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Herbs and flowers, the beauteous birth
Of the genial womb of Earth,
Suffer but a transient death
From the winter's cruel breath.
Zephyr speaks; serener skies
Warm the glebe, and they arise.
We, alas ! Earth's haughty kings,
We, that promise mighty things,
Losing soon life's happy prime,
Droop and fade in little time;
Spring returns, but not our bloom;
Still 'tis winter in the tomb.
ERE Johnson lies—a sage by all allow'd, Whom to have bred, may well make England proud; Whose prose was eloquence, by wisdom taught, The graceful vehicle of virtuous thought; Whose verse may claim—grave, masculine, and strong, Superior praise to the mere poet's song; Who many a noble gift from Heav'n possess'd, And faith at last, alone worth all the rest. O man, immortal by a double prize, By fame on earth—by glory in the skies
ADDRESSED TO LADY HESKETH.
HIS cap, that so stately appears,
With ribbon-bound tassel on high,
Which seems by the crest that it rears
Ambitious of brushing the sky: This cap to my cousin I owe,
She gave it, and gave me beside, Wreathed into an elegant bow,
The ribbon with which it is tied.
This wheel-footed studying chair,
Contrived both for toil and repose,
Wide-elbow'd, and wadded with hair,
In which I both scribble and doze,
Bright-studded to dazzle the eyes,
And rival in lustre of that
In which, or astronomy lies,
Fair Cassiopeia sat :
These carpets, so soft to the foot,
Caledonia's traffic and pride
Oh spare them, ye knights of the boot,
Escaped from a cross-country ride 1
This table, and mirror within,
Secure from collision and dust,
At which I oft shave cheek and chin,
And periwig nicely adjust :
This movable structure of shelves,
For its beauty admired, and use,
And charged with octavos and twelves,
The gayest I had to produce ;
Where flaming and scarlet and gold,
My poems enchanted I view,
And hope, in due time, to behold
My lliad and Odyssey too:
This china, that decks the alcove,
Which here people call a buffet,
But what the gods call it above,
Has ne'er been reveal'd to us yet :
These curtains, that keep the room warm,
Or cool, as the season demands,
Those stoves that, for patterm and form,
Seem the labour of Mulciber's hands :
All these are not half that I owe
To One, from our earliest youth
To me ever ready to show
Benignity, friendship, and truth;
For Time, the destroyer declared
And foe of our perishing kind,
If even her face he has spared,
Much less could he alter her mind.
Thus compass'd about with the goods
And chattels of leisure and ease,
I indulge my poetical moods
In many such fancies as these ;
And fancies I fear they will seem—
Poets' goods are not often so fine ;
The poets will swear that I dream,
When I sing of the splendour of mine.
HEN a bar of pure silver, or ingot of gold, Is sent to be flatted or wrought into length, It is pass'd between cylinders often, and roll'd In an engine of utmost mechanical strength.
Thus tortured and squeezed, at last it appears
Like a loose heap of ribbon, a glittering show,
Like music it tinkles and rings in o: ears,
And warm'd by the pressure is all in a glow.
This process achieved, it is doom'd to sustain
The thump-after-thump of a gold-beater's mallet,
And at last is of service, in sickness or pain,
To cover a pill from a delicate palate.
Alas for the Poet ! who dares undertake
To urge reformation of national ill—
His head and his heart are both likely to ache
With the double employment of mallet and mill.
If he wish to instruct, he must learn to delight,
Smooth, ductile, and even, his fancy must flow,
Must tinkle and glitter like gold to the sight,
And catch in its progress a sensible glow.
After all he must beat it as thin and as fine
As the leaf that enfolds what an invalid swallows;
For truth is unwelcome, however divine,
And unless you adorn it, a nausea follows.
composFD FOR A MEMORIAL OF ASHLEY COWPER, ESQ., IMMEDIATELY AFTER HIS IDEATH.
AREWELL | endued with all that could
All hearts to love thee, both in youth and age 1
In prime of life, for sprightliness enroll'd
Among the gay, yet virtuous as the old;
In life's last stage (O blessings rarely found !)
Pleasant as youth with all its blossoms crown'd ;
Through every period of this changeful state
Unchanged thyself—wise, good, affectionate
Marble may flatter, and lest this should seem
O'ercharged with praises on so dear atheme,
Although thy worth be more than half supprest,
Hove shall be satisfied, and veil the rest.
A TALE. FOUNDED ON A FACT WHICH HAPPENED IN 1779.
HERE Humber pours his rich commercial stream, There dwelt awretch, who breathed but to blaspheme. In subterraneous caves his life he led, Black as the mine, in which he wrought for bread. When on a day, emerging from the deep, A Sabbath-day (such Sabbaths thousands keep 1) The wages of his weekly toil he bore To buy a cock—whose blood might win him more;