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Her unctuous olives, and her purple vino
(Unfelt the fury of those bursting mines,
orhe peasant's hopes, and not in vain, assur’d,
In peace upon her sloping sides matur'd.
When on a day, like that of the last doom,
A conflagration lab'ring in her womb,
She teem'd and heav'd with an infernal birth,
That shook the circling seas and solid earth-
Dark and voluminous the vapours rise,
And hang their horrours in the neighb'ring skies,
While through the Stygian veil, that blots the day,
In dazzling streaks the vivid lightnings play.
but oh! what muse, and in what pow'rs of song,
can trace the torrent as it burns along?
Havoc and devastation in the van,
It marches o'er the prostrate works of man,
Vines, olives, herbage, forests disappear,
And all the charms of a Sicilian year.
Revolving seasons, fruitless as they Pass
See it an uninform'd and idle mass;
Without a soil t invite the tiller's care,
Or blade, that might redeem it from despair.
Yet time at length (what will not time achieve?)
Clothes it with earth, and bids the produce live.
once more the spiry myrtle crowns the glade,
And ruminating flocks enjoy the shade.
O bliss precarious, and unsafe retreats,
O charming Paradise of short-liv'd sweets '
The self-same gale, that wasts the fragrance round,
brings to the distant ear a sullen sound,
Again the mountain feels th’ imprison'd foe,
Again pours ruin on the vale below.
Tom thousand swains the wasted scene deplore,
That only future ages can restore.
Ye monarchs, whom the lure of honour draws,
who write in blood the merits of your cause:
Who strike the blow, then plead your own defence,
Glory your aim, but justice your pretence;
Behold in AEtna's emblematic fires
The mischiefs your ambitious pride inspires'
Fast by the stream, that bounds your just domain,
And tells you where ye have a right to reign,
A nation dwells, not envious of your throne,
Studious of peace, their neighbours', and their own.
Ill-fated race how deeply must they rue
Their only crime, vicinity to you!
The trumpet sounds, your legions swarm abroad,
Through the ripe harvest lies their destin’d road;
At every step beneath their feet they tread
The life of multitudes, a nation's bread'
Earth seems a garden in it's loveliest dress
Before them, and behind a wilderness.
Famine, and Pestilence, her first-born son,
Attend to finish what the sword begun;
And echoing praises, such as fiends might earn,
And Folly pays, resound at your return.
A calm succeeds—but Plenty, with her train
Of heart-felt joys, succeeds not soon again,
And years of pining indigence must show
What scourges are the gods that rule below.
Yet man, laborious man, by slow degrees,
Such is his thirst of opulence and ease,)
Plies all the sinews of industrious toil,
Gleans up the refuse of the gen'ral spoil,
Rebuilds the tow’rs, that smok'd upon the Plain,
And the Sun gilds the shining spires again.
Increasing commerce and reviving art
Renew the quarrel on the conqu'rors part;
And the sad lesson must be learn'd once more,
That wealth within is ruin at the door.
What are ye, monarchs, laurell'd heroes, say,
But Etnas of the suff'ring world ye sway?
Sweet Nature, stripp'd of her embroider'd robe,
Deplores the wasted regions of her globe;
And stands a witness at Truth's aweful bar,
To prove you there destroyers as ye are.
O place me in some Heav'n-protected isle,
Where Peace, and Equity, and Freedom smile;
Where no volcano pours his fiery flood,
No crested warrior dips his plume in blood;
Where Pow'r secures what Industry has won;
Where to succeed is not to be undone;
A land, that distant tyrants hate in vain,
In Britain's isle, beneath a George's reign :
on THE RECEirt of My Mother's picture out of NortfoLK, the GIFT OF MY cousin ANN Bodh AM.
O that those lips had language Life has pass'd With me but roughly since I heard thee last. Those lips are thine—thy own sweet smile I see, The same, that oft in childhood solac'd me; Voice only fails, else how distinct they say, * Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away " The meek intelligence of those dear eyes (Blest be the art that can immortalize, The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim To quench it,) here shines on me still the same, Faithful remembrancer of one so dear, O welcome guest, though unexpected here ! Who bidd'st me honour with an artless song, Affectionate, a mother lost so long. I will obey, not willingly alone, But gladly, as the precept were her own: And, while that face renews my filial grief, Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief, Shall steep me in Elysian reverie, A momentary dream that thou art she. My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed? Hover'd thy spirit o'er thy sorr'wing son, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun? Perhaps thou gav'st me, though unfelt, a kiss; Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss — Ah that maternal smile ! it answers – Yes. I heard the bell toll'd on thy burial day, I saw the hearse, that bore thee slow away, And, turning from my nurs'ry window, drew A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu ! But was it such? — It was. –Where thou art gone, Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown. May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, The parting word shall pass my lips no more! Thy maidens, griev'd themselves at my concern, Oft gave me promise of thy quick return. What ardently I wish'd, I long believ'd, And, disappointed still, was still deceiv'd. By expectation ev'ry day beguil'd, Dupe of to-morrow even from a child. Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went, Till, all my stock of infant-sorrow spent, I learn’d at last submission to my lot, But, though I less deplor'd thee, ne'er forgot. Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more, Children not thine have trod my nurs'ry floor; And where the gard'ner Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapp'd
In scarlet-mantle warm, and velvet cap,
'T is now become a hist'ry little known,
That once we call'd the past'ral house our own.
Short-liv'd possession but the record fair,
That mem'ry keeps of all thy kindness there,
Still outlives many a storm, that has effac'd
A thousand other themes less deeply trac'd.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,
That thou mightst know me safe and warmly laid;
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,
The biscuit, or confectionary plum;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd
By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glow'ds
All this, and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,
Ne'er roughen’d by those cataracts and breaks,
That humour interpos'd too often makes;
All this still legible in mem'ry's page,
And still to be so to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honours to thee as my numbers may;
Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,
Not scorn'd in Heav'n, though little notic'd here.
Could Time, his flight revers'd, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissu'd flow'rs,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
I prick'd them into paper with a pin,
(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and smile,)
Could those few pleasant days again appear, [here?
Might one wish bring them, would I wish them
I would not trust my heart—the dear delight
Seems so to be desir'd, perhaps I might. —
But no-what here we call our life is such,
So little to be lov'd, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast
(The storms all weather'd and the ocean cross'd)
Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle,
Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile,
There sits quiescent on the floods, that show
Her beauteous form reflected gear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay;
So thou, with sails how swift' hast reach'd the shore,
“Where tempests never beat nor billows roar *,”
And thy lov'd consort on the dang'rous tide
Of life long since has anchor'd by thy side.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always distress'd—
Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest-toss'd,
Sails ripp'd, seams op'ning wide, and compass lost,
And day by day some current's thwarting force
Sets me more distant from a prosp'rous course.
Yet O the thought, that thou art safe, and he
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not, that I deduce my birth
From loins enthron'd, and rulers of the Earth;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise –
The son of parents pass'd into the skies.
And now, farewell — Time unrevok'd has run
His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is dome.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem t' have liv'd my childhood o'er again;
To have renew'd the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine;
The great and small but rarely meet
On terms of amity complete;
Plebeians must surrender,
And yield so much to noble folk,
It is combining fire with smoke,
Obscurity with splendour.
Some are so placid and serene,
(As Irish bogs are always green,)
They sleep secure from waking;
And are indeed a bog, that bears
Your unparticipated cares,
Unmov’d and without quaking.
Courtier and patriot cannot mix
Their het'rogeneous politics -
Without an effervescence,
Like that of salts with lemon juice,
Which does not yet like that produce
A friendly coalescence.
Religion should extinguish strife,
And make a calm of human life;
But friends that chance to differ
On points, which God has left at large,
How freely will they meet and charge!
No combatants are stiffer.
To prove at last my main intent
Needs no expense of argument,
No cutting and contriving —
Seeking a real friend we seem
To adopt the chymists' golden dream,
With still less hope of thriving.
Sometimes the fault is all our own,
Some blemish in due time made known,
By trespass or omission;
Sometimes occasion brings to light
Our friend's defect long hid from sight,
And even from suspicion.
Then judge yourself and prove your man
As circumspectly as you can,
And, having made election,
Beware no negligence of yours,
Such as a friend but ill endures,
Enfeeble his affection.
That secrets are a sacred trust,
That friends should be sincere and just,
That constancy befits them,
Are observations on the case,
That savour much of common-place,
And all the world admits them.
But 't is not timber, lead, and stone,
An architect requires alone,
To finish a fine building —
The palace were but half complete,
If he could possibly forget
The carving and the gilding.
The man that hails you Tom or Jack,
And proves by thumps upon your back
How he esteems your merit,
Is such a friend, that one had need
Be very much his friend indeed,
To pardon or to bear it.
As similarity of mind,
Or something not to be defin'd,
First fixes our attention;
So manners decent and polite,
The same we practis'd at first sight,
Must save it from declension.
Some act upon this prudent plan,
“Say little, and hear all you can.”
Safe policy, but hateful —
So barren sands imbibe the show'r,
But render neither fruit nor flow'r,
Unpleasant and ungrateful.
The man I trust, if shy to me,
Shall find me as reserv'd as he ;
No subterfuge or pleading
Shall win my confidence again,
I will by no means entertain
A spy on my proceeding.
These samples — for alas! at last These are but samples, and a taste Of evils yet unmentioned — May prove the task a task indeed, In which 't is much if we succeed, However well-intention'd.
Pursue the search, and you will find
Good sense and knowledge of mankind
To be at least expedient,
And, after summing all the rest,
Religion ruling in the breast
A principal ingredient.
The noblest friendship ever shown
The Saviour's history makes known,
Though some have turn'd and turn'd it;
And, whether being craz'd or blind,
Or seeking with a biass'd mind,
Have not, it seems, discern'd it.
O Friendship ! if my soul forego
Thy dear delights while here below ;
To mortify and grieve me,
May I myself at last appear
Unworthy, base, and insincere,
Or may my friend deceive ine.
............studiis florens ignobilis oti. VIRG. Georg. lib. iv.
HAckNEy’d in business, wearied at that oar,
Which thousands, once fast chain'd to, quit no more,
But which, when life at ebb runs weak and low,
All wish, or seem to wish, they could forego;
The statesman, lawyer, merchant, man of trade,
Pants for the refuge of some rural shade,
Where, all his long anxieties forgot
Amid the charms of a sequester'd spot,
Or recollected only to gild o'er,
And add a smile to what was sweet before,
He may possess the joys he thinks he sees,
Lay his old age upon the lap of Ease,
Improve the remnant of his wasted span,
And, having liv'd a trifler, die a man.
Thus Conscience pleads her cause within the breast,
Though long rebell'd against, not yet suppress'd,
And calls a creature form'd for God alone,
For Heav'n's high purposes, and not his own,
Calls him away from selfish ends and aims,
From what debilitates, and what inflames,
From cities humming with a restless crowd,
Sordid as active, ignorant as loud,
Whose highest praise is that they live in vain,
The dupes of pleasure, or the slaves of gain,
Where works of man are cluster'd close around,
And works of God are hardly to be found,
To regions where, in spite of sin and woe,
Traces of Eden are still seen below,
Where mountain, river, forest, field, and grove,
Remind him of his Maker's pow'r and love.
'T is well if, look'd for at so late a day,
In the last scene of such a senseless play,
True wisdom will attend his feeble call,
And grace his action ere the curtain fall
Souls, that have long despis'd their heav'nly birth,
Their wishes all impregnated with Earth,
For threescore years employ'd with ceaseless care
In catching smoke and feeding upon air,
Conversant only with the ways of man,
Rarely redeem the short remaining ten.
Invet'rate habits choke th' unfruitful heart,
Their fibres penetrate it's tend’rest part,
And, draining it's nutritious pow'rs to feed
Their noxious growth, starve ev'ry better seed.
Happy, if full of days—but happier far,
If, ere we yet discern life's ev'ning star,
Sick of the service of a world, that feeds
It's patient drudges with dry chaff and weeds,
We can escape from Custom's idiot sway,
To serve the Sov’reign we were born to obey.
Then sweet to muse upon his skill display'd
(Infinite skill) in all that he has made :
To trace in Nature's most minute design
The signature and stamp of power divine,
Contrivance intricate, express'd with ease,
Where unassisted sight no beauty sees,
The shapely limb and lubricated joint,
Within the small dimensions of a point,
Muscle and nerve miraculously spun,
His mighty work, who speaks and it is done,
Th’ invisible in things scarce seen reveal’d,
To whom an atom is an ample field;
To wonder at a thousand insect forms,
These hatch'd and those resuscitated worms,
New life ordain’d and brighter scenes to share,
Qnce prone on earth, now buoyant upon air, [size,
Whose shape would make them, had they bulk and
More hideous foes than fancy can devise;
With helmet-heads, and dragon-scales adorn'd,
The mighty myriads, now securely scorn'd,
Would mock the majesty of man's high birth,
l?espise his bulwarks, and unpeople carth:
Then with a glance of fancy to survey,
lar as the faculty can stretch a way,
Ten thousand rivers pour'd at his command
From urns, that never fail, through ev'ry land;
These like a deluge with impetuous force,
Those winding modestly a silent course;
The cloud-surmounting Alps, the fruitful vales;
Seas, on which ev’ry nation spreads her sails;
The Sun, a world whence other worlds drink light,
The crescent Moon, the diadem of night;
*** countless, each in his appointed place,
'*' anchord in the deep abyss of space –
At such a sight to catch the poet's fiane,
| And with a rapture like his own exclaim,
“These are thy glorious works, thou source of good,
How dimly seen, how faintly understood!
Thine, and upheld by thy paternal care,
This universal frame, thus wondrous fair;
Thy pow'r divine, and bounty beyond thought.
Ador'd and prais'd in all that thou hast wrought.
Absorb’d in that immensity I see,
I shrink abas'd, and yet aspire to thee;
Instruct me, guide me to that heav'nly day,
Thy words, more clearly than thy works, display,
That, while thy truths my grosser thoughts refine,
I may resemble thee, and call thee mine.”
O blest proficiency! surpassing all,
That men erroneously their glory call,
The recompense that arts or arms can yield,
The bar, the senate, or the tented field.
Compar'd with this sublimest life below,
Ye kings and rulers, what have courts to show?
Thus studied, us'd and consecrated thus,
On Earth what is, seems form'd indeed for us:
Not as the plaything of a froward child,
" Fretful unless diverted and beguil'd,
Much less to feed and fan the fatal fires
Of pride, ambition, or impure desires,
But as a scale, by which the soul ascends
From mighty means to more important ends,
Securely, though by steps but rarely trod,
Mounts from inferior beings up to God,
And sees by no fallacious light or dim,
Earth made for man, and man himself for him.
Not that I meant' approve, or would enforce
A superstitious and monastic course:
Truth is not local, God alike pervades
And fills the world of traffic and the shades,
And may be fear'd amidst the busiest scenes,
Or scorn’d where business never intervences
But 'tis not easy with a mind like ours.
Conscious of weakness in it's noblest pow'rs,
And in a world, where, other ills apart,
The roving eye misleads the careless heart,
To limit thought, by nature prone to stray
Wherever freakish Fancy points the way;
To bid the pleadings of Self-love be still,
Resign our own, and seek our Maker's will;
To spread the page of Scripture, and compare
Our conduct with the laws engraven there;
To measure all that passes in the breast,
Faithfully, fairly, by that sacred test;
To dive into the secret deeps within,
To spare no passion and no fav'rite sin,
And search the themes, important above all,
| Ourselves, and our recov'ry from our fall.
But leisure, silence, and a mind releas'd
| From anxious thoughts how wealth may be increas'd,
! How to secure in some propitious hour,
The point of int'rest, or the post of pow'r,
A soul serene, and equally retir'd
From objects too much dreaded or desir'd,
Safe from the clamours of perverse dispute,
At least are friendly to the great pursuit.
Up'ning the map of God's extensive plan,
We find a little isle this life of man;
Eternity's unknown expanse appears
Circling around and limiting his years.
The busy race examine and explore
Each creek and cavern of the dang'rous shore,
With care collect what in their eyes excels,
Some shining pebbles, and some weeds and shells;