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I learn'd at last submission to my lot,
Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more,
ON THE LOSS OF THE ROYAL GEOROR.
Toll for the brave !
The brave that are no more!
Eight hundred of the brave,
Whose courage well was tried, Had made the vessel heel,
And laid her on her side.
A land-breeze shook the shrouds,
And she was overset;
With all her crew complete.
Brave Kempenfelt is gone ; His last seafight is fought ;
His work of glory done. It was not in the battle,
No tempest gave the shock ;
She ran upon no rock.
His fingers held the pen,
With twice four hundred men.
Weigh the vessel up,
Once dreaded by our foes ! And mingle with our cup
The tear that England owes. Her timbers yet are sound,
And she may float again Full-charged with England's thunder,
And plough the distant main.
His victories are o'er;
Shall plough the wave no more.
THE TASK." Hark! 'tis the twanging horn o'er yonder bridge, That with its wearisome but needful length Bestrides the wintry flood, in which the moon Sees her unwrinkled face reflected bright; He comes, the herald of a noisy world, [locks; With spatter'd boots, strapp'd waist, and frozen News from all nations lumb'ring at his back. True to his charge, the close pack'd load behind, Yet careless what he brings, his one concern Is to conduct it to the destined inn; And, having dropp'd th' expected bag, pass on. He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch, Cold and yet cheerful: messenger of grief Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to some ; To him indiff'rent whether grief or joy. Houses in ashes, and the fall of stocks, Births, deaths, and marriages, epistles wet With tears, that trickled down the writer's cheeks Fast as the periods from his fluent quill, Or charged with am'rous sighs of absent swains, Or nymphs responsive, equally affect His horse and him, unconscious of them all. But oh th' important budget! usher'd in With such heart-shaking music, who can say What are its tidings ? have our troops awaked? Or do they still, as if with opium drugg’d, Snore to the murmurs of th’ Atlantic wave ? Is India free? and does she wear her plumed And jewell’d turban with a smile of peace, Or do we grind her still ? The grand debate, The popular harangue, the tart reply, The logic, and the wisdom, and the wit, And the loud laugh–I long to know them all; I burn to set th' imprison'd wranglers free, And give them voice and uttrance once again.
Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round, And while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn Throws up a steamy column, and the cups, That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each, So let us welcome peaceful ev'ning in. Not such his ev'ning, who, with shining face, Sweats in the crowded theatre, and, squeezed And bored with elbow-points through both his sides, Outscolds the ranting actor on the stage: Nor his who patient stands till his feet throb, And his head thumps, to feed upon the breath of patriots, bursting with heroic rage, Or placemen, all tranquillity and smiles. This folio of four pages, happy work! Which not ev'n critics criticise; that holds Inquisitive Attention, while I read, Fast bound in chains of silence, which the fair, Though eloquent themselves, yet fear to break; What is it but a map of busy life, · Its fluctuations, and its vast concerns ? Here runs the mountainous and craggy ridge That tempts Ambition. On the summit see The seals of office glitter in his eyes ; He climbs, he pants, he grasps them! At his heels, Close at his heels, a demagogue ascends, And with a dextrous jerk soon twists him down, And wins them, but to lose them in his turn. Here rills of oily eloquence in sost Meanders lubricate the course they take; The modest speaker is ashamed and grieved T' engross a moment's notice; and yet begs, Begs a propitious ear for his poor thoughts, However trivial all that he conceives. Sweet bashfulness! it claims at least this praise : The dearth of information and good sense That it foretels us, always comes to pass. Cat'racts of declamation thunder here; There forests of no meaning spread the page, In which all comprehension wanders lost;
While fields of pleasantry amuse us there
'Tis pleasant, through the loopholes of retreat,