« ForrigeFortsæt »
Who knows of Nature, and of man no more See countless worlds of insect beings share
See earth, and air, and fire, and flood combine And scorn the scholar of humanity?
Of general good to aid the great design ! Something of men these sapient drones may Where Ancon drags o'er Lincoln's lurid plain, know,
Like a slow snake, bis dirty-winding train, Of men that liv'd two thousand years ago. Where fogs eternal blot the face of day, Such human monsters if the world e'er knew, And the lost bittern moans his gloomy way; As ancient verse, and ancient story drew! As well we might, for unpropitious skies,
If to one object, system, scene confind, The blameless native with his clime despise, The sure effect is narrowness of mind.
As him who still the poorer lot partakes 'Twas thus St. Robert, in his lonely wood, Of Biscay's mountains, or Batavia's lakes. Forsook each social duty-to be good.
Yet look once more on Nature's various plan! Thus Hobbes on one dear system fix'd his eyes, Behold, and love her noblest creature man! And pror'd his nature wretched to be wise. She, never partial, on each various zone, Each zealot thus, elate with ghostly pride, Bestow'd some portion to the rest unknown, Adores his God, and hates the world beside. By mutual interest meaning thence to bind Though form'd with powers to grasp this va- In one rast chain the commerce of mankind. rious ball,
Behold, ye vain disturbers of an hour ! Gods! to what meanness may the spirit fall ! Ye dupes of faction ! and ye tools of power! Powers that should spread in reason's orient ray, Poor rioters on life's contracted stage ! How are they darken'd, and debarr'd the day! Behold, and lose your littleness of rage !
When late, where Tajo rolls his ancient tide, Throw envy, folly, prejudice behind ! Reflecting clear the mountain's purple side, And yield to Truth the empire of the mind. Thy genius,Craufurd, Pritain's legions led,
Immortal Truth! O from thy radiant shrige And fear's chill cloud forsook each brightning Where light created first essay'd to shine ; head,
Where clustering stars eternal beams display, By nature brave, and generous as thou art, And gems ethereal drink the golden day; Say did not human follies vex thy heart? To chase this moral, clear this sensual pigint, Glox'd not thy breast indignant, when you say Cshed one ray of thy celestial light! The dome of murder consecrate by law? Teach us, wbile wandering thro' this vale below Where fiends, commission'd with the legal rod, We know but little, that we little know. In pure devotion, burn the works of God. One beam to nole-ey'd Prejudice convey,
O change me, powers of Nature, if ye can, Let Pride perceive one mortifying ray. Transform me, make me any thing but man. Thy glass to fools, to infidels apply, Yet why? This heart all human kiud forgives, And all the dimness of the inental eye. While Gillman loves me, and while Craufurd Plac'd on this shore of Time's far-stretching lives.
bourn, Is Nature, all benevolent, to blame
With leave to look at Nature and retur; That half her offspring are their mother's shame? While wave on wave impels the human tide, Did she ordain o'er this fair scene of things And ages sink, forgotten as they glide; The cruelty of priests, or pride of kings? Can life's short duties better be discharg'd, Tho'worlds lie murder'd for their wealth of fame, Than when we leare it with a mind enlarg'd? Is Nature all benevolent to blame?
Judg'd not the old philosopher aright, O that the world were emptied of its slaves! When thus he preach'd, his pupils in his sight? That all the fools were gone, and all the knaves! “ It matters not, my friends, how low or high Then might we, Craufurd, with delight embrace, Yonr little walk of transient life may lie. In boundless love, the rest of human race. Soon will the reign of hope and fear be o'er, But let not knaves misanthropy create,
And warring passions militate no more. Nor feed the gall of universal haté.
And trust me, he who, haviug once surrey'd Wherever Genius, Truth, and Virtue dwell, The good and fair which Nature's wisdom made, Polish'd in courts, or simple in a cell,
The soonest to his former state retires,
Vain of our beauteous isle, and justly vain, I look on bim to be the happiest man."
Yet though each vale a deeper verdure yields That swell'd th'alternate reign of hopes and fears; Than Arno's banks, or Andalusia's fields, Not in the splendid scenes of pain and strife, 'Though many a tree-crown'd mountain teems That Wisdom plac'd the dignity of life: with ore,
To study Nature was the task desigu’d,
And sleep in death with satisfied desires.
In due proportion, as each being stays
In perfect life, it rises and decays. TO WILLIAM LANGHORNE, M. A. WRITTEN IN
Is man long helpless ? Through each tender 1765.
hour, Light heard his voice, and, eager to obey, See love parental watch the blooming flower ! From all her orient fountains burst away. By op'ning charms, by beauties fresh display'd,
At Nature's birth, O! bad the power divine And sweets unfolding, see that lore repaid! Commanded thus the moral sun to shine,
Has age its pains ? For luxury it may-
While sage experience, and reflection clear Then the free soul, on truth's strong pinion born, Beam a gay sunshine on life's fading year. Had never languish'd in this shade forlorn.
But see from age, from infant weakness see, Yet thus imperfect forin'd, thus blind and That man was destin'd for society; vain,
There from those ills a safe retreat behold, Doom'd by long toil a glimpse of truth to gain; Which young might vanquish, or afilict him old. Beyond its sphere shall human wisdom go, “ That, in proportion as each being stays And boldly censure what it cannot know? In perfect life, it rises and decays For what Heaven gave let us the donor bless, Is Nature's law-to forms alone confin'd, Nor than their merits rank our mercies less. The laws of matter act not on the mind. 'Tis ours to cherish what Heav'n deign'd to give, Too feebly, sure, its faculties must grow, And thankful for the gift of being to live. And Reason brings her burrow'd light too słow."
Progressive powers, and faculties that rise, 0! still censorious ? Art thou then possess'd From Earth's low vale, to grasp the golden skies, Of Reason's power, and does she rule thy breast? Though distant far from perfect, good, or fair, Say what the use had Providence assign'd Claim the due thought, and ask the grateful care. To infant-years maturity of mind ?
Come then, thou partner of my life and name, That thy pert offspring, as their father wise, From one dear source, whom Nature form’d the Might scorn thy precepts, and thy pow'r, dessame,
pise? Ally'd more nearly in each nobler part, Or mourn, with ill-match'd faculties at strife, And more the friend, than brother, of my heart ! O'er limbs upequal to the task of life? Let us, unlike the lucid twins that rise
To feel more sensibly the woes that wait At different times, and shine in distant skies, On every period, as on every state; With mutual eye this mental world survey, And slight, sad convicts of each painful truth, Mark the slow rise of intellectual day,
The happier trifles of unthinking youth? View reason's source, if man the source may find, Conclude we then the progress of the mind And trace each science that exalts the mind, Ordain'd by wisdom jofinitely kind :
“ Thou self-appointed lord of all below! No innate knowledge on the soul imprest, Ambitious man, how little dost thou know? No birth-right instinct acting in the breast, For once let Fancy's towering thougbts subside; No natal light, no beams from Heav'n display'd, Look on thy birth, and mortify thy pride! Dart through the darkness of the mental shade. A plaintive wretch, so blind, so helpless born, Perceptive powers we hold from Heaven's deThe brute sagacious might behold with scorn. Alike to knowledge as to virtue free, [cree, How soon, when Nature gives him to the day, In both a lib'ral agency we bear, lo strength exulting, does he bound away! The moral here, the intellectul there; By instinct led, the fostering tent he finds, And hence in both an equal joy is known, Sports in the ray, and shuns the searching winds: | The conscious pleasure of an act our own. No grief he knows, he feels no groundless fear, When first the trembling eye receives the day, Feeds without cries, and sleeps without a tear. External forms on young perception play ; Did he but know to reason and compare,
External forms affect the mind alone, See here the vassal, and the master there : Their diff'rent powrs and properties unknown, Wbat'strange reflections must the scene afford, See the pleas'd infant court the flaming brand, That show'd the weakness of his puling lord!" Eager to grasp the glory in its hand !
Thus Sophistry unfolds her specious plan, The crystal wave as eager to pervade, Porm'd not to humble, but depreciate man. Stretch its fond arms to meet the smiling shade! Unjust the censure, if unjust to rate
When Memory's call the mimic words obey, His pow'rs and merits from his infant-state. And wing the thought that faulters on its way; For, grant the children of the flow'ry vale When wise Experience her slow verdict draws, By instinct wiser, and of limbs more hale, The sure effect exploring in the cause, With equal eye their perfect state explore, In Nature's rude, but not unfruitful wild, And all the rain comparison's no more.
