« AnteriorContinuar »
ODE.ON THE SPRING.
Lo! where the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
Fair Venus' train appear,
And wake the purple year!
The untaught harmony of Spring :
Their gather'd fragrance fling.
A broader, browner shade;
O'er-canopies the glade',
(At ease reclin'd in rustic state)
How indigent the great!
And float amid the liquid noon?:
Quick-glancing to the Sun 3.
To Contemplation's sober eye's
Such is the race of man:
Shall end where they began.
In Fortune's varying colours drest: Brush'd by the hand of rough Mischance; Or chill'd by Age, their airy dance
They leave in dust to rest. Methinks I hear in accents low
The sportive kind reply;
A solitary Ay !
No painted plumage to display:
We frolic while 'tis May.”
ODE ON THE DEATH OF A FAVOURITE CAT,
DROWNED IN A TUB OF GOLD FISHES.
Twas on a lofty vase's side,
The azure flowers that blow;
Gaz'd on the lake below.
The velvet of her paws,
She saw; and purr'd applause.
M. Green, in the Grotto.
Still bad she gaz'd; but ’midst the tide
Say, father Thames, for thou hast seen Two angel forms were seen to glide,
Full many a sprightly race The Genii of the stream:
Disporting on thy margent green Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue
The paths of pleasure trace, Through richest purple to the view
Who foremost now delight to cleare Betray'd a golden gleam.
With pliant arm thy glassy wave?
The captive linnet which enthrall ? The hapless nymph with wonder saw:
What idle progeny succeed A whisker first, and then a claw,
To chase the rolling circle's speed,
Or urge the flying ball?
While some on earnest business bent
Their murmuring labours ply
'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint Presumptuous maid! with looks intent
To sweeten liberty ; Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
Some bold adventurers disdain Nor knew the gulf between.
The limits of their little reign, (Malignant Fate sate by, and smil'd)
And unknown regions dare descry: The slippery verge her feet beguild,
Still as they run they look behind, She tumbled headlong in.
They hear a voice in every wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.
Gay Hope is theirs, by Fancy fed,
Less pleasing, when possest; No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd;
The tear forgot as soon as shed, Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard,
The sunshine of the breast : A favourite has no friend !
Theirs buxom health, of rosy hue;
Wild wit, invention ever new, From hence, ye beauties, undeceivd,
And lively cheer of vigour born;
The thoughtless day, the easy night,
The spirits pure, the slumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas, regardless of their doom,
The little victims play!
Nor care beyond to day.
Yet see how all around tbem wait
The ministers of human fate,
Ah, show them where in ambush stand
To seize their prey, the murderous band !
Ah, tell them, they are men!
These shall the fury passions tear,
The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,
And Shame that skulks bebind;
Or pining Love, shall waste their youth,
Or Jealousy, with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart,
Grim-visag'd comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
And grinning Infamy,
The stings of Falsehood those shall try,
And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
And keen Remorse, with blood defil'd,
And moody Madness 3 laughing wild
Amid severest woe.
Madness laughing in his ireful mood.
1 King Henry the Sixth, founder of the college.
Dryden's Fable on the Pythag. System.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath
(As by the impious thou art seen) A grisly troop are seen,
With thundering voice, and threatening mien, The painful family of Death,
With screaming Horrour's funeral cry, More hideous than their queen:
Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty. This racks the joints, this fires the veins, That every labouring sinew strains,
Thy form benign, oh, goddess, wear, Those in the deeper vitals rage:
Thy milder influence impart, Lo, Poverty, to fill the band,
Thy philosophic train be there That numbs the soul with icy hand,
To soften, not to wound, my heart. And slow-consuming Age.
The generous spark extinct revive,
Teach me to love and to forgive, To each his sufferings: all are men,
Exact my own defects to scan, Condemnd alike to groan;
What others are, to feel, and know myself a man. The tender for another's pain,
The anfeeling for his own.
WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD. Thought would destroy their Paradise. No more; where ignorance is bliss,
The curfew tolls' the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds, zija
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:
Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the Moon complain DAUCHTER of Jove, relentless power,
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Thou tamer of the human breast,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, Bound in thy adamantine chain
Where heaves the turfin many a mouldering heap, The proud are taught to taste of pain,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, And purple tyrants vainly groan
The rude forefatbers of the hamlet sleep.. With pangs unfelt before, unpitied, and alone.
The breezy call of incense,breathing Morn, When first thy sire to send on Earth
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, Virtue, his darling child, design'd,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing hom, To thee he gave the heavenly birth,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. And bade to form her infant mind.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, Stern rugged nurse; thy rigid lore
Or busy housewife ply her evening care: With patience many a year she bore:
No children run to lisp their sire's return, What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share. And from her own she learn'd to melt at others woe.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, Scar'd at thy frown terrific, fly
'Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; Self-pleasing Polly's idle brood,
How jocund did they drive their team afield! Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke! And leave us leisure to be good. Light they disperse, and with them go
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, The summer friend, the flattering foe;
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; By vain Prosperity receiv'd,
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile, To her they vow their truth, and are again believ'd. The short and simple annals of the poor. Wisdom, in sable garb array'd,
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, Immers'd in rapturous thought profound,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gare, And Melancholy, silent maid,
Await alike th' inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Meniory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.
Where through the long drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The peeling anthem swells the note of praise. Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head, Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand!
squilla di lontano Not in thy gorgon terrour's clad,
Che paia 'l giorno pianger, che si muore. Nor circled with the vengeful band,
Dante. Purgat. l. 8.
Can storied urn or animated bust
For thee, who, mindful of th' unhonour'd dead, Back to its mansion call the flecting breath? Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust, If chance, by lonely Contemplation led,
Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death? Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Haply some boary-headed swain may say,
To meet the Sun upon the upland lawn.
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, Chill Penury repress'd their poble rage,
His listless length at noontide would be stretch,
And pore upon the brook that bubbles by.
“Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove, And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Now drooping woful wan, like one forlorn,
Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless love
“ One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill, Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Along the heath and near bis favourite tree; Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;
“ The next with dirges due in sad array [borne. To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
Slow through the church-way path we saw him And read their history in a nation's eyes, Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Gravid on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.”
A youth to fortune and to fame unknown,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, And Melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send : 'Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
He gave to Misery all he had, a tear; [friend. Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray ;
He gain'd from Heaven ('twas all he wish'd) a Along the cool sequester'd vale of life They kept the noiseless tenour of their way. No further seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, Yet er'n these bones from insult to protect, (There they alike in trembling hope repose 3) Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
The bosom of his father and his God. With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture
THE PROGRESS OF POESY,
A PINDARIC ODE.
Φωται το συνεοισιν. ές
Δε το ταν έρμηνέων χατίζει
Pindar. Olym. ii.
Some pious drops the closing eye requires; When the author first published this and the fol-
to subjoin some few explanatory notes; but had
too much respect for the understanding of his • Ch'i veggio nel pensier, dolce mio fuoco,
readers to take that liberty.
preventosa speme. Petrarch. Son. 114.
O’er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move THE PROGRESS OF POESY.
The bloom of young Desire, and purple light of
Man's feeble race what ills await?,
Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain,
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate ! Dripk life and fragrance as they flow.
The fond complaint, my song, disprove, Now the rich stream of music winds along,
And justify the laws of Jove. Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong,
Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse ? Through verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign:
Night, and all her sickly dews, Now rolling down the steep amain,
Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry, Headlong, impetuous, see it pour :
He gives to range the dreary sky: The rocks, and nodding groves, rebellow to the roar. Till down the eastern cliffs afar 8
[war. Ob! sovereign of the willing soul",
Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs, Enchanting shell! the sullen cares,
9 In climes beyond the solar 10 road, And frantic passions, hear thy soft control:
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, On Thracia's hills the lord of war
The Muse has broke the twilight gloom
To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.
Of Chili's boundless forests laid,
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat With ruffled plumes, and flagging wing :
In loose numbers wildly sweet Quench'd in dark clouds of slumber lie
Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves, The terrour of his beak, and lightning of his eye.
Her track, where'er the goddess roves,
Glory pursue, and generous Shame, Thee the voice, the dance, obey,
Th’unconquerable mind, and Freedom's holy flame. Temper'd to thy warbled lay, O'er Idalia's velvet-green
Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep ", The rosy-crowned Loves are seen,
Isles, that crown th' Ægean deep, On Cytherea's day,
Fields, that cool Ilissus laves, With antic sports and blue-ey'd pleasures,
Or where Mæander's amber waves Frisking light in frolic measures;
In lingering labyrinths creep, Now pursuing, now retreating,
How do your tuneful Echoes languisb
Mute, but to the voice of Anguish?
Phrynichus, apud Athenæum. In gliding state she wins her easy way :
7 To compensate the real and imaginary ills of
life, the Muse was given to mankind by the same " Awake, my glory: awake, lute and harp. Providence that sends the day, by its cheerful pre
sence, to dispel the gloom and terrours of the Pindar styles his own poetry with its musical accom- night. paniments, Αίολης μολπη, Αιόλιδες χορδαί, Αιολίδων αντα!
8 Or seen the morning's well-appointed star dia7. Æolian song, Æolian strings, the breath of
Come marching up the eastern hills afar. the Eolian flute.
Cowley. The subject and simile, as usual with Pindar, are united. The various sources of poetry, which gives
9 Extensive influence of poetic genius over the life and lustre to all its touches, are here described; remotest and most uncivilized nations : its conits quiet majestic progress enriching every subject nection with liberty, and the virtues that naturally (otherwise dry and barren) with a pomp of diction attend on it. (See the Erse, Norwegian, and Welsh and luxuriant harmony of numbers; and its more fragments, the Lapland and American songs.] rapid and irresistible course, when swoln and hur
10 Extra anvi solisque vias
Virgil. ned away by the conflict of tumultuous passions.
Tutta lontana dal camin dei sole.
Petrarch. Canzon 2. * Power of harmony to calm the turbulent sallies of the soul. The thoughts are borrowed from
" Progress of poetry from Greece to Italy, and the first Pythian of Pindar.
from Italy to England. Chaucer was not unac* This is a faint imitation of some incomparable The earl of Surrey, and sir Thomas Wyatt, had
quainted with the writings of Dante, or of Petrarch. lines in the same ode.
travelled in Italy, and had formed their taste there;' * Power of harmony to produce all the graces of Spenser imitated the Italian writers; Milton immotion in the body.
proved on them: but this school expired soon after 1 Μαρμαρυγας θηείτο ποδων θαύμαζε δε θυμώ. the Restoration, and a new one arose on the French
Homer, Od. . model, which has subsisted ever since.