Page images

Ye sprightly nymphs, by Fortune nurst,
Who sport in Joy's unclouded air,
Nor fee the distant itorms, 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 assail,
And fierce afflictions press, and friends and fortune faili

His Care, exulting Britain found
Here first display'd, not here confin'dl
No single tract of earth could bound
1 The active virtues of his mind.

To all the lands, where'er the tear,
That mourn'd the Prisoner's wrongs severe,
Sad Pity's glist'ning cheek impearl'd,
. „ Eager he steer'd, with every fail unfurl'd,

A friend to every clime! a Patriot of the WorM!

Ye nations, thro' whose fair domain
Our flying sons of joy have pall,
By Pleasure driven with loosen'd rein,
Astonish'd that they flew so fast!
How did the heart-improving sight
Awake your wonder and delight,
When, in her unexampled chace,
Philanthropy outstript keen Pleasure's pace,
When with a warmer foul she ran a nobler race S

Sweet is the joy when Science flings
Her light on philosophic thought;
When Genius, with keen ardor, springs
To clasp the lovely truth he sought:
Sweet is. the joy, when Rapture's sire
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 flying 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!

[ocr errors]

But not the brightest joy, which Arts, -
la-floods of mental light, bestow-,
Nor what firm friendship's zeal imparts,
Blest antidote of bit/crest woe'
Nor those that Love's sweet hours dispense,
Can equal the ecstatic sense, .
When, swelling to a fond excess
V. The grateful praises of reliev'd distress,

Re-echoed thro' the heart, the soul of Bounty bless.


Written by Richard- Bhissiby Sheridan, Esq. Spoken by

Mr. King.

I H I Ll.'D by rough gales, while yet reluctant May
^j With-holds the beauties of the vernal day;
As some fond maid, whom matron frowns reprove,
Suspends the smile her heart devotes to love j
The season'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 -the Spring.
What prudent cit dares yet the season trust,
Bask in his whisky, and enjoy the dust?
HonAl in Cheaplide, scarce yet the gayer spark
Atchieves the Sunday triumph of the Park;
Scarce yet you fee him, dreading to be late,
Scour the New-road, and dasti through Grosvenor-gate,
Anxious—-and fearful too—his steed to stiew,
The hark'd Bucephalus of Rotten-row!
Careless he seems, yet, vigilantly Uy,
Woos the stray glance of Ladies pasting by,
While his off heel, insidiously aside,
Provokes the caper which he k-ems to chide:
Scarce rural Kensington due honour gains,
The vulgar verdure of her walk remains,
Where white-rob'd MiU'es amble two by two,
Nodding to booted beaux—* How do, how do?'
With generous questions that no answer wait,
* How vastly full! a'n't you come vastly late?
'Isn't it quite charming? When do you leave town?
'A'n't you quite tir'd? Pray, can we sot 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 still remains you can't refuse; >

It is a Lady writes—and hark—a noble Muse, j V0L..XXIII. P But But see a Critic- starting from his bench— Characters of Sallust and Livt. From Hatlet's Essay on Hi/lory.

'A noble Author?' Yos, Sir; but the Play'* 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 Rs 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 speak

Fure. flippant French,—by contact—in a week;

Told us 'twas time to study what was good,

Polish, .and leave off being understood,

That crouded audiences we thus might bring

To Monsieur Parsons and Chevalier King:

Or lhould the vulgars grumble now and then,

The prompter might translate—for country gentlemen.

Strait all subscrib'd—Kings, Gods, Mutes, Siuger, Actor,—

A Flanders figure-dancer our contractor.

But here, I grieve to own, tho't it be to you,

He acted—e'en as most contractors do;

Sold what be never dealt in, and th' amount

Being first ditcharg'd, submitted his account:

And what th' event? Their industry was such,

Dodd spoke good Flemish, Bannister bad Dutch.

Then the rogue told us, with insulting ease,

So it was foreign, it was sure to please:

Beaux, wits, applaud, as sailiion should command,'

And Misses laugh—to seem to understand—

So from each clime our foil may something gain;

Manhood frorn Rome, and sprightliness from Spain j

Some Russian Ruscius next delight the age,

And a Dutch Hcinel skate along the stage.

Exotic fopperies, hail! whose flatt'ring smile

Supplants the sterner virtues of our ille!

Thus, while with Chinese sirs and Indian pines

Our nurs'ries swarm, the Britilh oak declines:

Yet, vain our Mules fear—no foreign laws

We dread, while native beauty pleads our cause:

While you're to judge, whose smiles are honours higher

Than verse sliould gain, but where those eyes inspire.

But is the men presume your pow'r to awo,

Retort their churlish senatorial law;

This is your house.—and move—the gentlemen withdraw

Then you may vote, with envy never ceasing,

Your inilucuce has increas'd, and is increasing;

But there, I trust, the relolciion's finilh'd;

Sure none will far—it ought to be diminilh'd.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

BU T Rome's proud Genius* with exulting claim,
Points to her rivals of the Grecian name!
Sententious Sallust leads her lofty train5
Clear, tho' concise, 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;
Skill'd 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 sliadow'd with his plumes the subject world,
In bright pre-eminence, that Greece might own,
Sublimer Livt claims lh' Historic throne;
With that rich Eloquence, whose golden light
Brings the full scene distinctly to the sight;
That Zeal for Truth, which Interest cannot bend,
That Fire, which Freedom ever gives her friend.
Immortal artist of a work supreme! t
Delighted Rome beheld, wiih proud esteem,
Her own bright image, of colossal size,
From thy long toils in purest marble rife.
But envious Time, with a malignant stroke,
This sacred statue into fragments broke;
In Lethe's stream its nobler portions funk,
And left Futurity the wounded trunk.
Yet, like the matchless, mutilated frame,
To which great Anof.lo 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 finilli'd forms of modern skill.

On Biography and t/ie Character of Plutarch. From the fame.

O BLEST Eiography! thy charms of yore
Historic Truth to strong Affection bore,
And fost'ring Virtue gave thee as thy dower,
Of both thy parents the attractive power;

P 2 To

To win the heart, the wavering thought to fix,
And fond delight with wise instruction mix.
First of thy votaries, peerless, and alone,
Thy Plutarch shines, by moral beauty known;
Enchanting Sage; whose living lessons teach.
What heights of Virtue, human efforts reach.
Tho' oft thy Pen, eccentrically wild,
Ramble, in Learning's various maze beguil'd j
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 gentlest manners, as of mind elate,
Thy happy Genius had the glorious fate
To regulate, with Wisdom's soft controul,
The strong ambition of a Thajan's foul.
But O! how rare benignant Virtue springs,
In the blank bosom of despotic kings!,

Charadcr of Fhoissart. From tlie smite.

YET Courtesy, with generous Valour join'd,
Fair Twins of Chivalry! rejoie'd to find
A faithful Chronicler in plain Froissart;
As rich in holicftyas void of art.
As the young Peasant, led by spirits keen
To some great city's gay and gorgeous scene,
Returning, with increase of proud delight,
Dwells on the various splendor of the sight;
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
Seem", O Fkoissart! to this enlighten'd age.
Proud of their spirit, in thy writings (hewn,
Fair Faith *nd Honour mark thee for their ownj
Tho' oft the dupe of those delusive times,
Thy Genius, foster'd with romantic rhymes,
Appears to play the legendary Bard,
And trespass on the truth it meant to guard.
Still (hall thy name, with lasting glory, stand
High on the list of that advent'rous band,
Who, bidding History speak a modern tongue,
From her cramp'd hand the Monkish fetters flung,
While yet deprese'd in Gothic night (he lay,
Nor law th,' approaching dawn of Attic day.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »