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That half-conceiv'd lay struggling in my
I saw when from the turtle feast mind,
The thick dark smoke in volumes The cloisters' solitary gloom I'd round.
I saw the darkness of the mist 'Tis vain to wish, for Time has ta'en his
Encircle thee, O Nose! flight
Shorn of thy rays thou shott'st a fearful For follies past be ceas'd the fruitless
(The turtle quiver’d with prophetic Let follies past to future care incite.
fright) Averse maturer judgements to obey Gloomy and sullen thro' the night of Youth owns, with pleasure owns,
steam : Passions' sway,
So Satan's Nose when Dunstan urged But sage Experience only comes with
to flight, years.
1789. Glowing from gripe of red-hot pincers MS.
Athwart the smokes of Hell disastrous THE NOSE
twilight shed ! Ye souls unused to lofty verse Who sweep the earth with lowly
The Furies to madness my brain de
In robes of ice my body wrap!
On billowy flames of fire I float,
Hear ye my entrails how they snap? the fire
Some power unseen forbids my lungs to To animate the wonder of his hand;
breathe! Thus with unhallow'd hands, O muse,
What fire-clad meteors round me aspire,
whizzing fly! And from my subject snatch a burn.
I vitrify thy torrid zone beneath,
Proboscis fierce! I am calcined! I ing brand !
die ! So like the Nose I sing-my verse shall glow
Thus, like great Pliny, in Vesuvius' fire, Like Phlegethon my verse in waves of I perish in the blaze while I the blaze fire shall flow!
Light of this once all darksome spot
TO THE MUSE
Tho' no bold fights to thee belong; First-born of Sirius begot
And tho' thy lays with conscious fear, Upon the focus of the sun
Shrink from Judgement's eye severe, I'll call thee -! for such thy earthly Yet much I thank thee, Spirit of my
What name so high, but what too low For, lovely Muse! thy sweet employ must be ?
Exalts my soul, refines my breast, Comets, when most they drink the solar Gives each pure pleasure keener zest, flame
And softens sorrow into pensive Joy. Are but faint types and images of thee! From thee I learn’d the wish to bless, Burn madly, Fire! o’er earth in ravage From thee to commune with my heart; run,
From thee, dear Muse! the gayer part, Then blush for shame more red by fiercer To laugh with pity at the crowds that outdone!
DESTRUCTION OF THE BASTILE-TO A YOUNG LADY
Where Fashion flaunts her robes by Such scenes no more demand the tear Folly spun,
humane; Whose hues gay-varying wanton in the I see, I see! glad Liberty succeed
1789. With every patriot virtue in her train !
And mark yon peasant's raptured
eyes; DESTRUCTION OF THE BASTILE
Secure he views his harvests rise ;
No fetter vile the mind shall know, Heard'st thou yon universal cry,
And Eloquence shall fearless glow. And dost thou linger still on Gallia's
Yes! Liberty the soul of Life shall
reign, shore ?
Shall throb in every pulse, shall flow Go, Tyranny! beneath some barbarous
thro' every vein! sky Thy terrors lost and ruin'd power
deplore! What tho' through many a groaning Shall France alone a Despot spurn? age
Shall she alone, O Freedom, boast Was felt thy keen suspicious rage,
thy care? Yet Freedom roused by fierce Dis
Lo, round thy standard Belgia's heroes dain
burn, Has wildly broke thy triple chain,
Tho' Power's blood-stain'd streamers And like the storm which earth's deep
fire the air, entrails hide,
And wider yet thy influence spread, At length has burst its way and spread
Nor e'er recline thy weary head, the ruins wide.
Till every land from pole to pole
Shall boast one independent soul! And still, as erst, let favour'd Britain be First ever of the first and freest of the
free ! In sighs their sickly breath was spent;
? 1789. each gleam Of Hope had ceased the long long day
TO A YOUNG LADY to cheer ; Or if delusive, in some flitting dream,
WITH A POEM ON THE FRENCH It gave them to their friends and
REVOLI'TION children dearAwaked by lordly Insult's sound
[Probably the preceding verses.] To all the doubled horrors round,
Much on my early youth I love to Oft shrunk they from Oppression's dwell, band
Ere yet I bade that friendly dome fareWhile anguish raised the desperate
Where first, beneath the echoing cloisters For silent death; or lost the mind's con
I heard of guilt and wondered at the Thro' every burning vein would tides of
tale! Frenzy roll.
Yet though the hours flew by on careless
Full heavily of Sorrow would I sing. But cease, ye pitying bosoms, cease to Aye as the star of evening flung its beam bleed!
In broken radiance on the wavy stream,
My soul amid the pensive twilight gloom If Smiles more win my hour
Where'er I wandered, Pity still was near,
No knell that tolled but filled my
Fallen is the oppressor, friendless, ghastly, low,
Than the love-wildered Maniac's brain.
Shaping celestial forms in vacant air,
If Mirth and softened Sense and Wit refined,
The blameless features of a lovely mind; Then haply shall my trembling hand assign
No fading wreath to Beauty's saintly
At every step it widen'd to my sight,
And my heart aches, though Mercy
struck the blow. With wearied thought once more I seek the shade,
Where peaceful Virtue weaves the Myrtle May this (I cried) my course through Life portray ! [display, New scenes of wisdom may each step And knowledge open as my days
braid. And O! if Eyes whose holy glances roll, Swift messengers, and eloquent of soul;
1 Lee Boo, the son of Abba Thule, Prince of the Pelew Islands, came over to England with Captain Wilson, died of the small-pox, and is buried in Greenwich church-yard. See Keate's Account of the Pelew Islands. 1788.
2 Southey's Retrospect.
Till what time Death shall pour the undarken'd ray,
My eye shall dart thro' infinite expanse, And thought suspended lie in rapture's blissful trance, 1789.
Where FashiRESS OF VICE
[IN CHRIST'S HOSPITAL BOOK]
DEEP in the gulph of Guilt and
Leaps man at once with headlong
Him innate Truth and Virtue guide,
Whose guards are Shame and conscious Pride. In some gay hour Vice steals into the breast;
wears some softer
Till far from Virtue's path she leads the feet away.
Yet still the heart to disenthral
Bid future woes and dangers rise. But hark! their charms the voice, the lyre, combine
Gay sparkles in the cup the generous
The mazy dance, and frail young
to tempt the pleasures
Yet shame forbids return to peace,
Still to urge on the desperate course. The drear black paths of Vice the wretch must try,
Where Conscience flashes horror on each eye,
Where Hate-where Murder scowlwhere starts Affright! Ah! close the scene-ah! close-for dreadful is the sight.
Elate of Heart and confident of Such was the sad and gloomy hour
When anguish'd care of sullen brow
Already to thy lips was rais’d the bowl, Gay as the Poet hastes along When filial Pity stood thee by,
He meditates the future song, Thy fixed eyes she bade thee roll 60 How Ælla battled with his country's On scenes that well might melt thy foes,
soul And whilst Fancy in the air
Thy native cot she held to view, Paints him many a vision sair
Thy native cot, where Peace ere long His eyes dance rapture and his bosom Had listen'd !o thy evening song ; glows.
Thy sister's shrieks she bade thee hear, With generous joy he views th' ideal And mark thy mother's thrilling tear, gold:
She made thee feel her deep- drawn He listens to many a Widow's prayers,
sigh, And many an Orphan's thanks he And all her silent agony of Woe.
hears ; He soothes to peace the care-worn And from thy Fate shall such distress breast,
ensue? He bids the Debtor's eyes know Ah ! dash the poison'd chalice from thy rest,
hand! And Liberty and Bliss behold : And thou had'st dash'd it at her soft And now he punishes the heart of steel,
command; And her own iron rod he makes Op. But that Despair and Indignation rose, pression feel.
And told again the story of thy Woes,
Told the keen insult of th' unfeeling Fated to heave sad Disappointment's Heart, sigh,
The dread dependence on the low-born To feel the Hope now rais'd, and now mind, deprest,
Told every Woe, for which thy breast To feel the burnings of an injur'd
might smart, breast,
Neglect and grinning scorn and Want From all thy Fate's deep sorrow keen
combin'dIn vain, O Youth, I turn th' affrighted Recoiling back, thou sent'st the eye ;
friend of Pain For powerful Fancy evernigh
To roll a tide of Death thro' every freezThe hateful picture forces on my sight.
ing vein. There, Death of every dear delight, Frowns Poverty of Giant mien !
O Spirit blest ! In vain I seek the charms of youthful Whether th'eternal Throne around, grace,
Amidst the blaze of Cherubim, Thy sunken eye, thy haggard cheeks it Thou pourest forth the grateful shews,
[main, The quick emotions struggling in the Or, soaring through the blest Do. Face
Enraptur’st Angels with thy strain,Faint index of thy mental Throes,
Grant me, like thee, the lyre to When each strong Passion spurn’d con
Like thee, with fire divine to glowAnd not a Friend was nigh to calm thy But ah ! when rage the Waves of stormy soul,