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Thou breathing Sculpture, celebrate his fame,
And give his Laurel everlasting Bloom ; Record his worth while Gratitude has name,
And teach succeeding ages from his Tomb.
The Sword of Justice cautiously he sway'd,
His hand for ever held the balance right; Each venial Fault with Pity he survey'd,
But MURDER found no MERCY in his sight.
He knew, when flatterers besiege a Throne,
Truth seldom reaches to a Monarch's Ear ; Knew, IF OPPRESS'D A LOYAL PEOPLE GROAN,
'Tis not the cOURTIER's Interest he SHOULD HEAR.
Hence honest to his Prince his manly Tongue
The PUBLIC WRONG and LOYALTY convey'd, While TITLED TREMBLERS, ev'ry Nerve unstrung,
Look'd all around, confounded and dismay’d;
Look'd all around, astonish'd to behold
(Train'd up to Flatt'ry from their early Youth) An ARTLESS, FEARLESS Citizen unfold
TO ROYAL Ears a MORTIFYING Truth.
Titles to him no pleasures could impart,
No bribes his rigid Virtue could controul ; The Star could never gain upon his Heart,
Nor turn the Tide of Honour in his soul.
For this his Name our Hist'ry shall adorn,
Shall soar on Fame's wide pinions all sublime, 'Till Heaven's own bright and never-dying morn Absorbs our little particle of Time.
13. Far other Fate the Venal Crew shall find,
Who sigh for pomp, or languish after strings ; And sell their native probity of mind, For Bribes from Statesmen, or from Smiles from 14.
[Kings. And here a long inglorious list of names
On my disturb’d Imagination crowd ; 0! let them perish (loud the muse exclaims), Consign'd for ever to oblivion's cloud.
" Nor let one mark of infamy appear ;
“ The deluged Eye should give the Heart relief; Humanity should melt for nature's Friend, “ In all the richest Luxury of Grief."
17. He, as a Planet with unceasing Ray,
Is seen in one unvaried course to move, Through Life pursued, but one illustrious Way,
And all his orbit was his country's Love.
But he is gone!--And now, alas ! no more
His generous Hand neglected Worth redeems;
His manly voice, in martyr'd freedom's cause ;
Thus greatly struggling, a whole Land to save ? Who would not wish, with ardor wish to lie, With Beckford's Honor, in a Beckford's Grave?
Whose breath a Reptile to a Lord can raise ;
Where the cliff rises, and the billows roar,
23. Stay, Goddess ! stay, nor leave this once bless'd Isle,
So many ages thy peculiar care;
Lest quick we sink in terrible despair.
24. And lo ! she listens to the muse's call ;
She comes, once more, to cheer a wretched Land; Thou, Tyranny, shall tremble to thy fall ! To hear her high, her absolute command:
25. “Let not, my sons, the Laws your fathers bought,
“ With such rich oceans of undaunted Blood,
“Break ev'ry Link of Slav'ry's hateful chain : “ Nor let your children, at their fathers' Hands, “ Demand their birthright, and demand in vain.
27. Where e'er the murd'rers of their country Hide ;
“ Whatever dignities their names adorn; " It is your Duty-let it be your pride, “ To drag them forth to universal scorn.
28. “So shall your lov’d, your venerated name,
“O'er Earth’s vast convex gloriously expand; “So shall your still accumulating fame,
• In one bright story with your Beckford stand."
• In the Town and Country Magazine for November, 1769, there is a full-length portrait of Alderman Beckford in his magisterial robes. The Alderman, as is well known, was father to the present Wm. Beckford, Esq., the talented author of Vathek.' Chatterton,” says Dr. Gregory, “had, it seems, addressed an essay to the patriotic Lord Mayor, W. Beckford, which was so well received that it encouraged him to wait ELEGY.
Haste, haste! ye solemn messengers of night,
Spread the black mantle on the shrinking plain ; But, ah ! my torments still survive the light,
The changing seasons alter not my pain.
Ye variegated children of the spring ;
Ye blossoms blushing with the pearly dew; Ye birds that sweetly in the hawthorn sing ;
Ye flow'ry meadows, lawns of verdant hue ;
Faint are your colours, harsh your love-notes thrill,
To me no pleasure Nature now can yield : Alike the barren rock and woody hill,
The dark brown blasted heath, and fruitful field.
Ye spouting cataracts, ye silver streams,
Ye spacious rivers, whom the willow shrouds, Ascend the bright-crown'd sun's far-shining beams,
To aid the mournful tear-distilling clouds.
upon his Lordship in order to obtain his approbation to address a second letter to him, on the subject of the city remonstrance, and its reception. “His Lordship (adds he) received me as politely as a citizen could, and warmly invited me to call on him again. The rest is a secret.' His inclination doubtless led him to espouse the party of opposition; but he complains that no money is to be got on that side the question ; interest is on the other side. But he is a poor author that cannot write on both sides. I believe I may be introduced (and if I am not, I'll introduce myself) to a ruling power in the court party.' When Beckford died, he is said to have been almost frantic, and to have exclaimed that he was ruined. The elegy, however, in which he has celebrated him, contains more of frigid praise than of ardent feeling; nor is there a single line which appears to flow from the heart."