Lapas attēli
PDF
ePub

"I ought to be accurst, if I refuse
"To wait on his, O thou fallacious Muse!

"Kings have long hands, they say; and though I be "So distant, they may reach at length to me.

"However, of all princes, thou

"Shouldst not reproach rewards for being small or "slow;

"Thou! who rewardest but with popular breath, "And that too after death."

HYMN TO LIGHT.

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 smil'd;

Thou tide of glory, which no rest dost know,
But ever ebb and ever flow!

Thou golden shower 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 bride. groom 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 came, thy sire the Word
Divine.

'Tis, I believe, this archery to show,

That so much cost in colours thou,

And skill in painting, dost bestow,

Upon thy ancient arms, the gaudy heavenly bow.

Swift as light thoughts their empty career run,
Thy race is finish'd when begun;

Let a post-angel start with thee,

And thou the goal of earth shalt reach as soon as he. 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 Ofthousand flowery lights thine own nocturnal spring. Thou, Scythian-like, dost round thy lands above The sun's gilt tents for ever move, And still, as thou in pomp dost go, The shining pageants of the world attend thy show. Nor amidst all these triumphs dost thou scorn The humble glow-worms to adorn, And with those living spangles gild

(O greatness without pride!) the bushes of the field. Night, and her ugly subjects, thou dost fright, And Sleep, the lazy owl of night;

Asham'd, and fearful to appear,

They skreen their horrid shapes with the black hemisphere.

With them there hastes, and wildly takes th' alarm,
Of painted dreams a busy swarm:

At the first opening of thine eye-
The various clusters break, the antic atoms fly.
The guilty serpents, and obscener beasts,
Creep, conscious, to their secret rests:
Nature to thee does reverence pay,

Ill omens and ill sights removes out of thy way.
At thy appearance, Grief itself is said

To shake his wings, and rouse his head:
And cloudy Care has often took

A gentle beamy smile, reflected from thy look.
At thy appearance, Fear itself grows bold;
Thy sun-shine melts away his cold.

Encourag'd at the sight of thee,

To the cheek colour comes, and firmness to the knee.

Ev'n Lust, the master of a harden'd face,
Blushes, if thou be'st in the place,
To Darkness' curtains he retires;

In sympathizing night he rolls his smoky fires. When, Goddess! thou lift'st up thy waken'd head, Out of the morning's purple bed,

Thy quire of birds about thee play,

And all the joyful world salutes the rising day. The ghosts, and monster-spirits, that did presume A body's privilege to assume,

Vanish again invisibly,

And bodies gain again their visibility.

All the world's bravery, that delights our eyes,
Is but thy several liveries;

Thou the rich dye on them bestow'st,

Thy nimble pencil paints this landscape as thou go'st.
A crimson garment in the rose thou wear'st;
A crown of studded gold thou bear'st;

The virgin-lilies, in their white,

Are clad but with the lawn of almost naked light.
The violet, Spring's little infant, stands

Girt in thy purple swaddling-bands:
On the fair tulip thou dost doat;

Thou cloth'st it in a gay and parti-colour'd coat.
With flame condens'd thou dost thy jewels fix,
And solid colours in it mix:

Flora herself envies to see

Flowers fairer than her own, and durable as she. Ah, Goddess! would thou couldst thy hand withhold, And be less liberal to gold!

Didst thou less value to it give,

Of how much care, alas! might'st thou poor man relieve!

To me the sun is more delightful far,

And all fair days much fairer are.

But few, ah! wondrous few, there be,

Who do not gold prefer, O Goddess! ev'n to thee.

Through the soft ways of heaven, and air, and sea, Which open all their pores to thee,

Like a clear river thou dost glide,

And with thy living stream through the close channels slide.

But, where firm bodies thy free course oppose,
Gently thy source the land o'erflows;

Takes there possession, and does make,
Of colours mingled light, a thick and standing lake.
But the vast ocean of unbounded day

In th' empyræan heaven does stay. Thy rivers, lakes, and springs, below, From thence took first their rise, thither at last must flow.

LIFE AND FAME.

OH, Life! thou Nothing's younger brother!

So like, that one might take one for the other!
What's somebody, or nobody!

In all the cobwebs of the schoolmen's trade,
We no such nice distinction woven see,

As 't is "to be," or "not to be."
Dream of a shadow! a reflection made
From the false glories of the gay reflected bow
Is a more solid thing than thou.

Vain, weak-built isthmus, which dost proudly rise
Up betwixt two eternities!

Yet canst nor wave nor wind sustain,

But, broken and o'erwhelm'd, the endless oceans meet again.

And with what rare inventions do we strive

Ourselves then to survive?

Wise, subtle arts, and such as well befit

That Nothing Man's no wit

Some with vast costly tombs would purchase it,
And by the proofs of death pretend to live.

"Here lies the great"-false marble! where? Nothing but small and sordid dust lies there.Some build enormous mountain-palaces,

The fools and architects to please;

A lasting life in well-hewn stone they rear:
So he, who on th' Egyptian shore

Was slain so many hundred years before,
Lives still (oh Life! most happy and most dear!
Oh Life! that epicures envy to hear!)

Lives in the dropping ruins of his amphitheatre.

His father-in-law an higher place does claim
In the seraphick entity of fame ;

He, since that toy his death,

Does fill all mouths, and breathes in all men's breath.
Tis true, the two immortal syllables remain ;
But oh, ye learned men! explain
What essence, what existence, this,

What substance, what subsistence, what hypostasis,
In six poor letters is!

In those alone does the great Cæsar live,
'Tis all the conquer'd world could give.
We Poets, madder yet than all,
With a refin'd fantastick vanity,

Think we not only have, but give, eternity.
Fain would I see that prodigal,

Who his to-morrow would bestow,

For all old Homer's life, e'er since he dy'd, till now!

ODE.

OF SOLITUDE.

HAIL, old patrician trees, so great and good!

Hail, ye plebeian underwood!

Where the poetic birds rejoice,

And for their quiet nests and plenteous food
Pay, with their grateful voice.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »