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Some joy still lost, as each vain year runs o’er,
Dr. Johnson, when about nineteen years of age, composed almost impromptu, in the presence of his future biographer, Boswell, a short poem
TO A YOUNG LADY ON HER BIRTHDAY. This tributary verse receive, my fair, Warm with an ardent lover's fondest prayer. May this returning day for ever find Thy form more lovely, more adornd thy mind; All pains, all cares, may favouring Heaven remove, All but the sweet solicitudes of love! May powerful Nature join with grateful Art To point each glance, and force it to the heart ! Oh then, when conquered crowds confess thy sway, When e'en proud Wealth and prouder Wit obey, May you be mindful of the mighty trust Alas! 'tis hard for Beauty to be justThose sovereign charms with strictest care employ, Nor give the generous pain, the worthless joy ; With his own form acquaint the forward fool Shown in the faithful glass of ridicule ;
Teach mimic Censure her own faults to find,
Another of these pleasant trifles was written by Dr. Johnson for a friend who wished to present the
TO A LADY, ON RECEIVING FROM HER A SPRIG
OF MYRTLE. What hopes, what terrors, does thy gift create, Ambiguous emblem of uncertain fate! The myrtle, ensign of supreme command, Consigned by Venus to Melissa's hand; Not less capricious than a reigning fair, Now grants, and now rejects, a lover's
Their annual round have driven;
Are so much nearer heaven.
The infant year to hail;
In Edwin's simple tale.
Our sex with guile and faithless love
Is charg'd, perhaps, too true;
dear maid, each lover prove
Admirable is Cowper's
SONNET TO A YOUNG LADY ON HER BIRTHDAY.
Deem not, sweet rose, that bloom'st ’midst many a
thorn, Thy friend, though to a cloister's shade consign'd,
Can e'er forget the charms he left behind, Or pass unheeded this auspicious morn!
In happier days to brighter prospects born,
Oh, tell thy thoughtless sex, the virtuous mind,
Like thee, content in every state may find, And look on Folly's pageantry with scorn ;
To steer with nicest art betwixt the extreme
To blend good sense with elegance and ease,
: The guide to pleasures which can never cease !
The next two poems are by Thomas Moore:
TO JULIA, ON HER BIRTHDAY. When Time was entwining the garland of years,
Which to crown my beloved was given, Though some of the leaves might be sullied with
tears, Yet the flow'rs were all gather'd in heaven.
And long may this garland be sweet to the eye,
May its verdure for ever be new !
And Sympathy nurse it with dew.
In witching slumbers of the night,
That on thy natal moment smiled ;
To crown my lovely mortal child.
With olive-branch I bound thy head,
Which was to bloom through all thy years;
And dew'd by sympathetic tears.
Such was the wild but precious boon
Bade me to Nona's image pay;
How blest around thy steps I'd play!
Thy life should glide in peace along,
That's heard at distance in the grove;
But all be beauty, peace, and love.
Indulgent Time should never bring
So gently o'er thy brow he'd fly;
Bright to the last in evening's sky!
My joys and griefs survey,
Of Beauty's magic powers,
And changed its weeds to flowers.
My mind had lovely shapes portrayed;
But thought I, earth had one
Like stars before the sun ?
I gazed, and felt upon my lips
The unfinish'd accents hang;'
To rapture changed each pang.
And though as swift as lightning's flash
Those tranced moments flew,