« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
ROM man's too curious and impatient fight,
The future, heaven involves in thickest night. Credit grey hairs : though freedom much we boast, Some least perform, what they determine most. What sudden changes our resolves betray? To-morrow is a satire on to-day, And Thews its weakness. Whom shall men believe, When constantly themselves, themselves deceive:
Long had I bid my once-lov’d Muse adieu ; You warm old age; my passion burns anew. How sweet your verse! how great your force of mind ! What power of words ! what skill in dark mankind! Polite the conduct; generous the design; And beauty files, and strength fustains, each line. Thus Mars and Venus are, once more, beset; Your wit has caught them in its golden net.
But what strikes home with most exalted grace
Is, haughty genius taught to know its place;
And, where worth shines, its humbled crest to bend,
With zeal devoted to that godlike end.
When we discern so rich a vein of sense,
Through the smooth flow of purest eloquence;
'Tis like the limpid streams of Tagus rollid
O'er boundless wealth, o'er shining beds of gold.
But whence so finish'd, so refin'd a piece ?
The tongue denies it to old Rome and Greece ;
'The Genius bids the moderns doubt their claim,
And slowly take poffefsion of the fame.
But I nor know, nor care by whom 'twas writ,
Enough for me that 'tis from human wit,
That sooths iny pride : all glory in the pen
Which has done honour to the race of men.
But this have others done ; a like applause
An ancient and a modern Horace draws.
But they to glory by degrees arose,
Meridian lustre you, at once, disclose.
?Tis continence of mind, unknown before,
To write so well, and yet to write no more.
More bright renown can human nature claim,
Than to deferve, and fly iminortal fame ?
Next to the godlike praise of writing well,
Is on that praise with just delight to dwell.
O, for some God my drooping foul to raise !
That I might imitate, as well as praise;
For all commend : ev'n foes
fame confess; Nor would Augustus' age have priz’d it less ; An age,
which had not held its pride so long, But for the want of fo compleat a fong.
A golden period shall from you commence:
Peace shall be fign'd 'twixt wit and manly sense ;
Whether your genius or your rank they view,
The Muses find their Halifax in you.
Like him succeed! nor think my zeal is shewn
For you; 'tis Britain's interest, not your own :
For lofty stations are but golden snares,
Which tempt the great to fall in love with cares.
I would proceed, but
'Twas a short fever, and I'm cool again.
Though life I hate, methinks I could renew
Its tasteless, painful course, to sing of you.
When such the subject, who shall curb his flight?
When such your genius, who shall dare to write ?
In pure respect, I give my rhyming o'er,
And, to commend you most, commend no more.
Adien, whoe'er thou art ! on death's pale coast
Ere long I'll talk thee o'er with Dryden's gholt ;
The bard will smile. A laft, a long farewell!
Henceforth I hide me in my dusky cell;
There wait the friendly stroke that sets me free,
And think of immortality and thee
My strains are number'd by the tuneful Nine;
Each maid presents her thanks, and all present thee
VERSES SENT BY LORD MELCOMBE
NOT LONG BEFORE HIS LORDSHIP'S DEATH *.
KIND. companion of my youth,
Lov'd for genius, worth, and truth!
Take what friendship can impart,
Tribute of a feeling heart;
Take the Muse's latest spark,
Ere we drop into the dark.
He, who parts and virtue gave,
Bad Thee look beyond the grave :
Genius soars, and Virtue guides ;
Above, the love of God presides.
There 's a gulph 'twixt us and God;
Let the gloomy path be trod :
Why stand shivering on the shore ?
Why not boldly venture o'er ?
Where unerring Virtue guides,
Let us have the winds and tides :
Safe, through seas of doubts and fears,
Rides the bark which Virtue steers,
*“ A Poetical Epistle from the late Lord Melo r combe to the Earl of Bute, with corrections by the “ Author of the Night Thoughts," was published in 4to. 1776.