« AnteriorContinuar »
ply course I steerd, and by the banks of Nile Their sports, their labours, ever plac'd withia,
Here was a docile band in tuneful tones
Their country's heroes from oblivious night,
Resounding what the Muse inspir'd of old ; Of her who represents whate'er has been,
There, on the verge of manhood, others met, Or is, or shall be ; whose mysterious veil
In heavy armour through the heats of noon No mortal hand hath ever yet remov'd.
To march, the rugged mountains height to climb By him exhorted, southward to the walls
With measur'd swiftness, from the hard-bent bow Of On I pass'd, the city of the Sun,
To send resistless arrows to their mark, The ever-youthful god. 'Twas there amid Or for the fame of prowess to contend, His priests and sages, who the live-long night Now wrestling, now with fists and staves opposid, Watch the dread movements of the starry sphere, Now with the biting falchion, and the fence Or who in wondrous fables half disclose
Of brazen shields; while still the warbling flute The secrets of the elements, 'twas there
Presided o'er the combat, breathing strains That great Psenophis taught my raptur'd ears Grave, solemn, soft; and changing headlong spite The fame of old Atlantis, of her chiefs,
To thoughtful resolution cool and clear. And her pure laws, the first which Earth obey'd. Such I beheld those islanders renown'd, Deep in my bosom sunk the noble tale;
So tutor'd from their birth to meet in war And often, while I listen’d, did my mind
Each bold invader, and in peace to guard Foretell with what delight her own free lyre That living fame of reverence for their laws Should sometime for an Attic audience raise Which, nor the storms of fortune, nor the flood Anew that lofty scene, and from their tombs Of foreign wealth diffus'd o'er all the land, Call forth those ancient demigods to speak Could quench or slacken. First of human names Of Justice and the hidden Providence
In every Cretan's heart was Minos still; That walk among mankind. But yet meantime And holiest far, of what the Sun surveys The mystic pomp of Ammon's gloomy sons Through his whole course, were those primeval seats Became less pleasing. With contempt I gaz'd Which with religious footsteps he had taught On that tame garb and those unvarying paths Their sires to approach; the wild Dictæan care To which the double yoke of king and priest Where Jove was born; the ever-verdant meads Had cramp'd the sullen race. At last, with hymns Of Ida, and the spacious grotto, where Invoking our own Pallas and the gods
His active youth be pass'd, and where his throne.
Each ninth returning year, the king of gods
To inscribe anex. Oft also with like zeal
That the dire fame of Athens sunk in bonds The walls of Athens, till my feet have trod I first receiv'd ; what time an annual feast The Cretan soil, have pierc'd those reverend haunts Had summon'd all the genial country round, Whence Law and Civil Concord issued forth By sacrifice and pomp to bring to mind As from their ancient home, and still to Greece That first great spousal; while the enamour'd youths Their wisest, loftiest discipline proclaim.
And virgins, with the priest before the shrine, Straight where Amnisus, mart of wealthy ships, Observe the same pure ritual, and invoke Appears beneath fam'd Cnossus and her towers The same glad omens. There, among the crowd Like the fair handmaid of a stately queen,
Of strangers from those naval cities drawn
A merchant of Ægina I describ’d,
Stopp'd half-averse; and, O Athenian guest,'
Thy country kneels before a tyrant's throne.' I saw them at their public meal, like sons
He added names of men, with hostile deeds Of the same household, join the plainer sort Disastrous; which obscure and indistinct Whose wealth was only freedom! whence to these I heard : for, while he spake, my heart grew cold Vile Envy, and to those fantastic Pride,
And my eyes dim: the altars and their train Alike was strange; but noble Concord still No more were present to me: how I fard, Cherish'd the strength untam'd, the rustic faith, Or whither turn'd, I know not; nor recall Of their first fathers. Then the growing race, Aught of those moments other than the sense How pleasing to behold them in their schvols, Of one who struggles in oppressive sleep,
And, from the toils of some distressful dream I wander'd through your calm recesses, led
In silence by some powerful hand unseen. Weak limbs, and temples bath'd in death-like dew, Nor will I e'er forget you. Nor sball e'er Makes many a painful effort. When at last The graver tasks of manhood, or the advice The Sun and Nature's face again appear’d,
Of vulgar wisdoin, move me to disclaim Not far I found me; where the public path, Those studies which possess'd me in the dark Winding through cypress groves and swelling meads, of life, and fix'd the colour of my mind From Cnossus to the cave of Jove ascends.
For every future year; whence even now Heedless I follow'd on; till soon the skirts
From sleep I rescue the clear hours of mom, Of Ida rose before me, and the vault
And, while the world around lies overwhelm'd
Or moral, and of minds fo virtue won
In Nature's or in Fortune's changeful scene
Men learn to judge of beauty, and acquire
Those forms set op, as idols in the soul
For love and zealous praise. Yet indistinct,
Of things external prompt the heedless mind ONE effort more, one cheerful sally more,
To recognize her wealth. But some there are Our destin'd course will finish. And in peace Conscious of nature, and the rule which man Then for an offering sacred to the powers
O'er nature holds: some who, within themselves Who lent us gracious guidance, we will then Retiring from the trivial scenes of chance Inscribe a monument of deathless praise,
And momentary passion, can at will () my adventurous song. With steady speed Call up these fair exemplars of the mind; Long hast thou, on an untried voyage bound, Review their features ; scan the secret laws Sail'd between Earth and Heaven: hast now sur- Which bind them to each other : and display vey'd,
By forms, or sounds, or colours, to the sense Stretch'd out beneath thee, all the mazy tracts Of all the world their latent charms display : Of Passion and Opinion; like a waste
Even as in Nature's frame (if such a word, Of sands and flowery lawns and tangling woods, If such a word, so bold, may from the lips Where mortals roam bewilder'd: and hast now Of man proceed) as in this outward frame Exulting soar'd among the worlds above,
Of things, the Great Artificer portrays Or hover'd near the eternal gates of Heaven, His own iminense idea. Various names If haply the discourses of the gods,
These among mortals bear, as various signs A curious, but an unpresuming guest,
They use, and by peculiar organs speak Thou might'st partake, and carry back some strain To human sense. There are who by the flight Of divine wisdom, lawful to repeat,
Of air through tubes with moving stops distinct, And apt to be conceiv'd of man below.
Or by extended chords in measure taught A different task remains; the secret paths To vibrate, can assemble powerful sounds Of early genius to explore: to trace
Expressing every temper of the mind Those haunts where Fancy her predestin'd sons, From every cause, and charming all the soul Like to the demigods of old, doth nurse
With pass on void of care. Others mean time Remote from eyes profane. Ye happy souls The rugged mass of metal, wood, or stone, Who now her tender discipline obey,
Patiently taming; or with easier hand Where dwell ye? What wild rive,'s brink at eve Describing lines, and with more ample scope Imprint your steps? What solemn groves at noon Uniting colours ; can to general sight Use ye to visit, often breaking forth
Produce those permanent and perfect forms, In rapture 'mid your dilatory walk,
Those characters of heroes and of gods, Or musing, as in slumber, on the green?
Which from the crude materials of the world -Would I again were with you!-() ye dales Their own high minds created. But the chief Of Tyne, and ye most ancient woodlands; where, Are poets; eloquent men, who dwell on Earth Oft as the giant flood obliquely strides,
To clothe whate'er the soul admires or loves And his banks open, and his lawns extend,
With language and with numbers. Hence to these Stops short the pleased traveller to view
A field is open'd wide as Nature's sphere; Presiding o'er the scene some rustic tower
Nay, wider: various as the sudden acts Founded by Norman or by Saxon hands :
Of human wit, and vast as the demands O ye Northumbrian shades, which overlook Of human will. The bard nor length, nor depth, The rocky pavement and the mossy falls
Nor place, nor form controls. To eyes, to ears, Of solitary Wensbeck's limpid stream;
To every organ of the copious mind, How gladly I recall your well-known seats
He offereth all its treasures. Him the bours, Belov'd of old, and that delightful time
The seasons him obey: and changeful Time When all alone, for many a summer's day, Sees him at will keep measure with his flight,
At will outstrip it. To enhance his toil,
Nor where the boding raven chants, He summoneth from the uttermost extent
Nor near the owl's unhallowed haunts Of things which God hath taught him, every form
Will she her cares employ; Auxiliar, every power; and all beside
But flies from ruins and from tombs, Excludes imperious. His prevailing hand
From Superstition's horrid glooms,
To day-light and to joy.
Nor will she tempt the barren waste;
Of any noxious thing; Their just alliances, their just degrees :
But leaves with scorn to Envy's use
The nettle's sordid sting.
The vernal blooms, the suminer rose,
She draws her blaineless wealth ;
To pleasure and to health,
Os yonder verdant hilloc laid,
O'erlook the falling stream,
From summer's noontide beam.
And, lo! within my lonely bower,
Collects her balmy dews:
For me," she sings, “ the gems are born, For me their silken robe adorn,
Their fragrant breath diffuse."
Nor check thy gladsome toils;
To these ambrosial spoils.
Apd lucky be the strains !
Your pleasures and your pains.
My Muse delighted plays ;
With fond ambition strays.
But lo! on this deserted coast,
How faint the light! how chill the air!
Fierce Winter desolates the year.
No more the warbling waters roll:
And gloomy damps oppress the soul.
And hail the Sun's remotest ray:
To morrow nearer than to day.
Yet brighter hours are on the wing,
Already hails the emerging Spring.
O fountain of the golden day,
Could mortal vows but urge thy speed,
Should each unkindly damp recede!
i This Ode was afterwards entirely altered; as may be seen in the following poem. The reader will not be displeased to see it as it was originally written. N.
How soon each tempest hovering fly,
But thou, my lyre, awake, arise, That now, fermenting, loads the sky,
And hail the Sun's returning force ; Prompt on our heads to burst amain,
Even now he climbs the northern skies, To rend the forest from the steep,
And Health and Hope attend his course. And, thundering o'er the Baltic deep,
Then louder howl the aërial waste, To 'whelm the merchant's hopes of gain! Be Earth with keener cold embrac'd,
Yet gentle Hours advance their wing ;
And Fancy, mocking Winter's might,
With flowers and dews and streaming light "sis his with silent joy to use
Already decks the new-born Spring.
O fountain of the golden day,
Could mortal vows promote thy speed, Beyond what he can reach to know,
How soon before thy vernal ray And that the Providence of Heaven
Should each unkindly damp recede!
How soon each hovering tempest fly,
Whose stores for mischief arm the sky,
Prompt on our heads to burst amain,
To rend the forest from the steep,
Or, thundering o'er the Baltic deep,
To 'whelm the merchant's hopes of gain! I seem the awful course to tread; Where chiefs and legislators lie,
But let not man's unequal views
Presume o'er Nature and her laws:
'Tis his with grateful joy to use While, charm'd, I rove in classic song,
The indulgence of the sovran cause;
Secure that health and beauty springs
Through this majestic frame of things,
Beyond what he can reach to know ;
Attempereth every state below.
How pleasing wears the wintery night,
Spent with the old illustrious dead!
While, by the taper's trembling light,
I seem those awful scenes to tread
Where chiefs or legislators lie,
Whose triumphs move before my eye
In arms and antique pomp array'd;
While now I taste the Ionian song,
Now bend to Plato's godlike tongue
Resounding through the olive shade.
But should some cheerful, equal friend
Bid leave the studious page a while,
Let Mirth on Wisdom then attend,
And social Ease on learned Toil.
Then while, at Love's uncareful shrine,
Each dictates to the god of wine
Her name, whom all his hopes obey,
What flattering dreams each bosom warın, Lo, Winter desolates the year :
While absence, heightening every charm, The fields resign their latest bloom;
Invokes the slow returning May!
May, thou delight of Heaven and Earth, But snows fall dark, or rains resound;
When will thy genial star arise ? And, while great Nature mourns around,
The auspicious morn, which gives thee birth, Her griefs infect the human soul.
Shall bring Eudora to my eyes.
Within her sylvan haunt behold,
As in the happy garden old,
She moves like that primeval fair:
Thither, ye silver-sounding lyres,
Ye tender smiles, ye chaste desires,
Fond hope and mutual faith, repair, Some village-dame the curfew hears,
While round the hearth her children play: And if believing Love can read At morn their father went abroad;
His better omens in her eye, The Moon is sunk, and deep the road;
Then shall my fears, O charming' maid, She sigas, and wonders at his stay.
And every pain of absence die :
Then shall my jocund harp, attun'd
just escap'd the faithless main, To thy true ear, with sweeter sound
Though driven unwilling on the land; Pursue the free Horatian song:
To guide your favour'd steps again, Old Tyne shall listen to my tale,
Behold your better genius stand: And Echo down the bordering vale
Where Truth revolves her page divine, The liquid melody prolong.
Where Virtue leads to Honour's shrine,
Behold, he lifts his awful hand.
Oh fly! 'tis dire Suspicion's mien;
The sorceress hither bends;
Of lovers and of friends.
Asay with this unmanly mood !
See where the hoary churl appears, Whose hand bath seiz'd the favourite good
Which you reserv'd for happier years:
Spite of the sickly joy she wears.
This chaste, harmonious pair behold;
Of all who barter vows for gold.
O equal price of beauty sold!
Bid her adica, the venal fair :
Then wherefore should she prove your care?
With luckier omens bind your hair.
Fly far! already in your eyes
And soon through every vein,
Imbibe the potent stain.
Then many a demon will she raise
Wbile gleams of lost delight
Through whirlwinds and through night.