Imagens da página


Each sullen spectre chase, his balm at length, And ruminating sweet and bitter thought,
Lenient of pain, through every fever'd pulse Aurelius, from the western bay, his eye
With gentiest hand infus'd. A pensive calm Now rais'd to this amusive scene in air,
Arose, but upassur'd: as, after winds

With wonder inark'd ; now cast with level ray
Of ruffling wind, the sea, subsiding slow,

Wide o'er the moving wilderness of waves,
Still trembles from the storm. Now Reason first, From pole to pole through boundless space diffus'd,
Her throne resuming, bid Devotion raise

Magnificently dreadful! where, at large,
To Heaven his eye; and through the turbid mist Leviathan, with each inferior name
By sense dark-drawn between, adoring own, Of sea-born kinds, ten thousand thousand tribes,
Sole arbiter of fate, one Cause supreme,

Finds endless range for pasture and for sport,
All-just, all-wise, who bids what still is best, Amaz'd he gazes, and adoring owns
In clond, or sunshine; whose severest hand The hand Almighty, who its channelI'd bed
Wounds but to heal, and chastens to amend. Immeasurable sunk, and pour'd abroad,
Thus, in his bosom, every weak excess,

Fenc'd with eternal mounds, the fluid sphere;
The rage of grief, the fellness of revenge,

With every wind to waft large commerce on, To healthful measure temper'd and reduc'd Join pole to pole, consociate serer'd worlds, By Virtue's hand; and in her brightening beam And link in bonds of intercourse and love Each errour cleard away, as fen-born fogs Earth's universal family. Now rose Before th' ascending Sun; through faith, he lives Sweet evening's solemn hour. The Sun, declin'd. Beyond Time's bounded continent, the walks Hung golden o'er this rether firmament; Of Sin and Death. Anticipating Heaven

Whose broad cerulean mirror, calmly bright,
In pious hope, he seems already there,

Gave back his beamy visage to the sky
Safe on her sacred shore; and sees beyond, With splendour undiminish'd ; and each cloud,
In radiant view, the world of light and love, White, azure, purple, glowing round his throne
Where Peace delights to dwell; where one fair morn In fair aërial landscape. Here, alone
Still orient smiles, and one diffusive spring,

On Earth's remotest verge, Aurelius breath'd
That fears no storm and shall no winter know, The healthful gale, and felt the smiling scene
Th’immortal year empurples. If a sigh

With awe-mix'd pleasure, musing as he hung Yet murmurs from his breast, 'tis for the pangs In silence o'er the billows bush'd beneath. Those dearest names, a wife, a child must feel, When lo! a sound, amid the wave-worn rocks, Still suffering in his fate : 'tis for a foe,

Deaf-murmuring rose, and plaintive rclld along Who, deaf himself to mercy, may of Heaven From cliff to cavern: as the breath of winds, That mercy, when most wanted, ask in vain. At twilight hour, remote and hollow heard

The Sun, now station’d with the lucid Twins, Through wintry pines, high-waving o'er the steep O’er every southern elime had pour'd profuse Of sky-crown'. Appenine. The seapye ceas'd The rosy year; and in each pleasing hue,

At once to warble. Screaming, from his pest That greens the leaf, or through the blossom glows The fulmar soard, and shot a westward flight With florid light, his fairest month array'd :

From shore to sea. On came, before her hour, While Zephyre, while the silver-footed Dews, Invading Night, and hung the troubled sky Her soft attendants, wide o'er field and grove With fearful blackness round 2. Sad Ocean's face Fresh spirit breathe, and shed perfuming balm. A curling undulation shivery swept Nor here, in this chill region, on the brow

From wave to wave: and now impetuous rose, Of Winter's waste dominion, is unfelt

Thick cloud and storm and ruin on his wing, The ray ethereal, or unhail'd the rise

The raging South, and headlong o'er the deep Of her mild reign. From warbling vale and hill, Fell horrible, with broad-descending blast. With wild thyme flowering, betony, and balm, Aloft, and safe beneath a sheltering cliff, Blue lavender and carmel's spicy root ',

Whose moss-grown summit on the distant flood Song, fragrance, health, ambrosiate every breeze. Projected frowns, Aurelius stood appall’d: But, high above, the season full exerts

His stunn'd ear smote with all the thundering main! Its vernal force in yonder peopled rocks,

His eye with mountains surging to the stars ! To whose wild solitude, from worlds unknown, Commotion infinite. Where yon last wave The birds of passage transmigrating come,

Blends with the sky its foam, a ship in view Unnumber'd colonies of foreign wing,

Shoots sudden forth, steep-falling from the clouds: At Nature's summons their aërial state

Yet distant seen and dim, till, onward borne Annual to found; and in bold voyage steer, Before the blast, each growing sail expands, O'er this wide ocean, through yon pathless sky, Each mast aspires, and all th' advancing frame One certain flight to one appointed shore: Bounds on his eye distinct. With sharpen'd ken By Heaven's directive spirit, here to raise

Its course he watches, and in awful thought Their temporary realm ; and form secure,

That Power invokes, whose voice the wild winds hear, Where food awaits them copious from the wave, Whose nod the surge reveres, to look from Heaven, And shelter from the rock, their nuptial leagues : And save, who else must perish, wretched men, Each tribe apart, and all on tasks of love,

In this dark hour, amid the dread abyss,
To hatch the pregnant egg, to rear and guard With fears amaz’d, by horrours compass'd round.
Their helpless infants, pionsly intent.

But 0, ill-omen'd, death-devoted heads!
Led by the day abroad, with lonely step,

For Death bestrides the billow, nor your own,

Nor others' offer'd vows can stay the fight 'The root of this plant, otherwise named argatilis of instant fate. And, lo! his secret seat, sylvaticus, is aromatic; and by the natives reckon- Where never sun-beam glimmer'd, deep amidst ed cordial to the stomach. See Martin's Western Isles of Scotland, p. 180.

2 See Martin's voyage to St. Kilda, p. 58.


[ocr errors]


A carern's jaws voraginous and vast,

The vapoury 'air with aromatic smells; The stormy genius of the deep forsakes:

Then, drops of sovereign efficacy, drawn And o'er the waves, that roar beneath his frown, From mountain plants, within his lips infus'd. Ascending baleful, bids the tempest spread, Slow, from the mortal trance, as men from dreams Turbid and terrible with hail and rain,

Of direful vision, shuddering he awakes : Its blackest pinion, pour its loudening blasts While life, to searce-felt motion, faintly lifts In whirlwind forth, and' from their lowest depth His fluttering pulse, and gradual o'er his cheek Cpturn the world of waters. Round and round The rosy current wins its refluent way. The tortur'd ship, at his imperious call,

Recovering to new pain, bis eyes he turn'd Is wheeld in dizzy whirl: her guiding helm

Severe on Heaven, on the surrounding hills Breaks short; her masts in crashing ruin fall; With twilight dim, and on the crowd unknown And each rent sail flies loose in distant air.

Dissolv'd in tears around : then clos'd again, Now, fearful moment ! o'er the foundering hull, As loathing light and life. At length, in sounds Half ocean heav'd, in one broad billowy curve, Broken and eager, from bis heaving breast Steep from the clouds with horrid shade impends Distraction spokem" Down, down with every sail. Ah! save them Heaven! it burs s in deluge down Mercy, sweet Heaven! - Ha! now whole ocean With boundless undulation. Shore and sky

sweeps Rebellow to the roar. At once engulf’d,

In tempest o'er our heads—My soul's last hope ! Vessel and crew beneath its torrent sweep,

We will not part-Help, help! yon wave, behold! Are sunk, to rise no more. Aurelius wept : That swells betwixt, has borne her froin my sight. The tear unbidden dew'd his hoary cheek.

O, for a sun to light this black abyss ! He turn'd his step; be fled the fatal scene,

Gone-lost-for ever lost!” He ceas'd. Amaze And brooding, in sad silence, o'er the sight

And trembling on the pale assistants fell : To him alone disclos'd, his wounded heart

Whom now, with greeting and the words of peace, Pour'd out to Heaven in sighs: “Thy will be done, Aurelius bid depart. A pause ensued, Not mine, supreme Disposer of events !

Mute, mournful, solemn. On the stranger's face But death demands #tear, and man must feel Observant, anxious, hung his fix'd regard : For human woes: the rest submission checks.” Watchful, his ear, each murmur, every breath,

Not distant far, where this receding bay 3 Attentive seiz'd; now eager to begin Looks northward on the pole, a rocky arch

Consoling speech; now donbtful to invade Expands its self-pois'd concave; as the gate,

The sacred silence due to grief supreme. Ample, and broad, and pillar'd massy-proof, Then thus at last : “ O from devouring seas, Of some unfolding temple. On its height By miracie escap'd! if, with thy life, Is heard the tread of daily-climbing flocks, Thy sense return'd, can yet discern the hand That, o'er the green roof spread, their fragrant food All-wonderful, that through yon raging sea, Untended crop. As through this cavern'd path, Yon whirling west of tempest, led thee safe ; Involv'd in pensive thought Aurelius past,

That hand divine with grateful awe confess, Struck with sad echoes from the sounding vault With prostrate thanks adoré. When thou, alas ! Remurmur'd shrill, he stopt, he rais'd his head; Wast number'd with the dead, and glos'd within And saw th' assembled natives in a ring,

Th' unfathom'd gulf; when human hope was fled, With wonder and with pity bending o'er

And human help in vain-th' Almighty voice A shipwreck'd man. All-motionless on earth Then bade destruction spare, and bade the deep He lay. The living lustre from his eye,

Yield up its prey; that, by his mercy sav'd, The vermil hue extinguish'd from his cheek: That mercy, thy fair life's remaining race, And in their place, on each chill feature spread, A monument of wonder as of love, The shadowy cloud and ghastliness of Death May justify; to all the sons of men, With pale suffusion sat. So looks the Moon, Thy brethren, ever present in their need. So faintly wan, through hovering mists at eve, Such praise delights him mostGrey Autumn's train. Fast from his hairs distillid

He hears me not. The briny wave: and close within bis grasp Some secret anguish, some transcendent woe, Was clench'd a broken oar, as one who long Sits heavy on his heart, and from his eyes, Had stem'd the flood with agonizing breast, Through the clos'd lids, now rolls in bitter stream! And struggled strong for life. Of youthful prime “ Yet, speak thy soul, afflicted as thou art! He seem'd, and built by Nature's noblest hand; For know, by mournful privilege 'tis mine, Where bold proportion, and where softening grace, Myself most wretched, and in sorrow's ways Mix'd in each limb, and harmoniz'd his frame. Severely train'd, to share in every pang

Aurelius, from the breathless clay, his eye The wretched feel; to soothe the sad of heart; To Heaven imploring rais'd: then, for he knew To number tear for tear, and groan for groan, That Life, within her central cell retir'd,

With every son and daughter of distress. May lurk mmseen, diminish'd, but not quench'd, Speak then, and give thy labouring bosom vent: He bid transport it speedy through the vale, My pity is, my friendship shall be, thine; To his p r cell that lonely stood and low,

To calm thy pain, and guide thy virtue back, Safe from the north beneath a sloping hill: Through reason's paths, to happiness and Heaven." An antique frame, orbicular, and rais'd

The hermit thus: and, after some sad pause On columns rude; its roof with reverend moss Of musing wonder, thus the man unknown. light-shaded o’er; its front in ivy hid,

“What have I heard?-On this untravell'd shore, That mantling crept aloft. With pious hand Nature's last limit, hemm'd with oceans round They turn'd, they chafd his frozen limbs, and fum'd Howling and harbourless, beyond all faith

A comforter to find! wbose language wears 3 See Martin's voyage to St. Kilda, p. 20. The garb of civil life; a friend, whose breast

The gracious meltings of sweet pity move! And drowsy hour steals fast upon our talk.
Amazement all! my grief to silence charm'd Ilere break we off: and thou, sad mourner, try
Is lost in wonder-but, thou good unknown, Thy weary limbs, thy wounded mind, to balı
If woes, for ever wedded to despair,

With timely sleep. Lach gracious wing from That wish no cure, are thine, behold in me

A meet companion; one whom Earth and Heaven Of those that minister to erring man,
Combine to curse; whom never future morn Near-hovering, hush thy passion into calm;
Shall light to joy, nor evening with repose

Serene thy slumbers with presented scenes
Descending shade-0, son of this wild world! Of brightest visions; whisper to thy heart
From social converse though for ever barr'd, That holy peace which goodness ever shares :
Though chillid with endless winter from the pole, And to us both be friendly as we need.”
Yet warm’d by goodness, form’d to tender sense
Of human woes, beyond what milder elimes,
By fairer suns attemper'd, courtly boast;
O say, did e'er thy breast, in youthful life,

CANTO II. 'Touch'd by a beam from Beauty all-divine, Now Midnight rose, and o'er the general scene, Did e'er thy bosom her sweet influence own, Air, ocean, earth, drew broad her blackest veil, In pleasing tumult pour'd through every vein, Vapour and cloud.' unsleeping isle And panting at the heart, when first our eye Yet howl'd the whirlwind, yet the billow groan'd; Receives impression! Then, as passion grew, And, in mix'd horrour, to Amyntor's ear (palla, Did Heaven, consenting to thy wish, indulge Borne through the gloom, his sbrieking sense apThat bliss no wealth can bribe, no power bestow, Shook by each blast, and swept by every wave, That bliss of angels, love by love repaid?

Again pale memory labours in the storm : Heart streaming full to heart in mutual flow Again from her he's torn, whom more than life Of faith and friendship, tenderness and truth- His fondness lov'd. And now, another shower If these thy fate distinguish'd, thou wilt then, Of sorrow, o'er the dear unhappy maid, My joys conceiving, image my despair,

Effusive stream'd; till late, through every power How total! how extreme! For this, all this, The soul subdued sunk sad to slow repose: Late my fair fortune, wreck'd on yonder flood, And all her darkening scenes, by dim degrees, Lies lost and bury'd there-O, awful Heaven ! Were quench'd in total night. A pause from pain Who to the wind and to the whelming wave Not long to last : for Fancy, oft awake Her blameless head devoted, thou alone

While Reason sleeps, from her illusive cell Can'st tell what I have lost-0, ill-starr'd maid ! Call’d up wild shapes of visionary fear, 0, most undone Amyntor!”—Sighs and tears, Of visionary bliss, the hour of rest And heart-heav'd groans, at this, his voice suppress'd, To mock with mimic shows. And lo! the deeps The rest was agony and dumb despair.

In airy tumult swell. Beneath a hill Now o'er their heads damp Night her stormy gloom Amyntor heaves of overwhelming seas; Spread, ere the glimmering twilight was expir'd, Or rides, with dizzy dread, from cloud to cloud, With huge and heavy horrour closing round The billow's back. Anon, the shadowy world In doubling clouds on clouds. The mournful scene, Shifts to some boundless continent unknown, The moving tale, Aurelius deeply felt:

Where solitary, o'er the starless void, [length, And thus reply'd, as one in Nature skill'd,

Dumb Silence broods. Through beaths of dreary With soft assenting sorrow in his look,

Slow on he drags his staggering step infirin And words to soothe, not combat hopeless love. With breathless toil; hears torrent floods afar

“ Amyntor, by that Heaven who sees thy tears ! Roar through the wild; and, plung'din central caves, By faith and friendship's sympathy divine! Falls headlong many a fathom into night. Could I the sorrows heal I more than share, Yet there, at once, in all her living charms, This bosom, trust me, should from thine transfer And brightening with their glow the brown abyss, Its sharpest grief. Such grief, alas ! how just ? Rose Theodora. Smiling, in her eye How long in silent anguish to descend,

Sat, without cloud, the soft-consenting soul, When reasou and when fondness o'er the tomb That, guilt unknowing, bad no wish to hide. Are fellow-mourners? He, who can resign,

A spring of sudden myrtles flowering round Has never lov'd: and wert thou to the sense, Their walk embower'd; while nightingales beneath The sacred feeling of a loss like thine,

Sung spousals, as along th' enamell'd turf Cold and insensible, thy breast were then

They seem'd to fly, and interchang'd their souls, No mansion for huinanity, or thought

Melting in mutual softness. Thrice his arms Of noble aim. Their dwelling is with love,

The fair encircled: thrice she fled his grasp, And tender pity; whose kind tear adorns

And fading into darkness mix'd with airThe clouded cheek, and sanctifies the soul

“O turn ! O stay thy flight !"-so loud he cryd,
They soften, not subdue. We both will mix, Sleep and its train of humid vapours fled.
For her thy virtue lov'd, thy truth laments, He groąn’d, he gaz'd around: his inward sense
Our social sighs : and still, as morn unveils

Yet glowing with the vision's vivid beam,
The brightening hill, or evening's misty shade Still, on bis eye, the hovering shadow blaz'd,
Its brow obscures, her gracefulness of form,

Her voice still murmurd in his tinkling car;
Her mind all-lovely, each ennobling each,

Grateful deception ! till returning thought Shall be our frequent theme. Then shalt thou hear Left broad awake, amid th' incumbent lour From me, in sad return, a tale of woes,

Of mute and mournful night, again he felt So terrible-Amyntor, thy pain'd heart

His grief inflam'd throb fresh in every vein. Amid its own, will shudder at the ills

To frenzy stung, upstarting from his couch, That mine has bled with-But behold; the dark The vale, the shore, with darkling step he roam'd,

Like some drear spectre from the grave unbound: To days of future life; or whether now
Then, scaling youder cliff, proue o'er its brow The mortal hour is instant, still vouchsafe,
He hung, in act to plunge amid the flood (voice, Parent and friend, to guide me blameless on
Scarce from that height discern'd. Nor reason's Through this dark scene of errour and of ill,
Nor ow'd submission to the will of Heaven,

Thy truth to light me, and thy peace to cheer.
Restrains him; but, as passion whirls his thought, All else, of me unask'd, thy will supreme
Fond expectation, that perchance escap'd, Wiibhold or grant: and let that will be done."
Though passing all belief, the frailer skiff,

This from the soul in silence breath'd sincere, To which himself had borne th’ unhappy fair, The hill's steep side with firm elastic step May yet be seen. Around, o'er sea and shore, He lightly scal'd: such health the frugal board, He rollid his ardent eye; but nought around The morn's fresh breath that exercise respires On land or wave within his ken appears,

In mountain-walks, and conscience free from blame, Nor skiff, nor floating corse, on which to shed Our life's best cordial, can through age prolong. The last sad tear, and lay the covering mould ! There, lost in thought, and self-abandond, lay

And now, wide open'd by the wakeful hours The man unknown; nor heard approach his host, Heaven's orient gate, forth on her progress comes Nor rais'd his drooping head. Aurelius, mov'd Aurora smiling, and her purple lamp

By soft compassion, which the savage scene, Lifts high o'er earth and sea : while, all-unveild, Shut up and barr'd amid surrounding seas The vast horizon on Amyntor's eye

From human commerce, quicken'd into sense Pours full its scenes of wonder, wildly great, Of sharper sorrow, thus apart began. Magnificently various. From this steep,

“O sight, that from the eye of wealtı, or pride, Diffus'd immense in rolling prospect lay

Ev'n in their hour of vainest thought, might draw The northern deep. Amidst, from space to space, A feeling tear; whom yesterday beheld Her numerous isles, rich gems of Albion's crown, By love and fortune crown'd, of all possest As slow th' ascending mists disperse in air, That Fancy, tranc'd in fairest vision, dreams; Shoot gradual from her bosom: and beyond, Now lost to all, each hope that softens life, (spread, Like distant clouds blue-floating on the verge Each bliss that cheers; there, on the damp carth Of evening skies, break forth the dawning hills. Beneath a heaven unknown, bebold him now ! A thousand landscapes ! barren some and bare, And let the gay, the fortunate, the great, Rock pild on rock, amazing, up to Heaven, The proud, be taught, what now the wretched feel, Of horrid gran-leur: some with sounding ash, The happy have to fear. O man forlorn, Or oak broad-shadowing, or the spiry growth Too plain I read thy heart, by fondness drawn Of waving pine high-plum'd, and all beheld To this sad scene, to sights that but iuflame More lovely in the Sun's adorning beam,

Its tender anguish—". Who now, fair-rising o'er yon eastern cliff,

“ Hear me, Heaven!” exclaim'd The verval verdure tinctures gay with gold. The frantic mourner, “ could that anguish rise

Meanwhile Aurelius, wak'd from sweet repose, To madness and to mortal agony, Repose that Temperance sheds in timely dews I yet would bless my fate; by one kind pang, On all who live to her, his mournful guest

From what I feel, the keener pangs of thought Came forth to hail, as hospitable rites

For ever freed. To me the Sun is lost: And Virtue's rule enjoin: but first to him,

To me the future flight of days and years Spring of all charity, who gave the heart

Is darkness, is despair-But who complains Witb kindly sense to glow, his inatin-song,

Forgets that he can die. O, sainted maid ! Superior duty, thus the sage addrest :

For such in Heaven thou art, if from thy seat “ Fountain of light ! from whom yon orient Sun Of holy rest, beyond these changeful skies, first drew his splendour; Source of life and love! If names on Earth most sacred once and dear, Whose smile now wakes o'er Earth's rekindling face A lover and a friend, if yet these names

a The boundless blush of spring; 0! First and Best! Can wake thy pity, dart one guiding ray Thy essence, though from human sight and search, To light me where, in care or creek, are thrown Though from the climb of all created thought, Thy lifeless limbs : that I–O grief supreme ! Inetfably remov'd; yet man himself,

O fate remorseless ! was thy lover sav'd Thy lowest child of reason, inan may read

For such a task ?-that I those dear remains, Unbounded power, intelligence supreme,

With maiden-rites adorn'd, at last may lodge The Maker's hand, on all his works imprest, Beneath the hallow'd vault; and, weeping there In characters coeral with the Sun,

O'er thy cold urn, await the hour to close And with the Sun to last; from world to world, These eyes in peace, and mix this dust with thine !!! From age to age. in every clime, disclos'd,

“ Such, and so dire," reply'd the cordial friend Sole revelation through all time the same.

In Pity's look and language, “such, alas ! Hail, aniversal Goodness! with full stream Were late my thoughts. Whate'er the han heart For ever fowing from beneath the throne

Can most afflict, grief, agony, despair, Torough earth, air, sea, to all things that have life: Have all been mine, and with alternate war From all that live on earth, in air and sea,

This bosom ravag'd. Hearken then, good youth; The great community of Nature's sons,

My story mark, and from another's fate, To thee, first Father, ceaseless praise ascend! Pre-eminently wretched, learn thy own, And in the reverent hymn my grateful voice Sad as it seems, to balance and to bear. Be daly heard, among thy works not least,

“ In me, a man behold, whose morn serene, Nor lowest; with intelligence informid,

Whose noon of better life, with honour spent, To know thee, and adore ; with free-will crown'd, In virtuous purpose, or in honest act, Where Virtue leads, to follow and be blest. Drew fair distinction on my public name, O, wbether by tby prime decree ordaind

From those among mankind, the nobler few,

Whose praise is fame; but there, in that true source And this blind fury of commission'd rage,
Whence happiness with purest stream descends, Of party-vengeance, to a falal foe,
In home found peace and love, supremely blest! Known and abhorr'd for deeds of direst name,
Union of hearts, consent of wedded wills,

Was given in charge: a foe, whom blooo!-stain'd zeal,
By friendship knit, by mutual faith secur'd For what-O hear it not, all-righteous Hearen!
Our hopes and fears, our Earth and Heaven the Lest thy rous'd thunder burst-for what was deem'd
At last, Amyntor, in my failing age, (same! Religion's cause, bad savag'd to a brute,
Fallen from such height, and with the felon-herd, More deadly fell than hunger ever stung
Robbers and outlaws, number'd-thought that still | To prowl in wood or wild. His band he arm'd,
Stings deep the heart, and clothes the cheek with Sons of perdition, miscreants with all guilt

Familiar, and in each dire art of death
Then doom'd to feel what guilt alone should fear, Train'd ruthless up. As tigers on their prey,
The hand of public vengeance : arm'd by rage, On my defenceless lands those fiercer beasts
Not justice; rais d to injure, not redress;

Devouring fell: nor that sequester'd shade,
To rob, not guard; to ruin, not defend :

That sweet recess, where Love and Virtue long And all, O sovereign Reason! all deriv'd

In happy league had dwelt, which war itself From power that claims thy warrant to do wrong! Beheld with reverence, could their fury scape; A right divine to violate unblam'd

Despoil'd, defac'd, and wrapt in wasteful flames: Each law, each rule, that, by himself observ'd, For flame and rapine their consuming march, The God prescribes whose sanction kings pretend ! From hill to vale, by daily ruin mark’d.

“ O Charles ! O monarch! in long exile train'd, So, borne by winds along, in baneful cloud, Whole hopeless years, th' oppressor's hand to know Embody'd locusts from the wing descend How hateful and how hard; thyself reliev'd, On berb, fruit, flower, and kill the ripening year: Now hear thy people, groaning under wrongs While, waste behind, destruction on their track Of equal load, adjure thee by those days

And ghastly famine wait. My wife and child Of want and woe, of danger and despair,

He dragg'd, the ruffian dragg'd-O Heaven! do b As Heaven has thine, to pity their distress! A man, survive to tell it? At the hour

“ Yet, from the plain good meaning of my heart, Sacred to rest, amid the sighs and tears Be far thi unhallow'd licence of abuse;

Of all who saw and curs'd his coward-rage, Be far th' bitterness of saintly zeal,

He forcid, unpitying, from their midnight-bed, That, impious hid behind the patriot's name, By menace, or by torture, from their fears Masks hate and malice to the legal throne,

My last retreat to learn; and still detains
In justice founded, circumscrib'd by laws,

Beneath his roof accurst, that best of wives !
The prince to guard—but guard the people too : Emelia, and our only pledge of love,
Chief, one prime good to guard inviolate,

My blooming Theodora !-Manhood there,
Soul of all worth, and sum of human bliss,

And Nature bleed-Ah ! let not busy thought Fair Freedom, birthright of all thinking kinds, Search thither, but avoid the fatal coast : Reason's great charter, from no king deriv'd, Discovery, there, once more my peace of mind By none to be reclaim’d, man's right divine, Might wreck; once more to desperation sink Which God, who gave, indelible pronounc'd. My hopes in Heaven.” He said: but O, sad Muse!

“ But if, disclaiming this his heaven-own'd right, Can all thy moving energy, of power This first best tenure by which monarchs rule; To shake the heart, to freeze th' arrested blood, If, meant the blessing, he becomes the bane, With words that weer, and strains that agonize; The wolf, not shepherd, of his subject-flock, Can all this mournful magic of thy voice To grind and tear, not shelter and protect, Tell what Amyntor feels ? “O Heaven! art thonWide-wasting where he reigns-to such a prince, What have I heard ?--Aurelius! art thou he? Allegiance kept were treason to mankind;

Confusion ! horrour!--that most wrong'd of men! And loyalty, revolt from virtue's law.

And, O most wretched too! alas! no more,
For say, Amyntor, does just Heaven enjoin

No more a father-On that fatal food,
That we should homage Hell? or bend the knee Thy Theodora--" At these words he fell.
To earthquake, or volcano, when they rage, A deadly cold ran freezing through his veins:
Rend Earth's firm frame, and in one boundless grave And Life was on the wing, her loath'd abode
Engolf their thousands ? Yet, O grief to tell ! For ever to forsake. As on his way
Yet such, of late, o'er this devoted land,

The traveller, from Heaven by lightning struck,
Was public rnie. Our servile stripes and chains, Is fix'd at once immoveable ; his eye
Our sighs and groans resounding from the steep With terrour glaring wild ; his stiffening limba
Of wintry hill, or waste untravell’d heath,

In sudden marble bound : so stood, so look'd
Last refuge of our wretchedness, not guilt,

The heart-smote parent at this tale of death, Proclaim'd it loud to Heaven: the arm of power Half-utter'd, yet too plain. No sign to rise, Extended fatal, but to crush the head

No tear had force to flow; his senses all, It ought to screen, or with a parent's love

Through all their powers, suspended, and subdued Reclaim from errour, not with deadly hate, To chill amazement. Silence for a space The tyrant's law, exterminate who err.

Such dismal silence saddens earth and sky “ In this wide ruin were my fortune sunk: Ere first the thunder breaks-on either side Myself, as one contagious to his kind,

Fill'd up this interval severe. At last, Whom Nature, whom the social life renounc'd, As from some vision that to frenzy fires Unsummond, unimpleaded, was to death, The sleeper's brain, Amyntor, waking wild, To shameful death adjudg'd; against my head A poniard, hid beneath his varions robe, The price of blood proclaim'd, and at my heels Drew furious forth—“Me, me,” he cry'd," on me Let loose the murderous cry of human hounds. Let all thy wrongs be visited ; and thus

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »