Imatges de pÓgina



Seem they grave or learned ?
Why, so didst thou-Seem they religious ?
Why, so didst thou; or are they spare in diet,
Free from gross passion, or of mirth or anger,
Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood,
Garnish'd and deck'd in modest compliment,
Not working with the eye without the ear,
And but with purged judgment trusting neither?
Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem.

Henry V. Act II, Scene 2.

Better I were distract,
So should my thoughts be sever'd from my griefs,
And woes by strong imagination lose
The knowledge of themselves.

Lear, Act IV. Scene 6.



Genius! thou gift of Heav'n! thou light divine !
Amid what dangers art thou doom'd to shine !
Oft will the body's weakness check thy force,
Oft damp thy vigour, and impede thy course;
And trembling nerves compel thee to restrain
Thy nobler efforts, to contend with pain;
Or Want (sad guest!) will in thy presence come,
And breathe around her melancholy gloom;
To life's low cares will thy proud thought confine,
And make her sufferings, her impatience, thine.

Evil and strong, seducing passions prey On soaring minds, and win them from their way; Who then to Vice the subject spirits give, And in the service of the conqu'ror live; Like captive Samson making sport for all, Who fear'd their strength, and glory in their fall.

Genius, with virtue, still may lack the aid Implored by humble minds and hearts afraid ;

May leave to timid souls the shield and sword
Of the tried Faith, and the resistless Word ;
Amid a world of dangers venturing forth,
Frail, but yet fearless, proud in conscious worth,
Till strong temptation, in some fatal time,
Assails the heart, and wins the soul to Crime;
When left by Honour, and by Sorrow spent,
Unused to pray, unable to repent,
The nobler powers that once exalted high
Th' aspiring man, shall then degraded lie:
Reason, through anguish, shall her throne forsake,
And strength of mind but stronger madness make.

When EDWARD SHORE had reach'd his twentieth

He felt his bosom light, his conscience clear;
Applause at school the youthful hero gain'd,
And trials there with manly strength sustain'd:
With prospects bright upon the world he came,
Pure love of virtue, strong desire of fame:
Men watch'd the way his lofty mind would take,
And all foretold the

progress he would make.

Boast of these friends, to older men a guide, Proud of his parts, but gracious in his pride;

He bore a gay good-nature in his face,
And in his air were dignity and grace ;
Dress that became his state and

And sense and spirit shone in Edward Shore.

he wore,

Thus while admiring friends the Youth beheld, His own disgust their forward hopes repellid; For he unfix'd, unfixing, look'd around, And no employment but in seeking found; He gave his restless thoughts to views refined, And shrank from worldly cares with wounded mind

Rejecting trade, awhile he dwelt on laws, “But who could plead, if unapproved the cause ?" A doubting, dismal tribe physicians seem'd; Divines o'er texts and disputations dream'd; War and its glory he perhaps could love, But there again he must the cause approve.

Our Hero thought no deed should gain applause, Where timid virtue found support in laws; He to all good would soar, would fly all sin, By the pure prompting of the will within ; “ Who needs a law that binds him not to steal," Ask'd the young teacher, “can he rightly feel?

“ To curb the will, or arm in honour's cause, “Or aid the weak—are these enforced by laws? “Should we a foul, ungenerous action dread, “ Because a law condemns th' adulterous bed ? “Or fly pollution, not for fear of stain, “ But that some statute tells us to refrain? “ The grosser herd in ties like these we bind, “In virtue's freedom mores th' enlightend mind.”

“Man's heart deceives him," said a friend : “ Of

course, Replied the Youth, “but, has it power to force ? “Unless it forces, call it as you will, “ It is but wish, and proneness to the ill."

[ocr errors]

“Art thou not tempted?” “Do I fall?” said Shore: “ The pure have fallen.”—“ Then are pure no more: “While reason guides me, I shall walk aright, « Nor need a steadier hand, or stronger light; “ Nor this in dread of awful threats, design'd “For the weak spirit and the grov'ling mind; “But that, engaged by thoughts and views sublime, “ I wage free war with grossness and with crime.” Thus look'd he proudly on the vulgar crew, Whom statutes govern, and whom fears subdue.

« AnteriorContinua »