« ZurückWeiter »
Gleams on the day; the nobler works of peace Hence bless mankind, and generous commerce binds The round of nations in a golden chain.
The unfruitful rock itself, impregn'd by thee,
In dark retirement forms the lucid ftone.
The lively Diamond drinks the pureft rays,
Collected light compact; that, polish'd bright,
And all its native luftre let abroad,
Dares, as it fparkles on the fair one's breast,
With vain ambition emulate her eyes.
At thee the Ruby lights its deepning glow,
And with a waving radiance inward flames
From thee the Sapphire, folid ether, takes
Its hue cerulean; and, of evening tinct,
The purple-ftreaming Amethyft is thine.
With thy own fmile the yellow Topaz burns.
Nor deeper verdure dyes the rope of Spring,
When first she gives it to the fouthern gale,
Than the green Emerald fhows. But, all combin'd,
Thick thro' the whitening Opal play thy beams;
Or, flying feveral from its furface, form
A trembling variance of revolving hues,
As the fite varies in the gazer's hand.
The very dead creation, from thy touch,
Affumes a mimic life. By thee refin'd,
In brighter mazes the relucent ftream
Plays o'er the mead. The precipiece abrubt,
Projecting horror on the blackened flood,
Softens at thy return. The defart joys
Wildly, thro' all his melancholy bounds.
Rude ruins glitter; and the briny deep,
Seen from fome pointed promontory's top,
Far to the blue horizon's utmost verge
Restless, reflects a floating gleam. But this,
And all the much-tranfported mufe can fing,
Are to thy beauty, dignity, and use,
Unequal far; great delegated fource
Of light, and life, and grace, and joy below!
How fhall I then attempt to fing of HIM, Who, LIGHT HIMSELF, in uncreated light
Invested deep, dwells awfully retir'd
From mortal eye, or angel's purer ken;
Whose single smile has, from the firft of time,
Fill'd, overflowing, all thofe lamps of heaven,
That beam for ever thro' the boundless sky;
But, fhould he hide his face, th' astonish'd fun,
And all th' extinguish'd stars, would loofening reel
Wide from their Spheres, and chaos come again.
The Description of the Storm is finely painted. The affecting Tale of the Lovers is alfo touched up with exquifite art, and answers a two-fold purpofe; for this scene of distress not only heightens the horror of the tempeft, but adds variety to the Defcription, and prevents the mind from being fatiated by an enumeration of particu lars that are of a fimilar nature.
BEHOLD, flow-fettling o'er the lurid grove
Unusual darkness broods; and growing gains
The full poffeffion of the fky, furcharg'd
With wrathful vapour, from the fecret beds,
Where fleep the mineral generations, drawn.
Thence nitre, fulphur, and the fiery spume
Of fat bitumen, fteaming on the day,
With various tinctur'd trains of latent flame,
Pollute the sky, and in yon baleful cloud,
A reddening gloom, a magazine of fate,
Ferment; till, by the touch ethereal rous'd,
The dash of clouds, or irritating war
Of fighting winds, while all is calm below,
They furious fpring. Aboding filence reigns,
Dread thro' the dun expanfe; fave the dull found
That from the mountain, previous to the ftorm,
Rolls o'er the muttering earth, difturbs the flood,
And shakes the foreft-leaf without a breath.
Prone, to the lowest vale, the aërial tribes
Defcend: the tempeft-loving raven scarce
Dares wing the dubious dufk. In rueful gaze
The cattle stand, and on the scowling heavens
Caft a deploring eye; by man forsook,
Who to the crouded cottage hies him fast,
Or feeks the shelter of the downward cave.
'Tis liftening fear, and dumb amazement all:
When to the startled eye the fudden glance
Appears far fouth, eruptive thro' the cloud;
And following flower, in explosion vaft,
The thunder raifes his tremendous voice.
At first, heard folemn o'er the verge of heaven,
The tempeft growls; but as it nearer comes,
And rolls its awful burden on the wind,
The lightnings flash a larger curve, and more
The noise aftounds: till over head a fheet
Of livid flame difclofes wide; then shuts,
And opens wider ; fhuts and opens still
Expanfive, wrapping ether in a blazę.
Follows the loofen'd aggravated roar,
Enlarging, deepening, mingling; peal on peal
Crush'd horrible, convulfing heaven and earth.
Down comes a deluge of fonorous hail,
Or prone-descending rain. Wide-rent, the clouds,
Pour a whole flood; and yet, its flame unquench'd,
Th' unconquerable lightning ftruggles through,
Ragged and fierce, or in red whirling balls,
And fires the mountains with redoubled rage.
Black from the ftroke, above, the fmould'ring pine
Stands a fad fhattered trunk; and, ftretch'd below,
A lifeless groupe the blafted cattle lie:
Here the foft flocks, with that fame harmless look
They wore alive, and ruminating ftill
In fancy's eye; and there the frowning bull,
And ox half-rais'd. Struck on the castled clift,
The venerable tower and spiry fane
Refign their aged pride. The gloomy woods
Start at the flash, and from their deep recess,
Wide-flaming out, their trembling inmates thake.
Amid Carnarvon's mountains rages loud
The repercuffive roar: with mighty crush,
Into the flashing deep, from the rude rocks
Of Penmanmaur heap'd hideous to the sky,
Tumble the fmitten cliffs; and Snowden's peak,
Diffolving, inftant yields his wintry load.
Far-feen, the heights of heathy Cheviot blaze,
And Thule' bellows thro' her utmost ifles.
GUILT hears appall'd, with deeply troubled thought. And yet not always on the guilty head Defcends the fated flash. Young CELADON And his AMELIA were a matchless pair; With equal virtue form'd, and equal grace, The fame, diftinguish'd by their fex alone: Hers the mild luftre of the blooming morn, And his the radiance of the risen day.
THEY lov'd: But fuch their guileless paffion was, As in the dawn of time inform'd the heart Of innocence, and undiffembling truth. 'Twas friendship heighten'd by the mutual wish, Th' enchanting hope, and fympathetic glow, Beam'd from the mutual eye. Devoting all To love, each was to each a dearer felf; Supremely happy in th' awaken'd power. Of giving joy. Alone, amid the fhades, Still in harmonious intercourfe they liv'd The rural day, and talk'd the flowing heart, Or figh'd, and look'd unutterable things.
So pafs'd their life, a clear united stream,
By care unruffled; till, in evil hour,
The tempeft caught them on the tender walk,
Heedlefs how far, and where its mazes ftray'd,
While, with each other bleft, creative love
Still bade eternal Eden fmile around.
Prefaging inftant fate her bofom heav'd
Unwonted fighs, and stealing oft a look
Of the big gloom on CELADON her eye
Fell tearful, wetting her diforder'd cheek.
In vain affuring love, and confidence
In HEAVEN, reprefs'd her fear; it grew, and shook
Her frame near diffolution. He perceiv'd
Th' unequal conflict, and as angels look
On dying faints, his eyes compaffion fhed,
With love illumin'd high. "Fear not, he said,
"Sweet innocence! thou ftranger to offence,
"And inward storm! He, who yon fkies involves
"In frowns of darkness, ever smiles on thee
"With kind regard. O'er thee the secret shaft
"That waftes at midnight, or th' undreaded hour
"Of noon, flies harmless: and that very voice,
"Which thunders terror thro' the guilty heart,
"With tongues of feraphs whispers peace to thine.
"'Tis fafety to be near thee fure, and thus
"To clafp perfection!" From his void embrace,
Mysterious Heaven! that moment, to the ground,
A blacken'd corfe, was ftruck the beautious maid.
But who can paint the lover, as he flood,
Pierc'd by fevere amazement, hating life,
Speechlefs, and fix'd in all the death of woe!
So, faint resemblance, on the marble tomb,
The well diffembled mourner ftooping stands,
For ever filent, and for ever fad.
In the poem on autumn, he introduces a profpect of the fields ready for harvest, with fome reflections in praise of industry, which are naturally excited by that scene. We are then presented with a defcription of reapers in a field, and with a tale relative to it which we fhall infert. This is followed by a defcription of an harvest storm, and of hunting and fhooting, with fuitable reflections on the barbarity of thofe paftimes. After which he gives us a description of an orchard, wall-fruit, and a vineyard; defcants on the fogs, that fo frequently prevail in the latter part of autumn, and by a beautiful and philofophical digreffion, endeavours to investigate the cause of springs and rivers. He then confiders the birds of season, that now change their habitation, and speaks of the prodigious number that cover the western and northern ifles of Scotland. This na. turally leads him to defcribe that country. We are then entertained with a prospect of woods that are fading and difcoloured, of moon-light after a gentle dusky day, and of autumnal meteors. The morning fucceeds, which ushers in a calm fun-fhiny day, fuch as ufually close this season. He then describes the country people at the end of harvest, giving loose to pleasure and diffolv'd in joy, and concludes with a panegyric on a philofophical country life.
The following pleafing and pathetick tale, which is naturally introduced in his defcription of the reapers, is, if I mistake not, borrowed from the story of RUTH in the Old Teftament.