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OR THE WEDDING-DAY.
Their souls in fragrant dews exhale,
Lo! Socrates, the sent of heaven, And breathe fresh life in every gale.
To whom its moral will was given. Here, spreads a green expanse of plains,
Fathers and friends of human kind, Where, sweetly pensive, lilence reigns ;
They form'd the nations, or refin'd; And there, at utmost stretch of eye,
With all that mends the head and heart, A mountain fades into the sky;
Enlightening truth, adorning art. While winding round, diffus'd and deep,
While thus I mus'd beneath the shade, A river rolls with sounding sweep.
At once the founding breeze was laid : Of human art no traces near,
And nature, by the unknown law, I seem alone with nature here !
Shook deep with reverential awe. Here are thy walks, O sacred Health !
Dumb filence grew upon the hour; The monarch's bliss, the beggar's wealth ; A browner night involv'd the bower: The seasoning of all good below!
When issuing from the inmoft wood, The sovereign friend in joy or woe!
Appear'd fair freedom's genius good. thou, most courted, most despis’d,
o Freedom! sovereign boon of heaven; And but in absence duly priz’d!
Great charter, with our being given; Power of the soft and rosy face!
For which the patriot, and the sage, The vivid pulse, the vermil grace,
Have plann'd, have bled through every age! The spirits when they gayest shine,
High privilege of human race, Youth, beauty, pleasure, all are thine!
Beyond a mortal monarch's grace: Of fun of life! whose heavenly ray
Who could not give, nor can reclaim,
What but from God immediate came?
CUPID AND HYMEN:
The rising morn, serenely still,
Had brightening spread o'er vale and hill. Fled from the couch, where, in sweet sleep, Not thuie loose beams that wanton play, Hot riot would his anguish steep,
To light the mirth of giddy. May; But tosses through the midnight-shade,
Nor such red heats as burn the plain, Of death, of life, alike afraid ;
In ardent Summer's feverish reign : For ever fied to shady cell,
But rays, all equal, soft and sober, Where temperance, where the muses dwell; To fuit the second of October ; Thou oft art seen, at early dawn,
To suit the pair, whose wedding-day Slow-pacing o'er the breeay lawn:
This fun now gilds with annual ray. Or on the brow of mountain high,
Just then, where our good-natur'd Thames is In filence feasting ear and eye,
Some four fort miles above St James's, With song and prospect, which abound
And deigns, with filver-streaming wave, From birds, and woods, and waters round. Th’abodes of earth-born pride to lave, But when the sun, with noon-tide ray,
Aloft in air two gods were soaring; Flames forth intolerable day;
While Putney-cits beneath lay snoring, While heat fits fervent on the plain,
Plung'd deep in dreams of ten per cent, With thirst and languor in his train :
On sums to their dear country lent: All nature fickening in the blaze :
Two gods of no inferior fame, Thou, in the wild and woody maze,
Whom ancient wits with reverence name; That clouds the vale with nonbrage deep, Though wiser moderns much disparage--Impendent from the neiglıbouring steep,
I mean the gods of love and marriage. Wilt find betimes a calm retreat,
But Cupid first, his wit to show, Where breathing coolness has her seat.
Alluming a mere modern beau, There, plung'd amid the lhadows brown, Whose utmost aim is idle mirth, Imagination lays him down;
Look'd---just as coxcombs look on earth: Attentive, in his airy mood,
Then rais'd his chin, then cock'd his hat, To every murmur of the wood :
To grace this common-place chit-chat; The bee in yonder flowery nook ;
How! on the wing, by break of dawn! The chidings of the headlung brook ;
Dear brother---there he forc'd a yawn--The green leaf shivering in the gale ;
To tell men, sunk in stecp profound, The warbling hill, the lowing vale ;
They must, ere night, be gag'd and bound! The distant woodman's echoing itruke;
Who, having once put on thy chain, The thunder of the falling oak.
'Tis odds, may ne'er sleep found again, From thought to thought in vilion led,
So say the wits : but wiler folks He holds high converse with the dead;
Still marry, and contemn their jokes : Sages, or poets. See they rise !
They know, each better bliss is thine, And shadowy skim before his eyes.
Pure nectar, genuine from the vine ! Hark! Orpheus strikes the lyre again,
And Love's own hand that nectar pours, That loftens savages to men:
Which never fails, nor ever fours;
Well, be it fo: yet there are fools,
But first, a pensive love forlorn, Who dare demur to former rules;
Who three long weeping years has borne Who laugh profanely at their berters,
His torch revers'd, and all around, And find no freedom plac'd in fetters;
Where once it flam'd, with cypress bound, But, well or ill, jog on through life
Sent off, to call a neighbouring friend, Without that sov'reign bliss, a wife.
On whom the mournful train attend : Leave thefe at least, these sad dogs free,
And bid him, this one day, at least, To stroll with Bacchus and with me;
For such a pair, at such a feast, And fup, in Middletex, or Surrey,
Strip off the sable veil, and wear On coarle cold beef, and Fanny Murray.
His once-gay look and happier air. Thus Cupid---and with such a leer,
But Hymen, speeding forward still, You would have fworn 'twas Ligonier,
Observ'd a man on Richmond-hill, While Hymen soberly reply'd,
Who now first tries a country life ; Yet with an air of conscious pride :
Perhaps, to fit him for a wife. Just come from yonder wretched scene,
But, though not much on this he reckond, Where all is venal, falle, and mean,
The patling god look'd in and beckon'd : (Looking on London as he spoke )
He knows him rich in social merit, I marvel not at thy dull joke;
With independent taste and spirit; Nor, in such cant, to hear thee vapour,
Though he will laugh with men of whim, Thy quiver lin'd with South-sea paper ;
For fear such men should laugh at him. Thine arrows feather’d, at the tail,
But lo, already on his way, With India-bonds, for hearts on sale;
In due observance of the day, Their other ends too, as is meet,
A friend and favourite of the nine, Tipp'd with gold points from Lombard-Itreet, Who can, but seldom cares to shine, But could'st thou for a moment quit
And one fole virtue would arrive at These airs of fashionable wit,
To keep his many virtues private. And re-assume thy nobler name...
Who tends, well pleas’d, yet as by stealth, 1.ook that way, where I turn my flame.-
His lov'd companions ease and health : He said, and held his torch inclin'd,
Or in his garden, barring out Which, pointed fo, ftill brighter shin'd--
The noise of every neighbouring rout, Behold yon couple, arm in arm,
At pensive hour of eve and prime, Whom I, eight years, have known to charm; Marks how the various hand of time And, while they wear my willing chains,
Now feeds and rears, now Itarves and laughters; A god dares swear that neither feigns.
His vegetable sons and daughters. This morn that bound their mutual vow,
While these are on their way, behold! That bleft them first, and blelles now,
Dan Cupid, from his London-fold, They grateful hail! and, from the soul,
First seeks and sends his new Lord Warden With thousands o'er both heads may roll; Of all the nymphs in Covent-Garden: Till, from life's banquet, either guest,
Brave as the sword he wears in fight; Embracing, may retire to rest.
Sincere, and briefly in the right; Come then, all raillery laid afide,
Whom never minister or king Let this their day serenely glide :
Saw meanly cringing in their ring. With mine thy serious aim unite,
A second see! of special note, And both fome proper guests invite ;
Plump Comus f in a colonel's coat; That not one minute's running sand
Whom we, this day, expect from far, May find their pleasures at a stand.
A jolly first-rate man of war; At this severe and sad rebuke,
On whom we boldly dare repose, Enough to make a coxcomb puke ;
To meet our friends, or mect our foes. Poor Cupid, blushing, thrugg'd and wincid,
Or comes a brother in his stead? Not yet confenting, though convinc'd :
Strong-body'd too, and strong of head: For 'tis your witling's greatest terror,
Who, in whatever path be goes, Ev’n when he feels to own his error.
Still looks right on before his bose; Yet, with a look of arch grimace,
And holds it little less than treason,
To baulk his stomach or his reason.
* A. Mitchell, Esq. Minifier at the Court of That, as true humour was grown searce, Prusia He chose to see a fober farce ;
+ The late General Stelton. He bad jus thes For, of all cattle and all fowl,
purchased a House in Henrietta-street. Your folemn-looking ass and owl
# The late Col. Caroline Scott; who though Rais'd much more mirth, he durft aver it, extremely corpulent, was uncommonly eative; Than those jack-puddings, pug and parrot. and who, to much skill, spirit, and bravery, as an
He said, and eastward fpread his wing, officer, joined the greatest gentleness of mazzers From London some few friends to bring.
as a companion and friend. He died a sacrifice to His brother too, with sober cheer,
the public, in the service of the Eaft-India CompeFor the same end did weltward fteer a
71 y, at Bengal, in the year 1755.
True to his mistress and his meat,
And each companionable guest
Withdraws, replenish'd, not opprest,
My life be such a wedding-day!
WRITTEN AT TUNBRIDGE WELLS, M,DCC,IS.
WHEN Churchill led his legions on,
And are those triumphs, with the dead,
All from his houle, for ever fled ?
Not so: by softer lurer arms,
They yet survive in beauty's charms;
Fur, look on blooming Pembroke's face,
Even pow he triumphs in his race.
AN ODE IN THE MASQUE OF ALFRED:
Sung by a Shepherdess who has loft ber lover in
A YOUTH, adorn'd with every art,
To warm and win the coldest heart,
In secret mine pofleft.
The morning bud that fairest blows,
The vernal oak that straightest grows,
His face and thape expreft.
In moving sounds he told his tale,
Soft as the sighings of the gale,
That wakes the flowery year.
What wonder he could charm with ease,
Whom happy nature taught to please,,
Whom honour made fincere.
At morn he left me-fought and fell!
The fatal evening heard his knell,
And saw the tears I Thed :
Tears that must ever, ever fall;
For ab! no fighs the past recall,
No cries awake the dead !
THE EXCURSION; A POEM,
IN TWO CANTOS.
INVOCATION, addressed to Fancy. Subject proposed; a short excursive survey of the Earth and
Heavens. The poem opens with a description of the face of Nature in the different scenes of morn-
character of a friend deceased.
continent and the deserts of Tartary From thence fouthward: a general prospect of the globe, fol-
Contains, on the same plan, a survey of the solar system, and of the fixed stars.
atone for the irregularity of the composition, which he confesses, and does not even attempt to excuse, is submitted entirely to the candour of the reader.
Scud o'er the lawns, and plunging into night, Companion of the muse, creative power,
In brake, or cavern, slumber out the day.
Invited by the cheerful morn abroad,
See, from his humble roof, the good man comes Thy hourly offspring : thou, who canst at will
To taste her freshness, and improve her rise People with air-born shapes the filent wood,
In holy musing. Rapture in his eye, And solitary vale, thy own domain,
And kneeling wonder speak his filent soul, Where contemplation haunts; oh come, invok'd,
With gratitude o'erflowing, and with praise! To waft me on thy many-tinctur'd wing,
Now industry is up. The village pours
Her useful fons abroad to various toil:
Of future plenty arm'd; and there the swain, Of vice and folly, vanity and man
A rural king amid his subject-flocks,
Whose bleatings wake the vocal hills afar.
Among the dews of morn. Aurora calls:
But see, the flush'd horizon flames intenso While summer laughing comes, and bids the
With vivid red, in rich profilion ftream'd months
O'er heaven's pure arch. At once the clouds alCrown his prime seafon with their choicest stores;
sumc Fresh roses opening to the solar ray,
Their gayest liveries; these with filvery beams And fruits slow-swelling on the loaded bough.
