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You raise the honour of your peerage,
Proud to attend you at the steerage.
You dignify the noble race,
Content yourself with humbler place.
Now learning, valour, virtue, sense,
To titles give the sole pretence.
St. George beheld thee with delight
Vouchsafe to be an azure knight,
When on thy breasts and sides Herculean
He fix'd the star and string cerulean.
Say, poet, in what other nation
Shone ever such a constellation !
Attend, ye Popes, and Youngs, and Gays,
And tune your harps and strow your bays:
Your panegyrics here provide ;
You cannot err on flattery's side.
Above the stars exalt your style,
You still are low ten thousand mile.
On Lewis all his bards bestow'd
Of incense many a thousand load;
But Europe mortified his pride,
And swore the fawning rascals lied.
Yet what the world refused to Lewis,
Applied to George, exactly true is.
Exactly true! invidious poet!
'Tis fifty thousand times below it.
Translate me now some lines, if you can, From Virgil, Martial, Ovid, Lucan. They could all power in heaven divide, And do no wrong on either side ; They teach you how to split a hair, Give George and Jove an equal share. Yet why should we be laced so strait ? I'll give my monarch better weight. And reason good; for many a year Jove never intermeddled here : Nor, though his priests be duly paid, Did ever we desire his aid : We now. can better do without him, Since Woolston gave us arms to rout him.
THOMAS WARTON. 1687-1745.
On beds of daisies idly laid,
The willow waving o'er my head,
Now morning, on the bending stem,
Hangs the round and glittering gem,
Lulld by the lapse of yonder spring,
Of nature's various charms I sing :
Ambition, pride, and pomp adieu,
For what has joy to do with you ?
Joy, rose-lipp'd dryad, loves to dwell
In sunny field or mossy cell ;
Delights on echoing hills to hear
The reaper's song or lowing steer:
Or view, with tenfold plenty spread,
The crowded cornfield, blooming mead;
While beauty, health, and innocence
Transport the eye, the soul, the sense.
Not frescoed roofs, not beds of state,
Not guards that round a monarch wait,
Not crowds of flatterers can scare
From loftiest courts intruding Care.
Midst odours, splendours, banquets, wine,
While minstrels sound, while tapers shines.
In sable stole sad Care will come,
And darken the sad drawing-room.
Nymphs of the groves, in green array'd,
Conduct me to your thickest shade,
Deep in the bosom of the vale,
Where haunts the lonesome nightingale ;)
Where Contemplation, maid divine,
Leans against some aged pine,
Wrapp'd in solemn thought profound,
Her eyes fix'd steadfast on the ground.
Oh, virtue's nurse, retired queen,
By saints alone and hermits seen,
Beyond vain mortal wishes wise,
Teach me St. James's to despise ;
For what are crowded courts but schools
For fops, or hospitals for fools;
Where slaves and madmen, young and old,
Meet to adore some calf of gold?
ROBERT BLAIR. 1699-1747.
FROM THE GRAVE."
WHILST Some affect the sun, and some the shade,
Some flee the city, some the hermitage;
Their aims as various as the roads they take
In journeying through life; the task be mine
To paint the gloomy horrors of the tomb;
"Th' appointed place of rendezvous, where all
These travellers meet.-Thy succours I implore,
Eternal King! whose potent arm sustains
The keys of hell and death.-The Grave-dread
Men shiver when thou'rt named: Nature, appall'd,
Shakes off her wonted firmness.-Ah! how dark
Thy long-extended realms and rueful wastes !
Where naught but silence reigns, and night, dark
Dark as was chaos, ere the infant sun [night,
Was roll'd together, had tried his beams
Athwart the gloom profound.-The sickly taper,
By glimm'ring through thy low-brow'd misty vaults
(Furr'd round with mouldy damps and ropy slime),
Lets fall a supernumerary horror,
And only serves to make thy night more irksome.
Well do I know thee by thy trusty yew,
Cheerless, unsocial plant! that loves to dwell
Midst sculls and coffins, epitaphs and worms:
Where light-heel'd ghosts and visionary shades,
Beneath the wan cold moon (as fame reports)
Imbodied, thick, perform their mystic rounds.
No other merriment, dull tree, is thine.
See yonder hallow'd fane: the pious work
Of names once famed, now dubious or forgot,
And buried midst the wreck of things which were ;
There lie interr'd the more illustrious dead.
The wind is up: hark! how it howls! Methinks
Till now I never heard a sound so dreary :
Doors creak, and windows clap, and night's foul bird,
Rook'd in the spire, screams loud: the gloomy aisles
Black plaster'd, and hung round with shreds of
'scutcheons And latter'd coats of arms, send back the sound Laden with heavier airs from the low vaults, The mansions of the dead.--Roused from their slumIn grim array the grisly spectres rise, (bers, Grin horrible, and, obstinately sullen, Pass and repass, hush'd as the foot of Night. Again the screech-owl shrieks : ungracious sound ! I'll hear no more: it makes one's blood run chill.
Quite round the pile, a row of reverend elms (Coeval near with that) all ragged show, long lash'd by the rude winds. Some rift half down Their branchless trunks; others so thin a-top That scarce two crows could lodge in the same tree. Strange things, the neighbours say, have happen'd
here : Wild shrieks have issued from the hollow tombs : Dead men have come again, and walk'd about; And the great bell has toll’d, unrung, untouch'd. (Such tales their cheer at wake or gossiping, When it draws near to witching time of night.)
Oft in the lone churchyard at night I've seen, By glimpse of moonshine checkering through the
trees, The schoolboy, with his satchel in his hand, Whistling aloud to bear his courage up,
Vol. J.-A A
And lightly tripping o'er the long flat stones
(With nettles skirted and with moss o'ergrown),
That tell in homely phrase who lie below.
Sudden he starts, and hears, or thinks he hears,
The sound of something purring at his heels;
Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him,
Till out of breath he overtakes his fellows;
Who gather round, and wonder at the tale
Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly,
That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand
O'er some new open'd grave; and (strange to tell!)
Evanishes at crowing of the cock.
Invidious grave! how dost thou rend in sunder Whom love has knit, and sympathy made one? A tie more stubborn far than nature's band. Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul, Sweetener of life and solder of society, I owe thee much! Thou hast deserved from me Far, far beyond what I can ever pay. Oft have I proved the labours of thy love, And the warm efforts of the gentle heart, Anxious to please.-Oh! when my friend and I In some thick wood have wanderd heedless on, Hid from the vulgar eye, and sat us down Upon the sloping cowslip-cover'd bank, Where the pure limpid stream has slid along In grateful errors through the underwood, Sweet murmuring; methought the shrill-tongued
thrush Mended his song of love; the sooty blackbird Mellow'd his pipe, and soften'd every note : The eglantine smell’d sweeter, and the rose Assumed a dye more deep; whilst ev'ry flower Vied with its fellow plant in luxury Of dress.-Oh! then the longest summer's day Seem'd too, too much in haste : still the full heart Had not imparted half: 'twas happiness Too exquisite to last. Of joys departed,