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OR THE WEDDING-DAY.
Their souls in fragrant dews exhale,
Lo! Socrates, the fent of heaven, And breathe fresh life in every gale.
To whom its moral will was given. Here, spreads a green expanse of plains,
Fathers and friends of human kind, Where, Tweetly pensive, lilence reigns ;
They form'd the nations, or refind; And there, at utmost stretch of eye,
With all that mends the head and heart, A mountain fades into the sky;
Enlightening truth, adorning art. While winding round, diffus'd and deep,
While thus I mus'd beneath the shade, A river rolls with sounding (weep.
At once the founding breeze was laid : Of human art no traces near,
And nature, by the unknown law, I seem alone with nature here!
Shook deep with reverential awe. Here are thy walks, O sacred Health !
Dumb filence grew upon the hour; The monarch's bliss, the beggar's wealth ; A browner night involv'd the bower: The seasoning of all good below!
When ifluing from the inmost wood, The sovereign friend in joy or woe!
Appear'd fair freedom's genius good. Othou, molt courted, most despis'd,
o Freedom: sovereign boon of heaven ; And but in absence duly priz'd!
Great charter, with our being given; Power of the soft and rosy face!
For which the patriot, and the sage, The vivid pulse, the vermil grace,
Have plann'd, have bled through every age! The spirits when they gayest shine,
High privilege of human race, Youth, beauty, pleasure, all are thine!
Beyond a mortal monarch's grace: Of sun of life! whose heavenly ray
Who could not give, nor can reclaim,
What but from God immediate came?
CUPID AND HYMEN:
The rising morn, serenely still,
Had brightening spread o'er vale and hill, Fled from the couch, where, in sweet sleep, Not thuie loose beams that wanton play, Hot riot would bis anguish steep,
To light the mirth of giddy. May; But tosses through the midnight-lade,
Nor such red heats as burn the plain, Of death, of life, alike afraid ;
In ardent Summer's feverilh reign : For ever fled to shady cell,
But rays, all equal, soft and sober, Where temperance, where the muses dwell; To fuit the second of October ; Thou oft art seen, at early dawn,
To suit the pair, whose wedding-day Slow-pacing o'er the breezy lawn:
This fun now gilds with annual ray. Or on the brow of mountain high,
Just then, where our good-natur'd Thames is In filence feasting ear and eye,
Some four fort miles above St James's, With fong and prospect, which abound
And deigns, with silver-streaming wave, From birds, and woods, and waters round. Th’abodes of earth-born pride to lave, But when the sun, with noon-tide ray,
Aloft in air two gods were soaring; Flames forth intolerable day;
While Putney-cits beneath lay snoring, While heat fits fervent on the plain,
Plungd deep in dreams of ten per cent, With thirst and languor in his train :
On sums to their dear country lent: All nature fick ing in the blaze :
Two gods of no inferior fame, Thou, in the wild and woody maze,
Whom ancient wits with reverence name; That clouds the vale with anbrage deep, Though wiser moderns much disparage--Impendent from the neighbouring steep,
I mean the gods of love and marriage. Wilt find betimes a calm retreat,
But Cupid first, his wit to show, Where breathing coolness has her seat.
Asuming a mere modern beau, There, plung'd amid the lhadows brown, Whose utmost aim is idle mirth, Imagination lays him down;
Look'd---just as coxcombs look on earth: Attentive, in his airy mood,
Then rais'd his chin, then cock'd his hat, To every murmur of the wood ::
To grace this common-place chit-chat; The bee in yonder flowery nook ;
How! on the wing, by break of dawn! The chidings of the headlung brook ;
Dear brother---there he forc'd a yawn--The green leaf shivering in the gale ;
To tell men, funk in stecp profound, The warbling hill, the lowing vale ;
They must, ere night, be gag'd and bound! The distant woodman's echoing itruke;
Who, having once put on thy chain, The thunder of the falling oak.
'Tis odds, may ne'er sleep sound again. From thought to thought in vilion led,
So say the wits : but wiler folks He holds high converse with the dead;
Still marry, and contemn their jokes : Sages, or poets. See they rise !
They know, each better bliss is thine, And shadowy skim before his eyes.
Pure nectar, genuine from the vine! Hark! Orpheus strikes the lyre again,
And Love's own hand that nectar pours, That lofteus savages to men:
Which never fails, nor ever fours;
Well, be it fo: yet there are fools,
But first, a pensive love forlorn, Who dare demur to former rules;
Who three long weeping years has borne Who laugh profanely at their betters,
His torch revers'd, and all around, And find no freedom plac'd in fetters;
Where once it flam'd, with cypress boond, But, well or ill, jog on through life
Sent off, to call a neighbouring friend, Without that sov’reign bliss, a wife.
On whom the mournful train attend: Leave there at least, these sad dogs free,
And bid him, this one day, at least, To troll with Bacchus and with me;
For such a pair, at such a feast, And fup, in Middletex, or Surrey,
Strip off the fable veil, and wear On coarse cold beef, and Fanny Murray.
His once-gay look and happier air. Thus Cupid---and with such a leer,
But Hymen, speeding forward still, You would have sworn 'twas Ligonier,
Observ'd * a man on Richmond-hill, While Hymen soberly reply'd,
Who now first tries a country life; Yet with an air of conscious pride :
Perhaps, to fit him for a wife. Just come from yonder wretched scene, But, though not much on this he reckon'd, Where all is venal, false, and mean,
The pailing god look'd in and beckonid: (Looking on London as he spoke )
He knows him rich in social merit, I marvel not at thy dull joke;
With independent taste and spirit; Nor, in such cant, to hear thee vapour,
Though he will laugh with men of whim, Thy quiver lin'd with South-sea paper ;
For fear such men should laugh at him. Thine arrows feather'd, at the tail,
But lo, already on his way, With India-bonds, for hearts on sale;
In due observance of the day, Their other ends too, as is meet,
A friend and favourite of the nine, Tipp'd with gold points from Lombard-street, Who can, but seldom cares to thine, But could'st thou for a moment quit
And one lole virtue would arrive atThese airs of fashionable wit,
To keep bis many virtues private. And re-assume thy nobler name.
Who tends, well pleas'd, yet as by stealth, Look that way, where I turn my flame.-
His lov'd companions eale and health: He said, and held his torch inclin'd,
Or in his garden, barring out Which, pointed fo, ftill brighter Thin'd--
The noise of every neighbouring rout, Behold yon couple, arm in arm,
At pensive hour of eve and prime, Whom I, eight years, have known to charm; Marks how the various hand of time And, while they wear my willing chains, Now feeds and rears, now starves and daughter, A god dares swear that neither feigns.
His vegetable sons and daughters. This morn that bound their mutual vow,
While these are on their way, behold! That bleft them first, and blesses now,
Dan Cupid, from his London-fold, They grateful hail! and, from the soul,
First reeks and sends his new Lord Warden With thousands o'er both heads may roll; Of all the nymphs in Covent Garden: Till, from life's banquet, either guett,
Brave as the fword he wears in fight; Embracing, may retire to rest.
Sincere, and briefly in the right; Come then, all 1 aillery laid aside,
Whom never minister or king Let this their day terenely glide :
Saw meanly cringing in their ring. With mine thy serious aim unite,
A second see! of special note, And both some proper guests invite;
Plump Comus I in a colonel's coat; That not one minute's running sand
Whom we, this day, expect from far, May find their pleasures at a stand.
A jolly first-rate man of war; At this fevere and sad rebuke,
On whom we boldly dare repore, Enough to make a coxcomb puke ;
To meet our friends, or mect our foes. Poor Cupid, bluhing, shrugg'd and winc'd,
Or comes a brother in his stead? Not yet consenting, though convinc'd :
Strong-body'd too, and strong of head: For 'tis your witling's greatest terror,
Who, in whatever path be goes, Ev’n when he feels to own his error.
Still looks right on before his nose; Yet, with a look of arch grimace,
And holds it little less than treason,
To baulk his stomach or his reason.
* A. Mitchell, Esq. Minister at the Court of That, as true humour was grown searce,
Prusia. He chose to see a fober farce;
† The late General Skelton. He bad ju theu For, of all cattle and all fowl,
purchased a House in Henrietta-ftreet. Your solemn-looking ass and owl
| The late Col. Caroline Scott; who theaga Rais'd much more mirth, he quilt aver it, extremely corpulent, was uncommonly come ; Than those jack-puddings, pug and parrot. and who, to much skill, spirit, and brażery, as 48
He said, and eastward fpread his wing, officer, joined the greatest gentleness of manat": From London fome few friends to bring.
as a companion and friend. He died a sacrifice :) His brother too, with sober cheer,
the public, in the service of the Eaft-India Compact For the same end did westward fteer:
nay, at Bengal, in the year 1755.
True to his mistress and his meat,
And each companionable guest
Withdraws, replenish'd, not opprest,
My life be such a wedding-day!
WRITTEN AT TUNBRIDGE WELLS, M,DCC,IS.
When Churchill led bis legions on,
And are those triumphs, with the dead,
All from his house, for ever fled ?
Not so: by softer furer arms,
They yet survive in beauty's charms;
Fur, look on blooming Pembroke's face,
Even pow he triumphs in his race.
AN ODE IN THE MASQUE OF ALFRED:
Sung by a Shepherdess who has loft ber lover in
A youth, adorn'd with every art,
To warm and win the coldest heart,
In secret mine poflett.
The morning bud that faireft blows,
The vernal oak that straightest grows,
His face and shape expreft.
In moving sounds he told his tale,
Soft as the sighings of the gale,
That wakes the flowery year.
What wonder he could charm with ease,
Whom happy nature taught to please,,
Whom honour made lincere.
At morn he left me-fought-and fell!
The fatal evening heard his knell,
And saw the tears I lhed:
Tears that must ever, ever fall;
For ab! no fighs the past recall,
No cries awake the dead !
THE EXCURSION; A PO E M.
IN TWO CANTOS.
INVOCATION, addressed to Fancy. Subject proposed; a short excursive survey of the Earth and
Heavens. The poem opens with a description of the face of Nature in the different scenes of morn-
character of a friend deceased.
continent and the deserts Tartary-From thence southward: a general prospect of the globe, fol-
Contains, on the same plan, a survey of the solar system, and of the fixed stars.
atone for the irregularity of the composition, which he confesses, and does not even attempt er excuse, is submitted entirely to the candour of the reader.
Scud o'er the lawns, and plunging into night, COMPANION of the muse, creative power,
In brake, or cavern, flumber out the day. Imagination! at whose great command
Invited by the cheerful morn abroad, Arife unnumber'd images of things,
Sce, from his humble roof, the good man come
To taste her freshness, and improve her rile Thy hourly offspring : thou, who canst at will
In holy muling. Rapture in his eye,
And kneeling wonder speak his filent soul,
With gratitude o'erflowing, and with praise! To waft me on thy many-tinctur'd wing,
Now industry is up. The village pours
Her useful fons abroad to various toil:
Of future plenty arm'd; and there the swain, Of vice and folly, vanity and man
A rural king amid his subject-flocks,
The traveller too, pursues his early road,
And all the living landscape moves around. His mantle, flower-embroider'd on the ground.
But see, the flush'd horizon flames intense While summer laughing comes, and bids the
With vivid red, in rich profusion ftream'd months
O’er heaven's pure arch. At once the clouds af Crown his prime season with their choiceft ftores; Their gayest liveries ; these with filvery beams Fresh roses opening to the solar ray, And fruits flow-swelling on the loaded bough. Fring'd lovely, splendid those in liquid gold: Here let me frequent roam, preventing morn,
And speak their sovereign's state. He comes to Attentive to the cock, whose early throat,
hold! Heard from the distant village in the vale,
Fountain of light and colour, warmth and lic! Crows cheerly out, far sounding through the The king of glory! round his head divine, gloom.
