Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Oh, what would they be to my tale of two Thieves?

The One, yet unbreeched, is not three birthdays

old, His G-randsire that age more than thirty times

told; There are ninety good seasons of fair and foul

weather 15

Between them, and both go a-pilf ering together.

With chips is the carpenter strewing his floor? Is a cart-load of turf at an old woman's door? Old Daniel his hand to the treasure will slide! And his Grandson's as busy at work by his side. 20

Old Daniel begins; he stops short—and his eye, Through the lost look of dotage, is cunning and

sly: 'Tis a look which at this time is hardly his own, But tells a plain tale of the days that are flown.

He once had a heart which was moved by the wires 25

Of manifold pleasures and many desires:

And what if he cherished his purse? 'Twas no more

Than treading a path trod by thousands before.

'Twas a path trod by thousands; but Daniel is

one Who went something farther than others have

gone, 30

And now with old Daniel you see how it fares; You see to what end he has brought his grey

hairs.

The pair sally forth hand in hand: ere the

sun Has peered o'er the beeches, their work is

begun: And yet, into whatever sin they may fall, 35 This child but half knows it, and that not at

all.

They hunt through the streets with deliberate

tread, And each, in his turn, becomes leader or led; And, wherever they carry their plots and their

wiles, 39

Every face in the village is dimpled with smiles.

Neither checked by the rich nor the needy they

roam; For the grey-headed Sire has a daughter at

home, Who will gladly repair all the damage that's

done; And three, were it asked, would be rendered

for one.

Old Man! whom so oft I with pity have eyed, 45 I love thee, and love the sweet Boy at thy

side: Long yet may'st thou live! for a teacher we

see That lifts up the veil of our nature in thee.

1800.

ANIMAL TRANQUILLITY AND DECAY.

The little hedgerow birds, That peck along the road, regard him not. He travels on, and in his face, his step, His gait, is one expression: every limb, His look and bending figure, all bespeak A man who does not move with pain, but moves With thought.—He is insensibly subdued To settled quiet: he is one by whom All effort seems forgotten; one to whom Long patience hath such mild composure given, That patience now doth seem a thing of which He hath no need. He is by nature led To peace so perfect that the young behold With envy, what the Old Man hardly feels.

1798.

EPITAPHS AND ELEGIAC PIECES.
EPITAPHS

TRANSLATED FROM CHIABRERA.
I.

Weep not, beloved Friends! nor let the air
For me with sighs be troubled. Not from life
Have I been taken; this is genuine life
And this alone—the life which now I live
In peace eternal; where desire and joy 5

Together move in fellowship without end.—
Francesco Ceni willed that, after death,
His tombstone thus should speak for him.

And surely
Small cause there is for that fond wish of ours
Long to continue in this world; a world 10
That keeps not faith, nor yet can point a hope
To good, whereof itself is destitute.

1837. (?)

11.

Perhaps some needful service of the State Drew Titus from the depth of studious bowers, And doomed him to contend in faithless courts, Where gold determines between right and wrong. Yet did at length his loyalty of heart, 5

And his pure native genius, lead him back

To wait upon the bright and gracious Muses, Whom he had early loved. And not in vain Such course he held! Bologna's learned schools Were gladdened by the Sage's voice, and hung 10 With fondness on those sweet Nestorian strains. There pleasure crowned his days; and all his

thoughts A roseate fragrance breathed.1—0 human life, That never art secure from dolorous change! Behold a high injunction suddenly 15

To Arno's side hath brought him, and he

charmed A Tuscan audience; but full soon was called To the perpetual silence of the grave. Mourn, Italy, the loss of him who stood A Champion stedfast and invincible, 20

To quell the rage of literary War!

1809.

in.

0 Thou who movest onward with a mind
Tntent upon thy way, pause, though in haste!
'Twill be no fruitless moment. I was born
Within Savona's walls, of gentle blood.
On Tiber's banks my youth was dedicate 5

To sacred studies; and the Roman Shepherd
f rave to my charge Urbino's numerous flock.
Well did I watch, much laboured, nor had power
To escape from many and strange indignities;
Was smitten by the great ones of the world, 10
But did not fall; for Virtue braves all shocks,
Upon herself resting immovably.

1 Ivi vivea giocondo e i suoi pensieri

Erano tutti rose.

The Translator had not skill to come nearer to his original.

« ПредишнаНапред »