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Here shall ye sigh to see, with rust o'ergrown,
The iron griffin and the sphynx of stone;
And mourn, neglected in their waste abodes.
Fire-breathing drakes, and water-spouting gods.
Long have these mighty monsters known dis-
Yet still some trophies hold their ancient place;
Where, round the hall, the oak's high surbase
The field-day triumphs of two hundred years.
Th' enormous antlers here recall the day
That saw the forest-monarch forc'd away;
Who, many a flood, and many a mountain past,
Nor finding those, nor deeming these the last,
O'er floods, o'er mountains yet prepar'd to fly,
Long ere the death-drop fill'd his failing eye!
Here, fam'd for cunning, and in crimes grown
Hangs his grey brush, the felou of the fold.
Oft, as the rent feast swells the midnight cheer.
The maudling farmer kens him o'er his beer,
And tells his old, traditionary tale,
Tho' known to every tenant of the vale.
Here, where, of old, the festal ox has fed, Mark'd with his weight, the mighty horns are
Some ox, O Marshall, for a board like thine,
Where the vast master with the vast sirloin
Vied in round magnitude-Respect I bear
To thee, tho' oft the ruin of the chair.
These, and such antique tokens, that record
The manly spirit, and the bounteous board,
Me more delight than all the gew-gaw train,
The whims and zigzag of a modern brain,
More than all Asia's marmosets to view
Grin, frisk, and water, in the walks of Kew.
CHARACTER OF A COUNTRY JUSTICE.
Thro' these fair vallies, stranger, hast thou
By any chance to visit Harewood's shade,
And seen with honest, antiquated air,
In the plain hall the magistratial chair?
There Herbert, sate--the love of human kind,
Pure light of truth, and temperance of mind,
In the free eye the featur'd soul display'd,
Honour's strong beam, and Mercy's melting
Justice, that, in the rigid paths of law,
Would still some drops from Pity's fountain draw,
Bend o'er her uru with many a gen'rous fear,
Ere his firm sea! should force one orphan's tear;
Fair Equity, and Reason, scorning art,
And all the sober virtues of the heart-
These sate with Herbert, these shall best avail,
Where statutes order, or where statutes fail.
GENERAL MOTIVES FOR LENITY.
Be this, ye rural Magistrates, your plan : Firm be your justice, but be friends to man. He whom the mighty master of this ball, We fondly deem, or farcically call, To own the patriarch's truth however loth, Holds but a mansion crush'd before the moth. Frail in his genius, in his heart, too, frail, Born but to err, and erring to bewail; Shait thou his faults with eye severe explore, And give to life one human weakness more?
Still mark if vice or nature prompts the deed Still mark the strong temptation and the need: On pressing want, on famine's powerful call, At least more lenient let thy justice fall.
APOLOGY FOR VAGRANTS.
For him, who, lost to ev'ry hope of life,
Has long with fortune held unequal strife,
Known to no human love, no human care,
The friendless, homeless object of despair;
For the poor vagrant, feel, while he complains,
Nor from sad freedom send to sadder chains.
Alike, if folly or misfortune brought
Those last of woes his evil days have wrought;
Believe with social mercy and with me,
Folly's misfortune in the first degree.
Perhaps on some inhospitable shore
The houseless wretch a widow'd parent bore,
Who, then, no more by golden prospects led,
Of the poor Indian begg'd a leafy bed,
Cold on Canadian hills, or Minden's plain,
Perhaps that parent mourn'd her soldier slain;
Bent o'er her babe, her eye dissolv'd in dew,
The big drops mingling with the milk he drew,
Gave the sad presage of his future years,
The child of misery, baptiz'd in tears!
APOSTROPHE TO EDWARD THE THIRD.
O Edward, here thy fairest laurels fade! And thy long glories darken into shade;
While yet the palms thy hardy veterans won, The deeds of valour that for thee were done, While yet the wreaths for which they bravely bled, Fir'd thy high soul, and flourish'd on thy head, Those veterans to their native shores return'd, Like exiles wander'd and like exiles mourn'd; Or, left at large no longer to bewail, Were vagrants deem'd and destin'd to a jail!