Reflection springs, and Reason is her child : “ But why should life, so short by Heav'n or- On her fair stock the blooming scyon grows, dain'd,
And brighter through revolving seasons blows. Be long to thoughtless infancy restrain'd All beauteous flow'r ! immortal shalt thou 'To thoughtless infancy, or vainly sage,
shine, Mourn through the languors of declining age?” When dim with age yon golden orbs decline;
O blind to truth! to Nature's wisdom blind ! Thy orient bloom, unconscious of decay, And all that she directs, or Heav'n design'd! Shall spread and flourish in eternal day. Behold ber works in cities, plains, and groves, 0! with what art, my friend, what early care, All life that vegetates, and life that moves ! Should Wisdom cultivate a plant so fair !
How should her eye the rip'ning mind revise,
AN ODE TO THE RIVER EDEN.
WRITTEN IN 1759.
Delightful Eden ! parent stream,
Yet shall the maids of Memory say, O'er life's rough seas its doubtful course to steer, (When led Pancy's fairy dream, Unbroke by av'rice, bigotry, or fear !
My young steps trac'd thy winding way) For this fair Science spreads her light afar,
How oft along thy mazy shore, And fills the bright urn of her eastern star. That many a gloomy alder bore, The liberal power in no sequester'd cells,
In pensive thought their poet stray'd ; No moonshine courts of dreaming schoolmen
Or, careless thrown thy bank beside, dwells,
Beheld thy dimply waters glide, Distinguish'd far her lofty temple stands,
Bright thro' the trembling shade. Whcre the tall mountain looks o'er distant lands ; ( Yet shall they paint those scenes again, All round her throne the graceful Arts appear, That boast the empire of the eye or ear.
Where once with infant-joy he play'd, See favour'd first and nearest to the throne,
And bending o'er thy liquid plain, By the rapt mien of musing Silence known.
The azure worlds below survey'd : Fled from herself, the Pow'r of Numbers plac'd
Led by the rosy-handed Hours, Herwild thoughts watch'd by Harmony and Taste.
When Time trip'd o'er that bank of flowers, There (but at distance never meant to vie)
Which in thy crystal bosom smild : The full-form'd image glancing on her eye,
Tho' old the god, yet light and gay, See lively Pamting ! On her various face
He flung bis glass, bis scythe away,
And seem'd himself a child.
The poplar tall, that waving near
Would whisper to thy murmurs free; Half loose her robe, and balf unbound her hair;
Yet rustling seems to soothe mine ear,
And trembles when I sigh for thee.
Yet seated on thy shelving brim,
Can Fancy see the Najads trim See Music, list'ning to an angel's lyre.
Burnish their green locks in the Sun ; Simplicity, their beauteous bandmaid, drest
Or at the last lone hour of day,
To chase the lightly glancing fay,
In airy circles run.
Again those happy moments bring? And taste and knowledge thus are virtue's friends.
When young Joy wav'd his laughing wing? Thus Nature deigns to sympathize with art,
When first in Eden's rosy vale, And leads the moral beauty to the heart;
My full heart pour'd the lover's tale, 'There, only there, that strong attraction lies,
The vow sincere, devoid of guile ! Wbich wakes the soul, and bids her graces rise;
While Delia in her panting breast, Lives in those powers of harmony that bind
With sighs, the tender thought supprest, Congenial hearts, and stretch from mind to mind :
And look'd as angels smile. Glow'd in that warmth, that social kindness gave, Which once the rest is silence and the grave. O goddess of the crystal bow, 1) tears, that warm from wounded friendship That dwell'st the golden meads among ; flow!
Whose streams still fair in memory flow, O thoughts that wake to monuments of woe ! Whose murmurs melodise my song! Reflection keen, that points the painful dart; Oh ! yet those gleams of joy display, Mem'ry, that speeds its passage to the heart; Which bright’ning glow'd in fancy's ray, Sad monitors, your cruel power suspend,
When, near thy lucid urn reclin'd,
The dryad, Nature, bar'd her breast,
In vain-the maids of Memory fair
"Till the last sigh of genins shall expire, Yet, love and friendship lost to me, His keen eye faded, and extinct his fire,
'Tis yet some joy to think of thee, 'Till Time, in league with Envy and with Death, And in thy breast this moral find ; Blust the skill'd hand, and stop the tuneful breath, That life, though stain'd with sorrow's showers Aly Craufurd still shall claim the mouruful song, Shall flow serene, wbile Virtue pours Su long remenbered and bewail'd so long.
Her sunshine on the mind,
O most belov'd! the fairest and the best
Of all her works ! may still thy lover find
Fair Nature's frankness in thy gentle breast; TO MISS CRACROFT, 1763.
Like her be various, but like her be kind. While yet my poplar yields a doubtful shade,
Then, when the Spring of smiling youth is o'er; Its last leaves trembling to the Zephyr's sigh ;
When Summer's glories yield to Autumu's sway; On this fair plain ere erery verdure fade,
When golden Autumn sinks in Winter hoar, Or the last smiles of golden Autumn die ;
And life declining yields its last weak ray; Wilt thou, my Nancy, at this pensive hour,
In thy lov'd arms my fainting age shall close, O'er Nature's ruin hear thy friend complain :
On thee my fond eye bend its trembling light:
Rememb'rance sweet shall soothe my last repose, While his beart labours with th' inspiring power,
And my soul bless thee in eternal night.
TO MISS CRACROFT.
1763. Why are ye silent, brethren of the grove,
Wuen pale beneath the frowning shade of death, Fond Philomel, thy many-chorded lyre No soothing voice of love, or friendship nigh, So sweetly tun'd to tenderness and love,
While strong convulsions seiz'd the lab'ring Shall love no more, or tenderness inspire ?
And life suspended left each vacant eye;
Where, in that moment, fled th' immortal mind? An absent love, sweet bird, may soften thine:
To what new region did the spirit stray? An absent love demands a tear from me.
Found it some bosom hospitably kind,
Some breast that took the wanderer in its way? Yet, ere ye slumber, songsters of the sky,
Thro'the long night of winter wild and drear: To thee, my Nancy, in that deathful hour, Olet us tune, ere Love and Fancy die,
To thy dear bosom it once more return'd ; One tender farewell to the fading year.
And wrapt in Hackthorn's solitary bower,
The ruins of its former mansion mourn'd. Farewell ye wild hills, scatter'd o'er with spring! Sweet solitudes, where Flora smil'd unseen!
But, didst thou, kind and gentle as thou art, Farewell each breeze of balmy-burthen'd wing !
O'er thy pale lover shed the generous tear? The violet's blue bank, aud the tall wood green !
From those sweet eyes did Pity's softness start,
When Fancy laid him on the lowly bier? Ye tuneful groves of Belvidere, adieu ! Kind shades that whisper o'er my Craufurd's Didst thou to Heaven address the forceful prayer, rest!
Fold thy fair hands, and raise the mournful eye, From courts, from senates, and from camps to you, Implore each power benevolent to spare, Wben Fancy leads him, no inglorious gues. !
And call down Pity from the golden sky? Dear shades adieu ! where late the moral Muse O born at once to bless me and to save, Led by the dryad, Silence, oft reclin'd,
Exalt my life, and dignify my lay! Taught Meanness to extend her little views,
Thou too shalt triumph o'er the mouldering grave, And look on Nature to enlarge her mind.
And on thy brow shall bloom the deathless bay. Farewell the walk along the woodland-vale ;
Dear shades of genius! heirs of endless fame! Flower-feeding rills in murmurs drawn away!
That in your laureate crowns the myrtle wove, Farewell the sweet breath of the early gale!
Snatch'd from oblivion Beauty's sacred name, And the dear glories of the closing day!
And grew immortal in the arms of Love ! The nameless charms of high poetic thought,
0 may we meet you in some happier clime,
Soine safer vale beneath a genial sky;
Whence all the woes that load the wing of Time, On Slumber's light leaf by the murmuring
Disease, and death, and fear, and frailty ily! shore All, all adieu ! from Autumn's sober power
TO MISS CRACROFT. Fly the dear dreams of Spring's delightful reign;
THE COMPLAINT OF HER RING-DOVE. 1759. Gay Summer strips her rosy-inantled bower,
Apd rude winds waste the glories of her train. Far from the smiles of blue hesperian skies, Yet Autumn yields her joys of humbler kind;
Far from those vales, where flowery pleasures Sad o'er her golden ruins as we stray,
dwell, Sweet Melancholy soothes the musing mind, (Dear scenes of freedom lost to these sad eyes !) And Nature charms, delightful in decay.
How hard to languish in this lonely cell! All-bounteous power, whom happy worlds adore ! When genial gales relume the fires of love, With every scene some grateful change she When laughing Spring leads round the jocund brings—
year ; lo Winter's wild snows, Autumn's golden store, Ah ! view with pity, gentle maid, your dove,
In glowing summers and in blooming springs ! From every heart-felt joy secluded bere !
To me no more the laughing Spring looks gay; Yet, trust the Muse, fair friendship’s flower sbal!
Nor annual loves relume my languid treast; Time slowly drags the long, delightless day, When life's short sunshine, like its storms is past; Thro one dull scene of solitary rest.
Bloom in the fields of some ambrosial sbore,
Where Time, and Death, and Sickness are no Ah! what avails that dreaming Fancy roves
Thro' the wild beauties of her native reign ! Breathes in green fields, and feeds in freshening
groves, To wake to anguish in this hopeless chain ?
WRITTEN IN A COLLECTION OF
1765. For the free forest, and the boundless air, Realms of this globe, that ever-circling run,
The rebel, Nature, murmurs in my breast. And rise alternate to embrace the Sun ; Ah let not Nature, Nancy, plead in vain !
Shall I with envy at my lot repine, For kindness sure should grace a form so fair :
Because I boast so small a portion mine? Restore me to my native wilds again,
If e'er in thought of Andalusia's vines,
Golconda's jewels, or Potosi's mines;
The humbler blessings of my little lot;
Then may the stream that murmurs near my door,
The waving grove that loves its mazy shore, IN THE MANNER OF PETRARCH.
Withhold each soothing pleasure that they gave,
No longer murmur, and no longer wave!
The sweetest twins that ever Nature bore,
Let others seek the lying aids of art, Young Love and Fancy met the genial day. And bribe the passions to betray the heart; And, all as on the thymne-green bank I lay, Truth, sacred truth, and faith unskill'd to feign,
A nymph of gentlest mien their train before, Fill my fond breast, and prompt my artless straip. "Came with a smile ; and “ Swain,” she cried, Say, did thy lover, in some happier hour, " no more
Each ardent thought, in wild profusion pour; To pensive sorrow tune thy hopeless lay.
With eager fondness on thy beauty gaze, Friends of thy heart, see Love and Fancy bring And talk with all the ecstacy of praise? Each joy that youth's enchanted bosom warms; The heart sincere its pleasing tumult prov'd;
Delight that rifles all the fragrant spring! All, all declar'd that Theodosius lov'd. Fair-handed Hope, that paints unfading charms ! Let raptur'd fancy on that moment dwell, And dove-like Faith, that waves her silver When thy dear vows in trembling accents fell; wing.
When love acknowledg'd wak'd the tender sigb, These, swain, are thine ; for Nancy meets thy Swell'd thy full breast, and fill'd thy melting eyes
0! blest for ever be th' auspicious day,
Dance all its hours in pleasure's golden ray! TO MISS CRACROFT.
Pale sorrow's gloom from every eye depart !
And laughing joy glide lightly thro' the heart ! WRAPPED ROUND A NOSEGAY OF VIOLETS.
Let village-maids their festive brows adorn, 1761.
And with fresh garlands meet the smiling non; Dear object of my late and early prayer ! Each happy swain, by faithful Jove repaid, Source of my joy! and solace of my care! Pour his warm vows, and court his village maid. Wbuse gentle friendship such a charm can give, Yet shall the scene to ravish'd memory rise ; As makes me wish, and tells me how to live. Constantia present yet shall meet these eyes; To thee the Muse with grateful hand would bring on her fair arm her beauteous head reclin'd, These first fair children of the doubtful Spring. Her loeks Aung careless to the sportful wind. O may they, fearless of a varying sky,
While love, and fear, contending in her face, Bloom on thy breast, and smile beneath thine eye! Flush every rose, and heighten every grace. In fairer lights their vivid blue display,
O, never, while of life and hope possest, And sweeter breathe their little lives away! May this dear image quit my faithful breast!
The painful hours of absence to beguile,
May thus Constantia look, Constantia smile! TO MISS CRACROFT.
ON THE MORAL REFLECTIONS CONTAINED IN HER ANSWER TO THE ABOVE VERSES.
1760. Sweet moralist ! whose moving truths impart The eye of Nature never rests from care; At once delight and anguish to my heart !
She guards her children with a parent's lore! Tho' human joys their short-liv'd sweets exhale, And not a mischief reigns in earth or air, Like the wan beauties of the wasted vale ;
But time destroys, or remedies remove.