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When Fortune smil'd, when Pleasure woo'd,
• How indolently gay,
Life's transitory stream I view'd
• Unheeded waste away!
delusive dream once o'er, • Calm Reason's thoughts arise; Obey'd the monitorial power, • That whisper'd, “Now, be wife !!!
• This filent grove my search survey'd,
• Where Peace displays her charms: How free Contentment's humble fhade • From Fortune's wild alarms!
« Now free from each fantastick strife,
• Untroubled and serene,
I wait the closing hour of life,
" To leave it's empty scene:
“For tides of bliss, that boundless rou
« Around th' Eternal throne, I Shall waft the persevering soul
« To joys on earth unknown !
But, lo! the fading stars declare,
The eastern herald blows, The hour of rofy morn is near,
And Nature claims repose.'
I figh'd, and thought it soon to part
From Wisdom's ivy'd cell; How ill my sympathizing heart
Could bid the fage, Farewel,
For wealth, be smiling peace my share !
With friendthip's generous love ;
And, loft to each ambitious care,
Be mine the flowery grove !
There studious thought would wear the day,
In each instructive page ;
Or happier speed the hours away,
In converse with the fage.
Taught by the awful voice of Truth,
Life's fyren fnares to fly,
By Reason's card conduct my youth,
And like my Sophron die !
N gayer hours, when high my fancy ran,
The Muse exulting, thus her lay began. < Blefs'd be the Bastard's birth ! thro' wond'rous ways, " He shines excentrick, like a comet's blaze !
No fickly fruit of faint compliance He! ! He! itamp'd in Nature's mint of extafy! • He lives to build, not boast a generous race ;
No tenth transmitter of a foolish face.
· His daring hope no fire's example bounds ;
• His firit-born lights no prejudice confounds.
• He, kindling from within, requires no flame ;
He glories in a Bastard's glowing name.
< Born to himself, by no poffeffion led,
In freedom fafter'd, and by Fortune fed ;
« Nor guides, nor rules, his sov’reign choice controul,
• His body independent as his soul,
• Luos'd to the world's wide range; enjoin'd no aim ;
• Prefcrib'd no duty, and assign'd no name:
• Nature's unbounded son, he stands alone,
• His heart unbiass'd, and his mind his own!
• O Mother, yet no mother! 'tis to you,
• My thanks for such distinguish'd claims are due.
: You, unenslav'd to Nature's narrow laws,
• Warm championess for Freedom's sacred cause,
• From all the dry devoirs of blood and line,
« From ties maternal, moral and divine,
• Discharg'd my grasping foul, puth'd me from thore,
And launch'd me into life without an oar.
< What had I loft, if conjugally kind, • By nature hating, yet by vows confin'd,
Untaught the matrimonial bounds to flight, • And coldly conscious of a husband's right, • You had faint-drawn me with a form alone, • A lawful lump of life by force your own ! • Then, while your backward will retrench'd desire, • And unconcurring spirits lent no fire, • I had been born your dull, domestick heir ; • Load of your life, and motive of your care :
Perhaps been poorly rich, and meanly great; • The slave of pomp, a cypher in the state ; • Lordly neglectful of a worth unknown, · And Numb'ring in a seat-by chance my owo.
• Far nobler blessings wait the Bastard's lot ;
• Conceiv'd in rapture, and with fire begot!
• Strong as Necessity, he starts away,
• Climbs against wrongs, and brightens into day!"
Thus, unprophetick, lately misinfpir'd,
I sung ; gay flutt'ring Hope my fancy fir'd ;
Inly secure, thro' conscious scorn of ill,
Nor taught by Wisdom how to balance will,
Ralhly deceiv'd, I saw no pits to shun;
But thought, to purpose, and to act, were one;
Heedless what pointed cares pervert his way,
Whom caution arms not, and whom woes betray :
But now expos'd, and thrinking from distress,
I fly to shelter, while the tempefts press;
My Muse to grief religns the varying tone,
The raptures languish, and the numbers groan !
O Memory! thou foul of joy and pain !
Thou actor of our passions o'er again !
Why dost thou aggravate the wretch's woe?
Why add continuous smart to every blow?
Few are my joys; alas ! how foon forgot !
On that kind quarter thou invad’st me not ;
While sharp and numberless my sorrows fall,
Yet thou repeat'it and multiply'st 'em all !
Is chance a guilt; that my difaft'rous heart,
For mischief never meant, must ever smart ?
Can self-defence be fin-Ah, plead no more !
What tho' no purpos'd malice stain’d thee o’er;
Had Heav'n befriended thy unhappy fide,
Thou had'ft not been provok'dor, thou had'st died.
Far be the guilt of homeshed blood from all,
On whom, unfought, embroiling dangers fall! !
Still the pale dead revives, and lives to me;
To me! thro' Pity's eye condemn'd to see.
Remembrance veils his rage, but swells his fate ;
Griev'd I forgive, and am grown cool too late.
Young, and unthoughtful then ; who knows, one day,
What ripening virtues might have made their way !
He might have liv’d, till Folly died in shame,
Till kindling Wisdom felt a thirst for fame.
He might perhaps his country's friend have prov'd
Both happy, gen'rous, candid, and belov'd :
He might have fav'd some worth, now doom'd to fall ;
And I, perchance, in him, have murder'd all.
O fate of late repentance ! always vain :
Thy remedies but lull undying pain.
Where shall my hope find rest! No mother's care
infant innocence with prayer ;
No father's guardian hand my youth maintain's,
Callid forth my virtues, or from vice restrain'd.
Is it not thine to snatch foine
First to advance, then screen from future harm?
I am return’d from death, to live in pain;
Or would imperial Pity fave in vain?
Distrust it not: what blame can Mercy find,
Which gives at once a life, and rears a mind ?
Mother, miscall'd, farewel! -of foul fevere,
This fad reflection yet may force one tear :
All I was wretched by, to you I owd;
Alone from strangers ev'ry comfort fow'd !
Loft to the life you gave, your son no more,
And now adopted, who was doom'd before;
New-born, I may a nobler mother claim,
But dare not whisper her immortal name :
Supremely lovely, and serenely great!
Majestick mother of a kneeling state !
Queen of a people's heart, who ne'er before
Agreed-yét now with one consent adore !
One contest yet remains in this desire,
Who moft shall give applause, where all admire.
OWN by the brook which glides thro' yonder vale,
His hair all matted, and his cheeks all pale,
Robin, sad swain, by love and sorrow pain’d,
Of lighted vows, and Susan, thus complain’d.