« PreviousContinue »
To quell the faction that affronts the throne,
By silent magnanimity alone;
To nurse with tender care the thriving arts,
Watch every beam Philosophy imparts;
To give Religion her unbridled scope,
Nor judge by statute a believer's hope ;
With close fidelity and love unfeign'd,
To keep the matrimonial bond unstain’d;
Covetous only of a virtuous praise ;
His life a lesson to the land he sways;
To touch the sword with conscientious awe,
Nor draw it but when duty bids him draw ;
To sheath it in the peace-restoring close,
With joy beyond what victory bestows :
Blest country, where these kingly glories shine!
Bless'd England, if this happiness be thine !—Table Talk.
Thus men, whose thoughts contemplative have dwelt
On situations that they never felt,
Start up sagacious, cover'd with the dust
Of dreaming study and pedantic rust,
And prate and preach about what others prove,
As if the world and they were hand and glove.-id.
A.–Or tell me, if you can, what power maintains
A Briton's scorn of arbitrary chains :
That were a theme might animate the dead,
And move the lips of poets cast in lead.
B.-They take, perhaps, a well-directed aim,
Who seek it in his climate and his frame,
Lib'ral in all things else, yet nature here
With stern severity deals out the year.
Thus with a rigour, for his good design'd,
She rears her fav’rite man of all mankind.
His form robust and of elastic tone,
Proportion'd well, half muscle and half bone,
Supplies with warm activity and force
A mind well lodg’d, and masculine of course.
Born in a climate softer far than ours,
Not form’d, like us, with such Herculean powers,
The Frenchman, easy, debonair, and brisk,
Give him his lass, his fiddle, and his frisk,
Is always happy, reign whoever may,
And laughs the sense of mis'ry far away.
He drinks his simple bev'rage with a gust;
And, feasting on an onion and a crust,
We never feel th' alacrity and joy
With wbich he shouts and carols “ Vive le Roi !"
Fill’d with as much true merriment and glee,
As if he heard bis king say—“Slave, be free.”
Thus happiness depends, as Nature shows,
Less on exterior things than most suppose.
Vigilant over all that He has made,
Kind Providence attends with gracious aid;
Bids equity throughout his works prevail,
And weighs the nations in an even scale.-id.
O Liberty! the pris'ner's pleasing dream,
The poet's muse, his passion, and his theme;
Genius is thine, and thou art fancy's nurse,
Lost without thee th' ennobling pow'rs of verse.
Heroic song from thy free touch acquires
Its clearest tone, the rapture it inspires.
Place me where winter breathes his keenest air,
And I will sing if liberty be there;
And I will sing at liberty's dear feet,
In Afric's torrid clime, or India's fiercest heat.
Incomparable gem ! thy worth untold;
Cheap though blood-bought, and thrown away when sold;
May no foes ravish thee, and no false friend
Betray thee, while professing to defend !
Prize it, ye ministers; ye monarchs, spare ;
Ye patriots, guard it with a miser's care.
A.-Patriots, alas! the few that have been found,
Where most they flourish, upon English ground,
The country's need have scantily supplied,
And the last left the scene when Chatham died.
B.-Not so;—the virtue still adorns our age,
Though the chief actor died upon
* In him Demosthenes was heard again;
Liberty taught him her Athenian strain ;
She clothed him with authority and awe,
Spoke from his lips, and in his looks gave law.
His speech, bis form, his action, full of grace,
And all his country beaming in his face,
He stood, as some inimitable hand
Would strive to make a Paul or Tully stand.
No sycophant or slave, that dar'd oppose
Her sacred cause, but trembled when he rose,
And ev'ry venal stickler for the yoke
Felt himself crush'd at the first word he spoke.-id.
Ninereh, Babylon, and ancient Rome
Speak to the present times, and times to come;
They cry aloud, in ev'ry careless ear,
Stop while ye may, suspend your mad career ;
Oh, learn from our example and our fate,
Learn wisdom and repentance ere too late.
Not only vice disposes and prepares
The mind that slumbers sweetly in her snares
To stoop to tyranny's usurped command,
And bend her polish'd neck beneath his hand,
(A dire effect, by one of nature's laws
Unchangeably connected with its cause ;)
But Providence himself will intervene,
And throw His dark displeasure o'er the scene.
All are His instruments : each form of war,
What burns at home or threatens from afar,
Nature in arms, her elements at strife,
The storms that overset the joys of life,
Are but His rods to scourge a guilty land,
And waste it at the bidding of His hand.-id.
