Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ye sprightly nymphs, by Fortune nurst,
Who sport in Joy's unclouded air,
Nor fce the diftant forms, that burst
In ruin on the humble Fair;
Ye know not to what bitter smart
A kindred form, a kindred heart,
Is often doom'd, in life's low vale,
Where frantic fears the simple mind affail,
And fierce afflictions press, and friends and fortune fails
- - -

- - .
His Care, exulting Britain found
Here first display'd, not here confin’d!
No single tract of earth could bound
The active virtues of his mind.
To all the lands, where'er the tear,
That mourn'd the Prisoner's wrongs fevere,
Sad Pity's glift'ning cheek impeari'd,
Eager he steer'd, with every fail unfurld,
A friend to every clime! a Patriot of the World !
' Ye nations, thro’ whose fair domain
Our fying sons of joy have past,
By Pleasure driven with loosen'd rein,
Astonish'd that they few fo fast !
How did the heart-improving fight
Awake your wonder and delight,
When, in her unexampled chace,
Philanthropy outstript keen Pleasure's pace,
When with a warmer soul she ran a nobler race!

Sweet is the joy when Science Alings
Her light on philosophic thought;
When Genius, with keen ardor, springs
To clasp the lovely truth he fought:
Sweet is the joy, when Rapture's fire
Flows from the spirit of the lyre;
When Liberty and Virtue roll
Spring-tides of fancy o'er the poet's soul,
That waft his Aying bark thro' seas above the pole.

Sweet the delight, when the gall'd heart
Feels Consolation's lenient hand
Bind up the wound from Fortune's dart
With Friendship's life-supporting band !
And sweeter still, and far above
These fainter joys, when purest Love
The soul his willing captive keeps !
When he in bliss the melting spirit steeps,
Who drops delicious tears, and wonders that he weeps!

. But

But not the brightest joy, which Arts, , ,
In floods of niental light, beltow;
Nor what firm Friendship's zeal imparts,
Bleft antidote of bitereft woe! -
Nor those that Love's tweet hours dispense,
Can equal the ecliatic sense, ,
When, swelling to a fond excess,
The grateful praises of reliev'd distress,
Re-echoed thro' the heart, the foul of Bounty bless.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

PROLOGUE to the MINIATURE PICTURE. It'ritten by RICHARD* BRINSLEY SHERIDAN, Efg. Spoken by

Mr. KING

N HILL'D by rough gales, while yet reluctant May
U W ith-holds the beauties of the vernal day;
As some fond maid, whom matron frowns reprove,
Suspends the smile her heart devotes to love;
The featon's pleasures too delay their hour,
And Winter revels with protracted pow'r:
Then blame not, Critics, if, thus late, we bring
A Winter's drama--but reproach -lhe Spring.
What prudent cit dares yet the season trust,
Bark in his whisky, and enjoy the duft?
Hors'd in Cheaplide, scarce yet the gayer spark
Atchieves the Sunday triumph of the Park;
Scarce yet you see hin, dreading to be late,
Scour the New-road, and dath through Grosvenor-gate,
Anxious and fearful too his fteed to Thew,
The hack'd Bucephalus of Rotten-row !
Careless he seems, yet, vigilantly lly,
Woos the stray glance of Ladies passing by,
While his off heel, insidiously alide,
Provokes the caper which he feems to chide:
Scarce rural Kensington due honour gains,
The vulgar verdure of her walk remains,
Where white-robd Milles amble two by two,
Nodding to booted beaux How do, how do'
With generous questions that no anfiver wait,
" How vasily full! a'n't you come vaftly late?
• Isn't it quite charming? When do you leave town?
' A'n't you quite tird? Pray, can we set you down?'
These superb pleasures of a London May
Imperfect yet, we hail the cold delay;
But if this plea's denied, in our excuse
Another ftill remains you can't retule;

It is a Lady writes-and hark-a noble Muse. ]
VOL. XXIII.

But

But see a Critic ftarting from his bench-
• A noble Author?' Yes, Sir; but the Play's not French :
Yet if it were, no blame on us could fall;
For we, you know, must follow Fashion's call :
And true it is things lately were EN TRAIN
To woo the Gallic Muse at Drury-lane;
Not to import a troop of foreign elves,
But treat you with French actors in ourselves :
A friend we had, who vow'd he'd make us fpeak
Pure Alippant French, -by contract-in a week;
Told us 'twas time to study what was good,
Polith, and leave off being understood,
That crouded audiences we thus might bring
To Monsieur Parfons and Chevalier King:
Or should the vulgars grumble now and then,
The prompter might translate-for country gentlemen.
Strait all subscrib'd-Kings, Gods, Mutes, Singer, Ador,-
A Flanders tigure-dancer our contractor.
But here, I grieve to own, tho't it be to you,
He acted-een as moft contractors do ;
Sold what he never dealt in, and th' amount
Being first discharg'd, fubmitted his account:
And what th' event? Their industry was such,
Dodd spoke good Flemish, Bannister bad Dutcb.
Then the rogue told us, with insulting eafe,
So it was foreign, it was sure to please:
Beaux, wits, applaud, as faihion thould command,
And Mifles laugh-to seem to understand
So from each clime our foil may something gain;
Manhood from Rome, and sprightliness from Spain;
Some Ruilian Roscius next delight the age,
And a Dutch Heinel skate along the ftage.
Exotic fopperies, hail! whose fatt'ring smile
Supplants the fierner virtues of our ifle !
Thus, while with Chinese firs and Indian pines
Our nurs'ries (warm, the British oak declines :
Yet, vain our Mules fear-no foreign laws
We dread, while native beauty pleads our cause:
While you're to judge, whole smiles are honours higher
Than verie should gain, but where those eyes inspire.
But if the men presume your pow'r to awe,
Retort their churlith senatorial law;
This is your houtenand move the gentlemen withdraw : )
Then you may vote, with enùy never ceasing,
Your indlucuce has increas'd, and is increasing;
But there, I truit, the reiolation's finith'd ;
Sure none will tur--it ought to be diminish'd.

Chartiers Charaders of SALLUST and Livy. From HAYLEY's Elay on Hipory.

D UT Rome's proud Genius, with exulting claim.

D Points to her rivals of the Grecian name!
Sententious Sallust leads her lofty train;
Clear, tho' concife, elaborately plain,
Poising his scale of words with frugal care,
Nor leaving one superfluous atom there!
Yet well displaying, in a narrow space,
Truth's native strength, and Nature's easy grace;
Skilld to detect, in tracing Action's course,
The hidden motive, and the human source.
His lucid brevity the palm has won,
By Rome's decision, from OLORUS' Son.

Of mightier spirit, of majestic frame,
With powers proportions to the Roman frame,
When Rome's fierce Eagle his broad wings unfurl'd,
And shadow'd with his plumes the subject world,
In bright pre-eminence, that Greece might own,
Sublimer Livy claims th' Historic throne;
With that rich Eloquence, whose golden light
Brings the full scene diftinctly to the fight;
That Zeal for Truth, which Interest cannot bend,
That Fire, which Freedom ever gives her friend.
Immortal artist of a work supreme !
Delighted Rome beheld, with proud efteem,
Her own bright image, of colotfal size,
From thy long toils in purest marble rise.
But envious Time, with a malignant stroke,
This sacred ftatue into fragments broke;
In Lethe's stream its nobler portions sunk,
And left Futurity the wounded trunk.
Yet, like the matchiess, mutilated frame,
To which great Angelo bequeath'd his name,
This glorious ruin, in whose strength we find
The splendid vigour of the Sculptor's mind,
In the fond eye of Admiration still
Rivals the finish'd forins of modern skill.

On Biography and the Character of PLUTARCH. From the fame.

BLEST Biography! thy charms of yore

Historic Truch to strong Affection bore, And foft'ring Virtue gave thee as thy dower, Of both thy parents the attra&ive power;

To win the beart, the wavering thought to fix,
And fond delight with wire ioftruation inix,
First of thy votaries, peerless, and alone,
Thy PLUTARCH (hines, by moral beauty known:
Enchanting Sage; whose living lessons teach,
What heights of Virtue buman efforts reach.
Tho' oft thy Pen, eccentrically wild,
Ramble, in Learning's various maze beguild;
Tho' in thy Style no brilliant graces shine,
Nor the clear conduct of correct Design,
Thy every page is uniformly bright
With mild Philanthropy's diviner light.
Of gentleft manners, as of inind elate,
Thy happy Genius had the glorious fate
To regulate, with Wisdom's soft controul,
The strong ambition of a TRAJAN's soul.
But O! how rare benignant Virtue springs,
In the blank botom of delpole kings!

[blocks in formation]

V ET Courtesy, with generous Valour join'd,

I Fair Twins of Chivalry! rejoic'd to find
A faithful Chronicler in plain FROISSART;
As rich in honeky as void of art.
As the young Pealunt, led by spirits keen
To some great city's gay and gorgeous scene,
Returning, with increase of proud delight,
Dwells on the various iplendor of the fight;
And gives his tale, tho' told in terms uncouth,
The charm of Nature, and the force of Truth,
Tho' rude engaging; such thy simple page
Seems, O FROISsart! to this enlighten'd age.
Proud of their spirit, in tby writings shewn,
Fair Faith and Honour mark thee for their own;
Tho' oft the dupe of those delufive times,
Thy Genius, foster'd with romantic rhymes,
Appears to play the legendary Bard,
And trespass on the truth it meant to guard.
Still Thali thy name, with lasting glory, stand
High on the list of that advent'rous band,
Who, bidding History speak a modern tongue,
From her cranip'd hand the Monkith fetters flung,
While yet depress'd in Gothic niglit she Jay,
Nor law th' approacbing dawn of Attic day.

Charail

« PreviousContinue »