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O come, in simple vest array'd,
With all thy sober cheer display'd,
To bless my longing sight;
Thy mien composed, thy even pace, Thy meek regard, thy matron grace,
And chaste subdued delight.
No more by varying passions beat,
O gently guide my pilgrim feet
To find thy hermit cell; Where in some pure and equal sky, Beneath thy soft indulgent eye,
The modest virtues dwell.
Simplicity in Attic vest,
And Innocence with candid breast,
And clear undaunted eye;
And Hope, who points to distant years, Fair opening through this vale of tears A vista to the sky.
There Health, through whose calm bosom glide The temperate joys in even tide,
That rarely ebb or flow;
And Patience there, thy sister meek,
Presents her mild unvarying cheek
To meet the offer'd blow.
Her influence taught the Phrygian sage
A tyrant master's wanton rage
With settled smiles to meet :
Inured to toil and bitter bread,
He bow'd his meek submitted head,
And kiss'd thy sainted feet.
But thou, O nymph retired and coy!
In what brown hamlet dost thou joy
To tell thy tender tale?
The lowliest children of the ground,
Moss-rose, and violet blossom round,
And lily of the vale.
O say what soft propitious hour
I best may choose to hail thy power,
And court thy gentle sway?
When Autumn friendly to the muse,
Shall thy own modest tints diffuse,
And shed thy milder day.
When Eve, her dewy star beneath,
Thy balmy spirit loves to breathe,
And every storm is laid ;-
If such an hour was e'er thy choice,
Oft let me hear thy soothing voice
Low whispering through the shade.
THE ORIGIN OF SONG-WRITING.*
Illic indocto primum se exercuit arcu ;
Hei mihi quam doctas nunc habet ille manus!
WHEN Cupid, wanton boy! was young,
His wings unfledged, and rude his tongue,
He loiter'd in Arcadian bowers,
And hid his bow in wreaths of flowers;
Addressed to the Author of Essays on Song-writing.
Or pierced some fond unguarded heart
With now and then a random dart;
But heroes scorned the idle boy,
And love was but a shepherd's toy.
When Venus, vex'd to see her child
Amid the forests thus run wild,
Would point him out some nobler game-
Gods and godlike men to tame.
She seized the boy's reluctant hand,
And led him to the virgin band,
Where the sister muses round
Swell the deep majestic sound;
And in solemn strains unite,
Breathing chaste, severe delight;
Songs of chiefs and heroes old,
In unsubmitting virtue bold:
Of even valour's temperate heat,
And toils to stubborn patience sweet;
Of nodding plumes and burnish'd arms,
And glory's bright terrific charms.
The potent sounds like lightning dart
Resistless through the glowing heart;
Of power to lift the fixed soul
High o'er Fortune's proud control;
Kindling deep, prophetic musing;
Love of beauteous death infusing;
Scorn, and unconquerable hate
Of tyrant pride's unhallow'd state.
The boy abash'd, and half afraid,
Beheld each chaste immortal maid:
Pallas spread her Egis there;
Mars stood by with threatening air;
And stern Diana's icy look
With sudden chill his bosom struck.
"Daughters of Jove, receive the child,"
The queen of beauty said, and smiled ;-
Her rosy breath perfumed the air,
And scatter'd sweet contagion there
Relenting Nature learn'd to languish,
And sicken'd with delightful anguish :-
"Receive him artless yet and young;
Refine his air, and smooth his tongue :
Conduct him through your favourite bowers
Enrich'd with fair perennial flowers,
To solemn shades and springs that lie
Remote from each unhallow'd eye;
Teach him to spell those mystic names
That kindle bright immortal flames :
And guide his young unpractised feet
To reach coy Learning's lofty seat."
Ah, luckless hour! mistaken maids,
When Cupid sought the muses' shades!
Of their sweetest notes beguiled,
By the sly insiduous child;
Now of power his darts are found
Twice ten thousand times to wound.
Now no more the slacken'd strings
Breathe of high immortal things,
But Cupid tunes the Muse's lyre
To languid notes of soft desire.
In every clime, in every tongue,
"Tis love inspires the poet's song.
