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Thus let us leave the bower of love,
Where we have loitered long in bliss; And you may down that pathway rove,
While I shall take my way through this. Our hearts have suffered little harm
In this short fever of desire; You have not lost a single charm,
Nor I one spark of feeling fire. My kisses have not stained the rose
Which Nature hung upon your lip; And still your sigh with nectar flow's
For many a raptured soul to sip. Farewell! and when some other fair
Shall call your wanderer to her arms, 'Twill be my luxury to compare
Her spells with your remembered charms. • This cheek,' I'll say, 'is not so bright
As one that used to meet my kiss ; This eye has not such liquid light
As one that used to talk of bliss !' Farewell ! and when some future lover
Shall claim the heart which I resign, And in exulting joys discover
All the charms that once were mine;
If, in a soft imperfect sigh,
He loves not half so well as I !
EPISTLES, ODES, AND OTHER POEMS.
TO FRANCIS, EARL ON MOIRA,
GENERAL IN HIS MAJESTY'S FORCES, MASTER-GENERAL OF THE ORDNANCE,
CONSTABLE OF THE TOWER, ETC.
MY LORD,- It is impossible to think of addressing a Dedication to your Lordship without calling to mind the well-known reply of the Spartan to a rhetorician who proposed to pronounce an eulogiuin on Hercules. "On Hercules !' said the honest Spartan, who ever thought of blaming Hercules ?' similar manner, the concurrence of public opinion has left to the panegyrist of your Lordship a very superfluous task. I shall therefore be silent on the subject, and merely entreat your indulgence to the very humble tribute of gratitude which I have here the honour to present. I am, my Lord, With every feeling of attachment and respect, Your Lordship's very devoted servant,
THOMAS MOORE. 27, Bury Street, St. James's, April 10, 1806.
The principal poems in the following Collection were written during an absence of fourteen months from Europe. Though curiosity was certainly not the motive of my voyage to America, yet it happened that the gratification of curiosity was the only advantage which I derived from it. Finding myself in the country of a new people, whose infancy had promised so much, and whose progress to maturity has been an object of such interesting speculation, I determined to employ the short period of time, which my plan of return to Europe afforded me, in travelling through a few of the States, and acquiring some knowledge of the inhabitants.
The impression which my mind received from the character and manners of these republicans, suggested the Epistles which are written from the city of Washington and Lake Erie. How far I was right, in thus assuming the tone of a satirist against a people whom I viewed but as a stranger and a visitor, is a doubt which my feelings did not allow me time to investigate. All I presume to answer for is the fidelity of the picture which I have given ; and
' Epistles VI., VII., and VIII.
though prudence might have dictated gentler language, truth, I think, woull have justified severer.
I went to America with prepossessions by no means unfavourable, and, indeed, rather iņdulged in many of those illusive ideas with respect to the purity of the government, and the primitive happiness of the people, which I had early imbibed in my native country, where, unfortunately, discontent at home enhances every distant temptation, and the Western world has long been looked to as a retreat from real or imaginary oppression, as the elysian Atlantis, where persecuted patriots might find their visions realized, and be welcomed by kindred spirits to liberty and pose. I was completely disappointed in every flattering expectation which I had formed, and was inclined to say to America, as Horace says to his mistress, “intentata nites.' Brissot, in the preface to his Travels, observes, that ‘freedom in that country is carried to so high a degree as to border upon a state of nature;' and there certainly is a close approximation to savage life, not only in the liberty which they enjoy, but in the violence of party spirit and of private animosity which results from it. This illiberal zeal embitters all social intercourse ; and though I scarcely could hesitate in selecting the party whose views appeared the more pure and rational, yet I was sorry to observe that, in asserting their opinions, they both assume an equal share of intolerance ; the Democrats, consistently with their principles, exhibiting a vulgarity of rancour which the Federalists too often are so forgetful of their cause as to imitate.
The rude familiarity of the lower orders, and, indeed, the unpolished state of society in general, would neither surprise nor disgust if they seemed to flow from that simplicity of character, that honest ignorance of the gloss of refinement, which may be looked for in a new and inexperienced people. But when we find them arrived at maturity in most of the vices and all the pride of civilization, while they are still so remote from its elegant characteristics, it is impossible not to feel that this youthful decay, this crude anticipation of the natural period of corruption, represses every sanguine hope of the future energy and greatness of America.
I am conscious that, in venturing these few remarks, I have said just enough to offend, and by no means sufficient to convince; for the limits of a preface will not allow me to enter into a justification of my opinions, and I am committed on the subject as effectually as if I had written volumes in their defence. My reader, however, is apprised of the very cursory observation upon which these opinions are founded, and can easily decide for himself upon the degree of attention or confidence which they merit.
With respect to the poems in general which occupy the following pages, I know not in what manner to apologize to the public for intruding upon their notice such a mass of unconnected trifles, such a world of epicurean atoms, as I have here brought in conflict together. To say that I have been tempted by the liberal offers of my bookseller, is an excuse which can hope for but little indulgence from the critic; yet I own that, without this seasonable inducement, these poems very possibly would never have been submitted to the world. The glare of publication is too strong for such imperfect productions : they should be shown but to the eye of friendship, in that dim light of privacy, which is as favourable to poetical as to female beauty, and serves as a veil for faults, while it enhances every charm which it displays. Besides, this is not a period for the idle occupations of poetry, and times like the present require talents more active and mors useful. Few have now the leisure to read such trifles, and I sincerely regret that I have had the leisure to write them,
EPISTLES, ODES, AND OTHER POEMS.
TO LORD VISCOUNT STRANGFORD.
ABOARD THE PHAETON FRIGATE, OFF THE AZORES, BY MOONLIGHT.
SWEET moon ! if like Crotona's sage,
By any spell my hand could dare
And write my thoughts, my wishes there ;
Oh, Strangford ! when we parted last,
We thought the rapid hours too few,
To turn to rapture all we knew !
When, mingling lore and laugh together,
And turned the leaf with folly's feather !
And yet 'twas time-in youthful days,
Pythagoras, who was supposed to have a power of writing upon the moon by the means of a magic mirror. See Bayle, art, Pythag.
And then, that Hope, that fairy Hope,
Oh! she awaked such happy dreams,
For all its dearest, fondest schemes,
When flying from the Phrygian shore,
Or pant to be a wanderer more !!
Pursues the murmurs of the deep,
And smiles them into tranquil sleep!
I often think, if friends were ncar,
Upon the noon-bright scenery here !
And o'er its calm the vessel glides
The slumber of the silent tides !
Hath hung its shade on Pico's height, o
And, scowling at this Heaven of light,
Invisible, at this soft hour,
That brighten many an orange bower ;
And see the blushing cheek it shades,
To tell of young Azorian maids.3
Some faithful lover (not so blest
May cradle every wish to rest)
Those madrigals, of breath divine,
And gave, all glowing warm, to thine !
Alluding to these animated lines in the 44th It is said by some to be as high as the peak of Carmen of this poet (Catullus) :
Tenerifie. Jam mens prætrepidans avet vagari,
3 I believe it is Guthrie who says, that the inJam læti studio pedes vigescunt!
habitants of the Azorcs are much addicted to gal
lantry. This is an assertion in which even ? Pico is a very high mountain on one of the Guthrie may be credited. Azores, from which the island derives its name. 4 These islands belong to the Portuguese.