« PreviousContinue »
'T is woven in the world's great plan,
And fixʼd by Heaven's decree, That all the true delights of man
Should spring from Sympathy.
'Tis nature bids, and whilst the laws
Of nature we retain,
Our self-approving bosom draws
A pleasure from its pain.
Thus grief itself has comforts dear,
The sordid never know;
And ecstasy attends the tear,
When virtue bids it flow.
For when it streams from that pure source,
No bribes the heart can win,
To check, or alter from its course
The luxury within.
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 prayer !
Oh! grant, kind Heaven, to me,
Long as I draw ethereal air,
Sweet Sensibility !
Where'er the heavenly nymph is seen,
With lustre-beaming eye,
A train, attendant on their queen,
(Her rosy chorus,) fly.
The jocund Loves in Hymen's band,
With torches ever bright,
And generous Friendship hand in hand,
With Pity's watery sight.
The gentler Virtues too are join'd,
In youth immortal warm,
The soft relations which combined
Give life her every charm.
The Arts come smiling in the close,
And lend celestial fire ;
The marble breathes, the canvass glows,
The Muses sweep the lyre.
“Still may my melting bosom cleave
To sufferings not my own;
And still the sigh responsive heave,
Where'er is heard a groan.
So Pity shall take Virtue's part,
Her natural ally,
And fashioning my soften'd heart,
Prepare it for the sky.”
This artless vow may Heaven 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 every 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.
THE DOVES. REASONING at every step he treads,
Man yet mistakes his way, While meaner things whom instinct leads
Are rarely known to stray.
One silent eve I wander'd late,
And heard the voice of love;
The turtle thus address'd her mate,
And soothed the listening dove :
Our mutual bond of faith and truth,
No time shall disengage;
Those blessings of our early youth
Shall cheer our latest age.
While innocence without disguise,
And constancy sincere,
Shall fill the circles of those eyes,
And mine can read them there,
Those ills that wait on all below
Shall ne'er be felt by me, Or gently felt, and only so,
As being shared with thee.
When lightnings flash among the trees
Or kites are hovering near,
I fear lest thee alone they seize,
And know no other fear.
"T is then I feel myself a wife,
And press thy wedded side,
Resolved a union form’d for life
Death never shall divide.
But oh! if fickle and unchaste,
(Forgive a transient thought,) Thou couldst become unkind at last,
And scorn thy present lot,
No need of lightnings from on high,
Or kites with cruel beak,
Denied the endearments of thine eye
This widow'd heart would break. Thus sang the sweet sequester'd bird,
Soft as the passing wind; And I recorded what I heard,
A lesson for mankind.
A FABLE. A RAVEN, while with glossy breast Her new-laid eggs she fondly press'd, And on her wicker-work high mounted Her chickens prematurely counted, (A fault philosophers might blame, If quite exempted from the same,)
Enjoy'd at ease the genial day,
'Twas April as the bumpkins say,
The legislature call'd it May:
But suddenly a wind as high
As ever swept a winter sky,
Shook the young leaves about her ears,
And fill'd her with a thousand fears,
Lest the rude blast should snap the bough,
And spread her golden hopes below.
But just at eve the blowing weather
And all her fears were hush'd together :
And now, quoth poor unthinking Raph,
'T is over, and the brood is safe;
(For ravens, though as birds of omen
They teach both conjurers and old women
To tell us what is to befall,
Can't prophesy themselves at all.)
The morning came, when neighbour Hodge,
Who long had mark'd her airy lodge,
And destined all the treasure there
A gift to his expecting fair,
Climb'd like a squirrel to his dray,
And bore the worthless prize away.
"Tis Providence alone secures,
In every change, both mine and yours.
Safety consists not in escape
From dangers of a frightful shape,
An earthquake may be bid to spare
The man that's strangled by a hair.
Fate steals along with silent tread,
Found oftenest in what least we dread,
Frowns in the storm with angry brow,
But in the sunshine strikes the blow.
A COMPARISON. The lapse of time and rivers is the same, Both speed their journey with a restless stream,
The silent pace with which they steal away,
No wealth can bribe, nor prayers persuade to stay,
Alike irrevocable both when past,
And a wide ocean swallows both at last.
Though each resemble each in every part,
A difference strikes at length the musing heart;
Streams never flow in vain; where streams abound,
How laughs the land with various plenty crown'd!
But time, that should enrich the nobler mind,
Neglected, leaves a dreary waste behind.
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.
Sweet stream that winds through yonder glade,
Apt emblem of a virtuous maid-
Silent and chaste she steals along,
Far from the world's gay busy throng,
With gentle yet prevailing force
Intent upon her destined course,
Graceful and useful all she does,
Blessing and blest where'er she goes,
Pure-bosom’d as that watery glass,
And heaven reflected in her face.
SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY ALEXANDER SELKIRK,
DURING HIS SOLITARY A BODE
IN THE ISLAND OF JUAN FERNANDEZ.
I am monarch of all I survey,
My right there is none to dispute,
From the centre all round to the sea,
I am lord of the fowl and the brute.
O solitude! where are the charms
That sages have seen in thy face ?
Better dwell in the midst of alarms,
Than reign in this horrible place.
I am out of humanity's reach,
I must finish my journey alone,