoſe rivers to a deluge grow.
But if there's none commiſerates my caſe,
And in no breaſt compaſſion finds a place,
Let not your cenſures add to my concern,
Nor ſlight the cauſe that moves me thus to mourn.
If you are void of trouble, free from pain,
Add not to mine, nor wonder I complain.
I know the ſtroke is from the hand divine,
To whom I may complain; tho' not repine.
Tho' I deplore my loſs, and wiſh it leſs,
Yet I will kiſs the rod, and acquieſce;
A Saviour's blood ſhall ſuperſede my fears,
And love paternal juſtify my tears.
When Death at firſt beſieg'd this little fort,
The feeble outworks were the tyrant's ſport;
A fever made the firſt attack in form,
And then convulſions took it ſoon by ſtorm.
Succours without were weak, like thoſe within,
The guards were ſickly, and the walls were thin;
In bad repair the gates and citadel,
And then no wonder that ſo ſoon it fell;
Death's icy hands the lovely fabric ſpoil'd;
He got a victim, but I loſt my child.—
Five mournful days with trembling hand and heart,
I play'd the whole artillery of art;
Five nights I paſt in ſorrow, like the day,
And almoſt mourn'd my own ſad life away;
But when the moſt, that art could do, was tried,
Her leaſe of life was cancell'd, and ſhe died:—
" She died,"—the conſcious, whiſpering winds reply,
And I (unhappy father!) ſaw her die!
I ſaw her die!—Can I the deed forgive?
How can I bear to ſay I did—and live!
Tho' long her reaſon ſuffer'd an eclipſe,
No ſinful word proceeded from her lips;
Tho' ſore oppreſs'd with agonizing pain,
She utter'd nothing indiſcreet, or vain;
Which gives me hopes her ſoul was waſh'd from ſin,
And grace abounding was at work within.
Whilſt nature yet maintain'd a doubtful ſtrife,
And death ſat brooding on the verge of life:
Even then—when all the hopes of life were fled,
I and the angels waiting round her bed,
(They to conduct her to the realms of day,
And I, to weep, to ſigh, to mourn, to pray,)
I kiſs'd her lips, I wip'd her dying face,
And took the father's and the nurſe's place;
With bleeding heart I heard her dying groans,
And met with equal agony, her moans:
Each ſigh was as a dagger in my heart,
We knew we muſt, but oh! were loth to part!
I mourn'd, I wept, I gave a looſe to grief,
And had recourſe to all things for relief;
But all in vain—the laſt effort I make,
I gave—but oh! ſhe had not ſtrength to take:
Her fluttering pulſe with intermiſſion play'd,
And then her heart its palpitation ſtay'd;
And thus thro' all the forms of death ſhe paſt;
'Till with a ſigh ſhe gently breath'd her laſt.
But who can paint the horror, or the power
Of nature's conflict in ſo dark an hour?
The wound was ſuch, that time can never heal,
No balm can cure it, and no art conceal.
May that ſad day be baniſh'd from the year,
Or cloath'd in ſable, if it muſt appear!
Or, may the ſun withdraw his beams at noon,
And ſolid darkneſs veil the ſtars and moon!
May all the ſands be ſtagnant in the glaſs,
And (as that hour returns) refuſe to paſs!
All clocks be dumb, and time forget to fly,
And may all nature be as ſad as I!
Let mourning in its blackeſt dreſs appear!
And ſhe be never nam'd, without a tear!
Oh! where are now thoſe dear obedient hands,
So pleas'd to execute my whole commands?
Where are thoſe feet, ſo early taught to run?
As lightning ſwift, unwearied as the ſun?
Where now thoſe arms, that with ſuch paſſion ſtrove
To claſp my neck, and ſtifle me with love?
Where now thoſe lips, where mine were fond to dwell,
Or where that breath, that raviſh'd with the ſmell?
Where is that tongue, whoſe prattle charm'd mine ears?
Where fled the hopes of my declining years?
Where is that face, ſo pleaſant when ſhe ſmil'd?
Or where's the woman acting in the child?
Where thoſe dear eyes, that with ſuch ſweetneſs ſhone?
Or rather, where are all my comforts gone?
Where is that heart, ſo near to truth allied,
That never diſobey'd—but when ſhe died?
Where is that breaſt, where virtue once did grow,
As roſes ſweet, and white as falling ſnow?
They're buried all in the voracious grave,
Where kings are levell'd with the meaneſt ſlave.
The wiſe and great, when there they make their bed,
Are equall'd with the wretch that begs his bread;
But there the wicked can no more oppreſs,
And there the weary find a calm receſs;
And this does all my expectations crown,
That I to her ſhall there go quickly down.
Till then, this hope ſhall mitigate my woe,
And dry thoſe tears that now profuſely flow,
That when by heaven's command I quit the ſtage,
Bow'd down by time, and quite fatigued with age;
My bones ſhall reſt in quiet by her ſide,
Like a fond bridegroom ſleeping by his bride;
'Till the laſt day ſhall both to life reſtore,
When Death ſhall die, and Time ſhall be no more.
This diſtant view does equal pleaſure give,
As now my ſoul is conſcious that I live.
And thou that once waſt my delight and pride,
In whom I hop'd to have a nurſe and guide,
When feeble age ſhould bow my hoary head,
And pain or ſickneſs fix me to my bed,
If I may, guiltleſs, call upon thy name,
And aſk a boon, without incurring blame:
Tho' thou art happy now amongſt the bleſt,
Indulge thy mourning father's laſt requeſt.
When ſome kind angel from this world below,
Shall bring the news (for ſure the angels know)
And ſhall to thee and kindred ſpirits tell,
That mine has orders to forſake her ſhell;
And be tranſplanted to the realms of light,
Where faith and hope are ſwallow'd up in ſight,
Do thou with heavenly raptures meet my ghoſt,
On th' utmoſt limits of that happy coaſt;
And thence attend me to the throne of grace,
To view my Saviour's reconciled face,
And taſte of joys, ineffable and new;
Till then, my little ſaint, adieu, adieu.
18. ON THE PHYSICAL CAUSE OF THE DEATH OF KING GEORGE THE SECOND.
THro' grief to death men oft have ſtole,
And baffled all the phyſic art;
Diſſection ſeldom found the hole,
Or ſhow'd before a broken heart.
That this of royal George the caſe
With men can never gain belief,
More like the oppoſite it was,
Since joy can kill as well as grief.
With length of years and glory crown'd,
As blithe he view'd his valiant bands,
Death, dealing ſecretly the wound,
From future conqueſts ſtopt his hands.
" Enough of years, enough of fame,
" While thou didſt wield the conquering ſword,"
Cries Death, "Leave ſomething to proclaim
" The worth and praiſe of George the third.
" His be the glorious taſk to end,
" And bid war's cruel horrors ceaſe,
" The freedom of mankind defend,
" And bleſs a jarring world with peace."
19. CORYDON. A PASTORAL.
TO THE MEMORY OF WILLIAM SHENSTONE, ESQ.
COme, ſhepherds, we'll follow the hearſe.
And ſee our lov'd Corydon laid;
Tho' ſorrow may blemiſh the verſe,
Yet let the ſad tribute be paid.
They call'd him the pride of the plain:
In ſooth he was gentle and kind;
He mark'd in his elegant ſtrain
The graces that glow'd in his mind.
On purpoſe he planted yon trees,
That birds in the covert might dwell:
He cultur'd his thyme for the bees;
But never once rifled their cell.
Ye lambkins that play'd at his feet,
Go bleat—and your maſter bemoan:
His muſic was artleſs and ſweet,
His manners as mild as your own.
No verdure ſhall cover the vale,
No bloom on the bloſſoms appear,
The ſweets of the foreſt ſhall fail,
And winter encompaſs the year;
No birds in our hedges ſhall ſing,
(Our hedges ſo vocal before!)
Since he that ſhould welcome the ſpring,
Can greet the gay ſeaſon no more.
His Phillis was proud of his praiſe,
And poets came round in a throng;
They liſten'd—and envied his lays;
But which of them equall'd the ſong?
Ye ſhepherds, henceforward be mute,
For loſt is the paſtoral ſtrain:
So give me my Corydon's flute,
And thus—let me break it in twain!
IN the barn the tenant cock,
Cloſe to Partlet perch'd on high,
Briſkly crows, (the ſhepherd's clock)
And proclaims the morning nigh.
Swiftly from the mountain's brow,
Shadows, nurs'd by night, retire;
And the peeping ſun-beam now
Paints with gold the village-ſpire.
Now the pine-tree's waving top
Gently greets the morning gale;
And the new-wak'd kidlings crop
Daiſies round the dewy vale.
Philomel forſakes the thorn,
Plaintive where ſhe prates at night;
And the lark, to greet the morn,
Soars beyond the ſhepherd's ſight.
From the clay-built cottage-ridge,
See the chattering ſwallow ſpring!
Darting thro' the one-arch'd bridge,
Quick ſhe dips her dappled wing.
Lo, the buſy bees employ'd!
Reſtleſs till their taſk be done!
Now from ſweet to ſweet, uncloy'd,
Sipping dew before the ſun.
Trickling thro' the crevic'd rock,
See the ſilver ſtream diſtill!
Sweet refreſhment for the flock,
When 'tis ſun-drove from the hill!
Ploughmen, for the promis'd corn
Ripening o'er the banks of Tweed,
Anxious hear the huntſman's horn,
Soften'd by the ſhepherd's reed.
Sweet, oh ſweet, the warbling throng,
On the white embloſſom'd ſpray!
All is muſic, mirth, and ſong,
At the jocund dawn of day.
FErvid now the ſun-beam glows,
Drinking deep the morning gem:
Not a dew-drop's left the roſe,
To refreſh her parent ſtem.
By the brook the ſhepherd dines,
From the fierce meridian heat
Shelter'd by the branching pines,
Pendent o'er his graſſy ſeat.
See, the flocks forſake the glade,
Where uncheck'd the ſun-beams fall,
Sure to find a pleaſing ſhade,
By the ivy'd abbey wall.
Echo, in her airy round
O'er the river, rock, and hill,
Cannot catch a ſingle ſound,
Save the clack of yonder mill.
Cattle court the breezes bland,
Where the ſtreamlet wanders cool;
Or with languid ſilence ſtand
Midway in the marſhy pool.
But from mountain, dell, or ſtream,
Not a fluttering zephyr ſprings;
Fearful left the piercing beam
Scorch its ſoft, its ſilken wings.
Not a leaf has leave to ſtir;
Nature's lull'd, ſerene and ſtill;
Quiet even the ſhepherd's cur,
Sleeping on the heath-clad hill.
Languid is the landſcape round,
Till the freſh deſcending ſhower
Kindly cools the thirſty ground,
And revives each fainting flower.
Now the hill, the hedge, is green,
Now the warbler's throat's in tune;
Blithſome is the vernal ſcene,
Brighten'd by the beams of noon.
AS the plodding ploughman goes
Homeward, (to the hamlet bound)
Giant-like his ſhadow grows,
Lengthen'd o'er the level ground.
O'er the mead the bullock ſtrays
Free—the furrow'd taſk is done;
And the village windows blaze,
Burniſh'd by the ſetting ſun.
Mark him, from behind the hill,
Strike the purple-painted ſky;
Can the pencil's mimic ſkill
Copy the refulgent dye?
Where the riſing foreſt ſpreads
Round the time-decaying dome,
To their high-built airy beds
See the rooks returning home!
As the lark, with varied tune,
Carrols to the evening, loud,
Mark the mild reſplendent moon
Breaking thro' a parted cloud!
Now the hermit howlet peeps
From the barn, or twiſted brake,
And the curling vapour creeps
O'er the lilly-border'd lake:
As the trout, in ſpeckled pride,
Playful, from its boſom ſprings,
To the banks a ruffled tide
Verges in ſucceſſive rings.
Tripping thro' the ſilken graſs,
O'er the path-divided dale,
See, the roſe-complexion'd laſs
With the well-pois'd milking-pail!
Linnets with unnumber'd notes,
And the cuckoo bird with two,
Tuning ſweet their mellow throats,
Bid the ſetting ſun adieu.
23. ON MAY.
WROTE IN APRIL MDCCLXI.
THE virgin, when ſoften'd by May,
Attends to the villager's vows;
The birds ſweetly bill on the ſpray,
And poplars embrace with their boughs.
On Ida bright Venus may reign,
Ador'd for her beauty above;
We ſhepherds, that live on the plain,
Hail May as the mother of love.
From the weſt, as it wantonly blows,
Fond zephyr careſſes the pine;
The bee ſteals a kiſs from the roſe,
And willows and woodbines entwine:
The pinks by the rivulet's ſide,
That border the vernal alcove,
Bend downwards to kiſs the ſoft tide,
For May is the mother of love.
May tinges the butterfly's wing;
He flutters in bridal array:
If the larks and the linnets now ſing,
Their muſic is taught them by May,
The ſtock-dove, recluſe with her mate,
Conceals her fond bliſs in the grove;
And murmuring ſeems to repeat,
That May is the mother of love.
The goddeſs will viſit you ſoon;
Ye virgins, be ſportive and gay;
Get your pipes, oh ye ſhepherds, in tune,
For muſic muſt welcome the May.
Would Damon have Phillis prove kind,
And all his keen anguiſh remove,
Let him tell a ſoft tale, and he'll find,
That May is the mother of love.
24. CONTRASTE TO MRS. CARTER'S ODE TO WISDOM.
NOW ſee my goddeſs, earthly born,
With ſmiling looks, and ſparkling eyes,
And with a bloom that ſhames the morn
New riſen in the eaſtern ſkies!
Furniſh'd from nature's boundleſs ſtore,
A nymph of pleaſure's laughing train,
Stranger to all the wiſe explore,
She proves all far-ſought knowledge vain.
Untaught as Venus, when ſhe found
Herſelf firſt floating on the ſea,
And laughing begg'd the Tritons round
For ſhame to look ſome other way:
And unaccompliſh'd all as Eve
In the firſt morning of her life,
When Adam bluſh'd, and aſk'd her leave
To take her hand, and call her Wife.
Yet there is ſomething in her face,
Tho' ſhe's unread in Plato's lore,
Might bring even Plato to diſgrace,
For leaving precepts taught before:
And there is magic in her eye,
Tho' ſhe's unſkill'd to conjure down
The pale moon from th' affrighted ſky,
Would draw Endymion from the moon:
And there are words that ſhe can ſpeak,
Moſt eaſy to be underſtood,
More ſweet than all the heathen Greek
By Helen talk'd, when Paris woo'd:
And ſhe has raptures in her power,
More worth than all the flattering claim
Of learning's unſubſtantial dower,
In preſent praiſe, or future fame.
Let me but kiſs her ſoft warm hand,
And let me whiſper in her ear
What Knowledge would not underſtand,
And Wiſdom would diſdain to hear:
And let her liſten to my tale,
And let one ſmiling bluſh ariſe,
Beſt omen that my vows prevail!
I'll ſcorn the ſcorn of all the wiſe.
25. ON THE ROYAL NUPTIALS.
AT length the gallant navy from afar
Riſes in proſpect, with expanded wings
Improving the kind gale, ſo long delay'd;
And wins in pompous pride her eaſy way
To Albion's ſhore, charg'd with the precious freight
Of England's deareſt hopes, and George's love.
Not ſo deſir'd, nor with ſuch treaſure fraught,
Arrives the wealthy convoy, from the coaſt
Of Ceylon or Golconda; laden deep
With ſpicy drugs, barbaric gems, and gold.
Nor he who circled in his daring courſe
The globe entire, old Ocean's utmoſt round,
Brought back ſo rich a prize, tho' with the ſpoils
Of proud Iberia loaded he return'd;
Or captive in his halſers when he dragg'd
The vanquiſh'd Gallic fleets; as now he brings,
More welcome, from Germania's friendly ſhore.
Hail kindred regions, dear parental ſoil,
Saxonian plains! where deep Viſurgis flows,
Where Leina's doubly-honour'd waters glide,
Where mighty Albis draws his humid train!
England to you with grateful homage pays
Filial obeyſance meet: to you ſhe owes
Her name, her tribes, her generous race; to you
Her firſt, her lateſt bleſſings. Forth from you
Iſſued our ſires, old Woden's high-born ſons;
Great Woden deem'd a god, with uncouth rites
By his rude offspring worſhipp'd: they their courſe
Adventurous ſteer'd to theſe alluring ſhores.
Firſt Hengiſt, valiant chief; nor yet leſs wiſe
Than valiant: he the Cantian wold obtain'd,
His new domain; yielded by ſocial league,
Or won by fair Rowena's conquering charms.
Next Ella, Cerdic, and th' intrepid race
Of Anglians from Eydora's northern ſtream,
Pour'd in their numerous hoſts: nor Britiſh proweſs,
Nor Merlin's ſpells, nor Arthur's puiſſant ſword,
Hight Caliburn, fam'd in romantic tale,
Could long withſtand th' impetuous onſet bold
Of our great ſires in battle. Soon they rais'd
On Britain's ruins ſeven imperial thrones;
Seven thrones conjoin'd at length in Cerdic's race:
From whoſe high ſource the ſtream of regal blood,
Thro' the long line of Engliſh monarchs, flows
Down to th' illuſtrious houſe of Lunenbourg,
From antient Brunſwic nam'd, (Brunſwic, the ſeat
Primeval of Saxonian chieftains old)
To George, great heir of Anglo-Saxon kings.
And Thou, Saxonia's brighteſt ornament
Erewhile, now England's boaſt, and higheſt pride,
Welcome to theſe congenial ſhores; to this
Ambiguous land, another Saxony.
See thine own people, thy compatriot tribes,
With heart-felt joy, and zealous loud acclaim,
Thy bleſt arrival hail. Tho' ſever'd long
From their original ſoil, on foreign ſtock
Tho' grafted, not degenerate: ſtill within
Works the wild vigour of the parent root.
Rough, hardy, brave; by force intractable,
Or lawleſs rule; patient of equal ſway;
With civil freedom tempering regal power.
Be this thy better country; nor regret
Thy natal plains, tho' dear: here thou ſhalt find
What largely ſhall o'erpay thy loſs. Lo! here
Thy Parent, Brother, Friend, all charities
Compris'd in one, thy conſort, with fond wiſh,
Expects thee; ſcepter'd George, with every grace
Adorn'd; yet more renown'd for virtue's praiſe,
Faith, honour, in green years wiſdom mature,
True majeſty with awful goodneſs crown'd.
He ſhall aſſuage thy grief: his thoughtful breaſt,
Studious of England's glory and Europe's weal,
Thou in return ſhalt ſooth with tender ſmiles,
Endearing blandiſhment, and equal love.
Nor ſhall, heaven's gift, fruit of the genial bed
Be wanting; pledge of public happineſs
Secure; dear ſource of long domeſtic joys.
Here ſhalt thou reign, a ſecond Caroline;
Diffuſing from the throne a milder ray,
Soft beauty's unexpreſſive influence ſweet.
Prompt to relieve th' oppreſt; to wipe away
The widow's tears; to call forth modeſt worth;
To cheriſh drooping virtue: patroneſs
Of ſcience and of arts; friend to the muſe,
Of every grateful muſe the favourite theme.
Hail, ſovereign lady, deareſt dread! accept
Even now this homage of th' officious muſe,
That on the verge extreme of Albion's cliff
With gratulation thy firſt ſteps prevents,
Tho' mean, yet ardent; and ſalutes thine ear
With kindred accents in Teutonic lays.
OH, born to bleſs ſome youth unknown,
F—, thy beauties all will own;
Yet all who know you will confeſs
Your beauty than your merit leſs.
One who deſerves you would you chuſe?
Accept this offering of my muſe:
She paints—ah, hardly paints from life,—
Him, who alone ſhould call you wife,
That dear, dear name in which are join'd
All that can charm or ſooth the mind.
Let me, my fair, direct your choice,
For that alone is my advice.
Rules for behaviour I'll not give,
Thoſe from an abler hand receive,
For them to Lyttleton attend,
He, tho' a poet, is a friend,
And truſt me, I, my gentle dame,
Altho' no poet, am the ſame.
Would you be happy?—Yes, you wou'd:
Then let the favour'd youth be good,
Elſe every tender thought remove,
Where there's no virtue, far be love,
But where bright glows that heavenly flame,
Virtue and love become the ſame.
Scorning the pert, the dull, the vain,
The wretch who thirſts for ſordid gain,
Let fair ſincerity and truth
Adorn thine only-favour'd youth,
To theſe humility be join'd,
That faireſt virtue of the mind.
Mark well his looks: let them impart
The genuine fondneſs of the heart,
That ever in the looks appears
A fondneſs form'd of hopes and fears.
Mark his behaviour: love inſpires
Reſpectful awe amidſt its fires,
His trembling hand to yours when join'd,
Speaks the ſoft awe that fills his mind,
His words, his actions ſhould proclaim
A pure, a true, and real flame.
Be ſure let cheerfulneſs divine
Inſpire the heart that's made for thine,
For that, when join'd with manly ſenſe,
Pleaſures perpetual will diſpenſe.
Theſe virtues let us now unite
To place them in the faireſt light,
And ſee how lovely they'll appear:—
He muſt be good, muſt be ſincere,
Be true, be humble, and his love
Be pure as virtue may approve,
Reſpectful fondneſs muſt he ſhow,
And round him cheerfulneſs muſt throw
Her pleaſing light, her beams divine,
To make his virtues brighter ſhine.
Thus have I drawn th' ideal man
That may deſerve deſerving * * *.
And know you none whom this is like?
None where reſemblance ſtrong may ſtrike?
Or is there this diſtinguiſh'd one?—
Be he or not as yet unknown
Have him, my lovely maid, or none.
On foreign or on Engliſh ground
If this deſerving youth be found,
In whom theſe merits all combine,
Bring him to me to make him thine:
I'll exerciſe my magic powers,
And date from thence your happieſt hours.
But if, rejecting my advice,
As fancy's form, and over-nice,
To one unlike you'll give your charms,
And take th' unworthy to your arms,
Truſt me, my office I'll decline;
The hateful deed ſhall ne'er be mine,
Merit, with all its charms, to give
Where there's no merit to receive.
27. ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG LADY.
AET. XIX. WRITTEN MDCCLIX.
DAughter of God, Religion, lend thine aid,
Deſcend, deſcend, all-powerful as thou art,
From thy bright throne above, celeſtial maid,
Pour thy ſoft balm upon the ſorrowing heart.
Say, ſweet reſtorer, who could ever know
A wound like that for which our ſorrows pour?
Did ever mourners feel ſincerer woe?
Or deeper grief thy ſovereign help implore?
Glow'd not her heart with pure devotion warm?
There were pure faith and holy love impreſt;
Was ſhe not good as hope itſelf could form?
Spoke not her open looks a ſpotleſs breaſt?
She was—oh come, Religion, heavenly fair!
Looſe theſe dire bonds that fix us to the earth;
Not what ſhe was, but what ſhe is, declare,
And paint the glories of her ſecond birth.
Paint her aſcending to th' etherial height,
Where hymning ſaints her bleſt arrival greet,
Paint her pure ſpirit clad in robes of light,
With trembling joy before the mercy-ſeat.
Exhauſtleſs ſplendor beams around the throne,
While from the midſt God's awful voice is heard—
" Servant of God, well done: thy faith is known,
" Eternal glories be the great reward."
Oh words of rapture! which ſeraphic lyres
Harmonious catch, and in their ſtrains return;
The ſtranger ſpirit glows with heavenly fires,
And boundleſs joys within her boſom burn;
A roſe-lip'd angel, Purity divine,
(Bright is her form, and white her flowing veſt,
Around her beams celeſtial ceaſeleſs ſhine,
And thoſe on whom ſhe ſmiles are ever bleſt:)
Leads the young ſeraph to a glorious throne,
Preſents a golden harp and ſtarry wreath;
There ever ſhall ſhe dwell in bliſs unknown,
There ever the Almighty's praiſes breathe.
28. THE CIT'S COUNTRY BOX.
THE wealthy cit, grown old in trade,
Now wiſhes for the rural ſhade;
And buckles to his one-horſe chair
Old Dobbin, or the founder'd mare;
While wedg'd in cloſely by his ſide
Sits madam, his unwieldy bride,
With Jacky on a ſtool before 'em;
And out they jog in due decorum.
Scarce paſt the turnpike half a mile,
How all the country ſeems to ſmile!
And as they ſlowly jog together,
The cit commends the road and weather;
While madam doats upon the trees,
And longs for every houſe ſhe ſees;
Admires its views, its ſituation,
And thus ſhe opens her oration.
" What ſignify the loads of wealth,
" Without that richeſt jewel health?
" Excuſe the fondneſs of a wife,
" Who doats upon your precious life:
" Such ceaſeleſs toil, ſuch conſtant care
" Is more than human ſtrength can bear.
" One may obſerve it in your face—
" Indeed, my dear, you break apace:
" And nothing can your health repair,
" But exerciſe, and country air.
" Sir Traffick has a houſe, you know,
" About a mile from Cheney Row:
" He's a good man, indeed, 'tis true,
" But not ſo warm, my dear, as you:
" And folks are always apt to ſneer—
" One would not be outdone, my dear."
Sir Traffick's name ſo well applied,
Awak'd his brother merchant's pride;
And Thrifty, who had all his life
Paid utmoſt deference to his wife,
Confeſs'd, her arguments had reaſon;
And by th' approaching ſummer ſeaſon
Draws a few hundreds from the ſtocks,
And purchaſes his country box.
Some three or four miles out of town,
(An hour completely brings you down,)
He fixes on his choice abode,
Not half a furlong from the road:
And ſo convenient does it lay,
The ſtages paſs it every day:
And then ſo ſnug, ſo mighty pretty,
To have a houſe ſo near the city:
Take but your places at the Boar,
You're ſet down at the very door.
Well then, ſuppoſe 'em fix'd at laſt,
White-waſhing, painting, ſcrubbing paſt;
Hugging themſelves in eaſe and clover,
With all the fuſs of moving over:
Lo! a new heap of whims are bred,
And wanton in my lady's head.
" Well, to be ſure, it muſt be own'd
" It is a charming ſpot of ground:
" So ſweet a diſtance for a ride;
" And all about ſo countrified!
" 'Twould come to but a trifling price
" To make it quite a paradiſe.
" I cannot bear thoſe naſty rails,
" Thoſe ugly, broken, mouldy pales:
" Suppoſe, my dear, inſtead of theſe,
" We build a railing all Chineſe.
" Altho' one hates to be expos'd,
" 'Tis diſmal to be thus enclos'd.
" Rural retirement, pray, d'ye term it?
" Lard, it is living like a hermit.
" One hardly any object ſees—
" I wiſh you'd fell thoſe odious trees;
" 'Twould make a much more cheerful ſcene—
" I'm tir'd with everlaſting green.
" Objects continual paſſing by
" Were ſomething to amuſe the eye:
" But to be pent within the walls,
" One might as well be at St. Paul's.
" Our houſe beholders would adore,
" Was there a level lawn before;
" Nothing its views to incommode,
" But quite laid open to the road;
" While every traveller in amaze
" Should on our little manſion gaze,
" And, pointing to the choice retreat,
" Cry, that's Sir Thrifty's country-ſeat."
No doubt her arguments prevail,
For madam's taſte can never fail.
Bleſt age! when all men may procure
The title of a connoiſſeur;
When th' noble and ignoble herd
Are govern'd by a ſingle word;
Tho', like the royal German dames,
It bears an hundred chriſtian names:
As Genius, Fancy, Judgment, Goùt,
Whim, Caprice, Je ne ſcai quoi, Virtû:
Which appellations all deſcribe
Taſte, and the modern taſteful tribe.
Now bricklayers, carpenters, and joiners,
With Chineſe artiſts and deſigners,
Produce their ſchemes of alteration
To work this wond'rous reformation.
The uſeful dome, which ſecret ſtood
Emboſom'd in the yew-trees wood,
The traveller with amazement ſees
Chang'd to a temple tout Chineſe,
With many a bell and tawdry rag-on,
And creſted with a ſprawling dragon.
A wooden arch is bent aſtride
A ditch of water four feet wide,
With angles, curves, and zigzag lines
From Halfpenny's exact deſigns.
In front a level lawn is ſeen,
Without a ſhrub upon the green;
Where taſte would want its firſt great law,
But for the ſkulking ſly Ha-Ha;
By whoſe miraculous aſſiſtance
You gain a proſpect two fields diſtance.
And now from Hyde-park Corner come
The gods of Athens and of Rome:
Here ſquabby Cupids take their places
With Venus and the clumſy Graces;
Apollo there, with aim ſo clever,
Stretches his leaden bow for ever;
And there, without the power to fly,
Stands, fix'd a tip-toe, Mercury.
The villa thus compleatly grac'd,
All own, that Thrifty has a taſte:
And madam's female friends and couſins,
With common-council-men, by dozens,
Flock every Sunday to the ſeat,
To ſtare about them, and to eat.
