Oldalképek
PDF

upnumber'd beauties in my verse should shine, and Virgil's Italy should yield to mine! - 1 .

See how the golden groves around me smile, that shun the coast of Britains's stormy isle, or, when transplanted and preserv'd with care, curse the cold clime, and starve in northern air. Here kindly warmth their mounting juice ferments to nobler tastes, and more exalted scents: ev’n the rough rocks with tender myrtle bloom, and trodden weeds send out a rich perfume. Bear me, some God, to Baia's gentle seats, or cover me in Umbria's green retreats; where western gales eternally reside, and all the seasons lavish all their pride: blossoms, and fruits, and flowers together rise, and the whole year in gay confusion lies.

Immortal glories in my mind revive, . and in my soul a thousand passions strive, when Rome's exalted beauties I descry magnificent in piles of ruin lie. An amphitheatre's amazing height here fills my eye with terror and delight, that on it's public shows unpeopled Rome and held uncrowded nations in it's womb: here pillars rough with sculpture pierce the skies, and here the proud triumphal arches rise, where the old Romans deathless acts display'd, their base degenerate progeny upbraid: whole rivers here forsake the fields below, and wondering at their height through airy channels

- flow, Still to new scenes my wandering Muse retires, and the dumb show of breathing rocks admires ; where the smooth chisel all it's force has shown,

and soften'd into flesh the rugged stone. In solemn silence, a majestic band, heroes, and Gods, and Roman consuls stand, stern tyrants, whom their cruelties renown, and emperors in Parian marble frown; while the bright dames, to whom tbey humbly sued, still show the charms that their proud hearts subdued.

Fain would I Raphael's godlike art rehearse, and show th’immortal labours in my verse, where from the mingled strength of shade and light a new creation rises to my sight, such heavenly figures from his pencil flow, so warm with life bis blended colours glow. From theme to theme with secret pleasure tost, amidst the soft variety I'm lost: here pleasing airs my ravish'd soul confound with circling notes and labyrinths of sound; here domes and temples rise in distant views, and opening palaces invite my Muse.

How has kind heaven adoru'd the happy land and scatter'd blessings with a wasteful hand ! but what avail her unexhausted stores, her blooming mountains, and her sunny shores, with all the gifts that heaven and earth impart, the smiles of nature, and the charms of art, while proud oppression in her valleys reigns, and tyranny usurps her happy plains ? The poor inhabitant beholds in vain the reddening orange and the swelling grain: joyless he sees the growing oils and wines, and in the myrtle's fragrant shade repines: starves, in the midst of nature's bounty curst, and in the loaden vineyard dies for thirst.

Oh Liberty! thou goddess heavenly bright, profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight!

eternal pleasures in thy presence reign, and smiling plenty leads thy wanton train: eas’d of her load subjection grows more light, . and poverty looks chearful in thy sight; . thou mak'st the glowiny face of nature gay, ir giv'st beauty to the sun, and pleasure to the day. ; Thee, goddess, thee Britannia's isle adores; how has she oft exhausted all her stores, how oft in fields of death thy presence sought, nor thinks the mighty prize too dearly brought ! on foreign mountains may the sun refine the grape's soft juice, and mellow it to wine, with citron groves adorn a distant soil, and the fat olive swell with floods of oil: we enyy not the warmer clime, that lies in ten degrees of more indulgent skies. Nor at the coarseness of our hea; en repine, Tho'o'er our heads the frozen Pleiads shine: tis Liberty that crowns Britannia's isle, ind makes her barren rocks and her bleak mountains

smile. Others with towering piles may please the sight, ind in their proud aspiring domes delight;

nicer touch to the stretcht canvas give, ir teach their aniinated rocks to live: . .is Britain's care to watch o'er Europe's fate, nd hold in balance each contending state,

threaten bold presumptuous kings with war, nd answer her afflicted neighbour's prayer. The Dane'and Swede, rous'd up by fierce alarms, less the wise conduct of her pious arms: oon as her fleets appear, their terrors cease, nd all the northern world lies hush'd in peace. Th' ambitious Gaul beholds with secret dread

her thunder aim'd at his aspiring head, and fain her godlike sons would disunite by foreign gold, or by domestic spite: but strives in vain to conquer or divide, whom Nassau's arms defend and counsels guide. Fird with the name, which I so oft have found the distant climes and different tongụes resound, I bridle-in my struggling nuse with pain, that longs to launch into a bolder strain. .

But I've already troubled you too long, nor dare attempt a more adventurous song. My humble verse demands a softer theme, a painted meadow, or a purling stream; unfit for heroes: whom immortal lays, and lines like Virgil's or like your's, should praise.

COWLEY'S EPITAPH ON HIMSELF.

TRANSLATED BY MR. ADDISON. From life's superfluous cares enlarg'd his debt of human toil discharg'd, here Cowley lies! beneath this shed, to every worldly interest dead; with decent poverty content, his hours of ease not idly spent; to fortune's goods a foe profest, . and hating wealth by all carest. 'Tis true he's dead; for oh ! how small a spot of earth is now his all: oh! wish that earth may lightly lay, and every care be fair away; bring flowers; the short-liv'd roses bring, to life deceas’d, fit offering; and sweets around the poet strow, whilst yet with life his ashes glow.

SET TO MUSICK BY MR. DANIEL PURCELL.

Performed at Oxford 1699.
i Prepare the hallow'd strain, my Muse,

thy softest sounds and sweetest numbers chuse; the bright Cecilia's praise rehearse, ". in warbling words, and gliding verse, that smoothly run into a song, and gently die away, and melt upon the tongue. 2 First let the sprightly violin the joyful melody begin,

And none of all her strings be mute,
while the sharp sound and shriller lay
in sweet harmonious notes decay,

soften'd and mellow'd by the flute.
* " The flute that sweetly can complain,
«« dissolve the frozen nymph's disdain;

“ panting sympathy impart,
“ till she partake her lover's smart."

CHORUS.
3 Next, let the solemn organ join
religious airs, and strains divine,
such as may lift us to the skies,
and set all heaven before our eyes:

" such as may list us to the skies;
46 so far at least till they

“ descend with kind surprize,
“ and neet our pious harmony half-way."
4 Let then the trumpet's piercing sound ,
our ravish'd ears with pleasure wound.

the soul o'er-powering with delight, as, with a quick uncommon ray, * The four last lines of the second and third stanzas were added bis ir. Tate.

« ElőzőTovább »