Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

How soon obedient Flora brought her store,

And o'er thy breast a shower of fragrance flung : Vertumnus came ; his earliest blooms he bore,

And thiy rich sides with waving purple hung:

Then to the fight he call d yon stately spire,

He pierc'd th' opposing oak’s luxuriant shade. Bad yonder crowding hawthorns low retire,

Nor veil the glories of the golden mead.

Hail, fylvan wonders, bail! and hail the hand

Whose native talle thy native charms display d, And taught one little acre to command

Each envied happiness of scene and Made.

a

Is there a hill whose distant azure bounds

The ample range of Scarsdale's proud domain, A mountain huar, that yon' wild peak surrounds,

But lends a willing beauty to thy plain ?

And, lo! in yonder path, 1 spy my friend ;

He looks the guardian genius of the grove, Mild as the fabled form that whilom deign’d,

At Milton's call, in Hartfeld's launts to rove,

Bless'd spirit, come! tho' pent in mortal mould,
I'll
yet

invoke thee by that purer name ; O come, a portion of thy biiss unfold,

From folly's maze my wayward Ateps reclaim.

* See the description of the Genius of the Wood in Milton's Arcades,

For know by lot, from Jove I am the power
Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower ;
To nurse the faplings tall, and curl the grovo
With ringlets quaint, &c.

Too long alas my inexperienc'd youth,

Milled by flatt'ring fortune's specious tale, Has left the rural reign of peace and truth,

The huddling brook, and cave, and whisp’ring vale.

Won to the world, a candidate for praise,

Yet, let me boast, by no ignoble art. Too oft the public ear has heard my lays,

Too much its vain applause has touch'd my heart :

But now 'ere custom binds his powerful chains,

Come from the base enchanter set me free, While yet my soul its first beft taste retains,

Recall that soul to reason, peace, and thee.

Teach me, like thee, to muse on nature's page,

To mark each wonder in creation's plan, Each mode of being trace, and humbly sage,

Deduce from these the genuine powers of man.

Of man,

while warm'd with reason's purer ray, No tool of policy, no dupe to pride ; Before vain science led his taste astray ;

When conscience was his law, and God his guide.

This let me learn, and learning let me live

The lesson o'er. From that great guide of truth O may my suppliant soul the boon receive

To tread thro' age the footiteps of thy youth.

Written in 1758.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

T

The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The plowman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

a

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the fight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his drony fight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ;

Save that from yonder ivy-maotled tow'r
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
Moleft her ancient, solitary reign-

X

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The ruile Forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock's frill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouze them from their lowly bed.

i For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care :
No children run to lisp their fire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their teem afield !
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

[ocr errors]

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure ;
Nor Grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike th' inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye Proud, impute to These the fault,
If Mem’ry o'er their Tomb no Trophies raise,
Where through the long-drawn isle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem fwells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its manfion call the fleeting breath?
Can honour's voice provoke the filcnt duft,
Or Flatt'ry footh the dull cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ; Hands, that the rod of empire might have fway'd, Or wak'd to extafy the living lyre. But Knowledge to their eyes her ample paso Rich with the spoils of Time did ne'er unroll; Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage, And froze the genial current of the foul. Full many a gem of purest ray serene, The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear; Full

many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the defart aira

Some village - Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little Tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may reft,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.
Th’applause of lift'ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to defpife.
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their histry in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbad: nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd:
Forbad to wade through flaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind.
The struggling pangs of confcious truth to Iride,
To quench the blushes of ingenuons flame,
Or heap the fhrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.

Far from the madding crowds ignoble frife
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray ;
Along the cool fequefter'd vale of life
They kept the noiselefs tenor of their way.

« ElőzőTovább »