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This moveable structure of shelves,
For its beauty admired and its use, And charged with octavos and twelves,
The gayest I had to produce; Where, flaming in scarlet and gold,
My poems enchanted I view, And hope, in due time, to behold
My Iliad 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 pattern 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.
COMPOSED FOR A MEMORIAL OF
ASHLEY COWPER, ESQ.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER HIS DEATH,
BY HIS NEPHEW WILLIAM OF WESTON.
SONG ON PEACE.
AIR_.“ My fond shepherds of late," &c.
No longer a dream I pursue;
Unattainable treasure, adieu !
In the regions of pleasure and taste;
But have proved thee a vision at last.
The voice of true wisdom inspires ;
And the summit of all our desires.
Peace may be the lot of the mind
That seeks it in meekness and love;
To the glorified spirits above.
AIR—“ The Lass of Pattie's Mill."
How nature seems to smile!
The live-long day beguile.
With open hand she showers
And soothe the silent hours.
Gives nature power to please :
Enlivens all it sees;
Seem bright as smiling May,
As peep of early day.
So beauteously array'd
With wondrous skill display'd,
A dreary wild at best;
And longs to be at rest.
EPITAPH ON JOHNSON.
JANUARY, 1785. Here Johnson lies, a sage by all allow'd, Whom to have bred, may well make England proud ;
Whose prose was eloquence, by wisdom taught,
MISS C ON HER BIRTHDAY.
Disgrace their parent earth,
The day that gave them birth !
Revolving months restore,
And wish her born once more!
When 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 rollid
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 your 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 a 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.
EPITAPH ON A HARE.
Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue,
Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Nor ear heard huntsman's halloo;
Who, nursed with tender care,
Was still a wild Jack hare.
His pittance every night,
And, when he could, would bite.
And milk, and oats, and straw;
With sand to scour his maw.
On pippins' russet peel,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.
Whereon he loved to bound,
And swing his rump around.