Page images




Then, if by gathering woes oppressed

Thou seest fair virtue here encumbered,
Or vice upborne with haughty crest

Amid the sons of glory numbered,
Oh, never lend impatient lips

To question or complaint unholy,
But wait the great Apocalypse
With humble hope and reverence lowly.

Gerald Griffin,
While virtue lends a zest to joy,

And bliss to rapture warms,
Our very tears she turns to smiles,

And every pang disarms.
But vice her foul Circean cup

May medicate in vain:
E'en in her mirth some sorrow lurks,

In all her pleasures, pain.
Since this, with voice from heaven, proclaims

That He that rules above
Doth on the side of virtue stand,
Let fear be lost in love.

C. C. Colton,


Oh, sad vicissitude
Of earthly things! to what untimely end
Are all the fading glories that attend
Upon the state of greatest monarchs brought!
What safety can by policy be wrought,
Or rest be found in fortune's restless wheel.


But there's a sure vicissitude below,
Of light and darkness, happiness and woe;
The dawn of day is an approach to night,
And grief is the conclusion of delight.


Verse sweetens toil, however rude the sound;

All at her work the village maiden sings; Nor, as she turns the giddy wheel around,

Revolves the sad vicissitude of things. Gifford.





VICTORY. 'Tis not victory to win the field, Unless we make our enemies to yield More to our justice, than our force; and so As well instruct, as overcome our foe. Gomersall.

“It was the English,” Kaspar cried,

"Who put the French to rout:
But what they kill'd each other for,

I could not well make out.
But every body said,” quoth he,
“That 't was a famous victory.
They say it was a shocking sight

After the field was won;
For many thousand bodies here

Lay rotting in the sun;
But things like that, you know, must be
After a famous victory.


I LIKE not fair terms, and a villain's mind.

Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix,
Of crooked counsels and dark politics. Pope.

VIOLENCE. THESE violent delights have violent ends, And in their triumph die; like fire and powder, Which as they meet consume. The sweetest honey Is loathsome in its own deliciousness, And in the taste confounds the appetite.Shakspere.

He does mainly vary from my sense,
Who thinks the empire gain'd by violence
More absolute and durable than that
Which gentleness and friendship do create.


[blocks in formation]

VIRTUE. I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind; And would my father had left me no more! For all the rest is held at such a rate, As brings a thousand fold more care to keep, Than in possession any jot of pleasure. Shakspere.

Forgive me this my virtue:
For, in the fatness of these pursy times,
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg;
Yea, curb, and woo, for leave to do him good.

Virtue's a solid rock, whereat being aim'd
The keenest darts of envy, yet unhurt
Her marble hero stands, built of such basis,
While they recoil and wound the shooter's face.

Mortals, that would follow me,
Love virtue: she alone is free:
She can teach you how to climb
Higher than the sphery clime;
Or if virtue feeble were,
Heaven itself would stoop to her. Milion.

Virtue may be assail'd, but never hurt;
Surpris’d by unjust force, but not enthrallid;
Yet even that, which mischief meant most harm,
Shall in the happy trial prove most glory. Milton.

For blessings ever wait on virtuous deeds,
And though a late, a sure reward succeeds.

Each must in virtue strive for to excel;
The man lives twice who lives the first life well.

Shall ignorance of good and ill
Dare to direct th' eternal will?
Seek virtue; and, of that possess'd,
To Providence resign the rest.


[blocks in formation]

Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul.
Is the best gift of heaven: a happiness
That even above the smiles and frowns ot' fate
Exalts great nature's favourites; a wealth
That ne'er encumbers, nor can be transferr’d.

Count all th' advantage prosperous vice attains,
'Tis but what virtue flies from and disdains:
And grant the bad what happiness they would,
One they must want—which is, to pass for good.
O blind to truth, and God's whole scheme below,
Who fancy bliss to vice, to virtue woe!
Who sees and follows that great scheme the best
Best knows the blessing, and will most be blest.

Pope. What nothing earthly gives or can destroy, The soul's calm sunshine, and the heartfelt joy, Is virtue's prize.



The only amaranthine flower on earth
Is virtue.


Virtue on herself relying,

Every passion hushed to rest,
Loses every pain of dying

In the hope of being blest.


Virtue! how many as a lowly thing,

Born of weak folly, scorn thee! but thy name Alone they know; upon thy soaring wing

They 'll fear to mount, nor could thy sacred flame Burn in their baser hearts: the biting thorn,

The flinty crag, flowers hiding, strew thy field; Yet blest is he whose daring bides the scorn

Of the frail, easy herd, and buckles on thy shield. Who says thy ways are bliss, trolls but a lay

To lure the infant; if thy paths, to view, Were always pleasant, crime's worst sons would lay Their daggers at thy feet, and, from mere sloth pursue.

Mrs. Maria Brooks

[blocks in formation]

VISION. THE day seems long, but night is odious; No sleep but dreams; no dreams but visions strange.

Sir P. Sidney. Him God vouchsafed To call by vision from his father's house, Into a land which he will shew him. Milton.

Visions on visions! how the moving throng, These bright remembrances on fancy press Buried enjoyments as I pass! The song Sung in the hushed vale’s verdant loneliness; The storm, the sun, the rainbow, the vain guess Of notes heard in the distance; the advance Of bells upon the wind; the loveliness Of flowers unwithering in the sun's hot glance; The thousand hopes that high in youth's brisk pulses dance.

J. H. Wiffin.

The same—and oh, how beautiful! the same
As memory meets thee through the mist of years!
Love's roses on thy cheek, and feeling's flame
Lighting an eye unchanged in all but tears!
Upon thy severed lips the very smile
Remembered well, the sunlight of my youth;
But gone the shadow that would steal the while
To mar its brightness, and to mock its truth!
Once more I see thee, as I saw thee last,
The lost restored—the vision of the past!

T. K. Hervey.
Then welcome to my lonely hours,

Thou visionary thing,
Come with thy coronal of flowers,

Flowers of a vanished spring;
For gleeful souls let others roam,

But till life's cords untwine,
In my heart's depth shall find a home,

That pensive face of thine. W. Howitt.

« PreviousContinue »