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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.
TO MISS STAPLKTON, NOW MRS. COURTENAY.
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,
By the nightingale warbling nigh.
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,
As only her musical tongue
Could infuse into numbers of mine.
The longer I heard, I esteemed
And e'en to myself never seemed
Though the pleasures of London exceed
In number the days of the year,
Would feel herself happier here;
On the banks of our river, I know,
Than aught that the city can show.
So it is, when the mind is endued
With a well-judging taste from above,
'Tis nature alone that we love.
May even our wonder excite,
A lasting, a sacred delight.
Since then in the rural recess
Catharina alone can rejoice,
The scene of her sensible choice I
From the clatter of street-pacing steeds,
To measure the life that she leads.
With her book, and her voice, and the lyre,
To wing all her moments at home,
As oft as it suits her to roam,
With little to hope or to fear,
Might we view her enjoying it here.
THE SECOND PART.
ON HER MARRIAGE TO GEORGE COURTENAY, ESQ.
Believe it or not, as you choose,
That the future is known to the Muse,
I did but express a desire,
At the side of my friend George's fire,
Such prophecy some may despise,
But the wish of a poet and friend
And therefore attains to its end.
From a bosom effectually warmed
Of the person for whom it was formed.
Maria1 would leave us, I knew,
To the grief and regret of us all,
Catharina the queen of the hall.
And therefore this union of hands;
But all cry, Amen! to the bans.
Since therefore I seem to incur
No danger of wishing in vain,
I will e'en to my wishes again;
And now I will try with another,
How soon I can make her a mother.
ON THE RECEIPT OF MY MOTHER'S PICTURE OUT OF
THE GIFT OF MY COUSIN, ANNE BODHAM.
Oh that those lips had language! Life has passed
0 welcome guest, though unexpected here!
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,
My mother! when I learned that thou wast dead,
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,
408 ON MY MOTHERS PICTURE.
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,
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast