Abbildungen der Seite

The morning toil proceeds. Each dewy field
Shews to the morning like an emerald shield,
Embossed with gems of every hue, and bright
The silver streams dance in the golden ligbt.
Smiles Ida's vale, and all her children smile,
Alike the happiest of the peopled isle;
They called Aristes, Sire, - for to the poor
He was what they confessed him ; aye, and more ;-
Strength to the feeble,-eyesight to the blind,
• The lover, and the love of human-kind !”
The holy gods beheld him, who inspire,
And recompence the virtue they admire.
Lonely ASTREA, from her northern tower,
Rejoic'd, yet wept, and blest them in that hour,
And the sweet Nine, around the throue of Jove,
Guerdoned in song the charities they love ;
But with far different tone, and other verse,
The memory of the monarch they rehearse.

Behold him,-on his gorgeous couch reclin’d,
Girt with all luxury, wealth-power-can find;
Around him throng the nameless servile band,
With fear obsequious, waiting his command.
The flattering bard attunes the pleasing lyre,
The venal nunibers chaunt the female quire.
Premius! whose soul was as an eagle wrought,
To scale the sphere, and mingle with our* thought,
That thou should'st quit the company divine,
Of Deities, Apollo, and the Nine,
To knee, and incense, any mortal's shrine,
Is to fall double what ihe spirit fell,
And wound the wings again, that struggling well,
Tend by first nature upward +, as they grow,

[ocr errors]

The Muses. + Perhaps the following extract from Plato's Phaedrus, may render the text more intelligible :

“The great Jupiter, animating bis winged chariot, marches first, followed by all the inferior Gods and Genii; tbus ihey traverse the heavens, admiring the infinite wonders thereof: but, when they go up to the great banquet, they raise themselves to the top of heaven, and mount above the spheres. None of our poets ever yet sung, or can sing, that super-celestial place. It is there that souls contemplate, with the eyes of the understanding, the trulyexisting essence, which has neither colour nor figure, nor is the object of any sense, but is purely intelligible. There they see virtue, truth, and justice. --not as they are here below, but as they exist in him who is Being itself

. There they satiate themselves with that sight, till they are no longer able to bear the glory of it ; *and then they return to heaven, where they feed again

But thou would'st pester* and destroy below!
Son of ill-fated line, and wayward race,
Whose gift was loss, whose glory but disgrace :
He, the sad Bard of Ithaca, by fate
Compelled to please, where he could only hate ;
Who clasp'd his monarch's knees, and won his life,
E'en midst the thirst of slaughter, shock of strife,
The Father of thy Fathers wept the curse
Of bis dependance ; thine-but thine is worse !
How hadst thou wept, Phemius of other days,
Hadst thou so far debased the sacred lays,
To flatter vice, and gain the smile of power,
Pourd forth such numbers, and in such an hour?


Listen to the Lyrist's measure!
Island monarch! list to pleasure ;-

Turn thee to her arms!
Tossing on thy purple pillow,

Like the wanderer of the deep,
On her bosom's gentler billow,

Undulate in bliss, and sleep,
Wreathed within her glowing girdle,

Ravished with her charms !


See! she conies! and smiles upon thee,
Venus-like, she glances on thee;

Turn thee to her arms!
Turn thee! from the cares of duty

To her Paphian loveliness;
Revel in her breathing beauty,

While she wooes thee but to bliss,
Wreathed within her glowing girdle,

Ravished with her charms !

on nectar and ambrosia. Such is the life of the gods. Now, continues Plato, every soul which follows God faithfully into that super-celestial place, preserves itself pure and without blemish; but, if it take up with nectar and ambrosia, and does not attend on Jupiter's chariot, to go and contemplate truth, it grows heavy and sluggish ; it breaks its wings; it falls upon the earth, and enters into a human body, more or less vile, according as it has been less or more elevated. Souls, less degraded than others, dwell in the bodies of philosophers. The most despicable of all animate the bodies of tyrants, and evil princes their condition shews it after death, and becomes more or less happy, according as they have loved virtue or vice in their life-time. After 10,000 years, souls will be united to their origin. During that space of time, their wings grow again, and are renewed.* * Confined and pestered in this pinfold here." MILTON,

IX. Avails the lay to lull the monarch's mind, As wildly waked with its own wave and wind, Wrought in the void which virtue left, when she To passion-pride - resigned the sovereignty? No! like the tempest from its ocean bed, Cradled in calm, and gathered in its dread, Wilder to mingle with the oight,—the waves, Wherein bis fiery tresses Horror laveș,And swell with every peal that mocks above The prayer of pity, agony, and love! So springs the inonarch from his brooding ire, And strikes aside the Master of the Lyre. “ Hence, slave and fool!-- to slaves and fools, like thee, Go! modulate thy lies,—but not to me! Delude not kings with your extravagance, What is to them, the priest's—the poet's trance? Where is


