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Yet ia there nothing men can do,
When chilling Age cornea creeping on? Cannot we yet some good pursue?
Are talents huried? genina gone? If passions almnber in the breast,
If follies from the heart he fled; Of laurels let ua go in quest,
And place them on the poet's head.
Yes, we'll redeem the wasted time,
And to neglected studies flee;
Or live, Philosophy, with thee;
Eternal fame reward shall be;
Th' admiring crowd shall envying see.
Begin the song! begin the theme!—
Alas! and is Invention dead?
Ia Mem'ry with her treasures fled?
Yes, 'tis too late,—now Reason gnides The mind, sole judge in all debate;
And thua th' important point decides,
What is possess'd we may retain,
Beware then, Age, that what was won,
If life's paat labours, atudiea, views. Be lost not, now the labour's done,
When all thy part is,—not to lose: When thou canst toil or gain no more.
Destroy not what was gain'd before. For, all that's gain'd of all that's good.
When time shall his weak frame destroy, (Their use then rightly understood)
Shall man, in happier state, enjoy. Oh! argument for truth divine.
For study's cares, for virtue's strife; To know th' enjoyment will be thine.
In that renew'd, that endless life!
See! I am calm a* infant-love, A tery child, but one of wo,
Whom you should pity, not reprove:— But men at ease, who never strove
With passions wild, will calmly show How soon we may their ills remove,
And masters of their madness grow.
Some twenty years I think are gone,—
(Time flies, I know not how, away,) The son upon no happier shone,
Nor proader man, than Eustace Grey. Aik where you would, and nil would say,
The man admired and praised of all, By rich and poor, by grave and gay,
Was the young lord of Greyling Hall.
Vei! I had youth and rosy health;
Was nobly form'd. as man might be;
I never gave a single fee:
Were all accustom'd then to say,
Should look upon Sir Eustace Grey.
He had a frank and pleasant look,
A cheerful eye and accent bland; His very speech and manner spoke
The generous heart, the open hand; About him all was gay or grand.
He had the praise of great and small; He bought, improved, projected, plann'd;
And reign'd a prince at Greyling Hall.
My lady!—she was all we love;
All praise (to speak her worth) is faint; Ht manners show'd the yielding dove,
Her morals the seraphic saint: She never breathed nor look'd complaint:
No equal upon earth had she:— "tw, what is this fair thing I paint?
Alas! as all that live shall be. »
There was, beside, a gallant youth,
And him, my bosom's friend, I had:— Ok! I was rich in very truth,
It made me proud—it made me mad I— •e*, I was lost—but there was cause!—
Where stood my tale?—I cannot find— But I had all mankind's applause.
And all the smiles of womankind.
""re were two cherub-things beside,
A gracious girl, a glorious boy; >et more to swell my full-blown pride,
To varnish higher my fading joy, p,TM«Bres were ours without alloy,
Naj. Paradise,—till my frail Eve Our bliss was tempted to destroy;
Deceived and fated to deceive.
But I deserved; for nil thnt time,
When I was loved, admired, caress'd, There was within, each secret crime,
Unfelt, uncancell'd, unconfess'd: I never then my God address'd,
In grateful praise or humble prayer; And if His Word was not my -jest,
(Dread thought!) it never was my care.
I doubted :—fool I was to doubt!
If that all-piercing eye could see,— If He who looks all worlds throughout,
Would so minute and careful be, As to perceive and punish me:—
With man I would be great and high, But with my God so lost, that He,
In his large view, should pnss me by.
Thus blest with children, friend, and wife,
Blest far beyond the vulgar lot; Of all that gladdens human life,
Where was the good, that I had not? But my vile heart had sinful spot,
And Heaven beheld its deepening stain, Eternal Justice I forgot,
And mercy sought not to obtain.
Come near,—I'll softly speak the rest!—
Alas! 'tis known to all the crowd, Her guilty love was all confess'd;
And his, who so much truth avow'd, My faithless friend's—In pleasure proud
I sat, when these cursed tidings came; Their guilt, their flight was told aloud,
And Envy smiled to hear my shame;
I call'd on Vengeance; at the word
She came:—-Can I the deed forget? I held the sword, th' accursed sword,
The blood of his false heart made wet; And that fair victim paid her debt,
She pined, she died, she loath'd to live ;— I saw her dying—see her yet:
Fair fallen thing! my rage forgive!
Those cherubs still, my life to bless.
Sad fears that check'd each fond caress,
Yet that with jealous feelings strove,
Had I not, wretch! been doom'd to prove
In youth! health! joy! in beauty's pride!
They droop'd: as flowers when blighted bow. The dire infection came:—They died,
And I was cursed—as I am now— Nay, frown not, angry friend, allow
That I was deeply, sorely tried; Hear then, and you must wondVir how
I eould such storms and strifes aliirir
Storms!—not that clouds embattled make,
When they afflict this earthly globe; But such as with their terrors shake
Man's breast, and to the bottom probe; They make the hypocrite disrobe,
They try us all, if false or true; For this, one devil had pow'r on Job;
And I was long the slave of two.
Peace, peace, my friend; these subjects fly; Collect thy thoughts—go calmly on.—
And shall I then the fact deny?
I was,—thou knowst,—I was begone, Like him who fill'd the eastern throne,
To whom the Watcher cried aloud; That royal wretch of Babylon,
Who was so guilty and so proud.
Like him, with haughty, stubborn mind,
I, in my state, my comforts sought; Delight and praise I hoped to find,
In what I builded, planted, bought! Oh! arrogance! by misery taught—
Soon came a voice! I felt it come: Full be his cup, with evil fraught,
Demons his guides, and death his doom!
Then was I cast from out my state;
Two fiends of darkness led my way; They waked me early, watch'd me late,
My dread by night, my plague by day! Oh! I was made their sport, their play,
Through many a stormy troubled year; And how they used their passive prey
Is sad to tell:—but you shall hear.
And first, before they sent me forth,
Through this unpitying world to run, They robb'd Sir Eustace of his worth,
Lands, manors, lordships, every one; So was that gracious man undone.
Was spurn'd as vile, was scorn'd as poor, Whom every former friend would shun,
And menials drove from every door.
Then those ill-favour'd Ones, whom none
But my unhappy eyes could view, Led me, with wild emotion, on,
And, with resistless terror, drew. Through lands we fled, o'er seas wc flew,
And halted on n boundless plain; Where nothing fed, nor breathed, nor grew,
But silence ruled the still domain.
Upon that boundless plain, below,
And gave a mild and sober glow,
Where all were still, asleep, or dead;
Vast ruins in the midst were spread,
Where the gray moss had form'd a bed,
There was I fix'd, I know not how,
Condcmn'd for untold years to stay: Vet years were not;—one dreadful ISom
Endured no change of night or day; The same mild evening's sleeping ray
Shone softly-solemn and serene, , And all that time 1 gazed away,
The setting sun's sad rays were seen.
At length a moment's sleep stole on,—
Again came my commission'd foe*: Again through sea and land we're gone,
No peace, no respite, no repose: Above the dark broad sea we rose,
We ran through bleak and frozen land; I had no strength their strength t' oppose,
An infant in a giant's hand.
They placed me where those streamers play,
Those nimble beams of brilliant light; It would the stoutest heart dismay.
To see, to feel, that dreadful sight: So swift, so pure, .so cold, so bright,
They pierced my frame with icy wound. And all that half-year's polar night.
Those dancing streamers wrapp'd me round
Slowly that darkness pass'd away,
When down upon the earth I fell,— Some hurried sleep was mine by day;
But, soon as toll'd the evening-bell. They forced me on, where ever dwell
Far-distant men in cities fair, Cities of whom no trav'lcrs tell.
Nor feet hut mine were wanderers there.
As on we hurry through the dark;
The watch-dog shrinks and fears to bark; The watch-tower's bell sounds shrill; and, hark! The free wind blows — we've left the town— A wide sepulchral ground I mark. And on a tombstone place mc down.
What monuments of mighty dead!
What tombs of various kinds are found! And stones erect their shadows shed
On humble graves, with wickers bound; Some risen fresh, above the ground.
Some level with the native clay. What sleeping millions wait the sound:
Arise, ye dead, and come away!
Alas! they stay not for that call;
Spare me this wo! ye demon*, spare!— They come! the shrouded shadows all,—
"Tin more than mortal brain can hear;
At man upheld by vital breath;
To join the shadowy troops of death!
Yes! I have felt all man can feel,
Till he shall pay his nature's debt; Ills that no hope has strength to heal,
No mind the comfort to forget: Whatever cares the heart can fret,
The spirits wear, the temper gall, Wo, want, dread, anguish, all beset
My sinful soul!—together all!
Those fiends upon a shaking fen
Fix'd me, in dark tempestuous night; There never trod the foot of men,
There flock'd the fowl in wint'ry flight; There danced the moor's deceitful light
Above the pool where sedges grow; And when the morning-sun shone bright,
It shone upon a field of snow.
They hung me on a bough so small.
The rook could build her nest no higher; They fix'd me on the trembling ball
That crowns the steeple's quiv'ring spire; Thry set me where the seas retire,
But drown with their returning tide; And made me flee the mountain's fire,
When rolling from its burning side.
I've hang upon the ridgy steep
Of cliffs, and held the rambling brier; I've plunged below the billowy deep,
Where air was sent me to respire; I've been where hungry wolves retire;
And (to complete my woes) I've ran Where Bedlam's crazy crew conspire
Against the life of reasoning man.
I've furl'd in storms the flapping sail,
By hanging from the topmast-head; I've served the vilest slaves in jail,
And pick'd the dunghill's spoil for bread; I've made the badger's hole my bed,
I've wander'd with a gipsy crew; I've dreaded all the guilty dread,
And done what they would fear to do.
Oa sand, where ebbs and flows the flood,
Midway they placed and bade me die; Propt on my staff, I stoutly stood
When the swift waves came rolling by; And high thry rose, and still more high,
Till my lips drank the bitter brine;
And saw the tide's re-flowing sign.
And then, my dreams were such as nought
Could yield but my unhappy case; I've been of thousand devils caught,
And thrust into that horrid place, Where reign dismay, despair, disgrace:
Furies with iron fangs were there, To torture that accursed race,
Doom'd to dismay, disgrace, despair.
Harmless I was; yet hunted down
For treasons, to my soul unfit; I've been pursued through many a town.
For crimes that petty knaves commit; I've been adjudged t' have lost my wit,
Because I preach'd so loud and well; And thrown into the dungeon's pit,
For trampling on the pit of hell.
Such were the evils, man of sin,
That I was fated to sustain; And add to all, without—within,
A soul defiled with every stain That man's reflecting mind can pain;
That pride, wrong, rage, despair, can make; In fact, they'd nearly touch'd my brain,
And reason on her throne would shake.
But pity will the vilest seek,
If punish'd guilt will not repine,— I heard a heavenly teacher speak,
And felt the Sun Of Mrrcv shine: I hail'd the light! the birth divine!
And then was seal'd among the few; Those angry fiends beheld the sign,
And from me in an instant flew.
Come hear how thus the charmers cry
To wandering sheep, the strays of sin, While some the wicket-gate pass by,
And some will knock and enter in: Fall joyful 'tis a soul to win,
For he that winneth souls is wise; Now hark! the holy strains begin,
And thus the sainted preacher cries:—
Pilgrim, burthen'd with thy sin,
Come the way to Zion's gate,
There, till Mercy let thee in,
Knock and weep and watch and wait.
Hark! it is the Bridegroom's voice:
Holy Pilgrim! what for thee
In a world like this remain?
From thy guarded breast ■hall flee
Fear and shame, and doubt and vain.
But though my day of grare was come,
Yet still my days of grief I find; The former clouds' collected gloom
Still saddens the reflecting mind; The soul, to evil things consign'd,
Will of their evil some retain; The man will seem to earth inclined,
And will not look erect again.
Thus, though elect, I feel it hard
To lose what I possess'd before.
The brave Sir Eustace is no more:
Stern, rugged men my conduct view; They chide my wish, they bar my door,
'Tis hard—I weep—you see I do.—
Must you, my friends, no longer stay?
Thus quickly all my pleasures end; But I'll remember, when I pray,
My kind physician and his friend; And those sad hours, you deign to spend
With me, I shall requite them all; Sir Eustace for his friends shall send.
And thank their love at Grcyling Hall.
The poor Sir Eustace!—Yet his hope
And when his enrthly visions droop.
But whence that meek and humbled strain,
Would not so proud a soul disdain The madness of the poorest mind?
No! for the more he swell'd with pride,
The more he felt misfortune's blow; Disgrace and grief he could not hide,
And poverty had laid him low: Thus shame and sorrow working slow,
At length this humble spirit gave; Madness on these began to grow,
And bound him to his fiends a slave.
Though the wild thoughts had touch'd his brain.
Then was he free:—So, forth he ran; To soothe or threat, alike were vain:
He spake of fiends; look'd wild and wan; Year after year the hurried man
Obey'd those fiends from place to place; Till his religious change began
To form a frenzied child of grace.
For, as the fury lost its strength.
The mind reposed; by slow degrees Came lingering hope, and brought at length.
To the tormented spirit, ease: This slave of sin, whom fiends could seise.
Felt or believed their power had cud;— 'Tis faith, he cried, my bosom frees,
And now my Swioua. is my friend.
But ah! though time can yield relief,
And soften woes it cannot cure; Would we not suffer pain and grief,
To have our reason sound and sure? Then let us keep our bosoms pure.
Our fancy's favourite flight* suppress; Prepare the body to endure.
And bend the mind to meet distress; And then Bis guardian care implore.
Whom demons dread and men adorr.