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Since taste has now expunged licentious wit,
Which stamp'd disgrace on all an author writ;
Since now to please with purer scenes we seek,
Nor dare to call the blush from Beauty's cheek,
Oh ! let the modest Muse some pity claim,
And meet indulgence, though she find not fame.
Still, not for her alone we wish respect,
Others appear more conscious of defect :
To-night no veteran Roscii you behold,
In all the arts of scenic action old ;
No Cooke, no Kemble, can salute you here,
No Siddons draw the sympathetic tear;
To-night you throng to witness the début
Of embryo actors to the Drama new :
Here, then, our almost unfledged wings we try ;
Clip not our pinions ere the birds can fly:
Failing in this our first attempt to soar,
Drooping, alas ! we fall to rise no more,
Not one poor trembler only fear betrays,
Who hopes, yet almost dreads, to meet your praise ;
But all our dramatis persone wait
In fond suspense this crisis of their fate.
No venal views our progress can retard,
Your generous plaudits are our sole reward :
For these, each Hero all his power displays,
Each timid Heroine shrinks before your gaze.
Surely the last will some protection find ;-
None to the softer sex can prove unkind :
While Youth and Beauty form the female shield,
The sternest censor to the fair must yield.
Yet, should our feeble efforts nought avail,
Should, after all, our best endeavours fail,
Still let some mercy in your bosoms live,
And, if you can't applaud, at least forgive.
THE FOLLOWING ILLIBERAL IMPROMPTU APPEARED IN A
“ Our nation's foes lament on Fox's death,
But bless the hour when Pitt resign'd his breath :
These feelings wide, let sense and truth unclue,
We give the palm where Justice points its due."
TO WHICH THE AUTHOR OF THESE PIECES SENT THE
OH íactious viper ! whose envenom'd tooth
Would mangle still the dead, perverting truth ;
What though our "nation's foes” lament the fate,
With generous feeling of the good and great,
Shall dastard tongues essay to blast the name
Of him whose meed exists in endless fame?
When Pitt expired in plenitude of power,
Though ill success obscured his dying hour,
Pity her dewy wings before him spread,
For noble spirits
war not with the dead :"
His friends, in tears, a last sad requiem gave,
As all his errors slumber'd in the grave;
He sunk, an Atlas bending 'neath the weight
Of cares o'erwhelming our conflicting state;
When, lo! a Hercules in Fox appear'd,
Who for a time the ruin'd fabric rear'd :
He, too, is fall'n, who Britain's loss supplied,
With him our fast-reviving hopes have died ;
Not one great people only raise his urn,
All Europe's far-extended regions mourn.
“These feelings wide, let sense and truth unclue,
To give the palm where Justice points its due;"
Yet let not canker'd Calumny assail,
Or round our statesman wind her gloomy veil.
Fox ! o'er whose corse a mourning world must weep,
Whose dear remains in honour'd marble sleep ;
For whom, at last, e'en hostile nations groan,
While friends and foes alike his talents own;
Fox shall in Britain's future annals shine,
Nor e'en to Pitt the patriot's palm resign;
Which Envy, wearing Candour's sacred mask,
For Pitt, and Pitt alone, has dared to ask.
“O lachrymarum fons, tenero sacros
Ducentiun ortus ex animo; quater
Felix ! in imo qui scatentem
Pectore te, pia Nympha, sensit."-Gray.
WHEN Friendship or Love our sympathies move,
When Truth in a glance should appear,
The lips may beguile with a dimple or smile,
But the test of affection 's a Tear.
Too oft is a smile but the hypocrite's wile,
To mask detestation or fear ;
Give me the soft sigh, whilst the soul-telling eye
Is dimm'd for a time with a Tear.
Mild Charity's glow, to us mortals below,
Shows the soul from barbarity clear ;
Compassion will melt where this virtue is felt,
And its dew is diffused in a Tear.
The man doom'd to sail with the blast of the gale,
Through billows Atlantic to steer,
As he bends o'er the wave which may soon be his grave,
The green sparkles bright with a Tear.
The soldier braves death for a fanciful wreath
In Glory's romantic career :
But he raises the foe when in battle laid low,
And bathes every wound with a Tear.
If with high-bounding pride he return to his bride,
Renouncing the gore-crimson'd spear,
All his toils are repaid when, embracing the maid,
From her eyelid he kisses the Tear.
Sweet scene of my youth! seat of Friendship and Truth, *
Where love chased each fast-fleeting year,
Loath to leave thee, I mourn'd, for a last look I turn'd,
But thy spire was scarce seen through a Tear.
Though my vows I can pour to my Mary no more,
My Mary to love once so dear;
In the shade of her bower I remember the hour
She rewarded those vows with a Tear.
By another possess'd, may she live ever blest !
Her name still my heart must revere:
With a sigh I resign what I once thought was mine,
And forgive her deceit with a Tear.
Ye friends of my heart, ere from you I depart,
This hope to my breast is most near :
If again we shall meet in this rural retreat,
May we meet, as we part, with a Tear.
When my soul wings her flight to the regions of night,
And my corse shall recline on its bier,
As ye pass by the tomb where my ashes consume,
Oh ! moisten their dust with a Tear.
May no marble bestow the splendour of woe,
Which the children of vanity rear ;
No fiction of fame shall blazon my name ;
All I ask-all I wish-is a Tear.
October 26th, 1806.
OF J. M. B. PIGOT, ESQ., ON THE CRUELTY OF HIS MISTRESS.
Why, Pigot, complain of this damsel's disdain,
Why thus in despair do you fret?
For months you may try, yet, believe me, a sigh
Will never obtain a coquette.
Would you teach her to love ? for a time seem to rove;
At first she may frown in a pet;
But leave her awhile, she shortly will smile,
And then you may kiss your coquette.
For such are the airs of these fanciful fairs,
They think all our homage a debt:
Yet a partial neglect soon takes an effect,
And humbles the proudest coquette.
Dissemble your pain, and lengthen your chain,
And seem her hauteur to regret;
If again you shall sigh, she no more will deny
That yours is the rosy coquette.
If still, from false pride, your pangs she deride,
This whimsical virgin forget;
Some other admire, who will melt with your fire,
And laugh at the little coquette.
For me, I adore some twenty or more,
And love them most dearly; but yet,
Though my heart they enthral, I'd abandon them all,
Did they act like your blooming coquette.
No longer repine, adopt this design,
And break through her slight-woven net;
Away with despair, no longer forbear
To fly from the captious coquette.
Then quit her, my friend ! your bosom defend,
Ere quite with her snares you're beset :
Lest your deep-wounded heart, when incensed by the smart,
Should lead you to curse the coquette.
October 27th, 1806.
TO THE SIGHING STREPHON.
YOUR pardon, my friend, if my rhymes did offend,
Your pardon, a thousand times o'er :
From friendship, I strove your pangs to remove,
But I swear I will do so no more.
Since your beautiful maid your flame has repaid,
No more I your folly regret;
She's now most divine, and I bow at the shrine
Of this quickly reformed coquette.
Yet still, I must own, I should never have known
From your verses, what else she deserved ;
Your pain seem'd so great, I pitied your fate,
As your fair was so devilish reserved.
Since the balm-breathing kiss of this magical miss
Can such wonderful transports produce ;
Since the “world you forget, when your lips once have met,"
My counsel will get but abuse.
You say, when “I rove, I know nothing of love ;"
"Tis true, I am given to range :
If I rightly remember, I've loved a good number,
Yet there's pleasure, at least, in a change.
I will not advance, by the rules of romance,
To humour a whimsical fair;
Though a smile may delight, yet a frown won't affright,
Or drive me to dreadful despair.
While my blood is thus warm, I ne'er shall reform,
To mix in the Platonists' school ;
Of this I am sure, was my passion so pure,
Thy mistress would think me a fool.
And if I should shun every woman for one
Whose image must fill my whole breast
Whom I must prefer, and sigh but for her-
What an insult 'twould be to the rest!
Now, Strephon, good bye; I cannot deny
Your passion appears most absurd !
Such love as you plead is pure love indeed,
For it only consists in the word.
TO ELIZA. ELIZA, what fools are the Mussulman sect,
Who to women deny the soul's future existence ; Could they see thee, Eliza, they'd own their defect,
And this doctrine would meet with a general resistance. Had their prophet possess'd half an atom of sense,
He ne'er would have women from paradise driven ; Instead of his houris, a flimsy pretence,
With women alone he had peopled his heaven. Yet still, to increase your calamities more,
Not content with depriving your bodies of spirit, He allots one poor husband to share amongst four
With souls you'd dispense; but this last who could bear it? His religion to please neither party is made;
On husbands 'tis hard, to the wives most uncivil ; Still I can't contradict, what so oft has been said,
“Though women are angels, yet wedlock 's the devil.”
LACHIN Y GAIR.*
Away, ye gay landscapes, ye gardens of roses !
In you let the minions of luxury rove;
Restore me the rocks, where the snow-flake reposes,
Though still they are sacred to freedom and love :
• Lachin y Gair, or, as it is pronounced in the Erse, Loch na Garr, towers prondly pre-eminent in the Northern Highlan 13, near Invercauld. One of our modern tourists mentions it as the highest mountain, perhaps, in Great Britain. Be this as it may, it is cortainly one of the most sublime and picturesque amongst our“ Caledonian Alps." Its appearance is of a dusky hue, but the summit is the seat of eternal snows. Near Lachin y Gair I spent some of the early part of my life, the recollection of which has given birth to these stanzas.