fabled Goddess - Pleasure's smile, That blest the Lord of Candia's subject Isle ? Go to the vale, the cot, the bower, where she Lived, not till now,- nor there lives now for me. Thou second Orpheus! bath thine art the power To draw her from the vale-the cot-the bower? Impotent slave!—thy fancy may not form One balf so bright, no more than it can charm !” And then, that none might hear, he murmured, “No more than thou with sound may'st start his thread, Wherein her life is woven, and with mine Hers only, ever, and securely twine ! Mighty magician of sweet numbers ! stay, Who dressed the Paphian Goddess of thy lay? Am I her spouse? We wooes she with her zone? She is another's, slave! and his alone! No Venus-girdle hers-por cbarms revealed, She needs not that,-wins best with these conceald: Unborrowed of your Goddesses, she owns A cest, surpassing all their thousand zones; Uuseen, and that doth glow not, save for one, Yet winneth all, but never to be won ! Ay! could thy numbers conjure from above The laughing cestus of the Queen of Love, And gird the Fair with that voluptuous charm, Which beats the blood, and fills with lust's alarm, Such as in veins of Venus revelled, when She lay with Mars,-ay, thou wert something then! But now, begone! a monarch puts his stay In nobler instruments,-away, away! See that Menesthus tend us, -and begone ; All disappear,--we will to be alone."

Fatal conjunction of two planets dire,
Portending guilt, and woe, and mortal ire!
The King and Courtier coinmune, --and the Nine
Read in the soul the embryo design,
The morrow shall mature; and turn the

Avd but with this brief verse the theme prolong:
“0, Jove! guard thou the good man from the net,
And evil cunniug be defeated yet!"

Now the meridian arc the sun attains,
And o'er the world in perfect glory reigns ;
The fields of heaven are blue, and scarce a cloud
Dares the broad course of his effulgence shroud :
One universal glow,-but not severe,
Tho‘ ’tis his own proud season of the

Aristes' garden sumptuous, grand, and gay,
Shews like the opal, varying to the ray ;
Or like a plain of gold, emblazed with gems,
The emerald's green,--the amethyst's purple streams;
The ruby's deep flame, and the sapphire's blue,-
The diamond's pure light, -topas' yellow hue,
In one vast blaze collected to the sight,

every sense, and all the soul delight :
And, to adorn the whole as eke divide,
Like silver bright, runs

any a mazy tide;
The liquid lapse of fountains curls in air,
In music falls, and feeds the flow'rets there.
But, oh! how pleasant, in this noontide hour,
Is yonder cool and rose-inwoven bower,
Where all the garden charms are seen combined,
And wild exuberance to one spot confined ;
Blest habitation of the vernal choir !
Hark! how their interrupted notes aspire !
See, how they clap their little wings, and bound
From each fantastic tendril, to the ground,
Whence flowers of every hue, and every scent,
Rich in poetic beauty, negligent,
Hang elegantly, with a wanton grace,
Like ringlets waving o'er fair damsel's face.


their guest,

E’en now, that bower, from the noon-day heat,
Is its good owner's calm, serene retreat.
Their wond'ring words are now upon
That he should leave them in the hour of rest:
Patient they waited till the morning sped,
And left his chamber all unvisited,
Heedful not to disturb the light-eyed sleep
Of one whom sorrow wak'd too oft to weep;

But when the morn was past, and noon-day came, Their thoughts and words assumed a different frame. He had not risen! and could their mournful guest Repose so long in one unbroken rest? Would he not rise when he beheld the sun, And heard the business of the day begun? 'Twas strange,- they knew not what his sufferings were,Death might have freed him, or his own despair. Memory's sad agony have done the deed, And sorrow's bosom bled no more to bleed ! Then, at his mother's bidding, Lausus sent, Like a swift arrow, to his chamber went; The opened door,--the vacant room,-surprize,The guest is gone,- and swiftly back he hies : Enquiry grew; but none had seen the guest, Since yesternight they parted to their rest. Why went he secretly, without farewell ? Was it for that his tale he might not tell ? For there are, who are misers of their grief, Nor will admit soft sympathy's relief; But nurse the serpent silent in the breast, To prey upon the heart; so might their guest! Or, when on him his fortune smiled, he might Have outraged heaven, -the bosom's conscious light: Hence when, yestreen, chanc'd their discursive theme, On loss by vice, and virtue's gain supreme, Slumbering reniorse awaked, and stung his heart, And he forsook the place which could such pangs impart.


Declines the sun from his meridian hour,
His impressed beams are fainter on that bower,
Which boasted them before on every flower ;
But, in the glowing west, his chambered light
Tints every tree, and burns on every height,
With heaven's own holy hues. And he who stood
Upon the broad marge of the halcyon flood,
Saw ocean tremble in his shadowy beam,
And the gay streamers in the distance gleam.-
But not to roam. The garden of that bower
Gladdened in lustre of his lovelier hour.
Nor heedless of the breathing balm, I ween,
The mellower beauty of the purpled scene,
Who wake the bard ASTRBA's praise to sing
Would it were suited to a worthier string !

Might Lausus of those heavens regardless be,
Breded with Sol's pavilioned luxury,
Whose holiest admiration still confest
The blood-felt charms of nature in the breast?

« ZurückWeiter »