A.-At Westminster, where little poets strive
To set a distich upon six and five,
Where discipline helps th' op'ning buds of sense,
And makes his pupils proud with silver pence,
I was a poet too: but modern taste
Is so retin'd, and delicate, and chaste,
That verse, whatever fire the fancy warms,
Without a creamy smoothness, has no charms.
Thus, all success depending on an ear,
And thinking I might purchase it too dear,
If sentiment were sacrificed to sound,
And truth cut short to make a period round,
I judg'd a man of sense could scarce do worse
in the morris-dance of verse. B.–Thus reputation is a spur to wit, And some wits flag through fear of losing it. Give me the line that ploughs its stately course Like a proud swan, conqu’ring the stream by force ; That like some cottage beauty strikes the heart, Quite unindebted to the tricks of art. When labour and when dulness, club in hand, Like the two figures at St. Dunstan's stand, Beating alternately, in measur'd time, The clock-work tintinnabulum of rhyme
Exact and regular the sounds will be ;
But such mere quarter-strokes are not for me.-id.
PLEASURE admitted in undue degree
Enslaves the will, nor leaves the judgment free;
The heart surrender'd to the ruling power
Of some ungovern'd passion every hour,
Finds by degrees the truths that once bore sway,
And all their deep impressions, wear away ;
So coin grows smooth in traffic current pass’d,
Till Cæsar's image is effaced at last.--The Progress of Error.
Learning itself, received into a mind
By nature weak or viciously inclin'd,
Serves but to lead philosophers astray,
Where children could with ease discern the way.
And of all arts sagacious dupes invent,
To cheat themselves and gain the world's assent,
The worst is-Scripture warp'd from its intent.-id.
Patient of contradiction as a child,
Affable, humble, diffident, and mild ;
Such was Sir Isaac, and such Boyle and Locke :
Your blunderer is as sturdy as a rock.
The creature is so sure to kick and bite,
A muleteer 's the man to set him right.-id.
But, Muse, forbear; long flights forbode a fall:
Strike on the deep-ton'd chord the sum of all.
Hear the just law—the judgment of the skies !
He that hates truth shall be the dupe of lies.-id.
OA, How unlike the complex works of man,
Heaven's easy, artless, unencumber'd plau!
No meretricious graces to beguile,
No clustering ornaments to clog the pile :
From ostentation as from weakness free,
It stands like the cerulean arch we see,
Majestic in its own simplicity.
Inscrib'd above the portal, from afar
Conspicuous, as the brightness of a star,
Legible only by the light they give,
Stand the soul-quickening words- Believe and live !--Truth.
The plea of works, as arrogant and vain,
Heaven turns from with abhorrence and disdain ;
Not more affronted by avow'd neglect,
Than by the mere dissembler's feign'd respect.-—-id.
Pride may be pamper'd while the flesh grows lean ;
Humility may clothe an English dean.
Not all the plenty of a bishop's board,
His palace, and his lacqueys, and “ My Lord,"
More nourish pride, that condescending vice,
Than abstinence, and beggary, and lice :
It thrives in mis’ry, and abundant grows;
In mis’ry fools upon themselves impose.—id.
Her fields a rich expanse of wavy corn,
Pour'd out from Plenty's overflowing horn;
Ambrosial gardens, in which Art supplies
The fervour and the force of Indian skies;
Her peaceful shores, where busy commerce waits
To pour his golden tide through all her gates ;
Whom fiery suns, that scorch the russet spice
Of eastern groves and oceans floor'd with ice,
Forbid in vain to push his daring way
To darker climes, or climes of brighter day;
Whom the winds waft where'er the billows roll,
From the world's girdle to the frozen pole.-Erpostulation.
Know then that heavenly wisdom on this ball
Creates, gives birth to, guides, consummates all ;
That, while laborious and quick-thoughted man
Snuffs up the praise of what he seems to plan,
He first conceives, then perfects his design,
As a mere instrument in hands divine ;
Blind to the working of that secret power
That balances the wings of every hour,
The busy trifler dreams himself alone,
Frames many a purpose, and God works his own.
None ever yet impeded what He wrought,
None bars Him ont from his most sacred thought:
Stand now and judge thyself-hast thou incurr'd
anger who can waste thee with a word,
Who poises and proportions sea and land,
Weighing them in the hollow of His hand,
And in whose awful sight all nations seem
As grasshoppers, as dust, a drop, a dream ?-id.
SEE Nature gay, as when she first began
With smiles alluring her admirer, man;
Ten thousand charms that only fools despise,
Or pride can look at with indiff'rent eyes— Hope.
Thus things terrestrial wear a different hue,
As youth or age persuades ; and neither true.