Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

SONNET I.

“ Content, as random Fancies might inspire,

If his weak harp at times or lonely lyre
· He struck with desultory hand, and drew
Some softened tones to Nature not untrue.”

BOWLES.

My heart has thanked thee, Bowles ! for those

soft strains. Whose sadness soothes me, like the murmuring Of wild bees in the sunny showers of spring ! For hence not callous to the mourner's pains Through Youth's gay prime and thornless paths I

went: And when the mightier throes of mind began, And drove me forth, a thought-bewildered man, Their mild and manliest melancholy lent A mingled charm, such as the pang consigned To slumber, though the big tear it renewed ; Bidding a strange mysterious Pleasure brood Over the wavy and tumultuous mind, As the great Spirit erst with plastic sweep Moved on the darkness of the unformed deep.

SONNET II.

As late I lay in slumber's shadowy vale,
With wetted cheek and in a mourner's guise,
I saw the sainted form of Freedom rise:
She spake! not sadder moans the autumnal gale
6 Great Son of Genius! sweet to me thy name,
Ere in an evil hour with altered voice
Thou bad'st Oppression's hireling crew rejoice,
Blasting with wizard spell my laurelled fame.
Yet never, Burke! thou drank’st Corruption's

bowl !
Thee stormy Pity and the cherished lure
Of Pomp, and proud Precipitance of soul
Wildered with meteor fires. Ah Spirit pure!
That error's mist had left thy purged eye:
So might I clasp thee with a Mother's joy!”

SONNET III.*

Not always should the tear's ambrosial dew
Roll its soft anguish down thy furrowed cheek!
Not always heaven-breathed tones of suppliance

meek Beseem thee, Mercy! Yon dark Scowler view, Who with proud words of dear-loved Freedom

came

More blasting than the mildew from the South !
And kissed his country with Iscariot mouth
(Ah! foul apostate from his Father's fame!)
Then fixed her on the cross of deep distress,
And at safe distance marks the thirsty lance
Pierce her big side! But 0 ! if some strange

trance
The eyelids of thy stern-browed Sister press,
Seize, Mercy! thou more terrible the brand,
And hurl her thunderbolts with fiercer hand !

[blocks in formation]

SONNET IV.

Though roused by that dark Vizir Riot rude
Have driven our Priestley o'er the ocean swell.
Though Superstition and her wolfish brood
Bay his mild radiance, impotent and fell;
Calm in his balls of brightness he shall dwell!
For lo ! Religion at his strong behest
Starts with mild anger from the Papal spell,
And flings to earth her tinsel-glittering vest,
Her mitred state and cumbrous pomp unholy;
And Justice wakes to bid the Oppressor wail
Insulting aye the wrongs of patient Folly:
And from her dark retreat by Wisdom won
Meek Nature slowly lifts her matron veil
To smile with fondness on her gazing son!

SONNET V.

When British Freedom for a happier land
Spread her broad wings, that fluttered with

affright,
Erskine ! thy voice she heard, and paused her flight
Sublime of hope! For dreadless thou didst stand
(Thy censer glowing with the hallowed flame)
A hireless Priest before the insulted shrine,
And at her altar pour the stream divine
Of unmatched eloquence. Therefore thy name
Her sons shall venerate, and cheer thy breast
With blessings heavenward breathed. And when

the doom Of Nature bids thee die, beyond the tomb Thy light shall shine: as sunk beneath the West Though the great Summer Sun eludes our gaze, Still burns wide Heaven with his distended blaze.

« ForrigeFortsæt »