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On the Death of Lieutenant Colonel Buller, killed in

Flanders in 1795.



Yet may

SCARCE hush'd the sigh, scarce dried the ling’ring tear,
Affection pour’d upon a brother’s bier * ;
Another loss bids Laura's sorrows flow,
As keen in anguish as a sister's woe.

Unknown to me the object of her grief
I dare not counsel, did she ask relief;

the wish no vain intrusion prove, To share her grief, for all who shar'd her love.

Yes, gallant victim ! in this hateful strife,
Which pride maintains 'gainst man's and freedom's life,
If quick and sensible to Laura's worth,

Thy heart's first comment was affection's birth;
If thy soul's day rose only in her sight,
And absence was thy clouded spirit's night,
If ’mid whatever busy tumults thrown
Thy silent thoughts still turn'd to her alone;
If, while ambition seem'd each art to move,
Thy secret hope was Laura, peace, and love;
If such thy feelings, and thy dying prayer,
To wish that happiness thou could'st not share;
Let me with kindred claim thy name revere,
And give thy memory a brother's tear!

* Mrs. Sheridan had just lost a brother.

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But, ah! not tears alone fill Laura's

Resentment kindles with affliction's sighs ;
Insulted patience borrows passion's breath,
To curse the plotters of these scenes of death!
Yet sooth'd to peace, sweet mourner, tranquil be,

harsh emotion leave to me!
Remembrance, sad and soft regret be thine,
The wrath of hate, the blow of vengeance mine.

And oh, by Heav'n! that hour shall surely come,
When, fell destroyers ! ye shall meet your doom!
Yes, miscreant statesmen! by the proud disdain
Which honour feels at base corruption's reign,
By the loud clamours of a nation's woes,
By the still pang domestic sorrow knows,
By all that hope has lost or terror fears;
By England's injuries, and Laura's tears ;
The hour shall come, when, fraud's short triumphs past,
A people's vengeance shall strike home at last!

Then, then shall fell remorse, the dastard fiend,
Who ne'er pollutes the noble soldier's end,
And dark despair around the scaffold wait,
And not one look deplore the traitor's fate!
But while remembrance shakes his coward frame,
And starts of pride contend with inward shame;
The mute reproach, or execration loud,
Of sober justice, or the scoffing crowd,
Alike shall hail the blow that seals his doom,
And gives to infamy his memory and his tomb.

Turn from the hateful scene, dear Laura, turn,
And thy lov'd friend with milder sorrow mourn !
Still dwell upon his fate; for still thou'lt find
'The contrast lovely, and 'twill soothe thy mind!
Fall'n with the brave, ere number'd with the slain-
His mind unwounded calms his body's pain!
Half rais'd he leans. See Friendship bending o'er,
Her sigh suppress'd, as to his view she bore

Thy much-lov'd image, whose all-soothing smile
Could pain disarm, and death's last pang beguile!
Hopeless, but not dismay'd, with fearless eye
He reads the doom that tells him " he must die
Lays his brave hand upon his bleeding breast,
And feels his glory while he finds his rest!
Resigns the transient breath which nature gave,
And sure of prouder life o'erlooks the grave. -
Sweet is the meed that waits his laureld bier,
'Tis Valour's hope, 'tis Honour's praise sincere,
'Tis Friendship's sigh, and gentle Beauty's tear!


AN ELEGY To the Memory of a Friend : written a Year after his



Cui pudor et justitiæ soror
Incorrupta fides, nuduque veritas,
Quando ullum invenient param.--IOR.

At midnight hour, why gleams with sullen sweep

Thy visionary form across my mind,
To scare me from the soft embrace of sleep,

And chill me, waking, with thy frown unkind ?
Com’st thou severe my tardiness to chide,

With stern reproach for many a trifling song ? Methinks I hear thee say, “ If thou hadst dy'd,

“ I had not left thee thus unwept so long !" Forgive, dear shade, if twelve long moons are fled

Since to the earth thy dear remains we gave, (Tho' witness Heaven how much my heart has bled!)

Nor yet my pious Muse has dress'd thy grave.

While lighter sorrow prompts th' impassiou'd strain,

Severer, all the powers of fancy stints; The flower, that drown'd would die beneath the rain,

Drinks the thin dew, and spreads its brighter tints. And how could I insult thee with a lyre,

Whose strings had not forgotten yet the lays Which love and youth united to inspire,

When health and pleasure frolick'd through our days: By many an agonizing groan betray'd,

By many a suffocated sigh confest (Thy rites not unremember'd, tho' unpaid,) Thy memory long was buried in

my breast. But now my breast gives up its dead to rise, And pierce new-born through grief's surrounding

gloom, As thy own dust when summon’d to the skies,

Awak’d, shall spring exulting from the tomb. Pain's recent sting, beyond endurance keen,

Sheath'd in the balm of years, forgets to rage, And grief's stern form, through time's soft amber seen,

To melancholy mellow'd, may engage. · Then, Recollection, all the scene recall,

And bid each kind endearment to return Which link'd our hearts, for I can bear them all,

In grief ecstatic whilst I clasp thy urn. Recall the music of the early horn,

The tale well-form'd our wanderings to deceive, When


exercise awak'd the morn, Or social converse led us vut at eye.

The spot revisit where our youth was spent,

Where joys were for maturer years prepar’d; Where I had wish'd to live and die content,

To share those pleasures had thy life been spar'da There in each hill, each valley, and each tree,

That rises frequent on my sad review, Never to fade, I mark each fair degree

By which our friendship to perfection grew. Their shadowy arms where yon twin-beeches throw,

Oft hast thou caught thy favourite Homer's rage, As oft exchang'd it for the temperate glow,

The milder rapture of the MANTUAN sage. There, fir'd by thee, I first essay'd to sing,

My earliest strain is dated from that shade, And there, temptation to retouch the string,

The simple verse thy candid smiles o'erpaid. Oft have we plann’d the pine's umbrageous rows,

Where opens to the wind yon naked plain;
Avd many an oak to fancy's eye arose,

The future shelter of the Dryad train.
In ooze obscure, where yonder Naïd sleeps,

Or in the covert of the hazel shade,
Where, scarce awake, ingloriously she creeps,

We plann'd the torrent fall of the cascade. Twin'd like our hearts, where yonder boughs unite,

With care we trimm'd the arch of the alcove, A shade devoted to the pure delight

Of noblest friendsbip, and the xhastest love

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