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ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD AND MORTIMER.
SUCH were the notes thy once-loved Poet sung, Till death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue. Oh, just beheld, and lost! admired, and mourn'd! With softest manners, gentlest arts, adorn'd! Bless'd in each science, bless'd in every strain! Dear to the Muse, to Harley dear-in vain!
For him, thou oft hast bid the world attend, Fond to forget the statesman in the friend: For Swift and him, despised the farce of state, The sober follies of the wise and great; Dexterous, the craving, fawning crowd to quit, And pleased to scape from flattery to wit.
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear, (A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear) Recall those nights that closed thy toilsome days, Still hear thy PARNELL in his living lays :
Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate,
Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great;
Or, deeming meanest what we greatest call,
Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall.
And sure, if aught below the seats divine
Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine;
A soul supreme, in each hard instance tried,
Above all pain, all anger, and all pride,
The rage of power, the blast of public breath,
The lust of lucre, and the dread of death.
In vain to deserts thy retreat is made;
The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade:
"Tis her's, the brave man's latest steps to trace,
Rejudge his acts, and dignify disgrace.
When interest calls off all her sneaking train,
When all the' obliged desert, and all the vain;
She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell,
When the last lingering friend has bid farewell.
E'en now she shades thy evening-walk with bays,
(No hireling she, no prostitute to praise)
E'en now, observant of the parting ray,
Eyes the calm sunset of thy various day,
Through fortune's cloud one truly great can see,
Nor fears to tell, that Mortimer is he.
DE LA COUR'S PROSPECT OF POETRY.
ONE who has proved how hard it is to please;
Nor first to blame, nor yet the last to praise,
With whose good sense an author might be free,
And whose good nature ne'er was flattery;
Such late was PARNELL-Oh! too slightly
With every grace and every Muse adorn'd!
By Swift beloved, by Pope lamented most,
Lost to the world—to wit and friendship lost-
Yet shall he live, while taste is kept alive,
And his loved Plato in his verse revive:
Yet shall be live, as long as truth shall charm
In mystic fable, or fair virtue warm.
How sweet the song that from thy mellow pipe, Dear PARNELL, flow'd! Death heard, and was
And his stone couch forsook, all wonder now,
And now all envy. Sure, he thought no bard
Of mortal mixture could such tones create;
Or if of mortal mixture, he had lived
More than the days of man; and stolen from years
Due to the reign of silence and of death,
Song so divine. With the bad thought possess'd,
He whet his arrow on a flint, advanced,
And flung it greedily, his lipless jaws
Grinding with hate. So fell betimes the Bard,
So triumph'd Death; and at the bloody deed
Shook his lean bones with laughter. Cursed fiend,
Thou bane of excellence, go hence and laugh;
Yet shall the pious poet sing again,
And thou shalt hear, and with eternal wrath,
Aye burning, dance with agony, and gnaw,
Howling for pain, the adamantine gates
Of triple-bolted hell.
WHAT ancient times (those times we fancy wise)
Have left on long record of woman's rise,
What morals teach it, and what fables hide,
What author wrote it, how that author died,
All these I sing. In Greece they framed a tale ;
(In Greece 'twas thought a woman might be frail)
Ye modern beauties! where the Poet drew
His softest pencil, think he dream'd of you;
And, warn'd by him, ye wanton pens, beware
How Heaven's concern'd to vindicate the Fair.
The case was Hesiod's; he the fable writ;
Some think with meaning, some with idle wit:
Perhaps 'tis either, as the ladies please;
I wave the contest, and commence the lays.
In days of yore, (no matter where or when, 'Twas ere the low creation swarm'd with men) That one Prometheus, sprung of heavenly birth, (Our author's song can witness) lived on earth.