Графични страници
PDF файл

The homely beauty nf the pood old cause In gone; our peace, our fearful innocence, And pure religion breathing household-laws.

xiy.

1802.

Milton ! thou shouldst be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
lliiif forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue.freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star and dwelt apart:
Thou hadst a voice whose, sound was like

the sea;
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
Id cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on itself did lay.

XV.

It is not to be thought of that the Flood Of British freedom, which to the open Sea Of the world's praise from dark antiquity Hath flowed, with pomp of waters, unwith

stood, Road by which all might come and go that

would, And bear out freights of worth to foreign

lands; That this most famous Stream in Bogs and

Sands Should perish; and to evil and to good Be lost for ever. In our Halls is hung Armoury of the invincible Knights of -old: We must be free or die, who speak the tongue That Shakspeare spake; the faith and morals

hold Which Milton held. In every thing we are

sprung Of Earth's first blood, have titles manifold.

XVI.

Warn I have borne in memory what has

tamed Great Mat inns, how ennobling thoughts depart W hen Men change Swords for Ledgers, and

desert The Student's bower for gold, some fears

unnamed I hsd. my Country! nm I to be blamed? Bnt, when I think of Thee, and what Thou

art, ^fT'ily, in the bottom of my heart, Of those unfiliiil fears I am ashamed. But dearly must we prize thee; we who find

In thee a bulwark of the cause of men; And I by my affection was beguiled. What wonder, if a Poet, now and then. Among the many movements of his mind, Kelt for thee as a Lover or a Child.

XVII.

October, 1803.

Onb might believe that natural miseries Had blasted France, and made of it a land Unfit for Men; and that in one great Rand Her Sons were bursting forth, to dwell at

ease. Rut 'tis a chosen soil, where sun and breeze Shed gentle favors; rural works are there; And ordinary business without care; Spot rich in all things that can soothe and

please! How piteous then that there should be such

dearth Of knowledge; that whole myriads should

unite To work against themselves such fell despite: Should come in phrenxy and in drunken mirth, Impatient to put out the only light Of Liberty that yet remains on Earth!

XVIII.

There is a bondage which is worse to bear Than his who breathes, by roof, and floor,

and wall, Pent in, a Tyrant's solitary Thrall: "I'is his who walks about in the open air, One of a Nation who, henceforth, must wear Their fetters in thcirSouls. For who could be, Who, even the best, in such condition, free From self-reproach, reproach which he must

share With Human Nature? Nsvcr be it ours To see the Sun how brightly it will shine, And know that noble Feelings, manly Powers, Instead of gathering strength must droop

and pine, And Earth with all her pleasant fruits and

flowers Fade, and participate in Man's decline.

XIX.

October, 1803.

These times touch money'd Worldlings with

dismay: Even rich men, brave by nature, taint the air With words of apprehension and despair: While tens of thousands, thinking on the

afTray, Men unto whom sufficient for the day And minds not stinted or untill'd are given. Sound, healthy Children nf the God of

Heaven, Are cheerful as the rising Sun in May. What do wc gather hence but firmer faith That every gift of noble origin If breathed upon by Hope's perpetual breath; That virtue and the faculties within Are vital, and that riches are akin To fear, to change, to cowardice, and death!

XX.

England! the time is come when thou

shouldst wean Thy heart from its emasculating food; The truth should now be better understood; Old things have been unsettled; we have seen Fair seed-time, better harvest might have

been But for thy trespasses; and, at this day, If for Greece, Egypt, India, Africa, Aught good were destined, Thou wouldst

step between. England! all nations in this charge agree: But worse, more ignorant in love and hale, Far, far more abject is thine Enemy: Therefore the wise pray for thee, though

the freight Of thy offences be a heavy weight: Oh grief! that Earth's best hopes rest all

with Thee!

XXI.

November, 1806.

Another year!—another deadly blow!
Another mighty Empire overthrown!
And we arc left, or shall be left, alone;
The last that dare to struggle with the Foe.
"I'is well! from this day forward we shall

know That in ourselves our safety must be

sought; That by our own right hands it must be

wrought, That we must stand unpropp'd, or be laid low. O Dastard whom such foretaste doth not

cheer! We shall exult, if They who rule the land Be Men who hold its many blessings dear, Wise, upright, valiant; not a venal Band, Who are to judge of danger which they

'fear, And honour which they do not understand.

XXII.

September, 1815.

WniLE not a leaf seems faded,—while the

fields, Willi ripening harvests prodigally fair,

In brightest sunshine bnsk,—this nipping air, Sent from some distant clime where Winter

wields His icy scymetar, a foretaste yields Of bitter change—and bids the Flowers

beware; And whispers to the silent Birds, "prepare Against the threatening foe your trustiest

shields." For me, who under kindlier laws belong To Nature's tuneful quire, this rustling dry Through the green leaves, and yon crystalline sky, Announce a season potent to renew, 'Mid frost and snow, the instinctive joys of

song,— And nobler cares than listless summer knew.

XX1I1.

November 1, 1815.

How clear, how keen, how marvellously

bright The effluence from yon distant mountain's

head, Which, strewn with snow as smooth as

Heaven can shed. Shines like another Sun—on mortal sight. Uprisen, as if to check approaching night. And all her twinkling stars. Who now

would trend. If so he might, yon mountain's glittering

head— Terrestrial—but a surface, by the flight Of sad mortality's earth-sullying wing, Unswept, unstained? Nor shall the aerial

Powers Dissolve that beauty—destined to endure White, radiant, spotless, exquisitely pure. Through all vicissitudes—till genial spring Have filled the laughing vales with welcome

flowers.

XXIV.

COMPOSED IN RECOLLECTION OF THE EXPEDITION OP THE FRENCH INTO RUSSIA.

Ye Klorins. resound the praises of your King! And ye mild seasons—in a sunny clime, Midway on some high hill,while Father Time Looks on delighted—meet in festal ring. And loud and long of Winter's triumph sing! Sing ye, with blossoms crowned, and fruits,

and flowers, Of Winter's breath surcharged with sleety

showers. And the dire flapping of his hoary wing! Knit the blithe dance upon the soft green

grass; With feet, hands, eyes, looks, lips, report

your gain; Whisper it to the billows of the main, And to the aerial Zephyrs as they pass, That old decrepit Winter—fie hath slain That Host, which rendered all your linnn ties vain!

XXV.

81 GCKSTKD BY W'tSTALl.'iJ VIKM S OP THB CIUS IN YIIHKMHIHK.

Pi'kk element of waters! wheresoe'er
Thou dost forsake thy subterranean haunts,
Green herbs, bright flowers, and berry-
bearing plants,
Rise into life and in thy trnin appear:
And, through the sunny portion of the year,
Swift insects shine,th v hovering pursuivants:
And, if thy bounty fail, the forest pants;
And hart and hind and hunter with his

spear
Languish and droop together. Nor unfelt
In man's perturbed soul thy sway benign;
And, haply, far within the marble belt
Of central earth, where tortured Spirits pine
For grace and goodness lost, thy murmurs

melt Their anguish,—and they blend sweet songs with thine!

XXVI.

C O R D A L E.

At early dawn,—or rather when the air
Glimmers with fading light, and shadowy eve
Is busiest to confer and to bereave,—
Then, pensive votary, let thy feet repair
To Gordale-chasm, terrific as the lair
Where the young lions couch; — for so, by

leave
Of the propitious hour, thou raayst perceive
The local Deity, with oozy hair
And mineral crown, beside his jagged urn
Recumbent:—him thou mayst behold, who

hides His lineaments by day, and there presides, Tearhing the docile waters how to turn; Or, if need he, impediment to spurn, And force their passage to the sal t-sea-tides!

XXVII.

Akihil Unci,—whose solitary brow
''nun this low threshold daily meets my sight;
When I look forth to hail the morning-light,
Or quit the stars with lingering farewell-
how
Shall I discharge to thee a grateful vow?—
By planting on thy head (in verse at least,
As I have often done in thought) the crest
Of an imperial Castle, which the plough
Of ruin shall not touch. Innocent scheme!
That doth presume no more than to supply
A grace the sinuous vale and roaring stream

Want, through neglect of hoar Antiquity. Rise, then, ye votive Towers, nnd catch a

gleam Of golden sun-set—ere it fade and die!

XXVIII.

THE WILD-DUCK g NEST.

The Imperial Consort of the Fairy-King Owns not a sylvan bower, or gorgeous cell With emerald floor'd, and with purpureal

shell Cciling'd and roofd; that is so fair a thing As this low structure—for the tasks of Spring Prepared by one who loves the buoyant swell Of the brisk waves, yet here consents to

dwell; And spreads in steadfast peace her brooding

wing. Wrords cannot paint the o'ershadowing yewtree-bough, And dimly-gleaming Nest,—a hollow crown Of golden leaves inlaid with silver down, Fine as the Mother's softest plumes allow I I gaze—and almost wish to lay aside Humanity, weak slave of cumbrous pride!

XXIX.

CAPTIVITY.

As the cold aspect of a sunless way
Strikes through the Traveller's frame with

deadlier chill.
Oft as appears a grove, or obvious hill,
Glistening with unparticipated ray,
Or shining slope where he must never strny;
So joys, remembered without wish or will
Sharpen the keenest edge of present ill,—
On the crush'd heart a heavier burthen lay.
Just Heaven, contract the compass of my

mind To fit proportion with my altered state! Quench those felicities whose light I find Burning within my bosom nil too late!— O he my spirit, like my thraldom, strait; And like mine eyes, that stream with sorrow,

blind!

XXX.

TO A SNOW-DROP, APPEARING VERY FlIll.Y in THB SEASON,

Lone Flower, hemmed in with snows and

white as they Rut hardier far, though modestly thou bend Thy front—as if ruch presence could offend | Who guards thy slender stalk, while, day

by day, Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, way-lay

The rising; sun, and on the plains descend? Accept the greeting- that befits a friend Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed

May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
Yet will I not thy gentle grace forget
Chaste Snow-drop, vcnt'roiis harbinger of

Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!

XXXI.

TO THE RIVER DERWENT.

Among the mountains were wc nnrs'd, lov'd

Stream! Thou, near the eagle's nest—with in brief sail, I, of his bold wing floating on the gale. Where thy deep voice could lull me!—Faint

the beam Of human life when first allowed to gleam On mortal notice.—Glory of the Vale, Such thy meek outset, with a crown though

frail Kept in perpetual verdure by the steam Of thy soft breath!—Less vivid wreaths entwined Nemeean Victor's brow; less bright was worn Meed of some Roman Chief—in triumph borne With captives chain'd, and shedding from his car .

The sunset-splendors of a finish'd war
Upon the proud enslavers of mankind!

XXXII.

Grief, thou hast lost an ever rendy Friend Now that the cottage-spinning-wheel is mute; And Care—a Comforter that best could suit Her forward mood, and softliest reprehend; And Love—a Charmer's voice, that nscd to

lend. More efficaciously than aught that flows From harp or lute, kind influence to compose The throbbing pulse,—else troubled without

end: Ev'n Joy could tell, Joy craving truce and rest From her own overflow, what power sedate On those revolving motions did await Assiduously, to sooth her aching breast; And—to a point of just relief—abate The mantling triumphs of a day too blest.

INSCRIPTION,

Supposed To Ie Found In A Hermit's Cell.

Hopes what arc they?—Reads of morning

Strung on slender blades of grass;

Or a spider's web adorning

In a strait and treacherous pass.

What are fears but voices airy?
Whispering harm where harm is not,
And deluding the unwary
Till the fatal bolt is shot!

What is glory?—in the socket
See how dying tapers fare!
What is pride?—a whizzing rocket
That would emulate a star.

What is friendship?—do not trust her.
Nor the vows which she has made;
Diamonds dart their brightest lustre
From a palsy-shaken head.

What is truth?—a staff rejected;
Duty?—an unwelcome clog;
Joy?—a dazzling moon reflected
In a swamp or watery bog;

Bright, aa if through ether steering,
To the Traveller's eye it shone:
He hath hailed it re-appenring—
Anil as quickly it is gone;

Gone, as if for ever hidden,
Or misshapen to the sight;
And by sullen weeds forbidden
To resume its native light.

What is youth?—a dancing billow.
Winds behind, and rocks before!
Age ?—a drooping, tottering willow
On a flat and lazy shore.

What is peace?—when pain is over,
And love ceases to rebel.
Let the last faint sigh discover
That precedes the passing knell!

EPITAPHS

Translated From cnuiRFnt

Peru Ips some needful service of the State Drew Titus from the depth of studious

bowers And doomed him to contend in faithless

courts. Where gold determines between right and

wrong. Yet did at length his loyalty of heart And his pure native genius lead him back To wait upon the bright and gracious Muses Whom he had early loved. And not in vain Such course he held! Bologna's learned

schools Were gladdened by the Sage's voice, and

hung

With fondness on those sweet Ncstorian

strains. There pleasure crowned his days; and all

his thoughts A roseate fragrance breathed,—O human life, That never art secure from dolorous change! Behold a high injunction suddenly ToArno's side conducts him, and he charmed A Tuscan audience: hut full soon was called To the perpetual silence of the grave. Mourn, Italy, the loss of him who stood A Champion steadfast and invincible, To quell the rage of literary War!

II.

0 thou who movent onward with a mind
Intent upon thy way, pause, though in haste!
Twill be no fruitless moment. I was born
Within Savnna's walls of gentle blood.
On Tiber's banks my youth was dedicate
To sacred studies; and the Roman Shepherd
Gave to my charge l< rhino's numerous Flock.
Much did I watch, much laboured, nor had

power
To escape from many and strange indignities;
Was smitten by the great ones of the world
But did not fall, for virtue braves all shocks,
I'pon herself resting immoveably.
Me did a kindlier fortune then invite
To serve the glorious Henry, King of France,
And in his hands I saw a high reward
Stretched out for my acceptance.—but Death

came. Now, Reader, learn from this my fate—

how false, How treacherous to her promise is theWorld, And trust in God—to whose eternal doom Must bend the sceptred Potentates of Earth.

III.

There never breathed a man who when his

life Was closing might not of that life ralate Toils long and hard. — The Warrior will

report Of wounds, and bright swords flashing in

the field, And blast of trumpets. He who hath been

doomed To bow his forehead in the courts of kings, Will tell of fraud and never-ceasing hate, Envy, and heart-inquietude, derived From intricate cabals of treacherous friends. I, .who on ship-board lived from earliest

youth, Could represent the countenance horrible Of the vexed waters, and the indignant rage Of Auster and Bootes. Forty years Over the well-steered Gallics did I rule:— From huge Pelorus to the Atlantic pillars Rises no mountain to mine eyes unknown;

And the broad gulfs I traversed oft—and—

oft: Of every cloud which in the heavens might

stir I knew the force; and hence the rough sea's

pride Availed not to my Vessel's overthrow. What noble pomp and frequent have not I On regal decks beheld! yet in the end I learn that one poor moment can suffice To equalize the lofty and the low. We sail the sea of life—a Calm One finds, And One a Tempest—and, the voyage o'er, Death is the quiet haven of us all. If more of my condition you would know, Savona was my birth-place, and I sprang Of noble Parents: sixty years and three Lived I—then yielded to a slow disease.

IV.

Destined to war from very infancy
Was I, Roberto Dati, and I took
In Malta the white symbol of the Cross.
Nor in life's vigorous season did I shun
Hazard or toil; among the Sands was seen
Of l.yhin. and not seldom on the Banks
Of wide Hungarian Danube 'twas my lot
To hear the sanguinary trumpet sounded.
So lived I, and repined not at such fate;
This only grieves me, for it seems a wrong,
That stripped of arms I to my end am brought
On the soft down of my paternal home.
Yet haply Arno shall be spared all cause
To blush for me. Thou, loiter not nor halt
In thy appointed way, and bear in mind
How fleeting and how frail is human life.

Pause, courteous Spirit!—Bnlhi supplicates
That Thou, with no reluctant voice, for him
Here laid in mortal darkness, wouldst prefer
A prayer to the Redeemer of the World.
This to the Dead by sacred rights belongs;
All else is nothing.—Did occasion suit
To tell his worth, the marble of this tomb
Would ill suffice, for Plato's love sublime
And all the wisdom of the Stagyritc
Enriched and beautified this studious mind:
With Archimedes also he conversed
As with a chosen Friend, nor did he leave
Those laureat wreaths ungathered which the

Nymphs
Twine on the top of Pindus.—Finally,
Himself above each lower thought uplifting,
His earB he closed to listen to the song
Which Sion's Kings did consecrate of old;
And fixed his Pindns upon Lebanon
A blessed Man! who of protracted days
Made not, as thousands do, a vulgar sleep;

But truly did He live his life Urbino

Take pride in him;—O Passenger farewell!

« ПредишнаНапред »