Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

POEMS

OF

CHRISTOPHER SMART.

ODES.

IDLENESS.

ODE I.
Goddess of ease, leave Lethe's brink,

Obsequious to the Muse and me;
For once endure the pain to think,

Oh ! sFeet insensibility ! Sister of peace and indolence,

Briog, Muse, bring numbers soft and slow, Elaborately roid of sense,

And sweetly thougbtless let them flow, Near some cowslip-painted mead,

There let me doze out the dull hours, And under me let Flora spread,

A sofa of her softest flow'rs.

Happy Muse, that didst embrace
Thesweet, the heav'nly-fragrant place!
Tell me, is the omen true,
Sball the bard arrive there too?
Oft thro' my eyes my soul has flown,
And wanton'd on that iv'ry throne :
There with extatic transport burn'd,
And thought it was to Heav'n return'd.
Tell me is the omen true,
Shall the body follow too?
When first at Nature's early birth,
Heav'n sent a man upon the Earth,
Ev'n Eden was more fruitful found,
When Adam came to till the ground:
Shall then those breasts be fair in vain,
And only rise to fall again?
No, no, fair nymph—for no such end
Did Heav'n to thee its bounty lend;
That breast was ne'er design'd by fate
For verse, or things inanimate ;
Then throw them from that downy bed,
Aud take the poet in their stead.

Where, Philomel, your notes your breathe

Furth from behind the neighbouring pine, And murmurs of the stream beneath

Still now in unison with thine.

CONFINED IN A COLLEGE COURT,

For thee, O Idleness, the woes

ON AN EAGLE
Of life we patiently endure,
Thou art the source whence labour flows,
We shun thee but to make thee sure.

ODE III.
For who'd sustain war's tuil and waste,

Imperial bird, who wont to soar Or who th'hoarse thund'ring of the sea,

High o'er the rolling cloud, But to be idle at the last,

Where Hyperborean mountains hoar
And find a pleasing end in thee.

Their heads in ether shroud ;-
Thou servant of almighty Jove,

Who, free and swift as thought, could'st rove
TO ETHELINDA,

To the bleak north's extremest goal ;

Thou, who magnanimous could'st bear
ON AER DOING MY VERSES THE HONOUR OF The sovereign thund'rer's arms in air,

And shake thy native pole !
TEN AT THIRTEEN,

Oh cruel fate! what barbarous hand,
ODE 11.

What more than Gothic ire,
Happy verses ! that were prest

At some fierce tyrant's dread command, Lo fair Ethelinda's breast !

To check thy daring fire, FOL. XVI.

C

WEARING THEM IN HER BOSOMWRIT

Has plac'd thee in this servile cell,

See hear the storms tompestuous sweep Where discipline and dulness dwell,

Precipitate it falls—it fallsfalls lifeless in the Where genius ne'er was seen to roam ;

deep. Where ev'ry selfish soul's at rest,

Cease, cease, ye weeping youth, Nor ever quits the carnal breast,

Sincerity's soft sighs, and all the tears of truth. But lurks and sneaks at home!

And you, his kindred throng, forbear

Marble memorials to prepare, Tho' dim'd thine eye, and clipt thy wing

And sculptur'd in your breasts his busto wear. So gror'ling! once so great!

'Twas thus when Israel's legislator dy'd, The grief-inspired Muse shall sing

No fragile mortal honours were supply'd, In tend'rest lays thy fate.

But even a grave denied. What time by thee scholastic pride

Better than what the pencil's daub can give, Takes his precise, pedantic stride,

Better than all that Phidias ever wrought, Nor on thy mis'ry casts a care,

Is this that what he taught shall live, The stream of love ne'er from his heart

And what he liv'd for ever shall be taught Flows out, to act fair pity's part;

But stinks, and stagnates there.
Yet useful still, hold to the throng-

ON GOOD-NATURE.
Hold the reflecting glass,-
That not untutor'd at thy wrong

ODE V.
The passenger may pass :
Thou type of wit and sense confin'd,

Hail cherub of the highest Heav'n,
Cramp'd by the oppressors of tne mind,

Of look divine, and temper ev'n, Who study downward on the ground;

Celestial sweetness, exquisite of mien,
Type of the fall of Greece and Rome;

Of ev'ry virtue, ev'ry praise the queen!
While more than mathematic gloom,
Envelopes all around.

Soft gracefulness, and blooming youth,
Where, grafted on the stem of truth,

That friendship reigns, no interest can divide, ON THE SUDDEN DEATH OF A

And great humility looks down on pride.
CLERGYMAN.

Oh! curse on slander's viprous tongue,
ODE IV.

That daily dares thy merit wrong;

Ideots usurp thy title, and thy frame, 1,, like th’ Orphean lyre, my song could charm' Without or virtue, talent, taste, or name.

And light to life the ashes in the uru, Fate of his iron dart I would disarm,

Is apathy, is heart of steel, Sudden as thy disease should'st thou return, Nor ear to hear, nor sense to feel, Recalld with mandates of despotic sounds,

Life idly inoffensive such a grace, And arbitrary grief that will not hear of bounds. That it shou'd steal thy name and take thy But, ah ! such wishes, artless Muse, forbear;

place? 'Tis impotence of frantic love, Th’ enthusiastic flight of wild despair,

No—thou art active-spirit allTo hope the Thracian's magic power to prove. Swifter than lightning, at the call Alas! thy slender vein,

Of injur'd innocence, or griev'd desert, Nor mighty is to move, nor forgetive to feign, And large with liberality thy heart.

Impatient of a rein, Thou canst not in due bounds the struggling mea- Thy appetites in easy tides sures keep,

(As reason's luminary guides) -But tnon alas ! canst weep

Soft flow-no wind can work them to a storm, Thou canst—and o'er the melancholy bier

Correctly quick, dispassionately warm.
Canst lend the sad solemnity a tear. [cold,
Hail! to that wretched corse, untenanter and

Yet if a transport thou canst feel

"Tis only for thy neighbours weal : [move, And hail the peaceful shade loos’d from its jrksome bold,

Great, generous acts thy ductile passions Now let me say thon’rt free,

And smilingly thou weep'st with joy and

love.
For sure thou paid'st an heavy tax for life,
While combating for thce,
Nature and inortality

Miid is thy mind to cover shame,
Maintain'd a daily strife.

Averse to envy, slow to blame,
High, on a slender thread thy vital lamp was

Bursting to praise, yet still sincere and free

From Nattery's fawning tongue, and bending plac'd

knee.
Upon the mountain's bleakest brow,
To give a noble light superior was it rais'd, Extensive, as from west to eist,
But more expos’d by eminence it blaz’d;

Thy love descends from man to beast,
For rot a whistling wind that blew,

Nought is excluded, little, or infirin,
Vor the drop descending dew,

Thou canst with greatness stoop to save a
But half extinguish'd its fair name but not

worm.

Come, goddess, come with all thy charms, Next comes illiberal scrambling Ararice,
For Oh! I love thee, to my arms

Then Vanity, and Affectation nice-
All, all my actions guide, my fancy feed, See, she salutes her shadow with a bow
So shall existence then be life indeed.

As in short Gallic trips she minces by,
Starting antipathy is in her eye,

And squeamishly she knits her scornful brow.
ON ILL-NATURE.

To thee, Ill-Nature, all the numerous group

With lowly reverence stoop-
ODE VI.

They wait thy call, and mourn thy long delay,

Away-thou art infectious--haste away. OFFSPRING of folly and of pride, To all that's odious, all that's base allied ;

Nurs'd up by vice, by pravity misled, By pedant affectation taught and bred:

TO THE REVEREND AND LEARNED Away, thou bideous hell-born spright, Go, with thy looks of dark design,

Dr. IV EBSTER, Sollen, sour, and saturnine;

Occasioned by his Dialogues on Anger and ForFly to some gloomy shade, nor blot the goodly

giveness. light. Thy planet was remote, when I was born ;

ODE VII. 'Twas Mercury that ruld my natal morn, What time the Sun exerts his genial ray,

'Twas when the qmniscient creative pow's And ripens for enjoyment every growing day ; Display'd his wonders by a mortal's hand, When to exist is but to love and sing,

And, delegated at th' appointed hour, And sprightly Aries smiles upon the spring.

Great Moses led away his chosen band;

When Israel's host, with all their stores, There in yon lonesome heath,

Past thro' the ruby-tinctur'd crystal shores, Which Flora, or Sylvanus never knew,

The wilderness of waters and of land : Wbere nerer vegetable drank the dew,

Then persecution rag'd in Heav'n's own cause, Or beast, or fowl attempts to breathe;

Strict justice for the breach of Nature's laws, Wbere Nature's pencil has no colours laid ; The legislator held the scythe of fate, Bat all is blank, and universal shade;

Where'er his legions chanc'd to stray, Contrast to figure, motion, life and light,

Death and destruction mark'd their bloody There may'st thou vent thy spite,

way ; For ever cursing, and for ever curs'd,

Immoderate was their rage, for mortal was their Of all th' infernal crew the worst ;

hate. The worst in genius, measure and degree; For envy, hatred, malice, are but parts of thee. But when the King of Righteousness arose,'

And on the illumin'd east serenely smild, Or sould'st thou change the scene, and quit the He shune with meekest mercy on his foes,

Behold the Heav'n-deserted fen, [den, Bright as the Sun, but as the Moon-beams Where spleen, by vapours dense begot and bred,

mild; Hardness of heart, and heaviness of head,

From anger, fell revenge, and discord free, Hare rais'd their darksome walls, and plac'd their

lle bad war's hellish clangour cease, thorny bed;

In pastoral simplicity and peace, There may'st thou all thy bitterness unload, And show'd to man that face, which Moses could There may'st thou croak in cor.cert with the toad,

With thee the hollow howling winds shall join, Well hast thou, Webster, picturd Christian love, Nor shall the bittern ber base throat deny, The querulous frogs shall mix their dirge with

And copied our great master's fair design, thine,

But livid Envy would the light remove, Th'ear-piercing hern, the plover sereaming high,

Or croud thy portrait in a nook malign Millions of humming gnats fit æstrum shall The Muse shall hold it up to popular view

Where the more candid and judicious few supply.

Shall thiuk the bright original they see, Asay-away--behold an hideous band

The likeness nobly lost in the identity. An berd of all thy minions are at hand, Suspicion first with jealous caution stalks, Oh hadst thou liv'd in hetter days than these, And ever looks around her as she walks,

F'er to excel by all was deem'd a shame! With b:bulous ear imperfect sounds to catch, Alas! thou hast no modern arts to please,

And prompt to listen at her neighbours latch. And to deserve is all thy empty claim.
Next scandal's meagre shade,

Else thou’dst been plac'd, by learning, and by Poe to the rigins, and the poet's fame,

wit, A wither'd time-deflower'd old maid,

There, where thy dignify'd inferiors sit That ne’er enjoy'd love's cver sacred Hame. Oh they are in thcir generations wise,

Hypocrisy succeeds with saint-like look, Each path of interest they bare sagely trod, And elevates her hands and plods upon her To live-to thrive-o rise-and still to rise book.

Better to bow to men, than kncel to God.

not see,

name

wail,

Behold where poor unmansion'd Merit stands,

From the Zephyrs steal her sighs, All cold, and crampt with penury and pain ;

From thyself her sun-bright eyes; Speechless thro' want, she rears th' imploring

Then baffled, thou shalt see, hands,

That as did Daphne thee, And begs a little bread, but begs in rain ;

Fler charms description's force shall fly, While Bribery and Dullness, passing by, And by no soft persuasive sounds be brib’d Bid her, in sounds barbarian, starve and die.

To come within Invention's narrow eye; Away" (they cry) “we never saw thy But all indignant shun its grasp, and scorn to be

[Pame;

describ'd,
Or in Preferment's list, or that of
Away-nor here the fate thou earn'st be-

Now see the bridegroom rise,

Oh! how impatient are his joss! Who canst not buy a vote, nor hast a soul for

Bring zephyrs to depaint his voice, sale."

Bring lightning for his eyes. Oh Indignation, wherefore wert thou given,

He leaps, he springs, he thies into her arms, If drowsy Patience deaden all thy rage ?

With joy intense,

Feeds ev'ry sense,
Yet we must bear-such is the will of Heaven ;
And, Webster, so prescribes thy candid page. Oh ! had I Virgil's comprehensive strain,

And sultanates o'er all her charms.
Then let us hear thee preach seraphic love,
Guide our disgusted thoughts to things above;

Or sung like Pope, without a word in vain, So our free souls, fed with divine repast,

Then should I hope my numbers might con

tain, (Unmindful of low mortals mean employ) Shall taste the present, recollect the past,

Engaging nymph, thy boundless bappiness,

How arduous to express!
And strongly hope for every future joy.

Such may it last to all eternity :

And may thy lord with thee,

Like two coeval pines in ida's grove,
EPITH ALAMIUM.

That interweave their verdant arms in lore,
ODE VIII.

Each mutual office cheerfully perform,

And share alike the sunshine, and the storm; Descend, descend, ye sweet Aonian maids, And ever, as you flourish hand in hand, Leave i he Parnassian shades,

Both shade the shepherd and adurn the land,
The joyful Hymencal sing,

Together with each growing year arise,
And to a lovelier fair

Iodissolubly link'd, and ciimb at last the skies, Than fiction can devise, or eloquence declare,

Your local tribnies bring.
And you, ye winged choristers, that fly
In all the pensile gardens of the sky,
Chant thro' th’enamel'd grove,

ODE IX.
Stretch from the trembling leaves your little
With all the wild variety of aitless notes, (throats, The Author apologizes to a Lady for his being a
But let each note be love.

little Man,
Fragrant Flora, queen of May,
All bedight with garlands gay,

Natura nusquam magis, quam in minimis tota

FLIN,
Where in the smooth-shaven green
The spangled cowsiips variegate thescene,
And the rivulet between,

Ολιγον τε φιλαν τε. ΗοΜ.
Whispers, murmurs, sinis,

Yrs, contumelious fair, you scom
As it stoops, or falls, or springs ;

The amorous dwarf that courts you to his arms, There spread a sofa of thy softest flowers,

But ere you leave him quite forlorn, There let the bridegioon stay,

And to sume youth gigantic yield your There let him hate the light, and curse the

charms, day,

Hear him-oh hear him, if you will not try, And blame the tardy hours.

And let your judgineni check th' ambition of

your eye. But see the bride-she comes with silent pace,

Full of majesty and love;
Not with a pobler grace

Say, is it carnage makes the man?
Look'd the imperial wife of Jove,

Is to be monstrous really to be great ? When erst ineffably she shone

Say, is it wise or just to scan

Your lover's worth by quantity or weight? In Venus' irresistible, enchanting zoue. Fhrebus,great gou of verse, the nymph observe, Ask your mamma and nurse, if it be so; Observe her well;

Nurse and mamma 1 ween shall jointly answer,
Then touch each sweetly-trem'lous nerve
Of thy resounding shell:

The less the body to the view,
Her like huntress-Dian paini,
Modest, but without restraint;

Is all exertion, ever pew,
From Pallas taheber decent pace,
With Venus sweeten all her face,

est.

no.

The soul (likesprings in closer durance pent)
Unceasing, unextinguish'd, and unspept ;

« PreviousContinue »