« AnteriorContinuar »
His youthful face grew more serenely sweet;
His robe turn'd white, and flow'd upon his feet;
Fair rounds of radiant points invest his hair ;
Celestial odors breathe through purpled air ;
And wings, whose colours glitter'd on the day,
Wide at his back, their gradual plumes display.
The form etherial bursts upon his sight;
And moves in all the majesty of light.
Though loud, at first, the pilgrim's passion grew,
Sudden he gaz'd, and wist not what to do ;
Surprise, in secret chains, his words suspends ;
And, in a calm, his settled temper ends.
But silence here the beauteous angel broke :
The voice of music ravish'd as he spoke :
Thy pray'r, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown,
In sweet memorial rise before the throne,
These charms success in our bright region find.
And force an angel down to calm thy mind.
For this commissioned, I forsook the sky;
Nay, cease to kneel, thy felloù servant 1.
Then know the truth of government divine,
And let these scruples be no longer thine.
The Maker justly claims that world he made;
In this the right of Providence is laid ;
Its sacred majesty, through all depends
On using second means to work his ends,
"Tis thus, withdrawn in state from human eye,
The Pow'r exerts his attributes on high ;
Your actions uses, nor controls your will,
And bids the doubting sons of men be still.
What strange events can strike with more surprise,
Than those which lately struck thy wond'ring eyes?
Yet taught by thèse, confess th’ Almighty just,
And, where you can't unriddle, learn to trust.
The great, vain man, who far'd on costly food ! Whose life was too luxurious to be good! Who made his ivory stands with goblets shine, And forc'd his guests to morning draughts of wine ; Has, with the cup, the graceless custom lost, And still he weleomes, but with less of cost.
The mean suspicious wretch, whose bolted door Ne'er moy'd in pity to the wand'ring poor; With him I left the cup, to teach his mind, That Heav'n can bless, if mortals will be kind. Conscious of wanting worth, he views the bowl, And feels compassion touch his grateful soul. Thus artists melt the sullen ore of lead, With heaping coals of fire upon its head : In the kind warmth, the metal learns to glow, And loose from dross, the silver runs below.
Long had our pious friend in virtue trod, But now, the child half wean’d his heart from God;
(Child of his age) for him he liv'd in pain,
And measur'd back his steps to earth again,
To what excesses had his dotage run ?
But God, to save the father, took the son.
To all, but thee, in fits he seem'd to go,
And 'twas my ministry to deal the blow.
The poor fond parent, humbled in the dust,
Now owns in tears, the punishment was just.
But how had all his fortune felt a wreck,
Had that false servant sped in safety back?
This night his treasur'd heaps he meant to steal,
And what a fund of charity would fail ?
Thus Heay'n instructs thy mind. This trial o'er, Depart in peace, resign, and sin no more.
On sounding pinions here the youth withdrew,
The sage stood wond'ring as the seraph flew.
Thus look'd Elisha, when to mount on high,
His master took the chariot of the sky:
The fiery pomp, ascending, left the view ;
The prophet gaz'd, and wish'd to follow too.
The bending hermit here a pray'r begun :
“ Lord, as in Heav'n, on earth thy will be done."
Then, gladly turning, sought his ancient place,
And pass'd a life of piety and peace.
IX.--On the Death of Mrs. Mason.
TAKE, holy earth! all that my soul holds dear ;
Take that best gift, which Heav'n so lately gave ; To Bristol's fount i bore, with trembling care,
Her faded form. She bow'd to taste the waveAnd died. Does youth, does beauty read the line?
Does sympathetic fear their breasts alarmn! Speak, dead Maria ! breathe a strain divine ;
E'en from the grave thou shalt have pow'r to charm. Bid them be chaste, be innocent like thee;
Bid them in duty's sphere, as meekly move : And if as fair, from vanity as free,
As firm in friendship, and as fond in love ; Tell them, though 'tis an awful thing to die,
('Twas e'en to thee) yet the dread path once tród, Heav'n lifts its everlasting portals high, And bids the “pure in heart behold their God."
X.-Extract from the Temple of Fame. AROUND these wonders as I cast a look, The trumpet sounded and the temple shook; And all the nations summon'd at the call, From different quarters fill the spacious hall. Of various tongues the mingled sounds were heard? In various garbs promiscuous throngs appearid:
Millions of suppliant crowds the shrine attend,
And all degrees before the goddess bend :
T'he poor, the rich, the valiant and the sage,
And boasting youth, and narrative old age.
First, at the shrine, the learned world appear,
And to the goddess thus prefer their prayer:
" Long have we sought t' instruct and please mankind,
With studies pale, and midnight vigils blind:
But thankid by few, rewarded yet by none,
We here appeal to thy superior throne ;
On wit' and learning the just prize bestow,
For fame is all we must expect below."
The goddess heard, and bid the inuses raise
The golden trumpet of eternal praise.
From pole to pole the winds diffuse the sound,
And fill the circuit of the world around :
Not all at once, as thunder breaks the cloud,
The notes at first were rather sweet than loud :
By just degrees they every moment rise,
Spread round the earth, and gain upon the skies.
