Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

hue,

Pour'd through the mellow horn her pen- | Thy mimic soul, O Nymph endear'd, sive soul:

Can well recall what then it heard; And, dashing soft from rocks around, Where is thy native simple heart,

Bubbling runnels join'd the sound; Devote to Virtue, Fancy, Art ? Through glades and glooms the mingled Arise, as in that elder time, measure stole,

Warm, energetic, chaste, sublime! Or, o'er some baunted stream, with fond Thy wonders, in that godlike age, delay,

Fill thy recording Sister's page Round an holy calm diffusing,

'Tis said, and I believe the tale, Love of Peace, and lonely musing, Thy humblest reed could more prevail, 110 In hollow murmurs died away.

Had more of strength, diviner rage, But O! how alter'd was its sprightlier tone, | Than all which charms this laggard age; When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest | E'en all at once together found,

70 Cecilia's mingled world of sound Her bow across her shoulder flung, O bid our vain endeavours cease; Her buskins gemm'd with morning dew, Revive the just designs of Greece: Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket Return in all thy simple state! rung,

Confirm the tales her sons relate! The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad

known! The oak-crown'd Sisters, and their chaste DIRGE IN CYMBELINE

eyed Queen, Satyrs and Sylvan Boys, were seen,

SUNG BY GUIDERUS AND ARVIRAGUS Peeping from forth their alleys green: OVER FIDELE SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear;

[Publ. 1747) And Sport leapt up, and seized bis beechen spear.

To fair Fidele's grassy tomb Last caine Joy's ecstatic trial:

Soft maids and village binds shall bring He, with viny crown advancing,

Each opening sweet of earliest bloom, First to the lively pipe his hand addrest; And rifle all the breathing spring. But soon he saw the brisk awakening viol, Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved No wailing ghost shall dare appear the best;

To vex with shrieks this quiet grove; They would have thought who heard the But shepherd lads assemble here, strain

And melting virgins own their love. They saw, in Tempe's vale, her native maids,

No wither'd witch shall bere be seen; Amidst the festal sounding shades,

No goblins lead their nightly crew: 10 To some unwearied minstrel dancing, The female fays shall haunt the green, While, as his flying'fingers kiss'd the strings, And dress thy grave with pearly dew! Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round:

The redbreast oft, at evening hours, Loose were her tresses seen, her zone un Shall kindly lend his little aid,

With hoary moss, and gather'd flowers, And he, amidst his frolic play,

To deck the ground where thou art laid. As if he would the charming air repay, Shook thousand odours from his dewy When howling winds and beating rain, wings.

In tempests sbake the sylvan cell;

Or 'midst the chase, on every plain, 19 O Music! sphere-descended maid,

The tender thought on thee shall dwell; Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid! Why, goddess! why, to us denied,

Each lonely scene shall thee restore; Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside ?

For thee the tear be duly shed; As, in that loved Athenian bower,

Beloved till life can charm no more, You learn'd an all commanding power, 100 And mourn'd till Pity's self be dead.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

bound;

THOMAS GRAY

ON THE DEATH OF A FAVOUR- | From hence, ye beauties undeceived,
ITE CAT

Know, one false step is ne'er retrieved,

And be with caution bold. DROWNED IN A TUB OF GOLD-FISHES Not all that tempts your wandering eyes 40

And heedless hearts, is lawful prize : (Written 1747 and inclosed in a letter to Walpole]

Nor all, that glisters, gold. 'Twas on a lofty vase's side, Where China's gayest art had dy'd

ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF The azure flowers, that blow;

ETON COLLEGE Demurest of the tabby kind,

[Publ. 1747] The pensive Selima reclin'd, Gazed on the lake below.

"Ανθρωπός ικανή πρόφασις εις το δυστυχέιν

MENANDER Her conscious tail her joy declar'd;

YE distant spires, ye antique towers,
The fair round face, the snowy beard, That crown the wat'ry glade,
The velvet of her paws,

Where grateful Science still adores
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies, 10 Her HENRY's 1 holy Shade;
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,

And ye, that from the stately brow
She saw; and purr'd applause.

Of Windsor's heights th' expanse below

Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey, Still had she gazed; but ’midst the tide Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers Two angel forms were seen to glide,

among The Genii of the stream:

Wanders the hoary Thames along
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue

His silver-winding way.
Tbro' richest purple to the view
Betray'd a golden gleam.

Ab happy hills ! ah, pleasing shade !

Ah fields belov'd in vain, The hapless nymph with wonder saw: Where once my careless childhood stray'd A whisker first, and then a claw,

20 A stranger yet to pain ! With many an ardent wish,

I feel the gales that from ye blow,
She stretch'd in vain to reach the prize: - A momentary bliss bestow,
What female heart can gold despise ? As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
What Cat 's averse to fish ?

My weary soul they seem to sooth,

And, redolent of joy and youth,
Presumptuous maid ! with looks intent To breathe a second spring.
Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between

Say, Father Thames, for thou hast seen (Malignant fate sat by, and smiled)

Full many a sprightly race
The slippery verge her feet beguiled, Disporting on thy margent green
She tumbled headlong in.

30 The paths of pleasure trace ;

Who foremost now delight to cleave Eight times emerging from the flood With pliant arm thy glassy wave ? She mew'd to ev'ry watery God,

The captive linnet which entbrall ?
Some speedy aid to send.

What idle progeny succeed
No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd: To chase the rolling circle's speed,
Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard.

Or urge the flying ball ?
A favourite has no friend !

1 Henry VI, founder of the College.

10

20

30

90

40

[ocr errors]

While some on earnest business bent Lo, in the vale of years beneath Their murmuring labours ply

A grisly troop are seen, 'Gainst graver hours, that bring con The painful family of Death, straint

More hideous than their Queen : To sweeten liberty :

This racks the joints, this fires the veins, Some bold adventurers disdain

That every labouring sinew strains, The limits of their little reign,

Those in the deeper vitals rage : And unknown regions dare descry:

Lo, Poverty, to fill the band, Still as they run they look behind,

That numbs the soul with icy hand, They hear a voice in every wind,

And slow-consuming Age. And snatch a fearful joy.

To each his sufferings : all are men, Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,

Condemn'd alike to groan ; Less pleasing when possest;

The tender for another's pain, The tear forgot as soon as shed,

Th' unfeeling for his own. The sunshine of the breast:

Yet, ah! why should they know their fate, Theirs buxom health of rosy hue,

Since sorrow never comes too late, Wild wit, invention ever-new

And happiness too swiftly flies ? And lively cheer of vigour born ;

Thought would destroy their paradise. The thoughtless day, the easy night, No more; where ignorance is bliss, The spirits pure, the slumbers light,

'T is folly to be wise.
That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas, regardless of their doom,

ELEGY
The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come,

WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD
Nor care beyond to-day:
Yet see how all around 'em wait

[Publ. 1751] The ministers of human fate, And black misfortune's baleful train ! The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, Ah, shew them where in ambush stand The lowing herds wind slowly o'er the lea, To seize their prey the murderous band I The ploughman homeward plods his weary Ah, tell them they are men !

way,

And leaves the world to darkness and to These shall the fury Passions tear, The vultures of the mind, Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear,

Now fades the glimmering landscape on And Shame that skulks behind ;

the sight, Or pining Love shall waste their youth, And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Or Jealousy with rankling tooth,

Save where the beetle wheels his droning That inly gnaws the secret heart,

flight, And Envy wan, and faded Care,

And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds; Grim-visag'd comfortless Despair, And Sorrow's piercing dart.

70 Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,

The moping owl does to the moon comAmbition this shall tempt to rise,

plain Then whirl the wretch from high,

Of such, as wandering near ber secret bower, To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,

Molest her ancient solitary reign. And grinning infamy. The stings of Falsehood those shall try, Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,

shade, That inocks the tear it forc'd to flow; Where heaves the turf in many a moulderAnd keen Remorse with blood defil'd,

ing heap, And moody Madness laughing wild

Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, Amid severest woe.

80 | The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

60

me.

[ocr errors]

horn,

mand,

th

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn, Full many a gem of purest ray serene, The swallow twittering from the straw The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear: built shed,

Full many a flower is born to blush unThe cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing

seen,

And waste its sweetness on the desert air. No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless

breast For them no more the blazing hearth shall The little tyrant of his fields withstood; burn,

Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest, Or busy housewife ply her evening care : | Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's No children run to lisp their sire's return,

blood.

60 Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Th' applause of listening senates to comOft did the harvest to their sickle yield, Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe lias The threats of pain and ruiu to despise, broke;

To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land, How jocund did they drive their team afield! And read their history in a nation's eyes, How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Their lot forbad: nor circumscribed alone

Their growing virtues, but their crimes Let not ambition mock their useful toil,

confined; Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; 30 Forbad to wade through slaughter to a Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,

throne, The short and simple annals of the poor. And shut the gates of mercy on mankind; The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, The struggling pangs of conscious truth to And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,

hide, Await alike th' inevitable hour:

To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride

With incense kindled at the Muse's flame. Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault, If memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Far from the madding crowd's ignoble Where thro' the long-drawn aisle and fret

strife, ted vault

Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; The pealing anthem swells the note of Along the cool sequester'd vale of life praise.

40

They kept the noiseless tenour of their way. Can storied urn or animated bust

Yet ev'n these bones from insult to proBack to its mansion call the fleeting breath?

tect Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust, Some frail memorial still erected nigh, Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death ? With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculp

ture decked Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. So Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ;

Their name, their years, spelt by th’ unletHands, that the rod of empire might have

ter'd muse, sway'd,

The place of fame and elegy supply: Or waked to extasy the living lyre. And many a holy text around she strews,

That teach the rustic moralist to die. But knowledge to their eyes her ample page Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er un For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey, roll ;

50 This pleasing anxious being e'er resign’d, Chill penury repress'd their noble rage, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, And froze the genial current of the soul. I Nor cast one longing lingering look behind ?

Ζήνα

On some fond breast the parting soul re- He gave to misery (all he bad), a tear, lies,

89 He gained from Heav'n ('twas all he Some pious drops the closing eye requires;

wish'd) a friend. Ev'n from the tomb the voice of nature cries,

No farther seek his merits to disclose, Er'n in our ashes live their wonted fires. Or draw his frailties from their dread abude,

(There they alike in trembling hope repose,) For thee, who, miudful of th' unhonour'd The bosom of his Father and his God.

dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;

TO ADVERSITY
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,-

(Publ. 1753] Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,

Τον φρονέιν Βρoτους οδώ Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn

σαντα, τω πάθει μαδάν

Θέντα κυρίως έχειν.
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. 100

ÆSCHYLUS, Agamemnon.

DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless Power, •There at the foot of yonder nodding beech Thou tamer of the human breast, That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high Whose iron scourge and torturing hour, His listless length at noontide would he The bad affright, afflict the best! stretch,

Bound in thy adamantine chain And pour upon the brook that babbles by. The proud are taught to taste of pain,

And purple tyrants vainly groan • Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn With pangs unfelt before, un pitied and alone. Muttering bis wayward fancies he would rove;

When first thy Sire to send on earth Now drooping, woeful wan, like one for- | Virtue, his darling child, design'd.

10

To thee he gave the heav'nly birth, Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless And bad to form her infant mind. love.

Stern rugged Nurse! thy rigid lore

With patience many a year she bore : One morn I missed him on the custom'd What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know, hill,

109 And from her own she learn'd to melt at Along the heath and near his favourite tree;

others' woe. Another came; nor yet beside the rill, Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he; Scared at thy frown terrific, Ay

Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood, • The next, with dirges due in sad array Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy, Slow thro' the church-way path we saw him And leave us leisure to be good. borne;

Light they disperse, and with them go Approach and read (for thou cau'st read) The summer friend, the flatt'ring foe: the lay,

By vain Prosperity receiv'd, Graved on the stone beneath yon aged | To her they vow their truth, and are again thorn.'

believ'd. The Epitaph

Wisdom in sable garb array'd Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth, Immers’d in rapturous thought profound, A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown: And Melancholy, silent maid, Fair science frown'd not on his humble With leaden eye, that loves the ground, birth,

119

Still on thy solemn steps attend: And melancholy mark'd him for her own. Warm Charity, the general friend, 30

With Justice, to herself severe, Large was his bomnty, and his soul sincere, And Pity, dropping soft the sadly-pleasing Heav'n did a recompence as largely send:

tear.

lorn,

20

« AnteriorContinuar »