Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

" And thither let the village-swain repair ; “ Yet, can man's gentle heart become so fell!
And, light of heart, the village-maiden gay, No more in vain conjecture let me wear
To deck with flowers her half-dishevell'd hair, My hours away, but seek the hermit's cell ;
And celebrate the merry morn of May.

'T' is he my doubt can clear, perhaps my care dispel."
There let the shepherd's pipe the live-long day
Fill all the grove with love's bewitching woe; At early dawn the youth his journey took,
And when mild Evening comes in mantle gray, And many a mountain pass'd and valley wide,
Let not the blooming band make haste to go;

Then reach'd the wild; where, in a flowery nook, No ghost, nor spell, my long and last abode shall And seated on a mossy stone, he spied know.

An ancient man: his harp lay him beside.

A stag sprang from the pasture at his call, “ For though I fly to 'scape from Fortune's rage, And, kneeling, lick'd the wither'd hand that tied And bear the scars of envy, spite, and scorn,

A wreath of woodbine round his antlers tall, Yet with mankind no horrid war I wage,

And hung his lofty neck with many a flow'ret Yet with no impious spleen my breast is torn:

small.
For virtue lost, and ruin'd man, I mourn.
O man! creation's pride, Heaven's darling child, And now the hoary sage arose, and saw
Whom Nature's best, divinest gifts adorn,

The wanderer approaching : innocence
Why from thy home are truth and joy exil'd, Smild on his glowing cheek, but modest awe
And all thy favourite haunts with blood and tears Depress’d his eye, that fear'd to give offence.
defil'd ?

“ Who art thou, courteous stranger ? and fra

whence ? “ Along yon glittering sky what glory streams! Why roam thy steps to this sequester'd dale ?" What majesty attends Night's lovely queen! “ A shepherd-boy,” the youth replied, “ far bence Fair laugh our valleys in the vernal beams; My habitation ; hear my artless tale; And mountains rise, and oceans roll between, Nor levity nor falsehood shall thine ear assail. And all conspire to beautify the scene. But, in the mental world, what chaos drear; “ Late as I roam'd, intent on Nature's charms, What forms of mournful, loathsome, furious mien ! I reach'd at eve this wilderness profound; ( when shall that eternal morn appear, (clear! And, leaning where yon oak expands her arms, These dreadful forms to chase, this chaos dark to Heard these rude cliffs thine aweful voice rebound,

(For in thy speech I recognise the sound.) “ () Thou, at whose creative smile, yon heaven, You mourn’d for ruin'd man, and virtue lost, In all the pomp of beauty, life, and light

And seem'd to feel of keen remorse the wound, Rose from th' abyss ; when dark Confusion driven Pondering on former days by guilt engrossid, Down, down the bottomless profound of night, Or in the giddy storm of dissipation tossil Fled, where he ever flies thy piercing sight! ( glance on these sad shades one pitying ray, “ But say, in courtly life can craft be learn'd To blast the fury of oppressive might,

Where knowledge opens, and exalts the soul? Melt the hard heart to love and mercy's sway, Where Fortune lavishes her gifts unearn'd, And cheer the wandering soul, and light him on the Can selfishness the liberal heart control ?

Is glory there achiev'd by arts, as foul

As those that felons, fiends, and furies plan? Silence ensu’d: and Edwin raised his eyes Spiders ensnare, snakes poison, lygers prowl: In tears, for grief lay heavy at his heart.

Love is the godlike attribute of man. “ And is it thus in courtly life,” he cries,

O teach a simple youth this mystery to scan.
“ That man to man acts a betrayer's part ?
And dares he thus the gifts of Heaven pervert, “ Or else the lamentable strain disclaim,
Each social instinct, and sublime desire ?

And give me back the calm, contented mind; Hail, Poverty! if honour, wealth, and art,

Which, late, exulting, view'd in Nature's frame, If what the great pursue, and learn’d admire,

Goodness untainted, wisdom unconfind, Thus dissipate and quench the soul's ethereal Grace, grandeur, and utility combined, fire!"

Restore those tranquil days, that saw me suill

Well pleas'd with all, but most with human-kind: He said, and turn'd away ; nor did the sage When Fancy roam'd through Nature's works as O’erhear, in silent orisons employ'd.

will, The youth, his rising sorrow to assuage,

Uncheck'd by cold distrust, and uninform'da Home as he hied, the evening scene enjoy’d:

ill." For now no cloud obscures the starry void; The yellow moonlight sleeps on all the hills;

“Wouldst thou," the sage replied, “ in peace returi Nor is the mind with startling sounds annoy'd;

To the gay dreams of fond romantic youth, A soothing murmur the lone region fills,

Leave me to hide, in this remote sojourn, Of groves, and dying gales, and melancholy rills.

From every gentle ear the dreadful truth:

For if my desultory strain with ruth But he from day to day more anxious grew, And indignation niake thine eyes o'ertiow, The voice still seem'd to vibrate on his ear, Alas! what comfort could thy anguish soche, Nor durst he hope the hermit's tale untrue; Shouldst thou th' extent of human folly know. For man he seem'd to love, and Heaven to fear;

Be ignorance thy choice, where knowledge leads to And none speaks false, where there is none to lear,

way!”

WOC.

“ But let untender thoughts afar be driven ; When all were great and free! man's sole employ Nor venture to arraign the dread decree.

To deck the bosom of his parent earth; For know, to man, as candidate for Heaven, Or toward his bower the murmuring stream decoy, The voice of the Eternal said, Be free:

To aid the flow'ret's long-expected birth, And this divine prerogative to thee

And lull the bed of peace, and crown the board of Does virtue, happiness, and Heaven convey ;

mirth. For virtue is the child of liberty, And happiness of virtue ; nor can they

“ Sweet were your shades, O ye primeval groves ! Be free to keep the path, who are not free to stray. i Whose boughs to man his food and shelter lent,

Pure in his pleasures, happy in his loves, " Yet leave me not. I would allay that grief, His eye still smiling, and his heart content. Which else might thy young virtue overpower, Then, hand in hand, health, sport, and labour went. And in thy converse I shall find relief,

Nature supply'd the wish she taught to crave. When the dark shades of melancholy lower ; None prowl'd for prey, none watch'd to circumvent. For solitude has many a dreary hour,

To all an equal lot Heaven's bounty gave : Even when exempt from grief, remorse, and pain : No vassal fear'd his lord, no tyrant fear'd his slave. Come often then; for, haply, in my bower, Amusement, knowledge, wisdom thou may'st gain : But ah! th' historic Muse has never dar'd If I one soul improve, I have not liv'd in vain." To pierce those hallow'd bowers : 't is Fancy's beam

Pour'd on the vision of the enraptured bard, And now, at length, to Edwin's ardent gaze 'That paints the charms of that delicious theme. The Muse of history unrolls her page.

Then hail sweet Fancy's ray! and hail the dream But few, alas! the scenes her art displays,

That weans the weary soul from guilt and woe! To charm his fancy, or his heart engage.

Careless what others of my choice may deem, Here chiefs their thirst of power in blood assuage, I long, where Love and Fancy lead, to go And straight their flames with tenfold fierceness and meditate on Heaven, enough of Earth I know."

burn: Here smiling Virtue prompts the patriots's rage,

“ I cannot blame thy choice," the sage replied, But lo, ere long, is left alone to mourn,

« For soft and smooth are Fancy's flowery ways. And languish in the dust, and clasp th' abandon's And yet, even there, if left without a guide, urn!

The young adventurer unsafely plays.

Eyes dazzi'd long by fiction's gaudy rays “ Ambition's slippery verge shall mortals tread, In modest truth no light nor beauty find. Where ruin's gulf unfathom'd yawns beneath ! And who, my child, would trust the meteor-blaze, Shall life, shall liberty be lost," he said,

That soon must fail, and leave the wanderer blind, “ For the vain toys that pomp and power bequeath! More dark and helpless far, than if it ne'er had The car of victory, the plume, the wreathe,

shin'd? Defend not from the bolt of fate the brave : No note the clarion of renown can breathe,

“ Fancy enervates, while it soothes, the heart, T alarm the long night of the lonely grave, (wave. And, while it dazzles, wounds the mental sight : Or check the headlong haste of time's o'erwhelming To joy each heightening charm it can impart,

But wraps the hour of woe in tenfold night. “ Ah, what avails it to have trac'd the springs, And often, where no real ills affright, That whirl of empire the stupendous wheel! Its visionary fiends, an endless train, Ah, what have I to do with conquering kings, Assail with equal or superior might, Hands drench'd in blood, and breasts begirt with And through the throbbing heart, and dizzy brain, steel !

And shivering nerves, shoot stings of more than morTo those, whom Nature taught to think and feel,

tal pain. Heroes, alas! are things of small concern; Could History man's secret heart reveal,

“ And yet, alas ! the real ills of life And what imports a heaven-born mind to learn, Claim the full vigour of a mind prepar’d, Her transcripts to explore what bosom would not Prepar'd for patient, long, laborious strife, yearn!

Its guide experience, and truth its guard.

We fare on Earth as other men have far'd. “ This praise, O Cheronean sage *, is thine ! Were they successful ? Let not us despair. (Why should this praise to thee alone belong?) Was disappointment oft their sole reward ? All else from Nature's moral path decline,

Yet shall their tale instruct, if it declare, Lur'd by the toys that captivate the throng; How they have borne the load ourselves are doom'd To herd' in cabinets and camps, among

to bear. Spoil, carnage, and the cruel pomp of pride; Or chant of heraldry the drowsy song,

What charms th' historic Muse adorn, from spoils, How tyrant blood, o'er many a region wide, And blood, and tyrants, when she wings her flight, Rolls to a thousand thrones its execrable tide. To hail the patriot prince, whose pious toils

Sacred to science, liberty, and right, “ ( who of man the story will unfold,

And peace, through every age divinely bright, Ere victory and empire wrought annoy,

Shinll shine the boast and wonder of mankind ! In that elysian age (misnam'd of gold)

yonder Sun, from his meridian height, The age of love, and innocence and joy,

Tier scene, than virtue thus enshrin'd

, and man with mau r-mutual aid com. Plutarch

in'd?

“ Hail, sacred Polity, by Freedom rear'd ! “ 'T was from Philosophy man learn'd to tame
Hail, sacred Freedom, when by law restrain'd! The soil by plenty to intemperance fed.
Without you what were man? A grovelling herd Lo, from the echoing axe, and thundering fiarre,
In darkness, wretehedness, and want enchain'd. Poison and plague and yelling rage are fled!
Sublim'd by you, the Greek and Roman reign'd The waters, bursting from their slimy bed,
In arts unrivall’d: 0, to latest days,

Bring health and melody to every vale:
In Albion may your influence, unprofan'd, And, from the breezy main, and mountain's bead,
To godlike worth the generous bosom raise, Ceres and Flora, to the sunny dale, [gale.
And prompt the sage's lore, and fire the poet's lays! To fan their glowing charms, invite the futtering
« But now let other themes our care engage “ What dire necessities on every hand
For lo, with modest yet majestic grace,

Our art, our strength, our fortitude require ! To curh Imagination's lawless rage,

Of foes intestine what a numerous band And from within the cherish'd heart to brace, Against this little throb of life conspire ! Philosophy appears! The gloomy race

Yet Science can elude their fatal ire By indolence and moping Fancy bred,

Awhile, and turn aside Death's levell d dart, Fear, Discontent, Solicitude, give place,

Soothe the sharp pang, allay the fever's fire, And Hope and Courage brighten in their stead, And brace the nerves once more, and cheer the heart, While on the kindling soul her vital beams are slied. And yet a few soft nights and balmy days impat. Then waken from long lethargy to life

“ Nor less to regulate man's moral frame The seeds of happiness, and powers of thought; Science exerts her all-composing sway. Then jarring appetites forego their strife,

Flutters thy breast with fear, or pants for fame, A strife by ignorance to madness wrought. Or pines, to indolence and spleen a prey, Pleasure by savage man is dearly bought

Or avarice, a fiend more fierce than they? With fell revenge, lust that defies controul, Flee to the shade of Academus' grove ; With gluttony and death. The mind untaught Where cares molest not, discord melts away Is a dark waste, where fiends and tempests howl ; In harmony, and the pure passions prove As Phæbus to the world, is science to the soul. How sweet the words of Truth, breath'd from the

lips of Love. And Reason now through number, time, and space, Darts the keen lustre of her serious eye.

“ What cannot Art and Industry perform, And learns, from facts compar'd, the laws to trace, When Science plans the progress of their toil! Whose long progression leads to Deity.

They smile at penury, disease, and storm ; . Can mortal strength presume to soar so high! And oceans from their mighty mounds recoil. Can mortal sight, so oft bedimm'd with tears, When tyrants scourge, or demagogues embroil Such glory bear!—for lo! the shadows fly A land, or when the rabble's headlong rage From Nature's face; confusion disappears,

Order transforms to anarchy and spoil, And order charms the eye, and harmony the ears ! Deep-vers'd in man the philosophic sage

Prepares with lenient hand their phrenzy to assuage. “ In the deep windings of the grove, no more The hag obscene, and grisly phantom dwell; " 'Tis be alone, whose comprehensive mind, Nor in the fall of mountain-stream, or roar From situation, temper, soil and clime Of winds, is heard the angry spirit's yell ;

Explor'd, a nation's various powers can bind, No wizard mutters the tremendous spell,

And various orders, in one form sublime Nor sinks convulsive in prophetic swoon ;

Of policy, that, midst the wrecks of time, Nor bids the noise of drums and trumpets swell, Secure shall lift its head on high, nor fear To ease of fancied pangs the labouring Moon, Th' assault of foreign or domestic crime, Or chase the shade that blots the blazing orb of noon. While public faith, and public love sincere,

And industry and law maintain their sway severe." “ Many a long-lingering year, in lonely isle, Stunn'd with th' eternal turbulence of waves, Enraptur'd by the hermit's strain, the youth Lo, with dim eyes, that never learn’d to smile, Proceeds the path of Science to explore. And trembling hands, the famish'd native craves And now, expanded to the beams of truth, Of Heaven his wretched fare ; shivering in caves, New energies and charms unknown before, Dr scorch'd on rocks, he pines from day to day; His mind discloses : Fancy now no more But Science gives the word ; and lo, he braves Wantons on fickle pinion through the skies; The surge and tempest, lighted by her ray, But, fix'd in aim, and conscious of her power, And to a happier land wafts merrily away!

Aloft from cause to cause exults to rise,

Creation's blended stores arranging as sbe flies. “ And even where Nature loads the teeming plain With the full pomp of vegetable store,

Nor love of novelty alone inspires, Her bounty, unimprov'd, is deadly bane :

Their laws and nice dependencies to scan ; Dark woods and rankling wilds, from shore to shore, For, mindful of the aids that life requires, Stretch their enormous gloom; which to explore And of the services man owes to man, Even Fancy trembles, in her sprightliest mood; He meditates new arts on Nature's plan; For there, each eye-ball gleams with lust of gore, The cold desponding breast of sloth to warm, Nestles each murderous and each monstrous brood, The Aame of industry and genius fan, Plague lurks in every shade, and steams from every And emulation's noble rage alarm, flood.

And the long hours of toil and solitude to charm

But she, who set on fire his infant heart,

And how his lyre, though rude her first essays, And all his dreams, and all his wanderings shar'd Now skilled to soothe, to triumph, to complain, And bless'd, the Muse, and her celestial art, Warbling at will through each harmonious maze, Still claim th' enthusiast's fond and first regard. Was taught to modulate the artful strain, From Nature's beauties variously compar'd I fain would sing :- but ah! I strive in vain. And variously combin'd, he learns to frame Sighs from a breaking heart my voice confound, Those forms of bright perfection, which the bard, With trembling step, to join yon weeping train, While boundless hopes and boundless views inflame, I haste, where gleams funereal glare around, Enamour'd, consecrates to never-dying fame. And mix'd with shrieks of woe, the knells of death

resound.
Of late, with cumbersome, though pompous show,
Edwin would oft his flowery rhyme deface, Adieu, ye lays, that Fancy's flowers adorn,

Through ardour to adorn; but Nature now The soft amusement of the vacant mind!
To his experienc'd eye a modest grace

He sleeps in dust, and all the Muses mourn, Presents, where ornament the second place He, whom each virtue fir'd, each grace refin'd, Holds, to intrinsic worth and just design

Friend, teacher, pattern, darling of mankind ! Subservient still. Simplicity apace

He sleeps in dust. Ah! how shall I pursue Tempers his rage : he owns her charm divine, My theme! To heart-consuming grief resign'd, And clears th' ambiguous phrase, and lops th' un- Here on his recent grave I fix my view, wieldy line.

And pour my bitter tears. Ye flowery lays, adieu !
Fain would I sing (much yet unsung remains) Art thou, my GREGORY, for ever fled !
What sweet delirium o'er his bosom stole,

And am 1 left to unavailing woe !
When the great shepherd of the Mantuan plain When fortune's storms assail this weary head,
His deep inajestic melody 'gan roll :

Where cares long since have shed untimely snow!
Fain would I sing what transport storm'd his soul, Ah, now for comfort whither shall I go!
How the red current throbb’d his veins along, No more thy soothing voice my anguish cheers :
When, like Pelides, bold beyond controul, Thy placid eyes with smiles no longer glow,
Without art graceful, without effort strong, My hopes to cherish, and allay my fears.
Homer rais'd high to Heaven the loud, th' impetuous \'T is meet that I should mourn: flow forth afresh,
sons.

my tears.

THE END.

Printed by A. and R. Spottiswoode,

Printers-Street, London.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »