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And now farewell-time unrevoked has run
His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is done.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again ;
To have renew'd the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine ; .
And, while the wings of fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft-
Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.

TO

MRS THROCKMORTON, ON HER BEAUTIFUL TRANSCRIPT OF HORACE'S ODE

AD LIBRUM SUUM. [Two odes of Horace were discovered in one of the Roman libraries during the winter of 1788. Copies of them appear to have been sent to Weston House, which were transcribed by Lady Throckmorton into Cowper's Horace ; upon the remaining blank leaf, in his own handwriting, with the date February 1790, are these verses, so happy in graceful compliment.]

MARIA, could Horace have guess'd

What honour awaited his ode
To his own little volume address’d,

The honour which you have bestow'd;
Who have traced it in characters here,

So elegant, even, and neat,
He had laugh'd at the critical sneer

Which he seems to have trembled to meet.

And sneer, if you please, he had said,

A nymph shall hereafter arise,
Who shall give me, when you are all dead,

The glory your malice denies ;
Shall dignity give to my lay,

Although but a mere bagatelle ;
And even a poet shall say,

Nothing ever was written so well.

INSCRIPTION

FOR A STONE ERECTED AT THE SOWING OF A GROVE OF OAKS

AT CHILLINGTON, THE SEAT OF T. GIFFARD, ESQ. 1790.

OTHER stones the era tell,
When some feeble mortal fell ;
I stand here to date the birth
Of these hardy sons of earth.

Which shall longest brave the sky,
Storm and frost — these oaks or I ?
Pass an age or two away,
I must moulder and decay,
But the years that crumble me
Shall invigorate the tree,
Spread its branch, dilate its size,
Lift its summit to the skies.

Cherish honour, virtue, truth,
So shalt thou prolong thy youth.
Wanting these, however fast
Man be fixt, and form’d to last,
He is lifeless even now,
Stone at heart, and cannot grow.

ANOTHER,

FOR A STONE ERECTED ON A SIMILAR OCCASION AT THE SAME

PLACE IN THE FOLLOWING YEAR, 1790.

READER! behold a monument

That asks no sigh or tear,
Though it perpetuate the event
Of a great burial here.

Anno 1791.

STANZAS

ON THE LATE INDECENT LIBERTIES TAKEN WITH THE REMAINS

OF THE GREAT MILTON, - ANNO 1790.

“ Me too, perchance, in future days,

The sculptured stone shall shew, With Paphian myrtle or with bays · Parnassian on my brow.

6 But I, or ere that season come,

Escaped from every care,
Shall reach my refuge in the tomb,

And sleep securely there.” *

So sang, in Roman tone and style,

The youthful bard, ere long
Ordain'd to grace his native isle

With her sublimest song.

Who then but must conceive disdain,

Hearing the deed unblest
Of wretches who have dared profane

His dread sepulchral rest ?

Ill fare the hands that heaved the stones

Where Milton's ashes lay,
That trembled not to grasp his bones

And steal his dust away!

O ill-requited bard ! neglect

Thy living worth repaid,
And blind idolatrous respect

As much affronts thee dead.

* Forsitan et nostros ducat de marmore vultus Nectens aut Paphia myrti aut Pernasside lauri Fronde comas.-- At ego secura pace quiescam.'

MILTON in Manso.

TO MRS KING,

ON HER KIND PRESENT TO THE AUTHOR, A PATCH-WORK

COUNTERPANE OF HER OWN MAKING,

August 14, 1790. The lady here mentioned was the wife of the Rev. Dr King, rector of Kimbolten, a woman of great piety and goodness of heart, with whom Cowper long corresponded by letter, though they never met.]

The Bard, if e'er he feel at all,
Must sure be quicken'd by a call

Both on his heart and head,
To pay with tuneful thanks the care
And kindness of a lady fair

Who deigns to deck his bed.

A bed like this, in ancient time,
On Ida's barren top sublime,

(As Homer's Epic shows)
Composed of sweetest vernal flowers,
Without the aid of sun or showers,

For Jove and Juno rose.

Less beautiful, however gay,
Is that which in the scorching day

Receives the weary swain
Who, laying his long scythe aside,
Sleeps on some bank with daisies pied

Till roused to toil again.

What labours of the loom I see !
Looms numberless have groan'd for me!

Should every maiden come
To scramble for the patch that bears
The impress of the robe she wears,

The bell would toll for some.

And oh, what havock would ensue !
This bright display of every hue
All in a moment fled!

As if a storm should strip the bowers
Of all their tendrils, leaves, and flowers -

Each pocketing a shred.

Thanks, then, to every gentle fair
Who will not come to peck me bare

As bird of borrow'd feather,
And thanks to one above them all,
The gentle fair of Pertenhall,

Who put the whole together.

IN MEMORY

OF THE LATE
JOHN THORNTON, ESQ.

[NOVEMBER, 1790.] [The gentleman so often mentioned in the Letters as the undeclared benefactor to the poor of Olney.]

Poets attempt the noblest task they can,
Praising the Author of all good in man,
And next commemorating worthies lost,
The dead in whom that good abounded most.

Thee, therefore, of commercial fame, but more
Famed for thy probity from shore to shore, -
Thee, THORNTON ! worthy in some page to shine,
As honest and more eloquent than mine,
I mourn; or, since thrice happy thou must be,
The world, no longer thy abode, not thee.
Thee to deplore were grief mispent indeed, -
It were to weep that goodness has its meed,
That there is bliss prepared in yonder sky,
And glory for the virtuous when they die.

What pleasure can the miser's fondled hoard,
Or spendthrift's prodigal excess afford,
Sweet as the privilege of healing wo
By virtue suffer'd combating below ?
That privilege was thine; Heaven gave thee means
To illumine with delight the saddest scenes,
Till thy appearance chased the gloom, forlorn.
As midnight, and despairing of a morn.

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