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Ye noxious vapours, fall upon my head ;
Ye writhing adders, round my feet entwine; Ye toads, your venom in my foot-path spread;
Ye blasting meteors, upon me shine.
Ye circling seasons, intercept the year,
Forbid the beauties of the spring to rise ; Let not the life-preserving grain appear ;
Let howling tempests harrow up the skies.
Ye cloud-girt, moss-grown turrets, look no more
Into the palace of the god of day :
In plaintive numbers through the valleys stray.
Ye verdant-vested trees, forget to grow,
Cast off the yellow foliage of your pride : Ye softly tinkling riv'lets cease to flow,
Or, swell'd with certain death and poison, glide.
Ye solenn warblers of the gloomy night,
That rest in lightning-blasted oaks the day, Through the black mantles take your slow-paced flight,
Rending the silent wood with shrieking lay,
Ye snow-crown'd mountains, lost to mortal eyes,
Down to the valleys bend your hoary head; Ye livid comets, fire the peopled skies
For-lady Betty's oby cat is dead.
ON MR. ALCOCK, OF BRISTOL,
AN EXCELLENT MINIATURE PAINTER.
Ye Nine, awake the chorded shell,
In truth-dictated lays:
Make Echo sing his praise.
Nature, in all her glory drest,
Her zone etherial blue,
Whole kingdoms at a view.
His beauties seem to roll the eye,
To wound the gazer's mind;
Hath wish'd the painter blind.
His pictures like to nature shew,
The hoary woods to nod;
The fancy-forming god.
Ye classic Roman-loving fools,
With Alcock's pencil vie ?
Charming the heart and eye.
Thrice happy artist, rouse thy powers,
Thy beauteous works to view :
And own the seat thy due.*
• This piece was published in the Town and Country Magazine, under the signature of Asaphides : after Chatterton's death, a linendraper of Bristol laid claim to it as his production. But as Chatterton mentions it as his own, in the letter to his relation, Mr. Stephens of Salisbury, his right to it (such as it is) has been considered established.-ED]
TO MISS BUSH, OF BRISTOL.*
Before I seek the dreary shore,
And foaming pour along,
shall hear the song.
Ungrateful, cruel, lovely maid,
With frowns or languid sneers ;
Or tease you with his tears.
Now to the regions where the sun
And parches up the ground;
And splendour fames around:
* “Written,” says Dr. Gregory, "in the style of Cowley—that is, with too much affectation of wit for real feeling." had now in contemplation “the miserable hope of securing the very ineligible appointment of a surgeon's mate to Africa.”
There will I go, yet not to find
Which burns a constant flame :
Draw shadows of thy frame.
In the rough element the sea,
And sink each lovely charm :
I'll cherish the alarm.
Yet, Polly, could thy heart be kind,
Thy sway within my breast : But hence, soft scenes of painted woe, Spite of the dear delight I'll go,
Forget her, and be blest.