Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

PRAISE OF SECLUSION AND RETIREMENT.

0, blest seclusion from a jarring world, Which he, thus occupied, enjoys! Retreat Cannot indeed to guilty man restore Lost innocence, or cancel follies past; But it has peace, and much secures the mind From all assaults of evil ; proving still A faithful barrier, not o'erleaped with ease By vicious custom, raging uncontrolled Abroad, and desolating public life. When fierce temptation, seconded within By traitor appetite, and armed with darts Tempered in hell, invades the throbbing breast, To combat may be glorious, and success Perhaps may crown us ; but to fly is safe. Had I the choice of sublunary good, What could I wish, that I possess not here? (peace, Health, leisure, means to improve it, friendship, No loose or wanton, though a wandering, muse, And constant occupation without care.

Stript of her ornaments, her leaves and flowers,
She loses all her influence. Cities then
Attract us, and neglected nature pines
Abandoned, as unworthy of our love.
But are not wholesome airs, though unperfumed
By roses ; and clear suns, though scarcely felt;
And groves, if unharmonious, yet secure
From clamor, and whose very silence charms -
To be preferred to smoke, to the eclipse,
That metropolitan volcanoes make,
Whose Stygian throats breathe darkness all day long;
And to the stir of commerce, driving slow,
And thundering loud, with his ten thousand wheels ?

DEGENERACY BOTY A CAUSE AND AN EFFECT OF A DISTASTE

FOR RCRAL LIFE.

DISSIPATED MINDS CANNOT ENJOY SECLUSION.

They would be, were not madness in the head, And folly in the heart ; were England now, What England was, plain, hospitable, kind, And undebauched. But we have bid farewell To all the virtues of those better days, And all their honest pleasures. Mansions once Knew their own masters ; and laborious hinds, Who had survived the father, served the son. Now the legitimate and rightful lord Is but a transient guest, newly arrived, As soon to be supplanted.

Thus blessed I draw a picture of that bliss ; Hopeless, indeed, that dissipated minds, And profligate abusers of a world Created fair so much in vain for them, Should seek the guiltless joys that I describe, Allured by my report : but sure no less, That self-condemned they must neglect the prize, And what they will not taste must yet approve. What we admire we praise ; and, when we praise, Advance it into notice, that, its worth Acknowledged, others may admire it too. I therefore recommend, though at the risk Of popular disgust, yet boldly still, The cause of piety and sacred truth, And virtue, and those scenes, which God ordained Should best secure them, and promote them most ; Scenes that I love, and with regret perceive Forsaken, or through folly not enjoyed.

SQUANDERING OF FAMILY ESTATES. — GAMBLING.

He, that saw His patrimonial timber cast its leaf, Sells the last scantling and transfers the price To some shrewd sharper, ere it buds again. Estates are landscapes, gazed upon a while, Then advertised, and auctioneered away. [charged The country starves, and they, that feed the o'erAnd surfeited, lewd town with her fair dues, By a just judgment strip and starve themselves. The wings, that waft our riches out of sight, Grow on the gamester's elbows; and the alert And nimble motion of those restless joints, That never tire, soon fans them all away.

ALL MAY SHARE IN NATURE'S CHARMS. VASHTI.

FASHIONABLE COUNTRY PALACES.-MR. CAPABILITY BROWN.'

Pure is the nymph, though liberal of her smiles,
And chaste, though unconfined, whom I extol.
Not as the prince in Shushan, when he called,
Vain-glorious of her charms, his Vashti forth,
Το

grace the full pavilion. His design
Was but to boast his own peculiar good,
Which all might view with envy, none partake.
My charmer is not mine alone ; my sweets,
And she that sweetens all my bitters too,
Nature, enchanting nature, in whose form
And lineaments divine I trace a hand
That errs not, and find raptures still renewed,
Is free to all men – universal prize.

Improvement too, the idol of the age, Is fed with many a victim. Lo, he comes ! The omnipotent magician, Brown, appears ! Down falls the venerable pile, the abode Of our forefathers- - a grave whiskered race, But tasteless. Springs a palace in its stead, But in a distant spot ; where more exposed It may enjoy the advantage of the north, And aguish east, till time shall have transformed Those naked acres to a sheltering grove. — He speaks. The lake in front becomes a lawn ; Woods vanish, hills subside, and valleys rise ; And streams, as if created for his use, Pursue the track of his directing wand, Sinuous or straight, now rapid and now slow, Now murmuring soft, now roaring in cascades — Even as he bids! The enraptured owner smiles.

NATURE ADMIRABLE EVEN WHEN NOT IN BLOOM. - TOWN

AND COUNTRY.

Strange that so fair a creature should yet want Admirers, and be destined to divide With meaner objects e'en the few she finds !

BANKRUPTCY THROUGH BUILDING

'Tis finished, and yet, finished as it seems, Still wants a grace, the loveliest it could show, A mind to satisfy the enormous cost. Drained to the last poor item of his wealth, He sighs, departs, and leaves the accomplished plan, That he has touched, retouched, many a long day Labored, and many a night pursued in dreams, Just when it meets his hopes, and proves the heaven He wanted, — for a wealthier to enjoy! THE RUINED BUILDER BECOMES THE POLITICAL PROFLIGATE.

-OFFICE-SEEKERS. And now perhaps the glorious hour is come, When, having no stake left, no pledge to endear Her interests, or that gives her sacred cause A moment's operation on his love, He burns with most intense and flagrant zeal To serve his country. Ministerial grace Deals him out money from the public chest ; Or, if that mine be shut, some private purse Supplies his need with an usurious loan, To be refunded duly, when his vote Well managed shall have earned its worthy price.

Of pleasure and variety, despatch,
As duly as the swallows disappear,
The world of wandering knights and squires to town.
London ingulfs them all! The shark is there,
And the shark's prey; the spendthrift, and the leech
That sucks him : there the sycophant, and he
Who, with bareheaded and obsequious bows,
Begs a warm office, doomed to a cold jail
And groat per diem, if his patron frown.
The levee swarms, as if in golden pomp
Were charactered on every statesman's door,
Battered and bankrupt fortunes mended here.'
These are the charms that sully and eclipse
The charms of nature. 'T is the cruel gripe
That lean, hard-handed poverty inflicts,
The hope of better things, the chance to win,
The wish to shine, the thirst to be amused,
That at the sound of Winter's hoary wing
Unpeople all our counties of such herds
Of fluttering, loitering, cringing, begging, loose,
And wanton vagrants, as make London, vast
And boundless as it is, a crowded coop.

APOSTROPHE TO LONDON.

HIGHWAY ROBBERY NOT SO BAD AS POLITICAL CORRUPTION.

O innocent, compared with arts like these, Crape, and cocked pistol, and the whistling ball Sent through the traveller's temples ! He, that finds One drop of Heaven's sweet mercy in his cup, Can dig, beg, rot, and perish, well content, So he may wrap himself in honest rags At his last gasp ; but could not, for a world, Fish up his dirty and dependent bread From pools and ditches of the commonwealth, Sordid and sickening at his own success.

O thou, resort and mart of all the earth! Checkered with all complexions of mankind, And spotted with all crimes ; in whom I see Much that I love, and more that I admire, And all that I abhor; thou freckled fair, That pleasest and yet shockest me, I can laugh, And I can weep, can hope, and can despond, Feel wrath, and pity, when I think on thee ! Ten righteous would have saved a city once, And thou hast many righteous. — Well for thee That salt preserves thee ; more corrupted else, And therefore more obnoxious, at this hour, Than Sodom, in her day, had power to be, For whom God heard his Abraham plead in vain.

WHAT CAUSES PEOPLE LONDON ; A MORAL CESS-POOL.

Ambition, avarice, penury incurred By endless riot, vanity, the lust

[graphic]

Pastorals for May.

AIKIN'S “WISH.”

Then let it be ever the chief of my art
To foster a generous glow in my heart;
Give way to effusions of friendship and love,
And the palsy of age from my bosom remove.
My boys and their spouses, my girl and her mate,
Shall come when they please, and ne'er knock at the

gate ;
And at Christmas we'll revel in mirth and good cheer,
Though we live poorer for it the rest of the year.
An old friend from the town shall sometimes take a
And spend the day with me in sociable talk ; (walk,
We'll discuss knotty matters, compare what we've

read, And, warmed with a bottle, move gayly to bed.

When evenings grow long, and we're gloomy at

home, To vary the scene, 'mongst my neighbors I'll roam; See how the world passes, collect all the news, And return with a load of new books and reviews.

AN IDYL. Though time has not sprinkled his frost on my head, Yet some of its blossoming honors are shed ; And I hope I remember, without being told, If we live long enough, that we all must grow old. So let me set down in a humor for musing, Since nothing is easier than wishing and choosing, And gravely consider what life I'd commence, Should I reach to some fifteen or twenty years hence. The young ones swarmed out, and all likely to thrive, And something still left to maintain the old hive ; I'd retire with my dame to a vill of my own, Where we'd nestle together, like Darby and Joan. On the slope of a hillock be placed my retreat, With a wood at the back, and a stream at its feet; In front be a meadow, rich, verdant, and gay, Where my horse and a cow may find pasture and hay. A garden, be sure, I must not be without, With walls or high hedges well fenced all about, All blushing with fruit, and all fragrant with flowers, With dry gravel-walks, and with sweet, shady bowers. For my house, if ’t is lightsome and roomy and warm, Fit to take in a friend, and to keep out a storm, I care not a straw whether brick, stone, or plaster; And if 't is old-fashioned, why, so is the master. Of poultry and pigeons 't is needless to speak, How my geese they shall cackle, my sucking-pigs All this is essential to good country fare ; [squeak; And 't is not my intention to live upon air. So much for externals ; – and now to myself, A thing more important than dainties and pelf ; For it signifies littlo how clever the plan, If the source of enjoyment be not in the man. Unambitious by nature, pacific and cool, I have not many turbulent passions to rule, And, when rightly matured by reflection and age, I may put on the semblance, at least, of a sage. But let me beware lest I sink, in the close, Too soon in the arms of lethargic repose, My heart void of feeling, of fancy my head, And to each warm emotion as cold as the dead. O sweet sensibility! soul of the soul ! Ill purchased the wisdoin that thee must control : Of thy kindly spirit when once we ’re bereft, In life there is nothing worth living for left.

In short, 't is the sum of my wish and desire,
That cheerfulness ever my breast should inspire ;
Let my purse become light, and my liquor run dry,
So my stock of good spirits hold out till I die.
I have nothing to ask in the finishing scene,
But a conscience approving, a bosom serene,
To rise from life's banquet a satisfied guest,
Thank the Lord of the feast, and in hope go to rest.

MOSCHUS'S “ CHOICE."

AN IDYL.

TRANSLATED BY J. M. CHAPMAN, M.A.

When on the wave the breeze soft kisses flings,

I rouse my fearful heart, and long to be

Floating at leisure on the tranquil sea ; But when the hoary ocean loudly rings, Arches his foamy back, and spooming swings

Wave upon wave, his angry swell I flee :

Then welcome land and sylvan shade to me, Where, if a gale blows, still the pine-tree sings. Hard is his life whose nets the ocean sweep,

A bark his house, shy fish his slippery prey ; But sweet to me the unsuspicious sleep

Beneath a leafy palm, — the fountain's play, That babbles idly, or whose tones, if deep,

Delight the rural ear, and not affray.

Somerville's

May Games."

HOBBINOL, OR RURAL GAMES.

A BURLESQUE POEM.

1

CANTO I.

ARGUMENT.

On whose luxuriant banks flowers of all hues
Start up spontaneous, and the teeming soil
With hasty shoots prevents its owner's prayer :
The pampered wanton steer, of the sharp axe
Regardless, that o'er his devoted head
Hangs menacing, crops his delicious bane,
Nor knows the price is life ; with envious eye
His laboring yoke-fellow beholds his plight,
And deems him blest, while on his languid neck,
In solemn sloth, he tugs the lingering plough.
So blind are mortals, of each other's state
Misjudging, self-deceived.

Proposition. Invocation to Mr. John Philips, author of the

Cider' poem. Description of the vale of Evesham. The seat of Hobbinol. Hobbinol, a great man in his village, seated in his wicker chair, smoking his pipe, has one only son. Young Hobbinol's education ; bred up with Ganderetta, his near relation. Young Hobbinol and Ganderetta chosen King and Queen of May. Her dress and attendants. The May-games. Twangdillo, the fiddler ; his character. The dancing. Ganderetta's extraordinary performance. Bagpipes good music in the Highlands. Milonides, master of the ring, disciplines the mob ; he proclaims the several prizes. His speech. Pastorel takes up the belt. His character, heroic figure, and confidence. Hobbinol, by permission of Ganderetta, accepts the challenge, and vaults into the ring. His honorable behavior. Escapes a scowering. Ganderetta's agony. Pastorel foiled. Ganderetta not a little pleased.

SQUIRE HOBBINOL.

Here, as supreme, Stern Hobbinol in rural plenty reigns O'er wide-extended fields, his large domain. The obsequious villagers [him mark] submiss, Observant of his eye, or when with seed To impregnate earth's fat womb, or when to bring With clam'rous joy the bearded harvest home.

INVOCATION TO PHILIPS.

What old Menalcas at his feast revealed I sing, strange feats of ancient prowess, deeds Of high renown, — while all his listening guests With eager joy received the pleasing tale.

O thou !? who late on Vaga's flowery banks Slumbering secure, with stirom 3 well bedewed, Fallacious cask, in sacred dreams wert taught By ancient seers and Merlin, prophet old, To raise ignoble themes with strains sublime,Be thou my guide ; while I thy track pursue With wing unequal, through the wide expanso Adventurous range, and emulate thy flights.

HIS WICKER CHAIR; ALE ; PIPE ; SLOTH AXD POMP. Here, when the distant sun lengthens the nights, When the keen frosts the shivering farmer warn To broach his mellow cask, and frequent blasts Instruct the crackling billets how to blaze, In his warm wicker-chair, whose pliant twigs In close-embraces joined, with spacious arch Vault this thick-woven roof, the bloated churl Loiters in state ; each arm reclined is propped With yielding pillows of the softest down. In mind composed, from short coëval tube He sucks the vapors bland ; thick curling clouds Of smoke around his reeking temples play ; Joyous he sits, and impotent of thought Puffs away care and sorrow from his heart. How vain the pomp of kings ! look down, ye great, And view with envious eye the downy nest, Where soft repose and calm contentment dwell, Unbribed by wealth and unrestrained by power.

EVESHAM - THE COUNTRY SQUIRE'S HOMESTEAD. — A COM

MON MISTAKE OF CATTLE AND MEN. In that rich vale, 4 where with Dobunian fields,5 Cornavian 6 borders meet, far-famed of old For Montfort's 7 hapless fate, undaunted earl ; Where from her fruitful urn Avona 8 pours Her kindly torrent on the thirsty glebe, And pillages the hills to enrich the plains ;

1 This poem is intended, says the author, in his preface, as a satire against the luxury, pride, wantonness, and quarrelsome temper, of the middling sort of people. These he deems the sources of that barefaced knavery, and almost universal poverty, which reign without control;' the causes of our many bankrupt farmers, our trade decayed, and lands uncultivated.' He adds, . Perhaps this merry way of bantering men into virtue may liave a better effect than the most serious admonitions ; since many, who are proud to be thought immoral, are not very fond of being ridiculous.'

2 Mr. John Philips. 2 Strong Herefordshire cider. 4 The vale of Evesham. 5 Gloucestershire, England. 6 Worcestershire.

7 The famous Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, killed at the battle of Evesham. 8 The river Avon.

HIS FAMILY ; A SON AND NIECE. One son alone had blest his bridal bed, Whom good Calista bore ; nor long survived To share a mother's joys, but left the babe To his paternal care. An orphan niece, Near the same time, his dying brother sent To claim his kind support. The helpless pair In the same cradle slept, nursed up with care By the same tender hand, on the same breasts Alternate hung with joy ; till reason dawned, And a new light broke out by slow degrees.

CHILDHOOD AND FATHERHOOD.

CANDERETTA.

THE FIDDLER A WARWORN SOLDIER.

MAY-DAY.

