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"Tis but in pain to draw precarious breath,
Shivering beneath th' impending dart of Death;
Benumb’d in duil forgetfuluess 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 teinpest tears some limb away :
Whose roots, exposed beneath th' inelement sky,
No more its vital 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.
First gushes from the cavern's mossy bed,
Dashiog 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'o 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 fame;
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 nun'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 bim 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 thev
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'ı,
I see the murky shades of Ignorance driv'n,
Dark Prejudice torsake 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 Brilain 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 bis owo 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
Ou 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, las lately bequeathed a legacy, of nearly 5000L to the use of the Literary Fugd.
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.
AN ADDRESS For the Anniversary of the Literary Fund, at Freemasons' Hall,
April 18, 1807. Written and recited by WILLIAM-THOMAS FITZ-GERALD, Eso. 1 ease the pangs of penury and pain,
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 ineteor 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 tamishes and dies?
While many an Otway meets an Otway's fate,
Admir'd in vain-assisted when too late!
While Barry's pencil scarcely vielded bread,
Thouzh 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, neglecteri be 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, wlio rich alone in mind,
Bequeallis 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 uri),
To light the lamp which shall for ever burn!
Some portion of that pure ælhereal fame,
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 forn most dire, In famine, whirlivinds, elemental fire! 'Twas fame!--that star, by which all heroes steer, Embodied hope, and banisli'd ev'ry fear! What makes the British flag triumphant ride, From Flata's * river to Byzantiuni'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?
What made him,-rich in honours, still pursue,
And keep bright Glory ever in his view?
What cheer'd the dying Hero's latest breath?
But shouts of victry in the hour of death!
But love of Fame!—that gen'rous, patriot fire,
That noble minds to poblest deeds inspire;
The ruling passions of the truly great,
Which makes amends for all the ills of fate!
And where's the false philosopher would try
To chase this splendid vision from the eye?
To sink in apathy the ardent mind,
And banish patriot feelings from mankind !
When love of Country ceases to inspire,
And unregarded burns the ballow'd fire;
That nation soon will hasten to decay,
The traitor's plunder, or th' invader's prey!
When selfish principles its place supply,
Nip'd in the bud the gen'rous virtues die;
No glory lures the hero to the wave,
No laurel blooms upon the soldier's grave!
And the firm champion of the public cause
Neglected lives, and dies without applause.
May Britons still that fatal error shun,
By which deluded nations were undone!
Let all who hold the pen, or wield the spear,
At England's call, in England's cause appear!
The sacred summons none will dare refuse,
And foremost should be found each British muse!
When, crush'd beneath the Tyrant's galling chain,
Afflicted millions dar'd not to complain,
. And, while reduc'd to that degraded state,
Were forc'd to praise the object of their bate;
This Country, in his vain and prosperous hour,
Defied his malice, and curtail'd bis power;
Taught Europe first to make the sword her shield,
And brave the hated upstart in the field.
Though kingdoms sunk beneath the despot's stroke,
His sword was shiver'd by the British Oak!
With undiminish'd strength, and matchless form,
Jis head shall rise superior to the storm;
'Gainst which in vain the tyrant's rage is hurlid
The mighty bulwark of a sutt'ring world!
Tl'Inperial Alexander, great as wise!
From realus remote to Europe's succour flies;
Before his face, where sun-bright honour shines,
The pallid star of guilty France declines!
His gallant troops, by Russian Nelson led,
Pour dreadful vengeance on the Spoiler's head,