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For such angelic tasks design'd,

I give the Lyre and sorrow to the wind."

On an oak, whose branches hoary
Sigh'd to every passing breeze,
Sigh'd and told the simple story
Of the patriarch of trees;
High in the air his harp he hung,
Now no more to rapture strung;
Then warm in hope, no longer pale,

He blush'd adieu, and rambled down the dale.

Lightly touch'd by fairy fingers,

Hark! the Lyre enchants the wind;
Fond Alcæus listens, lingers,

-Lingering, listening, looks behind.
Now the music mounts on high,
Sweetly swelling through the sky;
To every tone, with tender heat,

His heart-strings vibrate, and his pulses beat.

Now the strains to silence stealing,
Soft in ecstacies expire;

Oh! with what romantic feeling
Poor Alcæus grasps the Lyre.
Lo! his furious hand he flings
In a tempest o'er the strings;

He strikes the chords so quick, so loud,

'Tis Jove that scatters lightning from a cloud.

"Lyre! O Lyre! my chosen treasure,

Solace of my bleeding heart;

Lyre! O Lyre! my only pleasure,
We will never, never part.
Glory, Commerce, now in vain
Tempt me to the field, the main ;
The Muse's sons are blest, though born
To cold neglect, and penury, and scorn.

"What, though all the world neglect me,
Shall my haughty soul repine?

And shall poverty deject me,

While this hallow'd Lyre is mine? Heaven-that o'er my helpless head Many a wrathful vial shed—

Heaven gave this Lyre-and thus decreed,

Be thou a bruised, but not a broken, reed.”



At fond sixteen my roving heart
Was pierced by Love's delightful dart :
Keen transport throbb'd through every vein,
-I never felt so sweet a pain!

Where circling woods embower'd the glade,
I met the dear romantic maid;

I stole her hand-it shrunk-but no;
I would not let my captive go.

With all the fervency of youth,
While passion told the tale of truth,
I mark'd my Hannah's downcast eye,
"Twas kind, but beautifully shy.

Not with a warmer, purer ray,
The sun, enamour'd, woos young May;
Nor May, with softer maiden grace,
Turns from the Sun her blushing face.

But, swifter than the frighted dove,
Fled the gay morning of my love;
Ah! that so bright a morn, so soon,
Should vanish in so dark a noon.

The angel of Affliction rose,
And in his grasp a thousand woes;
He pour'd his vial on my head,
And all the heaven of rapture fled.

Yet, in the glory of my pride,

I stood and all his wrath defied;

I stood-though whirlwinds shook my brain,

And lightnings cleft my soul in twain.

I shunn'd my nymph;-and knew not why
I durst not meet her gentle eye;

I shunn'd her-for I could not bear

To marry her to my despair.

Yet, sick at heart with hope delay'd,
Oft the dear image of that maid
Glanced, like the rainbow, o'er my mind,
And promised happiness behind.

The storm blew o'er, and in my breast
The halcyon Peace rebuilt her nest:
The storm blew o'er, and clear and mild
The sea of Youth and Pleasure smiled.

"Twas on the merry morn of May,
To Hannah's cot I took my way:
My eager hopes were on the wing,
Like swallows sporting in the Spring.
Then as I climb'd the mountains o'er,
I lived my wooing days once more;
And fancy sketch'd my married lot,
My wife, my children, and my cot.
I saw the village steeple rise-
My soul sprang, sparkling, in my eyes:
The rural bells rang sweet and clear-
My fond heart listen'd in mine ear.

I reach'd the hamlet-all was gay;
I love a rustic holiday:

I met a wedding-stepp'd aside;
It pass'd-my Hannah was the bride!

-There is a grief that cannot feel;
It leaves a wound that will not heal;

-My heart grew cold-it felt not then-
When shall it cease to feel again?



O, when shall I visit the land of my birth,
The loveliest land on the face of the earth?

When shall I those scenes of affection explore,
Our forests, our fountains,

Our hamlets, our mountains,

With the pride of our mountains, the maid I adore?
O, when shall I dance on the daisy-white mead,
In the shade of an elm, to the sound of the reed?

