« AnteriorContinuar »
But as death, my beloved, soon or late shall o'ertake us, If Apollo should e'er his assistance refuse,
And our breasts which alive with such sympathy
Will sleep in the grave till the blast shall awake us,
When calling the dead, in earth's bosom laid low:
Or the Nine be disposed from your service to rove
Invoke them no more, bid adieu to the muse,
And try the effect of the first kiss of love.
I hate you, ye cold compositions of art:
Though prudes may condemn me, and bigots reprove,
1 court the effusions that spring from the heart
Which throbs with delight to the first kiss of love
Your shepherds, your flocks, those fantastical themes
Perhaps may amuse, yet they never can move:
Arcadia displays but a region of dreams;
What are visions like these to the first kiss of love?
Oh! cease to affirm that man, since his birth,
From Adam till now, has with wretchedness strove;
Some portion of paradise still is on earth,
And Eden revives in the first kiss of love.
When age chills the blood, when our pleasures are
For years fleet away with the wings of the dove-
The dearest remembrance will still be the last,
Our sweetest memorial the first kiss of love.
TO A BEAUTIFUL QUAKER.
Sweet girl! though only once we met,
That meeting I shall ne'er forget;
And though we ne'er may meet again
Remembrance will thy form retain.
I would not say, "I love," but still
My senses struggle with my will:
In vain to drive thee from my breast,
My thoughts are more and more represt,
In vain I check the rising sighs,
Another to the last replies:
Perhaps this is not love, but yet
Our meeting I can ne'er forget.
What though we never silence broke,
Our eyes a sweeter language spoke;
The tongue in flattering falsehood deals,
And tells a tale it never feels:
Deceit the guilty lips impart,
And hush the guilty mandates of the heart;
But soul's interpreters, the eyes,
Spurn such restraint, and scorn disguise.
As thus our glances oft conversed,
And all our bosoms felt rehearsed,
No spirit, from within, reproved us,
Say rather, "twas the spirit moved us."
Though what they utter'd I repress,
Yet I conceive thou'lt partly guess;
For as on thee my memory ponders,
Perchance to me thine also wanders.
This for myself, at least, I'll say,
Thy form appears through night, through day
Awake, with it my fancy teems;
In sleep, it smiles in fleeting dreams;
The vision charms the hours away,
And bids me curse Aurora's ray
For breaking slumbers of delight
Which make me wish for endless night.
Since, oh! whate'er iny future fate,
Shall joy or woe my steps awai*,
Tempted by love, by storms beset,
Thine image can ne'er forget.
Alas! again no more we meet, No more our former looks repeat; Then let me breathe this parting prayer, The dictate of my bosom's care:
May Heaven so guard my lovely Quaker,
That anguish can ne'er o'ertake her;
That peace and virtue ne'er forsake her,
But bliss be aye her neart's partaker!
Oh! may the happy mortal fated
To be, by dearest ties, related,
For her each hour new joys discover,
And lose the husband in the lover!
May that fair bosom never know
What 'tis to feel the restless woe
Which stings the soul, with vain regret,
Of him who never can forget!
Lesbia! since far from you I've ranged,
Our souls with fond affection glow not:
You say 'tis I, not you, have changed,
I'd tell why, but yet I know not.
Your polish'd brow no cares have crost;
And, Lesbia! we are not much older,
Since trembling first my heart I lost,
Or told my love, with hope grown bolder.
Sixteen was then our utmost age,
Two years have lingering past away, love! And now new thoughts our minds engage, At least I feel disposed to stray, love!
'Tis I that am alone to blame,
I, that am guilty of love's treason; Since your sweet breast is still the same, Caprice must be my only reason.
I do not, love! suspect your truth,
With jealous doubt my bosom heaves not;
Warm was the passion of my youth,
One trace of dark deceit it leaves not.
No, no, my flame was not pretended,
For, oh! I loved you most sincerely;
And-though our dream at last is ended-
My bosom still esteems you dearly.
No more we meet in yonder bowers;
Absence has made me prone to roving;
But older, firmer hearts than ours
Have found monotony in loving.
Your cheek's soft bloom is unimpair'd, New beauties still are daily bright'ning, Your eye for conquest beams prepared, The forge of love's resistless lightning.
Arm'd thus, to make their bosoms bleed, Many will throng to sigh like me, love! More constant they may prove, indeed; Fonder, alas! they ne'er can be, love!
Now hate rules a heart which in love's easy chains
Once passion's tumultuous blandishments knew;
Despair now inflames the dark tide of his veins;
He ponders in frenzy on love's last adieu!
How he envies the wretch with a soul wrapt in steel
Ay, and the red right arm of Jove,
Hurtling his lightnings from above,
With all his terrors then unfurl'd,
He would unmoved, unawed behold:
The flames of an expiring world,
Again in crashing chaos roll'd,
In vast promiscuous ruin hurl'd,
Might light his glorious funeral pile:
Still dauntless midst the wreck of earth he'd smile
ANSWER TO SOME ELEGANT VERSES SENT BY
A FRIEND TO THE AUTHOR, COMPLAINING
THAT ONE OF HIS DESCRIPTIONS WAS RA
THER TOO WARMLY DRAWN.
"But if an old lady, knight, priest, or physician,
Should condemn me for printing a second edition;
If good Madam Squintum my work should abuse,
May I venture to give her a smack of my muse?”
Anstey's New Bath Guide, p. 169.
His pleasures are scarce, yet his troubles are few, CANDOUR compels me, BECHER! to commend
Who laughs at the pang that he never can feel, And dreads not the anguish of love's last adieu! 9.
Youth flies, life decays, even hope is o'ercast;
No more with love's former devotion we sue:
He spreads his young wing, he retires with the blast;
The shroud of affection is love's last adieu!
In this life of probation for rapture divine,
Astrea declares that some penance is due;
From him who has worshipp'd at love's gentle shrine,
The atonement is ample in love's last adieu!
Who kneels to the god on his altar of light
Must myrtle and cypress alternately strew:
His myrtle, an emblem of purest delight;
His cypress, the garland of love's last adieu!
IMITATION OF TIBULLUS.
"Sulpicia ad Cerinthum."-Lib. Quart.
CRUEL Cerinthus! does the fell disease
Which racks my breast your fickle bosom please?
Alas! I wish'd but to o'ercome the pain,
That I might live for love and you again:
But now I scarcely shall bewail my fate:
By death alone I can avoid your hate.
The verse which blends the censor with the friend.
Your strong, yet just, reproof extorts applause
From me, the heedless and imprudent cause.
For this wild error which pervades my strain,
I sue for pardon,-must I sue in vain?
The wise sometimes from Wisdom's ways depart;
Can youth then hush the dictates of the heart?
Precepts of prudence curb, but can't control,
The fierce emotions of the flowing soul.
When love's delirium haunts the glowing mina,
Limping Decorum lingers far behind:
Vainly the dotard mends her prudish pace,
Outstript and vanquish'd in the mental chase.
The young, the old, have worn the chains of love.
Let those who ne'er confined my lay reprove:
Let those whose souls contemn the pleasing power
Their censures on the hapless victim shower.
Oh! how I hate the nerveiess, frigid song,
The ceaseless echo of the rhyming throng,
Whose labour'd lines in chilling numbers flow,
To paint a pang the author ne'er can know!
The artless Helicon I boast is youth;-
My lyre, the heart; my muse, the simple truth.
Far be 't from me the "virgin's mind" to "taint."
Seduction's dread is here no slight restraint.
The maid whose virgin breast is void of guile
Whose wishes dimple in a modest smile,
Whose downcast eye disdains the wanton leer,
Firm in her virtue's strength, yet not severe-
She whom a conscious grace shall thus refine
Will ne'er be "tainted" by a strain of mine.
But for the nymph whose premature desires
Torment the bosom with unholy fires,
No net to snare her willing heart is spread;
She would have fallen, though she ne'er had reas
For me, I fain would please the chosen few,
Whose souls, to feeling and to nature true,
Will spare the childish verse, and not destroy
The light effusions of a heedless boy.
I seek not glory from the senseless crowd;
Of fancied laurels I shall ne'er be proud;
Their warmest plaudits I would scarcely prize,
Their sneers or censures I alike despise.
ON A CHANGE OF MASTERS AT A GREAT
WHERE are those honours, Ida! once your own,
When Probus fill'd your magisterial throne?
As ancient Rome, fast falling to disgrace,
Hail'd a barbarian in her Cæsar's place,
So you, degenerate, share as hard a fate,
And seat Pomposus where your Probus sate.
Of narrow brain, yet of a narrower soul,
Pomposus holds you in his harsh control;
Pomposus, by no social virtue sway'd,
With florid jargon, and with vain parade;
With noisy nonsense, and new-fangled rules,
Such as were ne'er before enforced in schools
Mistaking pedantry for learning's laws,
He governs, sanction'd but by self-applause.
With him the same dire fate attending Rome,
Ill-fated Ida! soon must stamp your doom:
Like her o'erthrown, for ever lost to fame,
No trace of science left you but the name.
"I cannot but remember such things were,
And were most dear to me."
WHEN slow Disease, with all her host of pains,
Chills the warm tide which flows along the veins;
When Health, affrighted, spreads her rosy wing,
And flies with every changing gale of spring;
Not to the aching frame alone confined,
Unyielding pangs assail the drooping mind:
What grisly forms, the spectre-train of woe,
Bid shuddering Nature shrink beneath the blow,
With Resignation wage relentless strife,
While Hope retires appall'd and clings to life.
Yet less the pang when through the tedious hour
Remembrance sheds around her genial power,
Calls back the vanish'd days to rapture given,
When love was bliss, and Beauty form'd our heaven;
Or, dear to youth, portrays each childish scene,
Those fairy bowers, where all in turn have been.
As when through clouds that pour the summer storm
The orb of day unveils his distant form,
Gilds with faint beams the crystal dews of rain,
And dimly twinkles o'er the watery plain;
Thus, while the future dark and cheerless gleams,
The sun of memory, glowing through my dreams,
Though sunk the radiance of his former blaze,
To scenes far distant points his paler rays;
Still rules my senses with unbounded sway,
The past confounding with the present day.
Oft does my heart indulge the rising thought,
Which still recurs, unlook'd for and unsought;
My soul to Fancy's fond suggestion yields,
And roams romantic o'er her airy fields;
Scenes of my youth, develop'd, crowd to view,
To which I long have bade a last adieu!
Seats of delight, inspiring youthful themes;
Friends lost to me for aye except in dreams;
Some who in marble prematurely sleep,
Whose forms I now remember but to weep;
Some who yet urge the same scholastic course
Of early science, future fame the source;
Who, still contending in the studious race,
In quick rotation fill the senior place!
These with a thousand visions now unite,
To dazzle, though they please, my aching sight.
IDA! blest spot, where Science holds her reign,
How joyous once I join'd thy youthful train!
Bright in idea gleams thy lofty spire,
Again I mingle with thy playful quire;
Our tricks of mischief, every childish game,
Unchanged by time or distance, seem the same;
Through winding paths, along the glade, I trace
The social smile of ev'ry welcome face;
My wonted haunts, my scenes of joy and woe,
Each early boyish friend or youthful foe,
Our feuds dissolved, but not my friendship past:-
I bless the former, and forgive the last.
Hours of my youth! when, nurtured in my breast,
To love a stranger, friendship made me blest:-
Friendship, the dear peculiar bond of youth,
When every artless bosom throbs with truth;
Untaught by worldly wisdom how to feign,
And check each impulse with prudential rein;
When all we feel, our honest souls disclose-
In love to friends, in open hate to foes;
No varnish'd tales the lips of youth repeat,
No dear-bought knowledge purchased by deceit.
Hypocrisy, the gift of lengthen'd years,
Matured by age, the garb of prudence wears.
When now the boy is ripen'd into man,
His careful sire chalks forth some wary plan;
Instructs his son from candour's path to shrink,
Smoothly to speak, and cautiously to think;
Still to assent, and never to deny-
A patron's praise can well reward the lie:
And who, when Fortune's warning voice is heard,
Would lose his opening prospects for a word?
Although against that word his heart rebel,
And truth, indiguant, all his bosom swell.
Away with themes like this hot mine the task
From flattering fiends to tear the hateful mask;
Let keener bards delight in satire's sting;
My fancy soars not on Detraction's wing:
Once, and but once, she aim'd a deadly blow.
To hur! defiance on a secret foe;
But when that foe, from feeling or from shame,
The cause unknown, yet still to me the same,
Warn'd by some friendly hint, perchance, retired,
With this submission all her rage expired.
From dreaded pangs that feeble foe to save,
She hush'd her young resentment, and forgave;
Or, if my muse a pedant's portrait drew,
Pomposus' virtues are but known to few:
I never fear'd the young usurper's nod,
And he who wields must sometimes feel the rod.
If since on Granta's failings, known to all
Who share the converse of a college hall,
She sometimes trifled in a lighter strain,
'Tis past, and thus she will not sin again.
Soon must her early song for ever cease,
And all may rail when I shall rest in peace.
Here first remember'd be the joyous band
Who hail'd me chief, obedient to command;
Who join'd with me in every boyish sport-
Their first adviser, and their last resort;
Nor shrunk beneath the upstart pedant's frown,
Or all the sable glories of his gown;
Who, thus transplanted from his father's school-
Unfit to govern, ignorant of rule-
Succeeded him whom all unite to praise,
The dear preceptor of my early days;
Probus, the pride of science, and the boast,
TO IDA now, alas! for ever lost.
With him for years we search'd the classic page.
And fear'd the master, though we loved the sage
Retired at last, his small yet peaceful seat
| From learning's labour is the blest retreat