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THE SORROWS OF LIFE. OH! what a vast variety of ills
Lurk in the path ordain’d for wretched man! First, PLEASURE lures him to the gaudy track, And tempts him with the glare of worldly joys ; With youth and wealth, and what is still more dear, The bless'd return of fond requited love ! Then JEALOUSY wrings hard each tortur'd nerve, While fancy bids a new creation rise, Of demons hideous, that distract his soul ! DESPAIR usurps each avenue of sense, And drives him head-long from his peaceful home, To feek for GLORY 'midst the fields of death. Oh! then deceitful hope presents new joys; While Fame's gay trophies hide his fading brow; Soon from the glowing height of conquest fall’n, Th' inevitable GRAVE arrests his course, And wretched man returns again to DUST.
ON MARGARET RATCLIFFE.
MARBLE, weep, for thou doft cover
A dead beauty underneath thee,
Rich as nature could bequeath thee:
Grant then, no rude hand remove her.
All the gazers on the skies
Read not in fair heav'n's story
E xpresser truth, or truer glory,
Then they might in her bright eyes.
R are as wonder was her wit;
A nd, like Nectar, ever flowing:
Till time, strong by her bestowing,
Conquer'd hath both life and it;
L ife, whose grief was out of fashion
In these times. Few have so ru'd
Fate in a brother. To conclude,
For wit, feature, and true passion,
E arth, thou hast not such another.
FROM HARMONY, from heav'nly HARMONY,
This universal frame began :
When nature underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay,
And could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high,
Arise! ye more than dead.
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry,
In order to their stations leap,
And music's pow'r obey.
From HARMONY, from heav'nly HARMONY,
This universal frame began:
From HARMONY to HARMONY
Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in man.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
When JUBAL struck the chorded shell,
His liftning brethren stood around,
And, wond'ring, on their faces fell, To worship that celestial found. Less than a god they thought there could not dwell
Within the hollow of that shell,
That spoke so sweetly and so well. What passion cannot Music raise and quell?
The TRUMPET's loud clangor
Excites us to arms,
With shrill notes of anger
And mortal alarms.
The doublé, double, double beat
Of the thund’ring DRUM
Cries, hark! the foe's come ;
Charge ! charge ! 'tis too late to retreat.
The soft complaining FLUTE
In dying notes discovers
The woes of hopeless lovers,
Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling LUTE.
Sharp VIOLINS proclaim
Their jealous pangs, and desperation,
Fury, frantic, indignation,
Depth of pains, and height of passion,
For the fair, disdainful dame.
But oh! what art can teach,
What human voice can reach,
The sacred ORGAN's praise ?
Notes inspiring holy love,
Notes that wing their heav'nly ways
To mend the choirs above.
ORPHEUS could lead the favage race;
And tree's up-rooted left their place,
Sequacious of the LYRE:
But bright CECILIA rais’d the wonder higher :
When to her ORGAN vocal breath was giv’n,
An angel heard, and straight appear'd,
Mistaking earth for heav'n.
As from the pow'r of sacred lays,
The spheres began
And sung the great Creator's praise
To all the bless'd above;
So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The TRUMPET Thåll be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And music shall untune the sky.
LIBERTY. WHO shall awake the spartan fife
And call in solemn sounds to life, The youths, whose locks divinely spreading,
Like vernal hyacinths in fullen hue, At once the breath of fear and virtue fedding,
Applauding FREEDOM lov'd of old to view ? What new ALCEUS, fancy-blett, Shall sing the sword in myrtles drest,
At wisdom's shrine awhile its flame concealing, (What place fo fit to seal a deed renown'd?)
Till the her brightest lightnings round revealing, It leap'd in glory forth, and dealt her prompted
wound ! O goddess, in that feeling hour; When most its founds would court thy ears,
Let not my fhell's mifguided pow'r,
E’er draw thy fad, thy mindful tears.
No, FREEDOM, no, I will not tell,
How ROME, before thy face,
With heaviest sound, a giant-statue, fell,
Pulh'd by a wild and artless race,
From off its wide ambitious base,
When time his northern fons of spoil awoke,
And all the blended work of strength and grace,
With many a rude repeated stroke,
And many a barbarous yell, to thousand fragments
Yet, ev’n, where'er the least appear’d,
Th’admiring world thy hand rever'd;
Still, ʼmidst the fcatter'd states around,
Some remnants of her strength were found;
They saw, by what escap'd the storm,
How wond'rous rofe her perfect form ;
How in the great, the labour'd whole,
Each mighty master pour’d his soul;
For funny FLORENCE, seat of art,
Beneath her vines preferv'd a part,
Till they, whom Science lov'd to name,
(0, who could fear it ?) quench'd her fame.
And, lo! an humbler relic laid
In jealous Pisa's olive shade!
See, finall MARINO joins the theme,
Though least, not last in thy esteem;
Strike! louder strike! th' ennobling ftrings
To those, whose merchant fons were kings;
To him, who, deck'd with pearly pride,
In ADRIA weds his green-hair'd bride:
Hail port of glory, wealth, and pleasure,
Ne'er let me change this Lydian measure:
Nor e'er his former pride relate,
To fad LIGURIA's bleeding state.
Ah, no! more pleas'd thy haunts I seek,
(On wild HELVETIA's mountains bleak:
Where, when the favour'd of thy choice,
The daring archer heard thy voice;
Forth from his eyrie rous'd in dread,
The rav'ning eagle northward fled.)
Or, dwell in willow'd meads more near,
With those to whom thy STORK is dear:
Those whom the rod of alva bruis’d,
Whose crown a British Queen refus'd!
The magic works, thou feel'st the strains,
One holier name alone remains :
The perfect spell shall then avail,
Hail! nymph, ador'd by BRITAIN, hail !
Beyond the measure vast of thought,
The works, the wizard time has wrought!
The GAUL, 'tis held of antique story,
Saw BRITAIN link'd to his now adverse strand,
No sea between, nor cliff sublime and hoary,
He pass’d with unwet feet through all our land.
To the blown Baltic then, they say,
The wild waves found another way, Where orcas howls, his wolhlh mountains rounding;
Till all the banded west at once 'gan rise, A wide wild storm ev'n nature's self confounding, With’ring her giant fons with strange uncouth
furprise. This pillar'd earth, so firm and wide,
By winds and inward labours torn, In thunders dread was push'd aside,
And down the should’ring billows borne. And see, like gems, her laughing train,
The little isles on ev'ry fide, MONA, once hid from those who search the main,
Where thousand elfin shapes abide,