Blithe as the trout that skims with finny wing.
A thousand sports were there to make them blest —
The happiest moments when the heath they press'd ;
When the wild lapwing, or the grey curlew.
Screaming around their heads in circles flew.
And moorhens, rolling o'er the bent and heath,
To save their little broods from threatening death ;
But when the cruel youths once came too nigh.
They spread their wings, and show'd they yet could
An emblem these of joys seen just before, —
We grasp in hope, they fly, and are no more.
Oft in mischievous sport these took delight.
And made the sable ev'ning clouds seem bright
With fiery turf, with heath, and brackens dry,
The heath soon blaz'd, and seem'd to light the sky.
As if some great volcano there had been,
And ting'd with lurid glare the midnight scene.
Philo would talk of Ida's mighty flame.
When blaz'd the woods, and hquid iron came ;
Compare it then to Etna in his mirth.
And speak of Herculaneum swept from earth ;
GENIUS AND INTEMPERANCE. 93
Then talk of great Vesuvius' mighty blaze,
And wished that on its terrors he could gaze.
The furious flames now to a circle spread
A mile around, and dy"d the smoke with red ;
Then came the besom-makers with a shout,
And with their besoms strove to dash it out ;
Scorch'd with the flames, the heat they could not 'bide,
For they with brooms as soon had stopped the tide.
The ling was deep, and old the turfy bed,
Diy was the night — the flames in fiuy spread
To such extent, that nought could stop their force,
Till not a branch of heath was in their course.
"WTiere first the fire began the youths were lain.
Vowing they ne'er would fire the heath again.
Their other fires some acres swept away —
This blacken'd many hundreds ere 'twas day :
An emblem this of drink — we take a quart.
Perhaps some spirits, ere from friends we part.
And then another glass, perhaps the same.
Till folly spreads into a foolish fliime.
My tale must pass o'er years, with all their joys, —
They spent their lives in 'pl-dj, like other boys.
Young Philo was to learning most inclin'd,
But Amphorus to music tum'd his mind.
Pares, a lovely youth, within his breast
Of mortal feelings surely had the best.
He ne'er saw mis'ry, but he shed a tear,
And all his friends he lov'd but far too dear :
Believ'd aU flatterers was such as he.
So honest, man's deceit he could not see.
The ev'ning sun of summer seldom set,
But these three youths in pm-est friendship met ;
94 GENIUS AND IKTEMPEEANCE.
Talk'd till the light had faded in the sky.
Or Hsten'd Amphorus' wild melody.
Sometimes young Philo, struggling with his theme.
An ev'ning from his comrades would redeem ;
His mind expanded as his knowledge gi'ew.
And learning, every step, more pleasant grew.
He saw the hidden springs of Grecian lore —
Each draught he took but made him thirst for more.
Amphorus said, " For nought on earth 111 live
*' Eut those sweet pleasures harmony can give ;
" WTiate'er my kindred leave me shall be spent
" On music, and the noble instrument
" Which brings the skylark's note, or the deep tone
" "WTiich shakes foundations of the firmest stone.
*' The viol's sweetest tones I yet will know,
*' The harp's, from whence soft melody can flow ;
*' Each varied part my bosom shall inspire,
" Of lively concerts, or the solemn choir ;
'' And marches for the aimy I'll compose,
" Such as shall sound when Britain meets her foes.
** The music of the ancient school I'll leam,
" And where the solemn chords of dirges mourn ;
" Mozart, Von Weber, in each lofty flight
'' I'll follow, till I catch their notes at sight."
Young Pares, smiling, look'd on Nature's face.
And with his eye her outlines he could trace ;
In youth he begg'd for colours to be bought.
To place upon the canvas what he thought.
With practice now in shades he can portray
The varied tints of soft departing day ;
Touch the rich landscape with such light and shade,
That many thought the pencil'd objects play'd.
GENIUS AND INTEMPESANCE, 95
The youths and virgins, in the bow'rs of love,
Were so hke Nature, that they seem'd to move.
Whene'er the landscape was by Pares shown,
The varied trees and ev'iy shrub were Imown.
Send Pares where you would, in ev'i-y place
His lively eyes were fix'd on Nature's face ;
But such his fervent zeal to gain a name,
Deep study shook at last his tender frame,
And for his health, and for the art he lov'd.
From Cumbria's scenes to Paris he remov'd. —
Pleas'd with the paintings, where the masters shone,
He gaz'd upon them as a chisel'd stone
Form'd to a statue ; so cngag'd his mind.
He thought not then of Nature's scenes behind ;
But when the time arrived that he must part.
The thoughts of Grasmere rush'd upon his heart.
No scenes in Paris gave him such delight
As he had found upon Helvelljoi's height,
Where o'er its top the eagle soars on high,
And round its rocks the croaking ravens fly.
Grandeur may be at Paris in nne forms.
But not tremendous hke great Sldddaw's stoiTQS.
Walk Paris round, and view its beauties o'er.
What are its fountains to the grand Lowdore,
"WTiere, dashing from the dreadful chasm on high.
The cataract seems as rushing from the sky !
These Pares saw — retiring in despair.
He dui'st not venture at the grandeur there.
Oft he beheld the mist from Dei'^-ent lake
Slow curling to the hills in many a flake ;
And as the morning sun sent forth his rays,
The scene was far above the highest praise ;
Such there is seen when not a zephyr blows.
When tlie pm-e lalie upon its surface shows
96 GENIUS AND INTEMPEEANCE.
Skiddaw inverted, and the cliffs on high —
Fit scenes to wake the noblest minstrelsy.
Oft Pares view'd the yellow orb of night,
When rising on the lake with golden light,
Her shadow dancing like a sheet of flame,
And with- the scene soft Meditation came.
Beneath the oaks, and opposite Lowdore,
Oft Pares sat and heard its torrent vo ••,
Sketching the trembling waves, when . . eswick's hell
Hum'd tlu'ough the valley with a solemn swell.
The hills return'd the sound with weaken'd power,
And told the artist 'tvms the midnight hour.
He thought upon the peace he left behind —
The thoughts of Ellen press'd upon his mind ;
Ellen, that ever was to Pares true.
At Grasmere dwelt, where waves the solemn yew.
Oft had he led her up Helvellyn's height.
Her cheeks like roses, and her gown as vv^hite
As is the snow where British eagles dwell,
Upon the mighty rocks from whence Gough fell.
When in the Louvre and the Champ de Mars,
He thought of France and all her bloody wars,
With all the arts,— to Paros these gave pain,
^\^lile admiration mingled with disdain,
To think what noble works to France were brought ;
The noblest statues, by great sculptors wrought,
When thousands fell, and from the sacred shrine
Such works were torn as, France, were never thine !
While the great artists slept within the tomb,
By study hasten'd to an early home.
Their paintings such as wet the eyes with tears,.
With by-past actions of a thousand years, —
GENIUS AKD IXTEMPEEAKCE. 07
Adam and Eve, the flaming sword behind,
So well portray'd, it seem'd as if the wind
Bent the bright blaze, or as Eve's flowing hair
Wav'd with the blast of vengeance that was there.
The Saviour dead — before the sheet was thro^\Ti
O'er him that made all worlds, and weai's the crown.
Great is the imitation ! but I think
'Twould almost make the greatest artists shrink
To paint the Saviour, giver of all bliss, —
Eaphael could never form a face like his.
All those who saw how fair in death he slept,
Would at the view have heaved a sigh and wept.
These thoughts avail not to the present theme ;
Pares believ'd his Saviour would redeem
Poets and painters, though they wildly rov'd ;
Eor, sure, in heaven, must Genius be belov'd.
Through France and Switzerland the artist rang'd,
"WTiere fruitful scenes to Alpine mountains chang'd ;
And view'd the whole with unexpress'd delight —
Scenes rich by day, and nobler still by night.
On the huge Alps the avalanches rise—
HiUs of eternal snow that pierce the skies !
He climb'd their sides, with perseverance true,
Till on each hand vast kingdoms met his view.
AiTiv'd at Piome, his penetrative mind
With works of ev'iy master was refin'd.
But he retm-n'd again to Cumbria's feUs,
To Derwent-w^ater, and to Grasmere's deUs ;
Then his rich neighbours flock'd around to hear,
How well he liked at Piome, what saw he there.
He said, De Urban's lively canvas spoke.
And every passion Baphael's pencil woke !
98 GENIUS AND INTEMPERANCE.
Carracci's master-piece would make you weep,—
He knoAV so well what would his paintings keep,
That on each face you'd thinlc old Nature play'd.
And Life seem'd dancing in the light and shade ;
But would not any artist seem a fool
To tell the masters of each varied school ?
Paros beheld their works, and thought them fine.
But Paros drank, in France, too deep of wine ;
For he who once was well content with beer,
IMust now have spirits, his sunk heart to cheer ;
Then he would tell, how happy and how gay,
He wiled the time, when he was far away.
Is there an arrow for the eagle's breast ?
Is there a shot to pierce the raven's nest?
Is there for mortals any earthly curse ?
Yes, drink to Genius may be deemed far worse.
Wine has its thousands sent unto the tomb,
And made for youth the grave an early home.
Death is the consequence of drinking deep.
And makes the widow and the orphan weep.
So 'twas with Paros — he could paint the fonn
Of wild despair, when struggling with the storni ;
Sketch the wild anguish of a vessel's crew,
Their bowsprit lost, and but her masts in view ;
Could paint the waves so that they seem'd to roll.
And with his powerful pencil freeze the soul.
Nature was in his strokes, and ev'iy touch
Was neither too little or yet too much ;
Secure in his imagination's might.
Genius his pencil guided, and 'twas right.
Advanc'd to fame, his company was sought,
And likenesses he sketch'd as if they thought ;
So well he touch'd the portrait of the f\iir,
She seem'd to breathe, as life itseh" were there.
GENIUS AND INTEMPEEAXCE.
The battle-piece of Preston Pens he took, —
The scene the noble mind of Pares woke-
An ancient song, with tire in ev'iy line.
Grave the first sket<jhes of the gi'eat design ;
These were the words that fir'd his feeling heart,
And told how madly Stuai't play'd his part : —
The flashing cla}Tnores gleam afar,
And small the files in distance are,
Each helmet glitters hke a star.
As clansmen are advancinGr.
The trenches dug are broad and deep,
In which the loaded cannon sleep —
Silent the gnins their terrors keep.
To wait the Scotch artillery.
Behind the hill the fight began.
Death came with ev'ry Idlted clan,
And down fell many a southern man.
The pipers sounding victory.
They yet remember'd Glenco's vale.
And sent their bullets thick as hail.
And with the broad-swords cut the mail,
And met the slaughter fearlessly.
Now rages discord — man and steed
Eush to the chai-ge — they fall, they bleed-
Forgot is many a noble deed,
The battle bums so temblv.
100 GENIUS AXD IXTEMPEEANCE.
Each cannoneer, with charge in hand,
And others with the blazing brand,
Close to the heated cannon stand,
The smoke ascending rapidly,
The steeds, that left the foam behind.
The pennons, streaming in the wind,
And Scots, that scorn'd a coward's mind,
Kush'd to the onset gallantly.
The English, loyal and more true,
The thistle scorn'd, and firmer grew,
As closer press'd, the bonnets blue,
Inspir'd with highland minstrelsy.
The smoke, the blaze, the charge, the fire,
The ranks that fall ere these retire.
And England's banner lifted higher.
Were grandeur and sublimity.
Then darlmess comes — the blaze is seen
At distance, and long timo between
Each flash, which through the day had been
From cannon quick as musketry.
Wliat Scotland won, soon Scotland lost ;
CuUoden all the gioiy tost
To the cold shades, and there the frost
Nipp'd her sharp thistle cruelly.
Brave Gardiner ! — in death he lay;
A better never fell that day,
Nor nobler spirit fled away
To realms of blest etemity]
GENIUS AND INTEMPERANCE. 101
The banners now must wave no more,
The dreadful conflict now is o'er,
And Scotland shall be clear from gore,
For discord's lost in amity.
On the broad canvas Pares had portray'd
The varying glances of each shining blade,
Left all descriptive poetry behind.
And stamp'd at once the battle on the mind:
But close beside him was the bottle hung —
He drank when faint, then painted as he sung;
But when the enlivenmg draught had ceas'd to cheer.
His pencU shook, and Genius fled with fear.
When waim'd Avith wine, his quickened thoughts
The paintings, statues, and the scenes of Rome ;
Columns and cornices were laid on earth,
WTiere Desolation frolick'd in her mirth ;
All Nature seemed unveiled before his eyes,
With pomp of mountains, and with glow of skies ;
But soon his pulses in quick motions beat,
His ruin'd appetite enjoyed no meat ;
His frame decays, the mind is w^eaker made.
He starts in dreams — ^his spirit sore afraid.
No pleasm'e can his weeping Anna give ;
To him 'tis now no happiness to live ;
He values not the bubble of a name,
Nor prides himself in vain posthmnous fame.
WTien his bright eyes grew dim, and fancy fled.
And he was stretched upon his dying bed.
The pleasing landscape could no longer cheer;
His mind was weak, his dissolution near.
When his pale cheek was laid on Anna's breast.
And his cold hand by her he lov'd was press'd.
109 GENIUS AND IN'TE:MPErtAXCE.
What weeping then ! — no language now can tell
What teai's were rain'cl when such a genius fell.
Then was destroy'd a gen'rous noble mind,
WTiich has few equals left on earth behind.
Dreadful Intemperance ! — thy tempting snare
Holds him thou slay'st, 0, father of Despair !
There lay the artist, ready for the tomb.
His valued paintings hung around the room ;
Here the old ruin, and the vaults below,
Spread where the crystal streams of Edon flow.
And there the copy of the ocean storm,
From Powell's, mth the waves in ev'ry fonn.
Oh ! the sad sight — 'twas solemn there to tread.
To view these works, and see the artist dead.
How placid he appear'd ! — he seem'd asleep —
I wei)t, and all his portraits seem'd to weep.
It was the last farewell — ^lie could not hear —
His eyes were clos'd in peace, and not a tear
Wet his pale cheek — ^he panted not for breath,
But outshone life as calm he lay in death.
His soul is fled, his hand is still,
His pencils now are useless laid,
No more to sketch the vale or hill,
Ino more to touch the light and shade.
Let violets bloom where he is laid !
Ye flowers, stay late upon his tomb !
He ne'er can paint your light and shade —
True genius now has left its home.
Eolations wept, and Anna deeply sigh'd ;
For Anna, had he liv'd, had been his bride ;
GENIUS AND INTEMPERANCE. 103
But all their weeping was an empty show,
Compare! to Philo's '' eloquence of woe."
TVTien Philo enter'cl, not a word he spoke —
The feelings of the friend and poet woke ;
Thoughts flashed across his fancy, wild and deep.
^Mien Paros' eyes were seal'd in endless sleep.
He thought upon the soul of genius fled,
And these few words with bursting sorrow said : —
*'\\Tiere is the spirit gone ! Could such a mind
" Vanish in air. and leave but clay behind ?
" Could matter think ? Could dust thro' systems roll?
" No — 'twas the spirit fled without control.
" Sceptics, come blush, who think the soul is air —
" Look on his corpse when lives no spirit there.
" The mind that once was kept by genius bright,
" I knew in innocence, when, day or night,
" Joy plum'd its wings : O, happiest days on eartli !
*• When pleasure chang'd from purest joy to mirth,
" From mirth to rural bliss, from that to sleep,
" When health was ours, — nor cause had we to weep,
" His mind upborne on fancy's pinions strong,
-• Soar'd fai' too high on earth to tariy long :
" But language fails, while thus my bosom swells —
*•' I soon shall find where Paros' spirit dwells ;
" Then shall uimumber'd worlds, and all things new,
" Beyond the reach of man, bm'st on oiu^ view."
Through Nature Philo's hveiy fancy flew.
And something of each varied ai't he knew ;
He read of polar wonders with delight.
And search'd out truths on which the leam'd WTite.
He leai'n'd to know how little mortals know
Of things above, or meanest things below ;
104 GENIUS AND INTEMPERANCE.
Unknown to tliem how northern streamers fly,
And how they flash upon the evening sky ;
He learn'd to know that men of wit and thought,
Though dee23ly vers'd in learning, scarce knew aught.
Philo the w^orks of navigators read,
That round the globe the bending canvas spread ;
Full well he Imew what every clime brought forth,
From bm-ning Afric to the frozen North.
Astronomy he lov'd — ^his soul flew far
From world to world — from distant star to star.
Nor rested there — his spirit yearn'd to know,
"V^Tiy the moon caused the ocean's ebb and flow.
The microscope in nature doth unfold
Bare atom insects as if ting'd with gold ;
Trees, plants, and birds, and all that is or was,
In quick succession through his fancy pass.
Philo in study pass'd his years away,
Ere he was led in college far astray.
Scorning all aids, the dissipated youth
Flies from the paths of rectitude and truth ;
The greatest learning sometimes turns a curse ;
At ev'ry step the human heart grows worse.
He can consult the globes, the map, the chart.
And ev'ry work of Nature and of Art ;
Old vellum manuscripts of Runic lore.
And those which ancient Romans scribbled o'er.
All that three thousand years can now supply.
Are spread before the youthful scholar's eye ;
However dark the works, they can obtain
Tutors that will the obscurest parts explain.
But Philo, taught by many a pompous guide,
For Nature's scenes, and his own closet sigh'd.
GE^•IUS AND INTEMPERANCE. 105
Sorrow, he found, with learnmg must increase —
All chances there, but still he wanted i^eace.
And sigli'd for solitude beneath some hill,
WTiere at its foot runs swift the moorland rill,
The blossom'd bough, the birds upon each spray,
Chanting their vespers to departing day ;
Wliere bounding trouts within the brook arise,
WTien winds are still, and sport the gleaming flies.
Such rm'al pleasui-es Philo then could please.
And nought on earth can equal joys hke these.
No pleasure half so near the joys above.
As he experienc'd when he met his love.
True as Leander, she as Hero true, —
Bhss most refin'd, their faithful bosoms kaew.
Kings Imow no more ; and riches cannot give
Such bliss as when in innocence we live.
Within the valley Philo had a friend,
With whom he many a happy hour did spend ;
His greatest glor)- was to make him blest —
He lent the youth all volumes he possess'd.
Here Philo, happy, pass'd his hours avray.
Ere wine had led his tow'ring soul astray.
He read of battles, and the sons of Jove,
Of mystic rites, and of the scenes of love.
In learning's happy hours the youth was blest,
Till love's strong passion rag'd within his breast ;
Then lost was peace, and Homer's noble fire
Was quench'd amid the tempest of desire ;
Porgot the things below, the orbs above.
His lofty spirit was subdu'd by love.
She that had vow'd to love him while away.
Bless him at eve, and think on him by day.
106 GENIUS AND IXTEMPEEAXCE.
Like woman, to be rid of anxious pain,
Forsook young Pliilo for a vulgar swain.
Then genius fell when Philo's love was scorn'd ;
In silent grief the foolish scholar niourn'd ;
Cobwebs were seen among his valued books,
And care had stamp'd her image on his looks.
What tmieful Virgil or what Homer then ?
What all the writings of the wisest men ?
What all the greatest literature of earth ?
What all his studies ? — all are nothing worth.
French and Italian, Hebrew, Latin, Greek,
Serv'd but the anguish of his soul to speak.
His heart beat fast with love, though learn'd and
And thus, in tuneful strains, the scholar sung ;
" What is the consummation of desire,
" The scholar's learning, or the poet's fire ?
*' WQiat pleasures from the greatest knowledge flow ?
*' Learning is oft the cause of deepest woe.
*' The peasants may admire the learned youth ;
" But did the poor unletter'd know the truth —
*' How fine his feelings, how his life is spent,
" They would with their condition be content.
