Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

THE POPLAR FIELD.

The poplars are fell’d; farewell to the shade,
And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade !
The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves,
Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives.
Twelve years have elapsed since I first took a view
Of my favourite field, and the bank where they grew;
And now in the grass behold they are laid,
And the tree is my seat that once lent me a shade !

The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat,
And the scene where his melody charm'd me before
Resounds with his sweet flowing ditty no more.

My fugitive years are all hasting away,
And I must ere long lie as lowly as they,
With a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head,
Ere another such grove

shall arise in its stead.

'Tis a sight to engage me, if any thing can,
To muse on the perishing pleasures of man;
Though his life be a dream, his enjoyments, I see,
Have a being less durable even than he'.

1

Cowper afterwards altered this last stanza in the following manner :

The change both my heart and my fancy employs,
I reflect on the frailty of man and his joys;
Short-lived as we are, yet our pleasures, we see,
Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.

ON A MISCHIEVOUS BULL,

WHICH THE OWNER OF HIM SOLD AT THE AUTHOR'S INSTANCE.

Go!-thou art all unfit to share

The pleasures of this place
With such as its old tenants are,

Creatures of gentler race.

The squirrel here his hoard provides,

Aware of wintry storms;
And woodpeckers explore the sides

Of rugged oaks for worms.
The sheep here smooths the knotted thorn

With frictions of her fleece ;
And here I wander eve and morn,

Like her, a friend to peace.
Ah !—I could pity thee exiled

From this secure retreat ;-
I would not lose it to be styled

The happiest of the great.

But thou canst taste no calm delight;

Thy pleasure is to show
Thy magnanimity in fight,

Thy prowess,—therefore, go!

I care not whether east or north,
So I no more may

find thee;
The

angry Muse thus sings thee forth, And claps the gate behind thee.

AN EPITAPH.

1792.

HERE lies one who never drew
Blood himself, yet many slew;
Gave the gun its aim, and figure
Made in field, yet ne'er pull'd trigger.
Armed men have gladly made
Him their guide, and him obey'd ;
At his signified desire,
Would advance, present, and fire.
Stout he was, and large of limb,
Scores have fled at sight of him;
And to all this fame he rose
Only following his Nose.
Neptune was he call’d; not He
Who controuls the boisterous sea,
But of happier command,
Neptune of the furrow'd land;
And, your wonder vain to shorten,
Pointer to Sir John Throckmorton.

EPITAPH ON FOP,

A DOG BELONGING TO LADY THROCK MORTON.

AUGUST, 1792.

Though once a puppy, and though Fop by name,
Here moulders one whose bones some honour claim ;
No sycophant, although of spaniel race,
And though no hound, a martyr to the chase.

Ye squirrels, rabbits, leverets, rejoice!
Your haunts no longer echo to his voice;
This record of his fate exulting view,
He died worn out with vain pursuit of you.

“ Yes"—the indignant shade of Fop replies— “ And worn with vain pursuit man also dies.”

SONNET TO GEORGE ROMNEY, ESQ.

ON HIS PICTURE OF ME IN CRAYONS, DRAWN AT EARTHAM, IN

THE SIXTY-FIRST YEAR OF MY AGE, AND IN THE MONTHS OF AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER, 1792.

OCTOBER, 1792.

Romney, expert infallibly to trace

On chart or canvass, not the form alone

And semblance, but, however faintly shown,
The mind's impression too on every face;
With strokes that time ought never to erase

Thou hast so pencil'd mine, that though I own

The subject worthless, I have never known
The artist shining with superior grace.
But this I mark,—that symptoms none of woe

In thy incomparable work appear.
Well I am satisfied it should be so,

Since, on maturer thought, the cause is clear; For in my looks what sorrow couldst thou see When I was Hayley's guest, and sat to thee?

ON RECEIVING HAYLEY'S PICTURE.

JANUARY, 1793.

In language warm as could be breathed or penn'd
Thy picture speaks the original my friend,
Not by those looks that indicate thy mind,
They only speak thee friend of all mankind;
Expression here more soothing still I see,
That friend of all a partial friend to me.

EPITAPH ON MR. CHESTER, OF CHICHELEY.

APRIL, 1793.

Tears flow, and cease not, where the good man lies,
Till all who know him follow to the skies.
Tears therefore fall where Chester's ashes sleep;
Him wife, friends, brothers, children, servants, weep
And justly-few shall ever him transcend
As husband, parent, brother, master, friend.

ON A PLANT OF VIRGIN'S-BOWER,

DESIGNED TO COVER A GARDEN-SEAT.

SPRING OF 1793.

THRIVE, gentle plant! and weave a bower

For Mary and for me,
And deck with many a splendid flower

Thy foliage large and free.

« PředchozíPokračovat »