« ForrigeFortsett »
Still whirl'd, by every rising whim,
From that to this, from her to him;
And when he hath his circle run,
He ends—just where he first begun.
MALLETS POEMS.ON AN AMOROUS OLD MAN.
Stiix hovering round the fair at sixty-four, Unfit to love, unable to give o'er;A flesh-fly, that just flutters on the wing, Awake to buz, but not alive to sting;Brisk where he cannot, backward where he can;The teazing ghost of the departed man.
ON I. H., ES3.
The youth had wit himself, and could afford A witty neighbour his good word. Though scandal was his joy, he would not swear: An oath had made the ladies stare;At them he duly dress'd, but without passion:His only mistress was the fashion. His verse with fancy glitter'd, cold and faint;His prose, with sense, correctly quaint. Trifles he lov'd; he tasted arts:At once a fribble, and a man of parts.
Fair morn ascends: soft zephyr's wing
O'er hill and vale renews the spring:
Where, sown profusely, herb and flower,
Of balmy smell, of healing power,
Their souls in fragrant dews exhale,
And breathe fresh life in every gale.
Here, spreads a green expanse of plains,
Where, sweetly pensive, Silence reigns;
And there, at utmost stretch of eye,
A mountain fades into the sky;
While winding round, diffus'd and deep,
A river rolls with sounding sweep.
Of human art no traces near,
I seem alone with Nature here!
Here are thy walks, O sacred Health!
The monarch's bliss, the beggar's wealth;
The seasoning of all good below!
The sovereign friend in joy or woe 1
O thou, most courted, most despis'd,
And but in absence duly priz'd!
Power of the soft and rosy face!
The vivid pulse, the vermil grace,
The spirits when they gayest shine,
Youth, beauty, pleasure, all are thine!
O Sun of life! whose heavenly ray
Lights up, and cheers, our various day,
The turbulence of hopes and fears,
The storm of Fate, the cloud of years,
Till Nature, with thy parting light,
Reposes late in Death's calm night:
Fled from the trophy'd roofs of state,
Abodes of splendid Pain and Hate;
Fled from the couch, where, in sweet sleep,
Hot Riot would his anguish steep,
But tosses through the midnight shade, Of death, of life, alike afraid;For ever fled to shady cell, Where Temperance, where the Muses dwell;Thou oft art seen, at early dawn, Slow-pacing o'er the breezy lawn:Or on the brow of mountain high, In silence feasting ear and eye, With song and prospect, which abound From birds, and woods, and waters round. But when the Sun, with noontide ray,
Flames forth intolerable day;
While Heat sits fervent on the plain,
With Thirst and Languor in his train;All nature sickening in the blaze:
Thou, in the wild and woody maze,
That clouds the vale with umbrage deep,
Impendent from the neighbouring steep,
Will find betimes a calm retreat,
Where breathing Coolness has her seat
There, plung'd amid the shadows brown.
Imagination lays him down;
Attentive, in his airy mood,
To every murmur of the wood:
The bee in yonder flowery nook;
The chidings of the headlong brook;
The green leaf shivering in the gale;
The warbling hill, the lowing vale;
The distant woodman's echoing stroke;
The thunder of the falling oak.
From thought to thought in vision led,
He holds high converse with the dead;
Sages, or poets. See they rise!
And shadowy skim before his eyes.
Hark! Orpheus strikes the lyre again,
That softens savages to men:
Lo! Socrates, the sent of Heaven,
To whom its moral will was given.
Fathers and friends of human kind,
They form'd the nations, or refin'd;
With all that mends the head and heart,
Enlightening truth, adorning art.
While thus I mus'd beneath the shade, At once the sounding breeze was laid: And Nature, by the unknown law, Shook deep with reverential awe. Dumb Silence grew upon the hour: A browner night involv'd the bower: When, issuing from the inmost wood, AppcarM fair Freedom's genius good. O Freedom! sovereign boon of Heaven; Great charter, with our being given; For which the patriot, and the sage, Have plann'd, have bled through every age! High privilege of human race, Beyond a mortal monarch's grace: Who could not give, nor can reclaim, What but from God immediate came!
CUPID AND HYMEN;
The rising morn, serenely still,
Had brightening spread o'er vale and hill,
Not those loose beams that wanton play,
To light the mirth of giddy May;
Xor such red heats as barn the plain,
In ardent Summer's feverish reign:
But rays, all equal, soft and sober,
To suit the second of October;
To suit the pair, whose wedding-day
This Sun now gilds with annual ray-
Jos: then, where our good-natur'd Thames is
Some four short miles above St. James's, And deigns, with silver-streaming wave,
TV abodes of earth-bom Pride to lave,
Aloft in air two gods were soaring;
While Putney-cits beneath lay snoring,
Plung'd deep in dreams of ten per cent.
00 sums to their dear country lent:
Tsogods of no inferior fame, Whom ancient wits with reverence name;
Though wiser moderns much disparage—
1 mean the gods of love and marriage.
But Cupid first, his wit to show,
Assuming a mere modern beau,
Whose utmost aim is idle mirth,
Look'd—just as coxcombs look on Earth:
Then rais'd his chin, then cock'd his hat,
To grace this common-place chit-chat-
"hot! on the wing, by break of dawn!
Dear brother"—there he fore'd a yawn—
"Totell men, sunk in sleep profound,
They must, ere night, be gag'd and bound!
VTnn, having once put on thy chain,
Tis odds, may ne'er sleep sound again.
So say the wits: but wiser folks
Still marry, and contemn their jokes:
They know, each better bliss is thine,
Pure nectar, genuine from the vine!
And Love's own hand that nectar pours,
Which never fails, nor ever sours;
Well, be it so: yet there are fools,
Who dare demur to former rules j
Who laugh profanely at their betters,
And find no freedom plac'd in fetters;
But, veil or ill, jog on through life
Without that sovereign bliss, a wife.
Leave these at least, these sad dogs free,
To stroll with Bacchus and with me;
And tup, m Middlesex, or Surrey,
On coarse cold beef, and Fanny Murray."
Thus Cupid—and with such a leer,
You would have sworn 'twas Ligonier.
While Hymen soberly reply'd,
Yet with an air of conscious pride:
"Just come from yonder wretched scene,
Where all is venal, false, and mean,"
(baling on London as he spoke)
"I marvel not at thy dull joke;
Nor, in such cant to hear thee vapour,
Thy quiver lin'd with South-sea paper;
Thine arrows feather'd, at the tail,
With India-bonds, for hearts on sale;
Their other ends too, as is meet,
Tipp'd with gold points from Lombard-street.
But could'st thou for a moment quit
These airs of fashionable wit,
M n-a>sunic thy nobler name—
bskthatway, where 1 turn my flame—"
B'ad, and held his torch inclin'd,
Which, pointed so, still brighter shin'd—
"Behold yon couple, arm in arm,
"hrm 1, eieht years, have known to charm;
And, while they wear my willing chains,
1 joi dare swear that neither feigns.
This mora, that bound their mutual vow,
That blest them first, and blesses now,
They grateful hail! and, from the soul,
With thousands o'er both heads may roll;
Till, from life's banquet, either guest,
Embracing, may retire to rest.
Come then, all raillery laid aside,
Let this their day serenely glide:
With mine thy serious aim unite,
And both some proper guests invite;
That not one minute's running sand
May find their pleasures at a stand."
At this severe and sad rebuke,
Enough to make a coxcomb puke;
Poor Cupid, blushing, shrugg'd and wine'd,
Not yet consenting, though convine'd:
For 'tis your witling's greatest terrour,
Ev'n when he feels, to own, his errour.
Yet, with a look of arch grimace,
He took his penitential face:
Said, " 'twas, perhaps, the surer play,
To give your grave good souls their way:
That, as true humour was grown scarce,
He chose to see a sober farce;
For, of all cattle and all fowl,
Your solemn-looking ass and owl
Rais'd much more mirth, he durst aver it.
Than those jack-puddings, pug and parrot."
He said, and eastward spread his wing,
From London some few friends to bring.
His brother too, with sober cheer,
For the same end did westward steer:
But first, a pensive Love forlorn, Who three long weeping years has borne
His torch revers'd, and all around,
Where once it flam'd, with cypress bound,
Sent off, to call a neighbouring friend,
On whom the mournful train attend:
And bid him, this one day, at least,
For such a pair, at such a feast,
Strip off the sable veil, and wear
His once-gay look and happier air.
But Hymen, speeding forward still,
Observ'd a man' on Richmond-hill,
Who now first tries a country life;
Perhaps, to fit him for a wife.
But, though not much on this he reckon'd.
The passing god look'd in and beckon'd:
He knows him rich in social merit,
With independent taste and spirit;
Though he will laugh with men of whim,
For fear such men should laugh at him.
But lo, already on his way,
In due observance of the day,
A friend and favourite of the Nine,
Who can, but seldom cares to shine,
And one sole virtue would arrive at—
To keep his many virtues private:
Who tends, well pleas'd, yet as by stealth,
His lov'd companion's ease and health:
Or in his garden, barring out
The noise of every neighbouring rout,
At pensive hour of eve and prime,
Marks how the various hand of Time
Now feeds and rears, now starves and slaughters,
His vegetable sons and daughters.
■ A. Mitchell, esq. minister at the court of Prussia.
While these are on their way, behold!
Dan Cupid, from his London-fold,
First seeks and sends his new lord Warden1
Of all the nymphs in Covent-Garden:
Brave as the sword he wears in fight;
Sincere, and briefly in the right;
Whom never minister or king
Saw meanly cringing in their ring.
A second see! of special note,
Plump Comus > in a colonel's coat;
Whom we, this day, expect from far,
A jolly first-rate man of war;
On whom we boldly dare repose,
To meet our friends, or meet our foes.
Or comes a brother in his stead?
Strong-body'd too, and strong of head:
Who, in whatever path he goes,
Still looks right on before his nose;
And holds it little less than treason,
To baulk his stomach or his reason.
True to his mistress and his meat,
He eats to love, and loves to eat.
Last comes a virgin—pray admire her!
Cupid himself attends, to squire her:
A welcome guest! we much had mist her;
For 'tis our Kitty, or his sister.
But, Cupid, let no knave or fool
Snap up this lamb, to shear her wool;
No Teague of that unblushing band,
Just landed, or about to land;
Thieves from the womb, and train'd at nurse
To steal an heiress or a purse.
No scraping, saving, saucy cit,
Sworn foe of breeding, worth, and wit j
No half-form'd insect of a peer,
With neither land nor conscience clear;Who if he can, 'tis all he can do,
Just spell the motto on his landau.
From all, from each of these defend her;But thou and Hymen both befriend her,
With truth, taste, honour, in a mate,
And much good sense, and some estate. But now, suppose th' assembly met,
And round the table cordial set;While in fair order, to their wish,
Plain Neatness sends up every dish,
And Pleasure at the side-board stands,
A nectar'd goblet in his hands,
To pour libations, in due measure,
As Reason wills when join'd with Pleasure—
Let these white moments all be gay,
Without one cloud of dim allay:In every face let joy be seen,
As truth sincere, as hope serene:Let friendship, love, and wit combine,
To flavour both the meat and wine,
With that rich relish to each sense,
Which they, and they alone, dispense;Let music too their mirth prolong,
With warbled air and festive song:
1 The late general Skelton. He had just then purchased a house in Henrietta-street.
3 The late col. Caroline Scott; who, though extremely corpulent, was uncommonly active ; and who, to much skill, spirit, and bravery, as an officer, joined the greatest gentleness of manners as a companion and friend. He died a sacrifice to the public, in the service of the East-India Company, at Bengal, in the year 1755.
Then, when at eve, the star of love
Glows with soft radiance from above,
And each companionable guest
Withdraws, replcuish'd, not opprest,
Let each, well-pleas'd, at parting say—
"My life be such a wedding-day!"
WRITTEN AT TUNBR1DGE WELLS, M.DCC.LX.
When Churchill led his legions on,
Success still follow'd where lie shone.
And are those triumphs, with the dead.
All from his house, for ever fled?
Not so: by softer surer arms,
They yet survive in Beauty's charms;
For, look on blooming Pembroke's face,
Even now he triumphs in his race.
MASQUE OF ALFRED:
SUNC BY A SHEPHERDESS WHO HAS LOST HER LOVER IN
A voirTM, adom'd with every art,
To warm and win the coldest heart,
In secret mine possest.
The morning bud that fairest blows,
The vernal oak that straightest grows,
His face and shape exprest.
In moving sounds he told his tale,
Soft as the sighings of the gale,
That wakes the flowery year.
What wonder he could charm with ease,
Whom happy Nature taught to please,
Whom Honour made sincere.
At morn he left me—fought—and fell!
The fatal evening heard his knell,
And saw the tears I shed:
Tears that must ever, ever fall;
For ah! no sighs the past recall,
No cries awake the dead!
IN TWO CANTOS.
Invocation, addressed to Fancy. Subject proposed; a short excursive survey of the Earth and Heavens. The poem opens with a description of the face of Nature in the different scenes of morning, sunrise, noon, with a thunder-storm, evening, night, and a particular night-piece, with the character of a friend deceased.
With the return of morning, Fancy continues her excursion, first northward—A view of the arctic
continent and the deserts of Tartary — From thence southward: a general prospect of the rV% followed by another of the midland part of Europe, suppose Italy. A city there upon the point of being swallowed up by an earthquake: jirns that usher it in: described in its causes and effects at length—Eruption of a burning mountain, happening at the same time and from the same causes, likewise described.
CANTO It Contains, on the same plan, a survey of the solar system, and of the fixed stars.
CoitMflo* of the Muse, creative power, ,
havriuatiou! at whose great command Arise unn'jmber'd images of things, Thy hourly offspring: thou, who can'st at will People wi h air-born shapes the silent wood, And solitary vale, thy own domain,
Wnere Contemplation haunts; oh come, invok'd, To waft me on thy many-tinctur'd wing, O'er Earth's extended space: and thence, on high, Spread to superior worlds thy bolder flight,
Excursive, unconfin'd. Hence from the haunts Of vice and folly, vanity and man—
To yon expanse of plains, where Truth delights, Simple of heart; and, hand in hand with her, Where blameless Virtue walks. Now parting Spring, Parent of beauty and of song, has left His mantle, flower-embroiderM, on the ground. While Summer laughing comes, and bids the months Crown his prime season with their choicest stores; Fresh roses opening to the solar ray, And fruits slow-swelling on the loaded bough.
Here let me frequent roam, preventing morn, Attentive to the cock, whose early throat, Heard from the distant village in the vale, Crows cheerly out, far-sounding through the gloom. Nirtt hears from where, wide-hovering in mid-sky, She rules the sable hour: and calls her train Of visionary fears; the shrouded ghost, The dream distressful, and th' incumbent hag, That rise to Fancy's eye in horrid forms, While Reason slumbering lies. At once they fly, As shadows pass, nor is their path beheld.
And now, pale-glimmering on the verge of HeaFrom east to north in doubtful twilight seen, [ven, A whitening lustre shoots its tender beam; While shade and silence yet involve the ball. Vw sacred Mom, ascending, smiles serene A dewy radiance, brightening o'er the world. Gay daughter of the air, for ever young, For ever pleasing! lo, she onward comes, l» luid sold and azure loose array'd, Suwactur'd, changeful hues. At her approach, The western grey of yonder breaking clouds Sow-reddens into flame: the rising mists,
'This poem is among the author's earliest perfc»»ances. Whether the writing may, in some degree, atone for the irregularity of the composition, *hKh he confesses, and does not even attempt to '•ewe, B submitted entirely to the candour of the
From off the mountain's brow, roll blue away
In curling spires; and open all his woods,
High waving in the sky: th' uncolour'd stream,
Beneath her glowing ray, translucent shines.
Glad Nature feels her through her boundless realms
Of life and sense: and calls forth all her sweets,
Fragrance and song. From each unfolding flower
Transpires the balm of life, that Zephyr wafts,
Delicious, on his rosy wing: each bird,
Or high in air, or secret in the shade,
Rejoicing, warbles wild his mattin hymn.
While beasts of chase, by secret instinct mov'd,
Scud o'er the lawns, and, plunging into night,
In brake, or cavern, slumber nut the day. Invited by the cheerful Morn abroad,
See, from his humble roof, the good man comet
To taste her freshness, and improve her rise
In holy musing. Rapture in his eye,
And kneeling wonder speak his silent soul,
With gratitude o'erflowing, and with praise!
Now Industry is up. The village pours
Her useful sons abroad to various toil:
The labourer here, with every instrument
Of future plenty arm'd; and there the swain,
A rural king amid his subject-flocks,
Whose bleatings wake the vocal hills afar.
The traveller, too, pursues his early road,
Among the dews of morn. Aurora calls:
And all the living landscape moves around.
But see, the flush'd horizon flames intense
With vivid red, in rich profusion strcam'd
O'er Heaven's pure arch. At once the clouds assume
Their gayest liveries; these with silvery beams
Fring'd lovely, splendid those in liquid gold:
And speak their sovereign's state. He comes, behold!
Fountain of light and colour, warmth and life!
The king of glory! round his head divine,
Diffusive showers of radiance circling flow,
As o'er the Indian wave uprising fair
He looks abroad on Nature, and invests,
Where'er his universal eye surveys,
Her ample bosom, earth, air, sea, and sky,
In one bright robe, with heavenly tinctures gay.
From this hoar hill, that climbs above the plain, Half-way up Heaven ambitious, brown with woods Of broadest shade, and terrass'd round with walks, Winding and wild, that deep embowering rise, Maze above maze, through all its shelter'd height; From hence, th' aerial concave without cloud, Translucent, and in purest azure drest; The boundless scene beneath, hill, dale, and plain; The precipice abrupt; the distant deep, Whose shores remurmur to the sounding surge; The nearest forest in wide circuit spread, Solemn recess, whose solitary walks, Fair Truth and Wisdom love; the bordering lawn, With flocks and herds enrich'd; the daisy'd vale; The river's crystal, and the meadows green— Grateful diversity! allure the eye Abroad, to rove amid ten thousand charms.
These scenes, where every Virtue, every Muse Delighted range, serene the soul, and lift, Borne on Devotion's wing, beyond the pole, To highest Heaven her thought; to Nature's God, First source of all things lovely, all things good, Eternal, infinite! before whose throne Sits sovereign Bountv, and" through Heaven and Earth Careless diffuses plenitude of bliss. Him all things own: he sneaks, and it i" '" ''. C
Ohedient to his nod, alternate night
Obscures the world. The seasons at his call
Succeed in train, and lead the year around.
While reason thus and rapture fill the heart;
Friends of mankind, good angels, hovering near,
Their holy influence, deep-infusing, lend;
And in still whispers, soft as Zephyr's breath
When scarce the green leaf tremhles, through her
Inspire new vigour, purer light supply, And kindle every virtue into flame. Celestial intercourse! superior bliss, Which vice ne'er knew! health of th' enliven'd soul,,
And Heaven on Earth begun! Thus ever fix'd In solitude, may I, obscurely safe, Deceive mankind, and steal through life along, As slides the foot of Time, unmark'd, unknown!Exalted to his noon the fervent Sun,
Full-blazing o'er the blue immense, burns out
With fierce effulgence. Now th' embowering maze
Of vale sequester'd, or the fir-crown'd side
Of airy mountain, whence with lucid lapse
Falls many a dew-fed stream, invites the step
Of musing poet, and secures repose
To weary pilgrim. In the flood of day,
Oppressive brightness deluging the world,
Sick Nature pants: and from the cleaving earth
Light vapours, undulating through the air,
Contagious fly, engendering dire disease,
Red plague, and fever; or, in fogs aloft
Condensing, show a ruffling tempest nigh.
And see, exhaling from th' Atlantic surge,
Wild world of waters, distant clouds ascend
In vapoury confluence, deepening cloud on cloud:
Then rolling dusk along to east and north,
As the hlast hears them on his humid wing,
Draw total night and tempest o'er the noon!
T«, hird and beast, impress'd by Nature's hand
In homeward warnings through each feeling nerve,
Haste from the hour of terrour and of storm.
The Thunder now, from forth his cloudy shrine,
Amid conflicting elements, where Dread
And Death attend, the servants of his nod,
First, in deaf murmurs, sounds the deep alarm,
Heard from afar, awakening awful thought.
Dumb sadness fills this nether world: the gloom
With douhle hlackness lours; the tempest swells,
And expectation shakes the heart of man.
Where yonder clouds in dusky depth extend Broad o'er the south; fermenting in their womb, Pregnant with fate, the fiery tempest swells, Sulphureous steam and nitrous, late exhal'd From mine or unctuous soil: and lo, at once, Forth darted in slant stream, the ruddy flash, Quick-glancing, spreads a moment's horrid day. Again it flames expansive; sheets the sky, Wide and more wide, with mournful light around, On all sides burning; now the face of things Disclosing ; swallowed now in tenfold night. Again the Thunder's voice, with pealing roar, From cloud to cloud continuous roll'd along, Amazing bursts! air, sea, and shore resound. Horrour sits shuddering in the felon-breast, And feels the deathful flash before it flies: Each sleeping sin, excited, starts to view; And all is storm within. The murderer, pale With conscious guilt, though hid in deepest shade, Hears and flies wild, pursued by all his fears: And sees the bleeding shadow of the slain Rise hideous, glaring on him through the gloom!
Hark! through th' aerial vault, the storm inflam'd Comes nearer, hoarsely loud, abrupt and fierce, Peal hurl'd on peal incessant, burst on hurst: Tom from its base, as if the general frame Were tumbling into chaos—There it fell, With whirlwind-wing, in red diffusion flash'd. Destruction marks its path. Yon riven oak Is hid in smouldering fires: surpris'd heneath, The traveller ill-omen'd prostrate falls, A livid corse. Yon cottage flames to Heaven: And in its furthest cell, to which the hour, All-horrible, had sped their steps, hehold I The parent breathless lies; her orphan-babes Shuddering and speechless round—O Power divine! Whose will, unerring, points the holt of fate! Thy hand, though terrible, shall man decide If punishment, or mercy, dealt the blow?
Appeas'd at last, the tumult of the skies Subsides, the thunder's falling roar is hush'd: At once the clouds fly scattering, and the Sun Breaks out with boundless splendour o'er the world. Parent of light and joy! to all things he New life restores, and from each drooping field Draws the redundant rain, in climbing mists Fast-rising to his ray; till every flower Lift up its head, and Nature smiles reviv'd.
At first lis awful silence over all, From sense of late-felt danger; till confirm'd, Iu grateful chorus mixing, beast and bird Rejoice aloud to Heaven: on either hand, The woodlands warble, and the valleys low. So pass the songful hours: and now the Sun, Declin'd, hangs verging on the western Main, Whose fluctuating hosom, hlushing red The space of many seas beneath his eye, Heaves in soft swellings murmuring to the shore, A circling glory glows around his disk Of milder beams: part, streaming o'er the sky, Inflame the distant azure: part below In level lines shoot through the waving wood, Clad half in light, and half in pleasing shade, That lengthens o'er the lawn. Yon evening clouds. Lucid or dusk, with flamy purple edg'd, Float in gay pomp the blue horizon round, Amusive, changeful, shifting into shapes Of visionary beauty, antique towers With shadowy domes and pinnacles adorn'd; Or hills of white extent, that rise and sink As sportful Fancy lists: till late, the Sun From human eye, behind Earth's shading orb Total withdrawn, th' aerial landscape fades.
Distinction fails: and in the darkening west, The last light, quivering, dimly dies away. And now th' illusive flame, oft seen at eve, Up-home and blazing on the light-wing'd gale, Glides o'er the lawn, betokening Night's approach: Arising awful o'er the eastern sky, Onward she comes with silent step and slow, In her brown mantle wrapt, and brings along The still, the mild, the melancholy hour, And Meditation, with his eye on Heaven.
Musing, in sober mood, of Time and Life, That fly with unretuming wing away To that dark world, untravell'd and unknown, Eternity! through desert ways I walk; Or to the cypress-grove, at twilight shun'd By passing swains. The chill breeze murmurs low, And the houghs rustle round me where I stand, With fancy all-arous'd.—Far on the left, Shoots up a shapeless rock of dusky height,