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I've read, my friend, of Dioclesian,
And many other noble Grecian,
Who wealth and palaces resign'd
In cots the joys of peace to find;
Maximian's meal of turnip-tops
(Disgusting food to dainly chops),
I've also read of, without wonder;
But such a cursed egregious blunder,
As that a man of wit and sense,
Should leave his books to hoard up pence—
Forsake the loved Aonian maids,
For all the petty tricks of trades,
I never, either now, or long since,
Have heard of such a piece of nonsense;
That one who learning's joys hath felt,
And at the Muse's altar knelt,
Should leave a life of sacred leisure,
To taste the accumulating pleasure;
And, metamorphosed to an alley duck,
Grovel in loads of kindred muck.
Oh! 'tis beyond my comprehension!
A courtier throwing up his pension,--
A lawyer working without a fee,_
A parson giving charity,+
A truly pious methodist preacher,
Are not, egad, so out of nature.
Had nature made thee half a fool,
But given thee wit to keep a school,
I had not stared at thy backsliding;
But when thy wit I can conside in,
When well I know thy just pretence
To solid and exalted sense;
When well I know that on thy head
Philosophy her lights hath shed,
I stand aghast! thy virtues sum too,
And wonder what this world will come to!
Yet, whence this strain? shall I repine
That thou alone dost singly shine?
Shall I lament that thou alone,
Of men of parts, hath prudence known 7
LINEs on REApiNG THE POEMs of wanton. age Fourteen.
Oh, Warton! to thy soothing shell,
Stretch'd remote in hermit cell,
Where the brook runs babbling by,
For ever I could listening lie!
And, catching all the Muse's fire,
Hold converse with the tuneful quire,
What pleasing themes thy page adorn!
The ruddy streaks of cheerful morn,
The pastoral pipe, the ode sublime,
And Melancholy's mournful chime:
Each with unwonted graces shines
In thy ever-lovely lines.
Thy Muse deserves the lasting meed:
Attuning sweet the Dorian reed,
Now the lovelorn swain complains,
And sings his sorrows to the plains;
Now the Sylvan scenes appear
Through all the changes of the year;
Or the elegiac strain
Softly sings of mental pain,
And mournful diapasons sail
On the faintly-dying gale.
But ah! the soothing scene is o'er!
On middle flight we cease to soar,
For now the Muse assumes a bolder sweep,
Strikes on the lyric string her sorrows deep,
In strains unheard before.
Now, now the rising fire thrills high,
Now, now to heaven's high realms we fly,
And every throne explore;
The soul entranced, on mighty wings
With all the poet's heat up-springs,
And loses earthly woes;
Till, all alarmed at the giddy height,
The Muse descends on gentler flight,
And lulls the wearied soul to soft repose
TO THE MUSE. written AT Tile AGE OF FourtEEN.
ILL-FAtED maid, in whose unhappy train Chill poverty and misery are seen, Anguish and discontent, the unhappy bane Of life, and blackener of each brighter scene. Why to thy votaries dost thou give to feel So keenly all the scorns—the jeers of life? Why not endow them to endure the strife With apathy's invulnerable steel, Of self-content and ease, each torturing wound to heal
Ah! who would taste your self-deluding joys, That lure the unwary to a wretched doom, That bid fair views and flattering hopes arise, Then hurl them headlong to a lasting tomb? What is the charm which leads thy victims on To persevere in paths that lead to woef What can induce them in that route to go, In which innumerous before have gone, And died in misery, poor and woe-begone?
Yet can I ask what charms in thee are found; I, who have drunk from thine ethereal rill,
And tasted all the pleasures that abound Upon Parnassus' loved Aonian hill?
I, through whose soul the Muses' strains aye thrill! Oh! I do feel the spell with which I'm tied;
And though our annals fearful stories tell, How Savage languish'd, and how Otway died, Yet must I persevere, let whate'er will betide.
WHY should I blush to own I love? "Tis love that rules the realms above. Why should I blush to say to all, That virtue holds my heart in thrall?
Why should I seek the thickest shade, Lest Love's dear secret be betray'd 7 Why the stern brow deceitful move, When I am languishing with love?
Is it weakness thus to dwell
On passion that I dare not tell?
Such weakness I would ever prove :
"Tis painful, though 'tis sweet, to love.
THE WANDERING BOY. A 80NG,
When the winter wind whistles along the wild moor, And the cottager shuts on the beggar his door; When the chilling tear stands in my comfortless eye, Oh, how hard is the lot of the Wandering Boy!
The winter is cold, and I have no vest,
And my heart it is cold as it beats in my breast;
No father, no mother, no kindred have I,
For I am a parentless Wandering Boy.
Yet I had a home, and I once had a sire,
A mother who granted each infant desire;
Our cottage it stood in a wood-embower'd vale,
Where the ring-dove would warble its sorrowful tale.
But my father and mother were summon'd away,
And they left me to hard-hearted strangers a prey;
I fled from their rigor with many a sigh,
And now I'm a poor little Wandering Boy.
The wind it is keen, and the snow loads the gale,
And no one will list to my innocent tale;
I'll go to the grave where my parents both lie,
And death shall besriend the poor Wandering Boy.
The western gale,
Mild as the kisses of connubial love.
Plays round my languid limbs, as all dissolved,
Beneath the ancient elm's fantastic shade
I lie, exhausted with the noontide heat:
While rippling o'er his deep-worn pebble bed,
The rapid rivulet rushes at my feet,
Dispensing coolness-On the fringed marge
Full many a flow'ret rears its head, or pink,
Orgaudy daffodil.-T is here, at noon,
The buskin'd wood-nymphs from the heat retire,
And lave them in the sountain: here, secure
From Pan, or savage satyr, they disport;
Or, stretch'd supinely on the velvet turf,
Lull'd by the laden bee, or sultry fly,
Invoke the God of slumber. * * *
* * * * * - -
And, hark! how merrily, from distant tower,
Ring round the village-bells! now on the gale
They rise with gradual swell, distinct and loud;
Anon they die upon the pensive ear,
Melting in faintest music.—They bespeak
A day of jubilee; and of they bear,
Commixt along the unfrequented shore,
The sound of village dance and tabor loud,
Startling the musing ear of Solitude.
Such is the jocund wake of Whitsuntide,
When happy Superstition, gabbling eld!
Holds her unhurtful gambols—All the day
The rustic revellers ply the mazy dance
On the smooth-shaven green, and then at eve
Commence the harmless rites and auguries:
And many a tale of ancient days goes round.
They tell of wizard seer, whose potent spells
Could hold in dreadful thrall the laboring moon,
Or draw the fix'd stars from their eminence,
And still the midnight tempest.—Then anon
Tell of uncharnell'd spectres, seen to glide
Along the lone wood's unfrequented path,
Startling the 'nighted traveller; while the sound
Of undistinguish'd murmurs, heard to come
From the dark centre of the deep'ning glen,
Struck on his frozen ear.
"Tis then that Hope with sanguine eye is seen
Roving through Fancy's gay futurity;
Her heart light dancing to the sounds of pleasure,
Pleasure of days to come.—Memory too, then
Comes with her sister, Melancholy sad,
Pensively musing on the scenes of youth,
Scenes never to return."
Such subjects merit poets used to raise
The attic verse harmonious ; but for me
A deadlier theme demands my backward hand,
And bids me strike the strings of dissonance
With frantic energy.
"Tis wan Despair 1 sing; if sing I can
Of him before whose blast the voice of Song,
And Mirth, and Hope, and Happiness, all fly,
Nor ever dare return. His notes are heard
At noon of night, where, on the coast of blood,
The lacerated son of Angola
Howls forth his sufferings to the moaning wind;
And, when the awful silence of the night
Strikes the chill death-dew to the murderer's heart,
He speaks in every conscience-prompted word
Half-utter'd, half suppress'd—
"Tis him I sing—Despair—terrific name,
Striking unsteadily the tremulous chord
Of timorous terror–discord in the sound:
For to a theme revolting as is this,
Dare not I woo the maids of harmony,
Who love to sit and catch the soothing sound
Of lyre AEolian, or the martial bugle,
Calling the hero to the field of glory,
And firing him with deeds of high emprise,
And warlike triumph : but from scenes like mine
Shrink they affrighted, and detest the bard
Who dares to sound the hollow tones of horror.
