The Tragic Muse, in sable mantle dress'd,
Majestically great above the rest,
Witli tliouglitful look, and tears, and pallid cheek —
No strains of joy her pallid lips e'er speak ;
For higher themes her feeling breast inspire
Than lyric measures, or the keen satire.
The widow's woes, the virgin's love she sings.
The fate of heroes, and the fall of kings ;
Or palaces in ruins, where the throne.
Now laid in dust, with regal grandeur shone ;
Where once the beauteous chequer'd marble floor
With blood of kings was deeply crimson'd o'er ;
There like a widow on her husband's tomb.
She sits enshrin'd amid the tragic gloom,—
Paints every scene of ancient tyrant's deeds.
Then gazes on the ruins cloth'd m weeds.
Till her rich mnid replaces ev'ry stone.
And seats the murder'd monai-ch on the throne ;
Summons his guards who long in dust have been,
And all his knights, his heroes, to the scene ;
Sees the vile traitor, with his murd'ring train.
Act all his deeds of darkness o'er again ;
The courtiers lov'd to-day, and rais'd on high,
Frown'd on to morrow, and their glories die.
196 THE MAID OF L0^\T)0IIE.
The dauntless warriors, mark'd with many a scai',
Bush on in search of glory to the war,
And on their arms the dread suspended fates
Of empires, kingdoms, or contending states.
Shrouded in terrors, while around her plays,
In ev'ry form, the lightning's vivid blaze ;
Wading in blood, she marks the hero's fall,
While with her crimson pen she minutes all.
When to the charge the furious steeds advance,
And red with noble blood the glitt'ring lance —
The drums, the trumpets, and the clang of ai^ms,
The rattling mail, and war's most dread alarms ;
The banners waving over either host.
The day hung doubtful — neither won nor lost ;
The smoking towers, the city wTapp'd in fire, —
With loftier themes, the Tragic Muse inspire —
With noise of battle plumes her tow'ring wings,
And gives terrific grandeur while she sings !
THE MAID OF LOWDOEE.
The crest of dark Skiddaw was misty and dreary,
The winds roar'd aloud near the hoarse raven's
The strongest with reaching its top would be weaiy,
And, like the young lover, be wishful to rest, —
THE MAID OF LOWDORE. 107
The lover that wander'd, his breast with love burning
For Anna, the beautiful maid of Lowdore,
Who watch'd the dun clouds, as she wish'd his re-
But night came too soon — ^he return'd never more.
Beneath him the dark mist roll'd rapid in motion :
Above was the evening star seen through the cloud;
But the mist was as fatal to him as the ocean,
"VMien seas wash the lost from the wave-beaten
A wand'rer, heroam'd where the curlew was screaming.
Till he heard the deep roar of the lone mountain
Of danger approaching he little was dreaming.
Though on the high verge of dire ten-or he stood.
He thought on his Anna, and used his endeavom'
To reach the blest spot that his soul doth adore ;
He steps — shrieks, and falls I — but the shepherd can
Return to his love at the falls of Lowdore.
His Anna now nightly sits silent with wonder,
To list in the storm the dread cataract's roar ;
And thinks she can hear in the midst of its thunder.
Her shepherd call '• xAjma, the maid of Low^dore !"
When gentle breezes kiss the tide.
And waft tlie vessel o'er the deep,
Silent beneath her stately side,
The peaceful waters seem to sleep.
The azure waves just heave along.
While swift she cuts the jdelding main.
The sailors' hearts with hope beat strong
To reach their long-left home again.
But gath'ring clouds the sun o'erspread,
While He with crimson gilds the west ;-
The storm appears, whose awful head
With terror chills each sailor's breast.
The frightful billows seem to know
The dreadful tempest ere it comes ;
And, where the whirling hail descends,
The frothy sea in madness foams.
Nearer and nearer rolls the stoim.
And wraps in darkness all the sky ;
While o'er its frowning awful cheek,
The quiv'ring flashes frequent fly.
THE STOEM. 199
The azui'e vault is seen no more ;
But, wrapt in deepest gloom of night,
The waves retm-n, the thimders roar,
And lightnings glare — their only light !
Then buried deep beneath the waves.
The shatter'd rigging and the shrouds,
While, mad with rage, the tempest raves —
Her helm is lost among the clouds.
No steady course the vessel keeps,
By such a dreadful tempest driven ;
But, like a cork upon the deeps,
Uplifted by the waves to heav'n.
What fen-ent prayers, in that dread hour !
For worlds unkno\Mi, they all i)repare !
And to appease the xUmighty Power,
Is ev'ry trembling seaman's care.
At last she strikes — and floats no more,
But sinks a wreck amidst the deep ;
And, far from England's happy shore,
Beneath the waves the sailors sleep.
In vain their friends, with bosoms time,
Expect with joy their blest retm'n ;
For them no more their friends shall \'iew.
But for their loss in anguish mourn.
I'll sing no more of cheerful things ;
My lyre shall mourn in pensive strain ;
The Muse with tears shall wet her wings,
And with her feeble voice complain :
Grief shall her future hours employ, —
No more her features shine wdth joy ;
Each day and night will I declare, —
Man's little life 's a life of care !
Through ev'ry stage of life, what woe !
\Miat various fonns can sorrow take !
Pleasures may chann an hour or so,
But soiTOws ever are awake !
E'en infants, weeping at their birth,
As if they fear'd the ills of earth,
In feeble plaintive cries declare, —
Man's little life 's a life of care !
How oft we see the young at play
Sore griev'd and weeping o'er their toys ;
E'en in the morning of their day
Are sorrows blended with their joys :
Then 'tis the best to take the cup,
With resignation drink it up,
Since of this truth we are aware,
Man's little life 's a life of care I
man's life. 201
The youth on love's strong pinions soars
Far — far beyond what he can gain,
And sees the nymph his soul adores,
Eeject him, heedless of his pain ;
\Miile she must feel love's painful dart,
From one who slights her in his heart.
Thus disappointed youths declare, —
Man's little life 's a life of care !
Where is the busy tradesman's peace.
When losses after losses come ?
His rising family increase.
And ruin hastens to his home.
O'ercome with grief, he sits and sighs,
Broods o'er his sorrows in despair,
Then, weeping, to his pai'tner cries, —
Man's little life 's a life of care !
The sire, upon his crutches stay'd,
■ Weaken'd by age, disease, and pain.
His grey locks scatter'd o'er his head.
Declares the joys of earth are vain !
His joyless nights are spent in sighs ;
His hearing lost, and dim his eyes ;
No hopes of lasting pleasm-e here.
He dies — and leaves a life of care I
WAKENING OF THE POET'S HAEP.
With harmony of nnmhers that smoothly floats along,
Like the softest harp of nature with the winds its
strings among ;
Then sti-onger in his measure and bolder in his
Unfolding all his treasure like the evening's swelling
He wakens then the echo as in grander verse he sings,
And louder and still louder he strikes the quivering
His rh}'me is growing bolder, as he cheerily strikes
the lyre ;
His muse he cannot hold her, she mounts on wings
She leaves all earthly grandem- and o'er the hills she
Wliat cai-es he then for slander when every star
Here singing strains unborrowed the poet's verse can
A wreath that 's everlasting, of never-dying fame.
AX IMPROMPTU EPITATH. 203
In his own path of gloiy he sweetly chants along,
And every son of genius can comprehend his song ;
Beyond the reach of slander he sings in loftier strains,
His verse has gi^eater grandeur as higher heights he
Till lost in the creation — surrounded hy its gems —
He sees the heaven ofheavenshedeck'd with diadems;
Ajid though sometimes in sorrow despised and turned
He wins his ^\Teatll of glory, composed of endless
AN IMPEOMPTU EPITAPH
ON A LANDLOED.
Bexeath this stone lies Hany Binder,
"WTiose heart would light as soon as tinder ;
And a hright spark from beauty's eye
Ivindle lus soul to ecstacy.
At length he took a loving wife.
And then commenced a landlord's life ;
And all the time he was a brewer,
No man to wife was evei^ truer.
Death came at last and made him quail,
And conscience spoke about his ale :
Had lie sent tippling souls to ruin
By putting drugs in every brewing ?
Then truth of blame did HaiTy cleai' ;
For never, in his ale or beer,
Did he put berries, drugs, or drops,
But simi^ly water, malt, and hops.
(WKITTEN FOR A WOUNDED SEAMAN, WHO FOUGHT AT
THE BATTLE OF TEAFALGAE.)
With my limbs in tlie deep,
And my locks all grown hoarj^.
By cowards insulted and poor.
Few think how I fought
For my country and gloiy.
Or know half the hardships I bore.
When the wars are all o'er
I am thought of no more,
The deeds of my valour are lost ;
Forgot is the da^
Of Trafalgar's dread bay.
When my comrades to sea-graves were toss'd.
WTiere the waves stood aghast
At the cannons' dread roai'ing,
And the white-curling surges retired,
Brave Britons their hroadsides
Were rapidly pouring,
By Nelson and glory inspired !
Then the King of the deep
His trident upreared,
A moment in wonder he gazed ;
But, struck with great terrors.
He soon disappeared,
Our cannon so dreadfully hlazed I
In the midst of the conflict
Great Nelson undaimted,
Kegarded nor balls nor the wave,
But ordered the grog
When the British tars wanted,
And told us what England expects from the hrave.
Banish the wealtliless virgin from tliy thoughts !
Or eminence and wealth are from thee far
As from the beggar is the monarch's crown.
Break Nature's laws, and send me to the world
In my worst suit, no king in miniature
Stamped on rich ore, to be my pass^Dort through,
I'll love her still ! Om' passions now are mixed,
As are the waters of two meeting rills.
Ours is superior love, as rarely found
As is the phoenix flaming on her nest.
I saw and loved her when she rowed along.
The lake unruffled, save with her white skiff.
Had she been absent there, I could have seen.
Upon the bosom of the polished lake,
Inverted trees, and rocks, and crimson clouds,
Tinged with the lustre of the setting sun ;
But all I now remember seemed a sky.
And she like Dian on th' inverted arch.
Skimming in maiden majesty along —
With her she took my heart : and can your wealth,
Your honours, influence, or wide estates,
Purchase a form as fair, a richer skiif;
A FEAGMENT. 207
Give to another njinpli that voice I heard,
Teach Myra's song, and make such echoes join ?
Do these — her image I will strive t' eiface,
Though graven on the tablet of my heai't.
Is not Emelia more lovely far ?
Possessing wealth, and modesty, and wit ;
And so recluse the night's unhealthy wind
Ne'er pales her cheek, or taints her golden hair.
Know you my Myra's worth ? Has Slander spoke ?
No — earth's three darkest demons aU are mute.
She sings so sweetly to her soft guitar.
That gloomy, callous-hearted En\y weeps.
And shrinks to shades where sullen IVIalice sits ;
But both are chaimed, their vices lose, and gaze
Upon her beauty, and return to praise.
ON THE CONSECKATION OF ST. PAUL's CHURCH, SHIPLEY,
How can a sinner dare to sing the praise
Of Him on whom e'en seraphs dare not gaze ;
Whose gloiy shines uncircumscrih'd by place,
Throughout infinity — unbounded space I
Who formed the hills, who arched the azure sky-—
The king of undescrib'd eternity !
Yet, let my heart with trembling rapture glow ;
jMy tears for all His by-past mercies flow.
That yet I live, that yet He gives me breath,
And saves a sinner from deserv'd death.
O ! let my heart be tuned, the praise to sing
Of man's great Saviour ! heaven's eternal King !
The universe His glorious temple is.
His secret place the heavens — the seat of bliss ;
But that great God who all the w^orld commands,
Stoops down to dwell in temples made with hands ;
Accept the breathings of the contrite breast,
Believes the burdened, gives the weary rest;
And hears each humble sound poor mortals make.
Though His own choir the heaven of heavens can
How grand the sight ! how beautiful to view
The thousands thronging round the church when new !
To see the colours weaving on the wind,
And the Archbishop with his flock behind ;
CONSECKATIOX OF SHIPLEY CHURCH. 209
To hear tlie new, tlie diilcet vii'gin cliime,
Which brings to mind the day of olden time !
The lame on crntches swing their fonns along,
The old, the blind, are mingled -vN-ith the throng ;
E'en those who think another creed is right.
Press on the way, to see the noble sight.
'Twas thus when Fountain's^:^ lofty pile of old
Was opened by the priests adorned in gold ;
"Wlien all the pomp of ages long gone by,
Burst in magnificence upon the eye.
The groimds of Studley were with people spread,
WTien the Ai^hbishop first at Fountain said : —
" Lift up your heads, ye gates ! eternal doors !
Ascend ! for God is come — that God is ours !
"WTio is the Lord ?" then burst the mighty song,
" The God of battles, terrible and strong !
He comes I He comes ! array'd with power and love !
Ye gates, arise ! ye heavenly portals, move !" —
The chorus bursts — His praises sound aloud,
And God descends to bless the list'ning crowd.
"WTiatever adverse sects may please to say.
Here let poor mortals find the heavenly way.
Till moss grows on the tower, or on the walls.
And each tall column into ruin falls ;
Here may discordant hearts unite to raise
Loud anthems to the heavenly Father's praise ;
Before His throne in meek submission fall.
And strive with zeal to cro%^'n Him Lord of all !
Let party spirit flee from every mind,
And all in concord and in peace be join'd !
Let none in wild and scornful ecstacy,
Ciy out — " The temple of the Lord are vv'e !"
* Fountain's Abbey, near E-ipon.
210 THE MALT-KILN FIRE.
But charity let each meek pastor teach,
And love to God aiid man, undaunted, preach ;
Let servile fear be driven from his breast,
And let him on his Saviour's promise rest : —
" Lo ! I am with thee always, to defend
And bless the gospel, till each rebel bend."
THE MALT-KILIS" FIEE.
When friends who lov'd from infant years,
Whose friendship ne'er went wrong,
Are met to tell their joys and cares,
Or join the cheerful song,
What bard but to the utmost height
Would string the rustic lyre.
When friends and home-brew'd drink are met
Around the Malt-kiln fire ?
Sometimes we're faring low at home ;
Then feasting with a squire ;
But we've as much as we can wish
Around the Malt-kiln fire.
THE MALT-KILN FIEE. 211
From this warm, happy, cheerful place,
Old Sorrow must retu-e :
And nought but joy dare show her face
Around the Malt-kiln fire.
We talk of friends we long have known,
Some fall'n, and some ris'n higher ;
Happier than monarchs on the throne,
Around the Malt-kiln fire.
Why care for wealth ? We pass away—
Of life begin to tire ;
But never was a mournful day
Around the Malt-kiln fire.
With snuff, tobacco and a pipe,
An4 all we can desire.
Old Care's forgot, and pleasure's ripe
x\round the Malt-kiln fire.
No wife to scold, none to intrude.
We laugh imtil we tire.
With good strong drink as e'er was brew'd,
Around the ]\I alt-kiln fire.
Let blackguards swear, and rage, and fight,
And scuffle in the mire ;
No angry word, for all is right,
Around the Mait-kihi fire.
Would we had spent more evenings there.
Our spirits had been higher !
Less brandy drunk, and more good beer
Around the !M alt-kiln fire.
A ISriGHT SCEXE.
While others love tlie concert, mask, or ball.
And walk all stately through the gazing crowd,.
I'll seek the spot where foaming cataracts fall.
And o'er my head the tempest roars aloud,
While the deep dark abyss is murm'ring hoarse.
And the swollen stream comes rushing with mad force.
There, when the moon's broad orb is giimm'ring
Just rising in the orient atmosphere,
And trembling leaves but thinly intervene,
And night's grand glories in full pomp appear, —
Pensive I'll walk, to study nature o'er,
And on the wings of meditation soar ; —
List to the treble rills, with tinklings sweet,
As they ring softly on the cavern's side ;
Behold them with the larger current meet.
Whose tenor murmurs on the stone- vex'd tide ;
While in majestic bass the cataract roars.
Like the deep notes of ocean on its shores !
Such are the concerts that my soul admires ;
These I can hear with feelings of delight !
A solemn awe my thoughtful breast inspires.
When heav'n is deck'd by the great jeweller,
'Tis then my thoughts, on fancy's airy road,
Soar far, and ask — " Where dwells great Nature's
SPOETS OF THE FIELD. 913
Tlie sliining orbs serenely answer — '' Here !"
The t\Yinkling giow-worai say by Him they shine!
The vast abyss deep thunders to the ear,
The abiding presence of a Power Divine !
^atui'e proclaims Him loud, in ev'ry part,
And conscience whispers — He can read my heart !
SPOETS OF THE FIELD.
When oaks are bro^ii and birches bare,
And not a bird is singing,
The sportsman drives away his care,
The speckled woodcocks springmg.
True joy he in the country loiows.
His faithful springers ranging
Among the hazel's yellow boughs.
Or holly, never changing.
And when the long-bill'd woodcock springs,
Mark 1 — the sportsman calling, —
The blue smoke curls, — its useless wings
Throu^'h the trees are falling*.
Full many a man at this would sigh.
As sore against religion ;
But at a feast just let him try
Eoast woodcock, grouse, or widgeon.
Blest may my children be,
Wlien deatli shall carry me
Ne'er to return ;
When the fast-falling tear
Drops on their father's hier,
May some true friend he near^
While they all mourn.
I now have had my prime,
Till there is nought in time
But Care's high hill to climb.
Weary and faint ;
Pleasure is fled away,
Grief is resolv'd to stay
With me by night and day.
Terrors to paint.
A\liat is bright glory's beam ?
Why, 'tis an empty dream,
Or as the meteor's gleam
Cleaving the sky.
Can riches pleasure bring ?
No — cares oppress a king :
All earthly joys but sting
Deep as they fly.
Nothing but virtue can
Give comfort unto man,
Whose life is scarce a span,
Wasting away :
Honour is hut a shade,
Like beams on rain display'd,
Whose colours quickly fade.
Ere ends the day.
Thus shall our sorrows end :
May we have one great Friend,
Through whom we can ascend
Far beyond pain ;
There may my childi'en come !
May we all find a home.
Far, far beyond the tomb.
In bliss to reii^n !
ox THE DEATH OF THOMAS COOPER, ESQ., SURGEON,
How bootless are our tears, though ev'ry drop
Sj)nngs from the fountain of a sorrowmg heart 1
No sorrow death's relentless hand can stop,
Or, for a moment, turn aside his dart.
Aifection's ties, without remorse, he breaks :
Lo ! 'neath his feet, our friend, dear Cooper, lies !
He moves not, when a tender sister speaks,
Nor sees a father's hopeless agonies.
Death ! thou hast slain the noblest of thy foes —
One who oft rescued victims mark'd by thee —
One who could sympathise in others' woes.
And forms of beauty from thy grasp set free.
Friend of our souls ! in him we could confide
In weal or vroe — but now our friend is gone I
We ask by whom his place can be supplied ;
And hopeless sorrow, weeping, answers — none !
Nor midnight hour, nor wildest winds of heaven ;
Nor pelting showers of rain, or snow, or hail ;
Nor j)erilous paths through forests, tempest-riven ;
Nor raging hurricanes could aught avail
LINES OX THE DEATH OF COOPER. 217
His visits to tlie afflicted to restrain :
Through these he rode, regardless of his health,
The Messed harbinger of ease to pain,
Alike to homes of poTcrty or wealth.
Hundreds, on sick-beds, oft have yeani'd to hear
His welcome step, and bless'd him when he came :
Hope dawn'd when their Samaritan stood near,
\Yith soothino: balsams for the sufferino- frame.
But 'tis the last, the last sad solemn day,
When, by his mourning friends, his dear remains
To their last home, are sloAvly borne away,
And the deep death-knoll peals in dirge-like strains.
Alas ! he who has oft renew'd the springs
Of life in bosoms sickness had oppress'd —
The comforter, with healing on his wings —
Has pass'd from earth to his eternal rest.
But he has left a name, a blessed name,
That long shall live in many a grateful heart :
His good deeds are his monumental fame,
Which will sursdve all boasted works of art.
We feel, w^hat words in full can ne'er explain,
A weight of woe at loss of one so lov'd ;
But hope our loss is his eternal gain,
In the bright land to which he is remov'd.
The grave receives his dust, which there shall lie.
Till in the clouds appear the great white Throne ;
And the last trumpet, pealing from the sky,
Bid " mortal immortality put on."
218 ODE TO LAUEA.
! shall no meet memento of our love
Mark the dear spot where his remains repose '/
Yes ! we will plant his honor'd dust above.
The early snow-drop, and the fragrant rose ;
And there, when to God's house we come to pray,
On holy sabbaths in the circling years,
We will at early morn our visits pay,
And bathe the flowers with true affection's tears.
ODE TO LAUEA.
O, SOFTLY sighing will I mourn
The beauteous blossom, nij)p'd in spring,
And hang a chaplet on the urn
Of lovely virtue's blossoming.
O'er her no praise shall marble bear, —
That pageant vain of solemn pride ;
Though all on earth I held most dear
Forsook me when my Laura died.
Oh ! 'tis in vain — I'll cease to try
To express in words my sorrow deep ;
For could I write a river dry,
IMy eyes a sea of tears could weep.
THE MUSE. 219
But words can never show the worth
Of her who was too fau- to stay
A moiimer on a joyless earth,
When fit for everlasting day.
What means it though the poet's cot
Be plac'd in some sequester'd spot,
"WTiere oaks, and elms, and beeches grow.
Or on the heath where rushes bow ;
In vales, where peaceful graze the flocks.
Or near the mossy-vestur'd rocks ?
Piomantic scenes, however bright,
Can ne'er true verses make him wTite.
'Tis genius must his breast inspire,
And light the true poetic fire.
Without it he may read and pore
Ancient and modem classics o'er;
May walk in ruins late or soon,
"While through rent arches gleams the moon ;
In places where sleeps monk, or friar ;
But if he has not Nature's lyre.
Nor mould'ring ruins, nor dark woods,
Nor rippling rills, nor foaming floods,
Embattled fields, nor ancient hall,
Fiomantic scenes, nor cataract's fall.
23C THE VANITY OF HU^AX AFFAIRS.
Nor works of other authors' pens,
Nor Cumbria's lakes, nor HigMand glens,
Nor all the scenes that ever grae'd
The paintings of a man of taste,
Nor all the arts the scribblers use,
Can make a bard without the Muse.
THE VANITY OF HUMAN AFFAIES.
The horse, the ass, can crop the grass,
And on the dewy mountains sleep.
Then toil away the summer's day, —
They have not learn' d like man to weep.
No friends to turn and make them mourn ;
No wants but Nature's hands supply ;
No souls of fire make them aspire.
Or labour after vanity.
'SMien tempests rise, and all the skies
Ai'e shi'ouded in a stormy vest,
Within the deep the fishes sleep ;
The thmiders cannot them molest.
THE VANITY OF HUMAN AFFAIRS. 221
No silver there is counted dear,
O'er rubies carelessly they glide ;
Though diamonds blaze, they never gaze
On gems or wealth beneath the tide.
The feather'd fowls, devoid of souls,
Sing cheerful on the bending spray ;
And, when oppress'd, they go to rest.
Or fan the clouds, and soar away.
In ignorance the rustics dance,
And laugh and sing devoid of care ;
Though sorrows come, there is no room
Within their breasts for dark despair.
But though the share of anxious care
Sinks deepest in the feeling breast ;
When raptures rise aU sorrow flies.
And in my cot I then am blest.
Fierce fighting hosts, grim fancied ghosts.