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The eye of Nature never rests from care;
She guards her children with a parent's love ; And not a mischief reigns in earth or air,
But time destroys, or remedies remove.
In vain no ill shall haunt the walks of life,
No vice in vain the human heart deprave, The poisonous flower, the tempest's raging strife,
From greater pain, from greater ruin save,
Lavinia, form'd with every powerful grace,
With all that lights the flame of young desire ; Pure ease of wit, and elegance of face,
A soul all fancy, and an eye all fire.
Lavinia !--Peace, my busy, futtering breast !
Nor fear to languish in thy former pain : At length she yields—she yields the needful rest;
And frees her lover from his galling chain.
The golden star, that leads the radiant morn,
Looks not so fair, fresh rising from the main ; But her bent eye-brow bears forbidding scorn,-
But Pride's fell furies every heartstring strain.
Lavinia, thanks to thy ungentle mind;
I now behold thee with indifferent eyes; And Reason dares, though Love as Death be blind,
Thy gay, thy worthless being to despise.
Beauty may charm without one inward grace,
And fair proportions win the captive heart; But let rank Pride the pleasing form debase,
And Love disgusted breaks his erring dart.
The youth that once the sculptur'd nymph admir'd,
Had look'd with scornful laughter on her charms, If the vain form, with recent life inspir'd,
Had turn'd disdainful from his offer'd arms.
Go, thoughtless maid! of transient beauty vain,
Feed the high thought, the towering hope extend; Still may’st thou dream of splendour in thy train,
And smile superb, while love and flattery bend. For me, sweet peace shall sooth my troubled mind,
And easy slumbers close my weary eyes ; Since Reason dares, though Love as Death be blind,
Thy gay, thy worthless being, to despise.
WRITTEN AMONG THE
RUINS OF PONTEFRACT CASTLE.
Right sung the bard, that all-involving age
With hand impartial deals the ruthless blow; That war, wide-wasting, with impetuous rage,
Lays the tall spire, and sky-crown'd turret low. A pile stupendous, once of fair renown,
This mouldering mass of shapeless ruin rose, Where nodding heights of fractur'd columns frown,
And birds obscene in ivy bowers repose :
Oft the pale matron from the threatening wall,
Suspicious, bids her heedless children fly; Oft, as he views the meditated fall,
Full swiftly steps the frighted peasant by.
But more respectful views the historic sage,
Musing, these awful relics of decay,
In Henry's and in Edward's dubious day.
He pensive oft reviews the mighty dead,
That erst have trod this desolated ground; Reflects how here unhappy Salisbury bled,
When faction aim'd the death-dispensing wound.
Rest, gentle Rivers! and ill-fated Gray!
grave, Whom avy slew, to pave Ambition's way,
And whom a monarch wept in vain to save.
Ah! what avail'd the alliance of a throne ?
The pomp of titles what, or power rever'd? Happier! to these the humble life unknown,
With virtue honour'd, and by peace endear'd.
Had thus the sons of bleeding Britain thought,
When hapless here inglorious Richard lay, Yet many a prince, whose blood full dearly bought
The shameful triumph of the long-fought day ;
Yet many a hero, whose defeated hand
In death resign'd the well-contested field, Had in his offspring sav'd a sinking land,
The tyrant's terror, and the nation's shield.
Ill could the Muse indignant grief forbear,
Should Memorytrace her bleeding country's woes; Ill could she count, without a bursting tear,
The' inglorious triumphs of the varied Rose! While York with conquest and revenge elate,
Insulting, triumphs on Saint Alban's plain, Who views, nor pities Henry's hapless fate,
Himself a captive, and his leaders slain? Ah prince! unequal to the toils of war,
To stem ambition, Faction's rage to quell: Happier ! from these had fortune plac'd thee far,
In some lone convent, or some peaceful cell, For what avail'd that thy victorious queen
Repair'd the ruins of that dreadful day? That vanquish'd York, on Wakefield's purple green,
Prostrate amidst the common slaughter lay : In vain fair Victory beam'd the gladdening eye,
And, waving oft her golden pinions, sinild; Full soon the flattering goddess meant to fly,
Full rightly deem'd unsteady Fortune's child. Let Towton's field-but cease the dismal tale :
For much its horrors would the Muse appal ; In softer strains suffice it to bewail
The patriot's exile, or the hero's fall. Thus silver Wharf,* whose crystal-sparkling urn
Reflects the brilliance of his blooming shore, Still, melancholy-mazing seems to mourn,
But rolls, confus’d, a crimson wave no more.
• A river near the scene of battle, in which were slain 35,000
TO THE REV. MR. LAMB.
LAMB ! could the muse that boasts thy forming care,
Unfold the grateful feelings of my heart, Her hand for thee should many a wreath prepare,
And cull the choicest flowers with studious art.
For mark'd by thee was each imperfect ray
That haply wander'd o'er my infant mind; The dawn of genius brighten’d into day,
As thy skill open’d, as thy lore refin’d.
Each uncouth lay that falter'd from my tongue,
At eve or morn from Eden's murmurs caught; Whate'er I painted, and whate'er 1 sung, Though rude the strain, though artless was the
You wisely prais’d, and fed the sacred fire,
That warms the breast with love and honest fame; You swelld to nobler heights the infant lyre, Rais'd the low thought, and check’d the’ exube
O could the Muse in future times obtain
One humble garland from the’ Aonian tree! With joy I'd bind thy favour'd brows again,
With joy I'd form a fairer wreath for thee.