Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

'Twas from Philosophy man learned to tame “ The soil by plenty to intemperance fed. “ Lo! from the echoing axe, and thundering flame, “ Poison and plague and yelling rage are fled. “ The waters, bursting from their slimy bed, “ Bring health and melody to every vale : “ And, from the breezy main and mountain's head

“ Ceres and Flora, to the sunny dale, “To fan their glowing charms, invite the fluttering gale.

“ What dire necessities on every hand “ Our art, our strength, our fortitude require ! “ Of foes intestine what a numerous band “ Against this little throb of life conspire ! “ Yet Science can elude their fatal ire “ Awhile, and turn aside Death's levell'd dart, “ Sooth the sharp pang, allay the fever's fire, " And brace the nerves once more, and cheer the

heart, “ And yet a few soft nights and balmy days impart.

“ Nor less to regulate man's mortal frame “ Science exerts her all-composing sway, * Flutters thy breast with fear, or pants for fame, “ Or pines to Indolence and Spleen a prey, “ Or Avarice, a fiend more fierce than they? “ Flee to the shades of Academus' grove; “ Where cares molest not! discord melts away

“ In harmony, and the pure passions prove “ How sweet the words of truth breath'd from the

lips of love. “ What cannot Art and Industry perform, " When Science plans! the progress of their toil! “ They smile at penury, disease, and storm ; “ And oceans from their mighty mounds recoil, " When tyrants scourge, or demagogués embroil “ A land, or when the rabble's headlong rage “ Order transforms 'to anarchy and spoil,

“ Deep-vers'd in man the philosophic Sage "Prepares with lenient hand their phrenzy to assuage.

" 'Tis he alone, whose comprehensive mind, From situation, temper, soil, and clime “ Explor'd, a nation's various powers can bind “ And various orders, in one Form sublime “Of polity, that, midst the wrecks of time, “Secure shall lift its head on high, nor fear “ Th' assault of foreign or domestic crime, “ While public faith, and public love sincere, “And Industry and Law maintain their sway severe."

Enraptur'd by the Hermit's strain, the Youth
Proceeds the path of Science to explore.
And now, expanding to the beams of Truth,
New energies, and charms unknown before,
His mind discloses : Fancy now no more
Wantons on fickle pinion thro' the skies ;
But, fix'd in aim, and conscious of her power,

Sublime from cause to cause exults to rise,
Creations blended stores arranging as she flies

Nor love of novelty alone inspires,
Their laws and nice dependencies to scan ;
For mindful of the aids that life requires,
And of the services man owes to man,
He meditates new arts on Nature's plan,
The cold desponding breast of Sloth to warm,
The flame of Industry and Genius fan,

And Emulation's noble rage alarm,
And the long hours of Toil and Solitude to charm.

But she, who set on fire his infant heart,
And all his dreams, and all his wanderings shar'd,
And bless'd, the Muse, and her celestial art,
Still claim the Enthusiast's fond and first regard.
From Nature's beauties variously compar'd
And variously combin'd, he learns to frame
Those forms of bright perfection, which the Bard,

While boundless hopes and boundless views inflame, Enamour'd consecrates to never-dying fame.

Of late, with cumbersome, tho' pompous show,
Edwin would oft his flowery rhyme deface
Thro' ardor to adorn; but Nature now
To his experienc'd eye a modest grace
Presents, where Ornament the second place
Holds, to intrinsic worth and just design
Subservient still. Simplicity apace

Tempers his rage: he owns her charm divine, And clears the ambiguous phrase, and lops the un

wieldy line.

Fain would I sing (much yet unsung remains)
What sweet delirium o'er his bosom stole,
When the great Shepherd of the Mantuan plains*
His deep majestic melody 'gan roll:
Fain would I sing, what transport storm'd his soul,
How the red current throbb'd his veins along,
When, like Pelides, bold beyond control,

Gracefully terrible, sublimely strong,
Homer rais'd high to Heaven the loud th’impetuous

song

And how his lyre, tho' rude her first essays,
Now skilled to sooth, to triumph, to complain,
Warbling at will thro' each harmonious maze,
Was taught to modulate the artful strain.
I fain would sing :-but ah! I strive in vain.
Sighs from a breaking heart my voice confound.-
With trembling step, to join yon weeping train,

I haste, where gleams funereal glare around,
And, mix'd with shrieks of woe, the knells of death

resound.

Adieu, ye lays, that Fancy's flowers adorn,
The soft amusement of the vacant mind!
He sleeps in dust, and alł the Muses mourn,
He, whom each Virtue fir'd, each Grace refin'd,

• Virgil.

Friend, teacher, pattern, darling of mankind !_* He sleeps in dust.-Ah, how should I pursue My theme !-To heart-consuming grief resign'd,

Here on his recent grave I fix my view, And pour my bitter tears.-Ye flowery lays, adieu !

Art thou, my G*******, for ever fled!
And am I left to unavailing woe!
When fortune's storms assail this weary head,
Where cares long since have shed untimely snow,
Ah, now for comfort whither shall I go!
No more thy soothing voice my anguish cheers :
Thy placid eyes with smiles no longer glow,

My hopes to cherish, and allay my fears. "Tis meet that I should mourn: flow forth afresh my

tears.

• This excellent person died suddenly, on the 10th of February, 1773. The conclusion of the poem was written a few days after.

THE GRA V E.

The house appointed for all living.

Job.

WI

HILST some affect the sun, and some the shade,

Some flee the city, some the hermitage, Their aims as various as the roads they take In journeying thro’ life; the task be mine To paint the gloomy horrors of the tomb; The appointed place of rendezvous, where all These travellers meet. Thy succours I implore, Eternal King! whose potent arm sustains The keys of hell and death. The Grave, dread thing! Men shiver when thou'rt nam'd: Nature appall'd Shakes off her wonted firmness. Ah ! how dark Thy long-extended realms and rueful wastes ; Where nought but silence reigns, and night, dark night, Dark as was Chaos ere the infant Sun Was roll'd together, or had tried its beams Athwart the gloom profound! The sickly taper, By glimm'ring thro' thy low-brow'd misty vaults, Furr'd round with mouldy damps, and ropy slime, Lets fall a supernumerary horror, And only serves to make thy night more irksome. Well do I know thee by thy trusty yew, Cheerless, unsocial plant! that loves to dwell 'Midst sculls and coffins, epitaphs and worms; Where light-heeld ghosts, and visionary shades, Beneath the wan cold moon (as fame reports) Embodied thick, perform their mystic rounds. No other merriment, dull tree! is thine.

See yonder hallow'd fane! the pious work Of names once fam'd, now dubious or forgot, And buried 'midst the wreck of things which were ;

« ElőzőTovább »