« AnteriorContinuar »
ANALYSIS OF PART I.
The poem opens with a comparison between the beauty of remote objects in a landscape, and those ideal scenes of felicity which the imagination delights to contemplate—the influence of anticipation upon the other passions is next delineated-an allusion is made to the well known fiction in pagan tradition, that, when all the guardian deities of mankind abandoned the world, Hope alone was left behind-the consolations of this passion in situations of danger and distress—the seaman on his midnight watch—the soldier marching into battle—allusion to the interesting adventures of Byron.
The inspiration of Hope, as it actuates the efforts of genius, whether in the department of science or of taste-domestic felicity, how intimely connected with views of future happiness-picture of a mother watching her infant when asleep-. pictures of the prisoner, the maniac, and the wanderer.
From the consolations of individual misery, a transition is made to prospects of political improvement in the future state of society—the wide field that is yet open for the progress of humanizing arts among uncivilized nations from these views of amelioration of society, and the extension of liberty and truth over despotic and barbarous countries, by melancholy contrast of ideas we are led to reflect upon the hard fate of a bravo people, recently conspicuous in their struggles for independence-description of the capture of Warsaw, of the last contest of the oppressors and the oppressed, and the massacre of the Polish patriots at the bridge of Prague-apostrophe to the self-interested enemies of human improvement—the wrongs of Africa—the barbarous policy of Europeans in India-prophecy in the Hindoo mythology of the expected descent of the Deity, to redress the miseries of their race, and to take vengeance on the violators of justice and mercy
PLEASURES OF HOPE.
At summer eve, when Heav'n's aerial bow
Thus, with delight, we linger to survey
What potent spirit guides the raptured eye
With thee, sweet Hope ! resides the heavenly light,
Wak'd by thy touch, I see the sister band,
Primeval Hope, the Aonian Muses say,
form of death, and every wo,
Thus, while Elijah's burning wheels prepare From Carmel's height to sweep the fields of air, The Prophet's mantle, ere his flight began, Dropped on the world—a sacred gist to man.
Auspicious Hope! in thy sweet garden grow
the furrow'd lines of anxious thought away
Angel of life! thy glittering wings explore
With meteor standard to the winds unsurled,
Now far he sweeps, where scarce a summer smiles, On Behring's rocks, or Greenland's naked isles : Cold on his midnight watch the breezes blow, From wastes that slumber in eternal snow; And waft, across the waves' tumultuous roar, The wolf's long howl from Oonalaska's shore.
Poor child of danger, nursling of the storm, Sad are the woes that wreck thy manly form! Rocks, waves, and winds, the shatter'd bark delay; Thy heart is sad, thy home is far away.
But Hope can here her moonlight vigils keep,
Friend of the brave! in peril's darkest hour, Intrepid Virtue looks to thee for power;