Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
Not such his evening, who with shining face
Sweats in the crowded theatre, and, squeezed
And bored with elbow-points through both his fides,
Out-scolds the ranting actor on the stage:
Nor his, who patient stands till his feet throb,
And his head thumps, to feed upon the breath
Of patriots, bursting with heroic rage,
Or placemen, all tranquillity and smiles.
This folio of four pages, happy work!
Which not ev'n critics criticise; that holds
Inquisitive attention, while I read,
Faft bound in chains of filence, which the fair,
Though eloquent themselves, yet fear to break;
What is it, but a map of busy life,
Its fluctuations, and its vast concems?
Here runs the mountainous and craggy ridge,
That tempts ambition. On the summit see
The seals of office glitter in his eyes;
He climbs, he pants, he grasps them! At his heels,
Close at his heels, a demagogue ascends,
And with a dexterous jerk foon twifts him down,
And wins them, but to lose them in his turn.
Here rills of oily eloquence in soft

Meanders lubricate the course they take;
The modeft speaker is alhamed and grieved
To engross a moment's notice, and yet begs,
Begs a propitious ear for his poor thoughts,
However trivial all that he conceives.
Sweet bashfulness ! it claims at least this praise ;
The dearth of information and good sense,
That it foretells us always comes to pass.
Cataracts of declamation thunder here;
There forefts of no meaning spread the page,
In which all comprehension wanders loft;
While fields of pleasantry amuse us there
With merry defcants on a nation's woes.
The rest appears a wilderness of strange
But gay confusion; roses for the cheeks,
And lilies for the brows of faded age,
Teeth for the toothlefs, ringlets for the hald,
Heaven, earth, and ocean, plundered of their sweets,
Nectareous effences, Olympian dews,
Sermons, and city feasts, and favourite airs,
Æthereal journies, submarine exploits,
And Katterfelto, with his hair on end
At his own wonders, wondering for his bread.

'Tis pleasant through the loop-holes of retreat To peep at such a world; to see the ftir

Of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd; To hear the roar the sends through all her gates At a safe distance, where the dying sound Falls a soft murmur on the uninjured ear. Thus fitting, and surveying thus at ease The globe and its concerns, I seem advanced To some fecure and more than mortal height, That liberates and exempts me from them all. It turns submitted to my view, turns round With all its generations; I behold The tumult, and am ftill. The found of war Has loft its terrors ere it reaches me; Grieves, but alarms me not. I mourn the pride And avarice, that make man a wolf to man; Hear the faint echo of those brazen throats, By which he speaks the language of his heart, And figh, but never tremble at the found. He travels and expatiates, as the bee From flower to flower, so he from land to land; The manners, customs, policy, of all Pay contribution to the store he gleans; He sucks intelligence in every clime, And spreads the honey of his deep research At his return--a rich repaft for me. He travels, and I too. I tread his deck, Ascend his topmaft, through his peering eyes

Discover countries, with a kindred heart
Suffer his woes, and share in his escapes ;
While fancy, like the finger of a clock,
Runs the great circuit, and is ftill at home.

Oh Winter, ruler of the inverted year, Thy scattered hair with Neet like ashes filled, Thy breath congealed upon thy lips, thy cheeks Fringed with a beard made white with other snows Than those of age, thy forehead wrapt in clouds, A leafless branch thy sceptre, and thy throne A Niding car, indebted to no wheels, But urged by ftorms along its Nippery way, I love thee, all unlovely as thou seemeft, And dreaded as thou art! Thou holdeft the sun A prisoner in the yet undawning eaft, Shortening his journey between morn and noon, And hurrying him, impatient of his ftay, Down to the rosy weft; but kindly still Compensating his loss with added hours Of social converse and inftructive ease, And gathering, at short notice, in one group The family dispersed, and fixing thought, Not less dispersed by day-light and its cares. I crown thee king of intimate delights, Fire-side enjoyments, home-born happiness, And all the comforts, that the lowly roof

Of undisturbed retirement, and the hours
Of long uninterrupted evening, know.
No rattling wheels stop short before these gates ;
No powdered pert proficient in the art
Of sounding an alarm aflaults these doors
Till the street rings; no stationary steeds
Cough their own knell, while, heedless of the found,
The filent circle fan themselves, and quake:
But here the needle plies its busy task,
The pattern grows, the well-depicted flower,
Wrought patiently into the snowy lawn,
Unfolds its bofom; buds, and leaves, and sprigs,
And curling tendrils, gracefully disposed,
Follow the nimble finger of the fair;
A wreath, that cannot fade, of flowers, that blow
With most success when all besides decay.
The poet's or hiftorian's page by one
Made vocal for the amusement of the reft ;
The sprightly lyre, whose treasure of sweet sounds
The touch from many a trembling chord shakes out;
And the clear voice fymphonious, yet diftinct,
And in the charming ftrife triumphant ftill ;
Beguile the night, and set a keener edge
On female industry: the threaded steel
Flies swiftly, and unfelt the task proceeds.
The volume closed, the customary rites

[graphic]
« ZurückWeiter »