Page images
PDF
EPUB

Whilst thus I sing, I am a king,
Although a poor blind boy.

C. Cibber

CXX

ON A FAVOURITE CAT, DROWNED IN A

TUB OF GOLD FISHES
"Twas on a lofty vase's side
Where China's gayest art had dyed
The azure flowers that blow,
Demurest of the tabby kind
The pensive Selima, reclined,
Gazed on the lake below.

Her conscious tail her joy declared :
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes-
She saw, and purr'd applause.
Still had she gazed, but ’midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
The Genii of the stream :
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue
Through richest purple, to the view
Betray'd a golden gleam.
The hapless Nymph with wonder saw :
A whisker first, and then a claw
With many an ardent wish
She stretch'd, in vain, to reach the prize--
What female heart can gold despise ?
What Cat's averse to Fish ?
Presumptuous maid ! with looks intent
Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between-
Malignant Fate sat by and smiled-
The slippery verge her feet beguiled ;
She tumbled headlong in !

Eight times emerging from the flood
She mew'd to every watery God
Some speedy aid to send :
No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd,
Nor cruel Tom nor Susan heard-
A favourite has no friend!
From hence, ye Beauties ! undeceived
Know one false step is ne'er retrieved,
And be with caution bold :
Not all that tempts your wandering eyes
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize,
Nor all that glisters, gold !

T. Gray

CXXI

TO CHARLOTTE PULTENEY

Timely blossom, Infant fair,
Fondling of a happy pair,
Every morn and every night
Their solicitous delight,
Sleeping, waking, still at ease,
Pleasing, without skill to please
Little gossip, blithe and hale,
Tattling many a broken tale,
Singing many a tuneless song,
Lavish of a heedless tongue ;
Simple maiden, void of art,
Babbling out the very heart,
Yet abandon'd to thy will,
Yet imagining no ill,
Yet too innocent to blush;
Like the linnet in the bush
To the mother-linnet's note
Moduling her slender throat ;
Chirping forth thy petty joys,
Wanton in the change of toys,
Like the linnet green, in May
Flitting to each bloomy spray ;
Wearied then and glad of rest,
Like the linnet in the nest :-

This thy present happy lot
This, in time will be forgot :
Other pleasures, other cares,

Ever-busy Time prepares;
And thou shalt in thy daughter see,
This picture, once, resembled thee.

A. Philips

CXXII

RULE BRITANNIA When Britain first at Heaven's command

Arose from out the azure main, This was the charter of her land,

And guardian angels sung the strain : Rule Britannia ! Britannia rules the waves !

Britons never shall be slaves. The nations not so blest as thee

Must in their turn to tyrants fall, Whilst thou shalt flourish great and free

The dread and envy of them all. Still more majestic shalt thou rise,

More dreadful from each foreign stroke ; As the loud blast that tears the skies

Serves but to root thy native oak. Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame ;

All their attempts to bend thee down Will but arouse thy generous flame,

And work their woe and thy renown. To thee belongs the rural reign;

Thy cities shall with commerce shine ; All thine shall be the subject main,

And every shore it circles thine! The Muses, still with Freedom found,

Shall to thy happy coast repair ; Blest Isle, with matchless beauty crown'd

And manly hearts to guard the fair :Rule Britannia ! Britannia rules the waves! Britons never shall be slaves !

7. Thomson

CXXIII

THE BARD

Pindaric Ode

Ruin seize thee, ruthless King !

Confusion on thy banners wait !
Tho' fann'd by Conquest's crimson wing

They mock the air with idle state.
Helm, nor hauberk's twisted mail
Nor e'en thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,
From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears !'
-Such were the sounds that o'er the crested pride

Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side

He wound with toilsome march his long array :Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance ; 'To arms !' cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quivering

lance.

On a rock, whose haughty brow
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,

Robed in the sable garb of woe
With haggard eyes the Poet stood;
(Loose his beard and hoary hair
Stream'd like a meteor to the troubled air)
And with a master's hand and prophet's fire
Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre:
Hark, how each giant oak and desert-cave

Sighs to the torrent's awful voice beneath !
O’er thee, O King ! their hundred arms they wave,

Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe ;
Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,
To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay.

Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
Tbat hush'd the stormy main :
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed :

Mountains, ye mourn in vain

I

Modred, whose magic song
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-topt head.

On dreary Arvon's shore they lie
Smear'd with gore and ghastly pale :
Far, far aloof the affrighted ravens sail ;

The famish'd eagle screams, and passes by. Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,

Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes, Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,

Ye died amidst your dying country's criesNo more I weep; They do not sleep;

On yonder cliffs, a griesly band, I see them sit ; They linger yet,

Avengers of their native land : With me in dreadful harmony they join, And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.

* Weave the warp and weave the woof

The winding-sheet of Edward's race : Give ample room and verge enough

The characters of hell to trace. Mark the year and mark the night When Severn shall re-echo with affright The shrieks of death thro’ Berkley's roof that ring, Shrieks of an agonizing king !

She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs That tear’st the bowels of thy mangled mate,

From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs The scourge of Heaven! What terrors round him wait Amazement in his van, with Flight combined, And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind.

Mighty victor, mighty lord,

Low on his funeral couch he lies ! No pitying heart, no eye, afford

A tear to grace his obsequies. Is the sable warrior fled ? Thy son is gone. He rests among the dead. The swarm that in thy noon-tide beam were born ? ---Gone to salute the rising morn. Fair laughs the Morn, and soft the zephyr blows,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »