Obrazy na stronie
[blocks in formation]

To death even hours like these must roll;

Ah! then repeat those accents never; Or change « my life!» into « my soul !»

Which, like my love, exists for ever.

But say, what nymph will prize the flame

Which seems, as marshy vapours move, To flit along from dame to dame,

An ignis-fatuus gleam of love?
What friend for thee, howe'er inclined,

Will deign to own a kindred care?
Who will debase his manly mind,
For friendship every


share? In time forbear; amidst the throng

No more so base a thing be seen; No more so idly pass along :

Be something, any thing, but-mean.

IMPROMPTU, IN REPLY TO A FRIEND. Wben froin the heart where Sorrow sits,

Her dusky shadow mounts too high, And o'er the changing aspect flits,

And clouds the brow, or fills the eye: Heed not that gloom, which soon shall sink :

My thoughts their dungeon know too well; Back to my breast the wanderers shrink,

And droop within their silent cell.

TO ******




Well! thou art happy, and I feel

That I should thus be happy too;
For still my heart regards thy weal

Warmly, as it was wont to do,
Thy husband's blest-and 't will impart

Some pangs to view bis happier lot:
But let them pass-Oh! how my heart

Would hate him, if he loved thee not! When late I saw thy favourite child,

I thought my jealous heart would break; But when the unconscious infant smiled,

I kiss'd it, for its mother's sake.
I kiss'd it, and repress'd my sighs

Its father in its face to see ;
But then it had its mother's eyes,

And they were all to love and me.
Mary, adieu! I must away:

While thou art blest I 'll not repine; But near thee I can never stay;

My heart would soon again be thine. I deem'd that time, I deem'd that pride

Had quench'd at length my boyish flame; Nor knew, till seated by thy side,

My heart in all, save hope, the same. Yet was I calm : I knew the time

My breast would thrill before thy look; But now to tremble were a crime

We met, and not a nerve was shook. I saw thee gaze upon my face,

Yet meet with no confusion there: One only feeling couldst thou trace

The sullen calmness of despair. Away! away! my carly dream

Remembrance never must awake: Oh! where is Lethe's fabled stream?

My foolish heari, be still, or break.

In one dread niglit our city saw, and sigh'd,
Bow'd to the dust, the Drama's tower of pride :
In one short hour beheld the blazing fane,
Apollo sink, and Shakspeare cease to reiga.
Ye who beheld, (oh! sight admired and mourn'd,
Whose radiance mock'd the ruin it adorn'd!)
Through clouds of fire, the massy fragments riven,
Like Israel's pillar, chase the night from heaven;
Saw the long column of revolving flames
Shake its red shadow o'er the startled Thames,
While thousands, throny'd around the burning dome,
Shrank back appalld, and trembled for their home,
As glared the volumed blaze, and ghastly shone
The skies with lightnings awful as their own,
Till blackening ashes and the lonely wall
Usurp'd the Muse's realm, and mark'd her fall;
Say-shall this new, nor less aspiring pile,
Rear'd where once rose the mightiest jo our isle,
know the same favour which the former knew,
A shrine for Shakspeare-worthy him and you ?
Yes--it shall be : the magic of that name
Defies the scythe of time, the torch of flame;
On the same spot still consecrates the scene,
And bids the Drama be where she hath been :
This fabric's birth attests the potent spell-
Indulge our honest pride, and say, How well!
As soars this fane to emulate the last,
Oh! might we draw our omens from the past,
Some hour propitious to our prayers may boast
Names such as hallow still the done we lost.
On Drury first your Siddons' thrilling art
Oerwhelm'd the gentlest, storm'd the sternest heart.
On Drury, Garrick's latest laurels grew;

your last tcars retiring Roscius drew,
Sigh'd his last thanks, and wept his last adieu :
But still for living wit the wreaths may bloom
That only waste their odours o'er the tomb.
Such Drury claim'd and claims-nor you refuse
One tribute to revive his slumbering muse;
With garlands deck your own Menander's head!
Nor hoard your honours idly for the dead!

[blocks in formation]

Dear are the days which made our annals bright,
Ere Garrick fled, or Brinsley ceased to write.
lleirs to their labours, like all high-born leirs,
Vain of our ancestry, as they of theirs ;
While thus remembrance borrows Banquo's glass,
To claim the sceptred shadows as they pass,
And we the mirror hold, where imaged shine
Immortal names, emblazon'd on our line,
Pause-ere their feebler offspring you condemn,
Retlect how hard the task to rival them!

That beam hath sunk; and now thou art

A blank-a thing to count and curse Through each dull tedious trilling part,

Which all regret, yet all rehearse.
One scene even thou canst not deform;

The limit of thy sloth or speed,
When future wanderers bear the storm

Which we shall sleep loo sound to heed : And I can smile to think how weak

Thine efforts shortly shall be shown, When all the vengeance thou canst wreak

Must fall upon-a nameless stone!

Friends of the stage! to whom both players and plays
Must sue alike for pardon or for praise,
Whose judging voice and eye alone direct
The boundless power to cherish or reject;
If e'er frivolity has led to fame,
And made us blush that you forbore to blame;
If e'er the sinking stage could condescend
To soothe the sickly taste it dare not mend,
All past reproach may present scenes refute,
And censure, wisely loud, be justly mute!
Oh! since your fiat stamps the drama's laws,
Forbear to mock us with misplaced applause :
So pride shall doubly nerve the actor's powers,
And reason's voice be echo'd back by ours !

This greeting o'er, the ancient rule obey'd,
The Drama's homage by her berald paid,
Receive our welcome too, whose every tone
Springs from our hearts, and fain would win your own.
The curtain rises-may our stage unfold
Scenes not unworthy Drury's days of old !
Britons our judges, nature for our guide,
Sull may we please-long, long may you preside!

TO TIME. Time! on whose arbitrary wing

The varying hours must flag or fly, Whose tardy winter, flecting spring,

But drag or drive us ou to dieHail thou! who on my birth bestow'd

Those boons to all that know thee known; Yet better I sustain thy load,

For now I bear the weight alone.
I would not one fond heart should share

The bitter moments thou hast given; And pardon thee, since thou couldst spare,

All that I loved, to peace or heaven. To them be joy or rest, on me

Thy future ills shall press in vain ;
I nothing owe but years to thee,

A debt already paid in pain.
Yet c'en that pain was some relief ;

It felt, but still forgot thy power :
The active agony of grief

Retards, but never counts the hour. In joy I've sigh d to think thy flight

Would soon subside from swift lo slow; Thy cloud could overcast the light,

But could not add a night to woe; For then, however drear and dark,

My soul was suited to thy sky; One star alone shot forth a spark

To prove thee--not Eternity.


Au! Love was never yel without


the doubt,
Which rends iny heart with ceaseless sich,
While day and night roll darkling by.
Without one friend to hear my woe,
I faint, I die beneath the blow.
That Love had arrows, well I knew :
Alas! I find them poison'd too.
Birds, yet in freedom, shun the net,
Which Love around your haunts bach sel;
Or, circled by his fatal fire,
Your hearts shall burn, your hopes expire.
A bird of free and careless wing
Was I, through many a smiling spring;
But caught within the subtle spare,
I burn, and feebly flutter there.
Who ne'er have loved, and loved in vain,
Can neither feel nor piry pain ;
The cold repulse, the look askance,
The lightning of love's angry glance.
In flattering dreams I deem'd thee mine;
Now hope, and he who hoped, decline;
Like melting wax, or withering flower,
I feel my passion, and thy power.
My light of life! ah, tell me why
That pouting lip, and alter'd eye?
My bird of love! my beauteous mate!
And art thou changed, and canst thou hate?
Mine eyes like wintry streams o'erflow:
What wretch with me would barter woe!
My bird! relent: one note could give
A charm, to bid thy lover live.
My curdling blood, my maddening braio,
In silent anguish I sustain!
And still thy heart, without partaking

pang, exults--wliile mine is breaking.
Pour me the poison; fear not thou!
Thou canst not murder more than now:
I've lived to curse my natal day,
And love, that thus can lingering slay.
My wounded soul, my bleeding breast,
Can patience preach thee into rest?
Alas! too late I dearly know,
That joy is harbinger of woe.

[blocks in formation]

Quaff while thou canst-another race,

When thou and thine like me are sped, May rescue thee from earth's embrace,

And rhyme and revel with the dead. Why not? since through life's little day

Our heads such sad effects produce ; Redeem'd from worms and wasting clay, This chance is theirs, to be of use.

Newstead Abbey, 1808.

FROM THE TURKISH. Tue chain I gave was fair to view,

The lule I added sweet in sound, The heart that offer'd both was true,

And ill deserved the fate it found. These gifts were charm'd by secret spell

Thy truth in absence to divine ; And they have done their duty well,

Alas! they could not teach thee thine. That chain was firm in every liak,

But not to bear a stranger's touch; That lute was sweet - vill thou couldst think

In other hands its notes were such. Let him, who from thy neck unbound

The chain which shiver'd in his grasp, Who saw that lute refuse to sound,

Restring the chords, renew the clasp. When thou wert changed, they alter'd 100;

The chain is broke, the music mule : "T is past-to them and thee adieu

False heart, frail chain, and silent lute.




There is a tear for all that die,

A mourner o'er the humblest grave;
But nations swell the funeral cry,

And triumph weeps above the brave.
For them is sorrow's purest sigh

O'er ocean's heaving bosom sent:
In vain their bones unburied lie-

All earth becomes their monument !
A tomb is theirs on every page,

An epitaph on every tongue;
The present hours, the future age,

For them bewail, to them belong.
For them the voice of festal mirth

Grows hush'd, their name the only sound;
While deep remembrance pours to worth

The goblet's tributary round.
A theme to crowds that knew them not,

Lamented by admiring foes,
Who would not share their glorious lot?

Who would not die the death they chose ?
And, gallant Parker! thus enshrined

Thy life, thy fall, thy fame shall be;
And early valour, glowing, find

A model in thy memory.
But there are breasts that bleed with thee

that glory cannot quell;
And shuddering hear of victory,

Where one so dear, so dauntless, fell.
Where shall they turn to mourn thee less ?

When cease to hear thy cherish'd name?
Time cannot teach forgetfulness,

While griefs full heart is fed by fame.
Alas! for them, though not for thee,

They cannot chuse but weep the more;
Deep for the dead the grief must be

Who ne'er gave cause to mourn before.

Taine eyes' blue tenderness, thy long fair hair,

And the wan lustre of thy features-caught

From contemplation--where serenely wrought, Seems sorrow's softness charm'd from its despairllave thrown such speakiug saduess in thine air,

That-but I know thy blessed bosom fraught

With mines of unalloy'd and stainless thoughtI should have deem'd thee doom'd to earthly care. With such an aspect, by his colours blept,

When from his beauty-breathing pencil born, (Except that thou hast nothing to repent)

The Magdalen of Guido saw the moruSuch seem'st thou-but how much more excellent!

With nought remorse can claim-nor virtue scora.

In woe,



Tuy cheek is pale with thought, but not from woe,

And yet so lovely, that if mirth could flush

Its rose of whiteness with the brightest blush, My heart would wish away that ruder glow:And dazzle not thy deep-blue eyes—but oh!

While yazing on them sterner eyes will gush,

And into mine my mother's weakness rush, Soft as the last drops round heaven's airy box, For, through thy long dark lashes low depending,

The soul of melancholy gentleness
Gleams like a seraph from the sky descending,

Above all pain, yet pitying all distress;
At once such majesty with sweetness blending,

I worship more, but cannot love thee less.

TO A LADY WEEPING. WEEP, daughter of a royal line,

A sire's disgrace, a realm's decay; Ah, happy! if each tear of thine

Could wash a father's fault away! Weep-for thy tears are virtue's tears

Auspicious to these suffering isles; And be each drop, in future years, Repaid thee by thy people's smiles!

March, 1812.


ON THE MONUMENT OF A NEW FOUNDLAND DOG. When some proud son of man returns to earth, Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth,

« PoprzedniaDalej »