Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Save me alike from foolish pride

Or impious discontent,
At aught thy wisdom has denied,

Or aught thy goodness lent.
Teach me to feel another's woe,

To hide the fault I see.
That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.

Mean though I am, not wholly so,

Since quicken'd by thy breath. O lead me, wheresoe'er I go,

Through this day's life or death!
This day be bread and peace my lot:

All else beneath the sun
Thou know'st if best bestow'd or not,

And let thy will be done.
To Thee, whose temple is all space,

Whose altar earth, sea, skies !
One chorus let all being raise !
All nature's incense rise !

ELEGY

To the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady, WHAT beck’ning ghost along the moon-light shade

Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade ? 'Tis sbe !-but why that bleeding bosom gor'd? Why dimly gleams the visionary sword? Oh ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell, Is it, in Heav'o, a crime to love too well ? To bear too tender, or too firm a heart, To act a lover's or a Roman's part? Is there no bright reversion in the sky, For those who greatly think, or bravely die?

Why bade ye else, ye pow'rs! her soul aspire Above the vulgar flight of low desire ? Ambition first sprung from your blest abodes, The glorious fault of angels and of gods; Thence to their images on earth it flows, And in the breasts of kings and heroes glows. Most souls, 'tis true, but peep out once an age, Dull sullen prisoners in the body's cage: Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres ; Like eastern kings a lazy state they keep, And, close confin'd to their own palace, sleep.

From these, perhaps (ere nature bade her die,) Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky. As into air the purer spirits flow, And separate from their kindred dregs below; So flew the soul to its congenial place, Nor left one virtue to redeem her race.

But thou, false guardian of a charge too good, Thou, mean deserter of thy brother's blood! See on these ruby lips the trembling breath, These cheeks now fading at the blast of death; Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before, And those love-darting eyes must roll no more. Thus, if eternal justice rules the ball, Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall: On all the line a sudden vengeance waits, And frequent herses shall besiege your gates ; There passengers shall stand, and pointing say (While the long funerals blacken all the way,) Lo! these were they whose souls the furies steel'd, And curs'd with hearts unknowing how to yield. Thus unlamented pass the proud away, The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day! So perish all, whose breast ne'er learu'd to glow For others' good, or melt at others' woe.

What can atone (oh, ever-injured shade!) Thy fate unpitied, and thy rites unpaid ? No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear, Pleas'd thy pale ghost, or grac'd thy mournful bier.

By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd,
By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd,
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd,
By strangers honour'd, and by strangers mourn'd!
What'though no friends in sable weeds appear,
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year ;
And bear about the mockery of woe
To midnight dances, and the public show?
What though no weeping loves thy ashes grace,
Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face?
What though no sacred earth allow thee room,
Nor hallow'd dirge be mutter'd o'er thy tomb ?
Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be dress'd,
And the green turf lie lightly on thy breast :
There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
There the first roses of the year shall blow;
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade
The ground, now sacred by thy relics made.

So peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame.
How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not,
To whom related, or by whom begot;
A heap of dust alone remains of thee ;
Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be !

Poets themselves must fall like those they sung, Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue. Ev'n he, whose soul vow melts in mournful lays, Shall shortly want the generous tear he pays ; Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part, And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart; Life's idle business at one gasp be o'er, The muse forgot, and thou belov'd no more!

THE

RAPE OF THE LOCK.

Nolueram, Belinda, tuos violare capillos;
Sed juvat, hoc precibus me tribuisse tais.

MART.

CANTO I.

WHAT dire offence from amorous causes springs,

What mighty contests rise from trivial things, I sing-This verse to Caryl, muse! is due : This, ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view: Slight is the subject, but not so the praise, If she inspire, and he approve my lays.

Say what strange motive, goddess ! could compel A well-bred lord to' assault a gentle belle ? O say what strauger cause, yet unexplor'd, Could make a gentle belle reject a lord ? In tasks so bold can little men engage, And in 'soft bosoms dwells such mighty rage ?

Sol through white curtains shot a timorous ray, And op'd those eyes that must eclipse the day. Now lap-dogs give themselves the rouzing shake, And sleepless lovers, just at twelve, awake: Thrice rung the bell, the slipper knock'd the ground, And the press'd watch return'd a silver sound. Belinda still her downy pillow prest, Her guardian sylph prolong'd the balmy rest : 'Twas he had summon'd to her silent bed The morning-dream that hover'd o'er her head : A youth more glittering than a birth-night beau, (That e'en in slumber caus'd her cheek to glow)

Seem'd to her ear his winning lips to lay,
And thus in whispers said, or seem'd to say:

“ Fairest of mortals, thou distinguish'd care
Of thousand bright inhabitants of air !
If e'er one vision touch'd thy infant thought,
Of all the nurse and all the priest have taught;
Of airy elves by moonlight-shadows seen,
The silver token, and the circled green,
Or virgins visited by angel powers,
With golden crowns and wreaths of heavenly flowers;
Hear and believe! thy own importance know,
Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.
Some secret truths, from learned pride conceard,
To maids alone and children are reveal'd;
What though no credit doubting wits may give ?
The fair and innocent shall still believe.
Know then, unnumber'd spirits round thee fly,
The light militia of the lower sky:
These, though unseen, are ever on the wing,
Hang o'er the box, and hover round the ring.
Think what an equipage thou hast in air,
And view with scorn two pages and a chair.
As now your own, our beings were of old,
And once inclos'd in woman's beauteous mould ;
Thence, by a soft transition, we repair
From earthly vehicles to those of air.
Think not, when woman's transient breath is fled,
That all her vanities at once are dead;
Succeeding vanities she still regards,
And, tho' she plays no more, o'erlooks the cards.
Her joy in gilded chariots, when alive,
And love of ombre, after death survive.
For when the fair in all their pride expire,
To their first elements their souls retire:
The sprites of fiery termagants in flame
Mount up, and take a salamander's name.
Soft yielding minds to water glide away,
And sip, with nymphs, their elemental tea.
The graver prude sinks downward to a gnome,
In search of mischief still on earth to roam.

« ПредишнаНапред »