« ElőzőTovább »
But not to Lybia's barren climes alone, To Chili, or the wild Siberian zone, Belong the wretched heart and haggard eye, Degraded worth, and poor misfortune's sigh!— Ye orient realms, where Ganges' waters run ' Prolific fields' dominions of the sun. How long your tribes have trembled and obey'd! How long was Timour's iron sceptre sway'd, (11) Whose marshall'd hosts, the lions of the plain, From Scythia's northern mountains to the main, Raged o'er your plunder'd shrines and altars bare, With blazing torch and gory cimeterStunn'd with the cries of death each gentle gale, And bathed in blood the verdure of the vale! Yet could no pangs the immortal spirit tame, When Brama's children perish'd for his name; The martyr smiled beneath avenging power, And braved the tyrant in his torturing hour!
When Europe sought your subject realms to gain, And stretch'd her giant sceptre o'er the main, Taught her proud barks the winding way to shape, And braved the stormy spirit of the Cape; (12) Children of Brama! then was Mercy nigh To wash the stain of blood's eternal dye Did Pence descend, to triumph and to save, When freeborn Britons cross'd the Indian wave Ah, no!—to more than Rome's ambition true, The nurse of Freedom gave it not to you! She the bold route of Europe's guilt began, And, in the march of nations, led the van'
Rich in the gems of India's gaudy zone, And plunder piled from kingdoms not their own, Degenerate trade! thy minions could despise The heart-born anguish of a thousand cries; Could lock, with impious hands, their teeming store, While samish'd nations died along the shore: (13) Could mock the groans of fellow-men, and bear The curse of kingdoms peopled with despair; Could stamp disgrace on man's polluted name, And barter, with their gold, eternal shame!
But hark! as bow'd to earth the Bramin kneels, From heavenly climes propitious thunder peals; Of India's fate her guardian spirits tell, Prophetic murmurs breathing on the shell, And solemn sounds, that awe the list'ning mind, Roll on the azure paths of every wind.
“Foes of mankind! (her guardian spirits say,) Revolving ages bring the bitter day, When Heaven's unerring arm shall fall on you, And blood for blood these Indian plains bedev ; Nine times have Brama's wheels of lightning hurl’d His awful presence o'er the alarmed world; (14) Nine times hath Guilt, through all his giant frame, Convulsive trembled, as the Mighty came ; Nine times hath suffering Mercy spared in vain— But Heaven shall burst her starry gates again! He comes ' dread Brama shakes the sunless sky With murmuring wrath, and thunders from on high, Heaven's fiery horse, beneath his warrior form, Paws the light clouds, and gallops on the storm' Wide waves his flickering sword; his bright arms
Like summer suns, and light the world below:
Earth, and her trembling isles in Ocean's bed, Are shook; and Nature rocks beneath his tread!
“To pour redress on India's injured realm, The oppressor to dethrone, the proud to whelm ; To chase destruction from her plunder'd shore With arts and arms that triumph'd once before, The tenth Avatar comes! at Heaven's command Shall Seriswattee wave her hallow’d wand And Camdeo bright, and Ganesa sublime, (15) Shall bless with joy their own propitious clime – Come, Heavenly Powers' primeval peace restore: Love!—Mercy!—Wisdom —rule for evermore!”
Apostrophy, to the power of Love—its intimate connexion with generous and social sensibility— allusion to that beautiful passage in the beginning of the book of Genesis, which represents the happiness of Paradise itself incomplete, till Love was superadded to its other blessings—the dreams of future felicity which a lively imagination is apt to cherish, when Hope is animated by refined attachment—this disposition to combine, in one imaginary scene of residence, all that is pleasing in our estimate of happiness, compared to the skill of the great artist who personified perfect beauty, in the picture of Venus, by an assemblage of the most beautiful features he could find—a summer and winter evening described, as they may be supposed to arise in the mind of one who wishes, with enthusiasm, for the union of friendship and retirement.
Hope and Imagination inseparable agents—even in those contemplative moments when our imagination wanders beyond the boundaries of this world, our minds are not unattended with an impression that we shall some day have a wider and distinct prospect of the universe, instead of the partial glimpse we now enjoy.
The last and most sublime influence of Hope is the concluding topic of the poem—the predominance of a belief in a future state over the terrors attendant on dissolution—the baneful influence of that sceptical philosophy which bars us from such comforts— allusion to the fate of a suicide—episode of Conrad and Ellinore—conclusion.
IN joyous youth, what soul hath never known Thought, feeling, taste, harmonious to its own 1 Who hath not paused while Beauty's pensive eye Ask'd from his heart the homage of a sigh Who hath not own'd, with rapture-smitten frame, The power of grace, the magic of a name *
There be, perhaps, who barren hearts avow, Cold as the rocks on Torneo's hoary brow! There be, whose loveless wisdom never fail'd, In self-adoring pride securely mail'd :But, triumph not, ye peace-enamour'd few ' Fire, Nature, Genius, never dwelt with you! For you no fancy consecrates the scene Where rapture utter'd vows, and wept between; "T is yours, unmoved, to sever and to meet;
No pledge is sacred, and no home is sweet!
Who that would ask a heart to dullness wed, The waveless calm, the slumber of the dead Î No: the wild bliss of Nature needs alloy, And fear and sorrow fan the fire of joy! And say, without our hopes, without our fears, , Without the home that plighted love endears, Without the smile from partial beauty won, Oh! what were man?—a world without a sun.
Till Hymen brought his love-delighted hour, There dwelt no joy in Eden's rosy bower! In vain the viewless seraph lingering there, At starry midnight charm'd the silent air; In vain the wild-bird caroll'd on the steep, To hail the sun, slow wheeling from the deep; In vain, to soothe the solitary shade, Aërial notes in mingling measure play'd ; The summer wind that shook the spangled tree, The whispering wave, the murmur of the bee;— Still slowly pass'd the melancholy day, And still the stranger wist not where to stray. The world was sad'—the garden was a wild; And man, the hermit, sigh’d—till woman smiled !
True, the sad power to generous hearts may bring Delirious anguish on his fiery wing: Barr'd from delight by fate's untimely hand, By wealthless lot, or pitiless command; Or doom'd to gaze on beauties that adorn The smile of triumph, or the frown of scorn; While Memory watches o'er the sad review, Of joys that saded like the morning dew; Peace may depart—and life and nature seem A barren path, a wildness, and a dream |
But can the noble mind for ever brood, The willing victim of a weary mood, On heartless cares that squander life away, And cloud young Genius brightening into day !— Shame to the coward thought that e'er betray'd The noon of manhood to a myrtle shade —(16) If Hope's creative spirit cannot raise One trophy sacred to thy future days, Scorn the dull crowd that haunt the gloomy shrine, Of hopeless love to murmur and repine! But, should a sigh of milder mood express Thy heart-warm wishes, true to happiness, Should Heaven's fair harbinger delight to pour Her blissful visions on thy pensive hour, No tear to blot thy memory's pictured page, No fears but such as fancy can assuage: Though thy wild heart some hapless hour may miss The peaceful tenor of unvaried bliss (For love pursues an ever-devious race, True to the winding lineaments of gra, eo; Yet still may Horr her talisman employ To snatch from Heaven anticipated joy, And all her kindred energies impart That burn the brightest in the purest hearl.
When first the Rhodian's mimic art array'd The queen of Beauly in her Cyprian shade, The happy master mingled on his piece Each look that charm'd him in the fair of Greece. To faultless Nature true, he stole a grace From every finer form and sweeter face;
And as he sojourn'd on the AEgean isles,
So thy fair hard, enamour'd Fancy! gleans The treasured pictures of a thousand scenes; Thy pencil traces on the lover's thought Some cottage-home, from towns and toil remote, Where love and lore may claim alternate hours, With Peace embosom'd in Idalian bowers! Remote from busy Life's bewilder'd way, O'er all his heart shall Taste and Beauty sway! Free on the sunny slope, or winding shore, With hermit steps to wander and adore: There shall he love, when genial morn appears, Like pensive Beauty smiling in her tears, To watch the brightening roses of the sky, And muse on Nature with a Poet's eye!— And when the sun's last splendor lights the deep, The woods and waves, and murmuring winds asleep, When fairy harps th' Hesperian planet hail, And the lone cuckoo sighs along the vale, His path shall be where streamy mountains swell Their shadowy grandeur o'er the narrow dell, Where mouldering piles and forests intervene, Mingling with darker tints the living green; No circling hills his ravish'd eye to bound, Heaven, Earth, and Ocean, blazing all around.
The moon is up—the watch-tower dimly burns— And down the vale his sober step returns; I}ut pauses oft, as winding rocks convey The still sweet fall of music far away; And ost he lingers from his home awhile To watch the dying notes!—and start, and smile!
Let Winter come! let polar spirits sweep The darkening world, and tempest-troubled deep! Though boundless snows the wither'd heath deform, And the dim sun scarce wanders through the storm Yet shall the smile of social love repay, With mental light, the melancholy day! And, when its short and sullen noon is o'er, The ice-chain'd waters slumbering on the shore, How bright the sagots in his little hall Blaze on the hearth, and warm the pictured wall!
How blest he names, in Love's familiar tone, The kind, fair friend, by Nature mark'd his own; And, in the waveless mirror of his mind, Views the fleet years of pleasure left behind, Since Anna's empire o'er his heart began Since first he call'd her his before the holy man'
Trim the gay taper in his rustic dome, And light the wintry paradise of home; And iet the half-uncurtain'd window hail Some way-worn man benighted in tho vale! Now, while the moaning night-wind rages high, As sweep the shot-stars down the troubled sky, While fiery hosts in Heaven's wide circle play, And bathe in lurid light the milky-way, Safe from the storm, the meteor, and the shower, Some plcasing page shall charm the *—
With pathos shall command, with wit beguile,
Yes, at the dead of night, by Lonna's steep, The seaman's cry was heard along the deep; There, on his funeral waters, dark and wild, The dying father blest his darling child! Oh! Mercy, shield her innocence, he cried, Spent on the prayer his bursting heart, and died'
Or they will learn how generous worth sublimes The robber Moor, (18) and pleads for all his crimes: How poor Amelia kiss'd, with many a tear, His hand blood-stain'd, but ever, ever dear! Hung on the tortured bosom of her lord, And wept and pray'd perdition from his sword! Nor sought in vain! at that heart-piercing cry The strings of Nature crack'd with agony He, with delirious laugh, the dagger hurl’d, And burst the ties that bound him to the world!
Turn from his dying words, that smite with steel The shuddering thoughts, or wind them on the wheel— Turn to the gentler melodies that suit Thalia's harp, or Pan's Arcadian lute: Or, dcwn the stream of Truth's historic page, From clime to clime descend, from age to age'
Yet there, perhaps, may darker scenes obtrude Than Fancy fashions in her wildest mood; There shall he pause with horrent brow, to rate What millions died—that Caesar might be great!(19) Or learn the fate that bleeding thousands bore, March'd by their Charles to Dnieper's swampy
Faint in his wounds, and shivering in the blast,
Above, below, in Ocean, Earth, and Sky, Thy fairy worlds, Imagination, lie, And Hope attends, companion of the way, Thy dream by night, thy visions of the day! In yonder pensile orb, and every sphere That gems the starry girdle of the year; In those unmeasured worlds, she bids thee tell, Pure from their God, created millions dwell, Whose names and natures, unreveal’d below, We yet shall learn, and wonder as we know; For, as Iona's saint, (21) a giant form, Throned on her towers, conversing with the storm (When o'er each Runic altar, weed-entwined,
The vesper-clock tolls mournful to the wind),
Oh! vainly wise, the moral muse hath sung That suasive HoPE hath but a Syren tongue! True; she may sport with life's untutor'd day Nor heed the solace of its last decay, The guileless heart her happy mansion spurn, And part, like Ajut—never to return' (22)
But yet, methinks, when Wisdom shall assuage The grief and passions of our greener age, Though dull the close of life, and far away Each flower that hail'd the dawning of the day; Yet o'er her lovely hopes, that once were dear, The time-taught spirit, pensive, not severe, With milder griefs her aged eye shall fill, And weep their falsehood, though she love them still!
Thus, with forgiving tears, and reconciled, The king of Judah mourn'd his rebel child! Musing on days, when yet the guiltless boy Smiled on his sire, and fill'd his heart with joy! My Absalom! the voice of Nature cried: Oh! that for thee thy father could have died: For bloody was the deed, and rashly done, That slew my Absalom —my son —my son!
Unfading Hope! when life's last embers burn When soul to soul, and dust to dust return ? Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour; Oh! then, thy kingdom comes! immortal Power! What though each spark of earth-born rapture fly The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye! Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey The morning dream of life's eternal day— Then, then, the triumph and the trance begin, And all the phoenix spirit burns within'
Oh! deep-enchanting prelude to repose, The dawn of bliss, the twilight of our woes! Yet half I hear the panting spirit sigh, It is a dread and awful thing to die! Mysterious worlds, untravell'd by the sun, Where Time's far-wandering tide has never run, From your unfathom'd shades, and viewless spheres, A warning comes, unheard by other ears. "Tis Heaven's commanding trumpet, long and loud, Like Sinai's thunder, pealing from the cloud! While Nature hears, with terror-mingled trust, The shock that hurls her fabric to the dust; And, like the trembling Hebrew, when he trod The roaring waves, and call'd upon his God, With mortal terrors clouds immortal bliss, And shrieks, and hovers o'er the dark abyss!
Daughter of Faith ! awake, arise, illume The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb;
Melt, and dispel, ye spectre-doubts, that roll
Soul of the just! companion of the dead!
Oh! lives there, Heaven! beneath thy dread expanse,
Are these the pompous tidings ye proclaim,
Oh! star-eyed Science, hast thou wander'd there,
And well may Doubt, the mother of Dismay,
Cease, every joy, to glimmer on my mind,
Why can no hymned charm of music heal
No! not the quaint remark, the sapient rule, Nor all the pride of Wisdom's worldly school, Have power to soothe, unaided and alone, The heart that vibrates to a feeling tone! When stepdame Nature every bliss recalls, Fleet as the meteor o'er the desert falls; When, 'rest of all, yon widow’d sire appears A lonely hermit in the vale of years; Say, can the world one joyous thought bestow To Friendship, weeping at the couch of Woe! No! but a brighter soothes the last adieu, Souls of impassion'd mould, she speaks to you ! Weep not, she says, at Nature's transient pain, Congenial spirits part to meet again!
What plaintive sobs thy filial spirit drew, What sorrow choked thy long and last adieu! Daughter of Conrad! when he heard his knell, And bade his country and his child farewell! Doom'd the long isles of Sydney-cove to see, The martyr of his crimes, but true to thee! Thrice the sad father tore thee from his heart, And thrice return'd, to bless thee, and to part; Thrice from his trembling lips he murmur'd low The plaint that own'd unutterable woe: Till Faith, prevailing o'er his sullen doom, As bursts the morn on night's unfathom'd gloom, Lured his dim eye to deathless hopes sublime, Beyond the realms of Nature and of Time!
“And weep not thus,” he cried, “young Ellenore, My bosom bleeds, but soon shall bleed no more! Short shall this half-extinguish’d spirit burn, And soon these limbs to kindred dust return! But not, my child, with life's precarious fire, The immortal ties of nature shall expire; These shall resist the triumph of decay, When time is o'er, and worlds have passed away! Cold in the dust this perish'd heart may lie, But that which warm'd it once shall never die; That spark unburied in its mortal frame With living light, eternal, and the same, Shall beam on Joy's interminable years, Unveil'd by darkness—unassuaged by tears!
“Yet on the barren shore and stormy deep, One tedious watch is Conrad doom'd to weep; But when I gain the home without a friend, And press the uneasy couch where none attend, This last embrace, still cherish'd in my heart, Shall calm the struggling spirit ere it part! Thy darling form shall seem to hover nigh, And hush the groan of life's last agony!
“Farewell! when strangers lift thy father's bier, And place my nameless stone without a tear; When each returning pledge hath told my child That Conrad's tomb is on the desert piled; And when the dream of troubled Fancy sees Its lonely rank grass waving in the breeze; Who then will soothe thy grief, when mine is o'er? Who will protect thee, helpless Ellenore?
Shall secret scenes thy filial sorrows hide, Scorn'd by the world, to factious guilt allied ? Ah! no: methinks the generous and the good Will woo thee from the shades of solitude 1 O'er friendless grief compassion shall awake, And smile on Innocence, for Mercy's sake!”
Inspiring thought of rapture yet to be, The tears of Love were hopeless, but for thee! If in that frame no deathless spirit dwell, If that faint murmur be the last farewell, If Fate unite the faithful but to part, Why is their memory sacred to the heart? Why does the brother of my childhood seem Restored awhile in every pleasing dream? Why do I joy the lonely spot to view, By artless friendship bless'd when life was new?
Eternal Hope! when yonder spheres sublime Peal'd their first notes to sound the march of Time, Thy joyous youth began—but not to fadeWhen all the sister planets have decay’d; When wrapt in fire the realms of ether glow, And Heaven's last thunder shakes the world below Thou, undismay’d, shalt o'er the ruins smile, And light thy torch at Nature's funeral pile !
Note 1, page 2, col. 1
And such thy strength-inspiring aid that bore
The following picture of his own distress, given by Byron in his simple and interesting narrative, justifies the description in page 2.
After relating the barbarity of the Indian cacique to his child, he proceeds thus:– “A day or two after, we put to sea again, and crossed the great bay I mentioned we had been at the bottom of when we first hauled away to the westward. The land here was very low and sandy, and something like the mouth of a river which discharged itself into the sea, and which had been taken no notice of by us before, as it was so shallow that the Indians were obliged to take everything out of their canoes, and carry them overland. Werowed up the river four or five leagues, and then took into a branch of it that ran first to the eastward, and then to the northward: here it became much narrower, and the stream excessively rapid, so that we gained but little way, though we wrought very hard. At night we landed upon its banks, and had a most uncomfortable lodging, it being a perfect swamp, and we had nothing to cover us, though it rained excessively. The Indians were little better off than we, as there was no wood here to make their wigwams; so that all they could do was to prop up the bark, which they carry in the bottom of their canoes, and shelter themselves as well as they could to the leeward of it. Knowing the difficulties they had to encounter here, they had provided themselves with some seal; but we had not a morsel to eat, after the heavy fa
tigues of the day, excepting a sort of root we saw the