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For remembering the bliss
Of beauty's soft Kiss,
EPIGRAM ON HIS MISTAKE IN TRANS
Cowper had sinn'd with some excuse,
If, bound in rhyming tethers,
Of changing ewes for wethers ;*
Or rather bold misnomer,
When he translated Homer.
AN ODE ADDRESSED TO MR. JOHN ROUSE,
LIBRARIAN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD,
ON A LOST VOLUME OF MY POEMS, WHICH HE DESIRED ME TO RRPLACE, THAT HE MIGHT ADD THEM TO MY OTHER WORKS DEPOSITED IN THE LIBRARY.
This Ode is rendered without rhyme, that it might more adequately
represent the original, which, as Milton himself informs us, is of no certain measure. It may possibly for this reason disappoint the reader, though it cost the writer more labour than the translation of any other piece in the whole collection,
My twofold book! single in show,
But double in contents,
* I have heard about my wether mutton from various quarters. It was a blunder hardly pardonable in a man who has lived amid fields and meadows, grazed by sheep, almost these thirty years.
1 have accordingly satirized myself in two stanzas which I composed last night, while I lay awake, tormented with pain, and well dosed with laudanum. If you find them not very brilliant, therefore, you will know how to account for it.- Letter to Joseph Hill, April 15, 1792.
Which, in his early youth,
Or British wilds he roam’d,
By turns the Daunian lute,
Say, little book, what furtive hand
Of my most learned friend,
Of the Aonian choir,
Secure to be admired ?
Now what god, or demigod,
(If our afflicted land
Of her degenerate sons) Shall terminate our impious feuds, And discipline, with hallow'd voice, recall ?
Recall the Muses too,
Driven from their ancient seats
And with keen Phæbean shafts
Whose talons menace us,
ANTISTROPHE. But thou, my book, though thou hast stray'd,
Whether by treachery lost,
Or indolent neglect, thy bearer's fault,
From all thy kindred books,
Where thou endurest, perhaps,
That thou may’st yet escape
Since Rouse desires thee, and complains
That though by promise his,
Given to his care,
Of that unperishing wealth,
Haste, then, to the pleasant groves,
The muses' favourite haunt ;
Dearer to him
For there thou shalt be read
With authors of exalted note, The ancient glorious lights of Greece and Rome.
Ye then, my words, no longer vain,
And worthless deem'd by me!
Whate'er this steril genius has produced
An unmolested happy home,
Shall entrance find,
Shall babble far remote.
Shall furnish minds of power
To judge more equally.
Cooler heads and sounder hearts,
Thanks to Rouse, if aught of praise
SUBJOINED TO THE YEARLY BILL OF MORTALITY OF THE PARISH OF ALL-SAINTS, NORTHAMPTON,*
ANNO DOMINI 1787.
" Pallida Mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas,
While thirteen moons saw smoothly run
The Nen's barge-laden wave,
Have found their home, the grave.
Than in foregoing years ?
That so much death appears ?
Nor plague nor famine came;
This annual tribute Death requires,
And never waives his claim.
And some are mark'd to fall;
And soon shall smite us all.
With its new foliage on,
I pass'd, -and they were gone.
With which I charge my page!
And at the root of age.
For yet an hour to come;
Can always balk the tomb.
And scorn'd as is my strain,
may not teach in vain.
And, ere he quits the pen,
And answer all-Amen!
ON A SIMILAR OCCASION,
FOR THE YEAR 1788.
4 Quod adest, memento
Could I, from Heaven inspired, as sure presage
To whom the rising year shall prove his last,