Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

A SUMMER EVENING. - THE EVENING SHADOWS AND BREEZE.

-THE QUAIL ; WAFTED SEEDS.

PATRIOTIC APOSTROPHE TO GREAT BRITAIN. Island of bliss ! amid the subject seas, That thunder round thy rocky coasts, set up, At once the wonder, terror, and delight, Of distant nations, whose remotest shores Can soon be shaken by thy naval arm; Not to be shook thyself, but all assaults Bafiling, as thy hoar cliffs the loud sea-wave.

Confessed from yonder slow-extinguished clouds, All ether softening, sober Evening takes Her wonted station in the middle air ; A thousand shadows at her beck. First this She sends on earth ; then that of deeper dye Steals soft behind ; and then a deeper still, In circle following circle, gathers round, To close the face of things. A fresher gale Begins to wave the wood, and stir the stream, Sweeping with shadowy gust the fields of corn ; While the quail clamors for his running mate. Wide o'er the thistly lawn, as swells the breeze, A whitening shower of vegetable down Amusive floats. The kind impartial care Of Nature naught disdains : thoughtful to feed Her lowest sons, and clothe the coming year, From field to field the feathered seed she wings.

THE PATRIOT'S PRAYER FOR THE VIRTUES OF PEACE, LOVE,

CHARITY, TRUTH, COURAGE, TEMPERANCE, CHASTITY, INDUSTRY, AND PUBLIC SPIRIT.

0 Thou ! by whose Almighty nod the scale Of empire rises, or alternate falls, Send forth the saving Virtues round the land, In bright patrol : white Peace, and social Love ; The tender-looking Charity, intent On gentle deeds, and shedding tears through smiles ; Undaunted Truth, and Dignity of Mind ; Courage composed, and keen ; sound Temperance, Healthful in heart and look ; clear Chastity, With blushes reddening as she moves along, Disordered at the deep regard she draws ; Rough Industry ; Activity untired, With copious life informed, and all awake; While in the radiant front superior shines That first paternal virtue, Public Zeal ; Who throws o'er all an equal wide survey, And, ever musing on the common weal, Still labors glorious with some great design.

THE SHEPHERD AND MILKMAID RETURNING FROM WORK. –

FAIRIES, THE SUICIDE'S GRAVE. - THE GHOST TOWER.

A SUMMER SUNSET.

His folded flock secure, the shepherd home Hies, merry-hearted ; and by turns relieves The ruddy milkmaid of her brimming pail ; The beauty whom perhaps his witless heart, Unknowing what the joy-mixed anguish means, Sincerely loves, by that best language shown Of cordial glances, and obliging deeds. Onward they pass, o'er many a panting height, And valley sunk, and unfrequented; where At fall of eve the fairy people throng, In various game and revelry, to pass The summer night, as village-stories tell. But far about they wander from the grave Of him, whom his ungentle fortune urged Against his own sad breast to lift the hand Of impious violence. The lonely tower Is also shunned ; whose mournful chambers hold, So night-struck Fancy dreams, the yelling ghost.

[blocks in formation]

A SUMMER NIGHT. - THE GLOW-WORM.-TIB EVENING

STAR.

A LIFE OF SELFISHNESS AND OF BENEFICENCE CONTRASTED.

Forever running an enchanted round, Passes the day, deceitful, vain, and void ; As fleets the vision o'er the formful brain, This moment hurrying wild the impassioned soul, The next in nothing lost. 'T is so to him, The dreamer of this earth, an idle blank : A sight of horror to the cruel wretch, Who all day long in sordid pleasure rolled, Himself a useless load, has squandered vile, Upon his scoundrel train, what might have cheered A drooping family of modest worth. But to the generous, still-improving mind, That gives the hopeless heart to sing for joy, Diffusing kind beneficence around, Boastless, as now descends the silent dew; To him the long review of ordered life Is inward rapture, only to be felt.

