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Ravensworth, Yorkshire. 1788—1771.
The Monodies of this writer upon his Wife and Child arr well known. What oth*r misfortunes he suffered besides their deaths, were occasioned by his own follies and vices.
His first poem was published under the name of W. St-y moor.
An Evening Address to a Nightingale.
Sweet bird! that kindly perching near,
Pourest thy plaints melodious in mine ear, Not, like base worldlings, tutor'd to forego The melancholy haunts of woe,
Thanks for thy sorrow-soothing strain For surely, thou hast known to prove, Like me, the pangs of hapless love,
Else why so feelingly complain, And with thy piteous notes thus sadden all the grove? Say, dost thou mourn thy ravish'd mate,
That oft enamour'd on thy strains has hung?
VOL. III. B
Or has the cruel hand of fate
Bereft thee of thy darling young? Alas, for Both, I weep In all the pride of youthful charms, A beauteous bride torn from my circling arms! A lovely babe that should have lived to bless,
And fill my doating eyes with frequent tears, At once the source of rapture and distress,
The flattering prop of my declining years! In vain from death to rescue I essay'd,
By every art that science could devise; Alas! it languish'd for a mother's aid,
And wing'd its flight to seek her in the skiesThen O our comforts be the same,
At evening's peaceful hour,
And breathe our sorrows in this lonely bower.
But why, alas! to thee complain!
To thee—unconscious of my pain!
Soon shalt Thou cease to mourn thy lot severe,
And hail the dawning of a happier year:
But O for Mb in vain may seasons roll,
Nought can dry up the fountain of my tears,
Deploring still the Comfort Of My Soul,
Tell me, thou syren Hope, deceiver, say,
Where is the promised period of my woes? Full three long, lingering years have roll'd away,
And yet I weep, a stranger to repose: O what delusion did thy tongue employ! "That Emma's fatal pledge of love,
"Her last bequest—with all a mother's care, "The bitterness of sorrow should remove,
"Soften the horrors of despair,
"And chear a heart long lost to joy?" How oft, when fondling in mine arms,
Gazing enraptured on its angel-face,
My soul the maze of Fate would vainly trace, And burn with all a father's fond alarms! And O what flattering scenes had Fancy feign'd,
How did I rave of blessings yet in store! Till every aching sense was sweetly pain'd, And my full heart could bear, nor tongue could
utter more.— "Just Heaven," I cry'd—with recent hopes elate,
"Yet I will live—will live, thoug Eiimma's dead—
"So long bow'd down beneath the storms of Fate,
"Yet will I raise my woe-dejected head! "My little Emma, now my All,
"Will want a father's care, '" Her looks, her wants my rash resolves recall,
"And for her sake the ills of life I'll bear: "And oft together we'll complain,
"Complaint, the only bliss my soul can know, "From me my child shall learn the mournful strain, And prattle tales of woe; "And O in that auspicious hour, "When Fate resigns her persecuting power,
"With duteous zeal her hand shall close,
"No more to weep—my sorrow streaming eyes, "When death gives misery repose,
"And opes a glorious passage to the skies."
Vain thought! it must not be—She too is dead—
The flattering scene is o'er—
And vengeance can no more.—
And none—none left to bear a friendly part!
Or soothe the anguish of an aching heart! Now ail one gloomy scene, till welcome death,
Wi'h len ent hand (O falsly deem'd severe)