Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

HYMN TO ADVERSITY.

...... Ζῆνα
Τὸν φρονεῖν βροζὺς ὁδώ-
σαν]α, τῷ πάθει μαθὼν
θέν]α κυρίως ἔχειν.

Eschylus, in Agamemnone.

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 alone.

[blocks in formation]

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

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,

With patience many a year she bore:
What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,
And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' woe. The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head,

Dread goddess, lay thy chastening hand! Not in thy gorgon terrors clad,

Nor circled with the vengeful band,

(As by the impious thou art seen,)

With thundering voice, and threatening,mien,
With screaming Horror's funeral cry,
Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty.

Thy form benign, oh, goddess! wear,
Thy milder influence impart,
Thy philosophic train be there,

To soften, not to wound, my heart. The generous spark extinct revive, Teach me to love and to forgive, Exact my own defects to scan,

What others are, to feel, and know myself a man.

ELEGY,

WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH YARD
THE curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to mc.

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight

And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:

Save that, from yonder ivy-mantled tower,

The moping owl does to the Moon complain Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,

Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,

Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; How jocund did they drive their team a-field! How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke.

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,

Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,

The short and simple annals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Await alike th' inevitable hour,

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,

If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can, Honor's voice provoke the silent dust,

Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid

Some heart once pregnant with cclestial fire; Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd Or wak'd to ecstacy the living lyre

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,

Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll; Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,

And froze the genial current of the soul

[blocks in formation]

With antic sports and blue-ey'd pleasures,
Frisking light in frolic measures;
Now pursuing, now retreating,
Now in circling troops they meet:

To brisk notes in cadence beating
Glance their many-twinkling feet.
Slow-melting strains their queen's approach declare:
Where'er she turns, the Graces homage pay,
With arts sublime, that float upon the air,
In gliding state she wins her easy way:
O'er her warm cheek, and rising bosom, move
The bloom of young Desire, and purple light of Love.

II.

Man's feeble race what ills await,
Tabor and Penury, the racks of Pain,
Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train,

And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate!
The fond complaint, my song, disprove,
And justify the laws of Jove.

Say, has he given in vain the heavenly Muse?
Night, and all her sickly dews,

Her spectres wan, and birds of boding cry,
He gives to range the dreary sky:

Till down the eastern cliffs afar
Hyperion's march they spy, and glittering shafts of

war.

Hark, his hands the lyre explore!

Bright-ey'd Fancy, hovering o'er,
Scatters from her pictur'd urn

Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
But ah! 'tis heard no more-

Oh! lyre divine, what daring spirit
Wakes thee now? though he inherit
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion,
That the Theban eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion

In climes beyond the solar road,
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, Through the azure deep of air:
The Muse has broke the twilight gloom

To cheer the shivering native's dull abode.
And oft, beneath the odorous shade

Of Chili's boundless forests laid,

She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat,
In loose numbers wildly sweet,

Their feather-cinctur'd chiefs, and dusky loves.
Her track, where'er the goddess roves,
Glory pursue, and generous Shame,

Th' unconquerable mind, and Freedom's holy flame.

[blocks in formation]

Thine too these golden keys, immortal boy!
This can unlock the gates of Joy;

Of Horror that, and thrilling fears,

Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic tears

Left their Parnassus, for the Latian plains.
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant-power,

And coward Vice, that revels in her chains.
When Latium had her lofty spirit lost,
They sought, oh Albion! next thy sea-encircled coast.

III.

Far from the Sun and summer-gale,

In thy green lap was Nature's darling* laid,
What time, where lucid Avon stray'd,

To him the mighty mother did unveil
Her awful face: the dauntless child
Stretch'd forth his little arms, and smil'd.
"This pencil take," she said, "whose colors clear
Richly paint the vernal year:

* Shakespeare.

Nor second he,† that rode sublime

Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy,
The secrets of th' abyss to spy.

He pass'd the flaming bounds of place and time:
The living throne, the sapphire-blaze,
Where angels tremble, while they gaze,
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light,
Clos'd his eyes in endless night.

Behold, where Dryden's less presumptuous car,
Wide o'er the fields of Glory bare

Two coursers of ethereal race,t

With necks in thunder cloth'd, and long-resounding

pace.

Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms.as glitter in the Muse's ray
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the Sun:
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate,
Beneath the good how far-but far above the great

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

"HENCE, avaunt, ('tis holy ground,)

Comus and his midnight-crew,
And Ignorance with looks profound,

And dreaming Sloth of pallid hue,
Mad Sedition's cry profane,
Servitude that hugs her chain,
Nor in these consecrated bowers

From yonder realms of empyrean day
Bursts on my ear th' indignant lay:
There sit the sainted sage, the bard divine,
The few, whom genius gave to shine
Through every unborn age and undiscover'd clime.
Rapt in celestial transport they,
Yet hither oft a glance from high
They send of tender sympathy

46

Ye brown o'er-arching groves,

That Contemplation loves,
Where willowy Camus lingers with delight!
Oft at the blush of dawn

To bless the place, where on their opening soul
First the genuine ardor stole.
'Twas Milton struck the deep-ton'd shell,
And, as the choral warblings round him swell,
Meek Newton's self bends from his state sublime,
And nods his hoary head, and listens to the rhyme.

I trod your level lawn,

Oft woo'd the gleam of Cynthia silver-bright
In cloisters dim, far from the haunts of Foily,
With Freedom by my side, and soft-ey'd Melan
choly."

But hark! the portals sound, and pacing forth
With solemn steps and slow,

High potentates and dames of royal birth,
And mitred fathers, in long order go:
Great Edward,* with the, lilies on his brow,
From haughty Gallia torn,

And sad Chatillon,t on her bridal morn

That wept her bleeding love, and princely Clare,
And Anjou's heroine, and the paler rose,
The rival of her crown and of her woes,
And either Henry¶ there,

The murder'd saint, and the majestic lord,
That broke the bonds of Rome.
(Their tears, their little triumphs o'er,
Their human passions now no more,
Save Charity, that glows beyond the tomb,)
All that on Granta's fruitful plain
Rich streams of regal bounty pour'd,

And bade these awful fanes and turrets rise,
To hail their Fitzroy's festal morning come;
And thus they speak in soft accord

The liquid language of the skies.

[blocks in formation]

† Mary de Valentia, Countess of Pembroke, daughter Let painted Flattery hide her serpent-train in flowers. of Guy de Chatillon, Comte de St. Paul in France: of Nor Envy base, nor creeping Gain, whom tradition says, that her husband, Audemar de Dare the Muse's walk to stain, Valentia, Earl of Pembroke, was slain at a tournament While bright-ey'd Science watches round: on the day of his nuptials. She was the foundress of Hence, away, 'tis holy ground!" Pembroke College or Hall, under the name of Aula Mariæ de Valentia.

* Edward the Third; who added the fleur-de-lis of France to the arms of England. He founded Trinity College.

Elizabeth de Burg, Countess of Clare, was wife of John de Burg, son and heir of the Earl of Ulster, and daughter of Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, by Joan of Acres, daughter of Edward the First. Hence the poet gives her the epithet of princely. She founded Clare Hall

§ Margaret of Anjou, wife of Henry the Sixth, found ress of Queen's College. The poet had celebrated her con jugal fidelity in a former ode.

Elizabeth Widville, wife of Edward the Fourth (hence called the paler rose, as being of the house of York.) She added to the foundation of Margaret of Anjou.

¶ Henry the Sixth and Eighth. The former the founder of King's, the latter the greatest benefactor to Trinity College.

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