British Women Romantic Poets Project

Poems, on Various Occasions.

Bath, Elizabeth.


Leigh Rios, -- creation of electronic text.

Electronic edition 178Kb
British Women Romantic Poets Project
Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
2002
I.D. No. BathEPoems

Copyright (c) 2002, University of California

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 91
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor


Poems, on various occasions

Bath, Elizabeth


Printed by J. Desmond
Bristol,
1806

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no. I:71. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:71mf.]


The editors thank the Shields Library, University of California, Davis, for its support for this project.

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Page [1]

POEMS,
ON
VARIOUS OCCASIONS.

BY

ELIZABETH BATH.


BRISTOL:

PRINTED BY J. DESMOND, AT THE MIRROR-OFFICE, SMALL-STREET.
1806.
Page [2]



Page [3]

TO
A SINCERE FRIEND,

Whose Attachment has withstood Time, Absence, and Adversity,
AND
WHOSE SINCERITY IS EQUALLED ONLY BY THE STABILITY
WHICH HAS EVER MARKED HER CHARACTER,
THE FOLLOWING
POEMS
ARE DEDICATED,
AS A TOKEN OF THE UNFEIGNED AFFECTION OF ELIZABETH BATH.


Page [4]



Page [5]

POEMS.

Musing on the changes that are observable in many of the scenes we contemplate, the circumstance of the spot on which now stands the Friends' Meeting House, in Bristol, called the Friars, having formerly been the scite of a Monastery, appeared a striking illustration of the revolutions of time; and under the impression of the superior purity of such a mode of Worship to one so encumbered with superstitious forms and ceremonies, the following Lines occurred and were committed to writing.

WHAT revolutions, in succeeding years,
Change all terrestrial things!--we stand amaz'd
When, leaping o'er the gulph of time, long pass'd,
On some far distant eminence, we pause;
Pause, to reflect, to wonder, to admire,
And view the miracles which time has wrought.


Page 6

Time is the ground work of the great design;
Backward or forward, as we take our view,
We travel to the verge of time, but there
Memory, and fancy, and the varied powers,
That sketch the future or recal the past,
Shrink back appall'd, nor see the dark unknown.
Faith has indeed a telescopic eye;
She penetrates the future, else unseen;
She aids our mental vision, found too weak
To view the glories of eternity;
But thro' her friendly medium--there we see
Pure joy unclouded--pleasures, never known
While traversing this howling wilderness--
This barren desert of mortality:
Still she presents the image indistinct,
The end she points to, and the outline gives;
But how obtain'd, or how the soul shall live,
Man shall not comprehend till time shall cease.
Time is the theatre for every sense,
The stage on which they act their varied parts;
They journey with us to the verge of life,
But, with this frail corporeal tenement,
We lay them down to rest.----Memory surveys
The various windings of the road we trod,


Page 7

Each eminence of hope,--each dire descent,
And, while we judge the future by the past,
We journey on with calm but weary step
Along the ever rugged paths of life.
Memory, that faithful friend who never tires,
Who with her oft-repeated histories
Amuses and instructs--has many an hour
Beguil'd, and many a present sorrow drown'd,
When with her ample page before us spread
We lose the present moment in the past.
And where the scenes by distance are obscured,
Imagination, active in design,
And prompt to execute when call'd to aid,
Closes the long perspective to our view:
Obedient to the call she now attends,
While musing on the changes that o'erturn,
What seem to man his most substantial works.
I view yon Edifice whose scite once bore
The Gothic mansion of monastic gloom:
So say the broken remnants which survive
The wasting power of time.--They loudly call
Imagination to possess her throne,
Since memory cannot trace their former greatness.
Ye ruin'd vestiges of ages past,


Page 8

Whose broken grandeur only now remains
To tell your former hist'ry--ye proclaim
Yourselves the emblems of those shadowy rites
Now happily exchang'd for that more pure,
More glorious dispensation which becomes
The followers of a crucified Lord.
These worship him in spirit--not in form;
The substance gain'd--the semblance is renounc'd;
The veil remov'd--the spirit with its God
Holds sweet communion--claims instruction thence
From the pure fount whence living waters flow.
'Tis in the depths of silence that the stream
Descends--invigorates--enlivens--cheers.
Few know the awful import of that word,
That silence of all flesh, which clears the way
For God's pure spirit to possess the soul,
When all dependance on inferior aid
Is laid aside; and to a power supreme,
Yet condescending to his creature, man,
We look with confidence and stedfast hope.
This is that worship which ascends on high,
As incense offered to the Lord of life.
His precepts following none shall go astray,
For all may seek and find the way to life.


Page 9

"I am the way. "--This truth shall ever stand,
Tho' worlds should fail, and time should be no more.
He is the living witness in the soul,
And, ever faithful to the promise giv'n,
Sends the pure spirit of eternal truth
To comfort and to cheer. No erring guide
Now points the way, but God himself directs.
How changed these scenes! Imagination draws
The picture of the past--while holy light
Adorns the present, and the spirit cheers
With such a pleasing contrast; gradual change
From midnight darkness to that glorious dawn
Of everlasting light, which shall increase
And shine with greater splendor, till it reach
The cloudless glory of the perfect day.
The crowd of cloister'd Nuns now meet my view,
Who with an earnest tho' mistaken zeal
Forgot the social duties, lovely band!
And all the tender charities of life,
Which the great Pattern of the Christian world
By precept taught, and by his life enforc'd,
And, buried in a cheerless solitude,
Entomb'd the virtues in a living grave.
They, too, are gone--and charity, and love,


Page 10

And pure religion, and benevolence,
No more by such false principles confin'd,
Walk thro' the earth by God and man approved.
Then let us raise the song of triumph here;
Let us rejoice that ruins only mark
The spot, and tell the hist'ry of the past,
While praise, that sweetest incense, shall ascend
From the pure altar of the human heart,
And rise accepted by the God of all.
These are the sacrifices he receives.
With him no outward off'ring shall avail;
Such are but types and shadows, now disown'd,
While God's own voice instructs us in his law,
And tells us, that the pure and humble soul
Shall ever find acceptance in his sight.


Page 11

ADDRESS TO HAPPINESS.

FOR ever seeking, never found,
    In this wide varied scene;
Sole object of unceasing search,
    While in this low terrene.

Some fly to fashion's giddy crowd,
    To find thy fleeting storm;
While others seek in solitude
    A shelter from the storm.

Yet vain the search, if in the heart
    Some lurking passion dwell;
For this will hang with cypress wreath
    Retirement's secret cell.

In vain the outward scene is calm,
    In vain the world we fly;
If thou, in pure religion's garb,
    Thy friendly aid deny.


Page 12

Warm friendship, generous and sincere,
    Thy fountain may supply;
Till forc'd to feel the cruel wounds
    Of insincerity.

When in the contest she is slain,
    And thou art banish'd hence;
Flying the ever-conquering darts
    Of keen indifference;

We seek in vain the tender smile
    That friendship might approve;
And dwell on ev'ry mental grace,
    And ev'ry charm, but love.

'Tis thus we all the cares increase
    That load humanity;
Forgetting ev'ry proffer'd good,
    To sigh for what might be .

Yet still the rugged road is short,
    That man is doom'd to tread;
And love and friendship cease alike
    To charm the sleeping dead.


Page 13

Alas! how vain the cherish'd hopes
    Of lasting pleasure here;
Events are never so combin'd
    To make our bliss sincere.

Peace unalloy'd before us flies,
    The bait still kept in view;
And tho' deceived in one attempt,
    Fresh efforts we renew.

The still seductive search is ours
    Which leads us on our way;
But 'tis a light which only shines
    In Heaven's eternal day.


Page 14

THE RETROSPECT.

PLEASANT it was when evening's soothing calm
        Invited us to loiter on the green,
        While martial music crown'd the closing scene,
And friendship pour'd around its healing balm;
To feel participated joy, and prove
        How sweet that union of the soul may be,
        How dear that undisturb'd felicity,
The silent sympathy of those we love.
Joy sweet and tranquil as the mellow ray,
        That placid shone on evening's shadowy vest,
        And, softly smiling on a world at rest,
Stream'd forth to light us on our homeward way.
Hope, lend thy aid, and to my mind pourtray,
On fancy's tablet, such a future day.


Page 15

TO THE
MEMORY
OF A
MUCH LOVED SISTER.

DARK is the hour inscrib'd on memory's page,
    Too often drawn from sad affliction's store;
Of future sorrows the too sure presage,
    Which from my arms a much lov'd sister tore.

From full meridian day, to deepest night,
    From youth and vigour, to the silent grave;
The solemn contrast pain'd my aching sight,
    When ev'ry power was impotent to save.

Portentous clouds, suspended o'er that hour,
    Big with impending horrors, chill'd my soul;
Stern harbingers of that all-conquering power,
    Whose fatal blows no kindred ties controul.


Page 16

No passing time shall bid the colours fade,
    Which picture to my mind that scene of woe;
Remembered virtue deepens ev'ry shade,
    And memory once so lov'd becomes a foe.

Vigorous in thought--an ever active mind,
    A genius rais'd above the vulgar crowd,
Calmly serene--she every wish resign'd,
    And her full confidence in God avowed.

Retiring from the world, her worth unseen
    Was valued only by th' admiring few;
For modesty, that most effectual screen,
    Round the rich gem her shelt'ring mantle threw.

Once she was mine, and resting too secure
    In promis'd joys, I thought them also mine;
But who shall lasting happiness ensure
    When call'd by Heav'n his treasures to resign.

'Tis thus the worm each opening bud destroys,
And stamps uncertainty on all our joys.


Page 17

EVENING .

SOFTLY , Evening shades the skies,
Quick the golden lustre flies;
Calm we see the day retire,
While Evening's sober thoughts inspire.
Pensive pleasures she bestows,
Round her shadowy mantle throws;
Thought imbibes her sombre hue,
All her pleasures we pursue:
Guarded by this solemn shade,
Nothing shall her realm invade.
When the toils of day are o'er,
Then we bid the spirit soar;
Earthly cares impede its flight,
And shade the lustre once so bright;
Cloud the soul and fix it here,
Prisoner in this narrow sphere;
But when Evening shades the skies,
Then the thoughts spontaneous rise.
When we see the deepening shade,
Earth, and sea, and sky, pervade;


Page 18

And behold the gems of night
Pour around their streams of light;
Who shall nature's works inspect,
And the ruling God reject?
Who that sees their certain laws
Can deny the Sov'reign Cause?
Evening draws the scatter'd mind
To a circle more confin'd;
And when darkness veils the scene,
We search the mental world within.
What a prospect meets our eyes!
How the long perspectives rise!
Scenes in quick succession roll,
When we dive into the soul:--
Ev'ry motive duly scan,
And behold the wonder, man!
Conscience, now, exert thy power!
Teach us to improve each hour;
All our wand'ring thoughts controul,
Sway thy sceptre o'er our soul,
That thy own approving smile
May sorrow's future hours beguile.


Page 19

TO SENSIBILITY.

SOFT Sensibility! subduing power,
Thy thorns are wounding while I pluck the flower;
Thy influence all unseen, beyond controul,
Rouses each finer feeling of the soul,
Which but for thee, had slept in calm repose,
Nor waked to multiply our keenest woes.
Tho' from thy source such streams of sorrow flow,
Yet still I love thy sable garb of woe;
And tho' thy wound our present peace destroys,
Sweet is the balm of thy attendant joys.
Grief's inlet, sorrow's presage thou art found;
Keen is thy dart, and frequent is the wound.
Th' injurious thoughts which from thy shafts arise
Shade our horizon--cloud our mental skies.
The look that told them, and the pain they brought--
Fatal neglect with ten-fold anguish fraught--
The cruel glance from friendship's jealous eye--
These all proclaim thy power, sweet Sensibility!
Yet still some flow'rets grace thy lone abode,
Thy voice enlivens poverty's bleak road,


Page 20

Thy hand has pluck'd the arrow from her breast,
Lighten'd her burden, bade the suff'rer rest;
Leading thy children to the gloomy cell,
Where poverty and pain and famine dwell;
While all the host of virtues in thy train,
Smile on the scene, and lull the sense of pain.
Thou hast a sweet reward on all bestow'd,
Who feel thy strength supporting misery's load;
And he who leaves the house of woe, to share
More sumptuous viands, or more costly fare,
Will feed the body, while he starves the mind,
And rob it of its pleasures most refin'd.
Such joys, sweet Sensibility, are thine;
Then be alike thy joys and sorrows mine.


Page 21

AN EFFUSION.

WHY , alas! is life decreed
    Full of pain and full of sorrow?
All uncertain as it is,
    Can we rest upon to-morrow?

'Tis to bid us took beyond it,
    Where, eternal bliss enjoying,
Death was never known to enter,
    Friendship rending--peace destroying.

Why should blessings yet in store,
    Hold us still in expectation?
Leading thro' succeeding sorrows,
    By some fond anticipation:

'Tis to give a tender interest
    To the scenes in which we're moving:
While those hopes so often blasted,
    Sensual pleasures are reproving.


Page 22

Various sorrows wait upon us,
    While on life's wide ocean steering;
Sage experience looks beyond them,
    Future evils ever fearing.

Sorrow binds the captive suff'rer,
    In her bondage all must share;
Iron fetters of her forging,
    'Tis the lot of man to bear.

Soft on downy beds reclining,
    Some enjoy luxurious pleasures;
While the sickly heart, repining,
    Sighs for more substantial treasures.

Pomp and grandeur smile upon us,
    Meteors of a day declining;
All their lustre soon is ended,
    Only for a moment shining.

Pain and sickness must assail us,
    Rising like a sullen vapour;
Growing years will soon convince us,
    Life is wasting like a taper.


Page 23

Then behind the clouds of evening,
    Shaded all those pleasures lie:
Virtue only, ever brilliant,
    Can illume an evening sky.

When she gilds our calm horizon
    With her pure unsullied ray;
She increases in her radiance,
    Till she reach the perfect day.

O! secure her lasting pleasures,
    Offer incense at her shrine;
Thou shalt then enjoy her treasures,
    All her riches shall be thine.


Page 24

LINES

Descriptive of the character of an ingenious Youth,
whose brilliant talents shone conspicuously among his admiring
friends, who were unexpectedly called to lament the uncer-
tainty of all terrestrial enjoyments, by his early removal
from this state of mutability.

JOINING to brilliant parts a taste refin'd,
On wisdom's page he fixed th' enquiring mind:
His manners artless, with a graceful ease,
Nor less in generous temper form'd to please.

Pure was his soul, expanding ev'ry hour,
On life's frail stem it bloom'd a fragrant flow'r.
Learning adorn'd and science had refined,
Ere time matur'd, his comprehensive mind.

Filial affection glow'd within his breast,
By him the laws of duty were confess'd:
Fraternal love its early influence shed,
And sympathy its willing captive led.
In converse easy, elegant, and free,
He pleas'd us by his sweet simplicity;


Page 25

Led us the paths of science to explore,
And half reveal'd his mind's unfathom'd store.
Few saw his powers their fullest strength display,
Few watch'd the splendors of his opening day;
But those who knew him will not cease to feel
A wound which time, tho' lenient, ne'er can heal.
Hope held her flatt'ring mirror to their view,
But all her promises soon prov'd untrue;
Her airy scenes are as the morning dream,
As bubbles floating on time's rapid stream;
As the fair frost-work of a winter's morn,
As the bright gems that sparkle on the thorn;
But virtue's flow'rs, when thus on earth resign'd,
Enrich the gifts of mem'ry to the mind;
These holy relics she delights to save,
Which form a wreath that triumphs o'er the grave,
While the sweet plant that sheds its blossoms here,
Shall bear its fruit in heav'n's eternal sphere.
Youth, health, and vigour, are the deep disguise,
That veils mortality from human eyes;
Whence the dread foe, too certain of success,
Levels his darts at human happiness;
Triumphant lays our glories in the dust,
And blights the rising hopes in which we trust.


Page 26

But hence the immortal spirit wings its way
To heaven's bright regions of unsullied day;
Smiles at the wreck of matter here below,
Soars far away, and quits these scenes of woe.
Experience tells the mind by slow degrees,
That man was born for nobler joys than these:
Each friend we lose, as here on earth we roam,
Serves as a magnet to conduct us home,
Attracting us to yon celestial shore,
Where the bless'd spirits meet to part no more.


Page 27

THE
REFLECTIONS
OF A
SERIOUS MOMENT.

HOW cold are the dead in the depths of the grave,
    Still and dark is their gloomy abode;
And long are the reeds that so solemnly wave
    O'er the tomb that affection bestow'd.

These are the frail monuments grandeur will raise
    O'er those, to the grave, that descend;
But the living memorial that never decays,
    Is lodged in the heart of a friend.

This will last till the spirit is freed from the clod,
    Which envelopes the essence divine;
It may add to the treasures reserv'd for the just,
    Which with lustre celestial shall shine.


Page 28

The sun sheds his rays to enliven the green,
    And sports on the breast of the wave;
But where are the rays to enliven the form
    That is lodg'd in the depths of the grave?

Yet this is the spot sensibility seeks,
    There it weeps o'er the slumbering dead;
And this is the spot where fond friendship resorts,
    Affection's sad tribute to shed.

Perhaps tho' withdrawn from this cottage of clay,
    The spirit may sometimes descend;
Still owning the ties that had bound it below,
    It may comfort the heart of a friend.

To cherish the feeling we fly to the spot,
    The mansions of sorrow to tread;
For there lies the hand that, with blossoms so sweet,
    Life's rough thorny path-way once spread.

How heedless the traveller passes along,
    He does not to sorrow attend;
But the long flowing grass and the stone-cover'd grave,
    These speak to the heart of a friend.


Page 29

Impressively these to the spirit convey
    A comfort nought else can impart;
And while we are musing, they silently pour
    A balm on the still-bleeding heart.

These enjoyments are sacred, and who shall explain
    How such scenes can a comfort bestow;
The stoic may reason, and reason in vain,
    On a pleasure he never shall know.

He never the mental delights shall partake,
    Which refin'd sensibility knows;
Those only can taste them who wait at her shrine,
    Or can tell of the bliss she bestows.


Page 30

WRITTEN AT THE CLOSE OF DAY.

        WAKED to reflection at this solemn hour,
            When day retiring leaves the mind to tread
            The distant path, by fond remembrance led,
        Guided by memory--soul-soothing power!
I view each former scene, long since passed by,
And only wish to live to learn to die.

        The hours of infant mirth I love to trace,
            Those days long pass'd, now like a distant dream;
            And as I see the myriads in the stream
        Of giddy fashion, eager in the chase,
I mourn to see each day with folly crown'd,
While time fast travels his uncertain round.

        Amidst this solemn darkness spread around,
            The mind celestial glows with purer light;
            Calls down fair Fancy to assist her flight,
        And bids her fathom the immense profound
Of future life,--remove the veil between,
And with her fairy pencil paint the scene.


Page 31

        Say, sweet enchantress! why shouldst thou delight
            To deck the distant scene with promis'd joy;
            When one sad moment shall the charm destroy,
        And turn thy brightest tints to darkest night?
Is it to wean us from this world of woe,
And picture joys which time shall ne'er bestow?

        Then fly far hence, thou visionary maid;
            Since disappointment hovers in thy train,
            Thy fancied joys are turn'd to real pain;
        And seeing thus thy bright illusions fade,
No more I'll call on thee, thou faithless friend!
But trust a Power Supreme, and on His love depend.


Page 32

AN ESTIMATE OF THE PLEASURES OF LIFE.

WHAT are all our promis'd pleasures,
    But the dew drops of the morn;
Little, trembling, glittering treasures,
    Transient gems that deck the thorn:
Scarce can hope her rays supply,
Scarce they glitter ere they die.

Yet to see the sons of folly
    Chase the bubble as it flies;
How it calls on melancholy,
    To record the sacrifice:
Sacrifice of heavenly treasure,
To procure a fleeting pleasure.

Tho' the joys of time are failing,
    Tho' its sorrows are renew'd;
Still the love of life, prevailing,
    Drives us from our greatest good;
Since affliction then is kind,
Let us seek to be resign'd.


Page 33

Sorrow is design'd to try us,
    Hastening us thro' life's rough way;
Ev'ry cloud that passes by us,
    Should a friendly voice convey:
Let us aid the great design,
And to God our wills resign.


Page 34

A SUMMER'S EVENING's CONTEMPLATION.

THO ' around on creation I gaze,
    And am struck with its wonderful plan;
Yet regret must be mingled with praise,
    While I feel for the follies of man.

Tho' the sun still illumines the sky,
    And beauty enriches the scene:
Yet he cannot their beauties descry,
    While the tempest is raging within.

For while the wild winds are confin'd,
    And the tempests their fury restrain;
If the passions embitter the mind,
    These blessings are given in vain.

As I gaze on the wide-spreading main,
    And regard the wild waves as they roll;
The attention they seem to detain,
    As pourtraying the state of the soul.


Page 35

But the steep rocks imprison the deep,
    When the waves are impell'd to the shore;
A watch they incessantly keep,
    Nor are mov'd by the sound of its roar.

Not so when the passions assail,
    No longer by reason confin'd;
For what shall her barriers avail,
    To repel the rude waves of the mind.

Conscience' small speaking voice of controul,
    That whispers and dies on its shore;
Is not heard 'mid the storms of the soul,
    But is lost in their deaf'ning roar.

Now the evening is closing around,
    And solemnity dwells on the scene;
While the dews are refreshing the ground,
    And darkness has shadow'd the green.

And shall man so insensible prove,
    To whom these rich blessings are giv'n?
Is not gratitude due for the love
    And parental affection of heav'n?


Page 36

Sweet gratitude, gem of the mind,
    Which Angels delight to behold;
Thou surely for man wert design'd,
    More enriching than silver or gold.

E'en the sun which has sunk from our sight,
    Ingratitude seem'd to reprove;
Unfailing that fountain of light,
    Ordain'd by the father of love.

His rays are extended to all,
    They beam on each flower that grows;
From him they impartially fall
    On the thistle as well as the rose.

So all that inhabit below,
    Partake of the blessings of heav'n;
From one source true enjoyment must flow,
    To all his rich blessings are given.

One Father provides for the whole,
    Who lived ere all Being began;
Who regards the soft sigh of the soul,
    And dispenses his bounty to man.


Page 37

TO ECHO.

ENCHANTRESS of the rocks! in accents sweet,
Again those deep mysterious notes repeat;
Once more thy vocal efforts I engage,
To swell with love, or pity, grief, or rage;
How oft the pensive spirit wanders near,
And listening stops thy well-known voice to hear.
Say, lovely Nymph, what sorrows hast thou known,
To make the powers of sympathy thy own?
Tho' torn by faithless love, thou once hast pin'd,
And hope, and life, and mortal form, resign'd;
Yet many a pensive pleasure lingers near,
To pour responsive notes in Sorrow's ear;
To catch the soft complainings as they rise,
And chain each feeling in a mute surprise.
I hail thee not where from thy gloomy cave,
Whose rocky base the waves of ocean lave,
The din of battle and the cannon's roar,
Awake thy voice along the sounding shore;
From scenes like these each soft emotion flies,
Where vengeance pours her arrows thro' the skies;


Page 38

From blood and arms remote, our happy land
Raises a softer note at thy command;
Here concord reigns, her banners all unfurl'd,
Proclaiming this the haven of the world:
While for these blessings, thro' the sacred grove,
We raise the song of gratitude and love.
Still would I wander thro' thy secret shades,
Thy woods, thy mountains, and thy vocal glades;
For much the calm, the pensive mood I prize,
And love those joys the busy world despise.
As on the margin of th' extended main,
We trace our likeness in the crystal plain;
Intent survey each attitude and air,
And ev'ry ornament adjust with care;
Enchanting Nymph! by thee we learn to trace
Mental proportion, energy or grace;
Reflected sounds enchant the listening ear,
And, pleased, thy oft-returning notes we hear.
When barren rocks around the trav'ller rise,
And lift their rugged summits to the skies;
Thy deep resounding voice salutes his ear,
He calls on thee, and finds a friend is near;
Thy soothing notes each toilsome step beguile,
For thou canst bid the dreary desert smile.


Page 39

Such power, O Nymph! have nature's laws ordain'd,
In recompence for love by falshood pain'd;
The faithless youth a meaner fate shall try,
Condemned unlov'd to live, and unlamented die.


Page 40

ON THE ÆOLIAN HARP.

METHINKS I hear the band of saints above,
    In holy anthem join'd, their voices raise,
Tuning their golden harps to hymns of love,
    While countless myriads swell the song of praise;
Descending sounds each flying zephyr seize,
Fill all the soften'd air, and float upon the breeze.

Perhaps resigning ev'ry loftier strain,
    Angels may seek to heal the wounded heart;
And condescending to a mortal's pain,
    Those sweeter tones their sympathy impart.
Indulgent zephyr then the message bring,
O hither bend thy course, and swiftly spread thy wing.

The charms of music yield to no controul,
    Her soothing influence nothing shall destroy;
Some chord responsive vibrates in the soul,
    And fills it with a soft, a pensive joy.
Each rougher feeling bends before her shrine,
Such everlasting power, sweet harmony, is thine.


Page 41

O strike again those strings, ye gales of heav'n,
    Again describe time's fading, dying joys;
Why then has expectation falsely giv'n,
    Those insubstantial views, which time destroys?
Soft messenger of peace, again pourtray
The fleeting hopes of time, the visions of life's day.

From that sweet sound a secret pleasure springs,
    Tho' still one sad resemblance I descry;
For as the breezes strike the trembling strings,
    So hopes impress my soul, and so they die:
'Tis thus they bloom and fade, yet still I mourn,
Uncertain of their stay, or their return.

But tho' the passing joys of time shall fade,
    Tho' transient lustre decks our little day;
Tho' varied sorrows may our peace invade,
    And hope may give its intermitting ray;
Yet the rich fruit of all these woes may be,
To fix our nobler views on immortality.


Page 42

TO RELIGION.

RISE sacred dawn of everlasting day,
And guide my spirit on its heavenward way.
At thy approach the shades of night retire,
We feel the warmth of a celestial fire,
Imparting life and energy divine,
Which shall each wish subdue, each thought refine.
Thou beam celestial!--thou eternal guide
To realms where tranquil joys alone abide;
Be thou the conquering leader in the field,
While mighty kings to thee their homage yield.
Thine is the power, which vice must ever dread,
To rouse the sleeping and awake the dead;
Thine are the hopes of everlasting rest,
Thine are the sweet enjoyments of the blest.
By thee illum'd no cloud shall intervene,
To shade the glories of a world unseen;
Thy cheering voice shall ev'ry doubt remove,
And fix our faith in God's unchanging love.
Thou art the guide to lead us to his throne--
Thou openest springs of pleasure, else unknown;


Page 43

Pure joys that brighten as they reach the skies,
Which animate our hopes and bid the spirit rise.
Short-sighted man!--to prize the passing joy,
Which time shall wither and the grave destroy;
While purer pleasures pass unheeded by,
The promised fruits of immortality.
These only blossom in the paths of time,
Bearing rich produce in a purer clime.
What are the joys that fill our mad career,
And chain the spirit to life's narrow sphere,
Where disappointment mocks our constant toils,
And sorrow riots in its frequent spoils?
Wisdom is slighted--folly takes the rein,
Whose race is madness--whose reward is pain;
Nor shall we find the recompence of peace,
Until her boundless government shall cease;
For sober wisdom looks beyond the skies,
And presses forward till she gain the prize.
Hail sacred friend of man! Religion, hail!
Let o'er the spacious globe thy light prevail;
Thy cloudless beams extend from pole to pole,
And heaven's eternal sunshine cheer the soul,
Thy shout victorious sound on ev'ry shore,
While nations flock to thee, nor wander more.


Page 44

AN ADDRESS TO POETRY.

SWEET Poesy, whose soothing pow'r can chace
    The fiend-like forms which all our joys invade,
When in thy flowing numbers we can trace
    Some kindred sorrow, some congenial shade,
And learn thro' thee that all are born to bear
    Stern disappointment, nurse of keenest woes!
Affliction's arrows and the wounds of care,
    Which only may be heal'd when life shall close.
Thus we but taste what each by turns has known,
And find we do not tread affliction's paths alone.

Thy pleasing images we all admire,
    Painted by thee solemnity can smile;
Thine is the light, the elegant attire,
    Corinthian hangings round a Gothic pile.
When o'er the mind the clouds of fancy low'r,
    She calls on thee her darkness to illume:
And thou hast strew'd her paths with many a flow'r,
    And hung thy graceful garlands o'er her gloom.
Harmonic strains can sooth the sense of pain,
Enchant the soul, and sorrow's power restrain.


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When morbid melancholy fills the mind,
    Thine is the rainbow 'midst the clouded sky;
The spirit, by thy pleasing sounds confin'd,
    Forgets its former source of misery.
Let virtue ever be thy theme of praise,
    Let her from thee that recompence receive;
She shines resplendent in the poet's lays,
    Therefore 'tis thine that ornament to give.
O then employ thy powers in virtue's cause,
And gain thyself and her the world's applause!


Page 46

SONNET TO A BUTTERFLY.

SWEET painted flutt'rer! often have I view'd
    Thy sportive gambols in the blue serene;
And frequently indulg'd the pensive mood,
    Beholding what thou art, and what hast been:
For once unsightly crawling on the earth,
    With sad and sluggish pace, I saw thee move;
Until, emerging from a second birth,
    Thy active pinions scal'd the vault above:
Just so our own immortal spirits dwell,
    Just so entomb'd are all our embryo pow'rs,
Until the ripen'd fruit resigns its shell,
    When endless life and liberty are ours:
Thou, active ranger of the azure sky,
Art but a picture of humanity.


Page 47

SONNET .

STRONG and elastic is the mind of youth,
    Rebounding from the recent stroke of pain;
But sage experience tells the bitter truth,
    That it must sink, and never rise again.
Repeated sorrow weakens ev'ry spring,
    And blunts the wonted ardour of the mind;
Affliction lodges her enduring sting,
    And leaves, alas how soon! a dart behind.
Yet when we sink beneath the ruthless storm,
    Or fainting journey on the toilsome road;
Some tender spirit, wearing friendship's form,
    Perchance the balm of comfort has bestow'd.
What golden mine her riches can supply,
To pay the boundless debt of heaven-born sympathy.


Page 48

ADDRESSED TO EMMA,
ON HER
DEPARTURE FOR THE COUNTRY.

WHEN to a distant scene remov'd,
    Louisa far away;
Say, will not Emma, to her friend,
    One anxious thought convey?

Thought is the mind's swift messenger,
    Affection gives it birth;
She only values such a gift,
    And estimates its worth.

Thought is our high prerogative,
    Thro' which the soul may rise;
Escape its prison-house of clay,
    And mount the azure skies.


Page 49

Then in this essence of the soul,
    Let faithful friendship share;
She would not occupy the whole ,
    Yet asks a dwelling there.

For He who gave the precious gift,
    May claim the greatest part;
He is the only worthy guest,
    To occupy the heart.

Tho' fickle as th' inconstant wind,
    Friendship is often known;
The changeful sov'reign of the mind,
    Unsettled on her throne.

Our feelings from this general charge,
    Shall one exception prove;
Sincerity shall still support,
    Our interchange of love.

My Emma has a constant guard,
    Nor wants a present friend;
Since smiling angels always wait,
    The virtuous to defend.


Page 50

TO DISAPPOINTMENT.

RELENTLESS foe to human peace,
    Why fix thy dwelling here?
Why triumph o'er the wounded heart,
    And force the bitter tear?

Thou tyrant to each tranquil joy
    That friendship can bestow;
Turning each stream that cheer'd the soul,
    To fill the cup of woe.

When hope her kind assistance lends,
    To deck the future day;
To beautify the distant scene,
    And light our gladsome way:--

When expectation's stronger power,
    With crimson dies the cheek;
And in the animated eye,
    The heart's warm feelings speak:--


Page 51

Then, as if envious of the joy
    Which beams upon the soul,
Thou art advancing with a force
    To desolate the whole.

So have I view'd a summer's sky,
    A gay and smiling scene;
When not a passing vapour rose
    To shade the blue serene;

But suddenly the gathering clouds
    Portentous aspect wore;
And fiercely to the deluged earth,
    Consign'd their wat'ry store.

Yet not more dreadful is the storm,
    Or dark the clouds that roll;
Than those which disappointment brings
    To overwhelm the soul.

Time who, when pleasure plumes his wing,
    So swiftly speeds away;
Now seems to hover o'er the scene,
    And to protract his stay.


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Stern disappointment!--pleasure's foe!
    How oft thy piercing dart
Has made a deep and lasting wound
    In friendship's bleeding heart.

These are the sorrows--these the cares,
    Which feeble life sustains;
But when we pass the gulph of death,
    We rest from all our pains.


Page 53

LINES

Addressed to a young Friend, during a Visit at the Sea Coast.

SWEET girl! affection's pleading voice attend,
And hear the tender counsels of a friend;
By friendship's pen impress'd, these lines receive,
And tho' they seem severe, their truth believe.
When fairy fancy, with her aspect bland,
O'er the calm scene extends her magic wand;
When animating hope her mandate hears,
And cloath'd in light, her angel form appears;
Suspect the scene in which such glories shine,
Nor think these perfect pleasures shall be thine.
These flattering joys which on our prospects rise,
Are disappointments deck'd in hope's disguise.
O fear the hand which paints the scene too bright,
So falsely smiling on the enraptur'd sight:
Imagination blinds the eye of youth,
And veils the glories of immortal truth,
Till sage Experience our instructor prove,
And ev'ry intervening mist remove.


Page 54

And I would teach thy inexperienc'd mind
To act the nobler part to man assign'd;
Yet hard the lesson, when the anxious sight
Has dwelt so long on scenes of fond delight.

    Susan, if e'er fond youth (as youth will love
In visionary scenes uncheck'd to rove)
With pleasing images thy mind decoy,
Trust not the false imaginary joy:
These lines remember--this advice revere,
Nor think to taste unsullied pleasure here.
Life is the path-way , not the goal for man;
Eternal wisdom laid the mighty plan,
And placed an ample recompence in view,
For those who virtue's steady course pursue;
Those everlasting joys which round us shine,
When earth's fair scenes, and health, and life, decline.
No clouds shall then obstruct the glorious ray,
Which lights the spirit to eternal day.
Let not the joys which youth and health impart,
Too fondly fascinate and fill thy heart;
Since these will fade as youth and health decay,
They shine the passing baubles of a day.


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And wisdom's voice for nobler ends design'd,
Ordain'd to counsel and direct the mind,
Unerring guides--each shade of doubt removes--
Instructs--directs--admonishes--reproves.
Wisdom refers her pleasures to the skies,
And these are joys which ask some sacrifice.
Who then that has the substance plac'd in view,
Content a passing shadow would pursue?
Who satisfied resign the proffer'd gold,
And in his hand the worthless tinsel hold?
Who would prefer the pleasures of an hour,
(So soon by all confess'd a scentless flow'r,)
To lasting peace--to joys that never die,
And all the riches of eternity?
This is not wisdom's part, whose nobler aim,
Was, is, and ever will remain, the same.
She seeks those lasting treasures to secure,
Which thro' eternal ages shall endure.

    Forgive these hints; I would not wish to screen
Each opening blossom that adorns thy scene;
But as I form the wreath, I would entwine
Some useful flow'rets--seeking to combine


Page 56

Pleasure with usefulness, and to my friend,
Not unacceptable, this off'ring send.

    In fancy now I see her fondly gaze,
On the wild waves, while Phoebus lends his rays
To decorate the wide extended main,
And gild the surface of the wat'ry plain:
And recollection pictures to my view,
Joys which I felt when all these scenes were new;
When like herself stray'd along the shore,
And listen'd first to ocean's deaf'ning roar.
With mute astonishment the scene I view'd,
And through its wide extent each wave pursued;
While all the tints that deck the opening day,
Reflected in the wat'ry mirror lay:
Saw the light vessel by the billows toss'd,
While ev'ry sense, in admiration lost,
Confess'd the awful grandeur of the whole,
And own'd the Power that could the waves controul.
His is the voice that winds and waves obey,
Whose power and wisdom all His works display.
These scenes an endless theme of praise supply,
But what are these compar'd to Deity!


Page 57

What are the wonders that around us rise,
To Him who form'd the earth, the sea, the skies!
When first the raging element I view'd,
This great comparison my soul subdued.

    My much lov'd girl--these hasty lines receive,
And tho' they seem severe, their truth believe.
May Heav'n's rich blessings on thy steps attend:
Which prayer shall close the off'ring of
A FRIEND.


Page 58

TO HOPE.

FAIR deceiver, smiling phantom,
    By thy false, thy treach'rous light;
How we paint each distant object,
    Dazzling to the enraptur'd sight.

Thine are visions all alluring,
    Form'd to fill the mind of youth;
Till maturer age advancing,
    Lights the radiant torch of truth.

Truth conducts the spirit forward,
    To the glorious realms above;
Where thy prospects, so inviting,
    Pure realities shall prove.

By thy magic spell enchanted,
    Still we trust the promis'd blessing;
Strength'ned to support misfortune,
    While thy fancied joy possessing.


Page 59

When the weary traveller fainting,
    By the heat of noon oppress'd;
Vainly seeks some friendly shelter,
    Where his weary limbs might rest.

If perchance thy spirit seek him,
    In his poor and helpless state;
Shady groves at once surround him,
    Forms of pleasure on him wait.

Thy celestial garments wearing,
    Ev'ry form is cloath'd in light;
Beauteous visions rise before him,
    Smiling on his anxious sight.

Cheer me with the sight of pleasure,
    Distant tho' it seem to be;
Pleasures that are no deception,
    Fruits of immortality.

Let us not the boon despising,
    Hope's immortal gift refuse;
Life's vain glories call upon us
    To extend our narrow views.


Page 60

Shadows and illusions meet us,
    Visions cheat our longing eyes;
But the substance hope has promis'd,
    Shall repay each sacrifice.


Page 61

LINES ,

Chiefly composed during an Evening's Ramble near the
Bristol Hotwells.

BLEST with thy friendly rays, mild orb of night!
That deck these rugged rocks' tremendous height,
Amusing sportive fancy, as she sees
Fantastic shapes among the waving trees;
The sparkling lustre of whose placid ray
Adorns the mantle of retiring day;
My elevated spirit seems to rise
Above the azure vault and spangled skies;
Quitting the busy scenes where mortals dwell,
To seek retirement in her tranquil cell.
The rocky barriers rise on either side,
To guard the passage of the murm'ring tide,
Whose soothing sound a mental calm creates,
While hope the mind possesses and dilates;
Hope that extends beyond life's fleeting hour,
Passes the buds of joy and plucks the flow'r.
Tho' memory often prompts the heart-felt sigh,
For all the sorrows of mortality;


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Present or past that crowd upon the view,
Which only hope eternal can subdue.
I feel the silence of the rocks and groves,--
These are the scenes that Contemplation loves.
Thought is supplied from mem'ry's ample page,
Whose retrospective scenes my soul engage;
Now while I see bright Cynthia's trembling beam,
So sweetly sporting on the passing stream,
With thousand brilliants that around her lie,
And deck the glorious canopy on high;
How they recal the image of a friend,
While scenes long pass'd with present objects blend;
These active pow'rs are not to be confin'd:
Who then can tell the treasures of the mind?

    Ye heavenly witnesses who reign on high,
But chiefly thou, sole Empress of the sky,
Reigning supreme o'er all the realms of night,
Whose throne is darkness--but whose sceptre, light;
O grant my Emma one unsullied ray,
To light and cheer her on her future way:
Thy softening beams a pensive joy impart,
And give new feeling to the tender heart;
O then may friendship seize the favour'd hour,
Increase her influence and extend her pow'r.


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    But see at distance moves the whit'ning sail,
A human voice floats gently on the gale;
The hardy sailor plies the dashing oar,
Nor heeds the rocks that bound this rugged shore:
His little bark divides the wat'ry plain,
Whose yielding waters part to close again:
Not so, in life, on whose unruffled tide,
The gentle undulations smoothly glide,
Till sorrow enters to disturb our rest,
And leaves its deep impressions on the breast.
When thus she enters on the mind's repose,
The waves of tranquil pleasure never close;
For tho' a momentary joy may yield
A passing lustre, and the prospect gild,
Still we suspect some disappointment near,
And 'mid surrounding calm, some sad reverse we fear.
In this still hour of night, my voice I'll raise,
While feeling prompts the secret song of praise.
Come Inspiration, guide me in my flight--
Come sacred stream of pure celestial light;
Assist my thoughts to soar beyond the sky,
Above the azure canopy on high,
To Him who dwells in everlasting day--
Who leads his children in the narrow way


Page 64

Of life eternal. He can fill the soul--
Conquer each passion--ev'ry wish controul.
Without Him all is dark, no ray shall shine
To light the spirit, but a ray divine.


Page 65

ADDRESSED TO A FRIEND.

IF , when far distant, memory should pourtray
The sweet enjoyments of a former day;
If she should reign and by her strong controul,
Melt the fond heart and captivate the soul;
Still let her work, till she has drawn the scene
As fair and smiling as it once had been;
When hope, approaching with her aspect bland,
Shall take the pencil from her rival's hand,
And to thy view shall copy the design,
Till doubly beautified the work shall shine.
Hope's glowing tints can ev'ry charm supply,
Her radiant beams enrich the azure sky;
While friendship's altar in the front is plac'd,
Which, nor by adverse storms nor time defac'd,
Shall stand a lasting monument confess'd,
With garlands of unfading roses dress'd.
These wreaths shall round the sacred structure twine,
These opening blossoms decorate the shrine;
Which, tho' contending elements assail,
Shall still survive till time itself shall fail.


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    E'en now in fancy's mirror I survey
The embryo treasures of a future day,
Which shall restore the sweet perennial joy,
That absence may suspend, but not destroy.
When mutual feelings mutual charms impart,
And friendship reigns unrivall'd in the heart,
Of heav'n's pure sunshine is the mind possess'd,
When sympathetic pleasures fill the breast;
For tho' distress the feeling bosom tear,
When taught to feel the woes a friend may bear;
Yet while his griefs the anxious mind employ,
The pains of sympathy are mix'd with joy;
Her's is the tranquil stream, the placid sky,
And rich the draught her ceaseless springs supply.
Cold is the breast when she resigns her throne,
And worthless he who lives for self alone.

    I dread no evils for my distant friend,
If worth can shield, or merit can defend;
And if Louisa should remember'd be,
Enshrine her image in sincerity.


Page 67

EXPECTATION,

Occasioned by a Friend's revisiting her native City, with her
infant Boy.

CEASE to flutter round my heart,
    Hope too potent for expressing;
Can thy most tumultuous throbs,
    Sooner bring the promis'd blessing?

Warm'd by friendship's pure affection,
    Soon to clasp its darling treasure;
All her joys around me gather,
    Heighten'd by maternal pleasure.

On the wings of expectation,
    Still too slow the moments fly;
Is there in the vast creation,
    One so greatly blest as I?

Late the days were mark'd with sorrow,
    Late the nights were mark'd with care;
Now the near anticipation,
    Rises brighter from despair.


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Lovely infant, smiling cherub,
    Heav'n's rich blessings thee attend;
And thro' life's ensuing moments,
    May'st thou own thy early friend.

While each fond caress returning,
    Friendship's joys thou wilt improve;
Her maturer bliss enlivening,
    With the charms of infant love.

Now o'er all the brightening prospect,
    Dawns the long-expected day;
Which in one ecstatic moment,
    Absent months can well repay.

Golden glows the wide horizon,
    When the radiant orb of light
To the east his course advances,
    From the ebon throne of night.

Lovely blooms the smiling landscape,
    Fresher fragrance fills each flower;
Nature thro' her whole dominion,
    Owns his influence, feels his power.


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So when expectation rising,
    Cheers us with her ray benign;
How with ev'ry branch of sorrow,
    Hope's celestial tendrils twine.

Balmy odours round us playing,
    From her opening blossoms rise;
Till the radiant morn expanding,
    Not a cloud obscures the skies.


Page 70

THE ADVANTAGES OF RESIGNATION.

ALL things are order'd for the best,
    In perfect love design'd;
The sorrows that we so much dread,
    But purify the mind.

Our reason owns the sacred truth,
    And seeks to win the soul;
But feeling is a stubborn guest,
    That will not bear controul.

Tho' while she thus extends her reign,
    And rules the passive mind;
Her arrows wound us as we go,
    And reason's sight is blind.

Man's nat'ral pow'rs are found too weak,
    His feelings to restrain;
Till pure religion from above,
    A faithful watch maintain.


Page 71

Then how will ev'ry tumult cease,
    And ev'ry storm subside;
When perfect love shall crown the soul,
    And resignation guide.

We all must labour for the prize,
    Ere we these blessings share;
Which are, and ever will be found,
    The fruit of fervent pray'r.

The richest gold can only boast
    A perishable worth;
Conceal'd from man it lies remote,
    Deep in its parent earth.

We labour with incessant toil,
    Her treasures to secure;
Which with a magic spell endow'd,
    Our sordid hearts allure.

Who then that sees the purer gold,
    The far superior prize,
The sacred jewel lodg'd within,
    Would such a gift despise?


Page 72

Who careless pass those treasures by,
    Nor labour to possess
The only riches that shall gain
    Eternal happiness?

Mild resignation has a charm
    To sooth the troubled mind;
In her is every present good,
    And future hope combin'd.

Her strength is all-sufficient found,
    Each comfort to ensure;
Nor will she occupy the heart,
    Unless that heart be pure.

Celestial peace will never spread
    Her mantle o'er the mind;
Till murm'ring passion is subdued,
    And ev'ry wish resign'd.


Page 73

REFLECTIONS IN A BURIAL GROUND.

BEHOLD the sod where the tir'd pilgrim rests,
Death, sole proprietor, his sceptre rears,
And reigns triumphant o'er the conquer'd dust.
Silent and still the mould'ring ruins lie,
The young, the old, the simple, and the wise,
Sunk to one common level, meet at last.
Life is compos'd of inequalities,
Diversified with mountain, hill and dale,
In endless variation;--some are plac'd
In the low walks of poverty--some tread
The midway path, and some aspiring gain
The gilded heights where proud ambition dwells;
But in the vale of death distinction ends.
His is the region where with equal sway,
The beggar and the king lie down at last.
His atmosphere is silence--where he treads,
Eternal stillness follows, that no power,
Less than omnipotent, shall ever break.
Here is the volume of instruction spread,
Each rising hillock tells an awful truth,


Page 74

A truth unwelcome to the busy mind,
Intent on things below;--a truth severe
To those who grasp the glittering icicles
Which decorate the opening morn of life,
And think them solid treasures;--truth severe
And sad to some and hard to be believ'd;
But which a few short years, now on the wing,
Shall realize to all.--This is the spot
For contemplation.--Death unfolds his page,
And while his spoils are scatter'd at our feet,
We rise beyond his empire and himself;
Rise far above the vapours that obscure
The noblest objects of our anxious search,
And from that pure celestial eminence,
When contemplation leads the heav'n-taught mind,
We view the glories of immortal life,
Purchas'd for those who seek with earnest zeal,
To find the way, since "those who seek shall find."
This is the glorious promise left for man;
It stands recorded in the sacred page,
From him whose words are everlasting truth.
Death has no influence beyond the grave--
This is the utmost limit of his power,
His magazine where all his spoils are laid.


Page 75

He only seizes on the grosser part,
While the pure spirit, from its bondage freed,
Ranges the vast ethereal vault of heav'n,
And joins its kindred spirit in the skies.
Such is our high immortal destiny--
Such the great end which heav'n designs for man.
Death is our truest friend--he bends his bow
Only to strip us of encumb'ring clay.
Death is our great reward.--The sceptic dreads
His near approach, and cloaths his giant form
With ten-fold horrors; while the Christian hears
His coming footsteps with a tranquil smile.
Eternal mercy robb'd him of his sting,
And reconciles us to our adverse foe
Where virtue reigns--henceforth we welcome death,
Who leads us joyful to a land of peace,
And smiling sets the captive spirit free.
Here lie the great, the rich, the vain, the proud,
Mould'ring in all the pomp of vanity,
Whose glitt'ring trophies wave o'er half the world,
And ever varying in their form and hue,
Are fix'd at last upon the sculptur'd tomb.
The letter'd stone the grand distinction marks,
To tell the pensive stranger, as he treads


Page 76

These solitary confines of the dead,
What glorious spoils the shades below have won:
Yet soon unheeded will the record stand,
If in the memory of those we leave,
Affection has not rais'd her monument.
Affection gives to death a double sting,
To wound the bosom of surviving friends.
The living feel his arrows--while the dead,
O'er whom we pour the unavailing tear,
Enjoy a liberty before unknown,
The full perfection of eternal life.


Page 77

AN EFFUSION.

AS early o'er the dewy lawn
    I took my pensive way;
The brilliants of the opening morn
    Adorn'd each waving spray.

Apt emblem of the joys of youth,
    In magic garb array'd:
Those evanescent hopes of life,
    Which quickly bloom and fade.

Like these their splendour shall decrease,
    Like these they tremble too;
Yet still those fleeting forms we seek,
    And still those joys pursue.

Life's hopes, so transient in their stay,
    Our sober judgment warn;
For as the beams from yon bright orb
    Shall drink the drops of morn;


Page 78

So will experience soon destroy
    Each half expanded flow'r;
And frowning on the opening scene,
    The gathering tempest low'r.

Experience points to yonder rose,
    So thorny yet so sweet;
And tells us we shall never find,
    Life's promis'd hopes complete.

Some sorrow waits on ev'ry joy,
    This time will soon disclose;
For see the sharpest thorns surround
    The sweetest flower that blows.

These woes, that purify the soul,
    Parental love declare;
For ev'ry wound that Heav'n inflicts,
    He gives us strength to bear.

Our future good is His design,
    Who orders all below;
That spring of never-failing good,
    Whose streams for ever flow.


Page 79

Yon songster,* earliest of the tribe,
    Already on the wing,
Raises unseen his matin lays,
    Which thro' heav'n's concave ring.

Still cherish'd by an unknown hand,
    Whose powers we all obey;
His notes resounding from afar,
    Salute the opening day.

Sweet warbler, in thy early song
    My gratitude would join;
Our strains united shall ascend,
    To praise his love divine.

This heart-felt off'ring shall arise
    To him who reigns on high;
Whose matchless bounty condescends,
    To hear each feeble cry.

Tho' late o'er all the drowsy earth,
    The shades of night were spread;
Reviving at the breath of morn,
    Each blossom lifts its head.


Page 80

Inviting us to walk abroad,
    And morn's sweet breath inhale;
While with increasing odours fill'd,
    They scent the passing gale.

See, to obtain their honied store,
    The industrious bees repair;
And seek the primrose-cover'd bank,
    To find their treasure there.

Each blossom, humble tho' it seem,
    The luscious banquet gives;
Which man too often unconcern'd,
    With thankless heart receives.
*The Sky-Lark.


Page 81

SONNET I.

WHAT happy hours of innocence and love,
    Hope pictures to the mind, ere time and care
Her softening ecstacies her joys reprove,
    And bid th' experienc'd traveller beware.
Since reason proves the anxious search is vain,
    While from her lips truth's sober accents flow;
For she has told us and repeats again,
    That perfect pleasure ne'er was found below.
Chequer'd the path that leads from earth to heav'n,
    A moment's comfort and an age of care,
Yet to indulgent youth such hope is giv'n,
    Which age alone shall bury in despair;
Th' imperious laws of time we all obey,
Which cools the ardour of youth's early day.


Page 82

SONNET II.

FULL oft beneath the steril soil conceal'd,
    The richest veins of golden treasures lie;
So genius may, her glory unreveal'd,
    Be by the world neglected and pass'd by,
While sunk in poverty's sequester'd shade,
    Though the rough form no outward polish bear,
And tho' in nature's rustic garb array'd,
    The choicest gifts of genius may be there.
Unpolish'd grandeur fills the sober mind,
    Inspiring awful wonder as we gaze;
While modish art, with beauty more refin'd,
    Smiles and enchants us with her softer rays:
Give me the mind where genius sits alone,
Creating worlds and kingdoms of her own.


Page 83

SONNET III.
ON INFANCY.

AH joyous period! when the opening mind
    Puts forth its buds of thought. I love to trace
    The rays of soul that dawn upon the face
Of infancy; unknown to art or guile,
Each secret pleasure prompts the early smile;
    Expanding sentiment each hour unfolds,
The soul shines forth in ev'ry change we see,
    While each fond parent with delight beholds
The dawning charms of sensibility.
    They taste the pleasures of the smiling morn,
And dwell with rapture on the present hour;
    Nor once suspect that soon the sharpen'd thorn,
Shall grow abundant round the opening flower,
And from the storm descend the killing shower.


Page 84

SONNET IV.
DESCRIPTION OF APATHY.

IS there a gloomy cavern where, remote,
The weary soul, secluded from the world,
Each fond attraction broken, rests secure?
'Tis in the kingdom where stern Apathy,
Fix'd on his frozen throne for ever reigns;
Rigid his countenance, he stands aloof
From love's soft blandishments or friendship's charms.
Whoever gains admittance in his realm,
Imbibes his nature, and unmov'd surveys
Sorrow's deep wounds, disdaining to relieve.
The sun of sensibility may shine,
But vain his beams whose warmth shall never cheer
Th' eternal winter that surrounds his throne.


Page 85

SONNET V.

WHY should the mind its soaring pinions try
    To range imagination's airy space?
Why seek the hidden future to descry,
    And fleeting happiness so fondly chase?
Since those who seek her form in scenes below,
    Will early prove the anxious search is vain;
Religion only shall the boon bestow,
    She only can the mystery explain:
When leading us to heaven's eternal throne,
    E'en here her boundless gifts we shall receive;
And see that happiness is all her own,
    That she an everlasting crown can give.
O gracious heav'n! while yet a pilgrim here,
Fix thou my views on that unchanging sphere.


Page 86

SONNET VI.
TO A PEN

SWEET comforter, how often have I sought
    Thy kind relief in sorrow's darkest day!
Thou hast from friendship's store her treasures brought,
    Which only fond affection can repay.
Speech does injustice to the tender heart,
    Ardent and varied feeling may confuse,
But thou the soul's true shadow shalt impart,
    And hours of pain and absence shalt amuse.
By thee the holy men, inspir'd of Heav'n,
    To us transmitted truth's unsullied page;
Their glorious message to thy charge was giv'n,
    Instructing men to time's remotest age.
Tho' our exalted talents quickly fade,
Still shall thy works survive thy records undecay'd.


Page 87

SONNET VII.
ADDRESSED TO EMMA.

YES , it may be that time may disengage,
    From friendship's sweets, which now we fondly share;
And Emma looking back o'er memory's page,
    May read Louisa faintly written there.
Time its long catalogue of ills to crown,
    May bury friendship in oblivion's shade;
In the Lethean bowl her pleasures drown,
    And all her recollected joys pervade.
But why should fancy such a scene pourtray,
    Why haunt me by suspicion's dreadful glare;
Hence from my view! dread phantom, far away!
    Thy look portentous and thy shadows spare.
Suspicion rules a dark infernal crew,
Hence then! nor bring her spectres to my view.


Page 88

ON THE
FADING ENJOYMENTS OF TIME.

ALTHO' to man's aspiring pride,
        It may appear degrading;
Yet look on all the world around,
And say what pleasure may be found,
        What joy that is not fading.

Say ye who boast your stores of wealth,
        Each future joy believing;
Say are ye certain of the hour,
That shall mature the cherish'd flower,
        Your fond hopes now deceiving.

No, tho' secure in health ye bloom,
        That transient bloom is flying;
And yet ye feel a calm repose,
And, lull'd by opiates, wealth bestows,
        Ye live while ye are dying.


Page 89

And you who taste the sweets of love,
        Your present bliss enjoying;
Know that while pleasure spreads her sail,
Some latent grief she may entail,
        Your future peace destroying.

Oh how the mind with rapture swells,
        Some fancied good possessing;
Yet while the cherish'd flow'r we clasp,
It fades within our eager grasp,
        And we resign the blessing.

Day's golden throne of glorious light,
        Dim night is fast invading;
The smiling monarch of the skies,
His wonted beams of light denies,
        Those beams to us are fading.

The trees now gay in verdure dress'd,
        In summer's garb appearing;
Shall soon their leafy honours cast,
And stand on winter's desert waste,
        Their naked branches rearing.


Page 90

Yet think not that his transient joys,
        To man are so degrading;
They only serve our faith to prove,
Since heaven reserves in realms above,
        Pure joys that are not fading.

Behold yon streamlet gliding by,
        Whose waves are onward moving;
That image to the mind should be,
A spur to inactivity,
        Each sluggish soul reproving.

Since on an ever flowing tide,
        These forms are swiftly sailing;
Let not the spirit lag behind,
For life's frail cords that stay the mind,
        May even now be failing.


Page 91

TO THE RAINBOW.

HAIL glorious arch in Heav'n, whose varied dies
Gilds the dark vapours that obscure the skies;
Whose matchless colours charm th' attentive eye,
Like the fond visions of futurity.
And ah! too much alike in sad decay,
Like thee they fade in trackless air away;
Yet still they please us, still they fill the mind,
Tho' the dark clouds of sorrow roll behind:
Yet will we not refuse the partial ray,
Which gilds their darkness, and illumes our way.
Faith leads th' enquiring mind beyond the skies,
Where the same power that gives the bow its dyes,
Shall in the book of life our names enrol,
And one eternal sun-beam cheer the soul.
When sin had triumph'd o'er a conquer'd world,
And heav'n's avenging arm destruction hurl'd;
When o'er the delug'd earth the floods prevail'd,
When hope was gone and ev'ry refuge fail'd;
Thou sacred Bow didst grace the vault above,
Ordain'd the pledge of everlasting love;


Page 92

Thy arch extended o'er our common grave,
Proclaim'd that mercy which alone could save.
And now when heavy clouds around us rise,
And man beholds the terrors of the skies;
Pure beams of light and love thy form invest,
Which smiles serene in heaven's own colours dress'd.


Page 93

SONNET TO THE VIOLET.

THOU sweetest tenant of the rural shade,
In nature's simple loveliest garb array'd;
    Oft when the hours of childish mirth were mine,
I sought thee shelter'd in thy humble cell,
And rang'd the rugged rocks or gloomy dell,
    In search of beauties that are doubly thine.
And now when wand'ring in some pensive mood,
I tread the vale or deep embower'd wood,
    And find thee nestled in thy green retreats;
How all the former scenes of youth revive,
How through those early hours again I live,
    And feast delighted on thy balmy sweets.
Thou art fair virtue's image who retir'd,
Dwells in seclusion's cave, nor seeks to be admir'd.


Page 94

SONNET ON SPRING.

HOW sweet to wander o'er th' enamell'd green,
    When spring returning, with a liberal hand,
Sheds her rich bounty on the smiling scene.
    While the soft zephyrs breathe at her command,
Her balmy airs revive the languid frame;
    Her vivid tints enrich the teeming earth;
The swelling buds with one accord proclaim
    The rich productions of their gradual birth:
Waked into life the whole creation smiles,
    And promis'd fruits reward our daily toils;
Maturing hope each anxious hour beguiles,
    Till the rich harvest gives its liberal spoils:
Man looks delighted on fair plenty's form,
Nor fears the blight nor dreads the coming storm.


Page 95

ADDRESS TO SOLITUDE.

THOU tranquil friend! to thee I'll fly,
    When foes my peace invade;
With thee shall ev'ry care subside,
    Nor storms thy realms invade.

For should the world its frowns bestow,
    And sad the moments roll;
Thou shalt receive the frequent sigh,
    And raise the drooping soul.

In thy retreats where prayer and praise,
    Life's fleeting hours divide;
Sublimely rais'd above the world,
    Her anxious cares subside.

There tranquilized the mind shall rest,
    While future scenes engage;
There hear the distant thunders roar,
    Nor dread the tempest's rage.


Page 96

Exalted view the various fears,
    That vex this world of woes;
While peace descending from on high,
    An holy calm bestows.

Religion loves the silent hour,
    Her paths are ever blest;
She leads us to reflection's bower,
    And soothes her welcome guest.

There is a hunger and a thirst,
    Which nothing can supply,
But bread from God's unsparing hand,
    And water from on high.

The souls that crave immortal food,
    Are by religion fed;
They feel a want before unknown,
    And pant for living bread.

And ever has the heav'n taught mind,
    The tranquil scene preferr'd;
There list'ning to the still small voice,
    In silence only heard.


Page 97

Sweet Solitude, O let me share
    The pleasures of thy shade!
For pure devotion, calm delight,
    And contemplation made.

Oh! what are riches, honours, power,
    Which men so fondly crave;
What are they but a vanquish'd host,
    That perish in the grave:--

But mould'ring pillars that support
    A fabric that must fall;
They prop our vanity awhile,
    And all our hearts enthral.

Ask the rich man in gilded pomp,
    A prey to racking pain;
He then their value justly owns,
    And tells thee they are vain.

When health is ours we give to these
    A false delusive worth;
And sacrificing real joys,
    We barter heav'n for earth.


Page 98

What should we gain tho' arts and arms,
    Our honour'd name enrol;
If to obtain the spoils of time,
    We sacrifice the soul.

Not e'en a crown shall pass to heav'n,
    Save that which virtue wears;
Her diadem for ever shines,
    Nor time its worth impairs.

But should it grace the heav'n-born soul,
    Tho' hard may be its fate;
Tho' poverty and grief attend,
    And pain its steps await;

That crown shall pass the gates of death,
    Its glory still remain;
And in a state of boundless joy,
    The soul triumphant reign.

That spark of heav'n's ethereal flame,
    Thro' endless years shall shine;
And prove by its eternal life,
    Its origin divine.


Page 99

WRITTEN BY MOONLIGHT.

SILVER Empress of the night,
Smiling Cynthia chaste and bright,
Listen to my artless lays,
While I bless thy friendly rays.

Solemn grandeur gilds thy throne,
Earth and heav'n thy influence own;
Moving thro' a trackless way,
Night receives thy borrow'd ray.

But while busy men below,
Their sublimest joys forego;
And confin'd to earth remain,
Thy pure beams are spent in vain.

Contemplation only knows,
All the joy thy light bestows;
She alone with power divine,
Offers incense at thy shrine.


Page 100

Thine are regions blest indeed,
Winds nor tides thy course impede;
Whence thy silvery beams descend,
And the pensive mind befriend.

But the frequent clouds below,
Shade the fountain whence they flow;
While thy orb for ever bright,
Thro' them sends a shadowy light.

Magnet of the azure skies,
Which invites the soul to rise;
Be a helm my thoughts to steer,
To thy ever tranquil sphere.

Bountiful alike to all,
Heav'n directs thy rolling ball;
Traversing the realms of space,
Running still its destin'd race.

Light in all its glory reigns,
On thy soft celestial plains;
Light which first to man was giv'n
By the gracious word of Heav'n.


Page 101

But tho' smiling, good, and fair,
Better far beyond compare;
Is that pure unsullied ray,
Dawn of heav'n's eternal day.

Man is born a prey to sin,
Shades and darkness dwell within;
Till the glorious morn arise,
Which illumes our mental skies.

Wond'rous gift bestow'd on man,
Crowning God's stupendous plan;
Gracious purpose of his love,
What could more his bounty prove.

Let us seek this inward light,
And improve the gift of sight;
Let us all our spirits raise,
In eternal hymns of praise.


Page 102

LINES

Written on seeing a Spider spinning his Web.

BEHOLD those fine threads that are laid to ensnare,
    And destroy the gay millions that rove;
For as wanton and heedless they sportively dance,
    This sport their destruction will prove.

Too fine to be seen they entangle the prey,
    Or if seen they no danger reveal;
They seem but a mansion for pleasure design'd,
    While the enemy's form they conceal.

Thus the glittering baubles that folly displays,
    Seem too trifling to strike us with dread;
But if once they entangle we seldom escape,
    From the snares that destruction has spread.

Beware thou gay flutt'rer, unconscious as free,
    Nor sport when the foe is so near;
There lying in ambush he waits for his prey,
    While the traces of carnage appear.


Page 103

See how the torn remnants lie scatter'd around,
    Let their fate be a warning to thee;
And let man who beholds how the victims are caught,
    Be warn'd his destruction to flee.

For folly is wary temptation to spread,
    And lays her fine nets to decoy;
Till we heedlessly enter and seize to our cost,
    The bait that is laid to destroy.


Page 104

ABSENCE .

SAY , where are the days that are gone,
    And where are the joys I have known;
They have sunk in the ocean of time,
    They are gone with the days that are flown.

The hours that once I have pass'd,
    In the pleasure that friendship bestows;
Are attach'd to the swift wing of time,
    And have stolen the balm of repose.

Keen memory wakens my pain,
    In describing the pleasures gone by;
Those joys to remembrance so dear,
    Which friendship's rich stream could supply.

The meteor that rapidly flies,
    That darts thro' the regions of night,
Is an emblem of life's transient joys,
    Which equal the speed of its flight.


Page 105

I would pierce thro' futurity's shade,
    And seek for the pleasures in store;
But a mist still envelopes the scene,
    And fancy will aid me no more.

Now those paths I must wander alone,
    Where once with a friend I have stray'd;
Whose voice seems in every sound,
    And whose image in ev'ry shade.

The mind has a kingdom unseen,
    Where affection is plac'd on her throne;
Unchang'd by the influence of time,
    To the world's busy circles unknown.

When its objects are screen'd from the sight,
    It is there the resemblance we find;
On the tablet of memory engrav'd,
    And immoveably fix'd in the mind.

The fields are enamell'd with green,
    And the songsters are warbling around;
The heavens are calm and serene,
    And the blessings of nature abound.


Page 106

Yet to relish their numberless charms,
    The soul must in unison prove;
And tranquillity heaven-born guest,
    Each feeling discordant remove.

For while winter is reigning within,
    The inlets of pleasure we close;
Her fountain congeal'd in my sight,
    And each murmuring rivulet froze.


Page 107

ON DEATH.

THERE is a king which all the world must own,
From him who begs to him who fills the throne;
There is a power that bears unrivall'd sway,
There is a voice which all mankind obey;
That power is Death! that voice is his alarm,
Which shall subdue the proud, the strong disarm.

    There is a sea which nothing can controul,
Whose raging billows spread from pole to pole;
Whose sweeping surges rise on every side,
And bury nations in their boundless tide:
That sea is Death! whose waves for ever roll,
And swallow all things but th' immortal soul.

    There is a veil which shuts us from the light,
The solemn curtain of eternal night;
That veil is Death! 'tis perfect silence there;
In that low dwelling where we all repair,
No sounds, tho' sounds from earth to heav'n arose,
Shall break the silence of that still repose.


Page 108

    There is a dart which nothing can repel,
The grave will witness where the arrow fell;
That dart is Death! unerring is the aim,
That sends the weapon thro' this mortal frame.

    There is a state from ev'ry passion free,
Death is the gate of immortality:
It leads to life, where ev'ry joy shall die,
But the pure pleasures of eternity.

Man is the transient creature of an hour,
A plant that droops beneath the beating show'r;
A bubble floating on the restless deep,
Which bursts when Death shall o'er its surface sweep.
It soon is lost, the floating form shall die,
The soul disrob'd shall range the azure sky;
The joyous spirit, bursting from its clay,
Start from its crumbling dust and soar away:
Thus shall th' ethereal essence upward fly,
Its form terrestrial only lives to die.

    When on the verge of life the soul shall stand,
And give to death his great, his last demand;


Page 109

When he shall bring us to resign our trust,
And give to earth its perishable dust;
Each covering lost, each veil at once thrown by,
We take our stations in eternity.
"As the tree falls it lies," beware ye gay,
Nor trifle ev'ry precious hour away;
Our souls unmov'd may rest secure in this,
The Christian's path is the sure road to bliss;
His joy shall recompense his earthly toil,
When Heav'n transplants him to a kinder soil.


Page 110

TO THE BEE.

            HAIL harbinger of spring!
            Already on the wing,
Humming thy lengthen'd notes along the vale;
            Saluting ev'ry flower,
            In this delightful hour,
The modest cowslip and the primrose pale.

            Just so our course we steer,
            In youth's expanding year,
Culling fresh sweets from ev'ry flower that blows;
            Nor briars obstruct our way,
            For ever brisk and gay,
Heedless of ev'ry thorn we pluck the rose.

            Yet not like thee we treasure,
            The fruit of early pleasure,
Against approaching winter's desert reign;
            Ours is the heedless joy,
            Which summer shall destroy,
Proving youth's early season spent in vain.


Page 111

            So when increasing time,
            Destroys fair manhood's prime,
And wastes the glory of the genial spring;
            Conscience shall wake at last,
            And rous'd by winter's blast,
Shall look severe, and point th' envenom'd sting.

            Let each improve his hour,
            While means are in his power,
And life fresh opening on the mind of youth;
            Let us the time employ,
            In storing future joy,
And hear the dictates of eternal truth.


Page 112

TO A SHEET OF PAPER.

TAKE , O take this sweet impression,
    Bear it on thy snowy breast;
Words are feeble in expression,
    Yet on them I fondly rest.

Friendship seeking thy assistance,
    Gives to thee her pledge of love;
Thou shalt guard the sacred treasure,
    Ever faithful wilt thou prove.

This fond flutt'ring heart possessing,
    Friendship will the strain believe;
Take it, 'tis her own impressing,
    All her ardent vows receive.

True to ev'ry fond emotion,
    Ev'ry fear and doubt remove;
Bear (tho' faint) a true reflection,
    Bear it to the friend I love.


Page 113

Friendship pure from heav'n descending,
    Now appears to bless the earth;
It exists in ev'ry station,
    Jewel of immortal worth.

Tho' the changing smiles of fortune,
    Emma's fortitude may prove;
She may trust this declaration,
    All things change but faithful love.


Page 114

ON POVERTY.

DARK is the cloud which hov'ring o'er the mind,
Shades the bright promises of early youth;
Nips all its blossoms, blights the tender bud,
Throws midnight darkness on the opening day,
Checks the career of sensibility,
And where the tear of sympathy would flow
For others' sorrows, bids us feel our own.

    But wrapp'd in present darkness comes the seed
Of future good, which dropping in the heart,
Shall grow and flourish 'mid surrounding gloom,
Bearing the fruits of patience and of hope.
Hope leads us forward to the gates of heav'n,
And leave the clouds behind. The present scene,
Blasted and wither'd as the barren heath,
Can boast no blossoms to attract the eye;
When poverty surrounds our dark abode,
No fair alluring pleasures smile upon us,
Or lead us in the uncertain paths of time,
To chase the fly that's ever on the wing.


Page 115

The joys which in prosperity would shine,
And decorate the pilgrim's path to heaven,
By poverty subdued, removed from earth,
Exalted glitter as the stars above,
And deck futurity's extended field.

    Religion is that solitary light,
Which with a steady never-wav'ring beam,
Shines on the poor man's path, and brighter shines
As we approach the confines of the world,
Till in the blaze of never-ending day,
It mingles, and increasing burns for ever.


Page 116

On reading some elegant Commendations of a Character, to
which they were not appropriate.

TH ' unfading wreath by Genius only won,
Pleas'd I return to grace her favour'd son;
For truth forbids her votaries to wear
Flowers that would wither in a foreign air;
Yet ere the gift I totally resign,
Some simple buds I still would own as mine.
Those that without the advantages of art,
From nature spring and twine around the heart;
Friendship sincere, the same in ev'ry clime,
Unhurt by storms, and unimpaired by time;
And heart-felt gratitude, by heav'n inspir'd,
Stern rectitude and sympathy untir'd;
These would I pluck, nor shall the wreath divine,
Boast fewer blossoms or their loss repine;
From every stem shall sweeter flow'rets rise,
Enriching him who owns the sacred prize;
Take then the gift which while he sweetly smil'd,
Apollo destin'd for his "favour'd child. "


Page 117

But not to me belongs that sacred name,
Unskill'd in poetry, unknown to fame,
Till M . . . . . 's lays imparted radiance pour,
And shed unnumber'd beams in what was dark before.
So the rough diamond in its native mine,
By no refulgence of its own can shine;
But when presented to the solar ray,
It stands distinguish'd from its kindred clay.

    Narcissus once, 'tis said, in still amaze,
On an unruffled lake had fix'd his gaze;
Saw his bright image shine supremely fair,
Admir'd his form, but thought a stranger there;
So when the conscious spirit strictly true,
Brings ev'ry living virtue to your view;
And on the page adorn'd with ev'ry grace,
The great, the finish'd character you trace;
Fancy supplies a name before unknown,
And gives to Stella what is all your own.


Page 118

WRITTEN ON NEW YEAR'S DAY.

HOW rapid is the speed of time,
        That bears us on our way;
And offers to the anxious sight,
Fresh opening prospects of delight,
        That boasts a transient stay.

Hope, radiant inmate of the soul,
        Illumes the clouds of care;
And while each present joy they screen,
She rises on the distant scene,
        And throws her lustre there.

When pleasure gilds the wing of time,
        It glitters as it flies;
That Goddess with a power endow'd,
To charm us on our rugged road,
        Her daily food supplies.

Now that I gain another step,
        On life's uncertain way;
Imagination shall repair,
And seated draw an outline there,
        Of many a future day.


Page 119

Resign thy pencil, powerless maid,
        For errors dim thy sight;
Hope's softest strains salute thy ear,
And pleasure's radiant forms appear,
        To make the medium bright.

"Nor yet," imagination said,
        "My power will I resign;
"For know of every joy below,
"Of ev'ry bliss the heart shall know,
        "Full half the worth is mine."

"For should some distant pleasure hang,
        "On hope's celestial zone;
"My pencil gives the golden hue,
"It adds a lustre ever new,
        "A glory all its own.

"Take from my hand the glowing scene,
        "Observe the fair design;
"My tints enrich the azure skies,
"My fertile flow'ry hills arise,
        "Such power alone is mine."


Page 120

IMAGINATION's PICTURE.

TAKE the landscape and behold
Waving forests ting'd with gold,
Rosy health with ruddy glow,
Seated on the mountain's brow;
Or upon its steep side playing,
With his flock around him straying:
Innocence with cheerful smile,
And affection free from guile,
Banish passion far away,
Form'd to ruin and betray.
See where friendship's waters glide
In a calm unruffled tide;
Softly flow a dimpling stream,
Sparkling in the solar beam;
Sincerity her fount supplies,
Whence unceasing blessings rise.
Deck'd in fancy's glowing ray,
Not a cloud obscures the day;
And to crown the tranquil scene,
Sweet contentment's placid mien,


Page 121

Where she treads the verdant ground,
Brightens all the landscape round:
There her chosen smiling band,
Joy and peace around her stand.
See each a friendly smile bestow,--
Heaven is surely found below;
Thus will fancy paint the scene,
Not a vapour rolls between;
In extremes her province lies,
Where celestial visions rise.
Truth they say still lies between,
Truth is in the golden mean;
But if joyful you would live,
Fancy must her treasures give.
Reality can few bestow,--
All her springs of joy are low;
Waters muddy and impure,
Which to none shall health ensure;
Ev'ry joy she can bestow,
Has its antidote of woe.
Life what blessings canst thou bring,
All thy pleasures have a sting,
Save when hope and fancy join,
Then is perfect pleasure thine.


Page 122

TO CHARITY.

PARENT of good, thou essence from on high,
Pure emanation from the Deity,
Not to the favour'd sons of wealth confin'd,
Thou humble tenant of the lowly mind,
Thine is the aim another to exalt,
And cast thy mantle o'er a brother's fault.
Thine is the generous wish, the heart-felt sigh,
That mourns the sorrows of humanity.
Not the rich off'rings which the proud bestow,
Which fame reports that all the world may know,
Bespeak thy presence, or advance thy cause,
Thine is the modest worth that shuns applause.
He cheats himself who thinks thy warmth prevails,
And feels no tenderness where virtue fails;
Who views mankind to vice and error prone,
And on their sinking merit builds his own.
This is not Charity, whose strong controul
Turns the whole tide of feeling in the soul.
Rich gift from heav'n, thou wert for man design'd,
To soften and subdue th' aspiring mind;


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Thou boasting no superior eminence,
Liv'st in the smile of pure benevolence.
When rigid virtue with indignant mien,
Frowns on her host of foes so often seen;
And, condemnation is her stern decree,
She loses half her charms depriv'd of thee.
Thou wouldst suspend her judgment, calm her rage,
Thy prayers would soothe it, and thy voice assuage;
And while compassion fills her soften'd eye,
Thy hand would light the torch of sympathy.


Page 124

TO CONSCIENCE.

THOU stern reprover of the midnight hour,
    When mortals slumber and the world retires;
Then shall the sleepless wretch confess thy power
    Fiercely to kindle thy extinguish'd fires,
Bearing the piercing spear, the sharpen'd dart,
    When pleasure's forms no longer ward the blow,
Sending thine arrows thro' the bleeding heart,
    And bidding memory ev'ry joy forego.
Lost in one thought each pleasing vision lies,
    Thy frowns terrific awe the conscious mind;
While angry lightnings rend the troubled skies;
    Yet all these conflicts, for our good design'd,
Shall cleanse the soul, whilst thou with placid mien,
Shalt cheer the mourner with a smile serene.


Page 125

ADDRESS TO BEAUTY.

ELOQUENT deceiver!--say,
    With each soft, each fond endeavour;
Canst thou bid the fragile clay,
    Live and last and bloom for ever?

If the soul in secret languish,
    Where is then thy wonted smile?
Canst thou calm the throb of anguish?
    Canst thou sorrow's pains beguile?

Bidding death forbear his prey,
    Canst thou life's long date ensure?
Will he to the beauteous say,
    Go and live in health secure?

No, thou fond enchantress--no,
    When he lifts his mighty arm;
When he aims the fatal blow,
    He is blind to ev'ry charm.


Page 126

Youth's sweet buds the monster siezing ,
    Beauty's charms before him fly;
Living roses form'd for pleasing,
    Fade beneath his grasp and die.

He is sent by Heaven assign'd,
    All our earthly ties to sever;
But the beauties of the mind,
    Shall survive and last for ever.


Page 127

FALSE FRIENDSHIP DELINEATED.

HE never yet consulted friendship's laws,
Who would not suffer in her glorious cause;
Who would not sacrifice the proffer'd gain,
But let her secret whispers plead in vain.
We share in all the feelings of a friend,
Our joys are mutual and our sorrows blend,
And while we help him on his rugged way,
Our sun illumes us with a brighter ray:
Such secret joys on friendship's votaries shine,
Which prove to them her origin divine,
And that each gift which she on man bestows,
Is bless'd by Heav'n whence the warm feeling flows.

    But let us traverse the wide world around,
And see where perfect friendship may be found;
Grandeur thou hast indeed a barren soil,
Thy steril region mocks our constant toil;
Friendship is seldom known amongst the great,
She shuns the gilded pomp of regal state;


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And the rude blast of poverty severe
Blights all the produce of her scanty year.
She seldom thrives where famine, want and pain,
With grief and care, divided sway maintain:
Few regions please her and few climates suit,
She bears her blossoms but denies the fruit.

    Behold a pensioner, with smiling face,
Go to a peer soliciting a place;
A sinecure which may support his pride,
Without much toil or doing aught beside,
Adding the unearn'd lucre to his store,
To gratify the wish of having more.
Yet he is rich in wealth and wants it not,
Meanwhile a Friend appears, whose heavy lot
So frowns upon him that this Friend may be,
Almost dependent upon charity.
"That place may now be mine," he cries with joy,
"If thou wouldst but thy influence employ,
" 'Twould be to me of more abundant use,
"Than twice the sum to thee, so prithee chuse,
"And tell me if to serve a friend of thine,
"This small preferment thou couldst not resign.


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"Alas!" the Friend replied, "it cannot be,
"Yet from my very soul I pity thee,
"And I would serve thee any other way,
"But for this once I'm griev'd to answer nay .
"My time is not my own--my work is hard,
"This fav'rite notion you must now discard."
And turning from his friend with mournful face,
He still pursues his plan and gets the place.
This is the world's false friendship--O I see
So much of this bad coin pass currently,
That almost could I say in heaven alone
Is sacred friendship seated on her throne,
While base usurpers dare profane her name,
And boast her influence merely for her fame.


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WRITTEN IN CONDEMNATION OF SATIRE.

SHEATHE , sheathe the sword while yet you may,
Be wise and harmless tho' you're gay.
As once to sober thought inclin'd,
This lesson pass'd across my mind;
I soon beheld a jocund train,
Led on by Satire o'er the plain,
Array'd in smiles and graces bland,
Each held a dagger in his hand;
Which by his flowing robe conceal'd,
The vision to my eyes reveal'd:
While wit who boasts superior powers,
Around her strew'd her baleful flowers;
And those who join'd this motley crew,
As on they pass'd, were not a few;
Friend against friend was quickly arm'd,
All in a moment felt alarm'd;
The fray commenc'd, the battle rag'd,
While in the furious strife engag'd,
Satire had pointed ev'ry dart,
And aim'd his arrows at the heart.


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His quiver ev'ry hand supplied,
His weapons ev'ry shield defied.
I griev'd to see fair friendship's laws,
Inverted in his odious cause;
And thus I said, or seem'd to say,
O sheathe the sword while yet ye may;
For while such danger is display'd,
How can ye wave the glitt'ring blade;
And while amus'd by Satire's ray,
Its corruscations you display;
Reflect not that its edge may sever
Friendship's strong tie and that for ever.

Be warn'd and quit this dangerous play,
And sheathe the sword while yet ye may.


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A FRAGMENT.

HOW wayward would that man appear,
        His varied thoughts revealing;
Who nature's dictates shall obey,
And yielding to her gentle sway,
        Is led alone by feeling.

For custom now controuls mankind,
        Kind nature's laws repealing;
Has every sentiment refin'd,
And by its influence o'er the mind,
        Annull'd the power of feeling.

The miser see--his harden'd heart,
        Against compassion steeling;
Thus reasoning in his own defence,
"When thousands starve thro' indolence,
        " 'Tis madness to be feeling."

The wit who deals his darts around,
        At satire's altar kneeling;
From whose assaults his dearest friend,
Not pure affection may defend,
        Denies the power of feeling.


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The angels smile in heaven to see,
        The wounds of sorrow healing;
And when distress surrounds our door,
O what so soon shall peace restore,
        As sympathy and feeling.

But grandeur has an icy wand,
        Affection's stream congealing;
She sits secure in gilded state,
While frowning minions round her wait,
        And scorns the power of feeling.

Yet tho' a fool I should appear,
        A thousand faults revealing;
And thousand cares that wait on thee,
Sweet sacred sensibility,
        O let me still be feeling.


Page 134

TO MODESTY.

CELESTIAL guest whose holy touch,
    True beauty can bestow;
From thee youth's sweet expanding flower,
    Receives its finest glow.

Thine is her still encreasing blush,
    And thine her downcast eye,
She hails thee as her surest friend,
    Celestial modesty.

No angel is there to protect,
    If thou shouldst once depart;
No spirit to defend the form,
    No guardian near the heart.

Thou art the fairest ornament,
    To beautify the form;
Thou art a shelter plac'd by heav'n,
    To shield us from the storm.


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Thou art the morning dew of life,
    An influence divine;
Dash not the dew-drop from the flower,
    Thro' which its beauties shine.

When guilt with ever anxious care,
    Thy soft'ning bloom denies;
In vain the ready hand of art,
    A borrow'd charm supplies.

Thou art fair virtue's loveliest throne,
    She views her foes from thence;
Thou art her safeguard--thou her screen,
    Her watch tower and defence.

A veil by heavenly power so wrought,
    So wonderfully made;
That screen'd by thee the mind retires,
    Secure beneath thy shade.

O quit me not thou essence pure,
    From heaven's exhaustless store;
But safely guard and guide my soul,
    To life's remotest shore.


Page 136

TO MEMORY.

Written after the departure of a Friend with her Infant.

HAIL , sov'reign Memory, hail! I court thy pow'r,
I love to muse upon the distant hour;
I love to view thy tablatures of joy,
Nor time can tarnish these, nor chance destroy.
What tho' thy pictures fade, their colours fly,
While present objects draw th' attentive eye,
One touch of sympathy's enchanting wand
Shall bid each scene re-animated stand.
Friendship's warm sun, which sheds its genial ray
On life's uncertain, dark and devious way,
Has, while its radiant course illum'd my road,
Full many a flower, to deck that path, bestow'd.
Quickly they faded, but embalm'd by thee,
Still grateful odours breathe--all powerful Memory.

    Let one sad pause succeed these scenes of joy,
And at thy shrine receive my darling boy;
To me now lost but for thy magic power,
Collecting treasure for the passing hour;


Page 137

Exert that power, regard thy votary's pray'r,
Look at my heart and view affection there;
With softest pencil paint his infant form,
Each action graceful and each feeling warm;
Record the fond caress, the endearing smile,
The artless prattle too of many a mile;
While health and pleasure oft our footsteps led,
To where the ample view before us spread.
The distant waters scarcely seem'd to move,
While thousand warblers fill'd the neighbouring grove;
Each well known tree those past delights shall mark,
And bear thy record Memory on its bark.

    Swift, tho' unnotic'd, glide our years away,
And soon his breast shall own thy potent sway;
Then when reflection points the backward view,
To days long pass'd, when hope and life were new;
With ev'ry tender scene my image blend,
And may the Man approve the Baby's friend.


Page 138

LINES

Descriptive of the formation of a Mind, in which the various
Virtues are represented to have assisted in producing such
a rare assemblage of their Influences, as is seldom exhibited
in one Character.

WHAT strong attraction binds the soul,
        To these decaying forms;
What iron bars enclose us here,
To grovel in this narrow sphere,
        Of sunshine and of storms.

This prison which contains the mind,
        This cumb'ring shell of clay;
Detains an essence form'd to rise,
Retards its progress to the skies,
        The sov'reign of a day.

Fair virtue scatters on the earth,
        Her brilliants up and down;
Which at the last--the great command,
She shall collect with joyful hand,
        To form her radiant crown.


Page 139

One Diamond of superior size,
        Attentive Genins saw;
And ere the Gem was sent below,
He bade it take his finest glow,
        And stamp'd it with his law.

Wisdom beheld it as it fell,
        And smiling saw its worth;
She caught it with assiduous care,
And having left her image there,
        The jewel fell to earth.

Vain pleasure that attracts the soul,
        And glitters in the storm;
Wisdom will teach us to forego,
And as she hurl'd her prize below,
        It lodg'd in Clito's form.

Religion with a look benign,
        Her crowning lustre gave;
And fortitude its strength supplied,
To stem the force of sorrow's tide,
        And rise above the wave.


Page 140

Rough, rude, and rugged it appear'd,
        From Heav'n's refulgent mine;
Till pure benevolence came down,
This brightest stone for virtue's crown,
        To polish and refine.

And it shall shine till the last hour,
        When time shall be no more;
Then smiling virtue shall arise,
And take her brilliant to the skies,
        To grace her treasur'd store.


Page 141

ON SILENCE.

WITHDRAWN from busy man, the mind regains
Its wonted strength when solemn stillness reigns;
For silence proves a shelter for the mind,
When she retires and leaves the world behind.
Man cannot penetrate the veil opaque,
Yet in its shade the soul is most awake;
Life's future prospects clear before us rise,
The distant scene extends beyond the skies;
Our hopes and fears in long perspective lie,
And the view closes with--Eternity.
Silence what is it--but the nurse of thought,
A solemn pause with deep instruction fraught;
A calm retirement--a sequester'd shade,
In which the native soul is well pourtray'd;
Uncloth'd it stands, nor from the eye of pride,
Shall vanity one trifling error hide.
Conscience must then the secret motive own,
She reigns supreme and fills her awful throne;
The light of heav'n reveal'd, that solar ray,
Which fills the spirit with celestial day;


Page 142

Illumes our darkness--shews the fatal snare,
Points to the hidden shoal and tells the danger there.

    Say you who flutter on life's busy stage,
Whom the world flatters and its cares engage;
Who call the moments lost when silent thought
Has in its holy calm some lesson taught;
Who mourn the wasted hours when silence reigns,
When wit retires and fashion nothing gains.
If thus one silent hour you so much dread,
How will you bear the silence of the dead?
Folly may now your whole attention crave,
But folly has no entrance in the grave.


Page 143

A FRAGMENT.

FANCY shall fix my lone abode,
        Where human foot ne'er trod;
Peace shall surround my humble cot,
For ever found the happy lot
        Of those who live to God.

To thee, wan Nymph--to thee I bow,
        Sweet pensive melancholy;
No silken fetters bind us here,
Earth is indeed a narrow sphere,
        Of trouble, noise, and folly.

The varied talents that we boast,
        A Power all-wise declare;
Man is the favor'd child of heav'n,
To each some precious boon is giv'n,
        For all his bounty share.

In some the understanding glows,
        Perfected and refin'd;
In some ingenious fancy spreads,
Her lightly sparkling silver threads,
        To ornament the mind.


Page 144

And where these blessings are denied,
        And science never shone;
Tho' wisdom ne'er illum'd the mind,
But ignorance with views confin'd,
        Has rais'd her pond'rous throne.

Contentment with her placid smile,
        May brighten all the scene;
While resignation, heav'n-born power,
Shall cheer the pensive lonely hour,
        With her inspiring mien.

Unskill'd to gain the world's applause,
        Forbid on earth to shine;
To solitude we may repair,
And find a tranquil pleasure there,
        Enjoying peace divine.

O for that holy calm delight,
        Which not to rank confin'd,
Has its pure origin above,
And proves that God's unbounded love,
        Regards the humble mind.


Page 145

Proud man may scorn as little worth,
        The mind untaught by art;
But heav'n regards with purer eyes,
And sees where virtue's noblest prize,
        Is lodged within the heart.

Sweet solitude, fair virtue's friend,
        Thy paths she oft has trod;
She will thy hidden charms unfold,
And in thy silent mansions hold
        Communion with her God.


Page 146

LINES ,

Written on the receipt of a Letter from a Friend.

HAIL messenger of joy or pain,
Come ev'ry anxious doubt explain,
        And ease this throbbing heart;
To certainty these doubts transform,
Dispel this thick impending storm,
        And friendship's joys impart.

Thou much-lov'd source of joy and care,
Wilt pure affection's power declare,
        Or keen indifference prove;
Her traces never may I see;
Forbid it sweet humanity,
        Forbid it sweeter love.

Ah no! that well-known name I see,
Proceeding from sincerity,
        It bids each fear repose;
And may indifference never seize
That heart, and friendship's current freeze,
        Which now so sweetly flows.


Page 147

Then as the tints that deck the sky,
In the clear Deep reflected lie,
        So shall this surface prove;
A faithful mirror of the soul,
Expressing all the thoughts that roll,
        And love's pure feelings prove.

Long on thy fair extent I'll dwell,
Those lines affection's increase tell,
        By friendship's hand impress'd
How different these from those array'd
In empty form and vain parade,
        By art's gay finger dress'd.

'Midst ev'ry change I meet below,
Those drops of joy--those floods of woe,
        Which on mankind attend;
May friendship still remain the same,
For what are pleasures but a name,
        Or life--without a friend.


Page 148

SONNET TO THE WILLOW.

WHY hang those pendant branches o'er the waves?
    Why dress thy foliage in that sickly green?
    Say drooping plant, why mournful art thou seen,
While the soft stream thy rocky standing laves?
Yon gentle zephyrs breathing soft and low,
    In soothing murmurs round those branches play;
    They fain would charm that deep despair away,
And their refreshing influence bestow.
Is it that mourning for a world so vain,
    Where vice and folly, and disorder reign,
    A monument of grief thou wilt remain,
And ever hang thy leaves, nor smile again?
Then can I hail in thee a kindred mind--
I too deplore the follies of mankind.


Page 149

SONNET .

E'EN winter has its charms--tho' his keen blast
Seals all creation--tho' his driving snows
Level her surface, and in feather'd garb
Cloathe the drear landscape--dazzling to the sight.
Tho' all the dread artillery of heaven
Pour their fierce volley from th' embattled clouds,
Yet man can find a shelter from the storm,
Where, tasting joys, that friendship only knows,
He hears the thund'ring elements unmov'd.
Winter contracts the circle of our joys,
And veiling nature's beauties from our view,
Strengthens the bond of social intercourse;
While we enjoy the purest gifts of Heav'n,
Love, friendship, and domestic harmony.


Page 150

ON SEEING THE PORTRAIT OF A FRIEND.

THOU image of the dearest friend I love,
If I remote in foreign scenes should rove,
If such my unexpected lot should be,
Deprived of ev'ry comforter but thee,
Still could I live upon that placid smile,
Which many an absent moment would beguile;
Tho' wild and rude the far-surrounding scene,
No clouds should mem'ry's purest lustre screen;
She shall affection's lasting strength declare,
And Emma's image reign unrivall'd there.
'Tis hard to lose a friend and tread alone,
This gloomy passage to a world unknown;
Or dwell with those who cannot bear a part,
In the warm feelings of the tender heart;
Yet if stern fortune should direct my way,
From friendship's pure delights awhile to stray;
This precious gift shall ev'ry step attend,
This form support the feelings of a friend.
Memr'y shall act again its busy part,
And with its rays revive the drooping heart;
This image ever be my constant guest,
This fond remembrance make me doubly blest.


Page 151

LINES ,

On the Sudden Death of my much-respected and highly valued
Friend, Susannah Davidson, Sen. of London.

READER --tho' health, and strength, and worth, be thine,
Tho' thy full sun in its meridian shine,
Trust not to-morrow's dawn; if these could save,
She had not sunk thus sudden to the grave,
Whose health, whose strength, had borne the dreadful blow,
And turn'd the arrows of the conquer'd foe;
Then had the king of terrors sheath'd his sword,
Our hearts reviv'd, nor we our loss deplor'd.
The gather'd fruit has reach'd a distant shore,
While here the blossom fades to bloom no more:
His valued prey the conqueror would not spare,
Nor warning sent the spirit to prepare;
She fell--while angels on the wings of love,
Enraptur'd, bore her to the realms above.
Yes she is gone--where now the happy hours,
That dress'd our onward way with life's fresh flowers;


Page 152

Shrinking beneath the storm--they cease to bloom,
They lanquish , droop, and fade upon her tomb.
From memory's garland roughly are ye torn,
For memory only shall reserve the thorn;
When hope expects no more we cannot save,
We cannot snatch one pleasure from the grave,
To deck the paths of life.--No cheering ray
Lights our dark passage to the realms of day,--
But the bright promise of eternal rest,
That recompense which shall reward the blest.
Poor man!--is this thy lot--to bloom to-day,
To-morrow mingle with thy kindred clay!
Uncertain tenant in life's narrow cell,
In pain and sickness doom'd awhile to dwell;
O how impressive are the warnings giv'n,
That shew the narrow path 'twixt earth and heav'n.
One moment here--another far away,
Call'd to resign thy tenement of clay.

    Gone!--can it be?--so lately seen to bloom,
Already mould'ring in the silent tomb!
Already laid upon corruption's bed!
Already placed among the long-lost dead!


Page 153

    We often see, and 'tis by Heav'n resign'd,
To cheat the eyes of those whom pleasures blind,
That while the sun of life is bright and high,
Death sits conceal'd behind its brilliancy.
That sudden blow from him who will not spare,
Gave not a moment for th' expiring prayer;
Yet seraphs waited to exalt on high,
A light that glitter'd in mortality,
To burn with greater lustre in that clime,
Beyond the darts of death--the waves of time.
The vapours that infest our lower sphere,
Obscure the soul's pure rays while pris'ner here;
But when transported from this earthly scene,
They shall illumine heav'n and shine serene.
That spark extinguished HERE , shall there illume
Heav'n's glorious arch and glitter o'er the tomb.
Was there a tie on earth to fix her mind,
She feels it still, tho' not to earth confin'd;
The darts of death shall but destroy the form,
While pure affection conquers ev'ry storm.

    Thou tender plant so often wont to share,
A mother's fondness with a mother's care;


Page 154

Tho' lost on earth she watches from above,
And watches o'er thee with a parent's love.
She may regard and ev'ry loss repair,
And still protect thee with a parent's care;
Thy present loss may future blessings bring,
Thou hast the shadow of an angel's wing:
Mortality's dark veil is drawn between,
To shade the glories of a heavenly scene:
Man's feeble vision could not bear the blaze,
The bright effulgence of celestial rays.

    Eternal Father!--love and power are thine;
Teach us to thee our treasures to resign;
If it should please thy love each tie to rend,
And leave us in the world without a friend,
In thee a certain recompence we meet;
In thee a parent and a friend we greet;
The clouds of sorrow shall before us flee,
Chac'd by the radiance of a smile from thee.

FINIS



Page [155]

SUBSCRIBERS' NAMES.


B.
C.
D.
E.
F.
G.
H.
J.
Page 168


K.


L.
M.
N.
O.
P.
R.
S.
Page 176


T.


U.
V.
W.
Page 180


Y.


Page 181

The following NAMES came to hand too late to be
inserted in their proper places.

B.


C.
D.
Page 182


F.


G.
H.
J.
L.
P.
Page 183


R.


S.
Page [184]


Page 185

TABLE OF CONTENTS.