Page images



This is a beautiful life now! Privacy

The sweetness and the benefit of essence.

I see there's no man but may make his paradise;

And it is nothing but his love and dotage

Upon the world's foul joys that keeps him out on't.

FLETCHER'S Nice Valour, Act v. Scene 2.

THIS day, that shone most glorious from its birth, Is like a glimpse of Heaven as caught from earth. Here oft in silence have we loved to gaze On sylvan wonders, far above our praise. Our thoughts are fresh, as is the early dew In our life's morn; oh! were they always new, Earth would be Paradise; but soon they lose Their freshness, and grow stale by frequent use. Those varied fancies, that when we are young Please us, remain through want of art unsung; When art might teach us duly to express Their charms, alas! we feel and know them less.

The noblest landscape that e'er bless'd the sight,
Day after day beheld, scarce gives delight.
That which we now mis-name a trifling toy,
Once kindled in our hearts a flame of joy!
As the sky's brilliant hues at close of day
Melt down into an undistinguish'd grey—
Thus the changed mind, its lively colours past
Wears the dull livery of the world at last.

E'en PAMPHILUS, in whose young bosom dwelt
A love of all that's beautiful-who felt
That Nature, ever present where he roved,
Clung closely to his heart, a Nymph beloved!
Now views, unheeding, emerald vales and floods.
And in repose magnificent, the woods.

Yet better this than an o'eracted zeal
For rural beauties which you do not feel.
URBANUS is in raptures when he sees,

Since rudeness is a crime, his Patron's trees;
URBANUS deems not what he sees divine;
But 'tis polite to shout at times "How fine!"
This feign'd enthusiast with his words may cheat
The vain possessor of a country-seat!

But has URBANUS view'd the clouds that flush
Around a summer's sky, the morning's blush;
And felt, when quite alone, the deep, deep sense
Of beauty inexpress'd, not less intense

When all sensations of delight are thrown
Into a heavenward gratitude alone?

Pleasures like this are passionless, and give
A lesson to us for what ends we live :
They show the soul's high origin, though worn
By care, and oh! predict that glorious morn,
When life, and light, and love, the trinal beam,
Shall flow upon the good in endless stream!

A lute, a gentle voice, or summer skies,
All in their turn wake kindred sympathies;
Though few, like SYLVIUS, love to waste their hours
Courting romantic thoughts in tangled bowers,
"Till loathing social duties, he misdeems

Himself a spirit in a world of dreams.

Yet will meek evening to the coldest heart
A sober glow of happiness impart ;

Sweet promise this of pleasures yet to come,
Showing that earth is not our proper home.
This nature teaches to that being call'd
"Man of the world," or man by art enthrall'd,
With the thin gloss of fashion smoothing o'er
His real character, like thousands more!
So mild, his manners are to all the same;
Stranger or Friend alike attention claim.

Now FLAVIUS lingers in the town alone;
The pride and pomp of which, alas, are gone!

The mean young man will condescend to seek
A rural Bashaw's seat; but for a week:

Th' indignant Landlord scorns, as well he might,
The proffer'd honour, as he scorn'd the slight
Which FLAVIUS show'd him when among the crowd
Of worldlings walk'd the coxcomb poor and proud.
All pride is littleness-but very low

The pride which unpaid tailors can bestow !—
The bigot for his narrow creed may


Some reason, but a fool is fashion's slave;
Who, for a name's equivocal renown,

Would the best feelings of the heart disown.
Let brother triflers damn him as half-bred,
The charms of this much-boasted name are fled :
A word from fashion's high-priest,-sacred thing!
Will clip at once the young aspirant's wing.
Unhappy youth! whom fortune thus beguiles!
The lovely Peeress passes by, nor smiles.
The title "Exquisite" acquired with pain,
Like that of "Champion," is a doubtful gain.

The youth whose heart, replete with kindness, loved The world, whose generous acts that world approved, When all was new, and fancy gave a gloss

To life's realities that are but dross

In manhood, should his sanguine hopes be crost,
Is chill'd by apathy's unyielding frost;

Save when arise some sudden gusts of spleen,

You scarce would guess that he had active been.

Dreary will be life's eve to SPORUS soon,

The black cloud of contempt o'erhangs his noon.

One moment's gaze on such a scene as this
Is worth whole years of artificial bliss.
When the sun gilds with his declining rays
The castle famed in great ELIZA's days,
I love to linger near its ruin'd walls,
Where ivy clusters, or luxuriant falls :
Then in my mind are suddenly revived

The days when SIDNEY, "flower of knighthood," lived.
That stainless hero! a propitious star

In peace; a splendid meteor in the war!
Th' unwearied light of valour on his crest
Shone, while in royal halls he look'd the best.
Such noble spirits to a higher sphere

Belong, and, ere we know them, disappear!

Now the calm sunset gives a mellow grace
To the vast pile; what pleasure 'tis to trace
The shadows of past greatness! not a sound
Is heard, while twilight gently steals around.
Here time appears resistless; but my soul
Says that one Power can time itself control :
The Power that hath reveal'd the promise sure,
That now, one boundless present, shall endure.

But what are works upraised by human skill?
Mere toys, Pride's splendid playthings, if you will.-

« PreviousContinue »