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INSCRIPTION FOR A HERMITAGE IN THE
This cabin, Mary, in my sight appears,
TO MRS. UNWIN.
Mary! I want a lyre with other strings,
may record thy worth with honour due,
By seraphs writ with beams of heavenly light,
A chronicle of actions just and bright;
There all thy deeds, my faithful Mary, shine,
TO JOHN JOHNSON, ESQ. ON HIS PRESENTING
ME WITH AN ANTIQUE BUST OF HOMER. Kinsman beloved, and as a son, by me!
When I behold the fruit of thy regard,
The sculptured form of my old favourite bard, I reverence feel for him, and love for thee:
Joy too and grief-much joy that there should be, Wise men and learn’d, who grudge not to reward
With some applause my bold attempt and hard, Which others scorn; critics by courtesy. The grief is this, that, sunk in Homer's mine,
I lose my precious years, now soon to fail, Handling his gold, which, howsoe'er it shine,
Proves dross when balanced in the Christian scale. Be wiser thou—like our forefather Donne, Seek heavenly wealth, and work for God alone.
TO A YOUNG FRIEND,
ON HIS ARRIVING AT CAMBRIDGE WET WHEN NO RAIN HAD
If Gideon's fleece, which drench'd with dew he found
In pledge, perhaps, of favours from on high,
ON A SPANIEL, CALLED BEAU, KILLING
A YOUNG BIRD.
A SPANIEL, Beau, that fares like
you, Well fed, and at his ease, Should wiser be than to pursue
Each trifle that he sees.
But you have kill'd a tiny bird,
Which flew not till to-day, Against my orders, whom you heard
Forbidding you the prey.
Nor did you kill that you might eat
And ease a doggish pain,
You left where he was slain.
Nor was he of the thievish sort,
Or one whom blood allures, But innocent was all his sport
Whom you have torn for yours.
My dog! what remedy remains,
all I can, I see you, after all my pains,
So much resemble man? July 1793.
Sir, when I flew to seize the bird
In spite of your command,
And harder to withstand.
You cried-Forbear !--but in my breast
A mightier cried— Proceed !-'Twas nature, Sir, whose strong behest
Impell’d me to the deed.
Yet, much as nature I respect,
I ventured once to break
Passing his prison door,
And panting press'd the floor.
Not destined to my tooth,
And lick'd the feathers smooth.
obedience then excuse
My disobedience now,
From your aggrieved bow-wow :
(Which I can hardly see,)
With verse address'd to me!
TO WILLIAM HAYLEY, ESQ.
Dear architect of fine chateaux in air,
Worthier to stand for ever, if they could,
built of stone or yet of wood, For back of royal elephant to bear!
O for permission from the skies to share,
Much to my own, though little to thy good,
With thee (not subject to the jealous mood !) A partnership of literary ware ! But I am bankrupt now; and doom'd henceforth
To drudge, in descant dry, on others' lays ; Bards, I acknowledge, of unequal’d birth!
But what his commentators' happiest praise ?
That he has furnish'd lights for other eyes,
June 29, 1793.