Page images




DEAR Howard, from the soft assaults of love

Poets and painters never are secure; Can I, untouch'd, the fair-ones' passions move,

Or thou draw beauty, and not feel its power? To great Apelles when young Ammon brought

The darling idol of his captive heart, And the pleased nymph, with kind attention, sat

To have her charms recorded by his art; The amorous master own'd her potent eyes,

Sigh'd when he look'd, and trembled as he drew; Each flowing line confirm'd his first surprise,

And as the piece advanced, the passion grew. While Philip's son, while Venus' son, was near,

What different tortures does his bosom feel? Great was the rival, and the god severe;

Nor could he hide his flame, nor durst reveal. The prince, renown'd in bounty as in arms,

With pity saw the ill-conceal’d distress;
Quitted his title to Campaspe's charms,

the fair-one to the friend's embrace. Thus the more beauteous Chloe sat to thee,

Good Howard, emulous of the Grecian art; But happy thou, from Cupid's arrow free,

And flames, that pierced thy predecessor's heart. 1 This artist is better known by these beautiful verses (said Lord Orford) than by bis own works. He was the son of Ralph Howard, M. D. and was born at Dublin in 1675, and died in London, March 7, 1737. Anecd. of Painting.

Had thy poor breast received an equal pain,

Had I been vested with the monarch's power, Thou must have sigh’d, unlucky youth, in vain,

Nor from my bounty hadst thou found a cure. Though, to convince thee that the friend did feel

A kind concern for thy ill-fated care ; I would have sooth'd the flame I could not heal,

Given thee the world, though I withheld the fair.






In the Country of Friuli, 1703.


Te maris et terræ numeroque carentis arenæ
Mensorem cohibent, Archyta, &c.

SAY, dearest Villiers, poor departed friend,
(Since fleeting life thus suddenly must end)
Say, what did all thy busy hopes avail,
That anxious thou from pole to pole didst sail,
Ere on thy chin the springing beard began
To spread a doubtful down, and promise man?
What profited thy thoughts, and toils, and cares,
In vigour more confirm'd, and riper years?
To wake ere morning-dawn to loud alarms,
And march till close of night in heavy arms;

To scorn the summer's suns and winter's snows, And search, through every clime, thy country's

foes? That thou might'st Fortune to thy side engage, That gentle Peace might quell Bellona's rage, And Anna's bounty crown her soldier's hoary age? In vain we think that free-willid man has

power To hasten or protract the appointed hour : Our term of life depends not on our deed: Before our birth our funeral was decreed. Nor awed by foresight, nor misled by chance, Imperious Death directs his ebon lance, Peoples great Henry's tombs, and leads


Holbein's dance. Alike must every state, and every age, Sustain the universal tyrant's rage; For neither William's power nor Mary's charms Could or repel or pacify his arms. Young Churchill. fell as life began to bloom, And Bradford's? trembling age expects the tomb. Wisdom and Eloquence in vain would plead One moment's respite for the learned head; Judges of writings and of men have died ; Mecænas, Sackville, Socrates, and Hyde; And, in their various turns, their sons must tread Those gloomy journeys which their sires have led.

The ancient sage, who did so long maintain That bodies die, but souls return again, With all the births and deaths he had in store, Went out Pythagoras, and came no more.

1 The only son of John Duke of Marlborough, who died in 1702, aged 16.

? Francis Newport, Earl of Bradford, died Sept. 19, 1708.

And modern Asgyll', whose capricious thought
Is yet with stores of wilder notions fraught,
Too soon convinced, shall yield that fleeting breath
Which play'd so idly with the darts of Death.

Some from the stranded vessel force their way;
Fearful of fate, they meet it in the sea :
Some, who escape the fury of the wave,
Sicken on earth, and sink into a grave.
In journeys or at home, in war or peace;
By hardships many, many fall by ease.
Each changing season does its poison bring,
Rheums chill the winter, agues blast the spring:
Wet, dry, cold, hot, at the appointed hour,
All act subservient to the tyrant's power;
And when obedient Nature knows his will,
A fly, a grape-stone, or a hair, can kill.
For restless Proserpine for ever treads,
In paths unseen, o'er our devoted heads,
And on the spacious land and liquid main
Spreads slow disease, or darts afflictive pain: .
Variety of deaths confirms her endless reign.

On cursed Piava's banks the goddess stood, Show'd her dire warrant to the rising flood, When what Ilong must love, and long must mourn, With fatal speed was urging his return, In his dear country to disperse his care, And arm himself by rest for future war; To chide his anxious friends' officious fears, And promise to their joys his elder years.

Oh! destined head; and, oh! severe decree, Nor native country thou, nor friend, shalt see;

3 John Asgyll, Esq. a lawyer of some eminence, and M. P. for Bramber in Sussex. He died Nov. 10, 1738, in the King's Bench.

Nor war hast thou to wage, nor year to come,
Impending death is thine, and instant doom.

Hark! the imperious goddess is obey’d;
Winds murmur, snows descend, and waters spread:
Oh! kinsman, friend-Oh! vain are all the cries
'Of human voice, (strong Destiny replies :)
Weep you on earth, for he shall sleep below;
Thence none return, and thither all must go.'

Whoe'er thou art, whom choice or business leads To this sad river, or the neighbouring meads, If thou may'st happen on the dreary shores To find the object which this verse deplores; Cleanse the pale corpse, with a religious hand, From the polluting weed and common sand : Lay the dead hero graceful in a grave, (The only honour he can now receive) And fragrant mould upon his body throw, And plant the warrior laurel o'er his brow; Light lie the earth, and flourish green the bough.

So may just Heaven secure thy future life, From foreign dangers and domestic strife; And when the infernal judge's dismal power From the dark urn shall throw thy destin'd hour; When, yielding to the sentence, breathless thou, And pale, shalt lie, as what thou buriest now,

, May some kind friend the piteous object see, And equal rites perform to that which once was


« EelmineJätka »