« ForrigeFortsett »
Or if he prove unkind, (as who can say
Oh, barbarous! wouldst thou with a Gothic hand Pull down the schools—what !—all the schools i' the
WRITTEN AT HATH, ON FINDING THE HEEL OF A SHOE, IN 1748.
Fortune! I thank thee: gentle goddess, thanks!
Not that my Muse, though bashful, shall deny
She would have thanked thee rather, hadst thou cast
A treasure in her way; for neither meed
Of early breakfast, to dispel the fumes
And bowel-raking pains of emptiness,
Nor noontide feast, nor evening's cool repast,
Hopes she from this, presumptuous—though perhaps
The cobbler, leather-carving artist, might.
Nathless she thanks thee, and accepts thy boon,
Whatever; not as erst the fabled cock,
Vain-glorious fool, unknowing what he found,
Spurned the rich gem thou gavest him. Wherefore, ah!
Why not on me that favour, (worthier sure,)
Conferredst thou, goddess? Thou art blind, thou sayest:
Enough !—thy blindness shall excuse the deed.
Nor does my Muse no benefit exhale
Thus fares it oft with other than the feet
Of humble villager:—the statesman thus,
Up the steep road where proud ambition leads,
Aspiring, first uninterrupted winds
His prosperous way; nor fears miscarriage foul,
While policy prevails and friends prove true:
But that support soon failing, by him left
On whom he most depended,—basely left,
Betrayed, deserted,—from his airy height
Headlong he falls, and through the rest of life
Drags the dull load of disappointment on.
ON READING MR. EICHAEDSON's HISTORY OF SIR CHARLES GEANDISON.
Say, ye apostate and profane,
Allegiance to your God,—
And lift you from the crowd?
Would you the race of glory run,
Are equal to the task:
Of human vigour ask,
To arm against repeated ill
The patient heart too brave to feel
The tortures of despair;
To gain admittance there.
To rescue from the tyrant's sword
The oppressed ;—unseen and unimplored,
To cheer the face of woe;
And a forgiven foe;
These, these distinguish from the crowd,
The guardians of mankind;
The multitude behind!
Then ask ye, from what cause on earth
The sparkling eye, Ihe mantling cheek,
How seldom we behold in one!
Beauty, like other powers, maintains
Each single feature faintly warms:
Our eyes, our ears, our heart alarms.
So when on earth the god of day
Tnrough convex orbs the beams transmit, The beams that gently warmed before, Collected, gently warm no more,
But glow with more prevailing heal.
On the green margin of the brook
Despairing Phyllida reclined, Whilst every sigh, and every look,
Declared the anguish of her mind.
Am I less lovely then? (she cries,
Oh yes, I see my languid eyes,
These eyes no more like lightning pierced,
These cheeks grew pale, when Damon first His Phyllida betrayed.
Thp rose he in his bosom wore,
How oft upon my breast was seen!
And when I kissed the drooping flower,
The wreaths that bound my braided hair,
Himself next day was proud to wear
While thus sad Phyllida lamented,
Umr.l.mgly the nymph consented,
She wiped the fallen tears away,
Then sighed and blushed, as who would say Ah! Thyrsis, I am won.
UPON A VENERABLE RIVAL.
FULL thirty frosts since thou wert young
Have chilled the withered grove, Thou wretch ! and hast thou lived so long,
Nor yet forgot to love?
Ye sages! spite of your pretences
To wisdom, you must own Your folly frequently commences
When you acknowledge none.
Not that I deem it weak to love,
Or folly to admire;
Far other years require.
Unheeded on the youthful brow
The beams of Phcebus play; But unsupported age stoops low
Beneath the sultry ray.
For once, then, if untutored youth,
Youth unapproved by years, May chance to deviate into truth,
When your experience errs;
For once attempt not to despise
What I esteem a rule: Who early loves, though young, is wise,—
Who old, though gray, a fool.
Mortals! around your destined heads
And Io! the savage spoiler spreads
In vain we trifle with our fate,
Try every art in vain;
And lengthen out our pain.
Fondly we think all danger fled,
For death is ever nigh; Outstrips our unavailing speed,
Or meets us as we fly.
Thus the wrecked mariner may strive
Some desert shore to gain, Secure of life, if he survive
The fury of the main.
But there, to famine doomed a prey,
Finds the mistaken wretch
To perish on the beach.