Imagens das páginas

Hear him unfold the mysteries of state,
Or tell you what was told him by the great,
With jumble strange of town and country words
Let him discourse of Levees, and of Lords,
Or mark his wisdom when with nicest care
He criticises on the bill of fare,
Displays the merits of a poignant dish,
And recommends his way of stewing fish ;
Reflect from what this man of taste began;
And now restrain your laughter if you can.
Himself he deems a wight of high renown,
While the world counts him but a motley clown.
Such patchwork manners must all palates loath,
Half beau, half rustic, and despis'd by both.

-Distinction, hail! for thee we dress, we fight,
Drink, game, and change the course of day and night.
Thus Nero, dead to virtue and to shame,
Fir'd the fair city to preserve his name.
-In vain I plead; you cry,

“ Get into life: “ Gain wealth and power, or in one word—a wife." There ends my search, whatever ills betide, All, all are cancell'd by a wealthy bride : Ill-natur'd, ugly, old, it matters not, The money'd dame is ever free from blot. Indifference comes, disgust and downright hate, Mere trifles pois'd against the purse's weight. And am I thus made easy in the world, From heavy debts to heavier evils hurld? Shall I pronounce a vow I never meant, And give my hand without my heart's consent? Forbid it virtue, honesty, and love! Far from my mind the hated thought remove. Awhile the golden prospect caught my view, As Vanity the fatter'd picture drew; But soon I loathing turn'd, and heav'd a sigh, As Laura's image cross'd reflection's eye.

My dear lov'd Laura ! from my youth began
The tender flame, and ripen’d in the man.
My dear lov'd Laura ! till


No future passion shall my vows engage.
Tho' adverse fortune keep our hands apart,
Thine are my thoughts, my wishes, and my heart.
For you, my friend, who labour to remove
My partial fancy from the life I love,
Vain is your reasoning, vain your subtle skill,
My choice was early, I approve it still.
These school-boy rhimes may testify the truth,
Writ in the plain simplicity of youth.
“ Let others vainly boast their glittering store,
" And rove to foreign climes in search of more ;
Let them for splendid care and guilty gain

Explore new worlds, and tempt the deathful main; “ Be his the prize, and his the dear-bought praise, " Whom toils distinguish, and whom dangers raise ; “ Whilst humbler I, and thankfully content “ With what the hand of Providence hath sent, “ No dupe to fortune, and no slave to fame, “ Without one pride, except an honest name, “ Move in the narrow sphere assign’d by fate, “ Nor meanly wish to be ignobly great. “ The gay, the fair, the wanton, and the proud,

May throng to cities, and in courts may crowd, “ The brave, the great, the learned, and the wise, “ May rank with princes, and with kings advise; " While these attain their wish of wealth and power, " And those in pleasures waste the sated hour, " Whilst the rich robe that cloaths the proudest breast “ Hides not the latent care, its restless guest, “ Let me unvex'd with all the storms of life, * From busy faction far, and party strife,

" Beneath my rural roof contented live, “ And taste that bliss which London cannot give.” Thus blest retirement, calm content and ease, Took my young mind, and still their objects please : I praise the fate which kindly fix'd me down At least an hundred miles from Court and Town. In yon

fair vale my modest dwelling stands, Its humble site no distant view commands; The narrow scene, by sloping hills confin’d, Speaks the contentment of its master's mind : A chrystal stream the verdant mead divides, Which by no torrent stain’d, unruffled glides Clear and serene through all its winding ways; Such be the peaceful tenor of my days! On its fresh banks arise spontaneous flowers, Around her rural blessings Plenty pours. Nature almost prevents the farmer's toil, So rich the clime, so fruitful is the soil. Soon in full growth the sapling woods you see ; And the same hand that plants, may fell the tree. Great Pan with pleasure on these lawns might rove, And all Arcadia * lives in yonder grove. My life shall pass unknown, unenvied here, And health and peace attend me through the year. Here all their joys the varying seasons bring, Here will I listen to the choir of spring; In summer's heat these cooling shades I chuse, To walk and trifle with the pastoral muse; The toil of autumn here let me behold; Here chace with exercise the wintry colda Here, tho' no flatterers wait my fame to raise, Yet here shall truth my few plain merits praise.

Alluding to a small Wood, with a Cottage, &c. in it.

Still may some virtues with the months roll round;
Still at my door warm Charity be found :
May soft Humanity, the poor man's friend,
Her aid to sickness and to misery lend;
May all who need it, share my field's increase,
And Heaven so bless me, as I mean to bless!
-Thus let me live, a plain unpractis'd youth,
Who wish no more than honesty and truth,
For airs polite most awkwardly unfit,
And much too dull (I know it) for a wit.
Thus through the world steal bashfully unknown,
Save to my neighbour and my friend alone;
'Tis theirs to tell you, if they tell you true,
Plain tho' my manners, they are gentle too.
Thus let me live, and live without a foe,
The world will spare the man it does not know.


Why see we Spindle all so sad,
Why in grief's gloomiest trappings clad?
“ Sad!” you reply—“ With grief I speak,

My wife's dear brother died last week.”
What is the rich Equestrian gone,
Before the


of twenty-one,
From whom your wife inherits clear
At least three thousand pounds a year?'
Spindle! 'tis sad-most melancholy.
-I'm sorely vext it should befall ye.



"Tis not that look of anguish, bath'd in tears,
O, Poverty! thy haggard image wears-
"Tis not those famish'd limbs, naked, and bare
To the bleak tempest's rains, or the keen air
Of winter's piercing winds, nor that sad eye
Imploring the small boon of charity-
'Tis not that voice, whose agonizing tale
Might turn the purple cheek of grandeur pale ;
Nor all that host of woes thou bring'st with thee,
Inșult, contempt, disdain, and contumely,
That bid me call the fate of those forlorn,
Who 'neath thy rude oppression sigh and mourn:
But chief, relentless pow'r! thy hard control,
Which to the earth bends low th' aspiring soul;
Thine iron grasp, thy fetters drear, which bind
Each gen'rous effort of the struggling mind!
Alas! that Genius, melancholy flow'r,
Scarce op'ning yet to Even's nurt'ring show'r,
Shou’d, by thy pitiless and cruel doom,
Wither, ere nature smiles upon her bloom;
That Innocence, touch'd by thy dead’ning wand,
Shou'd pine, nor know one outstretch'd guardian hand!
For this, o Poverty! for them I sigh,
The helpless victims of thy tyranny!
For this, I call the lot of those severe,
Who wander 'mid thy haunts, and pine unheeded there!

[ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »