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When pensive on that portraiture I gaze,
Where my four brothers round about me stand,
And four fair sisters smile with graces bland,
The goodly monument of happier days;
And think, how soon insatiate Death, who preys
On all, has cropp'd the rest with ruthless hand,
While only I survive of all that band
Which one chaste bed did to my father raise ;
It seems, that like a column left alone,
The tottering remnant of some splendid fane,
'Scap'd from the fury of the barbarous Gaul,
And wasting Time, which has the rest o'erthrown,
Amidst our house's ruins I remain
Single, unpropp'd, and nodding to my fall.
TO THE AUTHOR OF OBSERVATIONS ON THE CONVERSION
AND APOSTLESHIP OF ST. PAUL.
O LYTTELTON, great meed shalt thou receive,
Great meed of fame, thou and thy learn'd compeer,
Who, 'gainst the sceptic's doubt and scorner's sneer,
Assert those heaven-born truths, which you
In elder time thus heroes wont t atchieve
Renown; they held the faith of Jesus dear,
And round their ivy crown or laurell’d spear
Blush'd not Religion's olive branch to weave;
Thus Raleigh, thus immortal Sidney shone,
(Illustrious names !) in great Eliza's days.
Nor doubt his promise firm, that such who own
In evil times, undaunted though alone,
His glorious truth, such He will crown with praise,
And glad agnize before his Father's throne.
FOR THE ROOT-HOUSE AT WREST, THE SEAT OF THE EARL
STRANGER, orguest, whome'er this hallow'd grove
Shall chance receive, where sweet contentment dwells,
Bring here' no heart that with ambition swells,
With avarice pines, or burns with lawless love:
Vice-tainted souls will all in vain remove
To sylvan shades, and hermits' peaceful cells,
In vain will seek retirement's lenient spells,
Or hope that bliss which only good men prove:
If heaven-born truth, and sacred virtue's lorė,
Which cheer, adorn, and dignify the mind,
Are constant inmates of thy honest breast,
If, unrepining at thy neighbour's store,
Thou count'st as thine the good of all mankind,
Then welcome share the friendly groves of Wrest.
Joseph, the worthy son of worthy sire,
Who well repay'st thy pious parents' care
To train thee in the ways of Virtue fair,
And early with the love of truth inspire;
What farther can my closing eyes desire
To see, but that by wedlock thou repair
The waste of death; and raise a virtuous heir
To build our house, ere I in peace retire?
Youth is the time for love: then choose a wife,
With prudence choose ; 'tis Nature's genuine voice,
And what she truly dictates must be good ;
Neglected once that prime, our remnant life
Is sour'd, or sadden’d, by an ill-tim'd choice,
Or lonely, dull, and friendless solitude.
ON THE DEATH OF RICHARD WEST.
In vain to me the smiling mornings shine,
And reddening Phoebus lifts his golden fire:
The birds in vain their amorous descant join ;
Or chearful fields resume their green attire:
These ears, alas! for other notes repine,
A different object do these eyes require :
My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine ;
And in my breast the imperfect joys expire.
Yet morning smiles the busy race to chear,
And new-born pleasure brings to happier men:
The fields to all their wonted tribute bear:
To warm their little loves the birds complain :
I fruitless mourn to him that cannot hear,
And weep the more, because I weep in vain.