Page images

For difappointment's not the thing;
'Tis pride and paffion point the fting.
Life is a fea, where ftorms must rife;
'Tis folly talks of cloudlefs fkies:
He who contracts his fwelling fail,
Eludes the fury of the gale.

Be ftill, nor anxious thoughts employ;
Diftruft embitters prefent joy:
On God for all events depend;

You cannot want when God's your Friend.
Weigh well your part, and do your beft;
Leave to your Maker all the reft.

The Hand, which form'd thee in the womb,
Guides from the cradle to the tomb.
Can the fond mother flight her boy?
Can the forget her prattling joy?
Say, then, thall Sov'reign Love defert
The humble and the honeft heart?
Heav'n may not grant thee all thy mind;
Yet fay not thou that Heav'n's unkind.
God is alike both good and wife
In what he grants and what denies :
Perhaps, what Goodness gives to-day,
To-morrow Goodnefs takes away.
You fay, that troubles intervene;
That forrows darken half the scene.
True and this confequence you fee,
The world was ne'er defign'd for thee:
You're like a passenger below,
That ftays perhaps a night or fo;
But ftill his native country lics
Beyond the bound'ries of the fkies.

Of Heav'n afk virtuc, wiidom, health;
But never let thy pray'r be wealth.
If food be thine (tho' little gold)
And raiment to repel the cold;
Such as may Nature's want fuffice,
Nor what from pride and folly rife;
If foft the motions of thy foul,

And a calm confcience crowns the whole,
Add but a friend to all this ftore,
You can't in reafon with for more.
And if kind Heav'n this comfort brings,
'Tis more than Heav'n beftows on kings.
He pake the airy fpectre flies,
And ftrait the feet illufion dies.
The Viñion, at the early dawn,
Confign'd me to the thoughtful morn;
To all the cares of waking clay,
And inconfiftent dreams of day.

216. Vifion V. Happiness.

E ductile youths, whofe rifing fun
Hath many circles fill to run;
Who wifely with the pilot's chart
To fteer thro' life th'unfteady heart;
And, all the thoughtful voyage past,
To gain a happy port at laft,
Attend a Seer's inftructive fong;
For moral truths to dreams belong.

I faw this wond'rous Vifion foon;
Long ere my fun had reach'd its noon;
Juft when the rifing beard began

To grace my chin, and call me man.
One night, when balmy flumbers fhed
Their peaceful poppies o'er my head,
My fancy led me to explore

A thousand scenes unknown before.
I faw a plain extended wide,
And crowds pour'd in from ev'ry fide;
All feem'd to ftart a diff'rent game,
Yet all declar'd their views the fame :
The chace was Happiness, I found;
But all, alas! enchanted ground.

Indeed, I judg'd it wond'rous strange,
To fee the giddy numbers range
Thro' roads which promis'd nought, at beft,
But forrow to the human breaft.
Methought, if blifs was all their view,
Why did they diff'rent paths purfue?
The waking world has long agreed,
That Baghot's not the road to Tweed;
And he who Berwick fecks thro' Staines,
Shall have his labour for his pains.

As Parnell fays , my bofom wrought
With travail of uncertain thought;
And, as an angel help'd the dean,
My angel chofe to intervene.
The drefs of each was much the fame;
And Virtue was my feraph's name.
When thus the angel filence broke
(Her voice was mufic as the spoke):

• Attend, O man! nor leave my fide, And fafety fhall thy footsteps guide; Such truths I'll teach, fuch fecrets fhow, 'As none but favour'd mortals know.'

She faid and ftrait we march'd along
To join Ambition's active throng:
Crowds urg'd on crowds, with cager pace,
And happy he who led the race.
Axes and daggers lay unfeen
In ambuscade along the green:
While vapours fhed delufive light,
And bubbles mock'd the distant fight.

We faw a fhining mountain rife,
Whofe tow'ring fummit reach'd the skies;
The flopes were fteep, and form'd of glafs;
Painful and hazardous to pafs :
Courtiers and statefimen led the way;
The faithlefs paths their steps betray;
This moment feen aloft to foar,
The next to fall, and rife no more.
'Twas here Ambition kept her court
A phantom of gigantic port:
The fav'rite that fuftain'd her throne
Was Falfchood, by her vizard known;
Next ftood Miftruft, with frequent figh
Disorder'd look, and squinting eye';
While meagre Envy claim'd a place,
And Jealoufy with jaundic'd face.

But where is Happinefs' I cry'd.
My guardian turn'd, and thus reply'd:
See the IIormit, Page 73.

• Mortal,

[ocr errors]

Mortal, by Folly ftill beguil'd,"
Thou haft not yet outstripp'd the child;
Thou who haft twenty winters feen
(I hardly think thee paft fifteen)
To afk if happiness can dwell
With ev'ry dirty imp of hell!
Go to the fchool-boy, he thall preach
What twenty winters cannot teach;
He'll tell thee, from his weekly theme,
That thy purfuit is all a dream;
That blifs ambitious views difowns,
And, felf-dependant, laughs at thrones;
Prefers the thades and lowly feats,
Whither fair Innocence retreats;
So the coy lily of the vale

Shuns eminence, and loves the dale.'

I blush'd; and now we crofs'd the plain, To find the money-getting train; Thofe filent, fnug, commercial bands, With bufy looks and dirty hands. Amidft thefe thoughtful crowds, the old, Plac'd all their happiness in gold: And surely, if there's bliss below, Thefe hoary heads the fecret know. We journey'd with the plodding crew, When foon a temple role to view; A Gothic pile! with mofs o'ergrown; Strong were the walls, and built with stone. Without, a thousand mastiffs wait : A thousand bolts fecure the gate. We fought admiffion long in vain; For here all favours fell for gain. The greedy porter yields to gold; His fee receiv'd, the gates unfold. Affembl'd nations here were found, And view'd the cringing herds around, Who daily facrific'd to Wealth Their honor, confcience, peace, and health. I saw no charms that could engage; The god appear'd like fordid age, With hooked nofc, and famifh'd jaws, But ferpent's eyes, and harpy's claws : Behind ftood Fear, that reftiefs fprite, Which haunts the watches of the night; And viper Care, that ftings fo deep, Whofe deadly venom murders fleep.

We haften now to Pleasure's bow'rs,
Where the gay tribes fat crown'd with flow'rs:
Here Beauty ev'ry charm difplay'd,
And love inflam'd the yielding maid;
Delicious wine our tafte employs;
His crimson bowl exalts our joys.
I felt its gen'rous pow'r, and thought
The pearl was found that long I fought. ́
Determin'd here to fix my home,

I blefs'd the change, nor wifh'd to roam;
The feraph difapprov'd my ftay;
Spread her fair plumes, and wing'd away.
Alas whene'er we talk of blifs,
How prone is man to judge amifs !
See, a long train of ills confpires
To fcourge our uncontroul'd defires;
Like fummer fwarms, difeafes crowd;
Each bears a crutch, or each a shroud:

Fever, that thirsty fary, came,
With inextinguishable flame;
Confumption, fworn ally of Death!
Crept flowly on with panting breath;
Gout roar'd, and thew'd his throbbing feet;
And Dropty took the drunkard's feat;
Stone brought his tort'ring racks; and near
Sat Palfy, thaking in her chair.

A mangled youth, beneath a shade,
A melancholy fcene difplay'd:
His notcle's face and loathfome ftains,
Proclaim'd the poifon in his veins;
He rais'd his eyes, he fmote his breaft,
He wept aloud, and thus addreft:

Forbear the harlot's falfe embrace,
Tho' lewdnefs wear an angel's face:
Be wife, by my experience taught;
I die, alas, for want of thought!'

As he who travels Lybia's plains,
Where the fierce lion lawless reigns,
Is feiz'd with fear and wild difmay,
When the grim for obftructs his way;
My foul was pierc'd with equal fright,
My tott'ring limbs oppos'd my flight:
I call'd on Virtue, but in vain;
Her abfence quicken'd every pain.
At length the flighted angel heard;
The dear refulgent form appear'd.

Prefumptuous youth !' the faid, and frown'd (My heart-ftrings flutter'd at the found); Who turns to me reluctant ears, Shall thed repeated floods of tears. Thefe rivers fhall for ever laft; 'There's no retracting what is past : Nor think avenging ills to fhun; Play a falfe card, and you're undone.

[ocr errors]

• Of Pleasure's gilded baits beware, 'Nor tempt the Syren's fatal fnare: 'Forego this curs'd, detefted place;

[ocr errors]

Abhor the ftrumpet and her race.
Had you thofe fofter paths purfu'd,
Perdition, ftripling, had enfu'd;
Yes, fly - you ftand upon its brink;
To-morrow is too late to think.


Indeed, unwelcome truths I tell,
But mark my facred leffon well:
With me whoever lives at ftrife,
Lofes his better friend for life;
With me who lives in friendship's ties,
'Finds all that's fought for by the wife.
Folly exclaims, and well fhe may,
Because I take her mask away;

If once I bring her to the fun,
The painted harlot is undone.

But prize, my child, oh! prize my rules,
And leave Deception to her fools.

Ambition deals in tinfel tovs; Her traffic gewgaws, fleeting joys! 'An errant juggler in difguife,

Who holds falfe optics to your eyes.
But ah how quick the fhadow pafs!
Tho' the bright vifions thro' her glass
Charm at a distance; yet, when near,
The bafelefs fabrics difappear.
K 2

• Nor

• Nor riches boast intrinsic worth ; • Their charms, at beft, fuperior earth: "Thefe oft the heav'n-born mind enslave, And make an honest man a knave.' "Wealthi cures my wants!" the miser cries : Be not deceiv'd, the mifer lyes;

• One want he has, with all his fore,

That worst of wants- the want of more.' "Take Pleasure, Wealth, and Pomp away, "And where is Happiness?" you fay. 'Tis here and may be yours I'm all that's happiness below.


for know,

To Vice I leave tumultuous joys; Mine is the fill and fofter voice, That whispers peace when forms invade, • And mufic through the midnight shade. 'Come, then, be mine in ev'ry part, Nor give me lefs than all your heart; When troubles difcompofe your breast, 'I'll enter there a cheerful gueft:

My converfe thall your cares beguile;
The little world within shall smile;
And then it fearce imports a jot,

• Whether the great world frowns or not.
And when the closing scenes prevail,

• When wealth, ftate, pleasure, all shall fail;
All that a foolish world admires,
'Or Paffion craves, or Pride infpires;
At that important hour of need,
Virtue fhall prove a friend indeed!
My hands fhall fimooth thy dying bed,
My arms fuftain thy drooping head:
And when the painful ftruggle's o'er,
And that vain thing, the world, no more,
I'll bear my fav'rite fon away
To rapture, and eternal day.

$217. Vifion. VI. Friendship. FRIENDSHIP! thou foft propitious pow'r! Sweet regent of the focial hour! Sublime thy joys, nor understood But by the virtuous and the good! Cabal and Riot take thy name, But 'tis a falfe affected claim ; In heav'n if love and friendship dwell, Can they affociate e'er with hell?

Thou art the fame thro 'change of times,
Thro' frozen zones and burning climes;
From the equator to the pole,

The fame kind angel thro' the whole:
And fince thy choice is always free,
I blefs thee for thy fmiles on me.
When forrows well the tempeft high,
Thou, a kind port, art always nigh;
For aching hearts a fov'reign cure,
Not foft Nepenthe half fo fure.
And, when returning comforts rife,
Thou the bright fun that gilds our skies.
While thete ideas warm'd my breast,
My weary eye-lids stole to reft;

When fancy re-assum’d the theme,
And furnish'd this inftructive dream.
I fail'd upon a ftormy fea
(Thoufands embark'd alike with me);
My fkiff was fmall, and weak befide,
Not built, methought, to ftem the tide.
The winds along the furges fweep,
The wrecks lie fcatter'd thro' the deep';
Aloud the foaming billows roar;
Unfriendly rocks forbid the fhore.