29. THE FALL OF CHLOE'S JORDAN.
OF waſteful havock and deſtructive fate
I ſing the tragic ſcene, a mournful tale;
Yet call no ſlaughtering hero to my aid
To ſtrew my bloodleſs verſe with mangled foes;
A torrent ſpilt, but not of human gore,
Ruin deform'd, but not of man erect.
O heaven-born muſe (for muſe I muſt invoke,
Or miſtreſs fair, for faſhion or for need)
Deign to deſcribe the memorable fall
Of Chloe's Jordan; ſo by mortals nam'd
The veſſel was, howe'er uncouth the ſound,
But veil'd by modeſt maids in gentler terms:
Like Rome, the miſtreſs of the world, it fell,
From its own greatneſs only not ſecure.
Say firſt, what colours ſtain'd its vaulted ſides,
Leſt harmleſs bards miſtake th' important truth,
And ſpeak as fancy leads, or rhime directs;
And he that terms it white as ſilver ſwans,
And ſpotleſs innocence, and new-fallen ſnow
That ſpreads its plumes on Atlas bleaky head,
Shall ſuffer blemiſh in the wrong compare.
Another humorous ſports and jeers its hue
Earthly and coarſe, of ſubſtance indigeſt:
How oft are men, by devious error led
To wander various, wide alike from truth!
A ſickly-pale languiſh'd on th' inner round,
Such as betrays the want of love-ſick maids,
Foe to the roſy cheek, and coral lip,
But flies the luſty touch of warmer man,
And beauty re-aſſumes its native ſeat.
Smooth were its ſides, but from the bottom roſe
A manly head emboſs'd, for hero meant,
No queſtion, fam'd for arms and antique ſtem.
Such honours the well-meaning vulgar pay
To fame of gallant men, and waſte their ſkill
On high-hung ſigns, and earth of homely hue.
What bluſhes did the virile image coſt
The harmleſs maid, fearful leſt ſo employ'd,
The amorous ſtone ſhould ſoften into life:
As erſt Pygmalion's marble miſtreſs chang'd
Her Parian ſubſtance by leſs motive ſway'd.
Without, the cerulous dye beſtrew'd the urn,
And on the ſwelling ſurface, Flora's pride,
The lilly, and the gaudy tulip ſmil'd,
Fed with the briny nectar it contain'd.
One handle held the veſſel, arch'd and ſmooth,
But for its weighty office far unfit:
Here weakneſs lurk'd in comely form diſguis'd,
Hence the ſad ſource and root of all our woe:
Imprudent man too often truſts his fate
To one ſmooth friend, who ſhrinks when nearly tried.
The unſuſpecting fair-one never fail'd
At morn and eve to dew its ſpacious womb,
At morn her firſt, at eve her lateſt act:
How often has it flow'd with maiden ſtreams
Fam'd for rare virtues, and but ſeldom found!
'Twas with this magic ſtream Diana ſpread
The branchy horns on bold Actaeon's brow:
The well e'er-ſince a ſecret power retains
On human foreheads antlers to convey.
'Twas now the heavy period fix'd by fate
Haſten'd apace with evil miſchief fraught.
'Tis true, no comet ſtream'd terrific blaze,
Nor thunder-crack ſiniſtrous roar'd aloud;
Not but a crazy ſound gave certain proof
Of hidden crack, foreboding wider wounds,
Yet ſcap'd ſuſpicion: foreſight ever fails
When unavoided ruin is decreed.
The feeble ſun, array'd with lifeleſs flames,
Inn'd at the bearded Goat, and drove his car
Extinguiſh'd heavy half the tour of heaven,
And winter, keen of breath, blew ſhivering cold
Around the globe, and hid the voluble ſtreams:
Some to the chimney's warm protection fly,
And fright the ſooty earth with ſooty tale
Of ſprite nocturnal, or adventurous knight:
Some bid defiance to th' inclement air,
Fir'd with the juicy flame of old Falern.
Amidſt a jovial crew fair Chloe quaff'd
With loud carouſe, till ſated nature crav'd
Timely relax, diſtent with liquid pain.
Alone, ſhe lifts the Jordan to her aid,
And ſtrait a hideous din 'gan roar aloud,
Wave daſh'd on wave, deluge on deluge rowl'd,
And curl'd the circling eddy to the brim.
Whole cataracts at once diſcharg'd fell down
With violent guſh, and drove the deep caſcade:
Till weary of its load the labouring urn
Flew from its hold, a horrid burſt enſues,
And mangled limbs beſtrew the bruiſed floor.
Not louder roars the three-edg'd bolt of heaven
When form'd by Vulcan, or when thrown by Jove.
Forth from the hideous ſhreds a tepid ſea
Rolls angry foam, and ſmokes along the plain.
Part of the ſtream, with ſlow and ſilent pace,
Sunk unobſerv'd in narrow crannies loſt:
Part murmurs crowding at the portal wide
Which opes the mazy way, that winding leads
To th' antient race of earth: protected mice,
The race exiguous, uninur'd to wet,
Their manſions quit, and other countries ſeek.
Thus fell the Jordan, that had long withſtood,
Firm and reſolv'd, the ſhock of mighty waves,
Which loſt their ſtrength, and daſh'd her ſhores in vain.
Till, at th' approach of one impetuous tide,
Fate took th' occaſion, and confirm'd its doom.
So the fam'd Ediſtone near Plymouth Fort
(Sure mark to wandering ſhips and loſt at night)
Contemn'd the billows tumbling round its ſides,
And mock'd their ſports, till on a fatal night
The wind blew loud, th' enraged ocean roar'd,
And plung'd the Pharos in the vaſt abyſs.
30. DR. CONYERS TO DR. EVANS BURSAR, ON CUTTING DOWN SOME FINE COLLEGE-TREES.
INdulgent Nature to each kind beſtows
A ſecret inſtinct to diſcern its foes;
The timorous gooſe avoids the ravenous fox,
Lambs fly from wolves, and pilots ſhun the rocks;
The rogue a gibbet, as his fate, foreſees,
And bears the like antipathy to trees.
31. THE WANDERING BEAUTY.
THE graces and the wandering loves
Are fled to diſtant plains,
To chaſe the fawns, or in deep groves
To wound admiring ſwains.
With their bright miſtreſs there they ſtray,
Who turns her careleſs eyes
From daily triumphs; yet each day
Beholds new triumphs in her way,
And conquers while ſhe flies.
But ſee! implor'd by moving prayers,
To change the lover's pain,
Venus her harneſs'd doves prepares,
And brings the fair again.
Proud mortals, who this maid purſue,
Think you ſhe'll e'er reſign?
Ceaſe, fools, your wiſhes to renew,
Till ſhe grows fleſh and blood like you,
Or you like her divine.
32. HYMN ON THE APPROACH OF MAY.
QUeen of the laughing flower! whoſe lovely waiſt
Fair Spring entwines with her brocaded zone,
Array'd moſt gorgeous in thy rainbow veſt,
With joy deſcend from thy celeſtial throne.
Bright, on the ſkirt of yon cerulean cloud,
In ſplendid majeſty I ſee her ſail,
With laviſh hand ſhe fills the lap of earth,
And with her breath perfumes the fanning gale.
Now Flora puts her greeneſt mantle on,
And Phoebus darts a more enlightning beam,
Rearing his ſtately neck, the ſilver ſwan
Floats lighter on the warm redundant ſtream.
The ſtream-redundant, fed by guſhing ſprings,
Curls to the preſſure of the tepid breeze:
Feeling the force of renovated life,
Nod the green ſummits of the neighbouring trees.
Sits on its thorn the crimſon-bluſhing roſe
And ſmiles, oh May! to meet thy brilliant eye;
Rude grows the lilly, and unfolds its breaſt,
White as the fleece, that decks the vernal ſky.
The ſwallow twitters on the chimney top;
The merry martin builds her plaited neſt;
And, clos'd within the covert of the hedge,
The loud thruſh ſwells his many-ſpotted breaſt.
Perch'd on yon ſlender pile of bavin-wood,
Too proud to mingle with the fowl below,
Expands the peacock his eye-glittering tail,
Still brighter, as he waves it to and fro.
In this ſoft ſeaſon Cupid ſtrings his bow,
And aims his fatal arrows at the heart:
Stung to the quick, the virgin feels the wound,
Yet nouriſhes the new, the pleaſing ſmart.
In yonder mead the luſty ruſtic aids
The bonny milkmaid with her cleanly pail,
And ever and anon he charms her air
With "lovely Bett," or "Nanny of the Vale."
In nature's artleſs language he reveals,
True to the bluſhing maid, his genuine flame:
A lovelier hue adorns her comely face:
How far more different is the bluſh of ſhame!
The nymph, approving of his love ſincere,
Conſents the nuptial union ſhall be tied:
The rites perform'd, what extaſies enſue!
He the gay bridegroom, ſhe the happy bride.
Peace, guardian Peace, ſits ſmiling at their door,
Where-e'er they walk, Contentment marks the way:
Conſtant Good-humour cloaths their honeſt minds,
And every morning of their life is May.
33. ODE TO HEALTH.
DAughter of Exerciſe! at whoſe command
Mirth ſpreads a ſmile upon the cheek of Care:
At whoſe re-kindling breath
Sickneſs looks up, and lives:
Say! where (for much thy haunts I long to woo)
Shall I thy joy-infuſing preſence hail,
Amidſt what ſylvan ſcenes,
Or unfrequented plains?
Say! when the roſeate finger of the morn
Points out the glories of her ſhort-liv'd reign,
Shall I thy ſteps purſue,
Climbing the mountain's ſide,
From whoſe tall brow, in eminence ſuperb,
Fair Nature views her fruitful vales below,
While Phoebus darts around
His oriental eye?
Or ſhall I trace thy veſtige o'er the heath,
Where, in deriſion of the floriſt's aid,
Shoots up, untaught by art,
The voluntary flower?
For well, 'tis known, that oft upon the heath
In contemplation, devious art thou ſeen,
Or panting up the ſteep
Of un-imprinted hill.
Or, when cool evening, in her floating veſt,
Sweeps o'er the lawns, diffuſing ſhadowy pomp,
And bids the ſun recline
I will attend thee to the ſolemn grove,
Where love ſtands regiſtred on every tree,
Where the rook rocks his young,
And Echo learns to caw.
Or, ſtanding on the margent of the ſtream,
I will ſurvey thee on the paſſive wave,
Then preſs the liquid bed,
To meet thy naiad kiſs.
O tell me, nymph, thy choſen reſidence,
Be it on mountain top, or foreſt wild,
And I will conſecrate
A temple to thee there.
34. A SONG FOR THE PARK AT HIGH MALL.
YE foplings, and prigs, and ye wou'd-be-ſmart things,
Who move in wide commerce's round,
Pray tell me from whence this abſurdity ſprings,
All orders of rank to confound.
What means the bag-wig, and the ſoldier-like air,
On the tradeſman obſequious and meek?
Sure ſabbaths were meant for retirement and prayer
To amend the paſt faults of the week.
The youth, to whom battles and dangers belong,
May call a fierce look to his aid;
Lace, bluſter, and oaths, and a ſword an ell long,
Are ſamples he gives of his trade;
But you on whom London indulgently ſmiles,
And whom counters ſhould guard from all ills,
Should ſlily invade with humility's wiles,
Leſt ſplendor deter us from bills.
Old Greſham, whoſe ſtatue adorns the Exchange,
Diſplays the true cit to our view,
And ſilently frowns on a conduct ſo ſtrange,
So remote from your intereſts and you;
Then learn from his geſture grave, decent, and plain,
To copy fair Prudence's rules,
For Frugality's garb will conceal your vaſt gain,
And ſecure you the plunder of fools.
The eaſe of a court, and the air of a camp,
Are graces no cit can procure:
Monſ. Jourdain ſtill trots in the Spittlefields tramp,
Nor can Hart the grown aukwardneſs cure.
