Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

Smooth'd up with snow; and what is land, unknown,
What water, of the still unfrozen spring,
In the loose marsh or solitary lake,
Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils.
These check his fearful steps ; and down he sinks
Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift,
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death,
Mix'd with the tender anguish nature shoots
Through the wrung bosom of the dying man,
His wife, his children, and his friends unseen,
In vain for him th' officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm ;
In vain his little children, peeping out
Into the mingled storm, demand their sire,
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!:
Nor wife, nor children, more shall he behold;
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On every perve
The deadly winter seizes; shuts up sense ;
And, o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the snows a stiffen'd corse,
Stretch'd out and bleaching in the northern blast.

Ab, little think the gay licentious proud,
Whom pleasure, pow'r, and affluence surround;
They who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth
And wanton, often cruel riot, waste ;
Ah little think they while they dance along,
How many feel, this very moment, death,
And all the sad variety of pain !
How many sink in the devouring flood,
Or more devouring flame! How many bleed,
By shameful variance betwixt man and man!
How many pine in want, and dungeon glooms,
Shut from the common air, and common use
of their own limbs! How many drink the cup
Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
Of misery! Sore pierc'd by wintry winds,
How many shrink into the sordid hut
Of cheerless poverty! How many

shake
With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
Unbounded passion, madness, guilt, remorse!
How many, rackd with honest passionsmeroop
In deep retir'd distress! How many stand
Around the death-bed of their dearest friends,
And point the parting anguish! Thought, fond naan.

Of these, and all the thousand nameless ills,
That one incessant struggle render life,
One scene of toil, of suffering, and of fate,
Vice in bis high career would stand appallid,
And heedless rambling impulse learn to think ;
The conscious heart of charity would warm,
And her wide wish benevolence dilate ;
The social tear would rise, the social sigh
And into clear perfectios, gradual bliss,
Refining still, the social passions work.-THOMSON.

SECTION VIIT,

A morning hymn. These are thy glorious works, parent of good, Almighty, thine this universal frame, Thus wond'rous fair; thyself how wond'rous then! Unspeakable, who sitt'st above these heavens To us, invisible, or dimly seen In these thy lower works ; yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought, and pow'r divine, Speak ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, / Angels; for yé behold him, and with songs And choral symphonies, day without night, Circle his throne rejoicing; ye, in heaven, On earth, join all ye creatures to extol Him first, Him last, Him midst, and without end. Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, If better thou belong not to the dawn, Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling mora With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere, While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Thou sun, of this great world, both eye and soul, Acknowledge him thy greater, sound his praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, And when high noon hast gain'd, and when thou fallist, Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fy’st, With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies; And

ye five other wand'ring fires that move In mystic dance, not without song, resound His praise, who out of darkness call’d up light. Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth Of natúre's womb, that in quaternion run · Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix And nourish all things ; let your ceaseless change

Vary to our great MAKER still new praise.
Ye mists and exhalations that now rise ,
From hill or steaming lake, dusky or gray,
Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold,
In honour to the world's great AUTHOR rise !
Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolour'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling show'rs,
Rising or falling still advance bis praise,
His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines.
With ev'ry plant, in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble as ye How
Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise,
Join voices, all ye living souls ; ye birds
That singing, up to heaven's gate ascend,
Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise ;
Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
Witness if I be silent, morn or even,
To hill or valley, fountain, or fresh shade
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
Hail, UNIVERSAL LORD! be bounteous still
To give us only good; and if the pight
Has gather'd aught of evil, or conceal'd,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.- MILTON.

CHAP. VI.
PROMISCUOUS PIECES.

SECTION I,

Ode to Content,
O thou, the nymph with placid eye!
O seldom found, yet ever nigh!

Receive my temp?rate vow :
Not all the storms that shake the pole
Can e'er disturb thy halcyon soul,

And smooth, uualter'd brow.
O come, in simplest vest array'd,
With all thy sober cheer display'd

To bless my longing sight;
Thy mien compos'd, thy even pace,
Thy meek regard, thy matron grace,

And chaste subdu'd delight,

No more by varying passions beat,
O gently guide my pilgrim feet

To find thy hermit cell ;
Where in some pure and equal sky,
Beneath thy soft indulgent eye,

The modest virtues dwell.
Simplicity in attic vest,
And Innocence, with candid breast,

And clear undaunted eye;
And Hope, who points to distant years,
Fair op’ning thro' this vale of tears,

A vista to the sky
There Health, thro’ whose calm bosom glide
The temp'rate joys in even tide,

That rarely ebb or flow;
And Patience there, thy sister meek,
Presents her mild, unvarying cheek,

To meet the offer'd blow.
Her influence taught the Phrygian sage
A tyrant master's wanton rage,

With settled smiles, to ineet:
Inur'd to toil and bitter bread,
He bow'd his meek submitted head,

And kiss'd thy sainted feet.
But thou, O nymph, retir'd and coy!
In what brown hamlet dost thou joy

To tell thy tender tale ?
The lowliest children of the ground,
Moss-rose and violet blossom round,

And lily of the vale.
O say what soft propitious hour
I best may choose to hail thy pow'r

And court thy gentle sway?
When autumn, friendly to the muse,
Shall thy own modest tints diffuse,

And shed thy milder day?
When eve, her dewy star beneatb,
Thy balmy spirit loves to breathe,

And ev'ry storm is laid ?
If such an hour was e'er thy choice,

Oft let me hear thy soothing voice,
Low whisp'ring through the shade.-BARBAULD.

SECTION II.
The shepherd and the philosopher.
Remote from cities liv'd a swain,
Unvex'd with all the cares of gain ;
His head was silver'd o'er with age,
And long experience made him sage;
In summer's heat and winter's cold,
He fed his flock and penn'd the fold;
His hours in cheerful labour flew,
Nor envy nor ambition knew :
His wisdom and his honest fame
Through all the country rais'd bis name.

A deep philosopher (whose rules
Of moral life were drawn from schools)
The shepherd's homely cottage sought,
And thus explor'd his reach of thought.

“Whence is thy learning ? Hath thy toil
O'er books consum'd the midnight oil?
Hast thou old Greece and Rome survey'd,
And the vast sense of Plato weigh'd ?
Hath Socrates thy soul refind,
And hast thou fathom'd Tully's mind ?
Or, like the wise Ulysses, thrown,
By various fates, on realms unknown,
Hast thou through many cities stray'd,
There customs, laws, and manners weigh'd ?"

The shepherd modestly replied,
“ I ne'er the paths of learning tried;
Nor have I roam'd in foreign parts,
To read mankind, their laws and arts;
For man is practis'd in disguise,
He cheats the most discerning eyes.
Who by that search shall wiser grow !
By that ourselves we never know.
The little knowledge I bave gain'd,
Was all from simple nature drain'd;
Hence my life's maxims took their rise,
Hence grew my settled hate of vice,

U*

[ocr errors]
« PredošláPokračovať »