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Aloft to soar on fancy's eagle wing,
Or dive self-taught in learning's deepest spring,
Gilding its tract with wisdom's purest ray,
Th' ethereal light of intellectual day.
"Such light was thine, O FOX! in thee alone
With undiminish'd splendor still it shone
From earliest youth, till life's expiring flame
Reluctantly forsook thy wasted frame,
Superior still to all-and e'en in death
Its brightness glimmer'd in thy parting breath:
In life's last ebb the Statesman's wisdom flow'd;
In thought's last gleam the Patriot's vigour glow'd;
Nor pain nor terror mov'd his steady mind;
The pain HE felt was pity for mankind.”
"No pomp of speech, in learning's garb array'd,
Dazzled the ignorant, the weak dismay'd
No pointed sentence of sarcastic wit
The unoffending or defenceles hit ;
No proud display of what His mind contain'd
Abash'd the timid, or the meek restrain'd;
No gaudy rhetorick, with selfish aim,.
In private converse, courted public fame;
No quaint allusion, with ambiguous sense,
To blushing modesty e'er gave offence;
No prim conceit, in foppish neatness drest,
No hoarded repartee, or studied jest,
Slyly conceal'd, in watchful ambush lay
Till apt occasion prompted its display.
"Above each trick of art His genius tower'd,
And intellect's full tide spontaneous pour'd;
To embellish truth with unforc'd effort sought;
With observation just and vigorous thought;
With sense profound, in richest fancy drest;
With learning's stores, in purest taste exprest;
Deep and yet clear its copious currents roll'd
Their amber waves o'er beds of native gold."
"Tis but in pain to draw precarious breath,
Shivering beneath th' impending dart of Death;
Benumb'd in duil forgetfulness to sleep,
Or for expiring friends to wake and weep;
Like some old oak, upon a naked strand,
The relict of a fallen grove to stand;
Upon whose wither'd, bald, and blighted head,
The damps of every passing cloud are shed;
From whose bare trunk, now mouldering in decay,
Each passing tempest tears some limb away :
Whose roots, exposed beneath th' inclement sky,
No more its vita! nourishment supply:
Th' incumbrance of the soil it falls at last,
Th' unheeded victim of some wintry blast."
For the Anniversary of the Literary Fund, April 18, 1807.
By HENRY JAMES PYE, Esq. Poet Laureat.
Recited by Aaron Graham, Esq.
the stream, casual fountains fed,
First gushes from the cavern's mossy bed,
Dashing from rock to rock the scanty rill,
With no luxuriant herbage clothes the hill;
Yet when increas'd the ampler current flows,
Each bordering mead with deeper verdure glows;
Its lingering waves thro' painted valleys glide,
And Health and Plenty deck its flowery side;
So when at first a kind and generous few
Celestial Charity's ambrosial dew
O'er the neglected sons of learning shed,
Sooth'd the swol'n breast, and rear'd the drooping head,
Small were the boons, and casual the relief,
Their scanty source could yield to letter'd grief,
Till Britain saw their godlike aim,
And fann'd with fav'ring breath the rising flame;
Joining the efforts of the patriot band,
With sympathetic heart, and gen'rous hand.
Till far and wide the genial zeal extends,
And Science triumphs in her num'rous friends.
See first, and greatest, in our records shine
The princely heir of Brunswick's royal line;
And grateful Science hails with proud acclaim,
The patron of her sons in GEORGE's name.
Nobles of yore, that Britain's annals grace,
Statesmen, and warlike chiefs, a patriot race:
And those whom Commerce crowns, with liberal hand,
Their wealth the glory of a prosperous land,
In Learning's cause with liberal zeal unite,
And aid of rising truth the radiant light.
And lo! one glorious friend, tho' low he lie,
Tho' the dark shades of Death have veil'd his eye;
Allied to him whose active spirit saw,
'Mid Heaven's stupendous orbs, th' Eternal's law;
Thro' boundless ether trac'd their wond'rous way,
Or careful analyz'd the solar ray;
With bounteous hand a splendid gift bestows,
At Newton's name again fair Science glows:
Nor ever shall the virtuous and the brave
Regret the boons to letter'd worth they gave.
On that for endless fame the brave rely,
"The muse forbids the virtuous man to die!"
Illum'd by Science from the face of Heav'n,
I see the murky shades of Ignorance driv'n,
Dark Prejudice forsake th' enlighten'd shore,
And Persecution wave her rod no more;
Slav'ry, who never trod Britannia's plains,
Shall fly from ev'ry soil where Britain reigns;
Mourn with dejected eye her iron yoke
Dash'd on the dust, her scourge vindictive broke.
"While the freed Libyan in his native groves,
Reaps his own fruits, and wooes his sable loves."
Wild Superstition too, with Gorgon face,
No more shall Truth's celestial form debase;
Wak'd from the gloom of Folly's frantic dream
By pure Religion's-bright unsullied beam;
And the mild precepts of a faith divine,
By human weakness unobscur'd, shall shine.
Such Britain's hopes; but see a giant Pow'r
On Britain's hopes with brow malignant low'r ;
Proud in colossal bulk, elate it stands,
And shakes a mace o'er Europe's trembling lands.
Sated with human gore, its fiend-like smiles
Vindictive glare on these devoted isles.
Britons, arouse - No safety can ye know,
But from the fall of this injurious foe,
* Mr. Newton, a collateral descendant of sir Isaac, has lately bequeathed a legacy, of nearly 5000L to the use of the Literary Fund.
Is there a father, husband, lover, here,
Holds female charms, and female honour dear?
Is there a patriot, fir'd with sacred flame
For Albion's weal, and Freedom's holy name?
Firm in the front of battle let him stand,
The awful sword of Justice in his hand;
Hurl bolts of vengeance on Oppression's head,
While living honour'd, and rever'd when dead.
For the Anniversary of the Literary Fund, at Freemasons' Hall, April 18, 1807.
Written and recited by WILLIAM-THOMAS FITZ-GERALD, Esq.
O ease the pangs of penury and pain,
The cause of slighted merit to maintain;
To save the letter'd victim from despair,
Was first your motive, and is still your care.
Time, which destroys, matures your virtuous plan,
That while it succours ne'er degrades the man;
Exposes not the object of relief,
But spares his feelings, while it ends his grief!
"Tis yours that soothing comfort to impart,
That winnows sorrow from the bursting heart;
Bids pining talents hope for better days—
Cheer'd by your bounty, foster'd by your praise!
As mould'ring ashes dull the brightest fire,
So cold neglect leaves genius to expire-
But let the breath of praise begin to blow,
The sparks re-kindle, and the embers glow;
The renovated flame attracts the sight,
And all is splendour, which before was night!
Look through the world, and, to the thinking mind,
How few deserve the envy of mankind!
Some toil for wealth, which, gain'd, they can't enjoy,
For fears of poverty their peace destroy;
No gen'rous warmth their sordid breasts can fire,
Their idol gold-their passion to acquire!
While some of riches vain, of fashion proud,
Can only live when flatter'd by the crowd:
To shine a meteor in the vulgar's eyes,
The gaze of fools, and pity of the wise!
In glitt'ring pomp to dazzle and betray,
The painted insects of a summer's day!
Being the eleventh anniversary poem written by Mr. Fitz-Gerald for the Literary
Their lives not fated to a second morn,
But doom'd to perish almost soon as born!
And can such gaudy butterflies be priz'd,
While modest genius famishes and dies?
While many an Otway meets an Otway's fate,
Admir'd in vain-assisted when too late!
While Barry's pencil scarcely yielded bread,
Though science mourns the British Raphael dead!
The sorrowing arts their favourite's hearse attend-
Yet Barry, living, found the world no friend!
Let not the sons of vanity, and pride,
The starving author's poverty deride;
In life, perhaps, neglected he may roam,
Without a friend, a comfort, or a home!
Though dull obscurity his days o'ercast,
Yet time does justice to his fame at last;
And many a bard, a moralist, a sage,
Survive the memory of their thankless age!
For when corroding time in dust shall mould
The Muse's votary, and the slave of gold;
The wretched miser to the grave descends,
And with his wealth his worthless story ends:
Not so the man, who rich alone in mind,
Bequeaths his all-his talents, to mankind!
When genius dies, oblivion does not tread
With heavy footsteps on the poet's head;
Some spark will rise immortal from his urn,
To light the lamp which shall for ever burn!
Some portion of that pure æthereal flame,
Aspiring mounts to heav'n from whence it came!
While grosser matter seeks its native earth,
Alike unnotic'd in its death, or birth.
What made Columbus unknown seas explore,
Where never vent'rous man had sail'd before?
Where death appear'd in ev'ry form most dire,
In famine, whirlwinds, elemental fire!
'Twas fame!--that star, by which all heroes steer,
Embodied hope, and banish'd ev'ry fear!
What makes the British flag triumphant ride,
From Flata's river to Byzantium's tide?
Where the proud Hellespont oppos'd in vain †
That Power, which awes the land, and rules the main!
What made great Nelson ev'ry danger brave,
To fix Britannia's empire on the wave?
The storming Monte Video in the river Plata.
The forcing the Dardanelles, and over-awing Constantinople.