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Whose flourish meteor-like doth curle the air
Creeps on the soft touch of a tender tone,
By a strong extasy,) through all the sphears Of musick's heaven; and seat it there on high In th' empyræum of pure harmony.
At length, (after so long, so loud a strife
Of all the strings, still breathing the best life, Of blest variety, attending on
His fingers fairest revolution,
In many a sweet rise, many as sweet a fall)
This done, he lists what she would say to
And she, although her breath's late exercise Had dealt too roughly with her tender throat, Yet summons all her sweet powers for a note;
Alas! in vain! for while, (sweet soul,) she tries To measure all these wild diversities
Of chatt'ring strings, by the small size of one Poor simple voice, rais'd in a natural tone; She fails, and failing grieves, and grieving dies;
She dies, and leaves her life the victor's prize, Falling upon his lute; O fit to have,
(That liv'd so sweetly,) dead, so sweet a grave!
MY FATHER'S OLD FRIEND;
From a Sailor's Recollections.
My father's old friend! there is something poetical in the very words! Imagination conjures up a lovely old Pylades, with grey hair, a benevolent smile, and a pleasant house
in the country; to which you are invited every autumn, to enjoy capital shooting and excellent dinners! My imagination is not so fortunate: those words, "my father's old friend," are ever associated, in my mind, with an image which, you will own, is far from poetical. I see a clumsy, heavy-limbed man, with a round, purple face, common features, and a manner made up of pompous pretensions and goodhumoured vulgarity: yet poor Bob Pontifex was the best and kindest soul that ever breathed; and I have often reproached myself with allowing those minor faults of manner
and appearance to make me forget, or undervalue, the strong and enduring affection-the generous consideration for the feelings of others—and, above all, the truth and honesty of my father's old friend.
Bob Pontifex, or Ponty, as, when children, we used familiarly to call him, was the sort of man with whom the world always goes well: his light troubles, if he had any, only served to give a zest to an existence, whose apparent monotony never seemed to weigh heavy on its possessor's hands. He was always brimfull of bad puns and old jokes, which, to him, never lost their freshness or originality: he delighted in that refined and comprehensive species of satire which embraces whole classes of society, or even nations: to him, a lawyer was the synonyme for a rogue; -an Irishman, the personification of blunder. What an inexhaustible subject of wit would he find in the frog-eating propensities of Frenchmen! what a mine of mirth in the equestrian exploits of sailors! but, further than this, his harmless powers of ridicule never extended. A friend was, in his eyes, a sacred and infallible per
sonage; and, to the faults of those he loved, he was not merely indulgent — he was absolutely blind. He was, evidently, an ignorant and uneducated man, and had risen to his present rank, of colonel in the Dragoons,
without either connexions or interest, by his own unassisted exertions and steady good conduct a fact of which he was not a little proud. But, if he was ignorant, he made up for the deficiency by the reverence with which he regarded those who were not: he always spoke the words "Greek and Latin” with a kind of holy awe; which, however, hę strove to conceal by a habit of sporting familiarly with a few favourite slip-slops, picked up from parliamentary debates or electioneering speeches. He seldom uttered a sentence without introducing, right or wrong, such neat little flowers of rhetoric, as :-"Sine qua non,"-" Ne plus ultra,"-" Ultima Thule,"
"Pro bono publico," &c. &c.; and these magic terms were always uttered with a slight elevation of the eyebrows, and swelling of the voice, as much to attract attention to the astonishing fact of his actually speaking Latin, as an involuntary expression of his sense of the