[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.