« EelmineJätka »
Written on board the Ambuscade, Jan. 6th. 1763, a short time before the attack of Nova Colonia do Sacramento, in the river of Plate.
THE Fates ordain, we must obey;
This, this is doom'd to be the day;
The hour of war draws near:
The eager crew with busy care
Their instruments of death prepare,
And banish every fear.
The martial trumpets call to arms,
Each breast with such an ardour warms,
As Britons only know:
The flag of battle waving high,
Attracts with joy each Briton's eye;
With terror strikes the foe.
Amidst this nobly awful scene,
Ere yet fell slaughter's rage begin,
Ere Death his conquests swell;
Let me to Love this tribute pay,
For Polly frame the parting lay;
Perhaps, my last farewell:
For since, full low among the dead,
Must many a gallant youth be laid,
Ere this day's work be o'er;
Perhaps e'en I, with joyful eyes
Who saw this morning's sun arise,
Shall see it set no more.
My love, that ever burnt so true,
That but for thee no wishes knew;
My heart's fond, best desire!
Shall be remember'd e'en in death,
And only with my latest breath,
With life's last pang expire.
And when, dear maid, my fate you hear,
(Sure love like mine demands one tear,
Demands one heart-felt sigh)
My past sad errors, O forgive!
Let my few virtues only live,
My follies with me die.
But hark! the voice of battle calls;
Loud thundering from the towery walls
Now roars the hostile gun;
Adieu, dear maid!-with ready feet,
I go prepar'd the worst to meet,
Thy will, O God, be done!
ELEGY ON LEAVING THE RIVER OF PLATE, After the unsuccessful attack of Nova Colonia do Sacramento, by the Lord Clive of 64 guns, the Ambuscade of 40, and the Gloria of 38, in which the former was unfortunately burned, with the greatest part of her crew; and the two latter obliged to retire in a very shattered condition.
WHILE the torn vessel stems her labouring way,
Ere yon blue hills sink ever from my view;
Let me to sorrow raise the tribute-lay;
And take of them my long, my last adieu!
Adieu! ye walls; thou fatal stream farewell;
By war's sad chance beneath whose muddy wave
Full many a gallant youth untimely fell,
Full many a Briton found an early grave.
*Out of 340 persons on board, only 78 escaped.
Beneath thy tide, ah! silent now they roll,
Or strew with mangled limbs thy sandy shore; The trumpet's call no more awakes their soul! The battle's voice they now shall hear no more!
In vain the constant wife and feeble sire,
Expectant, wish their lov'd return to see; In vain their infant's lisping tongues inquire, And wait the story on their father's knee. Ah! nought avails their anxious, busy care; Far, far they lie, on hostile seas they fell; The wife's, sire's, infant's joy, no more to share, The tale of glorious deeds no more to tell.
Learn then, ye Fair, for others' woes to feel,
Let the soft tear bedew the sparkling eye;
When the brave perish for their country's weal,
'Tis pity's debt to heave the heartfelt sigh.
Ah! glorious Drake! far other lot was thine,
Fate gave to thee to quell the hostile pride;
To seize the treasures of Potosi's mine,
And sail triumphant o'er La Plata's tide.
But Providence, on secret wonders bent,
Conceals its purposes from mortal view;
And Heaven, no doubt with some all-wise intent,
Denied to numbers what it gave to few.
FAREWELL TO THE MUSE.
AS by some tyrant's stern command,
A wretch forsakes his native land,
In foreign climes condemn'd to roam,
An endless exile from his home:
Pensive he treads the destin'd way,
And dreads to go, nor dares to stay;
Till on some neighb'ring mountain's brow
He stops and turns his eyes below;
There melting at the well-known view,
Drops a last tear and bids adieu !
So I thus doom'd from thee to part,
Gay Queen of Fancy and of Art:
Reluctant move with doubtful mind,
Oft stop and often look behind!
Companion of my tender age,
Serenely gay and sweetly sage;
How blithesome were we wont to rove,
By verdant hill or shady grove;
Where fervent bees with humming voice,
Around the honied oak rejoice;
And aged elms with awful bend,
In long cathedral walks extend.
Lull'd by the lapse of gliding floods-
Cheer'd by the warbling of the woods;
How blest my days, my thoughts how free,
In sweet society with thee!
Then all was joyous-all was young,
And years unheeded roll'd along.
But now the pleasing dream is o'er,
These scenes must charm me now no more!
Lost to the field and torn from you-
Farewell!-a long-a last adieu !
Me wrangling courts and stubborn Law,
To smoke and crowds, and cities draw;
There selfish faction rules the day,
And Pride and Av'rice throng the way;
Diseases taint the murky air,
And midnight conflagrations glare:
Loose Revelry and Riot bold,
In frighted streets their orgies hold;
Or when in silence all is drown'd,
Fell Murder walks her lonely round:
No room for peace-no room for you,
Adieu, celestial nymphs, adieu !
SHAKESPEARE no more thy sylvan son,
Nor all the art of Addison,
Pope's heav'n-strung lyre, nor Waller's ease,
Nor Milton's mighty self must please.
Instead of these--a formal band
In furs and coifs around me stand,
With sounds uncouth, and accents dry,
That grate the soul of harmony.
Each pedant sage unlocks his store,
Of mystic dark discordant lore:
And points with tott'ring hand the ways
That lead me to the thorny maze.
There in a winding close retreat
Is Justice doom'd to fix her seat:
There fenc'd by bulwarks of the Law,
She keeps the wond'ring world in awe:
And there from vulgar sight retir'd,
Like eastern queens is more admir'd:
O let me pierce the secret shade,
Where dwells the venerable maid!
There humbly mark, with rev'rend awe,
The guardian of Britannia's law,
Unfold with joy her sacred page,
(Th' united boast of many an age,)