« ПредишнаНапред »
At random drove, her helm of reason loft.
Though now reftor'd, 'tis only change of pain,
(A bitter change!) feverer for fevere.
The Day too short for my diftrefs; and Night,
Ev'n in the zenith of her dark domain,
Is funthine to the colour of my fate.
Night, fable goddess! from her ebon throne,
In rayless majesty, now ftretches forth
Her leaden fceptre o'er a slumbering world.
Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound!
Nor eye, nor liftening ear, an object finds;
Creation fleeps. 'Tis as the general pulse
Of life ftood ftill, and nature made a paufe;
An awful paufe! prophetic of her end.
And let her prophecy be foon fulfill'd;
Fate drop the curtain; I can lose no more.
Silence and Darkness! folemn fifters! twins
From ancient Night, who nurse the tender thought! To Reafon, and on Reafon build Refolve,
(That column of true majesty in man)
Affift me: I will thank you in the grave;
The grave, your kingdom: There this frame fhall fall
A victim facred to your dreary fhrine.
But what are ye?—
Thou, who didft put to flight
Primæval Silence, when the morning stars,
Exulting, fhouted o'er the rifing ball;
O Thou, whofe word from folid darkness struck
That fpark, the fun; ftrike wisdom from my foul; 40
My foul, which flies to Thee, her truft, her treasure,
As mifers to their gold, while others reft.
Through this opaque of Nature, and of Soul,
This double night, tranfinit one pitying ray,
To lighten, and to chear. O lead my mind,
(A mind that fain would wander from its woe)
Lead it through various fcenes of Life and Death;
And from each fcene, the nobleft truths infpire.
Nor lefs infpire my Conduct, than my Song;
Teach my best reason, reason; my best will
Teach rectitude; and fix my firm refolve
Wisdom to wed, and pay her long arrear:
Nor let the phial of thy vengeance, pour'd
On this devoted head, be pour'd in vain.
The bell ftrikes One. But from its lofs.
We take no note of time 55
To give it then a tongue,
As if an angel ipoke,
I feel the folemn found. If heard aright,
It is the knell of my departed hours:
Where are they? With the years beyond the flood. 60
It is the fignal that demands difpatch:
How much is to be done? My hopes and fears
Start up alarm'd, and o'er life's narrow verge
Look down-On what? a fathomlefs abyfs;
A dread eternity! how furely mine!
And can eternity belong to me,
Poor penfioner on the bounties of an hour?
How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
How complicate, how wonderful, is man!
How paffing wonder He, who made him fuch!
Who centred in our make fuch strange extremes !
From different natures marvelously mixt,
Connexion exquifite of distant worlds!
Diftinguish'd link in Being's endless chain!
Midway from Nothing to the Deity!
A beam ethereal, fully'd, and absorpt!
Though fully'd and dishonour'd, still divine!
Dim miniature of greatness abfolute !
An heir of glory! a frail child of duft!
Helpless immortal! infect infinite!
A worm! a god!—I tremble at myself,
And in myself am loft! at home a ftranger,
Thought wanders up and down, furpriz'd, aghaft,
And wondering at her own: How reafon reels!
O what a miracle to man is man,
Triumphantly diftrefs'd! what joy, what dread!
Alternately transported, and alarm'd!
What can preferve my life! or what destroy!
An angel's arm can't fnatch me from the grave;
Legions of angels can't confine me there.
'Tis paft conjecture; all things rife in proof: While o'er my limbs fleep's foft dominion spread, What though my foul fantastic measures trod O'er fairy fields; or mourn'd along the gloom Of pathlefs woods; or, down the craggy steep Hurl'd headlong, fwam with pain the mantled pool; Or fcal'd the cliff; or danc'd on hollow winds, With antic fhapes, wild natives of the brain? Her ccafelefs flight, though devious, fpeaks her nature Of fubtler effence than the trodden clod;
Active, aërial, towering, unconfin'd,
Unfetter'd with her grofs companions fall.
Ev'n filent night proclaims my foul immortal:
Ev'n filent night proclaims eternal day.
For human weal, heaven husbands all events;
Dull fleep inftructs, nor fport vain dreams in vain.
Why then their lofs deplore, that are not loft?
Why wanders wretched thought their tombs around,
In infidel diftrefs? Are Angels there?
Slumbers, rak'd up in duft, ethereal fire ?
They live! they greatly live a life on earth
Unkindled, unconceiv'd; and from an eye
Of tenderness let heavenly pity fall
On me, more juftly number'd with the dead.
This is the defart, this the folitude:
How populous, how vital, is the grave!
This is creation's melancholy vault,
The vale funereal, the fad cyprefs gloom;
The land of apparitions, empty fhades!
All, all on earth, is Shadow, all beyond
Is Subftance; the reverfe is folly's creed:
How folid all, where change fhall be no more!
This is the bud of being, the dim dawn,
The twilight of our day, the vestibule;
Life's theatre as yet is fhut, and death,
Strong death, alone can heave the maffy bar,
This grofs impediment of clay remove,
And make us embryos of exiftence free,
From real life, but little more remote
Is he, not yet a candidate for light,
The future embryo, flumbering in his fire.
Embryos we must be, till we burst the shell,
Yon ambient azure fhell, and fpring to life,
The life of gods, O tranfport! and of man.
Yet man, fool man! here buries all his thoughts; 135 Inters celeftial hopes without one figh.
Prifoner of earth, and pent beneath the moon,
Here pinions all his wifhes; wing'd by heaven
To fly at infinite; and reach it there,
Where feraphs gather immortality,
On life's fair tree, faft by the throne of God.
What golden joys ambrofial clustering glow,
In His full beam, and ripen for the juft,
Where momentary ages are no more!
Where time, and pain, and chance, and death expire! 145
And is it in the flight of threefcore years,
To push eternity from human thought,
And fmother fouls immortal in the duft?
A foul immortal, spending all her fires,
Wafting her strength in strenuous idleness,
Thrown into tumult, raptur'd or alarm'd,
At ought this scene can threaten or indulge,
Refembles ocean into tempeft wrought,
To waft a feather, or to drown a fly.
Where falls this cenfure? It o'erwhelms myself; 155
How was my heart incrufted by the world!
O how self-fetter'd was my groveling foul!
How, like a worm, was I wrapt round and round
In filken thought, which reptile Fancy spun,
Till darken'd Reafon lay quite clouded o'er