« PreviousContinue »
"HE rose had been wash’d, just wash'd in a show'r,
Which Mary to Auna convoy'd ;
And weigh'd down its beautiful head.
And it seem'd, to a fanciful view,
On the flourishing bush where it grew.
For a nosegay so dripping and drown'd,
I snapped it, it fell to the ground.
Some act by the delicate mind,
Already to sorrow resigned.
Might have bloom'd with its owner awhile ;
May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.
ON THE SHORTNESS OF HUMAN LIFE.
UNS that set and moons that wane,
Rise, and are restored again,
Herbs and flowers, the beauteous birth
EPITAPH ON JOHNSON.
ERE Johnson lies—a sage by all allow'd,
ADDRESSED TO LADY HESKETH.
HIS cap, that so stately appears,
With ribbon-bound tassel on high, Which seems by the crest that it rears
Ambitious of brushing the sky : This cap to my cousin I owe,
She gave it, and gave me beside, Wreathed into an elegant bow,
The ribbon with which it is tied.
This wheel-footed studying chair,
Contrived both for toil and repose, Wide-elbow'd, and wadded with hair,
In which I both scribble and doze, Bright-studded to dazzle the eyes,
And rival in lustre of that In which, or astronomy lies,
Fair Cassiopeïa sat :
These carpets, so soft to the foot,
Caledonia's traffic and pride !
Escaped from a cross-country ride !
Secure from collision and dust,
And periwig nicely adjust:
This movable structure of shelves,
For its beauty admired, and use, And charged with octavos and twelves,
The gayest I had to produce ;
Where flaming and scarlet and gold,
My poems enchanted I view,
My Iliad and Odyssey too :
Which here people call a buffet,
Has ne'er been reveal'd to us yet : These curtains, that keep the room warm,
Or cool, as the season demands, Those stoves that, for pattern and form,
Seem the labour of Mulciber's hands :
All these are not half that I owe
To One, from our earliest youth To me ever ready to show
Benignity, friendship, and truth; For Time, the destroyer declared
And foe of our perishing kind, If even her face he has spared,
Much less could he alter her mind.
Thus compass'd about with the goods
And chattels of leisure and ease, I indulge my poetical moods
In many such fancies as these ; And fancies I fear they will seem
Poets' goods are not osten so fine ; The poets will swear that I dream,
When I sing of the splendour of mine.
THEN a bar of pure silver, or ingot of gold,
Is sent to be flatted or wrought into length, It is pass'd between cylinders often, and rollid
In an engine of utmost mechanical strength.
Thus tortured and squeezed, at last it appears
Like a loose heap of ribbon, a glittering show, Like music it tinkles and rings in your ears,
And warm'd by the pressure is all in a glow.
This process achieved, it is doom'd to sustain
The thump-after-thump of a gold-beater's mallet, And at last is of service, in sickness or pain,
To cover a pill from a delicate palate.
Alas for the Poet! who dares undertake
To urge reformation of national ill-
With the double employment of mallet and mill.
If he wish to instruct, he must learn to delight,
Smooth, ductile, and even, his fancy must flow, Must tinkle and glitter like gold to the sight,
And catch in its progress a sensible glow.
After all he must beat it as thin and as fine
As the leaf that enfolds what an invalid swallows; For truth is unwelcome, however divine,
And unless you adorn it, a nausea follows.