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To Virtue, Truth, or Science dear,
And sketch with care the Muse's bower, Forgo a court's alluring pale,
Where Isis rolls her silver tide; For dimpled brook and leafy grove,
Nor yet omit one reed or flower For that rich luxury of thought they love!
That shines on Cherwell's verdant side; Ali no, from these the public sphere requires If so thou may'st those hours prolong, Examples for its giddy bands :
When polish'd Lycon join'd my song. From these impartial Heaven demands
The song it 'vails not to recite To spread the fame itself inspires;
But sure, to soothe our youthful dreams, To sift Opinion's mingled mass,
Those banks and streams appear'd more bright Impress a nation's taste, and bid the sterling pass. Than other banks, than other streams: Happy, thrice happy they
Or, by thy softening pencil shown,
When, all beneath the poplar bough,
My spirits light, my soul serene,
í breath'd in verse one cordial vow:
That nothing should my soul inspire,
But friendship warm, and love entire.
Dull to the sense of new delight,
On thee the drooping Muse attends ;
As some fond lover, robb'd of sight, A train of smiling virtues bright
On thy expressive power depends ; Shall there the wise retreat allow,
Nor would exchange thy glowing lines, Shall twine triumphant palms to deck the wanderer's To live the lord of all that shines. brow.
But let me chase those vows away And though by faithless friends alarm'd,
Which at Ambition's shrine I made; Art have with Nature wag'd presumptuous war;
Nor ever let thy skill display
Those anxious moments, ill repaid ;
Oh! from my breast that season rase,
And bring my childhood in its place. 'Tis her's to mediate the peace;
Bring me the bells, the rattle bring,
And bring the hobby I bestrode;
When, pleas'd in many a sportive ring,
Around the room I jovial rode:
E'en let me bid my lyre adieu,
And bring the whistle that I blew.
How sweetly wasted I the day,
While innocence allow'd to waste! Begin, ye songsters of the grove ! warble forth your noblest lay;
Ambition's toiis alike are vain, Where Somerset vouchsafes to rove,
But ab! for pleasure yield us pain.
-Peace to the strepent horn!
THE PRINCESS ELIZABETH;
A BALLAD ALLUDING TO A STORY RECORDED OF HER, Unless her candour not exclude
WHEN SHE WAS PRISONER AT WOODSTOCK, 1554. The lowly shepherd's votive strain,
Il you hear how once repining Who tunes his reed amidst his rural cheer, Great Eliza captive lay? Tearful, yet not averse, that Somerset should hear. Each ambitious thought resigning,
Foe to riches, pomp, and sway.
While the nymphs and swains delighted
Tript around in all their pride;
Envying joys by others slighted, O MEMORY! celestial maid!
Thus the royal maiden cried. Who gleau'st the flowerets cropt by Time;
· Bred on plains, or born in valleys, And, suffering not a leaf to fade,
Who would bid those scenes adieu ?
Stranger to the arts of Malice,
Who would ever courts pursue?
Malice never taught to treasure,
Censure never taught to bear :
Love is all the shepherd's pleasure;
Love is all the damsel's care.
“ How can they of humble station The gentle things she deigu'd to say.
Vainly blame the powers above?
Or accuse the dispensation
NANCY OF THE VALE. Which allows them all to love?
A BALLAD. “ Love like air is widely given; Power por chance can these restrain;
Nerine Galatea ! thymo mihi dulcior Hyblæ! Truest, noblest gifts of Heaven !
Candidior cygnis ! hederâ formosior albâ ! Virg. Only purest on the plain!
Tre western sky was purpled o'er “ Peers can no such charms discover,
With every pleasing ray; All in stars and garters drest,
And flocks, reviving, felt no inore As on Sundays, does the lover
The sultry heats of day : With his nosegay on his breast.
When from a hazle's artless bower “ Pinks and roses in profusion,
Soft warbled Strephon's tongue; Said to fade when Chloe 's near ;
He blest the scene, he blest the hour, Fops may use the same allusion;
While Nancy's praise he sung. But the shepherd is sincere.
“ Let fops with fickle falsehood range “ Hark to yonder milk-maid singing
The paths of wanton Love, Cheerly o'er the brimming pail;
While weeping maids lament their change, Cowslips all around her springing
And sadden every grove; Sweetly paint the golden vale. “Never yet did courtly maiden
" But endless blessings crown the day
I saw fair Esham's dale!
And every blessing find its way
To Nancy of the Vale. “ Would indulgent Heaven had granted
“ 'T was from Avona's banks the maid Me some rural damsel's part !
Diffus'd her lovely beams; All the empire I had wanted
And every shining glance display'd Then had been my shepherd's heart.
