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Can she, with fiction, charm the cheated mind, Lo, steel-clad war his gorgeous standard rears !
When to be grateful is the part assign'd ? The red cross squadrons madly rage, *
Ah no! she scorns the trappings of her art; And mow through infancy and age ;
No theme but truth, no prompter but the heart Then kiss the sacred dust and melt in tears.
But, ladies, say, must I alone unmask ? Veiling from the eye of day,
Is here no other actress ? let me ask. Penance dreams her life away ;
Believe me, those, who best the heart dissect, In cloister'd solitude she sits and sighs,
Know every woman studies stage effect. While from each shrine still, small responses rise. She moulds her manners to the part she fills, Hear, with what heartfelt beat, the midnight bell As instinct teaches, or as humour wills; Swings its slow summons through the hollow And as the grave or gay her talent calls, pile!
Acts in the drama till the curtain falls. The weak, wan votarist leaves her twilight cell,
First, how her little breast with triumph swells To walk, with taper dim, the winding aisle ;
When the red coral rings its golden bells ! With choral chantings vainly to aspire,
To play in pantomime is then the rage, Beyond this nether sphere, on rapture’s wing of fire. Along the carpet's many-colour'd stage ;
Or lisp her merry thoughts with loud endeavour, III. 3.
Now here, now there in noise and mischief ever! Lord of each pang the nerves can feel,
A school-girl next, she curls her hair in papers, Hence with the rack and reeking wheel. And mimics father's gout, and mother's vapours ; Faith lifts the soul above this little ball! Discards her doll, bribes Betty for romances ; While gleams of glory open round,
Playful at church, and serious when she dances; And circling choirs of angels call,
Tramples alike on customs and on toes, Canst thou, with all thy terrors crown'd, And whispers all she hears to all she knows; Hope to obscure that latent spark,
Terror of caps, and wigs, and sober notions ! Destined to shine when suns are dark ?
A romp! that longest of perpetual motions ! Thy triumphs cease! through every land,
-Till tamed and tortured into foreign graces, Hark! truth proclaims, thy triumphs cease! She sports her lovely face at public places; Her heavenly form, with glowing hand,
And with blue, laughing eyes, behind her fan, Benignly points to piety and peace.
First acts her part with that great actor, man. Flush'd with youth, her looks impart
Too soon a flirt, approach her and she flies! Each fine feeling as it flows;
Frowns when pursued, and, when entreated, sighs! Her voice the echo of a heart
Plays with unhappy men as cats with mice;
Till fading beauty hints the late advice.
Her prudence dictates what her pride disdain'd, And softly, sweetly die away.
And now she sues to slaves herself had chain'd! She smiles! and where is now the cloud
Then comes that good old character, a wise, That blacken'd o'er thy baleful reign ?
With all the dear, distracting cares of life;
A thousand cards a day at doors to leave,
And, in return, a thousand cards receive;
Snatch hralf a glimpse at concert, opera, ball,
And, when her shatter'd nerves forbid to roam,
In very spleen-rehearse the girls at home.
Last, the gray dowager, in ancient flounces, WRITTEN TO BE SPOKEN BY MRS. SIDDONS.
With snuff and spectacles the age denounces ; Yes, 'tis the pulse of life! my fears were vain ;
Boasts how the sires of this degenerate isle I wake, I breathe, and am myself again.
Knelt for a look, and duell'd for a smile. Still in this nether world; no seraph yet!
The scourge and ridicule of Goth and Vandal, Nor walks my spirit, when the sun is set,
Her tea she sweetens, as she sips, with scandal ; With troubled step to haunt the fatal board,
With modern belles eternal warfare wages, Where I died last-by poison or the sword;
Like her own birds that clamour from their cages ; Blanching each honest cheek with deeds of night,
And shutlles round to bear her tale to all, Done here so oft by dim and doubtful light.
Like some old ruin, “ nodding to its fall !" -To drop all metaphor, that little bell
Thus wornan makes her entrance and her exit; Call’d back reality, and broke the spell.
Not least an actress, when she least suspects it. No heroine claims your tears with tragic tone;
Yet nature oft peeps out and mars the plot,
Each lesson lost, each poor pretence forgot ;
At once lights up the features of the soul ;. * This remarkable event happened at the siege and Unlocks each thought chain'd down by coward art, sack of Jerusalem, in the last year of the eleventh century. And to full day the latent passions start!
After a tragedy, performed for her benefit, at the - And she, whose first, best wish is your applause, Theatre Royal in Drury-lane, April 27, 1795.
Herself exemplifies the truth she draws. 36
% A 2
Dlatth. Paris, p. 34.
Born on the stage-through every shifting scene,
CAPTIVITY. Obscure or bright, tempestuous or serene, Still has your smile her trembling spirit fired! Caged in old woods, whose reverend echoes wake And can she act, with thoughts like these inspired? When the hern screams along the distant lake, Thus from her mind all artifice she flings,
Her little heart oft flutters to be free,
And terraced walls their black reflection throw
She starts, she trembles, and she weeps !
0, if you knew the pensive pleasure
When morn first faintly draws her silver line,
TO AN OLD OAK.
Immota manet; multosque nepoles,
Dear is that valley to the murmuring bees;
Round thee, alas, no shadows move!
And the wolf howl beneath.
There once the steel-clad knight reclined,
His brow the hero cross'd!
To celebrate the May.
Opening new spheres of thought !
Of human sacrifice !
Of him who came to die!
Sweet drop of pure and pearly light!
TO A VOICE THAT HAD BEEN LOST.
Vane, quid affectas faciem mihi ponere, pictor ?
TO TWO SISTERS.*
Well may you sit within, and, fond of grief,
ONCE more, enchantress of the soul,
Perhaps to many a desert shore,
Far happier thou ! 'twas thine to soar
Which taught thee first a flight divine,
ON A TEAR. 0! That the chymist's magic art Could crystallize this sacred treasure ! Long should it glitter near my heart A secret source of pensive pleasure. The little brilliant, ere it fell, Its lustre caught from Chloe's eye; Then, trembling, left its coral cellThe spring of sensibility!
FROM A GREEK EPIGRAM. WHILE on the cliff with calm delight she kneels, And the blue vales a thousand joys recall, See, to the last, last verge her infant steals! O fly-yet stir not, speak not, lest it fall. Far better taught, she lays her bosom bare, And the fond boy springs back to nestle there.
+ In the winter of 1805.
On the death of a younger sister.
* The law of gravitation. #Mrs. Sheridan's.
THE BOY OF EGREMOND. FRAGMENT OF A STATUE OF HERCULES,
“ Say, what remains when hope is filed ?" COMMONLY CALLED THE TORSO.
She answer'd, “ Endless weeping !" AND dost thou still, thou mass of breathing stone, For in the herdsman's eye she read (Thy giant limbs to night and chaos hurld,)
Who in his shroud lay sleeping. Still sit as on the fragment of a world ;
At Embsay rung the matin-bell, Surviving all, majestic and alone ?
The stag was roused on Barden fell; What though the spirits of the north, that swept The mingled sounds were swelling, dying, Rome from the earth, when in her pomp she slept, And down the Wharfe a hern was flying; Smote thee with fury, and thy headless trunk
When near the cabin in the wood, Deep in the dust ’mid tower and temple sunk; In tartan clad and forest green, Soon to subdue mankind 'twas thine to rise,
With hound in leash and hawk in hood, Still, still unquell'd thy glorious energies !
The Boy of Egremond was seen, Aspiring minds, with thee conversing, caught* Blithe was his song, a song of yore ; Bright revelations of the good they sought ;
But where the rock is rent in two, By thee that long-lost spellt in secret given,
And the river rushes through,
'Twas but a step! the gulf he pass’d
As through the mist he wing'd his way,
(A cloud that hovers night and day,)
The hound hung back, and back he drew Au! little thought she, when, with mild delight,
The master and his merlin too. By many a torrent's shining track she flew,
That narrow place of noise and strife
Received their little all of life!
The “ Miserere !” duly sung;
And holy men in cowl and hood
But what avail they? Ruthless lord,
Thou didst not shudder when the sword Yet round her couch indulgent fancy drew
Here on the young its fury spent, The kindred forms her closing eye required.
The helpless and the innocent. There didst thou stand—there, with the smile she
Sit now and answer groan for groan, knew,
The child before thee is thy own.
And she who wildly wanders there
Shall oft remind thee, waking, sleeping, To thee, how changed ! comes as she ever came
Of those who by the Wharfe were weeping; Health on her cheek, and pleasure in her eye!
Of those who would not be consoled
When red with blood the river rollid.
TO A FRIEND ON HIS MARRIAGE.
The maid thy earliest, fondest wishes knew. WRITTEN IN A SICK CHAMBER. Each soft enchantment of the soul is hers; THERE, in that bed so closely curtain'd round,
Thine be the joys to firm attachment due. Worn to a shade, and wan with slow decay, As on she moves with hesitating grace, A father sleeps ! O hush'd be every sound ! She wins assurance from his soothing voice; Soft may we breathe the midnight hours away! And, with a look the pencil could not trace, He stirs—yet still he sleeps. May heavenly dreams Smiles through her blushes, and confirms the choice. Long o'er his smooth and settled pillow rise ;
* In the twelfth century William Fitz-Duncan laid Till through the shutter'd pane the morning streams
waste the valleys of Craven with fire and sword; and And on the hearth the glimmering rushlight dies. was afterward established there by his uncle, David,
King of Scotland. * In the gardens of the Vatican, where it was placed by He was the last of the race; his son, commonly called Julius H., it was long the favourite study of those great the Boy of Egremond, dying before him in the manner here men to whom we owe the revival of the arts, Michael related; when a priory was removed from Embsay to Angelo, Raphael, and the Carracci.
Bolton, that it might be as near as possible to the place + Once in the possession of Praxiteles, if we may be where the accident happened. That place is sttil known lieve an ancient epigram on the Guidian Venus.-Ana- by the name of the Strid; and the mother's answer, as lecta Vet. Poetarum, III. 200.
given in the first stanza, is to this day often repeated in On the death of her sister.
Wharfedale.-See Whitaker's Hist. of Craven.
YOUNGEST DAUGHTER OF LADY ****,
Spare the fine tremors of her feeling frame !
An, why with tell-tale tongue reveal* What most her blushes would conceal? Why lift that modest veil to trace The seraph sweetness of her face? Some fairer, better sport prefer ; And feel for us, if not for her.
For this presumption, soon or late, Know thine shall be a kindred fate. Another shall in vengeance rise Sing Harriet's cheeks, and Harriet's eyes ; And, echoing back her wood-notes wild, -Trace all the mother in the child !
AN EPITAPHT ON A ROBIN-REDBREAST.
THE ALPS AT DAYBREAK. THE sunbeams streak the azure skies, And line with light the mountain's brow: With hounds and horns the hunters rise, And chase the roe-buck through the snow. From rock to rock, with giant bound, High on their iron poles they pass ; Mute, lest the air, convulsed by sound, Rend from above a frozen mass.* The goats wind slow their wonted way, Up craggy steeps and ridges rude; Mark'd by the wild wolf for his prey, From desert cave or hanging wood. And while the torrent thunders loud, And as the echoing cliffs reply, The huts peep o'er the morning cloud, Perch'd, like an eagle's nest, on high.
TREAD lightly here ; for here, 'tis said,
TO THE GNAT.
IMITATION OF AN ITALIAN SONNET.
Love, under friendship's vesture white,
But now as rage the god appears !
WHEN by the greenwood side, at summer eve,
A CHARACTER. As through the hedge-row shade the violet steals, And the sweet air its modest leaf reveals; Her softer charms, but by their influence known, Surprise all hearts, and mould them to her own.
MINE be a cot beside the hill,
* There are passes in the Alps, where the guides tell * Alluding to some verses which she had written on an you to move on with speed, and say nothing, lest the agi. elder sister. tation of the air should loosen the snows above.
+ Inscribed on an urn in the flower-garden at Hafod.