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Caprice in all her wayward fits display'd,
Folly in all her nicer shades portray'd;
The testiness of age-the soldier's sense-
The maiden's sweet discourse-Love's eloquence;
The lively wife, not quite by fashion spoil'd;
The smooth artificer of mischief foil'd;
The generous rake, for, lingering near his heart,
His better genius would not yet depart ;-
These, true to nature, still adorn our stage,
Or, in his calm retreat, amuse the sage;
These, like the gems of rarer worth are prized,
When those of transient value are despised.
In senates (there his talents shone confest),
As wit delighted, passion storm'd the breast.
The mind, with taste, sense, judgment, feeling fraught,
Seem'd to be blest by more than human thought!
Hence burning words, for freedom gave the choice,
The lightning of his eye, the magic of his voice!
When social mirth beam'd forth in every eye,
His was the lively jest, the keen reply,
The "flow of soul," Wit season'd high the song,
While playful Fancy drove old Time along.
Ye noble few, whose memories ponder o'er
His cheerful smile, his wit's unfailing store
Bright to the last, how graceful are your tears!
They tell of what he was in happier years.
The friend, whose genius shed its vivid ray
Far from your hearts to drive life's cares away—
The gay companion, sharers in whose mirth
You had forgot that sorrow dwelt on earth.
Ye fair, who knew his elegance of mind,
His soul, still breathing in the verse refin'd;
His purity of heart for her he loved,
(Her fondness by the bitterest trial proved)-
While in your hearts the soft affections live,
His faults, whate'er they were, you must forgive.
And you, you all, whom many a sprightly scene
Waking applause, shall teach what he has been;
Who still revere the patriot, love the bard,
From Envy's blight his sacred memory guard!
While Glory, circling round his cold, pale urn,
By Fancy watch'd, shall undefiled burn.
"The clearness and brilliancy of the heavens, the serenity of the air, and the soft tranquillity in which Nature reposes, contribute to harmonise the mind, and to produce calm and delightful sensations."-EDWARDS'S West Indies, vol. i. page 10.
How lovely was that eve, the moon shone clear,
Not e'en a vapoury cloud was sailing near!
The fire-flies swarm'd around with fitful glare,
Like magic gems they sparkled through the air.
Now glow'd the stars, in such a bright array,
They seem'd to lighten forth a milder day:
There might the exulting soul aspire to be
Mingled with light through all eternity!
WRITTEN AFTER SEEING "TIMON OF ATHENS AT DRURY LANE
GENIUS of fallen Babylon-behold
In London, mart of opulence and vice,
Thy scenes of former luxury unroll'd!
Here everything, e'en woman, has its price:
Here Mammon plies his subtle trade with dice:
Bevies of dainty damsels here abound,
With Levi's tribe the unwary to entice,
Till fortune, mind, and body be unsound: Corruption's fatal gulfs here menace all around!
Much is allow'd to youth, to feelings strong,
To Pleasure's tempting look, companions gay;
He who would scorn the soul-awakening song,
Whose heart is shut 'gainst beauty's genial ray,
He would despise the loveliness of May ;-
Not outward, no, nor inward sunshine warms
His soul, himself a moving mass of clay.
The goodliest prospect has for him no charms;
He never, never felt the lover's sweet alarms.
Awake to life!- -no more of harlot's smiles
Dream, nor the noisy merriment of knaves!
How many losels perish by the wiles
Of sweet Aspasias, Timon's grateful slaves!
Lo! the trim yacht rides buoyant o'er the waves,
Fairer in show, more fragile than the rest
Of meaner barks: the sudden tempest raves-
Amidst the ignoble craft she rolls distrest,
It nought avails her now to be so gaily drest.
'Tis vain to mourn-yet oft remorse will tear
The breast, from which all virtues are not wrung
By Wantonness, false witch! whose aspect fair
Blinds doating eld, and fascinates the young,
Till by her arts their sinews are unstrung,
Their strength exhausted ;—wasted in their prime,
They mar those hopes to which their parents clung;
Fame, fortune, genius sacrificed to crime-
And all these lessons learn'd in boyhood's happier time!