« PreviousContinue »
Or gilds at eve the shrub-clad rocks of Ley. Forbid it, Vanity! ye mighty two
Who share the female breast! the last prevails. Pale Sickness sits, and drinks th’enlivening day; “ Whatever youth shall bring the noblest prize Nor fears th' innumerable pangs which pierce May claim her conquer'd heart." The day was fix'd, In keener anguish from the north, or load
And forth from villages, and turf-built cots, The dusky pinions of the peevish east.
In crowds the suitors came: from Ashton's vale, Secure she sits, and from thy sacred urn
From Pil, from Porshut, and the town whose tower Implores, and finds relief. The slacken'd nerves Now stands a sea-mark to the pilots ken. Resume their wonted tone, of every wind
Nor were there wanting Clifton's love-sick sons And every season patient. Jocund health To swell th' enamour'd train. But most in thought Blooms on the cheek; and careless youth returns Yielded to Cadwal's heir, proud lord of Stoke ; (As fortune wills) to pleasure or to toil.
Whose wide dominions spread o'er velvet lawns Yet think not, goddess, that the Muse ascribes And gently-swelling hills, and tufted groves, To thee unfailing strength, of force to wrest Full many a mile. For there, ev'n then, the scene Th' uplifted bolts of fate; to Jove alone
We now behold to such perfection wrought, Belongs that high pre-eminence. Full oft, Charm'd with untutor'd wildness, and but ask'd This feeling heart can witness, have I heard A master's hand to tame it into grace. Along thy shore the piercing cries resound
Against such rivals, prodigal of wealth, Of widows and of orphans. Oft beheld
To venal beauty off'ring all their stores, The solemn funeral pomp, and decent rites, What arts shall Thenot use, who long has lov'd, Which human vanity receives and pays
And long, too long despair'd? Amid thy rocks When dust returns to dust. Where Nature fails, Nightly he wanders, to the silent Moon There too thy power must fail; or only lend And starry host of Heaven he tells his pain. A momentary aid to soften pain,
But chief to thee, to thee his fond complaints And from the king of terrours steal his frown. At morn, at eve, and in the midnight hour
Nor yet for waters only art thou fam'd, Frequent he pours. No wealth paternal bless'd Avonia ; deep within thy cavern'd rocks
His humbler birth; no fields of waving gold Do diamonds lurk, which mimic those of Ind. Or flowering orchards, no wide-wandering herds Some to the curious searcher's eye betray Or bleating firstlings of the flock were his, Their varying hues amid the mossy clefts To tempt the wary maid. Yet could his pipe Faint glimmering ; others in the solid stone Make echoes listen, and his flowing tongue Lie quite obscur'd, and wait the patient hand Could chant soft ditties in so sweet a strain, Of art, or quick explosion's fiercer breath, They charm'd with native music all but her To wake their latent glories iuto day.
Oft had'st thou heard him, goddess; oft resolvid With these the British fair, ere traffic's power To succour his distress. When now the day Had made the wealth of other worlds our own, The fatal day drew near, and love's last hope Woald deck their auburn tresses, or confine Hung on a few short moments. Ocean's god The snowy rounduess of their polish'd arm. Was
with thee, and observ'd thy anxious thought. With these the little tyrants of the isle,
“And what,” he cry'd, “ can make Avonia's face Monarchs of counties, or of clay-built towns Wear aught but smiles? what jealous doubts perSole potentates, would bind their haughty brows,
plex And awe the gazing crowd. Say, goddess, say, My fair, my best belov'd ?" “ No jealous doubts," Shall, studious of thy praise, the Muse declare Thou answered'st mild, and on his breast reclin'd When first their lustre rose, and what kind power Thy blushing cheek, “perplex Avonia's breast: Unveil'd their hidden charms? The Muse alone A cruel fair one flies the voice of love, Can call back time, and from oblivion save And gifts alone can win her. Mighty Power, The once-kuown tale, of which tradition's self O bid thy Tritous ransack Ocean's wealth, Has lost the faintest memory. 'Twas ere
The coral's living branch, the lucid pearl, The titles proud of Knight and Baron bold And every shell where mingling lights and shades Were known in Albion; long ere Cæsar's arms Play happiest. O, if ever to thy breast Had tried its prowess, and been taught to yield. My artful coyness gave a moment's pain, Westward a inile from yon aspiring shrubs Learn from that pain to pity those that love." Which front thy hallow'd fount, and shagg with The god return'd: “ Can his Avonia ask thorns
What Neptune would refuse? beauty like thine The adverse side of Avon, dwelt a swain.
