« AnteriorContinuar »
Something than beauty dearer, should they
look Or on the mind, or mind-illumined face; Truth, goodness, honour, harmony, and love, The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven. Meantime a smiling offspring rises round, And mingles both their graces. By degrees, The human blossom blows; and every day, Soft as it rolls along, shows some new charm, The father's lustre, and the mother's bloom. Then infant reason grows apace, and calls For the kind hand of an assiduous care. Delightful task! to rear the tender thought, To teach the young idea how to shoot, To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind, To breathe th' enlivening spirit, and to fix The generous purpose in the glowing breast. Oh, speak the joy! ye whom the sudden tear Surprises often, while you look around, And nothing strikes your eye but sights of
bliss, All various nature pressing on the heart : An elegant sufficiency, content, Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books, Ease and alternate labour, useful life, Progressive virtue, and approving Heaven. These are the matchless joys of virtuous love ; And thus their moments fly. The seasons
thus, As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll, Still find them happy; and consenting Spring Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads : Till evening comes at last, serene and mild; When, after the long vernal day of life, Enamour'd more,
more remembrance swells With many a proof of recollected love, Together down they sink in social sleep ; Together freed, their gentle spirits fly To scenes where love and bliss immortal
Or from her swelling soul in stifled sighs. Touch'd by the scene, no stranger to his
vows, He framed a melting lay, to try her heart ; And, if an infant passion struggled there, To call that passion forth. Thrice happy
swain ! A lucky chance, that oft decides the fate Of mighty monarchs, then decided thine. For, lo! conducted by the laughing Loves, This cool retreat his Musidora sought: Warm in her cheek the sultry season glow'd ; And, robed in loose array, she came to bathe Her fervent limbs in the refreshing stream. What shall he do? In sweet confusion lost, And dubious flutterings, he awhile remain'd: A pure ingenuous elegance of soul, A delicate refinement, known to few, Perplex'd his breast, and urged him to retire : But love forbade. Ye prudes in virtue,
say, Say, ye severest, what would you have done? Meantime, this fairer nymph than ever blest Arcadian stream, with timid eye around The banks surveying, stripp'd her beauteous
limbs, To taste the lucid coolness of the flood. Ah, then! not Paris on the piny top Of Ida panted stronger, when aside The rival goddesses the veil divine Cast unconfined, and gave him all their
charms, Than, Damon, thou; as from the snowy
leg, And slender foot, th' inverted silk she drew; As the soft touch dissolved the virgin zone ; And, through the parting robe the alternate
breast, With youth wild-throbbing, on thy lawless
gaze In full luxuriance rose. But, desperate
youth, How durst thou risk the soul-distracting
view, As from her naked limbs, of glowing white, Harmonious swell'd by Nature's finest hand, In folds loose-floating fell the fainter lawn ; And fair-exposed she stood, shrunk from herWith fancy blushing, at the doubtful breeze Alarm’d and starting like the fearful fawn? Then to the flood she rush'd; the parted
flood Its lovely guest with closing waves received ; And every beauty softening, every grace Flushing anew, a mellow lustre shed: As shines the lily through the crystal mild ; Or as the rose amid the morning dew, Fresh from Aurora's hand, more sweetly
glows, While thus she wanton'd, now beneath the
867.-MUSIDORA. Close in the covert of an hazel copse, Where winded into pleasing solitudes Runs out the rambling dale, young Damon
sat Pensive, and pierced with love's delightful
pangs. There to the stream that down the distant
rocks Hoarse-murmuring fell, and plaintive breeze
that play'd Among the bending willows, falsely he Of Musidora's cruelty complain'd. She felt his flame; but deep within her
breast, In bashful coyness, or in maiden pride, The soft return conceal'd ; save when it stole In sidelong glances from her downcast eye,
But ill-conceal'd; and now with streaming
locks, That half-embraced her in a humid veil, Rising again, the latent Damon drew
Such maddening draughts of beauty to the Blue, through the dusk, the smoking currents soul,
shine ; As for awhile o'erwhelm'd his raptured And from the bladed field the fearful hare thought
Limps awkward; while along the forest With luxury too daring. Check'd, at last,
glade By love's respectful modesty, he deem'd The wild deer trip, and often turning gaze The theft profane, if aught profane to love At early passenger. Music awakes Can e'er be deem'd; and, struggling from the The native voice of undissembled joy ; shade,
And thick around the woodland hymns arise. With headlong hurry fled: but first these Roused by the cock, the soon-clad shepherd lines,
leaves Traced by his ready pencil, on the bank His mossy cottage, where with peace he With trembling hand he threw : “Bathe on, dwells; my fair,
And from the crowded fold, in order, drives Yet unbeheld, save by the sacred eye
His flock, to taste the verdure of the morn. Of faithful love : I go to guard thy haunt, To keep from thy recess each vagrant foot,
James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748. And each licentious eye." With wild sur
869.-A SUMMER EVENING.
