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Written on seeing Mr. Dermody a very few hours before he died.
UNHAPPY youth! whose step the wayward Muse
Has far from plenty, far from peace beguil'd,
Leading thy patient course thro' many a wild,
Dinly illum'd by Hope's oft varying hues.
Oh! if as yet, the sight of woe can wean
From future sorrows thy devoted mind,
Come here, and, weary pilgrim! thou shalt find,
A dreadful warning, a memorial scene,
Where, faint and sinking with unusual grief,
The poet's sacred head untended lies;
No balm to lend his ebbing life relief,
No parent hand to close his languid eyes!
Lo! e'en the Muse, his lost fond idol leaves,
The aching breast, where ardent genius glow'd,
That breast, alas! a cold unmeet abode
No more lost fancy's brilliant spark receives!
His early woes some future wretch may save,
And breathe an awful lesson from the grave!
"A dear-bought Bargain all things duly weigh'd."
ATTEND my lay each gentle nymph and swain,
Whilst I rehearse, in tragi-comic strain,
The dire contentions 'twixt two virgins fair,
Who met like rival lawyers at the bar.
Their age-but here reluctant flows my rhyme,
This, young and fair,—that, rather past
The place of action next I will relate,
And the grand cause of this contention state.
The scene an auction, where a lovely prize,
Two Candlesticks struck each beholder's eyes;
Of polish'd glass, and curious form they were,
With dazz`ling lustres dangling here and there.
At sight of these the combatants were fir'd,
Alike they prais'd, and each alike desir'd:
But Dolotea, (so was the elder nam'd)
Fetch'd a deep sigh, and to herself exclaim'd
Great Jupiter! (then heav'd another sigh)
Give me those baubles, or, alas! I die.
High in his rostrum stood the auctioneer,
Thund'ring their value in each list'ning ear ;—
"Suppose five shillings to begin we fix,-'
The words scarce spoke another cries out six;
Quickly the sound reverb'rates back again,
Rising from seven to eight, from nine to ten:
Warm grew the contest as the price advanc'd,
Their fierce desires the value much enhanc'd;
Each firm and resolute supports her cause,
To two pounds five :-and here ensued a pause:
“What, five and forty shillings and no more,”
Burst from the rostrum-“ Ladies, don't give o'er :"
Till tir'd with hallooing, and his breath quite spent,
"'Tis gone," he cried, and down the hammer went.
Here Dolotea with indignant eyes,
Sees her young rival bearing off the prize;
Stop, stop," she cried, "good Mr. Auctioneer,
"'Twas two pounds six I bid, you did not hear;"
Who dares dispute the truth? I'm sure not I,
For would I think a lady e'er could lie?
Hence a new sale began-with double rage
On conquest bent, the combatants engage;
Just the same part they acted o'er again,
Till Dolotea bid up two pounds ten!
The contest here the youngest fair declin❜d,
And to her elder the bright prize resign'd :
O then what joy filled Dolotea's breast?
Th' ecstatic raptures plainly stood confest ;
Her fears remov'd, supreme delight took place,
Beam'd in her eyes, and redden'd in her face :
As to convey the glitt’ring baubles home,
She carried them in triumph from the room.
But Oh! the sequel of the story hear,
Prepare the lawn to dry the falling tear,
Ye gentle fair, whose breasts with softness glow,
And thro' whose veins sweet streams of pity flow.
The valu'd purchase (hapless was the case)
Was on its journey to its destin'd place,
There to remain 'midst china, gems, and plate;
When some sly demon envious of its fate,
In human form array'd, mixt in a throng,
Thro'which the luckless bearer trudg'd along,
With all his force collected 'gainst him run,
And broke those trophies late so dearly won.
Down at the foot of yon wide spreading wood,
That shades half the valley below;
Long had an ivy-thatch'd tenement stood,
Where Anna the lovely, and Oswald the good,
Liv'd, strangers to envy and woe;
Morality's lesson, the innocent tale,
Oft pass'd a sweet hour in the Cot of the Vale.
Fair Anna, her father's sole comfort and joy,
Was courted by many a swain ;
Contentment's felicity never can cloy,
She would not for wealth that contentment destroy,
And rejected each hand with disdain ;
True filial affection o'er love did prevail,
And to love she preferr'd the sweet Cot of the vale.
The lord of the manor, resolv'd to ensnare
This maid deck'd in nature's gay charms, One day as he watch'd round the cottage with care, He saw lovely Anna, enchantingly fair,
And bore her away in his arms :
Old Oswald deserted, her loss did bewail,
And sorrowing left the dear Cot of the Vale.
Despairing to find her, he sank on the spot,
And call'd on her name as he fell,
And now, see, dishevell'd she enters the cot,
She falls on the body, resign'd to her lot,
And of life takes a lasting farewell,
The tribute of penitence nought can avail,
For they lie in one grave near the Cot of the Vale.
Nor time, nor place can e'er remove,
The pleasing thoughts, the sweet impression, The melting glance that spoke "we love," The bliss that follow'd the confession.
You envied not the wedded dame,
Nor could I any wish discover,
To hold you by a stronger claim
Than as your fondly favour'd lover.
Six morns were witness to our bliss,
The seventh beheld that bliss decay,
The look of love, the burning kiss,
Grew faint and fainter every day.
Yet did we not our bosoms steel
With jealous rage, or cold disdaining;
The passion that we ceas'd to feel,
Wisdom and truth forbad our feigning.
Sweet were the hours we pass'd together,
One wish rose mutual from the heart;
So like our minds, I know not whether
We most rejoic'd to meet or part..
Think of repentant sorrows darts,
If when in sympathetic bands
The law of nature join'd our hearts,
The law of man had join'd our hands.
Oh what a paradise is love!
Thus wanton, unconfin'd and free,
Whose sweets, all other sweets above,
Now bloom for you, and now for me.
Then let us wander where we will,
Life and its joys in prospect shine ;
Yours is attractive beauty still,
And lovely woman still is mine.
Farewell! we both are free to rove,
The fever of desire is o'er ;
By mutual choice we met in love,
By mutual choice we meet no more.
TO A RED BREAST FLYING IN A CHURCH,
Σὺ δὲ φιλια γεωργών. Anacreon.
SWEET visitant, that lov'st the hallow'd shrine,
Devoid of trem'lous fears, that joy'st to wing
Athwart dim colour'd lights
That gothic windows shed:
I bless thee, warbler, bless the care of heav'n,
That, in thy tuneful breast, this instinct lodg'd.
Here, shelter'd from the air,
Thou ring'st thy echoes round,
These walls antique, these venerable piles
Of thy numb'd fellows thoughtless. While the winds
Blow blust'ring o'er the heath,
That offers no green shade.
Unwatch'd by gunner's eye, thou liv'st secure,
By tabby foes unwatch'd, or early death.
Meantime, thy hapless mates,
Or, bloody, stain chaste snows,