« PreviousContinue »
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver,
Of my whole course of love ; what drugs, what charms,
What conjuration; and what mighty magic,
(For such proceeding I am charg'd withal)
I won his daughter with.
Her father lov'd me, oft invited me ;
Still question'd me the story of my life,
From year to year ; the battles, lieges, fortunes,
That I have past.
I ran it through, ev'n from my boyish days,
To th' very moment that he bade me tell it.
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field ;
Of hair breadth 'scapes in th'imminent deadly breach ;
Of being taken by the infolent foe,
And fold to slavery; of my redemption thence,
And with it all my travel's history :
Wherein of antres vast, and deserts wild,
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills, whose heads touch heav'n
It was my hent to speak.-All these to hear
World Desdemona seriously incline.
But still the house-affairs would draw her hence,
Which ever as she could with hafte dispatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse : which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate ;
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not distinctly. I did consent,
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of fighs.
She swore, in faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange ;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wond'rous pitiful-
She wish'd she had not heard it-
-yet she wilh'd
That Heav'n had made her such a man :-she thank'd me.
And bade me, if I had a friend that lov'd her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. On this hint I spake ;
She lov'd me for the dangers I had past ;
And I lov'd her, that she did pity them,
This only is the witchcraft I have us’d.
FOW stood Eliza on the wood.crown’d height,
O’er Minden's plain, spectatress of the fight ;
Sought with bold eye amid the bloody ftrife
Her dearer self, the partner of her life ;
From hill to hill the rushing host pursued,
And view'd his banner, or believ'd she view'd.
Pleased with the distant roar, with quicker tread
Fast by his hand one lifping boy she led ;
And one fair girl amid the loud alarm
Slept on her kerchief, cradled by her arm ;
While round her brows bright beams of Honour dart,
And Love's warm eddies circle round her heart.
-Near and more near the intrepid Beauty press’d,
Saw through the driving smoke his dancing creft,
Heard the exulting shout, “ they run! they run!” * Great God!" she cried, “ He's safe ! the battle's won !" -A ball now hifles through the airy tides, (Some Fury wing'd it, and some Demon guides !) Parts the fine locks, her graceful head that deck, Wounds her fair ear, and finks into her neck ; The red stream, issuing from her azure veins, Dyes her white veil, her ivory bofom stains. L" Ah me!" The cried, and, finking on the ground, Kiss'd her dear babes, regardless of the wound; « Oh, cease not yet to beat, thou vital urn! “ Wait, gushing Life, oh, wait my Love's return ! ** Hoarse barks the wolf, the vulture screams from far! • The angel, Pity, shuns the walks of war ! « Oh, spare ye war-hounds, spare their tender age ! « On me, on me," she cried, “ exhaust your rage !”. Then with weak arms her weeping babes caress’d, And fighing hid them in her blood-itain's veft.
From tent to tent the impatient warrior fies, Fear in his heart, and frenzy in his eyes; Eliza's name along the camp he calls, Eliza echoes through the canvas walls ; Quick through the murmuring gloom his footsteps tread, O'er groaning heaps, the dying and the dead, Vault o'er the plain, and in the tangled wood, Lo! dead Eliza weltering in her blood !-Soon hears his liftening fon the welcome sounds, With open arms and sparkling eyes he bounds :“ Speak low," he cries, and gives his little hand, “ Eliza Neeps upon the dew-cold fand; " Poor weeping Babe with bloody fingers press’d, " And tried with pouting lips her milkless breast ;
66 Alas! we both with cold and hunger quake " Why do you weep
?Mama will soon awake.” - She'll wake no more !" the hopeless mourner cried, Upturn'd his eyes, and clasp'd his hands, and figh'd ; Stretch'd on the ground awhile entranc'd he lay, And press'd warm kisses on the lifeless clay ; And then upsprung with wild convulsive start, And all the Father kindled in his heart « Oh, Heavens !” he cried, “ my first rash vow forgive ! 66 These bind to earth, for these I pray to live !" — Round his chill babes he wrapp'd his crimson vest, And clasp'd them sobbing to his aching breaft.
Hermit (or if chance you hold
That title now too trite and old)
A man, once young, who lived retired
As Hermit could have well desired,
His hours of study closed at last,
And finish'd his concise repaft,
Stoppled his cruse, replaced his book
Within its customary nook,
And, staff in hand, set forth to fare
The fober cordial of sweet air,
Like Isaac, with a mind applied
To serious thought at evening-tide.
Autumnal rains had made it chill,
And from the trees that fringed his hill
Shades Nanting at the close of day.
Chill'd more his elfe delightful way.
Distant a little mile he fpied
A western bank's still funny fide,
And right toward the favour'd place
Proceeding with his nimblelt pace,
In hope to bask a little yet,
Just reach'd it when the sun was set.
Your Hermit, young and jovial Sirs !
Learns something from whate'er occurs-
And hence, he said, my mind computes
The real worth of man's pursuits
His object chosen, wealth or fame,
Or other sublunary game,
Imagination to his view
Presents it deck'd with ev'ry hue
That can seduce him not to spare
His powrs of best exertion there,
But youth, health, vigour to expend
On so desirable an end.
E're long approach Life's evening shades,
The glow that Fancy gave it fades ;
And, earn's too late, it wants the grace
Which first engag'd him in the chase.
True, answer'd an angelic guide,
Attendant at the senior's fide
But whether all the time it cost
To urge the fruitless chase be loft,
Muft be decided by the worth
Of that which call'd his ardour forth.
Trifles pursu'd, whate'er th'event,
Muft cause him shame or discontent ;