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V E R S E S,
WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OF A GENTLEMAN TO WHOM A LADY HAD GIVEN A
SPRIG OP MYRTLE *.
WHAT hopes, what terrors, does this gift create? Ambiguous emblem of uncertain fate. The myrtle (ensign of supreme command, Consign'd to Venus by Melissa's hand) Not less capricious than a reigning fair, Oft favours, oft rejects, a lover's pray’r. In myrtle shades oft sings the happy swain, In myrtle shades despairing ghofts complain. The myrtle crowns the happy lovers heads, Th' unhappy lovers graves the myrtle spreads. Oh! then, the meaning of thy gift impart, · And ease the throbbings of an anxious heart. Soon must this sprig, as you shall fix its doom, Adorn Philander's head, or grace his tomb.
* These verses were first printed in a Magazine for 1768, but were written between forty and fifty years ago. Elegant as they are, they were composed in the short space of five minutes.
To Lady FIREBRACE*,
At BURY ASSIZES.
AT length must Suffolk beauties shine in vain,
To LYCE, an elderly Lady.
By flatt'ring poets given,
In all the pomp of Heaven;
Which gild a lover's lays, But, as your sister of the sky,
Let Lyce thare the praise.
* This lady was Bridget, third daughter of Philip Bacon, Esq. of Ipswich, and relict of Philip Evers, Elg. of that town. She became the second wife of Sir Cordell Firebrace, the lasi Baronet of that name (to whom the brought a fortune of 25,000l.), July 26, 1737. Being again left a widow in 1759. fhe was a third time married, April 7, 1762, to Williain Campbell, Esq. uncle to the present Duke of Argyle; and died July 3, 3 $2.
Her filver locks display the moon,
Her brows a cloudy show,
And show'rs from either flow.
Her teeth the night with darkness dyes,
She's starrid with pimples o'er ;
And can with thunder roar.
But some Zelinda, while I fing,
Denics my Lyce shines;
Attack my gentle lines.
Yet, spite of fair Zelinda's eye,
And all her bards express, My Lyce makes as good a sky,
And I but flatter less.
ON THE DEATH OF
A Practiser in Physic.
As on we toil from day to day,
Our social comforts drop away.
See Levet to the grave descend,
Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.
Yet ftill he fills Affection's eye,
Obfcurely wise, and coarsely kind; Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny
Thy praise to merit unrefin'd. When fainting nature call’d for aid,
And hov'ring death prepard the blow, His vig'rous remedy display'd
The pow's of art without the show.
In misery's darkest cavern known,
His useful care was ever nigh,
And lonely want retir'd to die.
No summons mock'd by chill delay,
No petty gain disdain’d by pride, The modest wants of ev'ry day
The toil of ev'ry day lupply'd.
His virtues walk'd their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void; And sure th' Eternal Mafter found
The single talent well employ'd.
The busy day- the peaceful night,
Unfelt, uncounted, glided by; His frame was firm his powers were bright,
Though now his eightieth year was nigh.
Then with no fiery throbbing pain,
No cold gradations of decay, Death broke at once the vital chain,
And freed his soul the nearest way.
EPITAPH on CLAUDE PHILLIPS,
AN ITINERANT MUSICIAN*.
PHILIPS ! whose touch harmonious could remove
THOMAM HANMER, BARONETTUM.
Honorabilis admodum THOMAS HANMER,
Baronettus, Wilhelmi Hanmer armigeri, è Peregrina Henrici
North De Mildenhall in Com. Suffolciæ Baronetti forore
* These lines are among Mrs. Williams's Miscellanies: they are nevertheless recognized as Johnson's in a memorandum of his hand-writing, and were probably written at her request. Phillips was a travelling fidler up and down Wales, and was greatly celebrated for his performance. + At Hanmer church, in Flintshire.