Abbildungen der Seite


HENCE, pestilential Mars,


Of sable-vested night and chaos bred,
On matter's formless bed,

'Mid the harsh din of elemental jars :

Hence with thy frantic crowd,

Wing'd Flight, pale Terror, Discord clothed in fire,

Precipitate retire;

While mad Bellona cracks her snaky thong,

And hurries headlong on,

To Ach❜ron's brink, and Phlegethon's flaming flood.

But hail, fair Peace! so mild and meek,

With polish'd brow and rosy cheek;

That, on thy fleece-white cloud descending,
Hither, soft-ey'd queen, art tending
Gently o'er thy favourite land

To wave thy genial myrtle wand;
To shake from off thy turtle wing
Th' ambrosial dews of endless spring;

Spring, like that, which poets feign,
Gilded Saturn's easy reign:

For Saturn's first born daughter thou;
Unless, as later bards avow,

The youthful god with spangled hair
Closely clasp'd Harmonia fair:

For, banish'd erst heaven's star-paved floor, (As sings my legendary lore)

As Phœbus sat by weeping brook,

With shepherd's scrip and shepherd's crook, Pensive 'midst a savage train,

(For savage then was all the plain)

Fair Harmonia left her bower,

To join her radiant paramour:.

Hence didst thou spring; and at thy birth Lenient Zephyrs fan'd the earth, Rumbling thunders growl'd no more,

Prowling wolves forgot to roar,

And man, from fiercer rage possest,
Smil'd dissension from his breast.

She comes, she comes, ye nymphs, prepare
Gay floral wreaths to bind your hair

Ye swains, inspire the mellow flute
To dulcet strains, which aptly suit
The featly-footed saraband


Of Phillis trim and Marian bland,
When nimbly light each simpering lass
Trips it o'er the pliant grass.

But see, her social smiling train,
Now invests th' enraptur'd plain!
Plenty's treasure-teeming horn

Show'rs its fruits, its flowers, its corn;

Commerce spreads his amplest sail;
Strong-nerv'd Labour lifts his flail ;
Sylvanus too attends (tis he

That bears the root-pluck'd cypress tree)
He shall my youngling footsteps lead
Thro' tufted lawn and fringed mead,
By scooped valley, heaped hill,
Level river, dancing rill,
Where the shepherds all appear,

To shear and wash their fleecy care,
Which bleating stand the streams around,
And whiten all the close-cropt ground:
Or when the maids in bonnets sheen,
Cock the hay upon the green;

Or up yon steep rough road the swains
Drive slow along their rolling wains
Where laughing Ceres crowns the stack,
And makes the ponderous axle crack,
Then to the village on the hill,
The barn's capacious jaws to fill,
Where the answering flails rebound,
Beating bold with thundering sound.
Enchanted with this rural scene,

Here let me weave my arb'rets green;
Here arch the woodbine, mantling neat,
O'er my noon-tide cool retreat;

Or bind the oak with ivy-twine;

Or wed the elm and purpling vine.
But if my vagrant fancy pants

For charms which simple nature wants,
Grant, Power benign, admittance free
To some rang'd academy:

There to give to arts refin'd
All the impulse of my mind;
And oft observant take my stand,
Where the painter's magic hand
From sketches rude, with gradual art,
Calls dawning life to every part,
Till, with nice tints all labour'd high,
Each starting hero meets the eye:
Oft too, O! let me nice inspect
The draughts of justest architect:
And hence delighted let me pass,
Where others mould the ductile brass;
Or teach the Parian stone to wear
A letter'd sage's musing air.

But ah! these arts have fix'd their home

In Roman or in Gallic dome :

Tho' strange beseems, that arts should spread Where frowns black Slavery's baleful shade; And stranger far that arts decay

Where Freedom deals her warmest ray.

This then deny'd, I'll swift retreat,

Where Camus winds with murmur sweet:
There teach me, piercing Locke, t' explore
The busy mind's ideal store;

There, heav'n-rapt Newton, guide my way
'Mid rolling worlds, thro' floods of day,
To mark the vagrant comet's road,
And thro' his wonders trace the God.
Then, to unbend my mind, I'll roam
Amidst the cloisters' silent gloom:

Or, where rank'd oaks their shades diffuse,
Hold dalliance with my darling muse,
Recalling oft some heav'n-born strain,
That warbled in Augustan reign:
Or turn well pleas'd the Grecian page,
If sweet Theocritus engage,
Or blithe Anacreon, mirthful wight,
Caroll his easy love-lay light.
Yet let not all my pleasure lie,
Confin'd to one Phœbeian joy;
But ever give my fingers wings,
Lightly to skim the trembling strings,
And from some bower to tune the lay,
While list❜ning birds crowd every spray,
Or hovering silent o'er my head,

Their quivering wings exulting spread;

« ZurückWeiter »