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HERE Hitch's gentle current glides,
Here monks of saintly Benedict
But Harry's wide reforming hand
That sacred order wounded;
He spoke-from forth their hallow'd walls
Then wicked laymen ent'ring in,
Ev'n to the chapel's sacred roof,
Resounds the flute, and sprightly dance,
Yet fame reports, that monkish shades
To haunt the mansions once their own,
One night, more prying than the rest,
And enter'd where on beds of down
Repos'd each gentle dame.
He stopp'd, he gaz'd, to wild conceits
He took the aunt for prioress,
It hap'd that R's capuchin,
Accosting then the youthful fair,
His raptur'd accents broke;
"Hail halcyon days! Hail holy nun!
"For ever blest the power that checkt
Restor'd again the church's lands.
"To monks indeed, from Edward's days,
Yet sister nuns may answer too
The founder's good donation.
"Ah! well thy virgin vows are heard:
For man were never given
Those charms, reserv'd to nobler ends,
Thou spotless spouse of Heaven!
"Yet speak what cause from morning mass Thy ling'ring steps delays:
Haste to the deep-mouth'd organ's peal
At Mary's holy shrine,
The nymph; "No nun, I say,
"To Heav'n my eyes are often cast
Yet deign sometimes to view on Earth
Ah me! I fear in borrow'd shape
For once my hand, at masquerade,
"He told me vows no more were made
To senseless stone and wood, But adoration paid alone
To saints of flesh and blood,
"That rosy cheeks, and radiant eyes,
Were given to bless the present age,
"That maids, by whose obdurate pride The hapless lover fell,
Were doom'd to never-dying toils
"Respect the first command,' (he cried,) 'It's sacred laws fulfil,
And well observe the precept given
When fancy's glance the fairy phantom meets, Nymph of the shade, or Naiad of the flood. So blooms Celena, daughter of the skies,
Queen of the joys romantic rapture dreanis, Her cheeks are summer's damask rose, her eyes Steal their quick lustre from the morning's beams.
Her airy neck the shining tresses shade;
Shifts the bright Iris of a thousand hues.
He sighs like David's son for Sheba's queen.
To Change the China trader speeds his pace, Nor heeds the chilly North's unripening dames; 'Tis her's with twinkling eyes, and lengthen'd face,
And pigmy foot, to wake forgotten flames. She oft, in likeness of th' Egyptian Crone,
Too well inform'd, relates to wand'ring swains Their amorous plaints preferr'd to her alone: Her own relentless breast too well explains. See, at the manor's hospitable board
Enters a sire, by infant age rever'd; From shorten'd tube exhaling fumes afford The incense bland that clouds his forky beard. Conundrums quaint, and puns of jocnnd kind, With rural ditties, warm th' elated 'squire, Yet oft sensations quicken in his mind,
Other than ale and jocund puns inspire. The forms where bloated Dropsy holds her seat, He views, unconscious of magicians' guiles, Nor deems a jaundic'd visage lov'd retreat
Of graces, young desires, and dimpled smiles. Now o'er the portal of an antique hall
A Grecian form the raptur'd patriot awes, The hoary bust and brow severe recall
Lycurgus, founder of majestic laws.
I see the lips as breathing life, he cries,
Reluctant ghosts and stubborn elves obey:
I ceas'd; the virgin came in native grace,
O vain the confidence of mortal race! [chain:
As once in Andover's autumnal grove, When looks that spoke, and eloquence of sighs, Told the soft mandate of another's love.
TO AN ACCOMPLISHED LADY.
IN THE MANNER OF WALLER.
O NYMPH! than blest Pandora honour'd more, What gods to grace thee lavish all their store!
READING JULIa with tears, DURING A HARD PROST
WHAT, though descending as the dews of morn,
For heart-expanding joys and smiling fates.
To call the Muse to Thames' frozen glades,
A flower yourself, the fairest of the feast.
In wonder's silent prayer he blesses you: Your infants there reflecting round the board, Maternal graces while his eye approves; One tear to rapture give!-then sit ador'd The gentle mother of the smiles and loves.
'See Milton's Paradise Lost, Book v. from line 303.
TO LADY F,
ON HER MARRIAGE.
THOUGH to Hymen's gay season belong
O listen, fair Stella, to truth.
To the soft serenade at your bower,
To his vigils in midnight's still hour.
Dipt the pencil to picture your praise,
With morning's gay opening rays:
Bright Dian, the queen of the wood.
Smiling days hung with tempests and night;
O! welcome securer delight.
O! welcome, in nature's own dress,
To redeem fortune's wrongs on mankind.
To gild the wan aspect of sorrow,
To cheer the meek eyes of the poor.
When your virtues shall mix with the skies,
And enlighten posterity's days.
Every virtue deriv'd to your blood
No gandy Rubens ever dare
With flaunting genius, rosy loves,
In bashful night the bashful fair.
WRITTEN AFTER PASSING
THROUGH FINDON, SUSSEX, 1768. ADDRESSED 10 THE REV. MR. WOODDESON, OF KINGSTON UPON THAMES.
WOODDESON! these eyes have seen thy natal earth;
Thy Findon, sloping from the southern downs, Have blest the roof ennobled by thy birth,
And tufted valley, where no ocean frowns. Thou wert not born to plough the neighbouring main,
Or plant thy greatness near ambition's throne, Or count unnumber'd fleeces on thy plain: -The Muses lov'd and nurs'd thee for their own!
And twin'd thy temples here with wreaths of worth, [morn, And fenc'd thy childhood from the blights of And taught enchanting song, and sent thee forth To stretch the blessing to an age unborn: Best blessing!-what is pride's unwieldy state? What awkward wealth from Indian oceans given?
What monarchs nodding under empires' weight, if science smile not with a ray from Heaven? Witness yon ruins, Arundel's high tower,
And Bramber, now the bird of night's resort! Your proud possessors reign'd in barbarous
The war their business, and the chase their sport;
Till there a minstrel, to the feast preferr'd, With Cambrian harp, in Gothic numbers charm'd,
Enlighten'd chiefs grew virtuous as they heard -The sun of science in its morning warm'd. How glorious, when it blaz'd in Milton's light, And Shakespear's flame, to full meridian day! Yet smile, fair beam! though sloping from that height,
Gild our mild evening with a setting ray.
TO A LADY.
THE simple swain, where Zembla's snows
The author of these poems had been edueated under this gentleman, for whom he ever retained the most affectionate regard. Mr. Wooddeson was, in truth, one of those amiable beings whom none could know without loving.-To the abilities of an excellent scholar was united a mind so candid, so patient, so replete with universal benevolence, that it glowed in every action. His life was an honour to himself, to
religion, to human nature.-He preserved to his death such a simplicity of manners as is rarely to be met with. He judged of the world by the standard of his own virtuous heart; and few men who had seen such length of days ever left it so little acquainted with it.
Not once conceives that Sun to rise
As weak my thoughts respecting thee:
Where more is meant than meets the ear.
THE bird of midnight swell'd her throat,
To sweet but solemn sound:
She stay'd to hear the mourner sing;
TO A YOUNG LADY,
WHO OBJECTED TO SUP WITH A PARTY OF BOTH
O FAR from Caroline, so soft a maid,
From harmless smiles that wait on gentle youth.
Too long the lovers for an empty fair
Shall once again the Grecian lyre be strung,
Love's lambent fire that beams from virtue's rays,
WITH bridal cake beneath her head,
Around her spectres shook their chains,
They pull'd, they pinch'd her, till she swore
Before her now the buck, the beau,
The squire, the captain trips;
For some she felt her bosom pant,
To all she gave enchanting smiles,
She dreamt (for magic charms prevail'd,
She kist a sleeping parson.
She dreamt-but, O rash Muse! forbear,
Yet blest above the gods is he
THE MULBERRY TREE.
FOR London's rich city, two Staffordshire swains,
Yet as Johnson, less frolic, was taller, was older, He reach'd the first boughs by the help of his shoulder; [weather, Where, shelter'd from famine, from bailiffs, and Baids, critics, and playerssat crowded together
Who devour'd in their reach, all the fruit they could meet,
The good, bad, indifferent, the bitter and sweet: But Garrick climb'd high to a plentiful crop, Then, Heavens! what vagaries he play'd on the [tight, How, now on the loose twigs, and now on the He stood on his head, and then bolted upright! All features, all shapes, and all passions he tried; He danc'd, and he strutted, he laugh'd, and he cried, [side!
He presented his face, and he show'd his backThe noble, the vulgar, flock'd round him to see What feats he perform'd in the mulberry-tree: He repeated the pastime, then open'd to speak, But Johnson below mutter'd strophes of Greek, While Garrick proclaim'd—such a plant never
Not the beeches of Mantua, where Tityrus was
Were fit only for rods to whip genius to rules; That to Stratford's old mulberry, fairest and best,
The cedars of Eden must bow their proud crest: Then the fruit-like the loaf in the Tub's pleasant tale. [aleThat was fish, flesh, and custard, good claret, and It compris'd every flavour, was all, and was each, Was grape, and was pine-apple, nectarine and
Nay, he swore, and his audience believ'd what he That under his touch it grew apples of goid.— Now he paus'd!-then recounted its virtues again[grain: 'Twas a wood for all use, bottom, top, bark, and It would saw into seats for an audience in full pits, Into benches for judges, episcopal pulpits; Into chairs for philosophers, thrones too for kings, Serve the highest of purposes, lowest of things; Make brooms to mount witches, make May-poles for May-days,
And boxes, and ink-stands, for wits and the la. dies.
His speech pleas'd the vulgar, it pleas'd their superiors, [riors By Johnson stopt short-who his mighty posteApplied to the trunk-like a Sampson, his haunches [and shook branches! Shook the roots, shook the summit, shook stem, All was tremour and shock!-now descended in showers [blighted flowers! Wither'd leaves, wither'd limbs, blighted fruits, The fragments drew critics, bards, players along, Who held by weak branches, and let go the strong; E'en Garrick had dropt with a bough that was
But he leapt to a sound, and the slip was forgotten.
Now the plant's close recesses lay open to day, While Johnson exclaim'd, stalking stately away,