Imagens das páginas

And chase the new-blown bubbles of the day.

Ah! let not censure term our fate our choice:

A mortal born, he met the general doom,
But left, like Egypt's kings, a lasting tomb.
The wits of Charles found easier ways to
Nor wish'd for Jonson's art, or Shakspeare's The stage but echoes back the public voice;
The drama's laws the drama's patrons give;
Themselves they studied; as they felt, they For we that live to please, must please-to


Intrigue was plot, obscenity was wit.
Vice always found a sympathetic friend;
They pleased their age, and did not aim to

Yet bards like these aspired to lasting


[blocks in formation]

And proudly hoped to pimp in future To chase the charms of sound, the pomp days.

Their cause was general, their supports were


of show,

For useful mirth and salutary woe;
Bid scenic virtue form the rising age,

Their slaves were willing, and their reign And truth diffuse her radiance from the

was long:

Till Shame regain'd the post that Sense


And Virtue call'd Oblivion to her aid.

Then crush'd by rules, and weaken'd as

For years the power of tragedy declined;
From bard to bard the frigid caution crept,
Till declamation roar'd whilst passion slept.
Yet still did Virtue deign the stage to tread,
Philosophy remain'd, though Nature fled;
But forced, at length, her ancient reign to

She saw great Faustus lay the ghost of wit,
Exulting Folly hail'd the joyous day,
And pantomime and song confirm'd her

But who the coming changes can presage,
And mark the future periods of the stage?
Perhaps, if skill could distant times explore,
New Behns, new Durfeys, yet remain in


Perhaps where Lear has raved, and Hamlet died,

On flying cars new sorcerers may ride; Perhaps (for who can guess the effects of chance?)




TREASON doth never prosper: what's the reason?

For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.


DAUGHTER of Jove, relentless power,
Thou tamer of the human breast,
Whose iron scourge and torturing hour
The bad affright, afflict the best!
Bound in thy adamantine chain
The proud are taught to taste of pain,
And purple tyrants vainly groan
With pangs unfelt before, unpitied and

When first thy sire to send on earth

Virtue, his darling child, design'd,
To thee he gave the heavenly birth,

And bade to form her infant mind.
Stern, rugged nurse! thy rigid lore
With patience many a year she bore:

Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet may What sorrow was thou bad'st her know,

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Every man will be thy friend
Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend
But, if stores of crowns be scant,
No man will supply thy want.
If that one be prodigal,
Bountiful they will him call;
And, with such-like flattering,
"Pity but he were a king."
If he be addict to vice,
Quickly him they will entice;
But if Fortune once do frown,
Then farewell his great renown!
They that fawn'd on him before
Use his company no more.
He that is thy friend indeed,
He will help thee in thy need;
If thou sorrow, he will weep,
If thou wake, he cannot sleep.
Thus, of every grief in heart,
He with thee doth bear a part.
These are certain signs to know
Faithful friend from flattering foe.


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

With swifter speed declines than erst it But he is dust; we may not know
His happy or unhappy story:

spread, And (blasted) scarce now shows what it Nameless, and dead these centuries, His work outlives him-there's his

hath been.

As doth the pilgrim, therefore, whom the


By darkness would imprison on his way,
Think on thy home (my soul) and think

Of what's yet left thee of life's wasting day;
The sun posts westward, passèd is thy



Both man and jewel lay in earth

Beneath a lava-buried city;
The countless summers came and went
With neither haste, nor hate, nor pity.

Years blotted out the man, but left
The jewel fresh as any blossom,

And twice it is not given thee to be born. Till some Visconti dug it up,



BENEATH the warrior's helm behold
The flowing tresses of a woman!
Minerva-Pallas-what you will,-
A winsome creature, Greek or Roman.
Minerva? No! 'tis some sly minx
In cousin's helmet masquerading;
If not, then Wisdom was a dame
For sonnets and for serenading.

I thought the goddess cold, austere,

Not made for love's despairs and blisses:

Did Pallas wear her hair like that?

To rise and fall on Mabel's bosom !
O nameless brother! see how Time
Your gracious handiwork has guarded;
See how your loving, patient art

Has come, at last, to be rewarded.

Who would not suffer slights of men,
And pangs of hopeless passion also,
To have his carven agate-stone

On such a bosom rise and fall so?


THE world goes up and the world goes


And the sunshine follows the rain;

Was Wisdom's mouth so shaped for And yesterday's sneer, and yesterday's


The nightingale should be her bird,

And not the owl, big-eyed and solemn :
How very fresh she looks,-and yet
She's older far than Trajan's Column!

The magic hand that carved this face,
And set this vine-work round it running,
Perhaps ere mighty Phidias wrought

Had lost its subtle skill and cunning.

Who was he? Was he glad or sad,

Who knew to carve in such a fashion?

Perchance he 'graved the dainty head
For some brown girl that scorn'd his

Perchance, in some still garden-place,
Where neither fount nor tree to-day is,
He flung the jewel at the feet

Of Phryne, or perhaps 'twas Lais.


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

A thousand times this Pipe did Tasso Propped up by a broom-stick and covered

[blocks in formation]


Camoens soothed with it an Exile's grief; It once was the pride of the gay and the
The Sonnet glitter'd a gay myrtle Leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante

His visionary brow: a glow-worm Lamp, It cheer'd mild Spenser, call'd from Faery-land

To struggle through dark ways; and, when a damp

Fell round the path of Milton, in his


But now 'tis a ruin, that old Sedan chair!

It is battered and tattered,-it little avails That once it was lacquered, and glistened

with nails,

For its leather is cracked into lozenge and

[blocks in formation]

The Thing became a Trumpet, whence he See,-here came the bearing-straps; here


Soul-animating strains-alas, too few! WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.


BECAUSE I oft in dark abstracted guise Seem most alone in greatest company, With dearth of words, or answers quite awry

were the holes

For the poles of the bearers-when once there were poles;

It was cushioned with silk, it was wadded with hair,

As the birds have discovered,—that old Sedan chair!

"Where's Troy?" says the poet! Look,under the seat,

To them that would make speech of speech Is a nest with four eggs,- 'tis the favored

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »