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Was the not all my fondeft with could frame>
Did ever mind fo much of heaven partake?
Did the not love me with the purest flame?
And give up friends and fortune for my fake?
Though mild as evening skies,
With downcaft, ftreaming eyes,
Stood the ftern frown of fupercilious brows,
Deaf to their brutal threats, and faithful to her
Come then, fome Mufe, the faddeft of the train
(No more your bard fhall dwell on idle lays),
Teach me each moving melancholy ftrain,
And oh difcard the pageantry of phrase :
Ill fuit the flow'rs of fpeech with woes like mine!
Thus, haply, as I paint
The fource of my complaint,
My foul may own th' impaffion'd line:
A flood of tears may gush to my relief, [of grief.
And from my fwelling heart discharge this load
Forbear, my fond officious friends, for bear
To wound my cars with the fad tales you tell;
"How good the was, how gentle, and how fair!"
In pity ceafe-alas! I know too well
How in her fweet expreffive face
Beam'd forth the beauties of her mind, Yet heighten'd by exterior grace,
Of manners most engaging, moft refin'd.
No pitcous object could fhe fee,
But her foft bofom thar'd the woe, While fmiles of affability
Endear'd whatever boon fhe might bestow. Whate'er th' emotions of her heart,
Still thone confpicuous in her eyes, Stranger to every female art,
Alike to feign or to difguife:
And, oh the boast how rare!
The fecret in her faithful breaft repos'd
She ne'er with lawless tongue difclos'd,
In fecret filence lodg'd inviolate there.
Oh feeble words--unable to exprefs
Her matchlefs virtues, or my own diftrefs!
Relentless death! that, feel'd to human woe,
With murd'rous hands deals havoc on man-
Why (cruel!) ft:ike this deprecated blow,
And leave fuch wretched multitudes behind Hark! groans come wing'd on every breeze!
The fons of grief prefer their ardent vow,
Opprefs'd with forrow, want, or dire disease,
And fupplicate thy aid, as I do now:
In vain perverfe, ftill on th' unweeting head
'Tis thine thy vengeful darts to fhed;
Hope's infant bloffoms to destroy,
And drench in tears the face of joy.
But oh, fell tyrant! yet expect the hour
When Virtue thall renounce thy pow'r;
When thou no more fhalt blot the face of day,
Nor mortals-tremble at thy rigid fway.
Alas the day!-where'er I turn my eyes,
Some fad memento of my lofs appears;
I fly the fatal houfe-fupprefs my fighs,
Kefolv'd to dry my unavailing tears:
But, ah! in vain-no change of time or
The memory can efface
Of all that fweetnefs, that enchanting air,
Now loft; and nought remains but anguish and
Where were the delegates of Heaven, oh where!
Appointed Virtue's children fafe to keep?
Had Innocence or Virtue been their care,
She had not died, nor had I liv'd to weep:
Mov'd by my tears, and by her patience mov'd,
To fee her force th' endearing fmile,
My forrows to beguile,
Sure they had warded that untimely dart,
When Torture's keeneft rage the prov'd ;
Which broke her thread of life, and rent a huf
When, feeling Death's refiftless pow'r,
How fhall I e'er forget that dreadful hour,
My hand the prefs'd, wet with her falling tears,
And thus, in faltʼring accents, spoke her fears!
"Ah, my lov'd lord, the tranfient fcene is o'er,
And we muft part, alas ! to meet no more!
"But oh! if e'er thy Emma's name was dear,
"If e'er thy vows have charm'd my ravifid
If, from thy lov'd embrace my heart to gain, "Proud friends have frown'd, and Fortune smil'd ❝ in vain;
"If it has been my fole endeavour ftill
"To act in all obfequious to thy will;
"To watch thy very fmiles, thy wish to know,
"Then only truly bleft when thou wert so;
"If I have doted with that fond excess,
"Nor love could add, nor Fortune make it lefs;
"If this I've done, and more-oh then be kind
"To the dear lovely babe I leave behind.
"When time my once-lov'd memory fhall efface,
"Some happier maid may take thy Emma's
"With envious eyes thy partial fondness see,
"And hate it for the love thou bor'ft to me:
My dearest Shaw, forgive a woman's fears; "But one word more- -I cannot bear thy tearsPromife-and I will truft thy faithful vow (Oft have I tried, and ever found thee true) This fatal pledge of hapless Emma's love, "That to fome distant spot thou wilt remove "Where fafe thy blandifhments it may partake, "And, oh! be tender for its mother's fake.
"I know thou wilt-fad filence fpeaks affent; "And in that pleafing hope thy Emma dies ❝ content."
I, who with more than manly ftrength have bore
The various ills impos'd by cruel Fate,
Suftain the firmness of my foul no more,
But fink beneath the weight:
Juft Heaven! I cried, from memory's earliest
No comfort has thy wretched fuppliant known;
Misfortune ftill, with unrelenting fway,
Has claim'd me for her own.
But, oh! in pity to my grief, reftore
This only fource of blifs; I ask-I ask no more-
Again with transport hear
Vain hope-th' irrevocable doom is past,
Ev'n now the looks-she fighs her last-
Vainly I ftrive to stay her fleeting breath,
And, with rebellious heart, proteft against her And taste at least of visionary bliss.
Her voice foft whispering in my car;
May fteal once more a balmy kifs,
When the ftern tyrant clos'd her lovely eyes,
How did I rave, untaught to bear the blow!
With impious with to tear her from the skies,
How curfe my fate in bitterness of woe!
But whither would this dreadful phrenfy lead?
> Fond man, forbear,
Thy fruitless forrow fpare,
Dare not to talk what Heaven's high will decreed;
In humble rev'rence kits th' afflictive rod,
And proftrate bow to an offended God.
Perhaps kind Heaven in mercy dealt the blow,
Some faving truth thy roving foul to teach; To wean thy heart from grovelling views below, And point out blifs beyond Misfortune's reach :
To fhew that all the flatt'ring fchemes of joy,
Which tow'ring Hope fo fondly builds in air,
One fatal moment can deftroy,
And plunge th' exulting maniac in defpair.
Then, oh! with pious fortitude sustain
Thy prefent lofs-haply thy future gain;
Nor let thy Emma die in vain:
Time fhall adminifter its wonted balm,
And hush this form of grief to no unpleafing calm.
Thus the poor bird, by some disastrous fate
Caught and imprifon'd in a lonely cage,
Torn from its native fields, and dearer mate,
Flutters awhile, and fpends its little rage:
But finding all its efforts weak and vain,
No more it pants and rages for the plain;
Moping awhile, in fullen mood
Droops the fweet mourner-but ere long
Prunes its light wings, and pecks its food,
And meditates the fong:
Serenely forrowing, breathes its piteous case,
And with its plaintive warblings faddens all
Forgive me, Heaven!--yet, yet the tears will flow,
To think how foon my fcene of blifs is paft
My budding joys, juft promifing to blow,
All nipp'd and wither'd by one envious blaft!
My hours, that laughing wont to fleet away,
Move heavily along;****
Where's now the fprightly jeft, the jocund
Time creeps, unconfcious of delight :
How fhall I cheat the tedious day;
But, ah! th' unwelcome morn's obtruding light
Will all my fhadowy schemes of blifs depote,
Will tear the dear illufion from my fight,
And wake me to the fenfe of all my woes:
If to the verdant fields I stray,
Alas! what pleafures now can these convey?
Her lovely form purfues where'er I go,
And daikens all the fcene with woe.
By Nature's lavish bounties cheer'd no more,
Sorrowing I rove
Through valley, grot, and grove;
Nought can their beauties or my loss restore;
No herb, no plant, can med'cine my disease,
fad fighs are borne on ev'ry paffing
And oh the joy lefs night!
Where shall I reft my weary head?
How fhall I find repofe on a fad widow'd bed:
Come, Theban drug, the wretch's only aid,
To my torn heart its former peace restore;
Thy votary, wrapp'd in thy Lethean shade,
Awhile fhall ceafe his forrows to deplore:
Haply, when lock'd in fleep's embrace,
Again I shall behold my Emma's face,
Sickness and forrow hov'ring round my bed,
Who now with anxious hafte fhall bring relief, With lenient hand fupport my drooping head,
Affuage my pains, and mitigate my grief? Should worldly business call away,
Who now fhall in my abfence fondly mourn,
Count ev'ry minute of the loit'ring day,
Impatient for my quick return?
Should aught my bofom difcompofe,
Who now, with sweet complacent air,
Shall fmooth the rugged brow of Care,
And foften all my woes?
And thy fweet lifping tongue shall ask the cause
How oft with forrow fhall mine eyes run o'er,
When, twining round my knees, I trace
Thy mother's fmile upon thy face!
How oft to my full heart fhalt thou restore
Sad mem'ry of my joys-ah, now no more!
By bleffings once enjoy'd now more diftrefs'd,
My little darling !-dearer to me grown
More beggar by the riches once poffefs'd,
By all the tears thou'st caus'd—oh strange to
Bought with a life yet dearer than thy own,
Thy cradle purchas'd with thy mother's bier:
Who now fhall feek with fond delight
Thy infant steps to guide aright?
She, who with doting eyes would gaze
On all thy little artle's ways,
By all thy foft endearments bleft,
And clafp thee oft with tranfport to her breast,
Alas! is gone- -yet fhalt thou prove
A father's deareft, tendereft love;
And, O fweet fenfelefs fmiler, (envied state!)
As yet uncenfcious of thy hapless fate,
Too faithful Memory-ceafe, oh ceafe-
How fhall I e'er regain my peace?
(Oh, to forget her!)-but how vain each art,
Whilft ev'ry virtue lives imprinted on my heart!
And thou, my little cherub, left behind
To hear a father's plaints, to fhare his woes,
When Reafon's dawn informs thy infant mind,
When years thy judgment fhall mature,
And Reafon fhews thofe ills it cannot cure,
Wilt thou, a father's grief t' affuage,
For virtue prove the Phoenix of the earth
(Like her, thy mother died to give thee birth),
And be the comfort of my age?··
When fick and languishing I lie,
Wilt thou my Emina's wonted care fupply?
And, oft as to thy liftening ear
Thy mother's virtues and her fate I tell,
Say, wilt thou drop the tender tear,
Whilft on the mournful theme I dwell?
Then, fondly ftealing to thy father's fide,
Whene'er thou feeft the foft diftrefs,
Which I would vainly feck to hide,
Say, wilt thou ftrive to make it lefs?
To footh my forrows all thy cares employ,
And in my cup of grief infufe one drop of joy?
Bereft thee of thy darling young?
Alas! for both I weep:
In all the pride of youthful charms,
A beauteous bride torn from my circling arms!
A lovely babe that should have liv'd to blefs,
And fill my doting eyes with frequent tears,
At once the fource of rapture and diftrefs,
The flattering prop of my declining years! In vain from death to refcue I effay'd,'
By ev'ry art that fcience could devife; Alas! it languifh'd for a mother's aid,
§ 105. An Evening Addrefs to a Nightingale.
bird! that, kindly perching near,
Pouret thy plaints melodious in mine car,
Not, like bafe worldlings, tuter'd to forego
The melancholy haunts of woe;
Thanks for thy forrow-foothing ftrain:
For, furely, thou haft known to prove,
Like me, the pangs of hapless love;
Elfe why fo feelingly complain, [grove
And with thy piteous notes thus fadden all the
Say, deft thou mourn thy ravish'd mate,
That ofc enamour'd on thy ftrains has hung? Or has the cruel hand of Fate
And wing'd its fight to feek her in the skies.
Then, oh! our comforts be the fame,
At evening's peaceful hour,
To fhun the noify paths of wealth and fame,
And breathe our forrows in this lonely
Tell me, thou Syren Hope, deceiver, say,
Where is the promis'd period of my woes?
Full three long, ling`ring years have roll'd away,
And yet I weep, a ftranger to repose:
O what delufion did thy tongue employ ! "That Emma's fatal pledge of love,
"Her laft bequeft, with all a mother's care, "The bitterness of forrow fhould remove, "Soften the horrors of defpair,
And cheer a heart long loft to joy !"
How oft, when fondling in my arms,
Gazing enraptur'd on its angel-face,
My foul the maze of Fate would vainly trace,
And burn with all a father's food alarms!
And oh what flatt'ring fcenes had fancy feign'd!
How did I rave of bleffings yet in ftore!
Till ev'ry aching fenfe was fweetly pain'd,
And my full heart could bear, nor tongse
could utter more.
But why, alas to thee complain,
To thec-unconfcious of my pain?
Scon fhalt thou ceafe to mourn thy lot fevere,
And hail the dawning of a happier year:
The gepial warmth of joy-renewing spring
Again thall plume thy fhatter'd wing;
Again thy little heart fhall tranfport prove,
Again fhall flow thy notes refponfive to thy
But, oh! for me in vain may seasons roll, [love.
Nought can dry up the fountain of my tears:
Deploring till the comfort of my foul,
I count my forrows by increafing years.
Juft Heaven!" I cried, with recent hopes elate, "Yet will I live-will live, tho' Emma's dead: So long bow'd down beneath the forms of fate, "Yet will I raife my woe-dejceted head! "My little Emma, now my all,
Will want a father's care;
"Her looks, her wants, my rath resolves recall, "And for her fake the ills of life I'll bear: "And oft together we 'll complain,
Complaint the only blifs my foul can know. "From me my child thall learn the mournful "ftrain,
"And prattle tales of woe.
"And, oh! in that aufpicious hour,
"When Fate refigns her perfecuting pow'r, "With duteous zeal her hand thall clofe,
"No more to weep, my forrow-ftreaming eyes,
"When death gives mifery repofe,
"And opes a glorious paffage to the skies."
Vain thought! it must not be-she too is dead,
The flatt'ring fcene is o'er;
My hopes for ever, ever fled;
And vengeance can no more.
Crush'd by misfortune, blafted by disease,
And none none left to bear a friendly part!
To meditate my welfare, health, or eafe,
Or footh the anguish of an aching heart!
Now all one gloomy fcene, till welcome death,
With lenient hand (oh faifely deem'd fevere),
Shall kindly ftop my grief-exhaufted breath,
And dry up ev'ry tear.
Perhaps, obfequious to my will,
But, ah! from my affections far remov'd!
The laft fad office ftrangers may fulfil,
As if I ne'er had been belov'd;
As if, unconscious of poetic fire,
I ne'er had touch'd the trembling lyre; As if my niggard hand ne'er dealt relief, Nor my heart melted at another's grief. Yet, while this weary life fhall laft,
While yet my tongue can form th' impaffion's ftrain,
In piteous accents fhall the mufe complain, And dwell with fond delay on bleffings pait :
For oh how grateful to a wounded heart
The tale of mifery to impart !
From others' eyes bid artlefs forrows flow,
And raise esteem upon the base of woe!
Even He, the nobleft of the tuneful throng,
Shall deigs my love-lorn tale to hear,
Shall catch the foft contagion of my fong,
And pay my penfive Mufe the tribute of a tear.
§ 106. An Ode to Narciffa. SMOLLET.
HY fatal fhafts unerring move;
I bow before thine altar, Love!
I feel thy foft, refiftless flame
Glide fwift thro' all my vital frame !
For while I gaze my bofom glows,
My blood in tides impetuous flows;
Hope, fear, and joy alternate roll,
And floods of tranfport whelm my
My falt'ring tongue attempts in vain
In foothing murinurs to complain;
My tongue fome fecret magic ties,
My murmurs fink in broken fighs!
Condemn'd to nurfe eternal care,
And ever drop the filent tear;
Unheard I mourn, unknown I figh,
Unfriended live, unpitied die!
§ 107. Elegy in Imitation of Tibullus.
Fir'd with a zeal peculiar, they defy
The rage and rigour of a polar fky,
And plant fuccefsfully fweet Sharon's rofe
On icy plains, and in eternal fnows.
Oh bleft within th' inclosure of your rocks,
Nor herds have ye to boaft, nor bleating flocks;
No fertilizing ftreams your fields divide,
That fhew revers'd the villas on their fide;
No groves have ye; no cheerful found of bird,
Or voice of turtle, in your land is heard;
Nor grateful eglantine regales the smell
Of thofe that walk at ev'ning where you dwell:
But winter, arm'd with terrors here unknown,
Sits abfolute on his unfhaken throne;
Piles up his ftores amidst the frozen waste,
And bids the mountains he has built stand faft;
Beckons the legions of his ftorms away
From happier fcenes, to make your land a prey;
Proclaims the foil a conqueft he has won,
And fcorns to fhare it with the distant fun.
Yet truth is yours, remote, unenvied ifle;
And peace, the genuine offspring of her smile;
The pride of letter'd ignorance, that binds
In chains of error our accomplish'd minds;
That decks with all the splendour of the true
A falfe religion-is unknown to you.
Nature indeed vouchfafes for our delight
The fweet viciffitudes of day and night;
Soft airs and genial moisture feed and cheer
Field, fruit, and flow'r, and ev'ry creature here;
But brighter beams than his who fires the skies
now are all my flattering dreams of Have ris'n at length on your admiring eyes,
That fhoot into your darkest caves the day
From which our nicer optics turn away.
Monimia, give my foul her wonted rest:
Since first thy beauty fix'd my roving eye,
Heart-gnawing cares corrode my penfive breaft!§
Let happy lovers fly where pleafures call,
With feftive fongs beguile the fleeting hour,
Lead beauty thro' the mazes of the ball,
Or prefs her wanton in love's roseate bow'r.
109. On Slavery, and the Slave Trade. COWPER.
BUT, an what wish can profper, or what
For merchants rich in cargoes of defpair,
Who drive a loathfome traffic, gage and fpan,
And buy the mufcles and the bones of man?
For me, no more I'll range th' empurpled mead,The tender ties of father, husband, friend,
Where thepherds pipe and virgins dance around,
Nor wander thro' the woodbine's fragrant fhade,
To hear the mufic of the grove refound.
I'll feek fome lonely church, or dreary hall,
Where fancy paints the glimmering taper blue,
Where damps hang mould'ring on the ivy'd wall,
And fheeted ghofts drink up the midnight dew:
There, leagued with hopeless anguish and defpair,
Awhile in filence o'er my fate repine:
Then, with a long farewell to love and care,
To kindred duft my weary limbs confign.
Wilt thou, Monimia, fhed a gracious tear
On the cold grave where all my for ows reft;
Strew vernal flow'rs, applaud my love fincere,
And bid the turf lie eafy on my breast?
All bonds of nature in that moment end;
And each endures, while yet he draws his breath,
A ftroke as fatal as the fcythe of death.
The fable warrior, frantic with regret
Of her he loves, and never can forget,
Lofes in tears the far-receding fhore,
But not the thought that they must meet no more.
Depriv'd of her and freedom at a blow,
What has he left that he can yet forego?
Yes, to deep fadnefs fullenly refign'd,
He feels his body's bondage in his mind;
Puts off his gen'rous nature, and, to fuit
His manners with his fate. puts on the brute.
Oh moft degrading of all ills that wait
On man, a mourner in his best estate !
All other forrows virtue may endure,
And find fubmiffion more than half a cure;
Grief is itfelf a med'cine, and bestow'd
Cow PER. T'improve the fortitude that bears a load;
AND still it spreads. See Germany fend forth To teach the wand'rer, as his woes increase,
Her fons to pour it on the fartheft north †The path of wisdom, all whofe paths are peace.
§ 108. The Propagation of the Gospel in Greenland.
The Moravian miffionaries in Greenland. Vide Krantz.
But flavy-virtue dreads it as her grave;
Patience telf is meanncfs in a flave:
Or if the will and fovereignty of God
Bid fuffer it awhile, and kits the rod;
Wait for the dawning of a brighter day,
And frap the chain the moment when you may.
Narure imprints upon whate'er we fee,
That has a heart and life in it, Be free !
The beats are charter'd-neither age nor force
Can quell the love of freedom in a horse :
He breaks the cord that held him at the rack,
And, confcious of an unencumber'd back,
Snuffs up the morning air, forgets the rein,
Loofe fly his forclock and his ample mane,
Refponfive to the diftant neigh he neighs,
Nor tops till, overleaping all delavs,
s graze. }
To quit the blifs thy rural fcenes beftow,
To feck a nobler amidst fcenes of woe;
To traverfe feas, range kingdoms, and bring home,
Not the proud monuments of Greece or Rome,
But knowledge fuch as only dungeons teach,
And only fympathy like thine could reach,
That grief, fequefter'd from the public stage,
Might fmooth her feathers, and enjoy her cage¬
Speaks a divine ambition, and a zeal
The boldeft patriot might be proud to feel.
Oh that the voice of clamour and debate,
That pleads for peace till it difturbs the ftate,
Were hufh'd in favour of thy gen'rous plea,
The poor thy clients, and Heaven's smile thy fee!
$111. On Dometic Happiness, as the Friend of
Virtue, and of the falfe Good-nature of the
§ 110. On Liberty, and in Praise of Mr. Howard.
OH could I worship aught beneath the skics,
That earth hath feen or fancy could devife,
Thine altar, facred Liberty, fhould ftand,
Built by no mercenary, vulgar hand.
With fragrant turf and flow'rs as wild and fair
As ever drefs'd a bank, or fcented fummer air.
Duly as ever on the mountain's height
The peep of morning thed a dawning light;
Again, when evening in her fober vest
Drew the grey curtain of the fading Weft;
My foul should yield thee willing thanks and praife
For the chief bleffings of my faireft days:
But that were facrilege-praife is not thine,
But his who gave thee, and preferves thee mine:
Elfe I would fay, and as I fpake bid fly
A captive bird into the boundless sky,
This iple realm adores thee-thou art come
From Sparta hither, and art here at home;
We feel thy force ftill active, at this hour
Enjoy immunity from priestly pow'r ;
While confcience, happier than in ancient years,
Owns no fuperior but the God the fears.
Propitious Spirit, vet expunge a wrong
Thy rites have fuffer'd, and our land, too long;
Teach mercy to ten thousand hearts that fhare
The fears and hopes of a commercial care :
Prifons expect the wicked, and were built
To bind the lawlefs, and to punish guilt;
But fhipwreck, earthquake, battle, fire and flood,
Are mighty mifchiefs, not to be withstood;
And honeft merit ftands on flipp'ry ground,
Where covert guile and artifice abound:
Let just reftraint, for public peace defign'd,
Chain up the wolves and tigers of mankind;
The fee of virtue has no claim to thee,
But let infolvent innocence go free.
Patron of elfe the most defpis'd of men,
Accept the tribute of a ftranger's pen;
Verfe, like the laurel its immortal meed,
Should be the guerdon of a noble deed:
I may alarm thee, but I fear the shame
(Charity chofen as my theme and aim)
I must incur, forgetting Howard's name.
Bleft with all wealth can give thee-to refign
Jos doubly fweet to feelings quick as thine;
DOMESTIC happiness, thou only blifs
that has furviv'd the fall!
Tho' few now tafte thee unimpair'd and pure,
Or, tafting, long enjoy thee; too infirm
Or too incautious to preferve thy fweets
Unmix'd with drops of bitter, which negle&t
Or temper sheds into thy cryftal cup.
Thou art the nurfe of virtue. In thine arms
She fmiles, appearing, as in truth fhe is,
Heaven-born, and destin'd to the skies again.
Thou art not known where Pleasure is adoré,
That reeling goddefs with the zonelefs waist
And wand ring eves, ftill leaning on the arm
Of Novelty, her fickle frail fupport;
For thou art meek and conftant, hating charge,
And finding in the calm of truth-tied love
Joys that her formy raptures never yield.
Forfaking thee, what fhipwreck have we made
Of honour, dignity, and fair renown,
Till proftitution elbows us afide
In all our crowded streets, and fenates feem
Conven'd for purpofes of empire lefs
Than to releafe th' adult'refs from her bond!
Th' adult'refs! what a theme for angry verse,
What provocation to th' indignant heart
That feels for injur'd love! But I d flain
The nauseous talk to paint her as the is,
Cruel, abandon'd, glorying in her thame.
No. Let her país; and, charioted along,
In guilty fplendour thake the public ways:
The frequency of crimes has wash'd them white;
And verte of mine fhall never brand the wretch
Whom matrons now of character unfmirch'd,
And chafte themfelves, are not afham'd to own.
Virtue and vice had bound ries in old time
Not to be pafs'd: and the that had renounc'd
Her fex's honour, was renounc'd herself
By all that priz'd it; not for Prudery's fake,
But Dignity's refentful of the wrong.
'Twas hard perhaps on here and there a waif
Defirous to retura, and not receiv'd;
But was an whole fome rigour in the main,
And taught th' unbleroifa'd to preferve with care
That purity, whole lots was lofs of all.
Men too were nice in honour in thofe days,
And judg'd offenders well; and be that iharp'd,
And pocketed a prize by fraud obtain'd,