« PreviousContinue »
Than yonder upstarts of the neighb'ring wood;
So much thy juniors, who their birth receiv'd
Half a millenium since the date of thine.
But since, although well qualified by age
To teach, no spirit dwells in thee, nor voice
May be expected from thee, seated here
On thy distorted root, with hearers none,
Or prompter, save the scene, I will perform
Myself the oracle, and will discourse
In my own ear such matter as I may.
One man alone, the father of us all,
Drew not his life from woman; never gaz'd,
With mute unconsciousness of what he saw,
On all around him; learn'd not by degrees,
Nor ow'd articulation to his ear;
But, moulded by his Maker into man
At once, upstood intelligent, survey'd
All creatures, with precision understood
Their purport, uses, properties, assign'd
To each his name significant, and, All'd
With love and wisdom, render'd back to Heav'n
In praise harmonious the first air he drew.
He was excus’d the penalties of dull
Minority. No tutor charg‘d bis hand
With the thought-tracing quill, or task'd his mind
With problems. History, not wanted yet,
Lean’d on her elbow, watching Time, whose course,
Eventful, should snpply her with a theme.
o that those lips had lauguay'e' Life has passa
With me but roughly since I saw thee last.
Those lips are thine, _thy own sweet smile I see,
The same that ofi in childhood solac'd me; --
DRAWN BY RICHARD WESTAIL PA ENGRAVI:D BY EDWARD PORTBURY:
PUBLISHED BY JOHN SHARPE PICCADILLY
RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE
OUT OF NORFOLK.
THE GIFT OF MY COUSIN ANNE BODHAM.
O that those lips had language! Life has pass'd
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine-thy own sweet smile I sec,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
• Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!'
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes,
(Blest be the art that can immortalize,
The art that bafles Time's tyrannic claim
To quench it), here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
O welcome guest, though unexpected here ! )
Who bidd'st me honour with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long,
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own:
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief,
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream, that thou art she.
My mother! when I learn’d that thou wast dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed? Hover'd thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, Wretch ev’n then, life's journey just begun? Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a kiss; Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in blissAh, that maternal smile! it answers—Yes. I heard the bell toll'd on thy burial day, I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away, And, turning from my nursery window, drew A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu! But was it such:-It was where thou art gone Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown. May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, The parting word shall pass my lips no more! Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern, Oft gave me promise of thy quick return. What ardently I wish’d, I long believed, And, disappointed still, was still deceived. By expectation every day beguiled, Dupe of to-morrow even from a child. Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went, Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent, I learn'd at last submission to my lot, But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot.
Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more, Children not thine have trod my nursery floor; And where the gardener Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way,