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Ravensworth, Yorkshire. 1738-1771.
The Monodies of this writer upon his Wife and Child are
well known. What other misfortunes he suffered besides
their deaths, were occasioned by his own follies and vices. His first poem was published under the name of W. Sey.
An Evening Address to a Nightingale.
Sweet bird! that kindly perching near,
Pourest thy plaints melodious in mine ear,
Thanks for thy sorrow-soothing strain :-
Else why so feelingly complain,
That oft enamour'd on thy strains has hung ?
Or has the cruel hand of fate
Alas, for BOTH, I weep
And fill my doating eyes with frequent tears, At once the source of rapture and distress,
The flattering prop of my declining years! In vain from death to rescue I essay'd,
By every art that science could devise; Alas! it languish'd for a mother's aid,
And wing'd its flight to seek her in the skies Then O our comforts be the same,
At evening's peaceful hour,
And breathe our sorrows in this lonely bower.
But why, alas ! to thee complain!
The genial warmth of joy-renewing spring
But O for me in vain may seasons roll,
Nought can dry up the fountain of my tears, Deploring still the comfoRT OF MY SOUL,
I count my sorrows by increasing years.
Tell me, thou syren Hope, deceiver, say,
Where is the promised period of my woes? Full three long, lingering years have roll'd away, And yet I weep, a stranger to repose :
O what delusion did thy tongue employ! « That Emma's fatal pledge of love,
“ Her last bequest with all a mother's care, - The bitterness of sorrow should remove, • Soften the horrors of despair,
“ And chear a heart long lost to joy?" How oft, when fondling in mine arms,
Gazing enraptured on its angel-face,
My soul the maze of Fate would vainly trace, And burn with all a father's fond alarms ! And O what flattering scenes had Fancy feign'd,
How did I rave of blessings yet in store ! Till every aching sense was sweetly pain d, And
my full heart could bear, nor tongue could
utter more. “ Just Heaven," I cry'd—with recent hopes elate, “ Yet I will live-will live, thoug Ehmma's “ So long bow'd down beneath the storms of Fate,
“ Yet will I raise my woe-dejected head ! My little Emma, now my ALL,
" Will want a father's care, “ Her looks, her wants my rash resolves recall,
“ And for her sake the ills of life I'll bear: “ And oft together we'll complain,
Complaint, the only bliss my soul can know, “ From me my child shall learn the mournful strain, ** And prattle tales of woe;
" And O in that picious hour,
“ When Fate resigns her persecuting power, “ With duteous zeal her hand shall close,
“ No more to weep-my sorrow streaming eyes, • When death gives misery repose, « And
opes a glorious passage to the skies."
Vain thought! it must not be She too is dead
The flattering scene is o'er
And vengeance can no more.
And none-none left to bear a friendly part !
Or soothe the anguish of an aching heart ! Now ail one gloomy scene, till welcome death,
With len:ent nand (O falsly deem'd severe)