Leans on his wealthy master unreproved : Then on the floor the pretty wantons played,

The sick no pains can feel, no wants the poor. Gladding the farmer's heart with growing hopes

Round his fond mother's neck the smiling babe And pleasures erst unfelt. Whene'er with cares Exulting clings ; hard by, decrepid age, Oppressed, when wearied, or alone he dozed,

Propped on his staff, with anxious thought resolres Their harmless prattle soothed his troubled soul. His pleasures past, and casts his grave remarks Say, Hobbinol, what ecstasies of joy

Among the heedless throng. The vigorous youth Thrilled through thy veins, when, climbing for a kiss, Strips for the combat, hopeful to subdue With little palms they stroked thy grisly beard, The fair one's long disdain ; by valor now Or round thy wicker whirled their rattling cars ! Glad to convince her coy, erroneous heart,

And prove his merit equal to her charms. YOUTH AND LOVE; HOBBINOL, JR., AND HIS FAIR COUSIN,

Soft pity pleads his cause ; blushing she views

His brawny limbs, and his undaunted eye, Thus from their earliest days bred up, and trained

That looks a proud defiance on his foes. To mutual fondness, with their stature grew

Resolved and obstinately firın he stands ; The thriving passion. What love can decay

Danger nor death he fears, while the rich prize That roots so deep! Now ripening manhood curled

Is victory and love.
On the gay stripling's chin : her panting breasts,
And trembling blushes glowing on her cheeks,
Her secret wish betrayed. She at each mart

On the large bough
All eyes attracted ; but her faithful shade,

Of a thick-spreading elm Twangdillo sits : Young Hobbinol, ne'er wandered from her side.

One leg on Ister's banks the hardy swain A frown from him dashed every rival's hopes.

Left, undismayed ; Bellona's lightning scorched For he, like Peleus' son, was prone to rage,

His manly visage, but in pity left Inexorable, swift like him of foot,

One eye secure. He many a painful bruise With ease could overtake his dastard foe,

Intrepid felt, and many a gaping wound,
Nor spared the suppliant wretch.

For brown Kate's sake, and for his country's weal :
Yet still the merry bard without regret

Bears his own ills ; and with his sounding shell,
And now approached
Those merry days, when all the nymphs and swains, Hark, from aloft his tortured catgut squeals,

And comic phiz, relieves his drooping friends. In solemn festivals and rural sports,

He tickles every string, to every note Pay their glad homage to the blooming Spring.

He bends his pliant neck, his single eye Young Hobbinol by joint consent is raised

Twinkles with joy, his active stump beats time : To imperial dignity, and in his hand

Let but this subtle artist softly touch Bright Ganderetta tripped the jovial queen

The trembling chords, the faint, expiring swain Of Maia's gaudy month, profuse of flowers.

Trembles no less, and the fond, yielding maid
THE QUEEN OF THE MAY.

Is tweedled into love.
From cach enamelled mead, the attendant nymphs
Loaded with odorous spoils, from these select

See with what pomp
Each flower of gorgeous dye, and garlands weave

The gaudy bands advance in trim array ! Of parti-colored sweets ; each busy hand

Love beats in every vein, from every eye Adorns the jocund queen : in her loose hair,

Darts his contagious flames. They frisk, they bound; That to the winds in wanton ringlets plays,

Now to brisk airs, and to the speaking strings The tufted cowslips breathe their faint perfumes.

Attentive, in mid way the sexes meet; On her refulgent brow, as crystal clear,

Joyous their adverse fronts they close, and press As Parian marble smooth, Narcissus hangs

To strict embrace, as resolute to force His drooping head, and views his image there —

And storm a passage to each other's heart : Unhappy flower! Pansies of various hue,

Till by the varying notes forewarned, they back Iris, and hyacinth, and asphodel,

Recoil disparted : each with longing eyes To deck the nymph their richest liveries wear,

Pursues his mate retiring, till again And lavish all their pride. Not Flora's self

The blended sexes mix ; then hand in hand More lovely smiles, when to the dawning year

Fast locked, around they fly, or nimbly wheel Her opening bosom heavenly fragrance breathes.

In mazes intricate. The jocund troop, THE GATHERING UPON THE LAWN ; INFANCY AND AGE ;

Pleased with their grateful toil, incessant shake

Their uncouth, brawny limbs, and knock their heels See on yon verdant lawn the gathering crowd Sonorous ; down each brow the trickling balm Thickens amain; the buxom nymphs advance In torrents flows, exhaling sweets refresh Ushered by jolly clowns : distinctions cease,

The gazing crowd, and heavenly fragrance fills Lost in the common joy, and the bold slave

The circuit wide. So danced in days of yore,

THE MAY-DAY DANCE. ORPHECS.

SWEETHEARTS AND CHAMPIONS.

« AnteriorContinuar »