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ELEGY TO A YOUNG NOBLEMAN LEAVING THE

UNIVERSITY.

ERE yet, ingenuous youth, thy steps retire
From Cam's smooth margin,andthe peaceful vale
Where Science call'd thee to her studious quire,
And met thee musing in her cloisters pale;

Oh! let thy friend (and may he boast the name) Breathe from his artless reed one parting lay; A lay like this thy early virtues claim,

And this let voluntary Friendship pay.

Yet know the time arrives, the dangerous time, When all those virtues, opening now so fair, Transplanted to the world's tempestuous clime, Must learn each passion's boist'rous breath to bear.

There, if Ambition pestilent and pale,

Or Luxury should taint their vernal glow; If cold Self-interest, with her chilling gale, Should blast th' unfolding blossoms e'er they blow;

If mimic hues, by Art or Fashion spread,

Their genuine, simple colouring should supply; O! with them may these laureate honours fade, And with them (if it can) my Friendship die.

-And do not blame, if, though thyself inspire, Cautious I strike the panegyric string; The Muse full oft pursues a meteor fire, And, vainly vent'rous, soars on waxen wing,

Too actively awake at Friendship's voice,

The poet's bosom pours the fervent strain, Till sad reflection blames the hasty choice, And oft invokes oblivion's aid in vain.

Go then, my friend, nor let thy candid breast Condemn me, if I check the plausive string ; Go to the wayward world; complete the rest; Be, what the purest Muse would wish to sing.

Be still thyself that open path of Truth,

Which led thee here, let manhood firm pursue ; Retain the sweet simplicity of youth,

And all thy virtue dictates, dare to do.

Still scorn, with conscious pride, the mask of Art ;
On Vice's front let fearful caution lour,
And teach the diffident, discreeter part

[power. Of knaves that plot, and fools that fawn for

So, round thy brow when age's honours spread, When Death's cold hand unstrings thy MASON'S lyre,

When the green turf lies lightly on his head, Thy wealth shall some superior bard inspire:

He, to the amplest bounds of Time's domain,
On Rapture's plume shall give thy name to fly;
For trust, with rev'rence trust, this Sabine strain:
"The Muse forbids the virtuous man to die."

VOL III.

16

Mason.

A FATHER'S ADVICE TO HIS SON.

AN ELEGY.

DEEP in a grove by cypress shaded,
Where mid-day sun had seldom shone,
Or noise the solemn scene invaded,
Save some afflicted Muse's moan;

A swain, tow'rds full-ag'd manhood wending,
Sate sorrowing at the close of day;
At whose fond side a boy attending
Lisp'd half his father's cares away.

The father's eyes no object wrested,
But on the smiling prattler hung,

Till, what his throbbing heart suggested,
These accents trembled from his tongue :—

'My youth's first hope, my manhood's treasure, My prattling innocent, attend,

Nor fear rebuke, or sour displeasure,

A father's loveliest name is friend.

'Some truths, from long experience flowing,
Worth more than royal grants, receive;
For truths are wealth of Heaven's bestowing,
Which kings have seldom power to give.

'Since, from an ancient race descended,
You boast an unattainted blood,
By yours be their fair fame attended,

And claim by birthright to be good.

'In love for every fellow-creature
Superior rise above the crowd;
What most ennobles human nature
Was ne'er the portion of the proud.

'Be thine the generous heart that borrows
From others' joys the friendly glow;
And, for each hapless neighbour's sorrows,
Throbs with a sympathetic wo.

"This is the temper most endearing ;

Though wide proud Pomp her banners spreads, An heav'nlier power good-nature bearing Each heart in willing thraldom leads.

Taste not from Fame's uncertain fountain The peace-destroying streams that flow, Nor from Ambition's dangerous mountain Look down upon the world below.

"The princely pine on hills exalted,
Whose lofty branches cleave the sky,
By winds, long brav'd, at last assaulted,
Is headlong whirl'd in dust to lie ;

"Whilst the mild rose, more safely growing
Low in its unaspiring vale,
Amidst retirement's shelter blowing
Exchanges sweets with every gale.

"Wish not for Beauty's darling features,
Moulded by Nature's fondling pow'r,
For fairest forms 'mong human creatures
Shine but the pageants of an hour.

'I saw the pride of all the meadow,
At noon, a gay Narcissus blow
Upon a river's bank, whose shadow
Bloom'd in the silver waves below ;

'By noon-tide's heat its youth was wasted, The waters as they pass'd, complain'd: At eve its glories all were blasted,

And not one former tint remain'd.

"Nor let vain Wit's deceitful glory,
Lead you from Wisdom's path astray;
What genius lives renown'd in story,
To happiness who found the way?

'In yonder mead behold that vapour
Whose vivid beams illusive play,
Far off it seems a friendly taper

To guide the traveller on his way;

'But should some hapless wretch, pursuing,
Tread where the treacherous meteors glow,
He'd find, too late his rashness ruing,▾
That fatal quicksands lurk below.

In life such bubbles nought admiring,
Gilt with false light and fill'd with air,
Do you, from pageant crowds retiring,
To peace in Virtue's cot repair;

'There seek the never-wasted treasure, Which mutual love and friendship give, Domestic comfort, spotless pleasure,

And bless'd, and blessing, you will live.

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