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Thrice welcome then! for many a long
And joyless year have I,
Beneath a wintry sky.
Who only need'st to sing,
And every season Spring.
Yet, by his ear directed, guessed
TO WILLIAM WILBERFORCE, ESQ. The country, Wilberforce, with just disdain,
Hears thee by cruel men and impious called
Frantic, for thy zeal to loose the enthralled From exile, public sale, and slavery's chain. Friend of the pour, the wronged, the fetter
galled, Fear not lest labour such as thine be vain.
Thou hast achieved a part; hast gained the ear Of Britain's senate to thy glorious cause; Hope smiles, joy springs, and though cold caution
pause And weave delay, the better hour is near
That shall remunerate thy toils severe By peace for Afric, fenced with British laws. Enjoy what thou hast won, esteem and love From all the just on earth, and all the blest above.
MORAL. Beware of too sublime a sense Of your own worth and consequence. The man who dreams himself so great, And his importance of such weight, That all around in all that's done Must move and act for him alone, Will learn in school of tribulation The folly of his expectation.
TO THE NIGHTINGALE,
PRINTED IN THE NORTHAMPTON MERCURY. To purify their wine some people bleed A lamb into the barrel, and succeed; No nostrum, planters say, is half so good To make fine sugar, as a negro's blood. Now lambs and negroes both are harmless things, And thence perhaps the wondrous virtue springs. 'Tis in the blood of innocence alone Good cause why planters never try their own.
WHICH THE AUTHOR HEARD SING ON NEW-YEAR'S
TO DR. AUSTIN,
OF CECIL-STREET, LONDON.
WHENCE is it, that amazed I hear
From yonder withered spray, This foremost morn of all the year,
The melody of May? And why, since thousands would be proud
Of such a favour shown,
To witness it alone?
For that I also long
Though not like thee in song?
Of some divine command, Commissioned to presage a course
Of happier days at hand?
Austin! accept a grateful verse from me, The poet's treasure, no inglorious fee. Loved by the Muses, thy ingenuous mind Pleasing requital in my verse may find; Verse oft has dashed the scythe of Time aside; Immortalizing names which else had died. And O! could I command the glittering wealth With which sick kings are glad to purchase
Yet, if extensive fame and sure to live,
Friend of my friend!* I love thee, tho' unknown,
Since therefore I seem to incur
No danger of wishing in vain,
I will e'en to my wishes again
And now I will try with another,
How soon I can make her a mother,
ADDRESSED TO WILLIAM HAYLEY, ESQ.
TO GEORGE ROMNEY, ESQ.
On his picture of me in crayons, drawn at Eartham in the
61st year of my age, and in the months of August and Sep
And I had purposed ne'er to go in quest Romney expert, infallibly to trace
But thou hast won me: nor is God my foe, And semblance, but, however faintly shown,
Sent thee to mitigate the dreadful blow. With strokes that time ought never to erase,
My brother, by whose sympathy I know Thou hast so penciled mine, that though I own Thy true deserts infallibly to scan,
The subject worthless, I have never known Not more t'admire the bard than love the man. The artist shining with superior grace.
But this I mark-that symptoms none of wo
In thy incomparable work appear.
Well, I am satisfied it should be so,
Since, on maturer thought, the cause is clear;
For in my looks what sorrow couldst thou see
When I was Hayley's guest, and sat to thee?
And poets are oracles too.
ON RECEIVING HAYLEY'S PICTURE.
In language warm as could be breathed or penned,
Thy picture speaks th' original, my friend,
Not by those looks that indicate thy mindSuch prophecy some may despise,
They only speak thee friend of all mankind;
Expression here more soothing still I see,
That friend of all a partial friend to me.
From a bosom effectually warmed
ON A PLANT OF VIRGIN'S BOWER.
DESIGNED TO COVER A GARDEN-SEAT.
Turive, gentle plant! and weave a bower
For Mary and for me,
And deck with many a splendid flower
Thy foliage large and free.
Thou cam’st from Eartham, and wilt shade
(If truly I divine)
Some future day th' illustrious head
Lady Throckmorton. Of Him who made thee mine.
Should Daphne show a jealous frown,
And envy seize the bay, Affirming none so fit to crown
Such honoured brows as they. Thy cause with zeal we shall defend,
And with convincing power; For why should not the virgin's friend
Be crowned with virgin's bower ?
But I am bankrupt now; and doomed henceforth
To drudge, in descant dry, on others' lays; Bards, I acknowledge, of unequalled worth!
But what is commentator's happiest praise !
That he has furnished lights for other eyes, Which they, who need them, use, and then despise.
ON A SPANIEL, CALLED BEAU,
KILLING A YOUNG BIRD.
A SPANIEL, Beau, that fares like you,
Well-fed, and at his ease, Should wiser be than to pursue
Each trifle that he sees.
TO MY COUSIN, ANNE BODHAM,
MADE BY HERSELF.
Than plaything for a nurse,
I thank thee for my purse.
For richest rogues to win it;
But you have killed a tiny bird,
Which flew not till to-day,
Forbidding you the prey.
And ease a doggish pain,
You left where he was slain.
Thy spirits have a fainter flow,
My Mary! For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil The same kind office for me still, Thy sight now seconds not thy will,
My Mary! But well thou playd’st the housewife's part, And all thy threads with magic art, Have wound themselves about this heart,
My Mary! Thy indistinct expressions seem Like language uttered in a dream; Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,
My Mary! Thy silver locks once auburn bright, Are still more lovely in my sight Than golden beams of orient light,
My Mary! For could I view nor them nor thee, What sight worth seeing could I see ? The sun would rise in vain for me,
My Mary! Partakers of thy sad decline, Thy hands their little force resign; Yet gently prest, press gently mine,
What portents, from that distant region, ride,
woes; And these, scarce less calamitous than those. What view we now? More wondrous still ? Be
hold! Like burnished brass they shine, or beaten gold; And all around the pearl's pure splendour show, And all around the ruby's fiery glow. Come they from India, where the burning earth, All bounteous, gives her richest treasures birth; And where the costly gems, that beam around The brows of mightiest potentates, are found ? No. Never such a countless dazzling store Had left, unseen,
the Ganges' peopled shore. Rapacious hands, and ever-watchful eyes, Should sooner far have marked and seized the
prize. Whence sprang they then? Ejected have they come From Ves'vius', or from Ætna's burning womb ? Thus shine they self-illumed, or but display
The borrowed splendours of a cloudless day? With borrowed beams they shine. The gales,
Their lofty summits crested high, they show,
The rest is ice. Far hence, where most, severe,
Their infant growth began. He bade arise Their uncouth forms, portentous in our eyes. Oft as dissolved by transient suns, the snow Left the tall cliff, to join the flood below; He caught, and curdled with a freezing blast The current, ere it reached the boundless waste. By slow degrees uprose the wondrous pile, And long successive ages rolled the while; Till, ceaseless in its growth, it claimed to stand, Tall as its rival mountains on the land. Thus stood, and unremoveable by skill, Or force of man, had stood the structure still; But that, though firmly fixed, supplanted yet By pressure of its own enormous weight, It left the shelving beach—and, with a sound That shook the bellowing waves and rocks around Self-launched, and swiftly, to the briny wave, As if instinct with strong desire to lave, Down went the ponderous mass. So bards of old, How Delos swam th’ Ægean deep, have told. But not of ice was Delos. Delos bore Herb, fruit, and flower. She, crowned with laurel,
They left their outcast mate behind,
And, such as storms allow,
Delayed not to bestow;
Their haste himself condemn,
Alone could rescue them;
In ocean self-upheld:
His destiny repelled :
His comrades, who before
Could catch the sound no more.
Even under wintry skies, a summer smile ; And Delos was Apollo's favourite isle. But, horrid wanderers of the deep, to you, He deems cimmerian darkness only due. Your hated birth he deigned not to survey, But, scornful, turned his glorious eyes away, Hence! seek your home, nor longer rashly dare The darts of Phæbus, and a softer air ; Lest ye regret, too late, your native coast, In no congenial gulf for ever lost!
No poet wept him: but the page
Of narrative sincere,
Is wet with Anson's tear.
I therefore purpose not, or dream,
Descanting on his fate,
A more enduring date.
Th’ Atlantic billows roared,
Washed headlong from on board,
Than he, with whom we went,
With warmer wishes sent.
Expert to swim he lay;
Or courage die away;
To check the vessel's course,
That, pitiless, perforce,
No voice divine the storm allayed
No light propitious shone; When, snatched from all effectual aid,
We perished each alone: But I beneath a rougher sea, And whelmed in deeper gulfs than he.
Translations front Vincent Bourne
I. THE GLOW-WORM.
BENEATH the hedge, or near the stream,
A worm is known to stray; That shows by night a lucid beam,
Which disappears by day.