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FOR A STATUE OF CHAUCER, AT WOODSTOC C.
Such was old Chaucer. Such the placid mien
Ask the faithful youth, Why the cold urn of her whom long he loved, So often fills his arms; so often draws His lonely footsteps at the silent hour, To pay the mournful tribute of his tears? O! he will tell thee that the wealth of worlds Should ne'er seduce his bosom to forego That sacred hour, when stealing from the noise Of care and envy, sweet remembrance soothes With virtue's kindest looks his aching breast And turns his tears to rapture. Ask the crowd Which flies impatient from the village walk, To climb the neighbouring cliffs, when far below The cruel winds have hurled upon the coast Some helpless bark; while sacred pity melts The general eye, or terror's icy hand Smites their distorted limbs and horrent hair, While every mother closer to her breast Catches her child, and pointing where the waves Foam through the shattered vessel, shrieks aloud, As some poor wretch that spreads his piteous arms For succour, swallowed by the roaring surge, As now another, dashed against the rock, Drops lifeless down. O, deemest thou indeed . No kind endearment here by nature given To mutual terror and compassion's tears? No sweetly melting softness which attracts, O'er all that edge of pain, the social powers, To this their proper action and their end ?
PLEASURES OF IMAGINATION.
Oh! blest of heaven, whom not the languid songs Of luxury, the Syren | not the bribes Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils Of pageant honour can seduce to leave Those ever blooming sweets, which from the store Of nature fair imagination culls To charin the enlivened soul! What though not all Of mortal offspring can attain the heights Of envied life; though only few possess Patrician treasures or imperial state; Yet nature's care, to all her children just, With richer treasures and an ampler state, Endows at large whatever happy man Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp, The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns The princely dome, the column and the arch, The breathing marble and the sculptured gold Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim, His tuneful breast enjoys. For him, the spring Distils her dews, and from the silken gem Its lucid leaves unfolds: for him, the hand Of autumn tinges every fertile branch With blooming gold, and blushes like the morn, Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings; And still new beauties meet his lonely walk, And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain From all the tenants of the warbling shade
Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake
FOR A MONUMENT AT RUNNYMEDE.
Thou, who the verdant plain doth traverse here,
FOR A STATUE OF SHARESPEARE.
O youths and virgins: O declining eld: O pale misfortune's slaves: O ye who dwell Unknown with humble quiet; ye who wait In courts, or fill the golden seat of kings: O sons of sport and pleasure: O thou wretch That weepest for jealous love, or the sore wounds Of-conscious guilt, or death's rapacious hand Which left thee void of hope: O ye who roam In exile; ye who through the embattled field Seek bright renown; or who for nobler palms Contend, the leaders of a public cause; Approach, behold this marble. Know ye not The features 1 Hath not oft his faithful tongue Told you the fashion of your own estate, 'l he secrets of your bosom Here then, round His monument with reverence while ye stand, Say to each other, “this was Shakespeare's form; Who walked in every path of human life; Felt every passion : and to all mankind }}oth now, will ever, that experience yield, Which his own genius only could acquire.'