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Gave him the eye sublime; the searching glance,
Keen, scanning deep, that smites the guilty soul
As with a beam from heaven: on his brow
Serene, and spacious front, set the broad seal
Of dignity and rule; then smiled benign
On this fair pattern of a God below,
High wrought, and breathed into his swelling
The large ambitious wish to save his country.
O beauteous title to immortal fame!
The man devoted to the public, stands
In the bright records of superior worth,
A step below the skies: if he succeed,
The first fair lot which earth affords, is his;
And if he falls, he falls above a throne.
When such their leader, can the brave despair?
Freedom the cause, and Paoli the chief!
Success to your fair hopes? A British muse,
Though weak and powerless, lifts her fervent
And breathes a prayer for your success. O could
She scatter blessings as the morn sheds dews,
To drop upon your heads! But patient hope
Must wait th' appointed hour; secure of this,
That never with the indolent and weak
Will Freedom deign to dwell; she must be seized
By that bold arm that wrestles for the blessing:
Tis Heaven's best prize, and must be bought with
When the storm thickens, when the combat burns,
And pain and death in every horrid shape
That can appal the feeble, prowl around,
Then Virtue triumphs; then her towering form
Dilates with kindling majesty; her mien
Breathes a diviner spirit, and enlarged
Each spreading feature, with an ampler port
And bolder tone, exulting, rides the storm,
And joys amidst the tempest. Then she reaps
Her golden harvest; fruits of nobler growth
And higher relish than meridian suns
Can ever ripen; fair, heroic deeds,
And godlike action. 'Tis not meats and drinks,
And balmy airs, and vernal suns and showers,
That feed and ripen minds; 'tis toil and danger;
And wrestling with the stubborn gripe of fate;
And war, and sharp distress, and paths obscure
And dubious. The bold swimmer joys not so
To feel the proud waves under him, and beat
With strong repelling arm the billowy surge;
The generous courser does not so exult
To toss his floating mane against the wind,
And neigh amidst the thunder of the war,
As Virtue to oppose her swelling breast
Like a firm shield against the darts of fate.
And when her sons in that rough school have
To smile at danger, then the hand that raised,
Shall hush the storm, and lead the shining train
Of peaceful years in bright procession on.
Then shall the shepherd's pipe, the muse's lyre,
On Cyrnus' shores be heard: her grateful sons
With loud acclaim and hymns of cordial praise
Shall hail their high deliverers; every name
To virtue dear be from oblivion snatched
And placed among the stars: but chiefly thine,
Thine, Paoli, with sweetest sound shall dwell
On their applauding lips; thy sacred name,
Endear'd to long posterity, some muse,
More worthy of the theme, shall consecrate
To after-ages, and applauding worlds
Shall bless the godlike man who saved his country.
So vainly wish'd, so fondly hoped the muse :
Too fondly hoped. The iron fates prevail,
And Cyrnus is no more. Her generous sons,
Less vanquish'd than o'erwhelm'd, by numbers
Admired, unaided fell. So strives the moon
In dubious battle with the gathering clouds,
And strikes a splendour through them; till at
Storms rolled on storms involve the face of heaven
And quench her struggling fires. Forgive the zeal
That, too presumptuous, whisper'd better things,
And read the book of destiny amiss.
Not with the purple colouring of success
Is virtue best adorn'd: th' attempt is praise.
There yet remains a freedom, nobler far
Than kings or senates can destroy or give;
Beyond the proud oppressor's cruel grasp
Seated secure, uninjured, undestroy'd ;
Worthy of gods :-the freedom of the mind.
THE MOUSE'S PETITION.*/
O HEAR a pensive prisoner's prayer,
For liberty that sighs:
And never let thine heart be shut
Against the wretch's cries!
For here forlorn and sad I sit,
Within the wiry grate;
And tremble at th' approaching morn,
Which brings impending fate.
If e'er thy breast with freedom glow'd,
And spurn'd a tyrant's chain,
Let not thy strong oppressive force
A free-born mouse detain !
O do not stain with guiltless blood
Thy hospitable hearth;
Nor triumph that thy wiles betray'd
A prize so little worth.
The scatter'd gleanings of a feast
My frugal meals supply;
But if thine unrelenting heart
That slender boon deny,-
The cheerful light, the vital air, Are blessings widely given; Let Nature's commoners enjoy The common gifts of heaven.
The well-taught philosophic mind
To all compassion gives;
Casts round the world an equal eye
And feels for all that lives.
Found in the trap where he had been confined all night by Dr. Priestley, for the sake of making experiments with different kinds of air.
-as ancient sages taught,-
A never-dying flame,
Still shifts through matter's varying forms
In every form the same;
Beware, lest in the worm you crush,
A brother's soul you find ;
And tremble lest thy luckless hand
Dislodge a kindred mind.
Or, if this transient gleam of day Be all of life we share,
Let pity plead within thy breast That little all to spare.
So may thy hospitable board
With health and peace be crown'd; And every charm of heartfelt ease Beneath thy roof be found,
So when destruction lurks unseen, Which men, like mice, may share, May some kind angel clear thy path, And break the hidden snare.
O BORN to soothe distress and lighten care,
Lively as soft, and innocent as fair!
Blest with that sweet simplicity of thought
So rarely found, and never to be taught;
Of winning speech, endearing, artless, kind,
The loveliest pattern of a female mind;
Like some fair spirit from the realms of rest,
With all her native heaven within her breast;
So pure, so good, she scarce can guess at sin,
But thinks the world without like that within;
Such melting tenderness, so fond to bless,
Her charity almost become excess.
Wealth may be courted, Wisdom be revered,
And Beauty praised, and brutal Strength be fear'd;
But Goodness only can affection move,
And love must owe its origin to love
HAPPY old man! who stretch'd beneath the shade
Of large grown trees, or in the rustic porch
With woodbine canopied, where linger yet
The hospitable virtues, calm enjoy'st
Nature's best blessings all ;-a healthy age
Ruddy and vigorous, native cheerfulness,
Plain-hearted friendship, simple piety,
The rural manners and the rural joys
Friendly to life. O rude of speech, yet rich
In genuine worth, not unobserved shall pass
Thy bashful virtues! for the muse shall mark,
Detect thy charities, and call to light
Thy secret deeds of mercy; while the poor,
The desolate, and friendless, at thy gate,
A numerous family, with better praise
Shall hallow in their hearts thy spotless name.
SUCH were the dames of old heroic days,
Which faithful story yet delights to praise;
Who, great in useful works, hung o'er the loom,-
The mighty mothers of immortal Rome:
Obscure, in sober dignity retired,
They more deserved than sought to be admired;
The household virtues o'er their honour'd head
Their simple grace and modest lustre shed:
Chaste their attire, their feet unused to roam,
They loved the sacred threshold of their home;
Yet true to glory, fann'd the generous flame,
Bade lovers, brothers, sons aspire to fame;
In the young bosom cherish'd Virtue's seed,
The secret springs of many a godlike deed.
So the fair stream in some sequester'd glade
With lowly state glides silent through the shade;
Yet by the smiling meads her urn is blest,
With freshest flowers her rising banks are drest,
And groves of laurel by her sweetness fed,
High o'er the forest lift their verdant head.
Is there whom genius and whom taste adorn
With rare but happy union; in whose breast
Calm, philosophic, thoughtful, largely fraught
With stores of various knowledge, dwell the
That trace out secret causes, and unveil
Great Nature's awful face? Is there whose hours
Of still domestic leisure breathe the soul
Of friendship, peace, and elegant delight
Beneath poetic shades, where leads the muse
Through walks of fragance, and the fairy groves
Where young ideas blossom ?-Is there one
Whose tender hand, lenient of human woes,
Wards off the dart of death, and smooths the couch
Of torturing anguish? On so dear a name
May blessings dwell, honour and cordial praise;
Nor heed he be a brother to be loved.
Travel the various map of Science o'er,
Record past wonders, and discover more ;
Pour thy free spirit o'er the breathing page,
And wake the virtue of a careless age.
But O forgive, if touched with fond regret
Fancy recalls the scenes she can't forget,
Recalls the vacant smile, the social hours
Which charm'd us once, for once those scenes
And while thy praises through wide realms extend,
We sit in shades, and mourn the absent friend.
So where th' impetuous river sweeps the plain,
Itself a sea, and rushes to the main;
While its firm banks repel conflicting tides,
And stately on its breast the vessel glides;
Admiring much the shepherd stands to gaze,
Awe-struck, and mingling wonder with his praise;
Yet more he loves its winding path to trace
Through beds of flowers, and Nature's rural face,
While yet a stream the silent vale is cheer'd,
By many a recollected scene endear'd,
Where trembling first beneath the poplar shade
He tuned his pipe, to suit the wild cascade.
A MAP of every country known,
With not a foot of land his own.
A list of folks that kick'd a dust
On this poor globe, from Ptol. the First;
He hopes, indeed it is but fair,-
Some day to get a corner there.
A group of all the British kings,
Fair emblem! on a packthread swings.
The fathers, ranged in goodly row,
A decent, venerable show,
Writ a great while ago, they tell us,
And many an inch o'ertop their fellows.
A Juvenal to hunt for mottoes;
And Ovid's tales of nymphs and grottoes.
The meek-robed lawyers, all in white;
Pure as the lamb,—at least to sight.
A shelf of bottles, jar and phial,
HER even lines her steady temper show,
AN INVENTORY OF THE FURNITURE IN Neat as her dress, and polish'd as her brow;
R. PRIESTLEY'S STUDY.
Strong as her judgment, easy as her air;
Correct though free, and regular though fair:
And the same graces o'er her pen preside,
That form her manners and her footsteps guide
By which the rogues he can defy all,-
All fill'd with lightning keen and genuine,
And many a little imp he'll pen you in;
Which, like Le Sage's sprite, let out
Among the neighbours makes a rout;
Brings down the lightning on their houses,
And kills their geese, and frights their spouses.
A mass of heterogeneous matter,
A chaos dark, nor land nor water;-
New books, like new-born infants, stand,
Waiting the printer's clothing hand;—
Others, a motley ragged brood,
Their limbs unfashion'd all, and rude,
Like Cadmus' half-form'd men appear;
One rears a helm, one lifts a spear,
And feet were lopp'd and fingers torn
Before their fellow limbs were born;
A leg began to kick and sprawl
Before the head was seen at all,
Which quiet as a mushroom lay
Till crumbling hillocks gave it way;
And all, like controversial writing,
Were born with teeth, and sprung up fighting
But what is this," I hear you cry,
"Which saucily provokes my eye?"—
A thing unknown, without a name,
Born of the air and doom'd to flame.
A rare thermometer, by which
He settles to the nicest pitch,
The just degrees of heat, to raise
Sermons, or politics, or plays.
Papers and books, a strange mix'd olio,
From shilling touch to pompous folio;
Answer, remark, reply, rejoinder,
Fresh from the mint, all stamp'd and coin'd here;
Like new-made glass, set by to cool,
Before it bears the workman's tool.
A blotted proof-sheet, wet from Bowling.
-"How can a man his anger hold in?"—
Forgotten rhymes, and college themes,
Worm-eaten plans, and embryo schemes ;—
ON THE DESERTED VILLAGE.
In vain fair Auburn weeps her desert plains,
She moves our envy who so well complains;
In vain has proud oppression laid her low,
So sweet a garland on her faded brow.
Now, Auburn, now absolve impartial fate,
Which if it made thee wretched, makes thee great.
So, unobserved, some humble plant may bloom,
Till crush'd it fills the air with sweet perfume;
So, had thy swains in ease and plenty slept,
Thy poet had not sung, nor Britain wept.
Nor let Britannia mourn her drooping bay,
Unhonour'd genius, and her swift decay;
O patron of the poor! it cannot be,
While one-one poet yet remains like thee!
Nor can the muse desert our favour'd isle,
Till thou desert the muse and scorn her smile
..........................natura beatis Omnibus esse dedit, si quis cognoverit uti. CLAUDIAN.
O THOU, the nymph with placid eye! O seldom found, yet ever nigh!
Receive my temperate vow: Not all the storms that shake the pole Can e'er disturb thy halcyon soul, And smooth unalter'd brow.
O come, in simple vest array'd,
With all thy sober cheer display'd,
To bless my longing sight;
Thy mien composed, thy even pace,
Thy meek regard, thy matron grace,
And chaste subdued delight.
No more by varying passions beat, O gently guide my pilgrim feet
To find thy hermit cell; Where in some pure and equal sky, Beneath thy soft indulgent eye,
The modest virtues dwell.
Simplicity in Attic vest,
And Innocence with candid breast,
And clear undaunted eye;
And Hope, who points to distant years,
Fair opening through this vale of tears
A vista to the sky.
There Health, through whose calm bosom glide The temperate joys in even tide,
That rarely ebb or flow;
And Patience there, thy sister meek,
Presents her mild unvarying cheek
To meet the offer'd blow.
Her influence taught the Phrygian sage
A tyrant master's wanton rage
With settled smiles to meet :
Inured to toil and bitter bread,
He bow'd his meek submitted head,
And kiss'd thy sainted feet.
But thou, O nymph retired and coy! In what brown hamlet dost thou joy To tell thy tender tale?
The lowliest children of the ground, Moss-rose, and violet blossom round, And lily of the vale.
O say what soft propitious hour
I best may choose to hail thy power,
And court thy gentle sway?
When Autumn friendly to the muse,
Shall thy own modest tints diffuse,
And shed thy milder day.
When Eve, her dewy star beneath,
Thy balmy spirit loves to breathe,
And every storm is laid ;-
If such an hour was e'er thy choice,
Oft let me hear thy soothing voice
Low whispering through the shade.
THE ORIGIN OF SONG-WRITING.*
Illic indocto primum se exercuit arcu ;
Hei mihi quam doctas nunc habet ille manus!
WHEN Cupid, wanton boy! was young,
His wings unfledged, and rude his tongue,
He loiter'd in Arcadian bowers,
And hid his bow in wreaths of flowers;
* Addressed to the Author of Essays on Song-writing.
Or pierced some fond unguarded heart
With now and then a random dart;
But heroes scorned the idle boy,
And love was but a shepherd's toy.
When Venus, vex'd to see her child
Amid the forests thus run wild,
Would point him out some nobler game-
Gods and godlike men to tame.
She seized the boy's reluctant hand,
And led him to the virgin band,
Where the sister muses round
Swell the deep majestic sound;
And in solemn strains unite,
Breathing chaste, severe delight;
Songs of chiefs and heroes old,
In unsubmitting virtue bold":
Of even valour's temperate heat,
And toils to stubborn patience sweet;
Of nodding plumes and burnish'd arms,
And glory's bright terrific charms.
The potent sounds like lightning dart
Resistless through the glowing heart;
Of power to lift the fixed soul
High o'er Fortune's proud control;
Kindling deep, prophetic musing;
Love of beauteous death infusing;
Scorn, and unconquerable hate
Of tyrant pride's unhallow'd state.
The boy abash'd, and half afraid,
Beheld each chaste immortal maid:
Pallas spread her Egis there;
Mars stood by with threatening air;
And stern Diana's icy look
With sudden chill his bosom struck.
"Daughters of Jove, receive the child," The queen of beauty said, and smiled ;— Her rosy breath perfumed the air, And scatter'd sweet contagion there Relenting Nature learn'd to languish, And sicken'd with delightful anguish :— "Receive him artless yet and young; Refine his air, and smooth his tongue : Conduct him through your favourite bowers Enrich'd with fair perennial flowers, To solemn shades and springs that lie Remote from each unhallow'd eye; Teach him to spell those mystic names That kindle bright immortal flames : And guide his young unpractised feet To reach coy Learning's lofty seat."
Ah, luckless hour! mistaken maids, When Cupid sought the muses' shades! Of their sweetest notes beguiled, By the sly insiduous child; Now of power his darts are found Twice ten thousand times to wound. Now no more the slacken'd strings Breathe of high immortal things, But Cupid tunes the Muse's lyre To languid notes of soft desire. In every clime, in every tongue, 'Tis love inspires the poet's song. Hence Sappho's soft infectious page; Monimia's wo; Othello's rage; Abandon'd Dido's fruitless prayer; And Eloisa's long despair; The garland, blest with many a vow, For haughty Sacharissa's brow;
And wash'd with tears, the mournful verse
That Petrarch laid on Laura's hearse.
But more than all the sister choir,
Music confess'd the pleasing fire.
Here sovereign Cupid reign'd alone;
Music and song were all his own.
Sweet as in old Arcadian plains,
The British pipe has caught the strains :
And where the Tweed's pure current glides,
Or Liffy rolls her limpid tides;
Or Thames his oozy waters leads
Through rural bowers or yellow meads,-
With many an old romantic tale
Has cheer'd the lone sequester'd vale;
With many a sweet and tender lay
Deceived the tiresome summer day.
"Tis yours to cull with happy art
Each meaning verse that speaks the heart;
And fair array'd, in order meet,
To lay the wreath at Beauty's feet.
ODE TO SPRING.
SWEET daughter of a rough and stormy sire,
Hoar Winter's blooming child; delightful Spring!
Whose unshorn locks with leaves
And swelling buds are crown'd;
From the green islands of eternal youth,— Crown'd with fresh blooms and ever springing shade,
Turn, hither turn thy step,
O thou, whose powerful voice
More sweet than softest touch of Doric reed,
Or Lydian flute, can sooth the madding wind,-
And through the stormy deep
Breathe thine own tender calm.
Thee, best beloved! the virgin train await
With songs and festal rites, and joy to rove
Thy blooming wilds among,
And vales and dewy lawns,
With untired feet; and cull thy earliest sweets To weave fresh garlands for the glowing brow Of him, the favoured youth
That prompts their whisper'd sigh.
Unlock thy copious stores,-those tender showers
That drop their sweetness on the infant buds;
And silent dews that swell
The milky ear's green stem,
And feed the flowering osier's early shoots;
And call those winds which through the whispering
With warm and pleasant breath Salute the blowing flowers.
Now let me sit beneath the whitening thorn,
And mark thy spreading tints steal o'er the dale;
And watch with patient eye
Thy fair unfolding charms.
The earth's fair bosom; while the streaming veil
Of lucid clouds with kind and frequent shade
Protects thy modest blooms
From his severer blaze.
O nymph, approach! while yet the temperate sun
With bashful forehead through the cold moist air
Throws his young maiden beams,
And with chaste kisses woos
Sweet is thy reign, but short:-The red dog-star
Shall scorch thy tresses, and the mower's scythe
Thy greens, thy flowerets all,
Remorseless shall destroy.
Reluctant shall I bid thee then farewell;
For O, not all that Autumn's lap contains,
Nor Summer's ruddiest fruits,
Can aught for thee atone.
Fair Spring! whose simplest promise more delights
Than all their largest wealth, and through the heart
Each joy and new-born hope
With softest influence breathes.
AN ADDRESS TO THE DEITY.
GOD of my life! and Author of my days!
Permit my feeble voice to lisp thy praise;
And trembling, take upon a mortal tongue
That hallowed name, to harps of seraphs sung.
Yet here the brightest seraphs could no more
Than veil their faces, tremble, and adore.
Worms, angels, men, in every different sphere,
All nature faints beneath the mighty name,
Are equal all,-for all are nothing here.
Which nature's works through all their parts
I feel that name my inmost thoughts control,
And breathe an awful stillness through my soul;
As by a charm, the waves of grief subside;
Impetuous Passion stops her headlong tide:
At thy felt presence all emotions cease,
And my hush'd spirit finds a sudden peace,
Till every worldly thought within me dies,
And earth's gay pageants vanish from my eyes;
Till all my sense is lost in infinite,
And one vast object fills my aching sight.
But soon, alas! this holy calm is broke; My soul submits to wear her wonted yoke; With shackled pinions strives to soar in vain, And mingles with the dross of earth again. But he, our gracious Master, kind as just, Knowing our frame, remembers man is dust. His spirit, ever brooding o'er our mind, Sees the first wish to better hopes inclined; Marks the young dawn of every virtuous aim, And fans the smoking flax into a flame. His ears are open to the softest cry, His grace descends to meet the lifted eye; He reads the language of a silent tear, And sighs are incense from a heart sincere. Such are the vows, the sacrifice I give; Accept the vow, and bid the suppliant live: From each terrestrial bondage set me free; Still every wish that centres not in thee; Bid my fond hopes, my vain disquiets cease, And point my path to everlasting peace.
If the soft hand of winning Pleasure leads By living waters, and through flowery meads, When all is smiling, tranquil, and serene, And vernal beauty paints the flattering scene