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In vain! in vain! no efforts can controul
The creeping torpor that subdues his soul.
As some lost mariner who strives to hail,
Stretch'd on the billowy deep, a passing sail;
While swift before the wind the vessel flies,
Unseen his signals, and unheard his cries;
And oft despairs, but still renews the strife,
Upheld by buoyant hope and love of life:
At length he sinks, no friendly succour near,
The knell of death resounding in his ear:
So sinks the mind with noblest ardour fraught,
When labour presses down the spring of thought.
Around his couch no wonted visions smile;
Deep are the slumbers of the sons of toil.
Imagination, that in happier days,
Still as declining Reason veil'd his rays,
Rose like the queen of heaven with brow serene,
And threw a trembling radiance o'er the scene,
No more shines forth amid the clouds of night;
Or sheds a broken, melancholy light.
Welcome then, Sunday! to the wretched given;
A boon to misery, most worthy heav'n!
A resting-place beside life's weary road,
To ease the groaning pilgrim of his load;
To raise his drooping head, surcharg'd with years,
And give him time to wipe away his tears.
By labour brutalised, the people then
Start up, and re-assume the shape of men;
To social bliss unlock the feeling heart,
And for a time perform a human part.
The soul athirst for knowledge takes her fill,
And drinks from learning's antique vase at will.
The banish'd worshipper at nature's shrine,
Again admitted, views her face divine;
Ahd hears her soothing, soft, maternal voice
Bid him go forth, and in her smile rejoice.
Glad he obeys, and wand'ring far and wide*
Follows some wooded stream's descending tide;
Or climbs where yon clear ridgy summits rise,
With sharp blue edge, along the northern skies,
To some bold peak, superior and alone,
To swiftest wing and wildest foot unknown;
Whence the strain'd eye with wonder stoops to trace
The insect dwellings of the human race.
FREE IMITATION OF « PERSICOS ODI."
Dinners of form, I vote a bore,
Where folks, who never met before,
And care not if they ne'er meet more, Are brought together:
Cramm'd close as mackerel in their places,
They eat with Chtsterfieldian graces,
Drink healths, and talk, with sapient faces, About the weather.
Thrice blest, who at an inn unbends
With half a dozen of his friends,
And while the curling smoke ascends
In volumes sable,
Mirth and good humour round him sees,
Chats, lolling backward, at his ease,
Or cocks his cross'd legs, if he please,
Upon the table.
VOL. ir, R
Ah who art thou of more than mortal birth, Whom heaven adorns with beauty's brightest beam, On wings of speed why spurn'st thou thus the earth?"Known but to few, Occasion is my name."No rest I find, for underneath my feet"The eternal circle rolls that speeds my way;"Not the strong eagle wings her course so fleet;"And these my glittering pinions I display,"That from the dazzling sight thine eyes may turn away;"In full luxuriance o'er my angel face
"Float my thick tresses, free and unconfin'd,
*' That through the veil my features few may trace;
"But not one lock adorns my head behind.
"Once past, for ever gone, no mortal might
"Shall bid the circling wheel return again."
But who is she, companion of thy flight r
"Repentance !" if thou grasp at me in vain,
"Then must thou in thine arms her loathsome form
And now while heedless of the truths I sing,
Vain thoughts and fond desires thy time employ;
Ah, seest thou not—on swift but silent wing
The form that smiled so fair has glided by.
THE CHEVALIER DE LILLE'S PROPHECY,
WRITTEN IN THE YEAH 1777.
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH.
Long live the lights of human kind,
Ye formers of the Gallic mind,
Reason and Wit ye well employ
To make our nation greater!
And, to complete the gen'ral joy,
Restore a state of nature.
From no old musty books ye steal
The wisdom which ye preach us:
Your own capacious minds can deal
New stores of sense to teach us.
Talk as you will of old Colbert,
Of Sully, and such prosers, Those dunces no one cau compare
With our great state composers.
Soon shall ye see all ranks of men
Confounded on one level;
The wretch, who lies on straw-bed, then
On bed of down shall revel.
Into one mass our wealth we'll throw,
The world to equalize;
Then draw a lottery, and shew
How each shall have a prize.
Then, friendly walking side by side,
The equal prince and clown
Shall prove that Frenchmen take a pride
The rights of man to own.
Then farewel laws, and such old things,
Ye parliaments farewel,
Adieu ye princes, dukes and kings,
Now blackguards bear the bell.
When by Philosophy we're grown
So very good and wise,
Frenchmen with gods, 'till now ne'er known,
Shall colonize the skies.
Wheu old Devotion's pack'd away,
And Heav'n no more we dream on,
Frenchmen shall adoration pay
To their own type, some daemon.
Then will our jolly days begin,
Our loves will be in common;
Concubinage will be no sin,
Nor modest any woman.
With cap of Liberty so red
Each drunken dad will vapour,
Dance carmagnols upon his head,
And teach his sons to caper.
Fat, lazy, droning Monks no more
At public cost shall fatten,
No longer Nuns shall Heav'n adore
With vesper or with matin;
But, casting all their vows aside,
They'll trip along their choir,
Each pale-fac'd Nun a blooming bride,
A husband ev'ry Friar.