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Tanti non es, air. Sapis, Luperce.
MARTIAL, Lib. i. Epig. 118.
PLUTARCH. περι παιδων αγωγης.
TO FRANCIS, EARL OF MOIRA,
CONSTABLE OF THE TOWER, ETC. My LORD:-17 is impossible to think of addressing a Dedication to your Lordship without calling to mind the well-known reply of the Spartan to a rhetorician, who proposed to pronounce an eulogium on Hercules. “On Hercules !” said the honest Spartan, “who ever thought of blaming Hercules ?" In a similar manner the concurrence of public opinion has left to the panegyrist of your Lordship a very superfluous task I shall therefore be silent on the subject, and merely entreat your indulgence to the very humble tribute of gratitude, which I have here the honour to present. I am, MY LORD, with every feeling of attachment and respect,
Your Lordship's very devoted Servant, *:7, Bury Street, St. James's, April 10, 1806.
many of those illusive ideas, with respect to the purity
of the government and the primitive happiness of the The principal poems in the following Collection people, which I had early imbibed in my native counwere written during an absence of fourteen months try, where, unfortunately, discontent at home enhances from Europe. Though curiosity was certainly not every distant temptation, and the western world has the motive of my voyage to America, yet it happened long been looked to as a retreat from real or imagithat the gratification of curiosity was the only advan- nary oppression; as the elysian Atlantis, where per. tage which I derived from it. Finding myself in the secuted patriots might find their visions realized, and country of a new people, whose infancy had promised be welcomed by kindred spirits to liberty and repose. 80 much, and whose progress to maturity has been an
I was completely disappointed in every flattering exobject of such interesting speculation, I determined to pectation which I had formed, and was inclined to employ the short period of time, which my plan of say to America, as Horace says to his mistress," inreturn to Europe afforded me, in travelling through a
tentata nites.” Brissot, in the preface to his travels, few of the States and acquiring some knowledge of observes, that “freedom in that country is carried the inhabitants.
to so high a degree as to border upon a state of naThe impression which my mind received from the ture ;" and there certainly is a close approximation to character and manners of these republicans, suggest
savage life, not only in the liberty which they enjoy. ed the Epistles which are written from the city of but in the violence of party spirit and of private ani. Washington and Lake Erie.' How far I was right, mosity which results from it. This illiberal zeal emin thus assuming the tone of a satirist against a peo could hesitate in selecting the party, whose views ap
bitters all social intercourse; and, though I scarcely ple whom I viewed but as a stranger and a visitor, is a doubt which my feelings did not allow me time to peared the more pure and rational, yet I was sorry to investigate. All I presume to answer for, is the observe that, in asserting their opinions, they both fidelity of the picture which I have given; and though
assume an equal share of intolerance; the Democrats, prudence might have dictated gentler language, truth, consistently with their principles, exhibiting a vulgariI think, would have justified severer.
ty of rancour, which the Federalists too often are so I went to America, with prepossessions by no
forgetful of their cause as to imitate. means unfavourable, and indeed rather indulged in
The rude familiarity of the lower orders, and in
deed the unpolished state of society in general, would 1 Epistles VI, VII, and VIII.
neither surprise nor disgrist if they seemed to flor
from that simplicity of character, that honest igno- For ever past, when brilliant joy
And turn'd the leaf with folly's feather!
With respect to the poems in general, which oc- And then, that Hope, that fairy Hope, cupy the following pages, I know not in what manner
Oh! she awak'd such happy dreams, to apologize to the public for intruding upon their And gave my soul such tempting scope notice such a mass of unconnected trifles, such a
For all its dearest, fondest schemes, world of epicurean atoms as I have here brought in That not Verona's child of song, conflict together. To say that I have been tempted When flying from the Phrygian shore, by the liberal offers of my bookseller, is an excuse With lighter hopes could bound along, which can hope for but little indulgence from the Or pant to be a wanderer more !! critic; yet I own that, without this seasonable inducement, these poems very possibly would never have Amid the dark regrets I feel,
Even now delusive hope will steal been submitted to the world. The glare of publication is too strong for such imperfect productions : Soothing as yonder placid beam
Pursues the murmurers of the deep, they should be shown but to the eye of friendship, in
And lights them with consoling gleam, that dim light of privacy, which is as favourable to
And smiles them into tranquil sleep! poetical as to female beauty, and serves as a veil for
Oh! such a blessed night as this, faults, while it enhances every charm which it dis
I often think, if friends were near, plays. Besides, this is not a period for the idle oc
How we should feel, and gaze with bliss cupations of poetry, and times like the present require talents more active and more useful. Few have The sea is like a silvery lake,
Upon the moon-bright scenery here! now the leisure to read such trifles, and I sincerely
And, o'er its calm the vessel glides regret that I have had the leisure to write them.