Might task his utmost labours. But behold One only daughter bless'd his nuptial bed.
How needless now his treasures ! what thou seek'st Fair was the maid; but wherefore said I fair? Is near thee; in the bosom of thy rocks For many a maid is fair, but Leya's form
Myriads of glittering geins, of power to charm Was beauty's self, where each united charm More wary eyes than Leya's, lurk unseen : Ennobled each, and added grace to all.
From these select thy store.” He spake, and rais'd Yet cold as mountain snows her tim'rous heart The massy trident; at whose stroke the womb Rejects the voice of love. In vain the sire Of Earth gave up its treasures. Ready nymphs With prayers, with mingled tears, demanded oft Receiv'd the bursting gems, and Tritons lent The name of grandsire, and a prattling race A happier polish to th' encrusted stone. To cheer his drooping age. In vain the youths Scarce had they finish'd, when the plaintive To Leya's fav’rite name in every dale
(proach," Attun'd their rustic pipes, to Lega's ear
Of Thenot reach'd thy ears. “ Approach, apMusic was discord when he talk'd of love.
The trident-bearer cried; and at his voice And shall such beauty, and such power to bless,
The rocks divided, and the awe-struck youth Sink useless to the grave! forbid it, Love ! (Like Aristæus through the parting wave)
Descended trembling. But what words can paint Fills every teeming element, amid
Had sunk unnerv'd, inglorious, the vile slaves Shall make thee wealthier than the proudest swain Of sloth, and crouch'd beneath a master's frown, Whose rivalship thou fear'st; go, and be blest. Had not thy breath awak'd some chosen soul, Yet let not gratitude be lost in joy ;
Some finer ether, scarce ally'd to clay,
How shall the blushing Muse pursue the tale Which swells her annals, thy prolific stream Impartial, and record th' ungrateful crime Has given one bard, one hero; may nor storms Of Thenot love-deluded? When success
Nor earthquakes shake thy mansion; may the Had crown'd his fierce desires, awhile he paid
sweep, Due honours at thy shrine, and strew'd with flowers, The silent sweep, of slow-devouring time Jasmin and rose, and iris many-hued,
Steal o'er thy rocks unfelt, and only bear The rocky, margin. Till at length, intent
To future worlds thy virtues, and thy praise. On Leya's charms alone, of aught beside
Still, still, Avonia, o'er thy Albion shed Careless he grew; and scarcely now his hymns Benignest influence; nor to her alone Of praise were heard; heard, they fondly mix'd Confine thy partial boon. The lamp of day, His Leya's praise with thine; or only seem'd God of the lower world, was meant to all The dying echoes of his former strains.
A common parent. Still to every realm Nor did he (how wilt thou excuse, O Love, Send forth thy blessings; for to every realm, Thy traitor ?)' when his wide possessions spread, Such its peculiar excellence, thy wave Parm beyond farm, remember whence they rose, May pass untainted; seasons, climates, spare Or grace his village with Avonia's name.
Its virtues, and the power which conquers all, But on a festal day, amid the shouts
Innate corruption, never mixes there. Of echoing shepherds, to the rising town
And might I ask a boon, in whispers ask “ Be Leya nam'd,” he cried : and still unchang'd One partial favour; goddess, from the power (Indelible disgrace!) the name remains ". Of verse, and arts Pæonian, gracious thou 'Twas then, Avonia, negligent of all
Entreat this one. Let other poets share His former injuries, thy heav'nly breast
His noisy honours, rapid let them roll
L'Amitié, qui dans le monde est à peine un senThat humble village thou behold'st it now,
timent, est une passion dans les cloitres.
Contes Moraux, de Marmontel. And soon transported to the British coast From farthest India vessels shall arrive
Much have we heard the peevish world complain Full fraught with gems, myself will speed the sails, Of friends neglected, and of friends forgot : And all th' imaginary wealth he boasts
Another's frailties blindly we arraign, Shall sink neglected : rustics shall deride
And blame, as partial ills, the common lot: His diamond's mimic blaze. Nor thou regret For what is friendship 2-'Tis the sacred tie Their perish'd splendour; on a firmer base
Of souls unbodied, and of love refin'd; Thy glory rests; reject a spurious praise,
Beyond, Benevolence, thy social sigh, And to thy waters only trust for fame."
Beyond the duties graven on our kind. And what of fame, 0 goddess, canst thou ask And ah how seldom, in this vale of tears, Beyond thy waters, ever-streaming source
This frail existence, by ourselves debas'd, Of health to thousands ? Myriads yet unborn In hopes bewilder'd, or subdu'd by fears, Shall hail thy fost'ring wave: perchance to thee The joys unmix'd of mutual good we taste! Shall owe their first existence. For, if fame Proclaim, ye reverend sires, whom fate has spar'd Relate not fabling, the warm genial breath
As life's example, and as virtue's test, Qf nature, which calls forth the bursting forms How few, how very few, your hearts have shard, Through wide creation, and with various life
How much those hearts have pardon'd in the best.
Vain is their claim whom heedless pleasure joins 11 Ley, or Leigh, a small village on the oppo In bands of riot, or in leagues of vice; site side of the Avon, mentioned in the first line They meet, they revel, as the day declines, of the preceding page.
But, spectre like, they shudder at its rise.
For 'tis not friendship, though the raptures run, While others, led by glory's meteors, run
Led by the mad'ning god, through every vein; To distant wars for laurels stain'd with blood. Like the warm flower, which drinks the noon-tide Meanwhile the stream of time glides calmly on, Sun,
And ends its silent course in Lethe's flood. Their bosoms open but to close again.
Unhappy only he of friendship’s train Yet there are hours of mirth, which friendship loves, Who never knew what change or fortune meant, When prudence sleeps, and wisdom grows more with whom th' ideas of his youth remain kind,
Too firmly fix'd, and rob him of content. Sallies of sense, which reason scarce approves, Condemnd perhaps to some obscure retreat,
When all unguarded glows the naked mind. Where pale reflection wears a sickly bloom, But far from those be each profaner eye
Still to the past he turns with pilgrim feet, With glance malignant withering fancy's bloom; And ghosts of pleasure haunt him to his tomb, Far the vile ear, where whispers never die; 0—but I will not name you—ye kind few,
Far the rank heart, which teems with ills to come. With whom the morning of my life I pass'd, Full oft, by fortune near each other plac'd, May every bliss, your generous bosoms knew
Ill-suited souls, nor studious much to please, Ju earlier days, attend you to the last. Whole fruitless years in awkward union waste, I too, alas, am chang'd. - And yet there are Till chance divides, whom chance had join'd Who still with partial love my friendship own, with ease.
Forgive the frailties which they could not shate, And yet, should either oddly soar on high,
Or find my heart unchang'd to them alone. And shine distinguish'd in some sphere remov'd, To them this votive tablet of the Muse The friend observes him with a jealous eye,
Pleas'd I suspend.-Nor let th’ unfeeling mind And calls ungrateful whom he never lov’d. Proin these loose hints its own vile ways excuse, But leave we such for those of happier clay
Or start a thought to injure human-kind. On who 2.emerging stars the Graces smile, Who knows not friendship, knows not bliss sincere. And search for truth, where virtue's sacred ray Court it, ye young; ye aged, bind it fast; Wakes the glad seed in friendship's genuine Earn it, ye proud; nor think the purchase dear, soil.
