« ПредишнаНапред »
Bear me, oh! bear me to sequester'd scenes, the bow'ry mazes, and surrounding greens; to Thames's banks, which fragrant breezes fill, or where the Muses sport on Cooper's Hill On Cooper's Hill eternal wreaths shall grow while lasts the moy while Thames shall flow.) Here his first la
Denham sung there the last ni
Id from Cowley's tongue. Who now sha!
nades where Cowley strung bis living hari
COOPER'S HILL. , Sp . ure there are poets which did never dream upon Parnassus, nor did taste the stream of Helicon; we therefore may suppose those madé not poets, but the poets those, and as courts make not kings, but kings the court, so where the Muses and their train resort, Parnassu's stands; if I can be to thee i a poet, thou Parnassus art to me. Nor wonder if (advantag’d in my flight, by taking wing from thy auspicious height) through untrac'd ways and airy paths I fly, more boundless in my fancy than my eye; my eye, which swift as thought contracts the space that lies between, and first salutes the place crown'd with that sacred pile, so vast, so high, that whether 'tis a part of earth or sky uncertain seems, and may be thought a proud aspiring mountain, or descending cloud; Paul's, the late theme of such a Muse, * whose flight has bravely reach'd and soar'd above thy height; now shalt thou stand, tho'sword, or time or fire, or zeal, miore fierce than they, thy fall conspire, . secure, whilst thee the best of poets sings, preserv'd from ruin by the best of kings. Under his proud survey the City lies, and like a mist beneath a bill doth rise, whose state and wealth, the bus’ness and the crowd, seems at this distance but a darker cloud, and is, to him who rightly things esteems, no other in effect than what it seems; where, with like haste, tho' several ways, they run,
* Mr. Waller.
some to undo, and some to be undone; while luxury and wealth, like war and peace, are each the other's ruin and increase; as rivers lost in seas, some secret vein thence reconveys, there to be lost again, oh! happiness of sweet retir'd content! to be at once secure and innocent. Windsor the next (where Mars with Venus dwells, beauty with strength) above the valley swells into my eye, and doth itself present with such an easy and unforc'd ascent, that no stupendous precipice denies access, no horror turns away our eyes; but such a rise as doth at once invite a pleasure and a rev’rence from the sight: thy mighty master's emblem, in whose face sat meekness, heighten’d with majestic grace; such seems thy gentle height, made only proud to be the basis of that pompous load, than which a nobler weight no mountain bears, but Atlas only, which supports the spheres. When Nature's hand this ground did thus advance, 't was guided by a wiser pow'r than chance; mark'd out for such an use, as if t'were meant ť invite the builder, and his choice prevent. Nor can we call it choice, when what we choose folly or blindness only could refuse. A crown of such majestic towers doth grace the god's great mother, when her heav'nly race do homage to her; yet she cannot boast, among that num'rous and celestial host, more heroes than can Windsor; nor doth Fame's immortal book record more noble nameş. Not to look back so far, to whom this isle
owes the first glory of so brave a pile,
• Edward 3, and the Black Princo,
and all that since the sister nations bled, had been unspilt, and happy Edward' known that all the blood he spilt had been his own. When he that patron chose in whom are join'd soldier and martyr, and his arms confin'd within the azure circle, he did seem but to foretel and prophesy' of him who to his realms that azure round hath join'd, : ; which Nature for their bound at first desigu'd; that bound which to the world's extremest ends, endless itself, it's liquid arms extends. Nor doth be need those eniblems which we paint, but is himself tbe soldier and the saint. Here should my wonder dwell, and here my praise ; but my fix'd thoughts my wand'ring eye betrays, viewing a neighb'ring hill, whose top of late a chapel crowd'd, till in the common fate th' adjoining abbey fell. (May no such storm fall on our times, where ruin must reform !) . Tell me, my Muse! what monstrous dire offence, what crime, could any Christian king incense to such a rage? Waš't luxury or lust? was be so temperate, so chaste, so just? [ınore; were these their crimes? they were his own much but wealth is crime enough to him that's poor, who having spent the treasures of his crowni, condemns their luxury to feed his own; and yet this act, to varnish o'er the shame of sacrilege, must bear devotion's vame. No crime so bold but would be understood a real, or at least a seeming good. Who fears not to do ill, yet fears the name, and, free from conscience, is a slave to fame. Thus be the church at once protects and spoils ;