« ElőzőTovább »
Shakes her encumber'd lap, and casts them out. And the first larum of the cock's shrill throat
May prove a trumpet, summoning your ear
To horrid sounds of hostile feet within.
Through pathless wastes and woods, unconscious once Th’ Excise is fatten'd with the rich result
or other tenants than melodious birds, Of all this riot; and ten thousand casks,
Or harmless flocks, is hazardous and bold. For ever dribbling out their base contents,
Lamented change! to which full many a cause Touch'd by the Midas finger of the state,
Invet'rate, hopeless of a cure, conspires, Bleed gold for ministers to sport away.
The course of human things from good to ill, Drink, and be mad, then ; 'tis your country bids! From ill to worse, is fatal, never fails. Gloriously drunk, obey th' important call! Increase of pow'r begets increase of wealth; Her cause demands th' assistance of your throats ;- Wealth, luxury; and luxury, excess; Ye all can swallow, and she asks no more.
Excess, the scrofulous and itchy plague, Would I had fall'n upon those happier days, That seizes first the opulent, descends That poets celebrate ; those golden times,
To the next rank contagious, and in time And those Arcadian scenes, that Maro sings, Taints downward all the graduated scale And Sidney, warbler of poetic prose.
Of order, from the chariot to the plow. Nymphs were Dianas then, and swains had hearts, The rich, and they that have an arm to check That felt their virtues : Innocence, it seems, The license of the lowest in degree, From courts dismiss'd, found shelter in the groves; Desert their office; and themselves, intent The footsteps of Simplicity, impress'd
On pleasure, haunt the capital, and thus Upon the yielding herbage, (so they sing.)
To all the violence of lawless hands Then were not all effac'd: then speech profane, Resign the scenes their presence might protect. And manners profligate, were rarely found, | Authority herself not seldom sleeps, Observ'd as prodigies, and soon reclaim'd.
Though resident, and witness of the wrong. Vain wish! those days were never: airy dreams The plump convivial parson often bears Sat for the picture: and the poet's hand,
The magisterial sword in vain, and lays Imparting substance to an empty shade,
His rey'rence and his worship both to rest Impos'd a gay delirium for a truth.
On the same cushion of habitual sloth. Grant it: 1 still must envy them an age,
Perhaps timidity restrains his arm; That favor'd such a dream; in days like these When he should strike he trembles, and sets free, Impossible, when Virtue is so scarce,
Himself enslav'd by terror of the band, That to suppose a scene where she presides, Th' audacious convict, whom he dares not bind. Is tramontane, and stumbles all belief.
Perhaps, though by profession ghostly pure, No: we are polish'd now. The rural lass,
He too may have his vice, and sometimes prove Whom once her virgin modesty and grace,
Less dainty than becomes his grave outside Her artless manners, and her neat attire,
In lucrative concerns. Examine well So dignified, that she was hardly less
His milk-white hand; the palm is hardly cleanThan the fair shepherdess of old romance,
But here and there an ugly smutch appears. Is seen no more. The character is lost!
Foh! 'twas a bribe that left it: he has touch'd Her head, adorn'd with lappets pinn'd aloft, Corruption. Whoso seeks an audit here And ribands streaming gay, superbly rais’d, Propitious, pays his tribule, game or fish, And magnified beyond all human size,
Wild-fowl or ven'son; and his errand speeds. Indebted to some smart wig-weaver's hand
But faster far, and more than all the rest, For more than half the tresses it sustains ;
A noble cause, which none, who bears a spark Her elbows ruffled, and her tott'ring form
Of public virtue, ever wish'd remov'd, Ill-propp'd upon French heels ; she might be deem'd Works the deplor'd and mischievous effect (But that the basket dangling on her arm
"Tis universal soldiership has stabb'd Interprets her more truly) of a rank
The heart of merit in the meaner class. Too proud for dairy work, or sale of eggs.
Arms, through the vanity and brainless rage Expect her soon with footboy at her heels,
Of those that bear them, in whatever cause, No longer blushing for her awkward load,
Seem most at variance with all moral good, Her train and her umbrella all her care!
And incompatible with serious thought.
Blest with an infant's ignorance of all
A wrestling-match, a foof-race, or a fair;
Sheepish he doffs his hat, and mumbling swears Th’unguarded door was safe; men did not watch A Bible-oath to be whate'er they please, T invade another's right, or guard their own. | To do he knows not what. The task perform'd, Then sleep was undisturb'd by fear, unscar'd That instant he becomes the sergeant's care, By drunken howling; and the chilling tale
His pupil, and his torment, and his jest. Of midnight murder was a wonder heard
His awkward gait, his introverted toes, With doubtful credit, told to frighten babes. bur knees, round shoulders, and dejected looks, But farewell now to unsuspicious nights,
Procure him many a curse. By slow degrees, And slumbers unalarm'd! Now, ere you sleep, Unapt to learn, and form'd of stubborn staff, See that your polish'd arms be prim'd with care, He yet by slow degrees puts off himself, And drop the night-bolt ;-ruffians are abroad ; Grows conscious of a change, and likes it well
He stands erect; his slouch becomes a walk; Then Milton had indeed a poet's charms :
New to my taste, his Paradise surpass'd
As twice seven years, his beauties had then first Returns indignant to the slighted plow.
Engag'd my wonder; and admiring still, He hates the field, in which no fife or drum
And still admiring, with regret suppos'd
The joy half lost, because not sooner found.
Determin'd, and possessing it at last
With transports, such as favor'd lovers feel, To swear, to game, to drink; to show at home
I studied, priz'd, and wish'd that I had known, By lewdness, idleness, and Sabbath-breach,
Ingenious Cowley! and, though now reclaim'd The great proficiency he made abroad;
By modern lights from an erroneous taste,
I cannot but lament thy splendid wit
I still revere thee, courtly though retird;
Though stretch'd at ease in Chertsey's silent bow'rs Man in society is like a flow'r
Not unemployd ; and finding rich amends Blown in its native bed : 'tis there alone
For a lost world in solitude and verse. His faculties, expanded in full bloom,
"Tis born with all: the love of Nature's works Shine out; there only reach their proper use.
Is an ingredient in the compound man, But man, associated and leagu'd with man
Infus'd at the creation of the kind. By regal warrant, or self-join'd by bond
And, though th' Alınighty Maker has throughout For int'rest-sake, or swarming into clans
Discriminated each from each, by strokes Beneath one head for purposes of war,
And touches of his hand, with so much art Like flow'rs selected from the rest, and bound Diversified, that two were never found And bundled close to fill some crowded vasc, Twins at all points-yet this obtains in all, Fades rapidly, and, by compression marr'd,
That all discern a beauty in his works, Contracts defilement not to be endur'd.
And all can taste them: minds that have been formid Hence charter'd boroughs are such public plagues ; And tutor’d, with a relish more exact, And burghers, men immaculate perhaps
But none without some relish, none unmov'd. In all their private functions, once combin'd, It is a flame, that dies not even there, Become a lothesome body, only fit .
Where nothing feeds it: neither business, crowds, For dissolution, hurtful to the main.
Nor habits of luxurious city life, Hence merchants, unimpeachable of sin
Whatever else they smother of true worth Against the charities of domestic life,
In human bosoms, quench it or abate. Incorporated seem at once to lose
The villas, with which London stands begirt, Their nature; and, disclaiming all regard
Like a swarth Indian with his belt of beads, For mercy and the common rights of man,
Prove it. A breath of unadulterate air, Build factories with blood, conducting trade The glimpse of a green pasture, how they cheer At the sword's point, and dying the white robe The citizen, and brace his languid frame! Of innocent commercial Justice red.
Ev'n in the stilling bosom of the town, Hence too the field of glory, as the world
A garden, in which nothing thrives, has charms Misdeems it, dazzled by its bright array,
That soothe the rich possessor; much consol'd, With all its majesty of thund'ring pomp,
That here and there some sprigs of mournful mint, Enchanting music, and immortal wreaths,
Of nightshade, or valerian, grace the well Is but a school, where thoughtlessness is taught
He cultivates. These serve him with a hint, On principle, where foppery atones
That Nature lives; that sight-refreshing green For folly, gallantry for ev'ry vice.
Is still the liv'ry she delights to wear, But slighted as it is, and by the great
Though sickly samples of th' exub'rant whole. Abandon'd, and, which still I more regret,
What are the casements lin'd with creeping herbs, Infected with the manners and the modes
The prouder sashes fronted with a range It knew not once, the country wins me still. Of orange, myrtle, or the fragrant weed, I nover fram'd a wish, or form'd a plan
The Frenchman's darling ?* Are they not all proofs That flaiter'd me with hopes of earthly bliss,
That man, immur'd in cities, still retains
Of rural scenes, compensating his loss
By supplemental shifts, the best be may ? My very dreams were rural; rural too
The most unfurnish'd with the means of life, The first-born efforts of my youthful Muse,
Are they, that never pass their brick-wall bounds, Sportive and jingling her poetic bells,
To range the fields, and treat their lungs with air,
A fragment, and the spoutless tea-pot there;
Sad witnesses how close-pent man regrels
Prepost'rous sight! the legs without the man. The country, with what ardor he contrives
The verdure of the plain lies buried deep A peep at Nature, when he can no more.
Beneath the dazzling deluge; and the bents, llail, therefore, patroness of health and ease, And coarser grass, upspearing o'er the rest, And contemplation, heart-consoling joys,
Of late unsightly and unseen, now shine And harmless pleasures, in the throng'd abode Conspicuous, and in bright apparel clad, Of multitudes unknown; hail, rural life!
And, fledg'd with icy feathers, nod superb. Address himself who will to the pursuit
The cattle mourn in corners, where the sence Of honors, or emolument, or fame;
Screens them, and seem half petrified to sleep I shall not add myself to such a chase,
In unrecumbent sadness. There they wait Thwart his attempts, or envy his success.
Their wonted fodder; not like hung'ring man, Some must be great. Great offices will have Fretful if unsupplied; but silent, meek, Great talents. And God gives to ev'ry man And patient of the slow-pac'd swain's delay. The virtue, temper, understanding, taste,
He from the stack carves out th' accustom'd load. That lifts him into life, and lets him fall
Deep plunging, and again deep plunging oft, Just in the niche he was ordain'd to fill.
His broad keen knife into the solid mass : To the deliv'rer of an injur'd land
Smooth as a wall the upright remnant stands, He gives a tongue t'enlarge upon, a heart
With such undeviating and even force To feel, and courage to redress her wrongs; He severs it away: no heedless care, To monarchs dignity ; to judges sense;
Lest storms should overset the leaning pile To artists ingenuity and skill;
Deciduous, or its own unbalanc'd weight. To me an unambitious mind, content
Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcern'd In the low vale of life, that early felt
The cheerful haunts of man ; to wield the ax, A wish for ease and leisure, and ere-long
And drive the wedge, in yonder forest drear, Found here that leisure and that ease I wish'd. From morn to eve his solitary task.
Shaggy, and lean, and shrewd, with pointed ears,
His dog attends him. Close behind his heel
Now creeps he slow; and now, with many a fris! THE WINTER-MORNING WALK.
Wide-scamp'ring, snatches up the drifted snow
With iv'ry teeth, or plows it with his snout;
Then shakes his powder'd coat, and barks for joy.
Heedless of all his pranks, the sturdy churl A frosty morning. The foddering of cattle. The Moves right toward the mark ; nor stops for augh
woodman and his dog. The poultry. Whimsical But now and then with pressure of his thumb effects of frost at a waterfall. The Empress of T' adjust the fragrant charge of a short tube, Russia's palace of ice. Amusements of monarchs. That fumes beneath his nose; the trailing cloud War, one of them. Wars, whence; and whence Streams far behind him, scenting all the air. monarchy. The evils of it. English and French Now from the roost, or from the neighb'ring pale loyalty contrasted. The Bastile, and a prisoner Where, diligent to catch the first faint gleam there. Liberty the chief recommendation of this Of smiling day, they gossip'd side by side, country. Modern patriotism questionable, and Come trooping at the housewife's well-known ca. why. The perishable nature of the best human The feather'd trihes domestic. Half on wing, institutions. Spiritual liberty not perishable. The And half on foot, they brush the fleecy food, slavish state of man by nature. Deliver him, Conscious and fearful of too deep a plunge. Deist, if you can. Grace must do it. The re- The sparrows peep, and quit the shelt'ring eaves spective merits of patriots and martyrs stated. To seize the fair occasion; well they eye Their different treatnient. Happy freedom of the The scatter'd grain, and, thievishly resolvid man whom grace makes free. His relish of the T' escape th' impending farine, often scar'd works of God. Address to the Creator.
As oft return, a pert voracious kind.
Clean riddance quickly made, one only care
His wonted strut; and, wading at their head
With well-consider'd steps, seems to resent Seen through the leafless wood. His slanting ray His alter'd gait and stateliness retrench'd. Slides ineffectual down the snowy vale,
How find the myriads, that in summer cheer And, tinging all with his own rosy hne,
The hills and valleys with their ceaseless songs From ev'ry herb and ev'ry spiry blade
Due sustenance, or where subsist they now? Stretches a length of shadow o'er the field.
Earth yields them nought; th'imprison'd worm is safe Mine, spindling into longitude immense,
Beneath the frozen clod; all seeds of herhs In spite of gravity, and sage remark
Lie cover'd close ; and berry-bearing thoris, That I myself am but a fleeting shade,
That feed the thrush, (whatever some suppose.) Provokes me to a smile. With eye askance Afford the smaller minstrels no supply. · view the muscular proportion'd limb
The long-protracted rigor of the year,
Ten thousand seek an unmolested end,
Where neither grub, nor root, nor earth-nut, now Blush'd on the panels. Mirror needed none
Convivial table and commodious seat
The same lubricity was found in all, The streams are lost amid the splendid blank, And all was moist to the warm touch ; a scene O'erwhelming all distinction. On the flood, Of evanescent glory, once a stream, Indurated and fix'd, the snowy weight
And soon to slide into a stream again. Lies undissolv'd; while silently beneath,
Alas! 'twas but a mortifying stroke And unperceiv'd, the current steals away.
of undesign'd severity, that glanc'd Not so where, scornful of a check, it leaps
(Made by a monarch) on her own estate, The mill-dam, dashes on the restless wheel, Of human grandeur and the courts of kings. And wantons in the pebbly gulf below:
"T'was transient in its nature, as in show No frost can bind it there; its utmost force
'Twas durable ; as worthless, as it seem'd Can but arrest the light and smoky mist,
Intrinsically precious; to the foot That in its fall the liquid sheet throws wide. Treach'rous and false; it smil'd, and it was cold. And see where it has hung th' embroider'd banks | Great princes have great playthings. Some have With forms so various, that no pow'rs of art,
play'd The pencil or the pen, may trace the scene ! At hewing mountains into men, and some Here glitt'ring turrets rise, upbearing high
At building human wonders mountain-high. (Fantastic mis-arrangement !) on the roof
Some have amus'd the dull, sad years of life, Large growth of what may seem the sparkling trees (Life spent in indolence, and therefore sad.) And shrubs of fairy land. The crystal drops, With schemes of monumental fame ; and sought That trickle down the branches, fast congeald, By pyramids and mausolean pomp. Shoot into pillars of pellucid length,
Short-liv'd themselves, t' immortalize their bones. And prop the pile they but adorn'd before. Some seek diversion in the tented field, Here grotto within grotto safe defies
And make the sorrows of mankind their sport. The sunbeam; there, emboss'd and fretted wild, But war's a game, which, were their subjects wise The growing wonder takes a thousand shapes Kings would not play at. Nations would do well Capricious, in which fancy seeks in vain
T' extort their truncheons from the puny hands The likeness of some object seen before.
Of heroes, whose infirm and baby minds Thus Nature works as if to mock at Art,
Are gratified with mischief; and who spoil, And in defiance of her rival pow'rs;
Because men suffer it, their toy the World. By these fortuitous and random strokes
When Babel was confounded, and the great Performing such inimitable feats,
Confed'racy of projectors wild and vain
These to the upland, to the valley those,
God drave asunder, and assign'd iheir lot Thy most magnificent and mighty freak,
To all the nations. Ample was the boon The wonder of the North. No forest fell,
He gave them, in its distribution fair When thou wouldst build; no quarry sent its stores And equal; and he bade them dwell in peace. T' enrich thy walls: but thou didst hew the foods, Peace was awhile their care : they plow'd and And make thy marble of the glassy wave.
sow'd, In such a palace Aristæus found
And reap'd their plenty without grudge or strife. Cyrene, when he bore the plaintive tale
But violence can never longer sleep Of his lost bees to her maternal ear:
Than human passions please. In ev'ry heart In such a palace Poetry might place
Are sown the sparks that kindle fiery war; The armory of Winter; where his troops, Occasion needs but fan them, and they blaze. The gloomy clouds, find weapons, arrowy sleet, Cain had already shed a brother's blood : Skin-piercing volley, blossom-bruising hail,
The deluge wash'd it out; but left unquench'd And snow, that often blinds the trav'ller's course, The seeds of murder in the breast of man. And wraps him in an unexpected tomb.
Soon by a righteous judgment in the line Silently as a dream the fabric rose;
Of his descending progeny was found No sound of hammer nor of saw was there : The first artificer of death; the shrewd Ice upon ice, the well-adjusted parts
Contriver, who first sweated at the forge, Were soon conjoin'd, nor other cement ask'd
And forc'd the blunt and yet unbloodied steel Than water interfus'd to make them one.
To a keen edge, and made it bright for war. Lamps gracefully dispos'd, and of all hues,
Him, Tubal nam'd, the Vulcan of old times, Illumin'd ev'ry side: a wat'ry light
The sword and falchion their inventor claims; Gleam'd through the clear transparency, that seem'd And the first smith was the first murd'rer's son Another moon new ris'n, or meteor fallin
His art surviv'd the waters; and ere-long, From Heaven to Earth, of lambent flame serene. When man was multiplied and spread abroad So stood the brittle prodigy; though smooth In tribes and clans, and had begun to call And slipp'ry the materials, yet frost-bound
These meadows and that range of hills his own Firm as a rock. Nor wanted aught within,
The tasted sweets of property begat
Desire of more; and industry in some,
Thus war began on Earth : these fought for spoil, Familiar, serve t'emancipate the rest !
Such dupes are men to custom, and so prone
To rey'rence what is ancient, and can plead One eminent above the rest for strength,
A course of long observance for its use,
That even servitude, the worst of ills,
or rational discussion, that a man,
Of elements tumultuous, in whom Just Of virtue, made one chief, whom times of peace, And folly in as ample measure meet, Which have their exigencies too, and call
As in the bosoms of the slaves he rules For skill in government, at length made king. Should be a despot absolute, and boast King was a name too proud for man to wear Himself the only freeman of his land ? With modesty and meekuess; and the crown, Should, when he pleases, and on whom he will So dazzling in their eyes, who set it on,
Wage war, with any or with no prelence Was sure t'intoxicate the brows it bound.
of provocation giv'n, or wrong sustain'd, It is the abject property of most,
And force the beggarly last doit, by means That, being parcel of the common mass,
That his own humor dictates, from the clutch And destitute of means to raise themselves, Of Poverty, thai thus he may procure They sink, and settle lower than they need. His thousands, weary of penurious life, They know not what it is to feel within
A splendid opportunity to die? A comprehensive faculty, that grasps
Say, ye, who (with less prudence than of old Great purposes with ease, that turns and wields, Jotham ascrib'd to his assembled trees Almost without an effort, plans too vast
In politic convention) put your trust For their conception, which they cannot move. l'th' shadow of a bramble, and, reclin'd Conscious of impotence, they soon grow drunk In fancied peace beneath his dang'rous branch, With gazing, when they see an able man
Rejoice in him, and celebrate his sway, Step forth to notice ; and, besotted thus,
Where find ye passive fortitude? Whence springs Build him a pedestal, and say, “Stand there, Your self-denying zeal, that holds it good And be our admiration and our praise.”
To stroke the prickly grievance, and to hang They roll themselves before him in the dust, His thorns with streamers of continual praise? Then most deserving in their own account, We, too, are friends to loyalty. We love When most extravagant in his applause,
The king who loves the law, respects his bounds As if, exalting him, they rais'd themselves. And reigns content within them: him we serve Thus by degrees, self-cheated of their sound Freely and with delight, who leaves us free; And sober judgment, that he is but man,
But recollecting still, that he is man, They demi-deify and fume him so,
We trust him not too far. King though he be, That in due season he forgets it too.
And king in England too, he may be weak, Inflated and astrut with self-conceit,
And vain enough to be ambitious still; He gulps the windy diet; and ere-long,
May exercise amiss his proper pow'rs, Adopting their mistake, profoundly thinks
Or covet more than freemen choose to grant: The world was made in vain, if not for him. Beyond that mark is treason. He is ours, Thenceforth they are his cattle; drudges, born T'administer, to guard, t'adorn the state, To bear his burdens, drawing in his gears, But not to warp or change it. We are his, And sweating in his service, his caprice
To serve him nobly in the common cause, Becomes the soul, that animates them all.
True to the death, but not to be his slaves.
Of kings, between your loyalty and ours
You the regardless author of its woes :
We for the sake of liberty a king,
In reason, is judicious, manly, free;
Yours, a blind instinct, crouches to the rod, Ev'n in the cradled weakness of the World: And licks the foot that treads it in the dust. Still stranger much, that when at length mankind Were kingship as true treasure as it seems, Had reach'd the sinewy firmness of their youth, Sterling, and worthy of a wise man's wish, And could discriminate and argue well
I would not be a king to be belov'd
of a superior, he is never free.
| The state that strives for liberty, though foiled!