Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

What need I more? O Death, the palm is thine.

Then welcome, Death! thy dreaded harbingers, Age and disease ; disease, though long my guest; That plucks my nerves, those tender strings of life: Which, plucked a little more, will toll the bell That calls my few friends to my funeral ; Where feeble nature drops, perhaps, a tear, While reason and religion, better taught, Congratulate the dead, and crown his tomb With wreath triumphant. Death is victory; It binds in chains the raging ills of life : Lust and ambition, wrath and avarice, Dragged at his chariot-wheel, applaud his power. That ills corrosive, cares importunate, Are not immortal too, O Death! is thine. Our day of dissolution !-name it right, 'Tis our great pay day; 'tis our harvest, rich And ripe. What though the sickle, sometimes keen, Just scars us as we reap the golden grain ? More than thy balm, 0 Gilead! heals the wound. Birth's feeble cry, and death's deep dismal groan, Are slender tributes low-taxed nature pays For mighty gain: the gain of each, a life ! But oh! the last the former so transcends, Life dies, compared ; life lives beyond the grave.

And feel I, Death! no joy from thought of thee? Death, the great counsellor, who man inspires With every nobler thought and fairer deed ! Death, the deliverer, who rescues man! Death, the rewarder, who the rescued crowns ! Death, that absolves my birth! a curse without it! Rich death, that realises all my cares, Toils, virtues, hopes; without it a chimera ! Death, of all pain the period, not of joy : Joy's source and subject still subsist unhurt; One in my soul, and one in her great Sire ; Though the four winds were warring for my dust. Yes, and from winds, and waves, and central night, Though prisoned there, my dust too I reclaim (To dust when drop proud nature's proudest spheris), And live entire. Death is the crown of life. Were death denied, poor man would live in vain ; Were death denied, to live would not be life ; Were death denied, even fools would wish to die. Death wounds to cure : we fall, we rise, we reign :

Spring from our fetters ; fasten in the skies;
Where blooming Eden withers in our sight:
Death gives us more than was in Eden lost.
This king of terrors is the prince of peace.
When shall I die to vanity, pain, death?
When shall I die ?-when shall I live for ever ?

A KENSIDE.

ON LEAVING HOLLAND.

Farewell to Leyden's lonely bound,
The Belgian Muse's sober seat ;
Where dealing frugal gifts around
To all the favourites at her feet,
She trains the body's bulky frame

For passive, persevering toils ;

And lest, from any prouder aim, The daring mind should scorn her homely spoils, She breathes maternal fogs to damp its restless flame.

Farewell the grave, pacific air,
Where never mountain zephyr blew :
The marshy levels lank and bare,
Which Pan, which Ceres never knew :
The Naiads, with obscene attire,
Urging in vain their urns to flow;

While round them chaunt the croaking choir,
And haply soothe some lover's prudent woe,
Or prompt some restive bard and modulate his lyre.

Farewell, ye nymphs, whom sober care of gain
Snatch'd in your cradles from the god of love :
She render'd all his boasted arrows vain;
And all his gifts did he in spite remove.
Ye too the slow-ey'd fathers of the land,
With whom dominion steals from hand to hand,
Unown'd, undignify'd by public choice,
I go where liberty to all is known,

And tells a monarch on his throne,
He reigns not but by her preserving voice.

O my lov'd England, when with thee
Shall I sit down, to part no more?
Far from this pale, discolour'd sea,
That sleeps upon the reedy shore,
When shall I plovgh thy azure-tide ?
When on thy hills the flocks admire,

Like mountain snows ; till down their side
I trace the village and the sacred spire,
While bowers and copses green the golden slop divide ?

Ye nymphs who guard the pathless grove,
Ye blue-ey'd sisters of the streams,
With whom I wont at morn to rove,
With whom at noon I talk'd in dreams;
0! take me to your haunts again,
The rocky spring, the greenwood glade ;

To guide my lonely footsteps deign,
To prompt my slumbers in the murm’ring shade,
And soothe my vacant ear with many an airy strain.

And thou, my faithful harp, no longer mourn
Thy drooping master's inauspicious hand :
Now brighter skies and fresher gales return,
Now fairer maids thy melody demand.
Daughters of Albion, listen to my lyre !
O Phoebus, guardian of th’ Aonian choir,
Why sounds not mine harmonious as thy own,
When all the virgin-deities above

With Venus and with Juno move
In concert round th’ Olympian father's throne.

Thee too, protectress of my lays,
Elate with whose majestic call
Above degen’rate Latium's praise,
Above the slavish boast of Gaul,
I dare from impious thrones reclaim
And wanton Sloth's ignoble charms,

The honours of a poet's name
To Somers' counsels, or to Hamden's arms,
Thee, Freedom, I rejoin, and bless thy genuine flame.

Great citizen of Albion. Thee
Heroic Valour still attends,
And useful Science pleas'd to see
How Art her studious toil extends.

While Truth, diffusing from on high
A lustre unconfin'd as day,

Fills and commands the public eye;
Till, pierc'd and sinking by her powerful ray,
Tame Faith and monkish Awe, like nightly demons fly.

Hence the whole land the patriot's ardour shares :
Hence dread Religion dwells with socia. Joy ;
And holy passions and unsullied cares,
In youth, in age, domestic life employ.
O fair Britannia, hail !— With partial love
The tribes of men their native seats approve,
Unjust and hostile to each foreign fame :
But when for gen'rous minds and manly laws

A nation holds her prime applause,
There public Zeal shall all reproof disclaim.

« ПредишнаНапред »