And oft with gentle hand I give thee And frisk about, as lamb or kitten gay ! bread,

Yea ! and more musically sweet to me And clap thy ragged coat, and pat thy Thy dissonant harsh bray of joy would head.

be, But what thy dulled spirits hath dismay’d, Than warbled melodies that soothe to That never thou dost sport along the

rest glade?

The aching of pale Fashion's vacant And (most unlike the nature of things

breast !

1794. young) That earthward still thy moveless head is hung ?

PARLIAMENTARY OSCILLATORS Do thy prophetic fears anticipate, Meek Child of Misery! thy future fate?

ALMOST awake? Why, what is this, and The starving meal, and all the thousand

whence, aches

O ye right loyal men, all undefiled ? • Which patient Merit of the Unworthy

Sure, 'tis not possible that Common takes'?

Sense Or is thy sad heart thrill'd with filial

Has hitch'd her pullies to each heavy pain

eye-lid ? To see thy wretched mother's shortened chain ?

Yet wherefore else that start, which disAnd truly, very piteous is her lot

composes Chained to a log within a narrow spot The drowsy waters lingering in your Where the close-eaten grass is scarcely seen,

And are you really able to descry While sweet around her waves the tempt. That precipice three yards beyond your ing green !

noses? Poor Ass ! thy master should have learnt Yet flatter you I cannot, that your wit

Is much improved by this long loyal to show

dozing; Pity-best taught by fellowship of Woe!

And I admire, no more than Mr. Pitt, For much I fear me that He lives like

Your jumps and starts of patriotic thee, Half famished in a land of Luxury !

prosingHow askingly its footsteps hither bend?

Now cluttering to the Treasury Cluck, It seems to say, “And have I then one

like chicken, friend?'

Now with small beaks the ravenous Innocent foal ! thou poor despised for

Bill opposing ; lorn!

With serpent-tongue now stinging, and I hail thee Brother-spite of the fool's

now licking, scorn !

Now semi - sibilant, now smoothly And fain would take thee with me, in

glozingthe Dell Of Peace and mild Equality to dwell, Now having faith implicit that he can't Where Toil shall call the charmer Health

err, his bride,

Hoping his hopes, alarm’d with his And Laughter tickle Plenty's ribless alarms; side!

And now believing him a sly inchanter, How thou wouldst toss thy heels in game- Yet still afraid to break his brittle some play,





Lest some mad devil suddenly unhamp'r

TO A FRIEND ing, Slap-dash! the imp should fly off

[CHARLES LAMB] with the steeple, On revolutionary broom-stick scamper


[' Religious Musings '] O ye soft-headed and soft-hearted people,

Thus far my scanty brain hath built the

rhyme If you can stay so long from slumber Elaborate and swelling : yet the heart free,

Not owns it. From thy spirit-breathing My muse shall make an effort to

powers salute 'e :

I ask not now, my friend ! the aiding For lo ! a very dainty simile

verse, Flash'd sudden through my brain, and Tedious to thee, and from thy anxious 'twill just suit 'e !


Of dissonant mood. In fancy (well I You know that water-fowl that cries,

know) Quack! Quack !?

From business wandering far and local Full often have I seen a waggish crew

cares, Fasten the Bird of Wisdom on its back,

Thou creepest round a dear-loved Sister's The ivy-haunting bird, that cries, Tu

bed whoo !

With noiseless step, and watchest the

faint look, Both plunged together in the deep mill

Soothing each pang with fond solicitude, stream,

And tenderest tones medicinal of love. (Mill-stream, or farm-yard pond, or mountain-lake,)

I too a Sister had, an only SisterShrill, as a Church and Constitution

She loved me dearly, and I doted on

her ! scream,

To her I pour'd forth all my puny Tu-whoo! quoth Broad-face, and down dives the Drake !

sorrows, (As sick Patient in his Nurse's arms)

And of the heart those hidden maladies The green-neck'd Drake once more pops up to view,

That even from Friendship's eye will Stares round, cries Quack! and makes

shrink ashamed. an angry pother ;

O! I have woke at midnight, and have Then shriller screams the bird with eye

wept, lids blue,

Because she was not !-Cheerily, dear

Charles ! The broad - faced bird ! and deeper dives the other.

Thou thy best friend shalt cherish many

40 Ye quacking Statesmen ! 'tis even so

a year : with you

Such warm presagings feel I of high One peasecod is not liker to another.


For not uninterested the dear Maid Even so on Loyalty's Decoy-pond, each I've view'd-her soul affectionate yet Pops up his head, as fir'd with British

wise, blood,

Her polish'd wit as mild as lambent Hears once again the Ministerial screech,

glories And once more seeks the bottom's That play around a sainted infant's head. blackest mud !

He knows (the Spirit that in secret sees, 1794

Of whose omniscient and all-spreading

Aught to implorel were impotence of


HONOURABLE MR. ERSKINE That my mute thoughts are sad before

WHEN British Freedom for a happier his throne,

land Prepared, when he his healing ray vouchsafes,

Spread her broad wings, that fluttered

with affright, To pour forth thanksgiving with lifted

ERSKINE ! thy voice she heard, and heart, And praise Him Gracious with a

paused her flight Brother's Joy!

Sublime of hope! For dreadless thou

didst stand December 1794.

(Thy censer glowing with the hallowed


An hireless Priest before the insulted SONNETS ON EMINENT


And at her altar pour the stream divine

Of unmatched eloquence. Therefore thy CONTRIBUTED TO THE MORNING CHRON


Her sons shall venerate, and cheer thy ARY 1795

breast [The first of the series was addressed

With blessings heaven-ward breathed. "To the Honourable Mr. Erskine,' and

And when the doom

Of Nature bids thee die, beyond the was introduced by the following letter :

tomb MR. EDITOR-If, Sir, the following Poems Thy light shall shine: as sunk beneath will not disgrace your poetical department, I

the West will transmit you a series of Sonnets (as it is the fashion to call them) addressed like these to Though the great Summer Sun eludes eminent Contemporaries.

S. T. C.


Still burns wide Heaven with his distended blaze.

December 1, 1794. At foot of the Sonnet was printed the ! following editorial note :Our elegant correspondent will highly

II gratify every reader of taste by the continuance

BURKE of his exquisitely beautiful productions. No. II. shall appear on an early day.')

As late I lay in slumber's shadowy vale,

With wetted cheek and in a mourner's 1 I utterly recant the sentiment contained in

guise, the lines,

I saw the sainted form of Freedom Of whose omniscient and all-spreading Love

rise : Aught to implore were impotence of mind,' She spake! not sadder moans the it being written in Scripture, Ask, and it shall autumnal galebe given you,' and my human reason being moreover convinced of the propriety of offering peti- Great Son of Genius! sweet to me thy tions as well as thanksgivings to Deity. (Note:

name, of S. T. C., in Poems, 1803.]

Ere in an evil hour with altered voice

Thou badst Oppression's hireling crew

IV rejoice

LA FAYETTE Blasting with wizard spell my laurelled fame.

As when far off the warbled strains are

heard • Yet never, BURKE ! thou drank'st Cor

That soar on Morning's wing the ruption's bowl !

vales among ; Thee stormy Pity and the cherish'd lure

Within his cage the imprisoned matin Of Pomp, and proud precipitance of

bird soul

Swells the full chorus with a generous Wildered with meteor fires.

Ah Spirit

song : pure !

He bathes no pinion in the dewy light, That error's mist had left thy purged No Father's joy, no Lover's bliss he eye:

shares, So might I clasp thee with a Mother's Yet still the rising radiance cheers his joy!' December 9, 1794.

sightHis fellows' freedom soothes the cap

tive's cares ! III

Thou, FAYETTE! who didst wake with PRIESTLEY

startling voice THOUGH roused by that dark Vizir Riot Lise's better sun from that long wintry rude

night, Have driven our PRIESTLEY o'er the Thus in thy Country's triumphs shalt ocean swell;

rejoice Though Superstition and her wolfish And mock

And mock with raptures high the brood

dungeon's might : Bay his mild radiance, impotent and

For lo ! the morning struggles into day, fell;

And Slavery's spectres shriek and vanish

from the ray! Calm in his halls of brightness he shall dwell!

