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|Table of Contents|
|Start of eBook||1|
|LINES TO THE MEMORY OF MY DEAR BROTHER,||2|
|LINES TO JULIA.||7|
|LINES TO FORTUNE,||8|
|LINES TO MISS ——,||11|
|LINES TO DELIA,||14|
|TIME AND THE LOVER.||14|
|GIVEN BY LIEUTENANT-COLONEL D—— TO HIS FRIENDS||17|
|THE FOLLOWING LINES IN FRENCH,||20|
|THE RHINGAU SONG.||20|
|LINES TO HEALTH,||20|
|AN IRISH SONG||21|
|THE SONG OF GRIEF||21|
|LOVE AND THE SPRING-FLOWER.||22|
|AN INDIAN MASSACRE-SONG.||23|
|VERSES TO MISS M. G——,||24|
|UPON THE PRINTS||25|
|TO MISS ATKINSON,||27|
|BANKRUPTCY RENDERED EASY.||28|
|LINES ON A LITTLE BIRD||29|
|EPITAPH ON A FRIEND.||29|
|LINES TO SELINA||31|
|LINES TO MISS E. ATKINSON,||33|
|THE WATER-NYMPH OF THE ROCK.||33|
|IMPROMPTU TO MADAME C——||34|
|THE FOLLOWING TWO SONGS||39|
|LINES TO STUDY.||40|
|THE FURY OF DISCORD||41|
|LINES TO ANNETTE.||42|
|MISS W—— RETURNED THE ROUGE||43|
|LINES TO A YOUNG LADY,||43|
Author: Sir John Carr
Release Date: December 2, 2003 [EBook #10367]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK poems ***
Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Jonathan Ingram, Josephine Paolucci and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
Sir John Carr.
Non ulla Musis pagina gratior,
Quam quae severis ludicra jungere
Novit, fatigatamque nugis
Utilibus recreare mentem.
&c. &c. &c.
In dedicating the following Poems to your Ladyship, I cannot help regretting that they are not more worthy of such an honour; that I might consequently have used it as an humble mode of expressing my sense of the happy and enlightened hours which I have passed in your Ladyship’s society, and of the polite attentions which I have at various times received from you, and the gallant object of your connubial affection, particularly at the House of British Embassy at Petersburgh, where you afforded to the Ladies of the North a just representation of the dignified virtue, cultivated mind, and attractive beauty, of the higher order of females of your own country.
I have the honour to remain,
Obedient faithful Servant,
Temple. June 1809
This Volume is submitted to the Public with all that diffidence which ought to attend the publication of Verses, many of which were written in the gay and happy era of boyhood, and others in subsequent periods of maturer life, as a relief from more arduous pursuits.
They lay no pretensions to the depth and solidity of the effusions of the Muse in her elevated flights; they are the few wild notes of the simple shepherd, and do not even affect to imitate the rich cadence of the scientific musician.
If the Author might, without the imputation of vanity, select for them a place in the Temple of Poetry, he would endeavour to class them in that niche which is appropriated for the reception of the light and playful Vers de Societe.
Should the Reader find them but little worthy of his approval, he will not have reason at the same time to condemn their prolixity: their brevity will, at least in some degree, atone for their want of fire and fancy.
It is thought proper to state that some of the following Poems have appeared before at various times, in a fugitive shape; and that the Poetry in the Author’s Tours is here collected.
WRITTEN IN A GROTTO
In a Wood on the Side of the River Dart,
Tell me, thou grotto! o’er whose brow are seen
Projecting plumes, and shades of deep’ning green,—
While not a sound disturbs thy stony hall,
While all thy dewy drops forget to fall,—
Why canst thou not thy soothing charms impart,
And shed thy quiet o’er this beating heart?
Tell me, thou richly-painted river! tell,
That on thy mirror’d plane dost mimic well
Each pendent tree and every distant hill,
Tipp’d with red lustre, beauteous, bright, and still,—
Can I not, gazing on thy tranquil tide,
Shed ev’ry grief upon thy rocky side?
Or must I rove thy margin, calm and clear,
The only agitated object near?
Oh! tell me, too, thou babbling cold cascade!
Whose waters, falling thro’ successive shade,
Unspangled by the brightness of the sky,
Awake each echo to a soft reply,—
Say, canst thou not my bosom-grief befriend,
And bid one drop upon my heart descend?
When all thy songsters soothe themselves to sleep.
Ah! must these aching eyes for ever weep?
And must their frequent waters, like thine own,
Drop, idly drop, on unimpressive stone?
Or, when my beauteous fair shall deign to grace
The humid foliage of thy mossy base,
Canst thou not tell how many a rock below
Impedes to kiss thy waters as they flow?
In her mind canst thou not the feeling rear
To stop, or thus caress, each genuine tear?
Teach her, oh! teach her, then, thou cold cascade!
Pour all thy lessons for the lovely maid!
And thou, bless’d grotto! let thy silence prove
Her mute consenting answer to my love!
And thou, bright river! as thou roll’st along,
Bear on thy wand’ring wave a lover’s song!
Strong as thy current, as thy waters pure,
Teach her to feel the passion I endure!
W.T.P. Carr, Esq.
—manibus date lilia plenis: Purpureos spargam flores.
Aeneid, lib. vi.
Tho’ no funereal grandeur swell my song,
Nor genius, eagle-plum’d, the strain prolong,—
Tho’ Grief and Nature here alone combine
To weep, my William! o’er a fate like thine,—
Yet thy fond pray’r, still ling’ring on my ear,
Shall force its way thro’ many a gushing tear:
The Muse, that saw thy op’ning beauties spread,
That lov’d thee living, shall lament thee dead!
Ye graceful Virtues! while the note I breathe,
Of sweetest flow’rs entwine a fun’ral wreath,—
Of virgin flow’rs, and place them round his tomb,
To bud, like him, and perish in their bloom!
Ah! when these eyes saw thee serenely wait
[Footnote A: The piano-forte, on which he excelled.]
“The Golden Days of good Queen Bess.”
To my Muse give attention, and deem it not a mystery
If I jumble up together music, poetry, and history,
To sing of the vices of wicked Queen Bess, sir,
Whose memory posterity with blushes shall confess, sir,
Detested be the memory of wicked Queen Bess, sir,
Whose memory posterity with blushes shall confess, sir.
In saying she would die a maid, she, England! did
But what she did, and what she died—I hope you will excuse me:
A gallant Earl a miracle of passion for her fed, sir;
She kiss’d him, and she clos’d the scene by striking off his head, sir!
Detested be, &c.
Oh! rude ungrateful Scotland! had thy desolated Queen,
No blue eyes ever known, nor had she beauteous been, sir,
The envy of our old rival hag she might have baffled, sir,
Nor with her guiltless blood have crimson’d o’er the scaffold, sir.
Detested be, &c.
She dress’d just like a porcupine, and din’d
just like a pig, sir,
And an over-running butt of sack she swallow’d at a swig, sir!
Her brawny maids of honour ate and drank confounded hard, sir,
And droves of oxen daily bled within her palace-yard, sir!
Detested be, &c.
In ruling she was wonderous tyrannical and surly;
If a patriot only touch’d on the Queen or Master Burleigh,
She’d send a file of soldiers in less than half an hour, sir,
Just to bid him make his speeches to the prisons of the Tow’r, sir!
Detested be, &c.
Rebecca was the fairest maid
That on the Danube’s borders play’d;
And many a handsome nobleman
For her in tilt and tourney ran;
While fair Rebecca wish’d to see
What youth her husband was to be.
Rebecca heard the gossips say,
“Alone from dusk till midnight stay
Within the church-porch drear and dark,
Upon the vigil of Saint Mark,
And, lovely maiden! you shall see
What youth your husband is to be.”
Rebecca, when the night grew dark,
Upon the vigil of Saint Mark,
(Observ’d by Paul, a roguish scout,
Who guess’d the task she went about,)
Stepp’d to St Stephen’s Church to see
What youth her husband was to be.
Rebecca heard the screech-owl cry,
And saw the black bat round her fly;
She sat, ’till, wild with fear, at last
Her blood ran cold, her pulse beat fast;
And yet, rash maid! she stopp’d to see
What youth her husband was to be.
Rebecca heard the midnight chime
Ring out the yawning peal of time,
When shrouded Paul, unlucky knave!
Rose like a spectre from the grave;
And cried, “Fair maiden, come with me.
For I your bridegroom am to be.”
Rebecca turn’d her head aside,
Sent forth a hideous shriek, and died!
While Paul confess’d himself, in vain,
Rebecca never spoke again!
Ah! little, hapless maid! did she
Think Death her bridegroom was to be.
Rebecca! may thy story long
Instruct the giddy and the young.
Fright not, fond youths! the timid fair;
And you too, gentle maids! beware;
Nor seek by lawless arts to see
What youths your husbands are to be.
To an auricula, belonging to ——.
Thou rear’st thy beauteous head, sweet flow’r
Gemm’d by the soft and vernal show’r;
Its drops still round thee shine:
The florist views thee with delight;
And, if so precious in his sight,
Oh! what art thou in mine?
For she, who nurs’d thy drooping form
When Winter pour’d her snowy storm,
Has oft consol’d me too;
For me a fost’ring tear has shed,—
She has reviv’d my drooping head,
And bade me bloom anew.
When adverse Fortune bade us part,
And grief depress’d my aching heart,
Like yon reviving ray,
She from behind the cloud would move,
And with a stolen look of love
Would melt my cares away.
Sweet flow’r! supremely dear to me,
Thy lovely mistress blooms in thee,
For, tho’ the garden’s pride,
In beauty’s grace and tint array’d,
Thou seem’st to court the secret shade,
Thy modest form to hide.
Oh! crown’d with many a roseate year,
Bless’d may she be who plac’d thee here,
Until the tear of love
Shall tremble in the eye to find
Her spirit, spotless and refin’d,
Borne to the realms above!
And oft for thee, sweet child of spring!
The Muse shall touch her tend’rest string;
And, as thou rear’st thine head,
She shall invoke the softest air,
Or ask the chilling storm to spare,
And bless thy humble bed.
To lady Warren,
On the Departure of Sir John Borlase Warren, K.B.
To take the command of A squadron.
Oh! why does sorrow shade thy face,
Where mind and beauty vie with grace?
Say, dost thou for thy hero weep,
Who gallantly, upon the deep,
Is gone to tell the madd’ning foe,
Tho’ vict’ry laid our Nelson low,
We still have chiefs as greatly brave,
Proudly triumphant on the wave?
Dear to thy Country shall thou be,
Fair mourner! and her sympathy
Is thine; for, in the war’s alarms,
Thou gav’st thine hero from thine arms;
And only ask’d to sigh alone,
To look to heav’n, and weep him gone.
Oh! soon shall all thy sorrow cease,
And, to thine aching bosom, peace
Shall quick return;—another tear
To love and joy, supremely dear,
Shall give thy gen’rous mind relief—
That tear shall gem the laurel leaf.
To Miss ——,
Accompanied by A rose and A lily.
I look’d the fragrant garden round
For what I thought would picture best
Thy beauty and thy modesty;
A lily and a rose I found,—
With kisses on their leaves imprest,
I send the beauteous pair to thee.
Nature’s imperfect child, to whom
The world is wrapt in viewless gloom,
Can unresisted still impart
The fondest wishes of his heart.
And he, to whose impervious ear
The sweetest sounds no charms dispense,
Can bid his inmost soul appear
In clear, tho’ silent, eloquence.
But we, my Julia, not so blest,
Are doom’d a diff’rent fate to prove,—
To feel each joy and hope supprest
That flow from pure, but hidden, love.
Upon Anacreon MOORE’S saying
that he disliked
singing to men.
By Beauty’s caresses, like Cupid, half-spoil’d,
Thus Music’s and Poesy’s favourite child
Exclaim’d,—“’Tis, by Heaven! a terrible thing
Before a he-party to sit and to sing!”
“By my shoul! Master Moore, you there may be right,”
Said a son of green Erin; “tho’ dear to my sight
Are all the sweet cratures, call’d women, I swear,
Yet I think we can feel just as well as the fair:
Tho’ you’d bribe us with songs, blood and ’ounds! let me say,
I’d not be a woman for one in your way.”
Tho’, Julia, we are doom’d to part,
Tho’ unknown pangs invade this heart,
For thee the light of love shall burn,
To thee my soul in secret turn:
Upon this bosom, swell’d with care,
The thought of thee shall tremble there
’Till Time shall close these weeping eyes,
And close the soothing source of sighs.
So, in the silence of the night,
Shines on the wave the lunar light;
With its soft image, bright, imprest,
It heaves, and seems to know no rest:
Its agitation soon is o’er;
It sighs, and dies along the shore!
To the Memory of Mrs. A.H. Holdsworth,
LATE OF MOUNT GALPIN, DEVONSHIRE.
Tyrant of all our loves and friendships here,
Behold thy beauteous victim!—Ah! tis thine
To rend fond hearts, and start the tend’rest tear
Where joy should long in cloudless radiance shine.
Alas! the mourning Muse in vain would paint,
Blest shade! how purely pass’d thy life away,
Or, with the meekness of a favour’d saint,
How rose thy spirit to the realms of day.
’Twas thine to fill each part that gladdens
Such as approving angels smile upon;—
The faultless daughter, parent, friend, and wife,—
Virtues short-lived! they set just as they shone.
Thus, in the bosom of some winding grove,
Where oft the pensive melodist retires,
From his sweet instrument, the note of love,
Charms the rapt ear, but, as it charms, expires.
Farewell, pure spirit! o’er thine early grave
Oblivion ne’er shall spread her freezing shade;
Nature shall bid her richest foliage wave
Where her reposing fav’rite child is laid.
There widow’d fondness oft, when summers bloom.
Shall with thy infant pledge of love repair;
Oft shall they kneel beside thy mossy tomb,
And tears shall dew the flow’rs that blossom there.
Written upon a Watch-String,
MADE AND PRESENTED TO THE AUTHOR BY MISS ——.
Say, lovely Charlotte! will you let me prove
What diff’rent thoughts thy taste and beauty move?
This woven chain, which graceful skill displays,
Leads me to think of time, and heave a sigh;
But when on thee and on thy charms I gaze,
Time unremember’d moves, or seems to die.
Upon a Diamond Cross,
WORN ON HER BOSOM BY MISS C.M.
Well on that neck, sweet Kitty! may you wear
The sparkling cross, with hopes to soften Heaven;
For trust me, tho’ so very young and fair,
Thou hast some little sins to be forgiven:—
For all the hopes which wit and grace can spread,
For all the sighs which countless charms can move,
Fall, lovely Kitty! on thy youthful head;
Yet fall they gently—for the crime is love.
Occasioned by a very amiable and generous Friend of mine munificently presenting Miss E.S. with a Donation of Fifteen Thousand Pounds.
Oh, Fortune! I have seen thee shed
A plenteous show’r of treasure down
On many a weak and worthless head,
On those who but deserv’d thy frown.
And I have heard, in lonely shade,
Her sorrows hapless Merit pour;
And thou hast pass’d the drooping maid,
To give some pamper’d fav’rite more.
But tho’ so cold, or strangely wild,
It seems that worth can sometimes move;
Thou hast on gentle Emma smil’d,
And thou hast smil’d where all approve:—
For Nature form’d her gen’rous heart
With ev’ry virtue, pure, refin’d;
And wit and taste, and grace and art,
United to illume her mind.
So dew-drops fall on some rare flow’r,
That merits all their fost’ring care,
As tho’ they knew that, by their pow’r,
Grateful ’twould wider scent the air.
THE LUTE OF HIS DECEASED MISTRESS.
Alas! but like a summer’s dream
All the delight I felt appears,
While mis’ry’s weeping moments seem
A ling’ring age of tears.
Then breathe my sorrows, plaintive lute!
And pour thy soft consoling tone,
While I, a list’ning mourner mute,
Will call each tender grief my own.
WRITTEN IN A COTTAGE BY THE SEA-SIDE
(In which the Author had taken Shelter during a violent Storm),
UPON SEEING AN IDIOTIC YOUTH SEATED IN THE CHIMNEY-CORNER,
’Twas on a night of wildest storms,
When loudly roar’d the raving main,—
When dark clouds shew’d their shapeless forms,
And hail beat hard the cottage pane,—
Tom Fool sat by the chimney-side,
With open mouth and staring eyes;
A batter’d broom was all his pride,—
It was his wife, his child, his prize!
Alike to him if tempests howl,
Or summer beam its sweetest day;
For still is pleas’d the silly soul,
And still he laughs the hours away.
Alas! I could not stop the sigh,
To see him thus so wildly stare,—
To mark, in ruins, Reason lie,
Callous alike to joy and care.
God bless thee, thoughtless soul! I cried;
Yet are thy wants but very few:
The world’s hard scenes thou ne’er hast tried;
Its cares and crimes to thee are new.
The hoary hag[A], who cross’d thee so,
Did not unkindly vex thy brain;
Indeed she could not be thy foe,
To snatch thee thus from grief and pain.
Deceit shall never wring thy heart,
And baffled hope awake no sighs;
And true love, harshly forc’d to part,
Shall never swell with tears thine eyes.
Then long enjoy thy batter’d broom,
Poor merry fool! and laugh away
’Till Fate shall bid thy reason bloom
In blissful scenes of brighter day.
[Footnote A: It is generally believed by the peasants of Devonshire that idiotcy is produced by the influence of a witch.]
To a Laurel-Leaf,
SENT TO THE AUTHOR BY MISS ——.
Tho’ unknown is the hand that bestow’d
thee on me,
Sweet leaf! ev’ry fibre I’ll warm with a kiss:
With the fame of her beauty thou well dost agree,
Whose presence shews conquest, whose triumph is bliss!
OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF LIEUTENANT J——,
Who was killed by a Pistol-Shot,
ACCIDENTALLY DISCHARGED BY HIS FRIEND,
With horror dumb, tho’ guiltless, stood
Beside his dying friend,
The hapless wretch who made the blood
Sad from his side descend!
“Give me thy hand; lov’d friend, adieu!”
The gen’rous suff’rer cried!
“I do forgive and bless thee too;”
And, having said it, died!
And Pity, who stood trembling near
Knew not for which to shed,
So claim’d by both, her saddest tear—
The living or the dead!
TO AN ACCOMPLISHED YOUNG LADY,
Whose Timidity frequently agitated her, when pressed
to gratify her
Friends by her Musical Talents.
’Tis said (and I believe it too)
That genuine merit seeks the shade;
Blushing to think what is her due,
As of her own sweet pow’rs afraid:—
Thus, lovely maid! on fluttering wings,
Thy pow’rs a thousand fears pursue,
Which, like thy own harmonious strings,
When press’d enchant, and tremble too!
The pity, which we give, you owe,
For mutual fears on both attend;
While anxious thus you joy bestow,
We fear too soon that joy will end!
TO MISS L—— D——.
When Heav’n, sweet Laura! form’d thy mind,
With genius and with taste refin’d,
As if the union were too bright,
It spread the veil of diffidence,
That ev’ry ray, at first intense,
Might shine as soft as lunar light.
To frame a form then Nature strove,
And call’d on Beauty and on Love,
To lodge the mind they priz’d so well:
Completed was the fair design;
Thus blended dew-drops mildly shine
Within the lily’s spotless bell!
Written in a beautiful Spot,
THE FAVOURITE RETREAT OF DELIA.
Streams ever limpid, fresh, and clear,
Where Delia’s charms renew’d appear,
Ye flow’rs that touch’d her snowy breast,
Ye trees whereon she lov’d to rest,
Ye scenes adorn’d where’er she flies,
If grief shall close these woe-worn eyes,
May some kind form, with hand benign,
My body with this earth enshrine,
That, when the fairest nymph shall deign
To visit this delightful plain,
That, when she views my silent shade,
And marks the change her love has made,
The tear may tremble down her face,
As show’rs the lily’s leaves embrace;
Then, like the infant at the breast,
That feels a sorrow unexprest,
That pang shall gentle Delia know,
And silent treasure up her woe.
[Footnote A: I am indebted to Petrarch for some of the imagery contained in these Lines.]
Sent to my young Friend, Miss Emma Trevelyan,
OF WALLINGTON-HOUSE, NORTHUMBERLAND.
Emma! ’tis early time for thee
To hear the sounds of minstrelsy,
That breathe around the rosy shrine
Of honest old Saint Valentine.
Too young art thou for strains of love;
’Tis not thy passion I would move;
Instead of lover’s strains, I send
The cordial wishes of a friend.
Nobly has Nature done her duty,
To give thee of thy mother’s beauty
So large a share—oh! then be thine
The mental charms that in her shine!
And may thy father’s taste refin’d
Still add new graces to thy mind;
And may’st thou to each charm impart
The gen’rous frankness of his heart.
Then, my sweet Emma! thou shall move
In many a heart more genuine love
Than ever warm’d poetic line,
Or sigh’d in any Valentine.
WRITTEN UPON SEEING A BLIND YOUNG WOMAN IN NORTH WALES,
Who supports herself, and an aged and infirm Mother, by selling Stockings and Gloves of her own Knitting, which she offers to Travellers as they pass by; in doing which she has been known to run close by the Side of a Carriage for several Miles.
POOR BLIND BET.
The morning purple on the hill,
The village spire, the ivy’d tow’r,
The sparkling wheel of yonder mill,
The grove, green field, and op’ning flow’r,
Are lost to thee!
Dark child of Nature, as thou art!
Yet thy poor bosom heaves no sigh;
E’en now thy dimpling cheeks impart
Their knowledge of some pleasure nigh:—
’Tis good for thee!
Thou seem’st to say “I’ve sunshine
’Tis beaming in a spotless breast;
No shade of guilt obstructs the view,
And there are many not so blest,
Who day’s blush see.
“Dear are those eyes, by mine ne’er seen,
Which I protect from many a tear;
Kind stranger! ’tis on yonder green
A mother’s aged form I rear:
Oh! buy of me!”
UPON SEEING ——
At one of the annual Banquets given in Guildhall.
Gorgeous and splendid was the sight;
From myriad lamps a fairy light
Enshrin’d in wreaths the Gothic wall,
And heav’nly music fill’d the hall!
But there was one—(alas! that I
Had ever seen)—the melody
Her voice surpassed, and brighter far
Her eyes than ev’ry mimic star!
I gaz’d, until, oh! thought divine!
I fancied she I saw was mine;
But soon the beauteous vision flew—
The stranger-form I lov’d withdrew.
Yet still she lives within my breast,
There mem’ry has her form imprest:—
Thus, when some minstrel’s strain is done,
Sounds seem to breathe, for ever gone!
[These Lines were written for a Lady who set them to Music.]
My poor heart flutters like the sea
Now heaving on the sandy shore;
It seems to tell me you shall be
Never again near Yarrimore.
Far, far beyond the waves, I bend
Mine eyes, if I can land explore;
But o’er the waves I find no end,—
Yet there they say’s my Yarrimore.
The hut he built is standing still,
Deck’d with the shells he cull’d from shore;
Our bow’r is waving on the hill,
But where, alas! is Yarrimore?
Within that bow’r I’ll sit and sigh,
From dawn of day till day is o’er;
And, as the wild winds o’er me fly,
I’ll call on gentle Yarrimore!
Upon her appearing at a Ball in an elegant Plaid Dress,
AND HAVING REPEATEDLY BEFORE EXPRESSED HER PREFERENCE
OF THE SCOTISH NATION.
Is it that plaided thus you wish to prove
How northern is the region of your love?
Ah, Mary! tho’, within that far-fam’d clime,
Deeds have been done that mock the wreck of Time;
Tho’ there the brave have bled, or, o’er the wave,
On distant shores have found a glorious grave;
TO THE MOON.
Thou, lamp! the gods benignly gave,
To light a lover on his way;
Thou, Moon! along the silv’ry wave,
Ah! safe this flutt’ring heart convey:—
Sweet is thy light, and sweet thy shade,
The guide and guardian of our bliss,
A lover’s panting lips to lead,
Or veil him in the ravish’d kiss.
Her white robe floats upon the air;
My Lyra hears the dashing oar:
Ye floods, oh! speed me to my fair!
My soul is with her long before.
Oh! lightly haste, thy lover view,
And ev’ry anxious fear resign;
Ye tow’rs, no longer fear’d, adieu!
The treasure which ye held is mine!
Upon the Death of the Lady of Lieutenant-Colonel Adams,
WHO LATELY DIED OF A DECLINE IN THE EAST INDIES.
When Time a mellowing tint has thrown
O’er many a scene to mem’ry dear.
It scatters round a charm, unknown
When first th’ impression rested there.
But, oh! should distance intervene,
Should Ocean’s wave, should changeful clime.
Divide—how sweeter far the scene!
How richer ev’ry tint of time!
E’en thus with those (a treasur’d few)
Who gladden’d life with many a smile,
Tho’ long has pass’d the sad adieu,
In thought we love to dwell awhile.
Then with keen eye, and beating heart,
The anxious mind still seeks relief
From those who can the tale impart,
How pass their day, in joy or grief.
If haply health and fortune bless,
We feel as if on us they shone;
If sickness and if sorrow press,
Then feeling makes their woes our own.
’Twas thus of Mira oft I thought,
Oft dwelt upon the scenes she grac’d:
Her form in beauty’s mould was wrought,
Her mind the seat of sense and taste.
Long, hov’ring o’er her fleeting breath,
Love kept his watch in silent gloom;
He saw her meekly yield to Death,
And knelt a mourner at her tomb.
When the night-breeze shall softly blow,
When the bright moon upon the flood
Shall spread her beams (a silv’ry show),
And dark be many a waving wood,—
When, dimly[A] seen, in robes of white,
A mournful train along the grove
Shall bear the lamp of sacred light,
To deck the turf of those they love,—
Then shall the wood-dove quit its bow’r,
And seek the spot were she is laid;
Its wild and mournful notes shall pour
A requiem to her hallow’d shade.
And Friendship oft shall raise the veil
Time shall have drawn o’er pleasures past,
And Fancy shall repeat the tale
Of happy hours, too sweet to last!
But when she mourns o’er Mira’s bier,
And when the fond illusion ends,
Oh! then shall fall the genuine tear
That drops for dear departed friends!
[Footnote A: Mr. Hodges, in his Travels in India, page 28, mentions, that between Banglepoor and Mobgheir, it is the custom of the women of the family to attend the tombs of their friends after sun-set; and observes, “it is both affecting and curious to see them proceeding in groups, carrying lamps in their hands, which they place at the head of the tomb.”]
TO MISS C.
On her leaving the Country.
Since Friendship soon must bid a fond adieu,
And, parting, wish your charms she never knew,
Dear Laura hear one genuine thought express’d,
Warm from the heart, and to the heart address’d:—
Much do I wish you all your soul holds dear,
To sooth and sweeten ev’ry trouble here;
But heav’n has yielded such an ample store,
You cannot ask, nor can I wish you, more;
Bless’d with a sister’s love, whose gentle mind,
Still pure tho’ polish’d, virtuous and refin’d,
Will aid your tend’rer years and innocence
Beneath the shelter of her riper sense.
Charm’d with the bright example may you move,
And, loving, richly copy what you love.
Adieu! and blame not if an artless pray’r
Should, self-directed, ask one moment’s care:—
When years and absence shall their shade extend,
Reflect who sighs adieu, and call him—friend.
TO A ROBIN.
Written during a severe Winter.
Why, trembling, silent, wand’rer! why,
From me and Pity do you fly?
Your little heart against your plumes
Beats hard—ah! dreary are these glooms!
Famine has chok’d the note of joy
That charm’d the roving shepherd-boy.
Why, wand’rer, do you look so shy?
And why, when I approach you, fly?
The crumbs which at your feet I strew
Are only meant to nourish you;
They are not thrown with base decoy,
To rob you of one hour of joy.
Come, follow to my silent mill,
That stands beneath yon snow-clad hill;
There will I house your trembling form,
There shall your shiv’ring breast be warm:
And, when your little heart grows strong,
I’ll ask you for your simple song;
And, when you will not tarry more,
ON HER WEARING A MUSLIN VEIL.
Say, Delia, why, in muslin shade,
Ah! say, dost thou conceal those eyes?
Such little stars were never made,
I’m sure, to shine thro’ misty skies.
Say, are they wrapt in so much shade,
That they may more successful rise,
Starting from such soft ambuscade,
To catch and kill us by surprise?
Or, of their various pow’rs afraid,
Is it in mercy to our sighs,
Lest love, o’er many a heart betray’d,
Should sob “a faithful vot’ry dies”?
Then, oh! remove the envious shade;
Let others wear, who want, disguise:
We all had sooner die, sweet maid,
To see, than live without, those eyes.
TO THE TOMB OF A FRIEND.
Dearer to me, thou pile of dust!
Tho’ with the wild flow’r simply crown’d,
Than the vast dome or beauteous bust,
By genius form’d, by wit renown’d.
Wave, thou wild flow’r! for ever wave,
O’er my lov’d relic of delight;
My tears shall bathe her green-rob’d grave
More than the dews of heav’n by night.
Methinks my Delia bids me go,
Says, “Florio, dry that fruitless tear!
Feed not a wild flow’r with thy woe,
Thy long-lov’d Delia is not here.
“No drop of feeling from her eye
Now starts to hear thy sorrows speak;
And, did thy bosom know one joy,
No smile would bloom upon her cheek.
“Pale, wan, and torpid, droops that cheek,
Whereon thy lip impress’d its red;
Those eyes, which Florio taught to speak,
Unnotic’d close amid the dead!”
True, true, too idly mourns this heart;
Why, Mem’ry, dost thou paint the past?
Why say you saw my Delia part,
Still press’d, still lov’d her, to the last?
Then, thou wild flow’r, for ever wave!
To thee this parting tear is given;
The sigh I offer at her grave
Shall reach my sainted love in heaven!
Oh, Time! thy merits who can know?
Thy real nature who discover?
The absent lover calls thee slow,—
“Too rapid,” says the happy lover.
With bloom thy cheeks are now refin’d,
Now to thine eye the tear is given;
At once too cruel and too kind,—
A little hell, a little heaven.
Go then, thou charming myst’ry, go!—
Yes, tho’ thou often dost amuse me,
Tho’ many a joy to thee I owe,
At once I thank thee and abuse thee.
Wide thro’ the azure blue and bright
Serenely floats the lamp of night;
The sleeping waves forget to move,
And silent is the cedar grove;
Each breeze suspended seems to say—
“Now, Leline, for thy Roundelay!”
My Delia’s lids are clos’d in rest;
Ah! were her pillow but my breast!
Go, dreams! one gentle word impart,
In whispers place me by her heart;
While near her door I’ll fondly stray,
And sooth her with my Roundelay.
But, ah! the Night draws in her shade,
And glimm’ring stars reluctant fade:
Yet sleep, my love! nor may’st thou feel
The pangs which griefs like mine reveal:
Adieu! for Morning’s on his way,
And bids me close my Roundelay.
BRISTOL HOT WELLS.
Bristol! in vain thy rocks attempt the sky,
The wild woods waving on their giddy brow;
And vainly, devious Avon! vainly sigh
Thy waters, winding thro’ the vales below;—
In vain, upon thy glassy bosom borne,
Th’ expected vessel proudly glides along,
While, ’mid thy echoes, at the break of morn
Is heard the homeward ship-boy’s happy song;—
For, ah! amid thy sweet romantic shade,
By Friendship led, fair drooping Beauty moves;
Thy hallow’d cup of health affords no aid,
Nor charm thy birds, that chant their woodland loves.
Each morn I view her thro’ thy wave-girt grove,
Her white robe flutt’ring round her sinking form;
O’er the sweet ruin shine those eyes of love,
As bright stars beaming thro’ a midnight storm.
Here sorrowing Love seeks a sequester’d bow’r.
Calls on thy spring to calm his troubled breast;
Bright Hope alights not on his pensive hour,
Nor can thy favour’d fountains yield him rest.
Despair across his joys now intervenes,
And sternly bids the little cherub fly;
While his eyes close amid thy beauteous scenes.
His last sighs bless the form that bids him die.
Farewell, then, Bristol! thou canst yield no joy,
Thy woods look darken’d with funereal gloom,
Sickness and Sorrow on thy green banks sigh,
And all thy form is but a beauteous tomb.
Ah! may each future suff’rer, hov’ring
Rais’d by thy genial wave, delighted view
Returning joy and health, supremely dear,
Long lost to him who sadly sighs adieu!
These shades were made for Love alone,—
Here only smiles and kisses sweet
Shall play around his flow’ry throne,
And doves shall sentinel the seat.
Come, Delia! ’tis a genial day;
It bids us to his bow’r repair:—
“But what will little Cupid say?”—
“Say! sweet?—why, give a welcome there.”
There not a tell-tale beam shall peep
Upon thy beauty’s rich display,—
There not a breeze shall dare to sweep
The leaves, to whisper what we say.
ON LADY W—— APPEARING AT THE EXHIBITION.
When lovely Delphine sought the crowded scene,
The painter’s mimic pow’r no longer mov’d;
All turn’d to gaze upon her beauteous mien,
None envied her, for, as they look’d, they lov’d.
Amid the proud display of forms so fair,
Of each fine tint the pencil can impart,
Nature with rapture seem’d to lead her there,
To prove how she could triumph over Art.
WRITTEN AT BRIGHTON.
From Mirth’s bright circle, from the giddy throng,
How sweet it is to steal away at eve,
To listen to the homeward fisher’s song,
Whilst dark the waters of the ocean heave;—
And on the sloping beach to bear the spray
Dash ’gainst some hoary vessel’s broken side;
Whilst, far illumin’d by the parting ray,
The distant sail is faintly seen to glide.
Yes, ’tis Reflection’s chosen hour; for
With pensive pleasure mingling o’er the scene,
Th’ erratic mind treads over life again,
And gazes on the past with eye serene.
Those stormy passions which bedimm’d the soul,
That oft have bid the joys it treasur’d fly,
Now, like th’ unruffled waves of Ocean, roll
With gentle lapse—their only sound a sigh.
The galling wrong no longer knits the brow,
Ambition feels the folly of her aim;
And Pity, from the heart expanding, now
Pants to extend relief to ev’ry claim.
Thus, as I sit beside the murm’ring sea,
And o’er its darkness trace light’s parting streak,
I feel, O Nature! that serenity
Which vainly poetry like mine can speak!
O’er the drear tract of Time, Remembrance views
Some dear, some long-departed, pleasure gleam;—
So o’er the dark expanse the eye pursues
Upon the wat’ry edge a transient beam.
The spot fraternal love has sacred made,
Solemn, yet sweet, like groves in twilight gloom,
Mem’ry revisits, and beneath its shade
Faintly it sees each faded joy re-bloom.
By Fancy led, from Death’s cold bed of stone,
Lovely, tho’ wan, what cherish’d form appears?
Oh! gentle Anna[A]! at thy name alone,
Genius, and Grace, and Virtue, smile in tears.
Half-wrapp’d in mist I see thy figure move,
O’er thy pale cheek appears its wonted smile;
With lunar lustre beam those looks of love,
That once could life of ev’ry care beguile:
Faintly I hear thy angel-voice again;
There’s music in the sweet and dying sound;
Like Philomela’s soft and echo’d strain,
It spreads a soothing consolation round.
Adieu, bless’d shade!—Imagination
To distant regions, o’er th’ Atlantic wave;
Ah! not to genial skies, or fragrant groves,
To drop a tear upon a kindred grave.
Hard was thy fate, Eliza[B]!—It was thine,
Tho’ wit thy mind, tho’ beauty grac’d thy form,
Behind Affliction’s weeping cloud to shine,
With star-like radiance, in a night of storm.
Fierce from the sun the fiery fever flew,
And bade the burning sand become thy tomb!
O’er thee no willow drops its mourning dew,
Nor spotless lilies o’er thy bosom bloom!
Oh! when we stood around our brother’s bier,
And wept in life’s full bloom to see him torn,
Ah! little did ye think that such a tear
As then ye shed so soon your fate would mourn.
Farewell, dear shades! accept this mournful song,
At once the tribute of my grief and love;
Fain would it try your virtues to prolong,
Here priz’d and honour’d, and now bless’d above.
[Footnote A: Mrs. Hodges, a sister of the author.]
[Footnote B: Mrs Fountaine, another sister of the author, who accompanied her husband to Africa, and died at the Government-house, in one of the British settlements on that coast, where she survived but a short time the death of three of her children.]
Echo! thou sweet enchantress of the grove!
Oh! cease to answer to the tones of love;
Or teach my Delia in thine art divine,
Thou loveliest nymph! to hear and answer mine!
Repeated at an elegant Entertainment
IN THE RUINS OF BERRY CASTLE, DEVONSHIRE.[A]
By your permission, Ladies! I address ye,
And for the boon you grant, my Muse shall bless ye.
I do not mean in solemn verse to tell
What fate the race of Pomeroy befell;
To trace the castle-story of each year,
To learn how many owls have hooted here;
What was the weight of stone, which form’d this pile,
Will on your lovely cheeks awake no smile:
Such antiquarian sermons suit not me,
Nor any soul who loves festivity.
Past times I heed not; be the present hour
In life, while yet it blooms, my chosen flow’r,
For well I know, what Time cannot disown,
Amidst this mossy pile of mould’ring stone,
That Hospitality was never seen
To spread more social joy upon the green;
Or, when its noble and capacious hall
Rang with the gambol gay, or graceful ball,
More beauty never charm’d its ancient beaux
Than what its honour’d ruins now enclose.
Thanks to the clouds, which from the soaking show’r
Preserve the vot’ries of the present hour;
For, strange to tell, beneath the chilling storm,
Lately the rose reclin’d her frozen form;
[Footnote A: The manor of Berry was given by William the Conqueror to one of his Normans, Ralph de la Pomerai, who built on it the castle which still bears his name, and in whose family it continued till the reign of Edward VI. when it was sold by Sir Thomas Pomeroy to Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset, from whom it has descended to the present Duke.
The castle is seated upon a rock, which rises almost perpendicularly from a narrow valley; through this valley winds a small stream of water, which drives the mill seen through the foliage of the surrounding woods from the turrets of the castle.
In approaching the castle from the south, the path leads down the side of a hill through a thick wood; and on the north side of the valley, opposite the rock on which the castle stands, is a high ridge, partly covered with oak: these hills completely shut in the ruins on both sides. The valley stretches a considerable way both to the east and west, and opens a view at either end into the adjacent country.
From the ivy-covered ruins of the fortress which now remain, it is scarcely possible to say what was its ancient form; but it is most generally supposed to have been quadrangular, having only one entrance, a large double portcullis, at the west end of the southern front, turreted and embattled, as was the whole of the front, with a tower at its eastern end, corresponding with that on the west. This front, with its gateway and turrets, are perhaps the only remains of the original structure. Winding steps, now almost worn away, lead to what once was a chapel, over the portcullis, and thence to the top of the turrets.
In more modern times a magnificent building was erected within the walls of the castle by the Seymour family; but, although upwards of L20,000 were said to have been expended on it, it was never finished, and now the whole forms one common ruin, which, as it totters on it base, the spectator contemplates with awe, while he sighs over the remains of fallen grandeur.]
[Footnote B: A party from Totness went to Lord Courtenay’s masquerade in this way, there being no other conveyance to be had, and met with the ridiculous accident here alluded to.]
TO SIR ROBERT KER PORTER,
KNIGHT OF THE IMPERIAL ORDER OF ST. JOACHIM,
Upon his approaching Nuptials with the Princess Shebatoff.
To save the credit of the dame,
Poets and painters all agree
That Mistress Fortune cannot see,
And on her bandage cast the blame;
When honours on th’ unworthy wait,
When riches to the wealthy flow,
When high desert, oppress’d by woe,
Is left to struggle on with Fate.
But, Porter! when on thee she smil’d,
The fillet from her eyes she mov’d,
To view the merit all approv’d—
A mind inform’d, a heart unsoil’d.
She saw thy virtues bright appear;
A son that mothers seldom know,
A brother with affection’s glow,
The soldier brave[A], the friend sincere.
With honours then thy name she grac’d,
And call’d on Love to bless thy arms
With princely rank, with Virtue’s charms,
And all the pow’rs of wit and taste.
[Footnote A: Sir R.K. Porter was attached to the staff in the late campaign in Spain, and was in nearly every engagement with the enemy.]
Are inscribed upon the Pedestal of a Statue of Cupid,
IN A GARDEN AT UTRECHT.
qu’un coeur a la Beaute,
Nud comme la Verite,
Sans armes comme l’Innocence,
Sans ailes comme la Constance,
Tel fut l’Amour dans le siecle d’or,
On ne le trouve plus, quoiqu’on le cherche encore.
To Beauty give your heart, your sighs,
No other off’ring will she prize;
As Truth should unadorn’d appear,
Behold! the god is naked here!
Like Innocence, he has no arms
But those of sweet, of native, charms;
No wish or pow’r has he to fly,
Like thy pure spirit, Constancy!
Such in the golden age was Love;
But now, oh! whither does he rove?
This is the favourite Song with the Inhabitants of the vine-covered Region of the Rhingau, an extensive District along the Banks of the Rhine, where the finest Wines are produced.
Bekrantzt mit laub den liebe vollen becher,
Und trinkt ihn froelich leer;
In Gauz Europa ihr herren zecher,
Ist solch, ein wein micht mehr.
Ihn bringt das vaterland aus seiner fulle,
Wie waer er sonst so gut?
Wie waer er sonst so edel, stille,
Und doch voll kraft und muth?
Am Rhein, am Rhein, da wachsen unsre reben:
Gesegnet sey der Rhein!
Da wachsen sie am ufer hin, und geben
Uns diesen labe wein.
So trinkt ihn dann, und lasst uns alle wege
Uns freun, und froelich seyn;
Und wuesten wir, wo jemand traurig laege,
Wir gaben ihm den wein.
With wine-leaves crown the jovial cup,
For, search all Europe round,
You’ll say, as pleas’d you drink it up,
Such wine was never found.
Such wine, &c.
Our fathers’ land this vine supplies;
What soil can e’er produce
But this, tho’ warm’d with genial skies,
Such mild, such gen’rous juice?
Such mild, &c.
Then shall the Rhine our smiles receive,
For on its banks alone
Can e’er be found a wine to give
The soul its proper tone.
The soul, &c.
Come, put the jovial cup around,
Our joys it will enhance,
If any one is mournful found,
One sip shall make him dance.
One sip, &c.
Upon the Recovery of a Friend from a dangerous Illness.
Sweet guardian of the rosy cheek!
Whene’er to thee I raise my hands
Upon the mountain’s breezy peak,
Or on the yellow winding sands,
If thou hast deign’d, by Pity mov’d,
This fev’rish phantom to prolong,
I’ve touch’d my lute, for ever lov’d,
And bless’d thee with its earliest song!
And oh! if in thy gentle ear
Its simple notes have sounded sweet,
May the soft breeze, to thee so dear,
Now bear them to thy rose-wreath’d seat!
For thou hast dried the dew of grief,
And Friendship feels new ecstacy:
To Pollio thou hast stretch’d relief,
And, raising him, hast cherish’d me.
So, whilst some treasur’d plant receives
Th’ admiring florist’s partial show’r,
The drops that tremble from its leaves
Oft feed some near uncultur’d flow’r.
For late connubial Fondness hung
Mute o’er the couch where Pollio lay;
Love, Hope, and Sorrow, fixed her tongue,
Thro’ sable night till morning grey.
There, too, by drooping Pollio’s side,
Stood Modesty, a mourner meek,
Whilst Genius, mov’d by grief and pride,
Increas’d the blush which grac’d her cheek;
For much the maiden he reprov’d
For having spread her veil of snow
Upon the mind he form’d and lov’d,
Till she was seen to mourn it too.
O Health! when thou art fled, how vain
The witchery of earth and skies,
Love’s look, or music’s sweetest strain,
Or Ocean’s softest lullabies!
Oh! ever hover near his bow’r,
There let thy fav’rite sylphs repair;
Fence it with ev’ry sweet-lipp’d flow’r,
That Sickness find no entrance there.
So shall his lyre, untouch’d so long,
The tone with which it charm’d regain;
Sweet spirit! thou shall teach his song,
With mine, to breathe the grateful strain.
Poor Molly O’Flannagan (Lord rest her soul!)
Drank so deeply of whiskey, ’twas thought she would die;
Her fond lover, Pat, from her nate cabin stole,
And stepp’d into Dublin to buy her a pie.
Oh! poor Molly O’Flannagan!
Tho’ chin-deep in sorrow, yet fun he lov’d
A pie-man pass’d near, crying “Pies” at his aise;
“Here are pies of all sorts.”—“Oh! if all sorts you sell,
Then a twopenny magpie for me, if you plaise!”
Oh! poor Molly O’Flannagan!
By the walk of the willows I pour’d out my theme,
The breath of the evening scarce dimpled the stream;
By the waters I stood, like an image of Woe,
And my tears, like the tide, seem’d to tremble and flow.
Ye green scatter’d reeds, that half lean to
In your plaintive, your musical, sighs, could ye save
But one note of my charmer, to soften my doom,
I would stay till these willows should arch me a tomb!
For ye know, when I pour’d out my soul on the
How she hung down her head, so expressively mute!
From my hand she would take it, still breathing my pain;
She would touch it—return it—and smile at the strain.
Ye wild blooming flow’rs, that enamel this brink,
Like me could ye feel, and like me could ye think,
How sadly would droop ev’ry beautiful leaf!
How soon would your sweetness be wasted with grief!
She is gone, in a cloud, like the star of the night!
She has left me, heart-broken, to mourn at her flight,—
To think of the hours she endear’d by her love.
To sigh till again I shall join her above!
UPON HEARING MISS —— SING AT AN EVENING PARTY.
THE NIGHTINGALE’S COMPLAINT.
The Moon had bespangled the murmuring wave,
The dew-drop had moisten’d the moss of the cave,
The summer night-breeze, like a sigh, was just heard,
When thus flow’d the strains of the dark-warbling bird:
“I hear a strange melody breathe thro’
Now swelling with joy, and now melting with love;
Tho’ sweet is the sound, yet it should not invade,
Unbidden, my lonely dominion of shade.
“As long as the stars that now twinkle shall
This willow’s my throne, and all nature is mine:
Perchance ’tis the breeze on your desolate lute;
Its strings are now sighing, so long that were mute.
“Ah! no, silly bird that I am! shall I grieve?
Shall Envy alarm, and shall Folly deceive?
’Tis the voice of Eliza! I hear it again,
Enraptur’d I hear it, nor envy the strain.”
Then Philomel flutter’d with tremulous wing
To Eliza—more happy to listen than sing!
’Tis pity, ev’ry maiden knows,
Just as she cools, Love warmer grows;
But, if the chill be too severe,
Trust me, he’ll wither in a tear.
Thus will the spring-flow’r bud and blow,
Wrapp’d round in many a fold of snow;
But, if an ice-wind pierce the sky,
’Twill drop upon its bed, and die!
UPON THE REV. MR. C——’S IMPROMPTU COMPOSITIONS
OF SOME OF BOWLES’S SONNETS.
No sweeter verse did e’er inspire
A kindred Muse with all its fire;
Nor sweeter strains could Music lend,
To sooth the sorrows of her friend.
Associate Genius bids them flow
With sounds that give a charm to woe;
We weep as tho’ it were our own,
As if our hearts were play’d upon.
The leaves are flutter’d by no tell-tale gales,
Clear melts the azure in the rosy west,
Scarce heard, the river winds along the vales,
And Eve has lull’d the vocal grove to rest.
To yon thick elms, my Delia! let us rove,
As slow the glories of the day retire;
There to thy lute breathe dulcet notes of love,
While thro’ the vale they linger and expire.
Those honey’d tones, that melt upon the tongue,—
Thy looks, serener than the scenes I sing,—
Thy chaste desires, which angels might have sung,
Alone can quiet in this bosom bring,
Which burns for thee, and, kindled by thine eyes,
Bears a pure flame—the flame that never dies!
WRITTEN AT KILKENNY,
ON THE THEATRICALS OF THAT CITY.
Amid the ruins of monastic gloom,
Where Nore’s meand’ring waters wind along,
Genius and Wealth have rais’d the tasteful dome,
Yet not alone for Fashion’s brilliant throng;—
In Virtue’s cause they take a noble aim;
’Tis theirs in sweetest harmony to blend
Wit with Compassion, Sympathy with Fame,
Pleasure the means, Beneficence the end[A].
There, if on Beauty’s cheek the tear appears
(Form’d by the mournful Muse’s mimic sigh),
Fast as it falls, a kindred drop it bears,
More sadly shed from genuine Misery.
Nor, if the laughter-loving Nymph delight,
Does the reviving transport perish there;
Still, still, with Pity’s radiance doubly bright,
Its smiles shed sunshine on the cheek of Care.
So, if Pomona’s golden fruit descend,
Shook by some breeze, into the lake below,
Quick will the dimple, which it forms, extend,
Till all around the joyous circles flow.
Bless’d be the liberal mind, th’ undaunted
That bade loud Folly from the Stage retire;
That teach us how to think, and how to feel,
And once again our godlike Bard admire!
Thus aided, see his rescued genius spring;
Again he pours the phrenzy of his song;
With EV’RY FEATHER[B] in his eagle wing,
Once more in majesty he soars along.
Oft, deck’d with smiles, his spirit shall explore,
Erin! thy beauteous vales and classic ground;
And ev’ry ripple of thy winding Nore
To him shall sweetly as his Avon’s sound.
22d Oct. 1805.
[Footnote A: The theatricals of Kilkenny are supported by gentlemen of rank and fashion in Ireland, and the profits are applied to charitable purposes.]
[Footnote B: Alluding to several fine passages of Shakspeare, which have been long omitted in representation, but restored at the theatricals of Kilkenny.]
UPON SEEING THE DILAPIDATED STATE OF
Well with the purpose does the place
For e’en the very house is crack’d, you see.
ON THE GRAVE OF ROBESPIERRE.
Passant, ne pleure point son sort;
Car, s’il vivait, tu serais mort.
Nay, passenger, don’t mourn his lot;
If he had liv’d, why you had not.
See, the waves clasp the Sun, as he sinks from our
And Despair sullen rides on the wings of the night;
Lo! he comes, and reproaches our arms with delay,—
Then arise, let us go where Revenge points the way!
In the deed should we fall, (since who’ll e’er
breathe a slave?)
Our free souls shall repose in the realms of the brave;
In the song we shall live, and fresh heroes inspire,
While the son shall exult in the fate of his sire.
Then know, ye white race! ye too long shake the rod;
By this arm ye shall soon be dismiss’d to your God!
Then demand, if he bade ye torment, why he gave
All the soul of a man to the breast of a slave?
Then prepare; know our hatchets atone for our wrong,
And our hearts, like our hatchets, are stubborn and strong:
Sleep your last! ye no more shall the morning survey,
Nor shall sorrow arise with the break of the day.
Yes, remember the lashes that pierc’d thro’
See the wounds of our fathers; they open afresh!
In the winds, hark! blue Avrin attends to our call;
I, your chief, will be first in your glories, or fall!
WRITTEN ON DELIA, LISTENING TO HER CANARY-BIRD.
When thoughtless Delia unconcern’d surveys
Her plumy captive, as he leans to sing,
Lo! while she smiles, the fascination stays
The little heaven of its airy wing.
Ah! so she tastes the sorrows I impart,
Smiles at the sound, but never feels my pain;
And many a glance deludes my captive heart
To sigh in numbers, tho’ I sigh in vain!
Upon the breezy cliff’s impending brow,
With trembling step, the Hectic paus’d awhile;
As round his wasted form the sea-breeze blew,
His flush’d cheek brighten’d with a transient smile:
Refresh’d and cherish’d by its balmy breath,
He dreamt of future bliss, of years to come;
Whilst, with a look of woe, the spectre, Death,
Oft shook his head, and pointed to his tomb.
Such sounds as these escap’d his lab’ring
“Sweet Health! thou wilt revisit this sad frame;
Slumber shall bid these aching eyelids rest,
And I shall live for love, perchance for fame.”
Ah! poor enthusiast!—in the day’s decline
A mournful knell was heard, and it was thine!
ACCOMPANIED WITH A DRIED HELIOTROPE,
Which she had presented to the Author a Year before.
Time, since thou gav’st this flow’r to
Has often turn’d his glass of sand;
Perchance ’tis now unknown to thee
That once its breath perfum’d thy hand.
Oh, lovely maid! that thou may’st see
How much thy gifts my care engage,
I’ve sent the cherish’d flow’r to thee
Without a blemish, but from age.
Kiss but its leaves;—one kiss from thee,
And all its sweetness ’twill regain;
And, if I live in memory
Thus honour’d, send it back again!
TO MRS. B——, AT BRISTOL HOT WELLS
Tho’ nought, amid these darkened groves,
But various groups of death appear,
Scar’d at the sight, tho’ fly the Loves,
And Sickness saddens all the year,
Yet, Clara, where you deign to stay,
Your sense and manners charm us so,
E’en sick’ning Sorrow’s self looks gay,
And smiles amid the wreck of woe.
TO HER ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCESS ELIZABETH,
From her beautiful Drawings of the Birth and Triumph of Cupid.
Once, for a palace, Painting left her grove,
And taught her royal fav’rite’s hand to trace
A beauteous maiden’s tale of little Love,
His silken wings, soft limbs, and laughing face!
Then Nature wept o’er each expressive line,
To think the sweet creation so confin’d,
That such a boy, so fair, and so divine,
Was but the playful prattler of her mind;
And had he near the royal easel flown,
And seen the features of this mimic brother,
He would have known the portrait for his own,
And claim’d the beauteous painter for his mother.
