Слике страница


BORN 1738.-DIED 1771.

Cuthbert Shaw was the son of a shoemaker, and was born at Ravensworth, near Richmond, in Yorkshire. He was for some time usher to the grammar school at Darlington, where he published his first poem, entitled “ Liberty." He afterwards appeared in London and other places as a player; but having no recommendations for the stage, except a handsome figure, he betook himself to writing for subsistence. In 1762 he attacked Coleman, Churchill, Lloyd, and Shirley, in à satire, called, the " Four Farthing Candles ;" and next selected the author of the Rosciad as the exclusive subject of a mockheroic poem, entitled, the “ Race, by Mercurius Spur, with notes by Faustinus Scriblerus.” He had, for some time, the care of instructing an infant son of the Earl of Chesterfield in the first rudiments of learning. He married a woman of superior connexions, who, for his sake, forfeited the countenance of her family; but who did not live long to share his affections and misfortunes. Her death, and that of their infant, occasioned those well-known verses which give an interest to his memory, Lord Lyttleton, struck by their feeling expression of a grief similar to his own, solicited his acquaintance, and distinguished him by his praise; but rendered him

no substantial assistance. The short reinainder of his days was spent in literary drudgery. He wrote a satire on political corruption, with many other articles, which appeared in the Freeholder's Magazine. Disease and dissipation carried him off in the prime of life; after the former had left irretrievable marks of its ravages upon his countenance.



Where'er I turn my eyes, Some sad memento of my loss

appears ; I fly the fatal house--suppress my sighs, Resolv'd to dry my unavailing tears:

But, ah! in vain-no change of time or place

The memory can efface Of all that sweetness, that enchanting air, Now lost; and nought remains but anguish and


Where were the delegates of Heaven, oh where!

Appointed virtue's children safe to keep! Had innocence or virtue been their care,

She had not died, nor had I liv'd to weep: ; Mov'd by my tears, and by her patience mov'd,

To see her force the endearing smile,

My sorrows to beguile,
When torture's keenest rage she provid;

Sure they had warded that untimely dart,
Which broke her thread of life, and rent a husband's

How shall I e'er forget that dreadful hour,
When, feeling death's resistless power,
My hand she press'd, wet with her falling tears,
-And thus, in faltering accents, spoke her fears!

lov'd lord, the transient scene is o'er, And we must part (alas !) to meet no more! “ But, oh! if e'er thy Emma's name was dear, If e'er thy vows have charm'd my ravish'd ear! “ If, from thy lov'd embrace my heart to gain, • Proud friends have frown'd, and fortune smil'd in

vain ;

“ If it has been my sole endeavour still “ To act in all obsequious to thy will ; “ To watch thy very smiles, thy wish to know, “ Then only truly blest when thou wert so: 6- If I have doated with that fond excess, “ Nor love could add, nor fortune make it less ; “ If this I've done, and more-oh then be kind “ To the dear lovely babe I leave behind. " When time my once-lov?d memory shall efface, “ Some happier maid may take thy. Emma's place, “ With envious eyes thy partial fondness see, “ And hate it for the love thou bore to me: “ My dearest Shaw, forgive a woman's fears, “ But one word more (I cannot bear thy tears) “ Promise- and I will trust thy faithful vow, • (Oft have I tried, and ever found thee true)

“ That to some distant spot thou wilt remove
“This fatal pledge of hapless Emma's love,
" Where safe thy blandishments it may partake,
“ And, oh! be tender for its mother's sake.
« Wilt thou ?
" I know thou wilt sad silence speaks assent,
“ And in that pleasing hope thy Emma dies con-


[ocr errors]

I, who with more than manly strength have bore

The various ills impos'd by cruel fate,
Sustain the firmness of my soul no more,

But sink beneath the weight:.
Just Heaven (I cried) from memory's earliest day

No comfort has thy wretched suppliant known,
Misfortune still with unrelenting sway

Has claim'd me for her own.
But Oin pity to my grief, restore
This only source of bliss; I ask-I ask no more
Vain hope-th' irrevocable doom is past,
Ev'n now she looks--she sighs her last-
Vainly I strive to stay her fleeting breath,
And, with rebellious heart, protest against her


Perhaps kind Heaven in mercy dealt the blow,

Some saving truth thy roving soul to teach ; To wean thy heart from grovelling views below,

And point out bliss beyond misfortune's reach:

To show that all the flattering schemes of joy,
Which towering hope so foudly builds in air,

One fata! moment can destroy,
And plunge th' exulting maniac in despair.
Then, O! with pious fortitude sustain
Thy present loss-haply, thy future gain;

Nor let thy Emma die in vain;
Time shall administer its wonted balm,
And hush this storm of grief to no unpleasing


Thus the poor bird, by some disast’rous fate

Caught and imprison'd in a lonely cage, Torn from its native fields, and dearer mate,

Flutters a while, and spends its little rage : But, finding all its efforts weak and vain,

No more it pants and rages for the plain; Moping a while, in sullen mood

Droops the sweet mourner-but, ere long, Prunes its light wings, and pecks its food,

And meditates the song: Serenely sorrowing, breathes its piteous case, And with its plaintive warblings saddens all the


Forgive me, Heaven-yet--yet the tears will flow,

To think how soon my scene of bliss is past ! My budding joys just promising to blow.

All nipt and wither'd by one envigus blast! 1:

« ПретходнаНастави »