Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 :
Ye loud tempestuous billows, cease to roar,

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,
Whilst I the praise of Alcock tell

In truth-dictated lays:
On wings of genius take thy flight,
O musel above the Olympic height,

Make Echo sing his praise.

Nature, in all her glory drest,
Her flow'ry crown, her verdant vest,

Her zone etherial blue,
Receives new charms from Alcock's hand;
The eye surveys, at his command,

Whole kingdoms at a view.

[ocr errors]

His beauties seem to roll the eye,
And bid the real arrows fly,

To wound the gazer's mind;
So taking are his men display'd,
That oft th' unguarded wounded maid

Hath wish'd the painter blind.

His pictures like to nature shew,
The silver fountains seem to flow,

The hoary woods to nod;
The curling hair, the flowing dress,
The speaking attitude, confess

The fancy-forming god.

Ye classic Roman-loving fools,
Say, could the painters of the schools

With Alcock's pencil vie ?
He paints the passions of mankind,
And in the face displays the mind,

Charming the heart and eye.

Thrice happy artist, rouse thy powers,
And send, in wonder-giving showers,

Thy beauteous works to view :
Envy shall sicken at thy name,
Italians leave the chair of Fame,

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,
Where Gambia's rapid billows roar,

And foaming pour along,
To you I urge the plaintive strain,
And though a lover sings in vain,

Yet
you

shall hear the song.

Ungrateful, cruel, lovely maid,
Since all my torments were repaid

With frowns or languid sneers ;
With assiduities no more
Your captive will your health implore,

Or tease you with his tears.

Now to the regions where the sun
Does his hot course of glory run,

And parches up the ground;
Where o'er the burning cleaving plains,
A long eternal dog-star reigns,

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
A fire intenser than my mind,

Which burns a constant flame :
There will I lose thy heavenly form,
Nor shall remembrance, raptured, warm,

Draw shadows of thy frame.

In the rough element the sea,
I'll drown the softer subject, thee,

And sink each lovely charm :
No more my bosom shall be torn,
No more by wild ideas borne,

I'll cherish the alarm.

Yet, Polly, could thy heart be kind,
Soon would my feeble purpose find

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.

« PreviousContinue »