TO THE MEMORY OF A WORTHY MAN,
THE REV. MR. SLEEP,
CURATE OF KINGSWEAR CHURCH, DEVON,
Whose devotional Elocution was remarkably impregnated with soporific Qualities.
Reader! since Parson Sleep is gone,
And lies beneath yon humble stone,
Whene’er to Kingswear Church we go,
Holy the sabbath-day to keep
(Indeed ’tis right it should be so),
We never more shall go to sleep.
SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY A FEMALE FRIEND,
Upon an Infant recommended to her Care by its dying Mother.
Bless’d be thy slumbers, little love!
Unconscious of the ills so near;
May no rude noise thy dreams remote,
Or prompt the artless early tear;—
For she who gave thee life is gone,
Whose trust it was thy life to rear,
Now in the cold and mould’ring stone
Calls for that artless early tear.
Sleep on, thou little dreamer! sleep;
For, long as I shall tarry here,
I’ll soothe thee; thou shalt never weep,
Tho’ flows for thee the tend’rest tear.
Then be thy gentle visions blest,
Nor e’er thy bosom know that fear,
Which thro’ the night disturbs my rest,
And prompts Affection’s trembling tear.
ON THE CALEDONIAN HARP BEING SUCCEEDED
BY THE HIGHLAND BAGPIPES.
In days that long have glided by,
Beneath keen Scotia’s weeping sky,
On many a hill of purple heath,
In many a gloomy glen beneath,
The wand’ring Lyrist once was known
To pour his harp’s entrancing tone.
Then, when the castle’s rocky form
Rose ’mid the dark surrounding storm,
The Harper had a sacred seat,
Whence he might breathe his wild notes sweet.
Oh! then, when many a twinkling star
Shone in the azure vault afar,
And mute was ev’ry mountain-bird,
Soft music from the harp was heard;
And when the morning’s blushes shed
On hill, or tow’r, their varying red,
Oh! then the harp was heard to cheer,
With earliest sound, th’ enraptur’d ear;
Then many a lady fair was known,
With snowy hand, to wake its tone;
And infant fingers press’d the string,
And back recoil’d, to hear it sing.
Sweet instrument! such was thy pow’r,
’Twas thine to gladden ev’ry hour;
The young and old then honour’d thee,
And smil’d to hear thy melody.
Alas! as Time has turn’d to dust
The temple fair, the beauteous bust,
Thou too hast mark’d his frowning brow;
No Highland echo knows thee now:
A savage has usurp’d thy place,
Once fill’d by thee with ev’ry grace;
Th’ inflated Pipe, with swinish drone,
Calls forth applauses once thine own.
When stormy show’rs from Heav’n descend,
And with their weight the lily bend,
The Sun will soon his aid bestow,
And drink the drops that laid it low.
Oh! thus, when sorrow wrings the heart,
A sigh may rise, a tear may start;
Pity shall soon the face impress
With all its looks of happiness.
ON AN AUTUMNAL LEAF.
Think not, thou pride of Summer’s softest strain!
Sweet dress of Nature, in her virgin bloom!
That thou hast flutter’d to the breeze in vain,
Or unlamented found thy native tomb.
The Muse, who sought thee in the whisp’ring
When scarce one roving breeze was on the wing,
With tones of genuine grief beholds thee fade,
And asks thy quick return in earliest Spring.
I mark’d the victim of the wintry hour,
I heard the winds breathe sad a fun’ral sigh,
When the lone warbler, from his fav’rite bow’r,
Pour’d forth his pensive song to see thee die;—
When, in his little temple, colder grown,
He saw its sides of green to yellow grow,
And mourn’d his little roof, around him blown,
Or toss’d in beauteous ruin on the snow;
And vow’d, throughout the dreary day to come,
(More sad by far than summer’s gloomiest night),
That not one note should charm the leafless gloom,
But silent Sorrow should attend thy flight.
THE WORDS ADAPTED TO “THE COSSAKA,”
One of the most ancient of the Russ Airs.
Has Time a changeling made of thee?
Oh! no; and thou art all to me:
He bares the forest, but his pow’rs
Impair not love like ours.
Tho’ sever’d from each other’s sight,
When once we meet we shall unite,
As dew-drops down the lily run,
And, touching, blend in one.
For thee this bosom learnt to grieve,
Another never made it heave;
When present, oh! it was thy throne,
And, absent, thine alone.
Then may my trembling pilgrim feet
In safety find thy lov’d retreat!
And, if I’m doom’d to drop with care,
Still let me perish there!
ON THE EXTREME DIFFIDENCE WHICH SHE
DISPLAYS TO STRANGERS.
Just as a fawn, in forest shade,
Trembling to meet th’ admiring eye,
I’ve seen thee try to hide, sweet maid!
Thy charms behind thy modesty.
Thus too I’ve seen at midnight steal
A fleecy cloud before the wind,
And veil, tho’ it could not conceal,
The brilliant light that shone behind.
Upon reading the Journal of a Friend’s Tour into Scotland, in which the picturesque Scenery and the Character of the People are fairly and liberally stated.
Much injur’d, Scotia! was thy genuine worth,
When late the[A] surly Rambler wandered forth
In brown[B] surtout, with ragged staff,
Enough to make a savage laugh!
And sent the faithless legend from his hand,
That Want and Famine scour’d thy bladeless land,
That with thee Nature wore a wrinkled face,
That not a leaf e’er shed its sylvan grace,
But, harden’d by their northern wind,
Rude, deceitful, and unkind,
Thy half-cloth’d sons their oaten cake denied,
Victims at once of penury and pride.
Happy for thee! a lib’ral Briton here,
Gentle yet shrewd, tho’ learned not severe.
Fairly thy merit dares impart,
Asserts thy hospitable heart,
Proves that luxuriance smiles upon thy plains,
And wit and valour grace thy hardy swains.
[Footnote A: Dr. Johnson, author of the Rambler.] [Footnote B: Alluding to his dress, as described by Mr. Boswell.]
WRITTEN UPON A HILL,
On leaving the Country.
Ah! sweet romantic spot, adieu!
Ere your green fields again I view,
These looks may change their youthful hue.
Dependence sternly bids me part
From all that ye, lov’d scenes! impart,
Far from my treasure and my heart.
Tho’ winter shall your bloom invade,
Fancy may visit ev’ry shade,
Each bow’r shall kiss the wand’ring maid.
To busier scenes of life I fly,
Where many smile, where many sigh,
As Chance, not Worth, turns up the die.
The Cit, relying on his trade,
Which, like all other things, may fade,
Longs for a curricle and villa:
This Hatchet splendidly supplies,
The other Cock’ril builds, or buys,
To charm himself and Miss Hautilla.
Then swift, O London! he retires,
To be, from all thy smoke and spires,
From Saturday till Sunday, merry:
On Sunday crowds of friends attend;
His house and garden some commend,
And all admire his port and sherry.
His mistress urg’d him now to play,
And cut to wealth a shorter way,
Now as a bride she heads his table;
But still our Cit observ’d his time.
Returning at St. Cripple’s chime,
At least as near as he was able.
But soon she could not bear the sight
Of town; for walls with bow’rs unite,
As well as smoke with country breezes;
Without the keenest grief and pride
He could not quit his mares, and bride:
We yield as soon as passion seizes.
The clock no more his herald prov’d;
Tuesday, nay Wednesday, morn have mov’d,
Ere trembling shopmen saw their master:
Observing neighbours whisper’d round,
That ease might do, with plenty crown’d;
If not, that ruin came the faster.
His cash grew scarce, his business still,
At variance were his books and till
(For wolves devour when shepherds slumber);
His creditors around him pour,
Seize all his horses, household store,
And only give him up the lumber!
Written at the Sea-Side in Devonshire,
IN THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER,
WHEN THE SHIPS FROM NEWFOUNDLAND RETURN.
Still Summer lingers on these peaceful shores,
Nor yet she quits her rose-erected bow’r;
Tho’ oft in many a dew-drop she explores
Her beauties fading in each passing hour!
Tho’ Winter’s boist’rous child,
Amid those scenes that wak’d the poet’s lyre,
Shakes his green canopy, and loves to raise,
Of sapless leaves, an altar for his sire.
Soon shall his wild and stormy sway be o’er;
These lovely scenes shall feel his shortest reign;
And thou, sweet Summer! charming as before,
Shall but retire to dress thyself again.
Yet Heaven guides, full provident and kind,
With sweet economy, the source of joy,
From grief extracts some comfort for the mind,
And fresh hopes flatter ere the lost annoy.
See where Connubial Love yon rock ascends,
To hail each sail, while fav’ring breezes blow;
There many an hour she o’er the margin bends,
Her bosom trembling like the floods below.
Nearer the ocean’s graceful burden glides;
Cleav’d by its prow, the lines of water yield:
While adverse mountains, with protective sides,
The Heav’n-directed wand’ring seaman shield.
The anchor dropp’d, he springs upon the shore,
His wife and children press to meet his kiss;
Half-told, a thousand things they prattle o’er,
And, safe at home, renew their former bliss.
ON WINNING A YOUNG LADY’S MONEY AT CARDS.
How fairly Fortune all her gifts imparts;
We win your money, Ann, and you our hearts.
WRITTEN IN A FINE WINTER’S DAY,
At the Shooting-Box of my Friend, W. Cope, Esq.
NEAR ORPINGTON, KENT.
Tho’ leafless are the woods, tho’ flow’rs
In beauty blushing, spread their fragrant store,
Yet still ’tis sweet to quit the crowded scene,
And rove with Nature, tho’ no longer green;
For Winter bids her winds so softly blow,
That, cold and famine scorning, even now
The feather’d warblers still delight the ear,
And all of Summer, but her leaves, is here.
Here, on this winding garden’s sloping bound,
’Tis sweet to listen to each rustic sound,
The distant dog-bark, and the rippling rill,
Or catch the sparkling of the water-mill.
The tranquil scene each tender feeling moves;
As the eye rests on Holwood’s naked groves,
A tear bedims the sight for Chatham’s son,
For him whose god-like eloquence could stun,
Like some vast cat’ract, Faction’s clam’rous tongue,
Or by its sweetness charm, like Virgil’s song,
For him, whose mighty spirit rous’d afar
Europe’s plum’d legions to the hallow’d war;
But who, ah! hapless tale! could not inspire
Their recreant chiefs with his heroic fire;
Who, as they pass’d the tyrant Conqu’ror’s yoke,
Felt, as the bolt of Heav’n, the ruthless stroke;
And having long, in vain, the tempest brav’d,
Could breathe no longer in a world enslav’d.
Singing at the Window of the Author,
SOON AFTER THE DEATH OF A BELOVED SISTER.
Go, little flutt’rer! seek thy feather’d
And leave a wretched mourner to his woe;
Seek out the bow’rs of bliss, seek happier groves,
Nor here unheeded let thy music flow.
Yet think me not ungrateful for thy song,
If meant to cheer me in my lone retreat;
Ah! not to thee, my little friend! belong
The pow’rs to soothe the pangs of adverse fate.
Fly, then! the window of the wretched, fly!
And be thy harmless life for ever blest;
I only can reward thee with a sigh,
And wish that joys may crown thy peaceful nest.
By painful sickness long severely prest,
Here sinks, on Nature’s sacred lap of rest,
A friend, who, in a life too short, display’d
A mind in virtue bright, without one shade.
Hence with unusual grief is Fondness mov’d,
Hence more than Pity’s sighs for one belov’d;
Unshaken Honour sheds a manly tear,
And weeping Virtue stops, a mourner here.
TO THE MEMORY OF AN AMIABLE YOUTH,
OF GREAT PROMISE,
Whose afflicted Parents received the Intelligence of his having been drowned, at the very time when his Arrival was expected from abroad.
Dire were the horrors of that ruthless storm,
That for young Lycid form’d a wat’ry grave;
Oh! many wept to see his fainting form
Unaided sink beneath th’ o’erwhelming wave.
Ah! hapless youth! yet, tho’ the billowy waste
Has thus, with ruthless fury, snatch’d away
Thy various charms, thy genius, wit, and taste,
From those who fondly watch’d their rich display,—
Their cherish’d, lov’d, impression still
Mem’ry shall ride triumphant o’er the storm,
Shall shield thy gen’rous virtues from the blast,
And Fancy animate again thy form.
Yes, gentle youth! to her, tho’ little known,
Save by the rich effusions of thy lyre,
Th’ admiring Muse shall breathe a mournful tone,
And sounds of grief shall o’er the floods expire.
But, far more grateful to thy pensive shade,
Parental Fondness mourns her Lycid gone,
Lycid! who to her bosom oft convey’d
The liveliest joys to tend’rest feelings known.
For her the lustre of the dawning day,
With all its charms, no longer yields delight;
And silent sorrow marks its parting ray,
And saddens ev’ry vision of the night.
Oh! what ecstatic joys inspir’d her breast,
When, fast advancing to thy native shore,
She thought she saw thee in the bay at rest,
And now in fancy heard th’ approaching oar.
Oh! sad reverse! The dire delusive wind,
Which promis’d fair to bring thee to her breast,
Thy youthful honours to the wave consign’d,
And bore thy spirit to the realms of rest
Ah! had the song of ancient Bard been true,
Had Genius still the pow’r to soothe the storm,
Harmless had been each blast that round thee blew,
And safe and sacred, ’midst its rage, thy form.
What tho’ no marble urn thy relics hold,
Where grief at midnight hour may sit and sigh,
Like gem in amber, Fancy shall enfold
Thy relics in each wave that murmurs by.
Still shall she listen to thy glowing song,
And dwell with rapture on each vivid line,
Shall round thy lyre, neglected and unstrung,
Of sweetest flow’rs a fun’ral wreath entwine.
Ah! since thy tuneful song no more shall flow,
Nor here again thy op’ning virtues shine,
May those who, Lycid! lov’d thee living, know
To bear the sorrows of a loss like thine!
And, while they linger yet another hour
On life’s extended, tempest-beaten, strand,
Waiting the gale that shall convey them o’er,
To hail their Lycid in a happier land,
Oh! may religion lull each sigh to rest,
Teach them a God, in mercy rob’d, to praise,
To know that ev’ry act of his is best,
And, tho’ mysterious, still to prize his ways!
ON THE AUTHOR AND ELIZA FREQUENTLY DIFFERING
To such extremes were I and Bet
We quarrell’d every time we met,
To kiss, and be forgiven.
TO MY MOTHER,
On her attaining her 70th Year.
Oh! with what genuine pleasure do I trace
Each line of that long-lov’d, accustom’d, face,
Where Time, as if enchanted, and imprest
With all the virtues of thy peaceful breast,
Tho’ sev’nty varied years have roll’d away,
Still loves to linger, and, with soft decay,
Permits thy cheek to wear a healthy bloom,
In all the grace of age, without its gloom.
So on some sacred temple’s mossy walls,
With feath’ry force, the snow of winter falls!
Yes, venerable parent! may I long
Thus happy hail thee with an annual song.
Till, having clos’d thine eyes in such soft rest
As infants feel when to the bosom prest,
Angels shall bear thy spotless soul away
To realms of pure delight and endless day!
’Twas when the leaves were yellow turn’d,
Selina, with the gentlest sigh,
Exclaim’d, “For you I long have burn’d,
For you alone, my love! I’ll die.”
Unthinking youth! I thought her true,
And, when the trees grew white with snow,
The wint’ry wind with music blew,
So did her love upon me grow.
The Spring had scarce unlock’d her store,
When lo! in much ungentle strain,
She bade me think of her no more,
She bade me never love again.
Then did my heart at once reply,
“If you are false, who can be true?
There’s nothing here deserves a sigh,
Take this, the last, ’tis heav’d for you.”
Ah! fickle fair! amid the scene
That giddy pleasure may prepare,
A pensive thought shall intervene,
And touch your wand’ring heart with care.
And when, alone, at eve you rove,
Where arm in arm we oft have mov’d,
Each Zephyr in the well-known grove
Shall whisper that we once have lov’d.
WRITTEN IN A HERMITAGE,
AT DRONNINGAARD, NEAR COPENHAGEN.
Delicious gloom! asylum of repose!
Within your verdant shades, your tranquil bound,
A wretched fugitive[A], oppress’d by woes,
The balm of peace, that long had left him, found.
Ne’er does the trump of war disturb this grove;
Throughout its deep recess the warbling bird
Discourses sweetly of its happy lore,
Or distant sounds of rural joy are heard.
Life’s checquer’d scene is softly pictur’d
Here the proud moss-rose spreads its transient pride;
Close by, the willow drops a dewy tear,
And gaudy flow’rs the modest lily hide.
Alas! poor Hermit! happy had it been
For thee, if in these shades thy days had past,
If, well contented with the happy scene,
Thou ne’er again had fac’d life’s stormy blast!
And Pity oft shall shed the gen’rous tear
O’er the sad moral which thy days disclose;
There view how restless is our nature here,
How strangely hostile to its own repose.
[Footnote A: Dronningaard is the first private residence in Denmark: it belongs to the wealthy family of the De Conincks. The grounds, which are very extensive, and tastefully laid out, slope down to a noble lake, twelve English miles in circumference, which is skirted with fine woods and romantic country-houses. At the end of a beautiful walk is an elegant marble column, with a tablet, on which is inscribed by Mr. D.C. “This monument is erected in gratitude to a mild and beneficent Government, under whose auspices I enjoy the blessings that surround me.” In another part of the grounds, in a spot of deep seclusion, are the ruins of a Hermitage; and a little further, in a nook, an open grave and tombstone. The story connected with this retired spot deserves to be mentioned:—Time has shed many snows upon the romantic beauties of Dronningaard, since one, who, weary of the pomp of courts and the tumult of camps, in the prime of life, covered with honours and with fortune, sought from its hospitable owner permission to raise a sequestered cell, in which he might pass the remainder of his days in all the austerities and privations of an Anchorite. This singular man had, long previously to the revolution in Holland, distinguished himself at the head of his regiment, when, in an unhappy moment, the love of aggrandizement took possession of his heart, and, marrying under its influence, misery soon followed; and here, in a little wood of tall firs, he raised this simple fabric: moss warmed it within, and the bark of the birch defended it without; a stream of rock-water once flowed in a bed of pebbles before the door, in which the young willow dipped its leaves; and, at a little distance from a bed of wild roses, the labernum gracefully rose, and suspended her yellow flowers; and adjoining was a spot which the Recluse had selected for his grave, of which, like the monks of La Trappe, he dug a small portion every day until he had finished it. He composed his Epitaph in French, and had it inscribed on a stone. If the reader is at much interested as I was in the history of the poor Hermit, he will be pleased with the translation of it, which follows, from the pen of my respected and distinguished friend, William Hayley, Esq. In this solitude he passed several years, when the plan of his life became suddenly reversed by a letter of recall, which he received from his Prince, containing the most flattering expressions of regard. He obeyed the summons, returned to Holland, and at the head of his regiment most gallantly fought and fell.
THE HERMIT’S EPITAPH.
Here may he rest, who, shunning scenes of strife,
Enjoy’d at Dronningaard a Hermit’s life:
The faithless splendour of a court he knew,
And all the ardour of the tented field,
Soft Passion’s idler charm, not less untrue,
And all that listless Luxury can yield.
He tasted, tender Love! thy chatter sweet;
Thy promis’d happiness prov’d mere deceit.
To Hymen’s hallow’d fane by Reason led,
He deem’d the path he trod the path of bliss;
Oh! ever-mourn’d mistake! from int’rest bred,
Its dupe was plung’d in misery’s abyss:
But Friendship offer’d him, benignant pow’r!
Her cheering hand, in trouble’s darkest hour:
Beside this shaded stream, her soothing voice
Bade the disconsolate again rejoice:
Peace in his heart revives, serenely sweet;
The calm content, so sought for as his choice,
Quits him no more in this belov’d retreat.]
ON HER PRESENTING THE AUTHOR WITH AN IRISH PEBBLE.
Oft does the lucid pebble shine,
Just cover’d by the murm’ring sea;
Thus precious, thus conceal’d, it shews,
Fair maid! thy mind and modesty.
If searching eyes the stone discern,
Quick will the hand of Art remove
Each ruder part, till, brilliant grown,
It seals the fond record of love.
And here the sweet connexion ends,
Eliza! ’twixt the gem and thee;
For thou wast polish’d from the first,
By Nature’s hand, more happily!
[The French is by Bosquillon, which I translated as under, in a beautiful Swedish island in the Baltic, as I sat by the side of a fine clear stream of rock-water.]
La nymphe qui donne de cette eau
Au plus creux de rocher se cache,
Suivez un example si beau:
Donnez sans vouloir qu’on le sache.
The nymph, to whom this stream you owe,
Conceals herself in caves of stone:
Like her your benefits bestow;
Give, without wishing to be known.
UPON MADEMOISELLE DELPHINE SAULOT
Singing some equisite Airs
IN THE GARDENS OF MOUSSEAU, NEAR PARIS.
In Mousseau’s sweet Arcadian dale
Fair Delphine pours the plaintive strain;
She charms the list’ning nightingale,
And seems th’ enchantress of the plain.
Bless’d be those lips, to music dear;
Sweet songstress! never may they move
But with such sounds, to soothe the ear,
And melt the yielding heart to love.
May sorrow never bid them pour
From the torn heart one suff’ring sigh;
But be thy life a fragrant flow’r,
Blooming beneath a cloudless sky!
WRITTEN AT PARIS,
Upon her appearing equally modestly and elegantly
dressed, amidst the
Semi-Nakedness of the Rest of the Female Fashionables.
Whilst, in a dress that one might swear
The whole was made of woven air,
Pert Fashion spreads her senseless sway
Over the giddy and the gay
(Who think, by showing all their charms,
Lovers will fly into their arms),
In thee shall Wit and Virtue find
A friend more genial to their mind;
And Modesty shall gain in thee
A surer, chaster, victory.
UPON A SWEDISH COTTAGE,
Written on the Road,
WITHIN A FEW MILES OF STOCKHOLM.
Here, far from all the pomp Ambition seeks,
Much sought, but only whilst untasted prais’d,
Content and Innocence, with rosy cheeks,
Enjoy the simple shed their hands have rais’d.
On a gray rock it stands, whose fretted base
The distant cat’ract’s murm’ring waters lave,
Whilst o’er its mossy roof, with varying grace,
The slender branches of the white birch wave.
Around the forest-fir is heard to sigh,
On which the pensive ear delights to dwell,
Whilst, as the gazing trav’ller passes by,
The gray goat, starting, sounds his tinkling bell.
Oh! in my native land, ere life’s decline,
May such a spot, so wild, so sweet, be mine!
TO THE MEMORY OF MRS. B——
Ah, stranger! if thy pilgrim footsteps love,
By meditation led, to wander here,
A suff’ring husband may thy pity move,
Who weeps the loss of all his soul holds dear!
Cold as this mourning marble is that heart,
Which Virtue warm’d with pure and gen’rous heat,
Which to each checquer’d scene could joy impart,
Nor ceas’d to love until it ceas’d to beat.
Yet, gentle spirit! o’er thine early grave
Shall Consolation, like a seraph, prove,
When Sickness clos’d thy faultless life, she gave
Another angel to the realms above!
Or a Peep into the Cabinet of the Premier Consul,
AT ST. CLOUD,
ON THE NIGHT OF THE 26th OCT. 1803.
—“they show an outward hideousness, And speak off half a dozen dang’rous words, How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst; And this is all.”
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Act V. Scene 4.
My dear Talleyrand! I am sorry to send
For you out of your bed; but you know you’re my friend:
No secret I hide from your generous breast;
This invasion is always invading my rest:
My soldiers, poor devils! are ready to start,
But to stay where I am is the wish of my heart;
And yet I have sworn at their head to appear:
I am puzzl’d to act ’twixt my threats and my fear;
If I go, I am lost!—say, what shall I do?
Why I think I’ve a snug little project in view:
I have felt for you long, and have ransack’d my brain
To relieve you from so much embarrassing pain.
To-morrow our principal tools shall repair
To this spot, to implore you to stay where you are:
Little Jancourt, you know, has a tear at command,
The rest shall have muslin-wrapp’d onions in hand;
An expedient which you, my good Consul, must try,
For a drop never yet wag observ’d in your eye!
And therefore I think ’twould be better for you
The largest to pluck from the beds of St Cloud.
When these fellows appear, they shall fall at your feet,
Portalis shall pen a few words to repeat;
He shall state ’tis the nation’s imperial will
That you do not your dangerous promise fulfil;
But snug in this closet put all into motion,
Nor hazard your life with these sons of the ocean.
You shall say, “I have sworn by my glory to go;” }
They shall all of them blubber out “No, no, no, no!}
It must not, thou world’s second saviour! be so. }
If you go, mighty Chieftain! and should not escape,
All Gallia, the world, will be cover’d with crape[A]!
Oh! stay where you are; on our knees we implore!”
Then, apparently chok’d, they shall utter no more.
When thrice sixty seconds have nearly expir’d
(Now mind, my dear Consul, and do as desir’d),
You must mimic some hero you’ve seen at the play,
Of the tragical cast, when his soul melts away
(And, without any compliment ’twixt you and I,
You re’lly have talents and pow’rs very high,
To make the most striking tragedian alive).
But now to the point. You must tenderly strive
To raise these sweet prostrates; then, heaving a sigh,
And wiping the drops that shall stand in each eye,
Like one sorely cross’d, you shall, weeping, exclaim,
“Oh! why do you tear me from conquest and fame?
But still, if the nation commands me, ’tis fit”
(Your breast thumping hard) “that its Chief should submit.”
Then you see, if the army of England should sail,
And the schemes of this cursed armada should fail,
In the Moniteur’s faithful official page,
I can humbug the people, and soften their rage;
I will tell them, that, had but the nation permitted
Her Chief to have gone, we had ne’er been outwitted;
That merely the terrible glance of his eye
Would have made all those shop-keeping islanders fly;
This will quiet our friends, and, to harass our foes,
A second invasion I’ll slyly propose,
In which, in the van, Buonaparte shall pour
His vengeance divine on that mercantile shore.
Not that I, my dear Premier! conceive ’twould be right
To renew with these cursed tough fellows the fight;
But our people ’twill please, until some new occasion
Shall call from this project the eye of the nation.
It will do, it will do, my dear Tally! thy brain Has my terrors remov’d, and “a man I’m again.” I will rise with the dawn, for this scene to prepare; Denon, with his crayons, so swift shall be there; The Parisians the subject with rapture will trace In my Nosegay[B]; I’ll hang it up full in their face. I embrace thee, my dear little Tal! with delight; Ca ira! Ca ira! Thy hand, and good night.
[The First Consul is said to have enjoyed half an hour’s uninterrupted repose that night. What followed, the next day, all Europe knows, and all Europe laughs at.]
[Footnote A: Black crape and the bolt of Heaven are the favourite rhetorical figures of Napoleon the First.]
[Footnote B: “Nosegay”—The anti-chamber of the Hall of the Arts in the Louvre, in which there are many fine paintings, is called, by the Parisians, Buonaparte’s Nosegay.]
TO MISS CHINNERY, OF GILLWELL-HOUSE,
Upon her appearing in a Dress
WITH MAY-FLOWERS AND LEAVES TASTEFULLY DISPLAYED.
Tell me what taught thee to display
A choice so sweet, and yet so rare,
To prize the modest buds of May
Beyond the diamond’s prouder glare?
Say, was the grateful pref’rence paid
To Nature, since, with skill divine,
So many fairy charms she made,
To grace her fav’rite Caroline?
Or was it Taste that bade thee try
How soon the richest gem must yield,
In beauty and attractive die,
To this wild blossom of the field?
Whate’er the cause, in Nature’s glow
Well does the choice thyself pourtray;
Thine innocence the blossoms show,
Thy youth the green leaves well display.
Ah! if my voice is heard in vain,
This fond, this falling, tear
May yet thy dire intent restrain,
May yet dissolve my fear.
Th’ unsparing wound that lays thee low
Will bend thy Julia too:
Could she survive the fatal blow
Who only lives in you?
TO MRS. A. CLARKE.
Within his cold and cheerless cell,
I heard the sighing Censor tell
That ev’ry charm of life was gone,
That ev’ry noble virtue long
Had ceas’d to wake the Minstrel’s song,
And Vice triumphant stood alone.
“Poor gloomy reas’ner! come with me;
Smooth each dark frown, and thou shall see
Thy tale is but a mournful dream;
I’ll show thee scenes to yield delight,
I’ll show thee forms in Virtue bright,
Illum’d by Heav’n’s unclouded beam.
“See Clarke, with ev’ry goodness grac’d,
Her mind the seat of Wit and Taste;
Tho’ Wealth invites to Pleasure’s bow’r,
See her the haunts of Woe descend;
Of many a friendless wretch the friend,
Pleas’d she exerts sweet Pity’s pow’r.
“See her, with parent patriot care,
The infant orphan-mind prepare,
Assur’d, without Instruction’s aid,
The proudest nation soon will show
A wasted form, a hectic glow,
A robb’d, diseas’d, revolting, shade.
“See her with Prince-like spirit pour
On genuine worth her ample store[A];
See her, by ev’ry gentle art,
Protect the plant she loves to rear,
And, as she bathes it with a tear,
Grateful it twines around her heart.
“And there are more, of kindred mind;”—
When, with a face more bland and kind,
The Sage, in soften’d tone, replied:
“’Twas Error made to me the den
More grateful than the haunts of men;
Henceforth mankind shall be my pride.”
[Footnote A: This alludes to a munificent donation of a very handsome fortune, which this Lady presented, without any claim of consanguinity or connexion, to a young Lady of great merit.]
To the Tune of “Oh! Lady fair! where art thou going?”
Sing, bird of grief! still eve descending,
And soothe a mind with sorrow rending;
Ne’er may I see the blush of morrow,
But close this night the sigh of sorrow;
Then, if some wand’rer here directed
Shall find my mossy grave neglected,
May he replace the weed that’s growing
With the nearest flow’r that’s blowing!
UPON A VERY HANDSOME WOMAN
Keeping the Hotel de Lion Blanc, at Dantzig.
The sign of the house should be chang’d, I’ll
Where enchanted we find so much beauty and grace;
Then quick from the door let the lion be torn,
And an angel expand her white wings in his place.
UPON SEEING A BEAUTIFUL INFANT SLEEPING ON THE
BOSOM OF ITS MOTHER.
Upon its native pillow dear,
The little slumb’rer finds repose;
His fragrant breath eludes the ear—
A zephyr passing o’er a rose.
Yet soon from that pure spot of rest
(Love’s little throne!) shalt thou be torn;
Time hovers o’er thy downy nest,
To crown thy baby-brow with thorn.
Ah! thoughtless! couldst thou now but see
On what a world thou soon must move,
Or taste the cup prepar’d for thee
Of grief, lost hopes, or widow’d love,
Ne’er from that breast thou’d’st
raise thine head,
But thou would’st breathe to Heav’n a pray’r
To let thee, ere thy blossom fade,
In one fond sigh exhale thee there.
WRITTEN AT FREDENSBORG,
The deserted Palace of the late Queen Dowager Juliana Maria[A].
Bless’d are the steps of Virtue’s
Where’er she moves fresh roses bloom;
And, when she droops, kind Nature pours
Her genuine tears in gentle show’rs,
That love to dew the willow green
That over-canopies her tomb.
But, ah! no willing mourner here
Attends to tell the tale of woe:
Why is yon statue prostrate thrown?
Why has the grass green’d o’er the stone?
Why, ’gainst the spider’d casement drear,
So sullen seems the wind to blow?
How mournful was the lonely bird,
Within yon dark neglected grove!
Say, was it fancy? From its throat
Issu’d a strange and cheerless note;
’Twas not so sad as grief I heard,
Nor yet so wildly sweet as love.
In the deep gloom of yonder dell
Ambition’s blood-stain’d victims sigh’d;
While Time beholds, without a tear,
Fell Desolation hov’ring near,
Whose angry blushes seem to tell.
Here Juliana shudd’ring died!
[Footnote A: This palace, called the Mansion of Peace, is in the road and near to Elsineur; it was the retreat of the ambitious and remorseless Juliana Maria, the mother-in-law of Christian VII. whose intrigues and jealousy sent Brandt and Struensee to the scaffold, and drove the unhappy Matilda, the mother of the present King of Denmark, from her throne, and the arms of her royal husband. Juliana died here. The palace and grounds, parts of which are beautiful, were, when I visited them in 1804, much neglected.]
Upon the Admiration of the Valour and amiable Qualities of Lord Nelson, expressed by Junot, now Duke of Abrantes, who, by the Chances of War, was for a short Time the British Hero’s Prisoner.
A wreath from an immortal bough
Should deck that gen’rous victor’s brow,
Who hears his captive’s grateful praise
Augment the thanks his country pays;
For him the minstrel’s song shall flow,
The canvass breathe, the marble glow.
UPON A LADY DYING
Soon after she had been wrecked on the Cornish Coast,
LEAVING A LITTLE INFANT BEHIND HER.
Sweet stranger! tho’ the merc’less storm
Here sternly cast thy fainting form,
What tho’ no kindred hand was near
To wipe away Affliction’s tear,
Yet shall thy gentle spirit own,
Amidst these sea-girt shores unknown,
That Pity pour’d her balmy store,
And kindred hands could do no more.
Ne’er shall that pang disturb thy rest,
That moves the parted mother’s breast;
The object of thy dying fear
Shall want no father’s fondness here.
Oft shall his little lips proclaim,
With April-tears, thy treasur’d name;
His little hands, when summers bloom,
Shall gather flow’rs to deck thy tomb.
UPON A VERY PRETTY WOMAN ASKING THE AUTHOR HIS
OPINION OF BEAUTY.
Madam! you ask what marks for beauty pass:
Require them rather from your looking-glass!
TO THE MEMORY OF ERASMUS,
Inscribed on the Pedestal of the Statue raised in Honour of the former, in Rotterdam.
[The Original in Dutch.]
Hier rees die groote zon, en ging te Bazel onder!
De Rykstad eer’ en vier’ dien Heilig in zyn grav;
Dit tweede leeven geevt, die’t eerste leeven gav:
Maar ’t ligt der taalen, ’t zout der zeden, ’t heerlyk wonder.
Waar met de Lievde, en Vreede, en Godgeleerdheid praald,
Word met geen grav geerd nog met zeen beeld betaald:
Dies moet hier’t lugtgewele Erasmus overdekken,
Nadien geen mind’re plaats zyn tempel kan verstrekken!
Erasmus, here, the eloquent and wise,
That Sun of Learning! rose, and spread his beam
O’er a benighted world, thro’ low’ring skies,
And shed on Basil’s tow’rs his parting gleam.
There his great relics lie: he bless’d
No proud preserver of his fame shall prove
The Parian pile, tho’ fraught with sculptur’d grace:
Reader! his mausoleum is above.
Were written during a Period when it was confidently
believed that the
French would invade our Country.
To the Tune of “Ye Gentlemen of England.”
No gentleman of England now sits at home at ease,
But emulates on shore the heroes of the seas;
A common cause unites them, to meet the daring foe,
All they wish, all they ask, is a fav’ring wind to blow.
Oh! let them come along, and may no tempests low’r,
But fairly may we try our valour and our pow’r,
That Hist’ry may not say, should these robbers be laid low,
To the storm ’tis alone the victory we owe.
Soon shall these infidels the dreadful diff’rence
’Twixt slaves impell’d by fear, and freemen bound by love;
Our foes shall never rise again, when once they are laid low,
On the sea, on the shore, for justice strikes the blow.
When storms on
Create high emotion,
It pleases the wish
Of the monarch of fish,
For he gambols and sports in the motion.
Should a shoal
of small fry
Attempt to draw nigh,
With a flap of his tail,
Th’ imperial whale
Makes them pay for their rashness, and die.
Oh! thus, on the
Just with the same ease,
Should the enemy come,
In ship, boat, or bomb,
We will knock them about as we please;
Till at last they
“We are the small fry,
And Britannia’s the whale,
By a flap of whose tail,
If we dare to approach her we die.”
Occasioned by reading an Inscription on the Tombstone of Captain Christensen, of Krajore, in Norway, who died in consequence of the Bite of his Dog, when it was mad.
Ah! hapless stranger! who, without a tear,
Can this sad record of thy fate survey?
No angry tempest laid thee breathless here,
Nor hostile sword, nor Nature’s mild decay.
The fond companion of thy pilgrim feet,
Who watch’d thee in thy sleep, who moan’d if miss’d,
And sprung with such delight his Lord to greet,
Imbu’d with death the hand he oft had kiss’d.
And here, remov’d from Love’s lamenting
Far from thy native cat’racts’ awful sound,
Far from thy dusky forests’ pensive sigh,
Thy poor remains repose on alien ground;
Yet Pity oft shall sit beside thy stone,
And sigh as tho’ she mourn’d a brother gone.
IN REPLY TO A LADY,
Who asked the Author what Childhood resembled.
How like is childhood to the lucid tide
That calmly wanders thro’ the mossy dell,
Sweeps o’er the lily by the margin’s side,
And, as it kisses, murmurs out, Farewell!
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY IN GERMANY,
Who, until her Sister, honoured the Author by walking with him in the Evening.
Adieu! dear girl! if we are doom’d to part,
Take with thee, take, the blessing of this heart,
Due to thy gentle mind, and cultur’d sense;
Perhaps ’twill please, but, sure, can’t give offence.
Tho’, when we met, the solar ray was gone,
And on our steps the moon-beam only shone,
Yet well I mark’d thy form and native grace,
And all the sweet expression of thy face;
And pleas’d I listen’d as thy accents fell,
Accents that spoke a feeling mind so well
Lo, when the birds repose at ev’ning hour,
The sweetest of them carols from her bow’r!
So, when the dews the garden’s fragrance close,
The night-flow’r[A] blooms, the rival of the rose!
[Footnote A: One of the creeping cereuses, usually known by the name of the night-flower, is said to be as grand and as beautiful as any in the vegetable system. It begins to open in the evening, about seven o’clock; is in perfection about eleven, perfuming the air to a considerable distance, and fades about four in the morning.]
O Study! while thy lovers raise
Thy name with all the pow’r of praise,
Frown not, thou nymph with piercing mind!
If in this bosom thou should’st find
That all thy deep, thy brilliant, lore,
Which charm’d it once, now charms no more:
Frown not, if, on thy classic line,
One strange, uncall’d-for, tear should shine;
Frown not, if, when a smile should start,
A sigh should heave an aching heart:
If Mem’ry, roving far away,
Should an unmeaning homage pay,
Should ask thee for thy golden fruit,
And, when thou deign’st to hear her suit,
Should turn her from the proffer’d food,
To tread the shades of Solitude:
Frown not, if, in the humble line,
Ungrac’d by any thought of thine,
Should but that gentle name appear,
Fond cause of ev’ry joy and fear;
I love, tho’ rude, I love it more,
Than all thy piles of letter’d lore:
Frown not if ev’ry airy word,
Which Beauty breathes, or Love has heard,
More rich, more eloquently, flow,
To Mem’ry gives a warmer glow,
Than all by thee so much approv’d,
The wit of age on age improv’d.
Go, then! and, since it is denied
That thou shalt be my radiant guide!
Leave me to sigh, to weep, to prove
How little Learning is to Love.
Wilt thou, because thy Florio loves,
Forsake the giddy glitt’ring throng,
With him to dwell in peaceful groves,
With him to hear the shepherd’s song?
Can’st thou, without a sigh, resign
The homage by thy charms inspir’d?
To one, oh! say, can’st thou confine
What oft so many have admir’d?
Sweet maid! oh! bless’d shall be our love,
Till time shall bid it cease to flow;
With thee shall ev’ry moment prove
A little heaven form’d below!
In a chariot of fire, thro Hell’s flaming arch,
The Fury of Discord appear’d;
A myriad of demons attended her march,
And in Gallia her standard she rear’d.
Thy name, so enchanting, sweet Freedom! she took,
But in vain did she try to assume
Thy smile of content, thy enlivening look,
And thy roseate mountainous bloom.
For wan was her visage, and phrensied her eye,
At her girdle a poniard she wore;
Her bosom and limbs were expos’d to the sky,
And her robe was besprinkled with gore.
Nature shudder’d, and sigh’d as the wild
Each flow’r droop’d its beautiful head;
The groves became dusky, and moan’d in the blast,
And Virtue and Innocence fled.
She rose from her car ’midst the yell of her
Emblazon’d, a scroll she unfurl’d,
And on it the dreams of Philosophy drew;
“’Tis the Charter, she cried, of the World.”
Plunder, keen-ey’d and lean, rang with plaudits
Murder grinn’d as he whetted his steel;
While Blasphemy swore the Redeemer on high
Was the creature of Folly and Zeal.
The scaffold grew red with the blood of the brave,
Kings turn’d pale on their thrones at her nod;
While Loyalty fled to the gloom of the cave,
And Piety knelt to her God.
At length, after changing her chiefs at her will,
As their mischievous zeal grew remiss,
She sought a fresh fav’rite, with dexterous skill,
From Obscurity’s darkest abyss.
The pow’rs of her monstrous adoption to try,
’Midst, Syria! thy waterless waste,
She bade him the blast of thy desert outvie,
And defile all thy relics of taste.
The chieftain obey’d: with a merciful air
He wrung from thy natives a tear;
But the justice and valour of Britain, e’en there,
Shook his legions, recoiling with fear.
Well-pleas’d with his crimes, the Fury, with
To her empire safe wafted him o’er;
Whilst the spectres of Jaffa, with ghastly delight,
The murd’rer pursued to the shore.
Arriv’d, for his brow, lo! a turban she made,
Bright with gems pluck’d from Gallia’s crown;
To give him a name, she Rome’s hist’ry survey’d,
In the days of her early renown.
To embellish his guilt, or to soften its shade,
The Arts mournful captives she kept;
And the plund’rer and plunder of Europe display’d
To the wand’rer, who wonder’d and wept.
To support this apostate imperial shade,
This impious mock’ry of good,
She rais’d a banditti, to whom she convey’d
His spirit for plunder and blood.
The chiefs of the earth in a panic beheld
The flash of his sabre afar;
They enter’d, but pensively mov’d from the field,
And bow’d to this idol of war.
Till, fum’d with the incense of slavish applause,
O’er the globe’s fairest portion he trod;
And, spurning its liberty, spirit, and laws,
Conceiv’d himself rais’d to a god.
But England disdain’d to the Tyrant to bend;
Still erect, undismay’d, she was found;
Infuriate, he swore that “his bolt should descend,”
And her temples should fall to the ground.
Yes, here, if his banner is destin’d to wave,
It shall float o’er her temples laid low,
O’er piles of her children, who, loyal and brave,
Such a victory never will know.
Oh! banish the thought; for, learn ’tis in vain,
Thus, thou maniac Tyrant, to boast;
As soon shall her base be remov’d by the main,
As her empire by thee and thy host.
The sound is gone forth, ’tis recorded above,
To the mountain it spread from the vale;
“Our God, and our King, and our Country, we love,
And for them we will die or prevail.”
Then hasten the day, if thy threat be sincere,
Let the winds blow thy myriads along;
Then soon may thy boasted armada appear,
And our rocks catch thy death-breathing song.
Thy guardian, foul deity! hideous with crime,
Shall view, as she moves to our shore,
The Genius of Britain, mild, brave, and sublime,
And shall boast her achievements no more.
Oh! direful and strange will the contest appear,
Big with freedom to nations afar;
The good, who confide, and the guilty, who fear,
Shall join in the conflict of war.
In Heaven, with smiles, shall the happy and blest
Lean over its bright-beaming walls,
To guide and support to the regions of rest
The soul of the patriot who falls.
Britannia! thy Muse, on a rock high and steep,
The fate of the fight shall proclaim;
The strings of her lyre Inspiration shall sweep,
Recording each hero by name.
The world to its centre shall shake with delight,
As thus she announces their fall;
“They sink! our invaders submit to our might,
The ocean has buried them all!”
Canst thou, Annette, thy lover see?
His trembling love unfolded hear?
And mark the while th’ impassion’d tear,
Th’ impassion’d tear of agony?
Adown his anxious features steal,
Nor then one burst of pity feel?
But, as bereav’d of ev’ry sense,
Look on with cold indifference.
Go, then, Annette, in all thy charms,
Go bless some gayer, happier, arms;
Go, rest secure, thy fear give o’er,
These eyes shall follow thee no more;
And never shall these lips impart
One thought of all that rends my heart.
Yet, since will burst the frequent sigh,
And since the tear will ever fall,
From thee and from the world I’ll fly;
Deserts shall hide, shall silence, all.
SENT WITH SOME INDIAN ROUGE TO MISS W——.
Go, faithless bloom! on Delia’s cheek
Your boasted captivations try;
Alas! o’er Nature would you seek
To gain one moment’s victory?
Her softer tint, sweet look, and gentle air,
Shall prove you’re but a vain intruder there.
But go, display your charms and taste;
Soon shall you blush a richer red,
To find your mimic pow’r surpass’d;
And, whilst upon her cheek you spread
Your vermeil hue, tell her ingenuous heart,
’Tis the first time she ever practis’d art.
With the following elegant Lines.
When men exert their utmost pow’rs,
To while away the tedious hours,
With soothing Flatt’ry’s art,
When ev’ry art and work well skill’d,
And ev’ry look with poison fill’d,
Assail a woman’s heart,
Tho’ ardently she’d wish to be
Proof ’gainst the charms of Flattery,
The task is hard, I ween;
Self-love will whisper “’Tis quite true,
Who can there be more fair than you?
Who more admir’d, when seen?”
Then take this tempting gift of thine,
Nor e’er again wish me to shine
In any borrow’d bloom:
Nor rouge, nor compliments, can charm;
Full well I know they both will harm;
Truth is my only plume.
OCCASIONED BY HER DECLINING AN OFFER OF MARRIAGE
Made her by a very accomplished Friend of the Author.
Oh! form’d to prompt the smile or tear,
At once so sweet, yet so severe!
As much for you as him I grieve;
Ah! thoughtless! if you thus can leave
A mind with wit and learning bright,
Where Temper sheds its cloudless light;
Where manly honour, taste refin’d,
With ev’ry virtue, are combin’d;
If you can quit a heart so true,
Which has so often throbb’d for you,
I’ll pity, tho’ I can’t reprove;
And did I, such is Florio’s love,
Eager he’d fly to take thy part,
E’en in a war against his heart.
Awake, my Muse! awake each slumb’ring string,
And (mighty subject!) of a Mushroom sing,
Fair to the eye, and pleasant to the taste;
Charm’d by the note, a pigmy group, in haste,
Lay down their grainy loads, as slow they move
Thro’ lanes of reed and grass, to them a grove!
As if an Orpheus thou, they gather round,
Erect their tiny ears, and drink the sound.
Gray was the sky, save where the eastern ray
O’er fragrant hills proclaim’d th’ approaching day;
Rurilla, loveliest virgin of the plain,
With spirits light, and mind without a stain,
Rose from her simple bed, refresh’d with rest;
Ah, Sleep! with marble finger had’st thou prest
Her lovely eyelids till a later hour,
And by a blissful vision’s fairy pow’r
Hadst thou impress’d her mind with forms of love,
The walk at eve, the kiss, the murm’ring dove,
The little nymph had never sought the plain,
Nor fill’d with one romantic thought this brain.
In russet gown, with sweet and simple air,
She issued forth, like Hebe, young and fair,
To neighb’ring field, fresh as the rosy dawn;
Nor stile oppos’d her; like a bounding fawn
Graceful she sprang: so prankish was the air,
Had but the love-sick Daphanel been there,
He would have sigh’d: alas! poor love-sick fool!
Thou rather Zephyr dost inflame than cool!
And now, my Muse, the fatal spot disclose,
Where, bath’d with dew, the modest Mushroom rose.
Less fair the swan, by Richmond’s flow’ry side,
That in the river views herself with pride,
As, gazing on her, some their stay prolong,
To see her sail in majesty along.
Ill-fated child of earth! thy charms so fair,
As oft with youthful beauty, prove thy snare:
Now, as with dewy-spangled feet is seen
The lovely maid to trace each ringlet green,
Not distant far thy skin of velvet white
She views, and to thee presses with delight
Oh! might some deity, with potent arm,
Arrest her flight, and alter ev’ry charm;
Like Niobe dissolve into a tear,
Or like the Delian virgin, when with fear
She fled!—See on each beauteous limb appear
Soft leaves and flow’rs, the sweetest of the year;
And, taking root, spread round her fragrant breath
O’er the fair form that now she dooms to death:
But, ah! in vain, the pray’r no goddess hears; }
She bends—she plucks—and, bath’d in purple tears,}
The much-priz’d victim in her lap she bears! }
Tears that, preserv’d in crystal, will prolong,
And paint its worth beyond this simple song.
Written en badinage, after visiting a Paper-Mill near Tunbridge-Wells, in consequence of the lovely Miss W——, who excels in Drawing, requesting the Author to describe the Process of making Paper, in Verse.
Reader! I do not wish to brag;
But, to display Eliza’s skill,
I’d proudly be the vilest rag
That ever went to paper-mill.
Content in pieces to be cut;
Tho’ sultry were the summer-skies,
Pleas’d between flannel I’d be put,
And after bath’d in jellied size.
Tho’ to be squeez’d and hang’d I
For thee, sweet girl! upon my word,
When the stout press had forc’d me flat,
I’d be suspended on a cord.
And then, when dried and fit for use,
Eliza! I would pray to thee,
If with thy pen thou would’st amuse,
That thou would’st deign to write on me.
Gad’s bud! how pleasant it would prove
Her pretty chit-chat to convey,
P’rhaps be the record of her love,
Told in some coy enchanting way.
Or, if her pencil she would try,
On me, oh! may she still imprint
Those forms that fix th’ admiring eye,
Each graceful line, each glowing tint!
Then shall I reason have to brag,
For thus, to high importance grown,
The world will see a simple rag
Become a treasure rarely known.
TO A PROMISING YOUNG ARTIST.
These bays be thine; and, tho’ not form’d
Clear as thy colour, faultless as thy line,
Yet shall the Muse essay, in humble verse,
Thy merits, lovely Painting! to rehearse.
As when the demon of the winter storm
Robs each sweet flow’ret of its beauteous form,
The Spirit of the stream, in crystal wave,
Sleeps whilst the chilling blasts above him rave,
Till the Sun spreads his animating fires,
And sullen Darkness from the scene retires,
Then mountain-nymphs discard their robes of snow,
And in green mantles smile in roseate glow,
And rivers, loosen’d from their icy chain,
Spread joy and richness thro’ the verdant plain,
Thus, in those climes where skies are ever fair,
Each infant Science breath’d a genial air,
Climes where the Earth her stores to all resign’d,
Nor left one selfish passion to the mind;
On her green lap the swain reclin’d his head,
And found his banquet where he found his bed.
Then Painting grew, and from the shades of flow’rs[A]
There first essay’d her imitative pow’rs,
When, urg’d by plunder, with the torrent’s might,
Nerv’d by the storm, and harden’d in the fight,
A race barbarian left their forests wild,
And sought the spot where Love and Learning smil’d.
By Taste unsoften’d, these relentless droves
Burst, fair Italia! thro’ thy sacred groves,
Laid ev’ry flow’r of Art and Fancy waste,
And pour’d a winter o’er the realms of Taste,
Each Science trembled at the ruffian sound,
Forsook her shades, and fled her classic ground;
The lofty column prostrate in the dust,
Defac’d the arch, o’erthrown the matchless bust;
The shatter’d fresco animates no more,
And ruthless winds thro’ clefted temples roar!
Florence beheld the scene with sad surprise,
And bade the prostrate pile in grandeur rise.
[Footnote A: “Then painting grew, and from the shades,” &c.—The shadows of plants, and indeed of every object in Nature, must, at a very early period, have furnished ideas of imitation.]
[Footnote B: "Then, oh! thou,” &c.—After the ravages of the northern barbarians, painting was revived in Italy, about the fourteenth century, by Cimabue, who was hence styled the Father of Painting.]
[Footnote C: “For that Apelles,” &c.—Painting attained so great a perfection amongst the Greeks, under Zeuxis, that Apelles found nothing wanting but grace, which in those times he bestowed upon the art, as Corregio did after Raphael.]
[Footnote D: “Here Jove in,” &c.—The Greeks excelled in the delineation of their deities, to whom they attributed all the human passions: their Jupiter they elevated to the highest degree of majesty, their Venus to the utmost pitch of human beauty.]
[Footnote E: “E’en such as graceful Sculpture,” &c.—From Cimabue to Raphael, the painters were employed by the church; and they gave a character to the Prophets, Apostles, and our Saviour, which was never known to the ancient sculptors. The power which the former possessed of uniting dignity to humility is without a parallel.]
[Footnote F: “Behold, in fulsome allegory,” &c.—As long as the French school adhered to the principles of the Italian school, it produced many great masters; however, the art certainly degenerated after Raphael, by being employed in adulatory allegory, in honour of Princes, as is to be seen in the works of Rubens and Le Brun at Paris, artists of great talents, which they were led to misapply, through the supreme vanity of Louis the Fourteenth.]
[Footnote G: “And Europe’s plunder,” &c.—Those who have visited the Napoleon Gallery at Paris can attest the truth of this observation, as those who are acquainted with the modern state of painting in France well know, and, knowing, cannot but be surprised at, the small number of French painters of any tolerable celebrity.]