Next these, the good and just, an awful train, Thus on their knees, address the sacred fane : “ Since living virtue is with envy curs'd, And the best men are treated as the worst, Do thou, just goddess, call our merits forth, And give each deed th' exact intrinsic worth." ** Not with bare justice shall your acts be crown'd, (Said Fame) but high above desert renown'd, Let fuller notes th’applauding world amaze, And the loud clarion labour in your praise.”
0! let us still the sacred joy partake,
To follow virtue, e'en for virtue's sake."
“ And live there men who slight immortal fame?
Who, then, with incense shall adore our name?
But, mortals know, 'tis still our greatest pride,
To blaze those virtues which the good would hide.
rise! add all your tuneful breath,
These must not sleep in darkness and in death,”
She said. In air the trembling music floats,
And on the winds triumphant swell the notes ;
So soft, though high ; so loud, and yet so clear,
E'en list’ning angels lean from heaven to heari
To farthest shores the ambrosial spirit flies,
Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies.
XI.-Panegyric on Great Britain.
HEAVENS ! what a goodly prospect spreads around,
Of hills, and dales, and woods, and lawns, and spires,
And glittring towns, and gilded streams, till all
The stretching landscape into smoke decays !
Happy Britannia! where the Queen of Arts,
Inspiring vigor, Liberty, abroad
Walks, unconfin'd even to thy farthest cots,
And scatters plenty with unsparing hand.
Rich is thy soil, and merciful thy clime;
Thy streams unfailing in the summer's drought,
Unmatch'd thy guardian oaks; thy vallies float
With golden waves ; and on thy mountains, flocks
Bleat numberles9 ; while roving round their sides,
Bellow the black’ning herds in lusty droves.
Beneath, thy meadows glow, and rise unequall'd
Against the mower's scythe. On every band
Thy villas shine. Thy country teems with wealth,
And property assures it to the swain,
Pleas'd and unwearied in his guarded toil.
Full are thy cities with the sons of art.
And trade and joy, in every busy street,
Mingling are heard ! even drudgery himself,
As at the car he sweats, or, dusty, hews
The palace stone, looks gay. The crowded ports,
Where rising masts, an endless prospect yield,
With labour burn, and echo to the shouts
Of hurried sailor, as he hearty waves
His last adieu, and loosening every sheet,
Resigns the spreading vessel to the wind.
Bold, firm and graceful are thy gen'rous youth,
By hardship sinew'd, and by danger fir'd,
Scattering the nations where they go ; and first
Or on the listed plain, or stormy seas.
Mild are thy glories too, as o'er the plains
Of thriving peace thy thoughtful sires preside ;
"In genius and substantial learning, high;
For every virtue, every worth renown'd!
Sincere, plain hearted, hospitable, kind;
Yet like the mutt'ring thunder, when provok’d,
The dread of tyrants, and the sole resource
Of those that under grim oppression groan.
Thy sons of Glory many! Alfred thine,
In whom the splendor of heroic war,
And more heroic peace, when govern'd well,
Combine! whose Hallow'd name the virtues saint,
And his own Muses love ; the best of kings !
With him thy Edwards and thy Henrys shine,
Names dear to fame; the first who deep impress'd
On haughty Gaul the terror of thy arms,
That awes her genius şt!!). In statesmen thou,
And patriots, fertile. Thine a steady More,
Who with a generous, though mistaken zeal,
Withstood a brutal tyrant's useful rage;
Like Cato firm, like Aristides just,
Like rigid Cincinnatus nobly poor,
A dauntless soul erect, who smild on death.
A Hampden too is thine, illustrious land !
Wise, strenuous, firm, of unsubmitting soul;
Who stemm'd the torrent of a downward age,
To slavery prone, and bacle thee rise again,
In all thy native pomp of freedom bold.
Thine is a Bacon; hapless in his choice ;
Unfit to stand the civil storm of state,
And through the smooth barbarity of courts,
With firm but pliant virtue, forward still
To urge his course ; him for the studious shade
Kind nature form'd, deep, comprehensive, clear,
Exact and elegant; in one rich soul,
Plato, the Stagyrite, and Tully join'd.
Let Newton, pure intelligence, whom God
To mortals lent to trace his boundless works
From laws sublimely simple, speak thy fame
In all philosophy. For lofty sense,
Creative fancy and inspection keer,
Through the deep windings of the human heart
Is not wild Shakespeare thine and nature's boast?
Is not each great, each amiable Muse
Of classic ages in thy Milton met ?
A genius universal as his theme :
Astonishing as chaos, as the bloom
Of blowing Eden fair, as heaven sublime.
May my song soften, as thy Daughters I, Britannia hail ! for beauty is their own, The feeling heart, simplicity of life, And elegance, and taste ; the faultless form, Shap'd by the hand of harmony; the cheek, Where the live crimson, through the native white, Soft shooting, p'er the face diffuses bloom,