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Who knows of Nature, and of man no more
Than fills some page of antiquated lore-
Shall he, in words and terms profoundly wise,
The better knowledge of the world despise,
Think wisdom center'd in a false degree.
And scorn the scholar of humanity?
Something of men these sapient drones may know,
Of men that liv'd two thousand years ago.
Such human monsters if the world e'er knew,
As ancient verse, and ancient story drew!
If to one object, system, scene confin'd,
The sure effect is narrowness of mind.
'Twas thus St. Robert, in his lonely wood, Forsook each social duty-to be good. Thus Hobbes on one dear system fix'd his eyes, And prov'd his nature wretched-to be wise. Each zealot thus, elate with ghostly pride, Adores his God, and hates the world beside. Though form'd with powers to grasp this various ball,
Gods! to what meanness may the spirit fall! Powers that should spread in reason's orient ray, How are they darken'd, and debarr'd the day!
When late, where Tajo rolls his ancient tide, Reflecting clear the mountain's purple side, Thy genius,Craufurd, Britain's legions led, And fear's chill cloud forsook each brightning head,
By nature brave, and generous as thou art, Say did not human follies vex thy heart? Glow'd not thy breast indignant, when you saw The dome of murder consecrate by law? Where fiends, commission'd with the legal rod, In pure devotion, burn the works of God.
Ó change me, powers of Nature, if ye can,
Transform me, make me any thing but man.
Yet why? This heart all human kind forgives,
While Gillman loves me, and while Craufurd
Is Nature, all benevolent, to blame
That half her offspring are their mother's shame?
Did she ordain o'er this fair scene of things
The cruelty of priests, or pride of kings?
Tho' worlds lie murder'd for their wealth of fame,
Is Nature all benevolent to blame?
O that the world were emptied of its slaves!
That all the fools were gone, and all the knaves!
Then might we, Craufurd, with delight embrace,
In boundless love, the rest of human race.
But let not knaves misanthropy create,
Nor feed the gall of universal hate.
Wherever Genius, Truth, and Virtue dwell,
Polish'd in courts, or simple in a cell,
All views of country, sects, and creeds apart,
These, these I love, and hold them to my heart.
Vain of our beauteous isle, and justly vain,
For Freedom here, and Health, and Plenty reign,
We different lots contemptuously compare,
And boast, like children, of a fav'rite's share.
Yet though each vale a deeper verdure yields
Than Arno's banks, or Andalusia's fields,
Though many a tree-crown'd mountain teems
Though flocks innumerous whiten every shore,
Why should we, thus with Nature's wealth elate,
Behold her different families with hate?
Look on her works-on every page you'll find
Inscrib'd the doctrine of the social mind.
See countless worlds of insect beings share
Th' unenvied regions of the liberal air!
In the same grove what music void of strife!
Heirs of one stream what tribes of scaly life!
See earth, and air, and fire, and flood combine
Of general good to aid the great design!
Where Ancon drags o'er Lincolu's lurid plain,
Like a slow snake, his dirty-winding train,
Where fogs eternal blot the face of day,
And the lost bittern moans his gloomy way;
As well we might, for unpropitious skies,
The blameless native with his clime despise,
As him who still the poorer lot partakes
Of Biscay's mountains, or Batavia's lakes.
Yet look once more on Nature's various plan!
Behold, and love her noblest creature man!
She, never partial, on each various zone,
Bestow'd some portion to the rest unknown,
By mutual interest meaning thence to bind
In one vast chain the commerce of mankind.
Behold, ye vain disturbers of an hour!
Ye dupes of faction! and ye tools of power!
Poor rioters on life's contracted stage!
Behold, and lose your littleness of rage!
Throw envy, folly, prejudice behind!
And yield to Truth the empire of the mind.
Immortal Truth! O from thy radiant shrine Where light created first essay'd to shine; Where clustering stars eternal beams display, And gems ethereal drink the golden day; To chase this moral, clear this sensual night, O shed one ray of thy celestial light! Teach us, while wandering thro' this vale below We know but little, that we little know. One beam to mole-ey'd Prejudice convey, Let Fride perceive one mortifying ray. Thy glass to fools, to infidels apply, And all the dinness of the mental eye.
Plac'd on this shore of Time's far-stretching bourn,
With leave to look at Nature and return;
While wave on wave impels the human tide,
And ages sink, forgotten as they glide;
Can life's short duties better be discharg'd,
Than when we leave it with a mind enlarg'd?
Judg'd not the old philosopher aright,
When thus he preach'd, his pupils in his sight?
"It matters not, my friends, how low or high
Your little walk of transient life may lie.
Soon will the reign of hope and fear be o'er,
And warring passions militate no more.
And trust me, he who, having once survey'd
The good and fair which Nature's wisdom made,
The soonest to his former state retires,
And feels the peace of satisfied desires,
(Let others deem more wisely if they can),
I look on him to be the happiest man."
So thought the sacred sage, in whom I trust,
Because I feel his sentiments are just.
'Twas not in lustrums of long counted years
That swell'd th'alternate reign of hopes and fears;
Not in the splendid scenes of pain and strife,
That Wisdom plac'd the dignity of life:
To study Nature was the task design'd,
And learn from her th' enlargement of the mind.
Learn from her works whatever Truth admires,
And sleep in death with satisfied desires.
TO WILLIAM LANGHORNE, M. A. WRITTEN IN
LIGHT heard his voice, and, eager to obey,
From all her orient fountains burst away.
At Nature's birth, O! had the power divine
Commanded thus the moral sun to shine,
Beam'd on the mind all reason's influence bright,
And the full day of intellectual light,
Then the free soul, on truth's strong pinion born,
Had never languish'd in this shade forlorn.
Yet thus imperfect form'd, thus blind and
Doom'd by long toil a glimpse of truth to gain;
Beyond its sphere shall human wisdom go,
And boldly censure what it cannot know?
For what Heaven gave let us the donor bless,
Nor than their merits rank our mercies less.
'Tis ours to cherish what Heav'n deign'd to give,
And thankful for the gift of being to live.
Progressive powers, and faculties that rise, From Earth's low vale, to grasp the golden skies, Though distant far from perfect, good, or fair, Claim the due thought, and ask the grateful care. Come then, thou partner of my life and name, From one dear source, whom Nature form'd the
Ally'd more nearly in each nobler part,
And more the friend, than brother, of my heart!
Let us, unlike the lucid twins that rise
At different times, and shine in distant skies,
With mutual eye this mental world survey,
Mark the slow rise of intellectual day,
View reason's source, if man the source may find,
And trace each science that exalts the mind,
"Thou self-appointed lord of all below!
Ambitious man, how little dost thou know?
For once let Fancy's towering thoughts subside;
Look on thy birth, and mortify thy pride!
A plaintive wretch, so blind, so helpless born,
The brute sagacious might behold with scorn.
How soon, when Nature gives him to the day,
In strength exulting, does he bound away!
By instinct led, the fostering tent he finds,
Sports in the ray, and shuns the searching winds:
No grief he knows, he feels no groundless fear,
Feeds without cries, and sleeps without a tear.
Did he but know to reason and compare,
See here the vassal, and the master there :
What strange reflections must the scene afford,
That show'd the weakness of his puling lord!"
Thus Sophistry unfolds her specious plan,
Form'd not to humble, but depreciate man.
Unjust the censure, if unjust to rate
His pow'rs and merits from his infant-state.
For, grant the children of the flow'ry vale
By instinct wiser, and of limbs more hale,
With equal eye their perfect state explore,
And all the vain comparison's no more.
"But why should life, so short by Heav'n or
Be long to thoughtless infancy restrain❜d—
To thoughtless infancy, or vainly sage,
Mourn through the languors of declining age?"
O blind to truth! to Nature's wisdom blind! And all that she directs, or Heav'n design'd! Behold her works in cities, plains, and groves, All life that vegetates, and life that moves!
In due proportion, as each being stays In perfect life, it rises and decays.
Is man long helpless? Through each tender hour,
See love parental watch the blooming flower!
By op'ning charms, by beauties fresh display'd,
And sweets unfolding, see that love repaid!
Has age its pains? For luxury it may―
The temp'rate wear insensibly away.
While sage experience, and reflection clear
Beam a gay sunshine on life's fading year.
But see from age, from infant weakness see,
That man was destin'd for society;
There from those ills a safe retreat behold,
Which young might vanquish, or afflict him old.
"That, in proportion as each being stays
In perfect life, it rises and decays—
Is Nature's law-to forms alone confin'd,
The laws of matter act not on the mind.
Too feebly, sure, its faculties must grow,
And Reason brings her borrow'd light too slow."
O! still censorious? Art thou then possess'd
Of Reason's power, and does she rule thy breast?
Say what the use had Providence assign'd
To infant-years maturity of mind?
That thy pert offspring, as their father wise,
Might scorn thy precepts, and thy pow'r, des-
Or mourn, with ill-match'd faculties at strife,
O'er limbs unequal to the task of life?
To feel more sensibly the woes that wait
On every period, as on every state;
And slight, sad convicts of each painful truth,
The happier trifles of unthinking youth?
Conclude we then the progress of the mind Ordain'd by wisdom infinitely kind: No innate knowledge on the soul imprest, No birth-right instinct acting in the breast, No natal light, no beams from Heav'n display'd, Dart through the darkness of the mental shade. Perceptive powers we hold from Heaven's deAlike to knowledge as to virtue free, In both a lib'ral agency we bear, The moral here, the intellectul there; And hence in both an equal joy is known, The conscious pleasure of an act our own. When first the trembling eye receives the day, External forms on young perception play; External forms affect the mind alone, Their diff'rent pow'rs and properties unknown. See the pleas'd infant court the flaming brand, Eager to grasp the glory in its hand! The crystal wave as eager to pervade, Stretch its fond arms to meet the smiling shade! When Memory's call the mimic words obey, And wing the thought that faulters on its way; When wise Experience her slow verdict draws, The sure effect exploring in the cause, In Nature's rude, but not unfruitful wild, Reflection springs, and Reason is her child: On her fair stock the blooming scyon grows, And brighter through revolving seasons blows. All beauteous flow'r! immortal shalt thou
How should her eye the rip'ning mind revise,
And blast the buds of folly as they rise!
How should her hand with industry restrain,
The thriving growth of passion's fruitful train,
Aspiring weeds, whose lofty arms would tower
With fatal shade o'er Reason's tender flow'r.
From low pursuits the ductile mind to save,
Creeds that contract, and vices that enslave ;
O'er life's rough seas its doubtful course to steer,
Unbroke by av'rice, bigotry, or fear!
For this fair Science spreads her light afar,
And fills the bright urn of her eastern star.
The liberal power in no sequester'd cells,
No moonshine courts of dreaming schoolmen
Distinguish'd far her lofty temple stands,
Where the tall mountain looks o'er distant lands;
All round her throne the graceful Arts appear,
That boast the empire of the eye or ear.
See favour'd first and nearest to the throne,
By the rapt mien of musing Silence known.
Fled from herself, the Pow'r of Numbers plac'd
Herwild thoughts watch'd by Harmony and Taste.
There (but at distance never meant to vie)
The full-form'd image glancing on her eye,
See lively Painting! On her various face
Quick-gliding forms a moment find a place;
She looks, she acts the characters she gives,
And a new feature in each feature lives.
See attic ease in Sculpture's graceful air,
Half loose her robe, and balf unbound her hair;
To life, to life, she smiling seems to call,
And down her fair hands negligently fall.
Last, but not meanest, of the glorious choir,
See Music, list'ning to an angel's lyre.