The Naiad of the streams. “ Then, with him, o'er hills and mountains, • Soft as the wild-duck's tender young, Free from fetters might I rove:
That floats on Avon's tide; Fearless taste the crystal fountains;
Bright as the water-lily, sprung, Peaceful sleep beneath the grove.
And glittering near its side. “ Rustics had been more forgiving;
“ Fresh as the bordering flowers, her blooms Partial to my virgin bloom:
Her eye, all mild to view; None had envy'd me when living;
The little halcyon's azure plume
Was never half so blue,
So taper, straight, and fair;
Her dimpled smile, her blushing cheek,
How charming sweet they were !
“ Far in the winding vale retird, Survey, my fair! that lucid stream,
- This peerless bud I found; Adown the smiling valley stray ;
And shadowing rock and woods conspir'd Would Art attempt, or Fancy dream,
To fence her beauties round. To regulate its winding way?
" That Nature in so lone a dell So pleas'd I view thy shining hair
Should form a nymph so sweet; In loose dishevellid ringlets flow:
Or Fortune to her secret cell Not all thy art, not all thy care,
Conduct my wandering feet! Can there one single grace bestow.
Gay lordlings sought her for their bride, Survey again that verdant bill,
But she would ne'er incline: With native plants enamellid o'er;
* Prove to your equals true,' she cried, Say, can the painter's utmost skill
* As I will prove to mine. Instruct one flower to please us more?
"o 'Tis Strephon, on the mountain's brow, As vain it were, with artful dye
Has won my right good will; To change the bloom thy cheeks disclose;
To him I gave my plighted vow,
With him I'll climb the hill.'
"! Struck with her charms and gentle truth, Can every study'd grace excel;
I clasp'd the constant fair; Let Art constrain the rambling note,
To her alone I gave my youth, And will she, Laura, please so well?
And vow my future care. Oh ever keep thy native ease,
“ And when this vow shall faithless prove, By no pedantic law confin'd!
Or I those charms forgo; For Laura's voice is form’d to please,
The stream that saw our tender love, So Laura's words be not unkind.
That stream shall cease to flow.”
SOMEWHAT TOO SOLICITOUS ABOUT HER MANNER OF
ODE TO INDOLENCE. 1750.
Thou hear'st the sportsman's claim; AH! why, for ever on the wing,
Enabling him, with idle noise, Persists my wearied soul to roam ?
To drown the Muse's melting voice, Why, ever cheated, strives to bring
And fright the timorous game. Or pleasure or contentment home?
Is thought thy foe? adieu, Thus the poor bird, that draws his name
Ye midnight lamps! ye curious tomes ! From Paradise's honour'd groves,
Mine eye o'er hills and valleys roams,
And deals no more with you.
Is it the clime you flee?
Yet, 'midst his unremitting snows,
The poor Laponian's bosom glows;
And shares bright rays from thee, T'he same soft bandage o'er my mind.
There was, there was a time,
When, though I scorn'd thy guardian care, For why should lingering thought invade,
Nor made a vow, nor said a prayer,
I did not rue the crime.
Who then more blest than I?
When the glad school-boy's task was done,
And forth, with jocund sprite, I run
To freedom, and to joy?
How jovial then the day! An altar on its bank shall rise,
What since have all my labours found,
Thus climbing life, to gaze around,
That can thy loss repay ?
Wert thou, alas! but kind,
Methinks no frown that Fortune wears, Ye busy race, ye factious train,
Nor lessen'd hopes, nor growing cares, That haunt Ambition's guilty shrine; No more perplex the world in vain,
Could sink my cheerful mind. But offer here your vows with mine.
Whate'er my stars include ;
What other breasts convert to pain,
My towering mind shall soon disdain,
Should scorn-Ingratitude ! To weave for thee the rural bower.
Repair this mouldering cell, Dissolve in sleep each anxious care ;
And blest with objects found at home, Each unavailing sigh remove;
And envying none their fairer dome, And only let me wake to share
How pleas'd my soul should dwell : The sweets of friendship and of love.
Temperance should guard the doors ;
Enjoy her pleasing stores-
There let them rest unknown,
The types of many a pleasing scene : Why dost thou shun my peaceful bower,
But to preserve them bright or clean, Where I had hope to share thy power,
Is thine, fair queen ! alone. , And bless thy lasting aid ?
Since thou, alas! art flown, It'vails not whether Muse or Grace,
TO A LADY OF QUALITY”, With tempting smile, frequent the place:
FITTING UP HER LIBRARY. 1738. I sigh for thee alone.
Ah! what is science, what is art, Age not forbids thy stay ;
Or what the pleasure these impart ! Thou yet might'st act the friendly part ;
Ye trophies, which the learn'd pursue Thou yet might'st raise this languid heart ; Through endless fruitless toils, adieu ! Why speed so swift away?
What can the tedious tomes bestow, Thou scorn'st the city-air ;
To soothe the miseries they show? I breathe fresh gales o'er furrow'd ground,
What, like the bliss for him decreed, Yet hast not thou my wishes crown'd,
Who tends his flock, and tunes his reed ! O false! O partial fair !
Say, wretched Fancy! thus refin'd I plunge into the wave :
From all that glads the simple hind, And though with purest hand I raise
How rare that object which supplies A rural altar to thy praise,
A charın for too discerning eyes! Thou wilt pot deign to save.
The polish'd bard, of genius vain, Amid my well-known grove,
Endures a deeper sense of pain :
As each invading blast devours
The richest fruits, the fairest flowers.
! Lady Luxborough
Sages, with irksome waste of time,
The Sun's forgotten beams : 'The steep ascent of Knowledge climb ;
O Sun ! how pleasing were thy rays, Then from the towering heights they scale,
Reflected from the polish'd face Behold Contentment range-the vale.
Of yon refulgent streams! Yet why, Asteria, tell us why
Rais'd by the scene, my feeble tongue We scorn the crowd, when you are nigh;
Essay'd again the sweets of song: Why then does reason seem so fair,
And thus, in feeble strains and slow, Why learning, then, deserve our care?
The loitering numbers 'gan to flow. Who can unpleas'd your shelves behold,
“ Come, gentle air ! my languid limbs restore, While you so fair a proof unfold
And bid me welcome from the Stygian shore: What force the brightest genius draws
For sure, I heard the tender sighs, From polish'd wisdom's written laws ?
I seem'd to join the plaintive cries Where are our humbler tenets flown ?
Of hapless youths, who through the myrtle grove What strange perfection bids us own
Bewail for ever their unfinish'd love : That bliss with toilsome science dwells,
To that unjoyous clime,
Torn from the sight of these ethereal skies ;
And banish'd in their prime.
“Come, gentle air ! and while the thickets bloom, IN WINTER. 1748.
Convey the jasmine's breath divine ; On fair Asteria's blissful plains,
Convey the woodbine's rich perfume, Where ever-blooming Fancy reigns,
Nor spare the sweet-leafʼd eglantine. How pleas'd we pass the winter's day;
And may'st thou shun the rugged storm,
Till Health her wonted charms explain,
With rural Pleasure in her train,
To greet me in her fairest form. Pours forth her note melodious now;
While from this lofty mount 1 view But all admire Asteria's tongue,
The sons of Earth, the vulgar crew, Nor wish the lionet's vernal song,
Anxious for futile gains beneath me stray, No flowers emit their transient rays :
And seek with erring step Contentment's obvious Yet sore Asteria's wit displays
way. More various tints, more glowing lines, And with perennial beauty shines.
“ Come, gentle air! and thou, celestial Muse,
Thy genial flame infuse; Though rifled groves and fetter'd streams
Enough to lend a pensive bosom aid, But ill befriend a poet's dreams;
And gild Retirement's gloomy shade; Asteria's presence wakes the lyre,
Enough to rear such rustic lays And well supplies poetic fire.
As foes may slight, bnt partial friends will praise. " The fields have lost their lovely dye;
The gentle air allow'd my claim ; No cheerful azure decks the sky;
And, more to cheer my drooping frame, Yet still we bless the lowring day ;
She mix'd the balm of opening flowers; Asteria smiles and all is gay.
Such as the bee, with chymic powers, Hence let the Muse no more presume
From Hybla's fragrant hills inhales, To blame the Winter's dreary gloom;
Or scents Sebea's blooming vales. Accuse his loitering hours no more ;
But ah! the nymphs that heal the pensive mind, But ah! their envious baste deplore !
By prescripts more refin'd, For soon, from wit and friendship's reign,
Neglect their votary's anxious moan The social hearth, the sprightly vein,
Oh, how should they relieve?--the Muses all were I go-to meet the coming year,
flown. On savage plains, and deserts drear !
By flowery plain, or woodland shades, I goto feed on pleasures flown,
I fondly sought the charming maids; Nor find the Spring my loss atone!
By woodland shades, or flowery plain, But 'mid the flowery sweets of May
I sought them, faithless maids ! in vain ! With pride recal the Winter's day.
When lo! in happier hour,
To range where zeal and friendship lead, AN IRREGULAR ODE AFTER SICKNESS.
To visit Luxborough's honour'd bower. 1749.
Ah foolish man! to seek the tuneful maids
On other plains, or near less verdant shades; - Melius, cum venerit ipsa, canemus. Virg.
Scarce have my footsteps pressid the favour'd Too long a stranger to repose,
ground, At length from pain's abhorred couch I rose,
When sounds ethereal strike my ear ; And wander'd forth alone;
At once celestial forms appear ; To court once more the balmy breeze,
My fugitives are found ! And catch the verdure of the trees,
The Muses here attune their lyres, Ere yet their charms were flown.
