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ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A LADY. THE midnight clock has toll'd; and hark, the bell Of death beats slow! heard ye the note profound? It pauses now; and now, with rising knell,
Flings to the hollow gale its sullen sound. Yes, **** is dead. Attend the strain,
Daughters of Albion! Ye that, light as air, So oft have tript in her fantastic train,
With hearts as gay, and faces half as fair: For she was fair beyond your brightest bloom;
(This envy owns, since now her bloom is fled;) Fair as the forms, that, wove in fancy's loom,
Float in light vision round the poet's head. Whene'er with soft serenity she smil'd,
Or caught the orient blush of quick surprise,
The liquid lustre darted from her eyes!
Chas'd by a charm still lovelier than the last.
Know, ye were form'd to range yon azure field,
Is this the bigot's rant? Away, ye vain,
Your hopes, your fears, in doubt, in dullness steep
More than those preachers of your fav'rite creed
Who form the phalanx, bid the battle bleed;
Hear, Folly, hear, and triumph in the tale :
The breeze of bliss, that fills your silken sail:
Your little course to cold oblivion's shore:
Long must the warrior moulder in his shroud,
To curb the fury of insulting foes?
On what she was, no more the strain prolong: Luxuriant fancy, pause: an hour like this
Demands the tribute of a serious song, Maria claims it from that sable bier,
Where cold and wan the slumberer rests her head; And why must murder'd myriads lose their all,
"Tis but a kingdom thou canst win or lose.
In still small whispers to reflection's ear,
She breathes the solemn dictates of the dead. Oh catch the awful notes, and lift them loud;
(If life be all,) why desolation lower, With famish'd frown, on this affrighted ball,
Proclaim the theme, by sage, by fool rever'd: Hear it, ye young, ye vain, ye great, ye proud!
That thou may'st flame the meteor of an hour? Go wiser ye, that flutter life away,
"Tis Nature speaks, and Nature will be heard. Yes, ye shall hear, and tremble as ye hear, While, high with health, your hearts uxulting leap; Yet know, vain sceptics, know, th' Almighty mind, Ev'n in the midst of Pleasure's mad career,
Crown with the mantling juice the goblet high; Weave the light dance, with festive freedom gay, And live your moment, since the next ye die.
The mental monitor shall wake and weep.
Who breath'd on man a portion of his fire,
What brighter planet on your births arose :
Nor shall the pile of hope, his mercy rear'd,
Ye sip the nectar of each varying bloom :
The wintry storm that sweeps you to the tomb.
That led her hence, though soon, by steps so slow:
Each fond delusion from her soul to steal;
And wean her from a world she lov'd so well.
To you so long a span? Alas, ye sigh:
Contracts with bigot frown her sullen brow;
Or shades with horrors, what with smiles should
No; she would warm you with seraphic fire,
Not sink and slumber in your cells of clay.
WILLIAM COWPER, a poet of distinguished and Olney in Buckinghamshire, which was thenceforth original genius, was born in 1731, at Great Berk- the principal place of Cowper's residence. At hampstead in Hertfordshire. His father, the rector Olney he contracted a close friendship with the of the parish, was John Cowper, D. D., nephew of Rev. Mr. Newton, then minister there, and since Lord Chancellor Cowper. The subject of this me- rector of St. Mary Woolnoth, London, whose relimorial was educated at Westminster school, where gious opinions were in unison with his own. he acquired the classical knowledge and correctness collection of hymns published by him, Cowper conof taste for which it is celebrated, but without any tributed a considerable number of his own composiportion of the confident and undaunted spirit which tion. He first became known to the public as a is supposed to be one of the most valuable acquisi-poet by a volume printed in 1782, the contents of tions derived from the great schools, to those who which, if they did not at once place him high in the are to push their way in the world. On the con- scale of poetic excellence, sufficiently established his trary, it appears from his poem entitled "Tirocini- claim to originality. Its topics are, "Table Talk," um," that the impressions made upon his mind from · Error," "Truth," Expostulation," "Hope," "Charwhat he witnessed in this place, were such as gave ity," "Conversation," and "Retirement," all treated him a permanent dislike to the system of public upon religious principles, and not without a consideducation. Soon after his leaving Westminster, he erable tinge of that rigor and austerity which bewas articled to a solicitor in London for three years; longed to his system. These pieces are written in but so far from studying the law, he spent the great- rhymed heroics, which he commonly manages with est part of his time with a relation, where he and little grace, or attention to melody. The style, though the future Lord Chancellor (Lord Thurlow) spent often prosaic, is never flat or insipid; and sometimes their time, according to his own expression, "in gig- the true poet breaks through, in a vein of lively degling, and making giggle." At the expiration of his scription or bold figure. time with the solicitor, he took chambers in the If this volume excited but little of the public atTemple, but his time was still little employed on tention, his next volume, published in 1785, introthe law, and was rather engaged in classical pur-duced his name to all the lovers of poetry, and gave suits, in which Coleman, Bonnel Thornton, and him at least an equality of reputation with any of Lloyd, seem to have been his principal associates. his contemporaries. It consists of a poem in six Cowper's spirits were naturally weak; and when books, entitled "The Task," alluding to the injunc his friends had procured him a nomination to the tion of a lady, to write a piece in blank verse, for offices of reading-clerk and clerk of the Private the subject of which she gave him The Sofa. It sets Committees in the House of Lords, he shrunk with out, indeed, with some sportive discussion of this such terror from the idea of making his appearance topic; but soon falls into a serious strain of rural before the most august assembly in the nation, that description, intermixed with moral sentiments and after a violent struggle with himself, he resigned his portraitures, which is preserved through the six intended employment, and with it all his prospects books, freely ranging from thought to thought with in life. In fact, he became completely deranged; no perceptible method. But as the whole poem will and in this situation was placed, in December, 1763, here be found, it is unnecessary to enter into particuabout the 32d year of his age, with Dr. Cotton, an lars. Another piece, entitled "Tirocinium, or a Reamiable and worthy physician at St. Alban's. This view of Schools," a work replete with striking obagitation of his mind is placed by some who have servation, is added to the preceding; and several mentioned it to the account of a deep consideration other pieces gleaned from his various writings will of his state in a religious view, in which the terrors be found in the collection.
of eternal judgment so much overpowered his For the purpose of losing in employment the disfaculties, that he remained seven months in mo- tressing ideas which were ever apt to recur, he next mentary expectation of being plunged into final undertook the real task of translating into blank misery. Mr. Johnson, however, a near relation, has verse the whole of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. This taken pains to prove to demonstration, that these work has much merit of execution, and is certainly views of his condition were so far from producing a far more exact representation of the ancient poet such an effect, that they ought to be regarded as his than Pope's ornamental version; but where simplisole consolation. It appears, however, that his mind city of matter in the original is not relieved by the had acquired such an indelible tinge of melancholy, force of sonorous diction, the poverty of English that his whole successive life was passed with little blank verse has scarcely been able to prevent it from more than intervals of comfort between long parox-sinking into mere prose. Various other translations ysms of settled despondency. denoted his necessity of seeking employment; but
After a residence of a year and a half with Dr. nothing was capable of durably relieving his mind Cotton, he spent part of his time at the house of from the horrible impressions it had undergone. He his relation, Earl Cowper, and part at Huntingdon, passed some of his latter years under the affectionwith his intimate friend, the Rev. Mr. Unwin. The ate care of a relation at East Dereham, in Norfolk, death of the latter caused his widow to remove to where he died on April 25th, 1800.
WHEN the British warrior-queen, Bleeding from the Roman rods, Sought, with an indignant mien, Counsel of her country's gods, Sage beneath the spreading oak Sat the Druid, hoary chief; Ev'ry burning word he spoke
Full of rage, and full of grief.
"Princess! if our aged eyes
Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, "Tis because resentment ties
All the terrors of our tongues.
"Rome shall perish-write that word
"Rome, for empire far renown'd,
Tramples on a thousand states; Soon her pride shall kiss the groundHark! the Gaul is at her gates!
"Other Romans shall arise,
Heedless of a soldier's name; Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize, Harmony the path to fame.
"Then the progeny that springs
"Regions Cæsar never knew
Thy posterity shall sway; Where his eagles never flew,
None invincible as they."
Such the bard's prophetic words, Pregnant with celestial fire, Bending as he swept the chords Of his sweet but awful lyre.
She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow; Rush'd to battle, fought, and died; Dying hurl'd them at the foe.
"Ruffians, pitiless as proud,
Heav'n awards the vengeance due; Empire is on us bestow'd,
Shame and ruin wait for you."
THERE was a time when Etna's silent fire
Her unctuous olives, and her purple vines,
It marches o'er the prostrate works of man,
Revolving seasons, fruitless as they pass,
Ye monarchs, whom the lure of honor draws, Who write in blood the merits of your cause, Who strike the blow, then plead your own defence Glory your aim, but justice your pretence; Behold in Etna's emblematic fires The mischiefs your ambitious pride inspires!
Fast by the stream, that bounds your just domain
Yet man, laborious man, by slow degrees,
Increasing commerce and reviving art
What are ye, monarchs, laurel'd heroes, say,
O place me in some Heav'n-protected isle,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapp'd
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
ON THE RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE That humor interpos'd too often makes;
OUT OF NORFOLK,
THE GIFT OF MY COUSIN ANN BODHAM.
O THAT those lips had language! Life has pass'd
But gladly, as the precept were her own:
My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast dead,
All this still legible in mem'ry's page,
Could Time, his flight revers'd, restore the hours When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flow'rs, The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
I prick'd them into paper with a pin,
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast