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And to his grief and penance yielded more
Than his presumption had required before :-
Ah! fly temptation, youth; refrain ! refrain !
Each yielding maid and each presuming swain!
Lo! now with red rent cloak and bonnet black,
And torn green gown loose hanging at her back,
One who an infant in her arms sustains,
And seems in patience striving with her pains;
Pinched are her looks, as one who pines for bread,
Whose cares are growing and whose hopes are fled;
Pale her parched lips, her heavy eyes sunk low,
And tears unnoticed from their channels flow;
Serene her manner, till some sudden pain
Frets the meek soul, and then she's calm again;
Her broken pitcher to the pool she takes,
And every step with cautious terror makes;
For not alone that infant in her arms,
But nearer cause her anxious soul alarms;
With water burdened then she picks her way,
Slowly and cautious, in the clinging clay;
Till, in mid-green, she trusts a place unsound,
And deeply plunges in the adhesive ground;
Thence, but with pain, her slender foot she takes,
While hope the mind as strength the frame forsakes;
For when so full the cup of sorrow grows,
Add but a drop, it instantly o'erflows.
And now her path but not her peace she gains,
Safe from her task, but shivering with her pains;
Her home she reaches, open leaves the door,
And placing first her infant on the floor,
She bares her bosom to the wind, and sits,
And sobbing struggles with the rising fits;
In vain, they come, she feels the inflating grief,
That shuts the swelling bosom from relief;
That speaks in feeble cries a soul distressed,
Or the sad laugh that cannot be repressed;
The neighbour-matron leaves her wheel, and flies
With all the aid her poverty supplies;
Unfee'd, the calls of nature she obeys,
Not led by profit, not allured by praise;
And waiting long, till these contentions cease,
She speaks of comfort, and departs in
Friend of distress! the mourner feels thy aid,
She cannot pay thee, but thou wilt be paid.
But who this child of weakness, want, and care?
'Tis Phoebe Dawson, pride of Lammas fair;
Who took her lover for his sparkling eyes,
Expressions warm, and love-inspiring lies:
Compassion first assailed her gentle heart
For all his suffering, all his bosom's smart:
'And then his prayers! they would a savage move,
And win the coldest of the sex to love :'
But ah! too soon his looks success declared,
Too late her loss the marriage-rite repaired;
The faithless flatterer then his vows forgot,
A captious tyrant or a noisy sot:
If present, railing till he saw her pained;
If absent, spending what their labours gained;
Till that fair form in want and sickness pined,
And hope and comfort fled that gentle mind.
Then fly temptation, youth; resist! refrain!
Nor let me preach for ever and in vain!
Yes! all are with him now, and all the while
Life's early prospects and his Fanny's smile;
Then come his sister and his village friend,
And he will now the sweetest moments spend
Life has to yield: no, never will he find
Again on earth such pleasure in his mind:
He goes through shrubby walks these friends among,
Love in their looks and honour on the tongue ;
Nay, there's a charm beyond what nature shows,
The bloom is softer, and more sweetly glows;
Pierced by no crime, and urged by no desire
For more than true and honest bearts require,
They feel the calm delight, and thus proceed
Through the green lane, then linger in the mead,
Stray o'er the heath in all its purple bloom,
And pluck the blossom where the wild bees hum;
Then through the broomy bound with ease they pass,
And press the sandy sheep-walk's slender grass,
Where dwarfish flowers among the gorse are spread,
And the lamb browses by the linnet's bed;
Then 'cross the bounding brook they make their way
O'er its rough bridge, and there behold the bay;
The ocean smiling to the fervid sun,
The waves that faintly fall, and slowly run,
The ships at distance, and the boats at hand;
And now they walk upon the sea-side sand,
Counting the number, and what kind they be,
Ships softly sinking in the sleepy sea;
Now arm in arm, now parted, they behold
The glittering waters on the shingles rolled:
The timid girls, half dreading their design,
Dip the small foot in the retarded brine,
And search for crimson weeds, which spreading flow,
Or lie like pictures on the sand below;
With all those bright red pebbles that the sun
Through the small waves so softly shines upon;
And those live lucid jellies which the eye
Delights to trace as they swim glittering by;
Pearl shells and rubied star-fish they admire,
And will arrange above the parlour fire.
Tokens of bliss! Oh, horrible! a wave
Roars as it rises-save me, Edward, save!'
She cries. Alas! the watchman on his way
Calls, and lets in-truth, terror, and the day!
[Story of a Betrothed Pair in Humble Life.]
[From The Borough."]
Yes, there are real mourners; I have seen
A fair sad girl, mild, suffering, and serene;
Attention through the day her duties claimed,
And to be useful as resigned she aimed;
Neatly she dressed, nor vainly seemed to expect
Pity for grief, or pardon for neglect;
But when her wearied parents sunk to sleep,
She sought her place to meditate and weep:
Then to her mind was all the past displayed,
That faithful memory brings to sorrow's aid;
For then she thought on one regretted youth,
Her tender trust, and his unquestioned truth;
In every place she wandered where they'd been,
And sadly-sacred held the parting scene
Where last for sea he took his leave that place
With double interest would she nightly trace;
For long the courtship was, and he would say
Each time he sailed, "This once, and then the
Yet prudence tarried, but when last he went,
He drew from pitying love a full consent.
Happy he sailed, and great the care she took
That he should softly sleep, and smartly look;
White was his better linen, and his check
Was made more trim than any on the deck;
And every comfort men at sea can know,
Was hers to buy, to make, and to bestow;
For he to Greenland sailed, and much she told
How he should guard against the climate's cold,
Yet saw not danger, dangers he'd withstood,
Nor could she trace the fever in his blood.
His messmates smiled at flushings in his cheek,
And he, too, smiled, but seldom would he speak ;
For now he found the danger, felt the pain,
With grievous symptoms he could not explain.
He called his friend, and prefaced with a sigh
A lover's message Thomas, I must die;
Would I could see my Sally, and could rest
My throbbing temples on her faithful breast,
And gazing go! if not, this trifle take,
And say, till death I wore it for her sake.
Yes, I must die-blow on, sweet breeze, blow on!
Give me one look before my life be gone;
Oh, give me that! and let me not despair-
One last fond look-and now repeat the prayer.'
He had his wish, and more. I will not paint
The lovers' meeting: she beheld him faint-
With tender fears she took a nearer view,
Her terrors doubling as her hopes withdrew;
He tried to smile, and half-succeeding, said,
'Yes, I must die'-and hope for ever fled.
Still long she nursed him; tender thoughts meantime
W'ere interchanged, and hopes and views sublime.
To her he came to die, and every day
She took some portion of the dread away;
With him she prayed, to him his Bible read,
Soothed the faint heart, and held the aching head;
She came with smiles the hour of pain to cheer,
Apart she sighed, alone she shed the tear;
Then, as if breaking from a cloud, she gave
Fresh light, and gilt the prospect of the grave.
One day he lighter seemed, and they forgot
The care, the dread, the anguish of their lot;
They spoke with cheerfulness, and seemed to think,
Yet said not so- Perhaps he will not sink.'
A sudden brightness in his look appeared,
A sudden vigour in his voice was heard;
She had been reading in the Book of Prayer,
And led him forth, and placed him in his chair;
Lively he seemed, and spoke of all he knew,
The friendly many, and the favourite few;
Nor one that day did he to mind recall,
But she has treasured, and she loves them all.
When in her way she meets them, they appear
Peculiar people death has made them dear.
He named his friend, but then his hand she pressed,
And fondly whispered, Thou must go to rest.'
'I go,' he said, but as he spoke she found
His hand more cold, and fluttering was the sound;
Then gazed affrightened, but she caught a last,
A dying look of love, and all was past.
She placed a decent stone his grave above, Neatly engraved, an offering of her love :
For that she wrought, for that forsook her bed,
Awake alike to duty and the dead.
She would have grieved had they presumed to spare
The least assistance-'twas her proper care.
Here will she come, and on the grave will sit,
Folding her arms, in long abstracted fit;
But if observer pass, will take her round,
And careless seem, for she would not be found;
Then go again, and thus her hour employ,
While visions please her, and while woes destroy.
[An English Fen-Gipsies.]
[From 'Tales-Lover's Journey.]
On either side
Is level fen, a prospect wild and wide,
With dikes on either hand by ocean's self supplied:
Far on the right the distant sea is seen,
And salt the springs that feed the marsh between:
Beneath an ancient bridge, the straitened flood
Rolls through its sloping banks of slimy mud;
Near it a sunken boat resists the tide,
That frets and hurries to the opposing side;
The rushes sharp that on the borders grow,
Bend their brown flowerets to the stream below,
Impure in all its course, in all its progress slow:
Here a grave Flora scarcely deigns to bloom,
Nor wears a rosy blush, nor sheds perfume;
The few dull flowers that o'er the place are spread,
Partake the nature of their fenny bed.
Here on its wiry stem, in rigid bloom,
Grows the salt lavender that lacks perfume;
Here the dwarf sallows creep, the septfoil harsh,
And the soft slimy mallow of the marsh;
Low on the ear the distant billows sound,
And just in view appears their stony bound;
Nor hedge nor tree conceals the glowing sun;
Birds, save a watery tribe, the district shun,
Nor chirp among the reeds where bitter waters run.
Again, the country was inclosed, a wide
And sandy road has banks on either side;
Where, lo a hollow on the left appeared,
And there a gipsy tribe their tent had reared;
'Twas open spread to catch the morning sun,
And they had now their early meal begun,
When two brown boys just left their grassy seat,
The early traveller with their prayers to greet;
While yet Orlando held his pence in hand,
He saw their sister on her duty stand;
Some twelve years old, demure, affected, sly,
Prepared the force of early powers to try;
Sudden a look of languor he descries,
And well-feigned apprehension in her eyes;
Trained, but yet savage, in her speaking face
He marked the features of her vagrant race,
When a light laugh and roguish leer expressed
The vice implanted in her youthful breast;
Forth from the tent her elder brother came,
Who seemed offended, yet forbore to blame
The young designer, but could only trace
The looks of pity in the traveller's face.
Within the father, who from fences nigh,
Had brought the fuel for the fire's supply,
Watched now the feeble blaze, and stood dejected by;
On ragged rug, just borrowed from the bed,
And by the hand of coarse indulgence fed,
In dirty patchwork negligently dressed,
Reclined the wife, an infant at her breast;
In her wild face some touch of grace remained,
Of vigour palsied, and of beauty stained;
Her bloodshot eyes on her unheeding mate
Were wrathful turned, and seemed her wants to state,
Cursing his tardy aid. Her mother there
With gipsy state engrossed the only chair;
Solemn and dull her look; with such she stands,
And reads the milkmaid's fortune in her hands,
Tracing the lines of life; assumed through years,
Each feature now the steady falsehood wears;
With hard and savage eye she views the food,
And grudging pinches their intruding brood.
Last in the group, the worn-out grandsire sits
Neglected, lost, and living but by fits;
Useless, despised, his worthless labours done,
And half-protected by the vicious son,
Who half-supports him, he with heavy glance
Views the young ruffians who around him dance,
And, by the sadness in his face, appears
To trace the progress of their future years;
Through what strange course of misery, vice, deceit,
Must wildly wander each unpractised cheat;
What shame and grief, what punishment and pain,
Sport of fierce passions, must each child sustain,
Ere they like him approach their latter end,
Without a hope, a comfort, or a friend!
[Gradual Approaches of Age.] [From Tales of the Hall."]
Six years had passed, and forty ere the six,
When time began to play his usual tricks;
The locks once comely in a virgin's sight,
Locks of pure brown, displayed the encroaching white;
The blood, once fervid, now to cool began,
And Time's strong pressure to subdue the man.
I rode or walked as I was wont before,
But now the bounding spirit was no more;
A moderate pace would now my body heat;
A walk of moderate length distress my feet.
I showed my stranger guest those hills sublime,
But said, 'The view is poor; we need not climb.'
At a friend's mansion began to dread
The cold neat parlour and the gay glazed bed: At home I felt a more decided taste,
And must have all things in my order placed.
I ceased to hunt; my horses pleased me less-
My dinner more; I learned to play at chess.
I took my dog and gun, but saw the brute
Was disappointed that I did not shoot.
My morning walks I now could bear to lose,
And blessed the shower that gave me not to choose:
In fact, I felt a languor stealing on;
The active arm, the agile hand, were gone;
Small daily actions into habits grew,
And new dislike to forms and fashions new.
That is the grave to Lucy shown;
The soil a pure and silver sand;
The green cold moss above it grown,
Unplucked of all but maiden hand.
In virgin earth, till then unturned,
There let my maiden form be laid;
Nor let my changed clay be spurned,
Nor for new guest that bed be made.
There will the lark, the lamb, in sport,
In air, on earth, securely play:
And Lucy to my grave resort,
As innocent, but not so gay.
I will not have the churchyard ground With bones all black and ugly grown, To press my shivering body round,
Or on my wasted limbs be thrown.
With ribs and skulls I will not sleep,
In clammy beds of cold blue clay,
Through which the ringed earth-worms creep,
And on the shrouded bosom prey.
I will not have the bell proclaim
When those sad marriage rites begin,
And boys, without regard or shame,
Press the vile mouldering masses in.
Say not, it is beneath my care
I cannot these cold truths allow; These thoughts may not afflict me there,
But oh! they vex and tease me now! Raise not a turf, nor set a stone,
That man a maiden's grave may trace, But thou, my Lucy, come alone, And let affection find the place!
[Sketches of Autumn.]
[From the same.]
It was a fair and mild autumnal sky,
And earth's ripe treasures met the admiring eye,
As a rich beauty when her bloom is lost,
Appears with more magnificence and cost:
The wet and heavy grass, where feet had strayed,
Not yet erect, the wanderer's way betrayed;
Showers of the night had swelled the deepening rill,
The morning breeze had urged the quickening mill;
Assembled rooks had winged their seaward flight,
By the same passage to return at night,
While proudly o'er them hung the steady kite,
Then turned them back, and left the noisy throng,
Nor deigned to know them as he sailed along.
Long yellow leaves, from osiers, strewed around,
Choked the dull stream, and hushed its feeble sound,
While the dead foliage dropt from loftier trees,
Our squire beheld not with his wonted ease;
But to his own reflections made reply,
And said aloud, 'Yes; doubtless we must die.'
'We must,' said Richard; and we would not live
To feel what dotage and decay will give;
But we yet taste whatever we behold;
The morn is lovely, though the air is cold:
There is delicious quiet in this scene,
At once so rich, so varied, so serene;
Sounds, too, delight us-each discordant tone
Thus mingled please, that fail to please alone;
This hollow wind, this rustling of the brook,
The farm-yard noise, the woodman at yon oak-
See, the axe falls !-now listen to the stroke:
That gun itself, that murders all this peace,
Adds to the charm, because it soon must cease.
Cold grew the foggy morn, the day was brief,
Loose on the cherry hung the crimson leaf:
The dew dwelt ever on the herb; the woods
Roared with strong blasts, with mighty showers the
All green was vanished save of pine and yew,
That still displayed their melancholy hue;
Save the green holly with its berries red,
And the green moss that o'er the gravel spread.
There is a poetry of taste as well as of the passions, which can only be relished by the intellectual classes, but is capable of imparting exquisite pleasure to those who have the key to its hidden mysteries. It is somewhat akin to that delicate appreciation of the fine arts, or of music, which in some men amounts to almost a new sense. SAMUEL ROGERS, author of the Pleasures of Memory, may be considered a votary of this school of refinement. We have everywhere in his works a classic and graceful beauty; no slovenly or obscure lines; fine cabinet pictures of soft and mellow lustre; and occasionally trains of thought and association that awaken or recall tender and heroic feelings. His diction is clear and polished-finished with great care and scrupulous nicety. On the other hand, it must be admitted that he has no forcible or original invention, no deep pathos that thrills the soul, and no kindling energy that fires the imagination. In his shadowy poem of Columbus, he seems often to verge on the sublime, but does not attain it. His late works are his best. Parts of Human Life possess deeper feeling than are to be found in the 'Pleasures of Memory; and in the easy half conversational sketches of his Italy, there are delightful glimpses of Italian life, and scenery, and old traditions. The poet was an accomplished traveller, a lover of the fair and good, and a worshipper of the classic glories of the past. The life of Mr Rogers has been as calm and felicitous as his poetry: he has for more than half a century maintained his place in our national literature. He was born at Newington Green, a village now included in the growing vastness of London, in the year 1762. His father (well-known and respected among the dissenters) was a banker by profession; and the poet, after a careful private education, was introduced into the banking establishment, of which he is still a partner. He was fixed in his determination of becoming a poet by the perusal of Beattie's Minstrel, when he was only nine years of age. His boyish enthusiasm led him also to sigh for an interview with Dr Johnson, and to attain this, he twice presented himself at the door of Johnson's well-known house in Bolt Court, Fleet Street. On the first occasion the great moralist was not at home; and the second time, after he had rung the bell, the heart of the young aspirant misgave him, and he retreated without waiting for the servant. Rogers
Jam & Rogers
was then in his fourteenth year. Notwithstanding the proverbial roughness of Johnson's manner, we have no doubt he would have been flattered by this instance of youthful admiration, and would have received his intended visitor with fatherly kindness and affection. Mr Rogers appeared as an author in 1786, the same year that witnessed the glorious advent of Burns. The production of Rogers was a thin quarto of a few pages, an Ode to Superstition, and other poems. In 1792 he produced the Pleasures of Memory; in 1812 the Voyage of Columbus' (a fragment); and in 1814 Jacqueline, a tale, published in conjunction with Byron's Lara
Like morning brought by night.
House of Mr Rogers in St James's Place.
finest and rarest pictures, busts, books, and gems, and to entertain his friends with a generous and unostentatious hospitality. His conversation is rich and various, abounding in wit, eloquence, shrewd observation, and interesting personal anecdote. He has been familiar with almost every distinguished author, orator, and artist for the last forty years. dedicated to him as memorials of friendship or adPerhaps no single individual has had so many works miration. It is gratifying to mention, that his benevolence is equal to his taste: his bounty soothed and relieved the deathbed of Sheridan, and is now exerted to a large extent, annually, in behalf of suffering or unfriended talent.
Nature denied him much,
But gave him at his birth what most he values:
A passionate love for music, sculpture, painting,
For poetry, the language of the gods,
For all things here, or grand or beautiful,
A setting sun, a lake among the mountains,
The light of an ingenuous countenance,
And, what transcends them all, a noble action.
[From the Pleasures of Memory.'] Twilight's soft dews steal o'er the village green, With magic tints to harmonise the scene. Stilled is the hum that through the hamlet broke, When round the ruins of their ancient oak
The peasants flocked to hear the minstrel play,
And games and carols closed the busy day.
Her wheel at rest, the matron thrills no more
With treasured tales and legendary lore.
All, all are fled; nor mirth nor music flows
To chase the dreams of innocent repose.
All, all are fled; yet still I linger here!
What secret charms this silent spot endear?
Mark yon old mansion frowning through the trees,
Whose hollow turret woos the whistling breeze.
That casement, arched with ivy's brownest shade,
First to these eyes the light of heaven conveyed.
The mouldering gateway strews the grass-grown court,
Once the calm scene of many a simple sport;
When nature pleased, for life itself was new,
And the heart promised what the fancy drew.
See, through the fractured pediment revealed,
Where moss inlays the rudely sculptured shield,
The martin's old hereditary nest.
Long may the ruin spare its hallowed guest!
Childhood's loved group revisits every scene,
The tangled wood-walk and the tufted green!
Indulgent Memory wakes, and lo, they live!
Clothed with far softer hues than light can give.
Thou first, best friend that Heaven assigns below,
To soothe and sweeten all the cares we know;
Whose glad suggestions still each vain alarm,
When nature fades and life forgets to charm;
Thee would the Muse invoke!-to thee belong
The sage's precept and the poet's song.
What softened views thy magic glass reveals,
When o'er the landscape Time's meek twilight steals!
As when in ocean sinks the orb of day,
Long on the wave reflected lustres play;
Thy tempered gleams of happiness resigned,
Glance on the darkened mirror of the mind.
The school's lone porch, with reverend mosses gray,
Just tells the pensive pilgrim where it lay.
Mute is the bell that rung at peep of dawn,
Quickening my truant feet across the lawn:
Unheard the shout that rent the noontide air,
When the slow dial gave a pause to care.
Up springs, at every step, to claim a tear,
Some little friendship formed and cherished here;
And not the lightest leaf, but trembling teems
With golden visions and romantic dreams.