When shall I return to that lowly retreat,
Where all my fond objects of tenderness meet-
The lambs and the heifers that follow my call,
My father, my mother,

My sister, my brother,

And dear Isabella, the joy of them all?

O, when shall I visit the land of my birth?

'Tis the loveliest land on the face of the earth!

If the place of a poet is to be estimated by the effects of his writings upon the community, few would take a higher rank than Charles Dibdin, the Laureate of the British Navy. At a time when our national supremacy by sea was keenly contested, his songs were equally the delight of the saloon, the theatre, and the forecastle, and landsmen and sailors were equally inspired by these vigorous and simple lays, to promote the welfare of our navy, and to vindicate the honour of the "meteor flag of England."

Charles Dibdin was born at a village called Dibden, near Southampton, in 1745. Being remarkable in boyhood for the excellence of his voice, and his love of music, he repaired to London, where his musical compositions and perform ances charmed all classes. After having been attached to the metropolitan theatres, he commenced in 1788 a series of entertainments, in which he singly recited and sang to numerous audiences, and in these his song of "Poor Jack" created an extraordinary interest. At last his patriotic efforts, and the effects of his naval lyrics, were so justly appreciated, that he retired from his public labours on a pension of 2007. a year. It is grievous to add, that this gratuity, which had been so nobly earned, was withdrawn by the succeeding ministry, and restored only in part a short time before his death, which occurred in 1814. A monument has been erected to his memory in the Veterans' Library, Greenwich Hospital.


Go patter to lubbers and swabs, d'ye see,
'Bout danger, and fear, and the like;

A tight water-boat and good sea-room give me,
And 't aint to a little I'll strike:

Though the tempest top-gallant masts smack smooth should smite,

And shiver each splinter of wood,

Clear the wreck, stow the yards, and bouse every thing


And under reef'd foresail we 'll scud:

Avast! nor don't think me a milk-sop so soft

To be taken for trifles aback;

For they say there's a Providence sits up aloft,
To keep watch for the life of
poor Jack.

Why, I heard our good chaplain palaver one day.
About souls, heaven, mercy, and such;
And, my timbers! what lingo he'd coil and belay,
Why 'twas just all as one as High Dutch:
For he said how a sparrow can't founder d' ye see,
Without orders that come down below;

And many fine things that proved clearly to me
That Providence takes us in tow:

For, says he, do you mind me, let storms e'er so oft,
Take the top-sails of sailors aback,

There's a sweet little cherub that sits up aloft,

To keep watch for the life of poor Jack.

I said to our Poll, for d' ye see, she would cry,
When last we weigh'd anchor for sea,
What argufies sniv'ling and piping your eye,
Why, what a great fool you must be!

Can't you see the world's wide, and there's room for us all,

Both for seamen and lubbers ashore,

And if to old Davy I should go, friend Poll,

Why you never will hear of me more:

What then, all's a hazard, come don't be so soft,

Perhaps I may laughing come back,

For, d'ye see, there's a cherub sits smiling aloft,
To keep watch for the life of poor Jack.

D'ye mind me, a sailor should be every inch

All as one as a piece of the ship,

And with her brave the world without offering to flinch,
From the moment the anchor 's a-trip.

As for me, in all weathers, all times, tides, and ends,
Nought's a trouble from duty that springs,

For my heart is my Poll's, and my rhino 's my friend's,
And as for my life, 'tis the king's:

Even when my time comes, ne'er believe me so soft

As for grief to be taken aback,

For the same little cherub that sits up aloft
Will look out a good berth for poor Jack.


Here, a sheer hulk, lies poor Tom Bowling,
The darling of our crew;

No more he'll hear the tempest howling,
For Death has broach'd him to.

His form was of the manliest beauty,
His heart was kind and soft;
Faithful below he did his duty,
And now he's gone aloft.

Tom never from his word departed,

His virtues were so rare;

His friends were many, and true-hearted,
His Poll was kind and fair.

And then he'd sing so blithe and jolly,

Ah! many's the time and oft;

But mirth is turn'd to melancholy,
For Tom is gone aloft.

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