« PreviousContinue »
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,
And turning from my nurs'ry window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu!
But was it such ?-It was—where thou art gone
Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown.
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,
The parting word shall pass my lips no more!
Thy maidens, griev'd themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return..
What ardently I wish'd, I long believ'd,
And disappointed still, was still deceiv’d.
By expectation ev'ry day beguild,
Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till all my stock of infant sorrows spent,
I learn'd at last submission to my lot,
But though I less deplor'd thee, ne'er forgot.
Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more, Children not thine have trod my nurs’ry floor; And where the gard'ner, Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the publick way, Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapp'd In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet cap, 'Tis now become a hist’ry little known, That once we call’d the past’ral house our own. Short-liv'd possession! but the record fair, That mem'ry keeps of all thy kindness there, Still outlives many a storm, that has effac'd A thousand other themes less deeply trac'd. Thy nightly visits to my chamber made, That thou mightst know me safe and warmly laid ; Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, The biscuit, or confectionary plum, The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glow'd : All this, and more endearing still than all, Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
Ne'er roughen'd by those cataracts and breaks
That humour interpos'd too often makes ;
All this still legible in mem’ry's page,
And still to be so to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honours to thee as my numbers may :
Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,
Not scorn d in Heav'n, though little notic'd here.
Could Time, his flight revers’d, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissu'd flow'rs,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
I prick'd them into paper with a pin,
(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head and smile,)
Could those few pleasant days again appear,
Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?
I would not trust my heart--the dear delight
Seems so to be desir’d, perhaps I might-
But no--what here we call our life is such,
So little to be lov'd, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast, (The storms all weather'd and the ocean cross'd,) Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle, Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile, There sits quiescent on the floods that show Her beauteous form reflected clear below, While airs impregnated with incense play Around her fanning light her streamers gay ; So thou, with sails how swift! hast reach'd the shore, " Where tempests never beat nor billows roar, And thy lov'd consort on the dang’rous tide Of life long since has anchor'd by thy side. But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest, Always from port withheld, always distressid
184 ON THE RECEIPT OF, &c.
Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest-toss'd,
Sails ripp'd, seams op'ning wide, and compass lost,
And day by day some current's thwarting force
Sets me more distant from a prosp'rous course.
Yet O the thought, that thou art safe, and he !
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not, that I deduce my birth
From loins enthron'd, and rulers of the Eartı;
Bat higher far my proud pretensions rise-
The son of parents pass’d into the skies.
And now farewell-Time unrevok'd has run
His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is done,
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem t' have liv'd my childhood o'er again;
To have renew'd the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine ;
And while the wings of Fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimick show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft-
Thyself remov'd, thy pow'r to sooth me left.
WHAT virtue, or what mental grace, But men unqualified and base
Will boast it their possession ? Profusion apes the nobler part Of liberality of heart,
And dulness of discretion.
If ev'ry polish'd gem we find
Illuminating heart or mind,
Provoke to imitation;
No wonder friendship does the same,
That jewel of the purest flame,
Or rather constellation
No knave but boldly will pretend
The requisites that form a friend,
A real and a sound one ;
Nor any fool, he would deceive,
But proves as ready to believe,
And dream that he had found one.
Candid, and generous, and just,
Boys care but little whom they trust,
An errour soon corrected
For who but learns in riper years,
That man, when smoothest he appears,
Is most to be suspected ?
But here again a danger lies,
Lest, having misapplied our eyes,
And taken trash for treasure,
We should unwarily conclude
Friendship a false ideal good,
A mere Utopian pleasure.
An acquisition rather rare
Is yet no subject of despair ;
Nor is it wise complaining,
If either on forbiddden ground,
Or where it was not to be found,
We sought without attaining.
No friendship will abide the test,
That stands on sordid interest,
Or mean self-love erected: Nor such as may awhile subsist, Between the sot and sensualist,
For vicious' ends connected. Who seeks a friend should come dispos'd T' exhihit in full bloom disclos'd
The graces and the beauties,
That form the character he seeks,
For 'tis a union that bespeaks
Mutual attention is implied,
And equal truth on either side,
And constantly supported;
'Tis senseless arrogance t'accuse
Another of sinister views,
Our own as much distorted.
But will sincerity suffice ?
It is indeed above all price,
And must be made the basis ;
But ev'ry virtue of the soul
Must constitute the charming whole,
All shining in their places.
A fretful temper will divide
The closest knot that may be tied,
By ceaseless sharp corrosion ;
A temper passionate and fierce
May suddenly your joys disperse
At one immense explosion.