« PreviousContinue »
Of nature to perfection half divine
Expand the blooming soul. What pity than
Should sloth's unkindly fogs depress to earth
Her tender blossom, choak the streams of life,
And blast her spring! Far otherwise design'd
Almighty wisdom; nature's happy cares
Th' obedient heart far otherwise incline,
Witness the sprightly joy when ought unknown
Strikes the quick sense, and wakes each active pow'r
To brisker measures : witness the neglect
Of all familiar prospects, tho' beheld
With transport once ; the fond attentive gaze
Of young astonishment; the sober zeal
Of age, commenting on prodigious things.
For such the bounteous providence of Heav'n,
Iu every breast implanting this desire
Of objects new and strange, to urge us on
With unremitted labour to pursue
Those sacred stores that wait the ripening soul,
In truth's exhaustless bosom. What need words
To paint its pow'r ? For this, the daring youth
Breaks froin his wecping mother's anxious arms,
In foreign climes to rove; the pensive sage,
Heedless of sleep, or midnight's harmful damp,
Hangs o'er the sickly taper; and untir'd
The virgin follows, with enchanted step,
The mazes of some wise and wondrous tale,
From morn to eve; unmindful of her form,
Unmindful of the happy dress that stole
The wishes of the youth, when every maid
With envy pin'd. Hence finally by night
The village matron, round the blazing heart,
Suspends the infant-audiance with her tales,
Breathing astonishment of witching rhimes,
And evil spirits ; of the death-bed call
Of him who robb'd the widow, and devour'd
The orphan's portion; of unquiet souls
Ris'n from the grave to ease the heavy guilt
Of deeds in life conceal’d; of shapes that walk
At dead of night, and clank their chains, and wave
The torch of hell around the murd'rer's bed.
At every solemn pause the croud recoil
Gazing each other speechless, and congeald
With shiv'ring sighs: till eager for th' event,
Around the beldame all erect they hang,
Each trembling heart with grateful terrors quell’d.
WHEN erst contagion with mephitic breath
And wither'd famine urged the work of death ;
Marseilles' good bishop, London's generous mayor,
With food and faith, with medicine and with prayer,
Raised the weak head and stayed the parting sigh,
Or with new life relumed the swiming eye.
-And now, Philanthropy! thy rays divine
Dart round the globe from Zembla to the line ;
D'er each dark prison plays the cheering light,
Like northern lustres o'er the rault of night.-
From realm to realm, with cross or crescent crown'd,
Where'er mankind and misery are found,
O'er burning sands, deep waves, or wilds of snow,
Thy Howard journeying seeks the house of woe.
Down many a winding step to dungeons dank,
Where anguish wails aloud, and fetters clank;
To cave bestrew'd with many a nouldering bone,
And cells, whose echoes only learn to groan;
Where no kind bars a whispering friend disclose,
No sun-beam enters, and no zephyr blows,
He treads, inemulous of fame or wealth,
Profuse of toil and prodigal of health ;
With soft assuasive eloquence expands
Power's rigid heart, and opes his clenching hands;
Leads stern-ey'd justice to the dark domains,
If not to sever, to relax the chains ;
Or guides awaken'd mercy through the gloom,
And shows the prison, sister to the tomb!
Gives to her babes the self-devoted wife,
To her fond husband liberty and life!
- The spirits of the good, who bend from high
Wide o'er these earthly scenes their partial eye,
When first, array'd in Virtue's purest robe,
They saw her Howard traversing the globe;
Saw round his brows her sun-like glory blaze
In arrowy circles of unwearied rays;
Mistook a mortal for an angel-guest,
And ask'd what seraph-foot the earth imprest.
Onward he moves ! -Disease and death retire,
---And murmuring demons hate him, and admire.
THE rose had been wash’d, just wash'd in a shower,
Which Mary to Anna convey'd,
The plentiful moisture incumber'd the flower,
And weigh'd down its beautiful head.
The cup was all till'd, and the leaves were all wet,
And it seem'd, to a fanciful view, To weep
for the buds it had left with regret, On the flourishing bush where it grew.
I hastily seized it, unfit as it was
For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd, And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas !
I snapp'd it-it fell to the ground.
And such, I exclaim'd, is the pitiless part
Some act by the delicate mind, Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart,
Already to sorrow resign'd.
This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,
Might have bloom'd with its owner awhile ; And the tear that is wip'd with a little address, May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.
THE POET'S NEW-YEAR'S GIFT.
MARIA! I have ev'ry good
For thee wish'd many a time,
Both sad, and in a cheerful mood,
But never yet in rhime.
To wish thee fairer is no need,
More prudent, or more sprightly,
Or more ingenious, or more freed
From temper-flaws unsightly.
What favour, then, not yet possess'd,
Can I for thee require,
In wedded love already blest,
To thy whole heart's desire ?
None here is happy but in part;
Full bliss is bliss divine ;
There dwells some wish every heart,
And doubtless one in thine.
ON AN INK-GLASS ALMOST DRY’D IN TKĘ SUN.. PATRON of all those luckless brains,
That, to the wiong side leaning, Indite much metre with much pains,
And little or no meaning ;;
Ah why, since oceans, rivers, streams,
That water all the nations, Pay tribute to thy glorious beams,
Jo constant exhalations.
Why, stooping from the noon of day,
Too covetous of drink, Apollo, hast thou stol'n away
A poet's drop of ink ?
Upborn into the viewless air
It floats a vapour now,
Impell'd thro' regions dense and rare,
By all the winds that blow,