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THE POPLAR FIELD.
The poplars are fell’d; farewell to the shade, And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade : The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves, Nor Ouse in his bosom their image receives.
Twelve years have elapsed since I last took a view Of my favourite field, and the bank where they
grew ; And now in the grass behold they are laid, And the tree is my seat that once lent me a shade.
The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
My fugitive years are all hasting away,
The change both my heart and my fancy employs ; I reflect on the frailty of man, and his joys : Shortlived as we are, yet our pleasures we see Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.
WRITTEN IN A TIME OF AFFLICTION.
O HAPPY shades—to me uobless'd !
Friendly to peace, but not to me ! How ill the scene that offers rest,
And heart that cannot rest, agree!
This glassy stream, that spreading pine,
Those alders quivering to the breeze, Might soothe a soul less hurt than mine,
And please, if any thing could please.
But fix'd unalterable Care
Foregoes not what she feels within, Shows the same sadness every where,
And slights the season and the scene.
For all that pleased in wood or lawn,
While Peace possess'd these silent bowers, Her animating smile withdrawn,
Has lost its beauties and its powers.
The saint or moralist should tread
This moss-grown alley musing slow : They seek like me the secret shade,
But not like me to nourish woe!
Me fruitful scenes and prospects waste
Alike admonish not to roam ; These tell me of enjoyments past,
And those of sorrows yet to come.
Weak and irresolute is man;
The purpose of to-day, Woven with pains into his plan,
To-morrow rends away.
The bow well bent, and smart the spring
Vice seems already slain;
And it revives again.
Some foe to his upright intent
Finds out his weaker part ; Virtue engages his assent,
But Pleasure wins his heart.
'Tis here the folly of the wise
Through all his art we view; And, while his tongue the charge denies,
His conscience owns it true.
Bound on a voyage of awful length,
And dangers little knowu;
Man vainly trusts his own.
But oars alone can ne'er prevail,
To reach the distant coast : The breath of Heaven must swell the sail,
Or all the toil is lost.
The lapse of time and rivers is the same:
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.
Sweet stream, that winds through yonder glade,
LOSS OF THE ROYAL GEORGE.
WHEN THE NEWS ARRIVED, SEPT. 1782.
To the March in Scipio.
Toll for the brave !
The brave that are no more !
Fast by their native shore!
Eight hundred of the brave,
Whose courage well was tried, *Had made the vessel heel,
And laid her on her side.
A land breeze shook the shrouds,
And she was overset ;
With all her crew complete.
Toll for the brave !
Brave Kempenfelt is gone;
His work of glory done.