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SUGGESTED BY HIS SITUATION. Born near the scene for Kenelm's' fate renown'd,
I take my plaintive reed, and range the grove, And raise my lay, and bid the rocks resound
The savage force of empire and of love. Fast by the centre of yon various wild,
Where spreading oaks embower a Gothic fane, Kendrida's arts a brother's youth beguild;
There Nature urg'd her tenderest pleas in vain. Soft o'er his birth, and o’er his infant hours,
The' ambitious maid could every care employ, Then with assiduous fondness cropt the flow'rs,
To deck the cradle of the princely boy. But soon the bosom's pleasing calm is flown;
Love fires her breast; the sultry passions rise : A favour'd lover seeks the Mercian throne,
And views her Kenelm with a rival's eyes. How kind were Fortune! ah ! how just were Fate !
Would Fate or fortune Mercia's heir remove! How sweet to revel on the couch of state!
To crown at once her lover and her love! See, garnish'd for the chase, the fraudful maid
To these lone hills direct his devious way; The youth, all prone, the sister-guide obey'd,
Ill-fated youth! himself the destin'd prey. 1 Kenelm, in the Saxon heptarchy, was heir to the king. dom of Mercia, but being very young at his father's death, was, by the artifices of his sister and her lover, deprived of his crown and life together. The body was found in a piece of ground near the top of Clent hill, exactly facing Mr. Shenstone's house, near which place a church was afterwards erected to his memory, still used for divine worship, and called St. Kenelm's. See Plot's History of Staffordsbire,
But now nor shaggy hill nor pathless plain
Forms the lone refuge of the silvan game, Since Lyttelton has crown'd the sweet domain
With softer pleasures and with fairer fame. Where the rough bowman urg'd his headlong steed,
Immortal bards, a polish'd race, retire; [ceed And where hoarse scream'd the strepent horn, suc
The melting graces of no vulgar lyre.
For Britain's friend the verdant wreath prepare! Or, studious of revolving seasons, tell
How peerless Lucia made all seasons fair ! See *** from civic garlands fly,
And in these groves indulge his tuneful vein! Or from yon summit, with a guardian's eye,
Observe how Freedom's hand attires the plain! Here Pope!-ah! never must that towering mind
To his lov'd haunts or dearer friend return ! What art, what friendships ! oh, what fame resign'd!
-In yonder glade I trace his mournful urn. Where is the breast can rage or hate retain,
And these glad streams and smiling lawns behold? Where is the breast can hear the woodland strain,
And think fair Freedom well exchang’d for gold ? Throngh these soft shades delighted let me stray,
While o'er my head forgotten suns descend! Through these dear vallies bend my casual way,
Till setting life a total shade extend ! Here far from courts, and void of pompous cares,
I'll muse how much I owe mine humbler fate; Or shrink to find how much Ambition dares,
To shine in anguish, and to grieve in state!
Can'st thou, O Sun! that spotless throne disclose,
Where her bold arm bas left no sanguine stain? Where, show me where, the lineal sceptre glows,
Pure as the simple crook that rules the plain?
In kindred bosoms solve the social tie;
Nor void of art the consort's melting eye.
No face is brighten'd and no bosoms beat ; Youth, manhood, age, avow one sordid aim,
And ev'n the beardless lip essays deceit. There coward Rumours walk their murderous round;
The glance that more than rural blame instills : Whispers that ting'd with friendship, doubly wound;
Pity that injures, and concern that kills. There anger whets, but love can ne'er engage;
Caressing brothers part but to revile ; There all men smile, and Prudence warns the sage
To dread the fatal stroke of all that smile. There all are rivals! sister, son, and sire,
With horrid purpose hug destructive arms; There soft-ey'd maids in murderous plots conspire,
And scorn the gentler mischief of their charms. Let servile minds one endless watch endure;
Day, night, nor hour, their anxious guard resign; But lay me, Fate! on flowery banks secure,
Though my whole soul be, like my limbs, supine. Yes; may my tongue disdain a vassal's care;
My lyre resound no prostituted lays ; More warm to merit, more elate to wear
The cap of Freedom than the crown of bays.
Sooth'd by the murmurs of my pebbled flood,
I wish it not o'er golden sands to flow; Cheer'd by the verdure of my spiral wood,
I scorn the quarry where no shrub can grow. No midnight pangs the shepherd's peace pursue;
His tongue, his hand, attempts no secret wound; He sings his Delia ; and, if she be true,
His love at once and his ambition's crown'd.
HE TAKES OCCASION, FROM THE FATE OF ELEANOR
OF BRETAGNE', TO SUGGEST THE IMPERFECT
When Beauty mourns, by Fate's injurious doom,
Hid from the cheerful glance of human eye; When Nature's pride inglorious waits the tomb,
Hard is that heart which checks the rising sigh. Fair Eleonora! would no gallant mind
The cause of Love, the cause of Justice, own? Matchless thy charms, and was no life resign'd
To see them sparkle from their native throne? Or had fair Freedom's hand unveil'd thy charms,
Well might such brows the regal gem resign; Thy radiant mien might scorn the guilt of arms,
Yet Albion's awful empire yield to thine. O shame of Britons ! in one sullen tow'r
She wet with royal tears her daily cell; She found keen anguish every rose devour:
They sprung, they shone, they faded, and they fell. 1 Eleanor of Bretagne, the lawful heiress of the English crown, upon the death of Arthur, in the reign of King John. She was esteemed the beauty of her time; was imprisoned forty years (till the time of her death) in Bristol castle.
Through one dim lattice, fring'd with ivy round,
Successive suns a languid radiance threw, To paint how fierce her angry guardian frown'd,
To mark how fast her waning beauty flew. This Age might bear; then sated Fancy palls,
Nor warmly hopes what splendour can supply; Fond Youth incessant mourns, if rigid walls
Restrain its listening ear, its curious eye. Believe me ** the pretence is vain !
This boasted calm that smooths our early days; For never yet could youthful mind restrain
The' alternate pant for pleasure and for praise. Ev'n me, by shady oak, or limpid spring,
Ev'n me, the scenes of polish'd life allure; Some genius whispers, 'Life is on the wing,
And hard his lot that languishes obscure. "What though thy riper mind admire no more
The shining cincture and the broider'd fold Can pierce like lightning through the figur'd ore,
And melt to dross the radiant forms of gold. Furs, ermines, rods, may well attract thy scorn,
The futile presents of capricious Pow'r!
And who but envies then the social hour?
Forget how ** sustains the shepherd's cause? Content in shades to tune a lonely reed,
Nor join the sounding pæan of applause? • For public haunts, impell’d by Britain's weal,
See Grenville quit the Muse's favourite ease; And shall not swains admire his noble zeal ?
Admiring praise, admiring strive to please?