Simplicity, their beauteous handmaid, drest
By Nature, bears a field-flower on her breast.
O arts divine! O magic powers that move
The springs of truth, enlarging truth and
Lost in their charms each mean attachment
And taste and knowledge thus are virtue's friends.
Thus Nature deigns to sympathize with art,
And leads the moral beauty to the heart;
There, only there, that strong attraction lies,
Which wakes the soul, and bids her graces rise;
Lives in those powers of harmony that bind
Congenial hearts, and stretch from mind to mind :
Glow'd in that warmth, that social kindness gave,
Which once-the rest is silence and the grave.
O tears, that warm from wounded friendship
O thoughts that wake to monuments of woe!
Reflection keen, that points the painful dart;
Mem'ry, that speeds its passage to the heart;
Sad monitors, your cruel power suspend,
And hide, for ever hide, the buried friend:
-In vain-confest I see my Craufurd stand,
And the pen falls-falls from my trembling hand.
E'en Death's dim shadow seeks to hide, in
That lib'ral aspect, and that smile humane;
E'en Death's dim shadow wears a languid light,
And his eye beams through everlasting night.
"Till the last sigh of genius shall expire,
His keen eye faded, and extinct his fire,
'Till Time, in league with Envy and with Death,
Blast the skill'd hand, and stop the tuneful breath,
My Craufurd still shall claim the mournful song,
So long remembered and bewail'd so long.
AN ODE TO THE RIVER EDEN.
DELIGHTFUL Eden! parent stream,
Yet shall the maids of Memory say,
(When led by Fancy's fairy dream,
My young steps trac'd thy winding way)
How oft along thy mazy shore,
That many a gloomy alder bore,
In pensive thought their poet stray'd;
Or, careless thrown thy bank beside,
Beheld thy dimply waters glide,
Bright thro' the trembling shade.
yet shall they paint those scenes again,
Where once with infant-joy he play'd,
And bending o'er thy liquid plain,
The azure worlds below survey'd :
Led by the rosy-handed Hours,
When Time trip'd o'er that bank of flowers,
Which in thy crystal bosom smil'd:
Tho' old the god, yet light and gay,
He flung his glass, his scythe away,
And seem'd himself a child.
The poplar tall, that waving near
Would whisper to thy murmurs free;
Yet rustling seems to soothe mine ear,
And trembles when I sigh for thee.
Yet seated on thy shelving brim,
Can Fancy see the Naiads trim
Burnish their green locks in the Sun;
Or at the last lone hour of day,
To chase the lightly glancing fay,
In airy circles run.
But, Fancy, can thy mimic power
Again those happy moments bring?
Can'st thou restore that golden hour,
When young Joy wav'd his laughing wing?
When first in Eden's rosy vale,
My full heart pour'd the lover's tale,
The vow sincere, devoid of guile !
While Delia in her panting breast,
With sighs, the tender thought supprest,
And look'd as angels smile.
O goddess of the crystal bow,
That dwell'st the golden meads among ;
Whose streams still fair in memory flow,
Whose murmurs melodise my song!
Oh! yet those gleams of joy display,
Which bright'ning glow'd in fancy's ray,
When, near thy lucid urn reclin'd,
The dryad, Nature, bar'd her breast,
And left, in naked charms imprest,
Her image on my mind.
In vain-the maids of Memory fair
No more in golden visions play;
No friendship smoothes the brow of Care,
No Delia's smile approves my lay.
Yet, love and friendship lost to me,
'Tis yet some joy to think of thee,
And in thy breast this moral find ;
That life, though stain'd with sorrow's showers,
Shall flow serene, while Virtue pours
Her sunshine on the mind.
TO MISS CRACROFT. 1763.
WHILE yet my poplar yields a doubtful shade, Its last leaves trembling to the Zephyr's sigh; On this fair plain ere every verdure fade,
Or the last smiles of golden Autumn die ; Wilt thou, my Nancy, at this pensive hour,
O'er Nature's ruin hear thy friend complain : While his heart labours with th' inspiring power, And from his pen spontaneous flows the strain? Thy gentle breast shall melt with kindred sighs, Yet haply grieving o'er a parent's bier; Poets are Nature's children; when she dies,
Affection mourns, and Duty drops a tear. Why are ye silent, brethren of the grove,
Fond Philomel, thy many-chorded lyre So sweetly tun'd to tenderness and love,
Shall love no more, or tenderness inspire? O mix once more thy gentle lays with mine; For well our passions, well our notes agree: An absent love, sweet bird, may soften thine: An absent love demands a tear from me. Yet, ere ye slumber, songsters of the sky, Thro' the long night of winter wild and drear: O let us tune, ere Love and Fancy die,
One tender farewell to the fading year. Farewell ye wild hills, scatter'd o'er with spring!
Sweet solitudes, where Flora smil'd unseen! Farewell each breeze of balmy-burthen'd wing! The violet's blue bank, and the tall wood green! Ye tuneful groves of Belvidere, adieu! Kind shades that whisper o'er my Craufurd's
From courts, from senates, and from camps to you, When Fancy leads him, no inglorious gues. ! Dear shades adieu ! where late the moral Muse Led by the dryad, Silence, oft reclin❜d, Taught Meanness to extend her little views,
And look on Nature to enlarge her mind. Farewell the walk along the woodland-vale; Flower-feeding rills in murmurs drawn away! Farewell the sweet breath of the early gale!
And the dear glories of the closing day! The nameless charms of high poetic thought, That Spring's green hours to Fancy's children The words divine, Imagination wrote [bore;
On Slumber's light leaf by the murmuring shore
All, all adieu! from Autumn's sober power Fly the dear dreams of Spring's delightful reign; Gay Summer strips her rosy-inantled bower,
And rude winds waste the glories of her train. Yet Autumn yields her joys of humbler kind; Sad o'er her golden ruins as we stray, Sweet Melancholy soothes the musing mind, And Nature charms, delightful in decay. All-bounteous power, whom happy worlds adore! With every scene some grateful change she brings
in Winter's wild snows, Autumn's golden store, In glowing summers and in blooming springs!
O most belov'd! the fairest and the best
Of all her works! may still thy lover find
Fair Nature's frankness in thy gentle breast;
Like her be various, but like her be kind.
Then, when the Spring of smiling youth is o'er; ་
When Summer's glories yield to Autumn's sway;
When golden Autumn sinks in Winter hoar,
And life declining yields its last weak ray;
In thy lov'd arms my fainting age shall close,
On thee my fond eye bend its trembling light:
Rememb'rance sweet shall soothe my last repose,
And my soul bless thee in eternal night.
WHEN pale beneath the frowning shade of death, No soothing voice of love, or friendship nigh, While strong convulsions seiz'd the lab'ring breath,
And life suspended left each vacant eye; Where, in that moment, fled th' immortal mind? To what new region did the spirit stray? Found it some bosom hospitably kind, Some breast that took the wanderer in its way?
To thee, my Nancy, in that deathful hour,
To thy dear bosom it once more return'd;
And wrapt in Hackthorn's solitary bower,
But, didst thou, kind and gentle as thou art,
The ruins of its former mansion mourn'd.
O'er thy pale lover shed the generous tear?
From those sweet eyes did Pity's softness start,
When Fancy laid him on the lowly bier?
Didst thou to Heaven address the forceful prayer,
Fold thy fair hands, and raise the mournful eye,
Implore each power benevolent to spare,
And call down Pity from the golden sky? O born at once to bless me and to save, Exalt my life, and dignify my lay! Thou too shalt triumph o'er the mouldering grave, And on thy brow shall bloom the deathless bay. Dear shades of genius! heirs of endless fame!
That in your laureate crowns the myrtle wove, Snatch'd from oblivion Beauty's sacred name, And grew immortal in the arms of Love! O may we meet you in some happier clime, Some safer vale beneath a genial sky; Whence all the woes that load the wing of Time, Disease, and death, and fear, and frailty fly!
To me no more the laughing Spring looks gay;
Nor annual loves relume my languid breast;
Time slowly drags the long, delightless day,
Thro' one dull scene of solitary rest.
Ah! what avails that dreaming Fancy roves
Thro' the wild beauties of her native reign!
Breathes in green fields, and feeds in freshening
To wake to anguish in this hopeless chain?
Tho' fondly sooth'd with Pity's tenderest care,
Tho' still by Nancy's gentle hand carest,
For the free forest, and the boundless air,
The rebel, Nature, murmurs in my breast. Ah let not Nature, Nancy, plead in vain! For kindness sure should grace a form so fair: Restore me to my native wilds again,
To the free forest, and the boundless air.
WRAPPED ROUND A NOSEGAY OF VIOLETS.
DEAR object of my late and early prayer!
Source of my joy! and solace of my care!
Whose gentle friendship such a charm can give,
As makes me wish, and tells me how to live.
To thee the Muse with grateful hand would bring
These first fair children of the doubtful Spring.
O may they, fearless of a varying sky,
Bloom on thy breast, and smile beneath thine eye!
In fairer lights their vivid blue display,
And sweeter breathe their little lives away!
ON THE MORAL REFLECTIONS CONTAINED IN HER ANSWER TO THE ABOVE VErses. 1761.
SWEET moralist! whose moving truths impart
At once delight and anguish to my heart!
Tho' human joys their short-liv'd sweets exhale,
Like the wan beauties of the wasted vale ;
Yet, trust the Muse, fair friendship's flower shall last;
When life's short sunshine, like its storms is past; Bloom in the fields of some ambrosial sbore, Where Time, and Death, and Sickness are no
WRITTEN IN A COLLECTION OF MAPS.
REALMS of this globe, that ever-circling run,
And rise alternate to embrace the Sun;
Shall I with envy at my lot repine,
Because I boast so small a portion mine?
If e'er in thought of Andalusia's vines,
Golconda's jewels, or Potosi's mines;
In these, or those, if vanity forgot
The humbler blessings of my little lot;
Then may the stream that murmurs near my door,
The waving grove that loves its mazy shore,
Withhold each soothing pleasure that they gave,
No longer murmur, and no longer wave!
THEODOSIUS TO CONSTANTIA.
LET others seek the lying aids of art,
And bribe the passions to betray the heart;
Truth, sacred truth, and faith unskill'd to feign,
Fill my fond breast, and prompt my artless strain.
Say, did thy lover, in some happier hour,
Each ardent thought, in wild profusion pour;
With eager fondness on thy beauty gaze,
And talk with all the ecstacy of praise?
The heart sincere its pleasing tumult prov'd;
All, all declar'd that Theodosius lov'd.
Let raptur'd fancy on that moment dwell,
When thy dear vows in trembling accents fell;
When love acknowledg'd wak'd the tender sigh,
Swell'd thy full breast, and fill'd thy melting eye,
O! blest for ever be th' auspicious day,
Dance all its hours in pleasure's golden ray!
Pale sorrow's gloom from every eye depart!
And laughing joy glide lightly thro' the heart!
Let village-maids their festive brows adorn,
And with fresh garlands meet the smiling morn;
Each happy swain, by faithful love repaid,
Pour his warm vows, and court his village maid.
Yet shall the scene to ravish'd memory rise; Constantia present yet shall meet these eyes; On her fair arm her beauteous head reclin'd, Her locks flung careless to the sportful wind. While love, and fear, contending in her face, Flush every rose, and heighten every grace.
O, never, while of life and hope possest, May this dear image quit my faithful breast! The painful hours of absence to beguile, May thus Constantia look, Constantia smile!
THE eye of Nature never rests from care;
She guards her children with a parent's love
And not a mischief reigns in earth or air,
But time destroys, or remedies remove.