Page images

Their souls in fragrant dews exhale,
And breathe fresh life in every gale.
Here, spreads a green expanse of plains,
Where, sweetly-pensive, Silence reigns;
And there, at utmost stretch of eye,
A mountain fades into the ky;
While winding round, diffus'd and deep,
A river rolls with sounding sweep.
Of human art no traces near,
I seem alone with Nature here !

Here are thy walks, O sacred Health !
The monarch's bliss, the beggar's wealth ;
The seasoning of all good below!
The sovereign friend in joy or woe!
O thou, most courted, most despis’d,
And but in absence duly priz'd!
Power of the soft and rofy face!
The vivid pulse, the vermil grace,
The spirits when they gayest shine,
Youth, beauty, pleasure, all are thine!
O fun of life! whose heavenly ray
Lights up, and chears, our various day,
The turbulence of hopes and fears,
The storm of fate, the cloud of years,
Till Nature, with thy parting light,
Reposes late in Death's calm night:
Fled from the trophy'd roofs of state,
Abodes of splendid pain and hate ;
Fled from the couch, where, in sweet sleep,
Hot riot would his anguish stecp,

..N 3


But tosses through the midnight-shade,
Of death, of life, alike afraid;
For ever fed to shady cell,
Where Temperance, where the Muses dwells,
Thou oft art seen, at early dawn,
Slow-pacing o'er the breezy lawn :
Or on the brow of mountain highi,
In silence feafting ear and eye,
With song and prospect, which abound
From birds, and woods, and waters round.'

But when the sun, with noontide ray,
Flames forth intolerable day;
While Heat fits fervent on the plain,
With Thirst and Languor in his train ;
All nature sickening in the blaze :
Thou, in the wild and woody maze,
That clouds the vale with umbrage deep,
Impendent from the neighbouring steep,
Wilt find betimes a calm retreat,
Where breathing coolness has her seat.

There, plung'd amid the shadows brown,
In agination lays him down ;
Attentive, in his airy mood,
To every murmur of the wood :
The bee in yonder flowery nook ;
The chidings of the headlong brook ;
The green leaf shivering in the gale ;
The warbling hill, the lowing vale ;
The distant woodman's echoing stroke ;
The thunder of the falling oak.


From thought to thought in vision led,
He holds high converse with the dead ;
Sages, or Poets. See they rise !
And shadowy skim before his eyes.
Hark! Orpheus strikes the lyre again,
That soften'd savages to men :
Lo! Socrates, the sent of heaven,
To whom its moral will was given.
Fathers and friends of human kind,
They form’d the nations, or refin'd;
With all that mends the head and heart,
Enlightening truth, adorning art.

While thus I mus'd beneath the shade,
At once the founding breeze was laid :
And Nature, by the unknown law,
Shook deep with reverential awe.
Dumb silence grew upon the hour ;
A browner night involv'd the bower :
When, issuing from the inmost wood,
Appear'd fair Freedom's genius good.
O Freedom ! fovereign boon of heaven ;
Great charter, with our being given ;
For which the patriot, and the sage,
Have plann'd, have bled through every age !
Iligh privilege of human race,
Beyond a mortal monarch's grace :
Who could not give, nor can reclaim,
What but from God immediate came!

[blocks in formation]





[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

T HEriling morn, ferenely ftill,

Had brightening spread o'er vale and hill,
Not those loose beams that wanton play,
To light the mirth of giddy May ;
Nor such red heats as burn the plain,
In ardent Summer's feverish reign :
But rays, all equal, soft and sober,
To suit the second of October ;
To suit the pair, whose wedding-day
This fun now gilds with annual ray.

Just then, where our good-natur'd Thames is
Some four fhort miles above St. James's,
And deigns, with silver-streaming wave,
Th’abodes of earth-born pride to lave,
Aloft in air two gods were soaring ;
While Putney-cits beneath lay snoring,
Plung'd deep in dreams of ten per cent,
On sums to their dear country lent :
Two gods of no inferior fame,
Whom ancient wits with reverence name ;
Though wiser moderns much disparage-
I mean the Gods of Love and Marriage.



[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

But Cupid first, his wit to Mew,
Affuming a mere modern beau,
Whose utmost aim is idle mirth,
Look'd-just as coxcombs look on earth :
Then rais'd his chin, then cock'd his hat,
To grace this common-place chit-chat;

How! on the wing, by break of dawn!
Dear brother--there he forc'd a yawn-
To tell men, funk in sleep profound,
They must, ere night, be gagd and bound !
Who, having once put on thy chain,
'Tis odds, may ne'er Neep sound again.
So say the wits : but wiser folks
Still marry, and contemn their jokes :
They know, each better bliss is thine,
Pure nectar, genuine from the vine !
And Love's own hand that nectar pours,
Which never fails, nor ever sours !
Well, be it so: yet there are fools,
Who dare demur to formal rules;
Who laugh profanely at their betters,
And find no freedom plac'd in fetters;
But, well or ill, jog on through life
Without that sovereign bliss, a wife.
Leave these at least, these sad dogs free,
To stroll with Bacchus and with me;
And sup, in Middlesex, or Surrey,
On coarse cold beef, and Fanny Murray.

Thus Cupid—and with such a leer,
You would have sworn 'twas Ligonier,


« PreviousContinue »