Imagens das páginas

so I have always found it true, when I have watched myself. Lastly, after having again taken in the evening a few turns in my garden, or sung an air to my spinnet, I found in my bed repose of body and soul & hundred times sweeter than sleep itself.

These were the days that have made the true happiness of my lifea happiness without bitterness, without weariness, without regret, and to which I would willingly have limited my existence. Yes, sir, let such days as these fill up my eternity; I do not ask for others, nor imagine that I am much less happy in these exquisite contemplations than the heavenly spirits. But a suffering body deprives the mind of its liberty; henceforth I am not alone : I have a guest who importunes me; I must free myself of it to be myself. The trial that I have made of these sweet enjoyments serves only to make me with less alarm await the time when I shall taste them without interruption.

132.-MORNING. [The poets luxuriate in their descriptions of Morning and Evening. These descriptions belong more especially to the mornings and eveoings of Summer, when the breath of morn"

is sweet, and “the coming on of gentle evening" is "mild.”

First let us hear a quaint and simple old master sing the charms of Morning] :

The Sun, when he had spread his rays,
And showed his face ten thousand ways,
Ten thousand things do then begin
To show the life that they are in.
The heaven shows lively art and hue,
Of sundry shapes and colours new,
And laughs upon the earth ; anon,
The earth, as cold as any stone,
Wet in the tears of her own kind,
Gins then to take a joyful mind,
For well she feels that out and out
The sun doth warm her round about,
And dries her children tenderly,
And shows them forth full orderly-

The mountains high, and how they stand!
The valleys, and the great mainland !
The trees, the herbs, the towers strong,
The castles, and the rivers long.
And even for joy of this heat
She showeth forth her pleasures great,
And sleeps no more ; but sendeth forth
Her clergions; her own dear worth,
To mount and fly up to the air;
Where then they sing in order fair,
And tell in song full merrily
How they have slept full quietly
That night, about their mother's sides.
And when they have sung more besides,
Then fall they to their mother's breast,
Whereas they feed, or take their rest.
The hunter then sounds out his horn,
And rangeth straight through wood and corn.
On hills then shew the ewe and lamb,
And every young one with his dam.
Then lovers walk, and tell their tale,
Both of their bliss, and of their bale;
And how they serve, and how they do,
And how their lady loves them too.
Then tune the birds their harmony;
Then flock the fowl in company;
Then everything doth pleasure find
In that, that comforts all their kind. —SURREY.

Cowley's Hymn to Light' is a noble performance, from which we extract a few stanzas :

First-born of Chaos, who so fair didst come
From the old Negro's darksome womb;
Which when it saw the lovely child,
The melancholy mass put on kind looks, and smiled,
Thou tide of glory which no rest doth know,
But ever ebb and ever flow!

Thou golden show'r of a true Jove!
Who does in thee descend, and heaven to earth make love!
Hail! active Nature's watchful life and health !
Her joy, her ornament, and wealth!
Hail to thy husband, Heat, and thee !
Thou the world's beauteous bride! the lusty bridegroom he!
Say, from what golden quivers of the sky
Do all thy winged arrows fly?
Swiftness and Power by birth are thine ;
From thy great Sire they come—thy Sire, the Word Divine.
Thou, in the moon's bright chariot, proud and gay,
Dost thy bright wood of stars survey,
And all the year dost with thee bring
Of thousand flow'ry lights thine own nocturnal spring.
Thou, Scythian-like, dost round thy lands above
The Sun's gilt tent for ever move,
And still, as thou in pomp


go, The shining pageants of the world attend thy show. The dramatic Lyrists, Shakspere and Fletcher, have painted some of the characteristics of Morning with rainbow hues :

Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchymy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace.-SHAKSPERE.
Lo! here the gentle lark, weary of rest,
From his moist cabinet mounts up on high,
And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast
The sun ariseth in his majesty;
Who doth the world so gloriously behold,
The cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold.


[ocr errors]

See, the day begins to break
And the light shoots like a streak
Of subtile fire; the wind blows cold,
While the morning doth unfold;
Now the birds begin to rouse,
And the squirrel from the boughs
Leaps, to get him nuts and fruit;
The early lark, that erst was mute,
Carols to the rising day
Many a note and many a lay.-FLETCHER.

Shepherds, rise, and shake off sleep!
See, the blushing morn doth peep
Through the windows, while the sun
To the mountain-tops is run,
Gilding all the vales below
With his rising flames, which grow
Greater by his climbing still.
Up, ye lazy grooms, and fill
Bag and bottle for the field!
Clasp your cloaks fast, lest they yield
To the bitter north-east wind;
Call the maidens up, and find
Who lays longest, that she may
Go without a friend all day;
Then reward your dogs, and pray
Pan to keep you from decay:
So unfold, and then away!--FIETCHER.

After these, the modern sonnet sounds somewhat tame :

'Tis not alone a bright and streaky sky

Soul-cheering warmth--a spicy air serene-
Fair peeping flowers, nor dews that on them lie-

Nor sunny breadths topping the forest green-
That make the charm of Morning :-thoughts as high,

As meek, and pure, live in that tranquil scene,
Whether it meet the rapt and wakeful eye

In vapoury clouds, or tints of clearest sheen.



If to behold, or hear, all natural things

In general gladness hail the blessèd light

Herds lowing—birds sporting with devious flight,
And tiny swarms spreading their powdery wings-
And every herb with dewy shoots up-springing -
If these be joys, such joys the Morn is ever bringing.–ANON

We may fitly conclude with Milton's noble Hymn :

So cheer'd he his fair spouse, and she was cheerd,
But silently a gentle tear let fall
From either eye, and wiped them with her hair ;
Two other precious drops that ready stood,
Each in their crystal sluice, he, ere they fell,
Kiss'd, as the gracious signs of sweet remorse
And pious awe, that fear'd to have offended.
So all was clear'd, and to the field they haste.
But first, from under shady arb'rous roof,
Soon as they forth were come to open sight
Of day-spring, and the sun, who scarce up-risen,
With wheels yet hovering o'er the ocean brim,
Shot parallel to the earth his dewy ray,
Discovering in wide landscape all the east
Of Paradise, and Eden's happy plains,
Lowly they bow'd, adoring, and began
Their orisons, each morning duly paid
In various style; for neither various style
Nor holy rapture wanted they to praise
Their Maker, in fit strains pronounced or sung
Unmeditated, such prompt eloquence
Flow'd from their lips, in prose or numerous verse,
More tuneable than needed lute or harp
To add more sweetness; and they thus began :-

These are thy glorious works, Parent of Good,
Almighty; thine this universal frame,
Thus wond'rous fair; thyself how wondrous then!
Unspeakable, who sitt'st above these heavens
To us invisible, or dimly seen
In these thy lowest works; yet these declare

« AnteriorContinuar »