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FROM THE PORTUGUESE.
In moments to delight devoted,
“ My life!” with tend'rest tone, you cry; Dear words! on which my heart had doted,
If youth could neither fade nor die.
Ah! then repeat those accents never;
Which, like my love, exists for ever.
IMPROMPTU, IN REPLY TO A FRIEND
When from the heart where Sorrow sits,
Her dusky shadow mounts too high,
And clouds the brow, or fills the eye;
My thoughts their dungeon know too well; Back to my breast the wanderers shrink,
And droop within their silent cell.
SPOKEN AT THE OPENING OF DRURY-LANE THEATRE,
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1812.
In one dread night our city saw, and sigh'd,
Ye who beheld, (oh! sight admired and mourn’d, Whose radiance mock'd the ruin it adorn’d!) Through clouds of fire, the massy fragments riven, Like Israel's pillar, chase the night from heaven; Saw the long column of revolving flames Shake its red shadow o'er the startled Thames, While thousands, throngd around the burning dome, Shrank back appalld, and trembled for their home, As glared the volumed blaze, and ghastly shone The skies, with lightnings awful as their own, Till blackening ashes and the lonely wall Usurp'd the Muse's realm, and mark'd her fall; Say-shall this new, nor less aspiring pile, Reard where once rose the mightiest in our isle, Know the same favour which the former knew, A shrine for Shakspeare-worthy him and you?
Yes-it shall be the magic of that name
As soars this fane to emulate the last,
Dear are the days which made our annals bright,
And we the mirror hold, where imaged shine
Friends of the stage! to whom both Players and Must sue alike for pardon, or for praise, [Plays Whose judging voice and eye alone direct The boundless power to cherish or reject; If e'er frivolity has led to fame, And made us blush that you forbore to blame; If e'er the sinking stage could condescend To soothe the sickly taste, it dare not mend, All past reproach may present scenes refute, And censure, wisely loud, be justly mute! Oh! since your fiat stamps the Drama's laws, Forbear to mock us with misplaced applause; So pride shall doubly, nerve the actor's powers, And reason's voice be echo'd back by ours !
This greeting o'er, the ancient rule obey'd, The Drama's homage by her herald paid, Receive our welcome too, whose every tone Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your own. The curtain rises-may our stage unfold Scenes not unworthy Drury's days of old! Britons our judges, Nature for our guide, Still may we please-long, long may you preside!
TIME! on whose arbitrary wing
The varying hours must flag or fly,
But drag or drive us on to die-
Those boons to all that know thee known; Yet better I sustain thy load,
For now I bear the weight alone.
The bitter moments thou hast given; And pardon thee, since thou could'st spare
All that I loved, to peace or heaven. To them be joy or rest, on me
Thy future ills shall press in vain;
A debt already paid in pain.
It felt, but still forgot thy power:
Retards, but never counts the hour. In joy I've sigh'd to think thy flight
Would soon subside from swift to slow; Thy cloud could overcast the light,
But could not add a night to wo;