Imágenes de páginas

'Tis Britain's care to watch o'er Europe's fate; And hold in balance each contending State ! To threaten bold presumptuous Kings with war; And answer her afflicted neighbours' prayer! The Dane and Swede, roused up by fierce alarms, Bless the wise conduct of her pious Arms! Soon as her Fleets appear, their terrors cease; And all the Northern World lies hushed in peace!

Th' ambitious Gaul beholds, with secret dread, Her thunder aimed at his aspiring head; And fain her Godlike sons would disunite By foreign gold, or by domestic spite : But strives in vain to conquer, or divide; Whom Nassau's Arms defend, and counsels guide!

Fired with the name, while I so oft have found The distant climes and different tongues resound, I bridle in my struggling Muse with pain ! That longs to launch into a bolder strain.

But I've already troubled you too long; Nor dare attempt a more advent'rous Song ; My humble Verse demands a softer theme, A painted meadow, or a purling stream! Unfit for Heroes ! whom immortal Lays, And lines like VIRGIL's, or like yours, should praise !


BENEATH some hoary mountain,

I'll lay me down and weep!
Or near some warbling fountain,

Bewail myself asleep!
Where feathered quires combining

With gentle murmuring streams,
And winds in consort joining,

Raise sadly-pleasing dreams.

O, THE pleasing, pleasing anguish!
When we love, and when we languish!

Wishes rising!
Thoughts surprising !
Pleasure courting !
Charms transporting !
Fancy viewing

Joys ensuing !
O, the pleasing, pleasing anguish !

IF 'tis joy to wound a Lover,

How much more to give him ease!
When his Passion we discover,
O, how pleasing 'tis to please!

The bliss returns; and we receive
Transports greater than we give !




To wake the Soul, by tender strokes of Art! To raise the genius, and to mend the heart! To make Mankind, in conscious virtue bold, Live o'er each scene, and Be what they behold! For this, the Tragic Muse first trod the Stage, Commanding tears to stream through every Age. Tyrants no more their savage nature kept; And foes to Virtue wondered how they wept!

Our Author shuns, by vulgar springs, to move The Hero's glory, or the Virgin's love! In pitying Love, we but our weakness show; And wild Ambition well deserves its woe!

Here, tears shall flow from a more gen'rous cause; Such tears as Patriots shed for dying Laws! He bids your breasts with ancient ardour rise; And calls forth Roman drops from British eyes! Virtue confessed in human shape he draws; What Plato thought, and Godlike Cato was! No common object to your sight displays; But what, with pleasure Heaven itself surveys:

A brave man struggling in the storms of Fate;
And greatly falling, with a falling State!
While Cato gives his little Senate laws;
What bosom beats not in his country's cause!
Who sees him act; but envies every deed!
Who hears him groan; and does not wish to bleed!

Even when proud CÆSAR, ʼmidst triumphal cars,
The spoils of nations, and the pomp of wars,
Ignobly vain, and impotently great,
Showed Rome, her Cato's figure drawn in State;
As her dead Father's reverend image past,

pomp was darkened, and the day o'ercast ! The Triumph ceased! Tears gushed from every eye! The World's great Victor passed unheeded by! Her last good man, dejected Rome adored; And honoured CÆSAR's, less than Cato's, sword!

Britons, attend! Be worth like this approved; And shew you have the virtue to be moved ! With honest scorn, the first famed Cato viewed Rome learning arts from Greece; whom she subdued. Our Scene precariously subsists too long On French Translation, and Italian Song ! Dare to have sense yourselves! Assert the Stage! Be justly warmed with your own native rage! Such Plays alone should please a British ear, As Cato's self had not disdained to hear.


Cato, solus, sitting in a thoughtful posture. In his hand, Plato's book on The Immortality of the Soul. A drawn sword on a table by him.

It must be so! Plato, thou reason'st well!

Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after Immortality!
Or whence this secret dread and inward horror
Of falling into nought! Why shrinks the Soul
Back on herself; and startles at destruction ?
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us!
'Tis Heaven itself, that points out an Hereafter ;
And intimates Eternity to Man!

Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untried Being,
Through what new scenes and changes, must we pass !
The wide, th' unbounded, prospect lies before me;
But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it!

Here, will I hold! If there 's a Power above us (And that there is, all Nature cries aloud

« AnteriorContinuar »