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Seek not the proofs in private life to find!
Pity, the best of words, should be but wind!
So to heaven's gates the lark's shrill song ascends,
But grovelling on the earth the carol ends.
In all the clamorous cry of starving want,
They duu benevolence with shameful front;
Oblige them, patronise their tinsel lays,
They persecute you all your future days!
Ere my poor soul such deep damnation stain,
My horny fist assume the plough again;
The piebald jacket let me patch once more;
On eighteen pence a week I've liv'd before.
Though thanks to Heaven, I dare even that last shili;
I trust, meantime, my boon is in thy gift;
That placed by thee upon the wished-for height,
Where, Man and Nature fairer in her sight,
Vy Muse may imp her wing for some sublimer flight.
LATE crippled of an arm, and now a leg,
About to beg a pass for leave to beg ;
Dull, listless, teased, dejected, and deprest,
(Nature is adverse to a cripple's rest.)
Will generous Graham list to his Poet's wail ?
(It sooths poor Misery hearkening to her tale)
And hear him curse the light he first surveyed,
And doubly curse the luckless, rhyming trade!
Thou, Nature, partial Nature, I arraigu;
Ofthy caprice maternal I complain.
The lion and the bull thy care have found,
One shakes the forest, and one spurns the ground;
Thou gi'st the ass his hide, the snail his shell,
Thenvenom'd wasp, victorious, guards his cell...
Thy minions, kings, defend, control, devour,
In all th' omnipotence of rule and
Foxes and statesmen, subue wiles insure;
The cit and polecat stink, and are secure.
Toads with their poison, doctors with their drug,'
The priest and hedgehog in their robes are snug.
Ev'n silly woman has her warlike arts,
Her tongue and eyes, her dreaded spear and darts.
But oh! the bitter step-mother and hard,
To thy poor, fenceless, naked child-the Bard,
A thing unteachable in world's skill,
And half an idiot too, more helpless still.
No heels to bear him from the op’ning dun;
No claws to dig, his hated sight to shun;
No horns, but those by luckless Hymen worn,
And those, alas! not Amalthea's horns:
No nerves olfact’ry, Mammon's trusty cur,
Clad in rich dulness, comfortable fur,
In naked feeling, and in aching pride,
He bears th' unbroken blast from ev'ry side;
Vampyre booksellers drain him to the heart,
And scorpion critics cureless venom dart.
Critics-appall’d I venture on the name,
Those cut-throat bandits in the paths of fame:
Bloody dissectors, worse than ten Monroes;
He hacks to teach, they mangle to expose.
His heart by causeless, wanton malice wrung, By blockheads' daring into madness stung; His well-won bays, than life itself more dear, By miscreants torn, who ne'er one sprig must "
Foil'd, bleeding, tortur'd in the unequal strife,
The hapless Poet flounders on thro’ life,
Till fled each hope that once his bosom fir'd,
And fled each Muse that glorious once inspir’d,
Low sunk in squalid, unprotected age,
Dead, even resentment, for his injur'd page,
He heeds or feels no more the ruthless critic's rage!
So, by some hedge, the generous steed deceas'd
For half starv'd snarling curs a dainty feast ;
By toil and famine wore to skin and bone,
Lie senseless of each tuggin bitch's son.
O Dulness! portion of the truly blest ; Calm shelter'd'haven of eternal rest! Thy sons ne'er madden in the fierce extremes Of Fortune's polar frost, or torrid beams. If mantling high she fills the golden cup, With sober, selfish ease they sip it up; Conscious the bounteous meed they well deserve, They only wonder “some folks” do not starve. The grave sage hern thus easy picks his frog, And thinks the mallard a sad, worthless dog. When disappointment snaps the clue of hope, And thro' disastrous night they darkling grope, With deaf endurance sluggishly they bear, And just conclude that “ fools are Fortune's care." So, heavy passive to the tempest's shocks, Strong on the sign-post stands the stupid ox.
Not so the idle Muses' mad-cap train, Not such the workings of their moon-struck brain; In equinimity they never dwell, By turns in soaring heav'n or vaulted hell. * I dread thee, Fate, relentless and severe, With all a Poet's, Husband's, Father's fear!
Already one strong hold of hope is lost,
GLENCAIRN, the truly noble, lies in dust;
(Fled, like the sun eclips'd at noon appears,
And left us darkling in a world of tears ;).
O! hear my ardent, grateful, selfish pray'r!
FINTRA, my other stay, long bless and spare!
Thro' a long life his hopes and wishes crown;
And bright in cloudless skies his sun go down!
May bliss domestic smooth his private path ;
Give energy to life and sooth his latest breath,
With many a filial tear circling the bed of death.
I CA.l no goddess to inspire my strains,
A fablo Muse may suit a bard that feigns;
Friend o ay life! my ardent spirit burns,
And all the tribute of my heart returns,
For boons accorded, goodness ever new,
The gift still dearer, as the giver you.
Thou orb of day! thou other paler light!
And all ye many sparkling stars of night;
If aught that giver from my mind efface;
If I that giver's bounty e'er disgrace;
Then roll to me, along your wandering spheres,
Only to number out a villain's years!
WHOM THE AUTHOR HAD OFFENDED.
The friend whom wild from wisdom's way,
The fumes of wine infuriate send ;
(Not moony madness more astray;),
Who but deplores that hapless friend ?
Mine was the insensate frenzied part,
Ah why should I such scenes outlive?
Scenes so abhorrent to my heart !
'Tis thine to pity and forgive.
WHO HAD SENT HIM A NEWSPAPER, AND OFFER
ED TO CONTINUE IT FREE OF EXPENSE.
Kind Sir, I've read your paper through,
And faith, to me, 'twas really new !
How guess'd ye, Sir, what maist I wanted ?
This monie a day I've grain'd and gaunted,
To ken what French mischief was brewin;
Or what the drumblie Dutch were doing ;
That vile doup-skelper, Emperor Joseph,
If Venus yet had got his nose off;
Or how the collieshangie works
Atween the Russians and the Turks ;