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Thy pictures shall thy conduct frame,
Consistent still, though not the same;
Thy musick teach the nobler art,
To tune the regulated heart.
EVENING now from purple wings Sheds the grateful gifts she brings ; Brilliant drops bedeck the mead, Cooling breezes shake the reed; Shake the reed, and curl the stream Silver'd o'er with Cynthia's beam ; Near the chequer'd, lonely grove, Hears, and keeps thy secrets, Love. Stella, thither let us stray, Lightly o'er the dewy way. Phoebus drives his burning car, Hence, my lovely Stella, far; In his stead, the Queen of Night Round us pours a lambent light; Light that seems but just to shew Breasts that beat, and cheeks that glow. Let us now, in whisper'd joy, Evening's silent hours employ, Silence best, and conscious shades, Please the heart that love invades, Other pleasures give them pain, Lovers all but love disdain.
TO THE SAME.
WHETHER Stella's eyes are found
Fix'd on earth, or glancing round,
If her face with pleasure glow,
If she sigh at others woe,
If her easy air express
Conscious worth, or soft distress,
Stella's eyes, and air, and face,
Charm with undiminish'd grace.
If on her we see display'd
Pendant gems, and rich brocade,
If her chintz with less expence
Flows in easy negligence;
Still she lights the conscious flame,
Still her charms appear the same;
If she strikes the vocal strings,
If she's silent, speaks, or sings,
If she sit, or if she move,
Still we love and still approve.
Vain the casual transient glance,
Which alone can please by chance,
Beauty, which depends on art,
Changing with the changing heart,
Which demands the toilet's aid,
Pendant gems and rich brocade.
I those charms alone can prize
Which from constant nature rise,
Which nor circumstance, nor dress,
E'er can make, or more, or less.
TO A FRIEND.
No more this brooding o'er yon heap,
With Avarice painful vigils keep;
Still unenjoy'd the present store,
Still endless sighs are breath'd for more.
Oh! quit the shadow, catch the prize,
Which not all India's treasure buys!
To purchase Heaven has gold the power?
Can gold remove the mortal hour?
In life can love be bought with gold?
Are friendship's pleasures to be sold?
No-all that's worth a wish-a thought,
Fair virtue gives unbrib'd, unbought.
Cease then on trash thy hopes to bind,
Let nobler views engage thy mind.
With science tread the wond'rous way,
Or learn the Muses' moral lay;
In social hours indulge thy soul,
Where mirth and temperance mix the bowl;
To virtuous love resign thy breast,
And be, by blessing beauty-blest.
Thus taste the feast by nature spread, Ere youth and all its joys are fled; Come taste with me the balm of life, Secure from pomp, and wealth, and strife. I boast whate'er for man was meant, In health, and Stella, and content; And scorn! oh! let that scorn be thine! Mere things of clay that dig the mine.
STELLA IN MOURNING.
WHEN lately Stella's form display'd
The beauties of the gay brocade,
The nymphs, who found their power decline, Proclaim'd her not so fair as fine.
"Fate! snatch away the bright disguise,
And let the goddess trust her eyes."
Thus blindly pray'd the Fretful Fair,
And Fate malicious heard the pray'r;
But, brighten'd by the sable dress,
At virtue rises in distress,
Since Stella still extends her reign,
Ah! how shall Envy soothe her pain?
Th' adoring Youth and envious Fair,
Henceforth shall form one common prayer:
And love and hate alike implore
"That Stella mourn no more."
NOT the soft sighs of vernal gales,
The fragrance of the flowery vales,
The murmurs of the crystal rill,
The vocal grove, the verdant hill;
Not all their charms, though all unite,
Can touch my bosom with delight.
Not all the gems on India's shore,
Not all Peru's unbounded store,
Not all the power, nor all the fame,
That heroes, kings, or poets, claim;
Nor knowledge, which the learn'd approve;
To form one wish my soul can move.
Yet nature's charms allure my eyes,
And knowledge, wealth, and fame I prize,
Fame, wealth, and knowledge, I obtain,
Nor seek I nature's charms in vain;
In lovely Stella all combine;
And, lovely Stella! thou art mine.
WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OF A GENTLEMAN
TO WHOM A LADY HAD GIVEN A
SPRIG OF MYRTLE.*
WHAT hopes, what terrors, does thy gift create?
Ambiguous emblem of uncertain fate!
The myrtle (ensign of supreme command,
Consign'd by Venus to Melissa's hand)
Not less capricious than a reigning fair,
Oft favours, oft rejects, a lover's pray'r.
These verses were first printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1768, p. 439, but were written many years earlier. Elegant as they are, Dr. Johnson assured me, they were composed in the short space of five minutes.-N.
In myrtle shades oft sings the happy swain,
In myrtle shades despairing ghosts complain.
The myrtle crowns the happy lovers' heads,
The 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 bough, as you shall fix its doom,
Adorn Philander's head, or grace his tomb.
AT BURY ASSIZES.
Ar length must Suffolk beauties shine in vain,
So long renown'd in B--n's deathless strain?
Thy charms at least, fair Firebrace, might inspire
Some zealous bard to wake the sleeping lyre;
For, such thy beauteous mind and lovely face,
Thou seem'st at once, bright nymph, a Muse and Grace.
TO LYCE, AN ELDERLY LADY.
YE nymphs whom starry rays invest,
By flatt'ring poets given,
Who shine, by lavish lovers drest,
In all the pomp of Heaven;
Engross not all the beams on high,
Which gild a lover's lays,
But, as your sister of the sky,
Let Lyce share the praise.
This lady was Bridget, third daughter of Philip Bacon, Esq. of Ipswich, and relict of Philip Evers, Esq. of that town. She became the second wife of Sir Cordell Firebrace, the last Baronet of that name (to whom she brought a fortune of 25,000!), July 26, 1737. Being again left a widow, in 1759, she was a third time married, April 7, 1762, to William Campbell, Esq. uncle to the late duke of Argyle, and died July 3, 1782.