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An element that flatters him to kill,
But most the Bard is true to inborn right, Lark of the dawn, and Philomel of night, Exults in freedom, can with rapture vouch For the dear blessings of a lowly couch, A natural meal-days, months, from Nature's hand;
85 Time, place, and business, all at his com
mand ! Who bends to bappier duties, who more wise Than the industrious Poet, taught to prize, Above all grandeur, a pure life uncrossed By cares in which simplicity is lost? That life--the flowery path that winds by
stealth Which Horace needed for his spirit's health ; Sighed for, in heart and genius, overcome By noise and strife, and questions wearišome, And the vain splendours of Imperial Rome?Let easy mirth his social hours inspire, And fiction animate his sportive lyre, Attuned to verse that, crowning light Distress With garlands, cheats her into happiness; Give me the humblest note of those sad strains Drawn forth by pressure of his gilded chains, As a chance-sunbeam from his memory fell Upon the Sabine farm he loved so well Or when the prattle of Bandusia's spring Haunted his ear-he only listeningHe proud to please, above all rivals, fit To win the palm of gaiety and wit; He, doubt not, with involuntary dread, Shrinking from each new favour to be shed, By the world's Ruler, on his honoured head! 110
In a deep vision's intellectual scene, Such earnest longings and regrets as keen Depressed the melancholy Cowley, laid Under a fancied yew-tree's luckless shade; A doleful bower for penitential song, Where Man and Muse complained of mutual
wrong; While Cam's ideal current glided by, And antique towers nodded their foreheads
high, Citadels dear to studious privacy. But Fortune, who had long been used to sport With this tried Servant of a thankless Court, Relenting met his wishes; and to you The remnant of his days at least was true; You, whom, though long deserted, he loved
You, Muses, books, fields, liberty, and rest! 125
Far happier they who, fixing hope and aim On the humanities of peaceful fame, Enter betimes with more than martial fire The generous course, aspire, and still aspire; Upheld by warnings heeded not too late Stifle the contradictions of their fate, And to one purpose cleave, their Being's god
Thus, gifted Friend, but with the placid
brow That woman ne'er should forfeit, keep thy vow; With modest scorn reject whate'er would
blind The ethereal eyesight, cramp the winged mind! Then, with a blessing granted from above To every act, word, thought, and look of love,
Life's book for Thee may lie unclosed, till age Shall with a thankful tear bedrop its latest
Now when the primrose makes a splendid show,
1 There is now, alas! no possibility of the anticipation, with which the above Epistle concludes, being realised : nor were the verses ever seen by the Individual for whom they were intended. She accompanied her husband, the Rev. Wm. Fletcher, to India, and died of cholera, at the age of thirty-two or thirty-three years, on her way from Shalapore to Bombay, deeply lamented by all who knew her.
Her enthusiasm was ardent, her piety steadfast; and her great talents would have enabled her to be eminently useful in the difficult path of life to which she had been called. The opinion she entertained of her own performances, given to the world under her maiden name, Jewsbury, was modest and humble, and, indeed, far below their merits ; as is often the case with those who are making trial of their powers, with a hope to discover what they are best fitted for. In one quality, viz., quickness in the motions of her mind, she had, within the range of the Author's acquaintance, no equal.
2 The small wild Geranium known by that name.
To rival summer's brightest scarlet flower;
But while a thousand pleasures come un
sought, Why fix upon his wealth or want a thought ? Is the string touched in prelude to a lay Of pretty fancies that would round him play When all the world acknowledged elfin sway? Or does it suit our humour to commend Poor Robin as a sure and crafty friend, Whose practice teaches, spite of names to
show Bright colours whether they deceive or no ?Nay, we would simply praise the free good-will With which, though slighted, he, on naked hill Or in warm valley, seeks his part to fill; Cheerful alike if bare of flowers as now, Or when his tiny gems shall deck his brow: Yet more, we wish that men by men despised, And such as lift their foreheads overprized, 30 Should sometimes think, where'er they chance
This child of Nature's own humility,
THAT happy gleam of vernal eyes,
That o'er thy brow are shed;
5 I saw; and Fancy sped To scenes Arcadian,whispering, through soft air, Of bliss that grows without a care, And happiness that never flies(How can it where love never dies?) Whispering of promise, where no blight Can reach the innocent delight; Where pity, to the mind conveyed In pleasure, is the darkest shade That Time, unwrinkled grandsire, flings 15 From his smoothly gliding wings.
What mortal form, what earthly face Inspired the pencil, lines to trace, And mingle colours, that should breed Such rapture, nor want power to feed; For had thy charge been idle flowers, Fair Damsel ! o'er my captive mind, To truth and sober reason blind, 'Mid that soft air, those long-lost bowers, The sweet illusion might have hung, for hours.
Thanks to this tell-tale sheaf of corn, That touchingly bespeaks thee born Life's daily tasks with them to share