Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

To behold the wandering moon,
Riding near her highest noon,
Like one that had been led astray
Through the heaven's wide, pathless way,
And oft, as if her head she bowed,
Stooping through a fleecy cloud.

Oft, on a plat of rising ground,
I hear the far-off curfew sound,
Over some wide-watered shore,
Swinging slow with sullen roar ;
Or, if the air will not permit,
Some still removed place will fit,
Where glowing embers through the room
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom,
Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the cricket on the hearth,
Or the bellman's drowsy charm,
To bless the doors from nightly harm :
Or let my lamp at midnight hour
Be seen in some high lonely tower,
Where I may oft outwatch the Bear,
With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere
The spirit of Plato, to unfold
What worlds, or what vast regions, hold
The immortal mind that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook :
And of those demons that are found
In fire, air, flood, or under ground,
Whose power hath a true consent
With planet, or with element.

Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy
In sceptred pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes' or Pelops' line,
Or else the tale of Troy divine,
Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled bath the buskined stage.

But, 0 sad virgin, that thy power
Might raise Musæus from his bower,
Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
Such notes as, warbled to the string,
Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
And made Hell grant what Love did seek.
Or call up him that left half told
The story of Cambuscan bold,
Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
And who had Canacé to wife,
That owned the virtuous ring and glass,
And of the wondrous horse of brass,
On which the Tartar king did ride ;
And if aught else great bards beside
In sage and solemn tunes have sung,
Of tourneys and of trophies hung,
Of forests and enchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.

Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career,
Till civil-suited Morn appear,
Not tricked and frounced as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,
But kerchiefed in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,

Or ushered with a shower still,
When the gust hath blown his fill,
Ending on the rustling leaves,
With minute drops from off the eaves.

And when the sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me, goddess, bring
To archéd walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves,
Of pine, or monumental oak,
Where the rude axe with heavéd stroke
Was never heard the nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallowed haunt;
There in close covert by some brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from Day's garish eye,
While the bee, with honeyed thigh,
That at her flowery work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such concert as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feathered sleep :
And let some strange, mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in aery stream
Of lively portraiture displayed,
Softly on my eyelids laid.
And, as I wake, sweet inusic breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some spirit to mortals good,
Or the unseen Genius of the wood.

But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloisters pale,
And love the high embowed roof,
With antique pillars, massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim, religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full-voiced choir below,
In service high, and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness through mine ear
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring al heaven before mine eyes.

And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every star that heaven doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew ;
Till old Experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.

These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
And I with thee will choose to live.

" LYCIDAS."

In this monody the author bewails a learned friend, unfortunately drowned in his passage from Chester, on the Irish seas, 1637, and by occasion foretells the ruin of our corrupted clergy, then in their height.

Yer once more, () ye laurels, and once more,
Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crudo,

And with forced fingers rude

Alas! what boots it with incessant care Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year. To tend the homely, slighted shepherd's trade, Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear,

And strictly meditate the thankless muse? Compels me to disturb your season due :

Were it not better done, as others use, For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,

To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer :

Or with the tangles of Neræa's hair? Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew

Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme.

That last infirmity of noble minds He must not float upon his watery bier

To scorn delights and live laborious days ; l'nwept, and welter to the parching wind,

But the fair guerdon when we hope to find, Without the meed of some melodious tear.

And think to burst out into sudden blaze, Begin, then, Sisters of the sacred well,

Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears, That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring, And slits the thin-spun life. But not the praise, Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string. Phoebus replied, and touched my trembling ears ; llence with denial vain, and coy excuse,

Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil, So may some gentle muse

Nor in the glist'ring foil With lucky words favor my destined urn,

Set off to the world, nor in broad rumor lies, And, as she passes, turn,

But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes, And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.

And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
For we were nursed upon the self-same hill,

As He pronounces lastly on each deed,
Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill. Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed.
Together both, ere the high lawns appeared

O fountain Arethuse ! and thou honored flood, Under the opening eyelids of the morn,

Smooth-sliding Mincius, crowned with vocal reeds ! We drove a-field, and both together heard

That strain I heard was of a higher mood : What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn, But now my oat proceeds, Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night, And listens to the herald of the sea Oft till the star that rose at evening bright (wheel. That came in Neptune's plea : Towards heaven's descent had sloped his westering He asked the waves, and asked the felon winds, Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute ;

What hard mishap hath doomed this gentle swain? Tempered to the oaten flute,

And questioned every gust of rugged winds
Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven heel That blows from off each beaked promontory;
From the glad sound would not be absent long, – They knew not of his story,
And old Damætas loved to hear our song.

And sage Hippotades their answer brings,
But, 0 the heavy change ! now thou art gone, That not a blast was from his dungeon strayed,
Now thou art gone, and never must return !

The air was calm, and on the level brine
Thee, shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves, Sleek Panope with all her sisters played.
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, It was that fatal and perfidious bark
And all their echoes, mourn.

Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark, The willows and the hazel copses green

That sunk so low that sacred head of thine. Shall now no more be seen,

Next Camus, reverend sire ! went footing slow, Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays. His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge, As killing as the canker to the rose,

Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge Or taint-worn to the weanling herds that graze, Like to that sanguine flower, inscribed with woe. Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear, Ah! who hath reft. quoth he, my dearest pledge ? When first the white thorn blows :

Last came, and last did go, Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear. [deep The pilot of the Galilean lake ;

Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless Two massy keys he bore of metals twain Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas?

(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain); For neither were ye playing on the steep,

He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake, Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie, How well could I have spared for thee, young swain, Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,

Enow of such as for their bellies' sake
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream : Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold !
Ah me! I fondly dream,

of other care they little reckoning make,
Had ye been there—for what could that have done? Than how to scramble at the shearer's feast,
What could the Muse herself, that Orpheus bore, And shove away the worthy, bidden guest ; [hold
The Muse herself, for her enchanting son,

Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to Whom universal nature did lament,

A sheep-hook, or have learned aught else the least When by the rout that made the hideous roar That to the faithful herdsman's art belongs ! His gory visage down the stream was sent,

What recks it them ? what need they? they are sped; Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore ? And when they list, their lean and flashy songs

Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw ;
The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
But, swollen with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread ;
Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing said ;
But that two-handed engine at the door
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.

Return, Alpheus, the dread voice is past
That shrunk thy streams ; return, Sicilian Muse.
And call the vales, and bid them hither cast
Their bells, and flow'rets of a thousand hues.
Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use
Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks,
On whose fresh lap the swart star sparely looks,
Throw hither all your quaint enamelled eyes,
That on the green turf suck the honeyed showers,
And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.
Bring the rath primrose that forsaken dies,
The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,
The white-pink, and the pansy freaked with jet,
The glowing violet,
The musk rose, and the well-attired woodbine,
With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head,
And every flower that sad embroidery wears :
Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed,
And daffadillies fill their cups with tears,
To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies.
For so to interpose a little ease,
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise.
Ah me! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas
Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurled,
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Where thou perhaps under the whelming tide
Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world ;

Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied,
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,
Where the great vision of the guarded mount
Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold ;
Look homeward, Angel, now, and melt with ruth :
And, 0, ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth.

Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more,
For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor ;
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky :
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high. (waves,
Through the dear might of Him that walked the
Where other groves and other streams along
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song,
In the blest kingdoms moek of Joy and Love.
There entertain him all the saints above,
In solemn troops and sweet societies,
That sing, and singing in their glory move,
And wipe the tears forever from his eyes.
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more ;
Henceforth thou art the genius of the shore,
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good
To all that wander in that perilous flood.

Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and rills, While the still Morn went out with sandals gray, He touched the tender stops of various quills, With eager thought warbling his Doric lay ; And now the sun had stretched out all the hills, And now was dropped into the western bay ; At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue : To-morrow to fresh woods and pastures new.

[graphic]

Rhymed Lessons for July.

EMERSON'S “ WOOD NOTES.”

Where darkness found him he lay glad at night ; There the red morning touched him with its light. Three moons his great heart him a hermit made, So long he roved at will the boundless shade.

The timid it concerns to ask their way, And fear what foe in caves and swamps can stray ; To make no step until the event is known, And ills to come, as evils past, bemoan. Not so the wise ; no coward watch he keeps, To spy what danger on his pathway creeps. Go where he will, the wise man is at home His hearth the earth, his hall the azure dome; Where his clear spirit leads him, there his road, By God's own light illumined and foreshowed.

And such I knew a forest seer,
A minstrel of the natural year,
Foreteller of the vernal ides,
Wise harbinger of spheres and tides
A lover true, who knew by heart
Each joy the mountain dales impart;
It seemed that Nature could not raise
A plant in any secret place ;
In quaking bog, or snowy hill,
Beneath the grass that shades the rill,
Under the snow,

between the rocks,
In damp fields, known to bird and fox;
But he would come in the very hour
It opened in its virgin bower,
As if a sunbeam showed the place,
And tell its long-descended race.
It seemed as if the breezes brought him ;
It seemed as if the sparrows taught him ;
As if by secret sight he knew
Where, in far fields, the orchis grew.
Many haps fall in the field,

Seldom seen by wistful eyes,
But all her shows did Nature yield,

To please and win this pilgrim wise.
He saw the partridge drum in the woods,

He heard the woodcock's evening hymn ;
He found the tawny thrush's broods ;

And the sky-hawk did wait for him.
What others did at distance hear,

And guessed within the thicket's gloom,
Was showed to this philosopher,

And at his bidding seemed to come. [gang,
In unploughed Maine he sought the lumberer's
Where from a hundred lakes young rivers sprang ;
He trod the unplanted forest floor, whereon
The all-seeing sun for ages hath not shone ;
Where feeds the moose and walks the surly bear,
And up the tall masts runs the woodpecker.
He saw beneath dim aisles, in odorous beds,
The slight Linnea hang its twin-born heads ;
And blessed the monument of the man of flowers,
Which breathes his sweet fame through the northern
He heard, when in the grove, at intervals, [bowers.
With sudden roar the agéd pine-tree falls —
One crash, the death-hymn of the perfect tree,
Declares the close of its green century.
Low lies the plant to whose creation went
Sweet influence from every element;
Whose living towers the years conspired to build -
Whose giddy top the morning loved to gild.
Through these green tents, by eldest Nature dressed,
He roamed, content alike with man and beast.

VAUGHAN'S “EARLY PRAYER.” WHEN first thine eyes unveil, give thy soul leave To do the like ; our bodies but forerun The spirit's duty : true hearts spread and heave Unto their God, as flowers do to the sun : [keep Give Him thy first thoughts, then, - so shalt thou

Him company all day, and in Him sleep. Yet never sleep the sun up; prayer should Dawn with the day : there are set awful hours 'Twixt Heaven and us ; the manna was not good After sunrising ; for day sullies flowers : Rise to prevent the sun ; sleep doth sins glut, And heaven's gate opens when the world's is shut.

Walk with thy fellow-creatures ; note the hush And whisperings amongst them. Not a spring Or leaf but hath his morning hymn ; each bush And oak doth know I AM. Canst thou not sing! O leave thy cares and follies! Go this way,

And thou art sure to prosper all the day. Serve God before the world ; let Him not go Until thou hast a blessing ; then resign The whole unto Him, and remember who Prevailed by wrestling, ere the sun did shine ; Pour oil upon the stones, weep for thy sin, Then journey on, and have an eye to heaven. (youth,

Mornings are mysteries ; the first, the world's Man's resurrection, and the future's bud, [truth Shroud in their births ; the crown of life, light; Is styled their star ; the stone and hidden food : True blessings wait upon them, one of which

Should move - - they make us holy, happy, rich. When the world's up, and every swarm abroad, Keep well thy temper, mix not with each clay ; Despatch necessities ; life hath a load Which must be carried on, and safely may ; Yet keep those cares without thee ; let the heart Be God's alone, and choose the better part.

[graphic]

SUMMER - AUGUST.

Cowper's "Sofa.

"

ARGUMENT.

HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF CHAIRS AND SOFAS.

Historical deduction of seats, from the stool to the sofa. A

school-boy's ramble. A walk in the country. The scene described. Rural sounds as well as sights delightful. Another walk. Mistake concerning the charms of solitude corrected. Colonnades commended. Alcove, and the view from it. The wilderness. The grove. The thresher. The necessity and the benefits of exercise. The works of nature superior to, and, in some instances, inimitable by art. The wearisomeness of what is commonly called a life of pleasure. Change of scene sometimes expedient. A common described, and the character of crazy Kate introduced. Gypsies. The blessings of civilized life. That state most favorable to virtue. The South Sea islanders compassionated, but chiefly Omai. His present state of mind supposed. Civilized life friendly to virtue, but not great cities. Great cities, and London in particular, allowed their due praises, but censured. Fête champêtre. The book concludes with a reflection on the fatal effects of dissipation and effeminacy upon our public measures.

Time was, when clothing sumptuous, or for use, Save their own painted skins, our sires had none. As yet black breeches were not ; satin smooth, Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile. The hardy chief upon the rugged rock Washed by the sea, or on the gravelly hank Thrown up by wintry torrents roaring loud, Fearless of wrong, reposed his weary strength. Those barbarous ages past, succeeded next The birth-day of invention ; weak at first, Dull in design, and clumsy to perform.

JOINT-STOOLS.

THE SUBJECT ANNOUNCED.

I sing the Sofa. I, who lately sang Truth, Hope, and Charity, and touched with awe The solemn chords, and with a trembling hand, Escaped with pain from that adventurous flight, Now seek repose upon an humbler theme; The theme though humble, yet august and proud The occasion — for the Fair commands the song.

Joint-stools were then created ; on three legs Upborne they stood. Three legs upholding firm A massy slab, in fashion square or round. On such a stool immortal Alfred sat, And swayed the sceptre of his infant realms : And such in ancient halls and mansions drear May still be seen ; but perforatod sore, And drilled in holes, the solid oak is found, By worms voracious eaten through and through.

« AnteriorContinuar »