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read; but I have not been guilty of intentional plagiarism. To produce anything entirely new, in an age so fertile in rhyme, would be a Herculean task, as every subject has already been treated to its utmost extent. Poetry, however, is not my primary vocation; to divert the dull moments of indisposition, or the monotony of a vacant hour, urged me to this sin' little can be expected from so unpromising a muse. My wreath, scanty as it must be, is all I shall derive from these productions; and I shall never attempt to replace its fading leaves, or pluck a single additional sprig from groves where I am, at best, an intruder. Though accustomed, in my younger days, to rove a careless mountaineer on the Highlands of Scotland, I have not of late years had the benefit of such pure air, or so elevated a residence, as might enable me to enter the lists with genuine bards who have enjoyed both these advantages. But they derive considerable fame, and a few not less profit, from their productions: while I shall expiate my rashness as an interloper, certainly without the latter, and in all probability with a very slight share of the former. I leave to others 'virúm volitare per ora. I look to the few who will hear with patience dulce est desipere in loco. To the former worthies I resign, without repining, the hope of immortality, and content myself with the not very magnificent prospect of ranking amongst 'the mob of gentlemen who write '-my readers must determine whether I dare say 'with ease-or the honour of a posthumous page in The Catalogue of Royal and Noble Authors, -a work to which the Peerage is under infinite obligations, inasmuch as many names of considerable length, sound, and antiquity are thereby rescued from the obscurity which unluckily overshadows several voluminous productions of their illustrious bearers.
With slight hopes, and some fears, I publish this first and last attempt. To the dictates of young ambition may be ascribed many actions more criminal and equally absurd. To a few of my own age, the contents may afford amusement : trust they will, at least, be found harmless. It is highly improbable, from my situation and pursuits hereafter, that I should ever obtrude myself a second time on the public; nor, even in the very doubtful event of present indulgence, shall I be tempted to commit a future trespass of the same nature. The opinion of Dr Johnson on the Poems of a noble relation of mine, that when a man of rank appeared in the character of an author, he deserved to have his merit handsomely allowed,' can have little weight with verbal, and still less with periodical censors; but were it otherwise, I should be loth to avail myself of the privilege, and would rather incur the bitterest censure of anonymous criticism, than triumph in honours granted solely to a title.
• Frederick Howard, fifth Earl of Carlisle, author of fugitive pieces and two tragedies, was born 1748, and died in 1826.
HOURS OF IDLENESS.
WRITTEN FROM 1802 TO 1807.
ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG LADY, COUSIN TO THE AUTHOR, AND VERY DEAR TO HIM.†
HUSH'D are the winds, and still the evening gloom,
Not e'en a zephyr wanders through the grove, Whilst I return, to view my Margaret's tomb, And scatter flowers on the dust I love.
Within this narrow cell reclines her clay,
That clay where once such animation beam'd; The King of Terrors seized her as his prey: Not worth, nor beauty, have her life redeem'd. Oh! could that King of Terrors pity feel,
Or Heaven reverse the dread decrees of fate! Not here the mourner would his grief reveal, Not here the muse her virtues would relate. But wherefore weep? Her matchless spirit soars Beyond where splendid shines the orb of day; And weeping angels lead her to those bowers
Where endless pleasures virtue's deeds repay. And shall presumptuous mortals Heaven arraign,
And, madly, godlike Providence accuse?
Yet fresh the memory of that beauteous face; Still they call forth my warm affection's tear, Still in my heart retain their wonted place.
Yet envy not this gaudy state;
IN thee I fondly hoped to clasp
Detach'd thee from my breast for ever.
EPITAPH ON A FRIEND.
OH Friend! for ever loved, for ever dear! What fruitless tears have bathed thy honour'd bier!
What sighs re-echo'd to thy parting breath, Whilst thou wast struggling in the pangs of death!
Could tears retard the tyrant in his course;
The spot where now thy mouldering ashes lie,
What though thy sire lament his failing line,
WHEN, to their airy hall, my fathers' voice
ON LEAVING NEWSTEAD ABBEY. 'Why dost thou build the hall, son of the winged days? Thou lookest from thy tower to-day; yet a few years, and the blast of the desert comes, it howls in thy empty court.'-OSSIAN. THROUGH thy battlements, Newstead, the hollow winds whistle;
Thou, the hall of my fathers, art gone to decay; In thy once smiling garden, the hemlock and thistle [in the way. Have choked up the rose which late bloom'd Of the mail-cover'd Barons, who proudly to battle Led their vassals from Europe to Palestine's plain, [blast rattle, The escutcheon and shield, which with every Are the only sad vestiges now that remain. No more doth old Robert, with heart-stringing numbers, [wreath;
Raise a flame in the breast for the war-laurell'd Near Askalon's towers John of Horistan slumbers, Unnerved is the hand of his minstrel by death. Paul and Hubert, too, sleep in the valley of Cressy;
For the safety of Edward and England they My fathers! the tears of your country redress ye; How you fought, how you died, still her annals
On Marston, with Rupert, 'gainst traitors contending,*
Four brothers enrich'd with their blood the bleak field; [ing, For the rights of a monarch their country defendTill death their attachment to royalty seal'd.
• Marston Moor, where the adherents of Charles I. were defeated.-Prince Rupert, son of the Elector Palatine, and nephew to Charles I. He afterwards commanded the fleet in the reign of Charles II.
Shades of heroes, farewell; your descendant, departing
From the seat of his ancestors, bids you adieu ! Abroad, or at home, your remembrance imparting
New courage, he'll think upon glory and you. Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation, 'Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regret; Far distant he goes, with the same emulation, The fame of his fathers he ne'er can forget. That fame and that memory still will he cherish He vows that he ne'er will disgrace your
Like you will he live, or like you will he perish : When decay'd, may he mingle his dust with your own.
WRITTEN IN 'LETTERS OF AN ITALIAN NUN
Away, away, your flattering arts
ANSWER TO THE FOREGOING, ADDRESSED
DEAR, simple girl, those flattering arts
Mere phantoms of thine own creation :
ADRIAN'S ADDRESS TO HIS SOUL
AH! gentle, fleeting, wav'ring sprite,
To what unknown region borne,
But pallid, cheerless, and forlorn.
TRANSLATION FROM CATULLUS.
EQUAL to Jove that youth must be-
Animula vagula, blandula,
Who, free from Jealousy's alarms,
I needs must gaze, but, gazing, die :
My pulse beats quick, my breath heaves short,
TRANSLATION OF THE EPITAPH ON VIRGIL AND TIBULLUS.
BY DOMITIUS MARSUS.
HE who sublime in epic numbers roll'd,
IMITATION OF TIBULLUS. 'Sulpicia ad Cerinthum.'-Lib. iv. CRUEL Cerinthus ! does the fell disease Which racks my breast your fickle bosom please? Alas! I wish'd but to o'ercome the pain, That I might live for love and you again: But now I scarcely shall bewail my fate; By death alone I can avoid your hate.
TRANSLATION FROM CATULLUS.
(Lugete, Veneres, Cupidinesque, &c.]
Whom dearer than her eyes she loved :
From whom no earthly power can save, For thou hast ta'en the bird away : From thee my Lesbia's eyes o'erflow, Her swollen cheeks with weeping glow Thou art the cause of all her woe, Receptacle of life's decay.
IMITATED FROM CATULLUS.
OH! might I kiss those eyes of fire,
TRANSLATION FROM HORACE. [Justum et tenacem propositi virum, &c.] THE man of firm and noble soul No factious clamours can control; No threat'ning tyrant's darkling brow Can swerve him from his just intent : Gales the warring waves which plough, By Auster on the billows spent, To curb the Adriatic main,
Would awe his fix'd, determined mind in vain.
Ay, and the red right arm of Jove,
He would unmoved, unawed behold.
Again in crashing chaos roll'd,
In vast promiscuous ruin hurl'd,
Might light his glorious funeral pile; [smile. Still dauntless 'midst the wreck of earth he'd
FROM ANACREON. [Θέλω λεγεῖν Ατρείδας, κ. τ. λ.] I WISH to tune my quivering lyre To deeds of fame and notes of fire; To echo, from its rising swell, How heroes fought and nations fell, When Atreus' sons advanced to war, Or Tyrian Cadmus roved afar; But still, to martial strains unknown, My lyre recurs to love alone: Fired with the hope of future fame, I seek some nobler hero's name : The dying chords are strung anew, To war, to war, my harp is due; With glowing strings, the epic strain To Jove's great son I raise again; Alcides and his glorious deeds, Beneath whose arm the Hydra bleeds.
All, all in vain; my wayward lyre
FROM ANACREON. [Μεσονυκτίαις ποθ' ώραις, κ. τ. λ.] "TWAS now the hour when Night had driven Her car half round yon sable heaven; Boötes, only, seem'd to rolle
His arctic charge around the pole : While mortals, lost in gentle sleep, Forgot to smile, or ceased to weep: At this lone hour, the Paphian boy, Descending from the realms of joy, ¡Quick to my gate directs his course, And knocks with all his little force. My visions fled, alarm'd I rose'What stranger breaks my blest repose?' 'Alas!' replies the wily child, In faltering accents sweetly mild, 'A hapless infant here I roam, Far from my dear maternal home. Oh! shield me from the wintry blast! The nightly storm is pouring fast. No prowling robber lingers here. A wandering baby who can fear?' I heard his seeming artless tale, I heard his sighs upon the gale : My breast was never pity's foe, But felt for all the baby's woe. I drew the bar, and by the light, Young Love, the infant, met my sight; His bow across his shoulders flung, And thence his fatal quiver hung (Ah! little did I think the dart Would rankle soon within my heart). With care I tend my weary guest, His little fingers chill my breast; His glossy curls, his azure wing, Which droop with nightly showers, I wring; His shivering limbs the embers warm ; And now reviving from the storm, Scarce had he felt his wonted glow, Than swift he seized his slender bow: 'I fain would know, my gentle host,' He cried, if this its strength has lost; I fear, relax'd with midnight dews, The strings their former aid refuse.' With poison tipt, his arrow flies, Deep in my tortured heart it lies; Then loud the joyous urchin laugh'd: 'My bow can still impel the shaft : 'Tis firmly fix'd, thy sighs reveal it ; Say, courteous host, canst thou not feel it?'
FROM THE PROMETHEUS VINCTUS OF ESCHYLUS.
[Μηδαμ' ὁ πάντα νέμων, κ. τ. λ.]
GREAT Jove, to whose almighty throne Both gods and mortals homage pay, Ne'er may my soul thy power disown, Thy dread behests ne'er disobey. Oft shall the sacred victim fall In sea-girt Ocean's mossy hall; My voice shall raise no impious strain, 'Gainst him who rules the sky and azure main. How different now thy joyless fate, Since first Hesione thy bride, When placed aloft in godlike state,
The blushing beauty by thy side, Thou sat'st, while reverend Ocean smiled, And mirthful strains the hours beguiled. The Nymphs and Tritons danced around. Nor yet thy doom was fix'd, nor Jove relentless frown'd.
SINCE now the hour is come at last,
When you must quit your anxious lover; Since now ur dream of bliss is past, One pang, my girl, and all is over. Alas! that pang will be severe,
Which bids us part to meet no more;
Well! we have pass'd some happy hours,
Where from this Gothic casement's height,
Whilst I, admiring, too remiss,
Forgot to scare the hovering flies, Yet envied every fly the kiss
It dared to give your slumbering eyes : See still the little painted bark,
In which I row'd you o'er the lake;
Without thee, what will they avail?