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Th' adoring youth and envious fair,
Nor the soft sighs of vernal gales,
Not all the gems' on India's sbore,
Yet nature's charms allure my eyes,
WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OF A GENTLEMAN, TO WHOM A LADY HAD GIVEN A SPRIG OF MYRTLE".
What hopes, what terrours, does thy gift create!
h These verses were first printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1768, p. 439, but were written many years earlier. Elegant as they are, Dr. Johnson assured me, they were composed in the short space of five minutes.-N.
The myrtle (ensign of supreme command,
TO LADY FIREBRACE.
AT BURY ASSIZES. At length, must Suffolk beauties shine in vain, So long renown'd in B-n's deathless strain? Thy charms, at least, fair Firebrace, might inspire Some zealous bard to wake the sleeping lyre; For, such thy beauteous mind and lovely face, Thou seem'st at once, bright nymph, a muse and grace.
AN ELDERLY LADY.
By flatt'ring poets given;
In all the pomp of heaven;
This lady was Bridget, third daughter of Philip Bacon, esq. of Ipswich, and relict of Philip Evers, esq. of that town. She became the second wife of sir Cordell Firebrace, the last baronet of that name, to whom she brought a fortune of £25,000, July 26, 1737. Being again left a widow, in 1759, she was a third time married, April 7, 1762, to William Campbell, esq. uncle to the late duke of Argyle, and died July 3, 1782.
Engross not all the beams on high,
Which gild a lover's lays;
Let Lyce share the praise.
Her silver locks display the moon,
Her brows a cloudy show,
And show'rs from either flow.
Her teeth the night with darkness dies,
She's starr'd with pimples o'er ;
And can with thunder roar.
But some Zelinda, while I sing,
Denies my Lyce shines;
Attack my gentle lines.
Yet, spite of fair Zelinda's eye,
And all her bards express,
And I but flatter less,
ON THE DEATH OF
MR. ROBERT LEVET,
A PRACTISER IN PHYSICK.
CONDEMN'D to hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil, from day to day,
Qur social comforts drop away. * Thęsę stanzas, to adopt the words of Dr. Drake, “ are warm from the heart ; and this is the only poem, from the pen of Johnson, that ltas been bathed with tears.” Levet was Johnson's constant and attentive companion, for near forty years ; he was a practitioner in physie
, among the lower class of people,
Well try'd, through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.
Yet still he fills affection's eye,
Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind;
Thy praise to merit unrefined.
When fainting nature calld for aid,
And hov'ring death prepar'd the blow,
The pow'r of art, without the show.
In mis’ry's darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh,
And lonely want retir'd to die.
No summons, mock'd by chill delay,
No petty gain, disdain’d by pride;
The toil of ev'ry day supply'd.
His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void ;
The single talent well-employ’d.
The busy day--the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by ;
Though now his eightieth year was nigh.
in London. Humanity, rather than desire of gain, seems to have actuated this single bearted and amiable being; and never were the virtues of charity recorded in more touching strains. “ I am acquainted,” says Dr, Drake, “with nothing superior to them in the productions of the moral muse.” See Drake's Literary Life of Johnson; and Boswell, i, ii, iii, iv.-Ev.
Then, with no fiery throbbing pain,
No cold gradations of decay,
And freed his soul the nearest way.
EPITAPH ON CLAUDE PHILLIPS,
AN ITINERANT MUSICIAN'.
PHILLIPS! whose touch harmonious could remove
THOMAM HANMER, BARONETTUM.
Honorabilis admodum THOMAS HANMER,
These lines are among Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies : they are, nevertheless, recognised as Johnson's, in a memorandum of his handwriting, and were probably written at her request. This Phillips was a fiddler, who travelled up and down Wales, and was much celebrated for his skill. The above epitaph, according to Mr. Boswell, won the applause of lord Kames, prejudiced against Johnson as he was. It was published in Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies, and was, at first, ascribed to Garrick, from its appearing with the signature G.– Garrick, however, related, that they were composed, almost impromptu, by Jobinson, on hearing some lines on the subject, by Dr. Wilkes, which he disapproved. See Boswell, i. 126, where is, likewise, preserved an epigram, by Johnson, on Colley Cibber and George the second, whose illiberal treatment of artists and learned men was a constant theme of his execration. As it has not yet been inserted among Johnson's works, we will present it to the readers of the present edition, in this note.
Augustus still survives in Maro's strain,
ED. m At Hanmer church, in Flintshire.