Were there no royal, yet uncultur'd lands, No wastes that wanted such subduing hands? Were Cressy's heroes such abandon'd things? O fate of war and gratitude of kings!
The gypsey-race my pity rarely move;
Not Wilkes, our freedom's holy martyr, more ;
Yet their strong thirst of liberty I love.
Nor his firm phalanx, of the common shore.
The tawny father with his offspring roves;
For this in Norwood's patrimonial groves,
When summer suns lead slow the sultry day,
In mossy caves, where welling waters play,
Fann'd by each gale that cools the fervid sky,
With this in ragged luxury they lie.
Oft at the sun the dusky elfins strain
The sable eye, then, snugging, sleep again;
Oft, as the dews of cooler evening fall,
For their prophetic mother's mantle call.
Far other cares that wandering mother wait,
The mouth, and oft the minister of Fate !
From her to hear, in evening's friendly shade,
Of future fortune, flies the village-inaid,
Draws her long-hoarded copper from its hold;
And rusty halfpence purchase hopes of gold.
But, ah! ye maids, beware the gypsey's lures! She opens not the womb of Time, but yours. Oft has her hands the hapless Marian wrung, Marian, whom Gay in sweetest strains has sung!
The parson's maid-sore cause had she to rue
The gypsey's tongue; the parson's daughter too,
Long had that anxious daughter sighed to know
What Vellum's spruty clerk, the valley's beau,
Meant by those glances, which at church he stole,
Her father nodding to the psalms slow drawl;
Long had she sigh'd, at length a prophet came,
By many a sure prediction known to fame,
To Marian known, and all she told, for true :
She knew the future, for the past she knew.
Where, in the darkling shed, the Moon's dim
THE COUNTRY JUSTICE.
TO ROBERT WILSON CRACROFT, ESQ.
BORN with a gentle heart, and born to please
With native goodness, of no fortune vain,
The social aspect of inviting ease,
The kind opinion, and the sense humane; To thee, my Cracroft, whom, in early youth, With lenient hand, and anxious love I led Thro' paths where science points to manly truth: And glory gilds the mansions of the dead : To thee this offering of maturer thought,
That since wild Fancy flung the lyre aside, With heedful hand the moral Muse hath wrought, That Muse devotes, and bears with honest pride.
Yet not that period of the human year,
When Fancy reign'd, shall we with pain review,
All Nature's seasons different aspects wear,
And now her flowers, and now her fruits are due:
Not that in youth we rang'd the smiling meads,
On Essex' shores the trembling angle play'd,
Urging at noon the slow boat in the reeds,
That wav'd their green uncertainty of shade;
Nor yet the days consum'd in Hackthorn's vale, That lonely on the heath's wide bosom lies, Should we with stern severity bewail,
And all the lighter hours of life despise. For Nature's seasons different aspects wear, And now her flowers, and now her fruits are due; Awhile she freed us from the scourge of Care, But told us then-for social ends we grew. To find some virtue trac'd on life's short page, Some mark of service paid to human kind, Alone can cheer the wintry paths of age, Alone support the far-reflecting mind. Oh! often thought-when Smith's discerning care To further days prolong'd this failing frame! To die, was little-But what heart could bear To die, and leave an undistinguish'd name Blagdon House,
PROTECTION OF THE POOR.
YET', while thy rod restrains the needy crew,
Remember that thou art their monarch too.
King of the beggars!-Lov'st thou not the name?
O, great from Ganges to the golden Tame!
Far-ruling sovereign of this begging ball,
Low at thy footstool other thrones shall fall.
His alms to thee the whisker'd Moor convey 2,
And Prussia's sturdy beggar own thy sway;
Courts, senates-all to Baal that bend the knee1,
King of the beggars, these are fiefs to thee!
But still, forgot the grandeur of thy reign,
Descend to duties meaner crowns disdain;
That worst excrescency of power forego,
That pride of kings, humanity's first foe.
