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Say thy life's new guided action

Flow'd from Virtue's fairest springsStill would Envy and Detraction

Double not their stings? Worth itself is but a charter To be mankind's distinguish'd martyr." I caught the moral, and cried, “ Hail! Spirit! let us onward sail Envying, fearing, hating none Guardian Spirit, steer me on!”

1824.

VALEDICTORY STANZAS

TO

J. P. KEMBLE, Esq.

COMPOSED FOR A PUBLIC MEETING, HELD JUNE, 1817.

PRIDE of the British stage,

A long and last adieu !
Whose image brought th' heroic age

Revived to Fancy's view.
Like fields refresh'd with dewy light

When the sun smiles his last,
Thy parting presence makes more bright

Our memory of the past;
And memory conjures feelings up

That wine or music need not swell,
As high we lift the festal cup

To Kemble--fare thee well!

His was the spell o'er hearts

Which only Acting lends,-
The youngest of the sister Arts,

Where all their beauty blends :
For ill can Poetry express

Full many a tone of thought sublime,

And Painting, mute and motionless,

Steals but a glance of time.
But by the mighty actor brought,

Illusion's perfect triumphs come,
Verse ceases to be airy thought,

And Sculpture to be dumb.

Time may again revive,

But ne'er eclipse the charm,
When Cato spoke in him alive,

Or Hotspur kindled warm.
What soul was not resign’d entire

To the deep sorrows of the Moor,--
What English heart was not on fire

With him at Agincourt?
And yet a majesty possess'd

His transport's most impetuous tone,
And to each passion of the breast

The Graces gave their zone.

High were the task--too high,

Ye conscious bosoms here!
In words to paint your memory

Of Kemble and of Lear ;
But who forgets that white discrowned head,

Those bursts of Reason's half-extinguish'd glare,
Those tears upon Cordelia's bosom shed,
In doubt more touching than despair,

If 'twas reality he felt?.

Had Shakspeare's self amidst you been, Friends, he had seen you melt,

And triumph'd to have seen!

And there was many an hour

Of blended kindred fame, When Siddons's auxiliar power

And sister magic came. Together at the Muse's side

The tragic paragons had grownThey were the children of her pride,

The columns of her throne, And, undivided favour ran

From heart to heart in their applause, Save for the gallantry of man

In lovelier woman's cause.

Fair as some classic dome,

Robust and richly graced,
Your KEMBLE's spirit was the home

Of genius and of taste;
Taste, like the silent dial's power,

That, when supernal light is given,
Can measure inspiration's hour,

And tell its height in heaven. At once ennobled and correct,

His mind survey'd the tragic page, And what the actor could effect,

The scholar could presage.

These were his traits of worth :

And must we lose them now ! And shall the scene no more shew forth

His sternly-pleasing brow! Alas, the moral brings a tear !

'Tis all a transient hour below; And we that would detain thee here,

Ourselves as fleetly go ! Yet shall our latest age

This parting scene review : Pride of the British stage,

A long and last adieu ?

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