Poems and Fugitive Pieces.

Day, Esther Milnes, d. 1792


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University of California, Davis 95616
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Poems and fugitive pieces, by Eliza

Esther Milnes Day


Printed by W. Bulmer, and Co. and sold by Cadell and Davies ... and Bell and Bradfute, Edinburgh
London
1796

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no. I:162. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:162mf.]


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POEMS BY ELIZA.


Page [ii]


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[Frontispiece]

ODE TO SPRING.

Awake my Soul & with the genial Spring,
Thy grateful tributary perfume bring;
Soar as the warbling minstrels of the Sky,
Praise in each note, & Heav'n in thine eye!

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[Title Page]



Page [iii]

POEMS
AND
FUGITIVE PIECES,

BY

ELIZA.


LONDON
:
PRINTED BY W. BULMER, AND CO.
AND SOLD BY CADELL AND DAVIES
, IN THE
STRAND; AND BELL AND BRADFUTE,

EDINBURGH
. 1796.
Page [iv]



Page [v]

PREFACE.

[Quotation marks at the beginning of the first six lines have been deleted, except for those at the beginning of the first line in the Preface.]

"AUTHORS, we are told, are but ill judges of their own performances, and the opinion of friends not always to be trusted; for there is generally a kind of benevolent partiality, which inclines us to think favourably of the works of those we esteem:" yet is it hardly possible not to feel flattered by such commendations.  My friends have, frequently, kindly importuned me for copies of the following poems, and urged me to publish; and I could not but feel soothed, and grateful, from time to time, for such requests, at least kind intentioned, though I had not originally the most distant idea of extending the circulation of such trifling miscellaneous performances beyond their partial hands:  I shrunk fearful from the bar of public investigation.

Yet the many truly delicate and flattering answers to some of these fugitive pieces, and particularly to some lines written upon Ramsgate Pier by moonlight, whilst there in Sept. 1790,


Page vi

and inserted in the Star, at first, without any signature, by way of amusement in ill health, has drawn me out, almost imperceptibly to myself, and has so far encouraged me as to venture to intersperse through the following pages those testimonies of approbation, just as they appeared in that paper, as some apology for my temerity in presuming at last to solicit of an impartial, though an indulgent Public, a passport for my little work, to the hands of my requiring friends.

If during this convoy, and I should fondly hope not though an enemy's country, such philanthropic guardians should wish to develope the principles of their little protegée, ( pour passer le tems en route ,) I trust, that on finding them founded upon religion, morality, and the social affections, the grave will not be offended by levity, or the gay by moroseness.


Page [vii]

CONTENTS.


Page [xi]

INSCRIBED
TO THE RT. HON. THE
COUNTESS OF ABERGAVENNY.

O THOU , to whom my loftiest strains belong,
My love, my admiration, and my song!
Deign to accept these unassuming lays,
Ventur'd to view, encourag'd by thy praise.
When worthless greatness fills the exalted sphere,
Ill sound its labour'd plaudits on the ear;
But when superior merit we'd rehearse,
All will approve the tributary verse.

If, as thy valu'd friendship I can boast,
She should extol thee who has known thee most;
How should I trace thee through each scene of life,
The tenderest mother, daughter, friend, and wife!
How sweet, with splendid titles, 'tis to find
The manners affable, the taste refin'd:
With loveliest features, unaffected ease,
A tear for pity, as a form to please.


Page xii

Her chiefest care, with ready help to lend
The widow comfort, and her babes befriend;
So feelingly alive each action's shewn,
That sympathy's soft powers are all her own.
Sweet, doubly sweet's the dew-dropp'd rose in tears,
As on its cheek the glist'ning gem appears;
But sweeter far, more precious 'tis to view
The human eye suffus'd with pity's dew:
So in her gentle bosom stands confess'd,
Softness and candour, "by the Graces dress'd."

Thus from the cultur'd stem this shoot we see,
Nurtur'd and branching near the parent tree;
Rear'd, and matur'd, and grateful for the aid,
Twines round that stem its buds to form a shade:
How cheering, as the plant unfolds its bloom,
To own its blossoms yours, and choice perfume;
To see with fond delight, and sweet surprise,
Your native genius in your daughter rise!
To bless each opening virtue as it grew,
To own the giver Heaven,--instructor, you;
To watch with anxious joy, each lively grace,
That sportive plays around her cherub race;
Their noble house depicted through the whole,
The mother's beauty, with the father's soul.

ELIZA.



Page [1]

POEMS
BY ELIZA.

ODE TO SPRING,
1795.

AWAKE , my soul! and with the blooming Spring,
Thy grateful tributary perfume bring:
Soar, as the warbling minstrels of the sky,
Praise in each note, and heaven in thine eye!
Shake off the wint'ry mists, and plume thy wing,
Like the sweet lark, and, as thou mountest, sing!

Welcome, dear views, from this enchanting spot,
Though erst neglected, never quite forgot:
Ah, with what bounding joy from crowds I flee,
To prune my flowers, and renovate with thee!
--So some fond mother to her nursery flies,
And casts around her soft maternal eyes,
Views with delight her playful sprightly race,
And hangs enraptur'd o'er each blooming face;
Marks their quick growth, and, with a fostering hand,
Or stays, or prunes her little docile band;


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With balmy kiss their circling arms she meets,
Like vernal gales, she steals and renders sweets.
Her sum of bliss twines round their little length,
Grows with their growth--and strengthens with their strength;
But should her little suckling droop among
The joyous, busy, active, blooming throng,
Ah, how concentred then are all her cares!
To it she turns--for it alone she fears;
For it, enanguish'd, braves the midnight hour,
And in her bosom soothes her fading flower.
How soft, how beauteous, beams her eye to view,--
The glistening blue-bell, bow'd with pearly dew;
Trembling 'midst sanguine hopes and anxious fears,
Like April's sun, she smiles on it through tears!--
Hail, roseate Season! sweetly smiling hours,
Playful as sportive infants, strewing flowers;
Blithsome as hope reviv'd, and young as gay,
And fair as young, soft daisy-footed May!
Hail, hour of prime! for thou art fairest, best--
Ingenuous nature--by the Almighty dress'd!

O thou Supreme! who spread'st this beauteous blaze,
To strike the sense, and charm the astonish'd gaze;
Who pours this soft profusion on our sight,
To woo the mind to scenes of calm delight;
Who gav'st this fair variety for food,
Not only gave it, but pronounc'd it good;
Gave it to cheer--to bless--on all to shine,
And it is yours--and theirs--and thine--and mine.


Page 3

O THOU , who deign'st this wond'rous good to me,
And gives mine ear to hear, mine eye to see;
Illumes my reason with a ray divine,
And strings my feelings exquisitely fine!
That rears my little fragile frame anew,
Not only rears it--but delights it too.
O give, whilst health reanimates my cheek,
And these delightful scenes I fondly seek--
Give me to see, to own, to praise thy power,
Seen in the storm, or bloss'ming in the flower--
Lead to the source of all this wond'rous plan,
THOU GREAT FIRST CAUSE --least understood by man!

So, when my Summer sun of life is o'er,
And these lov'd scenes shall cease to charm me more;
When age, or pain, or death, shall intervene,
To pall these joys, and close this beauteous scene--
May fairer worlds superior prospects bring,
Unfading foliage--universal Spring!
May my exulting spirit joyful rise
From earth to heaven, from stars beyond the skies!


Page 4

LINES

Written on the Anniversary of the Death of a tender
Mother.

FORGIVE the wish, that would have kept thee here,
And, oh, forgive the wild enanguish'd tear!
Forgive the thoughts that give this sorrow birth;
Forgive the grief that sinks me down to earth;
Pardon, dear saint, if thus, at times, I mourn!
If the big drop still bathes thine honour'd urn!

Oh, I've no cause!--no cause, I know it well;
I feel what all would say--what each would tell,
That she's releas'd from every care and pain,
That our poor loss is her transcendent gain!
Religion's paths her early footsteps trod,
The blossom of her youth was spent with God;
Her mid-day powers increasing ardour gain'd,
What her youth caught, her riper years maintain'd.
I know--I know what further might be said,
But--'twas my mother!--and that mother's dead!
Ah! chide me not, whilst I my griefs reveal,
I bow submissive;--but her child must feel!--

Soft, ye my friends! I wou'd retire awhile--
A few fond tears my sadness may beguile:
My recent anguish will betray a groan,
And modest sorrow seeks to weep--alone.


Page 5

'Tis well!----Here, bent before thy awful throne,
Maker Supreme!--I may each feeling own!
Father benign! who dost each thought controul,
Who see'st each secret movement of my soul!
Thou know'st with humble deference I bow,
And kiss the hand that dealt the friendly blow.
I wou'd not--cou'd a wish recall her here;
'Tis not such thoughts send down the trickling tear:
'Scap'd from all pains, all sublunary things,
Her seat, the heavens;--her friend, the King of kings!
And do I wish thee here--here, on this earth?
Ah, no! I hail the hour that gave new birth,
That burst thy prison bonds, and thee restor'd
Triumphant to thy Saviour, and thy Lord!

These are my thoughts; though yet, at times, I moan,
And grief, insatiate, claims me for her own;
Nature reverts to dear domestic life,
The tender mother, mistress, friend, and wife;
Each character in soft gradations rise,
Swell to my heart, and burst their way in sighs!
Here, to thy urn for ever could I grow,
Enjoy my tears--sad luxury of woe!
A thousand soft sensations draw them forth,
Twine round my heart-strings, chain me down to earth!

Where'er I turn, thy image strikes my view,
Smiles in my face, as thou wert wont to do!
I trace thy active step, thy cheerful looks,
Hang o'er thy couch, and weep upon thy books;--


Page 6

These books, I trust, shall be my constant guide,
Press'd by thine hand in many a folded side!
O, my full heart!--here breath'd her daily prayer,
That Providence would make our paths his care!
Dim's the dear page, by frequent service torn;
And mark'd the leaf, by her lov'd fingers worn!
Yes, I will kiss them, fold them to my heart;
Dear precious treasures, never shall we part!
Can I forget the hours of anxious toil,
Wakeful, for me, thou'st watch'd the midnight oil!
Heedless of sleep, my little cries distress'd,
Laid on thine arm, and wrangling at thy breast;
Now rock'd, with gentlest motion, to and fro!
Now, cheek to cheek, thou'st strove to soothe my woe!
Ah! vain the wish these anxious cares to show;
None but a mother--mother's cares, can know,
Or duly rate the gratitude we owe!
No foster parent robb'd thee of thy spoils,--
My earliest love,--my first soft infant smiles;
My little arms were stretch'd for thy embrace,
And in thy bosom hid my playful face;
Around thy neck my little fingers clung,
Whilst thou, with fond delight, enamour'd hung;
My uplift eye, yet glist'ning with a tear,
Mark'd thy lov'd kiss, which banish'd every fear;
I felt thy arms enfold me to thy breast,
Then smiling, murmuring, gently sunk to rest.

Oh! thou from whom I learn'd unerring truth,
From dawning reason to maturer youth;


Page 7

With whom I pass'd whole years of fond delight,
Bask'd in thy sunshine,--gambol'd in thy sight;
In whom the parent held so mild a sway,
Taught what was right--'twas pleasure to obey:
Oh, if thy spirit now unites above
An angel's pity with a mother's love,
Still o'er my ways preserve thy mild controul,
Review, correct, and elevate my soul!
Grant me thy sweet serenity of mind,
Devout, yet cheerful--active, yet resign'd;
Subdue these struggles partial griefs present,
And grant me patience, mellow'd by content.

Ah, with such thoughts, with such a soothing scene,
Why should I droop, and sorrow intervene!
When active fancy takes her aerial flight,
Bursts from this world, to join the realms of light!
But ah, wound up too high, too keen I feel,
Nature clings round, and I am mortal still!

Oh, when shall I, from these keen feelings free,
Enjoy, dear saint, the precepts taught by thee;
When shall I see thee--see thee as thou art,
Without this aching anguish at my heart!
That time will come, with hope I'll humbly seek;
My faith is stedfast, though my nature's weak.


Page 8

CONSOLATORY VERSES

To Mrs. H*****, on the Death of her Infant Daughter .

AT length, sweet babe, her tortur'd frame's at rest;
Life's bands are loos'd, and she is with the bless'd!
No more shall pain thy prattler's limbs annoy,
Mounted on seraphs' wings to realms of joy.
Fain would I soothe thy woe, relieve thy pain,
And urge, thy loss is her transcendent gain:
Yet the fond mother cries, with actions wild,
Deaf to all comfort---- "Oh, my child!--my child!"
Busy reflection yet, with pointed dart,
Recalls each look to wound a mother's heart,
Smiles as her infant smil'd--her voice the same,
Thrills through her ears, and lisps a mother's name;
Clings round her neck--too poignantly displays
Her dear lost child, with all its winning ways.

"Ah! where's the bounding step, the laughing eye?--
"Pale thy dear lips, which wore the coral dye!
"Mute is that voice o'er which with joy I've hung,
"And stopp'd the honey'd prattle of thy tongue;
"Nipp'd are thy budding graces, in their prime,
"Like flowers in spring, cut off before their time!
"Oh, I must ever mourn my hopes beguil'd!
"Pride of my life--my child! my child! my child!"


Page 9

Ye soothing friends, ah, let her breathe her woes--
From griefs imparted, consolation flows.

Turn, gentle mourner; think, to thee 'tis given
To see thy first-born wear the crown of heaven.
See, through thy tears--tears will awhile remain;
For sighs and tears by nature spring from pain.
See, through the eye of faith, disrob'd of clay,
Thy babe a cherub, join'd eternal day:
A smiling seraph gain'd the heavenly road,
Chanting sweet hallelujahs to her God.
Would'st thou--if yet thou could'st, allure her down,
And rob the exulting angel of her crown?
Ah, no!--'tis anxious, trembling nature yearns--
The Christian yields her--but the mother mourns.

Could'st thou but see her, rob'd in spotless white,
How would her wondrous glories charm thy sight!
Then would she say--"Ah, weep for me no more;
"I am not lost--but gone awhile before;
"Absent, indeed, but we shall meet again
"In realms of bliss, 'midst yon celestial train!

"O, turn thy eyes from that distressing night,
"When death and anguish wrung me from thy sight!
"Soon as the soul was from this body driven,
"I did but close my eyes, and wak'd in heaven!

"Think what a blaze of glory round me smil'd;
"Myriads of angels met thy happy child;


Page 10

"Ten thousand gracious forms appear'd in view,
"Smil'd in my face, as thou wert wont to do:

"Deck'd me in heavenly robes, each bliss display'd,
"Whilst round my flaxen locks a rainbow play'd;
"Around my neck a golden harp they hung,
"And with sweet hallelujahs tun'd my tongue:

"A branch of palm my little fingers grasp'd,
"And oft, uplift with joy and wonder, clasp'd:
"With cherub's wing, upon a sunbeam's ray,
"O'er silver clouds I wing'd my glorious way!

"Ah, 'tis in vain, cloth'd as thou art with sense,
"To paint the wonders of Omnipotence!
"But thou wilt know, will unincumber'd see,
"When thou hast shot the gulf 'twixt me and thee.

"Then will I tune my harp, and meet my love,
"Who form'd my infant mind for joys above;
"I'll join thy mounting spirit, as it flies,
"And both together seek our native skies!"

"Yes, we shall meet, sweet love, and never part;
"I yet shall see thee, darling of my heart.
"Prostrate before thy throne, O Power divine!
"I'll kiss the rod, and patiently resign;
"Fully convinc'd, in trembling nature's spite,
"Whate'er thou dost, is just--is good--is right!"


Page 11

LINES Written to a Friend, at Midnight, watching the sick-bed of
an affectionate Sister.

HAST thou, dear Anna, watch'd the sickly bed,
And with thine arm soft-rear'd the drooping head?
Hast thou, with agonizing hope and fear,
Hung o'er the pillow of a friend that's dear?

Has thy heart sunk, to hear the faint reply,
To mark the fading cheek--the languid eye,--
The fluttering spirit starting with alarms,
And fainting breathless in thy trembling arms?

O, hast thou witness'd these!--thou'lt soon excuse
The inattention of Eliza's muse.

Has thine ear, wakeful, told the lonely hours,
From churchyard clock, through boisterous winds and showers--
The ticking watch, the distant dog at bay,
And, longing, look'd for lingering, cheering day?

Hast thou, on tiptoe, pac'd the dreary room,
Fearful thy breath should break the solemn gloom--
Dress'd thee in smiles--suppress'd thine inward grief,
With the sweet thought, thy presence gave relief?--


Page 12

And, O the joy! to mark the approving eye
Watch thy soft footstep, as thou glidest by--
The expressive look these subtle joys enhance,
And tenfold pay thee, with their grateful glance.

The hand, faint rais'd for thee in silent pray'r,
Its gentle pressure for thy tender care--
Sweet are the pains this speechless shew affords,
And more than thank thee--with ten thousand words.

For these the fragile frame nor feels fatigue,
The spirit buoyant, props the friendly league--
If languid self would raise a piteous plea,
Ah, has not Lucy watch'd and wak'd for me!

And lo, as sweet reward for all my pains,
To see life animate her azure veins,
Health's softest tint the pallid hue efface,
And dress, as wont, her sweetly smiling face.

To see mild rais'd her grateful eye above--
To hear her thank me, with unfeigned love!
These tender scenes can be but faintly guess'd
And felt too much, to clearly be express'd.

So some lov'd drooping plant, from winter's powers* ,
Borne in thine arms to warmer climes and bowers,


Page 13

Reviving, grateful for the transfer made,
Spreads all its leaves to form for thee a shade;
Breathes all its odours in a rich perfume,
Gives to thy bosom all its beauteous bloom,
Twines its soft tendrils, quickens every shoot,
And cheers thee with its sweetest, choicest fruit.

* Si un arbre avoit du sentiment, il se plairoit à voir celui qui le cultive se reposer sous son ombrage, respirer le parfum de ses fleurs, goûter la douceur de ses fruits. Marmontel.


Page 14

LINES

Written, on reading some affecting Verses, composed by the
Rev. Mr. N****n, on the first Anniversary of his beloved
Wife's Death, January, 1792.

HOW pure the love!--how sweet the powers
    That sung these pious strains;
Such music sooth'd her dying hours,
    And soften'd all her pains.

Fainting with languor from disease,
    How soft the silver tones,
That point the fluttering soul to peace,
    'Midst nature's restless groans!

That cheer with fond endearing care,
    That rears the drooping head;
And with a guardian angel's wing,
    Enfolds the sickly bed.

That see with too--too keen an eye,
    Life's sands more faintly run;
Yet, with submissive woe, can cry,
    "O Lord!--thy will be done."

A faith so firm!--a love so just!
    With purest incense burns;
And though the Christian yields the dust,
    The widow'd bosom mourns--


Page 15

Yet thou hast joy above the rest,
    Whilst bow'd beneath the rod;
Years of affection saw ye bless'd,
    She left thee--but for God!

Rest, then, a while; thy mission o'er,
    Thy zealous labours past;
She but awaits thee on that shore
    Where joys shall ever last.


Page 16

TO ELIZA. On reading her beautiful Stanzas in the Star of
February 27.

HARK ! hark! in whispering sighs around,
    What accents strike my ear!
Intent I list the plaintive sound,
    And, list'ning--drop a tear.

For thou, O Pity, didst inspire
    Each gentle thrilling note!
Bad'st glow, with thy celestial fire,
    Each line Eliza wrote.

Hush'd be the deep resounding floods,
    And hush'd each gentler rill,
Be hush'd, ye warblers of the woods,
    Ye rustling leaves, be still!

For hark! her heavenly voice again,
    Within the wounded breast
Of widow'd grief, beguiles each pain,
    And bids him yet be bless'd.

Delightful task! to wipe the tear
    That dims affliction's eye;
To lull to sleep each infant fear,
    And check the bursting sigh.


Page 17

How oft for such a task as this,
    Have angels quitted heaven;
And sure an angel's task it is,
    Since to Eliza given.

Pursue thy work, angelic fair,
    So shalt thou never feel
The iron hand of grim despair,
    Nor sorrow's rankling steel.

But dove-like peace for ever dwell
    Within thy hallow'd breast,
And hope in softest accents tell
    Thy soul to be at rest.

For ne'er before the King of kings
    Hath virtue knelt in vain;
This outstretch'd arm shall watch thee still,
    Thou ne'er shalt taste of pain.

And, life's tempestuous voyage o'er,
    Each threat'ning danger past,
Thrice bless'd, thou'lt reach that peaceful shore,
    Where joys shall ever last.

ALPHONZO.


Page 18

TO ALPHONZO.

    SOFT Pity hovers round the gentle heart
    Where purest love has claim'd an anxious part;
    Sweet emanation!--wreck of tenderer fires,
    Thou hallow'st every mind pure love inspires;

And though fond Hope has fled her halcyon nest,
Still clings Compassion round this mourning breast.


Page 19

TO ELIZA.

O FRAUGHT with nerves, acute to feel
The woes of others as thy own!
O prompt to soothe, if not to heal,
The heart where grief has fix'd her throne!
Who blunt'st the lifted, venom'd dart,
Which death has pointed 'gainst the heart,
By bidding gush the crimson life
Of some dear mistress--dearer wife;
Who bid'st the mists of sorrow fly,
Like clouds athwart the orient sky;
When, from his pure crystalline bed,
The sun uprears his blushing head,
And pours, in crimson tides of light,
A flood of glory on the sight:
Say, hast thou drank the bitter draught
By sorrow's deadly hand imbrued?
And hast thou felt the feathery shaft
Of writhing anguish--bath'd in blood?
Ah yes!--at sorrow's shrine thou'st knelt,
Her iron grasp severely felt:
Thou could'st not else have struck the lyre
With so much pathos, so much fire;
Thou could'st not else have led to start
The impassion'd tear, which speaks the melting heart:
Who best the flinty couch of anguish knows,
With pangs severest feels for others woes!


Page 20

But yet--ah, do not yet complain!
Still mingle comfort with thy cup of pain,
Since, "though fond Hope has fled her halcyon nest,
"Still clings Compassion round thy mourning breast."
For, oh how bless'd! who bounteous treads
Where want and pain unveil their heads,
Where black misfortune frowns despair,
To shed unhop'd for sunshine there.
His life shall glide like yon unruffled stream,
Whose clear expanse drinks evening's golden beam;
Embason'd deep within a copse of trees,
Its bosom kiss'd by no unhallow'd breeze:
Or, as some trav'ller, far from man's abode,
Toils slow and sad along the sleepy road;
If some smooth path he find, some gentle slope,
His heart within him bounds with eager hope;
O'erjoy'd, to view his journey near an end,
His eyes to heaven in silent praises bend.
So joyful he, whose hand allays the smart
That rankles deep within the wounded heart;
From guilty cares remote, from passion's strife,
Unruffled steers through all the storms of life;
While meek Religion, philanthropic power!
With works of mercy fills each vacant hour;
While Hope, pure planet, lends her living rays,
And lights him cheerful through the evening of his days.
At length, as nightly he was wont to steep
His drowzy senses in the arms of sleep--
So soft, so pleas'd, he'll close his eyes in death,
While hovering angels catch his parting breath!

ALPHONZO.


Page 21

LINES

Written on Ramsgate Pier, by Moonlight.
August
20, 1790.

OH , thou delusive deep, with woe replete,
Whose whiten'd wave steals breathless at my feet,
On dove-like pinions wafted to and fro,
Silent and soft as falls the feather'd snow.
Thou dread abyss! now dimpling with the beams
Of the pale moon, as sadly sweet she gleams.
All hail--hail, sorrow-soothing scene to me,
Whose soul is form'd for sympathy and thee!

Oh had I Fingal's harp, or Jubal's lyre--
Did Mara's tuneful notes my voice inspire--
Here, whilst the liquid lapse so gently flows,
And whilst the summer breeze so mildly blows--
Here would I pour such silver sounds along,
Sweet as their powers, and, as my wishes, strong.

See! from the verge of yon retiring wave,
A hapless wreck just warns you of its grave!
Deep bulg'd its heavy groans are heard no more,
The green surge ling'ring, hides the treach'rous shore;
The sigh of pitying zephyrs swells the breeze,
And heaves, with little sobs, the cruel seas;
The light surf melts in tears of fraudful guile,
Like the fam'd reptile of the dangerous Nile!


Page 22

But soft--what Ariel form attracts my sight,
Skims o'er the beech with looks of wild affright!
Frantic the phantom glares with fix'd despair,
Beats her sad breast, and, screaming, rends the air!

"Oh! my lost love--my plighted William--see
"Thy wretched Mary lost to hope and thee:
"Her shipwreck'd sense tempestuous haunts this coast,
"Where, with thy blooming honours, thou wert lost!--
"Ah luckless day!--how fearfully it sounds!--
"That saw thy gallant streamers in the Downs!
"The village maids, with fond officious care,
"Had wove the nuptial wreath to bind my hair;
"The kindly swains with haste the laurel chose,
"To greet my love, and grace his conquering brows:
"Soft gratulations 'rose the nymphs among,
"And Mary, happy Mary! form'd their song.
"Haste, haste, they cry'd, and seek the neighbouring sands--
"Perhaps e'en now thy anxious William lands.
"Swift as the bounding doe I flew to meet----
"And saw--too sure!--my lover at my feet!
"Saw his pale corse float on his wat'ry bier,
"Nor heav'd a sigh, nor dropp'd a pitying tear;
"The starting eyeball roll'd athwart the main,
"And instant phrenzy seiz'd my burning brain.

"See!--see!--again he's borne upon the wave--
"Oh, save him!--save him!--pitying angels! save!--


Page 23


"See! 'gainst the rocks his wounded corse is driven--
"He faints!--he dies!----Oh, mercy!--mercy!--Heaven!
"Hold, hold, my brain!--see!--see!--my love arise,
"And, soothing, points to yonder cloudless skies!
"Invites me to partake his blissful home--
"Shade of my breathless love!--I come--I come!"--

Thus melancholy, with her pallid hue,
Towers o'er the scene, and shades the glorious view;
Mournful, delights to picture deep distress,
And heave the sigh o'er murder'd happiness:
And lo, what sorrowing form, bedew'd in tears,
Faint through yon casement's glimmering ray appears!
See, a fond mother weep, with actions wild,
And watch the startlings of her restless child!
Sad recollection, with her sharpest dart,
Recalls each look to wound her anxious heart;
Smiles as her infant smil'd, its voice the same,
Thrills through her ears, and lisps a mother's name;
Clings round her neck, too poignantly displays
Her blooming boy, with all his winning ways!

"Ah, where's the sprightly look, the sparkling eye!
"Pale thy dear lips which wore the coral dye;
"Mute is thy voice o'er which with joy I've hung,
"And stopp'd the honey'd prattle of thy tongue;
"Nipp'd are thy budding graces in their prime,
"Like flowers in spring, cut off before their time--


Page 24

"Oh, must I ever mourn, my hopes beguil'd!
"Pride of my life--my child!--my child!--my child!"

Thus busy thought would eagerly display
Each chilling sound, without one cheering ray;
And thus hyp'd fancy rules the passive eye,
And turns a cloudless to a gloomy sky.

But shall ingratitude for blessings given
Close the bright scene?--forbid it, bounteous Heaven!
Whilst health-restoring gales refresh this coast,
She ought to chant them who has felt them most.

Turn then, thou piteous mourner! turn thine eyes
To fairer prospects, through these genial skies:
Bath'd in the briny flood, thy darling boy
Shall spring to life, to liberty, and joy;
Soft blooming health her rosy tints shall trace,
Laugh in his eyes, and glow his cherub face;
Sportive, the foaming billows he shall brave
Like the light cork that dances on the wave;
Thy outstretch'd arms his playful wiles shall meet,
And thy light heart bound with his nimble feet;
Each soothing plan for future years increase,
And all thy anguish'd soul be hush'd to peace.
But, hark! the clock slow sounding o'er the Pier,
Warns me to quit the humid atmosphere.

--Adieu! soft scenes, lov'd subject of my muse,
Which lead the mind to animate its views,


Page 25

With quick Promethean fire to warm the whole,
And give to imag'd thought a breathing soul;
Where, unrestrain'd, the social spirit's free,
And wooes the mind to sweet philanthropy.
Adieu, the varied scene, wide stretch'd along!
My morning theme shall join my evening song:
Light springing from the wave, thy views rejoin,
And with my pencil strive to make them--mine!


Page 26

TO THE LADY

Whose Lines, written on Ramsgate Pier, were inserted in
a former Star.

O, WHOSOE'ER thou art, whose moaning lay
Thus in soft numbers melts the soul away!
Whether from fancy'd ills your sorrows flow,
Or from the nobler source of others' woe;
Accept this tribute from a friend unknown,
Who makes your well sung sufferings all his own!

Ah, who shall listen to thy Mary's tale,
And not the maiden's hapless fate bewail!
Who the sad story of her William hear,
Without a sigh, or sympathizing tear!

In young affection's days, she saw, forlorn,
Her soul's best object from her bosom torn!
Returning--he, with noblest passions fir'd,
Just in the portal of his bliss expir'd!
The expecting bride beheld the dreadful scene!
Her shipwreck'd love!--the foaming gulf between!

O sad survivor of thy lover's doom!
If yet, for grief, this earth affords thee room,
Soon may thy unavailing sorrows cease,
And all thy woes be lull'd in endless peace!


Page 27

And thou, dear warbler of the plaintive strain,
Sweetest and best of all the muse's train!
Never, oh never may thy bosom prove
The silent pangs of disappointed love!
But O, while care and fruitless hope are mine,
Be health, and each congenial blessing, thine!

HENRY.


Page 28

TO THE AUTHOR

of Lines written on Ramsgate Pier by Moonlight.

PEACEFUL , fair mourner, be thy future days;
Nor tun'd to melancholy be thy lays:
Remember, that the havock of a storm,
The rage of elements, and every form
Of dire calamity afflicting man,
Is but a portion small of one great plan.

When clear the atmosphere, and bright the sun--
When pure as light the dimpled currents run--
When free from clouds the blue arch'd sky appears,
And feather'd songsters' notes rejoice our ears,
Weak man is apt to think--had he the sway--
Time should run on the same from day to day:
But from experience reasoning, we know,
The vivifying streams would cease to flow;
The creatures then for food would search in vain,
For waving corn no more would grace the plain;
Contagious maladies the air would fill,
As if Pandora's box were opening still
To pour forth maladies, destructive more,
Tenfold, than those she let escape before:
But nature cannot bear the fev'rish pain;
Her boist'rous efforts quickly change the scene;


Page 29

Contending elements boil up--despise controul,
And to just equilibrium bring the whole;
From each part taking that which it can spare;
To each assigning its own proper share:
Thus health and life restoring to each part,
New scenes preparing to make glad the heart.

Shall man repine, because he has not power
To stop the course of nature for an hour?
Shall partial evils, needful to this plan,
Give pain to innocence, or kill the peace of man?

Thus Reason speaks--but Sorrow hates controul,
And soothing melancholy melts the soul,
In sympathizing numbers to confess,
That even in honest grief, there's happiness--
A happiness, but only known to those
Whose souls are form'd to feel another's woes.

LEANDER.


Page 30

VERSES Addressed to the Author of the Lines written on Ramsgate
Pier, by Moonlight.

WHEN Sappho turn'd the amorous lay,
The melting soul was charm'd away;
Virtue lay vanquish'd by desire,
And all the bosom was on fire.

But thine the muse's nobler art,
To raise the genius, mend the heart;
The purest feelings in thy lay,
With brighter fancy join'd, display;

Bid nature's scenes pourtray'd appear,
And wake impassion'd Pity's tear;
All, all confess, who read thy line,
That Sappho's muse must yield to thine.


Page 31

ABSENCE.

A PASTORAL. Found wrapped round a Posy of wild Flowers; supposed to
have fallen from the Bosom of hapless Mary.

COME , sweetest flowers! and grace my lonely cot;
    Droop not your beauteous heads, dispel your fears;
Where'er ye go, I'll nurture well the spot,
    Warm ye with sighs, and moisten ye with tears!

Here, on this mossy bank, within this grove,
    The kindest youth, my gentle William, came:
Here breath'd, in softest sounds, his infant love,
    And carv'd with true-love knots his Mary's name!

At eve, returning through this flowery dale,
    He cull'd your balmy sweets with choicest care;
Then, at the stream that glides by yonder vale,
    He deck'd the artless ringlets of my hair.

Each vernal sweet exhales the same perfume,
    And buds, unconscious of this rising sigh;
The hawthorn bush is just as gay in bloom,
    The same dear place!--but ah, how chang'd am I!


Page 32

Blithe as the lark, I rose at early dawn,
    And caroll'd as I tripp'd, with mirth replete,
Swift as the doe that scours yon velvet lawn,
    My light heart bounding with my nimble feet.

But now--I rise oppress'd from restless sleep,
    All heavy, as a pond'rous weight, my heart!
The daisied mead I wander o'er, and weep;
    And in the jocund dance can take no part.

Yet still I court the sadly mournful scene,
    And trace his lov'd idea in this wood;
I think--'twas here so oft we've happy been;
    Here 'twas we sat, and there my William stood!

And these the haunts my village youth approv'd:
    And these such flowers he to my bosom tied!
And these the well known paths we oft have rov'd,
    And hail'd the moon-beam by the ocean's side!

Ah me, these hours I still remember well!--
    How swift all seasons flew when I was gay:
But, chang'd the scene, December seems to dwell
    'Mid all the fragrance of refulgent May!

'Tis not a place, or view, can peace impart,
    Though form'd by nature exquisite to please;
The eye shrinks back, and waits upon the heart,
    Nor looks abroad--unless the mind's at ease.


Page 33

Can I forget, at silv'ry twilight's dawn,
    His dulcet notes slow breathing o'er the mead;
Or yet my lute, soft trilling o'er the lawn,
    Responsive answering to his oaten reed?

White as the new shorn flock, or thistle's crown,
    The fav'rite dress I us'd for him to wear--
Blue as the bell my streamers hung adown,
    Expecting William for the dance or fair.

But now!--his fav'rite gown, and ribbons blue,
    Deep in my beechen chest neglected lie;
My Sunday's geer, so neat, so spruce, so new,
    I care not for--so very sad am I!

Ah, can lorn Mary deck herself in these!
    Her wish to shine has with her William fled:
He's far, far off whom she desires to please!
    And all her little vanity is dead.

One only soothing act her heart can prove--
    'Tis, morn and eve, an anxious view to take,
To gaze o'er all his pretty gifts of love,
    Bathe them with tears, and kiss them for his sake!

This little box, preserv'd with miser's care,
    Contains the charms that keep life still awake:
I cannot gaze and cherish wan despair,
    Though, while I gaze, my heart seems fit to break!


Page 34

The posy'd ring, my silken garters gay;
    All these, and more, the gifts of early days,
Within this box the much-lov'd relics stay,
    And many a rhyme wrote in his Mary's praise!

And here's the silver bit that bears his name!
    Another pledge of constancy and truth;
And, shall I not return so bright a flame.
    Whate'er thy fate, dear, lov'd, unhappy youth!

My posy'd ring--"I'll ever constant be!"
    My motto'd garters--"I will never range!"
Yes, William, yes! and true I'll prove to thee,
    I like my choice--as thou--too well to change!

If thou return'st in peace from war's alarms,
    I'll once more join the dance, the wake, the fair;
If Heaven has snatch'd thee from these faithful arms,
    I too can die!--I'll pine, and meet thee there!


Page 35

SONNET.  TO ELIZA.

Occasioned by reading Absence, a Pastoral, inserted in the
Star, December
4.

AH , dear Eliza! in lorn Mary's woes,
    Too well thy own sad story I divine;
Whoe'er her William--Heaven only knows--
    But Mary's truth and constancy are thine!

Ah, who, like thee, can paint each tender scene,
    Where mutual flames in kindred bosoms burn!
Who tell, like thee, the anxious sighs between
    The parting tear, and long, long wish'd return!

Pure as the blush unconscious of desire;
    Mild as the joys which holy men extol;
Sad as the dying swan,--thy strains inspire,
    With more than common sympathy, the soul.

Peace to thy breast! and, O may never care,
Or aught but bliss, have room to harbour there!

HENRY.


Page 36

TO ELIZA.

BUT little us'd to strike the trembling lyre,
Your powerful notes Leander's muse inspire:
No pen like thine can touch the melting strain,
And, sweetly warbling, in such notes complain.

Mary and William's fate first mov'd my lay--
Your little Pastoral--what shall I say?
My soul in sympathy partakes your woe,
And tears spontaneous as your numbers flow--
Feign'd griefs, wrought up with skill, may give some smart--
But real sorrows agonize my heart.

Cynics may laugh, so may the Stoic school,
And measure out my folly by their rule;
Their callous souls, to tenderness unknown,
No ills can feel but those which are their own:
Kind sympathy by them is laugh'd to scorn--
But in each manly heart that virtue's born:
And different souls, in sympathetic tone,
Will feel as if the two were only one:
Like music strings in unison dispos'd,
When one is struck, before the sound be clos'd,
Vibrations animate the other string,
And notes respondent to the first one bring.


Page 37

When griefs like thine, the mourning lays inspire,
The muse pours forth her plaint in native fire;
No room for trifling ornament is found,
Or sense e'er sacrific'd to rhyming sound.

Soft thrilling through my soul, your woe-fraught tale
Arrests my blood--oft makes my cheeks turn pale.
Could I, with art celestial, give relief,
Or pour the balm of comfort o'er your grief--
Could tears mix'd deep with thine assuage your woe,
To heal these wounds what would I not forego?
For truth, with power majestic, marks your line,
And proves how deep their fate was link'd with thine.

LEANDER.


Page 38

TO LEANDER.

TO give such anguish to the feeling hearts,
    To probe the gen'rous mind with tort'ring pain--
Are these the hests Eliza's muse imparts,
    To those who fondly listen to her strain?

Ah, change thy theme, and court the Cynic's school,
    With Stoic apathy the soul set free;
Deal out the steady mind by measur'd rule,
    And leave the trembling nerve to grief--and me;

* For ease, nor peace, that flutt'ring breast can know,
    Which like the attracted needle, pointing true,
Turns at the slightest touch of joy or woe,
    And, as it turns, must, shudd'ring, tremble too.

Then arm thy soul with philosophic lore,
    And steel thy breast with adamantine art;
So shalt thou shun a world of pain in store,
    And 'scape the woes that wring--sad Mary's heart!

* See Mrs. Grevill's Ode to Indifference.


Page 39

TO HENRY.

WHAT silver sounds, melodious, meet my ear,
    And mourn responsive on the sighing gale,
Dropping, so sweetly sad, the pitying tear
    O'er the soft sorrows of a recent tale!

Ah me, no fancy'd woes I held to view!
    The woe-fraught scene is prattled round the coast;
Too true, alas! and pity 'tis, 'tis true--
    William and Mary were together lost!

Nay, start not, Henry! for 'twas half conceal'd,
    The simple facts, too copious for my line;
Listen!--ah list!--the rest shall be reveal'd--
    Thou wilt not grudge to mingle tears with mine.

O it will cost me many a pang, I ween!
    To trace their infant loves, each childish joy,
When little Mary gamboll'd o'er the green
    With her lov'd William, then a fair hair'd boy.

Fresh, like the rosy morn, his cherub face,
    And, like the berry, dark his laughing eyes;
And Mary's too, beam'd sweet with kindred grace,
    The soft mild blue that paints the azure skies.


Page 40

Oft hand in hand they rambled o'er the plain,
    And fill'd their little laps with store of flowers!
And oft pursu'd the gilded fly in vain--
    These were the pastimes of their earliest hours.

But war's shrill clarion rouz'd the youth to arms!--
    To gain for Mary wealth and fair renown,
Sighing he tore him from her blooming charms,
    And left her weeping, joyless, and forlorn.

Full oft retiring from the noisy throng,
    To hide from vulgar eyes the struggling tear,
He breath'd his constant vows in artless song,
    And pour'd the trembling numbers on her ear.

So the lorn bird, within the grove retir'd,
    Trills her sweet notes, the thorn within her breast:
So sings the swan, her dying notes admir'd,
    Her own sad requiem to eternal rest.

"Mary, dear maid, though ocean rolls between,
    "And far, far off, is white-cliff'd Albion's shore,
"Some sweet remark of thine illumes each scene,
    "Thy image breathes in every opening flower:

"In the carnation, rich with coral glow,
    "The milder rose-bud, and the jess'mine fair,
"Thy lip, thy modest blush, thy skin of snow,
    "And, in the almond brown, thy glossy hair:


Page 41

"If the tall palm-tree bows beneath the breeze,
    "Thy easy shape waves graceful in my view;
"If the sweet blue-bell glistens through the trees,
    "'Tis Mary's eye, impearl'd with pity's dew!"

Thus would he sing, till years of tedious toll
    Sweet competency's meed had well acquir'd;
He came full laden with the spoiler's spoil,
    And, just in view of happiness--expir'd!

Ah, what remains to close the dire affair?
    Or who can paint the maiden as she stood!
Clasping her hands, and frantic with despair,
    She plung'd, impetuous, in the raging flood!

Ah, hapless lovers!--dear, presumptuous maid!
    There may thy woes, thy cruel sorrows, cease--
Fruitless, alas, is now all human aid,
    The hand which bruis'd, can only give thee peace.


Page 42

TO ELIZA.

YES , for thine own and gentlest pity's sake,
    Sad and responsive shall my sorrows be,
For Mary's woes, these eyes shall weep and wake;
    And this true heart shall fondly sigh for thee!

O, were e'en William's sufferings wholly mine,
So I could find his Mary's love in thine!

HENRY.


Page 43

ODE TO HEALTH.

Written by ill-fated William, on recovery from illness; and
found in Mary's Box of little hoarded Treasures.

HAIL , beauteous goddess of the jocund train!
If humble bard may strew thy fane with flowers,
Divine Hygeia! listen to my lays,
        While, with my first warm breath,
        I celebrate thy praise!

O thou, with roseate hue, and sparkling eye,
With bounding footstep, and with blithsome mien,
Yclep'd gay Health! accept thy vot'ry's pray'r,
        And with this garland bind
        Thy flowing auburn hair.

Whether adown, amid, around I gaze,
Thy influence gilds the variegated scene--
Beams through the wild thyme--sports along the glade--
        And in yon peasant's song,
        That sprightly cadence made.

Ah, how I've gaz'd upon his infant race!
Admir'd thy riot upon their vermil lip;
Hung o'er their playful gambols, void of guile,


Page 44

        And trac'd thy rosy glow
        In every dimpling smile!

Glides not the bubbling current through yon vale--
Blooms not a blossom on the mountain's brow--
Breathes not a perfume of the genial spring--
        But to my view, or health
        Or sweet instruction bring.

Ye healthful few, who never felt a pang--
Who vegetate through life in calm retreat;
Ye lose my joys--to you my song is vain:
        --He tastes not bliss complete
        Who never felt a pain!

Ah, had ye prov'd, like me, the burning pulse!
The tortur'd head, weigh'd down! the labour'd sigh!
Thy love's sweet image shrinking from thine eye!
Then gasp'd and rav'd for one--one last adieu,
To burst these horrors!--live for her ador'd!--
        These--these are transports strong,
        And only transports true!

Hail, joys resum'd!--life's sweet complacencies,
All hail!--I wake to life, to liberty, and love!--
Hail, animating Hope! on downy wing,
        Bid Echo catch the sounds,
        And Io Pæans sing!

Thee, Mary, thee, dear sympathizing maid,


Page 45

With gratulation soft wilt join my song,
Thy dulcet notes shall soothe each late alarm,
        And give returning life
        Its first, its sweetest charm!

Ah, wert thou here with thy enlighten'd mind,
Thy warbling lute attun'd to choral lays!
Here would'st thou trill thy silver notes along,
        Instructive, pure, and soft,
        As tuneful seraph's song.

Whate'er of good informs my nobler sense,
Whate'er refinements harmonize my soul,
Thy converse sweet with magic charm convey'd,
        And my young thoughtful mind
        Thy willing captive made.

O, is it given to breathe how much I love!
To press thy picture to my bounding heart;
To chide the lazy hours that linger on;
        And kiss the loveliest eyes
        That e'er with pity shone!

Teach me to emulate Tibullus strong,
As Petrarch soft, when Laura was his theme!
Then would I breathe such animated lays,
        That, Orpheus-like, I'd make
        E'en rocks to chant thy praise.

Vain--vain the wish! my fluttering spirits fail,


Page 46

Wound up too high, they tremble, near the goal!
Language would fail to speak thy beauteous mind!
        'Tis admiration strong
        That cannot be defin'd!


Page 47

TO ELIZA.

TO every gem that decks the mind,
    She joins the art to please;
A native sweetness, unreserv'd,
    Gives dignity to ease.

From every page that boasts a name,
    She culls each opening flow'r,
And reigns alone the Queen of Love,
    Unconscious of her pow'r.

And, fair Eliza! may'st thou reign
    Unrivall'd to the end:
Be bless'd in all thy soul holds dear,
    And all that Heav'n can send!

HENRY.


Page 48

TO HENRY.

IF , like a gem, to Henry's eye
    Eliza's mind appears,
The diamond's ray we ne'er discern
    To glisten--but in tears!

For, ah! where'er one radiant gem
    Illumes the feeling breast,
Sad sensibility entwines,
    And robs that heart of rest!

Would Henry's muse, to grace my brow,
    Her chaplets gay compose?
Ah, from the past, Eliza dreads
    A thorn in every rose!

For late, amid the fondest scenes
    Which fancy ever drew,
Where I had cull'd the sweetest flow'r,
    The rankling thistle grew!

Pleas'd with the wreath, like sportive lamb
    Which priests for shew adorn,
My unsuspecting breast, alas!
    Was agoniz'd and torn!


Page 49

Fearful of love, from Scylla's rock
    With cautious sail I bore!
Nor saw Charybdis, ere ingulf'd
    'Mid friendship's dangerous lore!

But let me wave my partial woe,
    And still for Mary weep!
--So the lull'd infant soothes its grief,
    And, moaning, drops asleep.


Page 50

SUMMER.

A SOLILOQUY BY MOONLIGHT. The last written by hapless Mary to her unfortunate
Lover before the Shipwreck.

LAST night, as wont, I took my ev'ning stand,
My thoughtful head reclin'd upon my hand,
Pensive I lean'd--my casement open stood,
And dim, at distance, rose thy fav'rite wood;
Mild Cynthia's beams play'd quivering o'er my face,
And silv'ry gleam'd o'er forest, tow'r, and space.
Soft soothing light, that modest evening brings,
Which shadowy sets off the face of things!
To thee, lov'd orb! lone hour! sad Mary steals,
And the enanguish'd tear denotes how much she feels!

Whether yon glorious lamp in space immense,
Or this late hour, more keen, assaults the sense--
Whether 'tis meditation's power in various ways,
Freights the lorn mind, and points the tearful gaze,
Thought after thought, like mounting billows rise,
Swell to my heart, and burst their way in sighs;
Transfix'd, awhile for words I vainly seek,
My heart so full--I would, but cannot speak!

William,--lov'd sound!--there lurks the latent theme,
My mid-day thoughts, sad fancy's nightly dream--


Page 51

Where is the scene that thou art not in force?
Or where's the joy that thou art not the source?
Where points the thought that thou art not the soul?
The first dear cause that actuates the whole!
What is my wish, when these pure scenes I see,
But that my William now partook with me!
Were he but here, reclining by my side,
Viewing this beauteous night in all its pride,
How would our kindred souls, delighted, trace
Each soften'd charm that now adorns this place!
Ah, with what eloquence would he explain
The destin'd movements of yon starry train!
Oft has he led my thoughts with sweet surprise,
From earth to stars!--from stars beyond the skies!

'Twas erst, as now, when kindly suns and showers
Gently drew forth the sweetly timid flowers,
The blushing rose from out its mossy bed,
And rear'd the lily's modest drooping head;
When ev'ry brake our wrapp'd attention meets,
And hill and dale, a wilderness of sweets;
The neighbouring windmill, clacking with the breeze,
The light-wing'd zephyrs whispering through the trees;
The purry note, from pools athwart the plain,
Perhaps the love-songs of the speckled train;
The sheep-bell tinkling 'midst yon harmless flock,
The watch-dog's bark, the deep-ton'd village clock;
These scenes did once the liveliest joys impart;
But what are prospects to an aching heart!


Page 52

When, at mild eve, I've rested on his arm,
How did his hints my inquiring spirit charm!
Yon silver moon, whose sweet unconscious ray
Lights my poor wanderer o'er his wat'ry way,
Oft hath thy beams, by yonder winding stream,
Improv'd our walk, thy source our grateful theme!

O, he wou'd talk!--how often have I hung,
Hush'd as this night, o'er his instructive tongue--
Oft would he say, "Observe, my gentle love,
"These beauteous flowers--that pure expanse above,
"Who breath'd their balmy sweets, their various hue!
"Who cloth'd yon arch with soft celestial blue!
"Whence swarms with life this clear enamell'd stream!
"All, all pourtray one bounteous Power supreme!
"Yes, Mary, yes--this thought inspires my mind,
"When my rack'd soul presents thee left behind!
"That bounteous Power, who over all things reigns,
"Who o'er this globe such harmony maintains,
"That tun'd thy soul in unison with mine,
"Who stamp'd thy William's love for ever thine,
"He will protect, will shield me from despair,
"And in due time restore me to thy pray'r:
"Oh, let me kiss away these precious tears!
"Strengthen thy hopes, and banish all thy fears!
"Raise thy soft eyes, thou'rt William's joy, his pride--
"His mind's sweet hope--his honour's destin'd bride!
"Fix them, my life, on yon bless'd Power above,
"Whose works breathe peace, benevolence, and love!


Page 53

"He,--He will shield thy love 'midst war's alarms,
"And give my weeping Mary to my arms!"

Yes, I will hope--hope through these gushing tears--
Bear with me, William!--with these woman's fears!
This anguish'd softness will my thoughts controul,
Spite of thy words, unnerve my very soul;
O, I'm unequal to thy godlike mind,
Bravest of men! tenderest of human kind!
Thy noble soul a counterpart shou'd find--
Dauntless, though tender--ardent, yet resign'd!
But I,--so tortur'd is my woman's heart,
Could basely lure thee back, by woman's art!
Steal on thy mind, by each endearing name
That weeping love cou'd urge, or anguish frame!
Twine round thy heart-strings, take thee by surprise,
And damp the hero through my streaming eyes!
Lift my imploring hands, with piteous clasp,
And bar thy passage with their trembling grasp!
Cling to thy bosom, hide me in thy arms,
And, weeping, tell thee, peace hath many charms!
Plead in such terms, thy tenderness to move,
And blight thy laurels with my selfish love!
Ah, fly me, William! heed not, come not near,
I shou'd not, ought not, must not wish thee here!
Spite of what's right, with agony I mourn,
And my torn soul cries--O! return! return!

O, durst I own the conflicts I sustain,
When my forc'd pen maintains a diff'rent strain;


Page 54

How hard the task, where nature has no part,
T' assume the heroine with a coward's heart!
Strain'd is the style, and metaphor abounds,
When anguish'd love is crush'd by pompous sounds!

Since, then, I shou'd not say how much I mourn,
Or urge my heart's first wish--return!--return!
Since I have try'd, and find it is in vain,
When the mind's rack'd, to adopt a cheerful strain;
Farewel,--Why should I put thy generous breast to pain,
For, O,--I cannot, cannot say--remain!

Hark! 'tis the deep-ton'd clock through yonder brake--
Here only I--and sorrow--are awake;
I go to breathe my morn, my evening pray'r,
That Providence may make thy paths his care;
Direct, dispense, and hover round thy head;
And, round thy brows, unfading laurels spread!
Give thee but once to quit that hostile shore,
And never--never shalt thou join it more!


Page 55

TO ELIZA.

SMIT with the love of song, and charm'd with thine,
Fair favour'd vot'ress of the tuneful Nine,
Where blended sense and harmony appear,
Engage the reason, and delight the ear;
Where, with soft numbers, gentlest thoughts unite,
Prompt to applaud, and animate to write,
Speak and adorn the mind from whence they sprung,
Breathe through the verse, or warble on the tongue--
My muse impatient hastes her voice to raise,
And what she marks with pleasure, owns with praise:
But say, much gifted fair, must man submit
At once the palm of tenderness and wit?
Let me, if this be fate, the victor greet,
And lay the sex's laurel at thy feet;
Yet anxious still to combat the decree,
And share some honours with thy muse and thee,
Let me, in verse poetic claims forego,
And boast of numbers, useless as they flow;
As hosts, though vanquish'd, oft their arms retain,
Shut from the captur'd fort, or luckless plain.

ANONYMOUS.


Page 56

LINES TO WILLIAM, BY MARY,

With her Miniature Picture, on a report of War in India:
and taken from the lifeless bosom of her unfortunate
Lover, when thrown on shore after the Shipwreck.

GO , poor inanimate, unconscious shade,
Thou faint cold image of a wretched maid--
Go, cross the seas, and, if thou can'st disclose
The thousand dreads that rob me of repose;
Go senseless picture, seek my soldier's breast,
Hang round his neck, and soothe his cares to rest:
Amid the din of arms, the warrior's strife,
Cling to his bosom, guard my William's life!
Repel the leaden death, th' envenom'd dart,
And, in my stead, O shield his dauntless heart!
Fix'd and resolv'd, look dangers in the face,
Well as thou can'st, supply sad Mary's place;
Disclose thyself, if press'd on by the foe,
And shriek, 'tis I!--a woman, wards the blow!

Ye vernal breezes, fill the swelling sail,
Unfold your golden wings, and fan the gale;
Ye winds, ye waves, in pity waft it o'er,
Ah, bear it swift to India's hostile shore.
Then could'st thou view him, or these eyes but see
The fond, the tender looks he'll cast on thee!
O, hadst thou ears to hear my William speak,
How wou'd that blooming tint forsake thy cheek;


Page 57

Faint with surprise, pale with convulsive start,
The flutt'ring spirit bounding round the heart;
How wou'd all form , all studied speeches fly!
And the wild joy gush from thy lifeless eye!
Be mute, my pen; it never could reveal,
In such a case, how thou would'st look--how feel--
Far less how I, who joys to pain refine,
Bliss turns to anguish, passing such a line--
Far less how I shou'd look on his return,
Who days --weeks --months --nay, years of absence mourn!

Take then, my William, take this at my hands,
The boon thy much-lov'd tenderness demands;
Guide it, propitious gales, from dangers free,
'Tis the last sight, perhaps, he'll have of me!

Thus lost almost to hope, is't just for thee,
Too tranquil shade, to picture wretched me!
To own those locks--the painter's studied care--
Where curls, in silken waves, lorn Mary's hair:
Where love's own roses twine with softest art,
Nor shew the thorn which rankles in her heart.
Ah! can I--ought I, such deceit maintain,
When I have such delirium in my brain!
Go, spectre, go!--if right thou would'st advise,
Go, shew this fading cheek--these surcharg'd eyes!
Tell him, for him all ornaments I've scorn'd,
Wild to the winds my hair, and unadorn'd;
O, tell him--if his Mary he wou'd view,
She's the pale primrose, bath'd with early dew!


Page 58

But soft awhile--be still, my trembling hand--
Peace, smiling cherub, hovers o'er this land;
Ah, stretch thy downy wings, remove the bar,
And chain Bellona's raging dogs of war----
Extend thy influence wide o'er earth and sea,
Or peace, so long'd for, is no peace for me.

Then we may meet, and never, never part;
Thou yet may'st fold me, weeping, to thy heart;
Yes--we shall meet, thou'lt banish all these fears,
We shall be sweetly eloquent--in tears;
Heaven will restore, will shield thee from above,
And bless thee with the bliss of mutual love!


Page 59

TO ELIZA,

On reading her beautiful Lines.

SAY , favour'd of the tuneful Nine,
    Where hast thou stole such heavenly strains,
To sing, with energy divine,
    Love's fleeting joys, its lasting pains?

To touch with skill each gentle chord
    That vibrates through the feeling heart;
To give to pity its reward,
    Sweet sensibility its soothing smart.

For hapless William's much lamented fate,
    Each sympathetic breast will heave a sigh;
But when you Mary's poignant woes relate,
    E'en tears would trickle from a Stoic's eye.--

To me, the child of sorrow, doom'd to woe,
    'Tis given to feel thy captivating verse,
The sharpest pangs of adverse fate to know,
    And sing a requiem o'er each parent's hearse.

From thy seraphic notes the mildest ray
    Of meek ey'd resignation calms the breast;
Swells with its influence each responsive lay,
    And yields to sorrow, momentary rest--


Page 60

But, if this well-sung energetic woe
    Should draw its sources from thy wounded breast;
From some congenial mind may comfort flow,
    To lull each retrospective grief to rest.

MARIA.


Page 61

LINES

Sketched in a Pleasure Boat, sailing on the Kentish coast
from Ramsgate Pier.

WITH sportive breeze our vessel sails away,
Mild rolls the sea and cloudless breaks the day,
The pure transparent glitt'ring ocean's seen,
Heaving with golden waves and shades of green;
Sweet rainbow tints reflected by the sun,
Iris with light and vivid touch laid on.
Here whilst the astonish'd mind inquiring clings,
She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her wings;
Ah, with what bounding joy from crowds I flee,
To muse, to gaze,--to meditate on thee.

Ye green-hair'd syrens of the mighty floods,
Nymphs of the coral caves, and sylvan woods;
Ye rocks terrific, on whose shaggy brows
Apollo's dulcet harp did once repose,
Ah, cou'd I steal the soul-dissolving lyre;
Ah, cou'd I catch a spark of heavenly fire!
Here humbly gliding at thy feet reclin'd,
Here, as I longing, lingering look behind,
Here wou'd I range 'midst fancy's lov'd controul,
And give to breathing thought my active soul;
Whilst echo winding through her mazy bounds,
Gives to the whispering winds the plaintive sounds.


Page 62

Ye moss-grown towers, whose ruins intervene,
Fade on the cliff, and picturize the scene,
Where many a mouldering pile with sculpture rare,
Here wastes its grandeur in the desert air;
For now oblivion low'ring lurks before,
And shades with dusky wing the inscriptiv'd door!
Where many a breast glow'd with his country's fire,
Or pois'd the lance, or swept the sounding lyre,
Alas! inurn'd with thee their trackless lot;
The world forgetting--by the world forgot.--

And see, the rural village gleams to view,
Faint through yon churchyard's range of solemn yew,
Who lingering rests not--resting, not admires
The Gothic church and heaven directed spires;
The tott'ring ivy'd steeple rear'd on high,
The moss-grown cliff, the ocean rolling by?
Who sweetly wand'ring by these beauteous views,
Stops not to mark the sod, and humble muse?
I love to rest me on the grass green turf,
Read nature's page, and watch the waving surf.----

But soft,--what little group, bedew'd in tears,
Strewing fair flowers round yonder grave appears?
Ah me, the village youth some friend deplore,
Some pretty flow'ret blighted on their shore.

Beneath a shadowy cypress, half conceal'd,
A milk-white urn the whispering winds reveal'd,


Page 63

Around the turfy steps in slopes arose,
And gave to view, the history of their woes!--


EPITAPH.

HERE , safe from storms, from shipwrecks, and despair,
Rest in one grave a gentle generous pair;
Lovely in life, they were the village pride,
Belov'd, bewail'd, and death did not divide!
William, too vent'rous William of the dale,
And beauteous Mary--lily of the vale.
Reader, should curious pity heave thy breast,
The village maids will, weeping, tell the rest.


Page 64

TO A LADY,

With a Calendar for the New Year.

ACCEPT , Eliza, from a friend sincere,
This little record of the infant year;
And with it take, in unaffected lays,
The purest incense which the muse can raise.

O, dearest maid, with each revolving year,
May'st thou in renovating charms appear;
Bless'd in thy friendships, happy in thy love,
Ne'er may thy breast one anxious minute prove!
But, O, may laughing hours unclouded bring
Unfading summer! universal spring!
And when, at last, life's evening shall decay,
May'st thou arise to never-ending day.

And wheresoe'er I bend my weary way,
In fancy'd sweetness thou shalt journey too;
Thy imag'd smiles will cheer my steps by day,
And soothe, each morn, the cares I must renew!

Shou'd barbarous man assault me as I go,
Or wou'd the wanton lure me to remain,
Thy anxious pray'rs will shield me from the foe--
One thought of thee will break Calypso's chain!


Page 65

Where'er, at night, these longing eyes may close,
    To thy fond arms this kindred soul shall flee;
In dreams of bliss forget contending woes,
    Or pencil scenes of happiness for thee!

But, in despite of all thy cares and mine,
    Shou'd sad fatality my steps arrest,
To bleak misfortune all thy hopes consign,
    And lay the wanderer low, with grief oppress'd--

O, ne'er may love, nor friendship's sacred glow,
    To thee again the source of sorrow be!
O never, never may that rose-bud blow,
    Which hides the dark insidious thorn for thee!

HENRY.


Page 66

TO HENRY.

TO thee, though last not least in our esteem,
The muse to whom I dedicate my theme,
To Henry's muse, nor loath devote the hour,
How oft for me she's cull'd the fairest flower,
Has strew'd the path my timid feet would tread,
And wove the freshest wreath to bind my head;
Her pretty gift my grateful thanks demand--
"Receive this present by a muse's hand."
Yes, I will keep it,--keep it as thou'dst choose,
The first fair offering to a sister muse!
And she will tell thee, Henry,--tell thee true,
These artless lines, thy little pencil drew;
It wiles away full oft a thoughtful hour,
And strives to soothe, with all its little power.

So some kind spirit, hovering round unseen,
If we believe fam'd Spencer's Fairy Queen;
Watches each movement, soothes us in distress,
And often cheers with dreams of happiness;
Fashions her gifts to ease the present task,
And cheerful gives us more than we would ask.


Page 67

LINES

On a Father's Miniature.

O, I could gaze for ever on this face!
Dwell on that look, and hang o'er every grace,
Till my swoln eyes, unable to explore,
Shrink from the view, and ache at every pore!

Yet ah! how vain thy pencil, to impart
The lively glow which warm'd his bounteous heart;
Though strong the likeness, attitude, and dress,
My throbbing heart, and streaming eyes confess:
Yet should each artist as one man combine,
Did all who ever drew, or breath'd a line,
Could I, in loftiest strains his praise rehearse,
Did flowing numbers deck my humble verse;
Nor I, nor they, nor thou, could ever trace
The smile benign that form'd that gracious face!--
How then attempt the beauties of his mind,
The greatest,--humblest,--best of human kind!

Since then no art can make thy worth appear,
And all my eloquence, is but a tear,
Come thou, dear shade, and let me fondly gaze,
With mute attention, and with fix'd amaze;
Come sweet resemblance, all that can be given,
Of the dear saint triumphant now in heaven


Page 68

Come thou, sad substitute of him we mourn,
Though gushing tears bedew his sacred urn;
Time, precious trust, with guardian care I'll prize,
Till I rejoin my father in the skies.


Page 69

IMPROMPTU.

On Reading the Tragedy of Sir Thomas More to some
Friends, who were all in tears.  December,
1794.

SO have I seen, extracting sweets
    Amid the blooming trees,
Humming with exquisite delight,
    The little busy bees.

Deep from the foldings of each leaf
    They draw the honey'd store,
Then lingering, loitering, as they sipp'd,
    They oft re-wander'd o'er.

Still hov'ring round the fragrant spot,
    In clust'ring throngs they crowd;
In broken murmurs buz applause
    For every sweet allow'd.

But as no rose without a thorn,
    No sweet without alloy;
So sensibility indulg'd,
    Will peace of mind destroy.

Yet the poor bees, entranc'd awhile
    'Midst nature's purest flowers,
Cling to the dewy rose that bends,
    O'erwhelming them with showers.


Page 70

Card of thanks to Mrs. G---- for a Bouquet of Roses
and other flowers.

'TIS not the gift which stamps the price
    Upon the generous mind;
As Shakspeare says, rich gifts wax poor ,
    When givers prove unkind .

If trifles oft, though light as air,
     Facts to the jealous prove;
A trifle thus becomes a gem ,
    Sent from a hand we love .

Thanks too, are trifles light as air;
    But trifles , when combin'd,
Form a sweet chain of little naughts
    To shew the grateful mind .

And when, alas! these flowers shall droop,
    And lose their beauteous bloom,
The gift, the giver, o'er my mind
    Shall shed a sweet perfume .


Page 71

LINES

To a Lady, with an empty Honey Jar.

I FAIN my grateful heart wou'd shew;
    But thanks I vainly labour;
My words inadequately flow,
    To thank so kind a neighbour.

Than honey sweet your friendly words,
    Enhanc'd the kind donation;
A still more healing balm affords,
    Joins grace to obligation.

The fetter'd slave, from bondage free,
    Its benefactor seeks;
My captive voice unchain'd by thee:
    Its kind deliverer greets.

And though an empty jar is found,
    Which late o'erflow'd its banks;
The sweets of gratitude cling round,
    To fill its void--with thanks.

Thanks! ah how trifling for my line;
    Yet trifles oft profess
To more endearingly define,
    The thoughts we can't express.


Page 72

No trifling act, no trifling lays,
    No common deed is sung,
Resound, ye echoing hills, her praise,
    Who loos'd my captive tongue.


Page 73

LINES

To the Right Honourable the Countess of A. with a Flower
Basket.

TWO tiny favours here are sued,
    Forgive the one who asks it;
First you'd accept, next daily use,
    This little trifling basket.

'Tis not the lustre of a gift
    That strikes the generous mind,
Truth and affection often wear
    Exteriors unrefin'd.

Simple, and valueless as yet,
    The little suppliant stands;
And much entreats to date its worth
    And value from your hands.

A trifle thus benignly stamp'd,
    Our little fears remove;
We look delighted on a work,
    Prais'd by a voice we love.

Give it then value in my eyes,
    Let me not vainly ask it;
My little pains are well repaid,
    If you accept--my basket.


Page 74

LINES

To the Countess of A. with a painted Work Bag.

MY muse, a little petted elf,
    Like infant that is spoil'd,
Again entreats another boon,
    Because you lately smil'd.

Though saws and proverbs are a bore,
    Yet here one apt will tell:
Give to a certain set an inch,
    They'll shortly steal an ell.

Ah, heed them not; I'll steal no ell,
    Much less my views will suit;
I wish to gain but just the length
    That bounds thy tiny foot.

Bless'd with this talisman, I then
    Might undismay'd appear;
Success with halcyon wing wou'd chase
    Each idly anxious fear.

No garter'd knight more pleas'd, more proud,
    Had I such badge from you;
And " Honi soit, qui mal y pense ,"
    Should be my motto too.


Page 75

Ah smile, approve, accept my work,
    I'll think it such a treasure:
No bounds my gratitude shall own,
    I'll thank you--beyond measure.


Page 76

LINES

Written to the Countess of A. with a pair of Woodstock
Scissars and Gloves, after having seen Blenheim.

WHEN conquering John our battles won,
    As erst on Blenheim's plain,
The glorious deeds by him achiev'd
    For ever shall remain.

Where'er he came, so great his fame,*
    Once seen, 'twas to imply,
As motto bold of hero old,
     "Veni,--vidi,--vici." +

His sword oft drew, and gauntlet threw,
    The glove with challenge warm,
Requir'd renew, so Woodstock flew
    Their gallant chief to arm.

Bright shone the spear of Blenheim's heir,
    For just their cause they feel;
Our hearts of oak their weapons took
    From Woodstock, blades of steel.


Page 77

Th' unrivall'd glove, since born with love,
    No longer hostile thrown,
Now hand in hand is through the land
    As pledge of friendship shown.

This pledge, ah take! and for her sake
    Who absent thinks on thee;
So make it prove, respectful love,
     Douce gage d'amitié.

* John the great Duke of Marlborough, who was never conquered.

+ Cæsar's boast, "I came,--I saw--I conquer'd."


Page 78

IMPROMPTU.

To Miss O. with a Bosom-friend.

ON thy fair neck, without a speck,
    This rival ermine fold;
And may it warm, and gentle arm
    Thy tender breast from cold.

So may it tend to shew the friend,
    The spotless friend in me;--
Pure, warm, and true, dear girl, to you,--
    A bosom friend to thee.


Page 79

LINES

To Mrs. R. with a plaited paper Work Basket.

WHEN my charm'd eye thy various works survey,
I bow beneath the bright effulgent ray;
Like some poor snail, just peeping from its shell,
Shrinks from the sun, and sinks into its cell;
Yet thou, all gentleness, dispel our fears,
For those thy genius awes,--thy sweetness cheers.
Go then, thou trifle, seek her fostering hand,
Wait on her person, meet each kind command;
Tell her,--respect and love claim equal ranks,
Twine with each wave, and fill thy void with thanks;
Crowd all thy little services to view,
And in dumb shew pourtray what thou can'st do:
Whisper--thy spotless bosom would protect,
Each pretty work, and shield it from neglect;
Or yet, perchance of consequence more rare,
Some of her relick's choice might shelter there!
Thus might my basket, where small worth is seen,
Obtain a value, through the gems within.


Page 80

LINES

To the Right Honourable the Countess of A. upon her Birth
Day, with a little fancy Painting.

FAIN would I tune my harp to choral songs,
    And sweep the trembling strings with jocund lays;
Swell with full chords its silver sounds to joy,
    To hail this morn, and celebrate thy praise.

Hail cheerful day, though haply dress'd in storms,
    That gave thine infant graces to the view;
And sent a fairer snow-drop to the world,
    Than spring e'er usher'd, or than fancy drew.

Hail, artless nature,--soft enchantress, hail!
    Behold a sweet reward for all thy pains!
Thy blue bell glistening in thy favourite's eye,
    Thy violet gliding through her azure veins.

Hail, happy parents of a form so fair,
    In whom each gentle virtue is combin'd;
And hail, the favour'd few, who daily share!
    Thy converse sweet, with elegance refin'd!

Hail, winning softness, mild attractive grace,
    Retiring excellence, with aspect meek!
Cheer'd by thy smiles,--ah wherefore this dismay!
    Why is my heart so full!--I cannot speak.


Page 81

Go then, thou little trifle, meet her hands,
    Add to her sweet simplicity of dress;
And by thy rural emblems interwove,
    Hint the kind wishes I would fain express.

Tell her, thy winding wave is life pourtray'd;
    May it be trac'd out by the laughing hours:
The little baskets, interspers'd between,
    Entreat to strew her natal day with flowers.

Joy to thy lord!--joy to thy lovely babes,
    And may these sweet emotions ever last!
May each succeeding year fresh comforts bring,
    To crown thy worth, and bless thee, like the past.


Page 82

AN APOLOGY

For an Instance of Forgetfulness. TO A LADY.

If memory act a treacherous part,
    Impute the error to thy charms;
'Tis love engrosses all my heart,
    And every other power disarms.

Who from that form, without a fault,
    Could turn inferior charms to see?
Or who could e'er remember aught,
    Whose every thought was fix'd on thee?

ALBERT.


Page 83

TO ALBERT.

ALBERT ! 'tis strange--would Agnes say,
    Were she the idol of thy verse--
The source that prompts thy tuneful lay,
    When Delia's powers thou would'st enforce.

Strange, that each grace ador'd by thee--
    Strange, that thy love, so pure in rhyme--
Are for forgetfulness thy plea,
    For any space--at any time!

Say, Albert, did she less deserve,
    Or didst thou love like common elf,
Would'st thou invert--and never swerve,
    Nor turn each charm against herself?


Page 84

LINES

On a favourite Squirrel.  Written in the School Vacation.

AH , my Scuggy, is it drooping?--
    By thy hoarded store I tell;
By thy little nuts unscoopen,
    Much I fear, thou art not well.

Scuggy--Scuggy; peep, my Scuggy,
    Let me see thy glist'ning eye
Beam, whilst nuzzling in thy ruggy;--
    Do not let thy mistress cry.

Wake, my Scuggy, bound to meet me;
    Steal my sugar from my cup;
With thy lively anticks treat me;
    Seek the milk, and lap it up.

On the teaboard take thy station,
    Near the little china vase;
Nibble there thy morning's ration,
    With thy pretty slender paws.

Sit erect in all thy beauty,
    Furl aloft thy feather'd tail;
Grunt, nay, bite me, if it suits thee,
    So that thou did nothing ail.


Page 85

Hark! with all thy wonted cunning,
    Perk thy little spiral ears;
Up the curtain wert thou running,
    I'd divest me of these fears.

Come, my Scuggy, range my pocket,
    Revel on the hidden store;
Rout and rummage all that stock it,
    And when gone, I'll give thee more.

Seize the chesnut, brown and shining,
    Shaded like thy pretty self;
Strip it to its silken lining!
    Or go hide it on the shelf.--

Scuggy, look, thy favourite fruit--see!
    Whisk from out thy prison door;
Let me hear thy tiny footsy
    Pad and scud along the floor.

In the cream jug pop thy whisker,
    I'll not fright thee for the theft;
Could I once more see thee frisk here,
    I'd not be of hope bereft.

Scuggy--Scuggy; peep, my Scuggy,
    Let me see thy bright bead-eye,
Brisk, though nuzzling in thy ruggy;--
    Do not let thy mistress cry.


Page 86

LINES

To the Countess of A. inclosed with a little blue enamelled
Pencil.

I, little suppliant, beg to kiss your hands,
I will with zeal perform all your commands;
Let me beseech to show my little skill,
To point, with just exactitude, your will:
Meek and submissive, form'd for non-resistance,
Slave I must be, whilst I can hold existence:
Your word's my rule, whatever the expedient;
Of all your suite I'll be the most obedient.

My person's slender, though 'tis shrewdly said,
I must be heavy, for my brains are lead;--
Trust not physiognomy; ah! give me quarter;
I may be ruin'd, if you heed Lavater,*
Judge for yourself; there often has been found
Pure ore hid deep beneath a barren ground.

* La physiognomie n'est pas une regle qui nous soit donnée pour juger des hommes!--elle nous peut servir de conjecture. La Bruyere.

No rival roses tinge my copper skin,
I'm brown without, and dark my veins within;
And though I've kin with mouths as red as cherries,
Yet, for my own, 'tis black as huckle-berries;


Page 87

Thus though, as stated, I can boast no beauty,
I'll make it up in most obsequious duty:
True to my trust, your every thought I'll suit,
You can't plan faster than I'll execute.

Various my liveries, glittering to behold,
With silver oft, and oft emboss'd with gold;
Now simply clad, as different tastes prevail;
And now a hero, clad in coat of mail;
Now chang'd again, I wear a gayer hue,
And sport, to please you, Windsor's royal blue.
Full of device my head, and not unletter'd ,
Is it so strange I wish my station better'd?
All languages can write with equal ease,
And strike them off in any hand you please:
Should active mem'ry agitate thy mind,
When the fond mother leaves her babes behind;
Should the mute tear glide down thy beauteous cheek,
In numbers pure that crystal gem shall speak;
I'll catch thy gentle sighs, thy plaintive tone,
Steal thy soft sorrows, make them all my own,
With anxious zeal to thy lov'd fingers crowd,
And tell my joy, for every touch, aloud;
Kiss thy dear hand, in token of submission,
When trembling, entering on my new condition.

Again, should brighter scenes thy smile incline,
Ah, with what joy I'll sketch the comic line;
Make thy own playful style the page adorn
Like dancing clouds o'er ripening fields of corn:


Page 88

Whate'er they will, implicit I'll obey;
Loose but these bands, and give me cheering day.

Need I urge more?--ah, dearest lady, try me,
Take me in hand, 'twere cruel to deny me;
My spotless faith I ever will preserve ye,
And lose existence in my zeal to serve ye.


Page 89

TO A LADY

Weeping at the Wail of Margaretta, in the Entertainment
of No Song no Supper.

WHY , lovely mourner, 'mid this comic crew,
Are those bright eyes impearl'd with pity's dew!
Why, at the mimic sorrows of this scene,
That look averted, that dejected mien?
In vain your hand would check that rising sigh;
In vain your fan conceal that glistening eye;
Ah me, these woes, so tender and refin'd,
Bespeak no common cause!--no vulgar mind!

Now the scene shifts--but ah, thy cheek, the while,
Mocks all its skill--nor brightens with a smile!
'Mid laughing crowds, sad, joyless, and alone,
Still Margaretta's sorrows are thy own!
O, if they are, may'st thou, like her, survey
Thy love, returning, kiss those tears away!
May no rude winds his passage interpose,
But future joys compensate former woes!

Yet, sad reverse! if thou art doom'd to mourn
Some long lost youth, who never can return!
O may kind Heaven its healing influence lend
To smooth life's path, till gentle death descend!


Page 90

Then may thy shade its kindred spirit join,
In bliss supreme, in ecstasy divine!


ANSWER.

WHOE'ER thou art that thus, with sad surprise,
Wakes slumbering thought, and fills these surcharg'd eyes;
Whoe'er thou art, that thus, without controul,
Arrests the purpos'd firmness of my soul.
Art thou a spirit form'd of fleeting air,
That clothes thee with a form and speech so fair;
Be'st thou my evil genius rais'd anew,
Thou com'st in such a questionable view?

That I must speak, must call thee by each name,
Sad retrospective fancy still would claim,
Oh, ere the fiction of this dream be o'er,
And thou withdrawing cease to rack me more;
Ere thy unconscious gentle shade recedes,
Unknowing that this heart in secret bleeds;
Oh let me pause, and weep, whilst I review
Past scenes of joy, when love and hope were new!

Tell me, ah tell me, if thou couldst but say,
Why art thou rais'd, unsought, athwart my way,
Why has thy restless spirit cross'd the sea,
Dead as thou wert, thou art, to love and me.


Page 91

Oh, thou look'st on me with that pensive smile,
Not gaily turn'd, which did these thoughts beguile:
Then ere this painful interview be o'er,
And thy lorn shade withdraws to rise no more,
Brief let me sketch the woes thy likeness cost,
She best can paint them, who has felt them most.


Page 92

RURAL COURTSHIP;

OR, THE
INFANT LOVES OF LICIDUS AND ANNET.
A SIMPLE STORY.

'TWAS in the season of the year,
    As now, when all was gay;
Two little prattlers rambled forth,
    To pluck the flowers of May.

The primrose pale, the violet blue,
    Their simple sweets did yield;
With daisies, and with king-cups too,
    Their little laps they fill'd.

Now tir'd with trotting far and wide,
    Amid the new mown hay,
They long'd to spread their gather'd store,
    And set them down to play.

So, side by side, adown they sat,
    Their treasur'd store to see:
Sure, never brimful budget yet
    Was op'd with half the glee.


Page 93

Look, sister, look what pretty flowers!
    Some on the ground they spread,
Some 'mid the curling locks they plac'd
    Around each other's head.

And sure, no courtly dame, bedeck'd
    With glittering jewels gay,
Did e'er withal so blithe appear,
    Or half so pleas'd as they.

Now hiding deep beneath the hay,
    The moving mow they rear,
Whilst just above the hay falls off,
    Their curly poles appear.

Now scrambling through the scatter'd hay
    Upon their hands and knees,
A pretty butterfly they spied
    Come fluttering through the trees.

Up sprang Annet with eager joy,
    To catch the gilded fly;
The ground was rough, she fell adown,--
    Good Lord, how she did cry!

Her rosy face was soil'd, and bruis'd,
    But most she did deplore,
"There, there it flies!" she sobbing said,
    "I ne'er shall see it more!"


Page 94

Hard by the spot, a little boy,
    A neighbour's son was he,
To get a nest of chirping birds
    Was clambering up the tree:

Full well Annetta's voice he knew,
    And flew to her relief;
When soon with sobs and tears she told,
    The hist'ry of her grief.

Don't cry, Annet,--he mournful said,
    And softly wip'd her face;
If you won't cry, I'll strive to get
    Another in its place.

Swift o'er the glade the kindly boy
    With hasty steps withdrew;
To catch the fly;--ah, wist ye not
    'Twas Licidus that flew?

O'er hill and dale, with hat in hand,
    He ran as quick as thought;
Nor rested once, till he secure
    The fluttering captive brought.

No errant knight, with giant ta'en,
    More pleas'd, more proud could be:
When I did kiss him for the gift,
    Ah,--wist ye not 'twas me?


Page 95

I was not bought, though oft he gave,
    And could not but approve;
And e'er receiv'd, with artless joy,
    His pretty gifts of love.

He taught a prating bird to speak,
    As by his side it ran;
Oft at my casement would it call,
    "O pretty--pretty--Anne."

Then it would peck, and look so pert,
    And sideling hop away:
I'll go and tell what feats I've done,--
    It said, or seem'd to say.

Oft would he fill his pockets full,
    From distant wake, or fair,
With songs, and story books, and nuts,
    And ribands for my hair.

Sometimes he'd sing, sometimes he'd read,
    Reclin'd all on the ground;
Whilst pleas'd such wond'rous things to hear,
    We little folk stood round.

Sometime the children in the wood,
    So mournfully he'd sing;
Poor little babes! we'd sobbing say,
    And cry like any thing.


Page 96

Four sides adown of verse sublime,
    A frontispiece withal;
And when it had been sung, or said;
    It grac'd our whiten'd hall.

Of giants next, bestriding rocks,
    And dragons in the air;
Then how our eyes were lifted up,--
    Lord, how we all did stare!

Then of some ghost with saucer eyes,
    That grinn'd o'er churchyard wall!
Then he would archly start and shriek,--
    How we did run and squall!

Then he would coax and fetch us back,
    And vow 'twas only play;
And promise us a merry tale,
    If we'd not run away.

He'd then of mighty Tommy Thumb
    The gallant feats explain;
How we did laugh to hear his pranks!--
    So all was right again.

Ah me! well known, both far and near,
    And much belov'd was he;
How pleasant was he unto all,
    But ah!--how kind to me!


Page 97

Oft, has he brought through bush and briar,
    Of strawberries a store;
And oft with blackberries his hat
    Was brimful running o'er.

And oft he'd scale the orchard's bounds,
    To seize the mellow pear;
Ah me, for ready to receive,
    His little love was there.

O it would take an age, to dwell
    On such a theme as this;
But I must think--not what he was,
    Alas! but what he is.

Yet in recounting of the past,
    Though it my woes renew,
'Tis far more soothing to my mind
    Than any mirth that's new.

Thus flew the laughing hours away,
    Playful and being lov'd;
And what our infant minds so priz'd,
    Our riper years approv'd.

No goddess bright, he call'd Annet,
    Or styl'd her fairest she:
The simplest, tenderest words he chose;
    And those were all to me.


Page 98

Nor thought I of his graceful mien,
    Till mix'd among the rest;
And then, indeed, I could but think
    He danc'd and look'd the best.

Yet oft he'd twine my curling hair
    Athwart my laughing een:
Then peeping, say, such pretty eyes,
    Sure, never yet were seen!

With true-love knots he carv'd my name
    On many a beechen tree;
Whilst as the rind the cyphers spread,
    So grew his love for me.

And oft the verse to me he tun'd,
    And sung with so much ease;
How sweet are gracious words from those
    We fondly wish to please!

Ah, how I linger o'er this part!
    And shrink as I draw near
The piteous close, which e'er must be
    Review'd with many a tear.

For now the gathering storm approach'd
    That marks the mournful tale!
My Licidus, for India, left
    His Annet of the vale.


Page 99

He could not bear his much lov'd maid
    Should yield to any she
In rural state:--he had it not,
    And so would go to sea.

Oh! 'twas a scheme of woe indeed,
    What did not Annet say!
How did she weep, and seek to turn
    His thoughts another way.

But he had seen his kindred go,
    And prosper in that line;
Which made him fondly urge to me,
    He sooner should be mine.

With tenderest, kindest, softest words,
    His motives did explain:
Think, my Annet, my only love,
    How soon we'll meet again.

Yet still my surcharg'd eye with tears
    Was fix'd upon the ground;
Ah, he did kiss, and call them pearls,
    And fondly fold me round.

To paint the parting scene at last,
    No language yet affords;
It may be felt; but to express,
    Exceeds the power of words.


Page 100

Calm grief and fix'd despair, with me
    A dumb submission spread:
Ten thousand torturing words he raved:--
    I fainted,--and he fled.

Long time in stupid woe reclin'd,
    For tears deny'd relief;
Like meek-ey'd patience o'er a tomb,
    I seem'd at peace with grief.

The fluttering mind uncertain weeps,
    But when fix'd woes are come,
Like stagnant pools become unmov'd;
    For sure great griefs are dumb.

But swift a welcome letter came;
    Again sprang hopes and fears;
I kiss'd the well known folds of love,
    And melted into tears.

Whate'er to soothe that pen could urge,
    From heart so long endear'd,
He wrote, to cheer his drooping love;
    And she became more cheer'd.

The youthful mind revives to hope
    At times, though keenly press'd;
Ah me, the heart thus never is,
    But always to be bless'd.


Page 101

Again he wrote; alas, how well
    Sad memory records
The little isle that gave it date,
    And these his very words.


LICIDUS TO ANNET.

By fortune, stern relentless foe,
To India's scorching clime I go,
    Her favours to pursue;
Like vain illusions of the night,
She sets my bliss before my sight,
    But mocks me with the view.
From her I ask no miser's store,
No lucre, bought with Indian gore,
    To soothe a guilty breast;
Health--competency,--peace of mind,--
Or all, in one wide wish combin'd,
    The power to make thee bless'd.

All anxious, thus he soon arriv'd,
    Unfix'd upon a plan;
Impatient to be great at once,
    From scheme to scheme he ran.


Page 102

Restless, with shining talents bless'd,
    He dash'd with courage bold;
But changing oft, be found, dear youth,
    Not all that glitter'd gold.

Nor could he cringe, or falsely praise
    The lordlings of an hour;
Or, cruel, wring the gems from those
    That chance put in his power.

Nurtur'd, and firm in thoughts like these,
    His schemes did slow prevail;
Ah, how I sought to turn his views
    To peace and Arno's vale!

With cheering, soothing, gentlest words,
    I hid my griefs from view;
Whilst of the blessings yet in reach
    The liveliest picture drew.

For me thou cross'd the treacherous seas,
    To try that glittering bourn;
Unkindly has it prov'd to thee,
    Ah then, for me, return!

What, if thou hast not much obtain'd,
    Our real wants are few;
With cheerful smiles, and frugal hands,
    I'll make that little do.


Page 103

'Tis but a competency's meed
    That's vital to content;
Or much, or little, that depends
    On what the heart is bent.

If that a russet gown would save,
    Russet with joy I'd wear;
And still preserve thy favourite dress,
    To dance at wake or fair.

How many little plans I've rang'd,
    That love would render sweet,
Ah, many,--many rise to view;
    Ah, could we once but meet!

I oft did curl my flowing hair,
    To please thy partial eye:
And could I not for thee the same,
    All foreign aid supply?

O, I could weep, and break my heart,
    All anxious as I trace,
How thou would'st fondly fold me round,
    Thus prattling in thy face!

How much I had to thee to tell,
    How much from thee to hear;
And oh how, thus for thee employ'd,
    'Twou'd banish every fear.


Page 104

If any swain commend Annet,
    Or aught that's pleasing see!
She, sooth'd that what thou lov'd's approv'd,
    And still preserv'd for thee.

She would be prettiest, if that gift
    Were dearest to thy breast;
She think herself but match for thee,
    If fairest, richest, best.

And when on Sundays, as I'd wont,
    I join the house of prayer,
I gaze o'er all the gallery's front,
    Alas! thou art not there.

I listen for thy tenor notes,
    As silver-sweet they rose;
But voice, nor look, nor mien like thine,
    Though all in Sunday's clothes.

And yet the scarlet waistcoat glow'd,
    Like fields with poppies growth;
With freshest nosegays in their hands,
    A bit placed in their mouth.

And then--as home o'er churchyard stile,
    Through rows of shadowy yew,
The village poet draws my tears,
    In many a sad adieu.


Page 105

"Afflictions sore, long time I bore,"--
    Full often meets my eye:
Alas, ye were not griev'd alone,
    Afflicted sore am I.

Pillow'd beneath the grass green turf,
    Your heads and hearts at ease;
The daisied sod just heaves to view,
    Like peaceful summer seas.

I sit beside the peopled slope,
    To learn its lesson rare;
And careful pluck the nettles thence,
    They should not harbour there:

But pretty heart's-ease, speaking flowers,
    And chamomile be spread,
Its velvet soft, and beauteous green,
    Around your tranquil head.

Ah, harbour safe!--ah haven sure!
    Each anxious care suppress'd;
The sun receding leaves ye calm,
    Returning, finds ye bless'd.

But I, alas! if, worn with thought,
    Do haply drop asleep,
My wakeful fancy still presides,
    I murmuring moan and weep.


Page 106

Sometimes thou turn'st displeas'd away,
    When swift I seek to prove,
With wringing hands and gushing tears,
    My pure, my spotless love.

And oft sad fancy shows thy form
    Struggling amidst the wave:
I, plunging, shriek, with outstretch'd arm,--
    O mercy,--mercy--save!

Then wak'd, with agonizing start,
    I yet pursue the theme;
My fluttering pulse and beating heart
    Long tremble o'er the dream.

Beware of men, a gipsy said,
    With black and piercing eye;
Why should I fear,--I've done no harm;
    I would not hurt a fly.

For once a poor despoiled bird,
    Some boys had robb'd its nest,
Fluttering with sad affright, it sought
    A refuge in my breast;

Ah, I did kiss, and softly stroke,
    Whilst over it I cry'd;
For it did pant and ope its mouth,
    I thought it would have died.


Page 107

And then with crumbs of bread I fed,
    And water from the brook;
And when it was reviv'd again,
    Its cheerful flight it took.

I'd not have kept it for the world,
    But just to do it good;
Go, seek thy mate; perhaps, poor bird,
    He's mourning in the wood.

How oft athwart this filbert copse
    l wind my pensive way;
Ah me! for here, at hide and seek,
    We little beams did play.

And this the bush I hid behind,
    Whilst thou did hunt about;
Whence I did peep, and giggling laugh,
    In hopes thou'd find me out.

Then how I ran, whilst thou did chase,
    Thyself in coin to pay;
When, not displeas'd to be o'erta'en,
    I laughing soon gave way.

How full of glee was Annet then,
    How cheerful was her brow;
But anxious since, 'tis overcast;
    She'd hate to giggle now.


Page 108

Yet Grizzy purs with shutting eyes,
    And Fido wags his tail,
And Wuffing pulls my gown to play;
    But all will not avail.

The clustering vine we two did plant,
    My fond attention rears;
Ah Licidus, it waves with sighs,
    And glistens with my tears!

For oft, within its leafy shade,
    I hide my griefs from view;
I weep there o'er thy pretty gifts,
    There read thy letters too.

The lock of hair we did exchange,
    For tears I scarce can see;
But I do love it best,--a cause
    It was a part of thee.

Go, precious relick, take thy place
    Among my treasur'd store;
I soon shall turn to thee again,
    And look those o'er and o'er.

And oh, here oft, at setting day,
    Here oft, at rising morn,
These eyes have been uplift to Heaven,
    To beg thy safe return!


Page 109

I ask thee just but what thou wert,
    Or ere thou left this shore;
Return--return but as thou went;
    I ask of Heaven no more.

Alas! I cannot now revise,
    The half I urged, to prove
Sweet competence, with cheering smiles,
    Awaited faithful love.

And then with hope he'd fondly write,
    But ah! his genius cramp'd;
Chagrin, disquietude, and care,
    His future prospects damp'd.

Ah me, just in that desperate mood
    A nymph of colour came;
Perhaps, her gold--I know not what,--
    But something I must blame.

One month,--one little month, nay, less,
    He woo'd her sable charms;
Oh, all ye powers! I live to tell,--
    He took her to his arms!


Page 110

As the fam'd painter that, we're told,
    A mournful picture drew,
In every grief-impassion'd face
    A poignant sorrow threw;

But when still more he sought to give
    The hero of the tale;
Description fail'd, his pencil dropp'd,--
    He o'er it threw a vail.

Thus when Annet's enanguish'd soul
    Fresh pathos now demands;
O'erwhelm'd, like her, I bow my face,
    And hide it with my hands.


Page 111


LICIDUS TO ANNET.

Such is my fate,--so grievous my distress,
Condemn'd to suffer, but deny'd redress;
Too fond of joy, too sensible of pain,
To part with all that's dear, and not complain;
Too delicate to injure her I love,
Or ask that pity fame will ne'er approve;
What more remains then, but to drop my claim,
And by my conduct justify my flame;
Burst the dear bands that to my heart-strings join,
And sacrifice my peace--to purchase thine.


Page 112

EVENING.

AN ELEGY. Finished on reading the melancholy Separation of the
Dauphin from the Queen of France.

THE sun had now withdrawn his scorching beams,
    And ting'd the western skies with burnish'd gold;
The hinds now whistle homeward with their teams,
    And shepherds pen with care the distant fold.

Lo, from the verge of yon retiring cloud,
    Bright Cynthia pours her silver light along;
See, to yon grove the feather'd songsters crowd,
    And for a while forget their tuneful song.

Now flies the timid bat across the glade,
    The beetle slowly winds his drowsy horn,
The night-bird hoots from yonder distant shade;
    The cricket chirps beneath the scatter'd corn.

Now lures some phantom to the dangerous bog,
    Whilst glow-worms feebly light the mossy ground;
Now from the village barks the watchful dog,
    Responsive to yon steeple's solemn sound.


Page 113

Now glows the pure expanse, a beauteous veil,
    Glittering with gems to crown departing day,
The southern breeze just whispers through the dale,
    And Philomel prepares her plaintive lay.

Silence, dear pensive maid, whose downcast look
    Draws the big tear by recollection fraught,
O guide my steps to yonder limpid brook;
    There to indulge the rising train of thought.

O, may my bosom ever be inclin'd,
    At least to pity woes I cannot cure;
May writhing misery there a shelter find,
    Warm to her dictates, gentle, generous, pure.

Hail, hour serene; thy calmness suits my mind,
    Attunes my soul, erewhile too deep impress'd,
Nature's still voice, by Providence design'd
    To soothe each sorrow, lull each eye to rest.

Each eye, Eliza!--ah, thou little know'st
    How many sobs this moment pierce the air,
How many sighs, by various passions toss'd,
    Rise from the gloomy gulph of black despair.

And soft, what meagre form attracts my sight,
Skims o'er the glade, with looks of wild affright,
What wailing phantom shrieks with fix'd despair;
Glares wildly round, and frantic tears her hair.


Page 114

O, my full heart!--'tis Gallia's wretched Queen,
Distraction, grief, and horror in her mien;
Shrinking, disdainful, from commission'd slaves,
She spurns them from her, and thus loudly raves.

"Traitors, avaunt!--ye can no more deceive,
"No more betray, or wretched I believe;
"Can ye my murder'd lord, my child restore?
"Then may I perish, ere I trust ye more!--

See on the earth, the last retreat of all,
Pierc'd with her woes, a queen, a mother fall!
No 'broider'd tap'stry o'er the floor is spread,
No purple canopy o'ershades her head;
Those amber tresses twin'd with so much care,
Neglected now, are silver'd by despair;
Those eyes which open'd only to be bless'd,
That form, which only to be seen, caress'd;
Ah! what avails thy splendid house's pride,
To whom affianc'd, or to whom allied?
Bereft of husband, all the heart holds dear,
No friend that durst disclose one pitying tear:
Hurl'd from her throne, from all the soul prefers;
Did ever misery spread so wide as hers!
Her matchless woes each error will atone,
He, he that's faultless cast the wond'rous stone!
See the poor maniac wildly stare around,
Talk to the walls, and madly strike the ground;
Ye flinty hearts, hear her her sorrows tell,
"Here is my court,--here I and misery dwell!--


Page 115

"Supreme in woe, as glory heretofore,
"This is my throne,--let kings bow down before!"
See wildly wandering in the viewless air,
The glaring eye, with soul distressing stare!
The quivering lip, short breath, and stretch'd out arm,
Starting convulsive at each dread alarm!
View in terrific forms before her eyes,
A headless group of bleeding friends arise!
And see the last dire scene re-acted o'er,
See the grim gaoler ope the ponderous door!
See him, with sturdy stride, unmov'd, advance,
And from his mother drag the heir of France!
See the poor frighted victim round her fling
His little arms, and to her bosom cling!--
"And dost thou think I'll ever freely give
"My child!--my all,--no, never whilst I live!
"These arms shall shield him, never will we part,
"Thus will I clasp him to my breaking heart.
"Away, away! ye need no more explain,
"Touch him not, monsters, lest ye fire my brain!
"Hark, the dread word, the dire command is given!--
"O, spare him! spare him! mercy, mercy, Heaven!
"Hast thou no bowels, not one pretty child,
"Dear as thy life, that in thy face has smil'd?--
"And dost thou grudge me--me, that gave him birth,
"The veriest wretch that ever crawl'd on earth!
"Of all but this,--this little good beguil'd!
"And canst thou part us,--oh, my child, my child!
"See, see, they seize him, bear him from my view,
"Barbarians, stop,--O Heaven, one last adieu!--


Page 116

"He shrieks!--he struggles!--O restore, restore!
"And, by the gods, I'll never curse ye more--
"Leave, leave my little bird within his cage,
"To soothe his mother's premature old age;
"Let me but see him,--see him whilst I've breath,
"And I will bless you, though convuls'd with death!
"Oh, I am sick!--sick,--and worn with grief,
"These trembling arms deny the wish'd relief;
"O earth, earth, earth!--I come, I come, I come!
"And thus, and thus, I dig my children's tomb!--
"But soft, 'tis he! my child escap'd the snare,
"O, all ye powers!--see, see, he mounts in air!
"Off, off! I'll meet him!--hark, my cherub calls,
"He smiles, he points!--down down, ye ruthless walls!
"These hands shall do a deed to strike ye dumb,--
"Shade of my angel boy, I come, I come!"--


Page 117

LINES

Written under the Picture of an Owl and Bat.

YE dreary heralds of approaching night,
    Ye wailing tenants of the ivy'd tower;
Ye whose shrill shrieks the timid mind affright,
    I love your notes, lone haunts, and midnight hour.

Welcome, Minerva's bird, with solemn mien,
    Perch'd near my pillow, here securely rest:
One glance at thee will change the worldly scene,
    And give poetic fervour to my breast.

And thou, fate's harbinger, as some esteem,
    Who flitt'st it darkling o'er the shadowy glade,
Thou too shalt form the verse, assist the theme,
    And aid the muse, when gayer subjects fade.

Then spread thy dusky wings athwart my door,
    No direful presage shall my heart assail;
Thou'lt lead to prize the silent moonlight hour,
    And each harmonious beauty of the vale.


Page 118

LINES

Sketched on a Party down the River Wye, from Ross to
Monmouth.

WITH gentlest gales our vessel bears away,
Smooth flows the Wye, and cloudless breaks the day;
The cheerful rowers brisk their oars enlave,
And the bright sunbeams dance from wave to wave;
The pure, transparent, glittering mirror's seen
Reflecting silvery tints, and woodlands green;
The ready pilot, as we glide along,
Points the sweet views to animate my song.
Close by the helm we take our gazing seat,
Whilst the wild scene reminds of Paraclete;
The mouldering ivy'd pile that's rear'd on high,
The rocks, the woods, the stream that murmurs by;
The moss-grown abbey Pope's own pencil drew,
And Eloisa, weeping to the view:
These retrospective visions will appear,
And check gay fancy in her blithe career.

To Monmouth's far fam'd bridge we steer our course,
And leave behind the rural shades of Ross:
Who can behold, and, seeing, not admire
Its neat churchyard, and heaven directed spire;
The winding river meandering through its views,
The grass green sod, mark'd by th' unletter'd muse:


Page 119

Ah, who can quit these scenes without a sigh,
Worth long entomb'd, and history in our eye;
Who sweetly wandering, mourns not o'er the loss
Of Kyrle the good, the noted man of Ross?
Pope's flowing verse his memory shall prolong,
Pure as Wye's stream, and as its current strong;
Yet tell it not, in this enlighten'd age,
When thou hast read the philanthropic page,
When thou hast view'd each noble generous plan,
That not a stone erst told,--Here lies the man;--
That not one grateful stanza erst to say,
Or point where his respected relicks lay:--
Tell it not strangers, as they eager gaze
O'er Wye's pure stream led through his shadowy ways,
Lest its own willows from the watery wave
Recoil inverted, weeping o'er his grave.
Alas! like Cambria's mouldering piles his lot,
The world forgetting,--by the world forgot;
Till * Kinnoul, blushing for his country's fame,
Rear'd to the gazing world his honour'd name.

Ye blue ey'd Naiads of these crystal floods,
Nymphs of the coral caves, and sylvan woods;
Ye rocks majestic, round whose echoing bounds
We wind our way, and raise the plaintive sounds!
Lorn echo murmuring lengthens out the song,
"Which like a wounded snake drags its slow length along."


Page 120

Ye green rob'd mountains, rich in nature's dress,
Small by degrees, and beautifully less;*
Ye pending woods, whose deep embowering shade
The Druid bards their choice asylum made,
Whose varied tints, reflected by the sun,
Nature's own sweet and cunning hands laid on;
Where, whilst th' enchanted spirit fondly clings,
"She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her wings:"
Hills of the muse, on whose soft flowery brows,
The nine Aonian Sisters oft repose;
All hail!--hail, sweet attractive scenes to me,
Whose soul delights to meditate on thee.
Ah, could I touch thy own seraphic lyre,
Ah, could I catch a spark of native fire,
Here, humbly gazing, at thy feet reclin'd,
Here, as I lingering, longing, look behind;
Here, whilst the liquid lapse translucent flows,
And whilst the summer breeze so mildly blows,
Here would I range 'midst fancy's wide controul,
And give to breathing thought my active soul;
"Whilst Vaga echoes through her mazy bounds,
"And rolling Severn hoarse applause resounds."

Sweet minstrels--and wild as sweet th' extempore song,
Which yet amid thy mountains flows along,
Around their harps in soft Pennillion verse,+
At festive scenes they yet their feats rehearse;


Page 121

Like fam'd Italia form the endless lays,
And wind the lengthening song an hundred ways!
As the fam'd phoenix, so their sounding lyres
Rise yet more brilliant through time's mouldering fires.
Ye moss grown towers, whose turrets intervene,
Where many a flower now blooms to blush unseen!
Where many a mouldering pile, with sculpture rare,
Here wastes its grandeur in the desert air;
"For dark oblivion lowering lurks before,
"And covers with her dusky wings the door,"
Where many a bard, warm'd with poetic fire,
Once tun'd his voice and swept the sounding lyre;
Arms, and the men they sung, whom conquering fate
Victorious gave to save a sinking state!
Ere yet the Roman legions roll'd their powers,
And gave to ruin Cambria's cloud-cap'd towers;
Her sacred groves to fire and sword consign'd
Left, like a vision, scarce a wreck behind;
Still, still, the valiant race inur'd to toil,
Bold as their rocks, and hardy as their soil,
Like the fam'd serpent Cadmus conquering slew,
Whose buried fangs an armed phalanx grew:
Or as the wounded hydra's many a head,
Fell but to rear another in its stead;
So Cambrio-Britain's conquest may be view'd;
Their sources powerful,--though their cause subdu'd.

* Lady Kinnoul.

* Sugar loaf mountains, so called from their spiral shape.

+ Pennillion verse, or ancient style of minstrelsey among the mountains, like the modern Improvisatore of Italy, they continue singing extempore, without intermission, through the night, never repeating the same stanza.


Page 122

ALLEGORICAL EPITHALAMIUM,

After the Manner of the Italian Bards, on the Marriage of
His Royal Highness the Duke of York with the Princess
Royal of Prussia.

WHERE breathes, with ardent heat, the fervid south,
With glowing cheek, and soft vermilion mouth;
Where summer suns effulgent equal roll,
Fire the rapt bard, and animate his soul:--

Where purest ether, bright unclouded skies,
Attune the harp to breathe the lover's sighs;
Where flowers spontaneous spring o'er hill and dale,
Pouring sweet perfumes on the passing gale:--

Where every step to bliss, to joy invite,
From earth, sky, air, soft region of delight;
Love issu'd forth!--the boy, with playful wile,
And curious eye, survey'd his fav'rite isle;
And fraught with mission from some princely power,
Flew with light wing to Flora's roseate bower.

Hymen, with like import, had gain'd the place,--
At first, ah me! scarce knew the urchin's face;
But for the honey'd accents of his tongue,
Soft as the breeze, yet as the whirlwind strong.


Page 123

Both with one voice fair Frederica nam'd
For Albion's son, the pride of Prussia claim'd;
Both urg'd the goddess to disclose to view
Where bloom'd the rose, the gallant hero's due.

With smile ineffable, the goddess shews
Her nurtur'd charge in variegated rows,
    In blooming beauty found;
Love, blind as he is deem'd, and oft a slave,
Wild, to the winds his magic fillet gave,
    And gaz'd with eager eye unbound!

Hymen went hand in hand, to Love consign'd,
Why e'er, ah me! the beauteous boys disjoin'd?
From flower to flower they gaz'd enamour'd round;
Still, as they gaz'd, fresh admiration found.

The blooming group beheld the gods draw nigh,
Turn'd from their gaze, and blush'd a deeper dye;
Recoiling, shrunk within their mossy beds,
Bow'd their fair forms, and hung their modest heads.

Young Zephyr loitering round fresh sweets to seek,
With gentle breeze, uprear'd their glowing cheek,
Upon his spangled wing:--the gods, admiring, view
The conscious buds suffus'd with pearly dew;
The glistening gems slow quivering stole adown,
Fresh veil'd their charms, and hid the half-form'd frown.


Page 124

Fairest, where all were fair, one bloom'd supreme;
Pride of her race, sweet subject of my theme;
With native dignity she tower'd apart,
Rear'd to enchant all eyes, and charm all hearts!

Ah, hast thou seen the tinted silver rose,
Or hyacinthian bud, as pure it blows;
Wouldst thou the liquid lustre of her eye?
View the blue radiance of the summer's sky!
Were the fair ringlet of her hair allow'd,
'Tis the light sunbeam through a pearly cloud;
Would you the soft enchantment of her mien?
She looks a zephyr,--but she moves a queen!
No longer doubtful, Love and Hymen nam'd
Their high behests, and thus theit suit proclaim'd:
Ah turn, bright excellence, illustrious fair!
Receive our homage--our protecting care.
Sweet are thy sister-beauties, lovely flower,
And fair, and soft, and exquisite to view;
But thou, O fairest of the virgin throng,
Arrest'st all eyes, and claim'st the nuptial song!
Ah, let us bear thee on the blaze of day,
Where gazing worlds may willing homage pay--
Hark, 'tis thy love upon the sighing gale!
The winds are fair, and spread the purple sail.

"Arise, my love!--ah, quit thy native soil,
"Fair Albion waits to greet thee with her smile;
"Great Britain's court expects a sister-grace,
"And England's King--a father's fond embrace.


Page 125

"Arise, my love,--ah, hear a people's voice--
"So shall my nation glory in my choice."

Sweetly convinc'd, the lovely trembler shone,
She would be woo'd--and not, unsought, be won.
Love to young Frederick bore the welcome guest,
And Hymen plac'd her by his faithful breast.


Page 126

IMPROMPTU.

Occasioned by a young Lady hiding a French Half-crown
in her Friend's Handkerchief, as they could not settle at
Cards who had won it.

HERE , tempting Eve, alike in air and grace,
    Take from my bosom your imprison'd store;
I see too keen the struggle for a crown,
    To wish e'en half a one , on any score.

Think thee, Sibella, were it but perchance,
    Gay as thou slid the mischief near my heart;
Think! had it stamp'd there half its regal woes,
    Ah, would'st thou then such treacherous gift impart?

Yet think not, though I wave th' insidious ill,
    Though I return the little traitorous coin,
Though from my bosom's thrown the rose of France,
    I mean to centre thus its thorns in thine.

Ah, no!--yet may its lily there unrivall'd reign,
    Its pure white rose, that now thy neck adorns;
Long may these emblamatic tints remain,
    The rose of France, divested of its thorns.


Page 127

ANSWERED BY A GENTLEMAN.

SWEET , doubly sweet, of liberty the rose,
Though in the hostile plains of France it grows;
And who so base the despot power to own,
And barter sacred freedom for a crown!

O liberty! beneath thy fostering shade,
Alike improve the shuttle and the glade;
Alike each peasant hails the blushing morn,
And every rose-bud blooms without a thorn.

No tyrant lordling rules the abject swain,
No grasp of av'rice sweeps the golden plain;
The waving corn salutes the joyous band,
And peace and plenty gladden all the land.

Whilst the chaste Muse, her modest verse indites,
And genius blossoms when Eliza writes;
Tranquil her verse flows smoothly from the pen,
And chases tyrant envy to its den.


Page 128

A SHORT ADIEU TO THE COUNTRY.

DEC. 1795.

FAREWELL a while, my rural cot and flowers,
Farewell my plan of winding walks and bowers;
Farewell the cheerful animated green,
Where quiet herds within the flood were seen!
Where cackling geese their downy pinions try,
And hens, and ducks, and chickens saunter by;
Where playful children, void of art or rule,
In sportive gambols wing their way from school!
Where social ease and intercourse appear,
To form a jocund season all the year;
For though the blast be keen, the storm unkind,
Ye in each other sure resources find.

Ye circling, neighb'ring, stationary few,
Where native genius reigns--a short adieu!
I now, regretting, leave these tranquil joys,
For din of politics--tumultuous noise.

Ye timid fair, who tremble whilst you hear,
Smile, cheerful smile, your Admiral is near;
Whose guardian care ye are, in whom we find
The firmest conduct with the gentlest mind!
Hard by, embower'd by Thames' meand'ring stream,
A chosen group arrest my sprightliest theme;


Page 129

Sweet to the eye their winding walks are seen,
And good to view the spacious house between;
And cheering to the sight, borne by the tide,
The gay gondolas near its turrets glide;
Yet ah, how spiritless wou'd all be seen,
If not emblazon'd by the gems within!
Here Taste and Genius form the various scene,
And make a S--g a cheerful ever-green.

Next in the friendly circling group we find,
Pleasing and pleas'd, the chatty At--s join'd;
Her cheering, social, cordial, voice invites,
And those she gathers round, her ease delights!
Not far remov'd, a tasty nymph appears,
Who charms the eye, and captivates the ears;
Her voice soft flowing into beauteous swells,
Harmonious trills like gurgling nightingales;
Graceful amid the rout Mc--n shone,
For native elegance is all her own.

Ah, cou'd I all the varying graces tell,
The goodly traits that in our hamlet dwell;
How might I lengthen out the well rais'd song,
Clear and persuasive as the voice of St--g!
Sweet as his second self, with mercy bless'd,
Her form is softness, by the virtues dress'd;
And many a kindred mind, the poor reveal'd,
Whose liberal acts were from the world conceal'd.
Farewell the new op'd rooms, athwart the green,
Where late we join'd the cheerful festive scene;


Page 130

Where taste, and ease, and elegance conspir'd,
To form the whole, and make the whole admir'd.

And now, though last, not least in my esteem,
My rural cot, fond subject of my theme;
May no rude blasts assail thy humble roof,
May'st thou be wind, and storm, and water proof!
Thy unassuming height beneath the sky
No contest seeks, but lets the storm pass by.

Ye flowering shrubs and newly planted trees,
Bow your sweet heads, nor brave the wintry breeze;
Then shall your fragrant bloom, through vernal showers,
Prepare to greet us with your choicest flowers.

So when the genial spring again appears,
And to the eye your drooping beauty rears,
Reviving, grateful for the sheltering aid,
Shoot forth your leaves to form for us a shade;
Breathe all your odours in a rich perfume,
Give to our bosoms all your beauteous bloom!
Cherish the songsters, whose melodious notes,
With warblings wild, late swell'd their little throats;
Recall the nightingales who sweetly trill'd,
And with soft harmony our garden fill'd!
So shall our fostering care thy wants supply,
Whilst fondly gazing with a lover's eye.


Page 131

LICIDUS TO ANNET.

THE DEPARTURE.

AS from your presence sadly I withdrew,
To every happiness I bade adieu!
To every joy which fancy could inspire,
To every tender hope, and fond desire,
Farewell!--and oh, where'er thou dost remain,
Joy of my heart, and solace of the plain,
To thy dear breast may sorrow never steal,
Nor any care, but such as lovers feel!
How oft, Annetta, didst thou mournful say,
Absence would wear my love for thee away;
And oh, how often have I vainly strove
To check that passion thou should'st disapprove!
But ah, those traits where sweetness, void of art,
Sports playful round my unresisting heart;
Point thy sweet page whence all my sorrows rose,
Still serve to wake the genius of my woes!
For now, alas! where'er I turn my view,
Imagination fondly pictures you;
Views, in idea, all the worth you boast,
Whilst in the lover all the man is lost:
Ev'n from the circle of the belles, I see
My heart still constant fondly turns to thee;
Turns to Annetta, where are graceful join'd
The gentlest manners with the noblest mind!


Page 132

For know, dear maid, though many may pretend
With tuneful praise their own soft hopes to blend;
To act the hero's, or the lover's part,
None bears a warmer, none a truer heart,
Than he who pays your worth this tribute due;
And only asks--to live or die with you.


Page [133]

COMIC POETRY.

No subject so mean, that poetry cannot elevate, and
render interesting. ANON.

Page [134]


Page [135]

COMIC POETRY.

TO SENEX.

WHILE some for fame, and some for pay indite,
And some to Damon, some to Phyllis, write;
While some, with sportive fancy, distant roam--
Come, gentle Muse, I'll sit with thee at home:
And while, with choral songs, all eager run,
To court the brilliance of the rising sun,
Be ours the task, by every playful wile,
To draw from age and pain one gentle smile;
We'll form a maze, whose light fantastic course
Shall woo the mind to search its pristine source;
Divert the thoughts from scenes of deep distress,
And, by amusing, strive to make them less;
To soothe an anxious hour, is all I ask:
Haste then, my muse, assist the well meant task.

Hark! the full chords, in soft ambiguous verse,
A young and tender orphan's birth rehearse:
"Reserve with frankness, art with truth, ally'd--
"Courage with softness, modesty with pride:"
Listen--ah, list!--for sweetly sad she sings,
While, to amuse, the loveliest form she brings.


Page 136

ÆNIGMA.

MY origin from parent earth I drew,
Beauteous my shape, and animated too;
Yet, though compos'd of flesh, and blood, and bone,
In the wide world I seem'd to walk alone:
I never knew a father's honour'd name;
No one e'er breath'd that could that title claim:
I never felt a mother's dear embrace
Press my young limbs, or kiss my cherub face;
I'd none could claim that sweetly tender tie,
Watch my soft slumbers, sing my lullaby;
None like myself had e'er appear'd before,
Or like myself breath'd one on that bless'd shore:
Found on a bank, alone, though not forlorn,
No kindred near, for of no woman born.
Rural my lodging, veil'd from mortal eyes;
My couch, soft flowers; my canopy, the skies:
Where'er I slept, the hyacinth and rose,
Breath'd round my pillow, sweeten'd my repose;
The choicest fruits, by nature's magic wand,
Bow'd their ripe sweets to meet my gathering hand:
The limpid stream, that bubbles as it flies,
My mirror now, and now my drink supplies.
List then to me, while further I proclaim
The traits by which you cannot miss my name--
My shape, at first, was marvellously strange,
I've undergone a most prodigious change!


Page 137

Bent like a bow, 'tis said, I first appear'd--
Had neither sight, taste, smell, nor ever heard;
And had I ever thus remain'd, 'tis clear,
I'd sav'd both you and thousands many a tear;
Yet, by a wond'rous chain, by me is given
The way, the means, the only path to heav'n.
Strange contradiction, at such time, to say,
To black perdition I point out the way!
Strange it may seem, yet shortly 'twill appear,
List, gentle reader! while I make it clear.
Not through set forms, shrewd hints, such slow degrees,
My mind, my person, gain'd such power to please;
Artless, untaught--to me each charm was given--
Nature's choice proof-print, masterpiece of Heaven!
In one short hour, each grace was at full height,
Creation gaz'd, enraptur'd at the sight!
For ne'er before had breath'd the vital air
A form so soft, so exquisitely fair:
My mind adorn'd with every shining grace,
With downcast loveliness, my blooming face;
Grace, majesty, and mildness, sweetly strove,
My form was harmony! my voice was love!
Fraught with sweet hopes, soft fears I seem'd to fly,
Joy in my look, and heaven in my eye;
Lightly I tripp'd upon the verdant earth
The self same hour that nature gave me birth;
In converse sweet, that day, familiar join'd,
Plighted my vows, my liberty resign'd.

Ah, what a theme!--my animated soul
Bounds to get free, and scarce will bear controul;


Page 138

Brief, then, perforce I quit the advent'rous line;
Convinc'd ere now its mazes you define:
So thin the veil, spun by these cobweb rhymes,
You've guess'd it o'er and o'er an hundred times.


Page 139

TO A LADY,

Upon her Ænigma, published in the Star, 13th Sept. under
the signature of "Eliza."

AT first I said "the Muse shall weave
"A veil for Adam--to deceive
    "The painter of his wife:
"Dream'd of inditing her for stripping,
"Fair Wisdom's tree of every pippin,
    "In complimental strife."

But waking, recollect with grief,
That Pope had charg'd another thief,
     *    Already with the crime;
And, shrinking from superior verse,
Like me, incurr'd the fatal curse,
    Of hobbling scrannel rhyme.


Page 140

Proceed, sweet warbler! to detain,
In harmony's love-twisted chain,
    The listening world around--
Till every man shall feel, and own,
That sensibility alone
    In female verse is found!

Instead of endless fuss and prate,
By time employ'd to soothe the great,
    And drag their moments on;
You teach him to transform the hours
To moments, which the wretch devours--
    No sooner here than gone.

Yet may I take my frequent stand,
Where your delicious slight-of-hand
    Shall steal my life away:
My sun of labour almost set,
No further tedious task to get,
    Oh, let me go to play.

* Such the caprice of our Twickenham bard, or rather such his unconquerable resentment of Lady M. W. Montague's ill-timed wit, at some sportive moment, circulated against his peevish self, that this admirable compliment, and his most exquisite climax--
     Her I transported touch, transported view,
     And call her angel, goddess, Montague,
were totally expunged from the later editions of his Poems.

SENEX.


Page 141

CHARADES.


I

MY first is a damsel, or black, brown, or fair;
My next is what each one wou'd leave to his heir;
And though both together would form your undoing,
Yet separate pursued, there is no harm in wooing:
Yet parted , some people would think it a miss is,
And for lack of my second, might slacken their kisses;
Contradictory still, I oft cause you to moan,
And 'tis mostly asserted, come seldom alone.


II.

My first cator coz, to the riddle above,
Exhibits (or aught) a soft object of love;
My next styles the whole, either good or unjust,
In as much as you title, or favour my first;
Though here I must own, and confess with a sigh,
That not for my goodness e'er mention'd am I.


III.

Closely allied to those foregoing,
Shrew'd wits my origin to man trace woe in;
And thinking, so my first may guess a miss ,
And yet be right in that, as those in this;
My last to sceptic principles portend,
The whole I'd shun--nor ever wish my friend!
Observe, howe'er you puzzle round about,
By chance at last, 'tis like you'll find me out:


Page 142

Say, do you wish I wou'd be more explicit.
Mention my first, and you'll be sure to miss it .


IV.

Again, as relative, another cousin
Wou'd mention crave,--out of at least a dozen!
Indeed so numerous are this female train,
'Twould take an age their persons to explain;
For though some difference in each weird sister,
You'd bless your stars, to say to each --I've miss'd her.

And yet 'tis strange, for fair their mother's face is,
And much men strive to merit her good graces;
So full of charms most men at times have thought her,
They'd rather gain the mother than the daughter:
So all attractive, he no blemish spies,
Not e'en the purry blink about her eyes!
For he extols, in rapturous phrase, each feature,
And vows, he ne'er did see--so sweet a creature;
Unceasing flatters, fawns, and risks all toils,
All dangers hazards to enjoy her smiles;
If she but points--he flies at her command,
O'er seas, in air, o'er Lybia's burning sand:
Oft, after all, she frowning turns her head,
Then up starts miss, her daughter, in her stead;
Daughters I might have said, their number such is,
And woe betide the man that's in their clutches!
For though mamma and misses seldom draw,
They're ready, at her frown, to clapper claw;


Page 143

For if all ills through one is not at hand,
Round flock the rest to lend an helping hand;
So close in unison the group you'll find,
If one appears, the rest are just behind!

Their half-like harpies borrows female features,
To prey on man, and harass human creatures;
What though oft caution'd, men do seldom woo them,
They cling, beset, and, though dislik'd, pursue them!
A few, indeed, of this ill fating crew,
Wou'd neutral stand--then these you oft pursue.
For only one, decidedly you'd wave,
Yet oft this very one, your soul might save!
Sorrows prevail where'er this one appears,
She deals out miseries, and delights in tears.

One, only one, of all this motley race,
Could ever raise a smile upon your face;
And she's so mischievous, so archly droll,
You cannot quarrel with her for your soul;
Such monkey tricks she plays, you yet could huff her,
For laugh yon must, though you could soundly cuff her;
Like Will-o'-wisp, she leads through bogs and snows,
And often bumps a man upon his nose:
Some's sure to laugh whatever harm she's done ye,
Ye say--Lord, who can help it,--she's so funny!
While some will laugh, others make sad grimaces,
Laugh, as 'tis call'd, on t'other side their faces.


Page 144

Was once variety the mode to please ye,
She'll mimic every character to teaze ye;
Droll and fantastic, masquerade's her choice,
Do you know me?--she squeaks, with well feign'd voice!
Her only sport, if not downright to grieve ye,
Is to make people laugh, when she deceives ye:
And to say truth, mirth's so much in her power,
She sets the people laughing every hour.
Brief then, my first , doth make it here her boast,
To claim a share, at times, in each man's toast;
But if my next too oft doth push the glass,
You'll form my whole, and soon forget your lass.


V.

My first should seem of noble birth,
    As stars adorn my frame;
My second's mother to a race,
    Oft trumpeted by fame.
Thus though admir'd and prais'd apart,
    Yet when we form the whole,
A more detested hag ne'er rose
    To freeze your inmost soul.


VI.

My first much sought, when out of place,
My next should be of hardy race;
My whole oft causes tears and sighs,
Though sometimes view'd with sparkling eyes,
A source of woe, a spring of joys,
And comes in view with thundering noise.


Page 145


VII.

My first all in white, the cold weather discloses,
At the tips of your fingers, or ends of your noses;
My next with the grave a sure inmate is near,
If you don't guess me quickly, the whole you'll appear.


VIII.

My first a costly wine, my second a staple commodity,
My whole is a penitent's dress!
And to wear it, you'd look like an oddity.


IX.

My first and second, spelt alike,
    And both pronounc'd the same;
Breathe them together or at you
    I'll realize the name.


X.

My first doth part the strongest ties,
    My next as firm doth bind;
My whole each morn all seek and hope,
    Or soon or late to find.


XI.

My first and second spelt alike,
    Produce the most endearing sounds;
The sweetest cadence on the ear,
    Though oft with sorrow it abounds.


XII.

My first's a food we've all partook,
    My next we learn'd soon after;
Breathe them together, and you'll find
    They'll soon produce some laughter.


Page 146

SOLUTION OF MRS. F--'S

Ænigmatical Toast, of "Here's a health to the man who
loves another man's child better than his own."

GOOD morrow to you, gentle neighbour,
I've guess'd your toast, with some small labour:
Last night, reclin'd upon my bed,
It popp'd by chance into my head;
O ho! thought I, and instant smil'd,
I've caught thee, little curious child!
And do allow, in words and tone,
Thou may'st be lov'd beyond man's own:
Nay, thou art such a coaxing elf,
He loves thee oft beyond himself;
And sure this ne'er can kindle strife;
For should not man prefer his wife
To son or daughter, friend, or brother,
Though she's the offspring of another ?
And be such man or high or low,
I'll sound his praise where'er I go:
Much I mistake, or well I scan,
That near me dwells much such a man.
And you will own 'tis just as true,
That he prefers this child in you .


Page 147

LINES TO MRS. F.

Not being able to find out one of her Riddles.

            MY dear Mrs. Field,
            To your wit we must yield;
            And own that we blunder,
            And completely knock under.
            We've ta'en wond'rous pains,
            And all puzzled our brains:
            Went to London, and then,
            We attack'd it again;
            Ask each friend that we see,
            Who are stupid as we!
            Now, do tell us, I pray,
            For I' am teaz'd night and day;
It really my mind and my spirit unhinges,
I can't find it out, if you'd give me the Indies .
            Kind thanks for Azore,*
            He has nought to deplore,
            But is lively and stout,
            And with glee frisks about;
            At the window sits clever,
            And as noisy as ever;
Will take care again how so swift he descends,
Or lumps neck and heels on the heads of his friends.

* A Pomeranian dog, who fell out at window.


Page 148

A CARD TO MISS LEE.

ELIZA 'S best comp'ts to her good friend Miss Lee,
Proposes to meet her--this evening at tea;
To join in a little blithe innocent laughter,
But if pre-engag'd,--why then, any day after.

Here be it premis'd, and as well understood,
She wou'd vow to make one, let whate'er be the mood;
Should sentiment reign, she is quite a proficient;
If more comic your turn--she will not be deficient.

Her work in her pocket--you know 'tis small matter
If there it continue--so that we all chatter;
If nobody else, why ourselves we shall please;
And the most they can say--'tis the humming of B's.

Be it further enacted,--it is our intention,
Should the foregoing articles please your convention,
If, (made and provided , a lawyer's expressions,)
You approve of my plan, without farther digressions,
I mean in few words a short date to prefix,
And (errors excepted)--I'll meet you at six.


Page 149

EPIGRAMMATIC CONFUTATION

Of two ancient Proverbs, in a late Accession to a large
Fortune.
            "Go farther, and fare worse.
            "Far fetch'd, and dear bought, is good for ladies."

Whilom, perchance, the proverb was in force,
"Belike you'd farther go, and fare the worse;"
A la bonne heure , the distance too is far
'Twixt London town, and princely Tredegar;
Yet in the jaunt, we fearless brave the curse,
To farther go, nor fear to fare the worse;
For here the proverb's baulk'd , sith doth appear ,
Full many a goodly thousand pounds a year:
Add to the adage, hight before our gay days,
Far fetch'd , dear bough t, is muckle good for ladies.
Far fetch'd , belike it mote , but not dear bought ,
I ween is here ne sung, ne more than thought;
So sooth to say, perdie, here's two detections,
No general rule withouten some exceptions;
And though their name they droppen too we're told,
They nothing lose --but adden to their * gold.

* The play upon words in the last line , is in allusion to the family changing their names from Gould , to Morgan, for the Tredegar estate.


Page 150

LINES

From a Lady to a Gentleman.  Occasioned by her borrowing
some Silver of him, at a Charity Sermon.

"HAVE patience with me, and I'll pay thee all,"
So points sweet mercy's page, to great and small.
These words we're told some sage had made his text
When urg'd by creditors, and sorely vex'd;
The ready verse divided into two,
And made as much of each--as man cou'd do.
"Patience, my friends, (for they were gaping round,)
"Have patience with me,--(here a sigh profound;)
"Patience, angelic power, (his hand aloft,)
"Sweet attribute of Heaven, (and here he cough'd,)
"Patience, with soft, forbearing, dove-like mien,
"O, who would not with such a face be seen;
"Like mercy's dews, it oil of gladness makes,
"Blessing both him that gives, and him that takes!
"O, brethren, brethren, think how short your space is,
"And with this oil of mercy--'noint your faces;
"Then turn to me, your poor petitioning brother,
"Remembering, one good turn deserves another;
"Just glancing slightly o'er that fav'rite line,
"To err is human,--to forgive, divine."
With point , turn , emphasis , in every view,
Mercy's sweet powers the anxious pleader drew.


Page 151

More had he urg'd, but wisely looking round,
The heavy eye and nodding head he found:
"Then to my last, I your attention call;
"Namely, good people, I will pay ye all! --
"But time is short,--live, live in peace and unity,
"For that I must defer till another opportunity."


Page 152

ANSWER

By the same Gentleman.

PATIENCE , God knows, in this enlighten'd time,
Once call'd a virtue , is esteem'd a crime:
A sneaking wretch, who rivets on your chain,
And if she lengthens life, but lengthens pain;
A foe to duel , suicide , and treason ,
Cardinal virtues these in days of reason.
How can Eliza then a part enjoin,
So far unworthy of her taste, and mine?
Have patience with you!--no, indeed I shan't;
Pay what you owe me, if you can or can't;
Or, when I see you, be assured of this,
I'll pay myself by seizing of a kiss.

D.


Page 153

SKETCH

Of the present Fashions, compared with those of former
Times.

MODES , and the queen of dress, I mean to sing;
Sweet magic fancy, bear me on thy wing;
Fashion! fantastic, gay, bewitching ape,
For ever varying, ever changing shape;
Fickle, inconstant, restless, like the bee,
And only true to dear variety.
Despotic power, in spite of all resistance,
Thou still wilt hold while time shall have existence:
Vain the harangues, thy laws to reprobate,
By turncoat orators just out of date.
The ins will laugh at outs in every age,
Whate'er the bluster, storm, or party rage;
Howe'er ye rant, and roar, and loudly blame,
Ye were , we are , and both act just the same.

Since, then, like states is our express condition,
Let's e'en shake hands, and form a coalition.
What must be, must be, why then all this fuss?--
We laugh at you, why don't you laugh at us!
Here's then a fashion ripe to make ye titter,
Once the high ton by some yclep'd a fritter;
Tied on a caxen, all so debonair,
Or stuck behind a Jemmy Jessy's hair.


Page 154

Next scan the club!--then laugh a little louder,
Pond'rous with grease, false hair, and cramm'd with powder;
Fraught with the overplus, all down his back,
As if just 'scap'd a miller's weighty sack;
Yet, spite of all, 'twas clear to all beholders,
He had his queue , for loading thus his shoulders.--

Now view the neckcloth!--here I'm sure you'll grin,
Swathe upon swathe, you'll scarce discern the chin;
A pouting pigeon, poultic'd round the neck,
Fold upon fold inclosing half a peck:
That though the dinner's e'er so nicely carv'd,
Fearing to grease the 'broider'd ends, he's starv'd.
Peering through spectacles, the beau you find,
For now one tonish mark is to be blind;
Or pendent glass at button-hole to wear;
Nothing's so vulgar as your seeing clear:
To broken whispers now all talk's confin'd,--
O, 'tis so stylish to be deaf and blind!
Such anecdotes for laughter there are plenty,
But for my purpose one's as well as twenty.

Here as I mean to hold, ere I have done,
Laughter 'gainst all impartially as one;
So with my little self I'll make as free,
I've laugh'd at you--now turn, and laugh at me.

First, on my head, I wear a tiny bonnet,
Built up with gauze, and store of ribands on it;


Page 155

Round its small rim is hung a black lace curtain,
So deep, say truth, I'm blinded--that's for certain;
But to curtail it would my taste expose,
Wear it I must, though stumbling on my nose:
But then, as times are hard, and bread is dear,
I wear no powder in my flowing hair;
And as your feasts are banish'd, and your paste,
So we, to copy you, curtail our waist:
More frugal still than you at city hall,
For people vow we have no waist at all;
Nor waste of clothing, all so sleek and fine,
Clinging like lanky linen on a line;
Nor waste of whalebone now our dresses clogs,
They're just drawn round us like the dancing dogs:
For infants' jams just now the ton are styl'd,
What then! 'tis only once a man, and twice a child!--
And were we not to dress somewhat like this,
You'd sneering say, Lord, what a horrid quiz!
O, smoke the bore--the ill-dress'd Gothic creature!--
Out of the mode's a solecism in nature.
Yet what avails our banishing our waist,
Your waste of waistcoats much alike in taste;
All bundled round,--short coats the flaps out sticking,
Just like the fan-tail of a new-fledg'd chicken;
With cape deep trench'd, so stiff, and rais'd so high,
The neck and ears are in the pillory;
They altogether form so great a swell,
He wreaths around like tortoise in a shell.
Yet after all, I'm sure I cannot blame
Look at my riding dress, 'tis much the same;


Page 156

With such a length of petticoat before,
I trail the dust, and stumble o'er and o'er!
So long, so clinging are they, nine in ten,
Muffling our feet, just like a Bantum hen:
Whilst near our shoulders, which is thought more stupid,
Our habit flaps are furl'd, like wings of Cupid.
Then stooping, bending, tonishly convex,
Just back to back, our outline is an X;
Or, as some one might add, that's like the most
To two spread eagles' congees on a post:
To sit upright would be, among the jokers,
As though we all our days had eaten pokers:
Well then, 'tis clear, without much penetration,
We are not of the stiff -neck'd generation.

Here are two sketches of a modern date,
What, my son Tom, and you, my daughter Kate?
Yes, dear papa, 'tis Tom, your hopeful spark,
We're ready dress'd, to totter through the Park!
Some now would say, comparisons are odious,
But, by your leave, just here they're quite commodious;
For could our grandames peep but on our stage,
Here would they shake their pinner'd coifs with rage:
Here would they spread their hands, lament, deplore,
Though we act just as they have done before.

Were I dispos'd, in turn, to sketch their dress,
The ruff, the farthingale of good queen Bess;


Page 157

The heavy point, the expensive Brussels laces,
Roll'd, tier on tier, in plaits around their faces!
The enormous hoop, with steely ribs made strong,
The spiral waist, almost an acre long,
Before, behind, the boddice you might see,
Slop'd to a point, just like the letter V:
And so the hair to match we might express,
Rose to a point, slop'd beautifully less;
Then, on the pinnacle, you might descry
A little cap, yclep'd a butterfly;
And in the spout, or poke, a glittering stone,
A garnet aigrette, or a smart pompone;
With point-lace lappets floating down the back,
Over my aunt's rump-suit, or granny's saque;
On velvet-tassel'd stool the rich lac'd shoe,
Turn'd at the toe, like stern of a canoe:
Then who costs most, now own, it is not puzzling,
Your silks and laces, or our simple muslin?
For though replenish'd oftener, I own,
Yet 'tis so pleasant, ten smart suits for one!
Now, do not frown, for pos, I mean no other,
Than shew we're six of one, and six of t'other;
Sometimes the hair was worn curl'd close in rows,
And on one side a glowing damask rose;
Or, as Sir Peter Lily drew his Graces,
With little cork-screws twirling down their faces;
All neatly rang'd their shining locks he lacker'd,
Like modern heads, unpaper'd or uncracker'd:
One hand held out (I vow it makes me merry,)
On it a parrot ogling of a cherry;


Page 158

All tempting hung before poor Polly's beak,
As though the cherry blush'd--the bird could speak.
Some upon canvas, yet more thrifty, stand,
With shuttle, thread, and knotting in their hand;
The little finger airily display'd,
And on the slab the 'broider'd work-bag laid;
Whilst flowers, and fruit, and little dogs by dozens,
Fill up the portraits of our ancient cousins.

Next view the martial beau! in steel so gay,
Like man in armour, on a lord mayor's day!--
Let those look fierce, who ne'er look'd fierce before,
And those who fierce have look'd, look fierce the more!
With dark mustachoes, looking such a droll one;
Pinch'd like parenthesis, or semicolon:
With tufted chin, to charm they could not fail,
Quirl'd like the feather of the pool drake's tail;
Whilst those in Charles's days, (or so we've heard,)
Slop'd to a point the bristles of their beard;
All coax'd and oil'd, and tapering was their plan,
Spread by degrees just like a lady's fan;
Some more luxuriant stray'd, ne'er clipp'd the edge,
The unsheer'd tendrils of a quickset hedge;
So thick and bushy round the good men's jaws,
A shady grove to screen and roost jackdaws:
And yet these Damons languish'd out sonnettos,
Each were thought lovely by inamoratos.
Then some again, whose faces had more good in,
Sleek, plump, and shining, like a suet pudding;


Page 159

All so erect, so spruce, so sweetly smiling,
With 'bacco-pipe, and book, the time beguiling:
Sitting in high rais'd chair, of carv'd work frame,
A crimson curtain, and stuff back the same;
Fring'd their cravats, just dangling to their ribs,
Or tuck'd in button-hole, like slobb'ring bibs;
With cut slash-sleeves, and 'broider'd satin waistcoat,
Peeping beneath a claret colour'd best-coat;
With squar'd-toed shoes, fine flowing flaxen wigs,
These were our grandames' bucks for dancing jigs!
One hand in bosom, as't should say--"'tis I,"
Look, pinner'd damsels,--look your last--and die!
Have you not seen, in parlour or in hall,
Such an Adonis hung against a wall;
And dost not think, that thus dress'd cap-a-pee,
He's full as much conceit as you or me?
If different modes, seem different ages growth,
'Tis the same sentiment inspires us both;
And still, howe'er some may declaim with passion,
We mean the same, and differ but in fashion.

"Be to our virtues, very, very kind;
"Be to these venial faults a little blind;"
Banish keen censure from the generous mind,
And reason will prevail, in turn, you'll find.


Page 160

IMPROMPTU.

Said Frank to Phil, admire my nag,
    For words I'm at a loss,
So exquisite in every part!
    Do, praise my--hobby-horse.
Quoth Phil to Frank--all this, nay more,
    I'll swear to please--but mind me,
When you are dashing off full speed,
    Don't make me ride--behind ye.


Page 161

IMPROMPTU.

AS o'er her face, to take the air,
    Vanessa drew a gauze,
Lothario with a vacant stare
    Most archly ask'd the cause.

If that (bespoke the Cynic wight,)
    You think you cannot fail
To screen your charms, you're seen in spite,
     Quite plain --beneath your veil.

You're seen as plain , quoth she again,
    To such her Cynic scanners;
And, as a friend, my veil I'll lend
    Till ye have gain'd--good manners.


Page 162

A TOUR TO THE GLACIERS OF SAVOY.

An Epistle to John Waller, Esq.

ESCAP'D from an ocean of ice,
    From the wonders we've been to explore,
I send you my thanks in a trice;
    And I wish'd to have sent them before.

So charm'd with your elegant lays,
    Your kind wishes for all were so hearty,
I would I could send you the bays
    Thought your due by each one of our party.

You cannot conceive, my good Sir,
    What a chagrin I felt to depart
With only a verbal devoir,
    When I felt so well pleas'd in my heart.

So delighted with what I had read,
    To describe it would make it the less,
Like music it runs in my head;
    I wou'd praise--but I cannot express.

Why so distant? full oft have I said--
    Such good neighbours should live near together;
My genius is heavy as lead,
    Which, near you, was as light as a feather.


Page 163

Yet ere we adieu for the last,
    I hope you forget not the plan;
Let us have one more social repast,
    And pray, let it be at Lausanne.

O come, but to hear where we've been,
    What a frolic we've ta'en in our gay days;
In us the old proverb is seen;
    "Far fetch'd and dear bought's good for ladies."

When we parted with you at Genevè,
    The road was enchantingly various;
We began for to laugh in our sleeve,
    When they talk'd of the things that would scare us.

The Arve it flow'd winding along
    Cultur'd vales, as we view'd them askance;
Enraptur'd we chatted and sung,
    Till arriv'd at the town of Sallenche.

Ah me, then our troubles began,
    For our carriage no further could go,
So we, stuff'd in a vile charabanc,*
    Be-jerk'd from our top to our toe.


Page 164

* Charabanc , a wooden machine to convey passengers over the mountains, in shape like the long carriages for musical instruments; it is open on the sides, and the travellers sit back to back, on benches placed length ways, with a foot-board, or plank, in the same direction, to prevent their falling out; it is drawn by mules, and having no springs, the motion is inexpressibly rough, over very uneven and stony roads.

O, Gemini me! what a squalling,
    As along the rough muleteer bang'd us;--
O, hold fast, be sure,--each kept bawling,
    As through the wild torrents he twang'd us.

Look here! and see there!--cried each one,
    As over such steeps we were twitch'd;
But I vow in the midst of the fun!
    I thought our mule driver bewitch'd!

Such twistings and jerkings there were,
    Predetermin'd to heartily bump us;
Zig-zag, like a dog in a fair,
    To all the four points of the compass.

However, to shorten my story,
    In very few words may be said,
When you get to the vale of Chamouny,
    All your twitches and jerks are repaid.

For though many a vale we had pass'd,
    And o'er mountains, whose heads were gigantic,
Yet this vale of all vales, at the last,
    Was beyond every thing most romantic.


Page 165

I wish'd for a genius of fire,
    I wish'd for a thousand of quills,
Of paper, far more than a quire,
    To sketch but each beauty it fills.

For though I no genius was born,
    From such wishes I am not exempt;
Your pen would the subject adorn:
    You might soar,--but I must not attempt.

From this vale you ascend the Glaciers;
    On our ten toes we brav'd the fatigues;
That day laid aside female fears,
    And trudg'd, there and back, full eight leagues.

O, such puffing, and breathing, and blowing,
    Some languishing, faint, half expiring!
Some danc'd, others sung, as a-going,
    Melting airs!--for we all were perspiring.

The guides they stump'd first, looking big,
    With a prong, we each one scrambled after;
Though they all talk'd of dancing a jig,
    I protest I was far off from laughter.

Curiosity nudg'd me me vain,
    For slipping I look'd to my feet,
Though expiring, I durst not complain;
    But with ecstasy cry'd--Lord, how sweet!


Page 166

Such chasms there yawn'd on the plain,
    As fearful I peep'd o'er the rocks,
Ay, if ever you catch me again,
    I deserve to be clutch'd in your stocks.

Then sliding and trembling again,
    Each wonder fresh frights on us heaping,
Each silently grunting through pain,
    Though forewarn'd, we must all pay for peeping.

Arriv'd at the Maison de Blair,
    A hut that is not over nice,
Yet pleas'd, although homely the fair!
    Then went on to the ocean of ice.

If to wonder it makes you look old,
    Such wonder of wonders are in it;
Muse but how those billows are roll'd,
    You'd be ninety years old in a minute.

Suppose the sea heaving and swelling,
     Arrested in act of that motion ,
With colours the rainbow excelling,
    And you'll faintly conceive the Ice Ocean.

The torrents that scare you withal,
    The deep fissures that strike ye with wonder,
The immense rocks of ice, as they fall,
    With reverb'rating noise loud as thunder.


Page 167

Yet though 'twas enchantingly fine,
     Très superbe, magnifique , the rude murmur,
Still the part I thought nearest divine,
    Was when my feet touch'd terra firma .

Down the mountain we trudg'd it again,
    Each anxious to see the dear valley;
The whole party were hopping through pain,
    Like a group of lame ducks in an alley.

But oh, woe on woe, on the plain,
    Three good miles had we yet for to go;
We were caught in a deluge of rain,
    And besous'd from our top to our toe.

The lightning it flash'd in our faces,
    The hail it bespatter'd us round;
We all made most direful grimaces;
    To hear the hoarse thunder resound.

Had you seen but the droop of our hats,
    Not a thread 'mongst us all of dry linen;
Though we look'd like a parcel of rats,
    'Midst our troubles we cou'd not help grinning.

Arriv'd at our inn at the last,
    Our kind hostess she thought it so handy,
Before any other repast,
    To drench us all round with some brandy.


Page 168

Then in our hot beds we reclin'd,
    Each serv'd with a bason of whey;
Yet withal, 'twas a wonder to find
    We had none of us colds the next day.

But now the plot thickens, good Sir;
    We were all for Martini that night;
O, the road 'twas so bad, and so far!
    'Twould have turn'd your wig grey, with the fright.

Such a mountain of mountains to climb,
    It was out of all carriage's rules!
As 'tis out of my power to rhyme
    The figure we cut upon mules.

En cavalier one after t'other,
    We mounted the Col de Baum's ridge,
Whilst to keep up the rear rode my brother;
    Like so many ducks o'er a bridge.

And first, like Dean Swift, we went up,
    And then we went down, down, down a,
And then we were wrench'd o'er a gap,
    That I thought would have cracked our crown a.

And then we went sideling away,
    In good truth I was struck with such awe, Sir,
Like a stuck pig, I star'd with dismay,
    With my eyes near as large as a saucer!


Page 169

For the mules they would go as they chose, Sir,
    Rightly judging, they knew the way best;
And though dreading to fall on my nose, Sir,
    I found 'twas in vain to contest.

Had you been in the valley below,
    As we seem'd to be scrambling o'er trees,
You'd have ta'en us, each one for a crow;
    Or the maggotty fry in a cheese.

Then such calling each one for our guides,
    That from laughter you'd not have withstood,--
A huge peasant at each of our sides,
    Hand in hand, like the babes in the wood.

Yet in spite of our delicate woe,
    Each beauty rose on us so fast,
And more to my fancy, I know,
    As I knew it was--mountain the last.

Arriv'd at the top, we descended,
    On tiptoe; but think of our toil,
When we thought that the worst it was ended,
    To find we must trudge near four mile.

O, such walking, good Heaven defend us!
    Though the guides seem'd to have it by rote;
Sure never was aught so tremendous,
    Fit for no earthly foot,--save a goat.


Page 170

Still hobbling, we fagg'd it again,
    And sideling like crabs, reach'd the vale;
To have kept on the mules would been vain,
    Unless we'd been tied on their tail.

On their stomachs, they slid down some places,
    How enlivening this sight was to boot;
It caus'd us a few more grimaces;
    And I hugg'd myself, stumbling on foot.

Pass'd the steepest, we mounted again,
    O, sure for fatigue such a trimming!
After all, three full hours in hard rain;
    So that into the town we went swimming.

Such a group of deplorable creatures,
    Bedaggled and wet to the skin,
Yet we hardly could summons our features
    To look grave, when we came to the inn.

Such an inn,--such a villainous inn,
    The Grande Maison 'tis call'd at Martini;
Should any one stop there again,
    I would set that one down for a ninny.

The beds were so dirty and small,
    Bugs and fleas they attack'd us by dozens;
But what teaz'd me more than them all,
    Were those plagues of all plagues, call'd your cousins* .

* Cousin, a little fly in the mountains, smaller than our gnats but whose bite is much more irritating and venomous.


Page 171

After all our fatigues, only think,
    To be bor'd by those vermin all night,
That of sleep I could not get a wink;
    And I actually blubber'd through spite!

But when we got up in the morning,
    Each thinking themselves bit as me,
We began with a concert of yawning--
    For with but one eye could I see!

The other was clos'd up from day,
    Hands and arms too, so swell'd and so sore,
Each shew'd such a direful display,
    That I wish'd myself home o'er and o'er.

Here our carriage rejoin'd us again,
    And in we all tumbled, such frights;
From complaining no one could refrain;
    For a season, quite sicken'd with sights.


Page 172

EXPLANATIONS.

The Ænigma --Eve.
CHARADES. THE END.