clouds But, when her Damon's well-known hand she Assembled gay, a richly gorgeous train, saw,
In all their pomp attend his setting throne. Her terrors vanish'd, and a softer train Air, earth, and ocean smile immense. And Of mixt emotions, hard to be described,
now, Her sudden bosom seized : shame void of guilt, As if his weary chariot sought the bowers The charming blush of innocence, esteem Of Amphitrite, and her tending nymphs, And admiration of her lover's flame,
(So Grecian fable sung) he dips his orb; By modesty exalted : even a sense
Now half immersed; and now a golden curve Of self-approving beauty stole across
Gives one bright glance, then total disHer busy thought. At length, a tender calm appears. Hash'd by degrees the tumult of her soul ;
Confess’d from yonder slow-extinguish'd And on the spreading beech, that o'er the
All ether softening, sober evening takes Incumbent hung, she with the sylvan pen Her wonted station in the middle air; Of rural lovers this confession carved,
A thousand shadows at her beck. First Which soon her Damon kiss'd with weeping this joy :
She sends on earth ; then that of deeper dye " Dear youth! sole judge of what these verses Steals soft behind; and then a deeper still, mean,
In circle following circle, gathers round, By fortune too much favour'd, but by love, To close the face of things. A fresher gale Alas! not favour'd less, be still as now Begins to wave the wood, and stir the Discreet: the time may come you need not
Sweeping with shadowy gúst the fields of
corn: James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.
While the quail clamours for his running
Amusive floats. The kind impartial care 868.-A SUMMER MORNING.
Of nature nought disdains: thoughtful to
feed With quicken'd step Her lowest sons, and clothe the coming year, Brown night retires: young day pours in From field to field the feather'd seeds she apace,
wings. And opens all the lawny prospect wide.
His folded flock secure, the shepherd home The dripping rock, the mountain's misty top, Hies merry-hearted; and by turns relieves Swell on the sight, and brighten with the The ruddy milkmaid of her brimming pail; dawn.
The beauty whom perhaps his witless heart
Unknowing what the joy-mix'd anguish When the dew wets its leaves; unstain'd and means
pure, Sincerely loves, by that best language shown As is the lily, or the mountain snow. Of cordial glances, and obliging deeds.
The modest virtues mingled in her eyes, Onward they pass o'er many a panting Still on the ground dejected, darting all height,
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers ; And valley sunk, and unfrequented; where Or when the mournful tale her mother told, At fall of eve the fairy people throng,
Of what her faithless fortune promised once, In various game and revelry, to pass
Thrill'd in her thought, they, like the dewy The summer night, as village stories tell.
star But far about they wander from the grave Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace Of him whom his ungentle fortune urged Sat fair-proportion'd on her polish'd limbs, Against his own sad breast to lift the hand Veil'd in a simple robe, their best attire, Of impious violence. The lonely tower Beyond the pomp of dress; for loveliness Is also shunn'd; whose mournful chambers Needs not the foreign aid of ornament, hold
But is when unadorn'd adorn'd the most. So night-struck fancy dreams—the yelling Thoughtless of Beauty, she was Beauty's self, ghost.
Recluse amid the close-embowering woods. Among the crooked lanes, on every hedge, As in the hollow breast of Apennine, The glowworm lights his gem; and through Beneath the shelter of encircling hills the dark
A myrtle rises, far from human eye, A moving radiance twinkles. Evening yields And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the The world to night; not in her winter robe Of massy Stygian woof, but loose array'd So flourish'd blooming, and unseen by all, In mantle dun. A faint erroneous ray,
The sweet Lavinia; till, at length, compellid Glanced from the imperfect surfaces of By strong Necessity's supreme command, things,
With smiling patience in her looks, she went Flings half an image on the straining eye; To glean Palemon's fields. The pride of While wav'ring woods, and villages, and swains streams,
Palemon was, the generous, and the rich; And rocks, and mountain-tops, that long Who led the rural life in all its joy retain'a
And elegance, such as Arcadian song The ascending gleam, are all one swimming Transmits from ancient uncorrupted times; scene,
When tyrant custom had not shackled man, Uncertain if beheld. Sudden to heaven
But free to follow nature was the mode. Thence weary vision turns; where, leading He then, his fancy with autumnal scenes soft
Amusing, chanced beside his reaper-train The silent hours of love, with purest ray To walk, when poor Lavinia drew his eye ; Sweet Venus shines; and from her genial Unconscious of her power, and turning quick rise,
With unaffected blushes from his gaze: When daylight sickens till it springs afresh, He saw her charming, but he saw not half Unrivall'd reigns, the fairest lamp of night. The charms her downcast modesty conceal'd.
That very moment love and chaste desire James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.
Sprung in his bosom, to himself unknown;
Should his heart own a gleaner in the field: 870.--LAVINIA.
And thus in secret to his soul he sigh'd.
“What pity! that so delicate a form, The lovely young Lavinia once had friends; By beauty kindled, where enlivening sense And Fortune smiled, deceitful, on her birth. And more than vulgar goodness seem to dwell, For, in her helpless years deprived of all, Should be devoted to the rude embrace Of every stay, save Innocence and Heaven, Of some indecent clown! She looks, methinks, She, with her widow'd mother, feeble, old, Of old Acasto's line; and to my mind And poor, lived in a cottage, far retired Recalls that patron of my happy life, Among the windings of a woody vale;
From whom my liberal fortune took its rise ; By solitude and deep surrounding shades, Now to the dust gone down; his houses, lands, But more by bashful modesty, conceal'd. And once fair-spreading family, dissolved. Together thus they shunn'd the cruel scorn "Tis said that in some lone obscure retreat, Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would meet Urged by remembrance sad, and decent pride, From giddy passion and low-minded pride : Far from those scenes which knew their better Almost on Nature's common bounty fed ;
days, Like the gay birds that sung them to repose, His aged widow and his daughter live, Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare. Whom yet my fruitless search could never Her form was fresher than the morning rose, find.
Of setting life shone on her evening hours : Not less enraptured than the happy pair ; Who flourish'd long in tender bliss, and rear'd A numerous offspring, lovely like themselves, And good, the grace of all the country round.
James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.
871.—THE HARVEST STORM. Defeating oft the labours of the year, The sultry south collects a potent blast. At first, the groves are scarcely seen to stir Their trembling tops, and a still murmur
Romantic wish! would this the daughter
were!" When, strict enquiring, from herself he
found She was the same, the daughter of his friend, Of bountiful Acasto; who can speak The mingled passions that surprised his heart, And through his nerves in shivering transport
ran? Then blazed his smother'd flame, avow'd, and
bold; And, as he view'd her, ardent, o'er and o'er, Love, gratitude, and pity, wept at once. Confused, and frighten'd at his sudden tears, Her rising beauties flush'd a higher bloom, As thus Palemon, passionate and just, Pour'd out the pious rapture of his soul.
** And art thou then Acasto's dear remains ? She, whom my restless gratitude has sought So long in vain ? 0 Heavens! the very
same, The soften'd image of my noble friend, Alive his every look, his every feature, More elegantly touch'd. Sweeter than Spring! Thou sole surviving blossom from the root That nourish'd up my fortune! say, ah where, In what sequester'd desert, hast thou drawn The kindest aspect of delighted Heaven ? Into such beauty spread, and blown so fair ; Though poverty's cold wind, and crushing
rain, Beat keen and heavy on thy tender years ? O let me now, into a richer soil, Transplant thee safe! where vernal suns, and
showers, Diffuse their warmest, largest influence ; And of my garden be the pride and joy! Ill it befits thee, oh! it ill befits Acasto's daughter, his whose open stores, Thongh vast, were little to his ampler heart, The father of a country, thus to pick The very refuse of those harvest-fields, Which from his bounteous friendship I enjoy. Then throw that shameful pittance from thy
hand, But ill applied to such a rugged task; The fields, the master, all, my fair, are thine ; If to the various blessings which thy house Has on me lavish'd, thou wilt add that bliss, That dearest bliss, the power of blessing
thee!” Here ceased the youth, yet still his speaking
eye Express'd the sacred triumph of his soul, With conscious virtue, gratitude, and love, Above the vulgar joy divinely raised. Nor waited he reply. Won by the charm Of goodness irresistible, and all In sweet disorder lost, she blush'd consent. The news immediate to her mother brought, While, pierced with anxious thought, she pined
away The lonely moments for Lavinia's fate; Amazed, and scarce believing what she heard, Joy seized her wither'd veins, and one bright
Along the soft-inclining fields of corn.
rain, Swept from the black horizon, broad, de
scends In one continuous flood. Still over head The mingling tempest weaves its gloom, and
still The deluge deepens ; till the fields around Lie sunk and flatted, in the sordid wave. Sudden, the ditches swell; the meadows
swim. Red, from the hills, innumerable streams Tumultuous roar; and high above its banks The river lift; before whose rushing tide, Herds, flocks, and harvest, cottages, and
swains, Roll mingled down; all that the winds had
spared In one wild moment ruin'd; the big hopes And well-earn'd treasures of the painful year. Fled to some eminence, the husbandman Helpless beholds the miserable wreck Driving along : his drowning ox at once Descending, with his labours scatter'd round, He sees; and instant o'er his shivering
thought Comes Winter unprovided, and a train Of claimant children dear. Ye masters,
Whose toil to yours is warmth, and graceful O let not, aim'd from some inhuman eye, pride :
The gun the music of the coming year And, oh! be mindful of that sparing board, Destroy; and harmless, unsuspecting harm, Which covers yours with luxury profuse, Lay the weak tribes a miserable prey Makes your glass sparkle, and your sense
In mingled murder, flutt'ring on the ground! rejoice!
The pale descending year, yet pleasing Nor cruelly demand what the deep rains
still, And all-involving winds have swept away. A gentler mood inspires ; for now the leaf
Incessant rustles from the mournful grove; James Thomson.-Born 1700, Died 1748.
Oft startling such as studious walk below,
Till choked, and matted with the dreary 872.-AUTUMN EVENING SCENE.
The forest walks, at ev'ry rising gale, But see the fading many-colour'd woods, Roll wide the wither'd waste, and whistle Shade deepening over shade, the country bleak. round
Fled is the blasted verdure of the fields ; Imbrown; a crowded umbrage dusk and dun, And, shrunk into their beds, the flowery Of ev'ry hue, from wan declining green To sooty dark. These now the lonesome Their sunny robes resign. E'en what remuse,
main'a Low whisp'ring, lead into their leaf-strown Of stronger fruits falls from the naked tree; walks,
And woods, fields, gardens, orchards all And give the season in its latest view.
around, Meantime, light shadowing all, a sober The desolated prospect thrills the soul. calm
The western sun withdraws the shorten'd Fleeces unbounded ether : whose least wave
day, Stands tremulous, uncertain where to turn And humid evening, gliding o'er the sky, The gentle current: while illumined wide, In her chill progress, to the ground conThe dewy-skirted clouds imbibe the sun,
densed And through their lucid veil his soften'd The vapour throws. Where creeping waters force
ooze, Shed o'er the peaceful world. Then is the Where marshes stagnate, and where rivers time,
wind, For those whom yirtue and whom nature Cluster the rolling fogs, and swim along charm,
The dusky-mantled lawn. Meanwhile the To steal themselves from the degenerate moon, crowd,
Full-orb’d, and breaking through the scatter'd And soar above this little scene of things :
clouds, To tread low-thoughted vice beneath their Shows her broad visage in the crimson'd feet;
east. To soothe the throbbing passions into peace; Turn'd to the sun direct her spotted disk, And woo lone Quiet in her silent walks. Where mountains rise, umbrageous dales Thus solitary, and in pensive guise,
descend, Oft let me wander o'er the russet mead, And caverns deep as optic tube descries, And through the sadden'd grove, where scarce A smaller earth, gives us his blaze again, is heard
Void of its flame, and sheds a softer day. One dying strain, to cheer the woodman's Now through the passing clouds she seems to toil.
stoop, Haply some widow'd songster pours his Now up the pure cerulean rides sublime. plaint,
Wide the pale deluge floats, and streaming Far, in faint warblings, through the tawny mild copse;'
O'er the skied mountain to the shadowy While congregated thrushes, linnets, larks,
vale, And each wild throat, whose artless strains so While rocks and floods reflect the quiv'ring late
gleam ; Swell'd all the music of the swarming shades, The whole air whitens with a boundless tide Robb'd of their tuneful souls, now shivering of silver radiance trembling round the sit
world. On the dead tree, a dull despondent flock : The lengthen'd night elapsed, the morning With not a brightness waving o'er their shines plumes,
Serene, in all her dewy beanty bright, And nought save chatt'ring discord in their Unfolding fair the last autumnal day. note.
the mounting sun dispels the fog;