« AnteriorContinua »
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere, Heaven did a recompence as largely send; He gave to Mis'ry, all he had, a tear, He gain'd from Heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose) The bosom of his Father and his God.
HYMN to ADVERSITY.
DAUGHTER of JovE, relentless pow'r,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron-scourge and tort'ring hour
The bad affright, afflict the best!
Bound in thy adamantine chain,
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
And purple tyrants vainly groan
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and alone.
When first thy sire to send on earth
Virtue, his darling child, design'd,
To thee he gave the heav'nly birth,
And bade to form her infant-mind.
Stern, rugged nurse! thy rigid lore
With patience many a year she bore :)
What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' woe
Scar'd at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
And leave us leisure to be good.
Light they disperse, and with them go
The summer-friend, the flatt'ring foe;
By vain Prosperity receiv'd,
To her they vow their truth, and are again believ'd.
Wisdom, in sable garb array'd,
Immers'd in rapt'rous thought profound,
And Melancholy, silent maid
With leaden eye, that loves the ground,
Still on thy solemn steps attend:
Warm Charity, the gen'ral friend,
With Justice, to herself severe,
And Pity, dropping soft the sadly pleasing tear.
Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head,
Dread Goddess, lay thy chast'ning hand!
Not in thy Gorgon-terrors clad,
Nor circled with the vengeful band,
(As by the impious thou art seen)
With thund'ring voice, and threat'ning mien,
With screaming Horror's funeral cry,
Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty.
Thy form benign, oh Goddess! wear,
Thy milder influence impart;
Thy philosophic train be there,
To soften, not to wound my heart.
The gen'rous spark extinct revive,
Teach me to love and to forgive,
Exact my own defects to scan,
What others are, to feel, and know myself a man.
ODE on a distant Prospect of ETON COLLEGE.
YE distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the wat'ry glade,
Where grateful science still adores
Her HENRY'S holy shade;
ye that from the stately brow Of WINDSOR's heights th' expanse below
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,
Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among
Wanders the hoary Thames along
Iis silver-winding way.
Ah happy hills, ah pleasing shade, Ah fields belov'd in vain,
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,
A stranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales, that from ye blow,
A momentary bliss bestow;
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seem to soothe,
And, redolent of joys and youth,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, father THAMES, (for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race,
Disporting on thy margent green,
The paths of pleasure trace,)
Who foremost now delights to cleave
With pliant arms thy glassy wave?
The captive linnet which enthral ?
What idle progeny
To chase the rolling circle's speed,
Or urge the flying ball?
While some, on earnest business bent, Their murm'ring labours ply,
'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint To sweeten liberty:
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry;
Still as they run, they look behind,
They hear a voice in ev'ry wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs, by fancy fed,
Less pleasing when possess'd;
The tear forgot as soon as shed,
The sunshine of the breast:
Theirs buxom health of rosy hue,
Wild wit, invention ever new,
And lively chear, of vigour born;
The thoughtless day, the easy night,
he spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
And black misfortune's baleful train!
Ah! shew them where in ambush stand,
To seize their prey, the murth'rous band!
Ah, shew them they are men!
These shall the fury-passions tear,
The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful anger, pallid fear,
And shame that sculks behind;
Or pining love shall waste their youth,
Or jealousy with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart,
And envy wan, and faded care,
Grim-visag'd comfortless despair,
And sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning infamy.
The stings of falsehood those shall try,
And hard unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
And keen remorse, with blood defil'd;
And moody madness, laughing wild
Amidst severest woe.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
A grisly troop are seen,
The painful family of death,
More hideous than their queen:
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every labouring sinew strains,
Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo, poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand,
And slow-consuming age.
To each his suff'rings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan;
The tender for another's pain,
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! why should they know their fate!
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies.
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
'Tis folly to be wise.
ODE on the DEATH of a FAVOURITE CAT,
Drowned in a Tub of Gold-Fishes.
'Twas on a lofty vase's side,
Where China's gayest art had dy'd
The azure flowers that blow;
Demurest of the Tabby kind,
The pensive Selima reclin'd,
Gaz'd on the lake below.
Her conscious tail her joy declar'd;
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
The coat that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She saw; and purr'd applause.
Still had she gaz'd: but 'midst the tide,
Two beauteous forms were seen to glide,
The Genii of the stream;
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue
Through richest purple to the view
Betray'd a golden gleam.
The hapless nymph with wonder saw:
A whisker first and then a claw,
With many an ardent wish,
She stretch'd in vain to reach the prize :
What female heart can gold despise ?
What cat's averse to fish?
Presumptuous maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between;
(Malignant Fate sat by and smil'd)
The slipp'ry verge her feet beguil'd,
She tumbled headlong in.
Eight times emerging from the flood
She mew'd to every wat'ry god,
Some speedy aid to send.
No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd:
Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard.
A fav'rite has no friend!