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Best pleased 'twere som for whilst I live,
I should but hourly more be thine.
June 181, 1817.
In the last Pilgrimage of Childe Harold, lord Byron introduces the residence of Gibbon and Voltaire, and draws the characters of these celebrated men, with a skilful penci).
LAUSANNE! and Ferney! ye have been the abodes,
Of names which unto you bequeathed a name;
Mortals who sought and found by dangerous roads,
A path to perpetuity of fame:
They were gigantic minds, and their steep aim,
Was, Titan-like, on daring doubts to pile
Thoughts which could call down thunder, and the flame
Of Heaven, again assail'd, if Heaven the while
On man and man's research could deign no more than smile.
The one was fire and fickleness, a child
Most mutable in wishes, but in mind,
A wit as various-gay, grave, sage or wild-
Historian, bard, philosopher combin'd;
He multiplied himself among mankind,
The Proteus of their talents: but his own
Breath'd most in ridicule, which, as the wind
Blew where it listed, laying all things prone,
Now to o'erthrow a fool, and now to shake a throne.
The other, deep and slow, exhausting thought,
And hiving wisdom with each studious year,
In meditation dwelt, with learning wrought,
And shaped his weapon with an edge severe,
Sapping a solemn crced with solemn sneer;
The lord of irony,--that master-spell,
Which strung his foes to wrath, which grew from fear;
And doomed him to the zealot's ready Hell,
Which answers to all doubts so eloquently well.
On the attainment of her eighteenth year. The youthful charms, evince in early hour, The budding beauties of a future flow'r; When time shall thrice thy present years have told, And summer friends, pronounce thee growing old; Then, though the roses of thy cheeks be flown, And all the graces of thy youth be gone, Thou still shalt please; thy pure and gentle heart Shall glow alone, when lesser charms depart; As when the sun, bis drooping splendour laves, At time of eve, beneath the western waves, And though his glory sinks conceal'd from view, His mid-day beams absorb'd, in twilight dew, Yet still the welkin, streak'd with gold remains, And every cloud his brilliant tinge retains; So, thy Affection shall, in life's last stage, Charm, when thy sun of beauty sets in age.
Suggested by the music of Cherubini's trio “ Non mi negate, no."
Steal from the window, dear,
Beneath the dark trees plumy,
And crossing once by the moon-light clear,
Look down the garden to me.
Far strikes thy shape away,
And shows thee a refin'd one;
Thy step is like the air we play,
Thou lovely, frank, and kind one.
THE SIMILE OF A BEAUTIFUL NIGHT.
Literally translated from Homer.
As when around the moon the stars appear
Loveliest in heaven, and all is hush'd and clear,
When mountain-tops, and uplands, bask in light,
And woods, and all th' etherial depth of night
Seems open'd back to heav'n, and sight is had
Of all the stars, and shepherd's hearts are glad;
So many, 'twixt the ships and river, shone
The Trojan fires in front of Ilion.
Although you've drain'd oceans on truth you ne'er fell, For instead of a cask, it lies deep in a well.
* This Dame signifies “mad with love."-Ed. P. F.
The following lines were repeated by Burns at one of those convivial meetings, where the unfortunate poet forgot
“ The troubles of life in the regions of wit.”
The request being entirely unexpected, the verses are to be considered as an extemporapcous effusion.
When Paine arrived at inmost hell,
A polyon shook him by the hand,--
And said, “ my Thommy art thou well?”
At which he made a frightful stand.
He put him in a furnace red,
And on him barr’d the door,
-d, how the devils shook their head,
To hear my Thommy roar!
TOWN AND COUNTRY BY CAPTAIN MORRIS
In London I never knew what to be at,
Enraptur'd with this, and transported with that;
I'm wild with the sweets of variety's plan,
And life seems a blessing too happy for man.
But the country, Lord bless us, sets all matters right,
So calm and composing from morning till night;
Oh! it settles the stomach when nothing is seen
But an ass on a common, a goose on a green.
In London how easy we visit and meet,
Gay pleasure's the theme, and sweet smiles are our treat:
Our mornings, a round of good-humour'd delight,
And we rattle in comfort and pleasure all night.
In the country how pleasant our visits to make,
Through ten miles of mud for formality's sake,
With the coachman in drink, and the moon in a fog,
And no thought in our heads but a ditch or a bog.
In London, if folks ill together be put,
A bore may be roasted, a quiz may be cut.-
In the country, your friends would feel angry and sore,
Call an old maid a quiz, or a parson a bore.
In the country, you're nail'd like a pale in your park,
To some stick of a neighbour cramm'd into the ark;
Or if you are sick, or in fits tumble down,
You reach death ere the doctor can reach you from town.
I've heard how that love in a cottage is sweet,
When two hearts in one link of soft sympathy meet;
I know nothing of that, for alas! I'm a swain
Who require (and I own it) more links to my chain.
Your jays and your magpies may chatter on trees,
And whisper soft nonsense in groves if they please;
But a house is much more to my mind than a tree,
And for groves-Oh! a fine grove of chimnics for me.
In the evening you're screw'd to your chairs fist to fist,
All stupidly yawning at sixpenny whist,
And though win or lose, its as true as its strange,
You've nothing to pay—the good folks have no change.
But for singing and piping, your time to engage,
You've cock and hen bulfinches coop'd in a cage,
And what music in nature can make you so feel
As a pig in a gate stuck, or knife-grinder's wheel?
I grant if in fishing, you take much delight,
In a punt you may shiver from morning to night,
And though blest with the patience that Job had of old,
The devil a thing will you caợch but a cold.
Yet its charming to hear, just from boarding-school come
A hoyden tune up an old family strum,
She'll play God save the King,' with an excellent tone
With the sweet variation of Old Bob and Joan."
But what though your appetite's in a weak state,
A pound at a time they will put on your plate,
Its true, as to health you've no cause to complain,
For they'll drink it, God bless 'em, again and again.
Then in town let me live, and in town let me die,
For in truth I can't relish the country, not 1;
If I must have a villa, in London to dwell,
Ohi give me the sweet city shade of Pall-Mall.