Imagens da página

With such resistless ardor, to embrace
Majestic forms; oat out to be free,
$ourning the gross control of wilful night :
Proud of the strong contention of her tools;
Proud to be daring : Who but rather turns
To heaven's broad fire his unconstrained view,
"That to the glimmering of a waxen flatne :
Who that, fron, Alpine heights, his laboring 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 his native quarry. Tir'd of earth
And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft
Through fields of air : pursues the flying storm;
Riles on the vollied lightning through the
heat ens;
Or, yok'd with whirlwinds and the northern
blast, .
Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she soars
The blue profound, and hovering ronnd the sun
R. holds him pouring the redundant stream
Of light; beholds his unrelenting sway
Bend the reluctant plannets to absolve
The fated rounds of time. Thence, far effus'd,
She darts her swiftness up the long career
Of devious comets; through its burning signs
£xulting measures the perennial whech -
{}f nature, and looks back on all the stars,
Whose blended sight, as with a milky zone,
Invests the orient. Now anaz'd she views
'i'he enoperal waste, where happy spirits hold,
Hevond this concave heaven, their calin abode;
And fields of radiance, whose unfading light
Has travell'd the profound six thousand years,
Norvet arrives in sight of mortal things.
Fiven on the barriers of the world, untir’d,
Site meditates the eternal depth below ;
Titl, half recoiling, down the headlong steep
She plunges; soon o'erwhelm'd. ad swallow'd up
In that in mense of being. There her hopes
Rest at the fated goal. For from the birth
Of mortal man, the sov’reign maker said,
That not in humble nor in brief desight,
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,
Thro' all the ascent of thingsenlarge her view,
"Till every bound at length should disappear,
And infinite perfection close the scene.
Call now to maind what high capacious powers
Lie folded up in man : how far beyond -
The praise of mortals may the eternal growth
Of nature to perfection half divine
Fixpand the blooming soul : What pity then
Should sloth's unkindly fogs depress to earth
Her tender blossom ; choke the streams of life,
And blast her spring ! Far otherwise design'd
Altaigaty wisdom; nature's happy cares . .

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

The obedient heart far otherwise incline:
Witness the sprightly joy when aught onknown
Strikes the quick sense, and wakes each active
power -
"I'o in so measures: witness the neglect
Of all familiar prospects though beheld
With transport once; the fond attentive gaze
f young astonishment ; the sober zeal
Qf age, cominenting on prodigious things.
For such the bounteous providence of heaven,

In every breast implainting this desire

Of objects new and strange, to urge us on
With unremitted labor to pursue
Those sacred stores that wait the ripening soul,
In Truth's exhaustless boson. What need words
To paint its power: For this the daring youth
13reaks from his weeping mother's anxious arms,
it foreign climes to rove ; the pensive sage,
Heedless of sleep, or midnight's harmful damp,
Hangs o'er the sickly taper; and untird
The virgin follows, with enchanted step,
The mazes of some wild and wond’rous tale,
From morn to eve, unmindful of her form,
Unmindful of the happy dress that stole
The wishes of the youth, when every maid.
With envy pin'd. Hence, finally, by night
The village-matron round the blazing hearth
Suspends the infant-audience with her tales,
Brcathing astonishment of witching rhymes,
And evil spirits of the death-bed call
Of him who robb'd the widow, and devour'd
The orphan's portion; of unquiet souls
Risen from the grave to ease the heavy guilt
Os deeds in life conceal’d of shapes in at walk
At dead of night, and claik their chains, and
wave -
The torch of holl around the murderer's bed.
At every solemn pause, the crowd recoil,
Gazing on each other speechless, and congeal’d
With shivering sighs : till, eager for the event,
Around the beldam all erect they hang,
loach troubling heart with grateful terrorsquell'd,
But lo! disclosd in all her timiling pomp,
Where Beauty onward moving claims the verse
Her charms inspire: the freely flowing verse.
In thy immortal praise, O forin divine,
Smooths her mellifluent stream. Thee, Beauty,
The regal dome, and thy enlivening ray
The mossy roofs adore : thou better sun
For ever beamest on the enchanted heart
Love and harmonious wonder, and delight
Poetic. Brightes, progeny of heaven :
How shall I trace thy features: where select
The roseate hues to emulate thy bloom
Haste then, my song, through nature's vast ex-
pause, o
Haste, then, and gather all her comcliest wealth,
Whate'er bright spoils the florid earth contains,
Whate'er the waters, or the liquid air,
To deck thy lovely labor. Wilt thou fly
With laughing Autumn to the Atlantic isles,
And range with him the Hesperian field, and see

[ocr errors]

The branches shoot with gold; where'er his step
Marks the glad soil, the tender clusters grow
With purple ripeness, and invest each hill
As with the blushes of an evening sky?
Or wilt thou rather stoop thy vagrant plume,
Where, gliding through ilis daughter's honor'd
The smooth Peneus from his glassy flood
Reflects purpureal Tempe's pleasant scene?
Fair Tempel haunt belov'd of sylvan powers,
Of nymphs and fauns; where in the golden age
They play'd in secret upon the shady brink
With antient Pan: ... round their choral steps
Young hoursand genial gales with constant hand
Shower'd blossoms, odors, shower'd ambrosial
And Spring's Elysian bloom. Her flowery store
To thee nor Tempe shall refuse; nor watch
Of wiriged Hydra guard Hesperian fruits-
From thy free spoil. O bear then, unreprov’d,
Thy smiling treasures to the green recess
Where young Dione stays

Confess'd in aught, whose most peculiar ends Are lame and fruitless? Or did Nature mean

|This pleasing call the herald of a lie; ,

To hide the shame of discord and disease,
And catch with fair hypocrisy the heart
Of idle Faith 2 O no with better cares
The indulgent mother, conscious how infirm
Her offspring tread the paths of good and ill,
By this illustrious image, in each kind
Still more illustrious-where the object holds
Its native powers most perfect, she by this
Illumes the headstrong impulse of desire,
And sanctifies his choice. The generous glebe
Whose bosom smiles with verdure, the clear tract
Of streams delicious to the thirsty soul,
The bloom of nectar'd fruitage ripe to sense,
And every charm of animated things,
Are only pledges of a state sincere,
The integrity and order of their frame,
When all is well within, and every end
*. -Thus was Beauty sent from
eav'n :

- With sweetest air - Entice her forth to lend her angel-form {The lovely ministress of Truth and Good

For beauty's honor'd image. Hither turn
Thy grateful footsteps; hither, gentle maid,
Incline thy polish'd forehead: let her eyes
Effuse the mildness of their azure dawn;
And may the fanning breezes waft aside
Thy radiant locks, disclosing, as it bends
With airy softness from the marble neck,
The cheek fair-blooming, and the rosy lip,
Where winning smiles and pleasure sweet as
- love,
With sanctity and wisdom, tempering blend
Their soft alsurement. Then the pleasing force
Of nature, and her kind parental care,
Worthier I’d sing: then all the enamomr'd yeuth
With cach admiring virgin, to my lyre
Should throng atteutive, while I point on high
Where Beauty's living image, like the morn,
That wakes in Zephyr's arms the blushing May,
Moves onward; or as Venus when she stood
Effulgent on the pearly car, and smil'd,
Fresh from the deep, and conscious of her form,
To sce, the Tritons tune their vocal shells,
And eash coerulean sister of the flood
With loud acclaim attend her o'er the waves,
To seek the dalian bower. Ye smiling band
youths and vir...ins who thro' all the maze
Qf young desire win, rival steps pursue
This charm of beauty; if the pleasing toil
Çon yield a moment's respite, lo, turn
Your favorable ear, and trust my words.
I do not mean to wake the gloomy form
Of Superstition, dress'd in Wisdoin's garb,
To damp your tender hopes; I do not mean
To bid the jealous ... fire the heavens,
Or shapes infernal rend the groaning earth,
To sight you from your joys; my cheerful song
With better omeus calls you to the field,
Picas'd with your generous ardor in the chace,
And warm like you. Then tell me, for we know,
Does Beauty ever deign to dwell where Health
And active Use are strangers: Is her charm

[ocr errors]

|In this dark world: for Truth and Good are one,
And Hotty dwells: in them, and they in her,
Withrike participation. Wherefore then,
Q sons of earth! would ye dissolve the tie?
O wherefore with a rash impetuous aim,

|Seck ye those flowery joys with which the hand

Of lavish Fancy paints each flattering scene
Where Beauty seems to dwell, nor once inquire
Where is the sanction of eternal Truth,
Or where the seal of undeceitful Good,
To save your search from folly! Wanting these,
Lo! Beauty withers in your void embrace;
And with the glittering of an idiot's toy
Did Fancy mock your vows. Nor let the gleam
Of youthful hope that shines upon your hearts,
Be chill'd or clouded at this awful task,
To learn the lore of undeceitful Good, a
And Truth eternal. Though the poisonous
charms , -, -, • .
Of baleful Superstition guide the feet
Of servile numbers, through a dreary way . . .
To their abode, thro' desaris, thorns, and mire,
And leave the wretched pilgrim all forlorn
To muse at last annidst the ghostly gloom
Of graves, and hoary vaults, and cloister'd cells,
To walk with spectres through the midnight
shade, -
And to the screaming owl's accursed song
Attune the drettiful workings of his heart;
Yet be not ye distria; d. A gentler star
Your lovely search otlamines. From the grove
Where wisdon, talk'd with her Athenian sons,
Could my ambitious hand entwine a wreath
Of Plato's olive with the Mantuan bay,
Then should my powerful verse at once dispel
Those monkish horrors; then in light divine
Disclose the Elysian prospect, where the steps
Of those whom nature charins, through bloom-
ing walks, -
Through fragrant mountains and poetic streams,
Amid the train of sages, heroes,

rds, Led

Led by the winged genius and the choir
Of laurell'd Science and Harmonious Art,
Proceed exulting to the etermal shrine,
Where Truth conspicuous with her sister-twins,
The undivided partners of her swav,
With Good and Beauty reigns. O let not us,’
Lull'd by luxurious Pleasure's languid strain,
Or crouching to the frowns of bigot rage,
O let us not a monient pause to join
That godlike band. And if the gracious power
Who first awaken'd my untutor'd song,
Will to my invocation breathe anew
The tuneful spirit; then through all our paths
Ne'er shall the sound of this devoted lyre
J3e wanting: whether on the rosy mead,
When summer smiles,to warn the melting heart
Of Luxury's allurement ; whether firin
Against the torrent and the stubborn hill
To urge bold Virtue's unremited nerve,
And wake the strong livinity of soul
That conquers chance and fate: or whether struck
For .." of triumph, to proclaim her to:ls
Upon the lofty sumuir, round her brow
To twine the wreath of incorruptive praise :
To trace her hoilow d light thro' future worlds,
And bless meaven's image in the heart of nan.
Thus with a faithful aim have we presum’d,
Adventurous, to delineate Nature's form ;
Whether in vast, majestic pomp array'd,
Or drest for pieasing wonder, or serene
Jn beauty's rosy smile. It now remains,
Through various beinz's fair-proportion'd scale,
To trace the rising lustre of !. charms,
From their first twiligot, shining forth at length
To full ineridian splendor. Of degree
The least and lowlicst, in the efiusive warmth
Of colors mingling with a random blaze,
Doth Beauty dwell. Then higher in the line
And variation of determin'd shape,
Where Truth's eternal measures mark the bound
Of circle, cube, or sphere. The third ascent
Unites this varied symmetry of parts
With color's bland allurement; as the pearl
Shines in the concave of its azure bed,
Aud painted shells indent their specled wreath,
Then more attractive rise the blooming forms
Through which the breath of Nature has infus'd
Her genial power, to draw with pregnant veins
Nutritious moisture from the bounteous earth,
In fruit and seed prolific: thus the flowers
Their purple honors with the spring resume;
And such the stately tree with autumn bends
With blushing treasures. But more lovely still
Is Nature's charm, where to the full consent
3; complicated members, to the bloom
f color and the vital change of growth,
Life's holy flame and piercing sense are given,
And active motion speaks the temper'd soul :
So moves the bird of Juno : so the steed
With rival ardor beats the dusty plain,
And faithful dogs with eager airs of joy
Salute their fellows. Thus doth Beauty dwell
There most conspicuous, even in outward shape,
Where dawns the high expression of a mind:

By steps conducting our enraptur'd search
To that eternal origin, whose power, -
Through all the unbounded symmetry of things,
Like rays effulging from the parent sun,
This endless mixture of her charms diffus'd.
Mind, mind alone (bear witness, earth and
The living fountains in itself contains
Of beauteous and sublime: here hand in hand
Sit paramount the Graces; here enthron'd
Coelestial Venus, with divinest airs,
Invites the soul to never-sading joy.
Look then abroad through nature, to the range
Of plannets, suns, and adamantine spheres
Wheeling unshaken through the void immense;
And speak, O man does this capacious scene
With half that kindling majesty .
Thy strong conception, as when Brutus rose
Refulgent from the stroke of Caesar's fate,
Amid the crowd of patriot and his arm
Aloft extending, like eternal Jove
When guilt bringsdown the thunder, call daloud
On Tully's name, and shook his crimson steel,
And bade the father of his country, hail!
For lo! the tyrant prostrate on the dust,
And Rome again is frce : Is aught to fair
In all the dewy landscapes of the spring,
In the bright eye of liesper or the unorii,
In nature's fliest forms, is aught so fair
As virtuous friendship? as the candid blush
Of him who strives with fortune to be just 2
The graceful tear that streams sor others' woes,
Or the mild majesty of private life,
Where Peace with ever-blooming olive crowns
The gate ; where Honor's liberal hands effuse
Unenvied treasures, and the snowy wings
Of Innocence and Love protect the scene?
Once more search, undisney'd, the dark profound
Where Nature works in secret ; view the beds
Of mineral treasure, and the etermal vault
That bounds the hoarv ocean : trace the forms
Of atoms moving with incessant change
Their elemental round ; behold the seeds
Of beings, and the energy of life
Kindling the mass with ever-active flame :
Then to the secrets of the working mind
Attentive turn; from dim oblivion call
Her fleet, ideal band; and bid them, go!
Break through time's barrier, and o'ertake the
hour *
That saw the heavens created ; then declare
If aught were found in those external scenes
To move thy wonder now. For what are all
The forms which brute, uneonscious matter
Greatness of bulk, or symmetry of o
Not reaching to the heart, soon feeble grows
The superficial impulse; dull their charms,
And satiate soon, and pall the languid eye
Not so the moral species, nor the powers
Of genius and design; the ambitious mind
There sees herself: by these congenial forms
Touch'd and awaken'd, with intenser act
She bends each nerve, and meditates well ".
Her features in the mirror. For of all
The iuhabitants of earth, to man alone
Creative Wisdom gave to list his eye
To Truth's eternal lueasures ; litei,ce to frame
The sacred laws of action and of will,
Discerning justice from unequal deeds,
And temperance from folly. But beyond
This energy of truth, whose dictates bind
Assenting reason, the benignant tire,
To deck the honor'd paths of just and good,
Has added bright Imagination's rays; -
Where Virtue, rising from the awsul depth
Of Truth's mysterious bosom, doth forsake
The unadorn'd condition of her birth;
And, dress'd ty fancy in ten thousand hues,
Assumes a various feature, to attract,
With charms responsive to each gazer's eye,
The hearts of men. Amid his rural ..
The ingenious youth whom solitude inspires
With purest wishes, from the pensive shade
joi. her moving, like a virgin-M use
That wakes her lyre to some indulgent theme
Of harmony and wonder : while among
The herd of servile minds, her strenuous form
Indignant flashes on the patriol's eye,
And through the rolls of incinory appeals
To antient honor; or in act scrène,
Yet watcliful, raises the unajestic sword
Of public power, from dark Anbition's reach,
To guard the sacred volume of the laws.
Genius of antient Greece, whose faithful steps
Well pleas'd I follow through the sacred paths
Of nature and of science ; nurse divine
Of all the heroic deeds and fair desires!
Q: let the breath of thy extended praise
Inspire my kindling bosom to the height
Of this untempted theine, Nor be muy thoughts
Presumptuous counted, if, amid the calin
That sooths this vernal evening to the smiles,
! steal impatient from the sordid haunts
Of strife and low Ambition, to attend
Thy sacred presence in the sylvan shade,
By their o footsteps ne'er profan'd.
Descend, propitious ! to my favor's eye;
Such in thy mien, thv worm, exalted air,
As when the Porian tyrant, foil'd and sting
With shame and desperation gnash'd his tech
To see thee rend the pagents of his throne;
And at the lightning of thy lified spear
Crouch'd likeaslave. Bring all thy martial spoils,
Thy polins, thy laurels, thy triuinphant songs,
Thy siniling band of arts, thy godlike sires
Of civil wisdom, thy heroic youth
Warm from the schools of glory. Guide my way
Thro' fair Lyceum's walk, the green retreats
Of Academus, and the thymy vale,
Where of, enchanted with Socratic sounds,
Ilissus pure devolvd his tuneful streatn
In geniler murmurs. From the blooming store
Of these auspicious fields, may I unblain'd
Transplant some living blossouls to adorn
My native cline: while, far above the fight
Of Fancy's plume aspiring, I unlock
The springs of antient wisdoin; while I join

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

Linnets, with unnnnber'd notes, And the Cuckoo bird with two, Tuning sweet their mellow throats, Bid the setting sun adieu. § 37. The Contemplatist : a Night Piece. - Cunninghaul. ** Nox erat “Cumtacetomnisager, pecudes,pictsequevolucres."

THE Queen of Contemplation, Night,
Begins her balmy reign;
Advancing in their varied light
Her silver-vested train.
'Tis strange the many marshall'd stars,
That ride yon sacred round,
Should keep among their rapid cars,
A silence so profound !
A kind, a philosophic calm
The cool creation wears
And what day drank of dewy balni,
The gentle Night repairs.

Behind their leafy curtains hid,
The feather'd race how still

How quiet now the gamesome kid,
Thai gambol'd round the hill!

The sweets, that, bending o'er their banks,
From sultry Day declin'd,
Revive in lit ... ranks,
And scent the western wind.
The Moon, preceded by the breeze
That bade the clouds ritire,
Appears among the tufted trees,
A Phoenix next on fire.
But soft—the golden glow subsides:
Her chariot mounts on high
And now, in silver'd pomp, she rides
Pale regent of the sky!
Where Time upon the wither'd tree
Hath carv'd the moral chair,
I sit from busy passions free,
And breathe the placid air.
The wither'd tree was once in prime;
Its branches brav'd the sky!
Thus, at the touch of ruthless Time,
Shall Youth and Vigor die.
I'm lifted to the blue expanse:
It glows serenely gay !
Come, Science, by my side advance,
We'll search the Milky Way.
Let us descend—The daring flight
Fatiguesomy feeble mind:
And science in the maze of light,
Is impotent and blind.
What are those wild, those wand'ring fires,
That o'er the moorland ran:
Vapors. —How like the vague desires
That cheat the heart of man :
But there's a friendly giude!—a flame,
That, launbent o'er its bed,
Enlivens, with a gladsome beam,
The hermit's osier shed


« AnteriorContinuar »