Let age no longer toil with feeble strife, Worn by long service in the war of life; Nor leave the head, that time hath whiten'd,bare To the rude insults of the searching air; Nor bid the knee, by labour harden'd, bend, O thou, the poor man's hope, the poor man's friend!
If, when from Heav'n severer seasons fall, Fled from the frozen roof, and mouldering wall, Each face the picture of a winter-day, [tray;More strong than Teniers' pencil could pourIf then to thee resort the shivering train, Of cruel days, and cruel man complain, Say to thy heart (remembering him who said) These people come from far, and have no bread."
Nor leave thy venal clerk empower'd to hear; The voice of want is sacred to thy ear. He, where no fees his sordid pen invite, Sports with their tears, too indolent to write; Like the fed monkey in the fable, vaiu To hear more helpless animals complain.
But chief thy notice shall one monster claim, A monster furnish'd with a human frame,
Refers to the conclusion of the first part. 2 The Mahometan princes seem to have a re gular system of begging. Nothing so common as to hear that the dey of Algiers, &c. &c. are It must be dissatisfied with their presents. owned, it would be for the welfare of the world, if princes in general would adhere to the maxim, that it is better to beg than to steal," Tu poscis vilia rerum, Quamvis fers te nullius egentem.
The parish-officer!-tho' verse disdain
Terms that deform the splendour of the strain;
It stoops to bid thee bend the brow severe
On the sly, pilfering, cruel overseer;
The shuffling farmer, faithful to no trust,
Ruthless as rocks, insatiate as the dust!
When the poor hind, with length of years de-
Leans feebly on his once subduing spade,
Forgot the service of his abler days,
His profitable toil, and honest praise,
Shall this low wretch abridge his scanty bread,
This slave, whose board his former labours
When harvest's burning suns and sick'ning air From labour's unbrac'd hand the grasp'd hook tear,
Where shall the hapless family be fed,
That vainly languish for a father's bread?
See the pale mother, sunk with grief and care,
To the proud farmer fearfully repair;
Soon to be sent with insolence away,
Referr❜d to vestries, and a distant day!
Referr'd-to perish!-Is my verse severe?
Unfriendly to the human character?
Ah! to this sigh of sad experience trust:
The truth is rigid, but the tale is just.
If in thy courts this caitiff wretch appear,
Think not that patience were a virtue here.
His low-born pride with honest rage control,
Smite his hard heart, and shake his reptile soul.
But, hapless oft thro' fear of future woe,
And certain vengeance of th' insulting foe,
Oft, ere to thee the poor prefer their pray'r,
The last extremes of penury they bear.
Wouldst thou then raise thy patriot office
To something more than magistrate aspire?
And, left each poorer, pettier chace behind,
Step nobly forth, the friend of human kind?
The game I start courageously pursue!
Adieu to fear! to indolence adieu!
And, first we'll range this mountain's stormy side,
"Horrour!-By Heav'n, extended on a bed
Of naked fearn, two human creatures dead!
Embracing as alive!—ah, no!—no life!
'Tis the shepherd and his wife. I knew the scene, and brought thee to behold What speaks more strongly than the story told. They died thro' want~~
"By every power I swear, If the wretch treads the earth, or breathes the Thro' whose default of duty, or design, [air, These victims fell, he dies."
Sooth'd by his pity, by his bounty fed,
The sick found med'cine, and the aged bread.
He left their interest to no parish-care,
No bailiff urg'd his little empire there:
No village-tyrant starv'd them, or oppress'd;
He learnt their wants, and he those wants re-
E'en these, unhappy! who, beheld too late,
Smote thy young heart with horrour at their fate,
His bounty found, and destin'd here to keep
A small detachment of his mountain sheep.
Still pleas'd to see them from the annual fair
Th' unwritten history of their profits bear;
More nobly pleas'd those profits to restore,
And, if their fortune fail'd them, make it more.
When Nature gave her precept to remove
His kindred spirit to the realms of love,
Afar their anguish from thy distant ear,
No arm to save, and no protection near,
Led by the lure of unaccounted gold,
Thy bailiff seiz'd their little flock, and sold.
Their want contending parishes survey'd,
And this disown'd, and that refus'd to aid:
A while, who should not succour them, they tried,
And in that while the wretched victims died.
"I'll scalp that bailiff-sacrifice-"
In vain To rave at mischief, if the cause remain. O days long lost to man in each degree! The golden days of hospitality! When liberal fortunes vied with liberal strife To fill the noblest offices of life; [gate When Wealth was Virtue's handmaid, and her Gave a free refuge from the wrongs of fate; The poor at hand their natural patrons saw, And lawgivers were supplements of law.
Lost are those days, and Fashion's boundless Has borne the guardian magistrate away: [sway Save in Augusta's streets, on Gallia's shore, The rural patron is beheld no more.
No more the poor his kind protection share, Unknown their wants, and unreceiv'd their
Yet has that Fashion, long so light and vain, Reform'd at last, and led the moral train? Have her gay vot'ries nobler worth to boast For Nature's love, for Nature's virtue lost? No-fled from these, the sons of fortune find What poor respect to wealth remains behind. The mock regard alone of menial slaves, The worship'd calves of their outwitting knaves! Foregone the social, hospitable days, When wide vales echo'd with their owner's Of all that ancient consequence bereft, [praise, What has the modern man of fashion left?
Does he, perchance, to rural scenes repair, And "waste his sweetness" on the essenc'd air? Ah! gently lave the feeble frame he brings, Ye scouring seas! and ye sulphureous springs!
And thou, Brightelmstone, where no cits annoy (All borne to Margate, in the Margate-hoy,) Where, if the hasty creditor advance, Lies the light skiff, and ever-bailing France, Do thou defend him in the dog-day suns; Secure in winter from the rage of duns! While the grim catchpcle, the grim porter
One that he is, and one, he is not there,
The tortur'd us'rer, as he murmurs by,
Eyes the Venetian blinds, and heaves a sigh.
O, from each title folly ever took,
Blood! Maccarone! Cicisbeo! or Rook!
From each low passion, from each low resort,
The thieving alley, nay, the righteous court,
From Bertie's, Almack's, Arthur's, and the nest
Where Judah's ferrets earth with Charles un-
From these and all the garbage of the great,
At Honour's, Freedom's, Virtue's call-retreat!
Has the fair vale, where rest, conceal'd in
Lies in sweet ambush for thy careless hours;
The breeze, that, balmy fragrance to infuse,
Bathes its soft wing in aromatic dews; [breast,
The stream, to soothe thine ear, to cool thy
That mildly murmurs from its crystal rest ;—
Have these less charms to win, less power to
Than haunts of rapine, harbours of disease?
Will no kind slumbers o'er thine eyelids creep,
Save where the sullen watchman growls at sleep?
Does morn no sweeter, purer breath diffuse,
Than streams thro' alleys from the lungs of Jews?
And is thy water, pent in putrid wood,
Bethesda-like, when troubled only good?
Is it thy passion Linley's voice to hear,
And has no mountain-lark detain'd thine ear?
Song marks alone the tribes of airy wing;
For, trust me, man was never meant to sing:
And all his mimic organs e'er exprest
Was but an imitative bowl at best.
Is it on Garrick's attitude you doat;
See on the pointed cliff yon lordly goat!
Like Lear's, his beard descends in graceful snow,
And wild he looks upon the world below.
Superior here the scene in every part!
Here reigns great Nature, and there little art!
Here let thy life assume a nobler plan,
To Nature faithful, and the friend of man!
Unnumber'd objects ask thy honest care,
Beside the orphan's tear, the widow's pray'r.
Far as thy power can save, thy bounty bless,
Unnumber'd evils call for thy redress.
Seest thou afar yon solitary thorn, [torn?
Whose aged limbs the heath's wild winds bave
While yet to cheer the homeward shepherd's eye,
A few seem straggling in the ev'ning sky!
Not many suns have hasten'd down the day,
Or blushing moons immers'd in clouds their way,
Since there a scene, that stain'd their sacred
With horrour stopp'd a falon in his flight;
A babe just born that signs of life exprest,
Lay naked o'er the mother's lifeless breast.
