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Far be the thought, and far the strain, Which breathes the low desire,
How sweet soe'er the verse complain, Tho' Phoebus string the lyre.
Come then, fair maid (in nature wise)
Who, knowing them, can tell
From gen'rous sympathy what joys
The glowing bosom swell.
In justice to the various pow'rs
Of pleasing, which you share,
Join me, amid your silent hours,
To form the better pray’r.
“Oh if my Sov’reign Author please,
Far be it from my fate,
To live, unblest, in torpid ease,
And slumber on in state.
“What tho' in scaly armour drest,
Indifference may repel
The shafts of woe—in such a breast
No joy can ever dwell.
“'Tis woven in the world's great plan,
And fix'd by Heav'n's decree,
That all the true delights of man
Should spring from Sympathy.
“Peace to the phlegm of sullen elves.
Who, if from labour eased,
Extend no care beyond themselves,
Unpleasing and unpleased.
“Let no low thought suggest the pray'r;
Oh I grant, kind Heaven, to me,
Long as I draw ethereal air
“Still may my melting bosom cleave
To suffrings not my own,
And still the sigh responsive heave,
Where'er is heard a groan.
“So pity shall take Wirtue's part,
Her natural ally,
And fashioning my soften’d heart,
Prepare it for the sky.”
This artless vow may Heav'n receive
And you, fond maid, approve ;
So may your guiding angel give
Whate'er you wish or love.
So may the rosy-finger'd hours
Lead on the various year,
And ev'ry joy, which now is yours,
Extend a larger sphere.
And suns to come, as round they wheel,
Your golden moments bless,
With all a tender heart can feel,
Or lively fancy guess,
4. Yo: told me, I remember, glory built
On selfish principles, is shame and guilt.
The deeds that men admire as half divine,
Stark naught, because corrupt in their design.
Strange doctrine this 1 that without scruple tears
The laurel that the very lightning spares,
Brings down the warrior's trophy to the dust,
And eats into his bloody sword like rust.
B. I grant, that men continuing what they are,
Fierce, avaricious, proud, there must be war,
And never meant the rule should be applied
To him that fights with justice on his side.
And when recording history displays
Feats of renown, though wrought in ancient days,
Tells of a few stout hearts that fought and died
Where duty placed them, at their country's side,
The man that is not moved with what he reads,
That takes not fire at their heroic deeds,
Unworthy of the blessings of the brave,
Is base in kind, and born to be a slave.
But let eternal infamy pursue
The wretch to nought but his ambition true,
Who for the sake of filling with one blast
The post-horns of all Europe, lays her waste.
A. "Tis your belief the world was made for man,
Kings do but reason on the selfsame plan,
Maintaining yours, you cannot their's condemn,
Who think, or seem to think, man made for them,
B. Seldom, alas ! the power of logic reigns
With much sufficiency in royal brains.
Such reasoning falls like an inverted cone,
Wanting its proper base to stand upon.
Man made for kings those optics are but dim
That tell you so—say rather, they for him.
Oh ! bright occasions of dispensing good,
How seldom used, how little understood |
To pour in virtue's lap her just reward,
Keep vice restrain'd behind a double guard;
To quell the faction that affronts the throne,
By silent magnanimity alone;
To nurse with tender care the thriving arts,
Watch every beam philosophy imparts;
To give religion her unbridled scope,
Nor judge by statute a believer's hope ;
With close fidelity and love unfeign'd,
To keep the matrimonial bond unstain'd ;
Coveteous only of a virtuous praise,
His life a lesson to the land he sways;
To touch the sword with conscientious awe,
Nor draw it but when duty bids him draw,
To sheath it in the peace-restoring close,
With joy, beyond what victory bestows—
Blest country ! where these kingly glories shine,
Blest England l if this happiness be thine.
A. Your smooth eulogium, to one crown address'd,
Seems to imply a censure on the rest.
Kings then at last have but the lot of all,
By their own conduct they must stand or fall.
B. True. While they live, the courtly laureate pays
His quit-rent ode, his pepper-corn of praise,
And many a dunce whose fingers itch to write,
Adds, as he can, his tributary mite ; -
A subject's faults, a subject may proclaim,
A monarch's errors are forbidden game.
I pity kings whom worship waits upon
Obsequious, from the cradle to the throne,
Before whose infant eyes the flatt'rer bows,
And binds a wreath about their baby brows.
Whom education stiffens into state,
And death awakens from that dream too late.
If the gilt carriage and the pamper'd steed,
That wants no driving and disdains the lead ;
If guards, mechanically form'd in ranks,
Playing, at beat of drum, their martial pranks;
Should'ring and standing as if struck to stone,
While condescending majesty looks on ;
If monarchy consist in such base things,
Sighing, I say again, I pity kings |
. Thus men whose thoughts contemplative have
On situations that they never felt,
Start up sagacious, cover'd with the dust
Of dreaming study and pedantic rust,
And prate and preach about what others prove,
As if the world and they were hand and glove.
Leave kingly backs to cope with kingly cares,
They have their weight to carry, subjects theirs;
Poets, of all men, ever least regret
Increasing taxes and the nation's debt.
Could you contrive the payment, and rehearse
The mighty plan, oracular, in verse,
No bard, howe'er majestic, old or new,
Should claim my fixt attention more than you.
Or tell me if you can, what pow'r maintains
A Briton's scorn of arbitrary chains
That were a theme might animate the dead,
And move the lips of poets cast in lead.
B. The cause, tho' worth the search, may yet elude
Conjecture and remark, however shrewd.
They take, perhaps, a well-directed aim,
Who seek it in his climate and his frame,
Lib'ral in all things else, yet nature here