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How can they say that nature Has nothing made in vain; Why then beneath the water Do hideous rocks remain? No eyes those rocks discover,
That lurk beneath the deep, To wreck the wandering lover, And leave the maid to weep.' All melancholy lying,
Thus wail'd she for her dear,
Repaid each blast with sighing,
Each billow with a tear;
When o'er the white waves stooping,
His floating corpse she spied;
Then, like a lily drooping,
She bow'd her head, and died.
A CONTEMPLATION ON NIGHT.
WHETHER amid the gloom of night I stray,
Or my glad eyes enjoy revolving day, Still nature's various face informs my sense, Of an all-wise, all-powerful Providence.
When the gay sun first breaks the shades of night, And strikes the distant eastern hills with light, Colour returns, the plains their livery wear, And a bright verdure clothes the smiling year; The blooming flowers with opening beauties glow, And grazing flocks their milky fleeces show; The barren cliffs with chalky fronts arise, And a pure azure arches o'er the skies. But when the gloomy reign of Night returns, Stript of her fading pride, all Nature mourns: The trees no more their wonted verdure boast, But weep in dewy tears their beauty lost: No distant landscapes draw our curious eyes, Wrapt in Night's robe the whole creation lies: Yet still, ev'n now, while darkness clothes the land, We view the traces of the' Almighty hand;
Millions of stars in Heaven's wide vault appear,
And with new glories hang the boundless sphere:
The silver moon her western couch forsakes,
And o'er the skies her nightly circle makes;
Her solid globe beats back the sunny rays,
And to the world her borrow'd light repays.
Whether those stars that twinkling lustre send
Are suns, and rolling worlds those suns attend,
Man may conjecture, and new schemes declare,
Yet all his systems but conjectures are;
But this we know, that Heaven's eternal King,
Who bade this universe from nothing spring,
Can at his word bid numerous worlds appear,
And rising worlds the' all-powerful word shall hear.
When to the western main the sun descends,
To other lands a rising day he lends:
The spreading dawn another shepherd spies,
The wakeful flocks from their warm folds arise;
Refresh'd, the peasant seeks his early toil,
And bids the plough correct the fallow soil.
While we in Sleep's embraces waste the night,
The climes oppos'd enjoy meridian light;
And when those lands the busy sun forsakes,
With us again the rosy Morning wakes:
In lazy sleep the night rolls swift away,
And neither clime laments his absent ray.
When the pure soul is from the body flown,
No more shall Night's alternate reign be known;
The sun no more shall rolling light bestow,
But from the' Almighty streams of glory flow.
Oh! may some nobler thought my soul employ,
Than empty, transient, sublunary joy :
The stars shall drop, the sun shall lose his flame, But thou, O God! for ever shine the same.
THE BIRTH OF THE SQUIRE.
In Imitation of the Pollio of Virgil.
YE silvan Muses! loftier strains recite;
Not all in shades and humble cots delight.
Hark! the bells ring; along the distant grounds,
The driving gales convey the swelling sounds:
The' attentive swain, forgetful of his work,
With gaping wonder leans upon his fork.
What sudden news alarms the waking Morn?
To the glad 'Squire a hopeful heir is born.
Mourn, mourn, ye stags! and all ye beasts of chase!
This hour destruction brings on all your race.
See the pleas'd tenants duteous offerings bear,
Turkeys, and geese, and grocer's sweetest ware;
With the new health the pond'rous tankard flows,
And old October reddens every nose.
Beagles and spaniels round his cradle stand,
Kiss his moist lip, and gently lick his hand;
He joys to hear the shrill horn's echoing sounds,
And learns to lisp the names of all the hounds.
With frothy ale to make his cup o'erflow,
Barley shall in paternal acres grow;
The bee shall sip the fragrant dew from flow'rs,
To give metheglin for his morning hours;
For him the clustering hop shall climb the poles,
And his own orchard sparkle in his bowls.
His sire's exploits he now with wonder hears;
The monstrous tales indulge his greedy ears;
How when youth strung his nerves and warm'd his
He rode the mighty Nimrod of the plains.
He leads the staring infant through the hall-
Points out the horny spoils that grace the wall;
Tells how this stag thro' three whole counties fled,
What rivers swam, where bay'd, and where he bled.
Now he the wonders of the fox repeats,
Describes the desperate chase, and all his cheats;
How in one day beneath his furious speed,
He tir'd seven coursers of the fleetest breed;
How high the pale he leapt, how wide the ditch,
When the hound tore the haunches of the witch.
These stories, which descend from son to son,
The forward boy shall one day make his own.
Ah! too fond Mother! think the time draws nigh
That calls the darling from thy tender eye;
How shall his spirit brook the rigid rules,
And the long tyranny of grammar schools?
Let younger brothers o'er dull authors plod,
Lash'd into Latin by the tingling rod :
No: let him never feel that smart disgrace;
Why should he wiser prove than all his race?
When ripening youth with down o'ershades his
And every female eye incites to sin,
The milkmaid (thoughtless of her future shame)
With smacking lip shall raise his guilty flame:
The dairy, barn, the hay-loft, and the grove,
Shall oft be conscious of their stolen love.
But think, Priscilla, on that dreadful time,
When pangs and wat'ry qualms shall own thy crime;
How wilt thou tremble, when thy nipple's prest,
To see the white drops bathe thy swelling breast!
Nine moons shall publicly divulge thy shame,
And the young 'Squire forestall a father's name.
When twice twelve times the reaper's sweeping
With levell'd harvests has bestrown the land,
On fam'd Saint Hubert's feast, his winding horn
Shall cheer the joyful hound and wake the morn:
This memorable day his eager speed
Shall urge with bloody heel the rising steed.
O check the foamy bit! nor tempt thy fate;
Think on the murders of a five-bar gate!
Yet prodigal of life, the leap he tries;
Low in the dust his groveling honour lies:
The most common accident to sportsmen, to hunt a witch in the shape of a hare.
Headlong he falls, and on the rugged stone
Distorts his neck, and cracks the collar bone.
O vent'rous Youth! thy thirst of game allay;
May'st thou survive the perils of this day!
He shall survive, and in late years be sent
To snore away debates in Parliament.
The time shall come when his more solid sense,
With nod important, shall the laws dispense;
A justice with grave justices shall sit,
He praise their wisdom, they admire his wit.
No greyhound shall attend the tenant's pace,
No rusty gun the farmer's chimney grace;
Salmons shall leave their covers void of fear,
Nor dread the thievish net or triple spear;
Poachers shall tremble at his awful name,
Whom vengeance now o'ertakes for murder'd game.
Assist me, Bacchus! and ye drunken pow'rs!
To sing his friendships and his midnight hours.
Why dost thou glory in thy strength of beer,
Firm-cork'd, and mellow'd till the twentieth year;
Brew'd or when Phoebus warms the fleecy sign,
Or when his languid rays in Scorpio shine?
Think on the mischiefs which from hence have sprung!
It arms with curses dire the wrathful tongue;
Foul scandal to the lying lip affords,
And prompts the memory with injurious words.
O where is wisdom when by this o'erpower'd?
The state is censur'd, and the maid deflower'd!
And wilt thou still, O 'Squire! brew ale so strong?
Hear then the dictates of prophetic song.
Methinks I see him in his hall appear,
Where the long table floats in clammy beer;
'Midst mugs and glasses shatter'd o'er the floor,
Dead-drunk his servile crew supinely snore;
Triumphant, o'er the prostrate brutes he stands,
The mighty bumper trembles in his hands;
Boldly he drinks, and, like his glorious sires,
In copious gulps of potent ale expires.