Half wearied with the long and lonesome walk,
And felt strange sadness steal upon the heart,
And unaccountable.—The rural smells
And sounds speak all of peacefulness and home;
The lazy mastiff, who my coming eyed,"
Half balancing 'twixt fondness and distrust,
Recall’d some images, now half forgot,
Of the warm hearth at eve, when flocks are penn'd
And cattle housed, and every labor done.
And as the twilight's peaceful hour closed in,
The spiral smoke ascending from the thatch,
And the eve sparrow's last retiring chirp,
Have brought a busy train of hov'ring thoughts
To recollection,-rural offices,
In younger days and happier times perform'd ;
And rural friends, now with their grave-stones carved,
And tales which wore away the winter's night
Yet fresh in memory.—Then my thoughts assume
A different turn, and I am e'en at home.
That hut is mine; that cottage half-embower'd
With modest jessamine, and that sweet spot
Of garden-ground, where, ranged in meet array,
Grow countless sweets, the wall-flower and the pink
And the thick thyme-bush—even that is mine:
And that old mulberry that shades the court,
Has been my joy from very childhood up.
ak + - -
IN hollow music sighing through the glade,
The breeze of autumn strikes the startled ear,
And fancy, pacing through the woodland shade,
Hears in the gust the requiem of the year.
As with lone trend along the whisp'ring grove
I list the moan of the capricious wind,
I, too, o'er fancy's milky-way would rove,
But sadness chains to earth my pensive mind.
When by the huddling brooklet's secret brim
I pause, and woo the dreams of Helicon,
Sudden my saddest thoughts revert to him
Who taught that brook to wind, and now is gone.
When by the poet's sacred urns I kneel,
And rapture springs exultant to my reed,
The pacan dies, and sadder measures steal,
And grief and Montague demand the meed.
+ - - - -
Thou mongrel, who dost show thy teeth, and yelp,
And bay the harmless stranger on his way,
Yet, when the wolf appears, dost roar for help,
And scamperest quickly from the bloody fray;
Dare but on my fair fame to cast a slur,
And I will make thee know, unto thy pain,
Thou vile old good-for-nothing cur!
I, a Laconian dog, can bite again:
Yes, I can make the Daunian tiger flee,
Much more a bragging, soul-mouth'd whelp like thee.
Beware Lycambes', or Bupalus' fate—
The wicked still shall meet my deadly hate;
And know, when once I seize upon my prey,
I do not languidly my wrongs bemoan;
I do not whine and cant the time away,
But, with revengeful gripe, I bite him to the bone.
- - - - -
MANy invoke pale Hesper's pensive sway,
When rest supine leans o'er the pillowing clouds
And the last tinklings come
From the safe folded flock.
But me, bright harbinger of coming day,
Who shone the first on the primeval morn:
Me, thou delightest more—
Let the poor silken sons of slothful pride
Press now their downy couch in languid ease
While visions of dismay
Flit o'er their troubled brain.
Be mine to view, awake to nature's charms,
Thy paly flame evanish from the sky,
As gradual day usurps
The welkin's glowing bounds.
Mine, to snuff up the pure ambrosial breeze,
Which bears aloft the rose-bound car of morn,
And mark his early flight
The rustling skylark wing.
And thou, Hygeia, shalt my steps attend,
Thou, whom distracted, I so lately woo'd,
As on my restless bed
Slow past the tedious night;
And slowly, by the taper's sickly gleam,
Drew my dull curtain; and with anxious eye
Strove through the veil of night
To mark the tardy morn.
Thou, Health, shalt bless me in my early walk,
As o'er the upland slope I brush the dew,
And feel the genial thrill
Dance in my lighten’d veins.
And as I mark the Cotter from his shed
Peep out with jocund face—thou, too, Content,
Shalt steal into my breast,
Thy mild, thy placid sway.
Star of the morning! these, thy joys, I'll share,
As rove my pilgrim feet the sylvan haunts;
While to thy blushing shrine
Due orisons shall rise.
THE HERMIT OF THE PACIFIC; or, THE HORRORS OF UTTER solitude.
Oh! who can paint the unspeakable dismay Of utter Solitude, shut out from all Of social intercourse.—Oh! who can say What haggard horrors hold in shuddering thrall Him, who by some Carvaggian waterfall A shipwreck'd man hath scoop'd his desert cave, Where Desolation, in her giant pall, Sits frowning on the ever-falling wave That wooes the wretch to dig, by her loud shore, his