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That queen of nations! whose superior call
Rous'd the broad East, and bid her arms destroy! When warm'd to mirth, let judgment mark her fall,
And deep reflection dash the lip of joy. Short is Ambition's gay deceitful dream;
Tho' wreaths of blooming laurel bind her brow; Calm thought dispels the visionary scheme, And Time's cold breath dissolves the withering
bough, Slow as some miner saps th' aspiring tower,
When working secret with destructive aim, Unseen, unheard, thus moves the stealing hour,
But works the fall of empire, pomp, and name. Then let thy pencil mark the traits of man,
Full in the draught be keen-ey'd Hope pourtrayed, Let fluttering Cupids crowd the growing plan :
Then give one touch and dash it deep with shade. Beneath the plume that flames with glancing rays
Be Care's deep engines on the soul impress'd; Beneath the helmet's keen refulgent blaze
Let Grief sit pining in the canker'd breast. Let Love's gay sons, a smiling train, appear,
With Beauty pierc'd yet heedless of the dart; While closely couch'd, pale sickening Envy near
Whets her fell sting, and points it at the heart. Perch'd like a raven on some blasted yew,
Let guilt revolve the thought-distracting sin! Scar'd while her eyes survey the etherial blue,
Lest heaven's strong lightning burst the dark within. Then paint impending o'er the maddening deep
That rock where heart-struck Sappho, vainly brave, Stood, firm of soul-then from the dizzy steep
Impetuous sprung, and dash'd the boiling wave. Here wrapt in studious thought let Fancy rove,
Still prompt to mark Suspicion's secret snare; To see where Anguish nips the bloom of Love,
Or trace proud Grandeur to the domes of Care.
Should e'er Ambition's towering hopes inflame,
Let judging Reason draw the veil aside; Or, fir'd with envy at some mighty name,
Read o'er the monument that tells-He died.
What are the ensigns of imperial sway,
What all that Fortune's liberal hand has brought! Teach they the voice to pour a sweeter lay?
Or rouse the soul to more exalted thought ! When bleeds the heart as Genius blooms unknown,
When melts the eye o'er Virtue's mournful bier: Not wealth, but pity, swells the bursting groan;
Not power, but whispering Nature, prompts the tear.
Say, gentle mourner, in yon mouldy vault,
Where the worm fattens on some scepter'd brow, Beneath that roof with sculptur'd marble fraught,
Why sleeps unmov'd the breathless dust below?
Sleeps it more sweetly than the simple swain,
Beneath some mossy turf that rests his head; Where the lone widow tells the night her pain,
And eve with dewy tears embalms the dead?
The lily, screen'd from every ruder gale,
Courts not the cultur'd spot where roses spring : But blows neglected in the peaceful vale,
And scents the zephyr's balmy-breathing wing. The busts of grandeur and the pomp of power,
Can these bid Sorrow's gushing tears subside ? Can these avail in that tremendous hour,
When Death's cold hand congeals the purple tide!
Ah, no! the mighty names are heard no more : Pride's thought sublime, and Beauty's kindling
bloom, Serve but to sport one flying moment o'er, And swell with pompous verse the escutcheon'd
For me-may passion ne'er my soul invade,
Nor be the whims of towering Phrenzy given; Let wealth ne'er court me from the peaceful shade,
Where Contemplation wings the soul to Heaven !
Oh! guard me safe from Joy's enticing snare!
With each extreme that Pleasure tries to hide, The poison'd breath of slow-consuming Care,
The noise of Folly, and the dreams of Pride.
But oft when midnight's sadly solemn knell
Sounds long and distant from the sky-topt tower, Calm let me sit in Prosper's lonely cell, *
Or walk with Milton thro' the dark obscure,
Ti us, when the transient dream of life is fed
May some sad friend recal the former years; The , stretch'd in silence o'er my dusty bed,
Pour the warm gush of sympathetic tears!
• See Shakespeare's Tempest.
BY DR. PORTEUS, BISHOP OF LONDON.
FRIEND. to the
wretch whom every friend forsakes, I woo thee, Death! in Fancy's fairy paths Let the gay songster rove, and gently trill The strain of empty joy. Life and its joys I leave to those that prize them. At this hour, This solemn hour, when silence rules the world, And wearied nature makes a general pause ; Wrapt in night's sable robe, thro' cloisters drear And charnels pale, tenanted by a throng Of meagre phantoms shooting cross my path With silent glance, I seek the „hadowy vale Of Death. Deep in a murky cave's recess, Lav'd by Oblivion's listless stream, and fenc'd By shelving rocks, and intermingled horrors Of yew and cypress shade, from all intrusion Of busy noontide beam, the Monarch sits In unsubstantial majesty enthron'd. At his right hand, nearest himself in place And fruitfulness of form, his parent Sin, With fatal industry and cruel care Busies herself in pointing all his stings, And tipping every shaft with venom drawn From her infernal store : around him rang'd In terrible array, and mixture strange Of uncouth shapes, stand bis dread ministers. Foremost Old Age, his natural ally And firmest friend; next him diseases thick, A motly train; Fever with cheek of fire ; Consumption wan; Palsy, half-warm with life, And half a clay-cold lump; joint-tort'ring Gout, And ever-gnawing Rheum ; Convulsion wild;
Swoln Dropsy; panting Asthma; Apoplex
Ill-fated Man, for whom such various forms