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Amid the falling gloom of night,
Her startling fancy found
In ev'ry bush his hov'ring shade,
His groan in ev'ry sound.
Alone, appallid, thus had the pass'd
The visionary vale
When lo! the death-bell smote her ear,
Sad founding in the gale!
Just then the reach'd, with trembling step,
Her aged mother's door :
• He's gone !' she cry'd ; and I shall see
• That angel-face no more!
• I feel, I feel, this breaking heart
· Beat high against my fide !-
From her white arm down funk her head,
She Thivering sigh’d, and died.
His country's hope, when now the blooming heir
Has left the parent's, or the guardian's care : Fond to possess, yet eager to destroy ; of each vain youth, say, what's the darling joy? Of each fond frolick what the source and end ? His fole and first ambition what?-to spend.
Some squires, to Gallia's cooks most dainty dupes, Melt manors in ragouts, or drown in soups :
This coxcomb doats on fidlers, till he sees
His mortgag'd mountains destitute of trees;
Convinc'd too late, that modern strains can move,
With mightier force than those of Greece, the grove.
In headless statues rich, and useless urns,
Marmoreo from the classick tour returns ;
the wretch of current coin, you'd laugh-
He cares not-if his Cæsars * be but safe.
Some tread the slippery paths of love's delights ;
Thele deal the cards, or take the box at White's.
To different pleasures different tastes incline,
Nor the fame sea receives the rushing fwine.
Tho' drunk alike with Circe's poisonous bowl,
In separate fies the mimick monsters roll.
But would ye learn, ye leifure-loving squires,
How best you may disgrace your prudent fires;
How sooneft soar to fashionable shame,
Be damn'd at once to ruin, and to fame ;
By hands of
ambitious to be crown'd,
Ogreatly dare to tread Olympick ground !
Where fam'd Newmarket spreads her tempting plain,
There let the chosen íteed victorious strain ;
Where not (as erst was sung in manly lays)
Men fly to different ends thro’ different ways ;
Thro' the same path, to the same goal ye run,
And are, at once, undoing and undone ;
Forfeit, forget, friends, honour, and estate,
Lose all at once—for what?--to win the plate ;
All are betray'd, and all alike betray,
To your own beasts, Actæon-like, a prey.
What dreams of conquest Auth'd Hilario's breaft,
When the good knight at last retir'd to rest !
Behold the youth with new-felt rapture mark
Each pleasing prospect of the spacious Park;
That Park, where beauties undisguis'd engage
Those beauties less the work of art than age;
In fimple state, where genuine Nature wears
Her venerable dress of ancient years ;
Where all the charms of chance with order meet,
The rude, the gay, the graceful, and the great.
Here aged oaks uprear their branches hoar,
And form dark groves, which Druids might adore ;
Pride and support of Britain's conq'ring cross,
Which distant ancestors saw crown'd with mofs :
With meeting boughs, and deep’ning to the view;
Here shoots the broad umbrageous avenue ;
Here various trees compose a chequer'd scene,
Glowing in gay diversities of green ;
There the full stream, through intermingling glades,
Shines a broad lake, or falls in deep cascades,
Nor wants there hazle copse, or beechen lawn,
To chear with sun, or shade the bounding fawn.
And see the good old feat, whose Gothick tow'rs
emerge from yonder tufted bow'rs ;
Whose rafter'd hall the crouding tenants fed,
And dealt to age and want their daily bread :
Where garter'd knights, with peerless beauties join'd,
At high and folemn festivals have din'd;
Presenting oft fair Virtue's shining task,
In mystick pageantries, and moral masque *.
But vain all ancient praise, or boafts of birth,
Vain all the palms of old heroick worth !
At once a bankrupt, and a prosperous heir,
Hilario bets-park, house, disolve in air !
* It was a fashionable practice among our ancient nobility and gentry, of both sexes, to perform personally in entertainments of this kind. Nothing could be a more delightful or rational method of spending an evening than this. Milton's Comus was thus exhibited at Ludlow Castle, in the year 1631. See Ben Johnson's Masques.
With antique armour hung, high trophy'd rooms
Descend to gameters, prostitutes, and grooms.
He sees his steel-clad fires, and mothers mild,
Who bravely shook the lance, or sweetly smild;
All the fair series of the whiker'd race,
Whose pictur'd forms the stately gallery grace ;
Debas’d, abus'd, the price of ill-got gold,
To deck some tavern vile, at auctions sold.
The parish wonders at th' unopening door,
The chimnies blaze, the tables groan no more.
Thick weeds around th' untrodden courts arise,
And all the social scene in filence lies.
Himself, the loss politely to repair,
Turns atheist, fidler, highwayman, or player.
At length, the scorn, the shame of man and God,
Is doom'd to rub the steeds that once he rode !
Ye rival youths, your golden hopes how vain,
Your dreams of thousands on the listed plain !
Not more fantastick Sancho's * airy course,
When madly mounted on the magick horse,
He pierc'd heav'n's opening fpheres with dazzled eyes,
And seem'd to foar in visionary skies.
Nor less, I ween, precarious is the meed
adventurers on the Muse's steed :
For poets have, like you, their destin'd round;
And ours is but a race on claffick ground.
Long time, soft son of patrimonial ease,
Hippolitus had eat sirloins in peace :
Had quaff'd secure, unvex'd by toils or strife,
The mild October of a rural life ;
Long liv'd with calm domestick conquests crown'd,
And kill'd his game on fafe paternal ground.
As bland he puff’d the pipe o’er weekly news,
His bosom kindles with sublimer views.
# Clavileno. . See Don Quixotes