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No mortal lover yet, I vow,
My virgin heart has fixt,
But yet I bear the creature's talk
Without a grate betwixt.
To Heav'n my eyes are often caft
(From Heav'n their light began)
Yet deign fometimes to view on earth
Its image stampt on man.
Ah me! I fear in borrow'd shape
Thou com'ft, a base deceiver; Perhaps the devil, to tempt the faith Of orthodox believer.
For once my hand, at masquerade,
A reverend friar preft;
His form as thine, but holier founds
The ravish'd faint addrest.
He told me vows no more were made
To fenfeless stone and wood,
But adoration paid alone
To faints of flesh and blood,
That rofy cheeks, and radiant eyes,
And treffes like the morn,
Were given to blefs the prefent age,
And light the age unborn :
That maids, by whose obdurate pride
The hapless lover fell,
Were doom'd to never-dying toils
Of leading apes in hell.
Respect the first command, he cried,
Its facred laws fulfil,
And well obferve the precept given
To Mofes-Do not kill.
Thus fpoke, ah yet I hear him speak!
My foul's fublime physician;
Then get thee hence, thy doctrines vile
Would fink me to perdition.
She ceas'd-the monk in shades of night
Confus'dly fled away,
And Superftition's clouds diffolv'd
In fenfe, and beauty's ray.
[From the fame Publication.]
OR London's rich city, two Staffordshire fwains,
Hight Johnfon, hight Garrick, forfaking their plains,
Reach'd Shakespeare's own Stratford, where flows by his tomb
An Avon, as proudly as Tiber by Rome.
Now Garrick (fweet imp too of Nature was he)
Would climb and would eat from his Mulberry-tree;
Yet as Johnfon, lefs frolic, was taller, was older,
He reach'd the first boughs by the help of his fhoulder;
Where, fhelter'd from famine, from bailiffs, and weather,
Bards, critics, and players, fat crowded together;
Who devour'd in their reach all the fruit they could meet,
The good, bad, indifferent, the bitter and fweet:
But Garrick climb'd high to a plentiful crop,
Then, heavens! what vagaries he play'd on the top!
How, now on the loofe twigs, and now on the tight,
He stood on his head, and then bolted upright!
All features, all fhapes, and all paffions he tried;
He danc'd and he ftrutted, he laugh'd and he cried,
He prefented his face, and he fhow'd his backfide!
The noble, the vulgar, flock'd round him to fee
What feats he perform'd in the Mulberry-tree:
He repeated the paftime, then open'd to fpeak,
But Johnfon below mutter'd firophes of Greek,
While Garrick proclaim'd-fuch a plant never grew,
So fofter'd by fun-fhine, by foil, and by dew.
The palm-trees of Delos, Phoenicia's fweet grove,
The oaks of Dodona, tho' hallow'd by Jove,
With all that antiquity fhows to furpass us,
Compar'd to this tree, were mere fhrubs of Parnaffus.
Not the beeches of Mantua, where Tityrus was laid,
Not all Vallombrofa produc'd fuch a fhade,
That the myrtles of France, like the birch of the schools,
Were fit only for rods to whip Genius to rules;
That to Stratford's old Mulberry, fairest and best,
The cedars of Eden must bow their proud creft:
Then the fruit-like the loaf in the Tub's pleasant Tale,
That was fifh, flesh, and custard, good claret, and ale-
It compriz'd every flavour, was all, and was each,
Was grape, and was pine-apple, nectarine, and peach;
Nay he fwore, and his audience believ'd what he told,
That, under his touch it grew apples of gold.
Now he paus'd!-then recounted its virtues again-
'Twas a wood for all use, bottom, top, bark, and grain:
It would faw into feats for an audience in full pits,
Into benches for judges, epifcopal pulpits;
Into chairs for philofophers, thrones too for kings,
Serve the highest of purpofes, loweft of things;
Make brooms to mount witches, make May-poles for May-days,
And boxes, and ink-stands, for wits and the ladies.-
His fpeech pleas'd the vulgar, it pleas'd their fuperiors, By Johnfon opt fhort-who his mighty pofteriors Applied to the trunk-like a Sampfon, his haunches Shook the roots, fhook the fummit, fhook ftem, and shook branches! All was tremor and fhock !-now defcended in showers
Wither'd leaves, wither'd limbs, blighted fruits, blighted flowers!
The fragments drew critics, bards, players along,
Who held by weak branches, and let go the ftrong;
E'en Garrick had dropt with a bough that was rotten,
But he leapt to a found, and the flip was forgotten.
Now the plant's clofe receffes lay open to day,
While Johnfon exclaim'd, ftalking stately away,
Here's rubbish enough, till my homeward return,
For children to gather, old women to burn;
Not practis'd to labour, my fides are too fore,
Till another fit feafon, to fhake you down more.