Gently, as if it fear'd to wake
The slumber of the silent tides !
The only envious cloud that lowers,
Hath hung its shade on Pico's height, TO LORD VISCOUNT STRANGFORD.
Where dimly, mid the dusk, he towers, ABOARD THE PHAETON FRIGATE OFF THE AZORES; And scowling at this heav'n of light, BY MOONLIGHT.
Exults to see the infant storm Sweet Moon! if like Crotona's sage,'
Cling darkly round his giant form! By any spell my hand could dare
Now, could I range those verdant isles
Invisible, at this soft hour,
That brighten many an orange bower;
And could I lift each pious veil, Should smile, upon thy orb to meet
And see the blushing cheek it shades, The recollection, kind and sweet,
Oh! I should have full many a tale, 'The reveries of fond regret,
To tell of young Azorian maids." 'The promise, never to forget, And all my heart and soul would send
1 Alluding to these animated lines in the 44th Carmen o To many a dear-lov’d, distant friend!
Jam mens prætrepidans avet vagari, Oh STRANGFORD! when we parted last,
Jam læti studio pedes vigescunt! U little thought the times were past,
2 Pico is a very high mountain on one of the Azores, fron which the Island derives its name. It is said by some to be
as high as the Peak of Teneriffe. 1 Pythagoras; who was supposed to have a power of 3 I believe it is Guthrie who says, that the inhabitants of writing upon the Moon, by the means of a magic mirror. the Azores are much addicted to gallantry. This - IL AI See Bayle, Art. Pythag.
sertion in which eveo Guthne may be creditod
Dear STRANGFORD! at this hour, perhaps,
THE TELL-TALE LYRE. Some faithful lover (not so blest
I've heard, there was in ancient days As they, who in their ladies' laps
A Lyre of most melodious spell; May cradle every wish to rest,)
'Twas heav'n to hear its fairy lays, Warbles, to touch his dear one's soul,
If half be true that legends tell.
'Twas play'd on by the gentlest sighs, And gave, all glowing warm, to thine !"
And to their breath it breath'd again Oh! could the lover learn from thee,
In such entrancing melodies And breathe them with thy graceful tone,
As ear had never drunk till then ! Such dear, beguiling minstrelsy
Not harmony's serenest touch Would make the coldest nymph his own!
So stilly could the notes prolong; But hark! the boatswain's pipings tell
They were not heavenly song so much 'Tis time to bid my dream farewell:
As they were dreams of heavenly song ! Eight bells:--the middle watch is set :
If sad the heart, whose murmuring air Good night, my STRANGFORD, ne'er forget
Along the chords in languor stole, That far beyond the western sea?
The soothings it awaken'd there
Were eloquence from pity's soul !
Was but the breath of fancied woes,
The string, that felt its airy flight,
Soon whisper'd it to kind repose !
And oh! when lovers talk'd alone,
If, mid their bliss the Lyre was near,
It made their murmurs all its own,
And echoed notes that heav'n might hear ! A BEAM of tranquillity smil'd in the west,
There was a nymph, who long had lov'd,
But dar'd not tell the world how well; The storms of the morning pursued us no more,
The shades, where she at evening rov'd, And the wave, while it welcom'd the moment of rest,
Alone could know, alone could tell. Still heav'd, as remembering ills that were o'er!
'Twas there, at twilight time, she stole Serenely my heart took the hue of the hour,
So oft, to make the dear-one bless'd, Its passions were sleeping, were mute as the dead, Whom love had giv'n her virgin soul, And the spirit becalm'd but remember'd their power, And nature soon gave all the rest! As the billow the force of the gale that was fled!
It chanc'd that in the fairy bower I thought of the days, when to pleasure alone
Where they had found their sweetest shed, My heart ever granted a wish or a sigh;
This Lyre, of strange and magic power, When the saddest emotion my bosom had known Hung gently whispering o'er their head. Was pity for those who were wiser than I!
And while, with eyes of mingling fire, I felt how the pure, intellectual fire
They listen'd to each other's vow, In luxury loses its heavenly ray;
The youth full oft would make the Lyre How soon, in the lavishing cup of desire,
A pillow for his angel's brow ! The pearl of the soul may be melted away! And while the melting words she breath'd And I prayed of that Spirit who lighted the flame,
On all its echoes wanton'd round, That pleasure no more might its purity dim:
Her hair, amid the strings enwreath'd, And that sullied but little, or brightly the same,
Through golden mazes charm'd the sound' I might give back the gem I had borrow'd from him! Alas! their hearts but little thought,
While thus entranc'd they listening lay, The thought was ecstatic! I felt as if Heaven Had already the wreath of eternity shown;
That every sound the Lyre was taught
Should linger long, and long betray!
So mingled with its tuneful soul
Were all their tender murmurs grown, I look'd to the west, and the beautiful sky
That other sighs unanswered stole, Which morning had clouded, was clouded no more:
Nor chang'd the sweet, the treasur'd tone “ Oh! thus," I exclaim'd, “can a heavenly eye Shed light on the soul that was darken'd before !"
Unhappy nymph! thy name was sung
To every passing lip that sigh'd; 1 These islands belong to the Portuguese.
The secrets of thy gentle tongue 2 From Capt. Cockburn, who commanded the Phacton, I On every ear in murmurs died ! received such kind attentions as I must ever remember with gratitude. As some of the journalists have gravely asserted The fatal Lyre, by Envy's hand that I went to America to speculato in lands, it inay not be Hung high, amid the breezy groves, impertinent to state, that the object of this voyage across the Atlantic was my appointment io the office of Registrar of
To every wanton gale that fann'd the Vice-Admiralty Court of Bermuda.
Betray'd the mystery of your loves!
Yet, oh!--not many a suffering hour,
Thy cup of shame on earth was giv'n: Benignly came some pitying Power,
And took the Lyre and thee to Heaven ! There as thy lover dries the tear
Yet warm from life's malignant wrongs, Within his arms, thou lov'st to hear
The luckless Lyre's remember'd songs! Still do your happy souls attune
The notes it learn'd, on earth, to move; Still breathing o'er the chords, commune
In sympathies of angel love!
TO THE FLYING-FISH.' When I have seen thy snowy wing O'er the blue wave at evening spring, And give those scales, of silver white, So gaily to the eye of light, As if thy frame were form'd to rise, And live amid the glorious skies ; Oh! it has made me proudly feel, How like thy wing's impatient zeal Is the pure soul, that scorns to rest Upon the world's ignoble breast, But takes the plume that God has given, And rises into light and heaven! But, when I see that wing, so bright, Grow languid with a moment's flight, Attempt the paths of air in vain, And sink into the waves again : Alas! the lattering pride is o'er ; Like thee, awhile, the soul may soar, But erring man must blush to think, Like thee, again, the soul may sink ! Oh Virtue ! when thy clime I seek, Let not my spirit's flight be weak: Let me not, like this feeble thing, With brine still dropping from its wing, Just sparkle in the solar glow, And plunge again to depths below; But, when I leave the grosser throng With whom my soul hath dwelt so long Let me, in that aspiring day, Cast every lingering stain away, And, panting for thy purer air, Fly up at once and fix me there!
I heard, in home's beloved shade, The din the world at distance made; When every night my weary head Sunk on its own unthorned bed, And, mild as evening's matron hour Looks on the faintly shutting flower, A mother saw our eyelids close, And bless'd them into pure repose ! Then, haply, if a week, a day, I linger'd from your arms away, How long the little absence seem'd! How bright the look of welcome beam'd, As mute you heard, with eager smile, My tales of all that pass'd the while! Yet now, my Kate, a gloomy sea Rolls wide between that home and me; The moon may thrice be born and die, Ere e'en your seal can reach mine eye ; And oh! e'en then, that darling seal, (Upon whose print, I us'd to feel The breath of home, the cordial air Of loved lips, still freshly there !) Must come, alas ! through every fate of time and distance, cold and late, When the dear hand, whose touches fill'd The leaf with sweetness, may be chilld. But hence, that gloomy thought !- At last, Beloved Kate! the waves are past : I tread on earth securely now, And the green cedar's living bough Breathes more refreshment to my eyes Than could a Claude's divinest dies !
At length I touch the happy sphere To Liberty and Virtue dear, Where man looks up, and proud to claim His rank within the social frame, Sees a grand system round him roll, Himself its centre, sun, and soul ! Far from the shocks of Europe ; far From every wild elliptic star That, shooting with a devious fire, Kindled by heaven's avenging ire, So oft hath into chaos hurl'd The systems of the ancient world! The warrior here, in arms no more, Thinks of the toil, the conflict o'er, And glorying in the rights they won For hearth and altar, sire and son, Smiles on the dusky webs that hide His sleeping sword's remember'd pride! While Peace, with sunny cheeks of toil, Walks o'er the free, unlorded soil, Effacing with her splendid share The drops that war had sprinkled there. Thrice happy land! where he who flies From the dark ills of other skies, From scorn, or want's unnerving woes May shelter him in proud repose ! Hope sings along the yellow sand His welcome to a patriot land; The mighty wood, with pomp, receives The stranger in its world of leaves, Which soon their barren glory yield To the warm shed and cultur'd field;
TO MISS M -E. FROM NORFOLK, IN VIRGINIA, NOV. 1803. In days, my KATE, when life was new, When, lulld with innocence and you,
I ll is the opinion of St. Austin upon Genesis, and I believe of nearly all the Fathery, that birds, like fish, were originally produced from the waters; in defence of 'which idea they have collected every fanciful circumstance which can tend to prove a kindred similitude between them; συγγενειαν τοις πιτομενος προς τα νηκτα. With this thought in our minds whon we first see the Flying-Fish, we could almost fancy, that we are present at the moment of creation, and witness the birth of the first bird from the waves.
Oh! love the song, and let it oft
And he who came, of all bereft,
A mother left her sleeping child
The fruitage of the forest wild. But storms upon her patb-way rise,
The mother roams astray and weeping, Far from the weak appealing cries
Of him she left so sweetly sleeping. She hopes, she fears—a light is seen,
And gentler blows the night-wind's breath, Yet no— tis gone-the storms are keen,
The baby may be chill'd to death ;
Dim by Death's eternal chill-
Life and love may light them still.
Hung on thy hand's bewildering touch, And, timid, ask'd that speaking eye,
If parting pain'd thee half so muchI thought, and, oh! forgive the thought,
For who, by eyes like thine inspir'd, Could ere resist the flattering fault
Of fancying what his soul desir'd ? Yes I did think, in Cara's mind,
Though yet to CARA's mind unknown, I left one infant wish behind,
One feeling, which I callid my own!
How did I ask of pity's care,
The nursling I had cradled there.
And many an hour of sorrow numbering, I ne'er forget the new-born treasure,
I left within thy bosom slumbering.
1 Soch romantic works as “The American Farmer's Letters," acd the “Account of Kentucky by Imlay," would seduce us into a belief, that innocence, peace, and freedom had deserted the rest of the world for Martha's Vineyard and the banks of the Ohio. The French travellers too, almost all from revolutionary motives, have contributed their share to the diffusion of this flattering misconception. A visit to the country is, however, quite sufficient to correct even the most enthusiastic prepossession.
2 Norfolk, it must be owned, is an unfavourable specimen of America. The characteristics of Virginia in general are not such as can delight either the politician or the moralist, and at Norfolk they are exhibited in their least attractive form. At the time when we arrived, the yellow fever had not yet disappeared, and every odour that assailed us in the streets very strongly accounted for its visitation.
3 A triffing attempt at musical composition accompanied his epistle.
1 The poems which immediately follow, 2 Bermuda.