" The scholar may time's musty tomes explore,
" And read till novelty appears no more,
" He cannot Nature from his breast remove,
" Nor quell the promptings of Almighty love ;
" And women — I I write it with a tear —
" Soon lose affection when you are not near.
" 0, angel forms I heaven's master-piece on earth I
" Sources of pain — the founts of joy and mirth !
" Destroyers of dark grief — the cause of w^oe !
*' But why be blam'd, since Nature made you so?
GENIUS AN'D INTEMPEEANCE. lOT
" Sometimes as true as Sol's returning rays,
" But oft as ficlde as the meteor's blaze."
Now Philo's years amount to twenty-one,
And he a learn'd youth, a hopeful son ;
And, as sole master of three thousand poimds,
He kept his hunter and his pack of hounds.
As some wild rider, on the grassy plain.
The useless bridle throws upon the mane.
So wisdom's curb did Philo cast away,
Kesolved his passions only to obey.
A sable velvet coat he first had made,
And o'er his breast the shot-belt was display'd ;
With spaniels and swift gi-eyhounds, fields he rang'd —
As fancy led, so his amusements chang'd ;
Each night at parties, at the course next day —
And thus the hours of Philo pass'd away :
Or when the horn proclaim'd the cheerful chase,
Philo was there, v/ith pleasure on his face.
At concert, play, the masquerade, or ball,
With learning, mirth, and wit he outshone all.
No thoughts of feeble age, or future days —
His soaring mind was ever drunk with praise.
His gay companions now Tvith him would go,
And \aew the far-fam'd field of Waterloo ;
Provided well with gold, they bade farewell
Each to his fair, and saw the ocean swell.
AVhen, in the strongest gale, upon the prow
Young Philo stood, and watch'd the waves below,
"WTiose foaming tops the strong ship cloth'd with spra}>
As she, all quiv'ring, plough'd her watery way.
With heart undaunted he beheld her ride,
A thing of life, upon the roaring tide,
108 GENIUS AND INTEMPEKANCE.
Her head now plunging deep — now mounting high.
With dripping bowsprit pointing to the sky.
One hand he firmly grasp'd around the line.
And in the otlier held a cup of wine.
Serene, he view'd the waves in ev'r}^ form,
And Yow'd 'twas wine inspir'd him in the stonn :
For firm he stood, and saw the vessel plough
Thi'ough hills of seas, his friends all sick below.
The tempest ceas'd, the winds retir'd to rest,
And the ship calmly skimm'd the ocean's breast.
On deck the sea-sick passengers appear'd.
By Philo and the sailors loudly cheer'd.
The youth had seen the well-built vessel roll, —
The sight had warm'd his genius, fir'd his soul :
The hghtning's flash, the thunder, and the sea
Had rais'd his mind to noblest ecstacy.
The sails were full, and, leaning on her side.
Swiftly she cuts her passage through the tide.
And soon the land is seen in distance blue —
The level shores of Belgimn they view.
The music sounds — the wine like water flows,
And mirth rings loudly as the vessel goes ;
The captain joins, and bids the grog pass free,
As though he fear'd no more the treach'rous sea.
At length they hail'd a vessel which they knew,
Whose captain from the steerage quicldy threw
A cask of Hollands — with the best 'twas stor'd —
The sailors shouted when 'twas heav'd on board.
Then discord rose, and all the crew was drunk —
Three fell astern, and in the ocean sunk.
The boat was lower 'd, but mirth and joy were o'er—
They fell ; but from that fall they rose no more,
Till the rough billows brought each corpse to land.
And left it neai-ly buried in the sand.
GENIUS AND INTEMPEEANCE. 109
Arriv'cl upon the hill where armies fought,
Young Philo's soul was all ahsorb'd in thought.
The place where thousands lay inteiT'd was seen,
And there the gi-ass wav'd with a deeper gi-een.
Calm, thus he mus'd : — " what stillness here !
*'Low the hussar, and cold the cuirassier;
" The meeting aiTCiies shout not on the field,
" Nor fall by thousands — each too firm to yield ;