IMPROMPTU TO MADAME C——
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?