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Even Andrew's self, half pleas'd the while,
Seems soften’d to a surly smile,
While Aster wagg’d his hoary tail *,
To bid his long-lov'd master hail ;
One glimpse of joy before he dies
Gleams faintly thro' his misty eyes :
Oh! had some brutes that boast reflection,
His courage, honesty, affection,
Like Aster they might live contented,
And die by faithful friends lamented.
Pleas'd with a groupe so kind and charming,
I gaz'd, my heart with rapture warming,
While Fancy, blazing like a torch,
Produc'd this sonnet in the porch,
Dear, peaceful cottage ! o'er whose humble thatch
The dewy moss has velvet verdure spread; Once more, with trern’lous hands, thy ready latch
I lift, and to thy lintel bow my head.
Dear are thy inmates ! beauty's roseate smile *, And eye soft melting hail my
wish'd return, Loud clamours infant joy ; around meanwhile
Maturer breasts with silent rapture burn. Within these narrow bounds I reign secure,
And duteous love and prompt obedience find ; Nor sigh to view my destiny obscure,
(Where all is lowly, but each owner's mind Content), if pilgrims passing by our cell, Say," with her sister Peace there Virtue loves to
I thank you Muse for aid so clever,
And now I've done with you for ever ;
This effort of expiring fancy
Was only meant to please my Nancy :
Simplicity, and truth, and ease,
Of old, I know, can Nancy please ;
For trust me, sure as I'm a sinner,
I've try'd no other charms to win her.
And that she has been won, is true,
And prov'd by facts both old and new.
* Alluding to a young lady of uncommon beauty and ele. gance of person and mind, who then resided in the family.
In friendship’s annals no example
Appears, but one, of such a sample,
And that shall charm each distant age,
In SHAKESPEARE's ever living page :
When ties of firmest friendship bind
Her faithful soul to ROSALIND,
Bright CÆLIA quits the splendid court,
Where ease and luxury resort,
And wanders many a weary mile
To share her friend's remote exile :
The long and painful journey past,
On Arden's gloomy verge at last,
Safe shelter'd in the lowly cot,
She shares her friend's oblivious lot,
Her humble toils and homely fare,
And cheers with smiles her daily care.
Blest be thy memory, princely maid !
And never may those laurels fade,
Which SHAKESPEARE round thy tomb has twin'd,
Fair boast and wonder of thy kind !
Proud man, elate in contradiction,
Cries, “ What avails the pleasing fiction !
Turn, infidel, and view my Nancy,
No creature of poetic fancy,
No dream of musing solitude,
But veritable flesh and blood!
No slip-shód Sybil of a Muse
she chews : And “ glancing quick from earth to heaven,” Leaves earthly cares at six and seven ; But one who thinks and acts in season, The child of probity and reason ! Whose sparkling wit, and polish'd graces, With wonder fill’d those uncouth places : While hum'rous lively freaks are mixt, Her principles as Atlas fixt, With steady judgment, quick decision, That hits the joint of true division: And self-denial, as a helm, Which serves to steer her little realm, And teach her, faithful to her trust, To be both generous and just ! Thus grac'd with worth which all commend, The model of a constant friend, Which, without show or vain pretence, Includes all human excellence From gaudy fashion's glittering shrine, Where art and fancy jointly shine; From the gay precincts of Soho, From ease, and elegance, and show, With cordial haste behold her fly, The big tear trembling in her eye, ,
To clasp in distant wilds her friend,
Near utmost Thule's farthest end,
Then all the tedious way o'erpast,
To shrink beneath the chilling blast:
The foggy damps of ev'n to bear,
The ærial mountain's nipping air ;
To share the frugal plain repast,
And on some holidays to fast ;
To bear the harsh discordant noise
Of whimpering girls and blustering boys;
Say, envious man, where now thy boast?
Thy proud pre-eminence is lost ;
Now friendship's freshest wreathe allow
To bloom round NANCY's honour'd brow !
While grateful, I the verse inscribe,
The meanest of the tuneful tribe,
Yet still I claim some small esteem,
While she and friendship are my theme !
Dear Muse, I scarcely could expect,
That after fourteen years neglect,
And coy retreat, and stately distance,
You would have lent me your assistance :
But I must bid a long good-night,
Or more important duties slight;
The dearest friends at last must sever,
Once more, sweet Maid! adieu for ever!