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Or, as Lear, I pour'd forth the deep imprecation,
By my daughters of kingdom and reason deprived;
Till, fired by loud plaudits and self-adulation,
I regarded myself as a Garrick revived.
Ye dreams of my boyhood, how much I regret you! Unfaded your memory dwells in my breast*; Though sad and deserted, I ne'er can forget you; Your pleasures may still be in fancy possest.
To Idat full oft may remembrance restore me,
While fate shall the shades of the future unroll!
Since darkness o'ershadows the prospect before me,
More dear is the beam of the past to my soul.
* "Your memory beams through this agonized breast."
"I thought this poor brain, fever'd even to madness,
Of tears, as of reason, for ever was drain'd;
But the drops which now flow down this bosom of sadness,
Convince me the springs have some moisture retain❜d.
"Sweet scenes of my childhood! your blest recollection
Has wrung from these eyelids, to weeping long dead,
In torrents the tears of my warmest affection,
The last and the fondest I ever shall shed."
But if, through the course of the years which await me,
Some new scene of pleasure should open to view,
I will say, while with rapture the thought shall elate me,
"Oh! such were the days which my infancy knew."
In thee I fondly hoped to clasp
A friend, whom death alone could sever; Till envy, with malignant grasp,
Detach'd thee from my breast for ever.
True she has forced thee from my breast,
Yet in my heart thou keep'st thy seat;
There, there thine image still must rest,
Until that heart shall cease to beat.
And, when the grave restores her dead,
When life again to dust is given,
On thy dear breast I'll lay my head-
Without thee, where would be my
* Printed in the private volume only.-ED.
665 Αστὴς πρὶν μὲν ἔλαμπες ἐνὶ ζωοῖσιν ἑῷος.”
OH, Friend! for ever loved, for ever deart,
What fruitless tears have bathed thy honour'd bier!
What sighs re-echo'd to thy parting breath,
Whilst thou wast struggling in the pangs of death!
Could tears retard the tyrant in his course;
Could sighs avert his dart's relentless force;
Could youth and virtue claim a short delay,
Or beauty charm the spectre from his prey;
Thou still hadst lived to bless my aching sight,
Thy comrade's honour, and thy friend's delight.
If yet thy gentle spirit hover nigh
The spot where now thy mouldering ashes lie,
* These lines were printed in the private volume, the title being "Epitaph on a beloved Friend." The motto was added in the first edition of Hours of Idleness.-ED.
"Oh, Boy! for ever loved, for ever dear."- Private volume.-ED.
"Though low thy lot, since in a cottage born,
No titles did thy humble name adorn;
To me far dearer was thy artless love
Than all the joys wealth, fame, and friends could prove:
For thee alone I lived, or wish'd to live;
Oh God! if impious, this rash word forgive!
Heart-broken now, I wait an equal doom,
Content to join thee in thy turf-clad tomb;
Where, this frail form composed in endless rest,
I'll make my last cold pillow on thy breast;
Here wilt thou read, recorded on my heart,
A grief too deep to trust the sculptor's art.
No marble marks thy couch of lowly sleep,
But living statues there are seen to weep;
Affliction's semblance bends not o'er thy tomb,
Affliction's self deplores thy youthful doom.
What though thy sire lament his failing line,
A father's sorrows cannot equal mine!
Though none like thee his dying hour will cheer,
Yet other offspring soothe his anguish here:
But who with me shall hold thy former place?
Thine image what new friendship can efface?
Ah none!-a father's tears will cease to flow,
Time will assuage an infant brother's woe;
To all, save one, is consolation known,
While solitary friendship sighs alone.
That breast where oft in life I've laid my head,
Will yet receive me mouldering with the dead;
This life resign'd, without one parting sigh,
Together in one bed of earth we'll lie!
Together share the fate to mortals given,
Together mix our dust, and hope for heaven."
Such was the conclusion in the private volume.-ED.
WHEN, to their airy hall, my fathers' voice
Shall call my spirit, joyful in their choice;
When, poised upon the gale, my form shall ride,
Or, dark in mist, descend the mountain's side;
Oh may my shade behold no sculptured urns
To mark the spot where earth to earth returns!
* No lengthen'd scroll, no praise-encumber'd stone;
My epitaph shall be my name alone:
If that with honour fail to crown my clay,
Oh may no other fame my deeds repay!
That, only that, shall single out the spot;
+ By that remember'd, or with that forgot.
* "No lengthen'd scroll of virtue and renown.”
Private volume, and first edition of Hours of Idleness.—ED.
"By that remember'd, or for e'er forgot."-Private volume.—ED.