Imágenes de página
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

He writes with an energy which exalts, a lofty symphonies of the angelic choir; they
sweetness which melts : at times, he stands on make sky and earth one everlasting chord;
the mountain's brow, and the storm is the with their sublime outbreaks the soul is, as
music he loves ; but at other seasons, he re- it were, torn from its socket. Listen :-
clines on some mossy bank, beneath the clear Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star
silver moonlight, and the soft breeze is the melody

In his steep course? So long he seems to pause

On thy bald, awful head, O sovran Blanc! he chooses. The Ancient Mariner is a tale of

The Arve and Arveiron at thy base supernatural beauty : we are entranced while Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form! perusing it; we become isolated, we are bound Risest from forth the silent sea of pines,

How silently! Around thee and above by some wild, deep spell; it is a strain of another

Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black; existence; there are unearthly witcheries about An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it, it; it is sweeter than the murmur of a dream; As with a wedge! But when I look again, it is the production of a brilliant imagination in

It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,

Thy habitation from eternity! some eventide when its brightness became, as o dread and silent mount! i gazed upon thee, it were, a soft, golden light. Madame de Stael Till thou, still present to the bodily sense, says: “It is a great art in certain fictions to Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer, imitate by words the solemn stillness which

I worshipped the Invisible alone.

Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody, imagination pictures in the empire of darkness

So sweet, we know not we are listening to it, and death; and Coleridge has succeeded in Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought, this to admiration,

Yea, with my life and life's own secret joy:

Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused Christabel belongs to the same class ; illus

Into the mighty vision passing-then, trates our poet's theory of an intimate con- As in her natural form, swelled vast to heaven! nexion between this and the unseen world; its Awake, my soul! not only passire praise

Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears, imagery is as singular, and perhaps more so,

Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake, whilst its versification is as strangely modulated. Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake! It is unfinished, and we are glad that it is so : Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn! another note might have jarred its exquisite

Thou first and chief, sole sovereign of the vale ! music, another word might have rolled a cloud

O struggling with the darkness all the night,

And visited all night by troops of stars, over its enchanting beauty; another line might Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink: have been as some dark storm, dispelling its Companion of the morning-star at dawn, thousand sweets. As it stands, we love it; it

Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn

Co-herald: wake, wake, and utter praise ! is a fragment of something wondrous; it is a

Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth? figment of something mysterious : it reminds And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad ! us of some soft hymn heard for a moment in Who called you forth from night and utter death, fancy, when the moon is up, across a narrow

From dark and icy caverns called you forth,

Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks, stream: another minute, and the delicious de

For ever shattered, and the same for ever? lusion is gone. Just so with this poem ; its Who gave you your invulnerable life, strain is as silvery and as momentary; there is

Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy, a wildness and a dimness. We ask questions

Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ?

And who commanded-and the silence came,who and what; but no answer can we get; all Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest? is enveloped in strangeness and loneliness : we Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow try to break the spell, but cannot; we endea

Adown enormous ravines slope amain

Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice, vour to free ourselves from the sorcery, but are

And stopped at once, amid their maddest plunge! unable; we are fascinated almost to pain; the Motionless torrents! Silent cataracts! very language is something marvellous.

Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven, His Odes are finely written, and display pro

Beneath the keen, full moon? Who bade the sun

Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers found thought and sublime imagination. Those Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet ! on France and to the Departing Year are mag- God! let the torrents, like a shout of nations, nificent. Coleridge is much a kindred spirit

Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God!

God! sing, ye meadow-streams, with gladsome voice ; with Beethoven; they both arise above the

Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds; earth into a wider and a more ethereal atmos- And they, too, have a voice, yon piles of snow, phere; they breathe immortal air; their music And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God 1 is of the infinite heaven: both pensive and

Ye living flowers that skirt th' eternal frost,

Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest, soothing at seasons, they alike swell with en

Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain-storm, thusiasm, and pour out such bursts of glorious, Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds, oceanic minstrelsy as seem to bear one into a

Ye signs and wonders of the element,

Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise. sea of all majestic sounds. Mass on mass fol

Thou, too, hoar mount, with thy sky-pointing peaks, lows; sweep on sweep. Ere we recover our Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard, selves from the first ponderous notes, we are Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene thrilled by others of deeper power: the rolling

Into the depth of clouds that veil thy breast: of the thunders, and the surging of the ever

Thou, too, again, stupendous mountain; thou

That, as I raise my head, awhile bowed low tumultuous waters are heard. It is peal suc- In adoration, upward from thy base; ceeding peal, clap on clap; it is crash following Slow travelling, with dim eyes suffused with tears, crash ; dashing waves ever breaking on the

Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud,

To rise before me,-rise, O ever rise, shore, or against some huge rock; the very Rise like a cloud of incense from the earth: elements mingle in chaotic confusion, clashings, Thou, kingly spirit, throned among the hills, jarrings, tremendous sounds, and yet all is the

Thou dread Ambassador from earth to heaven, divinest harmony. There is sunshine, and

Great Hierarch, tell thou the silent sky,

And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun, flowers, and waving tree, and hum of bees, Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God. and silvery tones of eventide, and exquisite Our poet's translation of Wallenstein is exmelodies of love. They string their lyres to the ecuted a masterly and brilliant manner; he

has entered so fully into the spirit of its author, truth. And the poet's language is so exquisite that it loses nothing in its English dress. His --so like the music tones of heaven.

But Zapoyla-imitated from Shakspeare's Winter's hearken :Tale—and his Remorse, a tragedy, exhibit all the beauties and all the faults of his style.

All thoughts, all passions, all delights,

Whatever stirs this mortal frame, They are more suited for the closet than the

Are all but ministers of love, stage; thought enhances their value, and opens

And feed his sacred flame. up many unperceived graces : they are, how

Oft in my waking dreams do I ever, deficient in energy and passion ; but as

Live o'er again that happy hour, works of genius, they, perhaps, have not been When midway on the mount. I lay,

Beside the ruined tower. excelled in modern times.

Coleridge's poetry is a combination of the The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene, subtle witcheries of a calm, unruffled summer's

Had blended with the lights of eve:

And she was there, my hope, my joy, eve, and the awe-inspiring grandeur of an au

My own dear Genevieve. tumnal sunset in a mountainous district. Thou

She leaned against the armed man, hast seen, O reader, when sauntering along the The statue of the armed knight; straggling pathway of some lone wood, the day She stood and listened to my lay, growing dim and dimmer; and thou hast heard

Amid the lingering light. the song of thrush in yon tall trees, and the leap

Few sorrows hath she of her own, of squirrel, and the murmuring of gnats, and the

My hope, my joy, my Genevieve!

She loves me best whene'er I sing rustling of the leaves, and the stir of branches,


songs that make her grieve. and the lowing of the kine, and the silver music

I played a soft and doleful air, of the chapel-bell, and the gentle purling of the

I sang an old and moving storyrill, and the distant hum of the great city;

An old rude song that suited well and thou hast felt a soothing influence steal

That ruin wild and hoary. over thy being as of elysian rest : and as the

She listened with a flitting blush, twilight has become more vague and indistinct,

With downcast eyes and modest grace;

For well she knew I could not choose and the shadows more solemnly beautiful, thou

But gaze upon her face. hast felt that quietude becoming sweet and sweeter until it has borne thee far off among

I told her of the knight that wore

Upon his shield a burning brand; sunny glances and angel countenances, and

And that for ten long years he wooed soft, balmy tendernesses, and fond endearments,

The lady of the land. and liquid hymnings, and holiest breathings, I told her how he pined; and ha! and hallowed melodies, and flowers, and stars,

The deep, the low, the pleading tone and all the heaven of divinest things. Or,

With which I sang another's love,

Interpreted my own. perchance, thou hast stood on ocean's sands,

She listened with a flitting blush, where they stretch away opposite the Ailsa

With downcast eyes and modest grace; Craig, and as the waves have beaten loud

And she forgave me that I gazed and louder on the shore, and thrown their

Too fondly on her face. snow-white foam aloft beneath the stirring

But when I told the cruel scorn wind, thou hast marked the deep, dark crimson

Which crazed this bold and lovely knight,

And that he crossed the mountain-woods, colouring of the western sky, tinting the summit

Nor rested day nor night; of Goat-fell with clouds of blood, and ever

But sometimes from the savage den, and anon casting over the wide hemisphere,

And sometimes from the darksome shade and the boundless roll of waters, and the distant

And sometimes starting up at once, ship, and the far-off rock, and the screaming

In green and sunny glade, sea-gull, and the rising moon, and the pale

There came and looked him in the face vesper, its own hues of tremendous grandeur

An angel beautiful and bright;

And that he knew it was a fiend, and dread magnificence: in these two, in the

This miserable knight! enchanting loveliness of the woodland scene, and in the ponderous glory of the heaving main,

And that, unknowing what he did, we have the characteristics of our poet's song.

He leapt amid a murderous band,

And saved from outrage worse than death His love poems are exquisitely beautiful,

The lady of the land; uniting with a confiding tenderness and sweet

And how she wept and clasped his knees, simplicity a captivating melancholy. He has

And how she tended him in vain enshrined the passion in a radiance lovelier

And ever strove to expiate

The scorn that crazed his brain. than the silver crescent: his Genevieve is inimitable : it is as enchanting as the sculptured

And that she nursed him in a cave;

And how his madness went away, Venus, or as Handel's delicious air, “ Waft her,

When on the yellow forest leaves angels, to the skies :" it is chaste, elegant,

A dying man he lay; melodious; it is the most delightful sketch of

His dying words--but when I reached first-love we ever gazed upon; it has all its fine,

That tenderest strain of all the ditty, delicate colouring; it is more thrilling than

My faltering voice and pausing harp

Disturbed her soul to pity! starlight. The calm eventide, the soft moonlight, the

All impulses of soul and sense

Had thrilled my guileless Genevieveruined tower, the statue of the armed knight,

The music and the doleful tale, the minstrel and the harp, the romantic tale,

The rich and balmy eve; the meek and gentle maiden, the blush of af

And hopes and fears, that kindled hope, fection, the hopes and fears, the confiding art

An undistinguishable throng; lessness and trusting love, all combine to form

And gentle wishes long subdued, a picture of consummate beauty and consummate

Subdued and cherished long !

She wept with pity and delight,

Thus the paper brings the empire before She blushed with love and virgin shame;

us and seems, as the falling snow without, And like the murmur of a dream I heard her breathe my name.

to make our home more comfortable and warm.

How domesticated is the room. Even the
Her bosom heaved, she stept aside;
As conscious of my look she stept-

pictures of innocence and beauty which adorn Then suddenly, with timorous eye,

the crimson wails glow with a calm and deliciShe fled to me and wept.

ous quietude. The fire burns brightly, throwShe half-enclosed me with her arms,

ing its glare on the figured carpet. Sweet, She pressed me with a meek embrace,

meanwhile, flows on the evening.
And bending back her head, looked up
And gazed upon my face.

We are far away from the busy world; shut

out from the anxiety of humanity. There is 'Twas partly love and partly fear, And partly 'twas a bashful art,

a charm in this snug domestic home which That I might rather feel than see

binds us to its hearth. Noiselessly pass the The swelling of her heart. hours, as if they had “silken wings.

". The I calmed her fears; and she was calm,

threaded steel flies swiftly, and unfelt the task And told her love with virgin pride;

proceeds;" “ the well-depicted flower wrought And so I won my Genevieve, My bright and beauteous bride!

patiently into thesnowy lawn, unfolds its bosom; buds and leaves and sprigs and curling tendrils,

gracefully disposed, follow the nimble finger COWPER.

of the fair ;" who loves not evening thus ! Snow falls thickly down this winter's day; Away, away from the dizzy Babel, embosomed

in flake after flake is blown by the bleak wind


and quietude. against the windows of this our cottage home.

Fast falls the snow, but with comforts such It is a dreary afternoon, and dismal. The

as these, Winter, we dread thee not; nay we sun, envelloped in dusky red, looks gloomy;

crown thee king of intimate delights, fire-side and the moon just rising opposite, 'is cold enjoyments, homeborn happiness and all the and chilly. So on the hours pass; snow, snow,

comforts, that the lowly roof of undisturbed till the fields and bridge and village are covered. retirement, and the

hours of long uninterrupted

Fast falls the snow without; The "twanging horn" is heard ; and the post- evening, know.”. boy "comes, the herald of a noisy world, with the fields lie hid, the thatched cottages are spattered_boots, strapped waist, and frozen covered with the hoary flakes. Stir the fire, locks.” Day darkens into eve :-

and draw nearer to the blazing hearth and

think of those journeying homewards through Now stir the fire and close the shutters fast,

such a night. • How calm is our recess; and Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round, And, while the bubbling and loud hissing urn how the frost raging abroad, and the rough Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,

wind endear the silence and the warmth enThat cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,

joyed within !” So let us welcome peaceful evening in. The bronzed lamp throws its mellowed light take up Cowper and dream over his exquisite

