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Than any built of stone, or yet of wood,
Much to my own, though little to thy good,
With thee, (not subject to the jealous mood !)
To drudge, in descant dry, on others' lays;
But what is commentator's happiest praise?
ON A SPANIEL, CALLED BEAU, KILLING A YOUNG BIRD.
A Spaniel, Beau, that fares like you,
Well fed, and at his ease,
Each trifle that he sees.
But you have killed a tiny bird,
Which flew not till to-day,
Forbidding you the prey.
Nor did you kill that you might eat,
And ease a doggish pain,
You left where he was slain.
Nor was he of the theivish sort,
Or one whom blood allures,
Whom you have torn for yours.
My dog! what remedy remains,
Since, teach you all I can,
So much resemble man!
Sir, when I flew to seize the bird
In spite of your command,
And harder to withstand.
You cried—forbear !—but in my breast
A mightier cried—proceed !—
Impelled me to the deed.
Yet much as nature I respect,
(As you perhaps may recollect)
And when your linnet on a day,
Passing his prison door,
And panting pressed the floor;
Well knowing him a sacred thing.
I only kissed his ruffled wing,
Let my obedience then excuse
My disobedience now,
From your aggrieved bow-wow;
If killing birds be such a crime,
What think you, sir, of killing time
ANSWER TO STANZAS ADDRESSED TO LADY HESKETH BY MISS CATHARINE FANSHAWE,
IN RETURNING A FOEM OF MR. Cowper's, LENT TO HER ON CONDITION SHE
And in the first degree;
The press might sleep for me.
So Homer, in the memory stored
Of many a Grecian belle,
But never lodged so well.
TO THE SPANISH ADMIRAL COUNT GRAVINA,
ON HIS TRANSLATING THE AUTHOR'S SONG ON A ROSE INTO ITALIAN VERSE.
My rose, Gravina, blooms anew;
And steeped not now in rain,
Will never fade again.
ON FLAXMAN'S PENELOPE.
The suitors sinned, but with a fair excuse,
ON RECEIVING HEYNE'S VIRGIL FROM MR. HAYLEY.
I Should have deemed it once an effort vain
Autumn of 1753.
The twentieth year is well nigh past,
Thy spirits have a fainter flow,
Thy needles, once a shining store,
For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil
But well thou play'dst the housewife's part,
Thy indistinct expressions seem
Thy silver locks, once auburn bright
For could I view nor them nor thee,
My Mary I
Partakers of thy sad decline,
Such feebleness of limbs inou provest,
And still to love, though prest with ill,
But ah! by constant heed I know,
And should my future lot be cast
ON THE ICE ISLANDS SEEN FLOATING IN THE GERMAN
March 19, 1799.
What portents, from what distant region, ride,
Unseen till now in ours, the astonished tide?
In ages past, old Proteus, with his droves
Of sea-calves, sought the mountains and the groves;
But now, descending whence of late they stood,
Themselves the mountains seem to rove the flood;
Dire times were they, full-charged with human woes;
And these, scarce less calamitous than those.
What view we now? More wondrous still! Behold!
Like burnished brass they shine, or beaten gold;
And all around the pearl's pure splendour show,
And all around the ruby's fiery glow.
Come they from India, where the burning earth,
All bounteous, gives her richest treasures birth;
And where the costly gems, that beam around
The brows of mightiest potentates, are found?
No. Never such a countless dazzling store
Had left, unseen, the Ganges' peopled shore;
Rapacious hands, and ever-watchful eyes,
Should sooner far have marked and seized the prize.
Whence sprang they then? Ejected have they come
From Ves vius', or from .(Etna s burning womb?
Thus shine they self-illumed, or but display
The borrowed splendours of a cloudless day?
With borrowed beams they shine. The gales, that breathe
Now landward, and the current's force beneath,
Have borne them nearer; and the nearer sight,
Advantaged more, contemplates them aright.
Their lofty summits crested high, they show,
With mingled sleet, and long-incumbent snow,
The rest is ice. Far hence, where, most severe,
Bleak winter well-nigh saddens all the year,
Their infant growth began. He bade arise
Their uncouth forms, portentous in our eyes.
Oft as dissolved by transient suns, the snow
Left the tall cliff to join the flood below,
He caught, and curdled with a freezing blast
The current, ere it reached the boundless waste.
By slow degrees uprose the wondrous pile,
And long successive ages rolled the while,
Till, ceaseless in its growth, it claimed to stand
Tall as its rival mountains on the land.
Thus stood, and, unremovable by skill,
Or force of man, had stood the structure still;
But that, though firmly fixt, supplanted yet
By pressure of its own enormous weight,
It left the shelving beach,—and with a sound
That shook the bellowing waves and rocks around,
Self-launched, and swiftly, to the briny wave,
As if instinct with strong desire to lave,
Down went the ponderous mass. So bards of old,
How Delos swam the ^Egean deep, have told.
But not of ice was Delos. Delos bore
Herb, fruit, and flower. She, crowned with laurel, wore
Even under wintry skies, a summer smile;
And Delos was Apollo's favourite isle.
But, horrid wanderers of the deep, to you
He deems Cimmerian darkness only due.
Your hated birth he deigned not to survey,
But, scornful, turned his glorious eyes away.
Hence! Seek your home, nor longer rashly dare
The darts of Phcebus, and a softer air;
Lest ye regret, too late, your native coast,
In no congenial gulf for ever lost!
IN OCEANO GERMANICO NATANTBS.
March n, 1799.