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Swift o'er the high grass sweeps the blast,
A silver shade spreads o'er the lively green;
The gale is past,
No more the silver shade is seen.
Saw ye the lightning flash along the sky?
Save yonder blasted oak,
A drear memorial of the with’ring stroke,
It leaves no trace to guide the following eye.
Children of men! and such your lot!
Ye live your little hour, and die and are forgot.
What, then, avail the jewell'd crown of Pow'r,
Pomp's ermin'd robe, or Glory's death-red sword?
What then, the Wise one's dreams, the Miser's hvard? When Death proclaims th' irrevocable hour, Life's vain distinctions cease: the eternal doom Bids all the sons of clay be equal in the tomb. What tho' Earth's millions the dark realms explore,
No cheering tidings reach mankind from thence, For there the eye of Wisdom sees no more,
And silent is the tongue of Eloquence.
For no one of the innumerable dead,
Revisits men from that obscure abode;
For never spirit twice could tread
The dark, the dreadful road.
Why sleeps the poet-he whose magic song
Leads charmed Fancy those wild realms along,
Whose shadowy portals bear the ominous linc, “ Quit every hope all ye
who enter here!" Why sleeps the bard divine, Whose spirit “ far beyond the visible sphere
“ Soar'd on the séraph wings of Extasy?” Why sleeps the seer
the laws of Nature to our eye,
Filld with a portion of divinity?
For me, be mine when Fate shall free .
This spirit from mortality,
Catching Memory's mellow'd sigh,
Still o'er my wonted haunts to fly;
In gentle visions to descend
The guardian angel of my friend.
To ease the last long ling'ring breath,
Breathe joy prophetic in the hour of death,
Embrace in air the new-born sprite,
And guide it to the realms of light!
Enthusiast !--if thou canst-explore
The vale of life that lies before,
Dark is the vale of
Dimm'd by those little mists in Reason's feeble eye:-
Enthusiast! cease to gaze amid inmensity.
When on the bed of Death
Quick beats my pulse, and falt'ring heaves my breath;
When round me watch my friends with streaming eyes,
Wearying the sick heart with their fruitless cries :
Let me in that last moment know
What proud joys Virtue can bestow,
And, fearless of the iron rod,
Look up to thee, my friend, my father, and my God!
Ah spare that agonizing hour-
Come quickly, Death! and I will bless thy pow'ro
Come quickly-snatch me to the realms above,
But spare that pång to part with those I love!
And when the grass shall wave
My grave beside some hawthorn bush, wherein
The nightingale shall sing her song,
Then may the peasant say, and drop a tear,
“ The bard belov'd by all lies bury'd here."
JULY 7, 1796.
Why cringing, crouching, tail uncurld,
Thus dost thou greet
Thy master's feet ?
I would not hurt thee for the world.
And, yet, I love thy fawning grace;
'Tis Nature's voice,
And I rejoice
Her ever-varied speech to trace.
But Man, of Heav'n the noblest born,
Such arts and wiles,
To gain the smiles
Of Patron proud, should ever scorn ;
Should wrap himself in dignity and worth,
And, Heav'n his friend, defy the rocking earth.
J. S, COB BOLE,
A MORNING PIECE From the First Chorus in the Hercules Furens of Seneca.
Scatter'd, and feebly twinkling, die
The stars all o'er the whitening sky;
Far west the vanquish'a Night retires,
And calls away her wandering fires;
Bright Phosphor last the shining train
Compels along the aërial plain;
With wheel oblique a-down the pole
Their wintery wain the Ursæ roll.
The mounting Sun, wide-beaming, 'now
Has gilded Oeta's lofty brow;
While woody hill and grassy vale
His joy-reviving splendour hail.
The Moon, fair regent of the Night,
Withdraws her dim diminish'd light;-
Mild sister beam! she'll soon return,
And in fraternal radiance burn.
The cock has crow'd his warning clear,
The larli has thrill’d the plowman's ear,
And sleep from all the hamlet's fled;
Hale Industry leaps from his bed,
And opes the early cottage door;
The sky, the mattin landscape o'er,
Serene, with various muse he scans,
And the day's future labour plans.
From where a-down the valley green
The hamlet's smoke is frequent seen,
Their flocks a-field the shepherds lead,
That browse the springing dewy blade ;
While o'er the meadows free and gay
The steerlings butt in frolic play,
Their vacant dams are feeding by,
The milky treasure to supply;
And light-foot kids erratic spring
In many a wild convolving ring.
The Thracian warbler * 'mid the trees
With all a mother's transport sees
Her young the new-fledg’d wing display,
And wondering fit from spray to spray:
She scans their beauties o’er and o'er,
New beauties ripening every hour;
And, as their short low warblings rise,
Love thrills her heart and lights her eyes ;
Pleas'd every lovely trace to find,
She recognizes all her kind;
Sleeks every feather with delight,
And turns thein to the orient light;
While all around, a gleeful throng.
The birds loud raise the mingling song,
And, chanting clear from spray to spray,
Salute the God of Light and Day.
The sailor to the swelling gale
Wide expands the rustling sail;
On the rock's protruded side,
Scoop'd and hollow'd by the tide,
With baited hook and line in hand,
The patient fisher takes his stand ;
The tug just felt, the trembling line
Bespeaks the prey-quick at the sign
* Philomela, the Nightivgale. See Ovid's Metamorphoses,