How delicious in such peaceful moments to around the quiet room; an air of snug security all is full of comfort. The paper is brought, the hills and vallies, and drives down on the is felt. Snow falls faster without, but within poems. To us it is the most delightful of

treats ; and while the snow falls thickly on “which not even critics criticise," which holds slow moving wain, let us read some of the in silence the happy inmates, and “which the most striking portions of his writings. Nothing fair, though eloquent themselves, yet fear to

can be more suitable; nothing can so endear break.”

this fire-side to one's heart, purifying all the 'Tis pleasant, through the loopholes of retreat

affections of the soul and shedding quietude To peep at such a world ; to see the stir Of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd;

and happiness on this tree-embosomed home. To hear the roar she sends through all her gates

We have ever loved the life of this saintedAt a safe distance, where the dying sound

man. It abounds in so much that is pure, Falls a soft murmur on th' uninjured ear. Thus sitting, and surveying thus at ease

simple and artless. Humanity may shed its The globe and its concerns, I seem advanced

finest expression of admiration here. There To some secure and more than mortal height,

is so much that is noble, mingled with so much That liberates and exempts me from them all.

that is gentle. There is such hallowed charms It turns, submitted to my view, turns round

thrown around all that comes in the way of With all its generations; I behold The tumult and am still. The sound of war

this holiest and best of poets. No one can Hast lost its terrors ere it reaches me;

rise from a perusal of his works without better Grieves, but alarms me not. I mourn the pride

thoughts and better feelings. He is like a And avarice that makes man a wolf to man; Hear the faint echo of those brazen throats,

fountain of crystal water; a crystal fountain, By which he speaks the language of his heart, pouring forth the most limpid streams. And sigh, but never tremble at the sound.

From his very birth we love him: and who He travels and expatiates, as the bee

is there that does not thus love him after From flower to flower, so he from land to land; The manners, customs, policy, of all

reading those exquisite lines on the receipt of Pay contribution to the store he gleans;

his mother's picture? What heart melts not He sucks intelligence in every clime,

while listening to the thrilling strain? And And spreads the honey of his deep research At his return-a rich repast for me.

then how sweetly he lets us into all the He travels, and I too. 1 tread his deck,

domestic blessings of his, oftentimes, happy Ascend his topmast, through his peering eyes lot. Those letters of his are beyond praise. Discover countries, with a kindred heart

No letters are equal to them in the language Suffer his woes, and share in his escapes; While fancy, like the finger of a clock,

for warmth, elegance and purity. One becomes Runs the great circuit, and is still at home.

almost an inmate of his home; a beloved com

panion of the poet's. Sad indeed were those There is another and not less exquisite piece clouds that obscured his mental vision; sad and of Cowper's on the hateful practice of sweargloomy. But he had much exquisite blessed- ing; and will not be out of place as a further ness. Comparing him with others renowned in specimen of the chasteness of his wit :song, he would suffer little; indeed we doubt

A Persian, humble servant of the sun, not but that he would be found to have enjoyed, Who though devout yet bigotry had none, upon the whole, the greater portion of comfort Hearing a lawyer, grave in his address, and happiness.

With adjurations every word impress,

Supposed the man a bishop, or at least, These letters of his will always live; indeed God's name so much upon his lips, a priest; we know not which to prefer, his letters or his Bowed at the close with all his graceful airs, poems. We love both too well to part with And begged an interest in his frequent prayers, either. Perhaps they are equally as interesting His letters are even more enlivened with it as Boswell's Johnson; to the child of God, than his poems. Those to Lady Heskett and infinitely more so.

Joseph Hill contain many exquisite specimens. How endeared those names are to us which Indeed, when rebuking, he is often playful ; his affectionate and sympathising friends bore! he rather seeks to exhibit the absurdity of the We can never forget his Mary, Lady Austin, thing by some pleasing allusion, than to censure Lady Heskett, Hayley, Joseph Hill and others. with sternness. This characteristic will be They are enshrined amid our sweetest and our perceived at once by those who have read and holiest memories. And how beautiful the con- admired his writings. cluding couplet of his epistle to Joseph Hill, But let us turn to more serious passages : so exquisitely turned :

passages breathing more of the deep throbbing But not to moralize too much, and strain,

feelings of humanity than its playfulness and To prove an evil, of which all complain,

love. In listening to their noble music we (I hate long arguments verbosely spun)

would let the evening hour flow quietly away: One story more, dear Hill, and I have done.

Let the snow continue falling and the wind Once on a time an emperor, a wise man, No matter where, in China, or Japan,

blow bleak and chilly, we are happy here and Decreed, that whosoever should offend

blessed. Then ply the needle while we read : Against the well-known duties of a friend,

yet we would linger a little over those Convicted once should ever after wear

sweeter melodies which breathe out the sorrows But half a coat, and show his bosom bare.

of his heart: full of tenderest expression are The punishment importing this, no doubt, That all was nought within, and all found out.

these: O happy Britain! we have not to fear Such hard and arbitrary measure here;

No wounds lke those a wounded spirit feels; Else, could a law, like that which I relate,

No cure for such, till God, who makes them, heals. Once have the sanction of our triple state,

And thou, sad sufferer, under nameless ill, Some few, that I have known in days of old,

That yields not to the touch of human skill, Would run most dreadful risk of catching cold;

Improve the kind occasion, understand

A Father's frown and kiss the chastening rod i
While you, my friend, whatever wind should blow,
Might traverse England safely to and fro,

This is a sight for pity to peruse,
An honest man, close buttoned to the chin,

Till she resembles, faintly, what she views ;
Broad-cloth without and a warm heart within.

Till sympathy contracts a kindred pain,
Pierced with the woes, that she laments in vain.

This, of all maladies, that man infest
We are reading this from the edition printed

Claims most compassion, and receives the less. but a few years after the poet's death; and we confess we feel a peculiar pleasure in hand- And again how sweetly he alludes to the ling a book bearing the date 1808 and the name same trial in the following :of Johnson; all will remember his letters to But with a soul that ever felt the sting the printer, so characteristic of the pure and Of sorrow, sorrow is a sacred thing. unsophisticated Cowper. Yea, there is an ex- 'Tis not, as heads that never ache suppose, quisite feeling in knowing that these volumes Forgery of fancy, and a dream of woes. appeared almost in the very life-time of their

Man is a harp, whose chords elude the sight,

Each yielding harmony, disposed aright; author; perhaps purchased by one of his friends.

The screws reversed (a task, which, if He please, But we may be deemed rather giving way to God in a moment executes with ease ;) folly in speaking thus; our mood, however, Ten thousand, thousand strings at once go loose : is to dream over this as well as all other things.

Lost, till He tune them, all their power and use. Who would not dream in such a quiet But far more exquisitely, more touchingly home, the fire blazing brightly and casting beautiful than all are those lines in which he its warmth and light on the pictures, books refers “to One who had himself been hurt by and busts, the carpet, and sweetly adorned | archers ;” it is so simple, so pure, so thrilling. tea-table on which a few modest snow-drops The heart dwells ever on the delicious notes : stand, enblems of perfect beauty and perfect the softest that ever yet fell on human ear: purity; then the white fields lying all round it is sweet beyond expression :the cottage habitation, and the snow falling

I was a stricken deer, that left the herd fast and faster, the winds blowing bleak and

Long since. With many an arrow deep infixed wintry. We cannot but dream in such a My panting side was charged, when I withdrew calm, quiet, blessed home: cannot otherwise than

To seek a tranquil death in distant shades.

There was I found by one, who had himself turn page after page of our author in a de

Been hurt by archers. In his side he bore, sultory manner. Some of our readers, at least, And in his hands and feet, the cruel scars. will enter into all these peaceful feelings. They

With gentle force soliciting the darts, will remember times when they too have been

He drew them forth, and healed, and bade me live. lulled into the serene haven of silent happi- A note struck upon the soul, never to be ness; they will understand us.

forgotten! In simplicity and exquisite sweetness curl around the heart and live, entwined, what solemn eloquence breathes in his denurfor years. There is such a meek-breathing ciation of unholy ministers, and how lofty and tone, so applicable to the subject; and the even magnificent are those anathemas against allusion is like the mild light of heaven throwing slavery and wrong. But where all is so beauadditional beauty over one of the most touching tiful, so manly and so gentle, how shall we pictures in our language. It radiates with a choose? We love his colloquial style; his calm spiritual lustre soothing to the very ex- pure and christian flow of reasoning. Indeed istence. Gently does he recall his sorrow, yea his works abound in these; they are embued with all the gentleness of a child of God, and with all the silent happiness of home. They gently does it find its way to our bosom. could not otherwise than have been written

How fine is Cowper's reply to the sage who in a blessed abode. Had Cowper been differdesires him to leave the world alone to babble ently placed he never had composed such on in its foolish hopes and fears. It is a charming volumes. We could fancy ten thounoble passage ; breathing from the inner depths sand circumstances that would have blighted of universal brotherhood. It is the utterance all. of the bursting soul of one who loved humanity He is a poet of whom one never wearies. with his very life :

However we may love the others, still we

are not always in the mood to enjoy them. 'Twere well, says one sage erudite, profound, Terribly arched and aquiline his nose,

To read them, they require you to bring the And overbuilt with most impending brows,

mind attuned to their music, whether it be "Twere well, could you permit the world to live swelling out with grandeur or flowing softly As the world pleases. What's the world to you? and dreamlike. But to Cowper you may ever Much. I was born of woman, and drew milk As sweet as charity from human breasts.

give “ capable ear." Times and seasons heed I think, articulate, I laugh and weep,

not: you will find pleasure and profit: your And exercise all functions of a man.

heart will be purified; evil passions will be How then should I and any man that lives Be strangers to each other? Pierce my vein,

subdued, evil desires overcome; there will Take of the crimson stream meandering there,

be a holy and blessed influence at work directly And catechise it well; apply thy glass,

you turn his page. This hallowing power will Search it, and prove now if it be not blood

harmonize your mind to its unsullied sanctity Congenial with thine own : and, if it be, What edge of subtlety canst thou suppose

of purpose and will. Keen enough, wise and skilful as thou art,

He is as a revered parent talking with you, To cut the link of brotherhood, by which

his child. His hair is grey; and his aspect One common Maker bound me to the kind ?

venerable, yet beaming with the tenderest affecTrue; I am no proficient, I confess, In arts like yours. I cannot call the swift

tion; and you listen to the charmed notes And perilous lightnings from the angry clouds, with deepening joy. He is the most intimate And bid them hide themselves in earth beneath ; companion and yet the holiest guide. You I cannot analyse the air nor catch The parallax of yonder luminous point,

cannot otherwise than reverence him; and feel That seems half quenched in the immense abyss :

that he talks with you as one who knows every Such powers I boast not-neither can I rest

expression of your soul. He leads you through A silent witness of the headlong rage,

nature and tells of Him, its author. He leads Or heedless folly, by which thousands die, Bone of my bone, and kindred souls to mine.

you home and tells of domestic blessedness

independent of the world's smile or frown. And again in that often quoted contrast He leads you to the universal Father and shews between the simple peasant and the witty Vol. Him once again reconciled to you by His divine taire, what mild lustre glows in every line :- Son. Yon cottager, who weaves at her own door,

Cast down and wounded art thou, he will Pillow and bobbins all her little store;

soothe and comfort : weak and helpless-he Content tho' mean, and cheerful if not gay, Shuffling her threads about the livelong day,

will give strength and hope: harassed with Just earns a scanty pittance, and at night

unholy desires and wishes, he will purify and Lies down secure, her heart and pocket light;

subdue; loving wife and child, he will deepen She, for her humble sphere by nature fit,

that hallowed love; clinging to parents, he Has little understanding and no wit, Receives no praise; but, though her lot be such,

will make thee cling more tenderly; happy, (Toilsome and indigent) she renders much ;

he will make thee happier. Be his companion That knows, and knows no more, her Bible true- for a morning; a winter's clear and frosty A truth the brilliant Frenchman never knew; And in that charter reads with sparkling eyes

morning, and thy soul shall be gladdened by Her title to a treasure in the skies.

his converse and his smile. He will shew O happy peasant! O unhappy bard !

“the self-sequestered man fresh for his task, His the mere tinsel, her's the rich reward;

intend what task he may.” He will tell thee He praised perhaps for ages yet to come,

that " inclement seasons recommend his warm She never heard of half a mile from home: He lost in errors his vain heart prefers,

but simple home, when he enjoys with her, She safe in the simplicity of her's.

who shares his pleasures and his heart, sweet How fine is that deep thrilling utterance of converse.” He will make thee feel the healthy the wearied

soul in the opening of the second happiness of the morning meal when partaken book of the Task :

with those we love. Then thou wilt wander

forth with him into the garden; and though O for a lodge in some vast wilderness, Some boundless contiguity of shade,

flowers now bloom not, still wilt thou find Where rumour of oppression and deceit,

the most beautiful of all rearing its unsullied Of unsuccessful or successful war

petals, even the sweet hope-breathing, snowMight never reach me more.

drop: and thou wilt find the air bracing What quiet sweetness, soft as the mellowed though keen, and the sky all cloudless blue; light of eve, characterises the walk to Emmaus; and from this plot of cultivated ground will

« AnteriorContinuar »