To Mr. Addison on His Tragedy of Cato

Too long hath love engross'd Britannia's stage,
And sunk to softness all our tragic rage:
By that alone did empires fall or rise,
And fate depended on a fair-one's eyes:
The sweet infection, mixt with dangerous art,
Debas'd our manhood, while it sooth'd the heart.
You scorn to raise a grief thyself must blame,
Nor from our weakness steal a vulgar fame:
A patriot's fall may justly melt the mind,
And tears flow nobly, shed for all mankind.

How do our souls with generous pleasure glow!


To Minna

Do I dream? can I trust to my eye?
My sight sure some vapor must cover?
Or, there, did my Minna pass by--
My Minna--and knew not her lover?
On the arm of the coxcomb she crossed,
Well the fan might its zephyr bestow;
Herself in her vanity lost,
That wanton my Minna?--Ah, no!

In the gifts of my love she was dressed,
My plumes o'er her summer hat quiver;
The ribbons that flaunt in her breast
Might bid her--remember the giver!
And still do they bloom on thy bosom,
The flowerets I gathered for thee!


To Memory

Oh in this dearth and winter of the soul,
When even Hope, still wont to soar and sing,
Droopeth, a starveling bird whose downy wing
Stiffens ere dead through the dank drift it fall--
Yea, ere Hope perish utterly, I call
On thee, fond Memory, that thou haste and bring
One leaf, one blossom from that far-off spring
When love's auroral light lay over all.

Bring but one pansy: haply so the thrill
Of poignant yearning for those glad dead years
May, like the gusty south, breathe o'er the chill


To Lucasta, I Laugh and Sing

I.

I laugh and sing, but cannot tell
Whether the folly on't sounds well;
But then I groan,
Methinks, in tune;
Whilst grief, despair and fear dance to the air
Of my despised prayer.

II.

A pretty antick love does this,
Then strikes a galliard with a kiss;
As in the end
The chords they rend;
So you but with a touch from your fair hand
Turn all to saraband.


To Lina

Should these songs, love, as they fleet,

Chance again to reach thy hand,
At the piano take thy seat,

Where thy friend was wont to stand!

Sweep with finger bold the string,

Then the book one moment see:
But read not! do nought but sing!

And each page thine own will be!

Ah, what grief the song imparts

With its letters, black on white,
That, when breath'd by thee, our hearts

Now can break and now delight!


To Late

Too late! though flowerets round me blow,
And clearing skies shine bright and fair;
Their genial warmth avails not now --
Thou art not here the beam to share.

Through many a dark and dreary day,
We journeyed on 'midst grief and gloom;
And now at length the cheering ray
Breaks forth, it only gilds thy tomb.

Our days of hope and youth are past,
Our short-lived joys for ever flown;
And now when Fortune smiles at last,
She finds me cheerless, chilled -- alone!


To J. S

The wind, that beats the mountain, blows
More softly round the open wold,
And gently comes the world to those
That are cast in gentle mould.
And me this knowledge bolder made,
Or else I had not dare to flow
In these words toward you, and invade
Even with a verse your holy woe.
'Tis strange that those we lean on most,
Those in whose laps our limbs are nursed,
Fall into shadow, soonest lost:
Those we love first are taken first.

God gives us love. Something to love


To Contemplation

Faint gleams the evening radiance thro' the sky,
The sober twilight dimly darkens round;
In short quick circles the shrill bat flits by,
And the slow vapour curls along the ground.

Now the pleas'd eye from yon lone cottage sees
On the green mead the smoke long-shadowing play;
The Red-breast on the blossom'd spray
Warbles wild her latest lay,
And sleeps along the dale the silent breeze.
Calm CONTEMPLATION,'tis thy favorite hour!
Come fill my bosom, tranquillizing Power.


To Delia On Her Endeavouring To Conceal Her Grief At Parting

Ah! wherefore should my weeping maid suppress
Those gentle signs of undissembled woe?
When from soft love proceeds the deep distress,
Ah, why forbid the willing tears to flow?

Since for my sake each dear translucent drop
Breaks forth, best witness of thy truth sincere,
My lips should drink the precious mixture up,
And, ere it falls, receive the trembling tear.

Trust me, these symptoms of thy faithful heart,
In absence shall my dearest hope sustain;
Delia! since such thy sorrow that we part,


To An Astrologer

Nay, seer, I do not doubt thy mystic lore,
Nor question that the tenor of my life,
Past, present and the future, is revealed
There in my horoscope. I do believe
That yon dead moon compels the haughty seas
To ebb and flow, and that my natal star
Stands like a stern-browed sentinel in space
And challenges events; nor lets one grief,
Or joy, or failure, or success, pass on
To mar or bless my earthly lot, until
It proves its Karmic right to come to me.

All this I grant, but more than this I know!


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