« PreviousContinue »
OH, talk not to me of a name great in story ;
What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is
wrinkled ? 'Tis but as a dead-flower with May-dew besprinkled. Then away with all such from the head that is hoary ! What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?
Oh FAME !—if I e'er took delight in thy praises,
There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
WRITTEN AFTER SWIMMING FROM
SESTOS TO ABYDOS.
IF, in the month of dark December,
Leander, who was nightly wont
To cross thy stream, broad Hellespont !
If, when the wintry tempest roar'd,
He sped to Hero, nothing loth,
Fair Venus ! how I pity both !
For me, degenerate modern wretch,
Though in the genial month of May,
And think I've done a feat to-day.
But since he cross'd the rapid tide,
According to the doubtful story,
And swam for Love, as I for Glory ;
'Twere hard to say who fared the best :
Sad mortals ! thus the Gods still plague you ! He lost his labour, I my jest :
For he was drown'd, and I've the ague.
ON MY THIRTY-THIRD BIRTHDAY.
January 22, 1821.
Through life's dull road, so dim and dirty,
TO MR. MURRAY.
For Orford and for Waldegrave
Because if a live dog, 'tis said,
And if, as the opinion goes,
But now this sheet is nearly cramm’d,
EPISTLE FROM MR. MURRAY TO
Dear Doctor, I have read your play.
I like your moral and machinery ; Your plot, too, has such scope for scenery ; Your dialogue is apt and smart ; The play's concoction full of art ; Your hero raves, your heroine cries, All stab, and every body dies. In short, your tragedy would be The very thing to hear and see : And for a piece of publication, If I decline on this occasion, It is not that I am not sensible To merits in themselves ostensible, But—and I grieve to speak it-plays Are drugs—mere drugs, sir-now-a-days. I had a heavy loss by “Manuel,”Too lucky if it prove not annual, And Sotheby, with his “ Orestes” (Which, by the by, the author's best is),