« ElőzőTovább »
Thus Heaven enlarg’d his soul in riper years. of elegance as yet he took no care ;
By chance, or search, was offer'd to his view, Yet deem they darkness light, and their vain blun- He scann'd with curious and romantic eye. ders wit.
Whate'er of lore tradition could supply
From Gothic tale, or song, or fable old,
For many a long monih lost in snow profound, That Nature forms a rustic taste so nice.
When Sol from Cancer sends the season bland, Ah! had they been of court or city breed,
And in their northern cave the storms are bound; Such delicacy were right marvellous indeed. From silent mountains, straight, with startling sound,
Torrents are hurl'd; green hills emerge ; and lo, Oft when the winter storm had ceas'd to rave, The trees with foliage, cliffs with flowers are crown'd; He roam'd the snowy waste at even, to view Pure rills through vales of verdure warbling go; The cloud stupendous, from th’ Atlantic wave And wonder, love, and joy, the peasant's heario'erdow. High-towering, sail along th' horizon blue : Where, 'midst the changeful scenery, ever new, Here pause, my Gothic lyre, a little while. Fancy a thousand wondrous forms descries, The leisure hour is all that thou canst claim. More wildly great than ever pencil drew,
But on this verse if Montague should smile, Rocks, torrents, gulfs, and shapes of giant size, New strains ere-long shall animate thy frame. And glitt'ring cliffs on cliffs, and fiery ramparts And her applause to me is more than fame ; rise.
For still with truth accords her taste retin'd.
At lucre or renown let others aim, Thence musing onward to the sounding shore, I only wish to please the gentle mind, The lone enthusiast oft would take his way, Whom Nature's charms inspire, and love of humanListening, with pleasing dread, to the deep roar
Of chance or change O let not man complain,
For, from the imperial dome, to where the swain
Rears the lone cottage in the silent dale, Responsive to the sprightly pipe, when all
All feel th' assault of Fortune's fickle gale ; In sprightly dance the village youth were join'd,
Art, empire, Earth itself, to change are doom'd; Edwini, of melody aye held in thrall,
Earthquakes have rais'd to Heaven the humble vale, From the rude gambol far remote reclin'd,
And gulls the mountain's mighty mass entomb'd; Sooth'd with the soft notes warbling in the wind.
And where th' Atlantic rolls, wide continents have
bloom'd.* Ah then, all jollity seem'd noise and folly, To the pure soul by Fancy's fire refin'd,
But sure to foreign climes we need not range, Ah, what is mirth but turbulence unholy,
Nor search the ancient records of our race, When with the charm compar'd of heavenly melan. To learn the dire effects of time and change, choly !
Which in ourselves, alas! we daily trace.
Yet at the darken'd eye, the wither'd face, Is there a heart that music cannot melt?
Or hoary hair, I never will repine :
But spare, O Time, whate'er of mental grace,
Whate'er of sancy's ray or friendship's fame is mine.
So I, obsequious to Truth's dread command, Mope o'er the schoolman's peevish page; or mourn, Shall here without reluctance change my lay, And delve for life in Mammon's dirty mine; And smile the Gothic lyre with harsher hand; Sneak with the scoundrel fox, or grunt with glutton Now when I leave that flowery path for aye swine.
of childhood, where I sported many a day, For Edwin, Fate a nobler doom had plann'd;
Warbling and sauntering carelessly along; Song was his favorite and first pursuit.
Where every face was innocent and gay,
Each vale romantic, tuneful every tongue,
Sweet, wild, and artless all, as Edwin's infant song. His infant Muse, though artless, was not mute :
* See Plato's Timeus.
" Perish the lore that deadens young desire,” " Vain man! is grandeur giv'n to gay attire ?
Then let the butterfly thy pride upbraid :
“True dignity is his, whose tranquil mind
Who, every hope and fear to Heaven resign'd,
Shrinks not, though Fortune aim her deadliest blow."
This strain from 'midst the rocks was heard to flow, Of all the warring winds of Heaven, they rise,
In solemn sounds. Now beam'd the evening star;
And from embattled clouds emerging slow
Cynthia came riding on her silver car;
Soon did the solemn voice its theme renew :
(While Edwin wrapt in wonder listening stood) And walks of wider circuit were his choice,
Ye tools and toys of tyranny, adieu,
Ye only can engage the servile brood
Of Levity and Lust, who all their days,
Asham'd of truth and liberty, have wood,
And hugg’d the chain, that, glittering on their gaze,
Seems to outshine the pomp of Heaven's empyreal
Like them, abandon'd to Ambition's sway,
I sought for glory in the paths of guile;
And fawn'd and smild, to plunder and betray,
Myself betray'd and plunder'd all the while;
So gnaw'd the viper the corroding file;
But now, with pangs of keen remorse, I rue
Fly, fly, detested thoughts, for ever from my view!
" The gusts of appetite, the clouds of care,
And storms of disappointment, all o'erpast,
Henceforth no earthly hope with Heaven shall share
And if for me no treasure be amassid,
And if no future age shall hear my name,
I lurk the more secure from forlune's blast,
And with more leisure feed this pious flame,
Whose rapture far transcends the fairest hopes of
The end and the reward of toil is rest.
Be all my prayer for virtue and for peace.
Of wealth and fame, of pomp and power possess'd
Who ever felt his weight of woe decrease ?
Ah! what avails the lore of Rome and Greece,
The lay heaven-prompted, and harmonious string,
The dust of Opbir, or the Tyrian fleece,
All that art, fortune, enterprise, can bring,
If envy, scorn, remorse, or pride, the bosom wring!
Let Vanity adorn the marble tomb
With trophies, rhymes, and scutcheons of renown,
Mine be the breezy hill that skirts the down;
Where a green grassy turf is all I crave,
With here and there a violet bestrown,
And many an evening sun shine sweetly on my grave,
"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-disheveld hair, My hours away, but seek the hermit's cell; And celebrate the merry morn of May.
"Tis he my doubt can clear, perhaps my care dispel." There let the shepherd's pipe the livelong 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 grey, 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 wood bine round his anters 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:
The wanderer approaching : innocence
Who art thou, courteous stranger ? and from
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 ihine 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, lothesome, furious mien !
I reach'd at eve this wilderness profound; O when shall that eternal morn appear,
And, leaning where yon oak expands her arms, These dreadful forms to chase, this chaos dark to Heard these rude cliffs thine awful voice rebound, clear!
(For in ihy speech I recognize the sound.)
You mourn'd for ruin'd man, and virtue losi, “O Thou, at whose creative smile, yon heaven, And seem'd to feel of keen remorse the wound, In all the pomp of beauty, life, and light,
Pondering on former days by guilt engross'd,
“ But say, in courtly life can craft be learn'd. O glance on these sad shades one pitying ray, Where knowledge opens and exalis the soul? To blast the fury of oppressive right,
Where Fortune lavishes her gifts unearn'd, Melt the hard heart to love and mercy's sway, Can selfishness the liberal heart control! And cheer the wandering soul, and light him on the Is glory there achiev'd by arts, as foul
As those that felons, fiends, and furies plan?
Spiders ensnare, snakes poison, tigers prowl:
O teach a simple youth this mystery to scan.
* Or else the lamentable strain disclaim, And dares he thus the gifts of Heaven pervert, And give me back the calm, contented mind; Each social instinct, and sublime desire ?
Which, late, exulting, view'd in Nature's frame, Hail, Poverty! if honor, wealth, and art,
Goodness untainted, wisdom unconfin'd,
Grace, grandeur, and utility combin'd.
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 at O'erhear, in silent orisons employ'd.
will, The youth, his rising sorrow to assuage,
Uncheck'd by cold distrust, and uninform'd of 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 return 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 make thine eyes o'erflow, The voice still seem'd to vibrate on his ear, Alas! what comfort could thy anguish soothe, 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 hear.
* But let untender thoughts afar be driven; When all were great and free! man's sole employ
To deck the bosom of his parent earth;
To aid the flow'ret's long-expected birth,
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. Whose boughs to man his food and shelter lent,
Pure in his pleasures, happy in his loves,
Nature supplied the wish she taught to crave.
To all an equal lot Heaven's bounty gave :
Pour'd on the vision of the enraptur'd bard,
Then hail sweet Fancy's ray! and hail the dream
Careless what others of my choice may deem,
“ I cannot blame thy choice," the sage replied, And languish in the dust, and clasp th' abandon'd" For soft and smooth are Fancy's flowery ways. urn!
And yet, even there, if left without a guide,
The young adventurer unsafely plays.
And who, my child, would trust the meteor-blaze,
“ Fancy enervates, while it soothes, the heart, Or check the headlong haste of time's o'erwhelming And, while it dazzles, wounds the mental sight :
To joy each heightening charm it can impart,
But wraps the hour of woe in tenfold night.
Assail with equal or superior might,
And shivering nerves, shoot stings of more than To those, whom Nature taught to think and feel,
mortal 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 vigor 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 bave far'd. • This praise, O Cheronean sage,* is thine!
Were they successful ? Let not us despair. (Why should this praise 10 thee alone belong ?) Was disappointment oft their sole reward? All else from Nature's moral path decline,
Yet shall their tale instruci, if it declare
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 bail the patriot prince, whose pious toils,
Sacred to science, liberty, and right, “O who of man the story will unfold,
And peace, through every age divinely bright, Ere victory and empire wrought annoy,
Shall shine the boast and wonder of mankind ! In that elysian age (misnam'd of gold)
Sees yonder Sun, from his meridian height, The age of love, and innocence and joy,
A lovelier scene, than virtue thus enshrin'd
In power, and man with man for mutual aid com* Plutarch.
“Hail, sacred Polity, by Freedom reard !
" 'Twas from Philosophy man learn'd to tame Hail, sacred Freedom, when by law restrain'd! The soil by plenty to intemperance sed. Without you, what were man! A grovelling herd Lo, from the echoing ax, and thundering flame, In darkness, wretchedness, 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 unrival'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 head, To godlike worth the generous bosom raise, Ceres and Flora, to the sunny dale, And prompt the sage's lore, and fire the poet's lays ! To fan their glowing charms, invite the fluttering gale. “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 curb Imagination's lawless rage,
Or foes intestine what a numerous band And from within the cherish'd heart to brace, Against this liule 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 level'd dart, Fear, Discontent, Solicitude, give place,
Soothe the sharp pang, allay the sever'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 shed. And yet a few soft nights and balmy days impart.
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 control,
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 frenzy to assuage. In the deep windings of the grove, no more The hag obscene, and grisly phantom, dwell ; " 'Tis he 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
of policy, that, 'midst the wrecks of time,
And industry and law maintain their sway severe."
Aloft from cause to cause exults to rise.
Creation's blended stores arranging as she flies. "And even where Nature loads the teeming plain With the full pomp of vegetable store,
Nor love of novelty alone inspires, Her bounty, unimproy'd, is deadly bane ;
Their laws and nice dependencies to sean; 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 eyeball gleams with lust of gore, The cold desponding breast of sloth to warm, Nestles each murderous and each monstrous brood, The flame 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.