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From Milo, him who hangs upon each word,
And in loud praises splits the tortured board,
Collects each sentence, ere it's better known,
And makes the mutilated joke his own,
At weekly club to flourish, where he rules,
The glorious president of grosser fools.
But cease, my Muse! of those, or these enough,
The fools who listen, and the knaves who scoff;
The jest profane, that mocks th' offended God,
Defies his power, and sets at nought his rod;
The empty laugh, discretion's vainest foe,
From fool to fool re-echoed to and fro;
The sly indecency, that slowly springs
From barren wit, and halts on trembling wings:
Enough of these, and all the charms of wine,
Be sober joys, and social evenings mine;
Where peace and reason, unsoild mirth improve
The powers of friendship and the joys of love;
Where thought meets thought ere words its form array,
And all is sacred, elegant, and gay:
Such pleasure leaves no sorrow on the mind,
Too great to fall, to sicken too refined ;
Too soft for noise, and too sublime for art,
The social solace of the feeling heart,
For sloth too rapid, and for wit too high,
'Tis VIRTUE's pleasure, and can never die!
MR. CRABBE'S EARLY NOTE-BOOKS.
Woodbridge, 1776. Ye gentle Gales, that softly move, Go whisper to the Fair I love; Tell her I languish and adore, And pity in return implore.
But if she's cold to my request,
Ye louder Winds, proclaim the rest -
My sighs, my tears, my griefs proclaim,
And speak in strongest notes my flame.
Still if she rests in mute disdain,
And thinks I feel a common pain -
Wing'd with my woes, ye Tempests, fly,
And tell the haughty Fair I die.
Aldborough, 1777. A WANTON chaos in my breast raged high, A wanton transport darted in mine eye;
False pleasure urged, and ev'ry eager care,
That swell the soul to guilt and to despair.
My Mira came! be ever blest the hour,
That drew my thoughts half way from folly's power ;
She first my soul with loftier notions fired;
I saw their truth, and as I saw admired;
With greater force returning reason moved,
And as returning reason urged, I loved ;
Till pain, reflection, hope, and love allied
My bliss precarious to a surer guide
To Him who gives pain, reason, hope, and love,
Each for that end that angels must approve.
One beam of light He gave my mind to see,
gave that light, my heavenly fair, by thee; That beam shall raise my thoughts, and mend my strain. Nor shall my vows, nor prayers, nor verse be vain.
Beccles, 1778. OH, Thou! who taught my infant eye To pierce the air, and view the sky, To see my God in earth and seas, To hear him in the vernal breeze, To know him midnight thoughts among, O guide my soul, and aid my song. Spirit of Light! do thou impart Majestic truths, and teach my heart; Teach me to know how weak I am; How vain my powers, how poor my frame; Teach me celestial paths untrod The ways of glory and of God.
No more let me, in vain surprise,
To heathen art give up my eyes
To piles laborious science rear'd
For heroes brave, or tyrants fear'd;
But quit Philosophy, and see
The Fountain of her works in Thee.
Fond man! yon glassy mirror eye —
Go, pierce the flood, and there descry
The miracles that float between
The rainy leaves of watry green;
Old Ocean's hoary treasures scan;
See nations swimming round a span.
Then wilt thou say — and rear no more
Thy monuments in mystic lore –
My God! I quit my vain design,
And drop my work to gaze on Thine:
Henceforth I'll frame myself to be,
Oh, Lord! a monument of Thee.
Aldborough, 1778. Give me, ye Powers that rule in gentle hearts ! The full design, complete in all its parts, Th’ enthusiastic glow, that swells the soul When swell’d too much, the judgment to control The happy ear that feels the flowing force Of the smooth line's uninterrupted course; Give me, oh give! if not in vain the prayer, That sacred wealth, poetic worth to share — Be it my boast to please and to improve, To warm the soul to virtue and to love;
To paint the passions, and to teach mankind
Our greatest pleasures are the most refined ;
The cheerful tale with fancy to rehearse,
And gild the moral with the charm of verse.
FRIENDSHIP is like the gold refined,
And all may weigh its worth ;
Love like the ore, brought undesign'd
In virgin beauty forth.
Friendship may pass from age to age,
And yet remain the same ;
Love must in many a toil engage,
And melt in lambent flame.
" Felix quem faciunt aliena pericula cautum,"
Aldborough, 1778. You ’re in love with the Muses ! Well, grant it be true, When, good Sir, were the Muses enamour'd of you? Read first, if my lectures your fancy delight, Your taste is diseased : - can your cure be to write ?