** The above beautiful sonnet was written For lo ! Religion at his strong behest

antecedently to the joyful account of the Patriot's Starts with mild anger from the Papal

escape from the Tyrant's Dungeon. [Note in M. Ch.]

December 15, 1794. spell, And flings to Earth her tinsel-glittering vest,


KOSKIUSKO Her mitred state and cumbrous pomp unholy;

O WHAT a loud and fearful shriek was And Justice wakes to bid th’Oppres

there, sor wail

As though a thousand souls one deathInsulting aye the wrongs of patient

groan poured! Folly ;

Ah me! they viewed beneath an hireAnd from her dark retreat by Wisdom

ling's sword won

Fallen Koskiusko! Through the bur

thened air Meek Nature slowly lifts her matron veil To smile with fondness on her gazing (As pauses the tired Cossac's barbarous son ! December 11, 1794.



Of Triumph) on the chill and midnight Seize, Mercy! thou more terrible the gale

brand, Rises with frantic burst or sadder swell And hurl her thunderbolts with fiercer The dirge of murder'd Hope ! while

hand !

December 23, 1794. Freedom pale

VII Bends in such anguish o'er her destined bier,

TO THE REV. W. L. BOWLES1 As if from eldest time some Spirit [FIRST VERSION, PRINTED IN MORNING meek

CHRONICLE, DECEMBER 26, 1794] Had gathered in a mystic urn each tear That ever a Patriot's furrowed My heart has thank'd thee, Bowles ! cheek

for those soft strains,

That, on the still air floating, tremFit channel found ; and she had drained

blingly the bowl

Wak'd in me Fancy, Love, and SymIn the mere wilfulness, and sick despair pathy ! of soul ! December 16, 1794.

For hence, not callous to a Brother's


Thro’ Youth's gay prime and thornless VI

paths I went ; PITT

And, when the darker day of life

began, Not always should the tear's ambrosial

And I did roam, a thought-bewilder'd dew

man ! Roll its soft anguish down thy furrow'd Thy kindred Lays an healing solace lent,

cheek ! Ņot always heaven-breathed tones of Each lonely pang with

Each lonely pang with dreamy joys suppliance meek

combin’d, Beseem thee, Mercy! Yon dark Scowler And stole from vain REGRET her view,

scorpion stings;

While shadowy PLEASURE, with Who with proud words of dear-loved

mysterious wings, Freedom came

Brooded the wavy and tumultuous mind, More blasting than the mildew from the South !

1 Author of Sonnets and other Poems, pubAnd kiss'd his country with Iscariot lished by Dilly. To Mr. Bowles's poetry I have mouth

always thought the following remarks from (Ah ! foul apostate from his Father's

Maximus Tyrius peculiarly applicable :—'I am

not now treating of that poetry which is estifame !) 1

| mated by the pleasure it affords to the ear- r-the

ear having been corrupted, and the judgmentThen fix'd her on the cross of deep

seat of the perceptions ; but of that which prodistress,

ceeds from the intellectual Helicon, that which And at safe distance marks the thirsty is dignified, and appertaining to human feelings, lance

and entering into the soul.'— The 13th Sonnet Pierce her big side !

But O ! if some for exquisite delicacy of painting ; the 19th for strange trance

tender simplicity; and the 25th for manly pathos, The eye-lids of thy stern-brow'd Sister 2 are compositions of, perhaps, unrivalled merit.

Yet while I am selecting these, I almost accuse press,

myself of causeless partiality; for surely never 1 Earl of Chatham.

2 Justice.

was a writer so equal in excellence !-S. T. C.

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »