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And echoing praises, such as fiends might earn,
And Folly pays, resounds at your return.
A calm succeeds-but Plenty, with her train
Of heart-felt joys, succeeds not soon again,
And years of pining indigence must show
What scourges are the gods that rule below.
Yet man, laborious man, by slow degrees,
(Such is his thirst of opulence and ease)
Plies all the sinews of industrious toil,
Gleans up the refuse of the general spoil,
Rebuilds the towers, that smoked upon the plain,
And the sun gilds the shining spires again.
Increasing commerce and reviving art
Renew the quarrel on the conqueror's part;
And the sad lesson must be learned once more,
That wealth within is ruin at the door.
What are ye, monarchs, laureled heroes, say,
But Etnas of the suffering world ye sway?
Sweet Nature, stripped of her embroidered robe,
Deplores the wasted regions of her globe;
And stands a witness at Truth's awful bar,
To prove you there destroyers as ye are.
O place me in some Heaven-protected isle, Where Peace, and Equity, and Freedom smile; Where no volcano pours his fiery flood, No crested warrior dips his plume in blood; Where Power secures what industry has won; Where to succeed is not to be undone; A land, that distant tyrants hate in vain, In Britain's isle, beneath a George's reign!
ON THE RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE OUT OF NORFOLK.
The Gift of my Cousin Anne Bodham.
O THAT those lips had language! Life has passed
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine-thy own sweet smile I see,
The same, that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
"Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!"
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Blest be the art that can immortalize,
The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim
To quench it) here shine on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
O welcome guest, though unexpected here!
Who bidd'st me honour with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long.
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own;
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief,
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream, that thou art she.
My Mother! when I learned that thou wast dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed?
Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son,
Wretched e'en then, life's journey just begun?
Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a kiss;
Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss-
Ah, that maternal smile! it answers-Yes.
I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,
And, turning from my nursery window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu!
But was it such?-It was.-Where thou art gone,
Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown.
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,
The parting word shall pass my lips no more!
Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return.
What ardently I wished, I long believed,
And disappointed still, was still deceived.
By expectation every day beguiled,
Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent,
I learned at last submission to my lot,
But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot.
Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more,
Children not thine have trod my nursery floor;
And where the gardener Robin, day by day,
Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapped
In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet cap,
'Tis now become a history little known,
That once we called the pastoral house our own.
Short-lived possession! but the record fair
That memory keeps of all thy kindness there,
Still outlives many a storm, that has effaced
A thousand other themes less deeply traced.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,
That thou might'st know me safe and warmly
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,
The biscuit, or confectionary plum;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed
By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glowed:
All this, and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
Ne'er roughened by those cataracts and breaks
That humour interposed too often makes;
All this still legible in memory's page,
And still to be so to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to day
Such honours to thee as my numbers may;
Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,
Not scorned in Heaven though little noticed here.
Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
I pricked them into paper with a pin,
(And thou wast happier than myself the while, Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head and
Could those few pleasant days again appear, Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?
I would not trust my heart-the dear delight
Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might-
But no-what here we call our life is such,
So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast
(The storms all weathered and the ocean crossed)
Shoots into port at some well-havened isle,
Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile,
There sits quiescent on the floods, that show
Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay;
So thou, with sails how swift! hast reached the
"Where tempests never beat nor billows roar,"*
And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide
Of life long since has anchored by thy side.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always distressed-
Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest tossed,
Sails ripped, seams opening wide, and compass
And day by day some current's thwarting force
Sets me more distant from a prosperous course.
Yet O the thought, that thou art safe, and he
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not, that I deduce my birth
From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise-
The son of parents past into the skies.
And now, farewell-Time unrevoked has run
His wonted course, yet what I wished is done.
By Contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem t' have lived my childhood o'er again;
To have renewed the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine;
And, while the wings of fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft-
Thyself removed, thy power to sooth me left.
WHAT virtue, or what mental grace, But men unqualified and base
Will boast it their possession? Profusion apes their noble part Of liberality of heart,
And dullness of discretion, If every polished gem we find, Illuminating heart or mind: Provoke to imitation:
No wonder friendship does the same,
That jewel of the purest flame,
Or rather constellation.
No knave but boldly will pretend,
The requisites that form a friend,
A real and a sound one;
Nor any fool, he would deceive
But prove as ready to believe,
And dream that he had found one.
Candid, and generous, and just,
Boys care but little whom they trust,
An error soon corrected-
For who but learns in riper years,
That man, when smoothest he appears,
Is most to be suspected?