Diffufive showers of radiance circling flow, Night hears from where, wide-hovering in mid
As o'er the Indian wave up-rising fair She rules the fable hour: and calls her train
He looks abroad on nature, and invests, Of visionary fears; the shrouded ghost,
Where-e'er his universul eye furveys, The dream distressful, and th' encumbent hag,
Her ample bofom, earth, air, sea, and ky, That rise to fancy's eye in horrid forms,
In one bright robe, with heavenly tindures gar. While reason Numbering lies. At once they ily,
From this hoare hill, that climbs above the As shadows pars, nor is their path beheld.
(woni And now, pale-glimmering on the verge of Half-way up heaven ambitious, brown sich heaven,
Of broadest shade, and terrass'd round with walks Irom east to north in double twilight seen,
Winding and wild, that deep embowering rise, A whitening lustre shoots its tender bcam;
Maze above maze, through all its shelter'd height: While shade and silence yet involve the ball.
From hence, th' aëreal concave without cloud, Now facred morn, ascending, smiles ferene
Translucent, and in purest azure drejt ;
The boundless scene beneath, hill, dale, and plais A dewy radiance, brightening o'er the world. Gay daughter of the air, for ever young,
The precipice abrupt; the diftant deep, For ever pleasing! lo, she onward comes,
Whose shores remurmur to the founding surge; In fluid gold and azure loofe-array'd,
The nearest forest in wide circuit spread, Sun-tindur’d, changeful hues. At her approach, Solemn recess, whose solitary walks, The western gray of yonder breaking clouds
Fair truth and wisdom love; the bordering lawy: Slow-reddens into flame: the rising milts,
With flocks and herds enrich'd; the daily d vale From off the mountain's brow, roll blue away
The river's cryftal, and the meadows greenla curling spires; and open all his woods,
Grateful diversity! allure the eye High waving in the sky: th' uncolour'd stream,
Abroad, to rove amid ten thousand charms. Beneath her glowing ray translucent shines. These scenes, where every virtue, every make Glad nature feels her through her boundless realms Delighted range, serene the soul, and lift, Of life and sense: and calls forth all her fweets, Borne on devotion's wing, beyond the pole, Fragrance and song. From cach unfolding flower To highest heaven her thought; to nature's God, Transpires the balm of life, that zephyr wafts, First lource of all things lovely, all things good, Delicious, on his rosy wing: each bird,
Eternal, infinite! before whole throne Or high in air, or secret in the shade,
Sits sovereign bounty, and through heaven and Rejoicing warbles wild his matin hymn.
Careless diffufes plenitude of blifs carth While beasts of chase, by secret instinct mov'd, Him all things own: he speaks, and it is day,
Obedient to his nod, alternate night
With conscious guilt, though hid in deepest shade, Obscures the world. The seasons at his call Hears and flies wild, pursued by all his fears : Succeed in train, and lead the year around. And sees the bleeding shadow of the slain
While reason thus and rapture fill the heart; Rise hideous, glaring on him through the gloom! Friends of mankind, good angels, hovering near, Hark! through th' aerial vault, the storm Their holy influence, deep-infusing, lend;
flam'd And in still whispers, loft as zephyr's breath Comes nearer, hoarsely loud, abrupt and fierce, When scarce the green leaf trembles, through her Peal hurl'd on peal incessant, burit on burit : powers
Torn from its base, as if the general frame Inspire new vigour, purer light fupply,
Were tumbling into chaos—There it fell,
With whirlwind-wing, in red diffusion ilash'd.
A livid corse. Yon cottage frames to heaven :
The parent breathless lies; her orphan-babes
Whose will, unerring, points the bolt of fate !
Subsides, the thunder's falling roar is hulh'd :
New life reltores, and from each drooping field Red plague, and fever; or, in fogs aloft Draws the redundant rain, in climbing milts • Condensing, how a ruflling tempeít nigh. Faft-rifing to his ray; till every flower
And see, exhaling from ch' Atlantic surge, Lift up its head, and nature finiles reviv'd.
At first 'tis awful silence over all,
Whose fluctuating bosom, blushing red,
A circling glory glows around his disk
With double blackness lours; the tempcft swells, That lengthens o'er the lawn. Yon evening. i And expectation takes the heart of man. Lucid or dulk, with flamy purple edg'd, (clouds,
When yonder clouds in dusky depth extend Float in gay pomp the blue horizon round,