While all our various courfe purfue,
A fpacious ifle falutes our view:
Two queens, with tempers diff'ring wide,
This new discover'd world divide;
A river parts their proper claim,
And truth its celebrated name.

One fide a beauteous tract of ground
Prefents, with living verdure crown'd;
The feafons temp'rate, foft, and mild,
And a kind fun that always fmil'd:
Few ftorms moleft the natives here;
Cold is the only ill they fear.
This happy clime and grateful foil,
With plenty crowns the lab'rer's toil.

Here Friendship's happy kingdom grew
Her realms were fmall, her fubjects few:
A thousand charms the palace grace}
A rock of adamant its bafe.

Tho' thunders roll, and lightnings fly,
This ftructure braves th'inclement sky:
E'en time, which other piles devours,
And mocks the pride of human pow'rs,
Partial to Friendship's pile alone,
Cements the joints, and binds the ftone;
Ripens the beauties of the place,
And calls to life each latent grace.

Around the throne in order ftand
Four Amazons, a trusty band!
Friends ever faithful to advise,
Or to defend when dangers rife.
Here Fortitude, in coat of mail;
There Juftice lifts her golden fcale!
Two hardy chiefs, who perfevere,
With form erect and brow fevere;
Who fmile at perils, pains, and death,
And triumph with their latest breath.

Temp'rance, that comely matron, 's near,
Guardian of all the virtues here;
Adorn'd with ev'ry blooming grace,
Without one wrinkle in her face.

But Prudence moft attracts their fight,
And fhines pre-eminently bright.
To view her various thoughts that rife,
She holds a mirror to his eyes;
The mirror, faithful to its charge,
Reflects the virgin's foul in large.

A Virtue with a fofter air
Was handmaid to the regal fair,
This nymph, indulgent, constant, kind,
Derives from heav'n her fpotlefs mind;
When actions wear a dubious face,
Puts the beft meaning on the cafe! .

Nepenthe is an herb which, being infufed in wine, difpels grief. It is unknown to the moderns; but fome believe it a kind of opiunt; and others take it for a fpecies of buglofs. Plin. xxi. 21. f. & xxv. 2.


She spreads her arms, and bares her breast,
Takes in the naked and diftreft ;
Prefers the hungry orphan's cries,
And from her queen obtains fupplies.
The maid who acts this lovely part,
Grafp'd in her hand a bleeding heart.
Fair Charity, be thou my guest,
And be thy conftant couch my breast!
But virtues of inferior name

Crowd round the throne with equal claim;
In loyalty by none furpafs'd,
They hold allegiance to the laft.
Not ancient records e'er can fhow
That one deferted to the foe.

The river's other fide difplay'd
Alternate plots of flow'rs and fhade,
Where poppies fhone with various hue,
Where yielding willows plenteous grew;
And humble plants, by trav'llers thought,
With flow but certain poison fraught.
Beyond thefe fcenes the eye defcry'd
A pow'rful realm extended wide;
Whose bound'ries from north-cast begun,
And ftretch'd to meet the fouth-west fun.
Here Flatt'ry boafts defpotic fway,
And basks in all the warmth of day.
Long practis'd in Deception's fchool,
The tyrant knew the hearts to rule;
Elated with th'imperial robe,

She plans the conqueft of the globe!
And aided by her fervile trains,
Leads kings, and fons of kings, in chains.
Her darling minifter is Pride

(Who ne'er was known to change his fide)
A friend to all her int'refts juft,
And active to discharge his truft;
Carefs'd alike by high and low;
The idol of the belle and beau :
In ev'ry fhape he fhews his fkill,
And forms her subject to his will
Enters their houfes and their hearts,
And gains his point before he parts.
Sure, never minifter was known
So zealous for his fov'reign's throne !
Three fifters, funilar in mien,
Were maids of honour to the queen:
Who farther favours fhar'd befide,
As daughters of a statesman, Pride.
The firft, Conceit, with tow'ring creft,
Who look'd with fcorn upon the rest;
Fond of herself, nor lefs I deem,
Than duchefs in her own efteem.

Next Affectation, fair and young,
With half-form'd accents on her tongue;
Whofe antic shape, and various face,
Distorted ev'ry native grace.

Then Vanity, a wanton maid, Flaunting in bruffels and brocade; Fantaftic, frolicfome, and wild, With all the trinkets of a child.

The people, loyal to the queen,

Wore their attachment in their mien :

With cheerful heart they homage paid,
And happiest he who moft obey'd;
While they who fought their own applause,
Promoted most their fov'reign's caufe.
The minds of all were fraught with guile;
Their manners diffolute and vile;
And ev'ry tribe, like Pagans, run
To kneel before the rifing fun.

But now fome clam'rous founds arife,
And all the pleasing vision flies.
Once more I clos'd my eyes to fleep,
And gain'd th'imaginary deep;
Fancy prefided at the helm,

And fteer'd me back to Friendship's realm.
But, oh! with horror I relate

The revolutions of her state;

The Trojan chief could hardly more
His Afiatic tow'rs deplore.

For Flatt'ry view'd those fairer plains
With longing eyes, where Friendship reigns
With envy heard her neighbour's fame,
And often figh'd to gain the fame.
At length, by pride and int'reft fir'd,
To Friendship's kingdom the afpir'd.

And now, commencing open foc,
She plans in thought fome mighty blow;
Draws out her forces on the green,
And marches to invade the queen.

The river Truth the hofts withstood,
And roll'd her formidable flood:
Her current ftrong, and deep, and clear;
No fords were found, no ferrics near.
But as the troops approach the waves,
Their fears fuggeft a thousand graves;
They all retir'd with hafte extreme,
And fhudder'd at the dang'rous ftream.

Hypocrify the gulph explores :
She forms a bridge, and joins the fhores.
Thus often art or fraud prevails,
When military prowess fails:
The troops an eafy paffage find,
And vict'ry follows clofe behind.

Friendship with ardour charg'd her foes,
And now the fight promifcuous grows;
But flattery threw a poifon'd dart,
And piere'd the èmprefs to the heart.
The Virtues all around, were seen
To fall in heaps about the queen.
The tyrant ftripp'd the mangl'd fair;
She wore her fpoils, affum'd her air!
And mounting next the fuff'rer's throne,
Claim'd the queen's titles as her own.

[ocr errors]

Ah, injur'd maid aloud I cry'd;

Ah, injur'd maid! the rocks reply'd. But judge my griefs, and share them too, For the fad tale pertains to you;

Judge, reader, how severe the wound,

When Friendship's foes were mine, I found;
When the fad fcene of pride and guile
Was Britain's poor degen'rate ifle'

The Amazons, who propp'd the state,
Haply furviv'd the gen'ral fate.

The humble plant bends down before the touch, as the fenfitive plant fhrinks from the touch; and is faid,

by fume, to be the flow poifon of the Indians.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Juftice to Powis Houfe is fled,

And Yorke fuftains her radiant head.
The virtue, Fortitude, appears
In open day at Ligonier's;
Illuftrious heroine of the sky,
Who leads to vanquish or to die!
'Twas the our vet'rans breafts infpir'd,
When Belgia's faithlefs fons retir'd:
For Tournay's treach'rous tow'rs can tell
Britannia's children greatly fell.

No partial virtue of the plain!
She rous'd the lions of the main :
Hence Vernon's little fleet fucceeds,

And hence the gen'rous Cornwall † bleeds.
Hence Grenville glorious - for the finil'd
On the young hero from a child.

Tho' in high life fuch virtues dwell,
They'll fuit plebcian breafts as well.
Say, that the mighty and the great
Blaze, like meridian funs of state;
Effulgent excellence difplay,
Like Halifax, in floods of dav;
Our leiler orbs may pour their light,
Like the mild crefcent of the night.
Tho' pale our beams, and our fmall sphere,
Still we may thine ferene and clear.

Give to the judge the fcarlet gown ;
To martial fouls the civic crown:
What then? Is merit theirs alone?
Have we no worth to call our own?
Shall we not vindicate our part
In the firm breaft and upright heart?
Reader, thefe virtues may be thine,
Tho' in fuperior life they thine.

I can't difcharge great Hardwicke's trust-
True but my foul may still be juft:
And tho' I can't the ftate defend,

I'll draw the fword to ferve



Two golden virtues are behind,
Of equal import to the mind;
Prudence to point out wifdom's way,
Or to reclaim us when we ftray;
Temp'rance, to guard the youthful heart,
When Vice and Folly throw the dart :
Each virtue, let the world agree,
Daily refides with you and me.
And, when our fouls in friendthip join,
We'll deem the focial bond divine;
Thro' ev'ry fcene maintain our truft,
Nor e'er be timid or unjuft.

That breaft where Honor builds his throne,
That breaft which virtue calls her own,
Nor Int'reft warps, nor Fear appals,
When Danger frowns, or Lucre calls.
No! the true friend collected stands,
Fearless his heart and pure his hands:
Let Int'reft plead, let ftorms arife,
He dares be honest, tho' he dies!

At Porto Bello.

$218. Vifion VII. Marriage. Infcribed t■ Mifs

FAIREST, this Vifion is thy due;

I form'd th'inftructive plan for you.
Slight not the rules of thoughtful age;
Your welfare actuates ev'ry page;
But ponder well my facred theme,
And tremble while you read my dream.

[ocr errors]

Thofe awful words, Till death do part,
May well alarm the youthful heart:
No after-thought, when once a wife;
The die is caft, and caft for life;
Yet thoufands venture ev'ry day,
As fome bafe paffion leads the way.
Pert Sylvia talks of wedlock fcencs,
Tho' hardly enter'd on her teens ;
Smiles on her whining spark, and hears
The fugar'd fpeech with raptur'd cars;
Impatient of her parent's rule,
She leaves her fire, and weds a fool.
Want enters at the guardless door,
And love is fled, to come no more.

Some few there are, of fordid mould,
Who barter youth and bloom for gold;
Carelel's with what or whom they mate;
Their ruling paffion's all for ftate.
But Hymen, gen'rous, juft, and kind,
Abhors the mercenary mind:
Such rebels groan beneath his rod;
For Hymen's a vindictive god :
Be joylets ev'ry night,' he faid;
And barren be their nuptial bed!'
Attend, my fair, to wifdom's voice;
A better fate hall crown thy choice.
A marry'd life, to speak the beft,
Is all a lottery confeft:

Yet, if my fair one will be wife,
I will infure my girl a prize,
Tho' not a prize to match thy worth,
Perhaps thy equal's not on carth!

'Tis an important point, to know
There's no perfection here below.
Man's an odd compound, after all;
And ever has been fince the fall.
Say, that he loves you from his foul,
Still man is proud, nor brooks controul;
And, tho' a flave in love's foft fchool,
In wedlock claims his right to rule.
The beft, in fhort, has faults about him;
If few thofe faults you must not flout him.
With fome, indeed, you can't difpenfe,
As want of temper and of fenfe :
For when the fun deferts the fkies,
And the dull winter evenings rife,
Then for a husband's focial pow'r
To form the calm converfive hour,
The treasures of thy breast explore,
From that rich mine to draw the ore;
Fondly each gen'rous thought refine,
And give thy native gold to fhine;

+Against the combined fleets of France and Spain.

Died in a latter engagement with the French fleet.


« PreviousContinue »