TO DELLA CRUSCA.
1 I HATE the tardy Elegiac lay —
2 Choose me a measure jocund as the day!
3 Such days as near the ides of June
4 Meet the Lark's elab'rate tune,
5 When his downy fringed breast
6 Ambitious on a cloud to rest
7 He soars aloft; and from his gurgling throat
8 Darts to the earth the piercing note —
9 Which softly falling with the dews of morn
10 (That bless the scented pink, and snowy thorn)
11 Expands upon the Zephyr's wing,
12 And wakes the burnish'd finch, and linnet sweet to sing.
13 And be thy lines irregular and free,
14 Poetic chains should fall before such Bards as thee.
15 Scorn the dull laws that pinch thee round,
16 Raising about thy verse a mound,
17 O'er which thy Muse, so lofty! dares not bound.
18 Bid her in verse meand'ring sport;
19 Her footsteps quick, or long, or short,
20 Just as her various impulse wills —
21 Scorning the frigid square, which her fine fervor chills.
22 And in thy verse meand'ring wild,
23 Thou, who art FANCY's favourite Child,
24 May'st sweetly paint the long past hour,
25 When, the slave of Cupid's power,
26 Thou could'st the tear of rapture weep,
27 And feed on Agony, and banish Sleep.
28 Ha! didst thou, favour'd mortal, taste
29 All that adorns our life's dull waste?
30 Hast THOU known Love's enchanting pain —
31 Its hopes, its woes, and yet complain?
32 Thy senses, at a voice, been lost,
33 Thy mad'ning soul in tumults tost?
34 Ecstatic wishes fire thy brain —
35 These, hast thou known, and yet complain?
36 Thou then deserv'st ne'er more to FEEL; —
37 Thy nerves be rigid, hence, as steel!
38 Their fine vibrations all destroy'd,
39 Thy future days a tasteless void!
40 Ne'er shalt thou know again to sigh,
41 Or, on a soft idea die;
42 Ne'er on a recollection gasp,
43 Thy arms, the air-drawn charmer, never grasp.
44 Vapid Content her poppies round thee strew,
45 Whilst to the bliss of TASTE thou bidst adieu!
46 To vulgar comforts be thou hence confin'd,
47 And the shrunk bays be from thy brow untwin'd. [Page 39]
48 Thy statue torn from Cupid's hallow'd nitch,
49 But in return thou shalt be dull, and rich;
50 The Muses hence disown thy rebel lay —
51 But thou, in Aldermanic gown, their scorn repay;
52 Crimson'd, and furr'd, the highest honours dare,
53 And on thy laurels tread — a PLUMP LORD MAYOR!