But here again, a danger lies, Lest, having misapplied our eyes,
And taken trash for treasure, We should unwarily conclude Friendship a false ideal good,
A mere Utopian pleasure.
An acquisition rather rare
Is yet no subject of despair;
Nor is it wise complaining,
If either on forbidden ground,
Or where it was not to be found
We sought without attaining.
No friendship will abide the test, That stands on sordid interest,
Or mean self-love erected; Nor such as may awhile subsist, Between the sot and sensualist,
For vicious ends connected.
Who seeks a friend should come disposed T'exhibit in full bloom disclosed
The graces and the beauties That from the character he seeks; For 'tis a union, that bespeaks
Mutual attention is implied,
And equal truth on either side,
And constantly supported; 'Tis senseless arrogance t' accuse Another of sinister views,
Our own as much distorted.
But will sincerity suffice?
It is indeed above all price,
And must be made the basis;
But every virtue of the soul
Must constitute the charming whole,
All shining in their places.
A fretful temper will divide
The closest knot that may be tied,
By ceaseless sharp corrosion;
A temper passionate and fierce
May suddenly your joys disperse
At one immense explosion.
In vain the talkative unite
In hopes of permanent delight—
The secret just committed,
Forgetting its important weight,
They drop through mere desire to prate,
And by themselves outwitted.
How bright soe'er the prospect seems,
All thoughts of friendship are but dreams,
If envy chance to creep in;
An envious man, if you succeed,
May prove a dangerous foe indeed,
But not a friend worth keeping.
As envy pines at good possessed,
So jealousy looks forth distressed
On good that seems approaching;
And, if success his steps attend,
Discerns a rival in a friend,
And hates him for encroaching.
Hence authors of illustrious name,
Unless belied by common fame,
Are sadly prone to quarrel,
To deem the wit a friend displays
A tax upon their own just praise,
And pluck each other's laurel.
A man renowned for repartee
Will seldom scruple to make free
With friendship's finest feeling,
Will thrust a dagger at your breast,
And say he wounded you in jest,
By way of balm for healing.
Whoever keeps an open ear
For tattlers, will be sure to hear
The trumpet of contention;
Aspersion is the babbler's trade,
To listen is to lend him aid,
And rush into dissension.
A friendship, that in frequent fits
Of controversial rage emits
The sparks of disputation,
Like hand in hand insurance plates,
Most unavoidably creates
The thought of conflagration.
Some fickle creatures boast a soul
True as a needle to the pole,
Their humour yet so variousThey manifest their whole life through The needle's deviations too,
Their love is so precarious.
The great and small but rarely meet
On terms of amity complete;
Plebeians must surrender
And yield so much to noble folk,
It is combining fire with smoke,
Obscurity with splendour.
Some are so placid and serene
(As Irish bogs are always green)
They sleep secure from waking,
And are indeed a bog, that bears
Your unparticipated cares
Unmoved and without quaking.
Courtier and patriot can not mix
Their heterogeneous politics
Without an effervescence,
Like that of salts with lemon juice,
Which does not yet like that produce
A friendly coalescence.
Religion should extinguish strife,
And make a calm of human life;
But friends that chance to differ
On points, which God has left at large,
How freely will they meet and charge!
No combatants are stiffer.
To prove at last my main intent
Needs no expense of argument,
No cutting and contriving-
Seeking a real friend we seem
T'adopt the chemist's golden dream,
With still less hope of thriving.
Sometimes the fault is all our own,
Some blemish in due time made known
By trespass or omission;
Sometimes occasion brings to light
Our friend's defect long hid from sight,
And even from suspicion.
Then judge yourself and prove your man
As circumspectly as you can,
And, having made election, Beware no negligence of yours, Such as a friend but ill endures, Enfeeble his affection.
That secrets are a sacred trust,
That friends should be sincere and just,
That constancy befits them,
Are observations on the case,
That savour much of common-place,
And all the world admits them.
But 'tis not timber, lead, and stone,
An architect requires alone,
To finish a fine building-
The palace were but half complete,
If he could possibly forget
The carving and the gilding.
The man that hails you Tom or Jack,
And proves by thumps upon your back
How he esteems your merit,
Is such a friend, that one had need
Be very much his friend indeed,
To pardon or to bear it.
A similarity of mind,
Or something not to be defined,
First fixes our attention;
So manners decent and polite,
The same we practised at first sight,
Must save it from declension.
Some act upon this prudent plan,
"Say little and hear all you can:"
Safe policy, but hateful—
So barren sands imbibe the shower,
But render neither fruit nor flower,
Unpleasant and ungrateful.
The man I trust, if shy to me,
Shall find me as reserved as he;
No subterfuge or pleading
Shall win my confidence again;
I will by no means entertain
A spy on my proceeding.
These samples--for alas! at last
These are but samples, and a taste
Of evils yet unmentioned—
May prove the task a task indeed,
In which 'tis much if he succeed
Pursue the search, and you will find
Good sense and knowledge of mankind
To be at least expedient,
And, after summing all the rest,
Religion ruling in the breast
A principal ingredient.
The noblest friendship ever shown
The Saviour's history makes known,
Though some have turned and turned it;
And whether being crazed or blind,
Or seeking with a biassed mind,
Have not, it seems, discerned it.
O Friendship, if my soul forego
Thy dear delights while here below;
To mortify and grieve me,
May I myself at last appear
Unworthy, base, and insincere,
Or may my friend deceive me!
ON A MISCHIEVOUS BULL,
WHICH THE OWNER OF HIM SOLD AT THE AUTHOR'S INSTANCE.
Go-Thou art all unfit to share
The pleasures of this place
With such as its old tenants are,
Creatures of gentler race.
The squirrel here his hoard provides,
Aware of wintry storms,
And woodpeckers explore the sides
Of rugged oaks for worms.
The sheep here smoothes the knotted thorn
With frictions of her fleece;
And here I wander eve and morn,
Like her, a friend to peace.
Ah!-I could pity the exiled
From this secure retreat
I would not lose it to be styled
The happiest of the great.
But thou canst taste no calm delight;
Thy pleasure is to show
Thy magnanimity in fight,
Thy prowess-therefore go-
I care not whether east or north,
So I no more may find thee;
The angry muse thus sings thee forth,
And claps the gate behind thee.
Written in Commemoration of his Majesty's happy Recovery.
I RANSACKED, for a theme of song,
Much ancient chronicle and long;
I read of bright embattled fields,
Of trophied helmets, spears, and shields,
Of chiefs whose single arm could boast
Prowess to dissipate a host;
Through tomes of fable and of dream
I sought an eligible theme,
But none I found, or found them shared
Already by some happier bard.
To modern times, with Truth to guide
My busy search, I next applied;
Here cities won and fleets dispersed,
Urged loud a claim to be rehearsed,
Deeds of unperishing renown,
Our fathers' triumphs and our own.
Thus, as the bee, from bank to bower,
Assiduous sips at every flower,
But rests on none, till that be found,
Where most nectarcous sweets abound.
So I from theme to theme displayed
In many a page historic strayed,
Siege after siege, fight after fight,
Contemplating with small delight.
(For feats of sanguinary hue
Not always glitter in my view;)
Till settling on the current year,
I found the far-sought treasure near:
A theme for poetry divine,
A theme t' ennoble even mine,
In memorable eighty-nine.
The spring of eighty-nine shall be An era cherished long by me, Which joyful I will oft record, And thankful at my frugal board; For then the clouds of eighty-eight, That threatened England's trembling state With loss of what she least could spare, Her sovereign's tutelary care,
One breath of Heaven, that cried-Restore!
Chased, never to assemble more:
And for the richest crown on earth,
If valued by its wearer's worth,
The symbol of a righteous reign
Sat fast on George's brows again.
Then peace and joy again possessed
Our Queen's long-agitated breast;
Such joy and peace as can be known
By sufferers like herself alone,
Who losing, or supposing lost,
The good on earth they valued most,
For that dear sorrow's sake forego
All hope of happiness below,
Then suddenly regain the prize,
And flash thanksgivings to the skies!
O Queen of Albion, queen of isles!
Since all thy tears were changed to smiles,
The eyes, that never saw thee, shine
With joy not unallied to thine,
Transports not chargeable with art
Illume the land's remotest part,
And strangers to the air, of courts,
Both in their toils and at their sports,
The happiness of answered prayers,
That gilds thy features, show in theirs.
If they who on thy state attend, Awe-struck before thy presence bend, 'Tis but the natural effect
Of grandeur that ensures respect;
But she is something more than Queen,
Who is beloved where never seen.
FOR THE USE OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL AT OLNEY.
HEAR, Lord, the song of praise and prayer,
In Heaven thy dwelling place,
From infants made the public tare,
And taught to seek thy face.
Thanks for thy word, and for thy day,
And grant us, we implore,
Never to waste in sinful play
Thy holy sabbaths more.