Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

Black and huge along they sweep,

Now mouldering fanes and battlements arise, Burthens of the angry deep.

Turrets and arches nodding to their fall, Dauntless on his native sands

Unpeopled monasteries delude our eyes,
The dragon-son of Mona stands;

And mimic desolation covers all.
In glittering arms and glory drest,
High he rears his ruby crest.

“Ah!" said the sighing peer, “had B-te been true, There the thundering strokes begin,

Nor G-'s, nor B- d's promises been vain, There the press, and there the din;

Far other scenes than this had grac'd our view, Talymalfra's rocky shore

And realis'd the horrours which we feign.
Echoing to the battle's roar,
Where his glowing eye-balls turn,

“ Purg'd by the sword, and purify'd by fire, Thousand banners round him burn.

Then had we seen proud London's bated walls: Where he points his purple spear,

Owls should have hooted in St. Peter's choir,
Hasty, hasty rout is there,

And foxes stunk and litter'd in St. Paul's."
Marking with indignant eye
Fear to stop, and shame to fly.
There Confusion, Terrour's child,
Conflict fierce, and Ruin wild,

ODE FOR MUSIC.
Agony, that pants for breath,

PERFORMED IN THE SENATE-HOUSE AT CAMBRIDGE, JULY Despair and honourable Death.

1, 1769, AT THE INSTALLATION OF HIS GRACE AUGUSTUS-HENRY-FITZROY, DUKE OF GRAFTON, CHANCEL

LOR OF THE UNIVERSITY

“ Hence, avaunt, ('tis holy ground)
EPITAPH,

Comus and his midnight-crew,
AT BECKENHAM, ON MRS. CLARKE 7.

And Ignorance with looks profound,

And dreaming Sloth of pallid hue, Lo! where this silent marble weeps,

Mad Sedition's cry profane, A friend, a wife, a mother, sleeps ;

Servitude that hugs her chain, A heart, within whose sacred cell

Nor in these consecrated bowers The peaceful virtues lov'd to dwell:

Let painted Flattery hide her serpent-train in flowers. Affection warm, and Faith sincere,

Nor Envy base, nor creeping Gain, And soft Humanity, were there.

Dare the Muse's walk to stain, In agony, in death, resign'd,

While bright-ey'd Science watches round:
She felt the wound she left behind.

Hence, away, 'tis holy ground !”
Her infant image, here below,
Sits siniling on a father's woe;

From yonder realms of empyrean day
Whom what awaits, wbile yet be strays

Bursts on my ear th' indignant lay: Along this lonely vale of days?

There sit the sainted sage, the bard divine, A pang, to secret sorrow dear;

The few, whom genius gave to shine A sigh, an unavailing tear;

Through every unborn age and undiscover'd clime. Till Time shall every grief remove,

Rapt in celestial transport they,
With life, with memory, and with love.

Yet hither oft a glance from high
They send of tender sympathy
To bless the place, where on their opening soul

First the genuine ardour stole.
STANZAS

'Twas Milton struck the deep-ton'd shell,

And, as the choral warblings round him swell, SL CGESTED BY A VIEW OF THE SEAT AND RUINS AT

Meek Newton's self bends from his state subline, KINGSGATE, IN KENT, 1766.

And nods his boary head, and listens to the rhyme. OLD and abandon'd by each venal friend, Here Hd took the pious resolution

“ Ye brown o'er-arching groves, To smuggle a few years, and strive to mend That Contemplation loves, A broken character and constitution.

Where willowy Camus lingers with delight!

Oft at the blush of dawn
On this congenial spot he fix'd his choice;

I trod your level lawn,
Earl Goodwin trembled for his neighbʼring sand; Oft wou'd the gleam of Cynthia silver-bright
Here sea-golls scream, and cormorants rejoice,

In cloisters dim, far from the haunts of Folly,
And mariners, though ship-wreck'd, fear to land. With Freedom by my side, and soft-ey'd Melan-

choly." Here reign the blustering North and blighting East, But hark! the portals sound, and pacing forth

No tree is heard to whisper, bird to sing; Yet Nature could not furnish out the feast,

With solemn steps and slow, Art he invokes new terrours still to bring.

High potentates and dames of royal birth,

And mitred fathers in long order yo:

Great Edward', with the lilies on his brow, * The red dragon is the device of Cadwallader, which all his descendants bore on their banners. 1 Edward the Third; who added the fleur de

* Wife to a physician at Epsom; she died April | lys of France to the arms of England. He found27, 1757.

ed Trinity College.

From hanghty Gallia torn,

Shall raise from Earth the latent gem, And sad Chatillon ?, on ber bridal morn

To glitter on the diadem. That wept her bleeding love, and princely Clare 3, And Anjou's 4 heroine, and the paler roses, “ Lo, Granta waits to lead her blooming band, The rival of her crown and of her woes,

Not obvious, not obtrusive, she And either Henry there, 6

No vulgar praise, no venal incense flings; The murder'd saint, and the majestic lord,

Nor dares with courtly tongue retin'd That broke the bonds of Rome.

Profane thy inborn royalty of mind : (Their tears, their little triumphs o'er,

She reveres herself and thee. Their human passions now no more,

With modest pride to grace thy youthful brow Save Charity, that glows beyond the tomb) The laureat wreath, that Cecil 9 wore, she brings, All that on Granta's fruitful plain

And to thy just, thy gentle hand Rich streams of regal bounty pour'd,

Submits the fasces of her sway, And barle these awful fanes and turrets rise, While spirits blest above and men below To hail their Fitzroy's festal morning come; Join with glad voice the loud symphonious lay. And thus they speak in soft accord

Through the wild waves as they roar The liquid language of the skies.

With watchful eye and dauntless mien

Thy steady course of honour keep, “ What is grandeur, what is power ?

Nor fear the rocks, nor seek the shore : Heavier toil, superior pain.

The star of Brunswick smiles serene,
What the bright reward we gain?

And gilds the horrours of the deep."
The grateful memory of the good.
Sweet is the breath of vernal shower,
The bee's collected treasure's sweet,
Sweet music's melting fall, but sweeter yet
The still small voice of Gratitude."

A LONG STORY'.
Foremost and leaning from her golden cloud

Is Britain's isle, no matter where, The venerable Marg'ret 7 see !

An ancient pile of building stands: “Welcome, my noble son,” (she cries aloud)

The Huntingdons and Hattons there “ To this, thy kindred train, and me :

Employ'd the power of fairy hands
Pleas'd in thy lineaments we trace
A Tudor's 8 fire, a Beaufort's grace.
Thy liberal heart, thy judging eye,

9 Lord treasurer Burleigh was chancellor of the The flower unheeded shall descry,

university, in the reign of queen Elizabeth. And bid it round Heaven's altars shed The fragrance of its blushing head:

1 When Mr. Gray had put his last hand to the celebrated Elegy in the Country Church-yard, he

communicated it to his friend Mr. Walpole, whose 2 Mary de Valentia, countess of Pembroke, good taste was too much charmed with it to suffer daughter of Guy de Chatillon, comte de St. Paul him to withhold the sight of it from his acquaintin France: of whom tradition says, that her hus-ance; accordingly it was shown about for some band, Audemar de Valentia, earl of Pembroke, was

time in manuscript, and received with all the apslain at a tournament on the day of his nuptials. plause it so justly merited. Amongst the rest of She was the foundress of Pembroke College or the fashionable world, for to those only it was at Hall, under the name of Aula Mariæ de Valentia.

present communicated, lady Cobham, who now 3 Elizabeth de Burg, countess of Clare, was lived at the mansion-house at Stoke-Pogis, had wife of John de Burg, son and heir of the earl of read and admired it. She wished to be acquainted Ulster, and daughter of Gilbert de Clare, earl of with the author; accordingly her relation, miss Gloucester, by Joan of Acres, daughter of Edward Speed, and lady Schaub, then at her house, unthe First. Hence the poet gives her the epithet of dertook to bring this about by making him the first princely. She founded Clare Hall.

visit. He happened to be from home when the 4 Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry the Sixth, ladies arrived at his aunt's solitary mansion; and, foundress of Queen's College. The poet has cele- when he returned, was surpris'd to find, written on brated her conjugal fidelity in a former ode. one of his papers in the parlour where he usually

5 Elizabeth Widville, wife of Edward the Fourth read, the following note: “ Lady Schaub's com(hence called the paler rose, as being of the pliments to Mr. Gray; she is sorry not to have house of York). She added to the foundation of found him at home, to tell him that lady Brown is Margaret of Anjou.

very well.” This necessarily obliged bim to return

the sit, and soon after induced him to compose a 6 Henry the Sixth and Eighth. The former the ludicrous account of this little adventure, for the founder of King's, the latter the greatest benefactor

amusement of the ladies in question. He wrote it to Trinity College.

in ballad measure, and entitled it a Long Story: 7 Countess of Richmond and Derby; the mother when it was handed about in manuscript, nothing of Henry the Seventh, foundress of St. John's and could be more various than the opinions concernChrist's Colleges.

ing it; by some it was thought a masterpiece of 8 The countess was a Beaufort, and married to a original bumour, by others a wild and fantastic Tudor; hence the application of this line to the farrago; and when it was published, the sentiments duke of Grafton, who claims descent from both of good judges were equally divided about it. See these families.

Mr. Mason's Memoirs, vol. Üie p. 125.

To raise the ceiling's fretted height,

Who prowl'd the country far and near, Each pannel in achievements clothing,

Bewitch'd the children of the peasants, Rich windows that exclude the light,

Dried up the cows, and lam'd the deer, And pa-sages, that lead to nothing'.

And suck'd the eggs, and kill'd the pheasants. Full oft within the spacious walls,

My lady heard their joint petition, When he had fifty winters o'er him,

Swore by her coronet and ermine, My grave lord-keepers jed the brawls;

She'd issue out her high commission The seal and maces danc'd before hiin.

To rid the manor of such verinin.

His bushy beard, and shoe-strings green,

The heroines undertook the task, His high-crown'd hat, and sattin doablet,

Through lanes unknown, o'er stiles they ventur'd, Mov'd the stout heart of England's queen,

Rap'd at the door, nor stay'd to ask, Though pope and Spaniard could not trouble it. But bounce into the parlour enter'd. What, in the very first beginning!

The trembling family they daunt, Shame of the versifying tribe!

They flirt, they sing, they laugh, they tattle, Your history whither are you spinning!

Rummage his mother, pinch his aunt, Can you do nothing but describe ?

And up stairs in a whirlwind rattle. A bouse there is (and that's enough)

Each hole and cupboard they explore, Prom whence one fatal morning issues

Each creek and cranny of his chamber, A brace of warriors 4, not in buff,

Run hurryskurry round the floor, But rustling in their silks and tissues.

And o'er the bed and tester clamber; The first came cap-a-pee from France,

Into the drawers and china pry, Her conquering destiny fulfilling,

Papers and books a huge imbroglio! Wbotn meaner beauties eye askance,

Under a tea-cup he might lie, And rainly ape her art of killing.

Or creas'd, like dog's-ears, in a folio. The other Amazon kind Heaven

On the first marching of the troops Had arm’d with spirit, wit, and satire :

The Muses, hopeless of his pardon, But Cobham had the polish given,

Convey'd him underneath their hoops And tipp'd her arrow with good-nature.

To a small closet in the garden. To celebrate her eyes, her air

So Rumour says: (who will, believe.) Coarse panegyrics would but tease her.

But that they left the door a-jar, Melissa is her nom de guerre.

Where, safe and laughing in his sleeve, Alas, who would not wish to please her!

He heard the distant din of war. With bonnet blue and capuchine,

Short was his joy. He little knew And aprons long they hid their armour,

The power of Magic was no fable; And reil'd their weapons bright and keen,

Out of the window, wisk, they few, In pity to the country farmer.

But left a spell upon the table. Fame, in the shape of Mr. P-t,

The words too eager to unriddle, (By this time all the parish know it)

The poet felt a strange disorder: Had told, that thereabouts there lurk'd

Transparent bird-lime form’d the middle, A wicked iinp they called a poet :

And chains invisible the border. • The mansion-house at Stoke-Pogis, then in the So cunning was the apparatus, possession of viscountess Cobham. The style of The powerful pot-hooks did so move him, building, which we now call queen Elizabeth's, is That, will he, nill he, to the Great-house here admirably described, both with regard to its He went, as if the Devil drove him. beauties and defects; and the third and fourth stanzas delineate the fantastic manners of her time Yet on his way (no sign of grace with equal truth and humour. The house formerly For folks in fear are apt to pray) belonged to the earls of Huntingdon and the family to Phæbus he preferr'd his case, Hatton. M.

And begg'd his aid that dreadful day. 3 Sir Christopher Hatton, promoted by queen Elizabeth for his graceful person and fine dancing. The godhead would have back'd his quarrel; 6.-Brawls were a sort of figure-dance, then in

But with a blush, on recollection, ! Fogue, and probably deemed as elegant as our mo

Own'd, that his quiver and his laurel dem cotillions, or still more modern quadrilles. M.

'Gainst four such eyes, were no protection. 4 The reader is already apprised who these ladies Fere; the two descriptions are prettily contrasted; bour and acquaintance of Mr. Gray's in the counand nothing can be more happily turned than the try, was much displeased at the liberty here taken compliment to lady Cobham in the eighth stanza. M. with his name; yet, surely, without any great

"I Lave been told that this gentleman, a neigh- reason. M.

[ocr errors]

The court was sat, the culprit there,

“ He once or twice had penn'd a sonnet: Forth from the gloomy mansions creeping

Yet hop'd, that he might save his bacon: The lady Janes and Joans repair,

Numbers would give their oaths upon it, And from the gallery stand peeping :

He ne'er was for a conj'rer taken." Such as in silence of the night

The ghostly prudes with bagged face 10 Come (sweep) along some winding entry,

Already had condemn'd the sinner. (Styack has often seen the sight)

My lady rose, and with a grace Or at the chapel-door stand centry:

She smild, and bid him come to dinner". In peaked hoods and mantles tarnish'd,

“ Jesu-Maria ! Madam Bridget, Sour visages, enough to scare ye,

Why, what can the viscountess mean! High dames of honour once, that garnish'd (Cried the square-hoods in woeful fidget) The drawing-room of fierce queen Mary.

The times are alter'd quite and clean The peeress comes. The audience stare,

“ Decorum 's turn'd to mere civ lity; And doff their hats with due submission:

Her air and all her manners show it. She curtsies, as she takes her chair,

Commend iue to her affability! To all the people of condition.

Speak to a commoner and poet !" The bard, with many an artful fib,

(Here 500 stanzas are lost. ]
Had in imagination fenc'd him,
Disprov'd the arguments of Squib?,

And so God save our noble king,
And all that Groom 8 could unge against him. And guard us from long-winded lubbers,

That to eternity would sing,
But soon his rhetoric forsook him,

And keep my lady from her rubbers,
When he the solemn hall had seen;
A sudden fit of ague shook him:
He stood as mate as poor Macleane 9.

10 Hagged, i. e. the face of a witch or bag; the

epithet hagard has been sometimes mistaken, as Yet something he was heard to mutter,

conveying the same idea; but it means a very “ How in the park, beneath an old tree,

different thing, viz. wild and farouche, and is taken (Without design to hurt the butter,

from an unreclaimed hawk, called an haggard. M. Or any malice to the poultry)

"! Here the story finishes; the exclamation of 6 The house-keeper.

the ghosts which follows is characteristic of the 7 Groom of the chamber. G.

Spanish manners of the age, when they are sup

posed to have lived; and the fire hundred stanzas, 8 The steward. G.

said to be lost, may be imagined to contain the re9 A famous highwayman, hanged the week be- mainder of their long-winded expostulation. M. fore. G.

a

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »