« PreviousContinue »
It is a dreadful pleasing sight! The flowers attract, the arms affright; The flowers with lively beauty bloom, The arms denounce an instant doom. Thus, when the Britons in array Their ensigns to the Sun display, In the same flag are lilies shown, And angry lions sternly frown;
On high the glittering standard flies,
And conquers all things-like your eyes.
PART OF THE XXXVHITH AND XXXIXTH CHAPTERS OF
Now from the splendours of his bright abode
On wings of all the winds th' Almighty rode,
And the loud voice of thunder spoke the God.
Cherubs and seraphs from celestial bowers,
Ten thousand thousand! bright ethereal powers!
Ministrant round, their radiant files unfold,
Arm'd in eternal adamant, and gold!
Whirlwinds and thundrous storms his chariot drew
'Tween worlds and worlds, triumphant as it flew :
He stretch'd his dark pavilion o'er the floods,
Bade hills subside, and rein'd th' obedient clouds;
Then from his awful gloom the godhead spoke,
And at his voice affrighted Nature shook.
Vain man! who boldly with dim Reason's ray
Vies with his God, and rivals his full day!
* But tell me now, say how this beauteous frame
Of all things, from the womb of nothing came;
When Nature's Lord, with one almighty call,
From no-where rais'd the world's capacious ball?
Say if thy hand directs the various rounds
Of the vast Earth, and circumscribes the bounds?
How orbs oppos'd to orbs amid the sky,
In concert move, and dance in harmony?
What wondrous pillars their foundations bear
When hung self-balanc'd in the fluid air?
Why the vast tides sometimes with wanton play
In shining mazes gently glide away;
Anon, why swelling with impetuous stores
Tumultuous tumbling, thunder to the shores;
By thy command does fair Aurora rise,
And gild with purple beams the blushing skies;
The warbling lark salutes her chearful ray,
And welcomes with his song the rising day;
The rising day ambrosial dew distils,
Th' ambrosial dew with balmy odour fills
The flowers, the flowers rejoice, and Nature smiles.
Why Night, in sable rob'd, as day-light fades,
O'er half the nations draws her awful shades;
Now peaceful Nature lies diffus'd in ease;
A solemn stillness reigns o'er land and seas.
Sleep sheds o'er all his balm: to sleep resign'd,
Birds, beasts lie hush'd, and busy human-kind.
But tell me, mortal, when th' Almighty said, "Be made, ye worlds!" how worlds at once were When hosts of angels wrapt in wonder sung [made; His praise, as order from disorder sprung? No more the monsters of the desert roar, Doubling the terrours of the midnight hour.
No air of breath disturbs the drowzy woods,
No whispers murmur from the silent floods!
The Moon sheds down a silver-streaming light,
And glads the melancholic face of night:
Now clouds swift-skimming veil her sullied ray,
"Now bright she blazes with a fuller day!
The stars in order twinkle in the skies,
And fall in silence, and in silence rise:
Till, as a giant strong, a bridegroom gay,
The Sun springs dancing through the gates of day:
He shakes his dewy locks, and hurls his beams
O'er the proud hills, and down the glowing streams:
His fiery coursers bound above the main,
And whirl the car along th' etherial plain:
The fiery coursers and the car display
A stream of glory, and a flood of day.
Did e'er thy eye descend into the deep,
Or hast thou seen where infant tempests sleep?
Was e'er the grave, or regions of the night,
Yet trod by thee, or open'd to thy sight?
Has Death disclos'd to thee her gloomy state,
The ghastly forms, the various woes that wait
In terrible array before her awful gate?
Know'st thou where Darkness bears eternal sway,
Or where the source of everlasting day?
Say, why the thriving hail with rushing sound
Pours from on high, and rattles on the ground?
Why hover snows, down-wavering by degrees,
Shine from the hills, or glitter from the trees?
Say, why, in lucid drops, the balmy rain
With sparklings gems impearls the spangled plain?
Or, gathering in the vale, a current flows,
And on each flower a sudden spring bestows?
Say, why with gentle sighs the evening breeze
Salutes the flowers, or murmurs through the trees?
Or why loud winds in storms of vengeance fly,
Howl o'er the main, and thunder in the sky?
Say, to what wondrous magazines repair
The viewless beings, when serene the air?
Till, from their dungeons loos'd, they roar aloud,
Upturn whole oceans, and toss cloud on cloud,
While waves encountering waves, in mountains
Swell to the starry vault, and dash the Heaven.
Know'st thou, why comets threaten in the air,
Heralds of woe, dertruction, and despair,
The plague, the sword, and all the forms of war?
On ruddy wings why forky lightning flies,
And rolling thunder grumbles in the skies?
Say, can thy voice, when sultry Sirius reigns,
And suns intensely glowing cleave the plains,
Th' exhausted urns of thirsty springs supply,
And mitigate the fever of the sky?
Or, when the heavens are charg'd with gloomy
And half the skies precipitate in floods, [clouds,
Chase the dark horrour of the storm away,
Restrain the deluge, and restore the day?
By thee doth Summer deck herself with charms,
Or hoary Winter lock his frozen arms?
Say, if thy hand instruct the rose to glow,
Or to the lily give unsullied snow?
Teach fruits to knit from blossoms by degrees,
Swell into orbs, and load the bending trees,
The fowl, the fishes, to repose resign'd,
AH, all lie hush'd, and busy human-kind.
The fainting murmur dies upon the floods,
And sighing breezes lull the drowzy woods.
'Now bright she blazes, and supplies the day.
Whose various kinds a various hue unfold,
With crimson blush, or burnish into gold?
Say, why the Sun arrays with shining dyes
The gaudy bow, that gilds the gloomy skies?
He from his urn pours forth his golden streams,
And humid clouds imbibe the glittering beams;
Sweetly the varying colours fade or rise,
And the vast arch embraces half the skies.
Say, didst thou give the mighty seas their bars,
Fill air with fowl, or light up Heaven with stars,
Whose thousand times ten thousand lamps display
A friendly radiance, mingling ray with ray?
Say, canst thou rule the coursers of the Sun,
Or lash the lazy sign, Boötes, on?
Dost thou instruct the eagle how to fly,
To mount the viewless winds, and tower the sky?
On sounding pinions borne, he soars, and shrouds
His proud aspiring head among the clouds;
Strong-pounc'd, and fierce, he darts upon his prey,
He sails in triumph through th' ethereal way,
Bears on the Sun, and basks in open day.
Does the dread king, and terrour of the wood,
The lion, from thy hand expect his food?
Stung with keen hunger from his den he comes,
Ranges the plains, and o'er the forest roams:
"He snuffs the track of beasts, he fiercely roars,
Doubling the horrors of the midnight hours:
With sullen majesty he stalks away,
And the rocks tremble while he seeks his prey:
Dreadful he grins, he rends the savage brood
With unsheath'd paws, and churns the spouting
Dost thou with thunder arm the generous horse,
Add nervous limbs, or swiftness for the course?
Fleet as the wind, he shoots along the plain,
And knows no check, nor hears the curbing rein;
His fiery eye-balls, formidably bright,
Dart a fierce glory, and a dreadful light:
Pleas'd with the clank of arins, and trumpets' sound,
He bounds, and, prancing, paws the trembling ground;
He snuffs the promis'd battle from afar, [war:
Neighs at the captains, shouts, and thunder of the
Rous'd with the noble din and martial sight,
He pants with tumults of severe delight:
His sprightly blood an even course disdains,
Pours from his heart, and charges in his veins;
He braves the spear, and mocks the twanging bow,
Demands the fight, and rushes on the foe.
Come, blissful mourner, wisely sad,
In sorrow's garb, in sable clad,
Henceforth, thou, Care, my hours employ!
Sorrow, be thou henceforth my joy!
By tombs where sullen spirits stalk,
Familiar with the dead I walk;
While to my sighs and groans by turns,
From graves the midnight Echo mourns.
Open thy marble jaws, O Tomb,
Though earth conceal me in thy womb!
And you, ye worms, this frame confound,
Ye brother reptiles of the ground!-
O life, frail offspring of a day!
"Tis puff'd with one short gasp away!
Swift as the short-liv'd flower it flies,
It springs, it blooms, it fades, it dies.
With cries we usher in our birth;
With groans resign our transient breath:
While round, stern ministers of Fate,
Pain, and Disease, and Sorrow wait.
While childhood reigns, the sportive boy
Learns only prettily to toy;
And, while he roves from play to play,
The wanton trifles life away.
When to the noon of life we rise,
The man grows elegant in vice;
To glorious guilt in courts he climbs,
Vilely judicious in his crimes.
When youth and strength in age are lost,
Man seems already half a ghost;
Wither'd, and wan, to earth he bows,
A walking hospital of woes.
Oh! Happiness, thou empty name!
Say, art thou bought by gold or Fame?
What art thou, Gold, but shining earth?
Thou, common Fame, but common breath?
If Virtue contradict the voice
Of public Fame, applause is noise;
Ev'n victors are by conquest curst,
The bravest warrior is the worst.
Look round on all that man below
Idly calls great, and all is show!
All, to the coffin from our birth,
In this vast toy-shop of the Earth.
Come then, O friend of virtuous woe,
With solemn pace, demure, and slow
Lo! sad and serious, I pursue
Thy steps... adieu, vain world, adieu!
In gentle sighs the softly whispering breeze
Salutes the flowers, and waves the trembling trees;
Hark! the night-warbler, from yon vocal boughs,
Glads every valley with melodious woes!
Swift through the air her rounds the swallow takes,
Or sportive skims the level of the lakes.
The timorous deer, swift-starting as they graze,
Bound off in crowds, then turn again, and gaze.
See! how yon swans, with snowy pride elate,
Arch their high necks, and sail along in state!
Thy frisking flocks safe-wandering crop the plain,
And the glad season clains a gladsome strain.
Begin- -Ye echoes listen to the song,
And, with its sweetness pleas'd, each note prolong!
Sing, Muse-and oh! may Townshend deign to view
What the Muse sings, to Townshend this is due!
Who, carrying with him all the world admires,
From all the world illustriously retires;
And, calmly wandering in his Rainham, roves
By lake, or spring, by thicket, lawn, or groves;
Where verdant hills, or vales, where fountains stray,
Charm every thought of idle pomp away;
Unenvy'd views the splendid toils of state,
In private happy, as in public great.
Thus godlike Scipio, on whose cares reclin'd
The burthen and repose of half mankind,
Left to the vain their pomp, and calmly stray'd,
The world forgot, beneath the laurel shade;
Nor longer would be great, but void of strife,
Clos'd in soft peace his eve of glorious life.
Feed round, my goats; ye sheep, in safety graze;
Ye winds, breathe gently while I tune my lays.
The joyous Spring draws nigh! ambrosial showers Unbind the earth, the earth unbinds the flowers, The flowers blow sweet, the daffodils unfold The spreading glories of their blooming gold.
With a feign'd passion, she I love, beguiles, And, gayly false, the dear dissembler smiles; But let her stili those blest deceits employ, Still may she feign, and cheat me into joy!
On yonder bank the yielding nymph reclin'd,
Gods! how transported I, and she how kind!
There rise, ye flowers, and there your pride display,
There shed your odours where the fair one lay!
Once, as my fair one in the rosy bower
Soft I approach'd, and, raptur'd with the bliss,
In gentle slumbers pass'd the noon-tide hour,
At leisure gaz'd, then stole a silent kiss:
She wak'd; when conscious smiles, but ill represt,
Spoke no disdain!-Was ever swain so blest?
With fragrant apples from the bending bough
In sport my charmer gave her swain a blow:
The fair offender, of niy wrath afraid,
Fled, till I seiz'd and kiss'd the blooming maid:
She smil'd, and vow'd if thus her crimes I pay,
She would offend a thousand times a day!
O'er the steep mountain, and the pathless mead,
From my embrace the lovely scorner fled;
But, stumbling in the flight, by chance she fell:
w-but what-her lover will not tell!
From me my fair one fled, dissembling play,
And in the dark conceal'd the wanton lay;
But laugh'd, and show'd by the directing sound
She only hid, in secret to be found.
Far hence to happier climes Belinda strays,
But in my breast her lovely image stays;
Oh! to these plains again, bright nymph, repair,
Or from my breast far hence thy image bear!
Come, Delia, come! till Delia bless these seats,
Hide me, ye groves, within your dark retreats!
In hollow groans, ye winds, around me blow!
Ye bubbling fountains, murmur to my woe!
Where'er Belinda roves, ye Zephyrs, play! Where'er she treads, ye flowers, adorn the way! From sultry suns, ye groves, my charmer keep! Ye bubbling fountains, murmur her to sleep!
If streams smooth-wandering, Delia, yield delight;
If the gay rose, or lily, please thy sight;
Smooth streams here wander, here the roses glow,
Here the proud lilies rise to shade thy brow!
An awful horrour fills the gloomy woods,
And bluish mists rise from the smoking floods:
Haste, Daphnis, haste to fold thy woolly care,
The deepening shades imbrown th' unwholesome air.
MACENAS, whose high lineage springs
From a long race of ancient kings,
Patron and friend! thy honour'd name
At once is my defence and fame.
There are, who with fond transport praise
The chariot thundering in the race;
Where conquest won, and palms bestow'd,
Lift the proud mortal to a god.
The man who courts the people's voice, And doats on offices and noise; Or they who till the peaceful fields, And reap what bounteous Nature yields, Unmov'd, the merchant's wealth behold, Nor hazard happiness for gold; Untempted by whole worlds of gain To stem the billows of the main.
The merchant, when the storm invades, Envies the quiet of the shades; But soon relaunches from the shore, `Dreading the crime of being poor!
Some careless waste the mirthful day With generous wines, and wanton play, Indulgent of the genial hour,
By spring, or rill, or shade, or bower.
Some hear with joy the clanging jar
Of trumpets, that alarm to war;
While matrons tremble at the breath
That calls their sons to arms and death.
The sportsman, train'd in storms, defies
The chilling blast, and freezing skies:
Unmindful of his bride, in vain
Soft beauty pleads! along the plain
The stag he chases, or beguiles
The furious boar into his toils.
For you the blooming ivy grows,
Proud to adorn your learned brows;
Patron of letters you arise,
Grow to a god, and mount the skies.
Humbly in breezy shades I stray
Where Sylvans dance, and Satyrs play
Contented to advance my claim,
Only o'er men without a name;
Transcribing what the Muses sing
Harmonious to the pipe or string.
But if indulgently you deign
To rank me with the Lyric train,
Aloft the towering Muse shall rise
On bolder wings, and gain the skies.
Haste, Lycidas, to fold, &c. Te doctarum hederæ, &c.
TO MY FRIEND MR. ELIJAH FENTON, AUTHOR OF MARIAMNE, A TRAGEDY.
WHY art thou so slow to strike th' harmonious
Averse to sing, who know'st to sing so well? [shell,
If thy proud Muse the tragic buskin wears,
Great Sophocles revives and re-appears;
While, regularly bold, she nobly sings
Strains worthy to detain the ears of kings;
If by thy hand th' Homeric' lyre be strung,
The lyre returns such sounds as Homer sung.
The kind compulsion of a friend obey,
And, though reluctant, swell the lofty lay; [sound,
Then listening groves once more shall catch the
While Grecian Muses sing on British ground.
Thus calm and silent thy own Proteus2 roves
Through pearly mazes, and through coral groves;
But when, emerging from the azure main,
Coercive bands th' unwilling God constrain,
Then heaves his bosom with prophetic fires, [spires.
And his tongue speaks sublime, what Heaven in
Envy, 'tis true, with barbarous rage invades What ev'n fierce lightning spares, the laurel shades; And critics, biass'd by mistaken rules,
Like Turkish zealots, reverence none but fools.
But praise from such injurious tongues is shame;
They rail the happy author into fame:
Thus Phoebus through the zodiac takes his way,
And rises amid monsters into day.
Oh vileness of mankind! when writing well
Becomes a crime, and danger to excel !
While noble scorn, my friend, such insult sees,
And flies from towns to wilds, from men to trees.
Free from the lust of wealth, and glittering snares,
That make th' unhappy great in love with cares,
Me humble joys in calm retirement please,
A silent happiness, and learned ease.
Deny me grandeur, Heaven, but goodness grant!
A king is less illustrious than à saint:
Hail, holy Virtue! come, thou heavenly guest,
Come, fix thy pleasing empire in my breast!
3 Thou know'st her influence, friend! thy chearful
Proclaims the innocence and peace within; [mien
Such joys as none but sons of Virtue know,
Shine in thy face, and in thy bosom glow.
So when the holy mount the prophet trod,
And talk'd familiar as a friend with God,
Celestial radiance every feature shed,
And ambient glories dawn'd around his head.
Sure what th' unthinking great mistaken call
Their happiness, is folly, folly all!
Like lofty mountains in the clouds they hide
Their haughty heads, but swell with barren pride;
And, while low vales in useful beauty lie,
Heave their proud naked summits to the sky.
In honour, as in place, ye great, transcend!
An angel fall'n, degenerates to a fiend :
Th' all-chearing Sun is honour'd with his shrines;
Not that he moves aloft, but that he shines.
1 Mr. Fenton translated four books of the Odys
Why flames the star on Walpole's generous breast? | Studious from ways of wicked men to keep,
Not that he's highest, but because he's best;
Fond to oblige; in blessing others, blest.
How wondrous few, by avarice uncontrol'd, Have virtue to subdue the thirst of gold! The shining dirt the sordid wretch ensnares To buy, with mighty treasures, mighty cares; Blindly he courts, misguided by the will, A specious good, and meets a real ill: So when Ulysses plough'd the surgy main; When now in view appear'd his native reign, His wayward mates th' Eollan bag unbind, Expecting treasures, but out rush'd a wind; The sudden hurricane in thunder roars, Buffets the bark, and whirls it from the shores. O Heaven! by what vain passions man is sway'd, Prond of his reason, by his will betray'd! Blindly he wanders in pursuit of Vice, And hates confinement, though in Paradise; Doom'd, when enlarg'd, instead of Eden's bowers, To rove in wilds, and gather thorns for flowers; Between th' extremes, direct he sees the way, Yet wilful swerves, perversely fond to stray!
Whilst niggard souls indulge their craving thirst, Rich without bounty, with abundance curst; The Prodigal pursues expensive vice, And buys dishonour at a mighty price; On beds of state the splendid glutton sleeps, While starving Merit unregarded weeps: His ill-plac'd bounty, while scorn'd Virtue grieves, A dog, a fawning sycophant, receives; And cringing knaves, or haughty strumpets, share What would make Sorrow smile, and chear Despair. Then would'st thou steer where Fortune spreads
Go, flatter Vice! for seldom flattery fails:
Soft through the ear the pleasing bane distils:
Delicious poison! in perfumes it kills!
P- all but virtuous: Oh! unwise to live
Unfashionably good, and hope to thrive!
Trees that aloft with proudest honours rise,
Root hell-ward, and thence flourish to the skies.
O happier thou, my friend, with ease content,
Blest with the conscience of a life well-spent!.
Nor would'st be great; but guide thy gather'd sails,
Safe by the shore, nor tempt the rougher gales;
For sure, of all that feel the wound of Fate,
None are completely wretched but the great:
Superior woes, superior stations bring;
A peasant sleeps, while cares awake a king;
Who reigns, must suffer! crowns, with gems inlaid,
At once adorn and load the royal head:
Change but the scene, and kings in dust decay,
Swept from the Earth, the pageants of a day;
There no distinctions on the dead await,
But pompous graves, and rottenness in state.
Such now are all that shone on Earth before;
Cæsar and mighty Marlborough are no more!
Unhallow'd feet o'er awful Tully tread,
And Hyde and Plato join the vulgar dead;
And all the glorious aims that can employ
The soul of mortals, must with Hanmer die:
O Compton, when this breath we once resign,
My dust shall be as eloquent as thine!
Till that last hour which calls me hence away. To pay that great arrear which all must pay; Oh! may I tread the paths which saints have trod, Who knew they walk'd before th' all-seeing God!
Who mock at vice, while grieving angels weep. Come, taste, my friend! the joys retirement brings, Look down on royal slaves, and pity kings.
More happy! laid where trees with trees entwin'd
In bowery arches tremble to the wind,
With innocence and shade like Adam blest,
While a new Eden opens in the breast!
Such were the scenes descending angels trod
In guiltless days, when man convers'd with God.
Then shall my lyre to loftier sounds be strung,
Inspir'd by Homer1, or what thou hast sung:
My Muse from thine shall catch a warmer ray;
As clouds are brighten'd by the god of day.
So trees unapt to bear, by art refin'd,
High o'er the ground with fruits adopted rise,
With shoots ennobled of a generous kind,
And lift their spreading honours to the skies.
BETWEEN A LADY AND HER LOOKING-GLASS, WHILE
SHE HAD THE GREEN-SICKNESS.
HE gay Ophelia view'd her face
In the clear crystal of her glass;
The lightning from her eye was fled,
Her cheek was pale, the roses dead.
Then thus Ophelia, with a frown:→→
"Art thou, false thing, perfidious grown
I never could have thought, I swear,
To find so great a slanderer there!
Beaux vow I'm fair who never lye.
"False thing! thy malice I defy!
More brittle far than brittle thou,
Would every grace of woman grow,
If charms so great so soon decay,
The bright possession of a day!
But this I know, and this declare,
That thou art false, and I am fair."
The glass was vexed to be bely'd,
And thus with angry tone reply'd:
"No more to me of falsehood talk, But leave your oatmeal and your chalk! 'Tis true, you're meagre, pale, and wan; The reason is, you're sick for man."
While yet it spoke, Ophelia frown'd
And dash'd th' offender to the ground;
With fury from her arm it fled,
And round a glittering ruin spread;
When lo! the parts pale looks disclose,
Pale looks in every fragment rose;
Around the room instead of one,
An hundred pale Ophelias shone;
Away the frighted virgin flew,
And, humbled, from herself withdrew.
Ye beaux, who tempt the fair and young,
With snuff, and nonsense, dance, and song;
Ye men of compliment and lace!
Behold this image in the glass:
The wondrous force of flattery prove,
To cheat fond virgins into love:
Dr. Broome translated eight books of the Odyssey