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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
He blush'd adieu, and rambled down the dale.
Lightly touch'd by fairy fingers,
Hark! the Lyre enchants the wind;
-Lingering, listening, looks behind.
His heart-strings vibrate, and his pulses beat.
Now the strains to silence stealing,
Oh! with what romantic feeling
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,
"What, though all the world neglect me,
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
Where circling woods embower'd the glade,
I stole her hand-it shrunk-but no;
With all the fervency of youth,
Not with a warmer, purer ray,
But, swifter than the frighted dove,
The angel of Affliction rose,
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 shunn'd her-for I could not bear
To marry her to my despair.
Yet, sick at heart with hope delay'd,
The storm blew o'er, and in my breast
"Twas on the merry morn of May,
I reach'd the hamlet-all was gay;
I met a wedding-stepp'd aside;
-There is a grief that cannot feel;
-My heart grew cold-it felt not then-
THE SWISS COWHERD'S SONG, IN A FOREIGN LAND.
IMITATED FROM THE FRENCH.
O, when shall I visit the land of my birth,
When shall I those scenes of affection explore,
Our hamlets, our mountains,
With the pride of our mountains, the maid I adore?
When shall I return to that lowly retreat,
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,
A tight water-boat and good sea-room give me,
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,
Why, I heard our good chaplain palaver one day.
And many fine things that proved clearly to me
For, says he, do you mind me, let storms e'er so oft,
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,
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,
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,
As for me, in all weathers, all times, tides, and ends,
For my heart is my Poll's, and my rhino 's my friend'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
Here, a sheer hulk, lies poor Tom Bowling,
No more he'll hear the tempest howling,
His form was of the manliest beauty,
Tom never from his word departed,
His virtues were so rare;
His friends were many, and true-hearted,
And then he'd sing so blithe and jolly,
Ah! many's the time and oft;
But mirth is turn'd to melancholy,