페이지 이미지

To show that all the flattering schemes of joy,
Which towering hope so fondly builds in air,
One fatal moment can destroy,

And plunge th' exulting maniac in despair.
Then, O! with pious fortitude sustain
Thy present loss-haply, thy future gain;
Nor let thy Emma die in vain;
Time shall administer its wonted balm,

And hush this storm of grief to no unpleasing calm.

Thus the poor bird, by some disast❜rous fate
Caught and imprison'd in a lonely cage,
Torn from its native fields, and dearer mate,

Flutters a while, and spends its little rage:
But, finding all its efforts weak and vain,

No more it pants and rages for the plain; Moping a while, in sullen mood

Droops the sweet mourner-but, ere long, Prunes its light wings, and pecks its food,

And meditates the song:

Serenely sorrowing, breathes its piteous case, And with its plaintive warblings saddens all the place.

[ocr errors]

Forgive me, Heaven-yet-yet the tears will flow, To think how soon my scene of bliss is past! My budding joys just promising to blow.

All nipt and wither'd by one envious blast!

My hours, that laughing wont to fleet away,
Move heavily along;

Where's now the sprightly jest, the jocund song?

Time creeps unconscious of delight: How shall I cheat the tedious day?

And Othe joyless night! Where shall I rest my weary head?

How shall I find repose on a sad widow'd bed?

Sickness and sorrow hovering round my bed,

Who now with anxious haste shall bring relief, With lenient hand support my drooping head, Assuage my pains, and mitigate my grief? Should worldly business call away,

Who now shall in my absence fondly mourn,
Count every minute of the loitering day,
Impatient for my quick return?
Should aught my bosom discompose,

Who now with sweet complacent air
Shall smooth the rugged brow of care,
And soften all my woes?
Too faithful memory—
-Cease, O cease-
How shall I e'er regain my peace?
(0 to forget her)-but how vain each art,
every virtue lives imprinted on my heart.

And thou, my little cherub, left behind,

To hear a father's plaints, to share his woes,

When reason's dawn informs thy infant mind,
And thy sweet-lisping tongue shall ask the cause,
How oft with sorrow shall mine eyes run o'er,
When, twining round my knees, I trace
Thy mother's smile upon thy face?

How oft to my full heart shalt thou restore
Sad memory of my joys-ah now no more!
By blessings once enjoy'd now more distrest,
More beggar by the riches once possest.
My little darling!—dearer to me grown
By all the tears thou'st caus'd—(O strange to

Bought with a life yet dearer than thy own,
Thy cradle purchas'd with thy mother's bier:
Who now shall seek, with fond delight,
Thy infant steps to guide aright?

She who with doating eyes would gaze
On all thy little artless ways,

By all thy soft endearments blest,

Alas! is gone

And clasp thee oft with transport to her breast,
Yet shalt thou prove
A father's dearest, tenderest love;
And O sweet senseless smiler (envied state!)
As yet unconscious of thy hapless fate,

When years thy judgment shall mature,
And reason shows those ills it cannot cure,
Wilt thou, a father's grief to assuage,
For virtue prove the phoenix of the earth?
(Like her, thy mother died to give thee birth)
And be the comfort of my age!

When sick and languishing I lie,

Wilt thou my Emma's wonted care supply?
And oft as to thy listening ear
Thy mother's virtues and her fate I tell,

Say, wilt thou drop the tender tear,
Whilst on the mournful theme I dwell?
Then, fondly stealing to thy father's side,

Whene'er thou seest the soft distress,
Which I would vainly seek to hide,

Say, wilt thou strive to make it less?
To sooth my sorrows all thy cares employ,
And in my cup of grief infuse one drop of joy?


BORN 1721.-DIED 1771.

TOBIAS SMOLLETT was the grandson of Sir James Smollett, of Bonhill, a member of the Scottish parliament, and one of the commissioners for the union. The father of the novelist was a younger son of the knight, and had married without his consent. He died in the prime of life, and left his children dependent on their grandfather. Were we to trust to Roderick Random's account of his relations, for authentic portraits of the author's family, we should entertain no very prepossessing idea of the old

gentleman; but it appears that Sir James Smollett supported his son, and educated his grandchildren.

Smollett was born near Renton, in the parish of Cardross, and shire of Dumbarton, and passed his earliest years among those scenes on the banks of the Leven, which he has described with some interest in the Adventures of Humphrey Clinker. He re. ceived his first instructions in classical learning at the school of Dumbarton. He was afterwards removed to the college of Glasgow, where he pursued the study of medicine; and, according to the practice then usual in medical education, was bound apprentice to a Mr. Gordon, a surgeon in that city. Gordon is generally said to have been the original of Potion in Roderick Random. This has been denied by Smollett's biographers; but their conjecture is of no more weight than the tradition which it contradicts. In the characters of a work, so compounded of truth and fiction, the author alone could have estimated the personality which he intended, and of that intention he was not probably communicative. The tradition still remaining at Glasgow is, that Smollett was a restive apprentice, and a mischievous stripling. While at the university he cultivated the study of literature, as well as of medicine, and shewed a disposition for poetry, but very often in that bitter vein of satire which he carried so plentifully into the temper of his future years. He had also, before he was eighteen, composed a tragedy, entitled the "Regicide." This tragedy

« 이전계속 »