Obrázky na stránke

of space



And pearly battlements around

Eternal nature's law. Looked o'er the immense of Heaven.

Above, below, around

The circling systems formed
The magic car no longer moved.

A wilderness of harmony;
The Fairy and the Spirit

Each with undeviating aim,
Entered the Hall of Spells : In eloquent silence, through the depths

Those golden clouds
That rolled in glittering billows

Pursued its wondrous way.
Beneath the azure canopy
With the ethereal footsteps trembled

There was a little light

That twinkled in the misty distance:
The light and crimson mists,

None but a spirit's eye
Floating to strains of thrilling melody

Might ken that rolling orb; Through that unearthly dwelling,

None but a spirit's eye, Yielded to every movement of the will.

And in no other place Upon their passive swell the Spirit But that celestial dwelling, might behold leaned,

Each action of this earth's inhabitants. And, for the varied bliss that pressed

But matter, space and time around,

In those aërial mansions cease to act; Used not the glorious privilege

And all-prevailing wisdom, when it Of virtue and of wisdom.


The harvest of its excellence, o'erbounds
Spirit! the Fairy said,

Those obstacles, of which an earthly
And pointed to the gorgeous dome,

soul This is a wondrous sight

Fears to attempt the conquest. And mocks all human grandeur ;

The Fairy pointed to the earth. But, were it virtue's only meed to dwell

The Spirit's intellectual eye In a celestial palace, all resigned

Its kindred beings recognised. To pleasurable impulses, immured

The thronging thousands, to a passing Within the prison of itself, the will

view, Of changeless nature would be unful

Seemed like an anthill's citizens. filled.

How wonderful! that even Learn to make others happy. Spirit, The passions, prejudices, interests, come!

That sway the meanest being, the weak This is thine high reward :—the past

touch shall rise;

That moves the finest nerve, Thou shalt behold the present; I will

And in one human brain

Causes the saintest thought, becomes a
The secrets of the future.


In the great chain of nature.
The Fairy and the Spirit
Approached the overhanging battle. Behold, the Fairy cried,

Palmyra's ruined palaces !--
Below lay stretched the universe ! Behold! where grandeur frowned;
There, far as the remotest line

Behold! where pleasure smiled;
That bounds imagination's flight, What now remains?— the memory
Countless and unending orbs

Of senselessness and shame-
In mazy motion intermingled,

What is immortal there?
Yet still fulfilled immutably

Nothing—it stands to tell

A melancholy tale, to give Of nature and benevolence hath given

An awsul warning: soon A special sanction to the trade of blood ? Oblivion will steal silently

His name and theirs are fading, and the The remnant of its fame.

tales Monarchs and conquerors there of this barbarian nation, which imposProud o'er prostrate millions trod

ture The earthquakes of the human race; Recites till terror credits, are pursuing Like them, forgotten when the ruin Itself into forgetfulness.

That marks their shock is past. Where Athens, Rome, and Sparta
Beside the eternal Nile,


There is a moral desert now:
The Pyramids have risen.
Nile shall pursue his changeless way:

The mean and miserable huts,
Those pyramids shall fall;

The yet more wretched palaces,
Yea! not a stone shall stand to tell

Contrasted with those ancient sanes, The spot whereon they stood !

Now crumbling to oblivion;
Their very site shall be forgotten,

The long and lonely colonnades,
As is their builder's name!

Through which the ghost of Freedom

stalks, Behold yon sterile spot;

Seem like a well-known tune, Where now the wandering Arab's tent Which, in some dear scene we have Flaps in the desert-blast,

loved to hear, There once old Salem's haughty fane

Remembered now in sadness. Reared high to heaven its thousand But, oh! how much morechanged, golden domes,

How gloomier is the contrast And in the blushing face of day

Of human nature there! Exposed its shameful glory. Where Socrates expired, a tyrant's slave, Oh! many a widow, many an orphan A coward and a fool, spreads death cursed

aroundThe building of that sane; and many a Then, shuddering, meets his

father, Worn out with toil and slavery, implored Where Cicero and Antoninus lived, The poor man's God to sweep it from A cowled and hypocritical monk the earth,

Prays, curses and deceives.
And spare his children the detested task
Of piling stone on stone, and poisoning Spirit! ten thousand years
The choicest days of life,

Have scarcely passed away,
To soothe a dotard's vanity. Since, in the waste where now the
There an inhuman and uncultured race
Howled hideous praises to their Demon. His enemy's blood, and aping Europe's

sons, They rushed to war, tore from the Wakes the unholy song of war, mother's womb

Arose a stately city, The unborn child, -old age and infancy Metropolis of the western continent : Promiscuous perished; their victorious

There, now,

the mossy column-stone,

Indented by time's unrelaxing grasp, Left not a soul to breathe. Oh! they Which once appeared to brave were fiends:

All, save its country's ruin; But what was he who taught them that

There the wide forest scene, the God

Rude in the uncultivated loveliness


savage drinks


Of gardens long run wild, Seems, to the unwilling sojourner, whose

steps Chance in that desert has delayed, Thus to have stood since earth was what

it is.
Yet once it was the busiest haunt,
Whither, as to a common centre, flocked
Strangers, and ships, and merchan-

dise :
Once peace and freedom blest
The cultivated plain:

But wealth, that curse of man, Blighted the bud of its prosperity: Virtue and wisdom, truth and liberty, Fled, to return not, until man shall

That they alone can give the bliss

Worthy a soul that claims
Its kindred with eternity.

Ruling their moral state;

And the minutest throb
That through their frame diffuses

The slightest, faintest motion,
Is fixed and indispensable
As the majestic laws

That rule yon rolling orbs.
The Fairy paused. The Spirit,
In ecstasy of admiration, felt
All knowledge of the past revived; the


Of old and wondrous times, Which dim tradition interruptedly Teaches the credulous vulgar, were un

In just perspective to the view;
Yet dim from their infinitude.

The Spirit seemed to stand
High on an isolated pinnacle;
The flood of ages combating below,
The depth of the unbounded universe

Above, and all around
Nature's unchanging harmony.


There's not one atom of yon earth

But once was living man;
Nor the minutest drop of rain,
That hangeth in its thinnest cloud,

But flowed in human veins:
And from the burning plains
Where Libyan monsters yell,
From the most gloomy glens
Of Greenland's sunless clime,
To where the golden fields
Or fertile England spread
Their harvest to the day,
Thou canst not find one spot
Whereon no city stood.

Fairy! the Spirit said,
And on the Queen of spells
Fixed her ethereal eyes,

I thank thee. Thou hast given A boon which I will not resign, and

taught A lesson not to be unlearned. I know The past, and thence I will essay to

glean A warning for the future, so that man May profit by his errors, and derive

Experience from his folly: For, when the power of imparting joy Is equal to the will, the human soul

Requires no other heaven.

Ilow strange is human pride!
I tell thee that those living things,
To whom the fragile blade of grass,

That springeth in the morn
And perisheth ere noon,

Is an unbounded world;
I tell thee that those viewless beings,
Whose mansion is the smallest particle
Of the impassive atmosphere,

Think, feel and live like man; That their affections and antipathies,

Like his, produce the laws


Turn thee, surpassing Spirit ! Much yet remains unscanned. Thou knowest how great is

man, Thou knowest his imbecility:

frenzied eye


Yet learn thou what he is ; Unfeeling, stubborn vice, converteth not
Yet learn the lofty destiny Its food to deadliest venom ; then that
Which restless time prepares

For every living soul.

Is happy; and the peasant who fulfils

His unforced task, when he returns at Behold a gorgeous palace, that, amid

even, Yon populous city, rears its thousand | And by the blazing faggot meets again towers

Her welcome for whom all his toil is And seems itself a city. Gloomy troops sped, Or sentinels, in stern and silent ranks, Tastes not a sweeter meal. Encompass it around: the dweller there

Behold him now Cannot be free and happy; hearest thou Stretched on the gorgeous couch; his not

fevered brain The curses of the fatherless, the groans Reels dizzily awhile: but ah! too soon Of those who have no friend ? He The slumber of intemperance subsides, passes on:

And conscience, that undying serpent, The King, the wearer of a gilded chain

calls That binds his soul to abjectness, the Her venomous brood to their nocturnal fool

task. Whom courtiers nickname monarch, Listen! he speaks! oh! mark that

whilst a slave Even to the basest appetites—that man Oh! mark that deadly visage. Heeds not the shriek of penury; he

smiles At the deep curses which the destitute Mutter in secret, and a sullen joy

No cessation ! Pervades his bloodless heart when thou-Oh! must this last for ever! Awful

death, But for those morsels which his wanton- I wish, yet fear to clasp thee !- Not one

moment Wastes in unjoyous revelry, to save Of dreamless sleep! O dear and blessed All that they love from famine: when he hears

Why dost thou shroud thy vestal purity The tale of horror, to some ready-made In penury and dungeons? wherefore face

lurkest Of hypocritical assent he turns,

With danger, death, and solitude; yet Smothering the glow of shame, that,

shun'st spite of him,

The palace I have built thee? Sacred Flushes his bloated cheek.

Now to the meal Oh visit me but once, but pitying shed Of silence, grandeur, and excess, he drags One drop of balm upon my withered His palled unwilling appetite. If gold,

soul. Gleaming around, and numerous viands culled

Vain man! that palace is the virtuous From every clime, could force the loath

heart, ing sense

And peace defileth not her snowy robes To overcome satiety,—if wealth In such a shed as thine. Hark! yet he The spring it draws from poisons not,

mutters; or vice,

His slumbers are but varied agonies,

sands groan




They prey like scorpions on the springs -The drones of the community; they of life.

feed There needeth not the hell that bigots On the mechanic's labour : the starved frame

hind To punish those who err: earth in itself For them compels the stubborn glebe to Contains at once the evil and the cure;

yield And all-sufficing nature can chastise Its unshared harvests; and yon squalid Those who transgress her law,---she only form, knows

Leaner than fleshless misery, that wastes How justly to proportion to the fault A sunless life in the unwholesome mine, The punishment it merits.

Drags out in labour a protracted death,

Is it strange To glut their grandeur; many faint with That this poor wretch should pride him

toil, in his woe?

That few may know the cares and woe Take pleasure in his abjectness, and hug

of sloth. The scorpion that consumes him ? IS it strange

Whence, think'st thou, kings and paraThat, placed on a conspicuous throne of sites arose ? thorns,

Whence that unnatural line of drones, Grasping an iron sceptre, and immured

who heap Within a splendid prison, whose stern Toil and unvanquishable penury bounds

On those who build their palaces, and Shut him from all that's good or dear bring on earth,

Their daily bread ?— From vice, black His soul asserts not its humanity ?

loathsome vice; That man's mild nature rises not in war From rapine, madness, treachery, and Against a king's employ? No--'tis

wrong; not strange.

From all that genders misery, and makes He, like the vulgar, thinks, feels, acts of earth this thorny wilderness; from and lives

lust, Just as his father did; the unconquered Revenge, and murder. And when powers

reason's voice, of precedent and custom interpose Loud as the voice of nature, shall have Between a king and virtue. Stranger waked yet,

The nations; and mankind perceive that To those who know not nature, nor

vice deduce

Is discor«), war, and misery ; that virtue The future from the present, it may seem, Is peace, and happiness and harmony ; That not one slave, who suffers from When man's maturer nature shall disdain the crimes

The playthings of its childhood ;-kingly Of this unnatural being; not one wretch, glare Whose children famish, and whose nup. Will lose its power to dazzle ; its authortial bed

ity Is earth's unpitying bosom, rears an arm Will silently pass by; the gorgeous throne To dash him from his throne !

Shall stand unnoticed in the regal hall,

Those gilded flies Fast falling to decay ; whilst falsehood's That, basking in the sunshine of a court,

trade Fatten on its corruption ! — what are Shall be as hateful and unprofitable they ?

As that of truth is now.

« PredošláPokračovať »