Page images

Bright, at his call, the Age of Men effulg’d,
Of Men on whom late time a kindling eye
Shall turn, and tyrants tremble while they read.
Bring every sweetest flower, and let me strew
The grave where Russel lies; whose temper'd blood,
With calmeft cheerfulness for thee refign’d,
Stain'd the fad annals of a giddy reign ;
Aiming at lawless power, tho' meanly sunk
In loose inglorious luxury. With him
His friend, the BRITISH CASSIUS*, fearless bled;
Of high determin'd spirit, roughly brave,
By ancient learning to th’enlightened love
Of ancient freedom warm’d. Fair thy renown
In awful Sages and in noble Bards ;
Soon as the light of dawning Science spread
Her orient ray, and wak'd the Muses’ song.
Thine is a Bacon; hapless in his choice,
Unfit to stand the civil storm of state,
And thro' the smooth barbarity, of courts,
With firm but pliant virtue, forward still
To urge his course: him for the studious shade
Kind Nature form’d, deep, comprehensive, clear,
Exact, and elegant ; in one rich soul,

[merged small][ocr errors]

PLATO, the STAGYRITE, and TULLY join'd.
The great deliverer he! who from the gloom
Of cloister'd monks, and jargon-teaching schools,
Led forth the true Philosophy, there long
Held in the magic chain of words and forms,
And definitions void: he led her forth,
Daughter of Heaven! that slow-ascending still,
Investigating sure the chain of things,
With radiant finger points to Heaven again.
The generous Ashley* thine, the friend of Man;
Who scann'd his Nature with a brother's eye,
His weakness prompt to shade, to raise his aim,
To touch the finer movements of the mind,
And with the moral beauty charm the heart.
Why need I name thy Boyle, whose pious search
Amid the dark receffes of his works,
The great Creator fought? And why thy Locke,
Who made the whole internal world his own?
Let Newton, pure Intelligence, whom God
To mortals lent, to trace his boundless works
From laws sublimely simple, speak thy fame
In all philosophy. For lofty sense,
Creative fancy, and inspection keen

* ANTONY ASHLEY COOPER, Earl of Shaftesbury,

Thro' the deep windings of the human heart,
Is not wild SHAKESPEARE thine and Nature's boaft?
Is not each great, each amiable Mufe
Of claffic ages in thy Milton met ?
A genius universal as his theme;
Aftonishing as Chaos, as the bloom
Of blowing Eden fair, as Heaven sublime.
Nor shall my verse that elder bard forget,
The gentle Spenser, Fancy's pleafing fon ;
Who, like a copious river, pour'd his song
O’er all the mazes of enchanted ground:
Nor thee, his ancient master, laughing sage,
Chaucer, whose native manners-painting verses
Well-moraliz'd, shines thro' the Gothic cloud
Of time and language o'er thy genius thrown.

May my song foften, as thy DAUGHTERS I,
BRITANNIA, hail; for beauty is their own,
The feeling heart, fimplicity of life,
And elegance, and taste: the faultless form,
Shap'd by the hand of harmony; the cheek,
Where the live crimson, thro' the native white
Soft-shooting, o'er the face diffuses bloom,
And every nameless grace; the parted lip,
Like the red rose-bud moist with morning dew,
Breathing delight ; and, under flowing jet,

Or sunny ringlets, or of circling brown,
The neck slight-shaded, and the swelling breast;
The look resistless, piercing to the soul,
And by the foul inform’d, when drest in love
She fits high-smiling in the conscious eye. t

Island of bliss! amid the subject seas,
That thunder round thy rocky coasts, set up,
At once the wonder, terror, and delight,
Of distant nations; whose remotest shores
Can soon be shaken by thy naval arm;
Not to be shook thyself, but all affaults
Baffling, as thy hoar cliffs the loud sea-wave.

O Thou! by whose almighty Nod the scale
Of empire rises, or alternate falls,
Send forth the saving VIRTUES round the land,
In bright patrol: white Peace, and social Lope;
The tender-looking Charity, intent
On gentle deeds, and shedding tears thro' smiles ;
Undaunted Truth, and Dignity of mind;
Courage compos'd, and keen; found Temperance,
Healthful in heart and look; clear Chastity,
With blushes reddening as she moves along,
Disordered at the deep regard fhe draws;
Rough Industry; Axivity untir’d,
With copious life inform’d, and all awake :

While in the radiant front, superior shines
That first paternal virtue, Public Zeal;
Who throws o'er all an equal wide survey,
And, ever musing on the common weal,
Still labours glorious with some great design. at

Low walks the sun, and broadens by degrees,
Just o'er the verge of day. The shifting clouds
Assembled gay, a richly-gorgeous train,
In all their pomp attend his setting throne.
Air, earth, and ocean smile immense. And now,
As if his weary chariot fought the bowers
Of Amphitritè, and her tending nymphs,
(So Grecian fable fung,') he dips his orb;
Now half-immers’d; and now a golden curve
Gives one bright glance, then total disappears.

For ever running an enchanted round, Paffes the day, deceitful, vain, and void; As fleets the vision o'er the formful brain, This moment hurrying wild th' impaffion'd soul, The next in nothing loft. 'Tis so to him, The dreamer of this earth, an idle blank : A fight of horror to the cruel wretch, Who all day long in fordid pleasure rollid, Himself an useless load, has squander'd vile, Upon his scoundrel train, what might have cheer'd

« PreviousContinue »