« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
'Where is the softness of her heart,
To pity prone, and void of art ?
'These cannot on thy bosom shine-
"They 're only to be found in mine.'
Thus, Sir, the Muse pursued her song,
Nor did she mean to do you wrong!
The splendid gifts that partial Art,
By Genius aided, does impart,
She knows are thine-Thy talents bear
The marks of their united care.
But frolic Nature will outdo
The works of Art and Genius too :
Her cunning patterns render vain
The Painter's toil, the Sculptor's pain.
All of my Fair that Art could give,
Did on the glossy canvass live.
With joy the picture home I bore, And, smiling, view'd it o'er and o'er ! And, when MARIA was away, Gaz'd on it all the live-long day; And hop'd that there her cheeks would bloom In all their glow for years to come.
Oft did the tear bedew my eye,
To think that if my Love should die,
My every joy and every care
Of future life would center there.
But as I thus enraptur'd stand
Before the wonders of your hand,
I see the lively tints decay,
The vivid colors melt away;
And ere twelve fleeting months were o'er,
The lovely Charmer blush'd no more.
Her features sunk, her roses lost,
MARIA stood a pallid Ghost:
Her looks were haggard, and her eyes
Now started forth with wild surprise;
And where their lustre should appear,
The faded tints had form'd a tear.
The spreading branches lose their green,
The azure sky no more is seen,
And the far mountain's distant blue
Is clouded with a sable hue.
Upon my sight the colors fade;
No more I see my heavenly Maid;
Her form is mingled with the shade,
And seems, in one eternal moan,
To weep like NIOBE-in stone.
MARIA now, in Country Hall,
Adorns the rude, old-fashion❜d wall,
And holds her venerable place
'Mid Dames and Lords of ancient race.
At her the wond'ring Rustics stare,
As at the oldest picture there:
Nor will the curious Crowd believe
That 'tis my Lady now alive.
But when the Metzotinto's shewn,
They all a strong resemblance own.
Unhappy Artist, to survive
The means by which your fame should live!
And on the Scraper's art rely
For hopes of immortality.
Your pencil summon'd into life,
For GARRICK's choice, the ardent strife.
I saw the sad, but stately Queen
That stalks amid the tragic scene:
Around her floats the purple stole;
The dagger and the fatal bowl
Are not unseen-and to the sky
Her finger guides th' attentive eye.
'Tis vain :- -Her mad-cap Rival's leer,
With roguish look and playful sneer,
From Madam Grave-Airs wins the field,
And ROSCIUS yields-where all would yield.
Who would not to the covert fly
With all-enchanting Comedy?
But now I'm told, and fear it true,
That Garrick's face is black and blue-
As if he'd run the risk of life
From jealousies of either wife;
While the fair Dames in this agree,
To be as black and blue as he.
-Time joys to see the hasty ruin,
That cost so little in undoing.
Full many an age he must employ
The works of Raphael to destroy ;
And Titian's tints his power defy
Through many a rolling century:
And e'en where Time has aim'd the blow,
Art hath withstood the biting Foe.
But years or months, at his command,
Efface the labors of your hand;
Nor, when they fade, can you restore
The work to what it was before:
Your utmost genius cannot give
Health to the form, and bid it live.
I saw your daring pencil trace
The manly lines of AMHERST's face;
And as I stood, my wond'ring eyes
Beheld th' heroic Form arise,
A deep and solemn look he wore,
As if attentive to explore
Some dark design of Britain's Foe,
How to prevent th' approaching blow;
To stop the Fury in its course,
Or hurl it back with triple force;
Or, what in truth so far exceeds
The highest fame of warlike deeds,
Humanely thoughtful how to save
The starving thousands from the grave.
Upon his mild, but dauntless breast,
In its pale splendor was exprest
The lustre of the silver star,
Well earn'd amid the toils of war.
At length, the final tint bestow'd,
The finish'd portrait nobly glow'd
In colors warm, and touches true,
As Titian's pencil ever drew.
And must the fair resemblance fade,
Ere the great Hero's self is laid
Beneath the marble that will bear
The tribute of Britannia's tear?
And when the sage, Historic pen
Shall rank him 'mong the first of men?
Forbid it, Art! But thou should'st give
The glowing oil to look and live ;
And while his future offspring read
Of many a brave, heroic deed;
Of battles won, of trophies rear'd,
Of nations by his mercy spar'd ;
Must their young eyes, in vain, desire
To see the likeness of their Sire,
Who British bands to triumph led,
And trod the paths they wish to tread ?
Must they, in vain, the canvass trace
To catch the generous, gentle grace
That o'er the vet'ran features ran,