Page images
PDF
EPUB

Pour your wild ravings in Night's frighted car, And half pronounce Heaven's sacred doom severes; Wise! beauteous! good.! - every grace com-

bin'd, That charms the eye, that captivates the mind ! Fair, as the flow'ret opening on the morn, Whose leaves bright drops of liquid pearl adorn! Sweet, as the downy-pinion'd gale, that roves To gather fragrance in Arabian groves ! Mild, as the strains, that at the close of day Warbling remote, along the vales decay !-Yet, why with those compared ? what tints so fine, What sweetness, mildness, can be match'd with

thine? Why. roam abroad? Since still, to Fancy's eyesy, I see, I see thy lovely form arise. Ah whither fled bye dear illusions stay !Le, pale and silent lies the lovely clay ! All cold the hand, that soothed Woe's weary head! All quench'd the eye, the pitying tear that shed! All mute the voice, whose pleasing accents stole, Infusing balm into the rankled soul !O Death, why arm with cruelty thy power, Why spare the weed, yet crop the lovely flower! Why fly thy shafts in lawless error driven ! Is Virtue then no more the care of Heaven But, peace, bold thought! be still, my bursting

heart ! We, not Eliza, felt the fatal dart. Scaped the dark dungeon does the slave complain, Nor bless the hand' that broke the galling chain.

O happy stroke, that bursts the bonds of clay, Darts through the rending gloom the blaze of day, And wings the soul with boundless flight to soar, Where dangers threat, and fears alarm no more.

ON THE

DEATH OF LADY COVENTRY.-Mason'.

The midnight clock has toll'd, and hark! the bell

Of death beats slow! heard ye the note profound? It pauses now; and now, with rising knell,

Flings to the hollow gale its sullen sound. Yes, Coventry is dead: attend the strain,

Daughters of Albion ! ye that, light as air, So oft have tript in her fantastic train,

With hearts as gay, and faces half as fair. For she was fair beyond your brightest bloom,

(This Envy owns, since now her bloom is filed ;) Fair as the forms that, wove in fancy's loom,

Float in light vision round the poet's head. Whene'er with soft serenity she smil'd,

Or caught the orient blush of quick surprise ; How sweetly mutable, how brightly wild, The liquid lustre darted from her eyes

!. Each look, each motion wak'd a new-born grace,

That o'er her form its transient glory cast; Some lovelier wonder soon usurpt the place, Chas’d by a charm still lovelier than the last.

That bell again! it tells us what she is ;

On what she was, no more the strain prolong ; Luxuriant Fancy, pausean hour like this

Demands the tribute of a serious song.

Maria claims it from that sable bier,
Where cold and wan the slumb’rer rests her

head;
In still small whispers to Reflection's ear

She breathes the solemn dictates of the dead.

O catch the awful notes, and lift them loud ;

Proclaim the theme, by sage, by fool, rever'd; Hear it, ye young, ye vain, ye great, ye proud:

'Tis Nature speaks, and Nature will be heard.

Yes, ye shall hear, and tremble as ye hear, While high with health your hearts exulting

leap; Even in the midst of pleasure's mad career, The mental monitor shall wake and weep.

For say, than Coventry's propitious star,

What brighter planet on your birth arose, Or gave of fortune's gifts an ampler share,

In life to lavish, or by death to lose?

Early to lose, while borne on busy wing

Ye sip the nectar of each varying bloom ; Nor fear, while basking in the beams of spring,

The wintry storm that sweeps you to the tomb:

[ocr errors]

Think of her fate! revere the heavenly hand
That led her hence, though soon, by steps so

slow :
Long at her couch Death took his patient stand,

And menac'd oft, and oft withheld the blow.
To give reflection time, with lenient art,

Each fond delusion from her soul t'expel;
Teach her from folly peaceably to part,

And wean her from a world she lov'd so well.
Say, are ye sure His mercy shall extend

To you so long a span? Alas! ye sigh:
Make, then, while yet ye may, your God your

friend,
And learn with equal ease to sleep or die.
Nor think the Muse, whose sober voice ye Kear,

Contracts with bigot frown her sullen brow;
Casts round Religion's orb the mists of fear,
Or shades with horrors, what would smiles

allow.

No: she would warm you with seraphic fire,

Heirs as ye are of Heaven's eternal day;
Would bid you boldly to that heaven aspire,

Not sink and slumber in your cells of clay.
Know ye were form'd to range yon azure field,
In
yon

ethereal founts of bliss to lave;
Force then, secure in Faith's protecting shield,

The sting from death, the victory from the grave.

Is this the bigot's rant? Away, ye vain,
Your hopes, your fears, in doubt, in dulness

steep; Go, sooth your souls in sickness, grief, or pain,

With the sad solace of eternal sleep! Yet will I praise you, triflers as ye are,

More than those preachers of your fav'rite creed, Who proudly swell the brazen throat of war;

Who form the phalanx, bid the battle bleedi: Nor wish for more: who conquer but to die.

Hear, Folly, hear; and triumph in the tale : Like you, they reason ; not, like you, enjoy

The breeze of bliss, that fills your silken sail. On Pleasure's glitt'ring stream you gaily steer

Your little course to cold Oblivion's shore: They dare the storm, and, through th' inclement

year, Stem the rough surge, and brave the torrent's

roar.

Is it for glory? That just fate denies.

Long must the warrior moulder in his shroud, Ere from her trump the heaven-breath'd accents

rise, That lift the hero, from the fighting crowd. Is it his grasp of empire to extend ;

To curb hostilities, or baffle views ? Ambition, cease ; the idle contest end ;

'Tis but a kingdom thou canst win lose..

« PreviousContinue »