Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

To seize the fair occation. Well they eye The scatter'd grain; and, thievithly resolv'd T'escape th' impending famine, often scar'd, As oft return--a pert voracious kind, Clean riddance quickly made, one only care Remains to each--the search of funny nook, Or shed impervious to the blast. Resign’d To fad necessity, the cock foregoes. His wonted strut; and, wading at their head With well-consider'd steps, seems to resent His alter'd gait and fateliness retrench'd. How sind the myriads, that in summer cheer The hills and vallies with their ceaseless songs, Due sustenance, or where sublift they now? Earth yields them nought: th' imprison’d worm is fáfe Bencath the frozen clod; all feeds of herbs Lie cover'd close; and berry-bearing thorns, That feed the thrush, (whatever fome suppose) Afford the smaller minstrels no supply. The long protracted rigour of the year Thins all their num'rous flocks. In chinks and holes Ten thousand seek an unmolested end, As instinct prompts; self-buried ere they die. The very rooks and daws forsake the fields, Where neither grub, nor root, nor carth-nut; now Repays their labour more; and, perch'd aloft

.

By the way-side, or italking in the path,
Lean pensioners upon the trav'ler's track,
Pick up their nauseous dole, though sweet to them,
Of voided pulse or half digested grain.
The streams are loft amid the splendid blank,
O’erwhelming all distinction. On the flood,
Indurated and fixt, the snowy weight
Lies undissolv'd; while filently beneath,
And unperceiv'd, the current steals away.
Not fo where, scornful of a check, it leaps'
The mill-dam, dashes on the restless wheel,
And wantons in the pebbly gulph below:
No frost can bind it there; its utmost furce
Can but arrest the light and smoky mist
That in its fall the liquid sheet throws wide.
And see where it has hung th' embroider'd banks
With forms so various, that no pow'rs of art,
The pencil or the pen, may trace the scene!
Her glittring turrets rise, upbearing high
(Fantastic misarrangement !) on the roof
Large growth of what may seem the sparkling trees
And shrubs of fairy land. The crystal drops
That trickle down the branches, fast congealid,
Shoot into pillars of pellucid length,
And prop the pile they but adorn'd before.
Here grotto within x rotto safe defies

The sun-beam; there, emboss'd and fretted wild, The growing wonder takes a thousand shapes Capricious, in which fancy seeks in vain The likeness of some object seen before. Thus nature works as if to mock at art, And in defiance of her rival pow'rs; By these fortuitous and random strokes Performing such inimitable feats As she with all her rules can never reach. Less worthy of applause, though more admir'd, Because a novelty, the work of man, Imperial mistress of the fur.clad Russ! Thy most magnificent and mighty freak The wonder of the North. No forest fell When thou wouluft build; no quarry fent its stores T'enrich thy walls: but thou didst hew the floods, And make thy marble of the glassy wave. In such a palace Ariftæus found Cyrene, when he bore the plaintive tale Of his loft bees to her maternal ear : In such a palace poetry might place The armory of winter; where his troops, The gloomy clouds, find weapons, arrowy fleet, Skin-piercing volley, blossom-bruising hail, And snow that often blinds the trav'ler's course, And wraps him in an unexpected tomb.

Silently as a dream the fabric rose; No sound of hammer or of faw was there : Iee upon ice, the well-adjusted parts Were foon conjoin'd; nor other cement ask'd Than water interfus'd to make them one. Lamps gracefully dispos'd, and of all hues, Illumin'd ev'ry fide: a wat'ry light Gleam'd through the clear transparency, that seem'd Another moon new risen, or meteor fallin From heav'n to earth, of lambent flame serene. - So ftood the brittle prodigy} though smooth. And flipp’ry the materials, yet frost-bound Firm as a rock. Nor wanted aught within, That royal residence might well befit, For grandeur or for use. Long wavy wreaths Of How'rs, that fear'd no enemy but warmth, Bluth'd on the pannels. Mirror needed none Where all was vitreous; but in order due Convivial table and commodious seat (What seemd at least commodious scat) were there; Sofa, and couch, and high-built throne august. The same lubricity was found in all, And all was moist to the warm touch; a scene Of evanescent glory, once a fi ream, And soon to Ilide into a stream again, Alas! 'twas but a mortifying stroke

Of undesign'd severity, that glanc'd (Made by a monarch) on her own estate, On human grandeur and the courts of kings.. 'Twas transient in its nature, as:in show 'Twas durable ; as worthless, as it seem'd Intrinfically precious; to the foot Treach'rous and falfe; it smild, and it was cold.....

Great princes have great playthings. Some have play'd At hewing mountains into men, and some At building 'human wonders mountain-high. Some have amus'd the dull, sad years of life, (Life spent in indolence, and therefore fad) With schemes of monumental fame; and fought By pyramids and mausolean pomp, Short-liv'd themselves, t' immortalize their bones. Some feek diversion in the tented field, And make the sorrows of mankind their sport. But war's a game, which, were their subjects wise, Kings would not play at. Nations would do well T'extort their truncheons from the

puny

hands
Of heroes, whose infirm and baby minds
Are gratified with mischief; and who spoil,
Because men suffer it, their toy the world.

When Babel was confounded, and the great

« AnteriorContinuar »