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Thus taste the feast, by nature spread,
Ere youth, and all its joys are fled;
Come, taste with me the balm of life,
Secure from pomp, and wealth, and strife.
I boast whate'er for man was meant,
In health, and Stella, and content;
And scorn! oh! let that scorn be thine!
Mere things of clay that dig the mine.

STELLA IN MOURNING

WHEN lately Stella's form display'd
The beauties of the gay brocade,
The nymphs, who found their pow'r decline,
Proclaim'd her not so fair as fine.
“Fatel snatch away the bright disguise,
And let the goddess trust her eyes.”
Thus blindly pray'd the fretful fair,
And fate malicious heard the pray’r;
But, brighten’d by the sable dress,
As virtue rises in distress,
Since Stella still extends her reign,
Ah! how shall envy sooth her pain ?

Th' adoring youth and envious fair,
Henceforth, shall form one common prayer:
And love and hate, alike, implore
The skies-“That Stella mourn no more."

To STELLA

Not the soft sighs of vernal gales,
The fragrance of the flow'ry vales,

The murmurs of the crystal rill,
The vocal grove, the verdant hill;
Not all their charms, though all unite,
Can touch my bosom with delight.

Not all the gems on India's shore,
Not all Peru's unbounded store,
Not all the power, nor all the fame,
That heroes, kings, or poets claim;
Nor knowledge, which the learn'd approve;
To form one wish my soul can move.
Yet nature's charms allure my eyes,
And knowledge, wealth, and fame I prize;
Fame, wealth, and knowledge I obtain,
Nor seek I nature's charms in vain;
In lovely Stella all combine;
And, lovely Stellal thou art mine.

VERSES

WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OF A GENTLEMAN, TO WHOM

A LADY HAD GIVEN A SPRIG OF MYRTLEW.

What hopes, what terrours, does thy gift create!
Ambiguous emblem of uncertain fate!
The myrtle (ensign of supreme command,
Consign’d by Venus to Melissa's hand)
Not less capricious than a reigning fair,
Oft favours, oft rejects, a lover's pray’r.

w These verses were first printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1768, p. 439, but were written many years earlier. Elegant as they are, Dr. Johnson assured me, they were composed in the short space of five minutes.-N.

In myrtle shades oft sings the happy swain,
In myrtle shades despairing ghosts complain.
The myrtle crowns the happy lovers' heads,
Th' unhappy lovers' graves the myrtle spreads.
Oh! then, the meaning of thy gift impart,
And ease the throbbings of an anxious heart.
Soon must this bough, as you shall fix its doom,
Adorn Philander's head, or grace his tomb.

To LADY FIREBRACE",

AT BURY ASSIZES

At length, must Suffolk beauties shine in vain,
So long renown'd in B-n's deathless strain ?
Thy charms, at least, fair Firebrace, might inspire
Some zealous bard to wake the sleeping lyre;
For, such thy beauteous mind and lovely face,
Thou seem'st at once, bright nymph, a muse and
grace.

To LYCE

AN ELDERLY LADY

YE nymphs, whom starry rays invest,

By flatt'ring poets given;
Who shine, by lavish lovers drest,

In all the pomp of heaven;

* This lady was Bridget, third daughter of Philip Bacon, esq. of Ipswich, and relict of Philip Evers, esq. of that town. She became the second wife of sir Cordell Firebrace, the last baronet of that name, to whom she brought a fortune of £25,000, July 26, 1737. Being again left a widow, in 1759, she was a third time married, April 7, 1762, to William Campbell, esq. uncle to the late duke of Argyle, and died July 3, 1782.

Engross not all the beams on high,

Which gild a lover's lays;
But, as your sister of the sky,

Let Lyce share the praise.
Her silver locks display the moon,

Her brows a cloudy show,
Strip'd rainbows round her eyes are seen,

And show'rs from either flow.
Her teeth the night with darkness dies,

She's starr'd with pimples o’er;
Her tongue, like nimble lightning, plies,

And can with thunder roar.

But some Zelinda, while I sing,

Denies my Lyce shines;
And all the pens of Cupid's wing

Attack my gentle lines.
Yet, spite of fair Zelinda's eye,

And all her bards express,
My Lyce makes as good a sky,

And I but flatter less.

ON THE DEATH OF

MR. ROBERT LEVET',

A PRACTISER IN PHYSICK

CONDEMN'D to hope's delusive mine,

As on we toil, from day to day,

These stanzas, to adopt the words of Dr. Drake, “are warm from the heart; and this is the only poem, from the pen of Johnson, that has been bathed with tears." Levet was Johnson's constant and attentive com

By sudden blasts, or slow decline,

Our social comforts drop away.

Well try'd, through many a varying year,

See Levet to the grave descend, Officious, innocent, sincere,

Of ev'ry friendless name the friend. Yet still he fills affection's eye,

Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind; Nor, letter'd arrogance, deny

Thy praise to merit unrefined. When fainting nature call’d for aid,

And hoy’ring death prepar'd the blow, His vig'rous remedy display'd

The pow'r of art, without the show.

In mis’ry's darkest cavern known,

His useful care was ever nigh, Where hopeless anguish pour'd his groan,

And lonely want retir'd to die.

No summons, mock'd by chill delay,

No petty gain, disdain’d by pride; The modest wants of ev'ry day

The toil of ev'ry day supply’d.

panion, for near forty years; he was a practitioner in physic, among the lower class of people, in London. Humanity, rather than desire of gain, seems to have actuated this single hearted and amiable being; and never were the virtues of charity recorded in more touching strains. “I am acquainted," says Dr. Drake, “with nothing superior to them in the pro ductions of the moral muse." See Drake's Literary Life of Johnson; and Boswell, i. ii. iii. iv.-ED.

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