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A DRAMATIC SKETCH OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.
CHARACTERS. Old Servant in the Family of Sir Francis Fairford. Stranger.
Servant. One summer night Sir Francis, as it chanced, Was pacing to and fro in the avenue That westward fronts our house, Among those aged oaks, said to have been planted Three hundred years ago, By a ncighb'ring prior of the Fairford name. Being o'crtask'd in thought, he heeded not The importunate suit of one who stood by the
Some say he shoved her rudely from the gate
A mischief, mischief, mischief,
Who shakes the poor like snakes from his door,
And shuts up the womb of his purse.
And still she cried—
So saying, she departed,
Stranger. A terrible curse! What follow'd?
months after, Young Philip Fairford suddenly fell sick, And none could tell what ail'd him; for ho lay, And pined, and pined, till all his hair fell off, And he, that was full-flesh'd, became as thin As a two-month's babe that has been starved in
the nursing. And sure I think
He bore his death-wound like a little child;
Servant. All this and more at her death. Stranger. I do not love to credit tales of magic. Heaven's music, which is Order, seems unstrung, And this brave world (The mystery of God) unbeautified, Disorder'd, marr'd, where such strange things arc
WITH A FEW OTHERS.
TO THE PUBLISHER Dear Moxon,
I do not know to whom a Dedication of these Trifles is more properly due than to yourself. Ton suggested the printing of them. You were desirous of exhibiting a specimen of the manner in which Publications, entrusted to your future care, would appear. With more propriety, perhaps, the "Christmas," or some other of your own simple, unpretending Compositions, might have served this purpose. But I forget —you have bid a long adieu to the Muses. I had on my hands sundry Copies of Verses written for Albumi—
Those books kept by modern young Ladies for show,
or otherwise floating about in Periodicals; which you have chosen in this manner to embody. I feel little interest in their publication. They are simp'ly—Advertisement Verses.
It is not for me, nor you, to allude in public to the kindness of our honoured Friend, under whose auspices you are become a Publisher. May that fine-minded Veteran in Verse enjoy life long enough to see his patronage justified! I venture to predict that your habits of industry, and your cheerful spirit, will carry you through the world.
I am, Dear Moxon, your Friend and sincere Well-Wisher,
IN THE AUTOGRAPH BOOK OF
Had I a power, Lady, to my will,
TO DORA W ,
ON BEING ASKED BT HER FATHER TO WRITE IN HER
An Album is a Banquet: from the store,
• Acctaria, a Discourse of Sallcts, by J. E. 1706.
IN THE ALBUM OF A CLERGYMAN'S LADY.
An Album is a Garden, not for show
Planted, but use; where wholesome herba should
grow. A Cabinet of curious porcelain, where No fancy enters, but what's rich or rare. A Chapel, where mere ornamental things Are pure as crowns of saints, or angels' wings. A List of living friends; a holier Room For names of some since mouldering in the tomb, Whose blooming memories life'scold laws survive; And, dead elsewhere, they here yet speak and live. Such, and so tender, should an Album be; And, Lady, such I wish this book to thee.
IN THE ALBUM OF EDITH S
In Christian world Mart the garland wears!
IN THE ALBUM OF ROTHA Q .
A Passing glance was all I caught of thee,
be, Who call'd our Wordsworth friend. My thoughts
IN THE ALBUM OF CATHERINE ORKNEY.
CanAt>iA! boast no more the toils
That such a flower should ever burst
This flower, this Catherine Orkney.
We envy not your proud display
That Wolfe on Heights of Abraham fell .
With rearing Catherine Orkney.
O Britain, guard with tenderest care
IN THE ALBUM OF LUCY BARTON.
Little Book, surnamed of white,
Never disproportion'd scrawl;
In each letter, here design'd,
Gilded margins count a sin,
Sayings fetch'd from sages old;
Lighter fancies not excluding:
Amid strains of graver measure:
Riddles dark, perplexing sense;
Darker meanings of offence;
What but shades—be banish'd hence.
Whitest thoughts in whitest dress,
IN THE ALBUM OF MRS. JANE TOWERS.
Lady Unknown, who crav'st from me Unknown
thou be The pure reverse of this, and I mistake— Demure one, I will like thee for his sake.
IN THE ALBUM OF MISS .
Such goodness in your face doth shine,
Can e'er express it.
Can only bless it!
But stop, rash verse ! and don't abuse
Praise sung so loudly.
To think too proudly.
IN MY OWN ALBUM.
Fresh clad from heaven in robes of white,
A young probationer of light,
Thou wert, my soul, an album bright,
A spotless leaf; but thought, and care,
And friend and foe, in foul or fair,
Have " written strange defeatures" there;
And Time with heaviest hand of all,
And error gilding worst designs—
Like speckled snake that strays and shines—
Betrays his path by crooked lines;
And vice hath left his ugly blot;
And fruitless, late remorse doth trace—
Disjointed numbers; sense unknit;
My scalded eyes no longer brook
This rare tablet doth include
Poverty with Sanctitude.
Past midnight this poor maid hath spun,
And yet the work is not half done,
Which must supply from earnings scant
A feeble bed-rid parent's want.
Her sleep-charged eyes exemption ask,
And Holy hands take up the task;
Unseen the rock and spindle ply,
And do her earthly drudgery.
Sleep, saintly poor one ! sleep, sleep on;
And, waking, find thy labours done.
Perchance she knows it by her dreams;
Her eye hath caught the golden gleams,
Angelic presence testifying,
That round her everywhere are flying;
Ostents from which she may presume,
That much of heaven is in the room.
Skirting her own bright hair they run,
And to the sunny add more sun:
Now on that aged face they fix,
Streaming from the Crucifix;
The flesh-clogg'd spirit disabusing,
Death-disarming sleeps infusing,
Prelibations, foretastes high,
And equal thoughts to live or die.
Gardener bright from Eden's bower,
Tend with care that lily flower;
To its leaves and root infuse
Heaven's sunshine, Heaven's dews.
'Tis a type, and 'tis a pledge,
Of a crowning privilege.
Careful as that lily flower,
This Maid must keep her precious dower;
Live a sainted Maid, or die
Martyr to virginity.
ON AN INFANT DYING AS SOON AS BORN.
I s&w where in the shroud did lurk
• Suggested by a drawing in the possession of Charles Aders, Esq., in which is represented the legend of a poor female Saint; who, having spun past midnight, to main, tain a bed-rid mother, has fallen asleep from fatigue, and Angels are finishing her work. In another part of the chamber, an angel is tending a lily, the emblem of parity.
Was in her cradle-coffin lying;
Extinct, with scarce the sense of dying:
So soon to exchange the imprisoning womb
For darker closets of the tomb I
She did but ope an eye, and put
A clear beam forth, then straight up shut
For the long dark: ne'er more to see
Through glasses of mortality.
Riddle of destiny, who can show
What thy short visit meant, or know
What thy errand here below?
Shall we say, that Nature blind
Check'd her hand, and changed her mind,
Just when she had exactly wrought
A finish'd pattern without fault?
Could she flag, or could she tire,
Or lack'd she the Promethean fire
(With her nine moons' long workings sicken'd)
That should thy little limbs have quicken'd?
Limbs so firm, they seem'd to assure
Life of health and days mature:
Woman's self in miniature!
Limbs so fair, they might supply
(Themselves now but cold imagery)
The sculptor to make Beauty by.
Or did the stern-eyed Fate descry,
That babe, or mother, one must die;
So in mercy left the stock,
And cut the branch; to save the shock
Of young years widow'd; and the pain,
When Single State comes back again
To the lone man who, 'reft of wife,
Thenceforward drags a maimed life?
The economy of Heaven is dark;
And wisest clerks have miss'd the mark,
Why Human Buds, like this, should fall,
More brief than fly ephemeral,
That has his day; while ahrivell'd crones
Stiffen with age to stocks and stones;
And crabbed use the conscience sears
In sinners of an hundred years.
Mother's prattle, mother's kiss,
Baby fond, thou ne'er wilt miss.
Rites, which custom does impose,
Silver bells and baby clothes;
Coral redder than those lips,
Which pale death did late eclipse;
Music framed for infants' glee,
Whistle never tuned for thee;
Though thou want'st not, thou shalt have them,
Loving hearts were they which gave them.