Imagens das páginas

See Nature hastes her earliest wreathes to bring 6,
With all the incense of the breathing spring;
See 7 lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance :
See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies !
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers 8;
Prepare the way!! a God, a God appears !

IMITATIONS. 6 Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 18.

At tibi prima, puer, nullo minuscula cultu,
Errantes bederas passim cum baccare tellus
Mixtaque ridenti colocasia fundet acantho

Ipsa tibi blandos fundeut cunabula flores. . For thee, o child, shall the earth, without being tilled, produce her early offerings ; wipding ivy, mixed with baccar, and colocasia, with smiling acanthus. Tby cradle shall pour forth pleasing flowers, about thee.'

Isaiah, ch. xxxv. ver. 1. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoicc and blossom as the rose.'-Ch. lx. ver. 13 : “ The glory of Lebanon shall come onto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of thy sanctuary.'

7 Chap. xxxv. ver. 2.
8 Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 46.

Aggredere o magvos, aderit jam tempus, honores,
Cara deum soboles, magnum Jovis incrementum
Ipsi lætitia voces ad sidera jactant
Intonsi montes, ipsæ jam carmina rupes,
Ipsa sonant arbusta, Deus, Deus ille Menalca!

Ecl. v. ver. 62. • O come and receive the mighty honours : the time draws nigh, ( beloved offspring of the Gods, Ogreat increase of Jove! The uncultivated mountains sevd shouts of joy to the stars, the very rocks sing in verse, the very shrubs cry out, A God, a God!

Isaiah, chap. xl. ver. 3, 4. "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord ! make straight

A God, a God! the vocal hills reply;
The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity. .
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down ye mountains, and ye vallies, rise ;
With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay ;
Be smooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes, by ancient bards foretold:
Hear him ", ye dead, and all ye blind behold!
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on tlie sightless eye-ball pour the day :
'Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm the unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world skall hear,
From every face he wipes off every tear.
In " adamantine chains shall Death be bound,
And Hell's grim tyrant feel the eternal wound.
As the good shepherd " tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture and the purest air,
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects;
The tender lambs he raises in his arms,
Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms;
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promis'd fatlier 13 of the future age.

IMITATIONS. in the desert a high way for our God! Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and bill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.'

Chap. iv. ver. 23: Break forth into singing, ye mountains. , O forest, and every tree therein ! for the Lord bath redeemned Israel.'

9 Isa. xl. ver. 3, 4. i 10 Ch. xliii. ver. 18. Ch. XXXV. ver. 5. 6. 11 Ch. xxv. ver 8.

12 Ch. xl. ver. 11. 13 Ch. ix, ver. 6.

No more shall '4 nation against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more ;
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad falchion in a ploughshare end.
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful 's son
Shall finish what his short-liv'd sire begun;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sow'd shall reap the field.
The swain in barren 16 deserts with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sndden verdure rise '7;
And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear
New falls of water murmuriug in his ear.
On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes,
The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods.
Waste 18 sandy vallies, once perplex'd with thorn,
The spiry fir and shapely box adorn;
14 Isa. ii. ver. 4.

15 Ch. Ixv. ver. 21, 22. 16 Ch. xxxv. ver. 1. 7.

IMITATIONS. 17 Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 28.

Molli paulatim flavescet campus arista,
Incultisque rubens pendebit sentibns uya,

Et doræ quercus sudabunt roscida mella. “The fields shall grow yellow with ripened ears, and the red grape sball bang apon the wild brambles, and the bard oaks shall distil honey like dew.'

Isaiah, chap. XXXV. ver. 7. 'The parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water : in the habitation where dragons lay, shall be grass, and reeds, and rushes.-Chap. Iv. ver. 13: Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree:

18 Ch. xli. ver. ig. and Ch. lv, ver. 13.

To leafless shrubs the flowering palns succeed,
And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed. [mead,
The lambs '9 with wolves shall graze the verdant
And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead 20;

The steer and lion at ove crib shall meet,
And harmless serpents 21 lick the pilgrim's feet;
The smiling infant in his hand shall take
The crested basilisk and speckled spake,
Pleas'd, the green lustre of the scales survey, .
And with their forky tongue shall innocently play.
Rise crown'd with light, imperial Salem 22, rise 23 !
Exalt thy towery head, and lift thy eyes!
19 Jsa. xi. ver. 6, 7, 8.

Virg. Ecl. iv. ver. 21.

Lpsæ lacte domum referent distenta capella
Ubera, nec magnos metuent armenta leones-
Occidet et serpens, et fallax herba veneni

Occidet. • The goats shall bear to the fold their udders distended with inilk : nor shall the herds be afraid of the greatest lions. The serpent shall die, and the herb that conceals poison shall die.'

Isaiah, chap. xi. ver. 16, &c. "The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard sball lie down with the kid, and the calf, and the young lion, and the falling together; and a little child shall lead them.--And the liou shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the den of the cockatrice. 21 Ch. Ixv, ver. 25.

22 Ch. Ix. ver, 1. .. 23 The thoughts of Isaiah, which compose the latter part of the poem, are wonderfully elevated, and much above those general exclamations of Virgil, which make the loftiest parts of bis Pollio.

Magnus ab integro sæclorum nascitur ordo!

toto surget gens aurea mando!
-incipient magai procedere menses !

Adspice, veuturo lætentur ut omnia sæcio ! &c. The reader needs only to turn to the passages of Isaiah here cited.

See a long race 24 thy spacious courts adorn;
See future sons and daughters yet unborn,
In crowding ranks op every side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies!
See barbarous nations 25 at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend;
See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings,
And heap'd with products of Sabæan 26 springs!
For thee Idume's spicy forests blow,
And seeds of gold in Opbir's mountains glow.
See Heaven its sparkling portals wide display,
And break upon thee in a flood of day.
No more the rising sun 27 shall gild the morn,
Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn;
But lost, dissolv'd in thy superior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
O'erflow thy courts : the light himself shall shine
Reveal'd, and God's eternal day be thine!
The seas 28 shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away;
But fix'd his word, bis saving pow'r remains
Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own Messías reigns !

24 Tsa. IX. ver. 4. 25 Ch. Ix. ver, 3.
26 Ch. la. ver. 6. 27 Ch. lx. ver. 19, 20.
28 Ch. li. ver. 6, and Ch. liv. ver. 10.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »