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If she sit, or if she move,
Still we love and still approve.
Vain the casual, transient glance,
Which alone can please by chance,
Beauty, which depends on art,
Changing with the changing heart,
Which demands the toilet's aid,
Pendant gems and rich brocade.
I those charms alone can prize
Which from constant nature rise,
Which nor circumstance nor dress,
E’er can make, or more, or less.
No more thus brooding o'er yon heap,
With Avarice painful vigils keep;
Still unenjoy'd the present store,
Still endless sighs are breath'd for more.
Oh! quit the shadow, catch the prize,
Which not all India's treasure buys!
To purchase Heaven has gold the power?
Can gold remove the mortal hour?
In life can love be bought with gold?
Are friendship's pleasures to be sold?
No-all that's worth a wish-a thought,
Fair virtue gives unbrib'd, unbought,
Cease then on trash thy hopes to bind,
Let nobler views engage thy mind.
With science tread the wond'rous way,
Or learn the Muses' moral lay;
In social hours indulge thy soul,
Where mirth and temperance mix the bowl;
To virtuous love resign thy breast,
And be, by blessing beauty-blest.
Thus taste the feast by nature spread,
Ere youth and all its joys are fled;
Come taste with me the balm of life,
Secure from pomp, and wealth, and strife.
And scorn! oh! let that scorn be thine!
Mere things of clay that dig the mine.
WHEN lately Stella's form display'd
The beauties of the gay brocade,
The nymphs, who found their power decline,
Proclaim'd her not so fair as fine.
"Fate! snatch away the bright disguise,
"And let the goddess trust her eyes."
Thus blindly pray'd the Fretful Fair,
And Fate malicious heard the pray'r;
But, brighten'd by the sable dress,
As virtue rises in distress,
Since Stella still extends her reign,
Ah! how shall envy sooth her pain?
Th' adoring Youth and envious Fair, Henceforth shall form one common prayer; And love and hate alike implore
The skies-"That Stella mourn no more."
NoT the soft sighs of vernal gales,
The fragrance of the flowery vales,
The murmurs of the crystal rill,
The vocal grove, the verdant hill;
Not all their charms, though all unite,
Can touch my bosom with delight.
Not all the gems on India's shore,
Not all Peru's unbounded store,
Not all the power, nor all the fame,
That heroes, kings, or poets, claim;
Nor knowledge, which the learn'd approve ;
To form one wish my soul can move.
Yet nature's charms allure my eyes,
And knowledge, wealth, and fame, I prize;
Fame, wealth, and knowledge, I obtain,
Nor seek I nature's charms in vain ;
In lovely Stella all combine;
And, lovely Stella! thou art mine.
Written at the Request of a Gentleman to whom a
Lady had given a Sprig of Myrtle*.
WHAT hopes, what terrors, does thy gift create?
Ambiguous emblem of uncertain fate!
The myrtle (ensign of supreme command,
Consign'd by Venus to Melissa's hand)
Not less capricious than a reigning fair,
Oft favours, oft rejects, a lover's pray'r.
In myrtle shades oft sings the happy swain,
In myrtle shades despairing ghosts complain.
The myrtle crowns the happy lovers' heads,
Th' unhappy lovers' graves the myrtle spreads.
Oh! then, the meaning of thy gift impart,
And ease the throbbings of an anxious heart.
Soon must this sprig, as you shall fix its doom,
Adorn Philander's head, or grace his tomb.
These verses were first printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1768, p. 439, but were written many years earlier. Elegant as they are, they were composed in the short space of five minutes.
AT length must Suffolk beauties shine in vain,
So long renown'd in Bn's deathless strain;
Thy charms at least, fair Firebrace, might inspire
Some zealous bard to wake the sleeping lyre;
For, such thy beauteous mind and lovely face,
Thou seem'st at once, bright nymph, a Muse and Grace.
TO LYCE, AN ELDERLY LADY.
YE nymphs whom starry rays invest,
By flatt'ring poets given,
Who shine, by lavish lovers drest,
In all the pomp of Heaven;
Engross not all the beams on high,
Which gild a lover's lays,
But, as your sister of the sky,
Let Lyce share the praise.
Her silver locks display the moon,
Her brows a cloudy show,
Strip'd rainbows round her eyes are seen,
And show'rs from either flow.
Her teeth the night with darkness dyes,
She's starr'd with pimples o'er;
Her tongue like nimble lightning plies,
And can with thunder roar.
*This lady was Bridget, third daughter of Philip Bacon, Esq. of Ipswich, and relict of Philip Evers, Esq. of that town. She became the second wife of Sir Cordell Firebrace, the last Baronet of that name (to whom she brought a fortune of 25,0001.) July 26, 1737. Being again left a widow in 1759, she was a third time married, April 7, 1762. to William Campbell, Esq. uncle to the present Duke of Argyle, and died July 3, 1782.
But some Zelinda, while I sing,
Denies my Lyce shines;
And all the pens of Cupid's wing
Attack my gentle lines.
Yet, spite of fair Zelinda's eye,
And all her bards express,
My Lyce makes as good a sky,
And I but flatter less.
CONDEMN'D to Hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts, or slow decline,
Our social comforts drop away.
Well try'd through many a varying year,
See Levet to the grave descend,
Officious, innocent, sincere,
Of ev'ry friendless name the friend.
Yet still he fills Affection's eye,
Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind;
Nor, letter'd Arrogance, deny
Thy praise to merit unrefin'd.
When fainting nature call'd for aid,
And hov'ring death prepar'd the blow,
His vig'rous remedy display'd
The pow'r of art without the show.