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WHETHER Stella's eyes are found
Fix'd on earth, or glancing round,
If her face with pleasure glow,
If she sigh at others' woe,
If her easy air express
Conscious worth, or soft distress,
Stella's eyes, and air, and face,
Charm with undiminish'd grace.
If on her we see display'd
Pendent gems, and rich brocade ;
If her chints with less expense
Flows in easy negligence;
Still she lights the conscious flame,
Still her charms appear the same;
If she strikes the vocal strings,
If she's silent, speaks, or sings,
If she sit, or if she move,
Still we love, and still approve.
Vain the casual, transient glance,
Which alone can please by chance;
Beauty, which depends on art,
Changing with the changing heart,
Which demands the toilet's aid,
Pendent gems and rich brocade.
I those charms alone can prize,
Which from constant nature rise,
Which nor circumstance, nor dress,
E'er can make, or more, or less.
No more thus brooding o'er yon heap,
With av'rice, painful vigils keep;
Still unenjoy'd the present store,
Still endless sighs are breath'd for more.
Oh! quit the shadow, catch the prize,
Which not all India's treasure buys!
To purchase heav'n has gold the power?
Can gold remove the mortal hour?
In life, can love be bought with gold?
Are friendship's pleasures to be sold?
No-all that's worth a wish-a thought,
Fair virtue gives unbrib'd, unbought.
Cease then on trash thy hopes to bind,
Let nobler views engage thy mind.
With science tread the wondrous way,
Or learn the muses' moral lay;
In social hours indulge thy soul,
Where mirth and temp'rance mix the bowl;
To virtuous love resign thy breast,
And be, by blessing beauty-blest.
Thus taste the feast, by nature spread, Ere youth, and all its joys are fled; Come, taste with me the balm of life, Secure from pomp, and wealth, and strife. I boast whate'er for man was meant, In health, and Stella, and content; And scorn! oh! let that scorn be thine! Mere things of clay that dig the mine.
STELLA IN MOURNING.
WHEN lately Stella's form display'd
The beauties of the gay brocade,
The nymphs, who found their pow'r decline,
Proclaim'd her not so fair as fine.
'Fate! snatch away the bright disguise,
And let the goddess trust her eyes."
Thus blindly pray'd the fretful fair,
And fate malicious heard the pray'r;
But, brighten'd by the sable dress,
As virtue rises in distress,
Since Stella still extends her reign,
Ah! how shall envy sooth her pain?
Th' adoring youth and envious fair,
Henceforth, shall form one common prayer:
And love and hate, alike, implore
The skies" That Stella mourn no more."
NOT the soft sighs of vernal gales,
The fragrance of the flow'ry vales,
The murmurs of the crystal rill,
The vocal grove, the verdant hill;
Not all their charms, though all unite,
Can touch my bosom with delight.
Not all the gems on India's shore,
Not all Peru's unbounded store,
Not all the power, nor all the fame,
That heroes, kings, or poets claim;
Nor knowledge, which the learn'd approve;
To form one wish my soul can move.
Yet nature's charms allure my eyes,
And knowledge, wealth, and fame I prize;
Fame, wealth, and knowledge I obtain,
Nor seek I nature's charms in vain;
In lovely Stella all combine;
And, lovely Stella! thou art mine.
WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OF A GENTLEMAN, TO
WHOM A LADY HAD GIVEN A SPRIG OF MYRTLE.
WHAT hopes, what terrours, does thy gift create!
Ambiguous emblem of uncertain fate!
h These verses were first printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1768, p. 439, but were written many years earlier. Elegant as they are, Dr. Johnson assured me, they were composed in the short space of five minutes.—N.
The myrtle (ensign of supreme command,
Consign'd by Venus to Melissa's hand)
Not less capricious than a reigning fair,
Oft favours, oft rejects, a lover's pray'r.
In myrtle shades oft sings the happy swain,
In myrtle shades despairing ghosts complain.
The myrtle crowns the happy lovers' heads,
Th' unhappy lovers' graves the myrtle spreads.
Oh! then, the meaning of thy gift impart,
And ease the throbbings of an anxious heart.
Soon must this bough, as you shall fix its doom,
Adorn Philander's head, or grace his tomb.
Ar length, must Suffolk beauties shine in vain,
So long renown'd in B-n's deathless strain?
Thy charms, at least, fair Firebrace, might inspire
Some zealous bard to wake the sleeping lyre;
For, such thy beauteous mind and lovely face,
Thou seem'st at once, bright nymph, a muse and grace.
AN ELDERLY LADY.
YB nymphs, whom starry rays invest,
By flatt'ring poets given;
Who shine, by lavish lovers drest,
In all the pomp of heaven;
This lady was Bridget, third daughter of Philip Bacon, esq. of Ipswich,
and relict of Philip Evers, esq. of that town.
She became the second wife of
sir Cordell Firebrace, the last baronet of that name, to whom she brought a fortune of £25,000, July 26, 1737. Being again left a widow, in 1759, she
was a third time married, April 7, 1762, to William Campbell, esq. uncle to the late duke of Argyle, and died July 3, 1782.
Engross not all the beams on high,
Which gild a lover's lays;
But, as your sister of the sky,
Let Lyce share the praise.
Her silver locks display the moon,
Her brows a cloudy show,
Strip'd rainbows round her eyes are seen,
And show'rs from either flow.
Her teeth the night with darkness dies,
She's starr'd with pimples o'er;
Her tongue, like nimble lightning, plies,
And can with thunder roar.
But some Zelinda, while I sing,
Denies my Lyce shines;
And all the pens of Cupid's wing
Attack my gentle lines.
Yet, spite of fair Zelinda's eye,
And all her bards express,
My Lyce makes as good a sky,
And I but flatter less.
A PRACTISER IN PHYSICK.
CONDEMN'D to hope's delusive mine,
As on we toil, from day to day,
By sudden blasts, or slow decline,
Our social comforts drop away.
* These stanzas, to adopt the words of Dr. Drake, "are warm from the heart; and this is the only poem, from the pen of Johnson, that has been bathed with tears." Levet was Johnson's constant and attentive companion, for near forty years; he was a practitioner in physic, among the lower class of people,