David Carey.

Beauties of the modern poets; online

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Survive within our souls ; while lives our sense
Of pride in Merit's proud pre-eminence;
Long shall we seek his likeness long in vain,
And turn to all of him which may remain,
Sighing that Nature formed but one such man,
And broke the die in moulding Sheridan.



PROSPECT OF LIFE.

Carey.

O ! LIFE, since first I trod thy charmed ground,
What sweet enchantments hast thou spread around,
Delusion all such forms and phantoms gay
As flit for ever in thy morning ray.

* Pitt Fox Burke.



16 BEAUTIES OF THE MODERN POETS.

Say, thou that o'er the young unpractis'd mind,
Sole Sovereign, hold'st dominion unconfin'd,
O ! say what heartfelt joy 'tis thine to give, '
As the pure Passions startling wake and live,
And, form'd awhile to fan the generous strife,
Burst on his view the scenes of busy life.
In fancied bliss and dear deluding dream,
His bark floats gaily on the ocean stream,
And songs of triumph woo the wandering gale
That wildly wantons with the willing sail.
Thron'd on her rock, 'mid life's tumultuous tide,
Fortune throws half her cloudy veil aside ;
Hope rides upon Imagination's plume,
And Fame still points the life beyond the tomb ;
But long ere evening's shades involve the sky,
The splendours vanish, and the visions die j
Long on the fading glories of the view
The moist eye dwells, and looks a last adieu ;
And the heart asks in vain, when far away,
The dreams of joy that usher' d in the day.

Children of Fancy ! ye whose magic art
Has balm'd the bleeding pulses of my heart,
And many a flower, fair as the form of Truth,
Shed soft on the wild wanderings of my youth,
Ah ! must I each fond pictured charm resign,
Your dreams of rapture, and your smiles divine ?
Then fade, thou lamp of life, whose glimmering ray
But dimly lights my momentary day;
Nor let them shine, the forms that gild the gloom,
Like virgin charms that perish while they bloom-
Love's flattering dream, or Beauty's syren wile,
That lures with too infatuating guile.

Shall he to whom th' Almighty Maker gave
The fires of heaven, the victory o'er the grave,



MORAL AND PATHETIC PIECES. 17

Each pure delight that shall for ever last,
The present bliss and memory of the past,
The joys by Fancy's fairy fingers drest,
And Hope's fair dreams of everlasting rest
Shall he to Grief's rude blight and cold controul
Resign each glowing impulse of the soul,
And with the salt stream of continual tears
Wither the opening promise of his years-
Bow at the shrines of error and of gloom,
And woo the leaden slumber of the tomb ?
And are ye quench 1 d in night, ye fires that glow'd
Before the altar of the beaming God ?
No from your sacred source beyond the sky,
Fed with eternal streams, ye never die ;
Ye live to light the wanderer on his way,
And mingle with the Fount of life and day.

Awake your beams, O ye from heaven that came !
And hence, ye cares that damp my rising flame ;
The kindling spirit's intellectual light
Streams round young Genius in her eagle flight.
Behold the bounties of indulgent Heaven
Man asks a home, and lo ! a world is given :
" That world encircled with its rainbow zone, ; '
Young Fancy cries, " was made for me alone ;"
To swell the tide of joy that wakes and warms,
Creation smiles, and mingles all her charms ;
The flowers unfold by hands unseen array'd,
And vernal fingers dress the verdant glade ;
The Naiads lead their silver streams along;
The voice of Nature quires the choral song ;
Spring throws his musky tresses on the wind,
And Summer rolls her glowing car behind ;
And Love with winning voice invites to twine
The myrtle wreath beneath the flowing vine :
c3



18 BEAUTIES OF THE MODERN POETS,

For me the Sun, in wheeling circuit driven,

Dips his bright orb, or climbs the steep of heaven ;

While the starr'd zodiac, bounding his career,

Binds with refulgent zone the varied year.

These shall not cease, nor seek to change their spheres,

And turn the smiling face of Joy to tears,

Like the betraying spirit of the wind,

Man's faithless heart, or woman's yielding mind.

Tempests shall spare, clouds shall not quench their light,

And Fortune cannot hide thee from my sight-"

Yes, I will pause on Nature's glorious birth,
And question you, ye natives of the earth :
Who called from the dark womb of ancient Night
Fair Earth, and round her pour'd a flood of light ?
Bade Ocean all his hundred arms expand,
Murmur his love, and wed the solid land ;
Each wandering atom joined, and vapour dense ;
Then with the strong arm of Omnipotence
Launched the vast Orb where sister Planets move,
And through the wilds of ether bade it rove ?
Who taught the eagle in the solar stream
To bathe at large, and drink the noontide beam ?
Who woke the tiger's rage, the lion's roar,
Hysena's lonely howl along the shore ;
Bade the horse snuff the battle from afar,
With neck in thunder clothed, and heart of war ?
What hand created, and what potent word
Stampt thee, O Man ! their undisputed lord
In fair proportion's mould thy form designed,
And woke the active principle of mind ?
And tell, O tell me, Beauty ! whence thy smiles,
And lovely looks, and sweet attractive wiles ?
Who dyed thy cheek in health's carnation glow,
And gave the locks that wanton round thy brow,



MORAL AND PATHETIC PIECES. 19

And taught thy heart to throb and pulse to play,

And nerves to vibrate on their winding way,

When love or pity's soft emotions rise,

And feeling reigns reflected in thy eyes ?

And I will stand and lift my voice on high,

And question you, ye children of the sky !

And ask you whence ye came, and whence your beams,

That dance so sweet on ocean's bounding streams,

Or light the dewy landscape waving wide,

Or bless with farewell smile the green hill's side,

Ray'd from their source in morning's purple hours,

Or lingering long on twilight's lonely bowers ?

What hand, O Lucifer ! has fill'd thy horn,

And hung thee on the forehead of the Morn ?

Who plac'd thy gem, O Hesper ! in the sky,

The region sweet of love and harmony ?

And, Moon ! who gave thee, from the cloudy steep,

To rule the earth, to rule the azure deep ?

And thou, the bright and blazing Fount of Day,

That warm'st the nations with undying ray,

Who call'd thee forth, and bade thy splendours burn,

And feeds thy flame from his exhaustless urn ?

Hail, Universal Love ! hail, Power Divine !

I bow the knee, and worship at thy shrine.

But lovelier far than all the day has known,
The beams that linger round his setting throne ;
Sweet are the matin murmurs of the grove
That hail on high the Lord of light and love,
But sweeter still the wild melodious song
The woodland quires with farewell voice prolong,
When long, long pealing to the evening star,
Swells the ethereal organ from afar,
In whose full tones seolian voices rise,
And breathe their vesper hymns and harmonies..



20 BEAUTIES OF THE MODERN POETS.

And as the canvas, softening into shade,

Whispers of peace, and bids the landscape fade,

And steals attraction from our holier tears,

And mellowing influence from the flight of years ;

So Age, retiring from the walks of strife,

With Wisdom's aid illumes the walks of life ;

Her trellis' d beams a rainbow lustre cast

O'er the dim forms and twilight of the past,

Play round the tomb, and fix the roving eye,

And lure the wandering wishes to the sky.

Adieu, false hopes ! and fond desires, adieu !

And passions that the reasoning soul subdue !

Ye narrow life's bright prospect to a span,

Ye trample on the nobler will of man ;

No genuine joy is yours, no transport high,

No glorious triumph for eternity ;

No foretaste of the raptures of the blest ;

No home, no harbour sweet of holy rest,

Where Joy may sit and view the dangerous coast

Where Virtue, Peace, and Happiness are lost,

And mark the clouds obscure the face of day,

And hear the distant thunder die away,

Till sweet Compassion wakes, and Heaven bestows

The balm of peace, the blessings of repose.

Earth has no joy to satisfy the breast,
No station where the heart is truly blest,
Though Love's soft raptures bid each discord cease,
And Glory court it with the smiles of Peace.
Hence Man, awoke to Heaven's immortal ray,
Hears Truth proclaim his triumphs fade away ;
But that pure emanation from on high,
Which fann'd the sacred fire of Deity,
Though tempests wreck in dust its frail abode,
Shall live eternal as the throne of God.



