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One feathered champion he possess'd,
His darling far beyond the rest,
Which never knew disgrace,
Nor e'er had fought but he made flow
The life-blood of his fiercest foe,
The Cæsar of his race.
It chanced at last, when, on a day,
He push'd him to the desperate fray,
His courage droop’d, he fled.
The master storm'd, the prize was lost,
And, instant, frantic at the cost,
He doom'd his favourite dead.
He seized him fast, and from the pit Flew to the kitchen, snatch'd the spit,
And, bring me cord, he cried ; The cord was brought, and, at his word, To that dire implement the bird,
Alive and struggling, tied.
The horrid sequel asks a veil ;
And all the terrors of the tale
That can be shall be sunk-
Led by the sufferer's screams aright
His shock'd companions view the sight,
And him with fury drunk.
All, suppliant, beg a milder fate
For the old warrior at the grate :
He, deaf to pity's call,
Whirl'd round him rapid as a wheel
His culinary club of steel,
Death menacing on all.
But vengeance hung not far remote,
For while he stretch'd his clamorous throat,
And heaven and earth defied,
Big with a curse too closely pent,
That struggled vainly for a vent,
He totter'd, reeld, and died.
'Tis not for us, with rash surmise,
To point the judgment of the skies ;
But judgments plain as this,
That, sent for man's instruction, bring
A written label on their wing,
'Tis hard to read amiss.
BY AN OLD SCHOOLFELLOW OF HIS AT WESTMINSTER,
Hastings ! I knew thee young, and of a mind,
While young, humane, conversable, and kind,
Nor can I well believe thee, gentle then,
Now grown a villain, and the worst of men.
But rather some suspect, who have oppress'd
And worried thee, as not themselves the best.
ON HER BEAUTIFUL TRANSCRIPT OP HORACE'S ODE,
“ AD LIBRUM SUUM.”
Maria, could Horace have guess'd
What honour awaited his ode
To his own little volume address’d,
The honour which have bestow'd ;
Who have traced it in characters here,
So elegant, even, and neat,
He had laugh'd at the critical sneer
Which he seems to have trembled to meet.
And sneer, if you please, he had said,
A nymph shall hereafter arise,
Who shall give me, when you are all dead,
The glory your malice denies ;
Shall dignity give to my lay,
Although but a mere bagatelle ; And even a poet shall say,
Nothing ever was written so well. Feb. 1790.
TO THE IMMORTAL MEMORY OF THE
ON WHICH I DINED THIS DAY, MOND
WHERE hast thou floated, in what seas pursued
Thy pastime? when wast thou an egg new spawn’d,
Lost in the immensity of ocean's waste ?
Roar as they might, the overbearing winds
That rock'd the deep, thy cradle, thou wast safe-
And in thy minikin and embryo state,
Attach'd to the firm leaf of some salt weed,
Didst outlive tempests, such as wrung and rack'd
The joints of many a stout and gallant bark,
And whelm’d them in the unexplored abyss.
Indebted to no magnet and no chart,
Nor under guidance of the polar fire,
Thou wast a voyager on many coasts,
Grazing at large in meadows submarine,
Where flat Batavia, just emerging, peeps
Above the brine—where Caledonia's rocks
Beat back the surge—and where Hibernia shoots
Her wondrous causeway far into the main.
-Wherever thou hast fed, thou little thought'st,
And I not more, that I should feed on thee.
Peace, therefore, and good health, and much good
To him who sent thee! and success, as oft
As it descends into the billowy gulf,
To the same drag that caught theel-Fare thee well!
Thy lot thy brethren of the slimy fin
envy, could they know that thou wast doom’d To feed a bard, and to be praised in verse.
INSCRIPTION FOR A STONE ERECTED
AT THE SOWING OF A GROVE OF OAKS AT CHILLINGTON,
THE SEAT OF T. GIFFARD, ESQ. 1790.
OTHER stones the era tell
When some feeble mortal fell;
I stand here to date the birth
Of these hardy sons of earth.
Which shall longest brave the sky,
Storm and frost-these oaks or I ?
Pass an age or two away,
I must moulder and decay,
But the years that crumble me
Shall invigorate the tree,
Spread its branch, dilate its size,
Lift its summit to the skies.
Cherish honour, virtue, truth,
So shalt thou prolong thy youth.
Wanting these, however fast
Man be fix'd and form’d to last,
He is lifeless even now,
Stone at heart, and cannot grow.