Fring'd lovely, splendid those in liquid gold: Here let me frequent roam, preventing morn,
And speak their Tovereign's state. He comes, bcs Attentive to the cock, whose early throat,
hold! Heard from the distant village in the vale, Fountain of light and colour, warmth and life! Crows cheerly out, far sounding through the
The king of glory! round his head divine, gloom.
tky, Diffusive showers of radiance circling flow, Night hears from where, wide-hovering in mid
As o'er the Indian wave up-rising fair She rules the fable hour: and calls her train
He looks abroad on nature, and invests, Of visionary fears; the shrouded ghoft,
Where-c'cr his universul eye surveys, The dream distressful, and th' encumbent hag,
Her ample bofom, earth, air, sea, and sky, That rise to fancy's eye in horrid forms,
In one bright rohe, with heavenly tinctures gay. While reason Numbering lies. At once they fly,
From this hoare hill, that climbs above the As shadows pass, nor is their path beheld.
(Woods And now, pale-glimmering on the verge of Half-way up heaven ambitious, brown with heaven,
Of broadest shade, and terrass'd round with walks, Irom east to north in double twilight seen,
Winding and wild, that deep en bowering rise, A whitening lustre fhoots its tender beam; Maze above maze, through all its fhelter'd height; While shade and silence yet involve the ball.
From hence, th' aëreal concave without cloud, Now sacred morn, ascending, smiles serene
Translucent, and in purest azure dreft ;
The boundiefs scene beneath, hill, dale, and plais A dewy radiance, brightening o'er the world. Gay daughter of the air, for ever young,
The precipice abrupt; the distant deep, For ever pleasing! lo, the onward comes,
Whose shores remurmur to the sounding furge; In fluid gold and azure loose-array'd,
The nearest forest in wide circuit spread, Sun-tinctur’d, changeful hues. At her approach,
Solemn recess, whose solitary walks, The western gray of yonder breaking clouds Fair truth and wisdom love; the bordering lawn Slow-reddens into flame: the rising milts,
With flocks and herds enrich'd; the daily'd vale From off the mountain's brow, roll blue away
The river's crystal, and the meadows greenIn curling spires; and open all his woods,
Grateful diversity! allure the eye High waving in the sky: th' uncolour'd stream,
Abroad, to rove amid ten thousand charms. Beneath her glowing ray translucent shines. These scenes, where every virtue, every mufe Glad nature feels her through her boundless realms Delighted range, ferene the foul, and lift, Of life and senfe : and calls forth all her fweets, Borne on devotion's wing, beyond the pole, Fragrance and song. From cach unfolding flower To highest heaven her thought; to nature's God, Transpires the balm of life, that zephyr wafts, First lource of all things lovely, all things good, Delicious, on his rosy wing : each bird,
Eternal, infinite! before whole throne Or high in air, or secret in the shade,
Sits sovereign bounty, and through heaven and Rejoicing warbles wild his matin hymn.
Careless diffufes plenitude of bliss carth While beasts of chase, by secret instind mov'd, Him all things own: he speaks, and it is day,
Obedient to his nod, alternate night
With conscious guilt, though hid in deepest shade, Obscures the world. The seasons at his call Hears and flies wild, pursued by all his fears : Succeed in train, and lead the year around. And sees the bleeding shadow of the slain
While reason thus and rapture fill the heart; Rise hideous, glaring on him through the gloom! Friends of mankind, good angels, hovering near, Hark! through th' aerial vault, the form Their holy influence, deep-insusing, lend;
flam'd And in still whispers, soit as zephyr's breath Comes nearer, hoarsely loud, abrupt and fierce, When scarce green leaf trembles, through her Peal hurl'd on peal incessant, burit on burst: powers
Torn from its bafe, as if the general frame Inspire new vigour, purer light supply,
Were tumbling into chaos_There it fel!, And kindle every virtue into flame.
With whirlwind-wing, in red diffusion flash'd. Celestial intercourse! superior bliss, [roul, Destruction marks its path, yon riven oak Which vice ne'er knew! health of th' enliven’s Is hid in smouldering fires : surpris'd beneath, And heaven on earth begun! Thus ever fix'd The traveller ill-omen'd prostrate falls, In folitude, may I, obscurely safe,
A livid corse. Yon cottage flames to heaven. Deceive mankind, and steal through life along, And in its farthest cell, to which the hour, As flides the foot of time, unmark'd, unknown! All-horrible, had sped their steps, behold! Exalted to his noon the fervent fun,
The parent breathless lies; her orphan-babes Full-blazing v'er the blue immense, burns out Shudderiing and speechless round-O Power dii With fierce effulgence. Now th' embowering vine!
Whofe will, unerring, points the bolt of fate! Of vale sequester’d, or the fir-crown'd fide Thy hand, though terrible, thall man decide Of airy mountain, whence with lucid lapfe If punishment, or mercy, dealt the blow? Falls many a dew-fed stream, invites the step Appeas'd at last, the tumult of the skies Of muling poet, and secures repose
Subíides, the thunder's falling roar is huth'd : To weary pilgrim. In the flood of day,' At once the clouds fly scattering, and the sun Oppreilive brightness deluging the world, Breaks out with boundless splendour o'er the Sick nature pants: and from the cleaving earth
world, Light vapours, undulating through the air, Parent of light and joy! to all things he # Contagions fly, engendering dire disease,
New lise reitores, and from each drooping field Red plague, and fever; or, in fogs aloft
Draws the redundant rain, in climbing milts Condensing, how a rufiling tempeft nign. Faft-rising to his ray; till every flower
And see, exhaling from ch' Atlantic surge, Lift up its head, and nature smiles reviv'd. Wild world of waters, distant clouds ascend
At irt'tis awful silence over all, In vapoury confluence, deepening cloud on cloud: From sense of late-felt danger; till confirm’d, Then rolling duik along to east and north, In grateful chorus mixing, beast and bird As the blast bears them on his huinid wing, Rejoice aloud to heaven: on either hand, Draw total night and tenpeit o'er the noon! The woodlands warble, and the valleys low. Lo, bird and beast, impreis’d by nature's hand So pass the songful hours. and now the sun, In homeward warnings through each feeling Declin’d, hangs verging on the western main, Derve,
Whose fluctuating bosom, blushing red, Hafte from the hour of terror and of storm, The space of many feas beneath his eye, The thunder now, fronı forth his cloudy shrine, Heaves in soft swellings murmuring to the shore, Amid coniliding elements, where dread
A circling glory glows around his disk And death attend, the servants of his nod, Of milder beams: part, streaming o'er the sky, Firl, in deaf murmurs, sounds the deep alarm, Inflame the distant azure: part below Heard from afar, awakening awful thought. In level lines shoot through the waving wood, Dumb sadness fills this nether world: the gloom Clad half in light, and half in pleasing Tade, With double blackness lours; the tempest (wells, That lengthens o'er the lawn. Yon evening, And expectation fakes the heart of man. Lucid or dusk, with flamy purple edy'd, [clouds,
When yonder clouds in dusky depth extend Float in gay pomp the blue horizon round, Broad o'er the fouth; fermenting in their womb, Amusive, changeful, shifting into shapes Pregnant witli fate, the fiery tenpeit swells, Of visionary beauty, antique towers Sulphureous steam and nitrous, late exhald With shadowy domes and pinnacles adornd; From mine or unduous foil: and lo, at once, Or hills of white extent, that rise and link Forth daried in flant stream, the ruddy flash, As sportful fancy lists: till late, the sun Quick-glancing, 1preads a moment's horrid day. From human eye, behind earth's fading orbe Again it flames expansive ; fhects the sky, Total withdrawn, th' aerial landscape fades. Wide and more wide, with mournful light around, Distinction fails: and in the darkening west, On all sides burning; now the face of things The lait light quivering, dimly dics away. Discloûng ; (wallowed now in tentold night. And now th' illusive flame, oft feen at eve, Again the thunder's voice, with pealing roar, Up-borne and blazing on the light-wing'd gale, From cloud to cloud continuous roll'd along, Glides o’er the lawn betokening night's approach Amazing burits! Air, fca, and share retound. Arising awful o'er the eastern Iky, Hasror lits thuddering in the felon-breast, Onward she comes with filent step and flow, And feels the deathful flash before it flies:
In her brown mantle wrapt, and brings along Each flcrping iin, excited, starts to view; The fill, the mild, the melancholy hour, And all is form within, Thc murderer, pale And meditation, with his eye on licaven.