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Oft, too, in Stanemore's wintry waste, Forbade what Emma came to say,
“My Edwin, live for me.” In sighs to pour his soften’d soul, The midnight mourner stray’d. Now homeward as she hopeless went,
The churchyard path along, His cheeks, where love with beauty | The blast grew cold, the dark owl glow'd,
scream'd A deadly pale o'ercast;
Her lover's fun'ral song.
Amid the falling gloom of night,
Her startling fancy found
His groan in every sound.
Alone, appallid, thus had she pass’d And fruitless sorrows shed.
The visionary vale,
When lo! the deathbell smote her ear, “ 'Tis past,” he cried, “but if your souls Sad sounding in the gale.
Sweet mercy yet can move, Let these dim eyes once more behold Just then she reach'd with trembling What they must ever love.”
Her aged mother's door:
That angel face no more!
“I feel, I feel this breaking heart
Beat high against my side!” But oh, his sister's jealous care
From her white arm down sunk her head, (A cruel sister she !)
She shiver'd, sigh’d, and died.
1709-1784. (SAMUEL JOHNSON was born at Lichfield on the 18th of September, 1709. The first of his noteworthy poems, London, was published in 1738, at a period of his life when he was in great poverty, and for the copyright of the poem he only obtained ten guineas. It appeared on the same morning as Pope's Satire, “ 1738,” and surpassed the latter in popularity. In 1747 he wrote his celebrated Prologue for the opening of Drury Lane Theatre. At this theatre was exhibited in 1749 his tragedy of Irene, which, though acted for thirteen nights, failed to secure the public favor. The Vanity of Human Wishes was published earlier in the same year with a view to excite an interest in the author of the play. These were his last important poetical works. He wrote, however, three Prologues: one to Comus in 1750, when that play was acted for the benefit of Milton's granddaughter; another to Goldsmith's Good-natured Man, in 1769; and a third to the revived Word to the Wise, in 1777. He died on the 13th of December, 1784.]
FRIENDSHIP. FRIENDSHIP, peculiar boon of heaven, While love, unknown among the blest,
The noble mind's delight and pride, Parent of thousand wild desires, To men and angels only given,
The savage and the human breast To all the lower world denied.
Torments alike with raging fires.
With bright, but oft destructive gleam, With age, with cares, with maladies Alike o'er all his lightnings fly,
oppress’d, Thy lambent glories only beam
He seeks the refuge of monastic rest. Around the fav’rites of the sky. Grief aids disease, remember'd folly
stings, Thy gentle flows of guiltless joys, And his last sighs reproach the faith of
On fools and villains ne'er descend; kings.
pride, And let the tortures of mistrust
How just his hopes let Swedish Charles On selfish bosoms only prey.
A frame of adamant, a soul of fire, Nor shall thine ardors cease to glow, No dangers fright him, and no labors
When souls to peaceful climes remove: tire; What rais'd our virtue here below, O'er love, o'er fear, extends his wide Shall aid our happiness above.
domain, Unconquer'd lord of pleasure and of
No joys to him pacific sceptres yield, CARDINAL WOLSEY.
War sounds the trump, he rushes to the
field; [From The Vanity of Human Wishes.]
Behold surrounding kings their pow'rs In full blown dignity see Wolsey stand, combine, Law in his voice, and fortune in his And one capitulate, and one resign; hand :
Peace courts his hand, but spreads her To him the church, the realm, their charms in vain : pow'r consign,
“Think nothing gain’d,” he cries, “ till Through him the rays of regal bounty naught remain; shine,
On Moscow's walls till Gothic standards Still to new heights his restless wishes fly, tow'r,
And all be mine beneath the polar sky." Claim leads to claim, and pow'r advances The march begins in military state, pow'r;
And nations on his eye suspended wait; Till conquest unresisted ceas'd to please, Stern famine guards the solitary coast, And rights submitted left him none to And Winter barricades the realms of seize.
frost; At length his sov'reign frowns the He comes, not want and cold his course train of state
delay; Mark the keen glance, and watch the Hide, blushing Glory, hide Pultowa's sign to hate.
day: Where'er he turns he meets a stranger's | The vanquish'd hero leaves his broken eye,
bands, His suppliants scorn him, and his fol- And shows his miseries in distant lands; lowers fly;
Condemn'd a needy supplicant to wait; At once is lost the pride of awful state, While ladies interpose, and slaves deThe golden canopy, the glittering plate, bate. The regal palace, the luxurious board, But did not chance at length her error The liveried army, and the menial lord. mend?
Did no subverted empire mark his end? Vice always found a sympathetic friend; Or hostile millions press him to the They pleased their age and did not aim ground?
to mend. His fall was destin'd to a barren strand, Yet bards like these aspired to lasting A petty fortress, and a dubious hand: praise, He left the name, at which the world And proudly hoped to pimp in future grew pale,
days. To point a moral, or adorn a tale. Their cause was general, their supports
were strong, Their slaves were willing and their reign
Till Shame regained the post that Sense PROLOGUE SPOKEN AT THE betrayed, OPENING OF THE DRURY
And Virtue called Oblivion to her aid. LANE THEATRE, 1747.
Then crushed by rules, and weakened
as refined, When Learning's triumph o'er her bar- For years the power of Tragedy debarous foes
clined: First reared the stage immortal Shake- From bard to bard the frigid caution speare rose :
crept, Each change of many-colored life he Till Declamation roared, whilst Passion drew,
slept. Exhausted worlds and then imagined Yet still did Virtue deign the stage to
tread, Existence saw him spurn her bounded Philosophy remained though Nature fled. reign,
But forced at length her ancient reign And panting Time toiled after him in
to quit, vain :
She saw great Faustus lay the ghost of His powerful strokes presiding Truth impressed,
Exulting Folly hailed the joyful day, And unresisted Passion stormed the And Pantomime and Song confirmed her breast.
sway. Then Jonson came, instructed from But who the coming changes can prethe school,
sage, To please in method and invent by rule; And mark the future periods of the His studious patience and laborious art, Stage? By regular approach assailed the heart : Perhaps if skill could distant times exCold approbation gave the lingering plore, bays,
New Behns, new Durfeys yet remain in For those who durst not censure scarce store; could praise.
Perhaps, where Lear has raved, and A mortal born, he met the general Hamlet died, doom,
On flying cars new sorcerers may ride : But left, like Egypt's kings, a lasting Perhaps (for who can guess th' effects of tomb.
chance?) The wits of Charles found easier ways Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet may to fame,
dance. Nor wished for Jonson's art or Shake- Hard is his lot that, here by Fortune speare's flame;
plac'd, Themselves they studied, as they felt Must watch the wild vicissitudes of taste; they writ;
With ev'ry meteor of caprice must Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit.
And chase the new-blown bubbles of the From zeal or malice now no more we day.
dread, Ah! let not Censure term our fate our For English vengeance wars not with choice,
the dead. The stage but echoes back the public A generous foe regards with pitying eye voice;
The man whom fate has laid where all The drama's laws, the drama's patrons must lie. give,
To wit reviving from its author's dust For we that live to please, must please Be kind, ye judges, or at least be just. to live.
For no renewed
hostilities invade Then prompt no more the follies you Th’ oblivious grave's inviolable shade. decry,
Let one great payment every claim apAs tyrants doom their tools of guilt to pease, die;
And him, who cannot hurt, allow to 'Tis yours, this night, to bid the reign please,
To please by scenes unconscious of Of rescued Nature and reviving Sense; offence, To chase the charms of sound, the pomp By harmless merriment, or useful sense, of show,
Where aught of bright or fair the piece For useful mirth and salutary woe;
displays, Bid scenic Virtue form the rising age, Approve it only — 'tis too late to praise. And Truth diffuse her radiance from the If want of skill or want of care appear, stage.
Forbear to hiss — the poet cannot hear.
At best a fleeting gleam, or empty sound. PROLOGUE TO THE COMEDY
Yet then shall calm reflection bless the OF A WORD TO THE WISE.
When liberal pity dignified delight; This night presents a play which public When pleasure fir'd her torch at virtue's rage,
flame, Or right, or wrong, once hooted from
And mirth was bounty with an humbler the stage,
1714-1763. [SHENSTONE was born at the Leasowes, near Hales Owen, in 1714: he died at the same place in 1763. In 1737, while still at Pembroke College, Oxford, he published some miscellaneous poems anonymously. The Judgment of Hercules appeared in 1741, The Schoolmistress next year. His works, prose and verse, were published in 1764, the year after his death.]
THE SCHOOLMISTRESS. IN every village mark’d with little A matron old, whom we Schoolmistress spire,
name, Embower'd in trees and hardly known Who boasts unruly brats with birch to to fame,
tame; There dwells, in lowly shed and mean They grieven sore, in piteous durance attire,