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But now I mourn that e'er I knew A girl so fair and so deceiving.
Fare thee well.
ON THE BIRTHDAY OF MRS.
WRITTEN IN IRELAND. 1799.
Few have ever lov'd like me,
Yes, I have lov'd thee too sincerely! And few have e'er deceiv'd like thee,
Alas! deceiv'd me too severely.
Of all my happiest hours of joy,
And even I have had my measure, When hearts were full, and ev'ry eye
Hath kindled with the light of pleasure, An hour like this I ne'er was given,
So full of friendship's purest blisses ;
Let's feel as if we ne'er could sever ;
Be thus with joy remember'd ever !
Fare thee well!- yet think awhile
On one whose bosom bleeds to doubt thee; Who now would rather trust that smile,
And die with thee than live without thee.
Fare thee well! I'll think of thee,
Thou leav'st me many a bitter token; For see, distracting woman, see, My peace is gone, my heart is broken ! –
Fare thee well!
Oh! banish ev'ry thought to-night,
Which could disturb our soul's communion ; Abandon'd thus to dear delight,
We'll ev’n for once forget the Union!
And tremble o'er the rights they'd die for ;
Then come, my friends, &c.
A FAMILIAR EPISTLE.
ADDRESSED TO J. AT-NS-N, ESQ. M. R. I. A.
Though long at school and college dosing, O'er books of verse and books of prosing, And copying from their moral pages Fine recipes for making sages ; Though long with those divines at school, Who think to make us good by rule ; Who, in methodic forms advancing, Teaching morality like dancing, Tell us, for Heaven or money's sake, What steps we are through life to take: Though thus, my friend, so long employ'd, With so much midnight oil destroy'd, I must confess, my searches past, I've only learn'd to doubt at last. I find the doctors and the sages Have differ'd in all climes and ages, And two in fifty scarce agree On what is pure morality. "Tis like the rainbow's shifting zone, And every vision makes its own.
Mary, I believ'd thee true,
And I was blest in thus believing ;
The doctors of the Porch advise, As modes of being great and wise, That we should cease to own or know The luxuries that from feeling flow :" Reason alone must claim direction, " And Apathy's the soul's perfection.
I These words were written to the pathetic Scotch air " Galla Water."
* Like a dull lake the heart must lie; “ Nor passion's gale nor pleasure's sigh, * Though Heav'n the breeze, the breath, supplied, * Must curl the wave or swell the tide!”
That Epictetus blam'd that tear,
Such was the rigid Zeno's plan To form his philosophic man; Such were the modes he taught mankind To weed the garden of the mind; They tore from thence some weeds, 'tis true, But all the flow'rs were ravag'd too!
Oh! when I've seen the morning beam Floating within the dimpled stream; While Nature, wak’ning from the night, Has just put on her robes of light, Have I, with cold optician's gaze, Explor'd the doctrine of those rays ? No, pedants, I have left to you Nicely to sep'rate hue from hue. Go, give that moment up to art, When Heaven and nature claim the heart; And, dull to all their best attraction, Go -measure angles of refraction. While I, in feeling's sweet romance. Look on each day beam as a glance From the great eye of Him above, Wak’ning his world with looks of love!
Now listen to the wily strains, Which, on Cyrené's sandy plains, When Pleasure, nymph with loosen'd zone, Usurp'd the philosophic throne,Hear what the courtly sage's ' tongue To his surrounding pupils sung :“ Pleasure's the only noble end 55 To which all human pow'rs should tend, * And Virtue gives her heav'nly lore, ** But to make Pleasure please us more. “ Wisdom and she were both design'd
To make the senses more refin'd, ** That man might revel, free from cloying,
Then most a sage when most enjoying!”
I've heard, there was in ancient days
A Lyre of most melodious spell ; 'Twas heav'n to hear its fairy lays,
If half be true that legends tell.
Is this morality ?-Oh, no! Ev'n I a wiser path could show. The flow'r within this vase confin'd, The pure, the unfading flow'r of mind, Must not throw all its sweets away Upon a mortal mould of clay: No, no,- its richest breath should rise In virtue's incense to the skies.
'Twas play'd on by the gentlest sighs,
And to their breath it breath'd again In such entrancing melodies
As ear had never drunk till then!
Not harmony's serenest touch
So stilly could the notes prolong ; They were not heavenly song so much
As they were dreams of heavenly song!
But thus it is, all sects we see Have watchwords of morality : Some cry out Venus, others Jove; Here 'tis Religion, there 'tis Love. But while they thus so widely wander, While mystics dream, and doctors ponder ; And some, in dialectics firm, Seek virtue in a middle term; While thus they strive, in Heaven's defiance, To chain morality with science; The plain good man, whose actions teach More virtue than a sect can preach, Pursues his course, unsagely blest, His tutor whisp'ring in his breast ; Nor could he act a purer part, Though he had Tully all by heart. And when he drops the tear on woe, He little knows or cares to know
If sad the heart, whose murm’ring air
Along the chords in languor stole, The numbers it awakend there
Were eloquence from pity's soul.
Or if the sigh, serene and light,
Was but the breath of fancied woes, The string, that felt its airy flight,
Soon whisper'd it to kind repose.
And when young lovers talk'd alone,
If, mid their bliss that Lyre was near, It made their accents all its own,
And sent forth notes that Heaven might hear.