Obrázky na stránke

A certaip music, never known before, Here lulld the pensive melancholy mind, Full easily obtain'd. Behoves no more, But side-long, to the gently-waving wind, To lay the well-tun'd instrument reclin'd; From which with airy flying fingers light, Beyond each mortal touch the most refin'd, The god of winds drew sounds of deep delight: Whence, with just cause, the Harp of Æolus it

hight. Ab me! what hand can touch the strings so fine? Who up the lofty diapason roll Such sweet, such sad, such solemn airs divine, Then let them down again into the soul? Now rising love they fann'd; now pleasing dole They breath'd, in tender musings, thro' the heart; And now a graver sacred strain they stole,

As when seraphic hands a hymn impart:
Wild warbling nature all, above the reach of art!
Such the gay splendour, the luxurious state
Of caliphs old, who on the Tygris' shore,
In mighty Bagdat, populous and great,
Held their bright court, where was of ladies store:
And verse, love, music still the garland wore:
When sleep was coy, the bard in waiting there
Cheer'd the lone midnight with the Muse's lore;
Composing music bade his dreams be fair,
And music lent new gladness to the morning air,

Near the pavilions where we slept, still ran
Soft-tinkling streams, and dashing waters fell,
And sobbing breezes sigh’d, and oft began
(So work'd the wizard) wintry storms to swell,
As heaven and earth they would together mell:
At doors and windows, threat'ning, seem'd to call.
The demons of the tempest, growling fell,

Yet the least entrance found they none at all; Whence sweeter grew our sleep,secure in massy hall.

And hither Morpheus sent his kindest dreams,
Raising a world of gayer tinct and grace;
O'er which were shadowy cast elysian gleams,
That play'd, in waving lights, from place to place,
And shed a roseate smile on nature's face.
Not Titian's pencil e'er could so array,
So fleece with clouds, the pure etherial space;

Ne could it e'er such melting forms display,
As loose on flow'ry beds all languishingly lay.

No, fair illusions ! artful phantoms, no !
My Muse will not attempt your fairy-land:
She has no colours that like you can glow;
To catch your vivid scenes too gross her hand.
But sure it is, was ne'er a subtler band
Than these same guileful abgel-seeming sprites,
Who thus in dreams voluptuous, soft, and bland,

Pour'd all th' Arabian heaven upon our nights, And bless'd them oft besides with more refin'd

delights. They were, in sooth, a most enchanting train, Ev'n feigning virtue ; skilful to unite With evil good, and strew with pleasure pain. But for those fiends whom blood and broils delight, Who hurl the wretch, as if to hell outright, Down,downblack gulphs,where sullen waters sleep, Or hold him clamb'ring all the fearful night On beetling cliffs, or pent in ruins deep; They, till due time should serve, were bid far hence

to keep. Ye guardian spirits, to whom man is dear, From these foul demons shield the midnightgloom : Angels of fancy and of love be near, And o'er the blank of sleep diffuse a bloom : Evoke the sacred shades of Greece and Rome, And let them virtue with a look impart: But chief, awhile, oh lend us from the tomb

Those long-lóst friends for whom in love we smart, And fill with pious awe and joy-mixt woe the heart.

Or, are you sportive ? Bid the morn of youth
Rise to new light, and beam afresh the days
Of innocence, simplicity, and truth,
To cares estrang'd, and manhood's thorny ways.
What transport, to retrace our boyish plays,
Our easy bliss, when each thing joy supplied ;
The woods, the mountains, and the warbling maze

Of the wild brooks !-But, fondly wand'ring wide, My Muse, resume the task that yet doth thee abide.

One great amusement of our household was,
In a huge crystal magic globe to spy,
Still as you turn' it, all things tha pass
Upon this ant-hill earth ; where constantly
Of idly-busy men the restless fry
Run bustling to and fro with foolish haste,
In search of pleasures vain that from them fly,

Or which obtain'd the caitiffs dare not taste : When nothing is enjoy'd, can there be greater waste?

Of Vanity the mirror this was call'd.
Here you a muckworm of the town might see
At his dull desk, amid his ledgers stallid,
Eat up with carking care and penurie;
Most like to carcase pitch'd on gallow-tree.
'A penny saved is a penny got :'
Firm to this scoundrel-maxim keepeth he,

Ne of its rigor will he bate a jot,
Till it has quench'd his fire, and banished his pot.

Straight from the filth of this low grub, behold!
Comes flutt'ring forth a gaudy spendthrift heir,
All glossy gay, enamelld all with gold,
The silly tenant of the summer air,
In folly lost, of nothing takes he care;
Pimps, lawyers, stewards, harlots, flatterers vile,
And thieving tradesmen him among them share:

His father's ghost from limbo-lake, the while, Sees this, which more damuation does upon him pile.

This globe pourtray'd the race of learned men,
Still at their books, and turning o'er the page
Backwards and forwards: oft they snatch the pen,
As if inspir'd, and in a Thespian rage;
Then write and blot, as would your ruth engage.
Why, Authors, all this scrawl and scribbling sore?
To lose the present, gain the future age,

Praised to be when you can hear no more,
And much enrich'd with fame when useless worldly

store. Then would a splendid city rise to view, With carts, and cars, and coaches roaring all. Wide pour'd abroad behold the giddy crew: See how they dash along from wall to wall ! At ev'ry door, hark, how they thund'ring call! Good Lord ! what can this giddy rout excite? Why on each other with fell tooth to fall;

A neighbour's fortune, fame, or peace to blight, And make new tiresome parties for the coming night! The puzzling sons of party next appear'd, In dark cabals and nightly juntos met; And now they whisper'd close,now shrugging rear'd The important shoulder; then, as if to get New light, their twinkling eyes were inward set. No sooner Lucifer recals affairs, Than forth they various rush in mighty fret! When, lo! push'd up to pow'r, and crown'd their

cares, In comes another set, and kicketh them down stairs, But what most shew'd the vanity of life, Was to behold the nations all on fire, In cruel broils engag'd, and deadly strife: Most Christian kings, enflam'd by black desire, With honourable ruffians in their hire, Cause war to rage, and blood around to pour : of this sad work when each begins to tire,

They sit them down just where they were before, Till for new scenes of woe peace shall their force


To number up the thousands dwelling here,
An useless were, and eke an endless task;
From kings, and those who at the helm appear,
To gypsies brown in summer-glades who bask.
Yea many a man, perdie, I could unmask,
Whose desk and table make a solemn show,
With tape-tied trash, and suits of fools that ask

For place or pension, laid in decent row;
But these I passen by, with nameless numbers moe.

Of all the gentle tenants of the place,
There was a man of special grave remark:
A certain tender gloom o'erspread bis face,
Pensive, not sad, in thought involv'd not dark,
As sool this man could sing as morning lark,
And teach the noblest morals of the heart;
But these his talents were yburied stark;

Of the fine stores he nothing would impart, Which or boon nature gave, or nature-painting art.

To noon-tide shades incontinent he ran, Where purls the brook with sleep-inviting sound. Or when Dan Sol to slope his wheels began, Amid the broom he bask'd him on the ground, Where the wild thyme and camomoil are found: There would he linger, till the latest ray Of light sat trembling on the welkin's bound; Then homeward thro' the twilight shadows stray, Sauntering and slow. So had he passed many a day.

Yet not in thoughtless slumber were they past:
For oft the heavenly fire that lay conceal'd
Beneath the sleeping embers, mounted fast,
And all its native light anew reveal'd :
Oft as he travers'd the coerulean field,
And mark'd the clouds that drove before the wind,
Ten thousand glorious systems would he build,

Ten thousand great ideas fill'd his mind;
But with the clouds they fled,and left no trace behinde

« PredošláPokračovať »