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Epistles, odes, and other Poems.
Tanti non es, ais. Sapis, Luperce.
MARTIAL, Lib. 1. Epig. 118.
PLUTARCH. περι παιδων αγωγης.
TO FRANCIS, EARL OF MOIRA,
CONSTABLE OF THE TOWER, ETC.
My Lord:-It is impossible to think of addressing a I went to America with prepossessions by no means Dedication to your Lordship without calling to mind the unfavourable; and indeed rather indulged in many of well-known reply of the Spartan to a rhetorician, who those illusive ideas with respect to the purity of the proposed to pronounce an eulogium on Hercules. « On government and the primitive happiness of the people, llercules! , said the honest Spartan, - who ever thought which I had early imbibed in my native country, where, of blaming Hercules? , In a similar manner the con- unfortunately discontent at home enhances every discurrence of public opinion has left to the panegyrist of tant temptation, and the western world has long been your Lordship a very superfluous task. I shall therefore looked to as a retreat from real or imaginary oppresbe silent on the subject, and merely entreat your indul- sion, as the clysian Atlantis, where persecuted patriots gence to the very humble tribute of gratitude which I might find their visions realized, and be welcomed by have here the honour to present.
kindred spirits to liberty and repose. I was completely I am, my Lord,
disappointed in every flattering expectation which I had With every feeling of attachment and respect, formed, and was inclined to say to America, as Horace Your Lordship's very devoted servant,
says to his mistress, « intentata nites. Brissot, in the THOMA MOORE
prcface to his travels, observes, that freedom in that
country is carried to so high a degree as to border upon 27, Bury-street, St James's, April 10, 1806.
a state of nature;; and there certainly is a close approximation to savage life, not only in the liberty which
they enjoy, but in the violence of party spirit and of PREFACE.
private animosity which results from it. This illiberal zeal embitters all social intercourse; and, though I
scarcely could hesitate in selecting the party, whose The principal poems in the following Collection were
views appeared the more pure and rational, yet
I was written during an absence of fourteen months from
sorry to observe that, in asserting their opinions, they Europe. Though curiosity was certainly not the motive both assume an equal share of intolerance; the Demo of my voyage to America, yet it happened that the gra- crats
, consistently with their principles, exhibiting a tification of curiosity was the only advantage which I vulgarity of rancour, which the Federalists too often are derived from it. Finding myself in the country of a
so forgetful of their cause as to imitate. new people, whose infancy had promised so much, and
The rude familiarity of the lower orders, and indeed whose progress to maturity has been an object of such the unpolished state of society in general, would neither interesting speculation, I determined to employ the surprise nor disgust if they seemed to flow from that short period of time, which my plan of return to Eu- simplicity of character, that honest ignorance of the rope afforded me, in travelling through a few of the closs of refinement, which may be looked for in a new States and acquiring, some knowledge of the inhabi- and inexperienced people. But, when we find them
arrived at maturity in most of the vices, and all the The impression which my mind received from the pride of civilization, while they are still so remote from character and manners of these republicans, suggested its elegant characteristics, it is impossible not to feel the Epistles which are written from the city of Wash- that this youthful decay, this crude anticipation of the ington and Lake Eric. How far I was right, in thus natural period of corruption, represses every sanguine assuming the tone of a satirist against a people whom
hope of the future
greatness of America. I viewed but as a stranger and a visitor, is a doubt
I am conscious that, in venturing these few remarks, which
feelings did not allow me time to investigate. I have said just enough to offend, and by no means All I presume to answer for is the fidelity of the picture sufficient to convince; for the limits of a preface will which I have given; and though prudence might have dictated gentier language, truth, I think, would have nions, and I am committed on ihe subject as effectually
not allow me to enter into a justification of my opijustified severer.
as if I had written volumes in their defence. My reader, · Epistles VI, VII, and VIII.
however, is apprized of the very cursory observation
upon which these opinions are founded, and can easily The heart may let its wanton wing decide for himself upon the degree of attention or con- Repose awhile in pleasure's spring; fidence which they merit.
But, if it wait for winter's breeze, With respect to the poems in general which occupy The spring will dry, the heart will frecze! the following pages, I know not in what manner to And then, that llope, that fairy Hope, apologize to the public for intruding upon their notice Oh! she awaked such happy dreams, such a mass of unconnected trifles, such a world of And gave my soul such tempting scope epicurean atoms, as I have here brought in conflict to- For all its dearest, fondest schemes, gether. To say that I have been tempted by the liberal That not Verona's child of song, offers of my bookseller, is an excuse which can hope When flying from the Phrygian shore, for but little indulgence from the critic; yet I own With lighter hopes could bound along, that, without this seasonable inducement, these poems Or pant to be a wanderer more! very possibly would never have been submitted to the world. The glare of publication is too strong for such Even now delusive hope will steal imperfect productions: they should be shown but to Amid the dark regrets I feel, the eye of friendship, in that dim light of privacy, Soothing as yonder placid beam which is as favourable to poetical as to female beauty, Pursues the murmurers of the deep, and serves as a veil for faults, while it enhances every
And lights them with consoling gleam, charm which it displays. Besides, this is not a period
And smiles them into tranquil sleep! for the idle occupations of poetry, and times like the Oh ! such a blessed night as this, present require talents more active and more useful. I often think, if friends were near, Few have now the leisure to read such trifles, and I How we should feel, and gaze
with bliss sincerely regret that I have had the leisure to write Upon the moon-bright scenery here! them.
The sea is like a silvery lake,
And o'er its calm the vessel glides
Gently, as if it fear'd to wake
The slumber of the silent tides !
The only envious cloud that lowers, TO LORD VISCOUNT STRANGFORD.
Hath hung its shade on Pico's height,?
Where dimly, 'mid the dusk, he towers,
And, scowling at this Heaven of light,
Exults to see the infant storm
Cling darkly round his giant form!
Now, could I range those verdant isles
Invisible, at this soft hour,
And see the looks, the melting smiles, Now wanders o'er that starry sky,
That brighten many an orange bower; Should smile, upon thy orb to meet
And could I lift each pious veil, The recollection, kind and sweet,
And see the blushing check it shades, The reveries of fond regret,
Oh! I should have full many a tale,
To tell of young Azorian maids.3
Dear Strangford' at this hour, perhaps,
Some faithful lover (not so blest
As they who in their ladies' laps
May cradle every wish to rest) For ever past, when brilliant joy
Warbles, to touch his dear one's soul, Was all my vacant heart's employ:
Those madrigals, of breath divine,
Which Camoens' harp from rapture stole,
And gave, all glowing warm, to thine !4
Oh! could the lover learn from thee,
And breathe them with thy graceful tone,
Such dear beguiling minstrelsy
Would make the coldest nymph his own.
And turn'd the leaf with folly's feather ! I little thought that all were fled,
"Alluding to these animated lines in the 4th Carmen of this That, ere that summer's bloom was shed,
Jam mens prætrepidans avet vagari, My eye should see the sail unfurld
Jam læti studio pedes vigescunt! That wafts me to the western world!
· Pico is a very high mountain on one of the Azores, from which
the island derives its name. It is said by some to be as high as the And yet 't was time-in youthful days,
Peak of Teneriffe. To cool the season's burning rays,
* I believe it is Guthrie who says, that the inhabitants of the Azores
are moch addicted to gallantry. This is an assertion in which even Pythagoras ; who was supposed to have a power of writing upon Gothrio may be credited. the moon by the means of a magic mirror.--Sec Barle, art. Pythag. * These islands belong to the Portuguese.
Yet, oh!—not many a suffering hour,
Thy cup of shame on earth was given: Benignly came some pitying power,
And took the Lyre and thee to heaven! There, as thy lover dries the tear
Yet warm from life's malignant wrongs, Within his arms, thou lovest to hear
The luckless Lyre's remember'd songs ! Suill do your happy souls attune
The notes it learn’d, on earth to move; Still breathing o'er the chords, commune
In sympathies of angel love!
TO THE FLYING-FISH.' Warn I have seen thy snowy wing O'er the blue wave at evening spring, And give those scales, of silver white, So gaily to the eye of light, As if thy frame were form’d to rise, And live amid the glorious skies; Oh! it has made me proudly feel, How like thy wing's impatient zeal Is the pure soul, that scorns to rest Upon the world's ignoble breast, But takes the plume that God has given, And rises into light and Heaven!
I heard, in home's beloved shade,
But when I see that wing, so bright,
Oh virtue! when thy clime I seek,
TO MISS M--E.
When, lull'd with innocence and you, "It is the opinion of St Austin, apon Genesis, and, I believe, of nearly all the Fathers, that birds, like fish, were originally produced from the waters ; in defence of which idea they have collected every fanciful circumstance whicb can tend to prove a kindred similitude between them ; συγγενειαν τους πετομενοις προς τα νηκτα. With this thought in our minds when we first see the flying-6ish, we could almost fancy that we are present at il e moment of creation, and witness the birth of the first bird from t hewaves.
The warrior here, in arms no more,
And he, who came,
of all bereft, To whom malignant Fate had left Nor home nor friends nor country dear, Finds home and friends and country here!
Such is the picture, warmly such,
Oh! love the song, and let it oft
But, courage yet, my wavering heart!
Perhaps his little eyes are shaded
Dim by Death's eternal chillAnd yet, perhaps, they are not faded;
Life and love may light them still.
Thus, when my soul with parting sigh,
Hung on thy hand's bewildering touch, And, timid, ask'd that speaking eye,
If parting pain'd thee half so much:
I thought, and, oh! forgive the thought,
For who, by eyes like thine inspired, Could e'er resist the flattering fault
Of fancying what his soul desired ?
Yes, I did think, in Cara's mind,
Though yet to Cara's mind unknown, I left one infant wish behind,
One feeling, which I call'd my own!
Such romantic works as The American Farmer's Letters, and the Account of Kentucky, by Ixlar, would seduce us into a belief, that innocence, peace, and freedom had deserted ibe rest of the world, for Martha's Vineyard and the banks of the Ohio. The French travellers too, almost all from revolutionary motives, have contributed their share to the diffusion of this flattering misconception. A visit to the country is, however, quite sufficient to correct even the most enthusiastic prepossession.
* Norfolk, it must be owned, is an unfavourable specimen of America. The characteristics of Virginia in general are pot such as can delight either tbe politician or tbe moralist, and at Norfolk they are exhibited in their least attractive form, At the time when we arrived the yellow fever bad not yet disappeared, and every odoir tbat assailed us in the streets very strongly accounted for its visitation.
A trifling attempt at musical composition accompanied this Epistle.
Oh blest! though but in fancy blest,
How did I ask of pity's care, To shield and strengthen in thy breast
The nursling I had cradled there!
The poems which immediately follow. > Bermuda.