Imágenes de páginas

When first thy sire to send on Earth
Virtue, his darling child, design'd,
To thee he gave the heavenly birth,
And bade to form her infant mind.
Stern rugged nurse! thy rigid lore
With patience many a year she bore:
What sorrow was, thou bad'st her know,

And from her own she learn'd to melt at others' wo.

Scar'd at thy frown terrific, fly
Self-pleasing Folly's idle brood,
Wild Laughter, Noise, and thoughtless Joy,
And leave us leisure to be good.
Light they disperse; and with them go
The summer friend, the flattering foe:

By vain Prosperity receiv'd,

To her they vow their truth, and are again believ'd.

Wisdom, in sable garb array'd,

Immers'd in rapturous thought profound,

And Melancholy, silent maid,

With leaden eye, that loves the ground, Still on thy solemn steps attend:

Warm Charity, the general friend,

With Justice, to herself severe,

And Pity, drooping soft the sadly-pleasing tear.

Oh, gently on thy suppliant's head,

Dread goddess, lay thy chast'ning hand! Not in thy Gorgon terrors clad,

Not circled with the vengeful band

(As by the impious thou art seen)

With thundering voice, and threatening mien, With screaming Horror's funeral cry,

Despair, and fell Disease, and ghastly Poverty :



Thy form benign, oh goddess! wear,
Thy milder influence impart,
Thy philosophic train be there

To soften, not to wound my heart.
The generous spark extinct revive,
Teach me to love, and to forgive,
Exact my own defects to scan,

What others are to feel, and know myself a man.



BENEATH the beech, whose branches bare,
Smit with the lightning's livid glare,

O'erhang the craggy road,

And whistle hollow as they wave;
Within a solitary grave,

A slayer of himself holds his accurs'd abode.

Lour'd the grim morn, in murky dies
Damp mists involv'd the scowling skies,
And dimm'd the struggling day;

As by the brook, that lingering laves
Yon rush-grown moor with sable waves,
Full of the dark resolves he took his sullen way.

I mark'd his desultory pace,

His gestures strange, and varying face,
With many a mutter'd sound;

And ah! too late aghast I view'd

The reeking blade, the hand embrued;

He fell, and groaning grasp'd in agony the ground.

Full many a melancholy night

He watch'd the slow return of light;

And sought the powers of sleep,

To spread a momentary calm

O'er his sad couch, and in the balm

Of bland oblivion's dews his burning eyes to steep.

Full oft, unknowing and unknown,
He wore his endless noons alone;
Amid th' autumnal wood

Oft was he wont, in hasty fit,
Abrupt the social board to quit,

And gaze with eagerglance upon the tumbling flood.

Beckoning the wretch to torments new,
Despair, for ever in his view,

A spectre pale, appear'd;
While, as the shades of eve arose,

And brought the day's unwelcome close,
More horrible and huge her giant-shape she rear'd.

'Is this,' mistaken Scorn will cry,
Is this the youth whose genius high
Could build the genuine rbyme?
Whose bosom mild the favouring Muse
Had stor'd with all her ample views,
Parent of fairest deeds, and purposes sublime.'
Ah! from the Muse that bosom mild
By treacherous magic was beguil'd,
To strike the deathful blow:
She fill'd his soft ingenuous mind
With many a feeling too refin'd,


And rous'd to livelier pangs his wakeful sense of

Though doom'd hard penury to prove,
And the sharp stings of hopeless love :
To griefs congenial prone,

More wounds than Nature gave he knew,
While Misery's form his fancy drew
In dark ideal hues, and horrors not its own.

Then wish not o'er his earthy tomb
The baleful nightshade's lurid bloom
To drop its deadly dew:

Nor oh! forbid the twisted thorn,
That rudely binds his turf forlorn,


With Spring's green-swelling buds to vegetate

What though no marble-piled bust
Adorn his desolated dust,

With speaking sculpture wrought?
Pity shall woo the weeping Nine,

To build a visionary shrine,


Hung with unfading flowers, from fairy regions

What though refus'd each chanted rite?
Here viewless mourners shall delight
To touch the shadowy shell:

And Petrarch's harp, that wept the doom
Of Laura, lost in early bloom,


In many a pensive pause shall seem to ring his

To soothe a lone, unhallow'd shade,
This votive dirge sad duty paid,

Within an ivied nook:

Sudden the half-sunk orb of day
More radiant shot its parting ray,

[took :

And thus a cherub-voice my charm'd attention

[ocr errors]

Forbear, fond bard, thy partial praise;

Nor thus for guilt in specious lays

The wreath of glory twine;

In vain with hue of gorgeous glow

Gay Fancy gives her vest to flow,


Unless Truth's matron-hand the floating folds con

'Just Heaven, man's fortitude to prove, Permits through life at large to rove

The tribes of hell-born Wo:

Yet the same power that wisely sends
Life's fiercest ills, indulgent lends

Religion's golden shield to break the embattled foe.

'Her aid divine had lull'd to rest
Yon foul self-murderer's throbbing breast,

And stay'd the rising storm :

Had bade the sun of hope appear
To gild his darken'd hemisphere,


And give the wonted bloom to nature's blasted

"Vain man! 'tis Heaven's prerogative

To take, what first it deign'd to give,

Thy tributary breath:

In awful expectation plac'd,

Await thy doom, nor impious haste

To pluck from God's right hand his instruments of


Thomas Warton.


THOU, to whom the world unknown,
With all its shadowy shapes, is shown;
Who see'st, appall'd, th' unreal scene,
While Fancy lifts the veil between:



« AnteriorContinuar »