Down by yon hazel copse, at evening, blazed
The gipsy's fagot-there we stood and gazed;
Gazed on her sun-burnt face with silent awe,
Her tattered mantle and her hood of straw;
Her moving lips, her cauldron brimming o'er;
The drowsy brood that on her back she bore,
Imps in the barn with mousing owlets bred,
From rifled roost at nightly revel fed;
Whose dark eyes flashed through locks of blackest
When in the breeze the distant watch-dog bayed: And heroes fled the sibyl's muttered call, Whose elfin prowess scaled the orchard wall. As o'er my palm the silver piece she drew, And traced the line of life with searching view, How throbbed my fluttering pulse with hopes and fears, To learn the colour of my future years!
Ah, then, what honest triumph flushed my breast; This truth once known-to bless is to be blest! We led the bending beggar on his way (Bare were his feet, his tresses silver-gray), Soothed the keen pangs his aged spirit felt, And on his tale with mute attention dwelt: As in his scrip we dropt our little store, And sighed to think that little was no more, He breathed his prayer, 'Long may such goodness live!' Twas all he gave 'twas all he had to give.
Survey the globe, each ruder realm explore; From Reason's faintest ray to Newton soar.
What different spheres to human bliss assigned!
What slow gradations in the scale of mind!
Yet mark in each these mystic wonders wrought;
Oh mark the sleepless energies of thought!
The adventurous boy that asks his little share, And hies from home with many a gossip's prayer, Turns on the neighbouring hill, once more to see The dear abode of peace and privacy; And as he turns, the thatch among the trees, The smoke's blue wreaths ascending with the breeze, The village-common spotted white with sheep, The churchyard yews round which his fathers sleep; All rouse Reflection's sadly pleasing train, And oft he looks and weeps, and looks again.
So, when the mild Tupia dared explore Arts yet untaught, and worlds unknown before, And, with the sons of Science, wooed the gale That, rising, swelled their strange expanse of sail; So, when he breathed his firm yet fond adieu, Borne from his leafy hut, his carved canoe, And all his soul best loved-such tears he shed, While each soft scene of summer-beauty fled. Long o'er the wave a wistful look he cast, Long watched the streaming signal from the mast; Till twilight's dewy tints deceived his eye, And fairy forests fringed the evening sky.
So Scotia's queen, as slowly dawned the day, Rose on her couch, and gazed her soul away. Her eyes had blessed the beacon's glimmering height, That faintly tipped the feathery surge with light; But now the morn with orient hues portrayed Each castled cliff and brown monastic shade:
All touched the talisman's resistless spring,
And lo, what busy tribes were instant on the wing!
Thus kindred objects kindred thoughts inspire,
As summer-clouds flash forth electric fire.
And hence this spot gives back the joys of youth,
Warm as the life, and with the mirror's truth.
Hence home-felt pleasure prompts the patriot's
This makes him wish to live, and dare to die.
For this young Foscari, whose hapless fate
Venice should blush to hear the Muse relate,
When exile wore his blooming years away,
To sorrow's long soliloquies a prey,
When reason, justice, vainly urged his cause,
For this he roused her sanguinary laws;
Glad to return, though Hope could grant no more,
And chains and torture hailed him to the shore.
And hence the charm historic scenes impart; Hence Tiber awes, and Avon melts the heart. Aerial forms in Tempe's classic vale Glance through the gloom and whisper in the gale; In wild Vaucluse with love and Laura dwell, Twas ever thus. Young Ammon, when he sought And watch and weep in Eloisa's cell. Where Ilium stood, and where Pelides fought, Sat at the helm himself. No meaner hand Steered through the waves, and when he struck the
Such in his soul the ardour to explore,
Twas ever thus. As now at Virgil's tomb
Pelides-like, he leaped the first ashore.
We bless the shade, and bid the verdure bloom:
So Tully paused, amid the wrecks of Time,
On the rude stone to trace the truth sublime;
When at his feet in honoured dust disclosed,
The immortal sage of Syracuse reposed.
And as he long in sweet delusion hung
Where once a Plato taught, a Pindar sung;
Who now but meets him musing, when he roves
His ruined Tusculan's romantic groves?
In Rome's great forum, who but hears him roll
His moral thunders o'er the subject soul?
And hence that calm delight the portrait gives: We gaze on every feature till it lives!