Графични страници
PDF файл



This pardise tree, so fair and high,
I view with no aspiring eye:
Like aspen shake the restless leaves,
And Sodom-fruit our pains deceives,
Whence frequent falls give no surprise,
But fits of Spleen, called growing wise.
Greatness in glittering forms displayed
Affects weak eyes much used to shade,
And by its falsely envied scene
Gives self-debasing fits of Spleen.
We should be pleased that things are so,
Who do for nothing see the show,
And, middle-sized, can pass between
Life's hubbub safe, because unseen,
And ’midst the glare of greatness trace
A watery sunshine in the face,
And pleasures fled to, to redress
The sad fatigue of idleness.


Contentment, parent of delight,
So much a stranger to our sight,
Say, goddess, in what happy.place
Mortals behold thy blooming face;
Thy gracious auspices impart,
And for thy temple choose my heart.
They, whom thou deignest to inspire,
Thy science learn, to bound desire;
By happy alchymy of mind
They turn to pleasure all they find
They both disdain in outward mien
The grave and solemn garb of Spleen,
And meretricious arts of dress,
To feign a joy, and hide distress;
Unmoved when the rude tempest blows,

610 617

Without an opiate they repose;
And covered by your shield, defy
The whizzing shafts that round them fly:,
Nor, meddling with the gods' affairs,
Concern themselves with distant cares;
But place their bliss in mental rest,
And feast upon the good possess’d, .


Forced by soft violence of prayer,
The blithesome goddess soothes my care,
I feel the deity inspire,
And thus she models my desire.
Two hundred pounds half-yearly paid,
Annuity securely made,
A farm some twenty miles from town,
Small, tight, salubrious, and my own;
Two' maids, that never saw the town,
A serving-man not quite a clown,
A boy to help to tread the mow,
And drive, while t' other holds the plough;
A chief, of temper formed to please,
Fit to converse, and keep the keys;
And better to preserve the peace,
Commission'd by the name of niece;
With understandings of a size
To think their master very wise.'1 fi
May heaven (it's all I wish for) send
One genial room to treat a friend, he s
Where decent cupboard, little plate,
Display benevolence, not state,
And may my humble dwelling stand
Upon some chosen spot of land:
A pond before full to the brim,
Where cows may cool, and geese may swim;

[ocr errors]

640 650

Behind, a green like velvet neat,
Soft to the eye, and to the feet;
Where odorous plants in evening fair
Breathe all around ambrosial air;
From Eurus, foe to kitchen ground,
Fenced by a slope with bushes crowned,
Fit dwelling for the feathered throng,
Who pay their quit-rents with a song;
With opening views of hill and dale,
Which sense and fancy too regale,
Where the half-cirque, which vision bounds, 660
Like amphitheatre surrounds:
And woods impervious to the breeze,
Thick phalanx of embodied trees,
From hills through plains in dusk array
Extended far, repel the day.
Here stillness, height, and solemn shade
Invite, and contemplation aid:
Here nymphs from hollow oaks relate
The dark decrees and will of fate,
And dreams beneath the spreading beech
Inspire, and docile fancy teach;
While soft as breezy breath of wind,
Impulses rustle through the mind:
Here Dryads, scorning Phæbus' ray,
While Pan melodious pipes away,
In measured motions frisk about,
'Till old Silenus puts them out.
There see the clover, pea, and bean,
Vie in variety of green;
Fresh pastures speckled o'er with sheep;
Brown fields their fallow sabbaths keep,
Plump Ceres golden tresses wear,
And poppy top-knots deck her hair,



And silver streams through meadows stray, 684
And Naiads on the margin play,
And lesser nymphs on side of hills
From plaything urns pour down the rills.



Thus sheltered, free from care and

May I enjoy a calm through life;
See faction, safe in low degree,
As men at land see storms at sea,
And laugh at miserable elves,
Not kind, so much as to themselves,
Cursed with such souls of base alloy,
As can possess, but not enjoy;
Debarred the pleasure to impart
By avarice, sphincter of the heart;
Who wealth, hard earned by guilty cares,
Bequeath untouched to thankless heirs.
May I, with look ungloom'd by guile,
And wearing Virtue's livery-smile,
Prone the distressed to relieve,
And little trespasses forgive,
With income not in Fortune's power,
And skill to make a busy hour,
With trips to town life to amuse,
To purchase books, and hear the news,
To see old friends, brush off the clown,
And quicken taste at coming down,
Unhurt by sickness' blasting rage,
And slowly mellowing in age,
When Fate extends its gathering gripe,
Fall off like fruit grown fully ripe,
Quit a worn being without pain,
Perhaps to blossom soon again.


[ocr errors]

But now more serious see me grow, And what I think, my Memmius, know.


The enthusiast's hope, and raptures wild,
Have never yet my reason foiled.
His springy soul dilates like air,
When free from weight of ambient care,
And, hushed in meditation deep,
Slides into dreams, as when asleep;
Then, fond of new discoveries grown,
Proves a Columbus of her own,
Disdains the narrow bounds of place,
And through the wilds of endless space,
Borne up on metaphysic wings,
Chases light forms and shadowy things
And, in the vague excursion caught,
Brings home some rare exotic thought.
The melancholy man such dreams,
As brightest evidence, esteems;
Fain would he see some distant scene
Suggested by his restless Spleen,
And Fancy's telescope applies
With tinctured glass to cheat his eyes.
Such thoughts as love the gloom of night,
I close examine by the light;
For who, though bribed by gain to lie,
Dare sunbeam-written truths deny,
And execute plain common sense
On faith's mere hearsay evidence ?


That superstition mayn't create,
And club its ills with those of fate,
I many a notion take to task,
Made dreadful by its visur-mask.

« ПредишнаНапред »