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WRITTEN IN A TIME OF AFFLICTION. [ The name is taken from a favourite resort of the Poet's in the grounds of Weston-Underwood. Composed soon after the lines “ To Peace.”]

Oh, happy shades- to me unblest !

Friendly to peace, but not to me!
How ill the scene that offers rest,

And heart that cannot rest, agree !

This glassy stream, that spreading pine,

Those alders quivering to the breeze,
Might soothe a soul less hurt than mine,

And please, if any thing could please.

But fix'd unalterable Care

Foregoes not what she feels within,
Shews the same sadness every where,

And slights the season and the scene.

For all that pleased in wood or lawn,

While Peace possess'd these silent bowers,
Her animating smile withdrawn,

Has lost its beauties and its powers.

The saint or moralist should tread

This moss-grown alley, musing, slow;
They seek like me the sacred shade,

But not like me to nourish wo !

Me fruitful scenes, and prospects waste,

Alike admonish not to roam ;
These tell me of enjoyments past,

And those of sorrows yet to come.


[Another pleasing example of a simple incident of domestic life, exquisitely versified. February, 1780.]

What Nature, alas ! has denied

To the delicate growth of our isle,
Art has in a measure supplied,

And Winter is deck'd with a smile.
See, Mary, what beauties I bring

From the shelter of that sunny shed,
Where the flowers have the charms of the spring,

Though abroad they are frozen and dead.

'Tis a bower of Arcadian sweets,

Where Flora is still in her prime,
A fortress to which she retreats

From the cruel assaults of the clime.
While Earth wears a mantle of snow,

These pinks are as fresh and as gay,
As the fairest and sweetest that blow

On the beautiful bosom of May.

See how they have safely survived

The frowns of a sky so severe ;
Such Mary's true love, that has lived

Through many a turbulent year.
The charms of the late blowing rose

Seem graced with a livelier hue,
And the winter of sorrow best shows

The truth of a friend such as you.



The lady thus address'd her spouse:-
“ What a mere dungeon is this house !
By no means large enough ; and was it,
Yet this dull room, and that dark closet,

Those hangings with their worn-out graces,
Long beards, long noses, and pale faces,
Are such an antiquated scene,
They overwhelm me with the spleen.”
Sir Humphrey, shooting in the dark,
Makes answer quite beside the mark :
« No doubt, my dear, I bade him come,
Engaged myself to be at home,
And shall expect him at the door,
Precisely when the clock strikes four.”

“ You are so deaf,” the lady cried, And raised her voice, and frown'd beside, “ You are so sadly deaf, my dear, What shall I do to make you hear?'

“ Dismiss poor Harry !" he replies ; “ Some people are more nice than wise : For one slight trespass all this stir ? What if he did ride whip and spur, 'Twas but a mile-your favourite horse Will never look one hair the worse.”

“ Well, I protest 'tis past all bearing”66 Child ! I am rather hard of hearing”. 6. Yes, truly; one must scream and bawl : I tell you, you can't hear at all !" Then, with a voice exceeding low, “ No matter if you hear or no.”

Alas! and is domestic strife,
That sorest ill of human life,
A plague so little to be fear'd,
As to be wantonly incurr'd,
To gratify a fretful passion,
On every trivial provocation ?
The kindest and the happiest pair
Will find occasion to forbear ;
And something, every day they live,
To pity, and perhaps forgive.
But if infirmities, that fall
In common to the lot of all,
A blemish or a sense impair'd,
Are crimes so little to be spared,

Then farewell all that must create
The comfort of the wedded state;
Instead of harmony, 'tis jar,
And tumult, and intestine war.

The love that cheers life's latest stage,
Proof against sickness and old age,
Preserved by virtue from declension,
Becomes not weary of attention ;
But lives, when that exterior grace,
Which first inspired the flame, decays;
'Tis gentle, delicate, and kind,
To faults compassionate or blind,
And will with sympathy endure
Those evils it would gladly cure :
But angry, coarse, and harsh expression
Shews love to be a mere profession ;
Proves that the heart is none of his,
Or soon expels him if it is.




The swallows in their torpid state

Compose their useless wing,
And bees in hives as idly wait

The call of early Spring.

The keenest frost that binds the stream,

The wildest wind that blows,
Are neither felt nor fear'd by them,

Secure of their repose.

But man, all feeling and awake,

The gloomy scene surveys ;
With present ills his heart must ache,

And pant for brighter days.

Old Winter, halting o'er the mead,

Bids me and Mary mourn ;
But lovely Spring peeps o'er his head,

And whispers your return.

Then April, with her sister May,

Shall chase him from the bowers,
And weave fresh garlands every day,

To crown the smiling hours.

And if a tear, that speaks regret

Of happier times, appear,
A glimpse of joy, that we have met,

Shall shine and dry the tear.



[This spirit-stirring ode was suggested by the reading of Hume's history, during the winter of 1780.]

When the British warrior queen,

Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Sought, with an indignant mien,

Counsel of her country's gods,

Sage beneath the spreading oak

Sat the Druid, hoary chief;
Every burning word he spoke

Full of rage, and full of grief.

“ Princess ! if our aged eyes

Weep upon thy matchless wrongs, 'Tis because resentment ties

All the terrors of our tongues.

“ Rome shall perish — write that word

In the blood that she has spilt ;
Perish, hopeless and abhorrd,

Deep in ruin as in guilt.

“ Rome, for empire far renown'd,

Tramples on a thousand states;
Soon her pride shall kiss the ground-

Hark! the Gaul is at her gates !

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