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The pangs of which I spoke I feel:
If worth like thine is borne,
O long beloved! I bless the blow,
And triumph whilst I mourn.
Nor mourn I long; by grief subdued
Be reason's empire shown,
Deep anguish comes by heaven's decree.
Continues by our own;
And when continued past its point,
Indulged in length of time,
Grief is disgrace, and what was fate
Corrupts into a crime.
And shall I, criminally mean,
Myself and subject wrong?
No; my example shall support
The subject of my song.
Madam! I grant your loss is great,
Nor little is your gain:
Let that be weighed; when weighed aright,
It richly pays your pain.
When heaven would kindly set us free,
And earth's enchantments end,
It takes the most effectual means,
And robs us of a friend.
But such a friend !--and sigh no more!
'Tis prudent, but severe :
Heaven aid my weakness, and I drop
All sorrow- with this tear.
Perhaps your settled grief to sooth
I should not vainly strive,
But with soft balm your pain assuage,
Had he been still alive;
Whose frequent aid brought kind relief
In my distress of thought,
Tinged with his beams my cloudy page,
And beautified a fault.
To touch our passions' secret springs
Was his peculiar care;
And deep his happy genius dived
In bosoms of the fair.
Nature, which favours to the few
All art beyond imparts,
To him presented, at his birth,
The key of human hearts.
But not to me by him bequeathed
His gentle smooth address;
His tender hand to touch the wound
In throbbings of distress.
Howe'er, proceed I must, unblessed
With Æsculapian art:
Know, Love, sometimes, mistaken Love !
Plays Disaffection's part.
Nor lands, nor seas, nor suns, nor stars,
Can soul from soul divide;
They correspond from distant worlds,
Though transports are denied.
Are you not then unkindly kind ?
Is not your love severe ?
O! stop that crystal source of wo,
Nor wound him with a tear.
As those above from human bliss
Receive increase of joy,
May not a stroke from human wo,
In part their peace destroy ?
He lives in those he left;—to what!
Your now paternal care:
Clear from its clouds your brightened eye
It will discern him there;
In features, not of form alone,
But those, I trust of mind,
Auspicious to the public weal,
And to their fate resigned.
Think on the tempests he sustained,
Revolve his battles won,
And let those prophesy your joy
From such a father's son.
Is consolation what you seek ?
Fan then his martial fire,
And animate to flame the sparks
Bequeathed him by his sire.
As nothing great is born in haste,
Wise Nature's time allow;
His father's laurels may descend,
And flourish on his brow.
Nor, Madam! be surprised to hear,
That laurels may be due
Not more to heroes of the field
(Proud boasters!) than to you.
Tender as is the female frame,
Like that brave man you mourn,
You are a soldier, and to fight
Superior battles born.
Beneath a banner nobler far
Than ever was unfurled
In fields of blood; a banner bright!
High-waved o'er all the world;
It, like a streaming meteor, casts
An universal light;
Sheds day, sheds more, eternal day,
On nations whelmed in night.
Beneath that banner, what exploit
Can mount our glory higher,
Than to sustain the dreadful blow,
When those we love expire ?
Go forth a moral Amazon,
Who bids us lay our burden down Armed with undaunted thought;
On his Almighty hand, The battle won, though costing dear,
Softens our duty to relief, You'll think it cheaply bought.
To blessing a command. The passive hero, who sits down
For joy what cause! how every sense Unactive, and can smile
Is courted from above, Beneath Affliction's galling load,
The year around, with presents rich Outacts a Cæsar's toil.
The growth of endless love! The billows stained by slaughtered foes But must o'erlook the blessings poured, Inferior praise afford;
Forget the wonders done, Reason's a bloodless conqueror
And terminate, wrapt up in sense, More glorious than the sword.
Their prospect at the sun; Nor can the thunder of huzzas
From that their final point of view, From shouting nations, cause
From that their radiant goal, Such sweet delight, as from your heart
On travel infinite of thought, Soft whispers of applause.
Sets out the nobler soul. The dear deceased so famed in arms,
Broke loose from Time's tenacious ties, With what delight he'll view
And earth's involving gloom, His triumphs on the main outdone,
To range at large its vast domain, Thus conquered twice by you!
And talk with worlds to come: Share his delight; take heed to shun
They let unmarked, and unemployed Of basoms most diseased
Life's idle moments run; That old distemper, and absurd
And doing nothing for themselves, Reluctance to be pleased.
Imagine nothing done. Some seem in love with Sorrow's charms,
Fatal mistake! their fate goes on, And that foul fiend embrace;
Their dread account proceeds, This temper let me justly brand
And their not-doing is set down And stamp it with disgrace.
Amongst their darkest deeds. Sorrow! of horrid parentage!
Though man sits still, and takes his ease, Thou second-born of hell!
God is at work on man: Against heaven's endless mercies poured No means, no moments unemployed, How dar'st thou to rebel ?
To bless him, if he can. From black and noxious vapours bred,
But man consents not, boldly bent And nursed by want of thought,
To fashion his own fate; And to the door of Frenzy's self
Man, a mere bungler in the trade, By Perseverance brought.
Repents his crime too late. Thy most inglorious coward tears,
Hence loud laments. Let me thy cause, From brutal eyes have ran;
Indulgent Father! plead; Smiles, incommunicable smiles!
Of all the wretches we deplore, Are radiant marks of man;
Not one by thee was made. They cast a sudden glory round
What is thy whole creation fair? The illumined human face;
Of love divine the child: And light, in sons of honest Joy,
Love brought it forth, and, from its birth, Some beams of Moses' face.
Has o'er it fondly smiled. Is Resignation's lesson hard?
Now, and through periods distant far, Examine, we shall find
Long ere the world began, That duty gives up little more
Heaven is, and has in travail been, Than anguish of the mind.
Its birth the good of man. Resign; and all the load of life
Man holds in constant service bound That moment you remove,
The blustering winds and seas; Its heavy tax, ten thousand cares
Nor suns disdain to travel hard, Devolve on One above;
Their master, man, to please.
Joy is our Eden still possessed : | Begone, ignoble Grief! 'Tis joy makes gods, and men exalts, Their nature our relief:
To final good the worst events
Through secret channels run;
Finish, for man, their destined course,
As 'twas for man begun.
One point (observed, perhaps, by few)
Has often smote, and smites
My mind, as demonstration strong
That heaven in man delights.
What's known to man of things unseen,
Of future worlds or fates?
So much, nor more, than what to man's
Sublime affairs relates.
What's revelation then? a list,
An inventory just,
Of that poor insects goods so late
Called out of night and dust.
What various motives to rejoice!
To render joy sincere,
Has this no weight? Our joy is felt
Beyond this narrow sphere.
Would we in heaven new heaven create,
And double its delight?
A smiling world, when heaven looks down,
How pleasing in its sight!
Angels stoop forward from the thrones
To hear its joyful lays;
As incense sweet enjoy, and join,
Its aromatic praise.
Have we no cause to fear the stroke
Of heaven's avenging rod,
When we presume to counteract
A sympathetic God?
If we resign, our patience makes
His rod an harmless wand;
If not, it darts a serpent's sting,
Like that in Moses' hand;
Like that it swallows up whate'er
Earth's vain magicians bring,
Whose baffled arts would boast below
Of joys a rival spring.
Consummate love! the list how large
Of blessings from thy hand ?
To banish sorrow, and be blessed,
Is thy supreme command.
Are such commands but ill obeyed ?
Of bliss shall we complain ?
The man who dares to be a wretch
Deserves still greater pain.
Joy is our duty, glory, health ;
The sunshine of the soul;
Our best encomium on the power
Who sweetly plans the whole,
Relief, for man to that must stoop,
And his due distance know;
Transport 's the language of the skies,
Content the style below.
Content is joy; and joy in pain
Is joy and virtue too;
Thus, whilst good present we possess,
More precious we pursue.
Of joy the more we have in hand
The more have we to come;
Joy, like our money, interest bears,
Which daily swells the sum.
“ But how to smile, to stem the tide
Of nature in our veins;
Is it not hard to weep in joy?
What then to smile in pains?".
Victorious joy! which breaks the clouds,
And struggles through a storm,
Proclaims the mind as great as good,
And bids it doubly charm.
If doubly charming in our sex,
A sex by nature bold,
What then in yours ? 'tis diamond there,
Triumphant o'er our gold.
And should not this complaint repress
And check the rising sigh?
Yet farther opiate to your pain
I labour to supply.
Since spirits greatly damped distort
Ideas of delight,
Look through the medium of a friend,
To set your notions right.
As tears the sight, grief dims the soul;
Its object dark appears;
True friendship, like a rising sun, The soul's horizon clears. A friend's an optic to the mind With sorrow clouded o'er; And gives it strength of sight to see Redress unseen before. Reason is somewhat rough in man; Extremely smooth and fair, When she, to grace her manly strength, Assumes a female air. A friend you have,* and I the same, Whose prudent soft address
From small experience this I speak;
O grant to those I love
Experience fuller far, ye powers
Who form our fates above!
My love where due, if not to those
Who leaving grandeur, came
To shine on age in mean recess,
And light me to my theme?
A theme themselves! a theme how rare !
The charms which they display
To triumph over captive heads,
Are set in bright array.
With his own arms proud man's o'ercome,
His boasted laurels die;
Learning and Genius, wiser grown,
To female bosoms fly.
This revolution, fixed by Fate,
In fable was foretold;
The dark prediction puzzled wits,
Nor could the learned unfold.
Will bring to life those healing thoughts,
Which died in your distress.
That friend, the spirit of my theme
Extracting for your ease,
Will leave me to the dreg, in thoughts
Too common, such as these.
Let those lament, to whom full bowls
Of sparkling joys are given;
That triple bane inebriates life,
Imbitters death, and hazards heaven.
Wo to the soul at perfect ease
'Tis brewing perfect pains;
Lulled Reason sleeps, the Pulse is king;
Despotic Body reigns.
Have you ne'er pitied Joy's gay scenes,
And deemed their glory dark ?
Alas, poor Envy! she's stone blind,
And quite mistakes her mark :
Her mark lies hid in Sorrow's shades,
But sorrow well subdued ;
And in proud Fortune's frown defied
By meek, unborrowed good.
By Resignation ; all in that
A double friend may find,
A wing to heaven, and, while on earth,
The pillow of mankind.
On pillows void of down for rest
Our restless hopes we place;
When hopes of heaven lie warm at least,
Our hearts repose in peace.
That peace which resignation yields,
Who feel alone can guess :
'Tis disbelieved by murmuring minds,
They must conclude it less.
The loss or gain of that alone
Have we to hope or fear;
That Fate controls, and can invert
The seasons of the year.
0! the dark days, the year around,
Of an impatient mind;
Through clouds, and storms, a summer breaks,
To shine on the resigned.
While man, by that, of every grace
And virtue is possessed,
Foul Vice her Pandemonium builds
In the rebellious breast.
By Resignation we defeat
The worst that can annoy,
And suffer with far more repose
Than worldlings can enjoy.
But as those ladies'* works I read,
They darted such a ray,
The latent sense burst out at once,
And shone in open day.
So burst full ripe distended fruits ;
When strongly strikes the sun ;.
And from the purple grape unpressed,
Spontaneous nectars run.
Pallas, ('tis said) when Jove grew dull,
Forsook his drowsy brain,
And sprightly leaped into the throne
Of Wisdom's brighter reign;
Her helmet took; that this, shot rays
Of formidable wit;
And lance,-or genius most acute,
Which lines immortal writ;
And Gorgon shield, -or, power to fright
Man's folly dreadful shone;
And many a blockhead (easy change !)
Turned instantly to stone.
Our authors male, as then did Jove,
Now scratch a damaged head,
And call for what once quartered there,
But find the goddess fled.
The fruit of knowledge, golden fruit !
That once forbidden tree,
Hedged in by surly man, is now
To Britain's daughters free.
Mrs. Montague, Mrs. Carter.
In Eve (we know) of fruit so fair
The noble thirst began;
And they, like her, have caused a fall,
A fall of fame in man.
And since of genius in our sex,
O Addison ! with thee
The sun is set, how I rejoice
This sister lamp to see!
It sheds, like Cynthia, silver beams
On man's nocturnal state:
His lessened light, and languid powers,
I show, whilst I relate.
But what in either sex, beyond
All parts, our glory crowns?
"In ruffling seasons to be calm,
And smile while fortune frowns."
Heaven's choice is safer than our own:
Of ages past inquire.
What the most formidable fate?
" To have our own desire."
If, in your wrath, the worst of foes
You wish extremely ill;
Expose him to the thunder's stroke,
Or that of his own will.
What glory this for man so mean,
Whose life is but a span ? This is meridian majesty! This the sublime of man! Beyond the boast of Pagan song. My sacred subject shines, And for a soil the lustre takes Of Rome's exalted lines. “All that the sun surveys subdued, But Cato's mighty mind” – How grand! most true: yet far beneath The soul of the resigned. To more than kingdoms, more than worlds, To passion that gives law:
Its matchless empire could have kept Great Cato's pride in awe. That fatal pride, whose cruel point Transfixed his noble breast; Far nobler! if his fate sustained Had left to Heaven the rest : Then he the palm had borne away, At distance Cæsar thrown: Put him off cheaply with the world, And made the skies his own. What can not Resignation do? It wonders can perform: That powerful charm, “ Thy will be done," Can lay the loudest storm. Come, Resignation! then, from fields, Where, mounted on the wing, A wing of flame, blessed martyrs' souls Ascended to their King. Who is it calls thee? One whose need Transcends the common size; Who stands in front against a foe To which none equal rise : In front he stands, the brink he treads Of an eternal state!
How dreadful his appointed post ! How strongly armed by fate ! His threatening foe! what shadows deep O’erwhelm his gloomy brow! His dart tremendous !-at fourscore My sole asylum thou. Haste then, O Resignation! haste, 'Tis thine to reconcile My foe and me; at thy approach, My foe begins to smile. O for that summit of my wish, Whilst here I draw my breath, That promise of eternal life, A glorious smile in death.
What numbers rushing down the steep
Of inclination strong,
Have perished in the ardent wish!
Wish ardent, ever wrong!
'Tis Resignation's full reverse,
Most wrong, as it implies
Error most fatal in our choice,
Detachment from the skies.
By closing with the skies, we make
Omnipotence our own;
That done, how formidable Ill's
Whole army is o'erthrown!
No longer impotent and frail,
Ourselves above we rise ;
We scarce believe ourselves below;
We trespass on the skies.
The Lord, and Soul, and source of all,
Whilst man enjoys his ease,
Is executing human will
In earth, and air, and seas.
Beyond us what can angels boast ?
Archangels what, require ?
Whate'er below, above, is donc,
I. done as we desire.