Hence Sappho's soft infectious page;
Monimia's wo; Othello's rage;
Abandon'd Dido's fruitless prayer;
And Eloisa's long despair;
The garland, blest with many a vow,
For haughty Sacharissa's brow;
And wash'd with tears, the mournful verse
That Petrarch laid on Laura's hearse.
But more than all the sister choir,
Music confess'd the pleasing fire.
Here sovereign Cupid reign'd alone;
Music and song were all his own.
Sweet as in old Arcadian plains,
The British pipe has caught the strains :
And where the Tweed's pure current glides,
Or Liffy rolls her limpid tides;
Or Thames his oozy waters leads
Through rural bowers or yellow meads,—
With many an old romantic tale
Has cheer'd the lone sequester'd vale;
With many a sweet and tender lay
Deceived the tiresome summer day.
Tis yours to cull with happy art
Each meaning verse that speaks the heart;
And fair array'd, in order meet,
To lay the wreath at Beauty's feet.
The earth's fair bosom; while the streaming veil
Of lucid clouds with kind and frequent shade
Protects thy modest blooms
Sweet is thy reign, but short:-The red dog-star
Shall scorch thy tresses, and the mower's scythe
Thy greens, thy flowerets all,
Remorseless shall destroy.
Reluctant shall 1 bid thee then farewell;
For O, not all that Autumn's lap contains,
Nor Summer's ruddiest fruits,
Can aught for thee atone.
Fair Spring! whose simplest promise more delights
Than all their largest wealth, and through the heart
Each joy and new-born hope
With softest influence breathes.
SWEET daughter of a rough and stormy sire,
Hoar Winter's blooming child; delightful Spring!
Whose unshorn locks with leaves
And swelling buds are crown'd;
From the green islands of eternal youth,-
Crown'd with fresh blooms and ever springing
Turn, hither turn thy step,
O thou, whose powerful voice
More sweet than softest touch of Doric reed,
Or Lydian flute, can sooth the madding wind,-
And through the stormy deep
Breathe thine own tender calm.
Thee, best beloved! the virgin train await
With songs and festal rites, and joy to rove
Thy blooming wilds among,
And vales and dewy lawns,
With untired feet; and cull thy earliest sweets
To weave fresh garlands for the glowing brow
Of him, the favoured youth
That prompts their whisper'd sigh.
Unlock thy copious stores, those tender showers
That drop their sweetness on the infant buds;
And silent dews that swell
The milky ear's green stem,
And feed the flowering osier's early shoots;
And call those winds which through the whispering
With warm and pleasant breath
Salute the blowing flowers.
Now let me sit beneath the whitening thorn,
And mark thy spreading tints steal o'er the dale;
And watch with patient eye
Thy fair unfolding charms.
O nymph, approach! while yet the temperate sun
With bashful forehead through the cold moist air
Throws his young maiden beams,
And with chaste kisses woos
AN ADDRESS TO THE DEITY.
GOD of my life! and Author of my days!
Permit my feeble voice to lisp thy praise;
And trembling, take upon a mortal tongue
That hallowed name, to harps of seraphs sung.
Yet here the brightest seraphs could no more
Than veil their faces, tremble, and adore.
Worms, angels, men, in every different sphere,
All nature faints beneath the mighty name,
Are equal all,-for all are nothing here.
Which nature's works through all their parts
I feel that name my inmost thoughts control,
And breathe an awful stillness through my soul;
As by a charm, the waves of grief subside;
Impetuous Passion stops her headlong tide:
At thy felt presence all emotions cease,
And my hush'd spirit finds a sudden peace,
Till every worldly thought within me dies,
And earth's gay pageants vanish from my eyes;
Till all my sense is lost in infinite,
And one vast object fills my aching sight.
But soon, alas! this holy calm is broke;
My soul submits to wear her wonted yoke;
With shackled pinions strives to soar in vain,
And mingles with the dross of earth again.
But he, our gracious Master, kind as just,
Knowing our frame, remembers man is dust.
His spirit, ever brooding o'er our mind,
Sees the first wish to better hopes inclined;
Marks the young dawn of every virtuous aim,
And fans the smoking flax into a flame.
His grace descends to meet the lifted eye;
His ears are open to the softest cry,
He reads the language of a silent tear,
And sighs are incense from a heart sincere.
Such are the vows, the sacrifice I give;
Accept the vow, and bid the suppliant live:
From each terrestrial bondage set me free;
Still every wish that centres not in thee;
Bid my fond hopes, my vain disquiets cease,
And point my path to everlasting peace.
If the soft hand of winning Pleasure leads
By living waters, and through flowery meads,
When all is smiling, tranquil, and serene,
And vernal beauty paints the flattering scene
O teach me to elude each latent snare,
And whisper to my sliding heart,-Beware!
With caution let me hear the syren's voice,
And doubtful, with a trembling heart, rejoice.
If friendless, in a vale of tears I stray,
Where briars wound, and thorns perplex my way,
Still let my steady soul thy goodness see,
And with strong confidence lay hold on thee;
With equal eye my various lot receive,
Resign'd to die, or resolute to live;
Prepared to kiss the sceptre or the rod,
While God is seen in all, and all in God.
I read his awful name, emblazon'd high
With golden letters on th' illumined sky;
Nor less the mystic characters I see
Wrought in each flower, inscribed in every tree;
In every leaf that trembles to the breeze
I hear the voice of God among the trees;
With thee in shady solitudes I walk,
With thee in busy crowded cities talk ;
In every creature own thy forming power,
In each event thy providence adore.
Thy hopes shall animate my drooping soul,
Thy precepts guide me, and thy fears control:
Thus shall I rest, unmoved by all alarms,
Secure within the temple of thine arms;
From anxious cares, from gloomy terrors free,
And feel myself omnipotent in thee.
Then when the last, the closing hour, draws nigh,
And earth recedes before my swimming eye;
When trembling on the doubtful edge of fate
I stand, and stretch my view to either state:
Teach me to quit this transitory scene
With decent triumph, and a look serene;
Teach me to fix my ardent hopes on high,
And having lived to Thee, in Thee to die.
A SUMMER EVENING'S MEDITATION.
"Tis past! the sultry tyrant of the south
Has spent his short-lived rage; more grateful hours
Move silent on; the skies no more repel
The dazzled sight, but with mild maiden beams
Of temper'd lustre court the cherish'd eye
To wander o'er their sphere; where hung aloft
Dian's bright crescent, like a silver bow
New strung in heaven, lifts high its beamy horns
Impatient for the night, and seems to push
Her brother down the sky. Fair Venus shines
E'en in the eye of day; with sweetest beam
Propitious shines, and shakes a trembling flood
Of soften'd radiance from her dewy locks.
The shadows spread apace; while meeken'd Eve,
Her cheek yet warm with blushes, slow retires
Through the Hesperian gardens of the west,
And shuts the gates of day. 'Tis now the hour
When Contemplation from her sunless haunts,
The cool damp grotto, or the lonely depth
Of unpierced woods, where wrapt in solid shade
She mused away the gaudy hours of noon,
And fed on thoughts unripen'd by the sun,
Moves forward; and with radiant finger points
yon blue concave swell'd by breath divine,
Where, one by one, the living eyes of heaven
Awake, quick kindling o'er the face of ether
One boundless blaze; ten thousand trembling fires,
And dancing lustres, where the unsteady eye,
Restless and dazzled, wanders unconfined
O'er all this field of glories; spacious field,
And worthy of the Master: he, whose hand
With hieroglyphics elder than the Nile
Inscribed the mystic tablet, hung on high
To public gaze, and said, " Adore, O man!
The finger of thy God." From what pure wells
Of milky light, what soft o'erflowing urn,
Are all these lamps so fill'd? these friendly lamps
For ever streaming o'er the azure deep
To point our path, and light us to our home.
How soft they slide along their lucid spheres!
And silent as the foot of Time, fulfil
Their destined courses: Nature's self is hush'd,
And, but a scatter'd leaf, which rustles through
The thick-wove foliage, not a sound is heard
To break the midnight air; though the raised ear,
Intensely listening, drinks in every breath.
How deep the silence, yet how loud the praise!
But are they silent all? or is there not
A tongue in every star, that talks with man,
And woos him to be wise? nor woos in vain:
This dead of midnight is the noon of thought,
And Wisdom mounts her zenith with the stars.
At this still hour the self-collected soul
Turns inward, and beholds a stranger there
Of high descent, and more than mortal rank;
An embryo god; a spark of fire divine,
Which must burn on for ages, when the sun,—
Fair transitory creature of a day !—
Has closed his golden eye, and wrapped in shades
Forgets his wonted journey through the east.
Ye citadels of light, and seats of gods!
Perhaps my future home, from whence the soul,
Revolving periods past, may oft look back
With recollected tenderness on all
The various busy scenes she left below,
Its deep-laid projects, and its strange events,
As on some fond and doating tale that sooth'd
Her infant hours-O be it lawful now
To tread the hallow'd circle of your courts,
And with mute wonder and delighted awe
Approach your burning confines. Seized in
On Fancy's wild and roving wing I sail,
From the green borders of the peopled Earth,
And the pale Moon, her duteous fair attendant;
From solitary Mars; from the vast orb
Of Jupiter, whose huge gigantic bulk
Dances in ether like the lightest leaf;
To the dim verge, the suburbs of the system,
Where cheerless Saturn midst his watery moons
Girt with a lucid zone, in gloomy pomp,
Sits like an exiled monarch: fearless thence
I launch into the trackless deeps of space,
Where, burning round, ten thousand suns appear,
Of elder beam, which ask no leave to shine
Of our terrestrial star, nor borrow light
From the proud regent of our scanty day;
Sons of the morning, first-born of creation,
And only less than Him who marks their track,
And guides their fiery wheels. Here must I stop,
Or is there aught beyond? What hand unsee
Impels me onward through the glowing orbs
Of habitable nature, far remote,
To the dread confines of eternal night,
To solitudes of vast unpeopled space,
The deserts of creation, wide and wild;
Where embryo systems and unkindled suns
Sleep in the womb of chaos? fancy droops,
And thought astonish'd stops her bold career.
But O thou mighty Mind! whose powerful word
Said, thus let all things be, and thus they were,
Where shall I seek thy presence? how unblamed
Invoke thy dread perfection?
Have the broad eyelids of the morn beheld thee?
Or does the beamy shoulder of Orion
Support thy throne? O look with pity down
On erring, guilty man! not in thy names
Of terror clad: not with those thunders arm'd
That conscious Sinai felt, when fear appall'd
The scatter'd tribes ;-thou hast a gentler voice,
That whispers comfort to the swelling heart
Abash'd, yet longing to behold her Maker.
But now my soul, unused to stretch her powers
In flight so daring, drops her weary wing,
And seeks again the known accustom'd spot,
Drest up with sun, and shade, and lawns and
A mansion fair, and spacious for its guest,
And full replete with wonders. Let me here, Content and grateful, wait th' appointed time, And ripen for the skies: the hour will come When all these splendours bursting on my sight Shall stand unveiled, and to my ravished sense Unlock the glories of the world unknown.
SEE where the falling day
In silence steals away
Behind the western hills withdrawn:
Her fires are quench'd, her beauty fled,
While blushes all her face o'ers pread,
As conscious she had ill fulfill'd
The promise of the dawn.
Another morning soon shall rise,
Another day salute our eyes,
As smiling and as fair as she,
And make as many promises :
But do not thou
The tale believe,
They're sisters all,
And all deceive.
HIST, William! hist! what means that air so gay?
Thy looks, thy dress, bespeak some holyday:
Thy hat is brush'd; thy hands, with wondrous
Are cleansed from garden mould and inky stains;
Thy glossy shoes confess the lackey's care;
And recent from the comb shines thy sleek hair.
What god, what saint, this prodigy has wrought?*
Declare the cause, and ease my labouring thought?
•Sed tamen, ille Deus qui sit, da Tityre nobis.
John, faithful John, is with the horses come; Mamma prevails, and I am sent for home.
Thrice happy whom such welcome tidings greet '*
Thrice happy who reviews his native seat!
For him the matron spreads her candied hoard,
And early strawberries crown the smiling board;
For him crush'd gooseberries with rich cream
And bending boughs their fragrant fruit resign:
Custards and sillabubs his taste invite;
Sports fill the day, and feasts prolong the night.
Think not I envy, I admire thy fate :†
Yet, ah! what different tasks thy comrades wait!
Some in the grammar's thorny maze to toil,
Some with rude strokes the snowy paper soil,
Some o'er barbaric climes in maps to roam,
Far from their mother-tongue, and dear loved
Harsh names, of uncouth sound, their memories load,
And oft their shoulders feel th' unpleasant goad.
Doubt not our turn will come some future time.
Now, William, hear us twain contend in rhyme,
For yet thy horses have not eat their hay,
And unconsumed as yet th' allotted hour of play.
Then spout alternate, I consent to hear,
Let no false rhyme offend my critic ear;-
But say, what prizes shall the victor hold?
I guess your pockets are not lined with gold!
A ship these hands have built, in every part
Carved, rigg'd, and painted, with the nicest art;
The ridgy sides are black with pitchy store,
From stem to stern 'tis twice ten inches o'er.
The lofty mast, a straight smooth hazel framed,
The tackling silk, the Charming Sally named ;
And,-but take heed lest thou divulge the tale,-
The lappet of my shirt supplied the sail,
An azure riband for a pendant flies :-
Now, if thy verse excel, be this the prize.
For me at home the careful housewives make,
With plums and almonds rich, an ample cake.
Smooth is the top, a plain of shining ice,
The West its sweetness gives, the East its spice :
From soft Ionian isles, well known to fame,
Ulysses once, the luscious currant came.
And from her golden groves the orange glows.
The green transparent citron Spain bestows,
Within the oven's dark capacious womb;
So vast the heaving mass, it scarce has room
I cannot yield it all,-be half thy share.
"Twill be consign'd to the next carrier's care,
Fortunate senex, his inter flumina nota. Non equidem invideo, miror magis.
At nos hinc alii sitientes ibimus Afros, Pars Scythiam, et rapidum Cretæ veniemus Oaxem. § Alternis dicetis.
Well does the gift thy liquorish palate suit;
I know who robb'd the orchard of its fruit.*
When all were wrapt in sleep, one early morn,
While yet the dew-drop trembled on the thorn,
I mark'd when o'er the quickset hedge you leapt,
And, sly, beneath the gooseberry bushes crept ;t
Then shook the trees; a shower of apples fell,-
And where the hoard you kept, I know full well;
The mellow gooseberries did themselves produce,
For through thy pocket oozed the viscous juice.
I scorn a telltale, or I could declare
How, leave unask'd, you sought the neighbouring fair;
Then home by moonlight spurr'd your jaded steed, And scarce return'd before the hour of bed. Think how thy trembling heart had felt affright, Had not our master supp'd abroad that night.
Cease! cease your carols, both! for lo the bell,
With jarring notes, has rung out Pleasure's knell.
Your startled comrades, ere the game be done,
Quit their unfinish'd sports, and trembling run.
Haste to your forms before the master call!
With thoughtful step he paces o'er the hall,
Does with stern looks each playful loiterer greet,
Counts with his eye, and marks each vacant seat:
Intense the buzzing murmur grows around,
Loud through the dome the usher's strokes resound:
Sneak off, and to your places slyly steal,
Before the prowess of his arm you feel.
WHAT DO THE FUTURES SPEAK OF!
IN ANSWER TO A QUESTION IN THE GREEK GRAMMAR.
THEY speak of never-withering shades,
And bowers of opening joy;
They promise mines of fairy gold,
And bliss without alloy
They whisper strange enchanting things
Within Hope's greedy ears;
And sure this tuneful voice exceeds
The music of the spheres
They speak of pleasure to the gay,
And wisdom to the wise;
And soothe the poet's beating heart
With fame that never dies.
To virgins languishing in love,
They speak the minute nigh; And warm consenting hearts they join, And paint the rapture high.
In every language, every tongue, The same kind things they say; In gentle slumbers speak by night, In waking dreams by day.
Cassandra's fate reversed is theirs;
She, true, no faith could gain,— They, every passing hour deceive, Yet are believed again.
THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN. YES, injured woman! rise, assert thy right! Woman! too long degraded, scorn'd, opprest; O born to rule in partial Law's despite, Resume thy native empire o'er the breast!
Go forth array'd in panoply divine;
That angel pureness which admits no stain, Go, bid proud man his boasted rule resign,
And kiss the golden sceptre of thy reign
Go, gird thyself with grace; collect thy store
Of bright artillery glancing from afar;
Soft melting tones thy thundering cannon's roar
Blushes and fears thy magazine of war.