« AnteriorContinuar »
* Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow,
1 In this poem several alterations were made, and some new verses added, as it passed through different editions.— We have printed from the ninth, which was the last edition published in the lifetime of the author.
* Remote] 'Solus, inops, exspes: leto pcenisque relictus.'
Ovid. Metam. xiv. 217. 'Exsul, inops erres, alienaque limina lustres,' &c.
Ovid. Ibis. 111. And compare Petrarch, Son. xxviii.
'Solo, e pensoso, i piu deserti campi Vo misurando a passi tardi, e lenti.' 'and drags] 'When I am with Florimel, it (my heart) is still your prisoner, it only draws a longer chain after it.' Cibber's Com. Lover, p. 249. 'I should of life's weary load complain, And, drown'd in tears, drag on the encumbering chain.' Blachmore's Arthur, p. 212.
Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend, And round his dwelling guardian saints attend; Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire To pause from toil, and trim their evening fire: Blest that abode, where want and pain repair, And every stranger finds a ready chair: Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crown'd, Where all the ruddy family around Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail, Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale; Or press the bashful stranger to his food, And learn the luxury of doing good.
But me, not destin'd such delights to share, My prime of life in wandering spent and care: Impell'd, with steps unceasing, to pursue Some fleeting good, that mocks me with the view; That, like the circle bounding earth and skies, Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies; My fortune leads to traverse realms alone, And find no spot of all the world my own.
E'en now, where Alpine solitudes ascend, I sit me down a pensive hour to spend; And, plac'd on high above the storm's career, Look downward where a hundred realms appear!
'The farther I travel, I feel the pain of separation with stronger force. Those ties that bind me to my native country and you are still unbroken; by every remove I only drag a greater length of chain.' Citizen of the World, vol. i. lett. 3.
Lakes, forests, cities, plains extending wide,
When thus creation's charms around combine,
As some lone miser, visiting his store, Bends at his treasure, counts, recounts it o'er; Hoards after hoards his rising raptures fill, Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still: Thus to my breast alternate passions rise, Pleas'd with each good that heaven to man supplies: Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall, To see the hoard of human bliss so small; And oft I wish, amidst the scene, to find Some spot to real happiness consign'd, Where my worn soul, each wandering hope at rest, May gather bliss to see my fellows blest.
But where to find that happiest spot below, Who can direct, when all pretend to know? The shuddering tenant of the frigid zone Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own; Extols the treasures of his stormy seas, And his long nights of revelry and ease; The naked negro, panting at the line, Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine, Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave, And thanks his gods for all the good they gave. Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam, His first, best country, ever is, at home. And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare, And estimate the blessings which they share, Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find An equal portion dealt to all mankind; As different good, by art or nature given, To different nations makes their blessings even.
Nature, a mother kind alike to all, Still grants her bliss at labour's earnest call; With food as well the peasant is supplied On Idra's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side; And though the rocky crested summits frown, These rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down. From art more various are the blessings sent; Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content. Yet these each other's power so strong contest, That either seems destructive of the rest. Where wealth and freedom reign,contentment fails;