Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Courage compos'd, and keen; sound Temperance,
Healthful in heart and look; clear Chastity,
With blushes reddening as she moves along, 1610
Disordered at the deep regard she draws;
Rough Industry; Activity untir'd,
With copious life inform’d, and all awake;
While in the radiant front, superior shines
That first paternal virtue, Public Zeal;

1615
Who throws o’er all an equal wide survey,
And ever musing on the common weal,
Still labours glorious with some great design.

Low walks the sun, and broadens by degrees, Just o'er the verge of day. The shifting clouds 1620 Assembled gay, a richly-gorgeous train, In all their pomp attend his setting throne. Air, earth, and ocean smile immense. And now, As if his weary chariot sought the bowers Of Amphitrite, and her tending nymphs,

1625 (So Grecian fable sung) he dips his orb ; Now half-immers'd; and now a golden curve Gives one bright glance, then total disappears.

For ever running an enchanted round, Passes the day, deceitful, vain and void ;

1630 As fleets the vision o'er the formful brain, This moment hurrying wild th' impassion’d soul, The next in nothing lost. 'Tis so to him, The dreamer of this earth, an idle blank : A sight of horror to the cruel wretch,

1635 Who all day long in sordid pleasure rollid, Himself an useless load, has squander'd vile, Upon his scoundrel train, what might have cheer'd A drooping family of modest worth,

But to the generous still-improving mind, 1640
That gives the hopeless heart to sing for joy,
Diffusing kind beneficence around,
Boastless, as now descends the silent dew;
To him the long review of order'd life
Is inward rapture, only to be felt.

1645
Confess'd from yonder slow extinguish'd clouds,
All ether softening, sober Evening takes
Her wonted station in the middle air ;
A thousand shadows at her beck. First this
She sends on earth; then that of deeper dye 1650
Steals soft behind; and then a deeper still,
In circle following circle, gathers round,
To close the face of things. A fresher gale
Begins to wave the wood, and stir the stream,
Sweeping with shadowy gusts the fields of corn ; 1655
While the quail clamours for his running mate,
Wide o'er the thistly lawn, as swells the breeze,
A whitening shower of vegetable down
Amusive floats. The kind impartial care
Of Nature nought disdains; thoughtful to feed 1660
Her lowest sons, and clothe the coming year,
From field to field the feathered seeds she wings.

His folded flock secure, the shepherd home Hies, merry hearted; and by turns relieves The ruddy milk-maid of her brimming pail; 1665 The beauty whom perhaps his witless 'heart, Unknowing what the joy-mixt anguish means, Sincerely loves, by that best language shewn Of cordial glances, and obliging deeds. Onward they pass, o'er many a panting height, 1670 And valley sunk, and unfrequented; where

At fall of eve the fairy people throng,
In various game, and revelry, to pass
The summer-night, as village-stories tell.
But far about they wander from the grave 1675
Of him, whom his ungentle fortune urg'd
Against his own sad breast to lift the hand
Of impious violence. The lonely tower
Is also shunn'd; whose mournful chambers hold,
So night-struck Fancy dreams, the yelling ghost!

Among the crooked lanes, on every hedge, 1681
The glow-worm lights his gem; and, thro’ the dark,
A moving radiance twinkles. Evening yields
The world to Night; not in her winter-robe
Of massy Stygian woof, but loose array'd 1685
In mantle dun. A faint erroneous, ray,
Glanc'd from th’imperfect surfaces of things,
Flings half an image on the straining eye ;
While wavering woods, and villages, and streams,
And rocks, and mountain-tops, that long retain'd
Th’ascending gleam, are all one swimming scene,
Uncertain if bebeld. Sudden to heaven

1692 Thence weary vision turns; where, leading soft The silent hours of love, with purest ray Sweet Venus shines ; and from her genial rise, 1695 When day-light sickens till it springs afresh, Unrivallid reigns, the fairest lamp of night. As thus the effulgence tremulous I drink, With cherish'd gaze, the lambent lightnings shoot Across the sky; or horizontal dart

1700 In wondrous shapes; by fearful murmuring crowds Portentous deem'd. Amid the radiant orbs, That more than deck, that animate the sky,

The life-infusing suns of other worlds;
Lo! from the dread immensity of space

1705
Returning, with accelerated course,
The rushing comet to the sun descends ;
And as he sinks below the shading earth,
With awful train projected o'er the heavens,
The guilty nations tremble. But, above 1710
Those superstitious horrors that enslave
The fond sequacious herd, to mystic faith
And blind amazement prone, th' enlightened few,
Whose godlike minds philosophy exalts,
The glorious stranger hail. They feel a joy 1715
Divinely great; they in their powers exult,
That wondrous force of thought, which mounting spurn
This dusky spot, and measures all the sky;
While, from his far excursion thro' the wilds
Of barren ether, faithful to his time,

1720 They see the blazing wonder rise anew, In seeming terror clad, but kindly bent To work the will of all-sustaining LOVE: From his huge vapoury train perhaps to shake Reviving moisture on the numerous orbs, 1725 Thro' which his long ellipsis winds; perhaps To lend new fuel to declining suns, To light up worlds, and feed th' eternal fire.

With thee, serene Philosophy, with thee, And thy bright garland, let me crown my song! 1730 Effusive source of evidence, and truth! A lustre shedding o'er th' ennobled mind, Stronger than summer-noon; and pure as that, Whose mild vibrations sooth the parted soul, New to the dawning of celestial day,

1735

Hence thro’ her nourish'd powers, enlarg’d by thee,
She springs aloft, with elevated pride,
Above the tangling mass of low desires,
That bind the fluttering crowd? and angel-wing'd,
The heights of science and of virtue gains, 1740
Where all is calm and clear; with Nature round,
Or in the starry regions, or th' abyss,
To Reason's and to Fancy's eye display'd:
The first up-tracing, from the dreary void,
The chain of causes and effects to Him,

1745
The world-producing Essence, who alone
Possesses being ; while the Last receives
The whole magnificence of heaven and earth,
And every beauty, delicate or bold,
Obvious or more remote, with livelier sense, 1750
Diffusive painted on the rapid mind.

Tutor’d by thee, hence Poetry exalts
Her voice to ages; and informs the page
With music, image, sentiment, and thought,
Never to die! the treasure of mankind !

1753 Their highest honour, and their truest joy!

Without thee what were unenlightened Man?
· A savage roaming thro’ the woods and wilds,
In quest of prey; and with th' unfashioned fur
Rough clad; devoid of every finer art,

1769
And elegance of life. Nor happiness
Domestic, mix'd of tenderness and care,
Nor moral excellence, nor social bliss,
Nor guardian law were his; nor various skill
To turn the furrow, or to guide the tool

1765 Mechanic; nor the heaven-conducted prow Of navigation bold, that fearless braves

« AnteriorContinuar »