What future materials for pruning, and cropping,
And cleaning, and gleaning, and lopping, and topping!
Yet mistake me not, rabble! this tree's a good tree,
Does honour, dame Nature, to Britain and thee;
And the fruit on the top-take its merits in brief,
Makes a noble defert, where the dinner's roast beef!
[From Mr. PRATT's Landfcapes in Verfe.]
The Puffet dwelling of an ancient pair,
Who thrice ten finiling years, beneath its roof,
(Blush gay and great ones of a jarring world!)
Have led a virtuous life of wedded love!
In days of nuptial diffonance and ftrife,
This pattern, rare and high, Cleone views,
And plucking foft the unadorned latch,
Enters the cot, where Love with Nature reigns
Far from the city artifice :-the pair
We find, with all their progeny around,
In goodly rows affembled at the board
Of buxom Health, who spreads the light repaft,
Which Hofpitality, (fuch as of yore
Our ancient Britons, lov'd, ere courtier pomp
The once wide opening door infidious clos'd)
With importunings fweet, invites to share.
Their offer'd boon accepted, we furvey
Silvan Simplicity her graces lend
To clear Content, who in the herdfman's hut
(Which fcorns the gilding of felicity)
Refides with real Happiness a friend,
Ev'n as an houfhold goddefs, ever near
With gentle hand, to blefs this couple blythe,
To pour the fpirit of the fresheft gale
Upon the modest rose that humbly blows
Around their dwelling fmall: from the clean fpring
That lends its little tide, the purest stream
To draw, for use or pleasure :-o'er the couch
To fhed the fweetest fleep from night till morn,
Light as the filent dews that fall in both.
And now we listen to the honest tale Of cottage fondnefs, and of cottage faith, Told by the matron, while the fhepherd fwain (Instructed well to read the fecret heart) Traces with skill, even to its rofy fource, The crimson flufl that paints Cleone's cheek, As, by the scene fubdued, I feem more clofe To fold her tender form :-this counsel kind Diftill'd at length like honey from his lip: "Yes, youth and maiden, I can see your hearts "Twine round each other like your circling arms :"Behold! in us, a pair grown old together, "Our morning tender, and our evening true; "Then live and love, as we have lov'd and liv'd ;"Go with our mutual blefling on your heads; "And when in richer domes, ye fee pale Care "Lift her proud creft to cheat the gaping croud "With fpecious fhews of rapture, feldom found "In palace or in hut-then foftly fay, "As many a year remote when we are laid "Beneath the verdant turf, ye hither come, "Here dwelt the Couple of the Cot;-here oft "We fat us down in courtship's blooming hour, "And fwore, if Hymen e'er fhould join our hands, "To live as faithful, and to love as long."
[From the fame Publication.]
O more, fond youth, the ftrains prolong,
Break off, break off, the plaintive fong;
With mandate high from spheres above,
Our golden harps are firung to love!
In ev'ry flow'r that Nature blows,
Breeze that fans, and wave that flows;
On earth, in ocean, and in air,
Love is the fov'reign blifs, the univerfal prayer.
'Tis love fuftains the starry choir, Love is the elemental fire;
Ah! naught in thy mortality,
Nor ev'n in our eternity,
Like love can charm, like love can blefs,
The fun and foul of happiness;
Love is to ev'ry Mufe allied,
Touches each tuneful chord, and spreads the chorus wide.
'Tis ours to waft the lover's fighs,
Swift to the nymph for whom they rife;
And gently as we strike the string,
Convey the nymph's on rofy wing.
Abfence, tho' it wounds, endears,
Soft its forrows, sweet its tears;
Pains that please, and joys that weep,
Trickle like healing balm, and o'er the bofom creep.
Love and Sorrow, twins, were born
On a fhining show'ry morn,
'Twas in prime of April weather,
When it fhone and rain'd together;
He who never Sorrow knew,
Never felt affections true;
Never felt true paffion's power,
Love's fun and dew combine, to nurse the tender flow'r.
ODE to PETER
[From PETER PINDAR's Lyric Odes, for the Year 1785.]
Thoufand frogs, upon a fummer's day,
In a large pool, reflecting every face;-
They fhow'd their gold-lac'd cloaths with pride,
In harmless fallies, frequent vied,
And gambol'd through the water with a grace.
It happen'd that a band of boys,
Obfervant of their harmless joys,
Thoughtlefs, refolv'd to fpoil their happy fport;
One frenzy feiz'd both great and small,
On the poor frogs the rogues began to fall,
Meaning to fplafh them, not to do them hurt.
As Milton quaintly fings, the tones 'gan pour,'
Indeed, an Otaheite show'r !
The confequence was dreadful, let me tell ye;