Ackermann’s Repository of Arts/Series 1/Volume 1/January 1809/Poetry



My first fair hope, and now my last retreat
From empty pride and insolent deceit,
Once more, ye Muses, at your holy shrine,
Life’s busy scenes I willingly resign.
Prom jarring politics, and Faithless man,
From fools that execute, and knaves that plan;
From men that use you for their private ends.
And those, once answer’d, are no more your friends;
With whom e’en gratitude is found a sin,
All pomp without, and littleness within!
Whose ruling passion is, in selfish views,
To change their friendships as they change their shoes;
Set ev'ry feeling of the heart at strife,
And dry up all the charities of life;
From all these strange artificers of words,
That rule a senate which no truth affords,
Mere coruscations, dazzling, as they pass,
Some titled idiot, or some pension’d ass!
From men, whose riches are their sole support,
Whose vast ambition is to shine at court;
To shew their weakness in embroidered arms.
The secret laughter of the thing that charms:
From dames of fashion who are vastly kind,
And lull our senses to seduce our mind:
From things like these, ye Muses, I retire,
To act as Reason and as you inspire;
To move, unshaken in the midst of strife,
Prepar’d for death, and not too fond of life!
In actions honest, and in thought sincere,
The voice of nature and of God to hear!
With you to meditate that awful home,
Whose entrance opens on a world to come.

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From Major James’s Poems.

We quarrelled on the shortest day;
The consequence was this:
Throughout the longest night we lay
In scenes of mutual bliss.
Oh! may it thus for ever prove
With hearts that own no guile;
An instant be the frown of love,
A century the smile!