« AnteriorContinuar »
Then to his Lucy's new-made grave,
Convey'd by trembling swains,
One mould with her, beneath one sod,
For ever he remains.
Oft at this grave the constant hind
And plighted maid are seen;
With garlands gay and true-love knots,
They deck the sacred green:
But, swain forsworn, whoe'er thou art,
This hallow'd spot forbear;
Remember Colin's dreadful fate,
And fear to meet him there.
TO THE EARL OF WARWICK, ON THE DEATH OF MR. ADDISON,
IF, dumb too long, the drooping Muse hath stay'd,
And left her debt to Addison unpaid,
Blame not her silence, Warwick, but bemoan,
And judge, oh judge, my bosom by your own.
What mourner ever felt poetic fires !
Slow comes the verse that real wo inspires :
Grief unaffected suits but ill with art,
Or flowing numbers with a bleeding heart.
Can I forget the dismal night that gave
My soul's best part for ever to the grave !
How silent did his old companions tread,
By midnight lamps, the mansions of the dead,
Through breathing statues, then unheeded things,
Through rows of warriors, and through walks of
kings! What awe did the slow, solemn knell inspire; The pealing organ, and the pausing choir; The duties by the lawn-robed prelate paid, And the last words that dust to dust convey'd! While speechless o'er thy closing grave we bend, Accept these tears, thou dear departed friend.
Oh, gone for ever; take this long adieu ;
And sleep in peace, next thy loved Montague.
To strew fresh laurels, let the task be mine,
A frequent pilgrim at thy sacred shrine;
Mine with true sighs thy absence to bemoan,
And grave with faithful epitaphs thy stone.
If e'er from me thy loved memorial part,
May shame afflict this alienated heart;
of thee forgetful if I form a song,
My lyre he broken, and untuned my tongue.
My grief be doubled from thy image free,
And mirth a torment, unchastised by thee.
Oft let me range the gloomy aisles alone,
Sad luxury! to vulgar minds unknown,
Along the walls where speaking marbles show
What worthies form the hallow'd mould below;
Proud names, who once the reins of empire held;
In arms who triumph'd, or in arts excell'd;
Chiefs, graced with scars and prodigal of blood;
Stern patriots, who for sacred freedom stood;
Just men, by whom impartial laws were given;
And saints who taught and led the way to heaven.
Ne'er to these chambers, where the mighty rest,
Since their foundation came a nobler guest ;
Nor e'er was to the bowers of bliss convey'd,
A fairer spirit or more welcome shade.
In what new region to the just assign'd, What new employments please the unbodied mind? A winged Virtue, through th' ethereal sky, From world to world unwearied does he fly? Oi curious trace the long laborious maze Of Heaven's decrees, where wondering angels gaze ? Does he delight to hear bold seraphs tell How Michael battled and the dragon fell; Or, mix'd with milder cherubim, to glow In hymns of love, not ill essay'd below? Or dost thou warn poor mortals left behind, A task well suited to thy gentle mind?
Oh! if sometimes thy spotless form descend,
To me thy aid, thou guardian genius, lend !
When rage misguides me, or when fear alarms,
When pain distresses, or when pleasure charms,
In silent whisperings purer thoughts impart,
And turn from ill a frail and feeble heart;
Lead through the paths thy virtue trod before,
Till bliss shall join, nor death can part us more.
That awful form, which, so the heavens decree,
Must still be loved and still deplored by me;
In nightly visions seldom fails to rise,
Or, roused by Fancy, meets my waking eyes ;
If business calls, or crowded courts invite,
Th’umblemish'd statesman seems to strike my sight;
If in the stage I seek to sooth my care,
I meet his soul which breathes in Cato there;
If pensive to the rural shades I rove,
His shape o’ertakes me in the lonely grove;
'Twas there of just and good he reason'd strong,
Clear'd some great truth, or raised some serious
song : There patient show'd us the wise course to steer, A candid censor, and a friend severe; There taught us how to live; and (oh! too high The price for knowledge) taught us how to die.
Thou hill, whose brow the antique structures grace, Reard by bold chiefs of Warwick's noble race, Why, once so loved, whene'er thy bower appears, O'er my dim eyeballs glance the sudden tears ! How sweet were once thy prospects fresh and fair, Thy sloping walks and unpolluted air! How sweet the glooms beneath thy aged trees, Thy noontide shadow and thy evening breeze! His image thy forsaken bowers restore; Thy walks and airy prospects charm no more ; No more the summer in thy glooms allay'd, Thy evening breezes, and thy noonday shade.
From other hills, however Fortune frown'd, Some refuge in the Muse's art I found :
Reluctant now I touch the trembling string,
Berest of him who taught me how to sing ;
And these sad accents, murmurd o'er his urn,
Betray that absence they attempt to mourn.
Oh! must I then (now fresh my bosom bleeds,
And Craggs in death to Addison succeeds)
The verse, begun to one lost friend, prolong,
And weep a second in th' unfinish'd song!
These works divine, which, on his death-bed laid,
To thee, oh Craggs, th' expiring sage convey'd;
Great, but ill-omen'd, monument of fame,
Nor he survived to givè, nor thou to claim.
Swift after him thy social spirit flies,
And close to his, how soon! thy coffin lies.
Bless'd pair! whose union future bards shall tell
In future tongues : each other's boast! farewell,
Farewell! whom joind in fame, in friendship tried,
No chance could sever, nor the grave divide.
Ye nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:
To heavenly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus and th’ Aonian maids,
Delight no more. Oh thou my voice inspire
Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the bard begun!
A virgin shall conceive, a virgin bear a Son!
From Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies:
Th' ethereal spirit o'er its ieaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic dove.
Ye Heavens! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly shower!
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient frauds shall fail;
Returning Justice list aloft her scale;
Peace o'er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-robed Innocence from heaven descend.
Swift fly the years, and rise th' expected morn!
Oh, spring to light, auspicious babe, be born!
See, Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring :
See lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance:
See spicy clouds from lowly Sharon rise,
And Carmel's flowery top perfume the skies !
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers ;
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears !
A God, a God! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies ;
Sink down, ye mountains, and ye valleys, rise;
With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay ;
Be smooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods, give way!
The Saviour comes! by ancient bards foretold:
Hear him, ye deaf; and all ye blind, behold!
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eyeball pour the day :
Tis he th' obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm th' unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap exulting like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear;
From every face he wipes off every tear.
In adamantine chains shall death be bound,
And hell's grim tyrant feel th' eternal wound.
As the good shepherd tends his feecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture and the purest air;
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects;