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Tranquillity beyond a monarch's reach.
Forgive me, Heaven, this only avarice
My soul indulges; I confess the crime
(If to esteem, to covet such perfection
Be criminal). Oh, grant me Delia! grant me wealth!
Wealth to alleviate, not increase my wants;
And grant me virtue, without which nor wealth
Nor Delia can avail to make me blessed.
WRITTEN IN A FIT OF ILLNESS.
R. S. S.
In these sad hours, a prey to ceaseless pain,
While feverish pulses leap in every vein,
When each faint breath the last short effort seems
Of life just parting from my feeble limbs;
How wild soe'er my wandering thoughts may be,
Still, gentle Delia, still they turn on thee!
At length if, slumbering to a short repose,
A sweet oblivion frees me from my woes,
Thy form appears, thy footsteps I pursue
Through springy vales, and meadows washed in dew;
Thy arm supports me to the fountain's brink,
Where by some secret power forbid to drink,
Gasping with thirst, I view the tempting flood
That flies my touch, or thickens into mud;
Till thine own hand immerged the goblet dips,
And bears it streaming to my burning lips.
There borne aloft on Fancy's wing we fly,
Like souls embodied to their native sky;
Now every rock, each mountain, disappears;
And the round earth an even surface wears;
When lo! the force of some resistless weight
Bears me straight down from that pernicious height;
Parting, in vain our struggling arms we close;
Abhorred forms, dire phantoms interpose;
With trembling voice on thy loved name I call;
And gulfs yawn ready to receive my fall.
From these fallacious visions of distress
I wake; nor are my real sorrows less.
Thy absence, Delia, heightens every ill,
And'gives e'en trivial pains the power to kill.
Oh! wert thou near me ; yet that wish forbear!
'Twere vain, my love,—'twere vain to wish thee near;
Thy tender heart would heave with anguish too,
And by partaking, but increase my woe.
Alone I'll grieve, till gloomy sorrow past,
Health, like the cheerful day-spring, comes at last,—
Comes fraught with bliss to banish every pain,
Hope, joy, and peace, and Delia in her train!
TODELIA.Me to whatever state the gods assign,
Believe, my love, whatever state be mine,
Ne'er shall my breast one anxious sorrow know,
Ne'er shall my heart confess a real woe,
If to thy share Heaven's choicest blessings fall,
As thou hast virtue to deserve them all.
Yet vain, alas! that idle hope would be
That builds on happiness remote from thee.
Oh! may thy charms, whate'er our fate decrees,
Please, as they must, but let them only please—
Not like the sun with equal influence shine,
Nor warm with transport any heart but mine.
Ye who from wealth the ill-grounded title boast
To claim whatever beauty charms you most;
Ye sons of fortune, who consult alone
Her parents' will, regardless of her own,
Know that a love like ours, a generous flame,
No wealth can purchase, and no power reclaim.
The soul's affection can be only given
Free, unextorted, as the grace ofHeaven.
Is there whose faithful bosom can endure
Pangs fierce as mine, nor ever hope a cure?
Who sighs in absence of the dear-loved maid,
Nor summons once Indifference to his aid?
Who can, like me, the nice resentment prove,
The thousand soft disquietudes of love;
The trivial strifes that cause a real pain;
The real bliss when reconciled again?
Let him alone dispute the real prize,
And read his sentence in my Delia's eyes;
There shall he read all gentleness and truth,
But not himself, the dear distinguished youth;
Pity for him perhaps they may express—
Pity, that will but heighten his distress.
But, wretched rival! he must sigh to see
The spiightlier rays of love directed all to me.
And thou, dear Antidote of every pain
Which fortune can inflict, or love ordain,
Since early love has taught thee to despise
What the world's worthless votaries only prize,
Believe, my love! no less the generous god
Rules in my breast, his ever blest abode;
There has he driven each gross desire away,
Directing every wish and every thought to thee
Then can I ever leave my Delia's arms,
A slave, devoted to inferior charms?
Can e'er my soul her reason so disgrace?
For what blest minister of heavenly race
Would quit that heaven to find a happier place?
Hope, like the short-lived ray that gleams awhile
Through wintry skies, upon the frozen waste, Cheers e en the face of Misery to a smile;
But soon the momentary pleasure's past.
How oft, my Delia, since our last farewell (Years that have rolled since that distressful hour),
Grieved I have said, when most our hopes prevail,
Our promised happiness is least secure.
Oft I have thought the scene of troubles closed,
And hoped once more to gaze upon your charms;
As oft some dire mischance has interposed, And snatched the expected blessing from my arms.
The seaman thus, his shattered vessel lost,
Still vainly strives to shun the threatening death;
And while he thinks to gain the friendly coast,
And drops his feet, and feels the sands beneath,
Borne by the wave steep-sloping from the shore,
Back to the inclement deep, again he beats
The surge aside, and seems to tread secure;And now the refluent wave his baffled toil defeats
Had you, my love, forbade me to pursue
My fond attempt; disdainfully retired,
And with proud scorn compelled me to subdue
The ill-fated passion by yourself inspired;
Then haply to some distant spot removed, Hopeless to gain, unwilling to molest
With fond entreaties whom I dearly loved, Despair or absence had redeemed my rest.
But now, sole partner in my Delia's heart,
Yet doomed far off in exile to complain,
Eternal absence cannot ease my smart, And Hope subsists but to prolong my pain.
Oh then, kind Heaven, be this my latest breath!
Here end my life, or make it worth my care; Absence from whom we love is worse than death,
And frustrate hope severer than despair.
ON THE DEATH OF SIR W. RUSSELL.
Doomed, as I am, in solitude to waste
The present moments, and regret the past;
Deprived of every joy I valued most,
My friend torn from me, and my mistress lost,
FIFTH SA TIRE OF THE FIRST BOOK OF HORACE.
Call not this gloom I wear, this anxious mien,
The dull effect of humour, or of spleen!
Still, still I mourn, with each returning day,
Him snatched by fate in early youth away,
And her, through tedious years of doubt and pain,
Fixed in her choice, and faithful, but in vain!
O prone to pity, generous, and sincere,
Whose eye ne'er yet refused the wretch a tear;
Whose heart the real claim of friendship knows,
Nor thinks a lover's are but fancied woes;
See me—ere yet my destined course half done,
Cast forth a wanderer on a world unknown!
See me neglected on the world's rude coast,
Each dear companion of my voyage lost!
Nor ask why clouds of sorrow shade my brow,
And ready tears wait only leave to flow!
Why all that soothes a heart from anguish free,
All that delights the happy—palls with me!
THE FIFTH SATIRE OF THE FIRST BOOK OF HORACE.
A HUMOROUS DESCRIPTION OF THE AUTHOR'S JOURNEY FROM ROME TO BRUNDUSU'M.
'I WAS a long journey lay before us,
When I and honest Heliodorus,
Who far in point of rhetoric
Surpasses every living Greek,
Each leaving our respective home,
Together sallied forth from Rome.
First at Aricia we alight,
And there refresh and pass the night,
Our entertainment rather coarse
Than sumptuous, but I've met with
worse. Thence o'er the causeway soft and fair
To Appii Forum we repair.
But as this road is well supplied
(Temptation strong!) on either side
With inns commodious, snug, and warm,
We split the journey, and perform
In two days' time what's often done
By brisker travellers in one.
Here rather choosing not to sup
Than with bad water mix my cup,
After a warm debate in spite
Of a provoking appetite,
I sturdily resolve at last
To balk it, and pronounce a fast,
And in a moody humour wait,
While my less dainty comrades bait. Now o'er the spangled hemisphere
Diffused the starry train appear,
When there arose a desperate brawl;
The slaves and bargemen, one and all,
Rending their throats (have mercy on
us!) As if they were resolved to stun us.
