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Turn to the few in Ida's early throng,
'Tis not enough, with other sons of power, To gleam the lambent meteor of an hour; To swell some peerage page in feeble pride, With long-drawn names that grace no page beside; Then share with titled crowds the common lot. In life just gazed at, in the grave forgot ; While nought divides thee from the vulgar dead, Except the dull, cold stone that hides thy head, The mouldering 'scutcheon, or the herald's roll, That well-emblazoned but neglected scroll, Where lords, unhonored, in the tomb may find One spot, to leave a worthless name behind. There sleep, unnoticed as the gloomy vaults That veil their dust, their follies, and their faults, A race with old armorial lists o'erspread, In records destined never to be read.
Fain would I view thee, with prophetic eyes,
Turn to the annals of a former day, Bright are the deeds thine earlier sires display. One, though a courtier, lived a man of worth, And called, proud boast! the British drama forth. Another view, not less renowned for wit; Alike for courts, and camps, or senates fit; Bold in the field, and favored by the Nine, In every splendid part ordained to shine; Far, far distinguished from the glittering throng, The pride of princes, and the boast of song. Such were thy fathers; thus preserve their name ; Not heir to titles only, but to fame. The hour draws nigh, a few brief days will close, To me, this little scene of joys and woes ; Each knell of Time now warns me to resign Shades where Hope, Peace, and Friendship all were mine Hope, that could vary like the rainbow's hue, And gild their pinions as the moments flew; Peace, that reflection never frowned away, By dreams of ill to cloud some future day; Friendship, whose truth let childhood only tell ; Alas! they love not long who love so well. To these adieu! nor let me linger o'er Scenes hailed as exiles hail their native shore, Receding slowly through the dark-blue deep, Beheld by eyes that mourn, yet cannot weep.
Dorset, farewell! I will not ask one part Of sad remembrance in so young a heart; The coming morrow from thy youthful mind Will sweep my name, nor leave a trace behind. And yet, perhaps, in some maturer year, Since chance has thrown us in the self-same sphere, Since the same senate, nay, the same debate May one day claim our suffrage for the state, We hence may meet, and pass each other by With faint regard, or cold and distant eye.
For me, in future, neither friend nor foe, A stranger to thyself, thy weal or woe, With thee no more I hope to trace The recollection of our early race; No more, as once, in social hours rejoice, Or hear, unless in crowds, thy well-known voice. Still, if the wishes of a heart untaught To veil those feelings which perchance it ought, If these — but let me cease the lengthened strain Oh! if these wishes are not breathed in vain, The guardian seraph who directs thy fate Will leave thee glorious as he found thee great.
ON LEAVING NEWSTEAD ABBEY.
Through thy battlements, Newstead, the hollow winds
whistle; Thou, the hall of my fathers, art gone to decay ; In thy once smiling garden, the hemlock and thistle
Have choked up the rose which late bloomed in the way.
Of the mail-covered Barons, who proudly to battle
Led their vassals from Europe to Palestine's plain, The escutcheon and shield, which with every blast rattle,
Are the only sad vestiges now that remain.
No more doth old Robert, with harp-stringing numbers,
Raise a flame in the breast for the war-laurell'd wreath; Near Askalon's towers, John of Horistan slumbers,
Unnerved is the hand of his minstrel by death.
Paul and Hubert, too, sleep in the valley of Cressy ;
For the safety of Edward and England they fell: My fathers ! the tears of your country redress ye;
How you fought, how you died, still her annals can tell.
On Marston, with Rupert, 'gainst traitors contending,
Four brothers enriched with their blood the bleak field; For the rights of a monarch their country defending,
Till death their attachment to royalty sealed.
Shades of heroes, farewell! your descendant, departing
From the seat of his ancestors, bids you adieu! Abroad, or at home, your remembrance imparting
New courage, he'll think upon glory and you.
Though a tear dim his eye at this sad separation,
'Tis nature, not fear, that excites his regret ; Far distant he goes, with the same emulation,
The fame of his fathers he ne'er can forget.
That fame, and that memory still will he cherish;
He vows that he ne'er will disgrace your renown; Like you will he live, or like you will he perish;
When decayed, may he mingle his dust with your own.
ON A DISTANT VIEW OF THE VILLAGE AND
SCHOOL OF HARROW ON THE HILL,
YE scenes of my childhood, whose loved recollection
Einbitters the present, compared with the past ; Where science first dawned on the powers of reflection,
And friendships were formed too romantič to last ;
Where fancy yet joys to retrace the resemblance
Of comrades in friendship and mischief allied ; How welcome to me your ne'er fading remembrance,
Which rests in the bosom, though hope is denied !