Whate'er the labour, if 'tis gain'd at last. In youth's soft season, when the vacant mind Compar'd with all th' admiring world calls great, To each kind impulse of affection yields,
Fame's loudest blast, ambition's noblest ends, When Nature charms, and love of humankind Ev'n the last pang of social life is sweet:
With its own brightness every object gilds, The pang which parts us from our weeping friends. Should two congenial bosoms haply meet,
Or on the banks of Camus, hoary stream,
How sweet the saunt'ring walk at close of day!
Though not a glaring first-rate wit,
Had lately taken to his arms Each young idea dawning science lends,
A damsel of uncommon charms. Or big with sorrow beats th' unpractis'd heart A mutual bliss their bosoms knew,
For suff'ring virtue, and disastrous friends. The hours on downy pinions flew, Deep in the volumes of the mighty dead
And scatter'd roses as they pass'd: They fest on joys to vulgar ininds unknown; Emblem of joy too sweet to last ! The hero's, sage's, patriot's path they tread, Por lo! th' unequal Fates divide
Adore each worth, and make it half their own. Th' enamour'd swain and beauteous bride. Sublime and pure as Thebes or Sparta taught The honeymoon had scarcely wan'd,
Eternal union from their souls they swear, And love its empire still maintain'd, Each added converse swells the generous thought, When forth he must, for business calls.
And each short absence makes it more sincere--Adien, ye fields, ye groves, ye walls, —“And can"-(I hear some eager voice exclaim, That in your hallow'd bounds contain Whose bliss now blossoins, and whose hopes beat My source of joy-my source of pain! high)
It must be so; adieu, my dear.
And may such friendships ever ever die?” For lovers of a certain cast
If chance the sad experience should be thine. And still whine out, whene'er they sever, What cannot change where all is light and in tragic strain, “ Farewell for ever!” vain?
Awbile, in melancholy mood, -Ask of the Fates who twist life's varying line. He slowly pac'd the tiresome road; Ambition, vanity, suspense, surmise,
every road must tiresome prove On the wide world's tempestuous ocean roll ; That bears us far from her we love." New loves, new friendships, new desires arise, But Sun, and exercise, and air,
New joys elate, new griefs depress the soul. At length dispel the glooms of care; Some, in the bustling mart of business, lose They vanish like a morning dream,
The still small voice retirement loves to hear; And happiness is now the theme. Some at the noisy bar enlarge their views,
How blest his lot, to gain at last, And some in senates court a people's ear. So many vain researches past,
A wife so suited to his taste,
Of sayings, which, in former ages, So fair, so gentle, and so chaste,
Immortaliz'd the Grecian sages, A tender partner for his bed,
But now the very vulgar speak, A pillow for his aching head,
And only critics quote in Greek. The bosom good for which he panted,
With these, like Sancho, was he stor'd, In short the very thing he wanted.
And Sancho-like drew forth his hoard. “ And then to make my bliss complete,
Proper or not, he all apply'd, And lay fresh laurels at my feet,
And view'd the case on every side, How many matches did she slight;
Till, on the whole, he thought it best An Irish lord, a city knight,
To turn the matter to a jest, And squires by dozens, yet agree
And, with a kind of clumsy wit, To pass her life with humble me.
At last on an expedient hit. And did not she the other day
Suppose we then the journey o'er, When captain Wilkins pass'd our way
And madam meets him at the door. The captain! --well, she lik'd not him,
“ So soon return'd? and where's your master ? Though drest in all his Hyde-park trim.
I hope you 've met with no disaster. -She lik'd his sword-knot though 'twas yellow; Is my dear well ?"_“ Extremely so; The captain is a sprightly fellow,
And only sent me here to know I should not often choose to see
How fares his softer, better part. Such dangerous visitors as he.
Ah, madam, could you see his heart! I wonder how he came to call
It was not even in his power Or why he pass'd that way at all,
To brook the absence of an hour."His road lay farther to the right,
“ And, was this all ? was this the whole And me he hardly knew by sight.
He sent you for! The kind, good, soul' Stay,-let me think I freeze, I burn
Tell him, that he's my source of bliss; Where'er he went, he must return,
Tell him my health depends on his; And, in my absence, may again
Tell him, this breast no joy can find, Make bold to call. - Come hither, Ben;
If cares disturb his dearer mind; Did you observe, I'll lay my life
This faithful breast, if he be well, You did, when first he met my wife,
No pang, but that of absence, feel.” What speech it was the captain made ?"
Ben blush'd, and smil'd, and scratch'd his head, “ What, captain Wilkins, sir ?"-"The same. Then, falt'ring in his accents, said, Come, you can tell."-"I can't indeed,
“ One message more, he bade me bear, For they were kissing when I came."
But that 's a secret for your ear" Kiss, did they kiss?"-"Most surely, sir ; My master begs, on no account A bride, and he a bachelor.”
Your ladyship would dare to mount “ Peace, rascal, 'tis beyond endurance,
The mastiff dog."-" What means the lad ? I wonder at some folks assurance.
Are you, or is your master mad? They think, like Ranger in the play,
I ride a dog ? a pretty story.” That all they meet is lawful prey.
“ Ah, dearest madam, do not glory These huff bluff captains are of late
In your own strength; temptation's strong, Grown quite a nuisance in the state.
And frail our nature."-" Hold your tongue, Ben, turn your horse-nay, never stare,
Your master, sir, shall know of this." And tell my wife I cannot bear
“ Dear madam, do not take amiss These frequent visits. Hence, you dunce!" Your servant's zeal; by all you vow'd, “ The captain, sir, was there but once,
By all the love you ever show'd, Once is too often ; tell her, Ben,
By all your hopes of bliss to come, That, if he dares to call again,
Beware the mastiff dog !"_“ Be dumb, She should avoid bim like a toad,
Insulting wretch," the lady cries. A snake, a viper.—There's your road.
The servant takes his cue, and flies And hark'ee, tell her, under favour,
While consternation marks her face, We stretch too far polite behaviour.
He mounts his steed, and quits the place. Tell her, I do not understand
In vain she calls, as swift as wind This kissing ; tell her I command"
He scowers the lawn, yet cast behind 5* Heav'n bless us, sir, such whims as these" - One parting look, which seem'd to say « Tell her I beg it on my knees,
“ Beware the dog ;" then rode away. By all the love she ever show'd,
Why should I paint the hurrying scene By all she at the altar vow'd,
Of clashing thoughts which pass'd within, Howe'er absurd a husband's fears,
Where doubt on doubt incessant roll'd. Howe'er injurious it appears,
Enough for me the secret's told, She would not see him if he comes;
And madam in a strange quandary, Nay, if she chance to hear his drums,
What 'is to be done? “ John, Betty, Harry, Bid her start back, and skulk for fear,
Go, call him back.” He's out of sight, As if the thunder rent her ear."
No speed can overtake his fight. O wond'rous power of love and beauty!
Patience per force alone remains, Obedience is a servant's duty,
Precarious cure for real pains ! And Ben obeys. But, as he goes,
“ I ride a dog! a strange conceit, He reasons much on human woes.
And never sure attempted yet. How frail is man, how prone to stray
What can it mean? Whate'er it was, And all the long et cælera
There is some mystery in the case.
And really, now I've thought a minute,
And starting veins with blood disgrace There may be no great matter in it.
The softer marble of her face. Ladies of old, to try a change,
Here might I sing of fading charms Have rude on animals as strange.
Reclin'd on Betty's faithful neck, Helle a ram, a bull Europa;
Like Venus in Dione's arms, Nay English widows, for a faux pas,
And much from Homer might I speak, Were doom'd to expiate their shame,
But we refer to Pope's translation, As autors say, upon a ram.
And hasten to our plain narration. And shan't my virtue take a pride in
While broths and plaisters are prepard, Outdoing such vile trulls in riding?
And doctors feed, and madam scar'd, And sure a ram's as weak a creature
At length returns th' impatient squire Here, Betty, reach me the Spectator."
Eager and panting with desire. “ Lord bless me, ma'am, as one may say,
But finds his home a desert place, Your ladyship's quite mop'd to day.
No spouse to welcome his embrace, Reading will only, I'm afraid,
No tender sharer of his bliss Put more strange megrims in your head.
To chide his absence with a kiss. "Twere better sure to take the air;
Sullen in bed the lady lay, I'll order, ma'am, the coach and pair,
And muffled from the eye of day, And then too I may go beside.
Nor deign'd a look, averse and sad Or, if you rather choose to ride”-
As Dido in th' Elysian shade. “ Ride, Betty? that's my wish, my aim.
Amaz'd, alarm'd, the bed he press'd, Pray, Betty, is our Cæsar tame ?"
And clasp'd her struggling to his breast. “ Tame, madam? Yes, I never heard
“ My life, my soul, I cannot brook You mean the mastiff in the yard ?
This cruel, this averted look. He makes a noise, and barks at folks
And is it thus at last we meet?” But surely, ma'am, your la’ship jokes."
Then rais'd her gently from the sheet. “ Jokes, Betty, no. By earth and Heaven
“ What mean," he cries, “these bleeding stains This insult shall not be forgiven.
This muffled head, and bursting veins ? Whate'er they mean, I'll ride the dog.
What sacrilegious hand could dare Go, prithee, free him from his clog,
To fix its impious vengeance there?” And bring him hither; they shall find
“ The dog, the dog!” was all she said, There's courage in a female mind.”
And sobbing sunk again in bed. So said, so done. The dog appears
“ The dog, the dog !” express'd her grief, With Betty chirping ou the stairs.
Like poor Othello's handkerchief. The floating sack is thrown aside,
Meanwhile bad Ben with prudent care The vestments, proper for a ride,
From Betty learnt the whole affair, Such as we oft in Hyde-park view
And drew th' impatient squire aside, Of fustian white lapell’d with blue,
To own the cheat he could not hide. By Betty's care were on the spot,
“ See, rascal, see,” enrag'd he cries, Nor is the feather'd hat forgot.
" What tumours on her forehead rise! Pleas'd with herself th' accoutred lass
How swells with grief that face divine !" Took half a turn before her glass,
“ I own it all, the fault was mine," And simp'ring said, “ I swear and vow,
Replies the lad, “ dear angry lord; I look like captain Wilkins now.”'
But hush! come hither, not a word ! But serious cares our thoughts demand,
Small are the ills we now endure, “ Poor Cæsar, stroke him with your hand;
Those tumours, sir, admit a cure. How mild he seems, and wags his tail!
But, had I done as you directed, 'Tis now the moment to prevail."
Whose forehead then had been affected ? She spake, and straight with eye sedate
Had captain Wilkins been forbidden,
Ah master, who had then been ridden ?”
FROM A GROVE IN DERBYRHIRE TO A GROVE IN SURREY.
That groves are nothing else but trees, Thou that hast oft preserv'd from fate
And root-bound trees, like distant creatures, The nymph wbo leaps a five-barr'd gate,
Can only correspond by letters, O take me, goddess, to thy care,
Borne on the winds which through us whistle, O hear a tender lady's prayer!
Accept, dear sister, this epistle. Thy votress once, as pure a maid
And first, as to their town relations As ever rov'd the Delian sbade,
The ladies send to know the fashions, Though now, by man's seduction won,
Would I, in something better spelling,
Inquire how things go on at Haling;
I'm sure we strangely want reforming,
Long have my lab'ring trees confin'd The headlong dame, a direful blow!
Such griefs as almost burst their rind;