Ab partial ! with unwonted fires ; "T was from a bank with pansies gay
Here, hand in hand, with careless mien, 1 hail'd once more the cheerful day,
The sportive Graces trip the vreen.
But whilst I wander'd o'er a scene so fair,
Yet sure your sex is near to flowers ally'd, Too well at one survey I trace,
Alike in softness, and alike in pride : How every Muse and every Grace
Foes to retreat, and ever fond to shine, Had long employ'd their care.
Both rush to danger, and the shades decline; Lurks not a stone enrich'd with lively stain, Expos'd, the short-liv'd pageants of a day, Blooms not a flower amid the vernal store,
To painted flies or glittering fops a prey : Falls not a plume on India's distant plain, Chang'd with each wind, nor one short day the same,
Glows not a shell on Adria's rocky sbore, Each clouded sky affects their tender frame. But, torn methought from native lands or seas, In glaring Chloe's man-like taste and mien, From their arrangement, gain fresh power to please. Are the gross splendours of the tulip seen : And some had bent the wildering maze,
Distant they strike, inelegantly gay,
To the near view no pleasing charms display, Bedeck'd with every shrub that blows; And some entwin'd the willing sprays,
To form the nymph, a vulgar wit must join, To shield th' illustrious dame's repose :
As coarser soils will most the flower refine. Others had grac'd the sprightly dome,
Ophelia's beauties let the jasmine paint, And taught the portrait where to glow;
Too faintly soft, too nicely elegant.
Around with seeming sanctity endued,
The passion-flower may best express the prude. Assign'd the laurel'd bust a place,
Like the gay rose, too rigid Silvia shines, And given to learning all the pomp of show.
While, like its guardian thorn, her virtue joins And now from every task withdrawn,
Happy the nymph! from all their failures free,
Happy the nymph ! in whom their charms agree. They met and frisk'd it o'er the lawn.
Faint these productions, till you bid disclose, “AD! woe is me,” said I ;
The pink new splendors, and fresh tints the rose : And ***'s hilly circuit heard my cry,
And yet condemn not trivial draughts like these, “ Have I for this, with labour ștrove,
Forin'd to improve, and make e'en trifles please. And lavish'd all my little store
A power like yours minuter beauties warms, To fence for you my shady grove,
And yet can blast the most aspiring charms : And scollop every winding shore ;
Thus, at the rays whence other objects shine, And fringe with every purple rose,
The taper sickens, and its flames decline. The sapphire stream that down my valley flows?
When by your art the purple violet lives, “Ah! lovely treacherous maids !
And the pale lily sprightlier charms receives : To quit unseen my votive shades,
Garters to me shall glow inferior far, When pale disease, and torturing pain,
And with less pleasing lustre shine the star. Had torn me from the breezy plain,
Let serious triflers, fond of wealth or fame, And to a restless couch confin'd,
On toils like these bestow too soft a name; Who ne'er your wonted tasks declin'd.
Each gentler art with wise indifference view, She needs not your officious aid
And scorn one trifle, millions to pursue: To swell the song, or plan the shade;
More artful, I their specious schemes deride : By genuine fancy fir'd,
Fond to please you, by you in these employ'd; Her native genius guides her hand,
nobler task, or more sublime desire, And while she marks the sage command, Ambition ne'er could form, nor pride inspire : More lovely scenes her skill shall raise,
The sweets of tranquil life and rural ease Her lyre resound with nobler lays
Amuse securely, nor less justly please, Than ever you inspir'd.”
Where gentle Pleasure shows her milder power, Thus I may rage and grief display;
Or blooms in fruit, or sparkles in the flower ; But vainly blame, and vainly mourn,
Smiles in the groves, the raptur'd poet's theme; Nor will a Grace or Muse return
Flows in the brook, his Naiad of the stream ;
Dawns, with each happier stroke the pencil gives,
Seliuda speaks, or Philomela sings:
Breathes with the morn; attends, propitious maid,
The evening ramble, and the noon-day glade;
Some visionary fair she cheats our view,
Then only vigorous, when she's seen like you. MADAM !
Yet Nature some for sprightlier joys design'd, Though rude the draughts, though artless seem the For brighter scenes, with nicer care, refin’d. lines
When the gay jewel radiant streams supplies, From one unskill'd in verse, or in designs; And vivid brilliants meet your brighter eyes ; Oft has good-nature been the fool's defence, When dress and pomp around the fancy play, And honest meaning gilded want of sense.
By fortune's dazzling beauties borne away :
And the box bows, obsequiously low :
How dull the plan which indolence bas drawn, Shall only languish when Selinda 's near :
The mossy grotto, or the flow'ry lawn !
And sylvan warblers charm in every gale.
Of these be hers the choice, whom all approve; Where flattering schemes seem obviously true. And whom. but those who envy, all must love :