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UPON

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THE LATE FIRE IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

Tho' lighter stanzas form the Minstrel's theme,
Life's chequer'd maze, and Folly's thoughtless dream;
Observe the relics of yon time-worn pile,
(Long the Palladium of our favour'd isle,)
And let pale Mem'ry heave a pensive sigh,
Reflecting calmly on the days gone by.
How many a youth within its ruin’d Hall,
Allur'd by Vanity, or Fashion's call !
Saw sleepless nights in barren labour lost,

And Fairy dreams of fame and fortune crost!

Let War's loud trump, then vanish from our view,

And peaceful conquests, let the Muse pursue,

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Drawn from grave Learning's academic bower,
The crowded Forum, and the studious hour;

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While Cam and Isis, their lov'd offspring hail,
Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale ;"
Then one brief moment view the chequer'd scene,
Of talent, envy, eloquence, or spleen;
See Pym, and Hampden, seal their Monarch's fate,
And crafty Cromwell stop the fierce debate;
See courtly St. John, with his “master mind,"

Each art to flatter and persuadecombin'd ;
And join'd with Harley in an ill-starr'd day,
All Marlbro’s trophies meanly to betray.*
View Burke and Sheridan their audience charm,

(And wit and fancy, Envy's shaft disarm ;)
View Chatham's son eclipse his gifted sire,
And Grey and Canning all mankind admire ;
While Fox, long thunder'd in majestic tone,
Freedom's firm friend, and Ægis of the throne;
Recalling Pulteney, or a Walpole's power,
(Those leading spirits of an anxious hour.)

* The Peace of Utrecht.

Next view our Solons of the stormy Bar,

Skill'd in each maze of intellectual war;

Who Law and Justice equally upheld,
The baneful arts of low chicane repell’d,

And rose to honour, opulence, and fame,

In Somers, Hardwick, and in Erskine's name.

From Courts, and Circuits, now they all repose,

In death-like slumber with both friends and foes;

And tho' yon walls, a prey to raging fire,
Saw many a meteor rise—but to expire ;
Saw cold self-interest many a promise break,
And oft some patriot, Freedom's cause forsake ;
Long may our Statesmen make the same display,
That grac'd fair Athens in her brilliant day;
On Tiber's banks, great Tully long inspird,
(Till from the conflict, Hope herself retir'd ;)
And may they ever in succession rise,
As Marvel upright, and as Bacon wise ;
And read again their histry in a nation's eyes.

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EARLY RECOLLECTIONS.

“ Oh! yet ere the storms of contention and strife,
“Quite chill the fond bosom, Ambition misled,
“ How sweet to reflect on the morning of life,
“And recall the gay visions now vanish'd and fled.”

Old Ballad.

“ Yet still her mild and venerable face,
“ Retain'd the vestiges of beauty past,
“ Like Autumn's leaf that trembles in the blast."

Full many a flower is born to blush unknown,' (Chaunts our great Minstrel from his lyric throne ;) Full many a victim, poverty conceals, Who each kind impulse, and attachment feels;

And while each merit of the high-born great,

All ranks with sympathy, and pride relate;
Pass not unmov'd the gen'rous hearted slave,
Who near soft Taio’s orange-scented wave,*
Could the dire blow of misery retard,
And sooth'd each care of Lusitania's bard :

If for ten lustres, in that lowly sphere,

The same devotion has been witness'd here;

One transient sigh, oh! youthful wand'rer heave, 'Ere

yon cold tomb, thy hast’ning footsteps leave; “Act well your part,” the British Poet cries,t From that alone, behold true honour rise ; Thence, and thence only—all distinction springs, Not Eastern splendour or the smile of Kings. Then ere forgotten with our kindred dust, May we as true, and faithful to our trust; Fill up

the station Providence assigns, Like the poor subject of our humble lines ;

* When Camoens was almost starving his servant supported him, by asking charity in the streets of Lisbon.

Pope.

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