Page images
PDF
EPUB

Boy, let yon liquid ruby flow,
And bid thy pensive heart be glad,
Whate'er the frowning zealots say:
Tell them, their Eden cannot show
A stream so clear as Rocnabad,
A bower so sweet as Mosellay.

0! when these fair perfidious maids,
Whose eyes our secret haunts infest,
Their dear destructive charms display;
Each glance my tender breast invades,
And robs my wounded soul of rest,
As Tartars seize their destin'd prey.

In vain with love our bosoms glow:
Can all our tears, can all our sighs,
New lustre to those charms impart?
Can cheeks, where living roses blow,
Where nature spreads her richest dyes,
Require the borrow'd gloss of art?

Speak not of fate: ah! change the theme,
And talk of odours, talk of wine,
Talk of the flowers that round us bloom:
'Tis all a cloud, 'tis all a dream;
To love and joy thy thoughts confine,
Nor hope to pierce the sacred gloom.

Beauty has such resistless power,
That even the chaste Egyptian dame

Sigh'd for the blooming Hebrew boy:
For her how fatal was the hour,
When to the banks of Nilus came
A youth so lovely and so coy!

But ah! sweet maid, my counsel hear
(Youth should attend when those advise
Whom long experience renders sage):
While music charms the ravish'd ear;
While sparkling cups delight our eyes,
Be gay; and scorn the frowns of age.

What cruel answer have I heard !
And yet, by heaven, I love thee still:
Can aught be cruel from thy lip?
Yet say, how fell that bitter word
From lips which streams of sweetness fill,
Which nought but drops of honey sip?

Go boldly forth, my simple lay,
Whose accents flow with artless ease,
Like orient pearls at random strung:
Thy notes are sweet, the damsels say;
But O! far sweeter, if they please
The nymph for whom these notes are sung.

)

AN ODE.

IN IMITATION OF ALCÆUS.

What constitutes a State ?
Not high-rais'd battlement or labour'd mound,

Thick wall or moated gate;
Not cities proud with spires and turrets crown'd;

Not bays and broad-arm'd ports,
Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride,

Not starr'd and spangled courts,
Where low-brow'd baseness wafts perfume to pride.

No :-men, high-minded men,
With pow’rs as far above dull brutes endued

In forest, brake, or den,
As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude;

Men, who their duties know,
But know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain,

Prevent the long-aim'd blow,
And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain :

These constitute a State,
And sov'reign Law, that state's collected will,

O'er thrones and globes elate
Sits Empress, crowning good, repressing ill;

Smit by her sacred frown
The fiend Discretion like a vapour sinks,

And e'en th' all-dazzling Crown
Hides his faint rays, and at her bidding shrinks.

Such was this heav'n-lov'd isle,
Than Lesbos fairer and the Cretan shore !

No more shall Freedom smile?
Shall Britons languish, and be men no more?

Since all must life resign,
Those sweet rewards, which decorate the brave,

'Tis folly to decline,
And steal inglorious to the silent grave.

SAMUEL BISHOP.

BORN 1731.-DIED 1795.

SAMUEL BISHOP was a clergyman, and for many years the head master of Merchant Tailors' school. He wrote several essays and poems for the Public Ledger; and published a volume of Latin pieces, entitled “ Feriæ Poeticæ.” A volume of his sermons, and two volumes of his poetry, were published after his death.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

A KNIFE,” dear girl, “ cuts love," they say!
Mere modish love, perhaps it may-
-For any tool, of any kind,
Can separate—what was never join'd.

The knife, that cuts our love in two,
Will have much tougher work to do;
Must cut your softness, truth, and spirit,
Down to the vulgar size of merit ;
To level yours, with modern taste,
Must cut a world of sense to waste;
And from your single beauty's store,
Clip, what would dizen out a score.

That self-same blade from me must sever
Sensation, judgment, sight, for ever:
All memory of endearments past,
All hope of comforts long to last;
All that makes fourteen years

with

you,
A summer;-and a short one too ;-
All, that affection feels and fears,
When hours without

you

like years.
Till that be done, (and I'd as soon
Believe this knife will chip the moon,)
Accept my present, undeterr'd,
And leave their proverbs to the herd.

If in a kiss_delicious treat!
Your lips acknowledge the receipt,
Love, fond of such substantial fare,
And proud to play the glutton there,
All thoughts of cutting will disdain,
Save only—“ cut and come again!"

seem

« PreviousContinue »