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Nay, now and then, could look quite gay,
As other people do ;
And sometimes said, or tried to say,
A witty thing or so.
He eyed the women, and made free
To comment on their shapes,
So that there was, or seem'd to be,
No fear of a relapse.
The women said, who thought him rough,
But now no longer foolish,
“ The creature may do well enough,
But wants a deal of polish.”
At length improved from head to heel,
'Twere scarce too much to say, No dancing beau was so genteel,
Or half so dégagé.
Now, that a miracle so strange
May not in vain be shown, Let the dear maid who wrought the change
E’en claim him for her own!
How quick the change from joy to wo,
How chequer’d is our lot below!
Seldom we view the prospect fair ;
Dark clouds of sorrow, pain, and care,
(Some pleasing intervals between,)
Scowl over more than half the scene.
Last week with Delia, gentle maid !
Far hence in happier fields I stray'd.
Five suns successive rose and set,
And saw no monarch in his state,
Wrapt in the blaze of majesty,
So free from every care as I.
Next day the scene was overcast-
Such day till then I never pass'd, —
For on that day, relentless fate !
Delia and I must separate.
Yet ere we look'd our last farewell,
From her dear lips this comfort fell,-
“ Fear not that time, where'er we rove,
Or absence, shall abate my love."
LINES ON A SLEEPING INFANT.
Sweet babe! whose image here express'd
Does thy peaceful slumbers show; Guilt or fear, to break thy rest,
Never did thy spirit know.
Soothing slumbers ! soft repose,
Such as mock the painter's skill, Such as innocence bestows,
Harmless infant ! lull thee still,
Oh! to some distant scene, a willing exile
From the wild roar of this busy world,
Were it my
fate with Delia to retire,
With her to wander through the sylvan shade,
Each morn, or o'er the moss-embrowned turf,
Where, blest as the prime parents of mankind
In their own Eden, we would envy none,
But, greatly pitying whom the world calls happy,
Gently spin out the silken thread of life !
INSCRIPTION FOR A MOSS-HOUSE IN THE
SHRUBBERY AT WESTON.
HERE, free from riot's hated noise,
Be mine, ye calmer, purer joys,
A book or friend bestows;
Far from the storms that shake the great,
Contentment's gale shall fan my seat,
And sweeten my repose.
LINES ON THE DEATH OF SIR WILLIAM RUSSEL.
Doom'd, as I am, in solitude to waste
The present moments, and regret the past;
Depriv'd of every joy I valued most,
My friend torn from me, and my mistress lost ;
Call not this gloom I wear, this anxious mien,
The dull effect of humour, or of spleen!
Still, still, I mourn, with each returning day,
Him * snatch'd by fate in early youth away;
And her-thro' tedious years of doubt and pain,
Fix'd in her choice, and faithful—but in vain !
O prone to pity, generous, and sincere,
refus'd the wretch a tear ;
Whose heart the real claim of friendship knows
Nor thinks a lover's are but fancied woes;
See me—ere yet my destin'd course half done,
Cast forth a wand'rer on a world unknown!
See me neglected on the world's rude coast,
Each dear companion of my voyage lost !
Nor ask why clouds of sorrow shade my brow,
And ready tears wait only leave to flow !
Why all that soothes a heart from anguish free,
All that delights the happy-palls with me!
ON THE HIGH PRICE OF FISH.
Fish too dear,
None must be bought
For us that are here:
* Sir William Russel, the favourite friend of the young poet.
No lobster on earth,
That ever I
To me would be worth
Sixpence a claw.
So, dear Madam, wait
Till fish can be got
At a reas'nable rate,
Whether lobster or not;
Till the French and the Dutch
Have quitted the seas,
And then send as much
And as oft as you please.
A NOBLE theme demands a noble verse,
In such I thank you for your fine oysters.
The barrel was magnificently large,
But, being sent to Olney at free charge,
Was not inserted in the driver's list,
And therefore overlook’d, forgot, or miss'd;
For, when the messenger whom we dispatch'd
Inquir’d for oysters, Hob his noddle scratch'd ;
Denying that his waggon or his wain
Did any such commodity contain.