Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Thy follies too; and with a just disdain
Frown at effeminates, whose very looks
Reflect dishonour on the land I love.
How, in the name of soldiership and sense,
Should England prosper, when such things, as smooth
And tender as a girl, all essenc'd o'er
With odours, and as profligate as sweet ;
Who sell their laurel for a myrtle wreath,
And love when they should fight; when such as these
Presume to lay their hand upon the ark
Of her magnificent and awful cause ?
Time was when it was praise and boast enough
In ev'ry clime, and travel where we might,
That we were born her children. Praise enough
To fill th' ambition of a private man,
That Chatham's language was his mother tongue,
And Wolfe's great name compatriot with his own.
Farewel those honours, and farewel with them
The hope of such hereafter ! They have fallen
Each in his field of glory ; one in arms,
And one in council-Wolfe upon the lap
Of smiling victory that moment won,
And Chatham heart-sick of his country's shame!
They made us many soldiers. Chatham, still
Consulting England's happiness at home,
Secur'd it by an unforgiving frown,
If any wrong'd her. Wolfe, where'er he fought,
Put so much of his heart into his act,
That his example had a magnet's force,
And all were swift to follow whom all lov'd.

Those suns are set. Oh, rise some other such !
Or all that we have left is empty talk
Of old achievements, and despair of new.

Now hoist the sail, and let the streamers float
Upon the wanton breezes. Strew the deck
With lavender, and sprinkle liquid sweets,
That no rude savour maritime invade
The nose of nice nobility! Breathe soft,
Ye clarionets; and softer still, ye flutes ;
That winds and waters, lull'd by magic sounds,
May bear us smoothly to the Gallic shore !
True, we have lost an empire-let it pass.
True ; we may thank the perfidy of France,
That pick'd the jewel out of England's crown,
With all the cunning of an envious shrew.
And let that pass-'twas but a trick of state !
A brave man knows no malice, but at once
Forgets in peace the injuries of war,
And gives his direst foe a friend's embrace.
And, sham'd as we have been, to th’ very beard
Brav'd and defied, and in our own sea prov'd
Too weak for those decisive blows that once
Ensur'd us mastry there, we yet retain
Some small pre-eminence; we justly boast
At least superior jockeyship, and claim
The honours of the turf as all our own!
Go, then, well worthy of the praise ye seek,
And show the shame ye might conceal at home
In foreign eyes !-be grooms, and win the plate
Where once your nobler fathers won a crown!

'Tis gen'rous to communicate your skill To those that need it. Folly is soon learn'd: And, under such preceptors, who can fail ?

There is a pleasure in poetic pains Which only poets know. The shifts and turns, Th' expedients and inventions, multiform, To which the mind resorts, in chase of terms Though apt, yet coy, and difficult to win Tarrest the fleeting images that fill The mirror of the mind, and hold them fast, And force them sit till he has pencil'd off A faithful likeness of the forms he views ; Then to dispose his copies with such art, That each may find its most propitious light, And shine by situation, hardly less Than by the labour and the skill it cost; Are occupations of the poet's mind So pleasing, and that steal away the thought With such address from themes of sad import, That, lost in his own musings, happy man! He feels th' anxieties of life, denied Their wonted entertainment, all retire. Such joys has he that sings. But ah! not such, Or seldom such, the hearers of his song. Fastidious, or else listless, or perhaps Aware of nothing arduous in a task They never undertook, they little note His dangers or escapes, and haply find There least amusement where he found the most. But is amusement all? studious of song,

And yet ambitious not to sing in vain,
I would not trifle merely, though the world
Be loudest in their praise who do no more.
Yet what can satire, whether grave or gay?
It may correct a foible, may chastise
The freaks of fashion, regulate the dress,
Retrench a sword-blade, or displace a patch ;
But where are its sublimer trophies found ?
What vice has it subdued ? whose heart reclaim'd
By rigour, or whom laugh'd into reform?
Alas! Leviathan is not so tam'd:
Laugh'd at, he laughs again ; and, stricken hard,
Turns to the stroke his adamantine scales,

The pulpit, therefore (and I name it fillid With solemn awe, that bids me well beware

The pulpit (when the sat’rist has at last,
Strutting and vap'ring in an empty school,
Spent all his force and made no proselyte)
I say the pulpit (in the sober use
Of its legitimate, peculiar pow'rs)
Must stand acknowledg’d, while the world shall stand
The most important and effectual guard,
Support, and ornament, of virtue's cause.
There stands the messenger of truth : there stands
The legate of the skies !-His theme divine,
His office sacred, his credentials clear.
By him the violated law speaks out
Its thunders; and by him, in strains as sweet

As angels use, the gospel whispers peace. He 'stablishes the strong, restores the weak, Reclaims the wand'rer, binds the broken heart, And, arm’d himself in panoply complete Of heav'nly temper, furnishes with arms, Bright as his own, and trains, by ev'ry rule Of holy discipline, to glorious war, The sacramental host of God's elect! Are all such teachers ?-would to heav'n all were ! But hark—the doctor's voice !-fast wedg'd between Two empirics he stands, and with swollen cheeks Inspires the news, his trumpet. Keener far Than all invective is his bold harangue, While through that public organ of report He hails the clergy ; and, defying shame, Announces to the world his own and theirs ! He teaches those to read, whom schools dismiss'd, And colleges, untaught ; sells accent, tone, And emphasis in score, and gives to pray'r Th’adagio and andante it demands. He grinds divinity of other days Down into modern use ; transforms old print To zig-zag manuscript, and cheats the eyes Of gall’ry critics by a thousand arts. Are there who purchase of the doctor's ware ? Oh, name it not in Gath !-it cannot be, That grave and learned clerks should need such aid. He doubtless is in sport, and does but droll, Assuming thus a rank unknown before Grand caterer and dry-nurse of the church ! VOL. 11.

« PoprzedniaDalej »