Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

898.--EDWIN AND EMMA. Far in the windings of a vale,

Fast by a sheltering wood,
The safe retreat of health and peace,

A humble cottage stood.
There beauteous Emma flourished fair,

Beneath a mother's eye;
Whose only wish on earth was now

To see her blest, and die.
The softest blush that nature spreads

Gave colour to her cheek;
Such orient colour smiles through heaven,

When vernal mornings break.
Nor let the pride of great ones scorn

This charmer of the plains :
That sun, who bids their diamonds blaze,

To paint our lily deigns.
Long had she filled each youth with love,

Each maiden with despair ;
And though by all a wonder owned,

Yet knew not she was fair:
Till Edwin came, the pride of swains,

A soul devoid of art;
And from whose eye, serenely mild,

Shone forth the feeling heart.
A mutual flame was quickly caught,

Was quickly too revealed ;
For neither bosom lodged a wish

That virtue keeps concealed.
What happy hours of home-felt bliss

Did love on both bestow !
But bliss too mighty long to last,

Where fortune proves a foe.
His sister, who, like envy formed,

Like her in mischief joyed,
To work them harm, with wicked skill,

Each darker art employed.
The father, too, a sordid man,

Who love nor pity knew, Was all unfeeling as the clod

From whence his riches grew. Long had he seen their secret flame,

And seen it long unmoved ;
Then with a father's frown at last

Har sternly disapproved.
In Edwin's gentle heart, a war

Of differing passions strove :
His heart, that durst not disobey,

Yet could not cease to love.
Denied her sight, he oft behind

The spreading hawthorn crept,
To snatch a glance, to mark the spot

Where Emma walked and wept.
Oft, too, on Stanmore's wintry waste

Beneath the moonlight shade, In sighs to pour his soften'd soul,

The midnight mourner strayed.

His cheek, where health with beauty

glowed,
A deadly pale o'ercast;
So fades the fresh rose in its prime,

Before the northern blast.
The parents now, with late remorse,

Hung o'er his dying bed;
And wearied Heaven with fruitless vows,

And fruitless sorrows shed.
'Tis past ! he cried, but, if your souls

Sweet mercy yet can move,
Let these dim eyes once more behold

What they must ever love!
She came; his cold hand softly touched,

And bathed with many a tear :
Fast-falling o'er the primrose pale,

So morning dews appear.
But oh! his sister's jealous care,

A cruel sister she!
Forbade what Emma came to say ;

“My Edwin, live for me!”
Now homeward as she hopeless wept,

The churchyard path along, The blast blew cold, the dark owl screamed I

Her lover's funeral song.
Amid the falling gloom of night,

Her startling fancy found
In every bush his hovering shade,

His groan in every sound.
Alone, appalled, thus had she passed

The visionary vale-
When lo! the death-bell smote her ear,

Sad sounding in the gale!
Just then she reached, with trembling step,

Her aged mother's door :
“He's gone!” she cried, “and I shall see

That angel face no more.
I feel, I feel this breaking heart

Beat high against my side!”
From her white arm down sunk her head-

She shivered, sighed, and died.
David Mallet.Born 1700, Died 1765.

1

899.-SONG. The smiling morn, the breathing spring, Invite the tuneful birds to sing, And while they warble from each spray, Love melts the universal lay. Let us, Amanda, timely, wise, Like them improve the hour that flies, And in soft raptures waste the day Among the shades of Endermay. For soon the winter of the year, And age, life's winter, will appear :

[ocr errors]

From 1727 to 1780.] TENDENCIES OF SOUL TOWARDS THE INFINITE.

[AKENSIDE.

At this, thy living bloom will fade,
As that will strip the vernal shade.
Our taste of pleasure then is o'er,
The feather'd songsters love no more;
And when they droop, and we decay,
Adieu the shades of Endermay.

Darid Mallet.-Born 1700, Died 1765.

900.-A FUNERAL HYMN. Ye midnight Shades ! o'er Nature spread Dumb silence of the dreary hour; In honour of the approaching dead Around your awful terrors pour. Yes, pour around On this pale ground, Thro' all this deep surrounding gloom, The sober thought, The tear untaught, Those meetest mourners at a tomb.

Lo! as the surpliced train draw near
To this last mansion of mankind,
The slow sad bell, the sable bier,
In holy musings wrapt the mind!
And while their beam,
With trembling stream,
Attending tapers faintly dart,
Each mould'ring bone,
Each sculptured stone,
Strikes mute instruction to the heart.
Now let the sacred organ blow
With solemn pause and sounding slow;
Now let the voice due measure keep,
In strains that sigh and words that weep,
Till all the vocal current blended roll,
Not to depress but lift the soaring soul.
To lift it in the Maker's praise
Who first inform'd our frame with breath,
And after some few stormy days
Now gracious gives us o'er to death.
No king of fears
In him appears
Who shuts the scene of human woes;
Beneath his shade
Securely laid
The dead alone find true repose.
Then while we mingle dust with dust,
To One supremely good and wise
Raise hallelujahs. God is just,
And man most happy when he dies.
His winter past,
Fair Spring at last
Receives him on her flow'ry shore,
Where pleasure's rose
Immortal blows,
And sin and sorrow are no more.

Darid Mallet.-Born 1700, Died 1765,

901.—TENDENCIES OF THE SOUL

TOWARDS THE INFINITE. Say, why was man so eminently raised Amid the vast creation; why ordain'd Through life and death to dart his piercing

eye, With thoughts beyond the limit of his

frame; But that the Omnipotent might send hiin

forth In sight of mortal and immortal powers, As on a boundless theatre, to run The great career of justice; to exalt His generous aim to all diviner deeds ; To chase each partial purpose from his

breast : And through the mists of passion and of sense, And through the tossing tide of chance and

pain, To hold his course unfaltering, while the voice Of Truth and Virtue, up the steep ascent Of Nature, calls him to his high reward, The applauding smile of Heaven ? Else

wherefore burns In mortal bosoms this unquenchèd hope, That breathes from day to day sublimer.

things, And mocks possession ? wherefore darts the

mind, With such resistless ardour, to embrace Majestic forms; impatient to be free, Spurning the gross control of wilful might; Proud of the strong contention of her toils ; Proud to be daring? Who but rather turns To Heaven's broad fire his unconstrained view, Than to the glimmering of a waxen flame? Who that, from Alpine heights, his labouring

eye Shoots round the wide horizon, to survey Nilus or Ganges rolling his bright wave Through mountains, plains; through empires

black with shade And continents of sand ; will turn his gaze To mark the windings of a scanty rill That murmurs at his feet? The high-born

soul Disdains to rest her heaven-aspiring wing Beneath its native quarry. Tired of Earth And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft Through fields of air; pursues the flying

storm; Rides on the volley'd lightning through the

heavens ; Or, yoked with whirlwinds and the northern

blast, Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she The blue profound, and hovering round the

Sun, Beholds him pouring the redundant stream Of light; beholds his unrelenting sway Bend the reluctant planets to absolve The fated rounds of Time. Thence far

effused She darts her swiftness up the long career

soars

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Of devious comets; through its burning

signs Exulting measures the perennial wheel

Of Nature, and looks back on all the stars, • Whose blended light, as with a milky zone,

Invest the orient. Now amazed she views The empyreal waste, where happy spirits

hold, Beyond this concave Heaven, their calm

abode; And fields of radiance, whose unfading light Has travell’d the profound six thousand

years, Nor yet arrives in sight of mortal things. Even on the barriers of the world untired She meditates the eternal depth below; Till half recoiling, down the headlong steep She plunges ; soon o'erwhelm'd and swallowa

up In that immense of being. There her hopes Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth Of mortal man, the sovereign Maker said, That not in humble nor in brief delight, Not in the fading echoes of Renown, Power's purple robes, nor Pleasure's flowery

lap, The soul should find enjoyment: but from

these Turning disdainful to an equal good, Through all the ascent of things enlarge her

view, Till every bound at length should disappear, And infinite perfection close the scene.

Akenside.--Born 1721, Died 1770.

[ocr errors]

The form of beauty smiling at his heart,
How lovely! how commanding! But though

heaven
In every breast hath sown these early seeds
Of love and admiration, yet in vain,
Without fair culture's kind parental aid,
Without enlivening suns, and genial showers,
And shelter from the blast, in vain we hope
The tender plant should rear its blooming

head, Or yield the harvest promised in its spring. Nor yet will every soil with equal stores Repay the tiller's labour; or attend His will, obsequious, whether to produce The olive or the laurel. Different minds Incline to different objects : one pursues The vast alone, the wonderful, the wild ; Another sighs for harmony, and grace, And gentlest beauty. Hence when lightning

fires The arch of heaven, and thunders rock the

ground; When furious whirlwinds rend the howling

air, And ocean, groaning from his lowest bed, Heaves his tempestuous billows to the sky, Amid the mighty uproar, while below The nations tremble, Shakspeare looks abroad From some high cliff superior, and enjoys The elemental war. But Waller longs All on the margin of some flowery stream To spread his careless limbs amid the cool Of plantain shades, and to the listening deer The tale of slighted vows and love's disdain Resound soft-warbling all the live-long day: Consenting zephyr sighs; the weeping rill Joins in his plaint, melodious; mute the

groves; And hill and dale with all their echoes

mourn. Such and so various are the tastes of men. O blest of heaven! whom not the languid

songs Of luxury, the siren! not the bribes Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils Of pageant honour, can seduce to leave Those ever-blooming sweets, which from the

store Of nature fair imagination culls To charm the enliven’d soul! What though

not all
Of mortal offspring can attain the heights
Of envied life; though only few possess
Patrician treasures or imperial state;
Yet nature's care, to all her children just,
With richer treasures and an ampler state,
Endows at large whatever happy man
Will deign to use them. His the city's

pomp,
The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column and the arch,
The breathing marbles and the sculptured

gold,
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim,
His tuneful breast enjoys. For him the

spring

[ocr errors]

902.--TASTE. What then is taste, but these internal

powers Active, and strong, and feelingly alive To each fine impulse ? a discerning sense Of decent and sublime, with quick disgust From things deformed or disarranged, or

gross In species ? This, nor gems nor stores of

gold, Nor purple state, nor culture can bestow; But God alone, when first his active hand Imprints the secret bias of the soul. He, mighty parent, wise and just in all, Free as the vital breeze or light of heaven, Reveals the charms of nature. Ask the

swain Who journeys homeward from a

day's Long labour, why, forgetful of his toils And due repose, he loiters to behold The sunshine gleaming, as through amber

clouds, O'er all the western sky; full soon, I ween, His rude expression and untutored airs, Beyond the power of language, will unfold

summer

morn.

Distils her dews, and from the silken gem Bless'd could my skill through ages make thee Its lacid leaves unfolds : for him the hand

shine, Of autumn tinges every fertile branch

And proud to mix my memory with thine. With blooming gold and blushes like the But now the cause that waked my song

before, Each passing hour sheds tribute from her With praise, with triumph, crowns the toil wings;

no more. And still new beauties meet his lonely walk, If to the glorious man whose faithful cares, And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze Nor quell'a by malice, nor relax'd by years, Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes Had awed Ambition's wild audacious hate, The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain And dragg'd at length Corruption to her From all the tenants of the warbling shade

fate; Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake If every tongue its large applauses owed, Fresh pleasure, unreproved. Nor thence par And well-earn'd laurels every Muse bestow'd; takes

If public Justice urged the high reward, Fresh pleasure only: for the attentive mind, And Freedom smiled on the devoted bard ; By this harmonious action on her powers, Say then, to him whose levity or lust Becomes herself harmonious : wont so oft Laid all a people's generous hopes in dust; In outward things to meditate the charm Who taught Ambition firmer heights of Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home

power, To find a kindred order, to exert

And saved Corruption at her hopeless hour; Within herself this elegance of love,

Does not each tongue its execrations owe? This fair inspired delight : her tempered Shall not each Muse a wreath of shame powers

bestow, Refine at length, and every passion wears And public Justice sanctify th' award, A chaster, milder, more attractive mien. And Freedom's hand protect the impartial But if to ampler prospects, if to gaze

bard ? On nature's form, where, negligent of all Yet long reluctant I forbore thy name, These lesser graces, she assumes the port Long watch'd thy virtue like a dying flame, Of that eternal majesty that weighed

Hung o'er each glimmering spark with anxious The world's foundations; if to these the eyes, mind

And wish'd and hoped the light again would Exalts her daring eye ; then mightier far

rise. Will be the change, and nobler. Would the But since thy guilt still more entire appears, forms

Since no art hides, no supposition clears ; Of servile custom cramp her generous power ; Since vengeful Slander now too sinks her Would sordid policies, the barbarous growth blast, Of ignorance and rapine, bow her down And the first rage of party hate is past ; To tame pursuits, to indolence and fear? Calm as the judge of truth, at length I come Lo! she appeals to nature, to the winds To weigh thy merits, and pronounce thy And rolling waves, the sun's unwearied doom : course,

So may my trust from all reproach be free ; The elements and seasons : all declare

And Earth and Time confirm the fair decree. For what the eternal Maker has ordained

There are who say they view'd without The powers of man: we feel within ourselves His energy divine: he tells the heart,

The sad reverse of all thy former praise : He meant, he made us to behold and love That through the pageants of a patriot's name, What he beholds and loves, the general orb They pierced the foulness of thy secret aim; Of life and being; to be great like him, Or deem'd thy arm exalted but to throw Beneficent and active. Thus the men

The public thunder on a private foe. Whom nature's works can charm, with God But I, whose soul consented to thy cause, himself

Who felt thy genius stamp its own applause, Hold converse ; grow familiar, day by day, Who saw the spirits of each glorious age With his conceptions, act upon his plan, Move in thy bosom, and direct thy rage; And form to his, the relish of their souls. I scorn'd the ungenerous gloss of slavish

minds, Akenside.-Born 1721, Died 1770.

The owl-eyed race, whom Virtue's lustre

blinds. Spite of the learned in the ways of vice, And all who prove that each man has his

price, 903.-AN EPISTLE TO CURIO.

I still believed thy end was just and free; Thrice has the spring beheld thy faded fame, And yet, even yet, believe it-spite of thee. And the fourth winter rises on thy shame, Even though thy mouth impure has dared Since I exulting grasp'd the votive shell,

disclaim, In sounds of triumph all thy praise to tell ; Urged by the wretched impotence of shame,

amaze

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Whatever filial cares thy zeal had paid

Touch'd in the sighing shade with manlier To laws infirm, and liberty decay'd ;

fires, Has begg'd Ambition to forgive the show ; To trace thy steps the love-sick youth Has told Corruption thou wert 'ne'er her foe; aspires; Has boasted in thy country's awful ear, The learn'd recluse, who oft amazed had Her gross delusion when she held thee dear; read How tame she follow'd thy tempestuous Of Grecian heroes, Roman patriots dead, call,

With new amazement hears a living name And heard thy pompous tales, and trusted Pretend to share in such forgotten fame; all

And he who, scorning courts and courtly Rise from your sad abodes, ye cursed of old ways, For laws subverted, and for cities sold ! Left the tame track of these dejected days, Paint all the noblest trophies of your guilt, The life of nobler ages to renew The oaths you perjured, and the blood you In virtues sacred from a monarch's view, spilt;

Roused by thy labours from the bless'd Yet must you one untempted vileness own,

retreat, One dreadful palm reserved for him alone; Where social ease and public passions meet, With studied arts his country's praise to Again ascending treads the civil scene, spurn,

To act and be a man, as thou hadst been. To beg the infamy he did not earn,

Thus by degrees thy cause superior grew, To challenge hate when honour was his due, And the great end appear'd at last in view : And plead his crimes where all his virtue We heard the people in thy hopes rejoice, knew.

We saw the senate bending to thy voice; Do robes of state the guarded heart enclose The friends of freedom hail'd the approaching From each fair feeling human nature knows? reign Can pompous titles stun the enchanted ear Of laws for which our fathers bled in vain; To all that reason, all that sense would While venal Faction, struck with new dishear ?

may, Else couldst thou e'er desert thy sacred post, Shrunk at their frown, and self-abandon'd In such unthankful baseness to be lost?

lay. Else couldst thou wed the emptiness of vice, Waked in the shock the public Genius rose, And yield thy glories at an idiot's price ? Abash'd and keener from his long repose;

When they who, loud for liberty and laws, Sublime in ancient pride, he raised the spear In doubtful times had fought their country's Which slaves and tyrants long were wont to cause,

fear; When now of conquest and dominion sure, The city felt his call: from man to man, They sought alone to hold their fruits From street to street, the glorious horror secure ;

ran; When taught by these, Oppression hid the Each crowded haunt was stirr'd beneath his face,

power, To leave Corruption stronger in her place, And, murmuring, challenged the deciding By silent spells to work the public fate,

hour. And taint the vitals of the passive state,

Lo! the deciding hour at last appears ; Till healing Wisdom should avail no more, The hour of every freeman's hopes and And Freedom loathe to tread the poison'd fears! shore :

Thou, Genius! guardian of the Roman name, Then, liko some guardian god that flies to O ever prompt tyrannic rage to tame!

Instruct the mighty moments as they roll, The weary pilgrim from an instant grave, And guide each movement steady to the Whom, sleeping and secure, the guileful goal. snake

Ye spirits by whose providential art Steals near and nearer through the peaceful Succeeding motives turn the changeful heart, brake;

Keep, keep the best in view to Curio's mind, Then Curio rose to ward the public woe, And watch his fancy, and his passions bind ! To wake the heedless, and incite the slow, Ye shades immortal, who by Freedom led, Against Corruption Liberty to arm,

Or in the field or on the scaffold bled, And quell the enchantress by a mightier Bend from your radiant seats a joyful eye, charm.

And view the crown of all your labours nigh. Swift o'er the land the fair contagion flew, See Freedom mounting her eternal throne! And with thy country's hopes thy honours The sword submitted, and the laws her grew.

own: Thee, patriot, the patrician roof confess'd; See! public Power chastised beneath her Thy powerful voice the rescued merchant stands, bless'd;

With eyes intent, and uncorrupted hands! Of thee with awe the rural hearth resounds; See private Life by wisest arts reclaim'd! The bowl to thee the grateful sailor crowns; See ardent youth to noblest manners framed !

save

« AnteriorContinuar »