A speedy passage to the brain,

Or whether, touched with fire, it rise

In circling eddies to the skies,

Does thought more quicken and refine

Than all the breath of all the Nine;

Forgive the bard, ifbard he be,

Who once too wantonly made free,

To touch with a satiric wipe

That symbol of thy power, the pipe;

So may no blight infest thy plains,

And no unseasonable rains;

And so may smiling peace once more

Visit America's sad shore;

And thou, secure from all alarms,

Of thundering drums, and glittering arms,

Rove unconfined beneath the shade

Thy wide-expanded leaves have made;

So may thy votaries increase,

And fumigation never cease.

May Newton with renewed delights

Perform thy odoriferous rites,

While clouds of incense half divine

Involve thy disappearing shrine;

And so may smoke-inhaling Bull

Be always filling, never full.



She came—she is gone—we have met—

And meet perhaps never again; The sun of that moment is set,

And seems to have risen in vain; Catharina has fled like a dream,

(So vanishes pleasure, alas !) But has left a regret and esteem

That will not so suddenly pass.

The last evening ramble we made

Catharina, Maria, and I,
Our progress was often delayed

By the nightingale warbling nigh.
We paused under many a tree,

And much she was charmed with a tone Less sweet to Maria and me,

Who so lately had witnessed her own.

My numbers that day she had sung,
And gave them a grace so divine,

As only her musical tongue

Could infuse into numbers of mine.

The longer I heard, I esteemed
The work of my fancy the more,

And e'en to myself never seemed
So tuneful a poet before.

Though the pleasures of London exceed

In number the days of the year,
Catharina, did nothing impede,

Would feel herself happier here;
For the close-woven arches of limes

On the banks of our river, I know,
Are sweeter to her many times

Than aught that the city can show.

So it is, when the mind is endued

With a well-judging taste from above,
Then, whether embellished or rude,

'Tis nature alone that we love.
The achievements of art may amuse,

May even our wonder excite,
But groves, hills, and valleys diffuse

A lasting, a sacred delight.

Since then in the rural recess

Catharina alone can rejoice,
May it still be her lot to possess

The scene of her sensible choice I
To inhabit a mansion remote

From the clatter of street-pacing steeds,
And by Philomel's annual note

To measure the life that she leads.

With her book, and her voice, and the lyre,

To wing all her moments at home,
And with scenes that new rapture inspire,

As oft as it suits her to roam,
She will have just the life she prefers,

With little to hope or to fear,
And ours would be pleasant as hers,

Might we view her enjoying it here.




June 1791.

Believe it or not, as you choose,
The doctrine is certainly true,

That the future is known to the Muse,
And poets are oracles too.

I did but express a desire,
To see Catharina at home,

At the side of my friend George's fire,
And lo—she is actually come.

Such prophecy some may despise,

But the wish of a poet and friend
Perhaps is approved in the skies,

And therefore attains to its end.
'Twas a wish that flew ardently forth

From a bosom effectually warmed
With the talents, the graces, and worth

Of the person for whom it was formed.

Maria1 would leave us, I knew,

To the grief and regret of us all,
But less to our grief, could we view

Catharina the queen of the hall.
And therefore I wished as I did,

And therefore this union of hands;
Not a whisper was heard to forbid,

But all cry, Amen! to the bans.

Since therefore I seem to incur

No danger of wishing in vain,
When making good wishes for her,

I will e'en to my wishes again;
With one I have made her a wife,

And now I will try with another,
Which I cannot suppress for my life,

How soon I can make her a mother.

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Oh that those lips had language! Life has passed
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine—thy own sweet smile I see,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
"Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away I
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Blest be the art that can immortalize,
The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim
To quench it!) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,

0 welcome guest, though unexpected here!
Who bidst me honour with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long,

1 will obey, not willingly alone,

But gladly, as the precept were her own 5

1 Lady Throckmorton.

And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief.
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream, that thou art she.

My mother! when I learned that thou wast dead,
Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed?
Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son,
Wretch even then, life's journey just begun?
Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a kiss;
Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss—
Ah, that maternal smile!—it answers—Yes.
I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,
And, turning from my nursery window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu!
But was it such?—It was.—Where thou art gone
Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown.
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,
The parting word shall pass my lips no more!
Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return.
What ardently I wished, I long believed,
And disappointed still, was still deceived;
By expectation every day beguiled,
Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till, all my stock of infant sorrows spent,
I learned at last submission to my lot,
But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot.

Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more, Children not thine have trod my nursery floor; And where the gardener Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way, Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapt In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet-capt, 'Tis now become a history little known, That once we called the pastoral house our own. Short-lived possession! But the record fair, That memory keeps of all thy kindness there, Still outlives many a storm, that has effaced A thousand other themes less deeply traced. Thy nightly visits to my chamber made That thou mightst know me safe and warmly laid; Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, The biscuit, or confectionary plum; The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glowed: All this, and more endearing still than all, Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall, Ne er roughened by those cataracts and breaks, That humour interposed too often makes: All this still legible in memory's page,


And still to be so to my latest age,

Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay

Such honours to thee as my numbers may;

Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,

Not scorned in heaven, though little noticed here.

Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
I pricked them into paper with a pin,
(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and smile,)
Could those few pleasant days again appear,
Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?
I would not trust my heart;— the dear delight
Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might.—
But no—what here we call our life is such,
So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.

Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast
(The storms all weathered, and the ocean crossed)
Shoots into port at some well-havened isle,
Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile,
There sits quiescent on the floods, that show
Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay;
So thou, with sails how swift! hast reached the shore,
"Where tempests never beat nor billows roar1;"
And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide
Of life long since has anchored by thy side.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always distressed,—
Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest-tossed,
Sails ripped, seams opening wide, and compass lost,
And day by day some current's thwarting force
Sets me more distant from a prosperous course.
Yet oh, the thought, that thou art safe, and he!
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not that I deduce my birth
From loins enthroned and rulers of the earth;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise,—
The son of parents passed into the skies.
And now, farewell !—Time unrevoked has run
His wonted course, yet what I wished is done.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again;
To have renewed the joys that once were mine
Without the sin of violating thine;
And. while the wings of fancy still are free,

1 Garth.

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