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Each dazzling light and gaudier bloom subdued,
With undiminish'd awe his works are view'd :
E'en Beauty's portrait wears a softer prime,
Touch'd by the tender hand of mellowing Time.
The patient Sculptor owns an humbler part,
A ruder toil, and more mechanic art;
Content with slow and timorous stroke to trace
The lingering line, and mould the tardy grace ;
But once achieved—though barbarous wreck o'erthrow
The sacred fane, and lay its glories low,
Yet shall the sculptured ruin rise to day,
Graced by defeet, and worshipp'd in decay ;
Th' enduring record bears the artist's name,
Demands his honours, and asserts his fame.
Superior hopes the Poet's bosom fire ;
O proud distinction of the sacred lyre !
Wide as th' inspiring Phoebus darts his ray,
Diffusive splendour gilds his votary's lay.
Whether the song heroic woes rehearse,
With epic grandeur, and the pomp of verse;
Or, fondly gay, with unambitious guile,
Attempt no prize but favouring beauty's smile;
Or bear dejected to the lonely grove
The soft despair of unprevailing love, -
Whate'er the theme-through every age and clime
Congenial passions meet th' according rhyme;
The pride of glory-pity's sigh sincere-
Youth's earliest blush-and beauty's virgin tear.
Such is their meed—their honours thus secure,
Whose arts yield objects, and whose works endure.
The Actor, only, shrinks from Time's award ;
Feeble tradition is his memory's guard;
By whose faint breath his merits must abide,
Unvouch'd by proof—to substance unallied !
E'en matchless Garrick's art, to heaven resign'd,
No fix'd effect, no model leaves behind !
The grace of action--the adapted mien,
Faithful as nature to the varied scene;
Th’ expressive glance-whose subtile comment draws
Entranced attention, and a mute applause;
Gesture that marks, with force and feeling fraught,
A sense in silence, and a will in thought;
Harmonious speech, whose pure and liquid tone
Gives verse a music, scarce confess'd its own ;
As light from gems assumes a brighter ray,
And clothed with orient hues, transcends the day!
Passion's wild break—and frown that awes the sense
And every charm of gentler eloquence-
All perishable ! like th' electric fire,
But strike the frame-and as they strike expire:
Incense too pure a bodied flame to bear,
Its fragrance charms the sense, and blends with air,
Where then-while sunk in cold decay he lies,
And pale eclipse for ever veils those eyes,
Where is the blest memorial that ensures
Our Garrick's fame ?—whose is the trust ?~'Tis yours
And O! by every charm his art essay'd
To soothe your cares !- by every grief allay'd !
By the hush'd wonder which his accents drew!
By his last parting tear, repaid by you !
By all those thoughts, which many a distant night
Shall mark his memory with a sad delight!
Still in your hearts' dear record bear his name;
Cherish the keen regret that lifts his fame;
To you it is bequeath'd-assert the trust,
And to his worth—'tis all you can-be just.
What more is due from sanctifying Time,
To cheerful wit, and many a favour'd rhyme,
O'er his graced urn shall bloom, a deathless wreath,
Whose blossom'd sweets shall deck the mask beneath:
For these,—when Sculpture's votive toil shall rear
The due memorial of a loss so dear-
O loveliest mourner, gentle Muse! be thine
The pleasing woe to guard the laurelld shrine.
As Fancy, oft by Superstition led
To roam the mansions of the sainted dead,
Has view'd, by shadowy eve's unfaithful gloom
A weeping cherub on a martyr's tomb
So thou, sweet Muse, hang o'er his sculptured bier
With patient woe, that loves the lingering tear;
With thoughts that mourn-nor yet desire relief;
With meek regret, and fond enduring grief;
With looks that speak—He never shall return !
Chilling thy tender bosom, clasp his urn;
And with soft sighs disperse th' irreverend dust
Which Time may strew upon his sacred bust.
THE MOSS-COVERED GROTTO.* UNCOUTH is this moss-cover'd grotto of stone,
And damp is the shape of this dew-dripping tree; Yet I this rude grotto with rapture will own,
And, willow, thy damps are refreshing to me. For this is the grotto where Delia reclined,
As late I in secret her confidence sought; And this is the tree kept her safe from the wind,
As blushing she heard the grave lesson I taught. Then tell me, thou grotto of moss-cover'd stone,
And tell me, thou willow with leaves dripping dew, Did Delia seem vex'd when Horatio was gone,
And did she confess her resentment to you.
Methinks now each bough, as you're waving, it tries
To whisper a cause for the sorrow I feel;
To hint how she frown'd when I dared to advise,
And sigh'd when she saw that I did it with zeal.
True, true, silly leaves, so she did, I allow,
She frown'd, but no rage in her looks did I see; She frown'd, but reflection had clouded her brow,
She sigh'd but perhaps 'twas in pity for me. Then wave thy leaves brisker, thou willow of woe,
I tell thee no rage in her looks could I see ;
I cannot-I will not, believe it was so,
She was not-she could not, be angry with me.
For well did she know that my heart meant no wrong,
It sunk at the thought but of giving her pain,
But trusted its task to a faltering tongue,
Which err'd from the feelings it could not explain.
Yet oh ! if indeed I've offended the maid,
If Delia my humble monition refuse,
Sweet willow, the next time she visits thy shade,
Fan gently her bosom, and plead its excuse.
And thou, stony grot, in thy arch may'st preserve
Two lingering drops of the night-fallen dew, And just let them fall at her feet and they'll serve
As tears of my sorrow entrusted to you. • Verses addressed to Miss Linley, and left on the seat of the grotto in Spring Gardens, Bath,
Or lest they unheeded should fall at her feet,
Let them fall on her bosom of snow, and I swear The next time I visit thy moss-cover'd seat,
I'll pay thee each drop with a genuine tear. So may'st thou, green willow, for ages thus toss
Thy branches so lank o'er the slow-winding stream, And thou, stony grotto, retain all thy moss,
While yet there's a poet to make thee his theme. Nay more, may my Delia still give you her charms,
Each evening, and sometimes the whole evening long Then, grotto, be proud to support her white arms,
Then, willow, wave all thy green tops to her song.
TEACH me, kind Hymen ! teach—for thou
Must be my only tutor now-
Teach me some innocent employ
That shall the hateful thought destroy,
"That I this whole long night must pass
In exile from my love's embrace.
Alas! thou hast no wings, oh Time!
It was some thoughtless lover's rhyme,
Who, writing in his Chloe's view,
Paid her the compliment through you ;
For had he, if he truly loved,
But once the pangs of absence proved,
He'd cropt thy wings, and in their stead,
Have painted thee with heels of lead
But 'tis the temper of the mind,
Where we thy regulator find :
Still o'er the gay and o'er the young,
With unfelt steps you flit along;
As Virgil's nymph o'er ripen'd corn,
With such ethereal haste was borne,
That every stock with upright head
Denied the pressure of her tread ;
But o'er the wretched, oh, how slow
And heavy sweeps thy scythe of woe !
Oppressed beneath each stroke they bow,
Thy course engraven on their brow.
A day of absence shall consume
The glow of youth, and manhood's bloom;
And one short night of anxious fear
Shall leave the wrinkles of a year.
For me, who, when I'm happy, owe
No thanks to fortune that I'm so ;
Who long have learned to look at one
Dear object, and at one alone,
For all the joy and all the sorrow
That gilds the day or threats the morrow;
I never felt thy footsteps light,
But when sweet love did aid thy flight;
And, banish'd from his blest dominion,
I cared not for thy borrow'd pinion.
True, she is mine, and since she's mine,
At trifles I should not repine ;
But oh ! the iniser's real pleasure
Is not in knowing he has treasure :
He must behold his golden store,
And feel and count his riches o'er.
Thus I, of one dear gem possess'd
And in that treasure only blest,
There every day would seek delight,
And clasp the casket every night.
DAMON TO DELIA. Ask'st thou how long my love shall stay :..?
When all that's new is past;
How long? Ah, Delia, can I say
How long my life will last ?
Dry be that tearmbe hush'd that sigh,
At least I'll love thee till I die.
And does that thought afflict thee too,
The thought of Damon's death;
That he who only lives for you
Must yield his faithful breath?
Hush'd be that sigh—be dried that tear,
Nor let us lose our Heaven here.
DELIA TO DAMON.* Think'st thou, my Damon, I'd forego This tender luxury of woe;
* The reply was written by Mrs. Sheridan.