Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Titus! Constantine! Charlemaine!
O Voltaire! Rousseau! Gibbon! Vain
Your Grecian mocks and Roman sword
Against this image of his Lord;

For a tear is an intellectual thing;
And a sigh is the sword of an angel king;
And the bitter groan of a martyr's woe
Is an arrow from the Almighty's bow.

GEORGE CANNING

FROM THE PROGRESS OF MAN
[MATRIMONY IN OTAHEITE]

There laughs the sky, there zephyrs frolic train,
And light-winged loves, and blameless pleasures reign:
There, when two souls congenial ties unite,
No hireling bonzes chant the mystic rite;
Free every thought, each action unconfined,
And light those fetters which no rivets bind.
There in each grove, each sloping bank along,
And flowers and shrubs, and odorous herbs among,
Each shepherd clasped, with undisguised delight,
His yielding fair one-in the captain's sight;
Each yielding fair, as chance or fancy led,
Preferred new lovers to her sylvan bed.

Learn hence each nymph, whose free aspiring mind
Europe's cold laws, and colder customs bind;
O! learn what Nature's genial laws decree!
What Otaheite is, let Britain be!

Of whist or cribbage mark th' amusing game;
The partners changing, but the sport the same:
Else would the gamester's anxious ardour cool,
Dull every deal, and stagnant every pool.

-Yet must one man, with one unceasing wife, Play the long rubber of connubial life.

Yes! human laws, and laws esteemed divine,
The generous passion straighten and confine;
And, as a stream, when art constrains its course,
Pours its fierce torrent with augmented force,
So passion, narrowed to one channel small,
Unlike the former, does not flow at all.
For Love then only flaps his purple wings
When uncontrolled by priestcraft or by kings.

FROM THE NEW MORALITY

[ANTI-PATRIOTISM AND SENTIMENTALITY]
With unsparing hand,

Oh, lash these vile impostures from the land!
First, stern Philanthropy,-not she who dries
The orphan's tears, and wipes the widow's eyes;
Not she who, sainted Charity her guide,
Of British bounty pours the annual tide,-
But French Philanthropy, whose boundless mind
Glows with the general love of all mankind;
Philanthropy, beneath whose baneful sway
Each patriot passion sinks, and dies away.
Taught in her school t' imbibe thy mawkish strain,
Condorcet! filtered through the dregs of Paine,
Each pert adept disowns a Briton's part,
And plucks the name of England from his heart.
What! shall a name, a word, a sound, control
Th' aspiring thought, and cramp th' expansive soul?
Shall one half-peopled island's rocky round
A love that glows for all creation bound?
And social charities contract the plan
Framed for thy freedom, universal man?
No-through th' extended globe his feelings run
As broad and general as th' unbounded sun!
No narrow bigot he: his reasoned view

Thy interests, England, ranks with thine, Peru!
France at our doors, he seeks no danger nigh,
But heaves for Turkey's woes th' impartial sigh;
A steady patriot of the world alone,
The friend of every country but his own.

Next comes a gentler virtue.-Ah, beware
Lest the harsh verse her shrinking softness scare.
Visit her not too roughly; the warm sigh
Breathes on her lips; the tear-drop gems her eye.
Sweet Sensibility, who dwells inshrined
In the fine foldings of the feeling mind;
With delicate Mimosa's sense endued,

Who shrinks, instinctive, from a hand too rude;
Or, like the anagillis, prescient flower,

Shuts her soft petals at th' approaching shower.
Sweet child of sickly fancy! her of yore
From her loved France Rousseau to exile bore;
And while 'midst lakes and mountains wild he ran,
Full of himself, and shunned the haunts of man,
Taught her o'er each lone vale and Alpine steep
To lisp the story of his wrongs, and weep;
Taught her to cherish still in either eye,
Of tender tears a plentiful supply,

And pour them in the brooks that babbled by:
Taught by nice scale to mete her feelings strong,
False by degrees, and exquisitely wrong;
For the crushed beetle first, the widowed dove,
And all the warbled sorrows of the grove,
Next for poor suffering guilt, and last of all,
For parents, friends, a king and country's fall.
Mark her fair votaries, prodigal of grief,
With cureless pangs, and woes that mock relief,
Droop in soft sorrow o'er a faded flower,
O'er a dead jackass pour the pearly shower:
But hear, unmoved, of Loire's ensanguined flood
Choked up with slain; of Lyons drenched in blood;
Of crimes that blot the age, the world, with shame,
Foul crimes, but sicklied o'er with freedom's name,—
Altars and thrones subverted, social life
Trampled to earth, the husband from the wife,
Parent from child, with ruthless fury torn;
Of talents, honour, virtue, wit, forlorn
In friendless exile; of the wise and good
Staining the daily scaffold with their blood.
Of savage cruelties that scare the mind,
The rage of madness with hell's lusts combined,
Of hearts torn reeking from the mangled breast,
They hear and hope, that all is for the best!

And those who act with benevolence and virtue they murder time on time.

These are the destroyers of Jerusalem! these are the murderers

Of Jesus! who deny the faith and mock at eternal life, Who pretend to poetry that they may destroy imagination By imitation of nature's images drawn from remembrance. These are the sexual garments, the abomination of desolation,

Hiding the human lineaments, as with an ark and curtains Which Jesus rent, and now shall wholly purge away with fire,

Till generation is swallowed up in regeneration.

FROM JERUSALEM

[TO THE DEISTS]

I saw a Monk of Charlemaine
Arise before my sight:

I talked with the Grey Monk as we stood
In beams of infernal light.

Gibbon arose with a lash of steel,
And Voltaire with a racking wheel;
The schools, in clouds of learning rolled,
Arose with war in iron and gold.

"Thou lazy Monk!' they sound afar,
'In vain condemning glorious war;
And in your cell you shall ever dwell:
Rise, War, and bind him in his cell!'

The blood red ran from the Grey Monk's side,
His hands and feet were wounded wide,
His body bent, his arms and knees
Like to the roots of ancient trees.

When Satan first the black bow bent
And the moral law from the Gospel rent,
He forged the law into a sword,
And spilled the blood of mercy's Lord.

[ocr errors]

Titus! Constantine! Charlemaine!
O Voltaire! Rousseau! Gibbon! Vain
Your Grecian mocks and Roman sword
Against this image of his Lord;

For a tear is an intellectual thing;
And a sigh is the sword of an angel king;
And the bitter groan of a martyr's woe
Is an arrow from the Almighty's bow.

GEORGE CANNING

FROM THE PROGRESS OF MAN
[MATRIMONY IN OTAHEITE]

There laughs the sky, there zephyrs frolic train,
And light-winged loves, and blameless pleasures reign:
There, when two souls congenial ties unite,
No hireling bonzes chant the mystic rite;
Free every thought, each action unconfined,
And light those fetters which no rivets bind.
There in each grove, each sloping bank along,
And flowers and shrubs, and odorous herbs among,
Each shepherd clasped, with undisguised delight,
His yielding fair one-in the captain's sight;
Each yielding fair, as chance or fancy led,
Preferred new lovers to her sylvan bed.
Learn hence each nymph, whose free aspiring mind
Europe's cold laws, and colder customs bind;
O! learn what Nature's genial laws decree!
What Otaheite is, let Britain be!

Of whist or cribbage mark th' amusing game;
The partners changing, but the sport the same:
Else would the gamester's anxious ardour cool,
Dull every deal, and stagnant every pool.
-Yet must one man, with one unceasing wife,
Play the long rubber of connubial life.

« AnteriorContinuar »