"Steer the barge this way to the shore!
I tell you we'll admit no more!
Plague! will you never be content?"
Thus a whole hour at least is spent,
While they receive the several fares,
And kick the mule into his gears.
Happy, these difficulties past,
Could we have fallen asleep at last!
But, what with humming, croaking,
biting, Gnats, frogs, and all their plagues
uniting, These tuneful natives of the lake
Conspired to keep us broad awake.
Besides, to make the concert full.
Two maudlin wights, exceeding dull,
The bargeman and a passenger,
Each in his turn, essayed an air
In honour of his absent fair.
At length the passenger, oppressed
With wine, left off, and snored the rest.
The weary bargeman too gave o'er,
And hearing his companion snore,
Seized the occasion, fixed the barge,
Turned out his mule to graze at large,
And slept forgetful of his charge.
And now the sun o'er eastern hill
Discovered that our barge stood still;
When one, whose anger vexed him sore,
With malice fraught, leaps quick on
Plucks up a stake, with many a thwack
Assails the mule and driver's back. Then slowly moving on with pain,
At ten Feronia's stream we gain,
And in her pure and glassy wave
Our hands and faces gladly lave.
Climbing three miles, fair Anxur's height
We reach, with stony quarries white.
While here, as was agreed, we wait,
Till, charged with business of the state,
Maecenas and Cocceius come
(The messengers of peace) from Rome,
My eyes, by watery humours blear
And sore, I with black balsam smear. At length they join us, and with them
Our worthy friend Fonteius came;
A man of such complete desert,
Antony loved him at his heart.
At Fundi we refused to bait,
And laughed at vain Aufidius' state,
A praetor now, a scribe before,
The purple-bordered robe he wore,
His slave the smoking censer bore.
Tired, at Munena's we repose,
At Formia sup at Capito's.
With smiles the rising morn we greet,
At Sinuessa pleased to meet
With Plotius, Varius, and the bard
Whom Mantua first with wonder heard.
The world no purer spirits knows,
For none my heart more warmly glows.
Oh! what embraces we bestowed,
And with what joy our breasts o'erflowed!
Sure while my sense is sound and clear,
Long as I live, I shall prefer
A gay, good-natured, easy friend,
To every blessing Heaven can send.
At a small village, the next night,
Near the Vulturnus, we alight;
Where, as employed on state affairs,
We were supplied by the purveyors
Frankly at once, and without hire,
With food for man and horse, and fire.
Capua next day betimes we reach,
Where Virgil and myself, who each
Laboured with different maladies,
His such a stomach, mine such eyes,
As would not bear strong exercise,
In drowsy mood to sleep resort;
Maecenas to the tennis-court.
Next at Cocceius' farm we're treated,
Above the Caudian tavern seated;
His kind and hospitable board
With choice of wholesome food was
stored. Now, O ye Nine, inspire my lays!
To nobler themes my fancy raise!
Two combatants, who scorn to yield
The noisy, tongue-disputed field,
Sarmentus and Cicirrus, claim
A poet's tribute to their fame;
Cicirrus of true Oscian breed,
Sarmentus, who was never freed,
But ran away. We won't defame him;
His lady lives, and still may claim him.
Thus dignified, in harder fray
These champions their keen wit display,
And first Sarmentus led the way.
"Thy locks," quoth he, "so rough and
coarse, Look like the mane of some wild horse."
We laugh: Cicirrus undismayed,
"Have at you!" cries, and shakes his
'"Tis well," Sarmentus says, "you've
lost That horn your forehead once could
boast;Since maimed and mangled as you are,
You seem to butt." A hideous scar
Improved ('tis true) with double grace
The native horrors of his face.
Well; after much jocosely said
Of his grim front, so fiery red,
(For carbuncles had blotched it o'er,
As usual on Campania's shore,)
"Give us," he cried, "since you're so
big, A sample of the Cyclops' jig!