Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

CHAP. XIV.

ODE TO TRUTH.

Say, will no white-robod Son of Light,
Swift darting from his heav'nly height,

Here deign to take his hallow'd stand;
Here wave his amber locks; unfold
His pinions cloth'd with downy gold;
Here smiling stretch his tutelary wand ?

And you, ye host of Saints, for ye have known
Each dreary path in Life's perplexing maze,

Though now ye circle yon eternal throne, With harpings high of inexpressive praise,

Will not your train descend in radiant state, To break with Mercy's beam this gath’ring cloud of Fate!

'Tis silence all. No Son of Light Darts swiftly from his heav'nly height:

No train of radiant Saints descend. “ Mortals, in vain ye hope to find,

“ If guilt, if fraud has stain'd your mind, “ Or Saint to hear, or Angel to defend.”.

So Truth proclaims. I hear the sacred sound Burst from the centre of her burning throne: Where

aye

she sits with star-wreath'd lustre crown'd: A bright Sun clasps her adamantine zone.

So Truth proclaims : her awful voice I hear :
With many a solemn pause it slowly meets my ear

“ Attend, ye Sons of Men ; attend, and say,
“ Does not enough of my refulgent ray
“ Break through

the veil of your mortality ? Say, does not Reason in this form descry “ Unnumber'd, nameless glories, that surpass “ The Angel's floating pomp, the Seraph's glowing grace ?

“ Shall then your earth-born daughters vie 6. With me?

Shall she, whose brightest eye “ But emulates the di'mond's blaze, “ Whose cheek but mocks the peach's bloom,

“ Whose breath the hyacinth's perfume, “ Whose melting voice the warbling woodlark's lays,

“ Shall she be deem'd my rival ? . Shall a form “ Of elemental dross, of mould'ring clay,

“ Vie with these charms imperial ? The poor worm “ Shall prove her contest vain. Life's little day

“ Shall pass, and she is gone; while I appear * Flush'd with the bloom of youth through Heav'n's eternal

“ year. & Know, Mortals know, ere first ye sprung, w Ere first these orbs in ether hung,

“ I shone amid the heav'nly throng; 6. These

eyes

beheld Creation's day, “ This voice began the choral lay, “ And taught archangels their triumphant song.

“ Pleas'd I survey'd bright Nature's gradual birtlı, “Saw infant Light with kindling lustre spread,

“ Soft vernal fragrance clothe the flow'ring earth, “ And Ocean heave on it's extended bed

“ Saw the tall pine aspiring pierce the sky, “ The tawny lion stalk, the rapid eagle fly.

“ Last, Man arose, erect in youthful grace,
“ Heav'n's hallow'd image stamp'd upon his face;

And, as he rose, the high behest was given “ That I alone, of all the host of Heav'n, “ Should reign Protectress of the godlike Youth : • Thus the Almighty spake: he spake and call'd me Trutlı."

MASON.

CHAP. XV.

ODE TO FANCY.

O PARENT of each lovely muse,
Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse,
O'er all my artless songs preside,
My footsteps to thy temple guide,
To offer at thy turf-built shrine,
In golden cups no costly wine,
No murder'd fatling of the flock,
But flow'rs and honey from the rock.

O Nymph with loosely flowing hair,
With buskin’d leg, and bosom bare,
Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd,
Waving in thy snowy hand
An all commanding magic wand ;
Of pow'r to bid fresh gardens grow
'Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow.
Whose rapid wings thy flight convey
Through air, and over earth and sea,
While the various landscape lies
Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes ;
O lover of the desert, bail!
Say in what deep and pathless vale,
Or on what hoary mountain's side,
'Midst falls of water you réside,
'Midst broken rocks, a rugged scene,
With
green

and
grassy

dales between,
'Midst forest dark of aged oak,
Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke,
Where never human art appear’d,
Nor e'en one straw-roof'd cot was rear'd,
Where Nature seems to sit alone,
Majestic on a craggy throne ;
Tell me the path, sweet wand'rer tell,
To thy unknown, sequester'd cell,
Where woodbines cluster round the door,
Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor,
And on whose top a hawthorn blows,
Amid whose thickly woven boughs
Some nightingale still builds lier nest,
Each ev'ning warbling thee to rest :
Then lay me by the haunted stream,
Rapt in some wild, poetic dream,
In converse while methinks I rove
With Spenser through a fairy grove ;
Till suddenly awak'd I hear
Strange whisper'd music in my ear,
And my glad soul in bliss is drowu'd,
By the sweetly soothing sound!

Me, Goddess, by the right hand lead, Sometimes through the yellow mead, Where Joy and white-rob’d Peace resort, And Venus keeps her festive court, Where Mirth and Youth each ev'ning meet, And lightly trip with nimble feet, Nodding their lily-crowned heads, Where Laughter rose-lipp'd Hebe leads, Where Echo walks steep hills among, Lisťning to the shepherd's song.

Yet not these flow'ry fields of joy Can long my pensive mind employ: Haste, Fancy, from these scenes of folly, To meet the matron Melancholy, Goddess of the tearful eye, That loves to fold her arms and sigh! Let us with silent footsteps go To charnels and the house of wo, To Gothic churches, vaults, and tombs, Where each sad night some Virgin comes, With throbbing breast, and faded cheek, Her promis'd bridegroom's urn to seek; Or to some abbey's mould'ring tow'rs, Where, to avoid cold winter's show'rs, The naked beggar shiv’ring lies, Wbile whistling tempests round her rise, And trembles lest the tott'ring wall Should on her sleeping infants fall.

Now let us louder strike the lyre, For my heart glows with martial fire; I feel, I fcel, with sudden heat, My big tumultuous bosom beat! The trumpet's clangors pierce mine ear, A thousand widows' shrieks I hear; “ Give me another horse!" I cry, Lo! the base Gallic squadrons fly; Whence is this rage ? Wbat spirit, say, To battle hurries me away? "Tis Fancy, in her fiery car, Transports me to the thickest war,

There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
Where Tumult and Destruction reign;
Where, mad with pain, the wounded steed
Tramples the dying and the dead :
Where giant Terrour stalks around,
With sullen joy surveys the ground,
And, pointing to th' ensanguin'd field,
Shakes his dreadful Gorgon shield !

O guide me from this horrid scene
To high-arch'd walks and alleys green,
Which lovely Laura seeks, to shun
The fervours of the mid-day sun;
The pangs of absence, O remove,
For thou canst place me near my love,
Canst fold in visionary bliss,
And let me think I steal a kiss.

When young-ey'd Spring profusely throws
From her green lap the pink and rose;
When the soft turtle of the dale
To Summer tells her tender tale,
When Autumn cooling caverns seeks,
And stains with wine bis jolly cheeks,
When Winter, like poor pilgrim old,
Shakes his silver beard with cold,
At ev'ry season let my ear
Thy solemn whispers, Fancy, hear.

O warm, enthusiastic Maid,
Without thy pow'rful, vital aid,
That breathes an energy divine,
That gives a soul to ev'ry line ;
Ne’er may I strive with lips profane
To utter an unhallow'd strain,
Nor dare to touch the sacred string,
Save when with smiles thou bidst one sing.

O hear our pray'r! O hither come
From thy lamented Shakspeare's tomb!
On which thou lov'st to sit at eve,
Musing o'er thy darling grave;
() Queen of numbers ! once again
Animate some chosen swain,
Who, fill'd with unexhausted fire,
May boldly strike the sounding lyre,

« ElőzőTovább »