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COWPER

To prey upon each other; stubborn, fierce, Oh for a world in principle as chaste

High-minded, foaming out their own disgrace. As this is gross and selfish! over which Custom and prejudice shall bear no sway,

Thy prophets speak of such; and, noting down

The features of the last degenerate times,
That govern all things liere, shouldering aside
The meek and modest truth, and forcing her

Exhibit every lineament of these.

Come then, and added to thy many crowns,
To seek a refuge from the tongue of strife
In nooks obscure, far from the ways of men :

Receive yet one, as radiant as the rest,
Where violence shall never list the sword,

Due to thy last and most effectual work, Nor cunning justify the proud man's wrong,

Thy word fulfilled, the conquest of a world! Leaving the poor no remedy but tears:

He is the happy man, whose life e'en now Where he, that fills an office, shall esteem

Shows somewhat of that happier life to come; The occasion it presents of doing good

Who, doomed to an obscure but tranquil state, More than the perquisite: where law shall speak Is pleased with it, and, were he free to choose, Seldom, and never but as wisdom prompts

Would make his fate his choice; whom peace, the And equity; not jealous more to guard

Of virtue, and whom virtue, fruit of faith, (fruit A worthless form, than to decide aright:

Prepare for happiness; tespeak him one
Where fashion shall not sanctify abuse,

Content indeed to sojourn wbile he must
Nor smooth good-breeding (supplemental grace) Below the skies, but having there his home.
With lean performance ape the work of love! The world o'erlooks him in her busy search
Come then, and added to thy many crowns,

Of objects, more illustrious in her view;
Receive yet one, the crown of all the earth,

And, occupied as earnestly as slie, Thou who alone art worthy! It was thine

Though more sublimely, le о'erlooks the world, By ancient covenant, ere nature's birth;

She scorns his pleasures, for she knows them not; And thou hast made it thine by purchase since, He seeks not her's, for he has proved them vain. And overpaid its value with thy blood.

He cannot skim the ground like summer birds Thy saints proclaim thee king; and in their hearts Pursuing gilded fies; and such he deems Thy title is engraven with a pen

Her honours, her emoluments, her joys. Dipt in the fountain of eternal love.

Therefore in contemplation is his bliss: Thy saints proclaim thee king; and thy delay Whose power is such, that whom she lifts from earth Gives courage to their foes, who, could they see She makes familiar with a heaven unseen, The dawn of thy last advent, long-desired,

And shows him glories yet to be revealed. Would creep into the bowels of the hills,

Not slothful he, though seeming unemployed, And flee for safety to the falling rocks.

And censured oft as useless. Stillest streams The very spirit of the world is tired

Oft water fairest meadows; and the bird, Of its own taunting question, asked so long,

That flutters least, is longest on the wing. “Where is the promise of your Lord's approach ?"

Ask him, indeed, what trophies he has raised, The infidel has shot his bolts away,

Or what achievements of immortal fame Till his exhausted quiver yielding none,

He purposes, and he shall answer-None. He gleans the blunted shafts, that have recoiled,

His warfare is within. There unfatigued And aims them at the shield of truth again.

His fervent spirit labours. There he fights, The veil is rent, rent too by priestly hands,

And there obtains fresh triumphs o'er himself, That hides divinity from mortal eyes;

And never withering wreaths, compared with which And all the mysteries to faith proposed,

The laurels that a Cæsar reaps are weeds. Insulted and traduced, are cast aside,

Perbaps the self-approving haughty world, As useless, to the moles and to the bats.

That as she sweeps him with her whistling silks They now are deemed the faithful, and are praised,

Scarce deigns to notice him, or, if she see, Who constant only in rejecting thee,

Deems him a cypher in the works of God, Deny thy Godhead with a martyr's zeal,

Receives advantage from his noiseless hours, And quit their office for their error's sake.

Of which she little dreams. Perhaps she owes Blind, and in love with darkness! yet even these

Her sunshine and her rain, her blooming spring Worthy, compared with sycophants, who knee

And plenteous harvest, to the prayer he makes, Thy name adoring, and then preach thee man!

When, Isaac like, the solitary saint

Walks forth to meditate at even-tide,
So fares thy church. But how thy church may fare
The world takes little thought. Who will may

And think on her, who thinks not for herself,
preach,

Forgive him then, thou bustler in concerns And what they will. All pastors are alike

Of little worth, an idler in the best, To wandering sheep, resolved to follow none.

If, author of no mischief and some good, Two gods divide them all-Pleasure and Gain:

He seek his proper bappiness by means, For these they live, they sacrifice to these,

That may advance, but cannot hiuder, thine. And in their service wage perpetual war

Nor, though he tread the secret path of life, With conscience and with thee. Lust in their hearts,

Engage no notice, and enjoy much ease,

Account him an incuinbrarice on the state, And mischief in their hands, they roam the earth

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From the clatter of street-pacing steeds,

Receiving benefits, and rendering none.

'Tis not in artful measures, in the chime
His sphere though humble, if that humble sphere And idle tinkling of a minstrel's lyre,
Shine with his fair example, and though small To charm his ear, whose eye is on the heart ;
His influence, if that influence all be spent

Whose frown can disappoint the proudest strain,
In soothing sorrow and in quenching strife, Whose approbation-prosper even mine.
In aiding helpless indigence, in works,
From which at least a grateful few derive
Some taste of comfort in a world of woe,

CATHARINA.
Then let the supercilious great confess
He serves his country, recompenses well

ADDRESSED TO MISS STAPLETON.
The state, beneath the shadow of whose vine

She came—she is gone—we have metHe sits secure, and in the scale of life

And meet perhaps never again; Holds no ignoble, though a slighted, place.

The sun of that moment is set, The man, whose virtues are more felt than seen,

And seems to have risen in vain. Must drop indeed the hope of public praise ;

Catharina has fled like a dreamBut he may boast what few that win it can,

(So vanishes pleasure, alas !) That if his country stand not by his skill,

But has left a regret and esteem,
At least his follies have not wrought her fall.

That will not so suddenly pass.
Polite refinement offers him in vain
Her golden tube, through which a sensual world The last evening ramble we made,
Draws gross impurity, and likes it well,

Catharina, Maria, and I,
The neat conveyance hiding all the offence.

Our progress was often delayed Not that he peevishly rejects a mode,

By the nightingale warbling nigh. Because that world adopts it. If it bear

We paused under many a tree, The stamp and clear impression of good sense,

And much she was charmed with a tone And be not costly more than of true worth,

Less sweet to Maria and me,
He puts it on, and for decorum sake

Who had witnessed so lately her own.
Can wear it e'en as gracefully as she.
She judges of refinement by the eye,

My numbers that day she had sung,
He by the test of conscience, and a heart

And gave them a grace so divine, Not soon deceived; aware that what is base

As only her musical tongue No polish can make sterling; and that vice,

Could infuse into numbers of mine. Though well perfumed and elegantly dressed,

The longer I heard, I esteemed Like an unburied carcase tricked with flowers,

The work of my fancy the more, Is but a garnished nuisance, fitter far

And ev'n to myself never seemed For cleanly riddance than for fair attire.

So tuneful a poet before. So life glides smoothly and by stealth away,

Though the pleasures of London exceed More golden than that age of fabled gold

In number the days of the year, Renowned in ancient song; not vexed with care

Catharina, did nothing impede, Or stained with guilt, beneficent, approved

Would feel herself bappier here; Of God and man, and peaceful in its end.

For the close woven arches of limes
So glide my life away! and so at last,

On the banks of our river, I know,
My share of duties decently fulfilled,
May some disease, not tardy to perform

Are sweeter to her many times
Its destined office, yet with gentle stroke

Than all that the city can show.
Dismiss me weary to a safe retreat,
Beneath the turf that I have often trod.
It shall not grieve me then, that once, when called
To dress a Sofa with the flowers of verse,
I played awhile, obedient to the fair,
With that light task; but soon, to please her more,
Whom flowers alone I knew would little please,
Let fall the unfinished wreath, and roved for fruit;
Roved far, and gathered much : some harsh, 'tis

true,
Picked from the thorns and briars of reproof,
But wholesome, well-digested ; grateful some
To palates, that can taste immortal truth;
Insipid else, and sure to be despised.
But all is in his hand, whose praise I seek.
In vain the poet sings, and the world hears,
If he regard not, though divine the theme.

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So it is, when the mind is endued

With a well-judging taste from above,
Then, whether embellished or rude,

'Tis nature alone that we love.
The achievements of art may amuse,

May even our wonder excite,
But groves, hills, and vallies, diffuse

A lasting, a sacred delight.
Since then in the rural recess

Catharina alone can rejoice,
May it still be her lot to possess

The scene of her sensible choice !
To inhabit a mansion remote

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And by Philomel's annual note

To measure the life that she leads :

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A TALE.

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COWPER

With her book, and her voice, and her lyre, Admiring, terrified, the novel strain, (again;

Then coursed the field around, and coursed it round
To wing all her moments at home,
And with scenes that new rapture inspire

But, recollecting with a sudden thought,
As oft as it suits her to roam.

That flight in circles urged advanced them nought,
She will have just the life she prefers,

They gathered close around the old pit's brink, With little to wish or to fear,

And thought again--but knew not what to think.
And ours will be pleasant as hers,

The man to solitude accustomed long,
Might we view her enjoying it here.

Perceives in every thing that lives a tongue;
Not animals alone, but shrubs and trees,

Have speech for him, and understood with ease;
THE NEEDLESS ALARM.

After long drought, when rains abundant fall,
He hears the herbs and flowers rejoicing all;

Knows what the freshness of their hue implies,
There is a field, through which I often pass,

How glad they catch the largess of the skies;
Thick overspread with moss and silky grass,

But, with precision nicer still, the mind
Adjoining close to Kilwick's echoing wood,

He scans of every loco-motive kind;
Where oft the bitch-fox hides her hapless brood,

Birds of all feather, beasts of every name,
Reserved to solace many a neighbouring 'squire,

That serve mankind, or shuu them, wild or tame;
That he may follow them through brake and briar, The looks and gestures of their griefs and fears
Contusion hazarding of neck, or spine,

Have all articulation in his ears;
Which rural gentlemen call sport divine.

He spells them true by intuition’s light,
A narrow brook, by rushy banks concealed, And needs no glossary to set him right.
Runs in a bottom, and divides the field;

This truth premised was needful as a text,
Oaks intersperse it, that had once a head,

To win due credence to what follows next.
But now wear crests of oven-wood instead;

Awhile they mused; surveying every face,
And where the land slopes to its watery bourn,

Thou hadst supposed them of superior race; Wide yawns a gulph beside a ragged thorn ; Their periwigs of wool, and fears combined, Bricks line the sides, but shivered long ago,

Stamped on each countenance such marks of mind, And horrid brambles intertwine below;

That sage they seemed, as lawyers o'er a doubt,
A hollow scooped, I judge in ancient time, Which, puzzling long, at last they puzzle out;
For baking earth, or burning rock to lime.

Or academic tutors, teaching youths,
Not yet the hawthorn bore her berries red, Sure ne'er to want them, mathematic truths;
With which the fieldfare, wintry guest, is fed ;

When thus a mutton, statelier than the rest,
Nor autumn yet had brushed from every spray,

A ram, the ewes and wethers sad, addressed.
With her chill hand, the mellow leaves away;

Friends! we have lived too long. I never heard
But corn was housed, and beans were in the stack: Sounds such as these, so worthy to be feared.
Now therefore issued forth the spotted pack,

Could I believe that winds for ages pent
With tails high mounted, ears hung low, and throats,

In earth's dark womb have found at last a vent,
With a whole gamut filled of heavenly notes,

And from their prison-house below arise,
For which, alas! my destiny severe,

With all these hideous howlings to the skies,
Though ears she gave me two, gave me no ear.

I could be much composed, nor should appear
The sun, accomplishing his early march,

For such a cause to feel the slightest fear.
His lamp now planted on heaven's topmost arch,

Yourselves have seen, what time the thunders rolled
When, exercise and air my only aim,

All night, we resting quiet in the fold.
And heedless whither, to that field I came,

Or heard we that tremendous bray alone,
Ere yet with ruthless joy the happy hound

I could expound the melancholy tone;
'Told hill and dale that Reynard's track was found,

Should deem it by our old companion made, Or with the high-raised horn's melodious clang

The ass; for he, we know, has lately strayed, All Kilwick and all Dingle-derry rang.

And being lost perhaps, and wandering wide, Sheep grazed the field; some with soft bosom Might be supposed to clamour for a guide. pressed

But ah! those dreadful yells what soul can hear, The herb as soft, while nibbling strayed the rest ;

That owns a carcase, and not quake for fear? Nor noise was heard but of the hasty brook,

Dæmons produce them doubtless, brazen-clawed Struggling, detained in many a petty nook.

And fanged with brass the dæmons are abroad;
All seemed so peaceful, that from them conveyed

I hold it therefore wisest and most fit,
To me their peace by kind contagion spread.

That life to save, we leap into the pit.
But when the huntsman, with distended cheek, Him answered then his loving mate and true,
'Gan make bis instrument of music speak,

But more discreet than he, a Cambrian ewe.
And from within the wood that crash was heard, How? leap into the pit our life to save?
Though not a hound from whom it burst appeared, To save our life leap all into the grave ?
The sheep recumbent, and the sheep that grazed, For can we find it less ? Contemplate first
All huddling into phalanx, stood and gazed,

The depth how awful! falling there, we burst:

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110

more,

MORAL.

(The storms all weathered and the ocean crossed) Shoots into port at some well-bavened isle, There sits quiescent on the floods, that show

Her beauteous form reflected clear below,

Or should the brambles, interposed, our fall

Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown. In part abate, that happiness were small;

May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, For with a race like theirs no chance I see

The parting sound shall pass my lips no more!
Of peace or ease to creatures clad as we.

Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my concern,
Meantime, noise kills not. Be it Dapple's bray, Oft gave me promise of a quick return.
Or be it not, or be it whose it may,

What ardently I wished, I long believed,
And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues And, disappointed still, was still deceived.
Of dæmons uttered, from whatever lungs,

By disappointment every day beguiled,
Sounds are but sounds, and till the cause appear,

Dupe of tomorrow even from a child.
We have at least commodious standing here. Thus many a sad tomorrow came and went,
Come fiend, come fury, giant, monster, blast

Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent,
From earth or hell, we can but plunge at last.

I learned at last submission to my lot,
While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals, But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot.
For Reynard, close attended at his heels

Where once we dwelt our name is heard
By panting dog, tired man, and spattered horse,

Children not thine have trod my nursery floor; Through mere good fortune, took a different course. And where the gardener Robin, day by day, The fiock grew calm again, and I, the road

Drew me to school along the public way, Following, that led me to my own abode,

Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapt Much wondered that the silly sheep had found

In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet-capt, Such cause of terror in an empty sound

'Tis now become a history little known, So sweet to huntsman, gentleman, and hound. That once we called the pastoral house our own.

Short-lived possession! but the record fair,

That memory keeps of all thy kindness there,
Beware of desperate steps. The darkest day, Still outlives many a storm, that has effaced
Live till to-morrow, will have passed away.

A thousand other themes less deeply traced.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,

That thou might'st know me safe and warmlylaid;
ON THE RECEIPT OF HIS MOTHER'S Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,
PICTURE.

The biscuit, or confectionary plum; Oh that those lips had language! Life has passed

The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed With me but roughly since I heard thee last.

By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glowed: Those lips are thine—thy own sweet smiles I see,

All this, and more endearing still than all,

Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
The same, that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else, how distinct they say,

Ne'er roughened by those cataracts and breaks,

That humour interposed too often makes; “Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!

All this still legible in memory's page, The meek intelligence of those dear eyes

And still to be so to my latest age, (Blest be the art that can immortalize,

Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
The art that baffles time's tyrannic claim

Such honours to thee as my numbers may;
To quench it) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,

Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,
Oh welcome guest, though unexpected here!

Not scorned in heaven, though little noticed here. Who biddest me honour with an artless song,

Could time, his flight reversed, restore the hours, Affectionate, a mother lost so long. I will obey, not willingly alone,

The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
But gladly, as the precept were her own:

I pricked them into paper with a pin,
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief,
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream, that thou art she.

My mother! when I learned that thou wast dead,
Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed?
Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son,
Wretch even then, life's journey just begun?
Perhaps thou gavest me, though unseen, a kiss;
Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss
Ah that maternal smile! it answers-Yes.
I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,
And, turning from my nursery window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu!
But was it such i-It was.--Where thou art gone,

Wben, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers,

(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Would softly speak, and stroke my head and smile)
Could those few pleasant hours again appear,
Mightone wish bring them, would I wish them here!
I would not trust my heart--the dear delight
Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might.
But no-what here we call our life is such,
So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy ynbound spirit into bonds again.
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast

seasons sinile,

Where spices breathe and brighter

While airs impregnated with incense play

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Around her, fanping light her streamers gay; My boast is not that I deduce my birth So thou, with sails how swift! hast reached the From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth; shore,

But higher far my proud pretensions rise “Where tempests never beat nor billows roar;" The son of parents passed into the skies. And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide

And now, farewell-time unrevoked has run Of lise, long since, has anchored at thy side. His wonted course, yet what I wished is done. But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,

By contemplation's help, not sought in vain, Always from port withheld, always distressed I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again ; Me howling winds drive devious, tempest-tossed, To have renewed the joys that once were mine, Sails ript, seams opening wide, and compass lost; Without the sin of violating thine; And day by day some current's thwarting force And, while the wings of fancy still are free, Sets me more distant from a prosperous course. And I can view this mimic show of thee, But oh the thought, that thou art safe, and he ! Time has but half succeeded in his theftThat thought is joy, arrive what may to me. Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.

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