Page images
PDF

Character of Fathe* Paul. From the same.

SA R P I, blest name! from every foible clear,
Not more to Science than to Virtue dear.
Thy pen, thy life, of equal praise secure!
Both, wiseiy bold, and both sublimely pure I
That Freedom bids me on thy merits dwell,
Whose radiant form illum'd thy letter'd cell j
Who to thy hand the noblest task aslign'd,
That earth can offer to a heavenly mind:
With Reason's arms to guard invaded laws,
And guide the peh of Truth in Freedom's cause.
Too firm of heart at Danger's cry to stoop,
Nor Lucre's slave, nor vain Ambition's dupe.
Thro' length of days invariably the fame,
Thy country's liberty thy constant aim 1
For this thy spirit dar'd th' Assassin's knife.
That with Tepeated guilt pursu'd thy life;
For this thy fervent and unweary'd care
Form'd, ev'n in death, thy patriotic prayer,
And, while bis shadows on thine eye lids hung,
"Be it immortal!" trembled on thy tongue.

CharaSer of Voltaire. From the same. . ,

THO' Pontiffs execrate, and Kings betray,
Let no* this fate your generous warmth allay,
Yc kindred' Worthies! who still dare to wield ."

Reason's keen sword, and Toleration's shield,
In climes where Persecution's iron mace .

Is rais'd to massacre the human race!
The heart of Nature will your virtue feel,
And her immortal voice reward your zeal,
First in her praise her fearless champions live,
Crown'd with the noblest palms that earth can give. .

Firm in this band, who to her aid advance,
And high amid th' Historic sons of France,
Delighted Nature saw, with partial care,
The lively vigour of the gay Voltaiub;
And fondly gave him, with. Anacreon's sire <

To throw the hand of Age across the lyre:
But mute that vary'd voice, which pleas'd so long •
Th' Historian's tale is clos'd, the Poet's long!
Within the narrow tomb behold him lie,
Who fill'd so large a space in Learning's eye I

P 3 Thou

Thou Mind unweary'd! thy long toils are o'er;
Censure and Praise can touch thy ear no more:
Still let me breathe -with just regret thy name,
Lament thy foibles, and thy powers proclaim I

On the wide fe* of Letters 'twas thy boast
To croud each fail, and touch at every coast:
From that rich deep how often hast thou brought
The pure and precious pearls of splendid Thought t
How didst thou triumph on that subject-tide,
Till Vanity's wild gust, and stormy Pride,
Prove thy strong bark, in evil hour, to split
Upon the fatal rock of impious Wit!
But be thy failings cover'd by thy tomb!
And guardian laurels o'er thy ashes bloom!

From the long annals of the world thy art.
With chemic process, drew the richer part;
To Hist'ry gaVe a philosophic air.
And made the interest os mankind her care;
Pleas'd her grave brow with garlands to adorn,
And from the rose os Knowledge strip the thorn,-

Thy lively Eloquence, in prose, in verse.
Still keenly bright, and elegantly terse,
Flames with hold spirit} yet is idly rasti:
Thy promis'd light is oft a dazzling flash:
Thy wisdom verges to sarcastic sport,
Satire thy joy! -and ridicule thy fort!
But the gay Genius of the Gallic foil,
Shrinking from solemn tasks of serious toil,
Thro' every scene his playful air maintains,
And in the light Memoir unrival'd reigns.
Thy Wits, O France! (as e'en thy Critics own)
Support not History's majestic tone;
They, like thy Soldiers, want, in feats of lcngthi
The persevering soul of British strength,

Chirailcn of Campek, Rawleigh, Clasendos, Buknet, Rapik,
Hume, LsfTTELTON. From tie same.

HAIL to thee, Britain! hail! delightful land I
I spring with filial joy to reach thy strand;
And thou! blest nourishes of Souls, sublime
As e'er immortaliz'd their native clime,
Kich in Poetic treasures, yet excuse
The trivial offering of an humble Muse,
Who pants to add, with fears by love o'eitQrnt,
Her mite of Glory to thy countless sum!
With vary'd colours, of the richest die,
Faroe's brilliant bankers o/er thy Qstspring flj:

In native Vigour bold, by Freedom led,

No path of honour have they fail'd to tread: . t

But while they wisely plan, and bravely dire.

Their own achievements are their latest caw.

Tho' Camdfn, rich in Learning's various store,'

Sought in Tradition's mine Truth's genuine ore^

The waste of Hist'ry lay in lifeless made,""

Tho' RAWLttGH's piercing eye that world furvey'd.

Tho' mightier names there cast a casual glance,

They seem'd to saunter round the field by chance,'

Till Clakendojj arose, and in the hour

"When civil Discord wak'd each mental Power,

With brave desire to reach this distant goal,'

Strain'd all the vigour of his manly foul. .

Nor Truth, nor Freedom's injur'd Powers, allow

A wreath unspotted to his haughty brow:

Friendstiip's firm spirit still his fame exalts,

With sweet atonement for his lesser faults.

His pomp of phrase, his period of a mile,

And all the maze of his bewilder'd style,

Illum'd by warmth of heart, no more offend:

What cannot Taste forgive, in Falkland's friend?

Nor stow his praises from this single source;

One province of his art displays his force:

His Portraits boast, with features strongly like,

The soft precision of the clear Vandyke:

Tho', like the Painter, his faint talents yield,

And sink embarrass'd in the Epic field,

Yet shall his labours long adorn our isle,

Like the proud glories of some Gothic pile t

They, tho' constructed by a Bigot's band,

Nor nicely finisli'd, nor correctly plan'd, •

With solemn Majesty, and pious Gloom,

An awful influence o'er the mind assume j

And from the alien eyes of every sect

Attract observance, and command respect.

In following years, when thy great name, Nassau I
Etampt the blest deed of Liberty and Law;
Wheu clear, and guiltless of Oppression's rage.
There rose in Britain an Augustan age,
And cluster'd Wits, by emulation bright,
Diffus'd o'er An Ma's reign their mental light;
That constellation seem'd, tho' strong its stame,
To want the splendor of Historic fame:
Yet Burnet's page may lasting glory hope,
Howe'er insulted by the fpleeu of Pope.
Tho' his rough language haste and warmth denote,
VYkh ardent Honesty of soul he wrote j

P 4 Tho

Tho' critic censo-res on his work may (hower,
Like faith, liis freedom has a saving power.

Nor (halt thou want, R \pis! tliy well-earn'd praise,
The sage Polybius thou of modern days!
Thy sword, thy pen, Jiav* both thy name endear'd;
This join d our arms, and that our story cleaf'd:'' ■•
Thy foreign-hmd diloharg'd th' Historian's trust,
Unsway'd by Party, and'to Freedom jutt.
To leiter'd Fame we own thy fair pretence.
From- patient Labour, and from candid Sense.
Yet public Favour, ever hard to six,
Flew fjrom thy page, as heavy and prolix.
For soon,.emerging from the Sophist's school,
With Spirit eager, yet with Judgment cool,
With subtle tkili to steal upon applause,
And give false vigour to the weaker cause j
To paint a specious scene with nicest art,
Retouch the whole, and varnish every partj
Graceful in Style, iti Argument acute;
Master of every trick in keen Dispute I
With these strong powers to form a winning tale,
And hide Deceit in Moderation's veil,
High on the pinnacle of Fashion plac'd,
Hume shone the idol of Historic Taste.
Already, piere'd by Freedom's searching rays,
The waxen fabric of his fame decays.—
Think not, keen Spirit! that these hands presume
To tear each leaf of laurel from thy tomb!
These hands! which, if a heart of human frame
Could stoop to harbour that ungenerous aim,
WouW shield thy grave, and give, with guardian care,
Each type of Eloquence to sionrilh there!
But public Love commands the painful task,
From the pretended Sage to strip the malk,
When his false tongue, averse to Freedom's cause,
Profanes the spirit of her ancient laws.
As Asia's soothing opiate drugs, by stealth,
Shake every slackened nerve, and lap the heahh;
Thy writings thus, with noxious charms resin'd,:
Seeming to soothe its ills, unnerve thelmind. •
While the keen cunning of thy hand pretends
To strike alone at Party's 'abject ends, i
Our hearts more free from Faction's weed's we feel
T5ut they have lost the flower of Patriot zeal.
Wild as thy feeble Metaphysic page,
Thy Hist'ry rambles into Sceptic rage;
Whose' giddy and fantastic dreams abuse
A Hamfcen's Virtue, and a Shakespeare's Muse.

With purer spirit, free from party strife,
To foodie bis evening hour of honour'd life,
See candid Lyttelton at length unfold
The deeds ot liberty in days of old!
Fond of the theme, and narrative with ag*,
He winds the lengthen'd tale thro' many a page;
But there the beams of Patriot Virtue shine;
There Truth and Freedom sanctify the line,
And laurels, due to Civil Wisdom, shield
This noble Nestor of th' Historic field.

The living names, who there display their power,
And give its glory to the present hour,
I pal's with mule regard; in fear to fail,
Weighing their worth in a-suspected scale:
Thy rijjht, Posterity! 1 sacred hold,
To six the stamp on literary gold;
West! if this lighter ore, which I prepare
For thy supreme Assay, with anxious caro,
Thy current sanction unimpeach'd enjoy,
As only tiuctur'd with a llight alloy 1

RONDEAU, Spng hy Mrs. Barthilemon, at Ranelagh.

i

NIGHT and day the anxious lover
Is attentive to the fair,
Till the doubtful courtship's over:
Is flie then so much his care r

Warm as Summer his addresses,

Hope and ardour's in his eyes;
Cool as Winter his caresses,

When she yields his captive prize.

Now the owner of her beauty,

Sees no more an Angel face;
JIalf is love, the rest is duty:

Pleasure sure is in the chace.

Account

« PreviousContinue »