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Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys, and Woodfalls so grave,
What a commerce was yours while you got and you gave!
How did Grub Street re-echo the shouts that you raised,
While he was be-Rosciused and you were bepraised ! 80
But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies
To act as an angel and mix with the skies !
Those poets who owe their best fame to his skill
Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will;
Old Shakespeare receive him with praise and with love,
85 And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys above.
Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind, He has not left a wiser or better behind. His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand; His manners were gentle, complying, and bland; Still born to improve us in every partHis pencil our faces, his manners our heart. To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering, When they judged without skill he was still hard of hearing; When they talked of their Raphaels, Correggios and stuff, 95 He shifted his trumpet and only took snuff.
Lo where the stripling, rapt in wonder, roves
Beneath the precipice o'erhung with pine,
And sees on high, amidst th' encircling groves,
From cliff to cliff the foaming torrents shine,
While waters, woods, and winds in concert join,
And echo swells the chorus to the skies.
Would Edwin this majestic scene resign
For aught the huntsman's puny craft supplies ?
Ah, no! he better knows great Nature's charms to prize.
And oft he traced the uplands, to survey,
When o'er the sky advanced the kindling dawn,
The crimson cloud, blue main, and mountain grey,
And lake dim-gleaming on the smoky lawn;
Far to the west the long, long vale withdrawn,
Where twilight loves to linger for a while.
And now he faintly kens the bounding fawn,
And villager abroad at early toil:
But lo! the sun appears, and heaven, earth, ocean smile.
And oft the craggy cliff he loved to climb,
When all in mist the world below was lost.
What dreadful pleasure! there to stand sublime,
Like shipwrecked mariner on desert coast,
And view th' enormous waste of vapour, tost
In billows, lengthening to th' horizon round,
Now scooped in gulfs, with mountains now embossed,
And hear the voice of mirth and song rebound,
Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the hoar profound !
In truth he was a strange and wayward wight,
Fond of each gentle and each dreadful scene.
In darkness and in storm he found delight,
Nor less than when on ocean-wave serene
The southern sun diffused his dazzling sheen.
Even sad vicissitude amused his soul;
And if a sigh would sometimes intervene,
And down his cheek a tear of pity roll,
A sigh, a tear, so sweet, he wished not to control.
When the long-sounding curfew from afar
Loaded with loud lament the lonely gale,
Young Edwin, lighted by the evening star,
Lingering and listening, wandered down the vale.
There would he dream of graves, and corses pale,
And ghosts that to the charnel-dungeon throng,
And drag a length of clanking chain, and wail,
Till silenced by the owl's terrific song,
Or blast that shrieks by fits the shuddering isles along.
Or when the setting moon, in crimson dyed,
Hung o'er the dark and melancholy deep,
To haunted stream, remote from man, he hied,
Where fays of yore their revels wont to keep;
And there let Fancy rove at large, till sleep
A vision brought to his entrancèd sight.
And first, a wildly murmuring wind 'gan creep
Shrill to his ringing ear; then tapers bright,
With instantaneous gleam, illumed the vault of night.
Anon in view a portal's blazoned arch
Arose; the trumpet bids the valves unfold,
And forth an host of little warriors march,
Grasping the diamond lance and targe of gold.
Their look was gentle, their demeanour bold,
And green their helms and green their silk attire;
And here and there, right venerably old,
The long-robed minstrels wake the warbling wire,
And some with mellow breath the martial pipe inspire.
With merriment and song and timbrels clear,
A troop of dames from myrtle bowers advance;
The little warriors doff the targe and spear,
And loud enlivening strains provoke the dance.
They meet, they dart away, they wheel askance;
To right, to left, they thrid the flying maze;
Now bound aloft with vigorous spring, then glance
Rapid along: with many-coloured rays
Of tapers, gems, and gold, the echoing forests blaze.
Oft when the winter storm had ceased to rave,
He roamed the snowy waste at even, to view
The cloud stupendous, from th’ Atlantic wave
High-towering, sail along th' horizon blue;
Where, midst the changeful scenery, ever new,
Fancy a thousand wondrous forms descries,
More wildly great than ever pencil drew-
Rocks, torrents, gulfs, and shapes of giant size,
And glitt'ring cliffs on cliffs, and fiery ramparts rise.
Thence musing onward to the sounding shore,
The lone enthusiast oft would take his way,
Listening, with pleasing dread, to the deep roar
Of the wide-weltering waves. In black array
When sulphurous clouds rolled on th' autumnal day,
Even then he hastened from the haunt of man,
Along the trembling wilderness to stray,
What time the lightning's fierce career began,
And o'er heaven's rending arch the rattling thunder ran.
Responsive to the sprightly pipe when all
In sprightly dance the village youth were joined,
Edwin, of melody aye held in thrall,
From the rude gambol far remote reclined,
Soothed with the soft notes warbling in the wind.
Ah then all jollity seemed noise and folly
To the pure soul by Fancy's fire refined !
Ah, what is mirth but turbulence unholy
When with the charm compared of heavenly melancholy!
OR THE ETHE OF SYR CHARLES BAWDIN
The feathered songster chaunticleer
Han wounde hys bugle horne,
And tolde the earlie villager
The commynge of the morne.
Kynge Edwarde sawe the ruddie streakes
Of lyghte eclypse the greie,
And herde the raven's crokynge throte
Proclayme the fated daie.
“Thou ’rt ryght," quod hee, “for, by the Godde
That syttes enthroned on hyghe,
Charles Bawdin and hys fellowes twaine
To-daie shall surelie die !"
And nowe the bell beganne to tolle,
And claryonnes to sounde;
Syr Charles hee herde the horses feete
A prauncyng onne the grounde:
And just before the officers
His lovynge wyfe came ynne, Weepynge unfeigned teeres of woe,
Wythe loude and dysmalle dynne.
"Sweet Florence, nowe I praie forbere!
Ynne quiet lett mee die :
Praie Godde thatt ev'ry Christian soule
Maye looke onne dethe as I.
"Sweet Florence, why these brinie teeres?
Theye washe my soule awaie,
And almost make mee wyshe for lyfe,
Wyth thee, sweete dame, to staie.
"Tys butt a journie I shalle goe
Untoe the lande of blysse.
Nowe, as a proofe of husbande's love,
Receive thys holie kysse.”
Thenne Florence, fault'ring ynne her saie,
Tremblynge these wordyes spoke: “Ah, cruele Edwarde ! bloudie kynge!
My herte ys welle nyghe broke!
"Ah, sweete Syr Charles, why wylt thou goe
Wythoute thye lovynge wyfe?
The cruelle axe thatt cuttes thye necke,
Ytte eke shall ende mye lyfe.”
And nowe the officers came ynne
To brynge Syr Charles awaie, Whoe turnèdd toe hys lovynge wyfe,
And thus toe her dydd saie :
"I goe to lyfe, and nott to dethe.
Truste thou ynne Godde above,
And teache thye sonnes to feare the Lorde,
And ynne theyre hertes hym love: