Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE LAWYER'S FAREWELL TO HIS

MUSE.

(JUDGE BLACKSTONE.]

As by some tyrant's stern command,
A wretch forsakes his native land,
In foreign climes condemnd to roam
An endless exile from his home;
Pensive he ads the destin'd way,
And dreads to go, nor dares to stay;
"Till on some neighb'ring mountain's brow
He stops, and turns his eyes below;
There, melting at the well-known view,
Drops a last tear, and bids adieu :
So I, thus doom'd from thee to part,
Gay queen of Fancy and of Art,
Reluctant move, with doubtful mind,
Oft stop, and often look behind.

Companion of my tender age,
Serenely gay, and sweetly sage,
How blithsome were we wont to rove
By verdant hill, or shady grove,

Where fervent bees, with humming voice,
Around the honey'd oak rejoice,
And aged elms with aweful bend
In long cathedral walks extend !
Lulld by the lapse of gliding floods,
Cheer'd by the warbling of the woods,
How blest my days, my thoughts how free,
In sweet society with thee !
Then all was joyous, all was young,
And years unheeded rollid along :
But now the pleasing dream is o’er,
These scenes must charm me now no more,
Lost to the field, and torn from you,
Farewell ! a long, a last adieu.

Me wrangling courts, and stubborn Law, To smoke, and crowds, and cities draw; There selfish Faction rules the day, And Pride and Av'ricé throng the way: Diseases taint the murky air, And midnight conflagrations glare ; Loose Revelry and Riot bold In frighted streets their orgies hold; Or, when in silence all is drown'd, Fell Murder walks his lonely round:

[blocks in formation]

No room for Peace, no room for you,
Adieu, celestial nymph, adieu !

Shakspeare no more, thy sylvan son, Nor all the art of Addison, Pope's hear'n-strung lyre, nor Waller's ease, Nor Milton's mighty self must please : Instead of these, a formal band In furs and coifs around me stand; With sounds uncouth and accents dry That grate the soul of harmony, Each pedant sage unlocks his store, Of mystic, dark, discordant lore; And points with tottering hand the ways That lead me to the thorny maze.

There, in a winding, close retreat,
Is Justice doom'd to fix her seat,
There, fene'd by bulwarks of the Law,
She keeps the wond'ring world in awe;
And there, from vulgar sight retir'd.
Like eastern queens, is more admir'd.

O let me pierce the secret shade Where dwells the venerable maid !

There humbly mark, with rev'rent awe,
The guardian of Britannia's Law,
Unfold with joy her sacred page,
(Th’united boast of many an age,
Where mixd, yet uniform, appears
The wisdom of a thousand years)
In that pure spring the bottom view,
Clear, deep, and regularly true,
And other doctrines thence imbibe
Than lurk within the sordid scribe;
Observe how parts with parts unite
In one harmonious rule of right;
See countless wheels distinctly tend
By various laws to one great end;
While mighty Alfred's piercing soul
Pervades and regulates the whole.

Then welcome business, welcome strife, Welcome the cares, the thorns of life, The visage wan, the pore-blind sight, The toil by day, the lamp at night, The tedious forms, the solemn prate, The pert dispute, the dull debate, The drowsy bench, the babbling ball, For thee, fair Justice, welcome all !

Thus though my noon of life be past, Yet let my setting sun, at last, Find out the still, the rural cell, Where sage Retirement loves to dwell! There let me taste the homefelt bliss Of innocence, and inward peace ; Untainted by the guilty bribe ; Uncurs'd amid the harpy-tribe; No orphan's cry to wound my ear; My honour and my conscience clear; Thus may I calmly meet my end, Thus to the

grave

in
peace

descend.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Dear Chloe, while the busy crowd, The vain, the wealthy, and the proud,

In folly's maze advance; Though singularity and pride Be call'd our 'choice, we'll step aside,

Nor join the giddy dance.

« PreviousContinue »