Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

He brandishes his pliant length of whip,
Resounding oft, and never heard in vain.
Oh happy! and in my account, denied
That sensibility of pain with which
Refinement is endued, thrice happy thou.
Thy frame robust and hardy, feels indeed
The piercing cold, but feels it unimpair'd.
The learned finger never need explore

Thy vigorous pulse; and the unhealthful east,
That breathes the spleen, and searches every bone
Of the infirm, is wholesome air to thee.

[ocr errors]

Thy days roll on exempt from household care;
Thy waggon is thy wife; and the poor beasts
That drag the dull companion to and fro,
Thine helpless charge, dependent on thy care.
Ah treat them kindly! rude as thou appear'st,
Yet show that thou hast mercy, which the great
With needless hurry whirl'd from place to place,
Humane as they would seem, not always show.

244. The preceding rendered into Prose.

Cowper.

In a thorny world as ours is, in which all are exposed to some annoyance, or feel, at times, some prickly sorrow, it is the part of wisdom frequently to contrast our own condition with that of others less distinguished, or less fortunate. We may thus learn to bear with patience what cannot be removed, and to sympathize with others whose sufferings exceed our

own.

In a wintry snow-storm, ill fares the traveller; and equally so, the poor waggoner who stalks in ponderous boots beside his reeking team. The wain whose wheels are clogged by congregated loads adhering close goes heavily; and in its sluggish noiseless pace appears a moving hill of snow. The toiling steeds expand the nostrils wide, while every breath forced downward by respiration strong, is soon consolidated upon their jutting chests. He, formed to bear the pelting

brunt of the tempestuous night, plods on, with half-shut eyes and puckered cheeks, and teeth presented bare against the storm. One hand secures his hat, except when with both he brandishes his pliant length of whip which oft resounding is never heard in vain. Happy man! to whom has been denied that sensibility of pain which accompanies refinement, Thy robust and hardy frame feels indeed the piercing cold, but feels it unimpaired. Thy vigorous pulse no learned finger needs explore. The unhealthful east that breathes the spleen, and searches every bone of the infirm, is wholesome air to thee. Thy days roll on exempt from household care. Thy waggon is thy wife, and the poor beasts that drag the dull companion from place to place are thy helpless charge, dependent on thy care. Ah, treat them kindly, rude as thou appearest; and show that thou hast mercy, which the great with needless hurry whirled from place to place, though seemingly humane, do not always show.

245. Remarks.

1. The poet commences his subject by laying down the proposition, that since we are all more or less exposed to the sorrows and annoyances of life, we shall become better enabled to endure what cannot be avoided by contrasting our condition with that of others less favourably circumstanced. He then proceeds to notice a man who, from his occupation, is compelled to undergo every inclemency of weather. Hard as this condition appears to be, it is not entirely destitute of advantages. The human frame inured to toil gradually becomes vigorous and robust, so as ultimately neither to fear the pelting storm nor feel the withering blast. Nor does this condition of life exclude the exhibition of kindliness of feeling towards the animals committed to our care; a feeling not always manifested by those whose position in life is greatly above that of the humble waggoner.

66

2. In the phrases Thy waggon is thy wife," and "the poor beasts thy helpless charge," we have two metaphors.

"The learned finger," that is, the finger of the physician, is an instance of Metonymy.

3. The Epithets introduced by the poet are singularly appropriate and expressive of the ideas intended to be conveyed. The following, printed in italic, are a few instances,—“ reeking team," "congregated loads," "sluggish, noiseless pace,” “ toiling steeds," "pliant length."

LESSON 87.

66

246. 1. Render the following Extract into neat Prose, according to Directions No. 241.

2. Give a critical Analysis, and adduce Observations, according to Directions No. 242.

247. THE WOODMAN.

Forth goes the woodman, leaving unconcern'd
The cheerful haunts of man, to wield the axe
And drive the wedge in yonder forest drear,
From morn to eve his solitary task.

Shaggy and lean and shrewd, with pointed ears
And tail cropp'd short, half lurcher and half cur,
His dog attends him. Close behind his heel
Now creeps he slow, and now with many a frisk
Wide-scampering snatches up the drifted snow
With ivory teeth, or ploughs it with his snout;
Then shakes his powder'd coat and barks for joy.
Heedless of all his pranks, the sturdy churl
Moves right toward the mark; nor stops for aught,
But now and then with pressure of his thumb
To adjust the fragrant charge of a short tube
That fumes beneath his nose: the trailing cloud
Streams far behind him, scenting all the air.

LESSON 88.

248. 1. Render the following Extract into correct Prose, according to Directions No. 241.

2. Give an Analysis, and adduce critical Observations, according to Directions No. 242.

249. COUNTRY SCENERY.

How oft upon yon eminence our pace

Has slacken'd to a pause, and we have borne
The ruffling wind, scarce conscious that it blew,
While Admiration feeding at the eye,

And still unsated, dwelt upon the scene!

Thence with what pleasure have we just discern'd
The distant plough slow-moving, and beside
His labouring team, that swerv'd not from the track,
The sturdy swain diminish'd to a boy!
Here Ouse, slow winding through a level plain
Of spacious meads with cattle sprinkled o'er,
Conducts the eye along his sinuous course
Delighted. There, fast rooted in his bank
Stand, never overlook'd, our favourite elms
That screen the herdsman's solitary hut;
While far beyond, and overthwart the stream,
That, as with molten glass, inlays the vale,
The sloping land recedes into the clouds ;
Displaying on its varied side the grace

Of hedge-row beauties numberless, square tower,
Tall spire, from which the sound of cheerful bells
Just undulates upon the listening ear,
Groves, heaths, and smoking villages remote.
Scenes must be beautiful, which daily view'd
Please daily, and whose novelty survives
Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years;
Praise justly due to those that I describe.

LESSON 89.

250. 1. Render the following Extract into correct Prose, according to Directions No. 241.

2. Give an Analysis and Remarks on the leading topics and arguments, according to No. 242.

3. Observations on the Figures of Speech and Epithets employed, according to No. 242.

251. RURAL SOUNDS.

Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds,
Exhilarate the spirit, and restore

The tone of languid nature. Mighty winds,
That sweep the skirt of some far-spreading wood
Of ancient growth, make music not unlike
The dash of Ocean on his winding shore,
And lull the spirit while they fill the mind;
Unnumber'd branches waving in the blast,
And all their leaves fast fluttering all at once.
Nor less composure waits upon the roar
Of distant floods, or on the softer voice
Of neighbouring fountain, or of rills that slip
Through the cleft rock, and, chiming as they fall
Upon loose pebbles, lose themselves at length
In matted grass, that with a livelier green
Betrays the secret of their silent course.
Nature inanimate employs sweet sounds,
But animated Nature sweeter still,

To soothe and satisfy the human ear.

Ten thousand warblers cheer the day and one

The livelong night; nor these alone, whose notes
Nice-fingered Art must emulate in vain,
But cawing rooks, and kites that swim sublime
In still repeated circles, screaming loud,
The jay, the pic, and e'en the boding owl,

« AnteriorContinuar »