Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Bricks line the sides, but shiver'd long ago,
And horrid brambles intertwine below;
A hollow scoop'd, I judge, in ancient time,
For baking earth, or burning rock to lime.

Nor yet the hawthorn bore her berries red, With which the fieldfare, wintry guest, is fed ; Nor Autumn yet had brush'd from every spray, With her chill hand, the mellow leaves away; But corn was housed, and beans were in the stack, Now therefore issued forth the spotted pack, With tails high mounted, ears hung low, and

throats With a whole gamut fillid of heavenly notes; For which, alas! my destiny severe, Though ears she gave me two, gave me no ear.

The Sun, accomplishing his early march, His lamp now planted on heaven's topmost arch, When, exercise and air my only aim, And heedless whither, to that field I came, Ere yet with ruthless joy the happy hound Told hill and dale that Reynard's track was found, Or with the high-raised horn's melodious clang All Kilwick * and all Dinglederry* rang. Sheep grazed the field; some with soft bosom

press'd The herb as soft, while nibbling stray'd the rest; Nor noise was heard but of the hasty brook, Struggling, detain'd in many a petty nook. All seem'd so peaceful, that, from them convey'd, To me their peace by kind contagion spread.

But when the huntsman with distended cheek 'Gan make his instrument of music speak, And from within the wood that crash was heard, Though not a hound from whom it burst appear'd,

* Two woods belonging to John Throckmorton, Esq.

The sheep recumbent and the sheep that grazed,
All huddling into phalanx, stood and gazed,
Admiring, terrified, the novel strain,
Then courged the field around, and coursed it

round again;
But, recollecting, with a sudden thought,
That flight in circles urged advanced them nought,
They gather'd close around the old pit's brink,
And thought again—but knew not what to think.

The man to solitude accustom'd long Perceives in every thing that lives a tongue ; Not animals alone, but shrubs and trees Have speech for him, and understood with ease; After long drought, when rains abundant fall, He hears the herbs and flowers rejoicing all: Knows what the freshness of their hue implies, How glad they catch the largess of the skies; But, with precision nicer still, the mind He scans of every locomotive kind; Birds of all feather, beasts of every name, That serve mankind or shun them, wild or tame; The looks and gestures of their griefs and fears Have all articulation in his ears; He spells them true by intuition's light, And needs no glossary to set him right.

This truth premised was needful as a text, To win due credence to what follows next.

A while they mused; surveying every face, Thou hadst supposed them of superior race; Their periwigs of wool and fears combined, Stamp'd on each countenance such marks of mind That sage they seem'd as lawyers o'er a doubt, Which, puzzling long, at last they puzzle out;

3 A

VOL. V.

Or academic tutors, teaching youths,
Sure ne'er to want them, mathematic truths;
When thus a mutton, statelier than the rest,
A ram, the ewes and wethers sad address'd-

Friends! we have lived too long. I never heard
Sounds such as these, so worthy to be fear'd.
Could I believe, that winds for ages pent
In Earth's dark womb have found at last a vent,
And from their prison house below arise,
With all these hideous howlings, to the skies,
I could be much composed, nor should appear,
For such a cause, to feel the slightest fear.
Yourselves have seen, what time the thunders
All night, me resting quiet in the fold. [rollid
Or heard we that tremendous bray alone,
I could expound the melancholy tone;
Should deem it by our old companion made,
The ass ; for he, we know, has lately stray'd,
And being lost, perhaps, and wandering wide,
Might be supposed to clamour for a guide.
But ah! those dreadful yells what soul can hear,
That owns a carcass, and not quake for fear ?
Demons produce them doubtless, brazen-claw'd
And fang'd with brass the demons are abroad;
I hold it therefore wisest and most fit,
That, life to save, we leap into the pit.

Him answer'd then his loving mate and true, But more discreet than he, a Cambrian ewe.

How, leap into the pit our life to save? To save our life leap all into the grave? For can we find it less ? Contemplate first The depth, how awful! falling there, we burst: Or should the brambles, interposed, our fall In part abate, that happiness were small ?

For with a race like theirs no chance I see
of peace or ease to creatures clad as we.
Meantime, noise kills not. Be it Dapple's bray,
Or be it not, or be it whose it may,
And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues
Of demons utter'd, from whatever lungs,
Sounds are but sounds, and, till the cause appear,
We have at least commodious standing here.
Come, fiend, come, fury, giant, monster, blast
From earth or bell, we can but plunge at last.

While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals,
For Reynard, close attended at his heels
By panting dog, tired man, and spatter'd horse,
Through mere good fortune took a different course;
The flock grew calm again, and I, the road
Following that led me to my own abode,
Much wonder'd that the silly sheep had found
Such cause of terror in an empty sound,
So sweet to huntsman, gentleman, and hound.

MORAL.

Beware of desperate steps. The darkest day, Live till to-morrow, will have pass'd away.

COWPER.

INCOMPREHENSIBLE LOVE.

O SAY, when I tried your affection to move,

Why deaf to my sighs and my prayers ? Perhaps it was right to dissemble your loveBut why did you kick me down stairs ?

ANONYMOUS.

THE

LOVE OF THE WORLD REPROVED:

OR,

HYPOCRISY DETECTED.

Thus says the prophet of the Turk, .
• Good mussulman, abstain from pork;
There is a part in every swine
No friend or follower of mine
May taste, whate'er his inclination,
On pain of excommunication.'
Such Mahomet's mysterious charge,
And thus he left the point at large.
Had he the sinful part express'd,
They might with safety eat the rest;
But for one piece they thought it hard
From the whole bog to be debarr'd:
And set their wit at work to find
What joint the prophet had in mind.
Much controversy straight arose,
These choose the back, the belly those ;
By some 'tis confidently said
He meant not to forbid the head;
While others at that doctrine rail,
And piously prefer the tail,
Thus, conscience freed from every clog,
Mahometans eat up the hog.

You laugh—'tis well—The tale applied
May make you laugh on the other side

« ПредишнаНапред »