« PreviousContinue »
"Nor vain the with, while George the golden
With steady prudence holds, and temp'rate fway.
And when his courfe of earthly honour's run,
With lenient hand fhall Frederic footh your care;
Rich in each princely quality, mature
In years, and happieft in nuptial choice.
Thence too arife new hopes; a playful troop
Circles his hearth, fweet pledges of that bed
Which Faith, and Joy, and thouland Virtues guard.
His be the care t' inform their ductile minds
With worthic thoughts, and point the ways of
Earth, trembling from her entrails, bears a part; |
And the rent rock upbraids man's ftubborn heart.
The yawning grave reveals his gloomy reign,
And the cold clay-clad dead start into life again.
And thou, O tomb, once more fhalt wide difplay
Thy fatiate jaws, and give up all thy prey.
Thou, groaning earth, thalt heave, abforptinflame,
As the laft pangs convulfe thy lab'ring frame;
When the fame God unthrouded thou shalt fee,
Wrapt in full blaze of power and majefty,
Ride on the clouds; whilft, as his chariot flies,
The bright effufion ftreams thro' all the fkies.
Then fhall the proud diffolving mountains glow,
And yielding rocks in fiery rivers flow:
The molten deluge round the globe shall roar,
And all man's arts and labour be no more.
Then fhall the splendours of th' enliven'd glafs
Sink undiftinguish'd in the burning mafs.
And, oh! till earth, and feas, and heaven decay,
Ne'er may that fair creation fade away; [fparc,
May winds and ftorms those beauteous colours
Still may they bloom, as permanent as fair;
All the vain rage of wafting time repel,
And his tribunal fee, whofe Crofs they paint fo well.
$344. On the Death of Frederic Prince of Wales.
Written at Paris, by DAVID LORD VISCOUNT
STORMONT, of Christ Church, Oxon.
LITTLE I whilom deem'd my artless zeał
Should woo the British Muse in foreign land
To ftrains of bitter argument, and teach
The mimic Nymph that haunts the winding verge
And oozy current of Parifian Seine,
To fyllable new founds in accents firange.
But fad occafion calls: who now forbears
The laft kind office who but confecrates
His off'ring at the fhrine of fair Renown
To gracious Frederic rais'd; tho' but compos'd
Of the wafte flow'rets, whofe neglected hues
Chequer the lonely hedge or mountain flope?
Where are thofe hopes, where fled th' illufive | Tending the bed of Anguish; how great George
Wept with his infant progeny around;
| How heav'd the orphan's and the widow's figh,
That follow'd Frederic to the filent tomb
That forgeful fancy plann'd, what time the bark
Stemm'd the falt wave from Albion's chalky bourn?
Then filial Piety and parting Love [cliff's,
Pour'd the fond pray'r" Farewel, ye lefs'ning
Fairer to me than aught in fabled fong
Or myftic record told of shores Atlantic!
Favour'd of Heaven, farewel! imperial ifle,
Native to nobleft wits, and beft approv'd
In manly fcience and advent'rous deed!
Celestial Freedom, by rude hand eftrang'd
From regions once frequented, with Thee takes
Her ftedfaft ftation, fast beside the throne
Of fceptred rule, and there her ftate maintains
In focial concord, and harmonious love.
Thefe bleffings ftill be thine, nor meddling fiend
Stir in your bufy streets foul Faction's roar;
Still thrive your growing works, and gales pro-
Vifit your fons who ride the wat'ry wafte;
And ftill be heard from forth your gladfome
Shrill tabor pipes, and ev'ry peaceful found.
How often fall he hear with freth delight
Their earueft tales, or watch their rifing paffions
With timorous attention; then shall tell
Of juftice, fortitude, and public weal;
And oft the while each rigid precept smooth
With winning tokens of parental love!"
Thus my o'erweening heart the fecret stores
Of Britain's hope explor'd, while my ftrain'd fight
Purfued her fading hills, till wrapt in mist
They gently funk beneath the fwelling tide.
Nor flept thofe thoughts, whene'er in other clines
I mark'd the cruel wafte of foul oppreffion,
Saw nobleft fpirits, and goodlieft faculties,
To vaffalage and loathfome fervice bound.
Then confcious preference rofe; then northward
My eye to gratulate my natal foil.
How have I chid, with froward eagerness,
Each veering blaft that from my hand withheld
The well-known characters of fome lov'd friend,
Tho' diftant not unmindful! Still I learn'd,
Delighted, what each patriot plan devis'd
Of arts or glory, or diffusive commerce.
Nor wanted its endearment ev'ry tale
Of lightest import. But, oh heavy change!
What notices come now? Distracted fceues
Of helpless forrow, folemn fad accounts;
How fair Augufta watch'd the weary night,
For well was Frederic lov'd, and well deferv`d.
His voice was ever fweet, and on his steps
Attended ever the alluring grace
Of gentle lowlinefs and focial zeal.
Him thall remember oft the labour'd hind,
Relating to his mates each cafual act
Of courteous bounty. Him th' artificer,
Plying the varied woof in fullen sadness,
Tho' wont to carol many a ditty fwect.
Soon too the mariner, who many moons
Has counted, beating ftill the foamy furge,
And treads at laft the wifh'd-for beach, shall stand
Appall'd at the fad tale, and soon shall steal
Down his rough cheek th' involuntary tear.
Be this our folace yet-all is not dead;
The bright memorial lives: for his example
Shall Hymen trim his torch, domestic praise
Be countenanc'd, and virtue fairer fhew.
In age fucceeding, when another George,
To ratify fome weighty ordinance
Of Britain's peers conven'd, fhall pass befide
Thofe hallow'd fpires, whofe gloomy vaults in-
Shrouded in fleep, pale rows of fceptred kings,
Oft to his fenfe the fweet paternal voice
And long-remember'd features shall return;
Then fhall his generous breaft be new inflain'd
To acts of highest worth and highest fame.
Thefe plaintive ftrains, from Albion far away,
I lonely meditate at even tide;
Nor skill'd nor ftudious of the raptur'd lay;
But ftill rememb'ring oft the magic founds,
Well-meafur'd to the chime of Dorian lute,
Or paft'ral stop, which erft I lov'd to hear
On Ifis' border'd mead, where dips by fits
The ftooping offer in her hafty ftream.
Hail, Wolfey's fpacious Done! hail, ever fam'd
For faithful nurture, and truth's facred lore,
Much honour'd parent! You my dutcous zeal
Accept, if haply in thy laureat wreath
You deign to interweave this humble fong.
$345. Death. EMILY.
HE feftive roar of laughter, the warm glow
Of brifk-eyed joy, and friendship's genial
Some parent breaft heave the answering figh
To the flow paufes of the funeral knoll;
E'en now black Atropos, with fcowling eye,
Roars in the laugh, and revels o'er the bowl;
E'en now in rofy-crowned pleasure's wreath
Entwines in adder folds all-unfufpected Death.
Wit's feafon'd converfe, and the liberal flow
Of unfufpicious youth, profufe of foul,
Delight not ever; from the boisterous scene
Of riot far, and Comus' wild uproar,
From folly's crowd, whofe vacant brow ferene
Was never knit to wifdom's frowning lore,
Permit me, ye time-hallow'd domes, ye piles
Of rude magnificence, your folemn reft,
Amid your fretted vaults and length'ning aifles
Lonely to wander; no unholy guest
That means to break, with facrilegious tread,
The marble flumbers of your monumented dead.
Permit me, with fad mufings, that inspire
Unlabour'd numbers apt, your filence drear
Blameless to wake, and with the Orphean lyre,
Fitly attemper'd, footh the merciless ear
Of Hades, and ftern death, whofe iron fway
Great nature owns thro' all her wide domain;
All that with oary fin cleave their fimooth way
Through the green bofom of the spawny main;
And thofe that to the ftreaming æther spread,
In many a wheeling glide, their feathery fail,
And those that creep; and those that statelier tread,
That roam o'er foreft, hill, or browfy dale;
The victims each of ruthlefs fate must fall;
E'en God's own image, man, high paramount
Know, on the stealing wing of time shall flee
Some few, fome fhort-liv'd years, and all is past;
A future bard thefe awful domes may fee,
Mufe o'er the prefent age, as I the last;
Who mouldering in the grave, yet once like you
The various maze of life were feen to tread,
Each bent their own peculiar to purfue,
As cuftom urg'd, or wilful nature led:
Mix'd with the various crowd's inglorious clay,
The nobler virtues undiftinguifh'd lie;
No more to melt with beauty's heaven-born ray,
No more to wet compaffion's tearful cye,
Catch from the poet raptures not their own,
And feel the thrilling melody of sweet renown.
Where is the master-hand, whofe femblant art
Chisel'd the marble into life, or taught
From the well-pencil'd portraiture to start
The nerve that beat with foul, the brow that
Cold are the fingers that in stone-fixt trance
The mute attention riveting, to the lyre
Struck language: dimm'd the poet's quick-eyed
All in wild raptures flashing heaven's own fire.
Shrunk is the finew'd energy, that ftrung
The warrior arm. Where fleeps the patriot
And ye, the young, the giddy, and the gay,
That startle from the fleepful lid of light
The curtain'd reft, and with the diffonant bray
Of Bacchus, and loud jollity, affright
Yon radiant goddefs, that now fhoots among
Thefe many-window'd aisles her glimmering
Know, that or ere its ftarr'd carcer along
Thrice fhall have roll'd her filver-wheeled team,
Whilom that heav'd impaffion'd? where the
That lanc'd its lightning on the tow'ring creft
Of fceptred infolence, and overthrew
Giant Oppreffion, leagued with all her earth-born
Thefe now are paft; long, long, ye flecting years,
Ere from the womb of time unwelcome peers
Purfue, with glory wing'd, your fated way,
The dawn of that inevitable day,
When wrapt in shrouded clay their warmest friend
The widow'd virtues fhall again deplere,
When o'er his urn in pious grief fhall bend
His Britain, and bewail one patriot more;
For foon must thou, too soon! who spread'ft abroad
Thy beaming emanations unconfin'd,
Doom'd like fome better angel fent of God
To fcatter bleflings over humankind,
Thou too muft fall, O Pitt! to fhine no more,
And tread thefe dreadful paths a Faulkland trod
The parent, ever-honour'd, ever-dear,
Claims from the filial breast the pious figh; A brother's urn demands the kindred tear,
And gentle forrows gufh from friendship's eye. To-day we frolic in the rofy bloom Of jocund youth--the morrow knells us to the tomb.
Than tug with fweating toil the flavish oar
Of unredeem'd affliction, and sustain
The fev'rous rage of fierce difeafes fore
Unnumber'd, that in fympathetic chain
Hang ever thro' the thick circumfluous air,
All from the drizzly verge of yonder star-girt
Who knows how foon in this fepulchral spot
Shall Heaven to me the drear abode affign?
How foon the past irrevocable lot
Of thefe that reft beneath me, shall be mine? Haply, when Zephyr to thy native bourn
Shall waft thee o'er the ftorm'd Hibernian wave, Thy gentle breaft, my Tavistock, shall mourn To find me fleeping in the fenfelefs grave. No more the focial leifure to divide,
In the fweet intercourfe of foul and foul, Blithe, or of graver brow; no more to chide
The ling'ring years impatient as they roll, Till all thy cultur'd virtues fhall display, Full-bloffom'd, their bright honours to the gazing day.
Ah, dearest youth! thefe vows perhaps unheard The rude wind scatters o'er the billowy main; Thefe prayers at friendship's holy thrine preferr'd May rife to grafp their father's knees in vain. Soon, foon may nod the fad funereal plume
Thick in the many-beaten road of life
A thoufand maladies are pofted round, With wretched man to wage eternal strife
Unseen, like ambush'd Indians, till they wound, There the fwoln hydrop ftands, the wat'ry rheum, The northern fcurvy, blotch with lep'rous fcale; And moping ever in the cloifter'd gloom
Of learned floth, and bookish asthma pale : And the fhunn'd hag unfightly, that (ordain'd
On Europe's fons to wreak the faithlefs fword Of Cortez, with the blood of millions ftain'd) O'er dog-eyed luft the tort'ring fcourge ab,
+ Alluding to the Earthquake at Lifbɔn, November 1, 1755.
The meagre famine there, and drunk with blood
Stern war; and the loath'd monfter whom of yore
The flimy Naiad of the Memphian flood
Engend'ring, to the bright-hair'd Phoebus bore,
Foul peftilence, that on the wide-ftretch'd wings
Of commerce speeds from Cairo's fwarthy bay
His weftering flight, and thro' the fick air flings
Spotted contagion; at his heels difinav
And defolation urge their fire-wheel'd yoke
Terrible; as long of old, when from the height
Of Paran came unwreath'd the mightiest, fhook
Earth's firm fixt base tottering; thro' the black
Glanc'd the flash'd lightnings: heaven's rent root
Thunder'd; and univerfal nature felt its God.
Who on that fcene of terror, on that hour
No vain researches e'er disturb their rest,
No fears of dark futurity moleft.
Man, only Man, folicitous to know
The fprings whence Nature's operations flow,
Plods thro' a dreary wafte with toil and pain,
And reafons, hopes, and thinks, and lives in vain ;
For fable Death ftill hovering o'er his head,
Cuts fhort his progrefs with his vital thread.
Wherefore, fince Nature errs not, do we find
Thefe feeds of Science in the human mind,
If no congenial fruits are predesign'd ?
For what avails to man this pow'r to roam
Thro' ages paft, and ages yet to come,
T explore new worlds o'er all th' ethereal way,
Chain'd to a spot, and living but a day?
Since all muft perish in one common grave,
Nor can thefe long laborious fearches lave,
Were it not wifer far, fupinely laid,
To fport with Phillis in the noontide shade?
Or at thy jovial festivals appear,
Great Bacchus, who alone the foul can clear
From all that it has felt, and all that it can fear?
Of letter'd arrogance, delights to run
Thro' fpeculation's puzzling mazes wild,
And all to end at laft where it begun.
Fain would we trace, with reafon's erring clue,
The darkfome paths of deftiny aright;
In vain; the task were easier to purfue
The tracklefs wheelings of the fwallow's flight.
From mortal ken himself the Almighty fhrouds,
Pavilion'd in thick night and circumambient
346. On the Immortality of the Soul. S. JENYNS. Tranflated from the Latin of If. H. Browne.
Come on then, let us feaft; let Chloe fing,
And foft Neæra touch the trembling string;
Enjoy the prefent hour, nor seek to know
What good or ill to-morrow may bestow.
But thefe delights foon pall upon the taste;
Let's try then if more ferious cannot laft:
Wealth let us heap on wealth, or fame purfue,
Let pow'r and glory be our points in view;
In courts, in camps, in fenates let us live,
Our levees crowded like the buzzing hive:
Each weak attempt the fame fad leffon brings!
Alas! what vanity in human things!
What means then shall we try? where hope to
A friendly harbour for the reftlefs mind? [find
Who ftill, you fee, impatient to obtain
Knowledge immenfe (fo Nature's laws ordain),
Ev'n now, tho' fetter'd in corporeal clay,
Climbs ftep by step the profpect to survey,
And feeks unwearied Truth's eternal ray.
No fleeting joys fhe afks which must depend
On the frail fenfes, and with them muft end;
Free from all change, eternally the fame.
But fuch as fuit her own immortal fame,
Take courage then, thefe joys we shall attain;
Nor hall the foul, on which it has bestow'd
Almighty wifdom never acts in vain:
Such pow'rs, e'er perifh like an earthly clod;
But purg'd at length from foul corruption's stain,
Freed from her prifon and unbound her chain,
She shall her native strength and native skies
To heav'n an old inhabitant return,
And draw nectareous ftreams from truth's per-
Whilft life remains (if life it can be call'd
T' exift in fleshly bondage thus enthrall'd),
Tir'd with the dull purfuit of worldly things,
The foul fcarce wakes, or opes her gladiome
Yet ftill the godlike exile in difgrace [wings,
Retains fome marks of her celeftial race;
Elfe whence from mem'ry's ftore can the produce
Terjoy the ftate allotted them by Heav'n; Such various thoughts, or range them fo for ufc?
To all inferior animals 'tis giv'n
Can matter thefe contain, difpofe, apply?
Can in her cell fuch mighty treasures lie?
Or can her native force produce them to the eye?
Whence is this pow'r, this foundrefs of all arts,
Serving, adorning life, thro' all its parts;
Which names impos'd, by letters mark'd thofe
Adjusted properly by legal claims,
From woods and wilds collected rude mankind,
And cities, laws, and governments defign'd?
What can this be, but fome bright ray from heav'n,
Some emanation from Omnifcience given?
When now the rapid ftream of cloquence *
Bears all before it, paffion, reafon, fente,
Can its dread thunder or its lightning's force
Derive their effence from a mortal fource?
What think you of the bard's enchanting art,
Which, whether he attempts to warm the heart
With fabled fcenes, or charm the ear with rhyme,
Breathes all pathetic, lovely, and fublime?
Whilft things on earth roll round from age to age,
The fame dull farce repeated on the stage,
The poet gives us a creation new,
More pleafing and more perfect than the true;
The mind, who always to perfection haftes,
Perfection fuch as here the never tastes,
With gratitude accepts the kind deceit,
And thence forefees a fyftem more complete.
Of thofe what think you, who the circling race
Of funs and their revolving planets trace,
Or Britain, well-deferving equal praise,
Parent of heroes too in better days.
Why should I try her numerous fons to name,
By verfe, law, eloquence confign'd to fame;
Or who have forc'd fair Science into fight,
Long loft in darknefs, and afraid of light?
O'er all fuperior, like the solar ray,
First Bacon vfher'd in the dawning day,
And drove the mists of fophiftry away;
Pervaded nature with amazing force,
Following experience ftill throughout his courfe;
And finishing at length his deftin'd way,
To Newton he bequeath'd the radiant lamp of day.
Illuftrious fouls! if any tender cares
Affect angelic breasts for Man's affairs;
If, in your prefent happy heav'nly state,
You're not regardlefs quite of Britain's fate,
Let this degenerate land again be blest
With that true vigour which the once poffefs'd;
Compel us to unfold our flumb'ring eyes,
And to our ancient dignity to rife.
Such wondrous pow'rs as thefe muft fure be giv'n
For most important purposes by Heav'n;
Who bids these stars as bright examples shine,
Befprinkled thinly by the hand divine,
To form to virtue each degenerate time,
And point out to the foul its origin fublime.
That there's a felf which after death fhall live,
All are concern'd about, and all believe;
That fomething's ours, when we from life depart,
This all conceive, all feel it at the heart;
The wife of learn'd antiquity proclaim
This truth, the public voice declares the fame;
No land fo rude but looks beyond the tomb
For future profpects in a world to come.
Hence, without hopes to be in life repaid,
We plant flow oaks pofterity to fhade;
And hence vaft pyramids afpiring high
Lift their proud heads aloft, and time defy.
Hence is our love of fame; a love fo ftrong,
We think no dangers great, or labours long,
By which we hope our beings to extend,
And to remoteft times in glory to defcend.
For fame the wretch beneath the gallows lies
Difowning ev'ry crime for which he dies;
Of life profufe, tenacious of a name,
Fearlefs of death, and yet afraid of fhame.
Nature has wove into the human mind
This anxious care for names we leave behind,
T'extend our narrow views beyond the tomb,
And give an earnest of a life to come:
For if when dead we are but duft or clay,
Why think of what pofterity fhall fay ?
Her praife or cenfure cannot us concern,
Nor ever penetrate the filent urn.
What mean the nodding plumes, the fun'ral
Say, can you doubt, but that th' all-fearching foul,
That now can traverte heav'n from pole to pole,
From thence defcending vifits but this earth,
And fhall once more regain the regions of her
Could the thus act, unless fome Power un-
From matter quite diftin&t and all her own,
Supported and impell'd her? She approves
Self-conscious, and condemns; fhe hates and loves,
Mourns and rejoices, hopes and is afraid,
Without the body's unrequested aid:
Her own internal ftrength her reafon guides;
By this the now compares things, now divides;
Truth's fcatter'd fragments piece by piece collects,
Rejoins, and thence her edifice erects;
Piles arts on aits, effects to caufes ties,
And rears th' afpiring fabric to the skies;
From whence, as on a diftant plain below,
She fees from caufes confequences flow,
And the whole chain diftin&tly comprehends,
Which from the Almighty's throne to earth de-
And lastly, turning inwardly her eyes, [fcends:
Perceives how all her own ideas rife;
Contemplates what the is, and whence the came,
And almoft comprehends her own amazing frame.
Can mere machines be with fuch pow'rs endu'd,
Or conscious of thofe pow'rs, fuppofe they cou'd?
For body is but a machine alone
Mov'd by external force, and impulfe not its own.
Rate not th' extenfion of the human mind
By the plebeian ftandard of mankind,
But by the fize of thofe gigantic few
And annual obfequies around it paid,
Whom Greece and Rome ftill offer to our view, As if to pleafe the poor departed thade;
And marble monument that speaks in vain,
With all those cares which ev'ry nation pays
To their unfeeling dead in diff'rent ways!
Some in the flower-ftrewn grave the corpfe have