Among the crooked lanes, on every hedge, (dark, The glow-worm lights his gems; and, through the A moving radiance twinkles. Evening yields The world to Night ; not in her winter robe Of massy Stygian woof, but loose arrayed In mantle dun. A faint erroneous ray, Glanced from th' imperfect surfaces of things, Flings half an image on the straining eye ; While wavering woods, and villages, and streams, And rocks, and mountain-tops, that long retained Th' ascending gleam, are all one swimming scene, Uncertain if beheld. Sudden to Heaven Thence weary vision turns, where, leading soft The silent hours of love, with purest ray Sweet Venus shines ; and from her genial rise, When daylight sickens till it springs afresh, Unrivalled reigns, the fairest lamp of Night.

METEORS OF A SUMMER NIGHT ; 'HEAT-LIGHTNING'; SHOOT- Her voice to ages, and informs the page
ING STARS. - STARS ; COMETS ; REACH OF SCIENCE ; USE OF

With music, image, sentiment, and thought,
COMETS.

Never to die ! the treasure of mankind !
As thus th' effulgence tremulous I drink,

Their highest honor, and their truest joy!
With cherished gaze, the lambent lightnings shoot
Across the sky, or horizontal dart

MAN WITHOUT PHILOSOPHY IS DESTITUTE OF HOME, SOCIETY,

AND ARTS. CIVILIZATION.
In wondrous shapes : by fearful murmuring crowds
Portentous deemed. Amid the radiant orbs

Without thee what were unenlightened man ? That more than deck, that animate the sky, A savage roaming through the woods and wilds The life-infusing suns of other worlds ;

In quest of prey; and with th' unfashioned fur Lo! from the dread immensity of space

Rough clad ; devoid of every finer art, Returning, with accelerated course,

And elegance of life. Nor happiness The rushing comet to the sun descends ;

Domestic, mixed of tenderness and care, And as he sinks below the shading earth,

Nor moral excellence, nor social bliss, With awful train projected o'er the heavens,

Nor guardian law were his ; nor various skill The guilty nations tremble. But, above

To turn the furrow, or to guide the tool Those superstitious horrors that enslave

Mechanic, nor the heaven-conducted prow The fond, sequacious herd, to mystic faith

Of navigation bold, that fearless braves And blind amazement prone, the enlightened few, The burning line or dares the wintry pole ; Whose godlike minds Philosophy exalts,

Mother severe of infinite delights ! The glorious stranger hail. Thy feel a joy

Nothing, save rapine, indolence, and guile, Divinely great; they in their powers exult, - And woes on woes, a still-revolving train ! That wondrous force of thought, which mounting,

Whose horrid circle had made human life This dusky spot, and measures all the sky; [spurns

Than non-existence worse : but, taught by thee, While, froin his far excursion through the wilds

Ours are the plans of policy and peace, Of barren ether, faithful to his time,

To live like brothers, and conjunctive all They see the blazing wonder rise anew,

Embellish life. In seeming terror clad, but kindly bent

PHILOSOPHY GUIDES SOCIETY, EXPLORES CREATION, REVEALS To work the will of all-sustaining Love :

GOD, AND EXPLAINS MAN. From his huge vapory train perhaps to shake

While thus laborious crowds Reviving moisture on the numerous orbs,

Ply the tough oar, Philosophy directs Through which his long ellipsis winds ; perhaps The ruling helm ; or, like the liberal breath To lend new fuel to declining suns,

Of potent Heaven, invisible, the sail To light up worlds, and feed the eternal fire.

Swells out, and bears th' inferior world along.

Nor to this evanescent speck of earth
CONCLUDING APOSTROPHE TO PHILOSOPHY. - REASON AND

Poorly confined, the radiant tracts on high
FANCY ; POETRY.

Are her exalted range ; intent to gaze
With thee, serene Philosophy, with thee,

Creation through ; and, from that full complex And thy bright garland, let me crown my song!

Of never-ending wonders, to conceive Effusive source of evidence, and truth !

of the Sole Being right, who spoke the Word, A lustre shedding o'er the ennobled mind,

And Nature moved complete. With inward view, Stronger than summer-noon ; and pure as that

Thence on th’ ideal kingdom swift she turns Whose mild vibrations soothe the parted soul,

Her eye ; and, instant, at her powerful glance, New to the dawning of celestial day. [thee,

Th’ obedient phantoms vanish or appear ; Hence, through her nourished powers, enlarged by Compound, divide, and into order shift, She springs aloft, with elevated pride,

Each to his rank, from plain perception up Above the tangling mass of low desires,

To the fair forms of Fancy's fleeting train : That bind the fluttering crowd ; and, angel-winged,

To reason then, deducing truth from truth ; The heights of science and of virtue gains,

And notion quite abstract ; where first begins Where all is calm and clear ; with Nature round,

The world of spirits, action all, and life
Or in the starry regions, or the abyss,

Unfettered and unmixed.
To Reason's and to Fancy's eye displayed :
The First up-tracing, from the dreary void,
The chain of causes and effects to Him,

But here the cloud
The world-producing essence, who alone

(So wills eternal Providence) sits deep. Possesses being ; while the Last receives

Enough for us to know that this dark state, The whole magnificence of heaven and earth, In wayward passions lost, and vain pursuits, And every beauty, delicate or bold,

This Infancy of Being, cannot prove Obvious or more remote, with livelier sense,

The final issue of the works of God, Diffusive painted on the rapid mind.

By boundless Love and perfect Wisdom formed, Tutored by thee, hence Poetry exalts

And ever rising with the rising mind.

DIVINE LOVE AND WISDOM EVER PROGRESSIVE.

Pastorals for yune.

CUNNINGHAM'S “DAY."

Now the flock forsakes the glade,

Where, unchecked, the sunbeams fall ; Sure to find a pleasing shade

By the ivied abbey-wall.

Echo, in her airy round,

Oer the river, rock, and hill, Cannot catch a single sound

Save the clack of yonder mill.

Cattle court the zephyrs bland,

Where the streamlet wanders cool ; Or with languid silence stand

Midway in the marshy pool.

But from mountain, dell, or stream,

Not a fluttering zephyr springs ; Fearful lest the noontide beam

Scorch its soft, its silken wings.

MORNING.
In the barn the tenant cock,

Close to Partlet perched on high, Briskly crows (the shepherd's clock !),

Jocund that the morning's nigh. Swiftly from the mountain's brow

Shadows, nursed by night, retire ; And the peeping sunbeam now

Paints with gold the village spire. Philomel forsakes the thorn,

Plaintive where she prates at night ; And the lark, to meet the morn,

Soars beyond the shepherd's sight. From the low-roofed cottage ridge

See the chatt'ring swallow spring ; Darting through the one-arched bridge,

Quick she dips her dappled wing. Now the pine-tree's waving top

Gently greets the morning gale !
Kidlings now begin to crop

Daisies in the dewy vale.
From the balmy sweets, uncloyed

(Restless till her task be done), Now the busy bee's employed

Sipping dew before the sun. Trickling through the creviced rock,

Where the limpid stream distils, Sweet refreshment waits the flock

When 't is sun-drove from the hills. Anxious for the promised corn

(Ere the harvest hopes are ripe), Colin hears the huntsman's horn,

Boldly sounding, drown his pipe. Sweet, O sweet, the warbling throng,

On the white emblossomed spray ! Naturo's universal song

Echoes to the rising day.

Not a leaf has leave to stir,

Nature's lulled, serene, and still ! Quiet e'en the shepherd's cur,

Sleeping on the heath-clad hill. Languid is the landscape round,

Till the fresh descending shower, Grateful to the thirsty ground,

Raises every fainting flower.

Now the hill, the hedge is green,

Now the warbler's throat's in tune, Blithesome is the verdant scene,

Brightened by the beams of noon !

EVENING.
O'er the heath the heifer strays

Free — (the furrowed task is done) — Now the village windows blaze,

Burnished by the setting sun. Now he hides behind the hill,

Sinking from a golden sky: Can the pencil's mimic skill

Copy the refulgent dye ? Trudging as the ploughmen go

(To the smoking hamlet bound), Giant-like their shadows grow,

Lengthened o'er the level ground. Where the rising forest spreads

Shelter for the lordly dome, To their high-built airy beds

See the rooks returning home!

NOON.

Fervid on the glittering flood

Now the noontide radiance glows ; Drooping o'er its infant bud,

Not a dew-drop's left the rose. By the brook the shepherd dines ;

From the fierce meridian heat Sheltered by the branching pines,

Pendent o'er his grassy seat.

154

RURAL POETRY.

CUNNINGHAM

SHENSTONE — OTWAY.

In a concert so soft and so clear,

As — she may not be fond to resign.

As the lark with varied tune

Carols to the evening loud, Mark the mild, resplendent moon

Breaking through a parted cloud ! Now the hermit howlet peeps

From the barn, or twisted brake; And the blue mist slowly creeps,

Curling on the silver lake. As the trout, in speckled pride,

Playful from its bosom springs, To the banks a ruffled tide

Verges in successive rings. Tripping through the silken grass,

O’er the path-divided dale, Mark the rose-complexioned lass,

With her well-poised milking-pail.

I have found out a gift for my fair ;

I have found where the wood-pigeons breed : But let me that plunder forbear,

She will say 't was a barbarous deed. For he ne'er could be true, she averred,

Who could rob a poor bird of its young : And I loved her the more when I heard

Such tenderness fall from her tongue.

I have heard her with sweetness unfold

How that pity was due to — a dove : That it ever attended the bold ;

And she called it the sister of love. But her words such a pleasure convey,

So much I her accents adore,
Let her speak, and whatever she say,

Methinks I should love her the more.

Linnets, with unnumbered notes,

And the cuckoo-bird with two, Tuning sweet their mellow throats,

Bid the setting sun adieu.

Can a bosom so gentle remain

Unmoved, when her Corydon sighs ? Will a nymph that is fond of the plain,

These plains and this valley despise ? Dear regions of silence and shade!

Soft scenes of contentment and ease! Where I could have pleasingly strayed,

If aught in her absence could please.

SHENSTONE'S “ HOPE." My banks they are furnished with bees,

Whose murmur invites one to sleep; My grottoes are shaded with trees,

And my hills are white over with sheep. I seldom have met with a loss,

Such health do my fountains bestow ; My fountains all bordered with moss,

Where the hare-bells and violets grow.

But where does my Phyllida stray ?

And where are her grots and her bowers ? Are the groves and the valleys as gay,

And the shepherds as gentle as ours ? The groves may perhaps be as fair,

And the face of the valleys as fine, The swains may in manners compare,

But their love is not equal to mine.

Not a pine in my grove is there seen,

But with tendrils of woodbine is bound : Not a beech's more beautiful green,

But a sweetbrier entwines it around. Not my fields in the prime of the year

More charms than my cattle unfold ; Not a brook that is limpid and clear,

But it glitters with fishes of gold.

OTWAY'S “MORNING.”

One would think she might like to retire

To the bower I have labored to rear ; Not a shrub that I heard her admire,

But I hasted and planted it there. O how sudden the jessamine strovo

With the lilac to render it gay ! Already it calls for my love,

To prune the wild branches away.

WISHED morning's come ; and now upon the plains And distant mountains, where they feed their flocks, The happy shepherds leave their homely huts, And with their pipes proclaim the new-born day. The lusty swain comes, with his well-filled scrip Of healthful viands, which, when hunger calls, With much content and appetite he eats, – To follow in the field his daily toil, And dress the grateful glebe that yields him fruits. The beasts that under the warm hedges slept, And weathered out the cold bleak night, are up; And looking towards the neighboring pastures, raise Their voice, and bid their fellow brutes good-morThe cheerful birds, too, on the tops of trees, [row. Assemble all in choirs ; and with their notes Salute and welcome up the rising sun.

From the plains, from the woodlands and groves,

What strains of wild melody flow ! How the nightingales warble their loves

From the thickets of roses that blow ! And when her bright form shall appear,

Each bird shall harmoniously join

Browne's “Britannia's Pastorals."

EXTRACTS.

THE PREFACE.1

I that whilere near Tavy’s ? straggling spring Unto my silly sheep did use to sing, And played to please myself, on rustic reed,

sought for bays (the learned shepherd's meed), But as a swain unknown fed on the plains, And made the echo umpire of my strains : And drawn by time (although the weak’st of many), To sing those lays as yet unsung of any — What need I tune the swains of Thessaly? Or, bootless, add to them of Arcady? No : fair Arcadia cannot be completer, My praise may lessen, but not make thee greater. My muse for lofty pitches shall not roam, But homely pipen of her native home. To swains who love the rural minstrelsy ; Thus, dear Britannia, will I sing of thee.

DESCRIPTION OF CELANDINE AND MARINA ; SHE LOVES HIM, BUT

HE SLIGHTS HER; RESTLESS GRIEF OF THE LOVELORN SHEPHERDESS.

He was the elm whereby her vine did grow :
Yea, told him, when his tongue began this task,
She knew not to deny when he would ask.
Finding his suit as quickly got as moved,
Celandine, in his thoughts not well approved
What none could disallow, his love grew feigned,
And what he once affected, now disdained.
But fair Marina (for so was she called)
Having in Celandine her love installed,
Affected so this faithless shepherd's boy,
That she was rapt beyond degree of joy.
Briefly, she could not live one hour without him,
And thought no joy like theirs that lived about him.

This variable shepherd for a while
Did nature's jewel, by his craft, beguile :
And still the perfecter her love did grow,
His did appear more counterfeit in show.
Which she perceiving that his flame did slake,
And loved her only for his trophy's sake :
For he that's stuffed with a faithless tumor,
Loves only for his lust and for his humor ;'
And that he often in his merry fit
Would say, his good camo ere he hoped for it :
His thoughts for other subjects being pressed,
Esteeming that as naught which he possessed :

For what is gotten but with little pain,
As little grief we take to lose again :'
Well-minded Marine, grieving, thought it strange
That her ungrateful swain did seek for change.
Still by degrees her cares grew to the full,
Joys, to the wane : heart-rending grief did pull
Her from herself, and she abandoned all
To cries and tears, fruits of a funeral :
Running the mountains, fields, by watery springs,
Filling each cave with woful echoings ;
Making in thousand places her complaint,
And uttering to the trees what her tears meant. * *

High on the plains of that renowned isle, 3 Which all men beauty's garden-plot instile, A shepherd dwelt, whom fortune had made rich With all the gifts that silly men bewitch. Near him a shepherdess, for beauty's store Unparalleled of any age before. Within those breasts her face a flame did move, Which never knew before what 't was to love, Dazzling each shepherd's sight that viewed her eyes. And as the Persians did idolatrize Unto the sun : they thought that Cynthia's light Might well be spared, where she appeared in night; And as when many to the goal do run, The prize is given never but to one : So first and only Celandine was lod, Of destinies and heaven much favored, To gain this beauty, which I here do offer To memory : his pains (who would not proffer Pains for such pleasures ?) were not great nor much, But that his labor's recompense was such As countervailéd all : for she whose passion (And passion oft is love), whose inclination Bent all her course to him-wards, let him know

THE LOVE-SICK MARINA THROWS HERSELF INTO A RIVER;

PART OF THE RIVER-GOD'S ADDRESS TO HER THEREUPON. - VARIOUS FISHES AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS.

1 The scenes of these pastorals are laid in the south part of primitive England ; rivers, the sea, and other natural objects, are prettily personified after the classical manner. The plot is incoherent ; but the whole poem, of more than three hundred pages, though tedious, is yet full of quaint beauties, poetic imagery, and sunny pictures. Book I. was published in 1613, Book II. in 1616 ; both were reprinted in 1625. William Browne died, probably, in 1665.

Tavy is a river, having his head in Dartmoor in Devon, some few miles from Mary-Tavy, and falls southward into Tamar.

3 Great Britain.

Would she be won with me to stay, My waters should bring from the sea The coral red, as tribute due, And roundest pearls of orient hue : Or in the richer veins of ground Should seek for her the diamond ; And whereas now unto my spring They nothing else but gravel bring, They should within a mine of gold In piercing manner long time hold, And having it to dust well wrought, By them it hither should be brought;

« AnteriorContinuar »