Графични страници
PDF файл

Beneath milhapen Chaos, and the field Of fighting atoms, where hot, moist, and dry, Wage an eternal war with dismal roar ; The dismal roar breaks smoothly on the ground, Sacred to horror, and eternal night: Here Silence fits, whose visionary shape In folds of wreathy mantling finks obscure, And in dark fumes reclines his drowsy head ; An urn he halds, from whence a lake proceeds, Wide, Aowing gently, smooth, and Lethe nam'd : Hither compell’d, each foul must drink long draughts Of those forgetful streams, 'till forms within, And all the great ideas fade and die : For if vast thought should play about a mind Inclos'd in fleth, and dragging cumbrous life, Flutt'ring and beating in the mournful cage, It foon would break its grates and wing away : 'Tis therefore my decree, the soul return Naked from off this beach, and perfect blank, To visit the new world; and strait to feel Itself, in crude confiftence clofely shut, The dreadful monument of just revenge ; Immur'd by heaven's own hand, and plac'd ere&t On fleeting matter all imprison'd round With walls of clay; th'ætherial mould shall bear The chain of members, deafen'd with an car, Blinded by eyes, and manacled in hands. Here anger, vast ambition, and disdain, L 3


And all the haughty movements rise and fall,
As storms of neighbouring atoms tear the soul ;
And hope, and love, and all the calmer turns
Of easy hours, in their gay gilded shapes,
With sudden run, kim o'er deluded minds,
As matter leads the dance; but one desire,
Unsatisfy'd, fall mar ten thousand joys.

The rank of beings, that shall first advance,
Drink deep of human life, and long shall stay
On this


fcene of cares. From all the rest,
That longer for the destin'd body wait,
Less penance I expect ; and short abode
In those pale dreary kingdoms will content :
Each has his lamentable lót, and all,
On different racks, abide the pains of life.

The pensive fpirit takes the lonely grove :
Nightly he visits all the sylvan scenes,
Where far remote, a melancholy moon
Raising her head, serene and shorn of beams,
Throws here and there the glimmerings thro' the trees,
To make more aweful darkness. Starry lights,
Hung up on high, shed round 'em as they burn
A pale fad influence; and they gild the plains
With doubtful rays, which strike within the shades
A trembling lustre and uncertain light,

The Sage shall haunt this folitary ground, And view the dismal landscape, limn'd within In horrid Ihades, mix'd with imperfect light.

Here JUDGMEGT, blinded by delufive SENSE,
Contracted through the cranny of an eye, .
Shoots up faint languid beams, to that dark seat,
Wherein the foul bereav'd of native fire,
Sits intricate, in mifty clouds obscur'd,
Ev'n from itself conceald, and there prefides
O'er jarring images with reason's fway,
Which by his ordering more confounds their form ;
And by decisions more embroils the fray : !
The more he trives to appease, the more he feels
"The struggling furges of the darksome void
Impetuous, and the thick revolving thoughts
Encount'ring thoughts, image on image turn'd,
A Chaos of wild science, where fometimes
The clashing notions frike out casual light, .
Which foon must perish and be lost again
in the thick darkness round it. Now, he tries
With all his might to raise fome weighty thought,
Of me, of fate, or of th' eternal round,
Which but recoils to crush the labouring mind. ii
High are his reafonings, but the feeble clue
Of fleeting images he draws in vain
To wond'rous length ; (for still the turning inaze
Eludes his art) its end flies far away,
And leaves him tracing round the toilfome path,
Returning oft on the same beaten thought.
For much of good he talks, and life ferene,
Of happiness deny'd, the dismal waste
L 4


Of wisdom's privilege, and th' obdurate breast,
Stubborn in anguish ; idle wisdom all,
Weak forcery to charm a real pain ;
Diftasting crowds and business, thus he feeks
Diversion in himself, but with deep thoughts
He kindles doubt; and while he strives to blow
The ashes off, revives the brand of care,

Hence far remov'd, a diff'rent noisy race
In cities full and frequent take their seat,
Where honour's crush'd, and gratitude oppress'd
With swelling hopes of gain, that raise within
A tempeft, and, driv'n onward by success,
Can find no bounds. For creatures of a day
Stretch their wide caręs to ages ; full increase
Starves the penurious soul, while empty sound
Fills the ambitious ; that shall ever shrink,
Pining with endless cares, whilst this shall swell
To tympany enormous. Bright in arms
Here shines the hero, out he fiercely leads
A martial throng, his inftruments of rage,
To fill the world with death, and thin mankind.
Ambition drives, and round the world he roams,
Marking his way with blood ; the dreadful noise
Begets a fame; and all the breath he leavęs
Is spent in his false praise, and vajnly bloats
The tyrant's foul; while high his kingdoms rise
In fleeting pomp, hov'ring o'er their gaudy wings
Around the servile globe, that tamely bends


[ocr errors][merged small]

Beneath his haughty reign; and all his slaves
Under his yoke shall groan, and scarce shall groan
Without a crime. Here torturing engines roar
With human voice disguis'd; earth, water, fire,
Are made (dire elements of cruelty !)
Subservient to his luft, and power to kill ;
Yet shall the herd endure, nor dare to break
United their imaginary chain ;
While their great monarch chills with equal fears,
No less a slave than they. Each rumour shakes
The haughty purple, dark and cloudy cares
Involve the aweful throne, that stands erect,
Balanc'd on the wild people's temper'd rage,
And fortify'd with dangerous arts of power,
But death shall shift those scenes of misery ;
Then doubtful titles kindle up new wars,
And urge on ling'ring fate; the enfigns blaze
About the camp, and drums and trumpets' found
Prepare a folemu way to griezly war;
Javelins and bearded spears in ghaftly ranks
Erect their shining heads, and round the field
A harvest's scene of formidable death;
Then joins the horrid shock, whose bellowing burst
Torments the shatter'd air, and drowns the
Of men below that roll in certain death.
These are the mortal sports, the tragick plays
By man himself embroil'd; the dire debate
Make the waste desart seem serene and mild,



« ПредишнаНапред »