MORAL AND PATHETIC PIECES. 21

And hence, impatient for a happier clime,
With wishes woke to raptures more sublime.
Sighs, exiPd from its sphere, the captive soul
To burst its mortal mansion of controul^
To pierce the veil that Heaven's pavilion shrouds,
And walk with angels on the ambient clouds.

O ! when the ties that bind him to the earth
Have vanish' d like the years that gave them birth,
And age has shrunk each nerve, and dimm'd the eye,
And the lone mourner lays him down to die,
If that which warm'd the vital pulse before
Shall perish with the fading form it bore,
And the bright prospect of eternal life,
Like joy's fair phantoms, cease with nature's strife ;
Why was the wish for worlds beyond the grave
Ere given to sooth sad Virtue, and to save ?
And are ye foes to truth, though friends to Man,
Mysterious dreams of Nature's hidden plan!
Form'd but to fade, and mingling but to part,
False to her hope, yet faithful to the heart ;
And has creative Wisdom sent abroad
The winged spirit on her pathless road,
With powers proportioned to her high descent,
To war with woe, and weep the blessing lent ?
Then have ye woke, ye Cherubim ! in vain
The harp of Heaven, and quir'd the hallow' d strain ;
And glorying bade your golden censers glow,
When Virtue triumph'd o'er her toils below,
And hail'd the sufferer of immortal birth,
Child of her God, and snatch' d her from the earth ?

Yes, the tried spirit, doom'd awhile to roam
Like earth-born wanderer from her happier home,
May live but to lament her toils below,
And wake to weep her wanderings and her woe,



22 BEAUTIES OF THE MODERN POETS.

And the fleet pleasures, and the wounds that pine,

And fears, and sensibilities divine,

But never shall th' immortal sufferer lose

The soothing hope that mitigates her woes,

The glowing energies so subtily wrought,

And the full consciousness and powers of thought,

And each quick sense of pleasure and of pain

That thrills the soul's fine nerve, or plays around the brain.

But say, when Night her sable curtain draws,
Can the tomb open wide her marble jaws,
And bid the parted spirit still attend
With silent steps the pillow of a friend ?
When sleep has on my eyelids dried the dew,
Thy form, Alphonso, rises to my view,
And on my cheek restrains the starting tear,
And breathes the voice of comfort in my ear ;
" Mourn not the days that are for ever fled,
Weep not their woe, nor sorrow for the dead ;
Sigh not, though sad, and homeless, and forlorn,
For Woman's pride or unrelenting scorn,
And lift thy brow with conscious strength elate
O'er tyrant Man, and all the frowns of Fate ;
But never, never may thy heart forego
The joys that still from Truth and Feeling flow
The virtuous throb that thrills thy bosom here,
The bliss that waits thee in a happier sphere."

In vain would life's tempestuous cares destroy
The Soul's firm hope, and Virtue's heartfelt joy ;
In vain the grave, sole harbour from the storm,
Would hide for ever Love's and Friendship's form ;
Again they meet in Joy's divine embrace,
And rest and shelter in the arms of Grace.



MORAL AND PATHETIC PIECES. 23



PORTUGUESE HYMN TO THE VIRGIN MARY.

John Ley den.

STAR of the wide and pathless sea,

Who lovest on mariners to shine,
Those votive garments wet, to thee

We hang, within thy holy shrine.

When o'er us flashed the surging brine,
Amid the warring waters tost,

We called no other name but thine,
And hoped when other hope was lost.
Ave Maris Stella !

Star of the vast and howling main,

When dark and lone is all the sky,
And mountain-waves o'er ocean's plain

Erect their stormy heads on high ;

When virgins for their true loves sigh,
They raise their weeping eyes to thee ;

The Star of Ocean heeds their cry,
And saves the foundering bark at sea.
Ave Maris Stella!

Star of the dark and stormy sea,

When wrecking tempests round us rave,
Thy gentle virgin form we see

Bright rising o'er the hoary wave.

The howling storms that seem to crave
Their victims, sink in music sweet ;

The surging seas recede to pave

The path beneath thy glistening feet.

Ave Maris Stella !



24 BEAUTIES OF THE MODERN POETS.

Star of the desert waters wild,

Who pitying hear the seaman's cry,
The God of mercy, as a child,

On that chaste bosom loves to lie ;

While soft the chorus of the sky
Their hymns of tender mercy sing,

And angel voices name on high
The Mother of the Heavenly King.
Ave Maris Stella !

Star of the deep ! at that blest name

The waves sleep silent round the keel,
The tempests wild their fury tame,

That made the deep's foundations reel ;

The soft celestial accents steal
So soothing through the realms of woe,

The newly damned a respite feel
From torture in the depths below.
Ave Maris Stella !

Star of the mild and placid seas,
Whom rainbow rays of mercy crown,

Whose name thy faithful Portugueze,
O'er all that to the depths go down,

4 With hymns of grateful transport own ;

When gathering clouds obscure their light,
And heaven assumes an awful frown,

The Star of Ocean glitters bright.
Ave Maris Stella !

Star of the deep ! when angel lyres
To hymn thy holy name essay,

In vain a mortal harp aspires
To mingle in the mighty lay !



MORAL AND PATHETIC PIECES. 25

Mother of God ! one living ray
Of hope our grateful bosoms fires,

When storms and tempests pass away,
To join the bright immortal quires.
Ave Maris Stella !



INSCRIPTION FOR A CAVERN THAT OVERLOOKS
THE RIVER AVON.

Southey.

ENTER this cavern, Stranger ! the ascent

Is long, and steep, and toilsome ; here awhile

Thou may'st repose thee from the noontide heat,

O'ercanopied by this arched rock that strikes

A grateful coolness : clasping its rough arms

Round the rude portal, the old ivy hangs

Its dark green branches down. No common spot

Receives thee, for the Power who prompts the song

Loves this secluded haunt. The tide below

Scarce sends the sounds of Waters to thine ear:

And yon high-hanging forest to the wind

Varies its many hues. Gaze, Stranger, here!

And let thy softened heart intensely feel

How good, how lovely, Nature! When from hence

Departing to the city's crowded streets,

Thy sickening eye at every step revolts

From scenes of vice and wretchedness reflect

That Man creates the evil he endures.



26 BEAUTIES OF THE MODERN POETS.



OH ! THINK NOT MY SPIRITS ARE ALWAYS AS LIGHT.

T. Moore.

Or* ! think Dot my spirits are always as light,

And as free from a pang, as they seem to you now ;
Nor expect that the heart-beaming smile of to-night

Will return with to-morrow to brighten my brow ;
No, life is a waste of wearisome hours,

Which seldom the rose of enjoyment adorns ;
And the heart that is soonest awake to the flowers

Is always the first to be touch'd by the thorns !
But send round the bowl, and be happy awhile ;

May we never meet worse in our pilgrimage here
Than the tear that enjoyment can gild with a smile,

And the smile that compassion can turn to a tear !

The thread of our life would be dark, Heaven knows,

If it were not with friendship and love intertwin'd ;
And I care not how soon I may sink to repose,

When these blessings shall cease to be dear to my mind :
But they who have loved the fondest, the purest,

Too often have wept o'er the dream they believ'd ;
And the heart that has slumber'd in friendship securest,

Is happy indeed if 'twas never deceiv'd.
But send round the bowl while a relic of truth

Is in man or in woman, this prayer shall be mine
That the sunshine of Love may illumine our youth,

And the moonlight of Friendship console our decline !



MORAL AND PATHETIC PIECES. 27

INSCRIPTION FOR A COLUMN AT NEWBURY.

Southey.

ART thou a Patriot, Traveller? on this field

Did Falkland fall, the blameless and the brave,

Beneath a Tyrant's banners : dost thou boast

Of loyal ardour ? Hampden perished here,

The rebel Hampden, at whose glorious name

The heart of every honest Englishman

Beats high with conscious pride. Both uncorrupt,

Friends to their common country both, they fought,

They died in adverse armies. Traveller !

If with thy neighbour thou shouldst not accord,

In charity remember these good men,

And quell each angry and injurious thought.



EVENING.

Wordsworth.



EVE'S lingering clouds extend in solid bars

Through the grey west ; and lo ! these waters, steeled

By breezeless air to smoothest polish, yield

A vivid repetition of the stars ;

Jove Venus and the ruddy crest of Mars,

Amid his fellows, beauteously revealed

At happy distance from earth's groaning field,

Where ruthless mortals wage incessant wars.

Is it a mirror ? or the nether sphere

Opening its vast abyss, while fancy feeds

On the rich show ! But list ! a voice is near ;

Great Pan himself low-whispering through the reeds,

*' Be thankful thou ; for, if unholy deeds

u Ravage the world, tranquillity is here!''



28 BEAUTIES OF THE MODERN POETS.



AN UNFORTUNATE MOTHER TO HER INFANT AT THE
BREAST.

Anon.



UNHAPPY Child of indiscretion f
Poor slumb'rer on a breast forlorn,

Pledge and reproof of past transgression^
Dear, though unwelcome to be born.

For thee, a supplicant wish addressing
To Heav'n thy mother fain would dare

But conscious blushes stain the blessing, \
And sighs suppress my broken pray'r.

But spite of these, my mind unshaken,

In parent pity turns to thee,
Though long repented, ne'er forsaken,

Thy days shall lov'd and guarded be.

And lest the injurious world upbraid thee,
For mine or for thy father's ill,

A nameless mother oft shall aid thee,
A hand unseen protect thee still.

And though to rank and place a stranger,
Thy life an humble course must run,

Soon shalt thou learn to fly the danger,
Which I, too late, have learnt to shun.

Meantime, in the sequester' d vallies,
Here may'st thou rest in safe content,

For innocence may smile at malice,
And thou, O thou, art innocent.



MORAL AND PATHETIC PIECES. 29

Here to thy infant wants are given

Shelter and rest, and purest air,
And milk as pure But mercy, Heav'n !

My tears have dropt, and mingled there.



INSCRIPTION FOR A MONUMENT AT SJLBURY-HILL.

Southey.

THIS mound, in some remote and dateless day,
Rear'd o'er a Chieftain of the Age* of Hills,
May here detain thee, Traveller ! from thy road
Not idly lingering. In his narrow house
Some warrior sleeps below ; his gallant deeds
Haply at many a solemn festival
The Bard has harped ; but perished is the song
Of praise, as o'er these bleak and barren downs
The wind that passes and is heard no more.
Go, Traveller, and remember when the pomp
Of earthly glory fades, that one good deed
Unseen, unheard, unnoted by mankind,
Lives in th> eternal register of Heaven.



* The Northern nations distinguished the two periods when the bodies of
the dead were consumed by fire, and when they were buried beneath the
tumuli so common in this country, by the Age of Fire, and the Age of Hill*.



30 BEAUTIES OF THE MODERN POETS.



FRIENDSHIP, LOVE, AND TRUTH.

Montgomery.

WHEN Friendship, Love, and Truth abound

Among a band of brothers,
The cup of joy goes gaily round,

Each shares the bliss of others.
Sweet roses grace the thorny way

Along this vale of sorrow ;
The flowers that shed their leaves to-day

Shall bloom again to-morrow.
How grand in age, how fair in youth,
Are holy Friendship, Love, and Truth !

On halcyon wings our moments pass,

Life's cruel cares beguiling ;
Old Time lays down his scythe and glass,

In gay good-humour smiling ;
With ermine beard and forelock grey,

His reverend front adorning,
He looks like Winter turn'd to May,

Night soften' d into morning.
How grand in age, how fair in youth,
Are holy Friendship, Love, and Truth !

From these delightful fountains flow

Ambrosial rills of pleasure :
Can man desire, can Heaven bestow,

A more resplendent treasure ?
Adorn' d with gems so richly bright,

We'll form a constellation,
Where every star, with modest light,

Shall gild his proper station.
How grand in age, how fair in youth,
Are holy Friendship, Love, and Truth !



MORAL AND PATHETIC PIECES. 31



THE DEAD TWINS.

Anon.

TWAS summer, and a sabbath eve, "

And balmy was the air ;
I saw a sight that made me grieve,
And yet the sight was fair :
Within a little coffin lay
Two lifeless babes as sweet as May.

Like waxen dolls that infants dress,

The little bodies were;
A look of placid happiness
Did on each face appear ;

And in their coffin, short and wide,
They lay together side by side.

A rose bud nearly clos'd I found

Each little hand within,
And many a pink was strew 1 d around,
With sprigs of jessamin ;

And yet the flowers that round them lay,
Were not to me more fair than they.

Their mother, as a lily pale,

Sat by them on a bed,
And bending o'er them told her tale,
And many a tear she shed ;

Yet oft she cried amidst her pain,
" My babes and I shall meet again !"



32 BEAUTIES OF THE MODERN POETS.



THE SINKING STAR.

Wordsworth.



I WATCH, and long have watched, with calm regret

Yon slowly-sinking Star, immortal Sire

(So might he seem) of all the glittering quire !

Blue ether still surrounds him yet and yet ;

But now the horizon's rocky parapet

Is reach'd ; where, forfeiting his bright attire,

He burns transmuted to a sullen fire,

That droops and dwindles ; and, the appointed debt

To flying moments paid, is seen no more.

Angels and Gods ! we struggle with our fate,

While health, power, glory, pitiably decline,

Depressed and then extinguished : and our state,

In this, how different, lost Star, from thine,

That no to-morrow shall our beams restore !



REMEMBRANCE.

S out hey.



MAN hath a weary pilgrimage,

As through the world he wends ;
On every stage from youth to age

Still discontent attends ;
With heaviness he casts his eye

Upon the road before,
And still remembers with a sigh

The days that are no more.



MORAL AND PATHETIC PIECES. 33

To school the little exile goes,

Torn from his mother's arms,
What then shall soothe his earliest woes,

When novelty hath lost its charms ?

Condemn' d to suffer through the day
Restraints which no rewards repay,

And cares where love has no concern,
Hope lightens as she counts the hours

That hasten his return.
From hard controal and tyrant rules,
The unfeeling discipline of schools,

The child's sad thoughts will roam,
And tears will struggle in his eye,
While he remembers with a sigh

The comforts of his home.

Youth comes : the toils and cares of life

Torment the restless mind ;
Where shall the tired and harrass'd heart

Its consolation find ?
Then is not youth, as Fancy tells,

Life's summer prime of joy?
Ah ! no ; for hopes too long delayed,
And feelings blasted or betrayed,

The fabled bliss destroy ;
And he remembers with a sigh
'The careless days of infancy.

Maturer manhood now arrives

And other thoughts come on,
But with the baseless hopes of youth

Its generous warmth is gone ;
Cold calculating cares succeed,
The timid thought, the wary deed,



34 BEAUTIES OF THE MODERN POETS.

The dull realities of truth ;
Back on the past he turns his eye,
ilemembering with an envious sigh

The happy dreams of youth.

So reaches he the latter stage
Of this our mortal pilgrimage,

With feeble step and slow ;
New ills that latter stage await,
And old experience learns too late

That all is vanity below ;
Life's vain delusions are gone by,

Its idle hopes are o'er,
Yet Age remembers with a sigh

The days that are no more.



ON THE DEATH OF THE PRINCESS CHARLOTTE.

Lord Byron.

HARK ! forth from the abyss a voice proceeds,
A long low distant murmur of dread sound,
Such as arises when a nation bleeds
With some deep and immedicable wound ;
Through storm and darkness yawns the rending ground,
The gulf is thick with phantoms, but the chief
Seems royal still, though with her head discrowned,
And pale, but lovely with maternal grief
She clasps a babe, to whom her breast yields no relief.

Scion of chiefs and monarchs, where art thou?
Fond hope of many nations, art thou dead ?
Could not the grave forget thee, and lay low
Some less majestic, less beloved head ?



MORAL AND PATHETIC PIECES. 35

In the sad midnight, while thy heart still bled,


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Online LibraryDavid CareyBeauties of the modern poets; → online text (page 3 of 17)