The pitying robber, conscious that, pursu'd,
He had no time to waste, yet stood and view'd;
To the next cot the trembling infant bore;
And gave a part of what he stole before;
Nor known to him the wretches were, nor dear;
He felt as man, and dropp'd a human tear.
Far other treatment she who breathless lay
Found from a viler animal of prey.
Worn with long toil on many a painful road, That toil increas'd by nature's growing load, When ev'ning brought the friendly hour of rest, And all the mother throng'd about her breast, The ruffian officer oppos'd her stay, And, cruel, bore her in her pangs away; So far beyond the town's last limits drove, That to return were hopeless, had she strove.
Abandon'd there-with famine, pain and cold,
And anguish, she expir'd-the rest I've told.
"Now let me swear-For, by my soul's last
That thief shall live, that overseer shall die."
Too late!-His life the gen'rous robber paid,
Lost by that pity which his steps delay'd!
No soul-discerning Mansfield sate to hear,
No Hertford bore his prayer to mercy's ear;
No lib'ral justice first assign'd the jail,
Or urg'd, as Camplin would have urg'd, his tale.
The living object of thy honest rage,
Old in parochial crimes, and steel'd with age,
The grave church-warden! unabash'd he bears
Weekly to church his book of wicked prayers,
And pours, with all the blasphemy of praise,
His creeping soul in Sternhold's creeping lays!
O, No!-sir John-the Muse's gentle art
Lives not to blemish, but to mend the heart.
While Gay's bravé robber grieves us for his fate,
We hold the harpies of his life in hate.
Ingenuous youth, by Nature's voice addrest,
Finds not the harden'd, but the feeling breast;
Can form no wish the dire effects to prove
Of lawless valour, or of venal love,
Approves the fondness of the faithful maid,
And mourns a gen'rous passion unrepaid.
Yet would I praise the pious zeal that saves
Imperial London from her world of knaves;
Yet would I count it no inglorious strife
To scourge the pests of property and life.
Come then, long skill'd in theft's illusive ways, Lord of the clue that threds her mighty maze! Together let us beat all Giles's fields,
Try what the night-house, what the round-bouse
Hang when we must, be candid when we please, But leave no bawd, unlicens'd, at her ease.
Say first, of thieves above, or thieves below, What can we order till their haunts we know? Far from St. James's let your Nimrods stray, But stop and call at Stephen's in their way. That ancient victualler, we've been told, of late, Has kept bad hours, encourag'd high debate? That those without still pelting those within, Have stunu'd the peaceful neighbours with their That if you close his private walls invest, [din; 'Tis odds, you meet with some unruly guestGood Lord, sir John, how would the people stare, To see the present and the late lord mayor', Bow to the majesty of Bow-street chair!
1 This was written about the year 1776.
Illustrious chiefs! can I your haunts pass by,
Nor give my long-lov'd liberty a sigh?
That heav'nly plant which long tinblemish'd
Dishonour'd only, only hurt by you! [blew,
Dishonour'd, when with harden'd front you claim
To deeds of darkness her diviner name!
For you grim Licence strove with hydra breath
To spread the blasts of pestilence and death:
Here for poor vice, for dark ambition there,
She scatter'd poison thro' the social air.
Yet here, in vain-Oh, had her toil been vain,
When with black wing she swept the western
When with low labour, and insidious art, [main;
She tore a daughter from her parent's heart!
Oh, patriots, ever patriots out of place,
Fair honour's foil, and liberty's disgrace!
With spleen I see your wild illusions spread
'Thro' the long region of a land misled;
See commerce sink, see cultivation's charms
Lost in the rage of anarchy and arms!
And thou, O Ch-m, once a nation's pride,
Borne on the brightest wave of glory's tide!
Hast thou the parent spurn'd, the erring child
With prospects vain to ruin's arms beguil❜d?
Hast thou the plans of dire defection prais'd
For the poor pleasure of a statue rais'd?
Oh, patriots, ever patriots out of place,
From Charles quite graceless, up to Grafton's
Where forty-five once mark'd the dirty door, And the chain'd knife ' invites the paltry whore; Tho' far, methinks, the choicest guests are fled, And Wilkes and Humphrey number'd with the dead,
Wilkes, who in death would friendship's vows fulfil,
True to his cause, and dines with Humphrey
Where sculks each dark, where roams each
Owls of the day and vultures of the night,-
Shall we, O Knight, with cruel pains explore,
Clear these low walks, and think the bus'ness
-For them I ask not, hostile to thy sway,
Who calmly on a brother's vitals prey;
For them I plead not, who, in blood embru'd,
Have ev'ry softer sentiment subdu'd.
Yet, gentle power, thy absence I bewail,
When seen the dank, dark regions of a jail ;
When found alike in chains and night enclos'd,
The thief detected, and the thief suppos'd!
Sure, the fair light and the salubrious air
Each yet-suspected prisoner might share.
-To lie, to languish in some dreary cell,
Some loathed hold, where guilt and horrour dwell,
Ere yet the truth of seeming facts be tried,
Ere yet their country's sacred voice decide
Britain, behold thy citizens expos'd,
And blush to think the Gothic age unclos'd!
Oh, more than Goths, who yet decline to raze
That pest of James's puritanic days,
The savage law that barb'rously ordains
For female virtue lost a felon's pains!
Dooms the poor maiden, as her fate severe,
To toil and chains a long-enduring year.
Th' unnatural monarch, to the sex unkind,
An ow! obscene, in learning's sunshine blind!
Councils of pathics, cabinets of tools,
Benches of knaves, and parliaments of fools,
Fanatic fools, that, in those twilight times,
With wild religion cloak'd the worst of crimes!-
Hope we from such a crew, in such a reign,
For equal laws, or policy humane ?
Here, then, OJustice! thy own power forbear;
The sole protector of th' unpitied fair.
Tho' long entreat the ruthless overseer;
Tho' the loud vestry tease thy tortur'd ear;
Tho' all to acts, to precedents appeal,
Mute be thy pen, and vacant rest thy seal.
Yet shalt thou know, nor is the diff'rence nice,
The casual fall, from impudence of vice.
Abandon'd guilt by active laws restrain,
But pause..... if virtue's slightest spark re-
No-much, alas! for you, for me remains,
Where Justice sleeps, and Depredation reigns.
Wrapt in kind darkness, you no spleen betray,
When the gilt Nabob lacqueys all the way:
Harmless to you his towers, his forests rise,
That swell with anguish my indignant eyes;
While in those towers raz'd villages I see,
And tears of orphaus watering every tree.
Are these mock-ruins that invade my view?
These are the entrails of the poor Gentoo.
That column's trophied base his bones supply;
That lake the tears that swell'd his sable eye!
Let here, O Knight, their steps terrific steer
Thy hue and cry, and loose thy bloodhounds here. The sole protector of th' unpitied fair!
Left to the shameless lash, the harduing jail,
The fairest thoughts of modesty would fail.
The down-cast eye, the tear that flows amain,
As if to ask her innocence again;
Oh, Mercy thron'd on His eternal breast,
Who breath'd the savage waters into rest;
By each soft pleasure that thy bosom smote,
When first creation started from his thought;
By each warm tear that melted o'er thine eye,
When on his works was written "These must die;"
If secret slaughter yet, nor cruel war
Have from these mortal regions forc'd thee far,
Still to our follies, to our frailties blind,
Oh, stretch thy healing wings o'er human kind!
1Chain'd to the table, to prevent depredations.
The plaintive babe, that slumb'ring seem'd to lie
On her soft breast, and wakes at the heav'd sigh;
The cheek that wears the beauteous robe of
How loth they leave a gentle breast to blame!
Here, then, O Justice! thy own power for-
THE ORIGIN OF THE VEIL.
WARM from this heart while flows the faithful line,
The meanest friend of beauty shall be mine.
What Love, or Fame, or Fortune could bestow,
The charm of praise, the ease of life, I owe
To beauty present, or to beauty fled,
To Hertford living, or Caernarvon dead,