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Talk'd much, and long, of siege and fight,
Alas! too soon the Captain found How swiftly Fortune's wheel goes round; Laura at last began to doze, E'en in the midst of Badajoz; And hurried to a game at loo, From Wellington and Waterloo. The hero,-in heroics left, Of fortune—and a wife-bereft; With nought to cheer his close of day, But celibacy and half pay; Since Laura-and his stars were cruel, Sought his quietus in a duel.
He fought, and perish'd; Laura sigh’d, To hear how hapless Piercy died ; And wip'd her eyes, and thus exprest The feelings of her tender breast : “ What? dead !-poor fellow-what a pity! He was so handsome and so witty ; Shot in a duel too good gracious -How I did hate that man's mustachios !!”
Next came the interesting beau,
and to be seen,
Consulted her on new quadrilles,
Oh! how did Laura love to vex The fair one of the other sex! For bim she practised every art That captivates and plagues the heart. Did he bring tickets for the play? No-Laura had the spleen to-day. Did he escort her to the ball ? No-Laura would'nt dance at all. Did he look grave ?—“ the fool was sad ;" Was he jocose ? -" the man was mad.” E'en when he knelt before her feet, And there, in accent soft and sweet, Laid rank and fortune, heart and hand, At Laura's absolute command, Instead of blushing her consent, She “ wonder'd what the blockhead meant."
Yet still the fashionable fool
The next to gain the beauty's ear Was William Lisle, the sonneteer, Well deem'd the prince of rhyme and blank; For long and deeply has he drank Of Helicon's poetic tide, Where nonsense flows, and numbers glide; And slumber'd on the herbage green, That decks the banks of Hippocrene.
In short-his very footmen know it
He came—and rhym'd-he talked of fountains,
“ Laura-I perish for your sake,”-
Years fleeted by, and every grace
for ever ;
“ Aut insanit homo,-aut versus facit.”-HOR.
Laura should think of being sage,
Her wonted wit began to fail, Her eye grew dim, her features pale; Her fame was past,--her race was done, Her lovers left her one by one ; Her slaves diminish'd by degrees, They ceas'd to fawn-as she to please. Last of the gay deceitful crew, Chremes, the usurer, withdrew; By many an art he strove to net The guineas of the rich coquette ; But (so the adverse fates decreed), Chremes and Laura disagreed ; For Chremes talked too much of stocks, And Laura of her
box. Unhappy Laura ! sadness marred What tints of beauty time had spared; For all her wide extended sway Had faded, like a dream, away ; And they that lov'd her pass'd her by, With alter'd, or averted eye. That silent scorn, that chilling air The fallen tyrant could not bear; She could not live, when none admir’d; And perish’d, as her reign expir’d.
I gaz'd upon that lifeless form, So late with Hope and Fancy warm ; That pallid brow—that eye of jet, Where lustre seem'd to linger yet; Where sparkled through an auburn tress The last dim light of loveliness, Whose trembling ray. was only seen, To bid us sigh for what had been. Alas! I said, my wavering soul Was torn from woman's weak control; But when, amid the evening's gloom, I look'd on Laura's early tomb; And thought on her, so bright and fair, That slumber'd in oblivion there; That calm resolve I could not keep, And then I wept, -as now I weep.
WRITTEN ON THE LAST LEAF OY SHAKSPEARE.
So now the charmed book is ended, Mary!
The wand is broken, and the spell is o'er; And thou hast mused or smiled o'er witch and faery,
Till Fancy's imps familiar semblance wore. What though thy tongue's sweet song be distant far?
By that soft bosom, and that gentle eye,
I knew thee genuine child of poesy,
Divinest Spenser! When did either seem
(As they to thee) two boats upon one stream, Wafting the rapt soul to some region fair, If meek-eyed Genius were not hov'ring there? Never! therefore, thrice-happy Maiden, wander on, Again the wand is whole, the spell is not yet gone!
PROM HARTLAND POINT.
Gales of th’ Atlantic! blithely are ye blowing !
What news bring ye from o'er the Ocean waste? Tides of th’ Atlantic! fiercely are ye flowing !
Mysterious agents ! whither do ye haste ? Answer! for here I stand, as once of yore
That glorious demigod, Alcmena's son,
Foil'd all his foes, and all his labours done,
Where the red Sun down in the west was setting,
And saw the vision, whose bright shape besetting The dreams of the Liguriant him first sent Over the dim horizon! Matchless race! To seek the Great Light in his hiding place.
* Herculis Promontorium.-CAMDEN.