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ON THE DEATH OF GENERAL WOLFE.
In a mouldering cave where the wretched retreat,
BRITANNIA sat wasted with care;
She mourn'd for her. Wolfe, and exclaim'd against fate,
And gave herself up to despair.
The walls of her cell she had sculptured around
With the feats of her favorite son;
And even the dust, as it lay on the ground,
Was engraved with the deeds he had done.
The sire of the Gods from his crystalline throne
Beheld the disconsolate dame,
And moved with her tears he sent MERCURY down,
And these were the tidings that came.
BRITANNIA forbear, not a sigh nor a tear
For thy WOLFE so deservedly loved,
Your tears shall be changed into triumphs of joy,
For thy Wolfe is not dead but removed.
The sons of the East, the proud giants of old,
Have crept from their darksome abodes, And this is the news as in Heaven it was told,
They were marching to war with the Gods;
A council was held in the chambers of Jove,
And this was their final decree,
That WOLFE should be called to the armies above,
And the charge was entrusted to me.
To the plains of QUEBEC with the orders I flew,
He begg’d for a moment's delay;
He cry’d, Oh! forbear, let me victory hear,
And then thy command I'll obey.
With a darksome thick film I encompass'd his eyes,
And bore him away in an urn,
Lest the fondness he bore to his own native shore,
Should induce him again to return.
This Song was written immediately after the Death of General Wolfe. At this time a prize was offered for the best Epitaph on that celebrated hero. Of these Epitaphs I have a manuscript collection of eighteen. Mr. Paine entered the list among other competitors, but his matter growing too
ong for an Epitaph, and assuming another shape, he entitled it an Ode; and it was so published in the Gentleman's Magazine. It was soon after set to music, became a popular song, and was sung at the Anacreontic and other societies.-ED.
THE SNOW-DROP AND CRITIC,
To the Editor of the Pennsylvanian Magazine, 1775.
Sir, I have given your very modest “Snow Drop"* what I think Shakspeare calls" a local habitation and a name;" that is, I have made a poet of him, and have sent him to take possession of a page in your next magazine: here he
* Introduction or Preface to No. 1.-See p. 3. Miscellaneous Letters and Essays, Political Works, Vol. II.
comes disputing with a critic, about the propriety of a prologue.
Enter Critic and SNOW DROP.
Prologues to magazines !—the man is mad,
No magazine, a prologue ever had;
But let us hear, what new, and mighty things,
Your wonder working magic fancy brings.
Bit by the muse in an unlucky honr,
I've left myself at home, and turn'd a flower ;
And thus disguised came forth to tell my tale,
A plain white Snow DROP gather'd from the vale ;
I come to sing that summer is at hand,
The summer time of wit you 'll understand;
And that this garden of our magazine,
Will soon exhibit such a pleasing scene,
That even critics shall admire the show,
If their good grace will give us time to grow:
Beneath the surface of the parent earth,
We've various seeds just struggling into birth ;
Plants, fruits, and flowers, and all the smiling race,
That can the orchard, or the garden grace;
Our numbers Sir, so vast and endless are,
That when in full complexion we appear;
Each eye, each hand, shall pluck what suits its taste,
And every palate shall enjoy a feast;
The Rose, and Lily, shall address the fair,
And whisper sweetly out, “My dears, take care ;"
With sterling worth the PLANT OF SENSE shall rise,
And teach the curious to philosophize ;
The keen-eyed wit shall claim the SCENTED BRIAR,
And sober cits the Solid GRAIN admire;
While generous juices sparkling from the VINE,
Shall warm the audience till they cry--divine !
And when the scenes of one gay month are o'er,
Shall clap their hands, and shout-encore ! encore !
All this is mighty fine! but prithee when,
The frost returns, how fight ye then your men ?
I'll tell you, sir! we'll garnish out the scenes,
With stately rows of hardy EVERGREENS,
Trees that will bear the frost and deck their tops
With everlasting flowers, like diamond drops,
We'll draw, and paint, and carve, with so much skill,
That wondering wits shall cry, diviner still !
Better, and better, yet! but now suppose,
Some critic wight in mighty verse, or prose,
Should draw his gray goose weapon, dipt in gall,
And mow ye down Plants, Flowers, Trees, and All.
SNOW-DROP. Why then, we'll die like Flowers OF SWEET PERFUME, And yield a fragrance, even in the TOMB!
At Philadelphia, being destroyed by Lightning, 1775.
Fair Venus so often was mist from the skies,
And Bacchus as frequently absent likewise,
That the synod began to enquire out the reason,
Suspecting the culprits were plotting of treason.
At length it was found they had open'd a ball
At a place by the mortals call’d Bachelors' HALL;
Where Venus disclosed every fun she could think of,
And Bacchus made nectar for mortals to drink of.
Jove highly displeas’d at such-riotous doings,
Sent Time to reduce the whole building to ruins ;
But Time was so slack with his traces and dashes,
That Jove in a passion consumed it to ashes.
A Song, written early in the American Revolution.
Tune-"Gods of the Greeks."
lo a chariot of light, from the regions of day,
The Goddess of LIBERTY came,
Ten thousand celestials directed her way,
Aud hither conducted the dame.