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Sooth'd by the murmurs of my pebbled food,
I wish it not o'er golden sands to flow; Cheard by the verdure of my spiral wood,
I scorn the quarry, where no Ihrub can grow.
No midnight pangs the shepherd's peace pursue ;
His tongue, his hand, attempts no secret wound; He sings his Delia, and if she be true,
His love at once, and his ambition's crown'd.
He takes occafion from the fate of ELEANOR of BRÉ
TAGNE *, to suggest the imperfect pleafures of a solitary life.
Hén beauty mourns, by fate's injurious doom,
Hid from the chearful glance of human eye ; When nature's pride inglorious waits the tomb,
Hard is that heart which checks the rising sigh.
Fair ELEONORA ! wou'd no gallant mind
The cause of love, the cause of justice own? Matchless thy charms, and was no life resign'd
To see them sparkle from their native throne ?
Or had fair freedom's hand unveil'd thy charms,
Well might such brows the regal gem resign; Thy radiant mien might scorn the guilt of arms,
Yet Albion's aweful empire yield to thine.
shame of BRITONS ! in one sullen tow'r
She wet with royal tears her daily cell; She found keen anguish ev'ry rose devour ;
They sprung, they shone, they faded, and they fell
• ELEANOR of BRETAGNE, the lawful heiress of the English crown, upon the death of Arthur, in the reign of king John. She was esteemed the beauty of her time; was imprisoned forty years (till the time of her death) in Bristol castle.
Thro' one dim lattice fring'd with ivy round,
Successive furis a languid radiance threw ;
To mark how fast her waning beauty flew.
This, age might bear; then fated fancy palls,
Nor warmly hopes what splendor can supply: Fond youth incessant mourns, if rigid walls
Restrain its liftning ear, its curious eye.
Believe me ** the pretence is vain !
This boasted calm that smooths our early days, For never yet could youthful mind restrain
Th’ alternate part for pleasure and for praise,
Ev'n me, by shady oak or limpid spring,
Ev'n me, the scenes of polish'd life allure ; Some genius whispers “ Life is on the wing,
And hard his lot that languishes obscure.
What tho' thy riper mind admire no more
The shining cincture, and the broider'd fold Can pierce like lightning thro' the figur'd oré,
And melt to dross the radiant forms of gold.
Furs, ermins, rods may well attract thy scarn ;
The futile presents of capricious pow'r ! But wit, but worth, the public sphere adorn,
And who but envies then the social hour?
Can virtue, careless of her pupil's meed,
Forget how *** sustains the shepherd's cause? Content in shades to tune a lonely reed,
Nor join the founding pæan of applause ?
For public haunts, impellid by BRITAIN's weal,
See GRENVILLE quit the mufe’s fav'rite ease; And shall not swains admire his noble zeal ?
Admiring praise, admiring strive to please ?
Life, says the sage, affords no bliss sincere ;
And courts, and cells in vain our hopes renew : But ah! where GRENVILLE charms the lift'ning eat,
'Tis hard to think the chearless maxim true,
groves may smile ; the rivers gently glide; Soft thro' the vale resound the lonesome lay; Ev’n thickets yield delight, if taste preside,
But can they please, when LYTTELTON's away?
Pure as the swain's the breast of * * * glows,
Ah! were the shepherd's phrase, like his, refin’d! But, how improv'd the generous dictate flows
Thro' the clear medium of a polish'd mind!
Happy the youths who warm with Britain's love,
Her inmost wish in *** periods hear ! Happy that in the radiant circle move, Attendant orbs, where Lonsdale gilds the sphere !
(931 While rural faith, and every polith'd art,
, Each friendly charm, in *** conspire, From public scenes all pensive must you part;
All joyless to the greenest fields retire !
Go, plaintive youth! no more by fount or stream,
Like some lone halcyon, social pleasure shun; Go dare the light, enjoy its chearful beam,
And hail the bright procession of the sun.
Then cover'd by thy ripen'd shades, resume
The silent walk; no more by passion tost : Then seek thy rustic haunts; the dreary glooni,
Where ev'ry art that colours life, is lost."
In vain! the liftning muse attends in vain !
Restraints in hoftile bands her motions wait -Yet will I grieve, and fadden all my strain,
When injur'd beauty mourns the muse's fate.