« PreviousContinue »
He, kindling from within, requires no flame;
Born to himself, by no poffeffion led,
Loos'd to the world's wide range—enjoin’d no aim,
O Mother, yet no Mother!-'tis to you, My thanks for fuch diftinguifh'd claims are due. You, unenЛlav'd to Nature's narrow laws, Warm championefs for freedom's facred-caufe, From all the dry devoirs of blood and line, 25 From ties maternal, moral and divine, Discharg'd my grafping foul; push'd me from shore, And launch'd me into life without an oar.
What had I loft, if conjugally kind, By nature hating, yet by vows confin'd, Untaught the matrimonial bands to flight, And coldly conscious of a husband's right, You had faint-drawn me with a form alone, A lawful lump of life by force your own! Then, while your backward will retrench'd defire, And unconcurring fpirits lent no fire,
I had been born your dull, domestic heir,
Perhaps been poorly rich, and meanly great,
I fung gay flutt'ring hope, my fancy fir'd;
But thought to purpose and to act were one; Heedless what pointed cares pervert his way Whom caution arms not, and whom woes betray; But now expos'd, and shrinking from diftress, 55 I fly to fhelter, while the tempests press; My Mufe to grief refigns the varying tone, The raptures languish, and the numbers groan. O memory! thou foul of joy and pain! Thou actor of our paffions o'er again! Why doft thou aggravate the wretch's woe? Why add continuous fmart to ev'ry blow? Few are my joys; alas! how foon forgot! On that kind quarter thou invad'st me not: While fharp, and numberless my forrows fall; 65 Yet thou repeat'ft, and multiply'st 'em all!
Is chance a guilt? that my difaft'rous heart, For mischief never meant, must ever smart ? * Can felf-defence be fin?-Ah, plead no more! What tho' no purpos'd malice ftain'd thee o'er? Had heav'n befriended thy unhappy fide, Thou had'ft not been provok'd-or thou had❜ft died.
Far be the guilt of homeshed blood from all On whom, unfought, embroiling dangers fall! Still the pale Dead revives, and lives to me, 75 To me! thro' Pity's eye condemn'd to fee. Remembrance veils his rage, but fwells his fate; Griev'd I forgive, and am grown cool too late. Young and unthoughtful then; who knows, one day, What ripening virtues might have made their way! He might have liv'd, till folly died in shame, 81 Till kindling wisdom felt a thirst for fame. He might perhaps his country's friend have prov'd; Both happy, gen'rous, candid and belov❜d. He might have fav'd some worth, now doom'd to fall;
And I, perchance, in him, have murder'd all.
Where fhall my hopes find rest?—No Mother's care
* In a fudden broil at a coffee-house the author had killed a man; for whofe murder he had been tryed, convicted, and fentenced; but, on the queens intercession, had obtained his pardon.
No Father's guardian hand my youth maintain'd,
Mother, mifcall'd, farewell-of foul fevere,*
Loft to the life you gave, your Son no more,
QUEEN of a People's hearts, who ne'er before
* This "wretch, who had without fcruple proclaimed berfelf an adulteress, had firft endeavoured to ftarve her fon, then to transport him, and afterwards to hang him." Sea the authors Life admirably written by Dr. Johnson.
ON A YOUNG LADY,
BY THE SAME.
CLOS'D are thofe eyes, that beam'd feraphic fire; Cold is that breast, which gave the world defire; Mute is the voice where winning softness warm'd, Where mufic melted, and where wisdom charm'd, And lively wit, which decently confin'd, 5 No prude e'er thought impure, no friend unkind,
Çou'd modest knowledge, fair untrifling youth, Perfuafive reason and endearing truth,
Cou'd honour, fhewn in friendships most refin'd,
Nor can she die—ev'n now survives her name, 15