« PreviousContinue »
THE COCK-FIGHTER’s GARLAND.”
MUSE—hide his name of whom I sing,
Lest his surviving house thou bring
For his sake into scorn,
Nor speak the school from which he drew
The much or little that he knew,
Nor place where he was born.
That such a man once was, may seem
Worthy of record (if the theme
Perchance may credit win)
For proof to man, what man may prove,
If grace depart, and demons move
The source of guilt within.
This man o: the howling wild
Disclaims him, man he must be styled)
Wanted no good below,
Gentle he was, if gentle birth
Could make him such, and he had worth,
If wealth can worth bestow.
In social talk and ready jest,
He shone superior at the feast,
And qualities of mind,
Illustrious in the eves of those
Whose gay society he chose,
Possess'd of every kind.
Methinks I see him powder'd red,
With bushy locks his well-dress'd head
Wing'd broad on either side,
The mossy rosebud not so sweet;
His steeds superb, his carriage neat,
As luxury could provide.
Can such be cruel! Such can be
Cruel as hell, and so was he;
A tyrant entertain'd
With barbarous sports, whose fell delight
Was to encourage mortal fight
'Twixt birds to battle train'd.
One feather'd champion he possess'd,
His darling far beyond the rest,
Which never knew disgrace,
Nor eler had fought but he made flow
The life-blood of his fiercest foe,
The Caesar of his race.
It chanced at last, when, on a day,
He push'd him to the desperate fray,
His courage o e fled.
The master storm'd, the prize was lost,
And, instant, frantic at the cost,
He doom'd his favourite dead.
He seized him fast, and from the pit
Flew to the kitchen, snatch'd the spit,
And, Bring me cord, he cried;
The cord was brought, and, at his word,
To that dire implement the bird,
Alive and struggling, tied.
The horrid sequel asks a veil;
And all the terrors of the tale
That can be shall be sunk-
Led by the sufferer's screams aright
His shock'd companions view the sight,
And him with fury drunk.
All, suppliant, beg a milder fate
For the old warrior at the grate:
He, deaf to pity's call,
Whirl’d round him rapid as a wheel
His culinary club of steel,
Death menacing on all.
But vengeance hung not far remote,
For while he stretch'd his clamorous throat,
And heaven and earth defied,
Big with a curse too closely pent,
That struggled vainly for a vent
He totter'd, reel'd, and died.
'Tis not for us, with rash surmise,
To point the judgment of the skies;
But judgments plain as this,
That, sent for man's instruction, bring
A written label on their wing,
'Tis hard to read amiss.
TO WARREN HASTINGS, ESQ.
By An old 8C HoolEELLOW of HIS AT WESTMINSTER.
HASTINgs! I knew thee young, and of a mind, While young, humane, conversable, and kind, Nor can I well believe thee, gentle then, Now grown a villain, and the worst of men. But rather some suspect, who have oppress'd And worried thee, as not themselves o best. screams of the miserable animal were so affecting, that some gentlemen who were preont attempted to interfere, which so enraged Mr. A., that he seized a poker, and with the most furious vehemence declared, that he would kill the first man who interposed;
out; in the midst of his passionate asseverations, he fell down dead upon the spot
Buch, we are assured, were the gi pillar of humanity.” t *ircumstances which attended the death of thus great
To MRS THROCKMORTON, on hel, BEAUTIFUL TRANSCRIPT of hor.ACE's ope, “AD LIBRUM suuM."
MARIA, could Horace have guess'd
What honour awaited his ode
To his own little volume address'd,
The honour which you have bestow'd;
Who have traced it in characters here,
So elegant, even, and neat,
He had laugh’d at the critical sneer
Which he seems to have trembled to meet.
And sneer, if you please, he had said,
A o shall hereafter arise,
Who shall give me, when you are all dead,
The glory your malice denies;
Shall dignity give to my lay,
Although but a mere bagatelle;
And even a poet shall say,
Nothing ever was written so well.
TO THE IMMORTAL MEMORY OF THE HALIBUT,
oN which I DINED THIs DAY, Monday, APRIL 26, 1784.
WHERE hast thou floated, in what seas pursued
Thy pastime? when was thou an egg new spawn'd,
Lost in the immensity of ocean's waste?
Roar as they might, the overbearing winds
That rock'd the deep, thy cradle, thou wast safe—
And in thy minikin and embryo state,
Attach'd to the firm leaf of some salt weed,
Didst outlive tempests, such as wrung and rack'd
The joints of many a stout and gallant bark,
And whelm'd them in the unexplored abyss.
Indebted to no magnet and no chart,
Nor under guidance of the polar fire,
Thou wast a voyager on many coasts,
Grazing at large in meadows submarine,
Where flat Batavia, just emerging, peeps
Above the brine—where Caledonia's rocks
Beat back the surge—and where Hibernia shoots
Her wondrous causeway far into the main.
—Wherever thou hast fed, thou little thought'st,
And I not more, that I should feed on thee.
Peace, therefore, and #: health, and much good fish,
To him who sent thee! and success, as oft
Asidescends into the bisowy guit,
To the same ...; that caught thee!—Fare thee well!
Thy lot thy brethren of the slimy fin
Would envy, could they know that thou wast doom'd
To feed a bard, and to be praised in verse.
ERECTED AT THE sowing or A grove of oAKs AT chillington, THE SEAT or T. GIFFARD, Esq., 1790.
OTHER stones the era tell
When some feeble mortal fell;
I stand here to date the birth
Of these hardy sons of earth.
Which shall longest brave the sky,
Storm and frost—these oaks or I?
Pass an age or two away,
I must moulder and decay,
But the years that crumble me
Shall invigorate the tree,
Spread its branch, dilate its size,
Lift its summit to the skies.
Cherish honour, virtue, truth,
So shalt thou prolong thy youth.
Wanting these, however fast
Man be fix’d and form'd to last,
He is lifeless even now,
Stone at heart, and cannot grow.
FOR A STONE ERECTED ON A SIMILAR OCCASION AT THE SAME PLACE In THE FOLLOWING YEAR.
READER! behold a monument
That asks no sigh or tear,
Though it perpetuate the event
Of a great burial here.
June 1790. Anno 1791.
oN HER KIND PRESENT TO THE AUTHOR, A PATCHWORK COUNTERPANE of HER OWN MAKInge
THE bard, if e'er he feel at all,
Must sure be quicken'd by a call
Both on his heart and head,
To pay with tuneful thanks the care
And kindness of a lady fair,
Who deigns to deck his bed.
A bed like this, in ancient time,
On Ida's barren top sublime
(As Homer's epic shows),
Composed of sweetest vernal flowers,
Without the aid of sun or showers,
For Jove and Juno rose.
Less beautiful, however gay,
Is that which in the scorching day
Receives the weary swain,
Who, laying his long scythe aside,
Sleeps on some bank with daisies pied,
Till roused to toil again.
What labours of the loom I see!
Looms numberless have groan'd for me!
Should every maiden come
To scramble for the patch that bears
The impress of the robe she wears,
The bell would toll for some.
And oh, what havoc would ensue!
This bright display of every hue
All in a moment fled!
As if a storm should strip the bowers
Of all their tendrils, leaves, and flowers—
Each pocketing a shred.
Thanks then to every gentle fair
Who will not come to peck me bare
As bird of borrow'd feather,
And thanks to one above them all,
The gentle fair of Pertenhall,
Who put the whole together.
IN MEMORY OF
THE LATE JOHN THORNTON, ESQ.
Ports attempt the noblest task they can,
Praising the Author of all good in man,
And, next, commemorating worthies lost,
The dead in whom that good abounded most.
Thee, therefore, of commercial fame, but more
Famed for thy probity from shore to shore,
Thee, Thornton! worthy in some page to shine,
As honest and more eloquent than mine,
I mourn; or, since thrice *. thou must be,
The world, no longer thy abode, not thee.
Thee to deplore were grief misspent indeed;
It were to weep that goodness has its meed,
That there is bliss prepared in yonder sky,
And glory for the virtuous when they die.
What pleasure can the miser's fondled hoard,
Or spendthrift's prodigal excess afford,
Sweet as the*::::: of healing woe
By virtue suffer'd o below 1
†: privilege was thine; Heaven gave thee means
To illumine with . the saddest scenes,
Till thy appearance chased the gloom, forlorn
As midnight, and despairing of a morn.
Thou hadst an industry in doing good,
Restless as his who toils and sweats for food;