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“ I have examined it, every nook,
And what you see here is a sample of all.
Come, wheel round,
The dirt we have found
Would be an estate, at a farthing a pound.”
Now, sister Anne,* the guitar you must take,
Set it, and sing it, and make it a song:
I have varied the verse, for variety's sake,
And cut it off short--because it was long.
'Tis hobbling and lame,
Which critics won't blame, For the sense and the sound, they say, should be
INDECENT LIBERTIES TAKEN WITH THE REMAINS
“Me too, perchance, in future days,
The sculptured stone shall show,
With Paphian myrtle or with bays
Parnassian on my
“ But I, or ere that season come,
Escaped from every care,
Shall reach my refuge in the tomb,
And sleep securely there."*
So sang, in Roman tone and style,
The youthful bard, ere long
Ordain’d to grace his native isle
With her sublimest song.
Who then but must conceive disdain,
Hearing the deed unblest
Of wretches who have dared profane
His dread sepulchral rest!
Ill fare the hands that heaved the stones +
Where Milton's ashes lay,
That trembled not to grasp his bones
And steal his dust away!
church, were disinterred ; a pamphlet by Le Neve was pub-
lished at the time, giving an account of what appeared on
opening his coffin.
* Forsitan et nostros ducat de marmore vultus
Nectens aut Paphia myrti aut Parnasside lauri
Fronde comas—At ego secura pace quiescam,
Milton in Manso. + Cowper, no doubt, had in his memory the lines said to have been written by Shakspeare on his tomb:
Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear
To dig the dust inclosed here.
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.”
Oill requited bard! neglect
Thy living worth repaid,
And blind idolatrous respect
As much affronts thee dead.
TO THE REV. WILLIAM BULL.
June 22, 1782. MY DEAR FRIEND,
If reading verse be your delight,
Tis mine as much, or more, to write;
But what we would, so weak is man,
Lies oft remote from what we can.
For instance, at this
I feel a wish by cheerful rhyme
To soothe my friend, and, had I power,
To cheat him of an anxious hour;
Not meaning (for I must confess,
It were but folly to suppress)
His pleasure, or his good alone,
But squinting partly at my own.
But though the sun is flaming high
In the centre of yon arch, the sky,
And he had once (and who but he ?)
The name for setting genius free,
Yet whether poets of past days
Yielded him undeserved praise,
And he by no uncommon lot
Was famed for virtues he had not;
Or whether, which is like enough,
His Highness may have taken huff,
So seldom sought with invocation,
Since it has been the reigning fashion
To disregard his inspiration,
I seem no brighter in my wits,
For all the radiance he emits,
Than if I saw, through midnight vapour,
The glimmering of a farthing taper.
Oh for a succedaneum, then,
To accelerate a creeping pen!
Oh for a ready succedaneum,
Quod caput, cerebrum, et cranium
Pondere liberet exoso,
Et morbo jam caliginoso!
Tis here ; this oval box well fill'd
With best tobacco, finely millid,
Beats all Anticyra's pretences
To disengage the encumber'd senses.
Oh Nymph of transatlantic fame,
Where'er thine haunt, whate'er thy name,
Whether reposing on the side
of Oroonoquo's spacious tide,
Or listening with delight not small
To Niagara's distant fall,
'Tis thine to cherish and to feed
The pungent nose-refreshing weed,
Which, whether pulverized it gain
A speedy passage to the brain,
Or whether, touch'd with fire, it rise
In circling eddies to the skies,
Does thought more quicken and refine
Than all the breath of all the Nine-
Forgive the bard, if bard he be,
Who once too wantonly made free,
To touch with a satiric wipe
That symbol of thy power, the pipe ;
So may no blight infest thy plains,
And no unseasonable rains ;
And so may smiling peace once more
Visit America's sad shore;
And thou, secure from all alarms,
Of thundering drums and glittering arms,
Rove unconfined beneath the shade
Thy wide expanded leaves have made ;
So may thy votaries increase,
And fumigation never cease.
May Newton with renew'd delights
Perform thine odoriferous rites,
While clouds of incense half divine
Involve thy disappearing shrine ;
And so may smoke-inhaling Bull
Be always filling, never full.