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The genuine muse removes the thin disguise,
That cheats the world, whene'er she deigns to sing ; And full as meritorious to her eyes
Seems the poor soldier, as the mighty king!
Alike I shun in labour'd strain to show,
How Britain more than triumph’d, tho’she fled, Where Louis stood, where march'd the column slow,
I turn from these and dwell upon the dead.
Yet much my beating breast respects the brave;
Too well I love them, not to mourn their fate; Why shou'd they seek for greatness in the grave?
Their hearts are noble,-and in life they're great,
Nor think ’tis but in war the brave excel,
To valour ev'ry virtue is allied !
And love, true love, in bitter anguish died.
Alas! the solemn slaughter I retrace,
That checks life's current circling thro' my veins, Bath'd in moist sorrow many a beauteous face,
And gave a grief, perhaps, that still remains.
I can no more—an agony too keen
Absorbs my senses, and my mind subdues ; Hard were that heart that here could beat serene,
Or the just tribute of a pang refuse.
But lo! thro' yonder op'ning clouds afari
Shoots the bright planet's sanguinary ray, That bears thy name, fictitious lord of war! And with red lustre guides my lonely way.
Then Fontenoy, farewell! yet much I fear,
(Wherever chance compels my course) to find Discord and blood-the thrilling sounds I hear,
“The noise of battle hurtles in the wind.”
From barb'rous Turkey to Britannia's shore,
Opposing interests into rage increase;
The western sun is sunk beneath the main,
Hush'd are the birds on ev'ry leafy spray; The moon full orb’d begins her silent reign,
And man now rests from all the cares of day.
The distant clock proclaims the midnight hour,
The river's murmur fills the sighing gale ; The screaming owl from the dismantled tow'r,
Gives to the night her long resounding wail.
The tortur'd breast now paints athwart the gloom,
Terrific forms that swim before the mind; The spectre hov'ring o'er the recent tomb,
And stops, and trembles at each breath of wind.
Be mine the solemn scene, from folly free,
The peaceful hour, which providence has giv'n, :: To raise my wand’ring thoughts O God! to thee!
To calin my mind, and wing my soul to heav'n.
TO LAVINIA, AT FIFTEEN.
Oh! blest with youth and form’d for love,
Alike from awkard silence free,
AN ESTIMATE OF LIFE.
In bloom of youth, with spirits gay,
Wholesale laid in my stock of joys,
But age comes on with gouty pains;
THE FAIR MORALIST.
As late beneath yon spreading shade
Of willows, quivering o'er the brook, I sat with Lucia, lovely maid !
With pensive air and downcast look.
She view'd the flower which, in her walk,
She gather'd from th’enamelld mead, That now oppress'd its bending stalk,
And, withering, droop'd its languid head.