Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Thine's a summer, mine no more,
Though repeated to threescore;
Threescore summers, when they 're gone,
Will appear as short as one.

CXL, RICHARD SAVAGE.

1. ADVANTAGES OF ADVERSITY.
The naked cliff, that singly rough remains,
In prospect dignifies the fertile plains ;
Lead-colour'd clouds, in scattering fragments seen,
Show, though in broken views, the blue serene.
Severe distresses industry inspire;
Thus captives oft excelling arts acquire,
And boldly struggle through a state of shame,
To life, ease, plenty, liberty, and fame.
Sword-law has often Europe's balance gain'd,
And one red victory years of

peace

maintain’d. We pass through want to wealth, through dismal strife To calm content, through death to endless life. Libya thou nam'st—let Afric's wastes appear Curst by those heats that fructify the year; Yet the same suns her orange-groves befriend, Where clustering globes in shining rows depend, Here, when fierce beams o'er withering plants are rolla, There, the green fruit seems ripen'd into gold. E'en scenes that strike with terrible surprise, Still prove a God, just, merciful, and wise.

2. TO HIS MOTHER, AFTER QUEEN ANNE HAD

PARDONED HIM FOR MURDER.

Born to himself, by no possession led,
In freedom foster’d, and by fortune fed ;
Nor guides, nor rules, his sovereign choice controul,
His body independent as his soul;
Loosed to the world's wide range-enjoyed no aim,
Prescribed no duty, and assigned no name!
Nature's unbounded son, he stands alone,
His heart unbiassed, and his mind his own.

O mother, yet no mother! 'tis to you,
My thanks for such distinguished claims are due.

You, uninslaved to nature's narrow laws,
Warm championess for freedom's sacred cause,
From all the dry devoirs of blood and line,
From ties maternal, moral, and divine,
Discharged my gasping soul; push'd me from shore,
And launched me into life without an oar.

:

Oh fate of late repentance, always vain Thy remedies but lull undying pain. Where shall my hope find rest ?-No mother's care Shielded

my infant innocence with prayer:
No father's guardian hand my youth maintained,
Called forth my virtues or from vice restrained;
Is it not thine to snatch some powerful arm
First to advance, then screen from future harm ?
Am I returned from death to live in pain ?
Or would imperial pity save in vain ?
Distrust it not-what blame can mercy find,
Which gives at once a life, and rears a mind ?

Mother, miscallid, farewell—of soul severe;
This sad reflection yet may force one tear :
All J was wretched by, to you I owed,
Alone from strangers every comfort flowed !
Lost to the life you gave, your son no more,
And now adopted, who was doomed before,
New-born, I may another mother claim,

Ι
But dare not whisper her immortal name;
Supremely lovely, and serenely great,
Majestic mother of a kneeling state;
Queen of a people's heart, who ne'er before
Agreed, yet now with one consent adore !
One contest yet remains in this desire,
Who most shall give applause, where all admire.

CXLI. ALEXANDER ROSS.

WOOED AND MARRIED AND A'.
The bride cam out o' the byre,

And, oh, as she dighted her cheeks,
“ Sirs, I'm to be married the night,

And have neither blankets nor sheets :

Have neither blankets nor sheets,

Nor scarce a coverlet too:
The bride that has a' thing to borrow,
Has e’en right muckle ado.”

Wooed, and married and a',

Married, and wooed, and a',
And was she nae very weel off,

That was wooed, and married, and a'?
Out spake the bride's father,

As he cam in frae the pleugh:
“Oh, haud your tongue, my dochter,

And ye’se get gear eneugh!
The stirk stands i' the tether,

And our braw bawsint yade,
Will carry ve

hame

your cornWhat wad ye be at, ye jade ? Out spake the bride's mither,

“ What deil needs a' this pride ?
I had nae a plack in my pouch

That night I was a bride :
My gown was linsey-woolsey,

And we'er a sark ava:
And ye hae ribbons and buskins,

Mae than ane or twa."
Out spake the bride's brither,

As he cam in wi' the kye:
“Poor Willie wad ne'er hae ta’en ye,

Had he kent ye as weel as I :
For ye’re baith proud and saucy,

And no for a poor man's wife :
Gin I canna get a better,

I’se ne'er tak ane i' my life.”

CXLII. REV. J. S.

TO IIIS FALSE MISTRESS. Wonder not, faithless woman,

if

you see, Yourself so changed, so great a change in me. With shame I own it, I was once your slave, Adored myself the beauties which I gave;

For know, deceiv'd deceitful, that 'twas I
Gave thy form grace, and lustre to thine eye :
Thy tongue, thy fingers I their magic taught,
And spread the net in which myself was caught.
So pagan priests first form and dress the wood,
Then prostrate fall before the senseless God.
But now, curst woman, thy last sentence hear:
I called thy beauty forth, I bid it disappear.
I'll strip thee of thy borrowed plumes: undress,
And show thee in thy native ugliness.
Those

eyes have shone by me, by me that chin
The seat of wanton Cupids long has been :
Ye fires, go out-ye wanton Cupids, fly-
Of every beam disarm her haggard eye:
'Tis I recall ye; my known voice obey-
And nonght of beauty but the falsehood stay.

CXLIII. ROBERT BLAIR.

1. THE OLD CHURCH. See yonder hallow'd fane! the pious work Of names once famed, now dubious or forgot, And buried midst the wreck of things which were: There lie interred the more illustrious dead. The wind is up : hark how it howls ! Methinks Till now, I never heard a sound so dreary : Doors creak, and windows clap, the night's foul bird Rock'd in the spire screams loud ; the gloomy aisles Black plaster'd, and hung round with shreds of scutcheon And tatter'd coats of arms, send back the sound Laden with heavier airs, from the low vaults, The mansions of the dead. Roused from their slumbers, In grim array the grisly spectres rise, Grin horrible, and obstinately sullen Pass and

repass,

hush'd as the foot of night.
Again the screech-owl shrieks: ungracious sound !
I'll hear no more ; it makes one's blood run chill.

2. DEATH.
How shocking must thy summons be, O Death!
To him that is at ease in his possessions !
Who, counting on long years of pleasure here,

a

Is quite unfurnished for that world to come!
In that dread moment, how the frantic soul
Raves round the wall of her clay tenement,
Runs to each avenue, and shrieks for help,
But shrieks in vain ! how wistfully she looks
On all she's leaving, now no longer hers !
A little longer, yet a little longer,
Oh, might she stay to wash away her stains,
And fit her for her passage! Mournful sight!
Her very eyes weep blood; and every groan
She heaves is big with horror; but the foe,
Like a stanch murderer, steady to his purpose
Pursues her close through every lane of life,
Nor misses once the track, but presses on ;
Till forced at last to the tremendous verge,
At once she sinks to everlasting ruin.

Sure, 'tis a serious thing to die, my soul !
What a strange moment it must be, when near
Thy journey's end, thou hast the gulf in view !
That awful gulf no mortal e'er repassed
To tell what's doing on the other side.
Nature runs back and shudders at the sight,
And every lifestring bleeds at thoughts of parting !
For part they must; body and soul must part;
Fond couple ! linked more close than wedded pair.
This wings its way to its Almighty_source,
The witness of its actions, now its Judge ;
That drops into the dark and noisome grave,
Like a disabled pitcher, of no use.

CXLIV. CHRISTOPHER PITT.

RULES FOR PREACHING. Some easy subject choose, within your power, Or you can never hold out half an hour. One rule observe: this Sunday split your text; Preach one part now, and t’ other half the next. Speak, look, and move, with dignity and ease; Like mitred Secker, you'll be sure to please. But, if you whine like boys at country schools, Can you be said to study Cambray's rules ?

[ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »