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“ But, poet, whence such wide extremes ? Not that with me these prizes shine ; “Well may you style your labors dreams. For neither fame nor wealth is mine. “ A son of sorrow thou, I ween,
My cards, a weak plebeian band, “ Whose Visions are the brats of Spleen. With scarce an honor in my hand! “ Is bliss a vague, unmeaning name?
And, since my trumps are very few, Speak then the passions' use or aim; What have I'more to boast than you ? “ Why rage desires without control,
Nor am I gainer by your fall; “ And rouse such whirlwinds in the soul? That harlot Fortune bubbles all ! “Why Hope erects her tow'ring crest,
'Tis truth (receive it ill or well), “ And laughs and riots in the breast !
"Tis melancholy truth I tell. “ Think not my weaker brain turns round; Why should the preacher take your pence, “ Think not I iread on fairy ground;
And smother truth to flatter sense? “ Think not your pulse alone beats true I'm sure physicians have no merit, “ Mine makes as healthful music too.
Who kill through lenity of spirit. “Our joys, when Life's soft spring we trace, That life's a game, divines confess; “ Put forth their early buds apace :
This says at cards, and that at chess : “ See the bloom loads the tender shoot; But, if our views be centred here, “ The bloom conceals the future fruit. 'Tis all a losing game I fear. “ Yes, manhood's warm meridian sun
Sailors, you know, when wars obtain, “ Shall ripen what in spring begun.
And hostile vessels crowd the main, • Thus infant roses, ere they blow,
If they discover from afar “ In germinating clusters grow ;
A bark as distant as a star, “ And only wait the summer's ray,
Hold the perspective to their eyes, “ To burst and blossom to the day."
To learn its colors, strength, and size; What said the gay unthinking boy? And, when this secret once they know, Methought Hilario talk'd of joy!
Make ready to receive the foe; Tell, if thou canst, whence joys arise,
Let you and I from sailors learn Or what those mighty joys you prize.
Important truths of like concern. You'll find (and trust superior years)
I clos'd the day, as custom led, The vale of life a vale of tears.
With reading till the time of bed; Could wisdom teach where joys abound, Where Fancy, at the midnight hour, Or riches purchase them when found, Again display'd her magic pow'rWould sceptred Solomon complain
(For know that Fancy, like a sprite, That all was fleeting, false, and vain ?
Prefers the silent scenes of night) Yet sceptred Solomon could say,
She lodg'd me in a neighb'ring wood, Returning clouds obscur’d his day.
No matter where the thicket stood; Those maxims, which the preacher drew,
The Genius of the place was nigh, The royal sage experienc'd true.
And held two pictures to my eye; He knew the various ills that wait
The curious painter had pourtray'd Our infant and meridian state;
Life in each just and genuine shade. That toys our earliest thougłıts engage, They, who have only known its dawn, And dif'rent toys maturer age;
May think these lines too deeply drawn ; That grief at ev'ry stage appears,
But riper years, I fear, will show But diff'rent griefs at diff'rent years;
The wiser artists paint too true. That vanity is seen, in part,
One piece presents a rueful wild, Inscrib'd on ev'ry human heart;
Where not a summer's sun had smil'd; In the child's breast the spark began,
The road with thorns is cover'd wide, Grows with his growth, and glares in man. And Grief sits weeping by the side ; But when in life we journey Jate,
Here tears with constant tenor flow, If follies die, do griefs abate ?
And form a mournful lake below; Ah! what is life at fourscore years ? (and tears. Whose silent waters, dark and deep, One dark, rough road, of sighs, groans, pains, Through all the gloomy valley creep. Perhaps you'll think I act the same
Passions that flatter, or that slay, As a sly sharper plays his game:
Are beasts that fawn, or birds that prey. You triumph ev'ry deal that's past,
Her Vice assumes the serpent's shape;
There Folly personates the ape:
While sons of Mischief, Art, and Guile,
Are alligators of the Nile. Where not the prize of wealth or fame
E'en Pleasure acts a treach'rous part; Repays the trouble of the game
She charms the sense, but stings the heart : (A truth no winner e'er denied,
And when she gulls us of our wealth, An hour before that winner died.)
Or that superior pearl, onr health,
Restores us nought but pains and woe, Let me consign the fun'ral plume,
The herald's paint, the sculptur’d tomb, There a commission'd angel stands,
And all the solemn farce of graves, With desolation in his hands!
To undertakers and their slaves. He sends the all-devouring flame,
You know that moral writers say, And cities hardly boast a name :
The world's a stage, and life a play; Or wings the pestilential blast,
That in this drama to succeed, And, lo! ten thousands breathe their last. Requires much thought and toil indeed!' He speaksmobedient tempesis roar,
There still remains one labor more, And guilty nations are no more :
Perhaps a greater than before. He speaks—the fury Discord raves,
Indulge the search, and you shall find And sweeps whole armies to their graves ; The harder task is still behind : Or Famine lifts her mildew'd hand,
That harder task, to quit the stage And Hunger howls through all the land. In early youth or riper age;
“ Oh! what a wretch is inan!” I cried ; To leave the company and place Expos'd to death on ev'ry side !
With firmness, dignity, and grace. “ And sure as born to be undone
Come, then, the closing scenes survey; “ By evils which he cannot shun!
"Tis the last act which crowns the play. “ Besides a thousand baits to sin,
Do well this grand decisive part, “ A thousand traitors lodgʻd within !
And gain the plaudit of your heart. “ For soon as Vice assaults the heart,
Few greatly live in Wisdom's eye-• The rebels take the dæmon's part.”
But, oh! how few who greatly die ! I sigh, my aching bosom bleeds ;
Who, when their days approach an end, When straight the inilder plan succeeds. Can meet the foe as friend ineets friend. The lake of tears, the dreary shore,
Instructive heroes ! tell us whence The same as in the piece before ;
Your noble scorn of Aesh and sense! But gleams of light are here display'd,
part from all we prize so dear; To cheer the eye, and gild the shade; Nor drop one soft reluctant tear; Affliction speaks a softer style,
Part from those tender joys of life, And Disapointment wears a sinile :
The friend, the parent, child, and wife. A group of virtues blossom near;
Death's black and stormy gulph you brave, Their roots improve by ev'ry tear.
And ride exulting on the wave; Here Patience, gentle maid ! is nigh, Deern thrones but trifles all !--no more To calm the storm, and wipe the eye ;
Nor send one wishful look to shore. Hope acts the kind physician's part,
For foreign ports, and lands unknown, And warms the solitary heart :
Thus the firm sailor leaves his own; Religion nobler comfort brings,
Obedient to the rising gale,
Defies the ocean and the wind,
Is Death a pow'rful monarch? True : The Genius suddenly withdrew.
Perhaps you dread the tyrant too!
Fear, like a fog, precludes the light, $ 76. Vision the last. Death.
Or swells the object to the sight. 'Tis thought my Visions are too grave* ;
Attend my visionary page, A proof I'm no designing knave.
And I'll disarm the tyrant's rage. Perhaps, if int'rest held the scales,
Come, let this ghastly form appear ; I had devis'd quite diff'rent tales ;
He's not so terrible when near. Had join'd the laughing, low buffoon, Distance deludes th' unwary eye; And scribbled satire and lainpoon;
So clouds seem monsters in the sky : Or stirr'd each source of soft desire,
Hold frequent converse with him now, And fann'd the coals of wanton fire:
He'll daily wear a milder brow. Then had my paltry Visions sold ;
Why is my theme with terror fraught? Yes, all my dreams had turn'd to gold ; Because you shun the frequent thought. Had prov'd the darling of the town,
Say, when the captive pard is nigh, And I-a Poet of renown!
Whence thy pale cheek and frighted eye? Let not my awful theme surprise ;
Say, why dismay'd thy manly breast, Let no unmanly fears arise.
When the grim lion shakes his crest? I wear no melancholy hue;
Because these savage sights are new; No wreaths of cypress, or of yew,
No keeper shudders at the view : The shrowd, the coffin, pall, or hearse, Keepers accustom'd in the scene, Shall ne'er deform my softer verse.
Approach the dens with looks serene; * See the Monthly Review of New Books, for February 1751.
Fearless their grisly charge explore,
But, while the purple surges glow, And smile to hear the tyrants roar.
The currents thicken as they flow : “Ay—but to die! to bid adieu !
The blood in ev'ry distant part “ An everlasting farewell too!
Stagnates and disappoints the heart; “ Farewell to ev'ry joy around !
Defrauded of its crimson store, “Oh, the heart sickens at the sound !" The vital engine plays no more.
Stay, stripling-thou art poorly taught: Honorio dead, the fun'ral bell Joy, didst thou say? discard the ihought. Call'd ev'ry friend to bid farewell. Joys are a rich celestial fruit,
I join'd the melancholy bier, And scorn a sublunary root :
And dropp'd the unavailing tear. What wears the face of joy below,
The clock struck twelve when nature sought Is often found but splendid woe.
Repose from all the pangs of thought; Joys here, like unsubstantial fame,
And, while my limbs were sunk to rest, Are nothing but a pompons name ;
A Vision sooth'd my troubled breast. Or else, like comets in the sphere,
I dream'd the spectre Death appear'd! Shine with destruction in their rear.
I dream'd his hollow voice I heard ! Passions, like clouds, obscure the sight, Methought th' imperial tyrant wore Hence mortals seldom judge aright.
A state no prince assum'd before; The world's a harsh unfruitful soil,
All nature fetch'd a general groan, Yet still we hope, and still we toil;
And lay expiring round his throne. Deceive ourselves with wondrous art,
I gaz'd—when straight arose to sight And disappointment wrings the heart.
The most detested fiend of night. Thus, when a mist collects around,
He shuffled with unequal pace, And hovers o'er a barren ground,
And conscious shame deform'd his face. The poor deluded trav'ller spies
With jealous leer he squinted round, Imagin'd trees and structures rise;.
Or fix'd his eyes upon the ground. But, when the shrouded sun is clear,
From hell thís frightful monster came; The desert and the rocks appear.
Sin was his sire, and Guilt his name. “Ah-but when youthful blood runs high, This fury, with officious care, “ Sure 'tis a dreadful thing to die !
Waited around the sov'reign's chair; “ To die.! and what exalts the gloom,
In robes of terror dress'd the king, " I'm told that man survives the tomb ! And arm'd him with a baneful sting; “O! can the learned prelate find
Gave fierceness to the tyrant's eye, “ What future scenes await the mind ! And hung the sword upon his thigh. “ Where wings the soul, dislodg’d from clay? Diseases next, a hideous crowd ! “ Some courteous angel point the way! Proclaim'd their master's empire loud, “ That unknown somewhere in the skies, And all, obedient to his will, “ Say, where that unknown somewhere lies? Flew in commission'd troops to kill. “ And kindly prove, when life is o'er,
A rising whirlwind shakes the poles, “ That pains and sorrows are no more ; And lightning glares, and thunder rolls. “ For, doubtless, dying is a curse,
The monarch and his train prepare “ If present ills be chang’d for worse." To range the foul tempestuous air.
Hush, my young friend, forego the theme, Straight to his shoulders he applies And listen to your poet's dreain.
Two pinions of enormous size! Erewhile I took an ev'ning walk,
Methought I saw the ghastly form Honorio join'd in social talk.
Stretch his black wings and mount the storm; Along the lawns the zyphyrs sweep;
When Fancy's airy horse I strode, Each ruder wind was lulld asleep:
And join'd the army on the road.
As the grim conqu’ror urg'd his way,
Thousands a pensive aspect wore,
Thousands who sneer'd at death before. Then settled on Honorio's breast,
Life's records rise on ev'ry side, Which shudder'd at the fatal guest.
And conscience spreads those volumes wide; No drugs the kindly wish fuldl;
Which faithful registers were brought Disease eludes the doctor's skill:
By pale-eyed Fear and busy Thought. The poison, spread through all the frame, Those faults which artful men conceal, Ferments, and kindles into flame.
Stand here engrav'd with pen of steel From side to side Honorio turns,
By Conscience, that impartial scribe! And now with thirst insatiate burns.
Whose honest palm disdaios a bribe : His eyes resign their wonted grace,
Their actions all like critics view, Those friendly lamps expire apace !
And all like faithful critics too. The brain's an useless orgad grown;
As Guilt had stain'd life's various stage, And Reason tumbled from his throne.
What lears of blood bedew'd the page!
All shudder'd at the black account,
Why this address to peerage all? And scarce believ'd the vast amount !
Untitled Allen's virtues call ! All vow'd a sudden change of heart,
If Allen's worth demands a place, Would death relent, and sheath his dart : Lords, with your leave, 'tis no disgrace. But, when the awful foe withdrew,
Though high your ranks in heralds' rolls,
Know, Virtue too ennobles souls.
While Allen takes Afiction's part,
And draws out all his gen'rous heart, But when the victini's borne away,
Anxious to seize the fleeting day, They rush to pasture and to play.
Lest unimprov'd it steal away; Indulge my dream, and let my pen
While thus he walks with jealous strife, Paint those unmeaning creatures, men. Through goodness, as he walks through life;
Carus, with pain and sickness worn, Shall not I mark his radiant path ?Chides the slow night, and sighs for morn: Rise, Muse, and sing the Man of Bath ! Soon as he views the eastern ray,
Publish abroad, could goodness save, He mourns the quick return of day;
Allen would disappoint the grave;
Translated to the heavenly shore,
Verres, oppress'd with guilt and shame, Nor Beauty's pow'rful pleas restrain :
For women pierce with shricks the air, To ningle with th' unheeded dead.
Smite the bare breasts, and rend their hair; With fourscore years grey Natho bends, All have a doleful tale to tell, A burden to himself and friends!
How friends, sons, daughters, husbands fell ! And with impatience seems to wait
Alas! is life our fav'rite theme The friendly hand of livg'ring Fate.
'Tis all a vain or painful dream; So hirelings wish their labor done,
A dream which fools or cowards prize,
But slighted by the brave or wise.
Or bleed for sorrows of his own;'
Then pant, sink, agonize, and die. As torrents sweep with rapid force,
“ And shall a man arraign the skies, The grave's pale chief pursued his course. “ Because man lives, and mourns, and dies? No human pow'r can or withstand,
Impatient Reptile !" Reason cried; Or shun, the conquests of his hand.
“ Arraign thy passion and thy pride; Oh! conld the prince of upright mind, “ Retire, and commune with thy heart; And as a guardian angel kind,
“ Ask whence thou cam'st, and what thou arts With ev'ry heart-felt worth beside,
“ Explore thy body and thy mind, Turn the keen shaft of death aside,
“ Thy station too, why here assign'd. When would the brave Augustus join
“ The search shall teach thee life to prize, The ashes of his sacred line!
“ And make thee grateful, good, and wise. But Death maintains no partial war;
“ Why do you roam to foreign climes, He mocks a sultan or a czar :
“ To study nations, modes, and times; He lays his iron hand on all.
“ A science often dearly bought, Yes, kings, and sons of kings, must fall! “ And often what avails you nought? A truth Britannia lately felt,
“ Go, man, and act a wiser part, And trembled to her centre- *!
Study the science of your heart :
“ Then why abroad a frequent guest ? To grace the fav'rite of a throne.
Why such a stranger to your breast? Could genius save-wit, learning, fire- “Why turn so many voluines o'er, Tell me would Chesterfield expire?
“ Till Dodsley can supply no more? Say, would his glorious sun decline,
“ Not all the volumes on thy shelf And set like your pale star or mine?
“ Are worth that single volume, Self: Could ev'ry virtue of the sky
“ For who this sacred book declines, Would Herringt, Butler, 1, Secker, die? “ Howe'er in other arts he shines,
* Referring to the death of his late Royal Highness Frederic Prince of Wales.
“ Though smit with Pindar's noble rage, Repeat the search, and mend your pace, “ Or vers'd in Tully's manly page;
“ The capture shall reward the chase. “ Though deeply read in Plato's school, “ Let ev'ry minute, as it springs, “ With all his knowledge, is a fool.
Convey fresh knowledge on its wings ; “ Proclaim the truth-Say, what is man? Let ev'ry minute, as it Aies, “ His body from the dust began;
“ Record ihee good, as well as wise. “ And when a few short years are o'er, " While such pursuits your thoughts engage, “The crumbling fabric is no more.
• In a few years you 'll live an age. “But whence the soul ?---From heav'n it came! Who measures life by rolling years ? “O prize this intellectual flame!
“ Fools measure by revolving spheres. “ This nobler self with rapture scan; “ Go thou, and feich th' unerring rule “ 'Tis mind alone which makes the man. “ From Virtue's and from Wisdom's school. “ Trust me, there's not a joy on earth, “ Who well improves life's shortest day “ But from the soul derives its birth;
“ Will scarce regret its setting ray; “ Ask the young rake, (he'll answer right,) “ Contented with his share of light, “ Who treats by day and drinks by night, “ Nor fear nor wish th' approach of night: “ What makes his entertainment shine? “ And when disease assaults the heart, « What gives the relish to his wine?
“When sickness triumphs over art, “ He'll tell thee (if he scorns the beast) “ Reflection on a life well past “That social pleasures form the feast. “ Shall prove a cordial 10 the last : u The charms of beauty too shall cloy, “ This med'cine shall the soul sustain, “ Unless the soul exalts the joy.
“ And soften or suspend the pain ; “ The mind must animate the face,
“ Shall break Death's fell tyrannic pow'r, « Or cold and tasteless ev'ry grace.
“ And calm the troubled dying hour.” “What! must the soul her pow’rs dispense, Blest rules of cool prudential age ! “ To raise and swell the joys of sense? I listen’d, and rever'd the sage; “ Know, too, the joys of sense control When lo! a form divinely bright “ And clog the motions of the soul;
Descends, and bursts upon my sight; “Forbid her pinions to aspire,
A seraph of illustrious birth “Damp and impair her native fire;
(Religion was her name on earth); “ And sure as Sense, that tyrant! reigns, Supremely sweet her radiant face, “She holds the empress Soul in chains : And blooming with celestial grace! “ Inglorious bondage to the mind,
Three shining seraphs form'd her train, “ Heaven born, sublime, and unconfin'd ! Wav'd their light wings, and reach'd the plain; u She's independent, fair, and great,
Faith, with sublime and piercing eye, “ And justly claims a large estate ;
And pinions flutt'ring for the sky; “ She asks no borrow'd aids to shine; Here Hope, that smiling angel, stands, “ She boasts within a golden mine;
And golden anchors grace her hands ; “ But, like the treasures of Peru,
There Charity in robes of white, “ Her wealth lies deep, and far from view. Fairest and fav’rite maid of light! “ Say, shall the man who knows her worth, The seraph spake—“ 'Tis reason's part “ Debase her dignity and birth ?
“ To govern and to guard the heart; “ Or e'er repine at Heaven's decree,
To lull the wayward soul to rest, “ Who kindly gave her leave to be;
When hopes and fears distract the breast; “ Calld her from nothing into day,
“ Reason may claim this doubtful strife, “ And built her tenement of clay?
“ And steer thy bark through various life. “ Hear and accept me for your guide
“ But when the storms of Death are nigh, “ (Reason shall ne'er desert your side); “ And midnight darkness veils the sky, “Who listens to my wiser voice,
“ Shall reason then direct thy sail, “ Can't but applaud his Maker's choice; “ Disperse the clouds, or sink the gale? “ Pleas'd with that first and sov'reign Cause, Stranger, this skill alone is mine, “ Pleas'd with unerring Wisdom's laws: “ Skill that transcends his scanty line. “ Secure, since sov'reign goodness reigns ; “ That hoary sage has counsell'd right, “ Secure, since soy'reign pow'r obtains. “ Be wise, nor scorn his friendly light.
“ With curious eyes review thy frame; “ Revere thyself—thou'rt near allied « This science shall direct thy claim.
“ To angels on thy better side. “ Dost thou indulge a double view,
“ How various e'er their ranks or kinds, “A long, long life, and happy too?
“ Angels are but unbodied minds : "Perhaps a farther boon you crave
“ When the partition walls decay, “ To lie down easy in the grave.
“ Men emerge angels from their clay ; “Know, then, my dictates must prevail, “ Yes, when the frailer body dies, « Or surely each fond wish shall fail.
- The soul asserts her kindred skies : " Come, then, is happiness thy aim? “But minds, though sprung from heavenly race, “Let mental joys be all thy game.
“ Must first be tutor'd for the place :