Thus, if apes of the faſhion St. James's you croud,
Preſſing onwards in ſpite of all ſtops,
The Mall you may fill, and be airy and loud,
But, truſt me, you'll ne'er fill your ſhops.
35. VERSES WRITTEN IN A BLANK LEAF IN LORD ORRERY'S REMARKS ON THE LIFE OF DEAN SWIFT.
HAil noble Critic! whoſe pervading mind
The dazzling beams of genius cannot blind:
Whoſe ſteady eye, and equal hand detects,
In ſpite of wit, humanity's defects;
O ſay! what cauſe impell'd thee thus to ſcan
Foibles that ſhame the Dean, and ſink the man?
The ſacred veil, whoſe texture genius wrought,
To ſhade from public view each latent fault,
Long conſecrate its wondrous power retain'd,
Tho' Envy rag'd, and Faction ſtalk'd unchain'd;
But, what no foe had dar'd, (tho' malice fir'd)
Thy cooler warmth, O friendſhip! hath inſpir'd;
For thee alone reſerv'd the arduous taſk,
Severely thus his errors to unmaſk.
Ah hapleſs Swift! whoſe nakedneſs of mind
Another Ham diſplays to all mankind;
Ariſe! and vindicate thy injur'd fame,
Ariſe! and curſe the author of thy ſhame:
Avenge this flagrant breach of friendſhip's rules,
Change nature's laws, and curſe his race with fools.
36. PROLOGUE TO THE GRATEFUL FAIR, A COMEDY INTENDED FOR THE STAGE.
IN antient days (as jovial Horace ſings)
When laurell'd bards were lawgivers and kings,
Bold was the comic muſe, without reſtraint,
To name the vicious, and the vice to paint;
Th' enliven'd picture from the canvas flew,
And the ſtrong likeneſs crouded on the view.
Our author practiſes more general rules,
He is no niggard of his knaves and fools:
Both ſmall and great, both dull and pert he ſhews,
That every gentleman may pick and chuſe.
The laws dramatic tho' he ſcarcely knows
Of time and place, and all the piteous proſe,
Which pedant Frenchmen ſnuffle thro' their noſe.
Fools!—who preſcribe what Homer ſhould have done,
Like tattling watches they correct the ſun.
Critics—like poſts—undoubtedly may ſhow
The way to Pindus—but they cannot go.
For to delight and elevate the mind,
To heaven-directed genius is aſſign'd.
When-e'er immortal Shakeſpear's works we read,
He wins the heart, before he ſtrikes the head.
Swift to the ſoul the piercing image flies
More ſwift than Celia's wit, or Celia's eyes,
More ſwift than ſome romantic traveller's thought,
More ſwift than Britiſh fire, when William fought.
Fancy precedes and conquers all the mind,
Deliberating judgment ſlowly lags behind,
Comes to the field with blunderbuſs and gun,
Like heavy Falſtaff, when the work is done,
Fights, when the battle's o'er, with wondrous pain
By Shrewſbury clock—and nobly ſlays the ſlain.
But critic cenſures are beneath his care,
Who ſtrives to pleaſe the honeſt and the fair:
Their approbation is much more than fame,
He ſpeaks—he writes—he breathes not—but for them.
37. ON MOTHER GRIFFITHS.
THE race of critics, till of late, were grac'd
With reading, learning, judgment, ſenſe, and taſte:
And none e'er dar'd uſurp that noble name,
But who, as authors, had eſtabliſh'd fame;
By envy never, nor by ſpite miſled,
And, tho' ſtrict judges, they were ſtill well-bred:
But now, oh ſhame to Britain, and the muſe!
Dame Griffiths writes her infamous Reviews,
Who to no requiſite can make pretence
Of learning, genius, judgment, taſte, or ſenſe;
Yet with the rancour of a curſed elf,
She damns all works—but what ſhe prints herſelf:
Thus modern Methodiſts, with fooliſh pride,
Save their own ſect, and deem all damn'd beſide;
To cobler-parſons weaver-prieſts ſucceed,
And preach that Goſpel which they cannot read.
- APril. An ode, Page 1
- An ode, 3
- Spring. An ode, 5
- To a lady on her birth-day, 7
- Stanzas on the ſpring, 9
- Inſcription for an hermitage, 11
- Anacreontic on the ſpring, 12
- African prince to Zara, 13
- Zara to the African prince, 20
- Abelard to Eloiſa. By Pattiſon, 27
- Roſamond to Henry, 34
- Henry to Roſamond, 45
- Abelard to Eloiſa. By Cawthorne, 47
- The origin of doubt, 60
- On theological enquiries, 63
- To Sir Humphry Mackworth, on the mines, 65
- Elegy on the death of a daughter, 73
- On the phyſical cauſe of the late king's death, 80
- Corydon. A paſtoral, 81
- Morning, 83
- Noon, 85
- Evening, 87
- On May, 86
- Contraſte to an ode to wiſdom, 91
- On the royal nuptials, 93
- Epiſtle to a lady, 97
- On the death of a lady, 100
- The cit's country box, 102
- The fall of Chloe's jordan, 107
- On cutting down ſome trees, 111
- The wandering beauty, 112
- Hymn on the approach of May, 113
- Ode to health, 116
- Song for the Park at high Mall, 118
- Verſes on lord Orrery's remarks on dean Swift, 120
- Prologue to the Grateful Fair, 121
- On mother Griffiths, 123
END OF VOL. IV.
The editor of Poems by eminent ladies in two vol. 12mo. printed for R. Baldwin in 1755. have aſcribed this poem to mrs. Madan, and paid her handſome compliments upon it; whereas mr. Pattiſon, late of Sidney Coll. Camb. is undoubtedly the author; it being printed among his poems, which were publiſhed A.D. 1728. In the memoirs of his life prefixed to his poems, page 42. there is likewiſe a letter dated York, Oct. 20. 1726. wherein this poem is mentioned as Pattiſon's, and much commended.
Vide Moliere's Gentleman Citizen.