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ADDRESSED TO THE EARL OF CARLISLE, K. G.
RETIRED, remote from human noise,
A humble Poet dwelt serene;
His lot was lowly, yet his joys
Were manifold, I ween.
He laid him by the brawling brook
At eventide to ruminate,
He watched the swallow skimming round,
And mused, in reverie profound,
On wayward man's unhappy state,
And pondered much, and paused on deeds of ancient date.
"Oh, 'twas not always thus," he cried,
"There was a time, when Genius claimed
Respect from even towering Pride,
Nor hung her head ashamed:
But now to Wealth alone we bow,
The titled and the rich alone
Are honoured, while meek Merit pines,
On Penury's wretched couch reclines,
Unheeded in his dying moan,
As overwhelmed with want and woe, he sinks unknown.
"Yet was the muse not always seen
In Poverty's dejected mien,
Not always did repining rue,
And misery her steps pursue.
Time was, when nobles thought their titles graced,
By the sweet honours of poetic bays,
When Sidney sung his melting song,
When Sheffield joined the harmonious throng,
And Lyttleton attuned to love his lays.
Those days are gone-alas, for ever gone!
No more our nobles love to grace
Their brows with anadems, by genius won,
But arrogantly deem the muse as base;
How different thought the sires of this degenerate race!"
Thus sang the minstrel :-still at eve
The upland's woody shades among
In broken measures did he grieve,
With solitary song.
And still his shame was aye the same,
Neglect had stung him to the core;
And he with pensive joy did love
To seek the still congenial grove,
And muse on all his sorrows o'er,
And vow that he would join the abjured world no more.
But human vows, how frail they be!
Fame brought Carlisle unto his view,
And all amaz'd, he thought to see
The Augustan age anew.
Filled with wild rapture, up he rose,
No more he ponders on the woes,
Which erst he felt that forward goes,
Regrets he'd sunk in impotence,
And hails the ideal day of virtuous eminence.
Ah! silly man, yet smarting sore,
With ills which in the world he bore,
Again on futile hope to rest,
An unsubstantial prop at best,
And not to know one swallow makes no summer!
Ah! soon he'll find the brilliant gleam,
Which flashed across the hemisphere,
Illumining the darkness there,
Was but a single solitary beam,
While all around remain'd in customed night.
Still leaden Ignorance reigns serene,
In the false court's delusive height,
And only one Carlisle is seen,
To illumine the heavy gloom with pure and steady light.
DESCRIPTION OF A SUMMER'S EVE.
Down the sultry arc of day
The burning wheels have urged their way,
And Eve along the western skies
Down the deep, the miry lane,
Creeking comes the empty wain,
And driver on the shaft-horse sits,
Whistling now and then by fits;
And oft, with his accustom'd call,
Urging on the sluggish Ball.
The barn is still, the master's gone,
And thresher puts his jacket on,
While Dick, upon the ladder tall,
Nails the dead kite to the wall.
Here comes shepherd Jack at last,
He has penn'd the sheep-cote fast,
For 'twas but two nights before,
A lamb was eaten on the moor:
His empty wallet Rover carries,
Now for Jack, when near home, tarries.
With lolling tongue he runs to try,
If the horse-trough be not dry.
The milk is settled in the pans,
supper messes in the cans;
In the hovel carts are wheeled,
And both the colts are drove a-field;
The horses are all bedded up,
And the ewe is with the tup.
The snare for Mister Fox is set,
The leaven laid, the thatching wet,
And Bess has slink'd away to talk
With Roger in the holly-walk.
And little Tom, and roguish Kate,
Are swinging on the meadow gate.
Now they chat of various things,
Of taxes, ministers, and kings,
Or else tell all the village news,
How madam did the 'squire refuse;
How parson on his tithes was bent,
And landlord oft distrained for rent.
Thus do they talk, till in the sky
The pale-ey'd moon is mounted high,
And from the alehouse drunken Ned
Had reel'd-then hasten all to bed.
The mistress sees that lazy Kate
The happing coal on kitchen grate
Has laid-while master goes throughout,
Sees shutters fast, the mastiff out,
The candles safe, the hearths all clear,
And nought from thieves or fire to fear;
Then both to bed together creep,
And join the general troop of sleep.
COME, pensive sage, who lovest to dwell In some retir'd Lapponian cell,
Where, far from noise and riot rude,
Resides sequestered Solitude.