Page images
PDF

And all the solemn farce of graves,

ľ Farewell to ev'ry joy around! To undertakers and their slaves.

l' Oh, the heart síckens at the sound! You know that moral writers say,

Stay, strippling thou art poorly taught: The world's a stage, and life a play ;

Joy, didst thou say? discard the thought. That in this drama to succeed,

Joys are a rich celestial fruit, Requires much thought and toil indeed! And scorn a sublunary root: There still remains one labor imore,

What wears the face of joy below, Perhaps a greater than before.

Is often found but splendid woe. Indulge the search, and you shall find

Joys here, like unsubstantial fame, The harder task is still behind :

Are nothings but a pompous name; That harder task, to quit the stage

Or else, like comets in the sphere, In early youth or riper age;

Shine with destruction in their rear. To leave the company and place

Passions, like clouds, obscure the sight, With firmness, dignity, and grace.

Hence mortals seldom judge aright. Come, then, the closing scenes survey; The world's a harsh unfruitful soil, "Tis the last act which crownis the play. Yet still we hope, and still we toil; Do well this grand decisive part,

Deceive ourselves with wond'rous art, And gain the plaudit of your heart.

And disappointment wrings the heart, Few greatly live in Wisdom's eye

Thus, when a mist collects around, But, oh! how few who greatly die !

And hovers o'er a barron ground, Who, when their days approach an end, | The poor deluded trav’ller spies Can ineet the fue as friend meets friend. Imagin'd trees and structures rise ; Instructive heroes! tell us whence

But, when the shrouded sun is clear, Your noble scorn of Aesh and sense!

The desert and the rocks appear. You part from all we prize so dear;

Ah- but when youthful blood runs high, Nor drop one soft reluctant tcar;

· Sure 'tis a dreadful ihing to die! Part from those tender jose of life,

To die ! and what exalis the gloom,
The friend, the parent, child, and wise. • I'm told that men survives the tomb!
Death's black and stormy gulph you brave, O! can the learned prelate find
And ride exulting on the wave;

" What future scenes await the mind ! Decin thrones but trifles all! -no more | Where wings the soul, dislodg'd from clay? Nor send one wishful look to shore.

• Some courteous angel point the way! For foreign ports, and lands unknown, · That unknown somewhere in the skies, Thus the firın sailor leaves his own;

· Say, where that unknown somewhere lics; Obedient to the rising gale,

" And kindly prove, when life is o'er, Unmoors liis bark, and spreads his sail ; · That pains and sorrows are no more; Defies the ocean and the wind,

For doubtless, dying is a curse, Nor mourns the joys he left behind.

"If present ills be chang'd for worse.' Is Death a pow'rful monarch? True; Hush, my young friend, forego the theme, Perhaps you drear the tyrant too !

And listen to your poet's dream. Fear, like a fog, precludes the light,

Ere while I took an ev'ning walk, Or swells the object to the sight.

Honorio join'd in social talk. Attend my visionary page,

Along the lawns the zephyrs sweep; And I'll disarm the tyrant's pace.

Each ruder wind was lulld asleep. Come, let this ghastly form appear;

The sky, all beauteous to behold, He's not so terrible when ncar.

Was streak'd with azure, green, and gold ; Distance deludes th'unwary cye;

But tho' serenely soft and fair, So clouds seem monsters in the sky:

Fever hung brooding in the air; Hold frequent converse with him now, Then settled on lionorio's breast, He'll daily wear a milder brow,

Which shudder'd at the fatal guest. Why is my theme with terror fraught? No drugs the kindly wish fulfil ; Because you shun the frequent thought. Disease eludes the doctor's skill : Say, when the captive pard is nigh,

The poison spread thro' all the frame, Whence thy pale cheek and frighted eve? Ferments, and kindles into fame. Sav, why dismay'd thy manly breast,

From side to side Honorio turns, When tlie grim lion shakes his crest;

And now with thirst insatiate burns : Because these savage sights are new;

His eyes resign their wonted grace, No keeper shudders at the view :

Those friendly lamps expire apace! Keepers accustom'd to the scene,

The brain's an useless organ grown; Approach the dens with looks serene?

And Reason tumbled from his throne. Fearless their grisly charge explore,

But, while the purple surges glove, And smile to hear the tyrants roar.

The currents thicken as they flow : "Ay but to die! to bid adicu!

The blood in ev'ry distant part "An everlasting farewell too!

Stagnates and disappoints the heart;

Defrauded

Defrauded of 'its erimson store,

All shudder'd at the black account, The vital engine plays no more.

| And scarce believ'd the vast amount ! Honorio dead, the fun'ral bell

All vow'd a sudden change of heart, Call'd ev'ry friend to bid farewell.

Would death relent, and sheath his dart I join'd the melancholy bier,

But, when the awful foc withdrew,
And dropp'd the unavating tear.

All to their follies fled anew.
Theclock struck twelve-whennature sought! So when a wolf, who scours at large,
Repose from all the pangs of thought ; Springs on the shepheril's fleecy charge,
And, while my limbs were sunk to rest, The flock in wild disorder fly,
A Vision sooth'd my troubled breast. . And cast behind a frequent eye;

I dream'd the spectre Death appear'd! But when the victim's borne away,
I dream'd his hollow voice I licard!

They rush tu pasture and to play. Methought th' imperial tyrant wore

Indulge my dream, and let ny pen A state na prince assum'd before;

Paint those unmeaning creatures, nien. Al nature fetch'd a general groan,

Carus, with pain and sickness worn, And lay expiring round his throne.

Chides the slow night, and sighs for morn, I gazd – when straight arose to sight Soon as he views the eastern ray The most detested fiend of night.

He mourns the quick return of day.
He shuffled with anequal pace,

Hourly laments protracted breath,
And conscious shame deform'd his face. And courts the healing hand of death.
With jealous leer he squinted round,

Verres, oppress'd with guilt and shaine, Or fix'd his eyes upon the ground.

Shipwreck'd in fortune, health, and fame : From hell this frightful monster came; Pines for his dark, sepulchral bed, Sin was his sire, and Guilt his name.

To mingle with th' unheeded dead. This fury, with oflicious care,

With fourscore years grey Natho bends, Waited around the sou’rcign's chair;

A burden to himself and friends! la robes of terror dress'd the king,

And with impaticuce scems to wait And armi'd him with a baneful sting;

The friendly hand of ling'ring Fate. Gare fierceness to the tyrant's cye,

So hirclings wish their labor done, And hung the sword upon his thigh.

And often eve the western sun. Discases next, a hideous crowd!

The monarch hears their various griel; Proclaim'd their master's empire lond,

Descends, and, brings the wish'd relief. And all, obedient to his will,

On Death with wild surprise they star'd; Flew in commission'd troops to kill.

All secm'd averse! all unprepar'd! A rising whirlwind shinies the poles,

As torrents sweep with rapid force, And lightning glares, and thunder rolls. The grave's pale chief pursued his course. The monarch and his train prepare

No human pow'r can or withstand, To range the foul tempestuous air.

Or shun, the conquests of his hand. Straighi to his shoulders he applies

Oh! could the prince of upright mind, Two pinions of enormous size!

And as a guardian angel kind, Methought I saw the ghastly form

With ev'ry heart-felt worth beside, Stretch his black wings and inount the storm . Turn the keen shaft of death aside, When Fancy's airy horse I strode,

When would the brave Augustus join And join'd the army on the road.

The ashes of his sacred line! As the grin conqu’ror urg'd his way,

But Death maintains no partial war; le scatur'd terror and dismay.

He mocks a sultan or a czar:
Thousands a pensive aspect wore,

He lays his iron hand on all —
Thou ands who sneer'd at death before. Yes, kings, and sons of kings, must fall!
Life's records rise on ev'ry side,

A truth Britannia lately felt,
And conscience spreads those volumes wicle ; And trembled to her centre -- *!
Which faithful registers were brought

Could ablest statesmen ward the blon,
By wale-eyed Feer and busy Thought.

Would Grenville own this common foe?
Thaç dults which artful inen conceal, For greater talents ne'er were known
Stand here, engrar'd with pen of steel, To grace the fav'rite of a throne.
Bv Conscience, that impartial scribe!

Could gevins save-wit, learning, fireWhose honest palm disclains a bribe:

Tell me would Chesterfield expire? Their actions all like critics view,

Say, would his glorious sun decline, And all like faithful critics 100.

And set like your pale star or mine? As Guilt had stain'd life's various stage,

Could er'ry virtue of the sky What tears of blood bedewid the page! Would Herring t, Butler 1, Secker S, dic?

• Referring to the death of his late Royal Highness Frederic Prince of Wales.

Archbishop of Canterbury. Late Bishop of Durham, Bishop of Oxford.

[ocr errors]

Why this address to peerage all ?

Tho' deeply read in Plato's school, Untitled Allen's virtue's call!

• With all his knowledge, is a fool. If Allen's worth demands a place,

• Proclaim the iruth - Say, what is man? Lords with your leave, 'tis no disgrace. • His body from the dust began; Though high your ranks in heralds rolls, • And when a few short years are o'er, Know, Virtue too ennobles souls.

• The crumbling fabric is no inore. By her that private nian's renown'd

• Butwhencethesoul-From heaven it came! Who pours a thousand blessings round.

O prize this intellectual flame! While Allen takes Affliction's part,

· This nobler self with rapture scan; And draws out all his gen'rous heart,

· "Tis mind alone which makes the man. Anxious so seise the fleeting day,

• Trust me, there's not a joy on earth, Lest unimprov'd it steal away;

But from the soul derives its birth, While thus he walks with jealous strife, * Ask the young rake, (he'll answer right), Through goodness, as he walks through life ; Who treats by day and drinks by night, Shall not I mark his radiant path?

• What makes his entertainment shine? Rise, Muse, and sing the Man of Bath!

• What gives the relish to his wine? Publish abroad, could goodness save,

• He'll tell thee (it he scorns the bcast) Allen would disappoint the grave;

· That social pleasures form the feast. Translated to the heavenly shore,

· The charms of beauty too shall cloy, Like Enoch, when his walk was o'er.

• Unless the soul exalts the joy. Nor Beanty's pow'rful pleas restrain : · The mind must animate the face, Her pleas are triling, weak, and vain;

• Or cold and tasteless ev'ry grace. For women pierce with shrieks the air, | What! must the soul her pow'rs dispense, Smite the bare breasts, and rend their hair; 1" To raise and swell the joys of sense? All have a doleful tale to tell,

• know, too, the joys of sense control How friends, sons, daughters, husbands fell! • And clog the motions of the soul; Alas! is life our fav'rite theme

• Forbid her pinions to aspire, 'Tis all a vain or painful dream;

| Damp and impair her native fire; A dream which fools or cowards prize,

· And sure as sense, that tyrant! reigns, But slighted by the brave or wise.

• She holds the emipress Soul in chains : Who lives, for others ills must groan,

• Inglorious bondage to the mind, Or bleed for sorrow's of his own;

· Heaven born, sublime, and unconfin'd! Must journey on with weeping eye,

She's independent, fair, and great, Then pant, sink, agonize, and die.

l' And justly clains a large estate ; " And shall a man arraign the skies,

· She asks no borrow'd aids to shine; • Because man lives, and mourns, and dies ?' • She boasts within a golden mine; • Impatient Reptile! Reason cried ;

" But, like the treasures of Peru, "Arraign thy passion and thy pride;

« ller wealth lies derp, and far from view. • Retire, and cominune with thy heart, • Say, shall the man who knows her worth, • Ask whence thou cam'st, and what thou art; · Débase her dignity and birth? • Explore thy body and thy mind,

· Or e'er repine at Heaven's decree, • Thy station too, why here assign'd.

1. Who kindly gave her leave to be; • The search shall teach thee life to prize, 1. Calld her from nothing into day, • And inake thee grateful, good, and wise. • And built her tenement of clay? • Why do you roam to foreign climes, 1. Hear and accept me for your guide • To study nations, modes, and times ; : • (Reason shall ne'er desert your side). • A science often dearly bought,

• Who listens to my wiser voice, • And ofien what avails you nought?

· Can't but applaud his Maker's choice ; • Go, man, and act a wiser part,

· Pleas'd with that first and sov'reign cause, • Study the science of your heart :

• Pleas'd with unerring Wisdom's laws: • This home philosophy, you know,

Secure, since sov'reign goodness reigns; • Was priz'd some thousand years ago *. . Secure, since sov'reign pow'r obtains. • Then why abroad a frequent guest ?

- With curious eyes review thy frame; • Why such a stranger to your breast?

* This science shall direct thy claim. • Why turn so many volumes o'er,

• Dost thou indulge a double view, « Till Dodsley can supply no more !

A long, long life, and happy too? « Not all the volumes on thy shelf

• Perhaps a farther boon you crave • Are worth that single volume, Self:

• To lie down easy in the grave. • For who, this sacred book declines,

** Know, then, my dictates must prevail, Howe'er in other arts he shines,

I. Or surely each fond wish shall fail. • Tho'smit with Pindar's noble rage,

• Come, then, is happiness thy aim ? , Or vers'd in Tully's manly page;

Let mental joys be all thy game. • Know thyself; a celebrated saying of Chilo, one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece.

Repeat • Repeat the search, and mend your pace, (The joys above are understood • The capture shall reward the chace. • And relish'd only by the good). • Let er'ry minute, as it springs,

I'Who shall assume ihis guardian care? Convey fresh knowledge on its wings; • Who shall secure their birthright there! Let ev'ry minute, as it fies,

Souls are my chargelo me 'tis given * Record thee good, as well as wise.

i To train them for their native heaven • While such pursuits your thoughts engage, • Know, thenWho bow the early knee, • In a few years you 'll live an age.

' And give the willing heart to me; • Who measures life by rolling years ? 1. Who wisely, when temptation waits, • Fools measure by revolving spheres.

• Elude her frauds, and spurn her baits ; • Go thou, and fetch th’unerring rule

• Who dare to own my injur'd cause, Froin Virtue's and from Wisdom's school. 1. Tho' fools deride iny sacred laws; • Who well inproves life's shortest day

Or scorn to deviate to the wrong, • Will scarce regret its setting ray;

Tho' Persecution lifts her thong; • Contented with his share of light,

• Tho' all the sons of hell conspire Nor fear nor wish th' approach of night : To raise the stake, and light the fire* And when disease assaults the heart,

• Know, that for such superior souls • When sickness triumphs over art,

• There lies a bliss beyond the poles; • Reflection on a life well past

1. Where spirits shine with purer ray, Shall prove a cordial to the last :

1. And brighten to meridian day; • This med'cine shall the soul sustain, • Where love, where boundlessFriendship rules, "And soften or suspend the pain ;

1 (No friends that change, no lore that cools!) * Shall break Death's fell tyrannic pow's, Where rising floods of knowledge roll, And calm the troubled dying hour.'

• And pour, and pour upon the soul! Blest rules of cool prudential age!

• But where 's i he passage to the skies? I listen'd and rever'd the sage,

· The road thro' Death's black valley lies. When, lo! a forin divinely bright

· Nay, do not shudder at my talt; Descends, and bursts upon my sight;

• Tho' dark the shades, yet safe the vale. A seraph of illustrious birth

• This path the best of men have trod, (Religion was her name on earth),

• And who 'd decline the road to God? Supremely sweet her radiant face,

• Oh! 't is a glorious boon to die! And blooming with celestial grace!

This favor can't be priz'd 100 high.' Three shining seraphs form'd her train,

While thus she spake, ny looks express'd Wav'd their light wings, and reach'd the plain, The raptures kindling in my breast: Faith, with sublime and piercing eye,

My soul a fix'd attention gave; And pinions flutt'ring for the sky;

When the stern monarch of the grave Here Hope, that smiling angel, stands, With haughty strides approach'd - amaz'd And golden anchors grace her hands;

I stood, and trembled as I gaz'd There Charity in rohes of white

The seraph calm'd each anxious fear, Fairest and fáv'rite maid of light!

And kindly wip'd the falling icar; The seraph spake - " 'Tis reason's part Then hastend with expanded wing To govern and to guard the heart;

To meet the pale, terrific king • To lull the wayward soul to rest,

But now what milier scenes arise! • When hopes and fears distract the breast; | The tyrant droops his hostile guise : • Reason inay claim this doubtful strife, He seems a youth divinely fair; * And steer thy bark thro' various life.

In graceful ringlers waves his hair; • Bat when the storms of Death are nigh, | His wings their whitning plumes display, • Aud midnight darkness veils the sky, His burnish'd plumes reflect the day; Shall reason then direct thy sail,

Light Hows his shining azure vest, • Disperse the clouds, or sink the gale ?

And all the angel stands confest. * Stranger, this skill alone is mine,

I view'd the change with sweet surprise, • Skill that transcends his scanty line.

And, oh! I panted for the skies; • That hoary sage has counsell'd right Thank'd Heaven that e'er I drew my breath, Be wise, nor'scorn his friendly lighi. And triuniph'd in the thoughts of Death. • Revere thyself -- thou 'rt near allied • To angels on thy better side. • How various e'er their ranks or kinds,

FABLES by the late. Mr. Gay. • Angels are but unbodied minds :

Introduction to the fables. Part the First • When the partition walls decay, · Men emerge angels from their clay;

$ 90. The Shepherd and the Philosopher. · Yes, when the frailer body dies,

Remote from cities liv'd a swain, • The soul asserts her kindred skies :

Unvex'd with all the cares of gain; • But minds, tho' sprung from heavenly race,

| His head was silver'd o'er with age, • Must first be tutor'd for the place:

| And long experience made hiin sage;

In

In sumıner's heat, and winter's cold,

| Tlus ev'ry object of crcalinn lle fed his Hock, and pennd the fold;

| Can furnish hunts to contemplation; His hours in cheerful labor Alcw,

ind from the most minute and mean Nor envy nor ambition knew';

A virmous mind cau morals glean.
His wisdom and his honest fame

Thy faine is jusi, the Sage replies;
Through all the country rais:d his name. | Thy virtue proves thee truly wise.
A deep Philosopher (whose rules

Pride often guides the author's pen;
Of moral life were drawn from schools) Books as afiecied are as men:
The shepherd's hoinely cottage sought,

But he who studies nature's laws,
And thus explor'd his reach of thought: Proin certain truth his maxims draw's;

Whence is thy learning? Hath thy toil And those, without our schools, sullice
O'er books consum d the midnight oil? To make men moral, good, and wise.
Hast thou old Greece and Rome survey'd,
And the vast sense of Plato weigh'd ?
Hatlı Socrates thy soul refin'd ?

To his Highness William Duke of Cumberland.
And hast thou fathom'd Tully's mind?
Or, like the wisc Ulysses, thrown

$91. FABLE I. The Lion, the Tiger,

and the Trareller. By various fates on realms unknown1, Hast thou virough many cilies stray'd,

Accept, young Prince, the moral lay, Their customs, laws, and manners weigh'd? And in these tales mankind survey; The Shepherd modestly replied:

With early virtues plant your breast, I ne'er the paths of learning tried :

The specious arts of vice detest.
Nor have I roam'd in foreign parts

Princes, like beauties, from their youth
To read mankind, their laws, and arts; Are strangers to the voice of truth:
For man is practis'd in disguise,

Learn to contenin all praise betimes; lle cheats the most discerning (yes :

For flattery 's the nurse of crimes. Who by shat search shall wiser grow,

Friendship by sweet reproof is shown When ire ourselves can never know?

(A virtue never near a throne); The little knowledge I have gaindi,

In courts such freedom must olend, Il as all from simple nature craind;

There none presumes to be a friend. Hence my life's maxims took their rise, To those of your exalled station Hence grew my settled hate to vicc.

Each courtier is a dedication. The daily labors of the Ice

Must I 100 flatter like the rest, Avake my soul to industry.

And turn iny morals to a jest? Who can observe the carcsul ant,

The Muse disdains to steal from those And not provide for fusure want?

Who thrive in courts by fulsonie prose My dog (the trustiest of his kind)

But shall I hide your real praise, With gratitude inflames my mind:

Or tell you what a nation says? I mark his true, bis faithful way,

They in your infant bosom trace And in my service copy Tray,

The virtues of your roval race, In constancy and nuptial love,

In the fair dawning of your mind I learu my duty from the dove.

Discern you gen'rous, mild, and kind. The hen, who from the chilly air

They see you grieve to hear distrezs, With pious wing protects her care,

And pant already to redress. And ev'ry fowl that flies at larys,

Go on, the height of good attain, Instructs nie in a parent's charge.

Nor let a nation hope in vain. : From nature !00 I take my rule,

For hence we justly may presage To shun contempt and ridicule :

The virtues of a riper age. I nerer, with important air,

True courage shall your bosom fire, lo conversation ovcrbcar.

And future actions own your sire, (an grave and formal pass for wise,

Cowards are cruel, but the brave, When men the solemn bour despise?

Love mercy, and delight to save. My tongue within my lips I rein,

A Tiger, roaming for his prey, For who talks much inust talk in vain : Sprung on a Trav'ller in the way; Wc from the wordy torrent fly;

The prostrate game a Lion spies, .. Who listens to the chatt'ring pive?

And on the greedy tyrant Bies: Nor would I, with felonious fight,

With mingled roar resound, the wood,
By stealth invade my neighbour's right; Their teeth, their claws, distil with blood -
Rapacious animals we hate :

Till, vanquishi'd by the Lion's strength,
Kiica, hawks, and wolves, deserve their fate The spotted foe extenris bis length.
Do not we just abhorrence find

The man besought the shaggy lord,
Again the toad and serpent kind?

And on his knees for life implor'd; Buit envy, calumny, and spite

His life the gen'rous hero gare: Bcar stronger venom in thcir bitc.

Together walking to his cave,

The

« PreviousContinue »